That's the reason that about 90 believers left our church more than a year ago, some of them members for more than 12 years.
Following are the main points of abuse:
1 - Worship control
We were commanded by the pastor to worship the way he likes (shouting, screaming, dancing) and because most of the time we failed to do so
we were condemned as not praising God as loudly as He deserves.
2 - Submission to pastor
Submission in everything he says and anyone questioning his actions was considered a rebel and under a curse (1Sa 15:23) Many times the
pastor said if you love me (the pastor) obey my commandments. For more than 6 months he was doing Bible studies on submission to the pastor.
3 - Church authority structure
The old pyramid structure but worse than that no elders! The pastor in all of his decisions he hears from God, no need to consult others.
4 - Abuse of authority
How about expelling some workers from ministry suddenly without telling them why or
assigning a wife in a ministry without telling anything to her husband
5 - Pastor is to be served
He said the workers are in the church to serve the pastor. He emphasized that everything must be ready when he comes to preach, he only
takes the microphone. Once he rebuked the workers for not moving a fallen banner, he went and moved it to our shame. You could only get
advice from him if you make an appointment at specific hours of the day. Once we had a case with demon possession but we couldn't call the
pastor cause it was outside his specific hours so we brought someone else from a different church.
6 - Finances
No accountability was given of where the money goes or what are their wages. On one occasion a large piece of land was sold and until today
we do not know what happened to the money.
7 - Money preaching
No, they never begged us to give but EVERY Sunday morning before the main sermon a mini sermon was preached by different workers on giving to
8 - Vision of pastor
No one else had the freedom to have a different vision. He often said "there can be no 2 visions in this church". All workers and members main ministry was to fulfill the pastor's vision.
9 - Church show biz
Oh how many were sacrificed on the altar of church show! Once the show started you had to be there on time better yet half hour earlier
looking perfect with the right suit behaving right to the end of the show. One mistake and you got heavily rebuked. The show was more
important than the hearts of believers. Like a young musician not wearing the right tie he was heavily rebuked, he got really hurt.
10 - Traditions of man
Point 9 had plenty of rules and regulations that disobeying them you got whipped but also signing to become a member/tither for life was a
rule to new members. Lists were taken for members not attending services and also lists of who doesn't tithe who tithes and how much he
gives. You see we were accountable to him about our tithes/offerings but he was not accountable to us as to what he did with our tithes/offerings.
11 - Sensitivity to unbelievers
You try to bring your friend to church to get saved. If he doesn't go away at the hysterical worship and screaming from the pastor and some
others he will when money preaching starts. Usually they say "did you bring me here to get my money to them ?"
12 - Darkness underestimated
Satan has no power or authority today! claiming Col 2:15 "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly,
triumphing over them in it." The original greek says 'striped naked' for 'spoiled' so the principalities and powers were striped naked from
their power and position (principality) and now they are naked that is they have no power or position (principality).
13 - Church name above Jesus name
Someone said to him "you must put Jesus is Lord above the name of the church outside the building". No he said. And how about the many
T-shirts printed with the name of the church in front and Jesus name behind.
14 - Curses
When we left three of us our names were given from the pulpit with warnings no one to speak to us along with the following scripture
Pro 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:For their calamity shall rise
suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? He said he is not the one cursing us but the Bible.
Maybe some of you have experienced abuse from leaders in other points than the above.
I believe that all of the above points are unscriptural therefore we could not continue in this kind of a church that might turn to a cult. He would not listen to anybody even leaders from other churches. No change to this day. What i'm concerned with is the believers that go there and they suffer but they don't go away because of fear.
I'm thinking of distributing facts about spiritual abuse among the churches
(without mentioning names) so that believers will wake up shake off the fear and find Christ centered churches.
Thanks in advance for hearing my story,
Last edited by ffinder; 10th November 2009 at 12:38 PM.
Believers can exist without pastors, but pastors cannot exist without believers.
[i]From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas;
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we, in dreams, behold the Hebrides.
Although they cannot repay you now, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:14)
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This type of abuse is very scary and unfortunately enough, there is too much of it going on today. I know one pastor who found out a lady and gentleman were living together, and not married. In front of the whole congregation, he ordered them both to leave the church and gave the reason why.
These kinds of things are also spiritual abuse.
What has been mentioned on the OP is nothing short of disgraceful. People are not fools, yet these types of "pastors" prey on them.
Why do they do it? Nobody really knows. Many just want money from people. The get rich quick through Jesus scam that's sweeping the world. And people fall for it!! It really makes me think of those words "there's one born every second".
They are cults. Pure and simple.
Churches pay no taxes, that's how these predators operate. To me they are just not men of God. They are simply predators.
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I wa sinvoved in a similair church at one time. The conflict was there wre several people I cared about, including the pastor.But, He got to the point where he had to control everything down to the finest detail, including members interactions.
I didn't walk away, I ran.
Glad to hear it. My church was recently given by God to expel a pastor who was growing similarly in dominational behavior. By His grace, we have lost almost no one as a result, and we have strong agreement now, and our ability to do good is increasing quite wonderfully.