Groomed to Doubt through Spiritual Abuse


“Are you sure?…”

As children we have a childlike faith. It just is. Faith that our parents are always right and acting in our best interest. Faith that we can take things at face value and learn to operate in this world based on the feedback we get from the prominent people in our lives. In my childhood, I also developed a very simple kind of faith in God. I grew up going to church every Sunday and my experiences there constructed another faulty corner of my belief system. In my last post I shared one of these experiences, and now I want to describe a recurring church experience that fueled the belief that I could not trust myself.

Every Sunday that I went to church, I took with me this simple and childlike faith in God. It was a natural, simple belief that just was. I didn’t try hard to make it happen. I sat in Sunday School and church and took in everything I was taught about what it meant to believe in and love this God and what it meant for him to love me. I believed everything they told me because as a child, I didn’t have much else to compare their teachings to and didn’t learn to question it.

In my early teenage years, a new pastor came to our church. He was charismatic at the pulpit and presented himself very humbly and earnest in person. In his sermons he went into deep detail about all the ins and outs of the Bible.  Our church esteemed him as our all-knowing leader who was very close to God. I pretty much took everything he said as golden truth.

Sunday after Sunday I listened intently to his sermons. By my teenage years, my depression was becoming more uncomfortable for me and I started hungering for comfort. Sitting in those services, I was the epitome of vulnerable… A hungering heart, a simple faith, an obedient listener. Sometimes I found comfort in the sermon. I would grasp at some words or phrase or Bible verse that assured me that I was loved and that I was accepted, that I was good enough. But this doubt about myself and my faith kept growing within me. It was a confusing, gradually consuming “merry-go-round” feeling. I would leave church feeling lighter and assured, but over the week more and more doubts would grow. I didn’t have the perspective at the time to understand why. But now I see the huge twist that was happening.

Every Sunday, at the end of almost every sermon, the pastor would challenge all of us. He would challenge us with this kind of question: “Now, you may have told God that you want to follow him. You may have prayed at various times throughout your life for his forgiveness. But, take some time now to look deep in your heart and ask yourself, are you sure? Have you really made the decision to follow God? You may think you have, but today, why don’t you be sure? Make that commitment anew. Show God, once again, that you are serious and genuine in your belief.”

It seemed like a good admonishment on the surface… It seemed like the pastor wanted us to know God and that’s why he challenged us. It seemed like a good thing when people would go to the front to pray, crying and contrite. It seemed like it was good because, well, of course it would be good to want to be sure that we were following God… Who could argue with that? But how come myself and the other people there weren’t jumping out of our pews joyful and alive every week? How come, for me, my depression grew worse and worse and I grew more and more anxious about my faith? My doubts about the genuineness of my faith grew so strong that at one point I went to talk to the pastor and asked him for help with it… I told him I was so doubtful about whether or not I really did love God. He took out a pamphlet of The Four Spiritual Laws and walked me through it. He assured me that if I had faith and believed, then I was okay. In his office he validated my faith; but from the pulpit he didn’t.

The twist worked away at my soul. It is the same twist at the heart of all kinds of abuse, the twist that teaches us to doubt ourselves through contradicting messages. There I sat in church, with my simple faith, along with hundreds of other people with their faith (why ELSE would they be at church if they didn’t have some level of desire to know God??) and Sunday after Sunday, the pastor shot arrows, challenging us to MAKE SURE that we were serious about following God. Our actions showed we were serious. But the faith that we were already demonstrating was ignored. Instead, we were admonished to be better, to believe better, to decide stronger, to commit more deeply.

The questioning started digging underneath my faith, slowly hollowing out a pit of self doubt and confusion which easily spread to every area of my life too. I was groomed to doubt all of my feelings, all of my “simple faiths” about anything else. It was one of the most powerful, churning lies at the root of my struggle with depression.

My next post, “Spiritual Abuse and Emotional Ravaging” will put a spotlight on the emotional damage that happened to me at church…

Categories : Depression



Wow this is another one that hit home in a major way.

I have had to step away from the church for the last year .. now don’t get me wrong I love the fellowship and I love hearing a good message but I went through a difficult time the first of last year that has shook the very foundation of what I believe and what I thought I knew. There were many different incidents that lead up to this for me. One I was still not ready to face the reality of my health, two our good friend and preacher and his wife left the church to go preach elsewhere, three a dear beloved friend past away and four a person whom I considered family just totally shut me out of their life. And five there was already an under current in my own life with struggling with my faith because what I had realized is I was doing more to please others instead of pleasing God I was more concerned with what others thought of me than I was with what God thinks of me, and to be blunt honest I feared others more than I respected God..

It was a very hard struggle so much so that in June of last I was grieving myself to death literally. I felt as though I had been dealt a blow right clean thru my very soul. What I know now that I didn’t or couldn’t see then is how much I depended on others to build my faith and in truth it is not left up to anyone to do that not even the preacher … Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith not any other. (hebrews 12:2)

I now have come to the full realization that it is not left up to any other person to direct my path or tell me if I have faith or not this matter is more personal and should be between the Lord and myself not for any other to dictate because no one can read my mind nor my heart.. God does not look upon the outer appearance of a person but upon the heart. Preaching has its place of course but it should never be the mechanism of our faith … doubts are common and they can lead us to despair but doubts also can lead us to dig deeper to get to the real answers to the real source of truth ..

My dad who is a retired minister often says “Read along in your bible as the preacher is preaching because it is human to err” what he means is that whether intentional or not a preacher can mess up. We fail to see and understand that a preacher, minister, evangelist, etc. is still a human being and often times they can make some big mistakes. and in truth we need to be sure that this individual has the right agenda of why they are ministering because many like to be self-made instead of God lead!

Since all that happen last year the one bible verse that is cement in my life is in Psalm 118 .. verse 8 says “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” if what a person says to me causes me to doubt then I line it up with what God says in His word if what that individual has said lines up with that then I deal with it if it don’t line up with it then I discard it.. i now have that choice where as for a long while in my life I didn’t see that I had a choice because I “trusted” others more than God or myself..

Just wished I could have come to that sooner than later but nevertheless I am glad that I am where I am at.


Nikki, thanks for sharing so many good points! As an adult, I have learned the value in questioning what people are “preaching” to me (in more ways than church preaching). This is part of my recovery- learning to think and feel for myself. I’ve expressed many times on this blog how, like how you say, I “trusted others more than God or myself”- that was exactly what is was like for me as a child and teenager, and especially as a child- it was nearly impossible for it to be otherwise.

I also couldn’t differentiate between who was preaching to me and Jesus was himself… To me, they were pretty much the same! And that’s why the lies I learned in my young years were so powerful. If the adults at church were displeased with me or kept challenging me to do better, wouldn’t God be that way too? This was another door to freedom that I found in my twenties- to know that who God really is is SO much bigger than what they preached to me. They had him all confined in this little box… but I don’t see him as being that small anymore.

Thanks for sharing your freedom Nikki,


It is this same doubt that makes me question my faith all the time. It seems like every church I’ve been to makes me question whether I have REALLY devoted myself to God, which just reinforces the self-doubt that is already in full bloom. I grew up in a semi-religious household; my father didn’t attend church, but my mom and I would go to church sometimes. My mom grew up in a very traditional, religious household, and she always felt that her faith was originally forced upon her, and she didn’t want to force faith upon me. I’ve always considered myself a Christian, but I’ve never been particularly devout. I entered therapy last year, and I found a new church at around the same time. The pastor there is inspring to most, and the congregation loves him. In therapy, I started to see the layers and layers of self-doubt and at church I kept thinking of myself as fake, because I couldn’t guarantee to myself or anyone else that I had really devoted myself to God. Going to church each week just made me feel worse and worse about myself because I felt increasingly like a fraud before God. I stopped going because I didn’t feel worthy enough to attend church. It’s only fairly recently that I’ve decided that God has unending patience and that he will wait while I find myself. And it is true about some churches/pastors confining God to a “little box.” I have to believe that he’s so much more than that.

By the way, especially through this whole therapy journey, my favorite scripture from the Bible is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”



Been there done that got the T-shirt.

In the end I think a church has been the most toxic environment that I’ve ever been in for mental health. I’ve spent longer undoing damange from church than I have from Trauma…..

The church taught me to see people as things not people. It taught me to not trust my own instincts. It taught me that basically I was evil and needed to be forever onguard and forever checking against a rule book and forever looking to god for an answer.

It made me weak, insecure fearful and unable to relate to people in healthy ways.

I wonder if Christianity is something that the devil invented…..


Those who harm the child and destroy its faith and ability to believe God is, or that he really loves the child, have a harsh warning from Christ; I know too many now-grown missionary kids who have completely abandoned the “faith of their fathers.”The majority have a life long struggle with trust and faith issues..
I guess I am one of them.

I don’t do church any more; not because all the attendees are bad people. Many of them have good hearts, and are genuinely caring individuals.
But many are enmeshed in churchianity, and it is those who, products of their own generation and the horrible abuses they suffered, perpetrate more and more suffering upon the next generation.

How does a child deal with the juxtaposition of “God loves you; he wants you to be here (at boarding school)so you have to take your punishment. It’s Gods will.”

