My friend, Jack Watts, posted this today. Amazing how it describes exactly how Sound Doctrine operates. Praying those still ensnared will have eyes to see and ears to hear!
Refer to STEP4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; people who misuse their authority are the abusers.
One’s cruelty is one’s power and, when one parts with one’s cruelty, one parts with one’s power. When one has parted with that, I fancy one’s old and ugly. —William Congreve
For religious abuse to occur, an attitude of arrogance, entitlement, and pride is required by a religious leader. If such an attitude doesn’t exist, then most abuse is accidental—not malicious. To be certain what’s really happening, it’s always wise to take a good, hard look at every pastor and ministry leader. Try to discern telltale signs of spiritual superiority. If you spot any self-serving or narcissistic characteristics, move on. It doesn’t matter how profound the person’s teaching may be or how loving he or she appears to be, it’s an illusion. Those who recognize the problem and make a stand for what is right are the ones who will be abused.
Here’s the way it works. Although people have differences of opinion, when one person’s opinion is routinely elevated above others and positioned as “God’s will,” then abusiveness often follows. The person who doesn’t buy into the program is not only rebuked; but by holding his or her ground in opposition, that person’s relationship with God is inevitably called into question. To criticize the minister—”the anointed one”— is perceived as criticizing God, making the person who disagrees have flawed, “sinful” character qualities.
Routinely, those who are in opposition are depicted as “carnal”—as purposefully going against God’s will. This makes the questioning person’s walk with the Lord appear to be defective, which is exactly how it is positioned by the abusive leader. When the abuser says, “I’ll pray for you, brother,” it is usually accompanied by a syrupy smile. When this happens, you can be certain that no prayers will be forthcoming—only character assassination.
The person asking hard questions becomes an “untouchable”—rejected by those who were co-laborers just a short time earlier. This kind of treatment happens routinely in ministries and churches, wounding people beyond their capacity to cope with life afterwards. When the process is complete, there is another person added to the ranks of the religiously abused.
Your boasting is not good. Do you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (I Corinthians 5:6-8)