Abusive* Ministries* Ending *Now*
Jesus said : Many will say to Me in that day, “ Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your name cast out devils? And in Your name done many wonderful works? “ And then, will I profess unto them, “ I never knew you. Depart from Me, you that work iniquity ”. ~ Matthew 7: 22, 23.
When people hear the word “cult”, many tend to think of well known groups such as The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Moonies, Hare Krishna’s, The Branch Davidians, People’s Temple(Jim Jones) etc. Traditionally, the word “cult” has been used in the past to describe and/or identify a group that is outside of Mainstream Christianity. We think of “cults” as groups that use mind control, non-scriptural doctrines and theology, as well as using “extra-Biblical” materials to maintain their brand of theology; ie adding to or taking away from the Bible, material that the cult considers to be “divinely inspired”. Mainstream Christianity is opposed to theology that considers “scriptures” or writings of people that do not consider the Bible to be the only “Word of God”.
In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of Bible-based so called “Christian” groups, that although agree that the Bible is the Word of God, they use
mind control, manipulation, domination, shame, and other techniques to control the congregation. Many of these groups appear to be following the Bible and Jesus’
teachings. They may have even started out, in the beginning, to be sincerely teaching the truth. But somewhere along the way, they began to turn away from sound doctrine.
They began to slowly incorporate their own “spin” on the Scriptures. This page will take you to an outside link to another website of ours that fully explains the tactics
and practices of what are termed as “spiritually abusive” churches, ministries, religious groups; that under the veneer of appearing to be “Bible believing” and “Christian”
are quite harmful in their theology. To whom are these groups “harmful”? To the people that belong to such groups. These types of church groups tend to have several common
An Authoritarian Leader or Leaders who have no one to be accountable to, such as a Board of Directors, Elders, Deacons, etc. They are the sole and final authority within the group.
The Leader is controlling, manipulative, domineering. They are leaders that believe they are “above reproach”, and their teachings are not to be questioned by the members. If questioned, the members are told they are “unbelievers, rebellious, etc” and that the member, by questioning them, is being “divisive” or trying to cause trouble within the group.
The Leader often claims that he/she is an “apostle” and/or “prophet” and will most likely tell the members in the group that “God ordained me an apostle/prophet”. By using the word “prophet” they use the word to appoint themselves as authorities over the group, and in many instances will claim that “God spoke to me….” Then proceed to tell the members that “God” is speaking through them, when in fact, He is not. They will frequently use the Scripture(out of context, of course) that says “Touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm.” This instills in the members a fear, that if they oppose this so called “apostle” or “prophet” they will reap judgment from God.
The members are taught that if they leave that particular group, it is essentially equal to “departing from God Himself”. They frequently are told that if they leave, they are in sin, and God will punish them, bring His “vengeance” upon them, and quite often they are told that if they leave, calamity and destruction await them as well as their family members.
The above are just a FEW examples of the traits of an abusive church.
Our church has formed a ministry to reach out to those that believe they have been involved in, or are still involved in such a ministry. We meet once a month, on a Saturday afternoon, in our Fellowship Hall of the Church. Anyone, regardless of their spiritual background, is invited to come. We have an open forum discussion, in a relaxed, safe environment. No one is “required” to say anything, nor are they “required” to share anything. We want people to think of these meetings as a “SAFE HARBOR” – a place where they can seek help, healing, and restoration from any spiritual abuse they have experienced. NOTHING that is spoken about in the meetings is shared outside of the meetings. They are confidential.
We also want to point out that we are not seeking to place any kind of burden on someone that attends, to come to “OUR” Church. That is not our intention, nor do we have an “agenda”, outside of ministering to God’s people that have suffered abuse at some level by any ministry. At the same time, we also want people to know that our “church doors” are always open to anyone who wishes to attend one of Church of the Latter Rain’s services. The bottom line is: there is NO PRESSURE.
To view the AMEN DALLAS website, click on this link, which will take you to a Geocities website.
If you would like someone to talk with about the meetings, please feel free to email us at : firstname.lastname@example.org - or call the church phone number: 972.495.4619 Please leave a message and a number where you can be reached.
God bless you!
Pastor Rusty & Linda Bowles
© Copyright 2006 Church of The Latter Rain