I frequently get messages from people claiming that the bad things I address that happen in churches happens only in conservative, evangelical, and especially charismatic churches.
I’ve been around. If you read my bio on nakedpastor you’ll see that I’ve attended and served in many kinds of denominations, churches, and ministries.
Every one of them can get weird.
Heck! I’ve even been in businesses, universities, clubs, and relationships that get weird.
The common denominator? People.
I’ve heard it all: “This doesn’t happen in the Catholic church!” Or the United Universalists. Or the Lutherans. Or more structured denominations with authority structures. Or secular groups. Etcetera.
I tell people to check their myopic vision of humanity and its projects. They need to read more, study more, research more, experience more, travel more, think more.
Anywhere there are people… wherever 2 or 3 are gathered together in ANY name… there’s the danger of control, manipulation, coercion, and abuse.
Most of us TLSers have survived incredible sagas in the church.
But don’t let people make you believe that it’s because of your weird and unhealthy choices of whatever church you attended.
It’s because you chose to join a group of fellow human beings, and those in leadership dropped the ball when it came to checking their power at the door.
I recently read a story about a woman who worked at Uber. It was a nightmare of gender bias. The abuse she suffered is incredible and has all the familiar markings many of you might have experienced in the church. You can read Susan Fowler’s amazing story HERE.
Uber. Church. Even marriage.
The common thread: humans who abuse power.
So… don’t be ashamed of whatever group you chose to be a part of.
In fact, when it got too weird, you left, as any healthy person would.
You should be proud of that.