It is a known fact that there are church leaders who manipulates and controls their congregations through fear, guilt, shame and intimidation. Some do so unintentionally. But such abusive setting is toxic for the believer, who often find themselves burdened and lost in their walk with God. Some of them become confused and develops a distorted view of God, while some remains in the abusive system, either unaware or just didn’t know how to escape.
Written by Pastor David Johnson and Counselor Jeff VanVonderen, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse is one of the best resources for Christians who have been in abusive church situations. This book is written for Christians who have been wounded by the church and for those which may be causing it. In this book, Johnson and Van Vonderen (who became famous as the most talented interventionist in the A&E show ‘Intervention‘) examines the unhealthy spiritual dynamics in churches and how such event can trap people in abusive systems, the impact of abusive leadership in a congregation or ministry, and how the abused can recover and return to a right relationship with God, one of love, hope, and grace.
I believe that this book has the ability to help anyone who’s ever been spiritual abused or who is going through it. As a victim of spiritual abuse, I found myself healing as I read. But I kept thinking to myself, “If only so and so can read it too and be healed from this spiritual abuse.” The sad part is that everyone cannot be free from spiritual abuse unless they accept that something is wrong with their church or leader. This book explained in great detail how churches are being destroyed by spiritual abuse and how lives are also being destroyed. Some people never recover from such abuse. — Amazon Customer
I have used this book for almost 20 years in ministry because of the author’s clarity of issues, Schriptural basis, exaninations of self and others, understanding godly authority and thoughtful questions in seeking the Lord’s will, ways and solutions for proper, healthy decisions. — Bonnie Brown (Amazon Review)
This book just confirmed that what I thought I was experiencing was actually REALLY happening. I have left my old church about 1.5 years ago and have experienced incredible healing since then. My husband and I are SO much happier now. — Rebecca (Amazon)
My wife worked for a church-based organization and over a period of 2 years she suffered what we thought was bullying. She told the leadership who placed my wife in the wrong. She eventually was forced out of her position and was made to feel shame and humiliation. Someone told us that this was spiritual abuse. This book has helped both of us to begin recovery and to retain faith. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Thank you so much David and Jeff. — Eugene Delacroix (Amazon)