Q & A about TAC (Thrown Away Christians)
Q: Many ministries and organizations that are Spiritual Abuse related, use counseling techniques and philosophy to help abuse victims. If you were so hurt by the church, why do you use so much Scripture in your ministry? Do you still believe that God is in control?
A: When I was thrown away by my church and illegally treated, I nearly became a vegetable; I felt so shamed and humiliated that I wanted to die. I immediately thought that there is no God and for over a year I literally tried to be an atheist. The problem with that was I could not be an atheist because faith in Jesus is so much a part of who I am that I cannot deny him and stay true to myself. It is even more to stay true to Him.
Slowly I began to find my way back to Him - I believe he held patiently held my hand the whole way. I still have numerous issues to overcome, but through it all I believe that Scripture is the key to healing. Not that I don't believe in counseling - because I do - but I also believe that the Bible is more important in overcoming the wrongs done to me. I hope that others who have been hurt recover their relationship with God if they have lost it, and come to the understanding that whatever wrongs were done to them by a toxic church and dishonest leadership had nothing to do with God, but everything to do with ungodliness caused by the leaders arrogance, pride, or even possibly - ignorance. God is helping me to heal and I hope that He is dealing with those who were involved.
I absolutely believe that God is in control. Since the pastor and leadership have done what they have, numerous professionals - including 2 top psychiatrists in their field, a forensic psychologist, a boundaries expert, a pastor, a Christian counselor, and a few lawyers have told me that they believe that the church I was in was so toxic, and the counselling I was receiving from the pastor was so damaging, that if I hadn't have gotten away from it when I did that something more sinister would have occurred and I probably wouldn't have gotten away from it alive. As time goes by I can look back and see what they were talking about. In a letter from one of the psychiatrists involved, he wrote:
On a humorous note, a retired judge told my husband that the pastor "needs to have his a-- kicked."
Q: Why do you call this ministry Thrown Away Christians?
A: When things were heading south with the multi-relationship I had with the pastor, a woman in the church asked me out to lunch because she could see what was happening. She said to me, "So he is throwing you away." Thus, the name "Thrown Away Christians." I know how important it is for those who have been "thrown away" to talk about what has happened to them, and I realize the importance of these people being heard so that the evil of these situations can be realized by the church and maybe they will begin to change. From that came the name "The Voices of the Thrown Away Christians." It is so important for the sake of the one who has been wounded to share their story as a healing process; and it is also important for the church to hear these stories.
One of the problems I see with many church governments is that there is no regulatory board for discipline of the church leadership...especially in a SBC setting. Each SBC church answers only to itself. If the leadership all cover for each other, where can there be discipline? Even through a communities Ministerial Alliance there is no discipline or shame cast on any pastor for outrageous behavior - no matter how unethical an individual pastor acts or what he does. Groups of pastors are more concerned with protecting each other's reputation that the biblical teachings of what true Christian leadership and behavior is ignored. They don't really care who is sacrificed or what happens to the victim. I hope it is not like this everywhere.
Even in the onset of this ministry you would be surprised at how many Christians take offence to it. Hmmm...I wonder why.
Q: Some of your blogs seem very cynical. Is that very Christian-like?
A: I confess that cynicism is one of my pitfalls. I am not cynical about everything, but I am very leery of the institutionalized church and its political leadership. After seeing so many pastors in my lifetime act so unprofessionally and unethically, I am very leery of them too.
Here, I just want to note that not all churches are bad and not all pastors are bad. There are some very good, honest and ethical pastors that I have known. One of them lives two houses away from me!
My cynicism comes from the amount of disgust I have for those who are unethical and I honestly believe they are not truly anointed. Maybe they were truly called at one time but somewhere along the way they have lost their heart for God's people and care more about manipulation and bullying to get their way.
As for cynicism being Christian-like, I don't know. Many prophets in the Old Testament were cynics. Jesus was cynical too and about the Pharisees. So I guess what is in your heart that is bringing out the cynicism is what matters.
I am far from being perfect but I do try to keep my heart and mind on the things of Jesus. I often fail miserably.