More and more pastors and Christian leaders are acknowledging that spiritual abuse is happening in their own churches, denominations, organizations, and church planting networks. Michael J. Kruger, President of Reformed Theological Seminary is writing a series on spiritual abuse on his blog. He named the series well: Bully Pulpit.
In his post dated February 15, 2021, he outlines one of the key signs of an abusive pastor, “A classic, defining mark of an abusive pastor is a long track record of broken relationships.”
No one can deny the long track record of broken relationships at Giant Church Inc. But a lot of work goes into pretending it isn’t there. The article addresses the reasons why we don’t see the sin pattern of broken relationships. I’ve written about some of the reasons as well. Blind loyalty, the false narratives created by the leaders, the need to belong, fear, and NDAs.
Anyone who’s on the track of broken relationships made by Giant Church Inc knows the pain of losing a community who claimed to love us. The shock of friends believing the false narrative without listening to our stories. The pain of being ignored in public by those who trusted us with their children. The pain of realizing the Bible was used to manipulate and exert power over. The damage done to the young ones brings the worst pain. They wonder if anything experienced at Giant Church Inc was real.
More to the Story
Last month I included the link to the tragic story written by David and Nancy French about one of the largest Christian camps in the world, Kanakuk Kamp. Unfortunately, there’s more to the story. Nancy wrote another article about new findings and now experts say the FBI should investigate.
I received an email a couple of weeks ago with a question from a reader. She wanted to know the name of the church and which network are the subjects of my Giant Church Inc series. If only there were just one this blog series wouldn’t exist.
I write this series to educate the church about the toxic culture and spiritual abuse in our churches and other Christian organizations. My hope is that we care enough to do our due diligence and learn what abuse looks like in order for us to help change it. We help change it so others aren’t harmed. We help change it because we know any kind of abuse of power is not the heart of God.
It’s obvious change needs to happen. Several authors have given us insight into the dynamics of abuse, how to create healthy cultures, and how to use our power for good. These are important works and we need to learn from them.
True and lasting change will happen as we turn our eyes again to Jesus. Then we will bring truth and light to the darkness.
Jesus, keep us in the light of your love. As we stand in the light of your love, may we be bringers of truth, light, and love to those around us. Let us be courageously committed to the truth, even when it scares us to see it.
Photo by Gene Devine on Unsplash
So appreciate your thoughts on this topic, Marie. As one who suffers as a cast out, it’s comforting to know that people are waking up– especially those with a voice. However, we know that God’s voice will loudly and powerfully put an end to the deceit, manipulation, and hypocrisy. But, thank you.
Thank you, Claire. It is comforting to know others see the issue and that our loving Father will make things right. May you feel His peace and strength today.