Many years ago, after reading a book on recovering from spiritual abuse, I perceived something. We had not suffered from sexual abuse or from the rabid spirit of control that is often exercised in the name of God in our church. But we had been diminished by a cultural perpetuation of old covenant religion. I did realise that what we experienced as ‘the Christian life’ came from a subtly abusive culture that was sourced in a distorted view of God; from a non-gospel that undid the cross and that had castrated the christ with the law and non-scriptural doctrines. The Enemy’s strategy since the fall has been simple: Any teaching about God that is not true saps the life out of you.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV. *
EAT JESUS AND YOU WILL HAVE LIFE
All human beings have access to the generosity of God, to his belongingness and His infinite life. Whether they possess it or not depends on whether they embrace it or leave it in the ground. We create our own reality by what we believe.
Perverse and tendentious renderings of scripture have the effect of leeching out the generosity of God and replacing it with a scarcity that comes directly from the anti-christ. In Jesus, the Christ of God we live in abundance. In ideologies and other gospels we live in scarcity and the unravelling of our souls in the name of God.
Any gospel that is not Christ our life shrinks our humanity and denies our sonship, which is why Paul calls all other gospels a curse. Spiritual abuse need not be carried out by wicked persons. They can be sincere and committed because they have never understood the gospel of the Kingdom and because they have been sold a perverse ‘salvation’ by religious money changers whose status and careers are linked to their ‘gospel that is no gospel at all.’
LIES AS RELIGION
One specific meaning of the term religious abuse refers to psychological manipulation and harm inflicted on a person by using the teachings of their religion. This can be perpetrated by members of the same or similar faith, and includes the use of a position of authority within the religion. It is most often directed at children and emotionally vulnerable adult. The motivations behind such abuse vary, but can be either well-intentioned or malicious. Some churches have wall to wall socialisation from cradle to grave that is a subtle form of brain-washing.
Those whose husband is their sect – the ones married to ‘another husband’ whom they think gives them some special identity, legitimacy and advantage are most vulnerable to abuse and the perpetuation of this ‘other gospel’ in the name of God. Such a curse does not come from God but is embraced by us when we refuse the new covenant truth of Christ our life.
The pure in heart see the Christ of God for a reason. They desire Jesus more than an identity they have in their religious culture. Escape from such captivity comes from an unadulterated loyalty to Jesus, the result that will inevitably lead to Isaiah 61 freedom and to knowing Father, Jesus Christ and who we are in Him as we are. Why? We have been liberated from Adam and Moses to be: The sons of God.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV.
Brad Jersak writes,
“We can start with a sober awareness of how we obscure God with our own ideas and ideologies. We can recognize our vulnerability to worn out superstitions and hidden agendas. But instead of purging ourselves with the saltwater of scorn, we could cleanse our palates with the living water of Truth. Cleansing the palate (taste buds) is a common ritual for wine tasters and fine diners. It refers to clearing your mouth of previous tastes before trying the next course.” (1)
* Of the kind in which the law comes in the flesh and christ empowers people to keep it.
(1) Jersak, Bradley (2015-04-21T22:58:59). A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel . CWR Press. Kindle Edition.