Ex Church of Christ support group

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Spiritual Abuse: Feeling manipulated, torn, enraged because of what is being done in the name of love.

 

  1. Double-binds are the stock-in-trade of spiritual abusers. Example of a double-bind: A mother sends her son in college a blue shirt and a green shirt. He wears the green shirt home for Thanksgiving. "The green shirt?" Mom asks. "What's wrong with the blue shirt?"
     

  2. Preacher's Kids: Most preacher's kids have to overcome a feeling of never being good enough, of never being allowed to do things for oneself, of always being watched, of being phony. For a websiteclick here.
     

  3. Depression: Depression has many symptoms and many causes. One of the causes is grieving the loss of a church family, or the loss of friends and family members. Another cause is trying to maintain fellowship and amiable relationships with people who are not used to having relationships with those outside the exclusive Churches of Christ. Trying to accomplish the impossible, burdening oneself with an impossible task, can quickly lead to burnout and depression. See thisstress checklist. *
     

  4. Authoritarianism:  ** People who have left authoritarian churches often exhibit the same symptoms as people who have grown up asAdult Children of Alcoholics. Some benefit from attending a 12 Step support group like Al-Anon or ACOA (often referred to as ACA).
     

  5. Handling Family: Dealing with family members after one has left the hard-line Churches of Christ is extremely difficult for most people.

    How did Jesus handle his family? When Jesus' family thought he had lost his senses, when he was pursued by crowds such that he didn't have a chance to eat, his family decided to go take charge of him (Mark 3). They traveled to the place he was teaching and found Jesus in a crowded house. When word got to Jesus that his mother and brothers were outside the house wanting to talk to him, he replied, "Who are my mother and brothers?"

    Evidently he knew that his family would stand in the way of his mission one day, and he had decided ahead of time not to let it happen, and to use it as a teaching moment. What some would consider the greatest sin, to oppose one's family, and even to publicly insult his family, Jesus deemed necessary in the greater scheme to obey God. Jesus' relationship with his father in heaven was stronger than his allegiance to his mother and his brothers. Leaving his family standing outside the house, and refusing to go speak to them, was necessary for Jesus to pursue his mission from God.

    Jesus did not stop loving his family. On the cross he instructed John to take care of his mother. Letting go of family pressure is painful and usually brings feelings of self-doubt.

Bibliography

 

 

For a website very similar to this one, but for ex-members of another One True Church group click here.

* Also included in the stress checklist is a list of stress reducers:

  • Exercise 30 minutes per day

  • Eat less sugar and less processed food

  • Reduce TV time to one hour or less/day

  • Good sleep habits

  • Pray or meditate each day

  • Spend time with a good friend

  • Having a stable family

  • Forgive enemies

  • Listen to or play music daily

  • Attend a support group/study group

  • Have a sense of humor

  • Financial security

**Authoritarian is very different from authoritative. Authoritarian is harsh and controlling, authoritative is firm with good boundaries.

For two websites that deal with all kinds of abusive churches click here,and here, For a check listclick here.

For a page on Conquering Sin,click here.

What some would consider the greatest sin, to oppose one's family, and even to publicly insult his family, Jesus deemed necessary in the greater scheme to obey God.