Friday, August 7, 2009

Signs of Spiritual Abuse

Many readers will no doubt shrink from the anti-Charismatic nature of a book by a Steven Lambert, ThD, mentioned on a site called "Real Truth" (Can there be a fake truth?) Nevertheless, some of the items Lambert provides on his site called Signs of Spiritual Abuse are worth considering. He lists 33 signs on his site, but I'll just list a handful:

  • Apotheosis of the leadership — exalting them to God-like status in and over the group
  • absolute authority of the leadership
  • No real accountability of the leadership to the corporate body
  • Pervasive abuse and misuse of authority in personal dealings with members
  • Paranoia and insecurity by the leaders
  • Abuse, misuse, and inordinate incidence of "church discipline"
  • Doctrinal demeanment and devaluation — the requisite of espousing and teaching "sound doctrine" is demeaned and devalued
  • Theological incompetency by the leadership, especially with respect to the rules of hermeneutics and Bible exegesis employed in the formulation of doctrine, giving license to twisting and adulteration of Scripture in order to provide proof-texts for unorthodox and invented doctrines
  • Spiritualism, mysticism, and unproven doctrines
  • De facto legalism, or works mentality, and its resulting loss of the "joy of salvation," though "freedom" is forever preached from the pulpit and the church is constantly touted as being a "safe church" by the leadership
  • Isolationism — corporate and individual, especially with respect to exposure to outside ministry sources
  • Devaluation, suppression, and non-recognition of members' bona fide God-given talents, abilities, gifts, callings, and anointing, as a means of subjugation
  • Constant indoctrination with a "group" or "family" mentality that impels members to exalt the corporate "life" and goals of the church-group over their personal goals, callings, and objectives
  • Members are psychologically traumatized and indoctrinated with numerous improper fears and phobias aimed at keeping them reeling in diffidence and an over-dependence or co-dependence on their leaders and the corporate group
  • Corporately, there eventually develops an inordinately high incidence of financial, marital, moral, psychological, mental, emotional, and medical problems, including sudden deaths and contraction of "incurable" and "unknown" diseases
  • Lack of true personal spiritual growth and development, especially in terms of genuine faith and experiencing the abounding grace, forgiveness, goodness, blessings, kindness, and agape-love of God
  • Members departing without the prior permission and blessing of the leadership leave the group under a cloud of manufactured suspicion, shame, and slander
  • Horror stories frequently told by leaders about individuals or families who left the group without the prior permission and blessing of the leadership, and the terrible consequences and curses they suffered as a result
  • Departing members often suffer from various psychological problems and display the classic symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

1 comment:

  1. A Igreja Presbiteriana do Brasil tem recebido, ao longo das celebrações pelos seus 150 anos de vida, homenagens de diversas partes do país. Confira algumas dessas iniciativas.


    A Câmara Municipal dos Vereadores de Jaboatão dos Guararapes (PE), por iniciativa de um de seus componentes, ver. Edmilson Monteiro (pastor da Igreja Batista), e também dos pastores presbiterianos do Presbitério Metropolitano de Recife, realizou uma sessão especial e concedeu a Medalha Vital de Negreiros a IPB.

    O rev. Adalberon Garrett de Carvalho também será homenageado por seus 20 anos de ministério e dedicação ao Projeto Transformação, bem como o presb. Josebias Pereira dos Santos, de 81 anos, por seus 66 anos de presbiterato na IPB. Esse evento foi realizado no dia 7 de agosto, as 18h30, na IP em Candeias. O pregador convidado é o rev. Cilas Cunha Menezes, vice-presidente do Supremo Concílio da IPB.

    Informações: Rev. Waldir Benevides
    (081) 88257376 - 97293960 - 30613578 – 30615080