4 Oct 2004

Manipulated by pastor and feeling guilty

Submitted by theshovel
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I am coming to believe that I am in a legalistic church and don't know how to graciously get out. Maybe it can't be gracious exit in a legalistic setting? ... [explains situation] ... anyway, I guess I'm looking for advice on how to proceed and that I'm not wrong with how I am feeling and seeing things. I'm feeling used and manipulated and also I'm feeling very guilty that I feel this way about a pastor. I was told that you should never talk about or criticize a pastor. anonymous

Don't you find it rather convenient for a man to be set up in a position in which he is not to be questioned or challenged? And just who is it who tells you of God's mind on this issue? The same one who is not to be criticized! The fact is that this man wants you to feel guilty so that he can hold divine authority over you. This is nothing more than abuse fashioned after the world justifying itself in the name of God. It is the desire to control others and bend them to your will. People have done it to each other for as long as there have been people - under myriads of disguises. The fact that many have difficulty imagining how someone could do such a thing in the name of Christ - gullibility - is the very reason so many so-called pastors can so easily do such a thing.

Though your pastor wants you to believe the matter of giving revolves around scriptural justification it has nothing to do with it. The Bible is his legal whipping tool by which he controls those under him which makes his challenges nothing more than opportunities to intimidate. Just remember that the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day did the exact same thing, and when they could not control Jesus they had to get rid of him.

The man you refer to as pastor and his wife are spiritual bullies who have made you and everyone else in their group feel guilty for recognizing the abuse they have intimidated you by. There is little chance you will make a gracious exit ... at least in THEIR eyes (and the eyes of those still swayed by their control). Do not stoop to their fleshly level and feel the need to play by their game. You do not need to justify yourselves to them for only Christ is your true justification ... and he is fully that! :)

Hope to hear back from you.
Love, Jim


I don't want to get into gossip or backbiting. At the same time, some things need worked out and I agree with you on this matter. I love the Pastor's of our Church,but the leaders under their Authority do nothing but guilt & manipulation, so I don't think they disagree with it or they should say something. I feel hindered every time I hear manipulative words. I feel grudging to give, to help or anything else under coersion through guilt. I feel this opposes what Jesus taught. And it hinders all my feelings at Church regarding worship too. I hate feeling this way when I know Christ did not want me to go every week for encouragement only to know every week I will face discouragement. If I cooperate, I am more accepted by the elders. If I am unable to cooperate, I feel rejected. Worst yet is they say they are not judging, then use words that Christ is condemning me if I didn't give offering even if they don't know why I didn't give or they feel I owe them an explanation so they can lecture if they judged it how Christ would. I think Christ put Leaders, but not as heads of judgement to manipulate with guilt. I'm curious what verse might be pointed out to them to help them understand how this is damaging, and not showing love, and seems hypocritical to those who are sincere but feel it unfair and condemning also condescending. Frustrated.

theshovel's picture

My dear friend,

Considering that these men use guilt to manipulate, and yet claim they are not judging you while they twist Jesus’ words to make it seem that HE is condemning you, do you actually think they would receive even the best of verses from you as being anything other than an attempt to condemn them? If they cannot hear the sincerity of your heart when you speak to them in the love of Christ, they will not hear the truth in a verse. If the Pastors (the ones you love) are worthy of the title, I would speak to them about your concerns. If they do not hear you, you might want to reconsider why you would attend that group.


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