“You have to be here so your folks can serve God; If you do something or tell them something that stops them from saving souls, then you are Satan’s helper..they will be so disappointed that they have to stop saving souls because you make them unhappy.”

“God loves you; you have to be strong and fight Satan;(while we suffered corporal punishment and beatings, emotional, mental, spiritual abuse from our caretakers)God needs you to help your parents. You have to help them do their work saving souls. You have to forgive us for hurting you; it is Gods will for you to forgive. You have to love your auntie and uncle or God will be very angry with you. You have to…”

It is/was much more about putting on the face so God would be pleased; about climbing the “Do-To-Be” tree…doing in order to please God, despite the fact he was a capricious and angry God, ready to send people to Hell even tho he supposedly wanted to “save” them.

Then there was sexual abuse, molestation, in many cases, rape and sodomy for some, followed up with spiritual ostrich treatment from the church leadership…you know… ” we had to serve God; it really wasn’t that bad for you; get over it; you survived, didn’t you? You just have to be brave and tough it out..”

On the odd year of furlough, we were ” the trophy children of the Great Mr and Mrs….Palmer” So we had a moment of fame; we also lived in LaLa land, because it was more about performance for the sake of all those “investors” of the Palmer missionary family missionary enterprise..

it was a business investment that really killed the souls and eventually the bodies of our parents.

I firmly believe that Jesus did not intend people to go to “serve” God buying the souls of the African tribes with the currency of their own children’s souls, bodies and minds..

Doctrines? nah! I don’t buy any of them. I do try to use the two greatest commands as guidelines, but “church” and church doctrines can go take a flyin’ leap into the deep, stormy, blue sea (with a big boulder tied around their middles)

Those who have worked hard to help children and grown survivors of any church are the blessed ones. Those people,who demonstrate love in practical ways and defend the helpless.. they are the Hands and Feet, Arms, Mouth of Jesus of Nazareth..
My thoughts..


SF, I really feel with you… For years I questioned myself constantly. All through my teenage years, at the Christian high school I went to, the Bible College I went to. It was so painful… always raking myself over the coals. And I really relate to that feeling of being afraid I was a fake because of my doubts. That is such a painful conundrum to be in. It has taken some years for me to rest and trust that I do have that simple faith, that it is very real and completely good enough, and that God accepts me exactly where I am at. He doesn’t need me to examine and analyze myself to death as proof that I believe in him. I haven’t been to church myself in a couple years now, and my faith is healing along with me. I send you warm encouragement on your path of healing, and YES- God is so much bigger than many people preach him to be. Thank you so much for sharing your journey here~ Carla


Wow Mike. Those are powerful thoughts, and I you’ve got me thinking in new directions!! That is so true for me too- the church taught me to think about people the wrong way. They were “things” that needed to be taught, needed to be “converted”, couldn’t be trusted, should be feared. It makes me really sad to think about it right now… There were so many lies I learned about people (myself included) in the religious environments I experienced, especially what you said about doubting my own instincts. How I see it, the added component with spiritual abuse is that we learn to be fearful of what God himself thinks about us. In my own healing, I’ve realized how God became one of my abusers in my own mind because of what the church taught me about him. In my therapy, it was amazingly freeing to learn that God didn’t think about me the way I was told he did… that he actually wants me to trust my own instincts and follow my unique path. Thanks so much for sharing your thought-provoking perspective Mike. ~ Carla


Please be cautioned as you read the following comment. I have decided to publish it because it is important to Darlene and I to let people share their views (of any kind) here at Emerging from Broken. I also felt that this comment displays some of the very things I have been writing about in my posts on Spiritual Abuse (and I personally feel it is spiritually abusive). I want to say plainly that the heart of my writing is to encourage and empower others who have been devalued through their church experience. I am not writing to discredit the Bible or Christianity in general. Please read with your own well-being in mind and feel free to respond as you wish.


Hi Carla, I decided I needed to write you because I was exactly like you and my heart really feels for you and I know we’ve known each other since childhood and grew up a bit together even though we were in different towns but I just wanted to share with you the truth that God has revealed to me through His word. I see this confusion in your soul that I had at one time and I want to share with you that God says that he is not a God of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

I also want to say that When I read this post and all the comments beneath it, it made me sad, for one comment to say that Christianity is from the devil makes me very sick. The truth is that doubt and false doctrine are from the devil and true Biblical Christianity is from the Living God. Everyone’s searching for spirituality, everybody is searching for a god, but nobody is looking for the one True God. We’ve all been born with sin in our lives and nothing in us wants God. That’s why salvation is a miracle because God converts our wicked hearts and then we come to saving faith in Him through His gospel which is found in the word of God. God is always here and His truths are always found in the Bible and the Bible alone. The Bible says in the end times that people will look for teachers that will please their itching ears and they will abandon sound doctrine; 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

The truth is, the only way to be saved is through the gospel found in the word of God. Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Although there are a lot of faithful pastors out there, there are alot of pastors that are controlled by the devil and it’s our responsibility to be like the Bereans in the Bible; to test everything against the true and Holy word of God. We’re not to put our faith in men or ideas and we’re definitely not to trust or follow our hearts because the Bible says “The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

I understand and can sympathize with people who doubt if their saved or not because I think we all go through that sometime in our lives, we all kind of wonder and God understands that and that is why he gave us the Bible and specifically the book of 1 John; which was written to give his children assurance that they are saved. God says once your saved your always saved because salvation is a work of God, a miracle of God. John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Jesus also said that “all my sheep come to me and know my voice and they will never depart from me.” John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Jesus also said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out”.

All the questions we have about life and truth have answers and those answers are found in the Bible. For those who are saved and have the Holy Spirit within them and humble themselves before His word, are humbling ourselves before God. We can’t pick and choose what we want to obey in the Bible, that’s called idol worship. That is not worshiping God, that is your own god or in other words an idol. Another thing we should do is to listen to Godly pastors who have shown a history of accurately expositing the word of God. Men like John MacArthur, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon and many others. God hates a divided church and we need to come together as one and the way to do that is submitting to the truths that are found in God’s word. For it is God’s word that we unite as Christians. If one Church isn’t preaching the true word of God then we find another one that does.

Also I wanted to mention God is not here to please us, he’s not here to make all our pain and suffering go away. His promise of abundant life and healing will not fully be fullfilled until we are in Heaven. When you become a Christian you do recieve God’s blessings but the reason we are on this earth is to serve Him, glorify Him and become more like Christ. Luke 9:23-24 “Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

We all have a choice to worship God or not and the consequence of not choosing God is eternal separation from God in hell. So you can see why it’s such a serious matter. We have this amazing hope in Christ because of what he has done for us on that cross. To save us if we would only submit to his authority and trust him and turn away from our sins and run to him. For he is a comforter, 2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort”.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Let us not follow our hearts for that will lead us to destruction.
Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

I pray that everybody would understand this so they may be right before the eyes of God.

God Bless and Take care,
Carrie and Adam


It is an absolute tragedy and travesty that the one religion that has love and acceptance at it’s very core should become such a source of pain for so many people. For many years, I felt it was an advantage to have become a Christian on my own rather than growing up in a Christian family because so many are dysfunctional in their faith. In fact, I even wondered whether I should teach my own kids about the Lord because most of the healthy Christians I knew came to Christ later in life. I eventually figured out that there must be a way to raise kids in the faith but also give them the freedom to make their own choices in life. If we don’t allow that freedom when they are young, then they will exercise it as adults. We simply cannot choose to love God unless we are free to not love Him.

In my view, if we don’t give children the freedom to not choose Christ, they will never really be able to choose Him freely. That’s one reason why adults often need to set their faith aside, at least for a time, so that they make their own decision one way or another.


Vivian, these things you have shared from your life are heartbreaking. I do not believe in a God who would require children (or anyone) to be misused in this way. All I can say is, it is the essence of evil to practice devaluing, destruction and manipulation in the name of God and I am so sorry that you experienced it to such an extreme. My faith has become very simple again (no doctrines for me either) and it is enough for me. I also understand why so many have lost faith altogether and I have no judgment for them at all. Thank you for sharing your light here Vivian. Love, Carla


Hi, Carla –

I, too, grew up in the environment of total immersion in an evangelical church. Whenever I didn’t follow my father’s orders to behave without argument, he would tell me that God didn’t let children into heaven unless they obeyed their parents. Since I was in trouble all the time, I knew that God would not accept such a bad girl. That messed with my mind!

I can totally relate to feeling never good enough. I could never behave well enough, keep my mind pure enough, remember all the rules . . . I just knew I was unworthy of love.

I’m still cleaning up the mess left by the church teachings . . . and I don’t blame God because I don’t think God had anything to do with it.

Thank you for writing so honestly!

– Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)


Brian, welcome here and thank you for sharing your experience! I agree about the tragedy you describe; that’s exactly what it is. It is encouraging to hear from a parent who made intentional choices about how to have their own faith but also give their children the choice for themselves. I think that is VERY powerful. It honors your children as individuals who have the ability to make their own choices and live their own lives- it gives them the gift of knowing their own hearts and minds. Thanks again- it is great to have you here! ~Carla


Oh Marie, that is so sad. What an enslaving thing to teach a child… What you say about never having a pure enough mind, behaving well enough etc, struck me as so inhuman. To me it feels like putting a cinch in the very human “free flowing-ness” (of emotions and thoughts) going on inside of us. I still work through that mess too, knowing that it is not the truth. It is great to know you on this journey Marie. Thanks so much for sharing. ~ Carla


Hi Carla,

I’m just wondering why you don’t talk to us personally like you have with everyone else? We understand that you are offended and your putting up a wall of protection to quiet your accusing concience but we now see that your problem is not with pastors or the church, it is with God. You may not realize it but you actually are dicrediting God and his truth and Christ’s true church. Your discrediting God and his church with your post-modern philosophies that actually completely go against the Bible. If you think what our post said is abusive then your basically saying that the whole Bible and God is abusive as well, because all we did was share God’s truth found in His Bible. If you want to label everything you don’t agree with as abusive or judgemental or unloving then go ahead but that’s not gonna help you when you stand before a Holy and Righteous God on Judgement Day. You can go ahead and put a caution on this post as well or even delete it, it doesn’t bother us because your problem is with God not us. So we will continue to pray for you that you will come to the truth and stop spreading lies to these other people. Do you realize how serious this is and that you are leading people away from God? Do you honestly believe that following your heart is the way to God? If you would like to discuss this we would be more then happy to talk to you, just send us a private message through facebook!

God Bless!
Carrie and Adam

Christina Enevoldsen
June 27th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

My experience with church has been mostly bad. It’s like an enmeshed family where you are treated like crap if you don’t think, act and look like them. There are just certain rules that you don’t break like, “Don’t question what the pastor says.” The abundant life that Jesus came to gave us is replaced with coping mechanisms. We’re not encouraged to have real freedom or taught empowerment; it’s all dependence on church leaders. How many sermons have been based on this verse?:

“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.” 1 John 2:26,27

What? We don’t need anyone to teach us? We can hear from God and decide for ourselves? Most pastors I know (and I know plenty up close and personal since my husband is a pastor)would never encourage their congregation to come to their own conclusions about ANYTHING. They’re too worried aboout validating themselves through the use of power.


I agree with the statement that the post from Carrie and Adam is abuse, side stepping the issues being addressed.

While reiterating the stance of the Christian church, which we all know fairly well, harping on “you shoulds” does no one any good.

It reflects the unwillingness of majority of Christian to acknowledge the existence of and the problems of spiritual abuse; to consider the plight of those who are victims, and to make the changes necessary.

It is very much about saying “we are right! Get in line and shape up!”


I think it’s just as devastating and sad to hear someone say: “His truths are always found in the Bible and the Bible alone” – how about respecting the faiths of others? And how about respecting those who do not have a religion; I’ve met many good and ‘unsaved’ people who definitely were not ‘wicked’ in any way – and many socalled Christians who were in Church every Sunday – and definitely wicked. Is this a ‘saved and Christian’ only group? If not – then respect other people’s views aswell.


I am not sure why you asked that question about if this is a Christian Only group.. I agree with what you say here and I assure you that everyone is welcome on this blog. We are not preaching anything but wholeness, freedom and recovery is possible no matter what happened or where you came from. =)It is devastating as you say, to be told that we are wrong all the time which is what people do when they tell us that only they know the truth. Thanks Annette for being here and contributing!

And Vivian, yes, this is exactly what we are talking about too. Carla is writing about how people hurt her spiritually. Everything we write on this blog is in an attempt to be supportive to others who have dealt with some kind of abuse or control that held them back from growing up to be who they were meant to be. I have a deep passion to share with the world what finally set me free and it was getting all this abuse sorted out and getting to the bottom of the lies I had been fed all my life. INCLUDING the ones that preached at me through Church and bible study ~ and just for the record ~ I studied the bible for 12 years, 8 of which were Greek and Hebrew word origins and I am no stranger to the Bible. The truth never slams or shames anyone. Man does it and it is our teachers and leaders that do all the damage and they teach us to pass that on to others.

Christina~ Thank you for your brilliant and truth filled comment too. After all those years of study I was still not free! I still felt unworthy, but when I got to the bottom of the abuse, I realized that the bible was not the problem, people were. Love the verse you quoted here.
Love to everyone, Darlene


Carie and Adam
Re: your second comment #14

Listen to the judgment in this comment! It isn’t what you posted in your first comment from the Bible that is abusive, it is how YOU used it to tear someone else down… to make Carla wrong. And then you decide that Carla has a problem with God?? It isn’t about agreeing or disagreeing, it is about the truth. Your comments are exactly what Carla and others are talking about.. you are right, you understand the Bible and God and she doesn’t. And of course you put in the threat about standing before God on judgment day… that one is used on everyone all the time.

I think God is going to say “well done my good and faithful servant” It isn’t us that are leading people away from God. One last thing, when you write “we will continue to pray for you”… that is one of the most well used statements that declares judgment on others. “I will pray that you come to the truth” ~ assuming that only YOU know the truth?

I was in this same fog once. I was so lost in my own life and my kids were badly damaged in Christian School by all this same stuff. I am not suggesting anyone abandon faith, just that we understand what the truth is. In my case I abandoned the lies and the truth set me free. I personally have been re-born exactly in the way that the bible describes, but I had a long road out of hell first.

P.S. just so you are aware, this blog has a huge following from all walks of life, but we also have many Christian readers who were raped and beaten by Pastors and leaders and in Christian boarding schools. Many were told to just forgive and they were never protected. That kind of advice does not work, it does not help and it certainly does not save. There is a dealing and healing time that has to take place first. That healing and dealing time is what this blog is all about.

Thanks for your comments. Hugs, Darlene


I know I have a relationship with God, my Creator, the designer of my faith. I also know I’ve gotten, over the years, some significant ‘church burns’ from the humans and the doctrine and the social constructs that people mistakenly call religion and faith. The things people do in the name of God are not the same things God would have us do as His people, and I believe there will be a reckoning for those who abuse their power behind the pulpit or in the office of a church to hurt, abuse and drive people away from God. The youth pastor who abused me, the church leaders who never quite understood that one can be a Christian without being a drone to their human rules and interpretations. It hurts me badly that I still am seeking a church where I feel I can be myself, scars and all. It hurts me badly that I cannot trust a church leader because of those betrayals in the past. It hurts me to be so cynical. I really believe that you do not become a shepherd without actually spending time with your sheep in the fields. I feel for everyone who has had ‘church burn’ and pain at the hands of those in positions that assume a Godly authority over us but use their egos and human desires to create rules instead of listening with their hearts to God. Spiritual abuse is a reality as much as physical, emotional, verbal and social – and it is one that is hardly spoken of and it needs to be outed.


Hey gals–I suppose this is more of a comment to most of your commenters. Carla, I read nothing of your post decrying God, only your relationship as being “worthy” or not. Which is exactly what abusers do, right? They put doubt in your mind regarding your relationship to whatever, in this case the Church in which you were raised. That was pu there by somebody else as you so oquently describe.

Thanks to Darlene’s specific comments regards what I got from
this. I am a Buddhist and thus am feeling tremendous sadness and compassion for so much talk about Christianity and God. So much judgement from so many. There are many ways to faith. Mine is a belief that I hold with me every moment of every day. I do not have a belief in a single Creator. I have gaps and doubts in my faith every day. This is because I have not achieved enlightenment, because I see so much lack of gratitude and compassion that we should have for one another, for life is suffering.

I am rather personally offended at quite a few of these comments. However as I follow the boddhitsatva path, my perceptions are not what is of greatest importance.

I am making a short story very long once again, sorry ;). It just gets under my skin that such a compassionate and loving post would be responded to with so much judgement and so much crap. Your eloquence shines thru. Your message is clear. Thank you for your courage! Om mane padme hom. Peace V.


Hi Carla and Darlene,

I feel compelled to write my sadness to witness Carla being torn down for her honesty and open heart. Whether one agrees or not, should have no bearing on her right to express her view.

To that end, here is mine. I grew up in the same church as she did. Not only is her story quite acurate, I find myself feeling as though it is a bit on the soft side. There is a generous section of people in Christiandom who have been taught just as she had. They feel that ‘perfect’ is the only way to measure up, and so believe that they never will. How sad that they completely miss the point. The overwhelming message of the new testament is love, not condemnation.
That is the God I see, and the Jesus I embrace.



In case any one who is lurking and wondering.. follwoingare two sites that, I can assure you,will help you understand the immensity of abuses, not only spiritual, in Christian boarding schools.




I agree with “More Jesus less Religion”. Religion is almost like Politics. I’ll give you this if you give me that. I’ll have to settle for this because it’s not quite there but I need to get that from you or your Church/religion. I say.. why conform. Just because you agree with 80% of what your church does.. fine. But if you are confused or not really ok with the 20% then look for the answers yourself. Hopefully the 20% doesn’t offend you enough to find another church that only satifies 65% of your stipulations but doesn’t offend as much. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to buy into any religion 100% all of the time. It’s ok to have a different thought or thoughts on religious matters. I look at God in a relational view not as a religion. I see him as another person who just happens to have all the answers. He may not give them (the answers) all to me at once but in his time, I’ll have what I need to be healthy spiritually which in turn spills over into all matters of life.


