Recently, I was made aware of a new book that has been published and released. The author is Dr. Barb Orlowski and the title is "Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness." The book is the result of Dr. Orlowski's research to understand "how Christians have gone from the devastating experience of spiritual abuse at their local church to a condition of spiritual restoration."
In the process of researching this topic, Dr. Orlowski has gathered data from interviews with those who have experienced spiritual abuse and have gone through the process of recovery. Although I haven't read this book yet, through my correspondence with Dr. Orlowski, I've come to appreciate her desire to see people set free and made whole.
Paul warned the Ephesian church that wolves impersonating sheep would come among the flock and deceive them. This has proven to be true as countless thousands of sincere believers have been victimized by abusive church leaders using a distorted interpretation of the Bible to hold people in bondage. Having a sincere desire to serve God, these believers are led to believe that their love for God is demonstrated by unquestioning obedience to their church leaders.
Spiritual abuse is the misuse of power and authority and, in abusive systems, followers become nothing more than slaves who are there to fulfill their leaders whims and desires. Some eventually grow tired of the control and constant abuse and leave the group. However, even though they've left, the journey to wholeness has just begun and it can be a long and painful one. During this time, the person needs to know that they're not alone in what they're experiencing and that wholeness is possible. I believe Barb's book can be a welcome resource as they navigate through the often turbulent process of healing.
To learn more about this book, check out her website.