Our vision statement at GL beachside is to provide a safe place for unchurched and dechurched people to rethink their lives. I talk to people every week who "had a bad experience" and were burned by different churches, denominations, etc... and I hear their sad stories. With that in mind – I have provided some helpful resources here to help those who are seeking to heal from Spiritual abuse. They are below.
Some Advice to the De-Churched from Pastor Jeff
Overall - I think I'm fairly well informed about how dechurched people think and feel - and if you are a dechurched person - and got burned - here are some helpful reminders from my experience working with the dechurched.
1st - Practice self-compassion.
Purge the legalism and condemnation sewn into the very fabric of your soul. Forgive yourself for falling short - remember Jesus came for the broken and needy. Forgiven yourself for being "duped" and being part of a toxic religious system. You didn't know!
2nd – Don’t blameshift.
Stop holding your new church responsible for the wounds from your old church. It's easy to do - and few realize this. Don’t let old triggers destroy new relationships. Your temptation wil be to allow your past church hurt color your new church experience.
3rd - Get involved at your next church.
When we serve God - and we get involved caring for the needs of the body - we heal/grow. If you sit on the sidelines vowing "not to get burned/fooled again" you're only prolonging your healing and hurting yourself. See the Shaka!
4th – Get back in the Word.
Read your Bible more than you read the #WOKECHURCH blogs and articles out there about Spiritual Abuse. If you spend the rest of your life being pissed about your church hurt - that's only a path to greater bitterness not healing.
5th – Don’t give up.
Lastly - please don't give up your walk with God. If you let your abusers come between you and your God - your abusers win. Blowing off church for the rest of your life to punish those who hurt you is just not wise. Don't give up on God (i.e. the church) even if that means you have to go to a new kinda church, new denomination, etc... to escape the old triggers you have. Don't give up on following God!