We love you and care for you Carla and we’re only trying to help you by sharing the truth. WE came to this blog to check it out in hopes of finding something spiritually encouraging but all we found was a bitter group of people against the church. Christ died for the church. JEsus layed down his very life to save us from death, there is no greater love then that. The church is not perfect because it is made up of people like us but it’s still Christ’s church and we should never encourage somebody to abandon it. There are faithful and loving people out there that are part of faithful and loving churches that glorify Christ. For a group that boasts about being loving and encouraging and empowering, then why are you so accepting of everything except God’s word and people that proclaim it?

Do you think we get pleasure from being persecuted for telling the truth? do you think we just go looking from blog to blog, looking to attack people? Both my husband and I have suffered in life in many ways and I personally was sexual abused as a child and assualted 7 months ago so I know the pain that comes from being abused, but I also know the source of healing too and that is what I’m sharing, and it’s not my words that you claim but it’s the very words of God that anyone can personally read in the Bible. I would not be here if it wasn’t for JEsus Christ and his Word. He is my King and my God, my comforter and healer and you all may have stories about your terrible experiences too which I can relate with and sympathize with but we can’t blame God or people for what has happened to us we blame sin and satan because that is the root of all evil and the fallen world which we are a part of. We’re not trying to attack Carla and we’re sorry if it came across in that way but we love her very much and care for her that is why this message is mainly for her because I’ve known her growing up and she is a family friend.WE love God and people so much to stand for Him and ” one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that JEsus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. Amen. ” Philippians 2:10-11

God Bless, Carrie and Adam


Carrie and Adam,
I am alive and well and finding my freedom~ I have never had a stronger faith or been more at peace about it. It blows me away that you think you know how God will judge me (as you hinted at in your last comment). What I also don’t understand is how you can be so sure about your truth, even your understanding of the Bible verses you have quoted, if you believe you cannot trust your own hearts and minds?… To me, that is the most difficult thing in what you say. You contradict yourselves. Living so disconnectedly was at the very root of my depression and anxiety.

Christina, I love that verse and your freedom-filled comments… Thank you so much for sharing it. I held on so tightly to what other preachers and leaders told me because I didn’t trust myself to make my own decisions- they didn’t teach me to trust myself because, just like you said, they wanted me to give them my power so they could feel more powerful. I am re-connecting with myself again so I can be congruent and walk with my own two feet. Hugs to you.

Vivian, I agree those “shoulds” are hell to the soul. Like so many people have shared here, living under those rules is devastating. I hope there is some good light shed here that will help people a bit further on their path of healing. Thanks as always Vivian.

Annette, I echo Darlene’s response too- this is not a “Christian” blog and people of any faith are welcome here. I have seen the same thing as you have- all kinds of people are in religious places and outside of religious places. I think that is a hard thing for a lot of people to reconcile, and with good reason! Thanks for sharing.

Shanyn, “church burn” is a great way to put it… It is scary for people to talk about spiritual abuse or share their true feelings because they might even fear that they’re putting God down, or they fear the wrath of the leaders who will try to shut them up (I know that feeling), not to mention rejection from friends and family. Just like you have said, spiritual abuse generates the same kind of fear as all other kinds. Thank you for sharing your compassion and your heart here Shanyn.

Splinteredones, thank you for sharing this important comment! I believe there is truth to be found everywhere, and I’m glad that Darlene’s comment assured you that you are welcome here with whatever kind of faith you have. I appreciate your encouragement and your brave honesty as well- thanks for contributing your valuable perspective.

Sheila, it is so good to see you here!! I really appreciate your comment. Condemnation is a very suffocating, confining thing in itself. I have found that in my judgments of other people, I naturally judge myself because it’s impossible to measure up to the standard of perfection, just like you say. It’s like a boomerang. There is so much more to life. Thanks Sheila. Hugs to you!



Carrie and Adam,
You are missing the point completely. NO ONE is BLAMING GOD, and we are not even trying to blame other people but sometimes blame is a bit of a stepping stone to truth; on this blog we are simply sharing our experience (most of which is in the PAST ) in hope of helping others to find freedom from oppression. Personally, I love the Bible. I love God, I love Christ, but the point is that unfortunately, I was NOT taught that love in Church or by example. We get hundreds of comments thanking us for encouragement, most of them NOT from church haters! The way that I see it, this IS God’s work. This is about life, truth, love, and hope. This blog is about healing from bitterness and hate, it is not about bitterness and hate (except for hating abuse and the damage that it causes. )

I have been saved from death; a death that I lived in most of my life. I could not do any good for anyone. I could not make a difference to God or anyone else when I lived there. I don’t live there anymore though; today I make a difference to thousands of people each month. I am not against God, I am against lies. I am against false teaching for the purpose of control. I am against abuse.

I think that we are having a disagreement about “the truth.” It is fine with me if you disagree with me, but please don’t twist my words or my message.
Hugs, Darlene


Yes, the juxtaposition for me was and is:
God loves you! By golly you’d better do everything he says or you are an imp of satan..a demon helper.
So..God loves the whole world, but leave out one jot or mark of command, and you are going to suffer an eternity in hell.
The commands in the scripture, can be summed up in two commmands:
*love God with your whole heart, soul and mind
*love your neighbor as you love yourself

I see a common point in evangelical settings:

Doctrines are held up as Gods final word.
Never mind the fact that with all the translations of scripture in the world, with all the time past, language changes, loss of original meanings and redefinition, plus the fact we have never heard the intonations, seen the body language and understood the ancient Hebrew culture of Jesus or the Abrahamic era. We have a Roman/Greek foundation for our culture which flies in the face of Semetic thought.

The Might Makes Right world view overrides our interpretation of scripture.
Looking at interesting sources like Dr. Philip Greven’s book, Spare the Child, helps us see what our social history is, and how it affects our doctrines and interpretations.
Greven is social historian.He addresses issues of abuse within the Christian world.



I’ve been reading all the comments on this blog post and I’m confused.

Why is everybody ganging up the commenter Carrie G?

What has she done wrong?

Is ganging up on one commenter a “encouraging, uplifting and empowering” thing to do?

– Karol


The comments are about Carla’s post. Everyone is expressing an opinion ~ which is the point of a blog and not “everyone” has said anything to Carrie. I would hardly say that Carrie has been ganged up on, nor has anyone indicated that she did something “wrong”. I published her comments on this blog and we have the right to respond to her comments on this blog. Are you suggesting that everyone should agree with her, and because some have not agreed with her, she is being ganged up on? Carrie did not agree with Carla in the first place, and she started to judge Carla, and others reacted to that. Some would say that Carla is being “bullied”, but you think it is Carrie that is being “bullied”. interesting. Having said that, maybe you could add a little clarity to your accusation?


To Carla,

You my friend are dead on with your post.

I had a five page letter prepared to help Carrie and Adam with the correct way they should be reading and using the scriptures. As I was preparing it and rereading their post I realized even tho they may have no clue they are missusing scripture, taking it out of context to fit what they want it to say. Sadly what alot of abusive churches and leaders do. I knew what I had to say would not register in there heads and would only be considered an attack on my part. It is sad to see they are addicted to religion. I then decided I would not take part in the abuse they so freely had no problem dealing to you.

I say to you Carla keep writing, your blog was refreshing to read. For anyone out there that wishes to learn of what an abusive church and people are like. I strongly suggest two books by the same author. The first being “Toxic Faith” the second being,”More Jesus, Less Religion” by Stephen Arterburn.

Taken from the back cover of Toxic Faith.

“Most of us began our journey into faith with trusting hearts. Yet incidents of abuse, media accounts of perverted religion, personal dissappointments, loss, betrayal, and even unrealistic expectations of God can cause us to develop a warped or damaged view of faith. Too often, what began as an authentic relationship with God deteriorates into defective faith with an imcomplete or poisoned view of God – one that allows the relgion, not the relationship with God to contol our life.”

Be well, and keep stepping forward


God bless you Darlene and staff for all the good that you do. The world has so many hurting people. Maybe a few will find some answers(help) here. A few more answers(help) will be found at Church. A few more at the grocery store talking to someone who has a loving smile. God is not limited to how he can speak to us. Since God is love and love heals all wounds, let’s first seek the lover of our souls. I’m sure he’ll guide us to a place of healing then in time a place of sharing that which we have received (from Him).



Coming from an environment of all forms of abuse, including spiritual, I understand why many people are leaving comments. What I was taught to believe was that there was this punishing God, and there was a Satan.
God only cared about me or would only love me if I was ”good” I spent years living a facade of pleasing,approval seeking and self hate.
Church was regular on Sundays, as was sunday school. Wednesdays were for Bible study. I was repeatedly told that I was full of the Devil and that God was going to punish me for being bad.[If you laughed, cried, or made any noise that upset the parent then God was going to get me.
Subsequently ,I experienced my own ”EXCORCISM” as you see I was possessed. Fortunately I was in a Spiritual program for substance abuse or I may have been committed to a Hospital for a long period of time.I am not here to say wether there is or isnt a God but I do know for a fact that what ever ”A PERSON” believes to be true,it will be true to them and them only.I also believe that I need to question everything written or told to me including the Bible,and I or any preacher has no right to tell others how they ought to live or to believe, especially an innocent vulnerable child. People who ”preach” are known to be Shame bound and love to project their crap onto others in a righteous way. Amen


When I first read Carla’ post, it brought me right back to the whole concept of ‘pleasing God’ vs ‘trusting God’. For one who already suffers with the aftereffects of child abuse, further revictimization comes easily. Now, I am speaking for myself, so bear with me. In learning what trusting Jesus Christ really means, church leaders have a responsibility to ensure they are not causing the sheep to turn away from the Shepherd. Did Jesus ever yell condemning accusations at His followers? What did He do to Peter? Yes, the word is also intended to correct us, but not to be hurled at the sheep. At times, my pastor will teach on a topic that convicts my heart. Great! This is an area I obviously will take to the Lord, pray about, and meditate on God’s word. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. There were several comments early on which pointed out the importance of trusting God above man…any man.

