Abusive Christianity (#455)

After a bit of follow up from last week's podcast, Wayne reads part of an article written by a woman who grew up and mothered seven children in the Quiverfull Movement, and discovered that Christianity is a system of abuse that she and her children suffered under, unwittingly. Only when she was confronted by an abuse counselor was she able to see how much abuse was sown into her interpretation of the Scriptures. What a wake-up call for all of us to realize that any interpretation of Scripture that justifies abuse is a misinterpretation and one we need to take liberty from.

Podcast Links:
The new web page for Finding Church.
Order Finding Church
The presentation Wayne discusses: How Playing Good Christian Housewife Almost Killed Me
Quiverfull Information
The Jesus Lens: A Re-examination of How We Interpret Scripture
Kenya Update for the Outreach in West Pokot
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  1. I agree with your assessment of Vickie. I’m in some groups with people who have pretty much gone hardcore against Jesus and I can’t help but think that their view of Him has been tainted by bad, poor, even cultic teaching and practice. Whereas I was not indoctrinated in that sort of thing and while I was in churches where I disagreed with some core doctrines or practices, because of my upbringing that was based on a solid foundation, I could take what I wanted from the teachings and leave the rest. I have an aversion to the institutional church having been in leadership and seeing some things up and close, but I still love Jesus. I even attend church, but am not a member or involved. I’m taking that part of things much, much slower and am in no hurry to get involved. But I still find value in Christianity and in God Himself. For me, I’ve been able to divorce the *holes and the bureaucracy from God. So, my faith in him hasn’t been shaken; just my affinity for the Church. Which, I know some will say is problematic, but that’s where I am right now. However, as I write this, it occurs to me that just as I am unable to get past what I know about inner workings of a church because of my involvement in it, so too, is the person raised and indoctrinated in cults or cult-like environments are probably unable to get beyond it for the same reason–their direct involvement and exposure to the abuse.

  2. hi Wayne.

    in regards to the supernatural talk this week. i’m down with the your basic premises of what your, saying i’m there. i think your a good man for trying to bring balance an truth and to correct what you didn’t mean.

    i’m so passionate about the supernatural, as for over a decade now i’ve just had many many and different authentic encounters with the holy spirit. i’ve just been journey with him. i don’t always know why, but i know i can trust him or what is happening to me. i have also learnt when the spirit is moving and i can physically feel him to wait and not doing anything else (pray for someone, dance wildly, laugh an expression of true joy in the moment) until the holy spirit is doing it. there is a tendency to wanna contrive it, or control it. if i do, the holy spirit is just gone. well the physical feeling and knowing what he wants in the moment anyway. i just want it to be genuine.

    now a days i no longer push for them in a pursuit of god for them to happen. the experiences just never went away when i started on the journey of learning to rest in him. they don’t happen all the time. i don’t know if that’s only for me, everyone or specific people

    why don’t we just say Wayne that if god leads you into one of these groups just let him use that season for whatever he wants to do in you and stay where your meant to be. if the place is contrived or not, papa can still use it and it still might be just where he wants the person for whatever reason.

  3. Great podcast! I resonally do believe in divine healing and divine health; the God we worship has never been sick and I believe He wants us to grow into a similar experience of that aspect of his his nature. However I came to the startling realization a few years ago that although I could pray for the sick and they would often get healed, and although I often would have accurate prophecies and words of knowledge for people, when it came down to how well I knew God, I felt I hardly knew Him and certainly often struggled to believe that He loved me. Now I’m on a journey centered on living loved by God, with my main goal being – to know him. Now, instead of thinking of myself as an experienced believer who knows quite a bit, especially about healing, etc, I realize I’ve only just begun on a journey of getting to know God, and actually, I know very little and have experienced very little. I think that’s a better respective to have as healing can never be a goal in itself. God himself can only be our focus and goal and as He reveals himself we find love and we find true wholeness and true healing. Thats what I think anyway. Maybe I’m wrong. (its not a sin to be wrong)

  4. I also was raised in a male-dominated, power-based, legalistic, KJV-only (etc. etc.) institutionalized church. As teenager girls we were told we had to wear 1-piece bathing suits with t-shirts over them when we went “mixed bathing” with boys (though the boys were in shorts & bare chested!), we were told not to wear jeans with the zipper in the front (those are “boys’ clothes”), etc. My heart goes out to Vickie & I hope she comes to know who Jesus REALLY is! However, what I’m writing about today is what Wayne spoke about earlier in the podcast about signs & wonders, healings & miracles. My brother-in-law just had a heart transplant this week, & sparing you the whole backstory, the family was told yesterday that he may have to have his legs amputated because of circulation problems which resulted in the death of his leg muscles (layman’s terms here). One of my husband’s brothers called last night to say he prayed with his (Pentecostal) pastor who had a “vision” about the brother’s legs. I’m not sure exactly everything the “vision” entailed, but it implied that he would get to keep his legs. That encouraged my husband & his brother & they “claimed” the healing, but cynical me got the yuck factor. Don’t get me wrong: I know the Great Physician is capable of anything! But the anti-religion phase I’m in right now made me wince at the “I can see his legs…” prophecy. Well, they had to take my brother-in-law’s legs today. Among all the grief & sorrow over this (though I know the doctors did it in his best interest to save his life), I can’t help but wonder what my husband, his brother & that pastor are thinking now. I like what Wayne said later (paraphrasing) about seeking Jesus in the situation & not just seeking his miracles. I just pray my husband’s brother losing his legs today somehow draws him – & the whole family – toward Jesus, not away from him because God didn’t answer our prayers/give them the miracle that was prophesied. On a happier note, thank you SO much for your continued podcasts. I’ve listened to every one since I was led to The God Journey about 2 years ago – & some in the archives. Looking forward to reading Finding Church & seeing the Jake movie! God bless you all!

