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A Heart For God: Abused By Church? (8 Questions to Ask)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Abused By Church? (8 Questions to Ask)

The Catholic Church is under assault and for good reason. They have turned a blind eye (in some ways) to the problem of sexual abuse among their clergy. That's not the kind of abuse I want to talk about here. Instead, I want to point to areas where a person might not think it's (quote) "abuse" per se, because what they're doing is under the banner of sharing the love of Jesus after all. But I'd like to suggest it's getting close to abuse if it's not outright. (This includes the Protestant Church, too.) I created a video blog a while back entitled: "How To Tell If You're in a Cult." (View HERE.) In that vlog I proposed four questions to be asked that upon answering would reveal the cult or church status of a particular movement. I'm convinced those four questions can (and ought) to be asked to determine church abuse as well. They are:

Question #1: Is Jesus Christ the center of this thing or is some other charismatic personality?

Question #2: Is another book, writing or revelation used as a basis of doctrine apart from or alongside the Bible?

Question #3: Is Scripture manipulated and/or ignored to the convenience of those in charge?

Question #4: Is it okay for you to leave/quit or is control exerted to force you to stay?

To these four questions I'd like to add four more. Again, I'm convinced these, too, can (and ought) to be asked to determine church abuse as well. They are:

Question #5: Do you feel like you can't have a life outside of church and/or the leadership gets upset if you do?

Question #6: Do you feel like levels of holiness are being required while the leadership is lax and goes easy on themselves?

Question #7: Do you feel like guilt trips are being used to gain unreasonable amounts of attendance and service and it's based on a workaholic mindset held by the people in charge?

Question #8: Do you feel like you have no voice, your personal input is not welcome and to ask any contrary questions is unacceptable?

Of course, I suggest you seek counsel from those you trust if any of these questions point to a situation of church abuse. (For more information, check out:

"Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight...nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:2a, 3)

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