When someone is hurt by a pastor or other spiritual mentor, it can be devastating. In my own experience with spiritual abuse, the Lord reminded me not to put any man on a pedestal and that truth will be received through the working of the Holy Spirit and God’s word. If I were told I hurt someone in this way, it would break my heart. In love and humility, I would contact that person privately. My prayer is for Carrie and Adam to look at this from a different perspective rather than taking such a defensive stance. Carla’s testimony to what took place in her heart and soul should in no way be questioned. It is valid.

Humility is true greatness..


Spiritual abuse is a form of butchery, it targets the being, the soul, the emotional balance of a person. When done to children it is particularly hanious as they have little recourse but to belief and later question every choice they make including their belief in god. All religions can be found wanting; have had those who’ve used it’s message to gain power over others. This kind of abuse is akin to soul murder which can take a great deal of effort over come. Many of us have suffered this abuse and we each have different ways back. Making a judgment by religious standards does not help anyone over come and thrive.

If anyone is interested here is a very good book on the subject. “Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation” Leonard Shengold


Wow! I go off to meditate on compassion, primarily for many commenters here, and this place explodes! So I’ve decided to kick in my two cents (probably more like 30-35) because it seems the discussion needs some perspective from a completely outside source.

My father was abused spiritually by the christian church and vowed that he would not put his daughters thru that mess. He is originally from backwoods northern Maine. He took me to his old Church when I was a teenager. It was a snakecharmer, holy roller church. I know that this will seem outlandish to many readers here, but many of y’all do not sound far from the dogma pony show that dad saved me from.

There are some basic facts about Judeo-Christian faith that I see, coming from the outside, that are rather nonsensical. For those of you spouting versus from the Bible I must ask — which one? You have so many. So much harm and suffering is committed by folks who hang onto a sentence or two to justify so much ill doing and thinking. Let us not forget that in the Canonical Courts of the 1400s the text of the “Bible” was picked thru three times. Surely to hang onto any short verses as “God’s Word” is short-sighted to say the least. Who knows what the (inevitably) Big Guy really had to say?

As far as Christ goes, here again who knows what has been included/excluded in various texts thru the Ages. Some writers were around his time, others hundreds of years after his death. There is frankly so much confusion as to what the guy really said/did I would think that anyone pursuing the truth would only be confused by picking and choosing.

I personally do not believe in a Universal God Figure. I believe that by following the basic tenets of Compassion, gratitude and correct speech, along with other instructions for my chosen Path, that I am enabled to do more good than bad for the planet and all of it’s sentient inhabitants. My goal is to become Enlightened, but not so that I can escape the cycle of life death and rebirth, but so that I can walk the Earth helping all. Basically this means I am giving up my own personal salvation from Suffering for the good of all others. It’s called Boddhitsatva.

Life is suffering. That’s all there is to it. Our job is to be as good in thought word and deed as we can be, good defined as Compassionate. In my faith my experience is up to me. Thru study and for me at this time mostly my own personal mindfullness meditation I can leave the Earth a better place. To be reborn 47 days later to make it still better.

Since I am talking with what looks to be a largely Judeo-Christian crowd I know it will be easy for you to throw your books at me and largely dismiss these words.

It’s not about what some guy said to or about another guy in the relatively short term of your religious base. It is about treating one another with love compassion and gratitude. Try taking responsibility for your interactions in this world. Your faith has done so much harm and violence thru it’s own marketing.

Be gentle. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be honest. Be thoughtful. The rest will figure itself out. Namaste, Peace Out.


Carla; I love the way you are able to identify the various types of abuse and speak out about it. Great message….AGAIN! Thank you for sharing!


I will say this much Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross for just “Christians” matter of fact before then there was no such thing as “Christianity” instead read John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have every lasting life”

Jesus didn’t die for a denomination he didn’t die for that church or this church He died so that all could be reunited to God through Him by us accepting the free gift of salvation from GOD by grace thru faith.. not of our own works less we should boast.. God has given us all that free will to choose it is not our place to shove it down anyone’s throat!

Carla shared her heart, she spoke the truth of how it was for her. How dare anyone tell her she is wrong.. how dare anyone tell another person that. That is not our place! Further more when we stand before God we are not going to be accountable for anyone else but ourselves therefore it is not our place to stand in judgment over someone else .. there is a difference between righteous judgment and wrong judgment. Righteous judgment judges the sin not the person and the wrong judgment is when we judge the person.. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:1-5 about wrong judgment

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

with that said there are good churches out there but I know that I would not have seen the truth as long as I stayed up under man’s doctrine.. do some research on the doctrines that accompanies these denomination.. research the founders you will see they are man’s interpretation of scripture … our Walk with Christ is not Him the preacher the denomination we attend and the individual .. it is only with Christ and the individual… true enough we are to have fellowship with one another but Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith no one else..

Church is suppose to be a triage for the sinners a place were the wounded and the hurt go to seek compassion, hope, and peace not a country club for self-made saints. I am not saying that to be judgmental but to make a point. Going to church is not the same as the bride of Christ.. the bride of Christ is the body of believers ..

Carla you allow God to lead you on all these matters keep writing. Don’t let anyone cause you to veer from the road of recovery because truth is many of these denominations do lead folks into bondage ..

Organize religion has never produced saving faith only in Christ can we find that.. church is suppose to be a place of worship and fellowship but in this fallen world we live in often that is not the case!

Now please don’t think I am writing this out of anger or that I am being rude but that the central point I am trying to make is this:

Christianity is not for the arrogant nor the proud but it is for the beggar who knows how to share a morsel of bread with another beggar. We are to be loving not judgmental..


Gosh, all I can say is how much respect I have for Carla and Darlene, how angry I am at this moment at seeing them attacked, how angry I am at this moment for all the suffering many of us have endured because of religious systems that lacked everything they taught, which would be love, compassion and even justice. There were and are so many children who have been used and abused, wounded severely in these systems, not only in body and spirit, but in their psyche, in their minds, where things get so so so twisted and their lives are stolen from them. My life was stolen from me. And I am angry about this. I am ANGRY ABOUT THIS! My faith has been crushed into the ground.

The good news is that God knows this. He knows what has happened to each of us. And he is just as angry. Not at us, but at the system of lies that did this to us. And he has all the compassion and all the patience in eternity to see us through. This is about all I can recover from my faith, but I think it’s enough for now. To just know this. It’s enough.



Well said Nikki…Love the last line so very much…blessings!


Hi Carla
Just thought I’d surface and show some support for your touching message about spiritual abuse.
As a young teen, before my grandparents took over raising me, my mother used religion and spiritual abuse to separate and isolate our family. Her boyfriend threatened to leave her if my brother and I didnt convert to his religion. Needless to say, I didnt feel comfortable with this threat trusting God would never expect a mother to abandon her children for someone making such demands.As my mother stood by his side, her boyfriend used to preach how unruly and disrespectful children we were. Holding his bible he read telling us parents have the right to murder their disobedient children. Spiritual abuse is and can be used on so many different levels.
I know this is such a sensitive topic but feel it is crucial to speak out about it.
Thanks Carla!!


Spiritual abuse is often passed from generation to generation in much the same way as violence and other forms of abuse. (They can, of course, go hand-in-hand.) Sadly, it is not uncommon for an abuser to genuinely believe (incorrectly) that he or she is acting in the best interests of the person (s)he is abusing–especially if the abuser’s belief system was itself formed in an abusive environment where doubt is considered unacceptable and fear is used as a means of control. It is a self-perpetuating cycle, and there are, in my opinion, clear examples playing out in the comments above, in addition to those referenced from people’s past experiences.

To those reading who are not Christians (or are not sure if you are or not), I hope you will not give up on this blog or feel excluded, in spite of any insensitivity or lack of awareness you may observe in some comments. We welcome–and very much need–your input. Splinteredones, I especially appreciate what you shared and respect that you have found your own path. Ultimately, that is what each of us must do. I am a Christian, but I have also learned much from the teachings of Buddhism and from other wisdom literature. (e.g. mindfulness meditation, as I understand it, is very similar to the ancient Christian practice of centering prayer and has helped me tremendously; Lovingkindness is another concept which *should* be recognizable to people of all faiths.)

