Archive for the ‘Religion and Spirituality’ Tag






“Oh oh, who is sneaking in here with the sheep?”












I understand this is not a popular subject,

but it is a problem that nevertheless exists more commonly than realized.

Chuck Swindoll has these wise words for us:

I Timothy 3–4

All of us played follow-the-leader as kids. But even then, when the guide in front was too daring or foolish,

we would step aside. There were definite limits on how far we would follow.

Sadly, this is not always true in the spiritual realm, where leaders unworthy of the name sometimes

command blind devotion. (Remember Jonestown and Waco ….)






No one ever defined that follow-no-matter-what syndrome better than our Lord in

Matthew 15:14:


them alone;

they are blind guides of the blind.

And if a blind man guides a blind man,

both will fall into a pit.”







Remember now, Jesus warned us against blind guides, not all guides.

God still uses strategic, trustworthy,

dedicated leaders, and they deserve our respect.

But how can we tell when “blindness” starts to set in?

What are the symptoms to look for in strong, natural

leaders that tell us trouble is brewing?

After thinking about this for quite a while, I am ready to suggest six

blind spots we dare not overlook.













Take care when a leader begins repressing your freedom. If there is the lack of a

servant’s heart, of a teachable spirit, pride is in control. Be especially wary of one who seems to have all

the answers.


Watch out for the “we alone are right” and the “us four and no more” attitudes. They reveal

themselves in an encouragement to break commitments with your mate, family members, and long-

standing friends.












Moneygrubbing is another telltale sign. Especially if funds wind up in the leader’s pocket and

become “nobody’s business.”






Moral purity is a must if the leader claims God’s hand is on his life.

A holy life is never optional.


Leaders who refuse to be accountable to anyone forfeit the right to be trusted and

followed. Every leader needs counsel and occasional confrontation.


When wrong is justified with a defensive spirit, when inappropriate actions are quickly

glossed over, when scriptural truth is twisted to fit a sinful lifestyle, when gray-black facts are

whitewashed, stop your support.

>>>Take Christ’s advice: “Let them alone”!<<<


If you’re going to follow the leader, look where you’re going.

Leaders who refuse to be accountable to anyone forfeit the right to be followed.

—Chuck Swindoll







Chuck Swindoll also said:

Pastoring a church has to be the highest of all callings.

In this position, one has the privilege of touching

life at its tenderest points . . . of walking with pain through its darkest valleys . . .

of proclaiming truth in its

purest form . . . of confronting sin in its ugliest scenes . . .

of modeling integrity through its hardest

extremes—while everyone is watching as well as when no one is looking.

It is no wonder to me why it

requires a God-given calling before one enters it

or why such a struggle accompanies resignation from it.



Two Young Men We Met


Fire breathing, so-called preachers devour the flock instead of loving and nourishing them!





He is a nice looking young man and was showing a condo

in a beautiful area of town at the Open House.

He is a Christian.  He’s been to our house a couple of times.

 He shared that on Sunday Morning,

the preacher said words to this effect:

 “I can see you aren’t interested in what I’m saying, if you don’t like

it you can go home!”



A young man at the Collission Repair shop

said he went to an abusive church for years.

 Now he goes to a church where the Argentinian Pastor

preaches Christ and has outreaches for the lost;

and has a global vision.

 He is a real pastor, he shared unlike the former.  

Thank the Lord he  is free from spiritual abuse!






In effect it is slavery of the worst kind

because it incarcerates the soul!






In history we are appalled about Holocaust victims;

 people stolen;

torn from the loving arms of their families

and their homes,

and made into slaves.

 Some never to be seen again,

as millions were killed.

 Victims of spiritual abuse are in the same category!

No, they aren’t physically starved to look like human skeletons;

they are starved spiritually,

some unto death!

Lives, dreams, and in many cases families destroyed!

The word Auschwitz has become synonymous with




The Holocaust.

Spiritually abusive churches are spiritual















We personally know numerous of people who have suffered from this  detestable crime.  My husband was

talking to one precious man we have known for years, and handed me the phone.  As he began to share

not only his story but one of an acquaintance, I broke down crying and handed the phone back to my

husband.  It was more than I could bear at the moment.

 Since that time, true accounts; atrocity after atrocity have been shared from others.

It defies not only Christian character but common human decency!

 Crimes against the soul done to precious ones

who have misplaced trust in those in pastoral leadership is a detestable crime!

People have lost their


their children,

family members,

personal self-esteem and identity,

and a trust

in those who should have loved and nourished them.

 That’s what makes sexual abuse of a parent to

a child so atrocious;

from a parent who should have loved and protected their precious child.

 It is equally horrible and heinous as those who spiritually abuse;

abusing  trust of those

 innocents  who willingly submit to them,

mistakenly thinking they will be loved and spiritually cared for.




What Jesus Offers is Life





John 10:10

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

 I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.


If you have fallen prey to this atrocity, there is hope for you!

His name is


Psalm 147:3

He healeth the broken in heart,

and bindeth up their wounds.

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;

because the Lord hath anointed me

to preach good tidings unto the meek;

he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;





Spiritual Abuse (spir’-i-choo-el a-byoos’). Wouldn’t it be great if it was as simple as looking it up in a dictionary? But nothing

about spiritual abuse is simple. Those who have experienced it, know it is powerful enough to cause them to question their

relationship with God, indeed, the very existence of God. And it is subtle too! The perpetrators of spiritual abuse are rarely

‘Snidely Whiplash’ sorts of characters who announce that they are going to drain your spiritual energy. They may be people

who seem like they are seeking to guide you to the deepest levels of spiritual maturity.


Spiritual abuse occurs when someone in a position of spiritual authority, the purpose of which is to ‘come underneath’ and

serve, build, equip and make God’s people MORE free, misuses that authority placing themselves over God’s people to control,

coerce or manipulate them for seemingly Godly purposes which are really their own.


The result? Well, if you have experienced spiritual abuse, you know result. We hope the resources at this web site will be

helpful to you. The damage that has been done is not irreversible. It is possible to feel safe again. It is possible to learn to rest

again. It is possible to regain that sense of blessing you once had when you first realized that God’s stance towards you, God’s

‘yes’, was not based on your performance, but rather on God’s very own performance, that of Jesus, signed, sealed, finished,

available in gift-form only.

~Jeff VanVonderen




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