Recognizing Spiritual Abuse

How Can We Recognize Spiritual Abuse?

The following comments are excerpted from Twisted Scripture” by Mary Alice Chrnalogar.

If you have experienced any of these conditions in your church, it may indicate a misuse of Scripture and/or may represent the presence of abuse and excessive control:

  • The church sees itself as “more committed” to Jesus than those not in the church.
  • Church members are rebuked for actions that aren’t really sinful but which merely differ from the leaders’ opinions.
  • The leader uses verses such as “Touch not my anointed” to imply we can’t criticize leaders without being critical of God.
  • The group emphasizes trusting leaders, having faith in leaders, imitating leaders, and/or being loyal to them.
  • The group teaches people to obey even when it doesn’t feel right.
  • Members must meet in private with leaders when pointing out errors [that the leaders have made].
  • The leader teaches that the Bible says to stay away from those who have “fallen away.”
  • The leader teaches that “following Christ” means giving up all personal wishes, desires and goals.
  • The group teaches that God will give you direct revelations for every detail of your life, if only you are listening.
  • The leaders [supposedly] can hear God and know God’s will better than you can.
  • The gray and open areas of your life become narrowed and absolute rights and