At Least, Not In the objective Sense

There are plenty of people who do base their morality on religion that I don't really have a problem with, actually.  The typical person seems to usually just blend their own morality with their hunt-and-peck for backup on their morality with their associated holy book of do's and don'ts. There are a few groups that scare the bejeezus out of me though:

The people who completely base their morality on their religion's rulebook(s) despite themselves; you can tell these people internally might be at odds even though they strictly follow to the letter their interpretation of rules that they were probably spoon-fed from an earlier, more susceptible age.

The people who question the morality of a person who doesn't espouse any specific religion, or no religion at all. This usually comes up whenever one of those hot-topic and never-ending debates occur, and they'll suddenly use your on-the-fence or lack of religious faith as the excuse as to why you don't see the light and aren't as enlightened as they are, which is unacceptably belittling!

dedre dedre
31-35, M
3 Responses Feb 13, 2009

My pleasure...

Very informative, thank you.

...years ago I read 'The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse; by: David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen' - After I experienced abuse in a dysfunctional church. There are some church congregations that are truely dysfunctional - not unlike some dysfunctional families can be. Sad but true. <br />
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"Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is need of help, support or greater empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment." <br />
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That's a broad view. Spiritual abuse can occur when a leader uses his or her 'spiritual position' to control or dominate another person. It often involves overriding the feelings and opinions of another, without regard to what will result in the other person's state of living, emotions or spiritual well-being. In this application, power is used to bolster the position or needs of a leader, over and above one who comes to them in need. <br />
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Spiritual abuse can also occur when spirituality is used to make others live up to a "spiritual standard." This promotes external "spiritual performance," also without regard to an individual's actual well being, or is used as means of "proving" a person's spirituality. <br />
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"Spiritual abuse is a real phenomenon that actually happens in the body of Christ. It is a subtle trap in which the ones who perpetrate spiritual abuse on others are just as trapped in their unhealthy beliefs and actions as those whom they, knowingly or unknowingly, abuse."<br />
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Church teaches that Scripture is God's Word, the standard by which we must live. But in a dysfunctional system, they use it as a measure by which we gain acceptance with God rather than as a guide for living. <br />
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If false power and authority were the only elements of an abusive leaders facade, they would be easy to spot. In fact, some are. But there is another element of the facade that causes many, many people to suspend good judgement and spiritual discernment, to cross over from safe, true, life-giving spirituality into mere outward conformity. <br />
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In a very real sense, the spiritually abusive system is a spiritual trap. And not just any old trap; a "good" one. <br />
There are many kinds of bait in the spiritually abusive church, family or organization. "Right standing with God" is probably the most common bait. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Paul says that false apostles "disguise themselves as servants of righteousness." The abusive system gives people an opportunity to earn God's approval with their own positive self-effort. <br />
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Ultimately, the more we know about a trap, the clearer will be our understanding of how to escape and begin healing." (The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.)<br />
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dedre, that's what I had to learn to do, and my healing did come. It wasn't as a result of turning my back on my belief in Christ or the Holy Scriptures. Spiritual abuse wounds and devours people. Jesus confronted false spiritual leaders [teachers] for the very same things. They went to great lengths to recruit people into a religion system, instead of to God.