I am relaxing after a wonderful but exhausting party, I have been formulating many thoughts, especially since I have now decided to focus on healing from spiritual abuse.
One of the best known books on spiritual abuse is Ken Blue’s book, Healing from Spiritual Abuse/breaking free from a bad church.
Interestingly enough, I am not in a bad church now. I regularly attend two very different churches, and will be at both tomorrow, not simultaneously.
Neither are ‘bad’ nor do I need to break free from them.
Since I broke free from the Church of England as they destroyed me, I have learned about me, and about church, and about boundaries, and it has been amazing.
I do not stay with a church that takes me over or belittles me, because I know I don’t need to, and I remember the words that my kind Catholic friends taught me, which remain with me, and put me back directly in contact with God without the need for a Church mediating.
When I left the Church of England I left behind 30 years of sexual and emotional, physical and spiritual abuse, that came from 17 years with my parents and 13 years with the Church of England.
Now as you can imagine, that is 30 years of damage and only 3 years separated from the damage, and because the damage occured throughout my developing years as a child and young adult, it has ingrained and it has affected me as a person, how I relate to others, how I respond to pastoral care, how I respond to church and community, how I am in general.
3 years after escaping, I have a wake up call to how I am responding to others and church and what the root cause is, and at 33 years old, this wake up call is a bit late, and just with my other problems and conditions, such as autism and reactive attachment disorder, glimpses of this spiritual damage were always showing through, here and there I knew how some of the spiritual abuse caused some of my reaction to things, but because my problems have been overwhelming and survival has been the priority for so long, the problems had to stay locked in, not faced, nor did I know how to face them.
I gave you an example of very innocent spiritual abuse where my church leader friend talked about how people like me should be aborted before birth, to make less of a burden on society. Here is another example of how readers and preachers in the church can basically say what they like and not really understand how things are for people with disability.
And I will lead into a statement about me from this account:
It was a nice sunny day, 2003 or 2004, the service was read by our much loved reader, the same one who said that my 21st Birthday party was the best party he had been to all day, as he poured the alcohol and stayed close to the bar.
The reader talked about love, he said that the only thing that mattered in Jesus’view was that we loved one another (not true), and loved our neighbour as ourself.
He was very much putting over the same sort of view that JM used to, that ‘God is love’, JM used to admit to me that she had no faith in their being a real God and heaven, and even that she didn’t believe in the Virgin Birth, She told me that it brought people’s faith down when astronauts went up and found no God in space.
What puzzled me was, why would anyone think astronauts would find God? Heaven isn’t physical and finadable and why would a Vicar be secretly not believing in the Virgin Birth? JM’s comments rocked my faith, she claimed that God was love, which was why she used to half-kill herself trying to put people’s lives right.
Anyway, back to the reader, Church of England froth, decided to state to us, that ‘love was the most important thing’, and while love is, and Jesus did say ‘love your neighbour as yourself’, I have yet to meet any member of the church of england who even gets on with all their neighbours, or even their fellow church members.
I think Church of England are kind of focussed on the wrong things, especially people pleasing, and saying the right thing to soothe the ears of those who put the most money in the coffers.
I was and am a menace to the Church of England because I ask questions, this is the statement I meant.
I don’t sit in church and dopily believe everything I hear.
This is interesting because for the 17 cult years, I was taught to blindly accept everything I was told, and that was hellish damaging.
But once I challenged my parents about the continued scare tactics once I had left them, ie they were telling me that jihads and armageddons were on the way and we could all be killed and if we were lucky we would be picking up the bodies, once I actually made a choice between their world and the real world, which I did, aged 19, and further when I was about 22, I questioned everything, and have done ever since! I am the bane of the comfortable old church’s life, because I do not accept everything as it is said, if it sounds incorrect.
Now, with my current churches, I don’t need to question, because they are not able to indoctrinate me, I know what songs and words I do not believe and I choose not to join in those sings or words, and so far, these churches do not object, and thus they are not spiritually abusing me.
I am keen to learn God’s word and worship Him, but I feel I can do that without being forced on or misguided.
There is nothing representative of God in the way the Church of England have been to me, and very little representation of Jesus in their worship and creed, it is, again, soothing words for the elderly and wealthy who keep the Church of England alive, and I was so indoctrinated in the Church of England, having gone from the cult to them for refuge, that I was blind to how damaging the Church of England were to me.
I feel sad for all those in the Church of England who are caught in that deception forever, and think it is Christianity.
And I can imagine any well-to-do old lady fuming and self righteously blaring if they ever read this, because I have experienced this self-righteous blaring. (I wonder if Ginger Nut will self righteously blare if he reads this).
All the self-righteousness in the world will not make the Church of England into a Christian Church who do not teach properly because they are too busy during sermon time talking about the priest’s personal life and other things that soothe the people who pay for the Church, although the Church is both a government department and a Charity, and should pay for itself.
And the sermons that the Church of England do far too frequently, about people paying more, and tying this increased payment in with the Bible, are abominable, and they sicken me, this is not Christianity, and these offensive sermons are questioned by me, the Great Questioner, but not by the wealthy old congregation who they are aimed at.
Anyway, lets return to the old reader and his froth about love.
Loving people is the most important Christian Value
He isn’t expecting the Great Questioner and has no reply when she asks
What about those of us with a limited capacity to love? How do you tell someone with liited capacity for love that they are substandard in your Christian Ethic.
The reader had no adequate reply, and the memory sticks with me, that man, with his nice home and money and comfortably preaching among similar people, met by my question and truly stumped, he indeed couldn’t answer and fluffed and frothed, repeating himself that to be Christians we have to love…
He couldn’t explain how he could judge me and others less able to love as I did as substandard Christians.
The Church of England’s splintered and variable teaching can be lethal, and I will provide other examples of this, as I have been doing.
As far as I know, preaching in the CofE is not audited or recorded or assessed, and basically they are free to do as they please, and with such a wide range of preachers, it is pot luck.
But anyway, in conclusion, I know I rock the boat in stuffy old clubs like that by questioning, and because I can question and have been questioning, I think there is hope for healing, for me to become independent of the brainwashing that has shaped me and the spiritual damage inflicted by the Church of England.
And I can also be assertive and leave a Church, leave an abusive situation.
Well it has only taken 33 years to get this far, to the beginning of healing.
Wish me luck.