34. Toxic religion

TOXIC RELIGION - INDEX

 

 

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND DEFINING

  • Background
  • Definitions
    • Spiritual abuse and wounding
    • Spiritual addiction
    • When religion has become sick and God has become like a drug to some

 

CHAPTER 2  CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

  • Factors that lays the base for a spiritually bullying system
  • Factors that make people vulnerable for spiritual addiction
  • People become drawn to a certain type of church
    • Unfinished business
    • Unanswered needs

 

CHAPTER 3 MATURE AGAINST IMMATURE LEADERSHIP

  • Reasons why leaders display spiritually degrading behaviour
    • 'Spiritual heroes' sometimes co-dependant persons themselves
    • Broken leaders try to compensate for own pain
    • Two classical types of spiritual abusers
    • Characteristics of spiritually and emotionally immature (abusive) leaders
    • Fatal love
    • Characteristics of spiritually and emotionally mature leaders

 

CHAPTER 4  A HEALTHY VERSUS A DYSFUNCTIONAL SYSTEM

  • Characteristics of a typical shame-based and dysfunctional families and spiritual families
    • Sick rules
  • Characteristics of healthy families
    • Basic convictions and spiritual values
    • Interpersonal relationships
    • General family culture
  • Typical characteristics, strategies and techniques of a spiritually destructive system
    • Emotional and spiritual incest
    • The abuse of exclusivity
    • Regulation and control rather than grace
    • A rigid black / white approach
    • Burdens are loaded onto people
    • People are rather used than served
    • Denial
    • By means of rules real pain is side-stepped
    • The role of isolation
    • There has been lost touch of people's inner emotions
    • Accountability not owed to anybody
  • Typical characteristics of a spiritual healthy approach
  • Similarities between a dysfunctional family system and a dysfunctional church system
    • Parallels between alcoholic homes on the one hand and dysfunctional Christian homes on the other hand
    • An unhealthy call on the authority of God and His Word
    • Sick rules lead to sick behaviour

 

CHAPTER 5 THE PROCESS OF ADDICTION AND WOUNDING

  • Similarities between chemical addiction and religious addiction
  • The phases as well as progressive character of the addiction process
    • Early stage
    • Middle phase (phase of loss of control)
    • Late stage
  • The results of spiritual wounding and addiction
    • Distorted perceptions about God
    • Distorted perceptions about Christianity
    • Emotional and psychological handicap
    • Personal incompetence
    • Nightmares
    • Torn families

 

CHAPTER 6  THE PROCESS OF BREAKING AWAY

  • The break from an addictive system
    • Four conditions
    • Typical problems after the break-away
  • Areas that need attention during the healing process
    • Establish boundaries with reference to behaviour
    • Identify triggers or danger areas that can cause a fall back
    • Define behaviour that will possibly lead to a relapse
    • Use established thoughts or behaviour that reflect healthy viewpoints in order to replace dysfunctional thoughts

 

CHAPTER 7 GUIDELINES ON THE WAY TO HEALING

  • A handy instrument of measuring
  • The beginning of the process
    • The value of counselling
    • Denial
    • Healing will be a process
  • Focus on a support group
    • The therapeutic value of a support group
    • Look for someone who can serve as sounding board
  • Spiritual recovery
    • Distorted perceptions about Christianity and God
    • General attitudes and convictions arising from spiritual wounding
    • Learn not to overreact in situations of spiritual wounding in future
    • Initially join church anonymously
    • The importance of forgiveness
    • Learn to can trust Christians again
    • Healthy growth of faith
  • Recovery of thought patterns
    • Guard against a victim mentality
    • Guard against overwhelming dark memories
    • Extreme thoughts must be re-programmed
    • Invalid conclusions must be corrected
    • A realistic view of the reality must be found
    • Empowerment of the positive
    • Ignoring the negative
    • To guard against mostly emotional thoughts
    • To guard against a preoccupation with ' I should' thoughts
    • To guard against the maintaining of a hyper-responsibility feeling
    • Focus on new information
  • Social recovery
    • Focus on the family
    • Focus on new friends
    • Learn to again experience joy from normal things
  • Physical recovery
    • Focus on the body
    • Challenges to the church as well as preventive steps for the future
  • Conclusion

 

ADDENDUM A THE INFLUENCE OF RELIGIOUS SHAME

ADDENDUM  B  REMUDA RANCH SPIRITUAL INVENTORY

ADDENDUM  C TYPICAL PROFILE OF THE EMOTIONALLY WOUNDED DUE TO RELIGIOUS ADDICTION

ADDENDUM D THE STORY OF SCOTT ALLEN

ADDENDUM E CHARLES'S STORY

ADDENDUM F  MANUALS ABOUT PASTORAL COUNSELING - AFRIKAANS AND ENGLISH

REFERENCES