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Jul 18, 2012

Healing From Spiritual Abuse

abuseDarin and Aimee talk about the destructive force of spiritual abuse. Darin comes to the revelation that he has suffered from spiritual abuse after having been out of the institutional church for almost nine years. This is one of the most difficult things to identify in our hearts because it’s so hidden. Spiritual abuse is like the perfect crime. It’s almost impossible to detect and even harder to prove. Recovering from it sometimes takes a lifetime because there is so little information on it. Countless Free Believers who are now living free lives in the wild are still suffering from the side effects of this outrageous attack on our souls. If you grew up in church, you might find yourself identifying with this conversation perhaps more than you would expect. 

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    Darin, I just finished listening to this podcast and you’re right. Like Aimee, I really was surprised to find out what you’d been thinking about spiritual abuse. When I told you that you'd been spiritually abused, I thought you already knew that but I’ve found out that many people don’t recognize the abuse that they’ve suffered. Although spiritual abuse is a major problem in the church, it’s shoved under the rug so many people don’t receive the healing that they need. I’m glad you and Aimee did this podcast. Hopefully, some will be encouraged to begin their journey to freedom.

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    While listening to Aimee talk about doves, I thought about how much I love to hear doves coo. In religion, we’re the ones who have to constantly sing to God telling him how wonderful he is. Athough it may not be well known, male doves are the only ones that coo, they’re singing to their lady love. However, because of religion, we’re so busy singing the latest worship song that we never hear God singing to us his songs of love.

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    Darin Hufford

    I think maybe it was my pride that didn't allow me to admit I had been abused spiritually. I don't like admitting that THEY had the power to "abuse" me. It's like having to tell someone you were taken advantage of while in prison. You feel weak and vulnerable. Does that make sense?

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    Stephen M

    Spiritual abuse is not "like" the perfect crime. It IS the perfect crime.

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    Darin, it does make sense and, given my experience with spiritual abuse, I totally understand. I imagine it must have been particularly hard for you to admit given that you were a pastor. However, as you and I have discussed, pastors can also be abused and I think it’s important that you were finally able to admit it to yourself. I know it’s embarrassing for pastors but they need healing as much as any other victim so I hope your willingness to be open about your experience and your struggles will encourage other pastors to seek the healing that they need.

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    Just another thought. Healing is a process but admitting that there was abuse is the first step and a very important one because God can't heal us when we're in denial. Sorry about all of the posts but you know that the topic of freedom from spiritual abuse is near to my heart.

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    You two are awesome! Miss you guys!

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    I think this was one of my favorite podcasts so far. It was one comment after another, of things that I've been pondering a lot lately. The part about us pursuing God. It's true! I can't tell you how many times I've heard people talk about that. Specifically, women-"I'm not looking for any romantic relationship right now....I'm just going after God..." Oh my gosh it's been so many times. It starts to "sound" okay....but it's really not! He is the pursuer. He is ALWAYS pursuing people. I see it all around me now. That understanding has changed my life forever.

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    Spiritual Rape of a child. that's what had happened to me,as a new born babe looking to grow in this new found love of Jesus Christ at thirty I walked into the church filled with a hunger to walk close to him and ended up walking with the God of other peoples just a few months I remember throwing out all the music the kids had no more movies out side the house no sandy beaches everyone was naked at them home schooling and a hole lot more.Today I love the lord because of the love he has shown and gives me I receive this love as a gift of comes as a result of who he is.not what I do.hay as for the beach they have cloths on there .

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    Wow, so glad to hear attention being brought to this atrocity within the organized churches. I, too, was spiritually abused and abandoned by my home 'church' of 25 years. I have written a book that is about to be published sharing how being sexually abused as a child led me right into the structures thinking I was safe, only to be spiritually abused as well. It is called "Climbing Out of the Box" from religion to relationship...a story of my journey from sexual abuse, leading to my child being abused, spiritual abuse and ministry addiction; into finally finding that freedom of Kingdom living with Jesus that far surpasses anything I have ever known...Though I am in process of publishing the book you can find excerpts from it on my blog at and click on read my blog....

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    Dixie, your blog looks good. With your permission, I'd like to add some of your posts to my blog.

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    Great stuff. I have been away from church for 6 years now. The biggest thing about leaving the church (Pentecostal) and most of the people I knew from the church was the relief I felt. My god daughter has just recently left church as she is struggling with the whole church and God thing and so I have suggested she look at your site. I asked her if she felt relieved and she enthusiastically said yes. I told her I knew exactly how she felt. No more condemnation, no more judgement, no more feeling like you don't measure up. I have absolutely no desire to step back into a church. To Aimee's point of seeing God in nature, etc. One morning I was having a bad day and was cranky and as I stepped off the streetcar to go to work, my eyes went directly to a daffodil which was in bloom. Immediately, I felt that God was saying, I'm still here and all is well. And I felt the peace of that moment which stayed with me. Thank you for this!

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    I'm with you Aimee. He talks to me through random songs on the radio too. Even the streak of sunlight radiating across a empty field, a sudden gentle breeze that brushes by when I step out onto my porch,..For me He's everywhere in everything He created!

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    Shannon Brown

    Thanks Darin and Aimee for this conversation. Love you guys!

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    ...not to mention the criticism that comes against many who have been positioned publically to speak. Unfortunately those critical voices usually come from the "Church". Sheep bite.

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    Lisa right on. I know all too well about that feeling of fearing God. After my son, 18, passed away from brain cancer, I was Made to feel that God was so mad at me and my husband that He took my son away from us. After so many sermons that had me believing my son wasn't with the Lord, I walked away from the church. And yet the spiritual abuse continues with random e-mails of how I am in sin since I'm not going to church. I so understand all you guys talked about. Thank you!

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    Lisa right on. I know all too well about that feeling of fearing God. After my son, 18, passed away from brain cancer, I was Made to feel that God was so mad at me and my husband that He took my son away from us. After so many sermons that had me believing my son wasn't with the Lord, I walked away from the church. And yet the spiritual abuse continues with random e-mails of how I am in sin since I'm not going to church. I so understand all you guys talked about. Thank you!

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    Hoi Darren,Can you say that when you are physicaly and emotional abused that it is very easy to land in a church that is spiritual abusing people. I have left 3,5 years ago and looked every where to understand what had happened to me. Because of this blog and podcast I understand that I´ve bin abused al of my live in very different ways. And for the first time i cryed about it, and agreed whit the pain and accept that i need healing and love availleble . I had a lot anger coming out of me, because I always was the bad guy and did not mesurred up to someone else´s expectations and rulles. You brought words to a lot of my questions and feelings. Thank you for your honesty.

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    Pat Kidwell

    I just talked to a pastor recently, (not the pastor that abused me)about some of the things that had happened to me at a church I attended about 3 years ago. He advised me that was spiritual abuse! no one had every said that to me before, I just knew that after all this time, I still had not gotten over what happened to me. Yes, this abuse came from my pastor at the time and he is still the pastor of that church, even tho several other families have left since I did, for basically the same reason. I never left God but I did leave the church,. the pastor made me feel that I was a problem and hurting the church, and I believed him. I am seeking help now again since I still cry every time I start talking about what happened. I am going to read a book regarding Healing from Spiritual abuse and then talk with my new pastor at my new church. I trust him and he preaches the gospel and tell us like it is. thanks for your podcast it was helpful.

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