Power and religion

From time to time when I am writing this blog on the topic of power abuse in a religious setting I find that I connect with quite powerful feelings of internal rage. Although outwardly I may be writing about what might seem to be two differing opinions about the bible or religious politics, what I am often describing are, in fact, examples of the attempt by an individual or a group to gain power over another. Over the centuries we see how power has been used by (typically) men in positions of religious influence, often inappropriately or wrongfully. Sometimes power abuse has been accomplished by the use of armies, such as the Crusades and other wars of religion. In 1099, during the First Crusade, tens of thousands of Jews and Muslims were slaughtered in the streets of Jerusalem by the conquering Western armies. In a period of around 2-300 years, tens of thousands of women were tortured and burnt in Europe by the legal and religious authorities for being witches. During our present time hundreds of individuals are being killed and enslaved by members of ISIS for belonging to a group different from those in charge. Religion sometimes has this ability to make an individual feel that his actions involving coercive power can be justified by an appeal to a holy book.

The origins of this blog go back to the meeting (by telephone) between myself and Chris over the suffering he had endured at the hands of sincere Christians. Over the 170 blog posts, I have wrestled with the paradox of the fact that followers of the man Jesus, who never himself advocated violence or used coercion against people (apart from the incident with the money tables), should feel it possible to use coercive power in his name. The actual power employed is today, in the case of Christians, seldom physical but it is just as effective all the same. Individuals who encounter this use of religious power find themselves having to negotiate arrayed against them the weapons of fear, humiliation, verbal violence and the threat of everlasting torture in a world to come. As Chris would put it, such weapons of power ‘mess your head up’, and those who try to try to stand alongside the victims of religious violence, like myself, can be excused for feeling impotent rage as they hear these stories. As readers of this blog will know I spent two or three years in the 90s interviewing and reading for my book, Ungodly Fear. The effect of hearing all the stories left me with a sense of weariness with the topic of extreme religious groups and that I had said all I could say on the topic. Indeed, after the book came out in 2000, I got rid of most of my collection of books concerned with extreme conservative Christianity. The reason for my returning to this world of religious abuse is partly to do with meeting Chris but also my discovery that while the States have numbers of researchers into these issues, there are comparatively few in the UK who take an interest in this area of study. I now network with the American based organisation, the International Cultic Studies Association and through them I am in touch with the handful of academics and psychotherapists in the UK who are interested in these issues. Of the ones I know, none is an Anglican or holds a position in any religious organisation. So there falls on to my shoulders a certain responsibility for keeping up a concern for these issues around religious abuse, particularly that which occurs in a Christian context.

I need to repeat what are my true concerns for this blog. My concerns are primarily for the victims of abusive Christian teaching and behaviour which leaves these individuals demoralised and sometimes badly damaged. The Christian teaching that creates these victims is not in itself obviously bad and it normally follows laws and principles that are, on the face of it, good and necessary. This teaching is based on a book, the Bible, which for most people is a source of inspiration and encouragement. But this same Bible is able to become a tool of coercion in the hands of certain individuals who want, for their own reasons, to use it this way. My task, as I see it, is first to challenge a use of the Bible that shifts its nature from being a text of joy to being one of oppression and fear. The very act of challenging this kind of oppression in the name of a loving God does evoke in me quite a lot of passion because it takes me back to times I have sat with and tried to support victims of this kind of bullying. Writing about such people reminds me once again of their pain. My piece on the Southwark Diocese also brought out of me a level of passion when I thought of so many people being caught up in what I see as a dishonest political action. Good faithful church people, with whom I have no quarrel, are being persuaded to sign a document that appears to be a sign of their good faith and loyalty to the church. From my perspective this Southwark Declaration works at two levels. At one level it is an innocuous statement of belief. At another level it seeks to attack the Bishop and his senior staff, making it a political grab for power. Anyone who signs it, unwittingly and unknowingly, becomes an instrument of the political power games being played by the leaders of these wealthy minority of parishes in the Southwark diocese.