To those who have distanced yourselves from the Christian faith in large part because of the pervasiveness of ignorant and even abusive attitudes and behaviors, I can well understand why you would make such a choice. Please know that not all Christians feel or behave this way, but we have a lot of work to do in this department. There are loving, welcoming Christians and Christian communities (churches) who embrace uncertainty (Sometimes we call it “mystery.”) and encourage questions and thoughtful exploration, rather than condemning it. I’m attending an annual Worship & Music retreat this week in the mountains of North Carolina which has been a tremendous infusion of oxygen in my own faith journey ever since I began attending it 10 years ago. But if your only exposure to “Christianity” has been something far more toxic, you may need to do a little research to find a healthier community or resources. (I will also point out that, sadly, spiritual abuse is not limited to within the Christian faith.)

If you are a Christian and you find yourself telling others how to think and live, I respectfully suggest that it might be a good time to review Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as reported in Matthew’s Gospel (particularly Matthew 7:1-5 in which we are reminded to remove whatever is in our own eye before attempting to remove a speck from someone else’s). There are many other relevant scriptures from the Bible, such as the admonishment to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19), but I believe that although scripture can be instructive, it should not be used as a weapon, so I have no interest in a pointless round of “proof-texting.” As others have mentioned, many Christians are unaware of (or in denial about) church history and the all too human political and other factors in how scripture and doctrine have been passed down and taught through the years. This kind of history has real consequences in our theology–our understanding of God–today, and I believe we each have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to shine a light on that darkness.

Carla and Darlene have both written eloquently about how important it was for them to question their own belief systems on their road to healing and wholeness. This process of examining, questioning, and– where appropriate–*revising* is not only okay–it is *essential* to health and (I would argue) to faith.


I posted a similar comment on the facebook site earlier and feel it would be good to re-post here.
Carla’s post is very honest and heartfelt.
A couple of quotes come to mind from the Dalai Lama regarding religion…

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness, the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”

Another good quote from the Dalai Lama:
“If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.”
It’s not about church or religion at all… it’s about helping one another with love and kindness – no matter what the religion or beliefs of others.

Thank you Carla for being brave enough to write this post. Much love to both you and Darlene for helping so many people on the road to wholeness.


Over the years I have gone through a lot of consideration on the subject of the Christian Faith, which may also be applicable to other faiths. And so here are my thoughts, I hope they help.

Religion is not the answer to all the ills in the world or self. Religion is an opportunity to find fellowship, or solace as one faces their life and the meaning of it and to perhaps find others of like minds so that as a community one can create a better reality in the world, and find comfort when facing the trials.

And God (by many names all over the planet)and perhaps the creator of the Universe as indicated by ‘divinely inspired’ religious text, still puts to each of us that we have CHOICE in all things. We want the answers to be easy, the effort to come from some where else, for everything to be okay all the time. But it’s not, the answers have to be hunted for, stalked, and found, then understood and applied. The effort has to be motivated from within, sustained by commitment and in the end determined if it was worthwhile. And everything is not always going to be okay…because as long as every man/woman/child has choice, the probability of ego and personality making more impact than spirit, is always going to outweigh right action, speech, or otherwise.

This was a really good post…it’s important to address the issue of what struggle the spirit goes through. We send or allow far too many conflicting messages…we need to think for ourselves and find our truth.


I am blown away by the response to this post and the interaction that you have all participated in here. There are so many nuggets of truth in what you have all shared, and I sincerely thank each one of you for participating. It is a very hopeful reality that even though some people, all throughout history and in so many different ways, have taken the truth and twisted it for their own ends, other people can see the twists, declare the real truth afresh, and light the lights on a path of healing.

Manuel, your perspective is refreshing. Nothing on earth will give us 100% truth, and I like your relational idea, that even our relationship with religion can be an exchange rather than a one way street. George, welcome here! Thank you for the recommendations and encouragement. Cal, that is such a wounding lie, that we are not okay “unless”… Thanks for championing “being a Person”.

Justice Writer, thanks for highlighting that Jesus never dealt with people by “throwing stones” at them. He always engaged in relationship. Moreheads/pith, welcome to you as well. You’ve summarized the heart of what so many have shared about their “religious” pain- how the spiritual abuse caused us to question the worth of our very souls. Splinteredones, I agree that it comes down to the individual choosing the truth that will help them live their best life here. For me, this means starting with loving myself.

Susan, thanks! Nikki, I like the picture of church being a place where we share “food” with each other. I think that has happened here today! Jeannette, thank you for sharing your anger here. I love what you say about God being angry at the system of lies that has evolved… And I believe along with you that he has the compassion and patience to see us through, and that that is enough. Those are beautiful words.

Mel, thank you for “surfacing”! I’m glad that you did. I’m sorry to hear your story, and thank you for speaking out about it. Lenora, thanks for touching on so many good points. The healing process will definitely be unique for each of us. Marjie, I really like those quotes! I’m glad you brought your comments over to the blog too! ?

Ligeia, I really appreciate your comment. Thanks for the constructive challenge to “hunt for, stalk, and find, then understand and apply” the truth. You describe the journey as more of an adventure than a robotic contortion… and that’s a huge dose of freedom.

Carrie and Adam, I was really sad to hear of the pain and abuse in your own pasts. You don’t have to strive to convert anyone here~ we’re on the path already! I sincerely do wish you healing.

Love, Carla



I’ve been following your blog since the begining and have always found your insights encouraging to my soul. I have never felt prompted to comment before now but I as I sit here reading this long list of interactions I’m crying at all the pain that has been expressed (intentionally or not since anger and defensiveness often come from a root of pain). I have never – on this blog or in our private conversations – heard you blame God for your hurt or say that you have given up on Him. My heart hurts for you when I read some of the attacks that have been written here and yet you also have so much support. Your journey speaks of hope and life and I encourage you to keep writing and sharing despite the downsides of opening yourself up so publicly.



LOL, about persecution…yes indeed, many good Christians and Christian organizations take pleasure in so called “persecution.”

Maybe you don’t, Carrie and David; but what you have said so far is bringing some heat of opposition. Why do you suppose that is?

Certainly not because you are “suffering for the sake of the Gospel”, but because in your quest to be Right, to “speak the truth” at least your interpretation of it, you have completely ignored the fact that, people who have suffered abuses ( repeated real life sexual assault, harassment, beatings,emotional,mental,spiritual abuses)are living in a different universe than yourselves, which you really do not care to understand.

You really do not care, apparently, to listen, to”weep with those who weep”, to consider how you could possibly lend a helping hand …instead.. you offer a Scripture club with which to further punish and intimidate.

Not once have I heard you express Christ compassion; instead you have thrown doctrine and more doctrine, your interpretation of scripture, your theological foundational teachings..at these people.

Have you ever considered that, while forgiveness is deeply and strongly emphasized inside church walls, that these individuals have already forgiven in whatever way they can at this time?

Have you ever considered that each person walks their own journey, and you have no right to manage or dictate how they do that.

My peers( survivors of missionary boarding school) and I have no issue with forgiveness..it is HOW forgiveness is used against them/us which is problematic; have you also considered that the majority Christian church uses “forgiveness” as a weapon?

Have you ever thought that to those like the hurting and victimized individuals… who (also are made in Gods image..just like your selves)
can only see it, forgiveness, as an FU ?Why?

It is because with all the super spiritual demands for forgiveness, individuals in the church who are concerned about “saving Gods reputation” and their own…have no interest what so ever to change the abusive things, situations or even consider the impact of their own actions.

Those which dump heavy loads of burden, condemnation, minimizing the wounded child or adult; counter attacking these who are trying real hard to tell you that something is terribly WRONG with the Christian church.

Whose reputation are you trying to save? If you had an ounce of Christ compassion, you would sit down and be quiet long enough to consider that these people have suffered long enough.

So, instead of crying “wolf!” Why don’t you do some thoughtful evaluation of what you really believe, and what these little/big ones have endured, and how you can help with a real-life hands on approach.. and stop your ridiculous claims to suffering for Christ..

I have heard and seen a great deal of narcissism and grandiosity in dealing with Christian organizations and Christian leadership, yes, individuals who can not see past their own toes or their nose.

I keep wondering when Christians will get off their ivory pedestals and begin to ACT like hands and feet and arms of Jesus Christ.

Take some responsibility for your own acts; quit blaming these wounded ones; act like you care; sit down, be quiet and just listen…


We do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are. The circumstances change our lenses enough that our own perspective cannot be fully shared by any other – sometimes we wear similar brands and can have empathy as well as sympathy. I was searching and praying for something that I could offer to us all because this discussion has not been an easy one for any of us – and this is what I have to offer, that which I rest upon without doubt or question:

“Neither death, nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.–Romans 8:38, 39”

Nothing, no one in all of creation can separate us from the LOVE (yes, LOVE) of God. It’s all about love folks, and I’ve seen more love here than in many other places and I’m thankful for it! Thanks for your open hearts and spirits and your considered words that have given us all so much in this exchange.


Emily, I give you a big welcome hug! I’m so glad you left your thoughts here, and shared your very compassionate heart. It is good to know you as a friend and thanks for your encouragement. Love, Carla


Hi, Carla. I understand your post. I was spiritually abused as well. I am blown away by the comments here, too. Especially the contradictions of those who seem to feel such a driving need to attack your view. I feel sorry for those people. The double-bind they live in IS hell. They are in hell and they don’t even know it and are probably completely unconscious about how that manifests in their lives. It reminds me of some of the reasons I’m an atheist. That area of my life is the area in which I usually experience the most peace these days. There is no way I could even attempt to heal from all the other stuff if I were still trapped by crazy-making nonsense. Take heart, dear Carla. As you can see, many understand and accept you. I do, even though I am atheist. I’ve been reading here for a while now, but I just had to pop in and say that I think you’re a class act – a real stand-up lady. (And please tell your mother that I am up for adoption.)


