spiritual abuse

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Joined in 2011
December 10, 2012, 16:44

I stopped attending my local pentecostal church in a country town earlier this year after much study, thought and a lot of heart searching. On Sunday I attended with my adult son who is still a part of the church. The pastor took the pulpit rambled for a few minutes and then with much anger in his voice proceeded to tell the congregation who amened and clapped that Hurricanne Sandy was God's retribution for Obama's and the mayor of NewYorks open support for gay marraige. He went on to say that God would have to apologise to the people of Sodom and Gomaorrah if he did not inflict judgement on them by slamming them. He said"they got a good slamming from God. Emboldened by the congregations response he said "Homosexuality is an evil abomination" God will judge, he will deal. This from a man with whom I have shared my struggle, in front of friends who have known the courage it took to come out as a lesbian. Worse still his hatred was shown in front of my son who has accepted my sexuality and who has met my lesbian friends who have provided the warmth and friendship I never found in the church over many years. I am not upset for myself but more by the absolute venom and ignorance shown by this senior pastor that was eagerly applauded and accepted unconditionally by the congregation. I did try to speak with him afterwards but was again told homosexuality is an abomination, the word of God clearly says so. he qualified it by saying "but you do know that we love you." The God that I know does not codemn me or bring vengence and wrath on the innocent because of my sexual orientation. Gods love is not conditional.I am sure none of us have the influence to cause God to destroy communities and lives. If that is his God on display then it certainly is not the God I love and seek to be like.My heart is saddened by such right wing vitriol. I guess my gay hurricane causing feet wont be back in that church again……Jilly

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 10, 2012, 23:39

Hi surfjill56

Welcome! 🙂

I'm so sorry this happened to you and that this kind of thinking is out there.

You said:

If that is his God on display then it certainly is not the God I love and seek to be like.

Well said. A friend of mine says a similar thing. He says that he expects God to be better than him. In other words, if he as a mere human can manage to be kind, non judgmental and accepting of others who are different to him, he expects God will be this and much much more. And when he hears messages of hate, he knows that's not God. And even if it was God (and how could it be when God is love?), I wouldn't want that God in my life. Who would? Life's challenging enough without adding hate in.

Have you been to our site before and how did you hear of us? Thanks for sharing and I hope to hear more from you. 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2012
December 11, 2012, 10:41

Hey surfjill56,

I agree with Ann, the God they're talking about sure isn't the unconditionally loving God that I myself believe He is. I went through a similar phase like you, and I was extremely hurt by one of the pastors at my previous church. He said 'You can be in a relationship… as long as it's with someone of the opposite sex'. Implying he has the right to tell me who I can and cannot love? Many laughed and clapped in agreement. I on the other hand, was completely crushed and devastated (That comment almost drove me to suicide actually). Pastors have a LOT of influence, and it's unfortunate that there are many out there who preach hate (And get people to come to church through shear fear might I also add) rather than love, and that's not good or Godly in any way, shape or form. In fact, one thing I have learnt is that all emotions come from two things. LOVE, or FEAR. And mainstream Christianity, to me at least, preach fear, not love. There are good churches out there, but needless to say, I no longer attend church. I now worship God at home, and only when I feel I am spiritually fulfilled enough to do so.

I think we all have the divine right to pick and choose who we should worship (A loving God, and not a hateful one), where we should worship (Because life and death is in the power of the tongue – and words DO hurt, contrary to that horrible lie we've all been fed of 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me'. And pastors can hurt people through their choice of words, so everyone has the right to pick and choose their church), and when we should worship (I was reminded a short while ago that the Sabbath is actually on a Saturday – it was changed for some ungodly reason to Sunday, so if that pastor wants to get all technical and literal, he himself is breaking a HUGE commandment because he's not keeping the Sabbath holy – the important thing to note here is that many pastors pick and choose which passages to follow and which ones not to. We all fall short of the glory of God, we're all sinners, and most, if not all of us, have broken a commandment or two, so he of all people, has NO right to judge or condemn anyone. No one has).

Do what you feel is right. Life really is too short to be surrounded by such negative, unchristian people.

Hope that helps,


Joined in 2009
December 13, 2012, 12:39

Hi Jilly

That must have been very difficult for you and I feel for you very much.

Have you ever studied the passages he referred to for yourself? Even as a Baptist Pastor who is gay, medically proven, I hadn't done it for many years and I should have.

He is quoting Lev 18:22 and 20:13. I would want to ask him how he obeys the equally inspired word of God in Lev 19:37 and 20:22 which say "Obey ALL my decress and ALL my laws". He might like to start with Lev 20:9 and tell you how he kills every child who curses their father or their mother.