At the beginning of my time of writing this blog I tended to see the problem of power abuse in a church context as something that concerned just individuals. My book had followed the stories of actual people and the way that each fell foul of the church in different ways. Since starting this blog I have come to see that it is not just individuals that are affected by the misuse of power but whole groups of people, even institutions. As I have studied and read about the appalling treatment endured by Archbishop Rowan at the hands of his critics, I began to see that the story of power abuse is not just about individuals but it is also about a battle that is sometimes going on within entire denominations. I am particularly aware, of course, of the battles within my own Anglican setting. This deliberate use and abuse of power within the church, directed against both individuals and institutions, will continue to be my preoccupation. The reader will have to forgive me if a degree of passion comes into my writing, but it is a reflection of the pain that has been endured by others, from Archbishop Rowan down to the humblest parishioner who is tragically abused through membership of a church.

About Stephen Parsons

Stephen is a retired Anglican priest living at present in Northumberland. He has taken a special interest in the issues around health and healing in the Church but also when the Church is a place of harm and abuse. He has published books on both these issues and is at present particularly interested in understanding the psychological aspects of leadership and follower-ship in the Church. He is always interested in making contact with others who are concerned with these issues.

24 thoughts on “Power and religion

  1. Thank You Stephen, This continues to be a discussion that no one in the ‘Church’ wants to have!
    The Shame is that when you stick your head in the sand, sooner or later, the tide come in!
    Peace, Chris

  2. I really appreciate your clarity. I would like to know more about Archbishop Rowan.

    I’ve taken on an extra role in my church and become rather aware of some things that need changing. I identify with your passion and am glad you express it.

    Mostly we don’t kill each other physically in English churches today, as you say. But I also remember a woman who is an ancestor of mine, Anne Askew. Though tortured and burnt at the stake by Henry VIII, she never stopped standing up for what she believed, and you can read what she wrote in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. This is a favourite quote from her, which links with your comments about Jesus in this blog post: “I had searched all the Scriptures, yet could I never find that either Christ or his apostles put any creature to death.”

  3. I will expound on what you wrote later, especially about the internal rage and such abuse of power. Years ago when first heard Leonard Ravenhill, knew he was a man (Elijah Type) sent by God to America to pray and call Church Leadership/Churches to REPENT. Been thinking how sad OVER the many years Church didn’t heed Derek Prince and his teachings on Witchcraft in the church along with John Paul Jackson and EXCELLENT teaching tape “Jezebel Spirit” along with Noel Alexander on same subject and Tim Davis teaching on Ahab/Jezebel Spirit in the home. Then 1st Edition of the “Three Battlegrounds” by Francis Frangipane. Friend told me recently God sent another man from England to America “To Kill the Religious Spirit in America”‘ how sad. Recently the World lost a major Prophetic Voice. Just grieving over the condition (not false burden, but truth) over World, Nation while the church is playing dead church and supporting so so many wolves, hirelings, false shepherds. I was asking the Father and been, how long are you going to let them prostitute and whore your name and everything you stand for when we should be used to heal the sick and raise the dead (only he can do that). Where is holiness, righteous, repentance, prayer and true worship?

  4. Archbishop Rowan was being constantly got at by the African bishops in particular. When he resigned in 2012 these were the words published by Archbishop Okoh of Nigeria speaking of Rowan. ‘Unfortunately, he is leaving behind a Communion in tatters: highly polarized, bitterly factionalized, with issues of revisionist interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and human sexuality as stumbling blocks to oneness, evangelism and mission all around the Anglican world.’ I suspect the words were actually written by someone else but this was the kind of lack of respect for his considerable spirituality and intellectual gifts on the part of many Anglican in the Anglican South. I have some more thoughts on this in my next post. Rowan was under constant strain and no doubt the current Archbishop is having a difficult time as well. It is logically impossible to placate someone who believes that they have the only truth possible. The depth of animosity felt by ‘bible-believing’ Christians for those who do not agree with them is intense and sometimes vitriolic. The next Lambeth is, I understand, unlikely to go ahead.

