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Spirituality Classroom Blog

Good Shepherds, Bad Shepherds

In my blog from September 4, 2019, I quoted three researchers who variously used the following phrases to define spiritual abuse in churches:  Misusing one’s authority, power and privilege.  Maltreating followers.  Manipulating and exploiting others.  Violation of someone’s personhood.  Unwelcome intrusion.  Unexpected.  Beyond your control.  

In today’s blog I want to write about the phrase "violating someone’s personhood."  Christians believe that each one of us is a child of God, worthy of love and respect, because God loves us.  When abuse happens, we feel violated, like someone has stepped across our invisible boundary uninvited with their agenda.  Suddenly we are left feeling like our insides have been misshapen and bruised.  Depending on the severity and longevity of the abuse, it can take years to find healing.

This ought not to be.  This ought not to happen in God’s...

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