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Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Learning to Risk

I, like many survivors of spiritually abusive churches or cults, experience trust issues and am generally risk-averse. I have become so good at saying “no” to people and opportunities that I have almost forgotten what it is like to say “yes.” It is easier to hunker down in my tightly-controlled routine than to risk getting […]

Truth Without Grace Is Dead

Yesterday I read a bristling article by a Christian blogger/journalist/news figure who proclaimed himself a “professional truth-teller.” He gleefully excoriated another Christian writer as likes and loves poured into his site. Listen. If a Twitter handle or author bio includes the phrase “professional truth-teller” there is a good chance they are not. When truth–and we’re […]

Breaking the Chains of Legalistic Parenting

Parenting proves challenging in the best of circumstances. Even the healthiest, most well-adjusted parent faces crises of doubt, exhaustion, and failure. But most of us aren’t completely healthy, are we? Most of us carry baggage from our own imperfect childhoods, adolescent traumas, and adult heartaches. And for those of us who grew up in rule-based […]

The Gift of Ordinary Things

When I was young I read books that made missionary life look sexy. I read spiritual biographies of well-known Christian martyrs which made them seem six inches taller and without body odor. Like popular kids at school, these saints inhabited my dreams and haunted my ambitions. I affected their manner of speech and read books […]

Five Lessons from The Village Church and Karen Hinkley

Several readers have asked me to comment on the recent situation involving The Village Church in Dallas and how it has placed Karen Hinkley under church discipline. Karen’s husband, Jordan Root, admitted to viewing child pornography over ten years, most recently as a missionary with SIM. Karen took steps to annul her marriage to Jordan […]

30 Signs of Legalism: A Checklist

The average legalist does not know that he or she is legalistic. I didn’t. I thought I was just following God’s Word. I didn’t think I was a Pharisee; I thought I was righteous. Legalism is rightly considered a disease in the church, but most of its sufferers mistake its symptoms for holiness. They think […]

When Your Abusive Pastor Dies

When you hear that your abusive former pastor is dead, the news will not bring you peace and it is unlikely to bring you joy. I am unhappy to say this but it’s true nevertheless and so there it is. What was broken in life cannot be mended by death. Death has no power to […]

An Update

Dear friends, For several months I have taken a hiatus from blogging in order to spend concerted effort writing the first draft of a book. The draft is taking shape and I hope to have it done by Christmas. It will then go through several revisions before I send it to an agent (hopefully) next […]

Recovering from Spiritual Abuse: Fearing the Good

“What would you do if you had no fear? Sometimes we think we are driven by our wants — when too often we are driven by our fears.” – Ann Voskamp I started flossing again. For the last couple of years it’s been hit or miss, mostly because I had a visceral reaction to the […]

12 Things God Doesn’t Do

The most devastating consequence of spiritual abuse is a marred image of God. If your church or pastor practices spiritual abuse, chances are that your view of God is filtered through twisted scriptures and an untrue characterization of what God is like. In these situations, your view of God probably looks a lot like how […]