    1. That explains a lot. I was a student at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. I was asked to leave. I had done nothing wrong. Maybe the inclusion of Rowan Williams in my studies caused antipathy elsewhere in the organisation. I don’t know; perhaps I’ll never know.

  5. I am a little confused. You say “Bible believing” as if it is a bad thing. Do you not believe the Bible? I believe every word of the Bible, but I have no animosity for those who disagree with me. What would that accomplish? I enjoy your blog, but honestly sometime I find myself befuddled by some of the things you say. I mean no disrespect by that! Maybe it is simply a matter of semantics that causes my confusion. Maybe we have differing definitions for things. Maybe it is simply too early in the morning for me to be reading this! Haha. Either way, I am interested in your opinion on the veracity of the scriptures.

    Blessings on you as you follow Him
    Posey

  6. Stephen, I appreciate your passion. Keep at it!
    haikusinenomine, my claimed ancestor John Rogers, who continued Tyndale’s work after his arrest, was the first martyr to be burned in the reign of Queen Mary. (The two missing generations in the family tree mean that certainty of descent is not available)

  7. Posey. You will realise that from my putting the words bible believer into inverted commas I am using it in a particular way. In the UK, people who self-designate themselves as ‘bible-believers’ are those who take a very conservative inerrantist position over scripture. That itself is not a bad place to be but those of us who want to face problems in the scriptural text that the inerrantist position does not take account of, are lumped into a place that is called ‘heretical’ or ‘disobedient’. To repeat, to be a ‘bible-believer’ is one way of dealing with Scripture for those who want to work that way. Why people like me, students of the Bible, object to this position is that ‘bible-believers’ sometimes want to demonise and otherwise trash those who do not agree with them. I want the freedom to read scripture with all its problems and issues without being forced to follow a party-line about the conclusions I come to. Throughout this blog, you will find me pointing out that the Bible is a very complex document and this complexity needs to be faced head on. I do not like being demonised for pointing out the clear problems in the Bible text. I am a bible-believer but I take seriously the problems that exist in the text not to come with simplistic and politically motivated answers for common moral problems. These simplistic answers are behind much of the abuse that I am campaigning about. The position about the role of women in the church and the family from ‘bible-believers’ is based on a passage in I Timothy. I have discussed the illegitimacy of the way this passage is commonly read a few posts back. All my arguments against this interpretation are taken from the text itself. If you agree with the ‘bible-believers’, you condemn yourself to a life of obedience to men and silence, not to mention never being able to leave the home. That is what the Bible says in its ‘clear teaching’. If you disagree with the ‘clear teaching’, you have to treat the bible with a greater degree of subtly and nuance. That is what I try to do here.

  8. Posey, I was a convinced evangelical for 38 years. Selective use of scripture was used to control my thoughts and left me with an acute personality disorder. I became literally like a walking vending machine; “Are you saved brother/sister, are you sound on ‘this’ or ‘that’ position”? I now suffer from an out of control self hate. During those years I put so many people off the Christian faith – for this I am totally responsible and, it is the burden of knowing this that I find mentally crippling.
    Believing every word of the Bible can lead to burning witches, innocent people being executed and limbs being cut off?
    Jesus had every opportunity to say “ The Word Of God Says an eye for an eye” but No, He said; ‘You have Heard it said …….. but, I say to you” ? Matthew 5 – 38-48.

    Stephen is really talking about Grace in its purest form. The Grace to be truly free to follow Christ and not man made traditions? “If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed”

    Jesus was able to say; “You have made vain the word of God by the traditions of your Fathers” Mark 7.13
    I believe that this needs serious consideration; I repeat I believe that this needs serious consideration?

    I wish you Peace, Chris Pitts

  9. Posey, thanks for contributing.

    Stephen speaks from his own position where he more often hears and sees the words “Bible Believing” in a negative context. I’m a regular on here who is from the evangelical wing of the church, I do believe the Bible. There are many ways of believing it however, and sadly the Bible (often bits of it quoted out of context) can be used in a bad way. I only need to mention the words “prosperity gospel” to give an example that particularly irks me.

