A man gives a lecture at a church leadership conference on how to get away with spiritual abuse: 1. promote a God who will hurt people to achieve his goals; and 2. be God’s representative.
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH SPIRITUAL ABUSE
Because the church is the perfect culture and system for spiritual abuse to occur, I’m sorry to say that as a pastor I have inflicted spiritual abuse. I can also say that as a member of many churches I have been the victim of it too.
I claim that most if not all abuse leaders really do believe they’re doing the right thing.
They really do believe that they are not being abusive, but strong leaders who get shit done.
They transfer the gym motto “no pain no gain” to the church community and truly think that the church’s success and God’s kingdom require sacrifice, so it’s going to hurt.
I would suggest that each and every abusive leader believes they are helping their people conquer their weaknesses, overcome insurmountable odds, and fulfill the will of God.
They’ve morphed suffering from descriptive to prescriptive. That is… they’ve changed it from “those who work for God DO suffer”, to “those who work for God MUST suffer”.
I dare to claim that encouraging people to strive, struggle, and suffer to fulfill a noble vision is an essential ethos of the church.
The result is most often a so-called successful church, but also a spiritually abused people.