Friday, January 27, 2012

Worth the read: Matthew Paul Turner's "Spiritual Abuse Must Stop"

candle in palms 2
"Candle in palm 2" by Cdn in flickr
Matthew Paul Turner wrote a wonderful article titled "Spiritual Abuse Must Stop".

Worth your time to read, comment, and share with a friend. Spiritual Abuse is a subject that church leaders must recognize and confront.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Geez-Louise, Cult Peeps and Cult Pastor!?!?! Just Dance!

"Dance" by Lucre Diaze in flickr
*WARNING TO ALL MY READERS: I really let lose in this post...please take me and my words with a grain of salt*

I recently came across an online review of the cult church. The review was comparatively mild and explained angst that commenter felt after overhearing a church authority leader declare outsiders (non-church members) were not welcome in the church if immodestly dressed.

This was very mild criticism on the part of the commenter, believe you me. In my time people were shamed from the pulpit if they wore flared skirts. Flared skirts, people! Flared skirts that came BELOW THE KNEE. See example below.
flared skirt in blue teal stretch twill
"Flared" by krinn in Flickr
Soft Blue Sky long skirt tie dye
"soft blue sky" by lucidRose in flickr
And this long blue skirt on the right would get ya called down from the pulpit as well...too long. (I think it is gorgeous...have one just like it now :)
But I digress.The mildly critical review was vehemently denounced by (what can only be assumed) a member of the church. The rebuttal included references that the reviewer was going to an extremely heated place.

*Sigh*. Really, cult peeps? Can't you find something more motivating in life? Something more awesome than writing up foolish dress codes and condemning to hell those who disagree with you? There is sooooo much more to life!

You should be dancing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

1. ….measuring skirt lengths. (Really?!?! Seriously?!? You can’t come up with a more godly activity?
2 .…telling peeps who they can and can't marry. (Once again…REALLY!?!?! SERIOUSLY!?!?!)
3. ….saying when they can go on vacation.
4. …when they can’t go on vacation.
5. ….deciding what profession they can pursue.
6 .….what books they can read.
7. …what books they can’t read.
8. ….crippling people with fear of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE on the outside of your church.
9. ….doing pretty much ANYTHING of the 85% percent of the nonsense that composes your day.
10. ….Is your life really that pathetic that you have to micromanage others? Or that you have to decimate the message of the grace of the cross? Geez Louise peeps! Really?!?! Seriously?!?!

*sigh #2*

BESIDES a strong desire to shake some sense into you I also wish I could hire a sky writer to put this where you could see it:

Stop hating the fact that I spoke up against your twisted way of life! Your twisted words needed to be spoken against! In fact, the whole church just needs an intervention!

You are wasting your time making me a rallying point of hatred (Geez Louise #2!).

I have moved on with my life…and so should you. Stop using me to spread your fear, hatred and control to the remaining prisoners in your church.

I’ve moved on from angst-ing over you and the damage you wreaked on me.

Actually I have found healing to the point that I am thankful for the hard lessons learned from your selfish grasping:

I learned how to do a hard job and not expect to have monetary gain from it.
I learned how to stick to a thankless task without walking away.

I am a survivor. I am just sorry you were the one to force me to be a survivor.

I am ready to walk away from the proverbial altar. I no longer bear “aught” against you.

I just wish you would lay down your “aught” against me and walk away.

In moving on with my life I have found:
1. ....mascara does not make your eye balls fall out of your head.
2. …it’s okay to wear shorts and jeans. Your legs don’t fall off.
3. ….it’s okay to drink an alcoholic beverage on celebratory occasions. I heartily recommend Grasshoppers.
4. ….it’s okay to skip church once in a while…especially when you have been an addict to religion.
5. …it’s okay to go to theaters. Seriously, people. You watch the exact same movies in your home. I know. I’ve seen you.
6. …it’s okay to not spend every extra penny you own on unflattering skirts and dowdy shirts. Seriously. Read Vogue once in a while. And stop stealing people’s money to buy your blasé clothes. 7. …it’s okay to be friends with WORLDLY people (Geesh #1)
8 .…and because time and post space is getting away from me….it’s okay to: make your own choice in marriage, listen to “rock Christian music (gasp!), read the Bible instead of listening to the preacher, wear bathing suits, wear earrings, blush, and eye liner, listen to country music (including The Civil Wars…Yippee!), root for Roll Tide! vote democratic, read mystery novels, and wear pants, earrings, blush, eyeliner to church.