    We are not debating the Bible as such here, just deploring the use of a particular view of the Bible in order to disempower, or dominate in what I feel to be and anti-biblical way. (irony alert!!).

    A great evangelical scholar from the far right wing of evangelical-dom frequently says “don’t believe it because I say it, seek it out for yourself”. That is good advice.

    Sure – we differ on how to read the Bible, Stephen has a more liberal approach and prefers to accept what I would see as a more sceptical view of the authenticity of the Bible texts.

    Personally that worries me less – my faith rests in the person of God, not in words about Him. Though I have to say (and I suspect Stephen will agree) that I meet the God I know in the Bible, as I read it daily.

  10. Dear Stephen,
    I am so sorry we have not been in touch since you published “Ungodly Fear”. I contacted you then, but did not follow it up. I am an Anglican academic, a social psychologist. My research area is workplace bullying in religious groups. When your book was published I described myself as looking at issues of spiritual abuse. Which is still true, but I have honed it somewhat as ‘spiritual abuse’ is too much of a blanket term. In 2002 I discovered that bullying and its associated abuses are alive and sadly well in the Church of England. In 2006/7 there were a number of headlines in national and even international newspapers about bullying in the church. I was a consultant to Archbishops Council for their report “Dignity at Work” (2008) which attempts to address bullying and harassment in the church and recommended that all Dioceses should have their own policy. Sadly 6 years later although many Dioceses have some sort of a policy, not all do. There is a great deal still to be done.
    The question of power imbalances is an important one and I am entirely with Muriel Porter in last week’s Church Times about the role of theology and domestic violence. This was picked up in the UK about 20 years ago by Leslie Orr MacDonald in her work “Out of the Shadows”. On the same subject, Appendix 1, ‘Harmful theology’ in “Responding to Domestic Abuse” Archbishops Council 2006 heartened me. As a woman on Bishops Council in my Diocese I am only too well aware of the marginalisation of women’s views. That many men seem able to contradict, ignore and even humiliate an individual who happens to be a woman. I have seen it with other women and experienced it myself too often.
    So do not despair, there are other people in the CofE who are also concerned with these issues. I could not agree more with you about Rowan Williams. I have come to the conclusion that he is the nearest thing we have in the CofE to a saint.
    I was shocked at General Synod in July 2014 when a lay member who had voted against the legislation for women in the Episcopate in 2012 said how she had suffered vitriol following her vote. Although I would never condone vitriol or any other abuse for anyone, ever, I don’t think that speaker had any idea the vitriol which has been heaped on those of us, lay and ordained, who have been in favour of ordaining women to the Episcopate over many years. Her words left a very sour taste in my mouth for the total lack of recognition for the problems other women have suffered for many years.
    Keep up the good work, Stephen! May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    1. Thank you Anne for being back in touch. I am glad you have found the blog. I think the point I want to make is that this blog, while it covers Muriel Porter’s issues on headship and violence, wants to focus on and explore a theologically more scary part of abuse where people are caught up in a cult-like situation. As you will remember from my book I had a particular concern for people who were abused in the course of healing or exorcism. This is far harder to deal with and challenge because it concerns deeply-held belief systems which may be abusive in themselves even before they are put into practice. Work-place bullying has tribunals etc to make judgement on whether it takes place. The imposing of a belief system (which may be part of a conversion process) which demoralises the victim without any physical or bullying action taking place is tougher to identify and deal with. It is the victim of ‘theological violence’ that I want to flag up and support. Chris Pitts bears witness to this kind of abuse over several years. This involves, as I have repeatedly said in my blog posts, being prepared to challenge the theological system of the perpetrator. I don’t know anywhere that is doing this kind of work. In addition I hope you understand my new interest that has emerged from my reading in institutional abuse in the Anglican scene. My word (coined in the past couple of days) for it is political Calvinism. Calvin succeeded in taking over the whole city of Geneva in the name of his ‘system’ and that is what some Anglican groups are trying to do to the Communion.

