Thursday, August 7, 2008

Some Effects of Spiritual Abuse

From David Henke on Spiritual Abuse (Watchman Fellowship's Profile of Spiritual Abuse):


EFFECTS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE

Spiritual abuse has a devastating effect on people. A very high level of trust is often placed in spiritual leaders. It is, and ought to be, expected that the trust will be honored and guarded. When such trust is violated the wound is very deep. Sometimes the wound is so deep that the wounded person cannot trust even a legitimate spiritual authority again.


An analogous situation exists with the victims of incest. The emotional and psychological symptoms exhibited by victims of incest parallel those of spiritual abuse to a remarkable degree. The main symptom is the inability to relate normally to people who represent the source of their emotional injury.

Besides an unhealthy fear of, and disillusionment with, spiritual authorities, the spiritually abused person may find it difficult to trust even God. "How could (or why did) He let this happen to me?" Anger is also deeply felt. Anger itself is not always wrong - God Himself expresses anger at such spiritual abuse (see Biblical Response, above). However, even legitimate anger, if not properly channeled and dealt with, can degenerate into bitterness and cynicism toward everything spiritual.

For more on ANGER, link to good info HERE.

One analogy for the experience of realizing spiritual abuse HERE. And more HERE.
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