This is a subject and phenomenon that most people within the Church would refuse to acknowlege exist. In actuality, it is rampient. I am currently 74 years old, have been a Christian since 6 years old, and all of my life, as I look back at my experiences in Church, it has always been there, and by the way, the Spirit of the Lord has had me move on several occasions,and I have seen it, every where that I have been. It involves not only top level leadership, but too, members who have placed in positions of leadership use it against other members. Our only hope to know the Scriptures and cling to what saith the Lord. I have read several other books on the subject in years past, after having observed abuses played out so often in the church, and it takes on a mulitplicity of forms, but this book was required reading for a seminary class. I found it to be highly current and impacting!! A MUST read!!
An amazing book! The person who complained about the book calling "commonalities" a danger sign, has not read the book thoroughly! They ARE danger signs, yes, but only to have you take a deeper look at your church & leaders. Its quite possible its not an abusive church! And doesnt the Bible tell us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1)? Thats what this book is asking you to do when you come across danger signs.This book isnt just for church members who have been abused! Its for potential abusers: those in church leadership. Its for those who know someone who has been spiritually abused. Its a huge help in understanding the abuser, and the abused, and knowing how to help them.
I have some friends whose pastor seems very heavy-handed and they are starting to get bitter towards church. I was looking for a book to help them sort through these experiences and offer ways to deal with them. This book is not it.To the author, it is already a danger sign when people in church all have the big black Bible of the proper version, dog-eared and marked up or all wear suit and tie or jeans and t-shirt (p.77). In other words, any time a church develops some commonalities, this is a danger sign for spiritual abuse to those who come in from the outside. Also, we all have to rethink how we address our leaders (p. 79), because already calling the pastor pastor is potentially abusive.After reading how the author describes everything that is supposedly spiritual abuse, I cannot put together a picture of what a healthy church would look like at all. [He does state all churches are abusive to some degree (p. 95).] If I could give -5 I would.
This book was superb! It was direct in it's exposure of the practices and language of manipulation and self-effort asseen in many pulpits today. Especially helpful and identifying was Ken's exposure of the abusive nature of Watchman Nee's book on spiritual authority. This proves that the only book we should treat as spiritual authority is the Scriptures themselves. Thanks, Ken!!