There’s been a lot of talk lately about “spiritual abuse” in the Church. In truth, these conversations have been happening for centuries – for example: the prophet Jeremiah called out priests and prophets on the misuse of their authority, Jesus had rather a lot to say to the Pharisees, and then there was that one time Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the doors of a church in Wittenberg – but it’s only in recent years that we’ve started terming the abuse of power in the Church “spiritual abuse.”
I would define spiritual abuse as a misuse of spiritual authority (including, but not limited to, misinterpretation of the Scriptures), in a way that causes harm to someone’s soul – but I honestly don’t think it always happens intentionally. Leaders, for all that we would like to think them infallible, are human, and as such, are capable of error. But whether a leader is intentionally abusing his/her authority in order to influence people to think or behave in a particular way, or is unintentionally doing so due to an honest misunderstanding of the Scriptures, the harm caused by his/her behavior is nevertheless very real, and needs to be addressed.
Truly, there is nothing new under the sun, but I think there are a number of reasons why we’re hearing more and more about spiritual abuse these days….
Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.
A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.
Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.
I love this quote: "Every person is a new door to a different world." —Six Degrees of Separation via @momentumdash
Maybe it doesn’t matter if we’re asking the right questions; maybe the point is simply to start asking questions: ow.ly/Em6I30eSWzC
I love this concept: "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." —Maya Angelou via @momentumdash
"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced." —Vincent Van Gogh
"Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks." —@Dr_Roopleen
The statements made and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my current and former employers.