Apprising Ministries believes this is a very important issue that’s still largely under the radar even within the mainstream of Christendom; and keep in mind that I’m say this as a pastor myself.

If you don’t think this is a problem then I’m afraid you haven’t been paying attention to the growing glut of self-proclaimed “leaders” constantly congratulating each other for their unbiblical membership covenants.

For example, there’s Do You Trust Your Pilot? by New Calvinist, and Elephant Room co-host, Mark Driscoll where, it seems to me, he’s all but demanding cult-like obedience.

All you need to do is substitute “I” for “they” below:

Working for an organization, including a church or ministry, is kind of like a plane in flight. The senior leaders are up front getting data from private channels and have a perspective out the windshield that no one else has…

Assume that they have way more data and training than you. Assume they see stuff out of their window you don’t see out of yours. Assume they did the right thing, even if you are wearing your drink, your luggage came flying out of the overhead bin, and you need to buy new underwear to replace the ones you were wearing… (source)

Recently I’ve been bringing spiritual abuse to your attention e.g. in Todd Rhodes On Pastor Chuck O’Neal’s Website Attacking “Church Attackers” and Flagship Church Votes To Leave C.J. Mahaney Votes To Leave C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries.

With this in mind, as food for thought, I now point you to Spiritual Abuse: Verses Pastors Twist and Misuse to Control over at BGBC Survivors where we read:

 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction insound[f] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, sincethey are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (Titus 1:7-11)

In reference to the above scripture, authors David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen in their book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, have this to say:

This passage opens to us the additional problem of placing heavy performance weights upon struggling people by means of misusing or abusing Scripture.

Instead of using the Word as a sword to pierce through the thoughts and motives of their own hearts, many spiritual leaders have used it as a stick to drive others, for a variety of reasons:  to keep others from holding them accountable; to protect their image; to uphold a doctrine they have based a whole ministry upon; to keep funds coming in; to build religious kingdoms in order to bolster their own spiritual self-esteem.  In other words, it’s possible that some leaders teach the Word for personal gain, not to heal and to free.

One of the primary purposes of this blog is to identify spiritual abuse.  Just as I used Google search engine to educate myself years ago, others are also searching and stumble across my blog looking for answers.  I want them to be able to quickly find answers to their questions and also provide resources:  Spiritual Abuse Help.

I would like to solicit your help.  If you know of any verses that pastors misuse in order to control or abuse, please pass them my way.  I’d like to compile a list of these verses and add them to the resource page.  I think it will be very eye-opening for those who are struggling with spiritual abuse to see this list and discover that their pastor has used verses inappropriately. (source)

You can read this article in its entirety right here.

Further reading