I am overwhelmed with the support and the messages I received from the last blog post I wrote about spiritual abuse and being in a cult. Some of you trusted me with your own testimonies after reading mine, and I pray that one day you will be brave enough to talk about it publicly.
This is a HOT topic. Many people simply do not understand what it’s like to be in a spiritually abusive church or cult. It is one of those things that you cannot understand or begin to imagine unless you’ve been through it or have been affected by someone who has gone through it. Many of you misunderstood my purpose for writing about this experience, so I just want to make that clear before I keep writing my story.
1. I’m writing to heal.
Writing about things has always been therapeutic for me. Writing has always brought me comfort.
2. I’m writing to help others. I’m writing to create awareness.
I’m writing about my experience to help those who are going through this or have gone through it. Spiritual Abuse is real! Know that you are NOT alone. People tell you to forgive, keep quiet, and move on. But how can we stop this from happening if no one talks about it?
3. I’m NOT writing this to expose.
If you personally know me, it will be very easy for you to identify who I’m referring to. But I don’t want to give that man “power” in my writing and create drama and speculations, so for that reason, I will only address him as “the abusive leader” and not by his title, and never by name.
4. I want this to be an open, constructive discussion.
I appreciate all comments but please do not come here asking for names or to start drama. This is not my mission.
Now that we have cleared the air, let’s pick up where we left off…
I wasn’t the only one. Only outsiders could see that something was deeply wrong there. For the insiders, it was too late–they were all brainwashed.
That was the moment I realized I lost my siblings and our bond would take a traumatic turn. Like I mentioned, I thought I was the only one. I thought I was “tripping”. How was it that no one else could see that something was truly wrong there? Let’s back up for a minute.
When I first started to attend the abusive church, the “abusive leader” was using his usual technique on me. He was trying to lure me into his cult by:
- a. Showing me dedicated love and giving me special treatment
- b. Prophesying over my life and telling me dreams and visions he had about me
- c. Constantly pampering me with compliments about my looks or personality
The thing here is that so many “men of God” claim to prophecy when they’re really prophe-lying: They are using God’s name for their own gain and twisting the scriptures.
So when I first started going there, he was doing his best to strip me of everything I thought I knew so that he could teach me his ways—in other words, trying to manipulate me so that he can start thinking for me.
When I got engaged, I will never forget this day: My fiancé (now husband) did not attend that church, let alone live in Dallas, so that was a BIG deal. No outsiders were welcomed.
Although my fiancé (now husband) is a Christian; he is a believer — the “abusive leader” did not allow any outside marriages, or marriage at all it seemed.
One day during an alter-call, he called him up in front of everyone and told the entire church that we were unequally yoked. That was his thing—exposing so that everyone can see. (Will write about this more next time).
Why were we unequally yoked? Because he didn’t speak in tongues and I did.
Wow. If I read my bible correctly, the word of God says:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14
Where in that verse does it say that you are unequally yoked if you don’t speak in tongues? It says : do not be unequally yoked with UNBELIEVERS.
If I recall correctly, we all have different spiritual gifts. Do not be fooled. Read your bible and stop believing everything that these self-proclaimed “men of God” tell you.
Paul says: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-10.
Not speaking in tongues does not make you unequally yoked with another believer who does speak in tongues. It simply means that you do not have that spiritual gift, but perhaps have a different one. Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift.
“As with all gifts of the Spirit, the speaking of tongues is not necessarily a sign of spiritual maturity.”
So who should receive this gift of speaking in tongues?
It is expressed in the Bible that not all believers will receive this gift: “God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” 1 Corinthians 12:28-30.
I typically do not like to throw bible verses at people to make a point, but in this case, it was necessary. I want you to read for yourself what the Bible says about this topic to show you how this “abusive leader” twisted the bible for his own gain.
Once he said that we were unequally yoked in front of the entire church, everyone believed so. Therefore, I was living in “sin” by staying with him. I spoke to my parents about it, who disagreed with “abusive leader” and told me that I would know best if he (my fiancé) was or was not right for me. God would speak to me and show me. I was even told that sometimes men of God make mistakes, so don’t always believe the first thing they say if God has not shown you the same.
So I stayed in the relationship and was/still am very happy. God has blessed us beyond measures.
The “abusive leader” was against this relationship until the moment we got married. A few days before our wedding day, there was a pastor from another country who came to the church and had a prophecy that my fiancé was a good man and that he’d take care of me and my parents. When that happened, all of a sudden the “abusive leader” was on board and claiming that he knew this all along.
For two years, he was trying to sabotage our relationship. Every time he’d see me at church he would tell me prophecies and visions such as:
“I had a dream you were going to marry someone from this church. That man is not your husband.”
“I had a dream he was trying to pull you into bed with him. You need to let go.”
There are so many different variations of dreams he had about our relationship. His goal was for us to break up. He did not want me to get married. He wanted me to stay in his church and be one of his servants. There are women there who have given up everything and everyone to serve him in ways that are too shameful to even write here. He wanted to control me.
On our wedding day, people asked me how come the “abusive leader” didn’t bless our marriage. My response was, “He is not my pastor.”
People didn’t understand because that was the church I attended back then. Anyway, of course he now had to show that he was on board the whole time. He came to congratulate us and said, “I’m so happy for you guys,” and then began to prophecy over my husband’s life about something we don’t even remember. Honestly, we had tuned him out at that point.
Why couldn’t he just say, “congratulations” and admit he was wrong?