Jody's Controlling Church Experience
My heart went out to you as I read of your concerns on your website about women's hair. I found your site as I was looking at a search on spiritual abuse. I read the book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse several years ago and it helped me pull myself up out of a the entangling web of controlling elders and clergy.
I just can't tell you how my life has changed since I blessed my controlling church as I said goodbye to them and left, determined to listen only to the Spirit within. There were times I was afraid that by disobeying them I was harming myself, but God is faithful and if you follow the will of God and not man you will not fail.
When Jesus said we should love the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves, he gave the true formula for a happy life. When I spend my God-given energy condemning others for how they wear their hair, how they dress, how often they attend church, etc., I have little energy left to love either God or my neighbor. On the other hand, when I spend my energy finding and following the path that God has for me in this world I find that life is a thrilling adventure of loving others and God.
I went to a church where my daughter had some friends and the first week I was there the minister said, "Whatever is said in this church, take what serves you and leave the rest. We don't want you to do or believe anything that does not feel right to you." I had never heard such an outrageous statement, but I thought, "Well, I will trust God to show me what to 'take' and what to 'leave'." It was a very empowering way to be in a church. No one told me what I must do, but the Spirit did! I have come to believe that the most important verse in the whole Bible is this, "Christ in you, your hope of glory." Now if the Christ is indwelling me- that is where my hope is- not in whether I cut my hair or what I wear.
There are many fundamental churches who are puffed up with pride and tell their members that they are the only true way to God. But there is not a single denomination present today that Jesus said, "They are the only right group to follow." He didn't even say to go to church!
Well, I guess I have said too much already. I just want to say that I support your growth along the path of inner freedom.
In Christ's Love,
Posted March 17, 2002
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August 23, 1997
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