They communicate the Lord as a cosmic dictator or harsh taskmaster, eagerly waiting for you to make a mistake so that he can “chasten” you.A friend once told me that God was her “cosmic kill-joy”.The leaders take advantage of this by preaching a sermon on how the authority of the leaders shouldn’t be questioned and the cycle of abuse continues as the person is reluctant to even consider that their intuition is correct.Thus the person is stuck at the abusive church, ensnared in the web of manipulation and lies.
Victims often feel that they aren’t good enough and not able to live up to the expectations.
Spiritual abuse includes, but is not limited to mind-control, thought reform, coercion, manipulation, deception, legalism, authoritarianism, guilt trips, judgementalism/”Phariseeism”, holier-than-though attitude, and a “we are right and everyone else is wrong” attitude.
Spiritual abuse is often done in the name of proclaiming the ‘truth’.
I remember when an older girl who had graduated from our school came back from college and her hair was died.
We all stood around in a circle gossiping about how she had backsliden and how she was being influenced by the world since she obviously didn’t go to an Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination affiliated college.