I received this letter from one of our readers in response to Carla’s amazing post “Groomed to Doubt through Spiritual Abuse” which generated 60 comments and many emails and I found this one so compelling that I asked her permission to post it. In this email, Jeanette touches on some of the key sore spots that so many of us are dealing with in our frustration with Church and religious abuse.
This problem isn’t just within the Christian Church and Christianity, but in many fellowships and even non religious organizations. At the heart of this problem is the misuse of power and control. Certain people get to dictate what is right and wrong, what is acceptable or not acceptable and in the Church many have decided what the bible really says and feel justified in judging others with it. It took me a while to get out of my own struggle with this aspect of abuse because I was afraid that if I went against them it was the equivalent to going against God himself. My mind questioned “What if they are right and I am wrong?” and deep down this was a constant fear that I had. But when I took a look deeper into that fear, what I was really afraid of is that if they were right, then I was really not even good enough for God and even though I believed that God would forgive, love and accept the rest of the world, He would never love me. When I started to share this dread with others, whispering in fear of who knows what… I found out that I am not the only one who feels this way. We have a whole society of people who feel these fears and are afraid to talk about it; afraid to disappoint God. I was afraid of God because that is what controllers wanted me to be. It kept me pliable. It kept me doing the things that they wanted me to do. It kept me quiet. It kept me in my victim mentality, and there is no freedom, love or grace in that mentality. At the heart of this message, we are discussing our frustration with the way that we have been conditioned; we are exposing the lies that we have been fed by people, not the bible, God, or Christ as a whole.
Jeanette highlights a few other points in her letter:
“Darlene, I’ve been stewing over the spiritual abuse issue and it’s had me going in all kinds of directions because of how it permeated every area of my being, and I know you can relate to this.
One of the fallacies or lies of the current Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christianity is that there are short cuts to everything, that God has provided them and if we have the faith, they are ours. There is a short cut to transformation, that ‘born again’ experience; there is a short cut to getting through physical infirmity, faith healing; there is a short cut to emotional healing, the spoken word of forgiveness. It’s is all bullshit. There are no short cuts, and as Christians we have been caught up in this false teaching and have been spinning around and around, knowing in our deepest parts that it doesn’t work, but too afraid to confront the entire foundation that we have built our world view upon.
The road to healing, whether spiritual, emotional, relational, whatever, is never short and easy and a matter of just speaking a word and then moving on. It is a long process that is filled with twists and turns and pain and triumph and every other thing that we encounter in life, there’s no getting around it. And it pisses me off that people try to bully those of us who have figured this out into thinking we just lack spiritual insight and faith. There is so much arrogance going on with this and it really pisses me off. Many of us wouldn’t have had to endure half the pain we had, if hadn’t this added burden, this added layer of deception to work through. More than just an added layer, it is a plethora of threads that are woven into every layer of our abuse and pain.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to rejoin the Christian community frankly, I don’t believe I will ever have the stomach for it. But one thing I am thankful for, and that is that I have at least gotten to this place, where I see the wrongness of that belief system and am able to walk away from it, shake the dust off my feet, and move on to a better life. I’m NOT saying I am not going to remain a Christian, I just don’t know if I can rejoin the community, there are too many people who believe all this crap that seem to infiltrate every Christian community out there. I’ve had enough of it for a thousand lifetimes.
As always, we welcome your comments. Again I ask that you please understand that the point of this blog is not to trash the bible, God, Jesus or any religion, we are simply exposing the truth in order to heal from the lies and abuse that have us trapped in a cycle of being controlled by people (not God or Christ) to the extent that we could never feel good enough to deserve the love and acceptance of a higher power. When I recovered from spiritual abuse, I was able to have a relationship with God and to know that He is on my side. I am good enough, I am loveable, and I have purpose and I believe this to be the truth for all.
Blessings and Love,