Victims of "Ministry"

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Yeah ... I used to defend churches like mine. I'm still tempted to. Maybe it's the leadership? Maybe it's my idealistic nature that makes me susceptible? Regardless, the scales have tipped heavily and I'm seeing too much hurt, too many coincidences, and too little love to continue my self-sacrificial blindness. I'm daring to think I can reclaim the real me ... and spray paint the sacred cow I've revered for far too long!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"What you need to do is ..."

The pointed finger, the pointed words, the pointed "concern" ... The hidden dynamic? Manipulation. No one says it. Rarely is it recognized. But oh, how common it is! Sometimes just the feeling of "you should" is abstractly construed to move the other person in a direction and automatically reprimand if the "should" isn't followed. Regardless of how genuine the concern, I'm beginning to realize that any pressure like that is purely MANIPULATION!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse

No ... I have not read the book. Years and years ago, my father suggested I read it. I scoffed. Now I'm wondering if I was blind! Later when I have time, I'll check it out (probably on Amazon.com) and read some excerpts online. If I get real ambitious, I'll comment here on what I find. For those of you interested, here's my search link (I was surprised by how many titles are out there).

Now that I've found a few links, I'm intrigued by the cover: "Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church" Hmmmmm. "Manipulation" is a HUGE keyword as of late. OK ... I can't resist. I'm going to take the "sneak peek" and see what it says.

The introduction has some elements with which I can relate ... especially honestly wanting help when you feel like you're struggling, and ending up having a finger pointed at you without room for (as they say) give-and-take dialogue. Here is their definition: Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

This might be good!

I do believe I'm fed up ...

I used to be a staunch defender of Christian ministries (at least ones in which I was involved). But I do believe I'm fed up. How many more people need to be hurt by "ministry" and blamed for it as well? I've got enough stories to discuss and am just about burning to look back at situations and wonder if it was really the way I thought it was ... but for now, I've got a blog started and this time anyone can get in on it.

Are you a victim of "ministry" in any way? Maybe it's a big bite to chew to have an open invitation like this, but I'll just go ahead and say you're welcome here. I'll post some links I find. I'll vent a little. And if others want to join me ... WELCOME!