Scapegoating and Spiritual Abuse in Church – in three parts

Table of Contents

1. Patterns of Spiritual Abuse

Because reality becomes fuzzy, the created or manipulated diversions may seem to become real leaving the abusive leader feeling oppressed and attacked. The congregation can also become absorbed with fictitious enemies, thereby strengthening the alliance with the leader, who takes on the role of defender.

2. Other Players in the “Game”

…remaining participants as falling into four distinct groups within the unhealthy church – victims, outcasts, enablers and co-conspirators … “What father [sic] among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead give him a serpent, or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion”. The most common manner in which this wrongdoing occurs surrounds the function of pastoral care. Under the guise of nurturing, any information obtained or charge heard may be twisted around to indict or discredit the victim or outcast.

3. Pastoral Care Issues

This is the function of the outcast – not to punish, not to win, but out of concern for God’s church and people to caste a vision of change and health. If emotionally and spiritually capable, the outcast can serve as wounded healers to other participants as well as resolve to answer God’s call to stand in the gap.

5 Responses to “Scapegoating”

  1. 1 Margaret
    May 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    The link to the first scapegoating article is missing and I am VERY much desiring to read it. THe second article was incrediblly insightful and I am looking for the references you used with Aterburn and others. I assume they are sited in the first article. Thank you for exposing this and may I be an “outcast” that desires NOT to backbite or do more harm. I am dealing with my hurt and hoping the Lord will soften my heart enough but keep it strong enough not to get SUCKED back into the toxic system. Thank you

  2. May 19, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    That should be fixed now. You can link to Part 1 from the article or from the table of contents.

  3. 3 Margaret
    May 19, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    thank you!!! I have read it and I am truly blessed by your objective clear cut representation of the facts in this area. I really needed this information.

  4. 4 Margaret
    May 19, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    I was wondering if you could give me the book references to the Authors you site in your article: Aterburn and Johnson? What is the title that you give page references to? Thanks.

    • May 20, 2011 at 4:40 AM

      You’ll find them at the end of Part 3. Until yesterday, they were in black type which was virtually invisible on a gray background. Sorry about that. They’re readable now.

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... or, preaching from both ends


That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

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