Seriously. My fingers, legs, ears and eyes are still intact and I have accomplished all but one of the above listed. And if John Huntsman doesn’t make the Republican ticket I will accomplish ALL the listed.

I really, really hope you are reading this article, cult member, and especially you, cult pastor.

Because I want to say one last time: I DON'T WISH YOU ANY ILL WILL. I FORGIVE YOU! I just wish for Geez- Louise- Gosh- Smarm its sakes that you would get some freedom and for God's sake DANCE!!!!!

I don't want to hear that you've hurt one more person and stripped them of their trust in human kind.

I want to hear things like you have let all the young people in church free to pursue their dreams.
That you have repaid those from whom you have stolen.
Red Dress Collection 2010, Top of the Rock Display
"red dress" by the heart truth in flickr
That you have asked forgiveness of those you have hurt.
I want to hear that you have bought a sleeveless red dress and worn it dancing.
"tango" by aka serge in flickr
Yes, dancing. Make it the tango. 

That you bought a bathing suit and worn it to the beach.

That you spread the word God isn’t as mean and hateful as you have made Him out to be all these years.

More importantly...I want to hear that you have sought counseling. Because you are very, very ill. Your illness is destroying those you supposedly "love". You see, if you truly love, you let go. Sounds cliched but it's true You don’t micromanage. You don’t manipulate, lie or steal. You get help because you are a deeply trouble narcissist.

*Snarkiness alert* (because I have been REALLY NICE up till now. Really.) That supposed leak that let word of the "runaway marriage" out? That leak came from someone very, very close to you. Very close. Turn around and they are probably standing right beside you.

Heh! Heh! Made you look didn’t I? Seriously though. The leak is in your “inner circle”. One of the “hearts of the true church”.

So do everyone a favor and let that poor little couple actually run away from you and your toxic environment. Stop guilt-ing them that the owe you. They don’t own you one samn thing.

All the snarkiness aside, I have to tell you that this month is Spiritual Abuse Awareness month. So be careful of any visitors to your church. They might be cult exit counselors in disguise (okay, okay the snarkiness wasn't totally out of my system. It is now...I promise :)

Here, my cult peeps and highly controlled, um, (I can't say "geeks" now I can I?!?! I got all my snarkiness out back a paragraph) PEEPS! ...are some articles you should read (you REALLY NEED to read ALL these articles.

I have commented on a lot of never know what I said in my comments so READ. EVERY. SINGLE. ARTICLE. (and all the comments)

Best advice I know to get out of your pastor worshipping, fellow- brother- hating slavery: here.

God commands you to be free.

Feel loved: Read how much Jesus loves you and count the ways (written by the most excellent word smith Eric Pazdziora) Visit Eric's blog on Spiritual Abuse here.

Surround yourself with grace: Read Hillary McFarland's grace- filled description of the cult family.

Lewis Wells will give it to you straight with the only advice he knows to give to members of high control group, whether it be a family or a church.

Elizabeth Esther writes an awesome blog about that desperately wicked heart that you, oh cult pastor dear, pounded away about prayer meeting after prayer meeting. According to Elizabeth that scripture is a great way for abusers to couch their manipulation.

Time gets away from me to tell you of the awesome articles written by Rachel Held Evans, Internet Monk, Ann Voskamp, and Serena Woods. I strongly urge you to read them.

As I noted above, I have commented ALL OVER these blogs. You need to read every single post to see what I might have written.

Cult member, after reading all these amazing exhortations toward personal autonomy and the freedom to have your own relationship with God...then so be it. Do whatever makes your boat float.

Cult pastor, why have people's pain on your conscience? Why not let them fly free? You don't need these poor people's adulation to justify your existence. God loves you and will forgive you for your trespasses. As He will forgive us all.

The trick is to learn to dance in the rain
"The trick is to learn to dance in the rain" by daneete 5
So, geez, cult pastor and cult member...Why don't you just dance? I hope you finally do. Life is just way to short to waste your time spitting at the wind. It’s so much more fun to dance.