Breaking away from an abusive religious group is a process that usually hinges on a turning point, a decisive event that compels a member to move from doubt to action.
Dr. Ebaugh has identified four major stages in the role-exit process, regardless of what that role is.
I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas cult is the true story of the author's experience in a Bible-based cult in Dallas, Texas.
Recovering From Churches That Abuse: "The most important thing in my recovery has been the need to get the proper balance between the heart and the head. In the Christian life, the mind is not something to be subjected to the heart.
It is false to say you cannot know or understand the Word of God unless you have the proper inner attitude, or unless you surrender and submit, and that only when you get to that place will God break through and show you the way."
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says, "When it comes to The Shack, the really troubling fact is that so many readers are drawn to the theological message of the book, and fail to see how it conflicts with the Bible at so many crucial points. All this reveals a disastrous failure of evangelical discernment."
We provide a number of research resources on the book.
Many of the people Ron Enroth interviewed for his books, Churches That Abuse and Recovering From Churches That Abuse were undecided whether to leave an abusive situation or stay in the hope that their presence might make a difference.
But by remaining in an unhealthy environment for whatever reason people help perpetuate a system they have experienced as destrucive. Those who are contemplating leaving an abusive situation need to make a complete break and flee.
Colleen's story will help us to understand two concomitants to spiritual abuse.
First, like many members of abusive churches, Colleen had a personal history that predisposed her toward victimization.
Second, her experience demonstrates the essential need for help from competent counseling and caring Christians in the process of recovery.
The problem of not being understood is common among victims of spiritual abuse. As a result, the victims feel guilty, misunderstood, and even rejected.
Christians who want to be helpful to those who have come out of abusive experiences must be sensitive, nonjudgmental, and accepting-even if they find it difficult to understand how something so bizarre could happen to another Christian.
What aspects of authoritarian churches are hurtful? What happens to members when they decide to leave or are dismissed? Are they likely to end up in another abusive situation, or are they able to find a "normal" church? What about those who find it impossible to return to church, any church? Is it possible to break the cycle of spiritual abuse? Can people find true freedom in Christ after years of bondage in performance-based lifestyles?
These are some of the questions addresses in Chapter One of his book, Recovering From Churches That Abuse.
Recovering From Churches That Abuse highlights the stories of people who have experienced various levels of spiritual abuse and have achieved varying levels of recovery.
Chapter listing for Recovering From Churches That Abuse, by Dr. Ronald Enroth
The great value of this book lies in the fact that it a) will help victims of spiritual abuse obtain spiritual and emotional healing, and b) provides valuable information to counselors, pastors, and others who are helping these people.
Recovering From Churches That Abuse deals with the road back from spiritual abuse, healing for families who hurt, and re-entry for survivors of cults and sects. It also provides guidance for pastors and counselors.
Has your favorite pastor or TV evangelist suggested that God will make you rich if only you make a 'positive confession' along with a big -- step-out-in-faith -- donation?
Have you ever been asked to think of your layoff, cancer, or foreclosure as an "opportunity"?
Here's a book that explodes the myths of 'positive thinking.
"Positive thinking is not only a water carrier for the business world, excusing its excesses and masking its follies," Barbara Ehrenreich writes.
"The promotion of positive thinking has become a minor industry in its own right, producing an endless flow of books, DVDs, and other products; providing employment for tens of thousands of "life coaches," "executive coaches," and motivational speakers, as well as for the growing cadre of professional psychologists who seek to train them.
America has historically offered space for all sorts of sects, cults, faith healers, and purveyors of snake oil, and those that are profitable, like positive thinking, tend to flourish."
Read the introduction to Barbara Ehrenreich's new book: Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.
"I was raised in the ashram of this man who declared himself an incarnation of God. Before I could walk, my parents dressed me in a sari and took me on their recruiting trips. Instead of acting in school plays and playing soccer, I distributed leaflets proclaiming the guru's divinity from parade floats that wound through city streets."