No one should leave church feeling manipulated, controlled, shamed, or condemned. But places of shelter and encouragement can become abusive if spiritual leaders begin to use their authority to meet their needs for importance, power, or spiritual gratification. Here you'll discover how to identify an abusive church and also how to break free from its destructive legalism. Topics covered include:How spiritual abuse develops--and why those under its grip often don't see itThe subtle ways that leaders and systems "hook" and control believers, robbing them of their joy in ChristScriptural help in recognizing healthy spiritual relationshipsEffective strategies for escaping abusive situations
Insightful, practical, and solidly grounded in Scripture, this book has what you need to recover a grace-filled relationship with God and His church.
In a breakthrough book first published in 1991, the authors address the dynamics in churches that can ensnare people in legalism, guilt, and begrudging service, keeping them from the grace and joy of God's kingdom.Written for both those who feel abused and those who may be causing it, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse shows how people get hooked into abusive systems, the impact of controlling leadership on a congregation, and how the abused believer can find rest and recovery.
David Johnson has been the senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota, since 1980. During this time, the church has grown from a congregation of 160 to 3,000 people. A much sought-after speaker, he is a graduate of Bethel College and received his theological training at Bethel Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His Growing in Grace radio broadcast is syndicated internationally. David and his family live in Minnesota.