There will be no church service for our family this year,
there will be no green palms waving in the air,
no songs sung about the donkey that carried in our king,
no palm crosses to fold and place into our bibles,
no Easter clothes bought and ready for next week,
no tears shed in memory of a savior slain on the cross.
This Sunday will be like all the others.
We are recovering born again Christians.
This is a controversial subject to most people that we love and even to strangers but it is a subject that NEEDS to be talked about.
We are survivors of spiritual abuse.
As a child I attended the THIRD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH every Sunday. Jesus was a friend, heaven was beautiful, Christians knew each other by their love. There were holiday rituals like palms on palm Sunday and beautiful dresses for Easter.
Life in Jesus was good.
I loved the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind.
When I was about 13, I had a friend named Cindy who lived across the street. She attended a local baptist church. I didn't think anything of it until one night while sleeping over she had a small paper thing with a comic strip that talked about "needing to be born again". I now know this to be a "tract". So with her, I said a prayer of salvation; a magical incantation that was the key to enter heaven.
I WAS SAVED!
It was an extension of what I already knew to be true; Jesus was Lord and I loved Him.
The last church that we were members of is where I experienced spiritual abuse.
While sitting in a small group that they called "home groups" we studied cults. My husband and I were being trained for leadership and had to prepare the lesson on cults.
Like the blind that began to see, so were we.
There were many things that we were doing in our church that were defined in the writings about christian cults.
We started to have questions, many questions.
What we learned was that in a dysfunctional, controlling, authoritarian church environment; questions are not welcome. Questions are in fact a sign of rebellion, a lack of faith and of Satan's deception over your mind.
We prayed. We felt compelled to leave. Abusive dynamics increased. We stayed another year.
Obedience to our leadership became our idol. As we submitted to their authority in trust; our emotional and spiritual lives began to die.
The hope for our own ministry was robbed as we served another man's ministry.
Loneliness grew as we realized that our relationships were created ONLY for the context of being part of this group.
The pain in our lives became overflowing and started to drown us as we stayed and tried to serve Jesus but in truth were only serving man.
There is a lot that I want to speak on regarding this topic so I will try to write in small segments appropriate for blogging.
If it offends you; ask yourself why. If you don't want to be bothered; pass over my blog and move on.
I will not leave this topic unspoken any longer for if I don't speak, others will be abused.
So I will write and pray that through that process, healing and hope will return.
but for today, I am again hurting, because my sweet children are not waving palms...and rejoicing in the memory of the day a man/god rode on a donkey....towards the ultimate sacrifice for human kind.
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