Carla, it takes a lot of courage on your part to talk about religious abuse because it does open you up for attack from those righteous souls who think they know it all.

What I am about to say, some would say that I am going to Hell for. For those people, I say, we will see. The Catholic church held at least two Councils of Nicea sometime in our ancient history (somewhere between 1200 and 1600 A. D. I never remember exactly what century they did this but it is history.) and totally took the Bible apart and rewrote it by leaving out huge parts of it and rewriting others to suit the needs for control of religion by the Catholic church. I believe that is why the Bible teaches us about a “punishing” God. I believe the Bible is shame based, for just that reason. Yes, they are just my beliefs. If you believe differently I am fine with that. You have the right to your beliefs as much as I do. I don’t expect everybody else to believe the same things that I do. I also don’t expect to be “preached” at because my beliefs are different than yours.

I rarely reject or don’t publish a comment on my own blog but today I did just that. I have posted a few comments like the one above from Carrie and Adam on my blog because like Carla, I try to honor everyone’s views even if they are different than mine. The comment that I didn’t post today on my blog was an invitation to check out the man’s blog. I did. Carrie and Adam would love it. It was Bible quote after Bible quote about salvation. I have been “saved” in 2 different churches in my youth and baptized into the last one when I was in my late 20’s. My view of God goes so much further than that. I do my best to love God and my neighbor and myself to the very best of my abilities. I belief that God is in each of us and that we are each God in human form. I have some Christian beliefs, some Buddhist beliefs, some Hindu beliefs. I have a personal relationship with God. Notice I said personal, not religious. Jesus had a personal relationship with God. To me religion is man-made. Spirituality is God-made. I don’t expect anyone else to share my beliefs. I don’t even care if you share them or not. Just don’t expect me to share yours. One of the only Bible verses that I ever quote is the “Judge not lest you be judged.” Judgment is in God’s court, not mine or yours. Nobody is perfect.

Thank you Carla and Darlene for sharing the honesty and openness that you do when you write about your journey through recovery. I don’t see any bitter people here. I do see some hurting people and some that would like us to believe that they are not hurting. Most of us who come here, come here in honesty and hope for recovery.


Ethereal Highway, thanks for such a heart-warming comment and I’m really glad you decided to share your voice! I came through with faith at the other end of my experience but I can sure understand how this is not everyone’s story. I am happy to hear that you are finding peace and healing. Sending you a big hug! I hope you’ll share again.

Patricia, what you contribute here is so valuable. I have found truth in many other religions too and it all works to compliment each other and make the picture fuller. Thank you for being here and sharing your hope and honesty, your wider vision.




My mum is an evangelical Christian. She still hopes that I will return to the fold. If anything I’m a Zen Buddhist these days. If you want a label that’s more accurate than nothing.

This is not ideal from mum’s viewpoint!!!!!

However, she can see how this is has helped me to heal. She can see how it is that my life is starting to look really healthy. We can easily argue “Through all things God works together for the good of those who are in Christ”. Maybe God created Zen Buddhism for those who didn’t need the props of Christianity? Who knows!

Mum has been through the trauma with me. She’s been aware of how shit my life has been. She’s sat in the courtroom. She’s seen it. She’s held onto her faith. She’s respected my right to be me.

The bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve and all of creation.

Did God make a mistake?

Was the Old Testament his first crack at correcting his mistake?

Was Jesus Christ his second attempt?

“A new commandment I give to you that you love each other as I have loved you”.

It seems to me that God wouldn’t create humans who are faulty by nature. It seems to me that God would create human beings who are essentially whoe and healthy and capable of living lives that are healthy and beneficial to others.

It seems to me that a true trust in God would mean trusting God’s work. That means trusting that after giving my heart to God I trust him to work through me. That means learning to trust myself. Learning to recognize when I do things that leads to health for myself and others. Learning to recognize when I do things that lead to harm for myself and others.

It seems like if I live a life based on love and compassion and respect for myself and others I’m living in a way that honours God’s creation and assumes that humans are not a mistake; that we are born perfect and became faulty through sin. Jesus taught that the sin bit is optional. We can let go of sin. We don’t have to be or feel impure.

My mum thinks I lead a Christian life. I don’t. We are both right. We are both wrong.


Mike, I love the points you make in your comment! I love this: “It seems to me that God wouldn’t create humans who are faulty by nature. It seems to me that God would create human beings who are essentially whole and healthy and capable of living lives that are healthy and beneficial to others.” These are life giving words- some rock bottom truth at the heart of recovery. I too believe that we were born without fault but learned to cope in ways that were taught to us, in ways that helped us to survive but really didn’t bring us life. We have the freedom to be able to throw away the ways that don’t work for us and embrace the ways that do.

I can relate to the story about you and your Mom. When I stopped going to church, my Mom was really concerned for me. But like your’s, she has respected my path too. There is hope in that for relationship and mutual learning from each other.

Thanks so much for being here Mike!


Hello friends.

“In his office he validated my faith; but from the pulpit he didn’t.” That line really shook me. This has been my experience for years with pastors who are genuine in private, but hardliners in public. I’m not sure why the dynamic exists, but it certainly resonates with my experience.

We’ve been following your amazingly healing blog for some time. Thank you for being so open and honest about your journey.

As a former coal-raker, I can tell you that I have suffered from PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder, all because of some pretty damaging churches. It’s not Jesus that is the problem, nor the teachings of Jesus. It is this top-down, hierarchical structure that cares more for nickels and noses that actual human souls.

Shrouded in a cloak of care and concern for our eternal salvation, fundamentalists get really passionate about our decision (or really the lack of decision) to carbon copy them. I believe that this militancy comes from a fear that perhaps their own salvation is in constant jeopardy. I also know that there are some at the top of fundamentalist organizations that use this kind of fear to create and sustain empires, rather than lift a finger to help the ones that they shackle with fear.

It all sounds really good. We care about you. We love you. But if you don’t think like we do, you are in danger of hell. This isn’t love. If they would live by their book, they would know that love is patient, kind, and longsuffering. Love does not employ marketing strategies to get results. Love cares more about souls than giant church buildings. Love builds relationships. Love doesn’t place burdens on people who are clearly hurting.

At any rate, many of us eventually see that the self-appointed emperors indeed have no clothes, and that faith is incredibly personal. No one person has all of the answers, and our variety of backgrounds lend to a variety of ways of understanding the world and God.

I am grateful for the work that you do and the blog posts that you write. They have been incredibly healing for me. If there is anything that our team at Paradise Recovered can do for you, please let us know. You are some of the bravest women we know.

Take very good care,


One thing I carried with me from my childhood experience with church was fear. Fear that I was not saved. Sitting in a church service during an alter call and feeling my heart pound, because maybe I really wasn’t saved and I better go up. Was that the holy spirit? I don’t think so. I think it was my emotions being played upon by the speaker up front. I was supposed to repent…but from what? And how many times does a person need to go up to the alter before they know they are really “saved”?

I remember DVBS and the little book of hearts cut out of different colors. Each heart represented the different stages of “getting saved”. The black heart was especially frightening. It was full of sin…I believe it was the first one in the stack, which would signify that our heart was basically evil. What a terrible thing to teach children! And then they boast on Sunday morning about how many children were saved at DBVS that week. They report numbers.

Neither of these tactics gave me the assurance that I was OK with God. What did it for me was hearing words of truth spoken by a loving woman whom I didn’t even know. I was in the home of a friend and they guests over. One woman stood by me and said that I was God’s daughter and that he loved me. She didn’t tell me to repent or remind me that my heart was black with sin. She simply poured out the truth and I was enveloped with the love and acceptance that I so craved. Jesus loved me just as I was. This was life changing for me.

Carla’s post and all the comments made underline the importance of parents being aware of what their children are being taught in church and sunday school, and how they are being treated by their teachers. Like Carla said, children are so vulnerable and trusting, and what is handed over to them can affect them for a lifetime. Spiritual abuse hits humans at the very soul and causes fear not only for this life, but for eternity. How powerful is that???!!


Andie, a very warm welcome to you! I checked out your site and the clip from your movie. It is SO cool! I hope to spend some more time there. Thank you for sharing your many great points here. Abusive control is a sick game that hurts EVERYBODY. The counselor I worked with was so intentional about not enticing me to be a carbon copy of himself- he nurtured my own individuality as best he could and this was very very empowering for my healing. Thank you for following the blog- it is great that our journeys have crossed paths. ~ Carla


Debbie, how you describe your feelings and fears as a child really resonates with me too! I remember those books with the different colors… That black page- wow- yes, how hopeless is that, especially for a child? And they teach the story to children like it’s all a nice little fairytale. I’m so glad that you found the truth and acceptance for your own heart. That is a powerful story and speaks so well of the hope we have for recovery. Thank you for sharing Debbie! Love, Carla


Really good to find you here, Carla.

I know this experience all too well. And most of my pastors have been right-on people. Really good folks.

