Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why I feel compelled to write about "Spiritual Abuse"

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
therefore keep standing firm
and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."
Galatians 5:1 (NASB)

"You were bought with a price;
do not become slaves of men."
I Corinthians 7:23  (NASB)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God, not a result of works,
so that no one may boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9  (ESV)

During the last several years, intertwined with my weight loss journey, the Lord began working in my heart about "my own practice of Christianity."  I had found some things online through a bizarre chain of events that alerted me to some really disturbing things being brought to light about the church denomination that our family belongs to (NOT our own church specifically.) 
Some of those things really frightened me.
I began searching.
Hearing and reading stories of abuse.
Horrible things that made me really mad, at first.
I didn't want to believe them.
I didn't want to believe that I had been conned for the greater part of my life.
I became very alert to the subject of Grace.
I wanted to make sure that I really, truly understood what that meant.....what that term looks like.
And what I found has transformed my understanding of our loving Heavenly Father!!
It has deepened my walk with Him!
I am in wonder and gratefulness for what God, in His providence, has spared my life from.
But it has also made me HUNGRY to know the truth.
The truth about love.
The truth about mercy.
The truth about grace.
What a cult really is.........and what it is not.

For some, I can understand how this topic might lose you at the title.
But I know others who are caught, trapped inside a spiritually abusive system.......
either not even realizing that they are in bondage to rules and regulations and a weight God never intended for them to carry......
or knowing full well that they are caught in an environment that fosters horrible abuse and they are desperate to get out.
I want to write about what I've seen can be the awful end result of this.
What happens to people caught up in it.
What it is and what it is not.

I want to write about FREEDOM.
Joyful freedom from the bondage of traditions and religious performances that have been created by men.
Freedom from having to look perfect all the time.
To admit we're in a mess, but that that's ok.
Because isn't that why Christ came?
Right into our mess?
"Emmanuel...God with us."
To free us!!

By His lavish, undeserved grace.
And He paid the price for our freedom....once....for all.

There is nothing more we can do.
It's already done.

Hebrews 10:4-14

English Standard Version (ESV)
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Consequently, when Christ[a] came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
    but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
    as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure insacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ[b]had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

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