Some Comments by Visitors

I am aware of David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen's book and know them well. Jeff has a ministry of helping people with overcoming spiritual abuse. I would want to make you aware of the fact that people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder are very much open to be abused and I have dealt with a number of cases here in the States.
  I have worked in evangelism and Christian counseling for over 25 years. My schooling was at Tennessee Temple College and Temple Theological Seminary and the University of Chattanooga. Tennessee Temple was very much like Bob Jones University, so I had first hand experience with spiritual abuse while in school. I have seen it in churches and Christian groups all over the US and even in some countries outside of the US.
  The sad thing is most Christians do not understand it, nor do they seem to really want to understand it, until they experience it or someone near them does.


I am both a therapist and a pastor. As a therapist I became fascinated (read “appalled” as a pastor) at the way spiritual images and Christian scripture was being used as a means to set up abusive situations or to justify the use of abuse.
  I hope your willingness to share your story will aid others in experiencing true freedom that comes from true faith.


In the Word, somewhere, it says something like “Trust in the Lord alone”. One can understand why He wishes us to place our trust in Him — unchangeable, all wise, all loving — and not in someone who unfortunately tends to have “feet of clay”.
  “Behold I am with you always unto the end of the age”.
  I believe that end is nigh, and as far as I’m concerned, it can’t come too soon! Look after yourself, my brother.


Unfortunately you have discovered just how deceptive and abusive religious men become when their images and their little kingdoms are threatened with the truth. They do what all abusive leaders do — attack and try to discredit their opponents.
  Sad to say, all too often this works and many people just shut up and disappear into oblivion, which only plays into the hands of abusive leaders and allows them to continue abusing people and, might I add, misrepresenting God to people which leads many people to have a distorted image of God.
  I believe that there is a time to confront leaders (Gal 2:11) and a time to disobey leaders (Acts 5:29). If more people would follow the biblical mandates here I believe we would have less problems in the church!
  You have chosen to speak up and fight what you believe is wrong and I applaud you for this, however you have choosen the harder path and the enemy will try to beat you down and to wear you out!
  I can understand and sympathise with you as I have been involved in a similar battle for approximately eight years.


Abusive leaders:
  • They often publicly rebuke or ostracize members who simply disagree with leaders’ opinions.
  • They assume they have the right to tell or encourage members who don’t agree with leaders, to leave the church or even to separate from their spouses.
  • They view as “spiritually lacking” those who fail to attend their church activities.
  • They imply that if you leave, you will be punished by God with misfortune, tragedy, and loss of salvation.
  • They hinder relationships with family members.
  • They claim that other churches “don’t care” and they brag that they are better than other Christian groups.
  • They presume they have the un-Biblical authority to expel members for nearly any reason.
  • They believe failure to give money means that spiritual changes must be made.
  • They constantly “know your heart” better than God knows it.


Spiritual Abuse runs the gammut. I related to the shaming and ridicule mentioned, as much of my abuse took place (via rituals and satanic worship) by “so-called” members of a Christian community.
  The insidious nature of Spiritual Abuse involves abusing and confusing our relationship with God and any future hope of relating to God without old anger and fear associations. It is challenging at best!
  Be encouraged that all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord! Be well, Be blessed!


from Spiritual Abuse
Last update : 23 December 1997