My greatest challenge came when I began to really understand the simplicity of the biblical message:
1) Love your God
2) Love your neighbor
3) Love yourself

In this, it says (in very general paraphrase): you fulfill all the laws and the prophets.

Simple. Easy. Anyone can do this. It’s not even religion-specific.

I studied the Greek, Hebrew and Latin to ensure I knew the message and the words. I remember deconstructing the old and new testament. Even (literally) defining how the word “the” was used in a specific sentence in a specific language. We’re talking granular details like nobody’s business.

Great for understanding cultural nuances. Not so much for getting to the heart of the Gospel.

A church has a hard time standing on stark simplicity. If the message of the gospel can be defined in 3 very simple bullet points… then what?

My Dad was a Trappest Monk. He spent 3 years in a monastery in prayer and meditation. No speaking. Gregorian chants sung in Latin at the break of dawn.

In that isolated, fully committed place he realized that the gospel is both starkly simple, and almost unknowable. As he told me as a child “it’s certainly greater than what we could fit within the vellum pages of a book”.

Your path, your ability to find the light outside of the church… that’s the real blessing.

This page? Your ministry.

In that, you shine, and give hope. What a great blessing.

Thanks a ton for sharing your heart. This is the good stuff.

Grace & Peace,


Mark, thanks so much for contributing your comments, your story, your support! It has been amazing that the light I’m shining has connected with so many here; it is a light of hope! Grace and peace to you as well Mark!


Hi all,
I check this blog from time to time and just thought I would put in my two bits. I often enjoy the stories of healing I read about here. I have to say though that I have an issue with the definition of abuse the authors of this blog use, as I have mentioned before, though have never had a reply about it. It seems that by your definition abuse is any form of hurt that another causes you to have, either purposely or inadvertently (what you call passive abuse?) constitutes abuse. Pardon me if I have this confused. I just wanted to point out that I have now seen many controversies come about on this blog, mainly involving people that Carla seems to know from the “real world”. Every time one of these individuals has contradicted something said on this blog it has either been ignored or attacked veraciously by the authors and other readers and labeled as abuse. If we are using your definition of abuse, I think it can easily be said that these posters are being equally abused when they are showing genuine concern about one of the authors and then are repeatedly attacked for sharing their ideas. I can see that it would also be damaging if you were trying to stick up for someone you know personally and were shot down and told you were wrong, wrong, wrong because you did not subscribe to the same “truth” that the authors of this blog tout. Do you not see the hypocrisy and unending circle of blame? My Truth versus Your Truth will never get us anywhere.
It makes me sad that people who are dedicated to healing are also causing so much hurt. Also, I think out of respect for your readers you probably shouldn’t “put on the kid gloves” as it has been written here, by introducing comments with a warning before they are posted. It makes things so much more divisive right from the start.
I will say no more, and you can write or think what you want of me as I don’t really know any of you. It is just sad to see so much fighting among people who all genuinely seem to be about caring. Carla, it sounds like there are some fabulous people in your life who want to speak with you. Despite what anyone else says I think it would help you to listen to them before shutting them down. You might just not have everything as figured out as you think.


Maryanna, I’m sorry that you feel this way. We have described our experience of the nature of abuse many times here in our posts (Darlene’s posts especially.) Our definition of “caring” may also be different (for example, I did not feel that Carrie was really caring about ME- I felt she was more concerned with the reputation of the church and the Bible; I did not feel that my relatives were really caring about me when they challenged the posts about my Dad- I felt they cared more about my Dad’s feelings not getting hurt). The bottom line might be what you have said- “My truth versus your truth will never get us anywhere.”

If you have such strong disagreements with our cause and how we facilitate our blog, there are many other mental health resources that may fulfill your needs better.




Your comments touched me deeply. I have been following this post closely and yours boils everything down to what I believe but have not been able to express. If you don’t mind, I’m going to print this out and carry it around with me to remind myself. Thank you.


[…] week, I happen to run across an older post titled, “Groomed to Doubt through Spiritual Abuse“, in the Emerging from Broken blog. I commented on the post shortly after it was published, […]


People use scripture to suit their own core beliefs and refine or explain their own ideas.I honestly can quote scripture as well, but Jesus used illustrations for a reason, and this also separated him from the letter of the law the pharisees would refer too. We can see for ourselves and really grasp the point without him telling us directly, what the right things to do were. Jesus was shunned for breaking the sabbath… he was shunned for many things deemed by the most holey, as unscriptural… and Jesus gave illustrations why he did what he did, therefore making what he did scriptural. So I dont just listen to the letter of the law either without an illustration to clarify the context. So what I was hearing from this post was a little girls understanding and perspective, then how it effected her personally. I heard truth and no one should be condemned, or corrected for sharing truth. A child sees things and are effected so differently,they are vulnerable. I know… and it gets more confusing as time goes on when what we see and what is being done are different. We internalize, and scripture ourselves into circles trying to do the right things. Some guilt themselves to death for not forgiving themselves or others for mistakes. I remember being told that we shouldn’t say anything that stumbles another, scriptural reasons why we need to make a defense, how we need to keep Gods organization clean, and all the balance or imbalance that came from scripture to get that persons point across. When I got older I could also use scripture to prove my perspective from the same bible and get a better balance, but of course that meant I was not being agreeable and twisting scripture to suit my purposes too, according to them. It was like I was not allowed another perspective, we definitely were not allowed to question but we were told to question too. So I used the same publications, or tapes from the elders to show it was not just from me and then I still was corrected. I realized many things from these peoples posts, and from trying to discuss religion before(if you can call it discussion or opinion). This post is a good example. For me the whole point to this post is how the way we deliver our message effects people and how it came across a little girl, the harm it caused her. To others they got something else out of it, and this is no different than in Jesus time with his illustrations. If you dont like what you hear then you got the message, now the trick is what are you personally going to do with this, and do you see the good as well as the bad? Some share their experiences, some are against it, some defend it, but that is the point of speaking the truth… we learn. When I see scriptures posted with another sermon correcting or reminding us of how we need to please God and why,all I am reminded of are the scribes and preachers who never validated those feelings or accounts. Your not an apostate or against God for being real and telling the truth to help others or even yourself. And yes I can give scriptures to support and also to condemn what I just said! It is that easy, and it is also why scripture is dangerous! All scripture looks good, doesn’t necessarily mean they are used or suited for the good of all. Just one scripture can be illustrated several ways, and just one word can be translated several ways. The delivery is done many ways. The scripture means life or you can hear the scripture means death… so it is easy to manipulate scripture and involve unhealthy fear. But as a child, what I was taught had holes,and what people did was different from what they said,and what I hated was that no one owned or acknowledged what happens to one another. What I am hearing from this original post is just the beginning, the core of an incredible hurtful journey. Along the way I am sure she got many assurances, but she also got many other things that brought her to depression. I see posts with hurt, and for me it is nice to see I am not alone. But to hear another person quote scripture from the true religion when my religion was the truth, and so was his, and so is theirs is not of any help when your down. It does not save a person when they are addressing the abuse. It is like a christian going to a Wicca councilor, and vise versa. You can have all the degrees in the world, scriptures all down pact, know about abuse… but the moment you use your religion as a base for your core method of healing… it shows another person trying to conform. Another person not really listening. Another person who is making it about what they have been conditioned to believe and not what the search is for. So many people ARE abused who cannot reach out because others dont know how to listen, even without the words (or scriptures) being said. Read the book escaped… they tried to protect her too because they loved her. They used scripture. I was brought up a JW, and now shunned because I couldn’t handle the continued actions of others,I am not involved. I never spoke up or against them yet even now could be labeled an apostate for just this much. It is really hard defending oneself, my beliefs and persecution as it is, harder when it is from within your own religion and you speak out about things that are wrong. I understand it is not God but men, I know loving people that are of all faiths, tribes, beliefs and love them yet I am evil for mixing company. Hard to preach scripture when you dont agree with what people are doing. I may die according to scripture, but I am definitely not living when I see something wrong and live with depression because I do nothing about things. Do nothing because i need to trust, need to forgive, leave in elders hands, I have just seen and heard too much. I have been a truly good person, now I am just trying to be good enough because i never felt like i was ever good enough. I totally relate to this post, and I admire the strength and courage it takes for so many people to speak out and show their growth. Not everyone realizes what abuse really is, nor do they dare to look. I think the best thing I read on these posts was by Tracy ” that we need to bring the abuses into the spotlight before they will stop. A body cannot heal until an infection is removed – and so the body of Christ (the church) cannot heal until the abuse is removed.” What is wrong with speaking the truth and how it makes us feel? And if a person wants to vent, even in nasty ways… maybe they are healing or fighting for air too. Carla, your awesome!


Hi Gale~ thank you for reading my post and the comments and engaging so much with the heart of what I shared. I love how you describe the truth and how Jesus taught it: “We can see for ourselves and really grasp the point without him telling us directly, what the right things to do were.” What I hear you saying is that the truth speaks for itself, both in what is presented and through the people presenting it. It inspires a certain “alive” feeling… that isn’t found in rule keeping and shame and control and manipulation. I applaud your courage in standing up for your truth in exactly the ways you are. And thank you for contributing so much to my post. ~Carla

Leave a Comment