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Spiritual Abuse

I wrote this in November of last year and never published it… I am not sure why I didn’t, but I am going to publish it now.

I enjoy spending time with Joe and Amber becuase I get to talk a lot. Joe and Amber are both great conversationalist and since I know that they are truly interested in what I have to say, then I really like to talk to them alot.

Amber is a psychology major. She is currently getting her Master’s in Psychology. She always has interesting things to share and I love talking to her about God and spiritual matters. She said that there is a somewhat new term called “Spiritual Abuse”. Spiritual Abuse can come in many forms and if you look around here in America, I would say that it is pretty common.

I have been a Christian now for 25 years and during that time I can definitely say that I have made some serious mistakes. Not only in my faith, but in sharing my faith as well. Our Bible, or Faith, compels us to go out and share the Good News of Christ and his free gift of salvation, but what sometimes happens is that our Christianity doesn’t come across as a gift but a burden. Even worse is when we try to “hammer” our faith into a non-believer. If they don’t accept it the first time we are persistent to the point of driving them away.

Another form of spiritual abuse can come from parents who try to force religion on to their kids. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” True, but training and teaching are very different from forcing. Forcing a relationship with Christ is like trying to force a relationship with anyone – the harder you push the more the other person wants to get away.

A co-worker of mine said that in college her roommate told her all the time that she was going to go to hell. This co-worker is from another country and grew up with a different set of beliefs. Someone who was raised a certain way isn’t going to change without a miracle from God. Every time someone receives Christ it is because the holy spirit was involved in getting that person’s heart ready to receive.

We can’t berate people into believing what we believe – we can only love them where they are at, pray for them, show them Christ’s love and if we have shared with them and they have turned down the free gift, then keep loving them and praying for them – don’t try to force them to take the gift.

In the end, remember Love Conquers All. When we love people for who they are, then they are drawn to Christ in us, Christ doesn’t want to be forced on anyone.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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