Those verses he quoted, form part of the Old Testament law that no longer applies. If he says they do, he MUST obey ALL the law just as God commands in Lev 19:37, 20:22. Also check Gal 3:10 and 5:3 and Rom 10:4 where the issue of whether Christians need to obey the Old Testament law was the very issue that Paul discussed. Paul said Christians DON"T have to obey the OT law.

God loves you just as you are. Jesus never said to love the sinner, but hate the sin. He said to love the sinner but hate your own sin.

Hope this helps. Glad to chat further if you want to.

In Him


Joined in 2011
December 13, 2012, 21:25

Hi alll. thanks for your kind words..i am fine just a bit gobsmaked by ignorance and refusal to consider or study another version other than your own of what constitutes lived reality. I am a senior allied health clinician and have been working in the sexual assault field for 14 years . I spend my working life alongside women, men and children who have suffered abuse at the hands of others so am able to deal with a little bit myself. I am a leader in my rural community and as I work for health have been supported by my friends and colleagues. My grown children laughed when I came out to them and said that they had known since they were little that their surfing and sailing mother with feminist ideals wasnt going to knit for them. My mum also laughed and said that cutting up my party dress at age 6 was a dead giveaway. It is the church that has a problem with me and probably always has had .As a sporty dyke I was never really going to fit the pentecostal version of womanhood. I have been around the church since i was saved at 15 and am now mid 50's so those of you who have been around will know how a 500cc bike riding masculine looking teenager who surfed with the guys and spouted feminist views ,went down . Roaring up to Bible College at 19 caused a bit of a stir back in the day. I did the married thing as I was told it would cure me….it didn't!!! The final clincher for me as far as church goes is the outrageous statements made from the pulpit the day I came back to church after being persuaded by the pastors wife that it was a safe place. IT wasn't and isn't for any one working their way through sexuality issues. I am well read and versed in the christian literature around the reconciliation between being christian and gay. After years of terrible ministry to try to cure me via deliverance I certainly know the other sides" reality "It is amazing what we will put ourselves through to be closer to the Lord and for righteousness. It is so freeing to find that God created me as I am and I refuse to live in silence and shame from ignorant christians who refuse the truth. It continues to amaze me that church leaders immediately equate my being a lesbian with unbridled promiscuity. As if..I am too tired and too old!!! and love the Lord with a passion. I was celebate as a pretend hetero and nothing has or is going to change unless i meet a christian partner ,with half a brain!!! So as i said in my first post my hurricane causing little feet will not walk into a church which calls who i am an abomination. Sadly i have never heard from this same pulpit that those who abuse children , commit domestic violence or sexually abuse others are an abomination. So i have decided to commit myself and my gifts and abilities to my LGBTI brothers and sisters in Christ, to stand with you in the very real fight we have in this country against bigotry and ignorance I make a choice to forgive my former church as I can understand that a little too much time is spent in front of American tele evangelists, don't get me started!! There is no point in trying to reason or debate with them and a dignified silence will be my response. I look forward to writing and sharing with the LGBTI christian community as we journey towards fulfilling God's call on our lives and living in the freedom of what daring to live in the truth brings.. ..Yours in Christ Jilly.

Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
December 17, 2012, 21:03

Hi Surfjill56,

Big welcome to f2b. Sorry I haven't replied earlier just had a huge amount on in the home life at the moment. So sorry to hear you have suffered at the hands of the church. It saddens me deeply when I hear this. Not at all the way it should be or what Jesus calls the church to be. On a plus (I know it's slow) we are starting to see some churches change their views and even more Christians changing their beliefs. Everything has to start small to start with, change is coming. Keep hanging on it there, you have shown amazing courage and strength 🙂

God Bless

Joined in 2008
December 21, 2012, 09:58

Hi Jilli

Unfortunately we see some churches still have negative attitudes that are based in ignorance. I'm sorry you had such an experience 🙁

Hold on to what you know is true!



Joined in 2011
December 28, 2012, 16:46

Hi Jilli,

You are amazing!! And absolutely agree with David, that was always a sticking point for me…why do we want to stone the homosexuals and not the adulterers, rapists, etc. Oh, and I'm pretty sure there were very specific instructions regarding the number of tassels to be worn on your clothing, and how to trim your beard… really doesn't place importance on one over the other, and yet the church gets all in a twist over who we love!

Good on you for being strong and showing your son how to deal with nonsense like that! I hope you can find better, more God-like and honest people to be around than that pastor, his wife, and their poor congregation.


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