Humiliation

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind. - Psalm 107:19-21

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM THE BOOK "THE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE" BY DAVID JOHNSON AND JEFF VANVONDEREN

A common practice in spiritually abusive systems is humiliation. This is done through publicly shaming and exposing members in a variety of ways, or even threatening to remove people from the group. 

Unquestionably, there is a place for appropriate church discipline. In the abusive system, it is the fear of being exposed, humiliated or removed that ensures your proper allegiance, and insulates those in authority. 

You can be "exposed" for asking too many questions, for disobeying the unspoken rules, or for disagreeing with authority. People are made public examples in order to a send a message to those who remain. Others have phone campaigns launched against them, to warn their friends and others in the group about how "dangerous" they are.

One of several things usually happens after such pressures are employed. 

First, people stay and shut up. 

Second, they are eventually driven away because they end up isolated and spiritually starved to death. (This was my story, more than anything - Lucy). 

Third, they finally get up and say, "Fine, I am leaving because this is abusive and I disagree."

• • • • • 

When these characteristics exist in a church or Christian family system, the result will be spiritual abuse. It will be a closed system with rigid boundaries that prevent people from leaving. There will be the perception that there is a lot of evil on the outside, (which keeps people in) and there will be a lot of power postured on the inside to compel you to perform. There will also be tired, wounded people who feel that they are either unspiritual or crazy. 

We have all seen and experienced harsh humiliation at MSC. It's terrifying and can be traumatizing. In your own time, as you can (be easy on your heart, give yourself a lot of grace) it is helpful to process with the Lord and trusted family and friends the things that you have witnessed or have happened to you, so that He can heal you. The Lord does not turn His back on us. He is with you in this.

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind. - Psalm 107:19-21

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. - Deuteronomy 31:6