Is Your Relatonship to the Church Like a Relationship to a Narcissist?

While I was recently reading a book on narcissism because I realized someone in my life was probably one, it suddenly dawned on me that what I was reading reminded me of my relationship with the church.

Now, for a disclaimer, I will admit this does not apply to all individual churches. However, I do believe the system of the church is prone to narcissism, and that it takes Herculean effort to prevent the church from being and acting narcissistic, along with its leaders.

Yes, I do believe the gravitational pull of all systems is towards supreme concern for itself over all other concerns.

In a sense, it must be.

The post office might claim that its number one job is delivering mail. But really, its number one job is to stay in business so that it can continue to deliver mail and make money.

Like our brains. We might like to believe that our number one mission in life is to love others or whatever. But our brain’s number one task is to protect the organism first. Until we realize this, we will continue to live under the illusion that we are selfless, when in fact we may not be at all.

The church is no different than any other institution or system in this way. The church might claim its number one job is to evangelize the world or serve the poor or preach the gospel or guide people in their spiritual journeys or worship Jesus. But primarily, its number one job is to stay alive. To stay in business.

Therefore, like all institutions and, dare I say entities, its number one task is to protect itself.

What we learn from the story of the Garden of Eden is that humanity was given dominion over creation. That includes such creations as institutions, including the church. The problem is, roles have switched, and we now are slaves of institutions.

The church has dominion over us!

One thing I learned about narcissists is that, generally, they don’t change. What has to change, therefore, is our relationship and interaction with them. They will constantly and perpetually try to dominate us. When we don’t challenge that, but are complicit, everything’s fine. But as soon as we challenge their domination, everything explodes. That’s when the weapons of control and destruction come out.

This was my experience with the church. As well as for so many others.

Things were fine as long as we went along with the life it offered us, including its persuasion, manipulativeness, coercion, control, and even spiritual abuse. It’s when it started dawning on us that we were in a toxic relationship with a narcissist and tried to change the nature of our relationship to the church that everything intensified to the point where we had to leave.

This has been my experience.

Has it been yours too?






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