Spiritual abuse is not a widely discussed topic. It occurs when a leader manipulates people to achieve selfish goals. Most abusers are unaware of the harm they inflict.
Internal factors contributing to an abusive environment are: Christians wanting to trust their leaders; not wanting to be disloyal; not wanting to be “a problem”; and accommodating abuse because they become invested. A likely external factor in the rise of spiritual abuse is our culture’s obsession with results and an insatiable “thirst for more.”
There are two types of spiritually abusive leaders: insecure leaders use power to protect themselves; narcissistic leaders seek to accomplish some great cause for validation and self-worth. Narcissistic leaders are fueled by narcissistic followers who also find value from belonging to a great cause.
Signs of an abusive system are: power-posturing; distorted loyalty; people are being used; unhealthy centrality of the pastor; an elitist attitude; inability to discuss concerns; and people being labeled as divisive for raising valid issues.
Those trapped in abusive systems can either flee or fight.
If this sounds like your journey, you are not crazy…
Read the full article… Spiritual Abuse: The Unspoken Crisis
Emotional Abuse: The Crushing of the Human Spirit
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church