A List of Links
Though I've owned her book for many months, I finally visited Janet Heimlich's website a couple of weeks ago to discover a great of resource links for people who are working to transcend a wide variety of types of spiritually abusive experiences. Please take time to read through them. I think that the variety of groups listed there from across so many different religious groups serves to remind us of the tendency of well-meaning and idealistic people to fall into harmful patterns of behavior. We can all become misguided, despite the best of intentions, and I find that lists like this remind us of this tendency of us all to be very human. In that sense, we tend to be very much alike in our failings. And if we are alike in our bruising, may we heal and grow to be alike in liberty.
And just as a reminder concerning great lists of links, for those looking for resources about domestic violence, I think it's hard to beat the one offered by Hannah Thomas at Emotional Abuse and Your Faith.
Guidance v. Complusion In Spiritual Training
I was struck by the wisdom offered by an article on a Muslim website concerning the thoughtful and respectful way that a parent can raise a child in a religious faith without crushing or abusing them, and I thought it well worthy of consideration. As I've mentioned in several recent posts, I believe that true and valuable insights should be honored, even though I may not share the belief system of the source, though it saddens me that too many Christians stand to learn a number of things from this insightful post. I'm grateful for the admonishment, though it would be so much better to see this kind of advice offered at No Greater Joy and Christian sources that go to such great lengths to teach parents to use compulsion and abuse instead of loving nurture. May those who advocate anything other than this be put to shame. (Another “hat tip” to Janet Heimlich who made me aware of this article.)
From Parental Lessons in Guidance, Not Compulsion, In Religion by Safiyyah Ally:
If parents have brought their children to this place of freedom, it is imperative that they help them thrive. It is no longer enough to appeal to tradition or authority. This doesn’t mean that parents cannot encourage or admonish their children to behave or act in ways that are in keeping with their religious understanding. What it does mean, however, is that parents need to cultivate a greater motivation for action amongst their children.From a young age, parents need to help their children develop a love of God, such that their life is oriented towards wanting to please God. They have to appeal to their children’s minds in order to help them appreciate the wisdom behind God’s commands.
From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
I rarely address Mark Driscoll, one of the Complementarian favorites and an advocate for The New Calvinism. Several people have already addressed the ridiculous degree of spiritual absue practiced at his church. I don't follow his material because I find nothing about him to be of any remote interest, save that he is an exemplar of the extremes of Complementarianism. I'll refer you to Lewis for his links to all of the details which you can explore if they are of interest. I feel that they are not worth the expenditure of my own energy and frustration. Aside from being vulgar which I assume that some people find titillating, I don't understand Driscoll's popularity. But it's worth mention because of the real life example of spiritually abusive dynamics.
Lewis also wrote a few of posts addressing the review I wrote about the film, Courageous, which appear here , here, and another more peripheral one here.