  5. Thank you Wayne for addressing this subject!
    You may as well have been talking about my family growing up. Some of my family is still in abusive relationships . I listened to the podcast with one of my brothers while sorting apples and within 5 min. We exclaimed simultaneously! He is talking about our family. You struck very close to home!!!
    I can totally understand where this lady who wrote the article is coming from . My brother and I both agreed we would not have resisted The real person of Jesus , but what was portrayed as Him was so abusive and revolting I vowed to never become his follower. Oh I belived in God more or less but
    Decided Life outside of a relationship with him would be much less abusive to me and others around me!!!
    It has been quite a Journey out of so many misconseptions of who He is until He was finally able to make himself known to me as the most loving, caring, person who is not only never abusive , nor does He ever lead me to abuse others in person or through scriptures,but is working to Heal And untwist my heart so I can enjoy more fully This amazing love Jesus and The Father share. They want me to enjoy this with them? Oh Yes!!! Once you come to know Him as a person you can’t help but love Him ! I do belive in visitations, Healings, and miracles But they are not what I am seeking … The miracle of transformation in me and those I love … That realy excites me. And I get to see and experience it Every day. This is leading us ever nearer the heart of an Awsome Father as you put it so well! When He chooses to do the phisicly miraculous That is Great and Awsome!!! But most of The healing I have seen is from the inside out. Remember He did say we can enter paradise missing an eye, hand , etc. and dare I say without our verginity… Lol. We look forward very much to meeting you and more God journey family face to face!!!!! Next week! Blessings !

  6. Thank you for addressing the issue of religious family abuse. This very much describes the early decades of our marriage. We were not part of the quiverfull movement, and I stayed home with the children because I wanted nothing more than to be a part of their lives all day ever day, so there are elements that did not apply to us, but the list of abusive behaviors, that was all part of the picture, and I was dying a little every day. Thankfully in our case, a series of events led to us being asked to leave the group we were a part if, and we both began the journey of getting to know God outside of a religious construct. Over time I began to see that my husband was also a victim of that system we were in. He did not suffer to the degree the children and I did, but he was distorted into something that violated who he was at the core. Our relationship was saved only because God led us both individually and yet somewhat simultaneously to the understanding that we had been taught a huge series of lies about God. At the time we were in it we would never have been able to see it, and it took a series of gut-wrenching events to tear us away and open our eyes. Again, thanks for bringing this topic up for discussion.

  7. Thank you so much for beginning to address this area of “religion”.
    I hope you do more on this. I come from a back round with many simularities
    and am learning more and more to get to know and trust the ever so loving and
    caring Father I have. It is a very exciting journey and have ever so much hope for
    my mother and siblings as do I for anyone else who the misfortune of frowning up
    this way.
    I’ve only been listening to the podcasts a couple of months now and so appreciate them!
    Please continue to put them out!
    And to all the people who disagree, some quite violently… I feel a mix of sadness for each of you,
    for you don’t know what you’re missing out on and the feeling to say leave Wayne and Sarah alone!
    I doubt any of you would want reams of hate-mail to go through and deal with.
    Thanks again Wayne, for everything you and Sarah do! 🙂

  8. Hi Joy. Thanks for posting. I appreciate your thoughts very much. But just to be clear, I don’t consider any comments people post on the blog to be hate mail. If it were, I wouldn’t let it stay on. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, even with passion. We only learn where we are free to grow, ask what we need to ask and question what we need to question. I trust the Holy Spirit to sort out our differences over time. And that is a miracle! So if people think I’ve gone too far, they are welcome to push back. I expected it as a matter of fact. I love when we trust Father enough to do the supernatural things around us that he does. I only grow weary of the contrived supernatural, which only results from the power of suggestion, or trying to make something supernatural that isn’t. That line isn’t always clear, and we may disagree about it at times, but I hope we can agree on this, once we move from celebrating a relationship with Jesus to seeking after signs and wonders, we become susceptible to thinking we are being led by his Spirit when we are seeking other things… That’s all this was about!

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