Archive | April 2013

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Is it a Sin to Seek Medical Help?

A Pennsylvania couple was jailed after another of their children died from lack of medical treatment. Herbert and Catherine Schaible were jailed after their 8-month-old son, Brandon, died from diarrhea and breathing problems. The Schaibels refused to seek medical treatment for their son. Another son died in 2009 after contracting pneumonia–again without receiving medical intervention. […]

Friendly Riots and Sweet Baby Jesus: The Dangers of Antinomianism

I’ve seen only one riot first-hand. But it was a friendly riot. A Christian riot. So it was okay, right? It wasn’t the naked young men streaking through campus who most disappointed me. It wasn’t the destruction and theft of property, the illegal bonfire blazing in the middle of campus, or the smoke bombs detonated […]

The Terror of “Normal”: Religious Brainwashing and the Boston Bombers

Perhaps you, like I, feel relief after the death of one Marathon bombing suspect and the capture of the second. But perhaps you also feel something else. Something besides relief, anger, or pain. Something like confusion. After all, why would two young men described by acquaintances as “friendly,” “soft-spoken,” “popular,” and “safe” suddenly commit major […]

Pastoral Bullies: How to Tell if a Pastor “Domineers”

This post originally appeared April 17, 2013 on the “Enjoying God” blog by Pastor Sam Storms. Pastor Storms is a fellow Dallas Seminary grad, taught at Wheaton College, and currently is the Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I find this post the clearest treatment of pastoral domineering […]

Hope for those Hurt by Spiritual Abuse

“The heavens declare the glory of God.” – Psalm 19:1 A child will handle incredible amounts of pain if only he has hope. It may come through a single soft word, a fleeting kindness, or the frailest wisp of a verse unthreaded from scripture’s thick mat. Even for those who, like me, were caught for […]

The God You Don’t Believe in, I Don’t Believe in, Either: An Open Response to a Spiritually Abused Atheist

It stopped me cold. Sometimes a reader makes a comment that turns into a blog post, because he or she raises such a compelling or broadly applicable topic. A reader named John left just such a comment on one of my posts on religious brainwashing. You can read the original post here. In a nutshell, […]

Top 25 Books for Victims of Spiritual Abuse

If my house caught fire and you gave me five minutes to grab the top 25 books which have helped me to heal from—and take responsibility for—my years in a Bible cult, these are the books I would snatch: Recognizing Spiritual Abuse 1.) The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen […]

Book Review of “Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church” by Lauren Drain

Rare is the person who has never heard of Westboro Baptist Church. The small sect from Topeka, Kansas owes its notoriety to its rabid invective and public pickets against homosexuals and military funerals. Rarer still is the person who understands this extreme group of people. Most Americans shake their heads or their fists at the […]