We now realize that our church is abusive. What advice can you give us?
I would advise you read a few books that will help during the difficult transition. Recovering from Churches that Abuse by Ron Enroth, Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue, and The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll. Often, there is a lot of hurt and bitterness. These books can help you overcome the pain and keep from becoming a bitter individual.
Second, I would advise you join a support group from a good church. There are very few support groups for spiritually abused victims but if you can find one, great. If not, a group to share your experience and pray with is a great help.
Third, many abused victims want to inform members who remain at the abusive church. This can be very frustrating and time consuming. I do not recomend spending a lot of your energy doing this. It is best to leave it all behind and begin a new chapter in your life.
Finally, enjoy your new freedom. Visit churches and fellowships. You will realize that the body of Christ is a lot bigger than you can imagine and this is refreshing to see. In the process, you will meet a lot of neat Christians who may become your new family in Christ.
© 2005 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Patrick Zukeran served on the staff of Probe Ministries for 22 years, having received graduate degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M) and Southern Evangelical Seminary (D.Min). He presently serves on the faculty of the Bible Institute of Hawaii (www.biblehawaii.org) and is the Director of the Pacific Apologetics Center (www.pacificapologetics.org) based in Hawaii. He serves on the faculty of several Christian colleges around the world. He has a national and international speaking and teaching ministry, and also hosts a national and international radio show “Evidence and Answers” (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat has authored several books including The Apologetics of Jesus, co-authored with Norman Geisler, Unless I See, and served as editor of God, Eternity, and Spirituality. Pat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075