My name is Joseph Lee and my Partner and I are Pastors of God's Harbor Community Church. We have experienced in our own lives the devastation caused by unscrupulous religious leaders who have hurt and drove people from their Churches with their misguided use of the Bible. This is not how Christians or Clergy are supposed to treat the members of their congregations. A year ago, while I was Pastoring a mainline Church. I saw how the other leaders of that church tore people down and crushed their spirits, and all the while preached from their pulpits "God's unconditional love for everyone." I have seen them state openly that they will not minister to addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, the homeless, single mothers, mentally disabled, physically challenged, youth, and the Gay Community.. As Christians, we are called to do as Christ did. Jesus Christ Ministered to everyone regardless what others thought. I have noticed in my fifteen years in Pastoral Ministry a serious decline in Christian Liberty in our responsibility in Christian Ethics. That is to say the Christian Community through no fault of their own have been manipulated by leaders seeking to impose political agendas on their Faith Communities This is unacceptable. To act in this irresponsible manner only breeds hypocracy to accept one group of people and ban others is not what the Bible teaches. I am reminded of a verse in Scripture , when Jesus said "I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32) We as Christians should not care if a person is a different race, if they can't physically or mentally function without assistance Nor should we care who they choose to love . This is beside the point of what the Bible teaches. Therefore, to constantly abuse people by taking scriptures our of context is ethically wrong, and equally wrong is the common practice of today's Churches to break a person's will and spirit to the point where they become Alcoholics, drug addicts prostitutes, nor is it right to condemn our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters for being the way God created them. It hurts my heart as a Pastor and a Gay Christian to hear the countless reports of GLBT youth committing suicide each year due to the abuse suffered from the Church. I feel that I must clarify an afore mentioned statement. In a perfect world my partner and myself along with other Christians like us could simply state that we are Christians however this world is far from being perfect. and we must identify ourselves as Gay Christians if not for any other reason but to show that we as Christians who are Gay are saved by Grace as well This is the reason the BASE Program exist I have seen allot of Gay Christian Churches who go and set up a Church hold regular services and expect that people will come and sit quietly and forget about all the hurt and anguish these people feel that God has caused them These ministers never stop to think that before they can truly minister to any one they must first address the issue and validity of their members and visitors towards their previous experiences with the Church as a whole. I have seen these ministers counseling with parishoners on the subject of their abuse and instead of helping them they have quite aggressively contributed to these peoples abuse by telling them just get over it without even hearing them out. this is completely at odds with the mission and purpose of their churches. In closing I would like to thank you for your time and patience. We currently meet at Saint John's United Methodist Church 5000 Washington Place on Saturday mornings starting at 10:00A.M.
What is Bible Abuse?
Just as emotional abuse affects one emotionally, while physical abuse inflicts pain and bodily injury on its victim,Bible Abuse affects one spiritually. It is the result of a Spiritual Leader or system that tries to Control, Manipulate, or Dominate a person. This control is often in the form of Fear. This is considered a major factor in Mind Control or Thought reform. There are those who feel the latter comes into play in cases such as these, while others feel that this thinking is in error. No matter where one stands, it does not lessen the affects of Spiritual Abuse.
Why Do Churches Abuse?
It's possible to become so determined to defend a spiritual place of authority, a doctrine, or a way of doing things; that you wound and abuse anyone who questions, or disagrees, or doesn't 'behave' spiritually the way you want them to. When your words and actions tear down another, or attack or weaken a person's standing as a Christian--to gratify you, your position, or your beliefs; while at the same time weakening or harming another; that is Spiritual Abuse.
How to Identify Bible Abuse?
Does Leadership in your Church demand you consult with them (or your