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For example, leaders in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination would frequently communicate the need for us to consult with them (or your discipler) before making decisions especially major decisions.
We all stood around in a circle gossiping about how she had backsliden and how she was being influenced by the world since she obviously didn’t go to an Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination affiliated college.The joy of a relationship with God is replaces with a fear of God the “Cosmic Killjoy”.Churches that abuse often focus on the penalty for sin.Any form of questioning is considered an act of rebellion and the person is chastised for question the authority of the leaders.This “guilt trip” suppresses the person normal God given intuition that something doesn’t quite feel right about the church.Abusive churches are often performance oriented, with an “us verses them” or elitist mentality.
Questioning is often discouraged, forbidden, or branded as a sign of rebellion or lack of spirituality.
‘Denominationalism’ and ‘traditionalism’ find their way into the teachings and become enmeshed so that no one can tell where Christianity begins and the traditions end.
describe spiritual abuse well when he said: “It’s possible to become so determined to defend a spiritual place of authority, a doctrine or a way of doing things that you wound and abuse anyone who questions, or disagrees, or doesn’t ‘behave’ spiritually the way you want them to.
Churches that abuse promote extra-biblical rules and standards and equate them as doctrine or at least as coming from God, with your salvation or spirituality in jeopardy if they aren’t followed.
Trivial matters are brought to attention such as the way one dressed or styles his/her hair, the music one listens to, the clothes one wears, etc.
In my church, If someone wasn’t living up to the standards set forth by the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination they were considered rebellious and we were not to have any associations with them.