Jesus says in John 4:23-24, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."

Bad Church Experiences

Learning to live with a chronic illness is a challenge many Christians face on a daily bases. Dealing with a chronic illness, in a church system that tends to be critical and judgment towards people suffering from a chronic illness and pain, can be devastating.

While many churches say that they have nothing but respect for those battling chronic illness, experience has shown me that although they may respect the elderly.  But for those of us that where hit with chronic illness at a young age, it is a different story.

I have been a victim of spiritual abuse! In fact most of my church life has been with in a church denomination that practice spiritual abuse.  I have been called a Jezebel, a cauldron stirring witch praying curse upon the church leadership. I have left the church because I was accused falsely, I have even been asked to leave. Not because I voiced any rebellious words against the church or it leadership. In fact, I was a shy person that rarely said a word.   I was simple a person that I lived in a world of chronic illness and pain. Thus, I was viewed as less than a true Christian. Otherwise God would not have been punishing me with illness.

I like the term "Bad Church Experiences" because it gives a good word picture of how spiritual abuse often occurs.  I have see spiritual abuse happen when the leaders of a church or religious organization use their power and position to manipulate, control and/or  coercer their  congregation /followers/members/ whether on purpose or with good intentions.

 Spiritual abuse is the misuse of a position of power, leadership, or influence to further the selfish interests of someone other than the individual who needs help. Sometimes abuse arises out of a doctrinal position. At other times it occurs because of legitimate personal needs of a leader that are being met by illegitimate means. Spiritually abusive religious systems are sometimes described as legalistic, mind controlling, religiously addictive, and authoritarian.

While I did try to continue living with in the common church world, despite the abuse I experienced. There came a time in which enough was enough. I simple could no longer deal with accusations, condemnation, and outright abuse, so I walked away.

I did not walk away from my beliefs in the Lord, or my relationship with Him. I simple choose to not attend church again. I know that there are churches out there that do not practice religious abuse. On the  other hand, I have found more acceptance from fellow believers out side of the church. So why would I put myself back into a system that did nothing but cause me pain?

Why does the church treat their members so badly?