This short article below was written by Anne Marie Dowell and can be viewed on her personal blog site: Freedom/Deception from Spiritual Deception I agree with her conclusions however I have to broaden this truth to other denominations. I spent 18 years in the Baptist church and found many leaders in the denomination who did exactly what Anne describes. Many pastors have lost site with what matters most to God, namely, people! And instead of taking on the servant role they were commissioned too, they become self servers, and as Anne put it, “they surround themselves with hand picked yes man/women who do their dirty work to ensure that others are towing the line and following all of the rigid rules that the system (not God) expects. Below is her article, go to her site and leave a comment to encourage her as she has suffered much for the sake of the truth.
“Toxic shame is different from healthy shame. Toxic shame tells us that we are a mistake and that no amount of problem solving can deliver us from our condition. In abusive ministries we now understand that a single ‘charasmatic’ leader holds all of the power over the direction of that ministry. That individual is the ‘mouth piece’ of God and is to be obeyed no matter how wrong their behavior or doctrine may be!! Abusive ministries are closed systems that have a single leader surrounded by hand picked yes men/women who do his dirty work and ensure that others are towing the line and following all of the rigid rules that the system (not God) expects. However they do it in the name of God and are experts at using scripture to make the people of God feel guilty if they do not obey them!!! This is nothing new and has been going on for as long as there has been religion. It is this dynamic that is permeating the church and creating new and even more abusive leaders. They require the people of God who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus to bend their knee to their insatiable need for power and money. These leaders become so used to being treated like rock stars that they begin to believe that they stand between you and God . They threaten that you are committing ‘spiritual suicide’ if you choose to leave their ministries. They use every toxic shame inducing method to obtain complete obedience and control over you and your understanding of who you are in Christ.”