Just because it bears the name “church”, does not mean it’s safe. Sometimes churches can be the most dangerous place to be, and should offer disclosure statements or a label such as “Attending this church could be harmful to your spiritual health”.
Well, at least it’s been the “Churches dirty little secret” until the advent of the Internet when people like this woman “Brittany”, began gathering courage and coming forward with their stories of being abused in the organized church. Now, praise God, we are finding other blogs and websites devoted to exposing this horrible cancer of spiritual abuse that has existed inside the organized church, and helping people to receive comfort, fellowship and healing from Jesus and one another.
“Back in the day”, many of us, like me, for example, felt like we were the only ones who had ever gone through being betrayed and abused by the church, and didn’t know where to go or what to do. I thank Jesus He has made provision, through other believers online, and that is where I found answers and spiritual fortification after coming out of the Nicolaitan Institutional church.
However, I am aware there are some church folks that would like to cover up and keep their dirty laundry in the closet rather than cleaning up their acts and doing right, smugly inviting innocent people to come into their church version of Hotel California. Then, there are others who’ve contacted me recently who passively-aggressively suggest that I am using this blog to vent my own unresolved spiritual abuse issues. Whatever! They don’t know my heart! Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is, that I have been betrayed, used and abused, by church people in and out of church just about every which way you can! I shouldn’t be surprised by now that the enemy can even use those who come to you as Christians. I’m getting older and wiser because of these “learning experiences” but I have to admit I’m getting more than a little tired of it. The time is short and I don’t have time for game playing.
When the Lord turns the light on and you then find the wolves in sheep’s duds attacking you, (which they will when the evil spirits in them begin detecting the light in you), and so the Spirit leads you out…you want to do everything you can to reach out to the hurting and disenfranchised. This is the main reason for this blog, and for those like Brittany, below. And also to inform these abusive churches, their game is up. And for the garden variety church goer that seems to believe that spiritual abuse doesn’t exist, or isn’t important…. that the Lord will take their blinders off to the terrible crisis that exists in the modern mainstream organized church, as well as in the little para church groups scattered all over the US, Canada and the Western cultures. It does exist, and it’s dirt ugly!
The following is “Brittany’s Story”. If you have a personal story, you are welcome to tell it here. It is very healing and cathartic to journal or talk about the spiritual abuse we’ve gone through whether it was in the home, the church or both.
” Hi there!
My name is “Brittany” and I stumbled across your blog quite by accident but I am glad I did. I have a story to share with you and your readers. I am keeping this post anonymous and have changed my name because I am afraid of being discovered with my story.
For seven years I was an active member of a small non-denominational church in the Northern United States. While I noticed some controlling behavior, it didn’t bother me because I came from a broken home and loved the idea of being accepted into a family. Aside from Sunday services, I also went to church meetings and functions throughout the week and I was well liked within the congregation. One summer, I was offered a chance to be a missionary to Haiti with an outside church group. I jumped at the chance and my church family seemed to be behind me as it was a longtime dream. The only real trouble I noticed was that my church leaders seemed to have much more communication with the people I was travelling to Haiti with than I did. I also found that they were warning this group that I was ‘immature’. (I am a professional adult with a good, stable life and they had nothing to base their accusations).
I went to Haiti and felt VERY controlled by the group that I was with. I told my home church about what was going on and they urged me to come home, so I did. When I got home, they were eager to pick me up and get me feeling better. Unfortunately, all I wanted to do was be alone and process things. They did not like that. I noticed things started to get really tense with my church. They stopped inviting me to functions and started to hold their gatherings in secret. I was promised to be included on certain activities but then they held them without me. People started blocking me from their phones and once great friends would no longer speak to me. Saddened and confused, I asked the pastor to arrange a meeting with myself and one of my church friends to get to the bottom of this excommunication. He agreed and I was relieved that this was all going to be settled. I arrived at the meeting expecting things to be worked out–but instead I was verbally assaulted and abused. Vile, horrible untruths were spoken about me; the pastor pointed his finger at me and spewed so much unholy anger. We didn’t pray, we didn’t try to reconcile, it was an all-out attack.
I have a medical illness that the church group knew about. When the stress of the situation started to put me in serious medical danger, they laughed at me and ignored my cries for help. I used my cell phone to make calls to people from the church that I knew. No one offered support for me. In fact, in the coming days no one would even confront the pastor about his behavior for fear that he would exile them as well.
During that meeting, several elders walked in unannounced and continued the ambush. I now believe that it was planned.
Aside from the PFA I obtained, there is nothing the police will do to shut this church down because of the separation of church and state laws in the United States. To this day I am haunted by nightmares and I always fear running into a church member when I am out and about. I know that they have tarnished my name in the town where I grew up and attended that church.
I would do just about anything to shut them down so that no one else has to go through what I went through. Physically, it took me 20 months to recover fully from their neglect of my medical condition. Spiritually, I am forever changed. I no longer support organized religion of any sort and have made it a priority to tell my story so that other people do not become spiritually abused.”
Don’t give up! Keep seeking God. The Spirit will lead and guide you to the truth as you persevere. I’m not endorsing the church that made these videos. I am endorcing Jesus and His Word. Seek Him in that!