First, abusive churches have a control-oriented style of leadership.
Second, the leaders of such churches often use manipulation to gain complete submission from their members.
Third, there is a rigid, legalistic lifestyle involving numerous requirements and minute details for daily life.
Fourth, these churches tend to change their names often, especially once they are exposed by the media.
Fifth, denouncing other churches is common because they see themselves as superior to all other churches.
Sixth, these churches have a persecution complex and view themselves as being persecuted by the world, the media, and other Christian churches.
Seventh, abusive churches specifically target young adults between eighteen and twenty-five years of age.
The eighth and final mark of abusive churches is the great difficulty members have in getting out of or leaving these churches, a process often marked by social, psychological, or emotional pain.
GJ - I hear from people stuck in abusive churches. The eighth mark is common. Sometimes universal shunning sets in, which is feared by many - but should be welcomed. But often there is a compulsion by the sect to keep chasing that person, blaming, manipulating, etc. Wounding people is not enough - the abusive sects feel a need to keep it up.
I have seen several examples in WELS where the individual or family was hated out, followed by a subsequent attempt to love-bomb them back in.
Family members can really facilitate the abuse, because they only recognize One Truth Church - their sect. Therefore a departure from that sect is treated as rejection of the family. No transgression of the sect is allowed to be voiced, so those who pass on information to me also swear me to secrecy.
An abusive sect has this advantage - very few will talk. Finding the culprit among the small pool of candidates is relatively easy. Unfortunately for the failing Lutheran synods, the social media have complicated the problem. Someone sent me a link today that I posted last year. Social media posts have a long lifespan. I only had to Google this blog to find the story, which I linked back to the source.
Anyone who dares to mention this blog is condemned, followed by a stunning tirade of misinformation and deliberate falsehoods. Other blogs like Steadfast Lutherans (sic x 2) do not permit links to Ichabod. In spite of this massive shunning, writers are always referencing what they read and dislike, but often without mentioning the hideous name that describes them - Ichabod, the Glory Has Departed.
What is that glory? Justification by Faith through the Means of Grace. The Lutheran sects today cannot stop talking about themselves - they are the greatest, the holiest, the undefiled. They should be following the Biblical example of creating and sustaining faith through the Gospel Word, but instead they are shoring up the crumbling foundations of their fading groups. They lack the vocabulary and capacity to discuss Justification by Faith because they reject the Chief Article and dance around significant doctrinal discussion.
If we seem to walk in unity (or, if you wish to be derisive, "in lockstep"), it's not by his dictate, but by agreement in the Word of God. Interestingly, having been educated in various church bodies, schools, and academic eras, most of us did not start out on the same page, but have been brought together as we have studied and confessed individually and found that our confession was the same…for which, to God alone be the glory.
Ten years now, by God's grace; may the Holy Spirit ever cause us to walk as one!
And, suffice to say, such correction is very rarely needed.
GJ - Sounds exactly like the fake humility in WELS.
No Persecution Here
No, I do not feel persecuted. I am honored. I was done with "Lutheran" groups a long time ago. Unlike others, who merely slip away, I decided to catalog the crimes for others who have experienced the same.
One angry CLC (sic) leader said to me, in front of a group, "I have 105 members in my family, and every single one is a member of the CLC." I was going to ask, "Are they all Pharisees like you?" but that was too obvious.
The CLC (sic) protects their criminals while condemning 99.9% of the Lutherans who have not fallen prey to their hideous, inbred cult. I do have this commendation for the CLC (sic) - they make WELS look good by comparison.
|Gutsche's LinkedIn account also lists him|
as a WELS pastor for a short time.
The social media are so pesky sometimes.
No, he did not list his arrest on that account,
but he features his ELCA and ELCiC service.
Koenig was furious I obtained this photo from the Net.
Live by the Net, die by the Net, I always say.