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The joy of a relationship with God is replaces with a fear of God the “Cosmic Killjoy”.

Churches that abuse often focus on the penalty for sin.

When your words and actions tear down another, or attack or weaken a person’s standing as a Christian- to gratify you, your position or your beliefs while at the same time weakening or harming another- that is spiritual abuse.” One of the biggest problems with spiritual abuse is that it is VERY subtle. Pastors and other spiritual leaders become adept at using spcipture to back up their subtle manipulation and control.

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Brief Introduction Spiritual abuse is similar to emotional abuse and occurs when the leaders of a church or religious organization use their power and position to manipulate, control and/or coerce their congregation/followers/members, whether on purpose or with good intentions.

Spiritual abuse often occurs subtly for seemingly the “right” reasons, but it can also be blatant for outright selfish financial, emotional or physical gain.

Victims are often depressed about their inability to live up to those rules and standards, worried that they aren’t pleasing the Lord, and frustrated that they keep sinning.

Victims often feel that they aren’t good enough and not able to live up to the expectations.

Spiritual abuse includes, but is not limited to mind-control, thought reform, coercion, manipulation, deception, legalism, authoritarianism, guilt trips, judgementalism/”Phariseeism”, holier-than-though attitude, and a “we are right and everyone else is wrong” attitude.

Spiritual abuse is often done in the name of proclaiming the ‘truth’.The trouble with spiritual abuse is that the perpetrator often has been deceived him/herself into thinking that they are helping when in actuality they are doing more harm than good.Spritual Abuse has turned Christianity into ‘Churchianity’ where the church and it’s particular traditions have become more important than or at least equal to, the Word.Spiritual abuse often leads people to question their spirituality or standing with God.Victims become preoccupied with observing others in the congregation to see who is living up to the rules and who isn’t.Those who do not follow the rules may be labeled, shunned, shamed, or removed from church positions or even excommunicated.