“The Story of a Couple Who Left an Abusive Church”

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Dear Patrick Zukeran,

My wife and I are going through a bad experience in Church at the moment and your Abusive Churches: Leaving Them Behind article has/is really helping us. Thank you.

We are from a city in England called ______.

Three years ago we planted a church with another family, for about two years everything was going well and the church grew in numbers.

My wife and I were elders and my wife was also praise and worship leader. We gave our all to promoting the church even to the point of exhaustion, we were out at least four to five nights per week and as our Pastor taught we were sacrificing everything for the Church.

We met in a community centre and every Sunday we would be the first in setting up all the relevant equipment up, sound equipment etc. We would also be the last out after tidying up etc.

Our Pastor would at times bring us a teaching which was often a rebuke for not doing things according to what he thought was right. We would voice our concerns and opinions and be labelled unteachable and told everything he was saying was in the word of God and we should use it as the final authority in our lives. If we did not then we were rebelling against God.

We would often feel a heaviness in the atmosphere when in his presense. My wife would be told that it was up to her and her worship team to usher in the presence of God and would often be told that there was no anointing on her voice. She would often come home and end up in tears because she could not give anymore.

She led the service once with a broken elbow, another time with a collar around her neck she had pulled her muscles, we were always told we had to sacricfice family time for the church as this was honourable to God and we would be rewarded for our works.

Anyway after almost three years we decided to step down from our positions as elders, we just could not give anymore!!

We were told that we were breaking a spiritual covenant with the pastor and the first lady of the house (his wife) and this had to be done in a way that would cause the least amount of pain and disruption to the church.

I addressed the church and said that we were stepping down from Eldership because God had blessed our business and we did not have the time to serve them any longer, we told them that we did not want to hinder what God was doing and wanted to step aside so that God could raise up new elders to help carry the vision forward, it was very tearful and emotional because we had planted this church and were about to step down from our position. It was also emotional because we were hurting for everything that we had been through, the constant rebukes etc. The Church applauded us for our service and on the outside everything looked ok, one the inside we felt/feel for the rest of the church and for the well being of the Pastor because he will not take any counsel and the church are absorbed by his character.

On one occasion in a meeting with my wife and me, he walked out because my wife and I said that we felt that the church as a body was not growing because everyone in our church, apart from two people were already Christians and we should concentrate on the lost. We were told that we were so insensitive and how could we hurt his feelings so much.

Anyway enough of our problems and experiences I expect you have heard all this before, again we would like to thank you for helping us through your writings.

 

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Patrick Zukeran, former Probe staffer, is the founder and Executive Director of Evidence and Answers, a research and teaching ministry specializing in Christian apologetics, the defense of the Christian faith. He is the host of the radio show Evidence and Answers (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat is the author of several books including The Apologetics of Jesus co-authored with Norman Geisler; God, Eternity, and Spirituality (ed.); and Unless I See . . . Is There Enough Evidence to Believe? Pat is a popular conference speaker and he also serves as an adjunct faculty for several colleges and institutes worldwide. He earned a B.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Pat lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and can be reached at pat@evidenceandanswers.org.

About Probe Ministries

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2016 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

Patrick Zukeran, former Probe staffer, is the founder and Executive Director of Evidence and Answers, a research and teaching ministry specializing in Christian apologetics, the defense of the Christian faith. He is the host of the radio show Evidence and Answers (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat is the author of several books including The Apologetics of Jesus co-authored with Norman Geisler; God, Eternity, and Spirituality (ed.); and Unless I See . . . Is There Enough Evidence to Believe? Pat is a popular conference speaker and he also serves as an adjunct faculty for several colleges and institutes worldwide. He earned a B.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Pat lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and can be reached at pat@evidenceandanswers.org.

About Probe Ministries

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2016 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

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