    2. Anne, I’m glad to hear about your work. My employment rights were grossly trampled on by my local parish and it was a ghastly fight of several months to force them to concede the legal minimum – this was a great betrayal by people I had worshiped with for twenty years, some of them. Since then things haven’t been too bad, but there have still been issues from time to time, with some outstanding at the present which makes me feel bad, and I’m shocked at how little people in the church know or care about doing the right thing.

      I totally agree too about the women things, and flagged up in a comment on another post the very good article about domestic violence. Stephen, I understand your wish to keep a focus on your identified core issues. However I suspect the debate is strengthened rather than weakened if related subjects are discussed too at times. And I am not convinced that there’s an easily drawn up hierarchy of how badly different things destroy lives. Work place bullying can do that quite effectively, and a tribunal won’t always wave a magic wand. Indeed, it has shockingly been made very expensive now to access tribunals. One of the things that kept me going in my fight was the belief that I had a cast iron case, and if I had to take it to a tribunal I would dare to and be able to. But that was then – now I might not have felt I could afford it or take the risk. And many people at the bottom of the heap are in a much worse place than me.

      1. Haikusinenomine. I have come to see that I need to unpack all the different strands of Christian abuse. I realise from these contributions that one has to define one’s use of the word. You will agree that an employment issue connected to Christians is quite different from a vulnerable individual being sucked into a cult. So far I have identified seven strands and I keep thinking of more. My tentative list will be put up in three or four days time. Watch this space!

        1. Yes I look forward to seeing your thoughts. It seems to me that the important point is not so much the type of abuse – though different things play out differently and are well worth specific exploration – but the bit, the “vulnerable individual”. Now we are all vulnerable, but some much more than others. And to some extent we are vulnerable in different aspects and ways, given that we are all human of course. Therefore a bit of abuse that can totally destroy one person, will be fought off by a second person. But that second person could be destroyed by a different bit of abuse. Very crudely expressed, but you get the drift!

          The whole subject is so totally vast no blog can do more than scratch the surface, and that does tend to give value to having a core focus so you can cover a specific area or two more deeply. I just think that at the same time sharing insights from people who have a variety of experiences from related different areas can lead to creative cross-fertilisation, and is also a good way to help new people see that your core area is relevant to them and can help enlighten them about vital things central to faith. Otherwise your core area can seem like a sideline that only concerns a few cult churches, and our church isn’t a cult so we can safely ignore it….

  11. Great contributions happening here. Thanks! I am reminded of once seeing a bishop from South Africa on tv claiming to justify apartheid from the Old Testament, and further back that the Archbishop of Constantinople died from the wounds he received at one of the early church synods – was it the so-called robber synod at Ephesus? These abuses are not new it seems.

  12. Yes, Stephen, keep up with the passion. It’s a good thing. You can’t cover everything. I’m sure you’re right about cultic or cultish(?) churches. It’s a specific kind of problem. How to deal with abuse(s) when they are discovered is also an issue. In my opinion, where there is a lack of machinery/systems to deal with it, it is the same institutionalised sin as allows child sex abuse. That is to say, if either the structures, or the ingrained habits, or both, tend to protect the perpetrators, then you have a problem. Bullying, which has been all my experience in the church, really, is always going to happen. It’s common everywhere. What you need is robust methods to deal with it. And prevention and protection will always be a problem. What happens within the church, at least in my experience, is that clergy are supportive of and loyal to other clergy, even when they know or believe there is a problem, and not supportive of or helpful to the victim(s). Usually, again in my experience, if you confide in someone, they will phone the person you have accused and tell them (You’ll never guess what she just said about you!) This is an absolute betrayal of confidentiality, a betrayal of trust that I would characterise as spiritual abuse, and always the wrong thing to do anyway, you don’t go to the abuser. That happens when and if there is some kind of investigation. (Imagine if a child molester were approached by the Bishop and simply believed when he said it wasn’t true) As Anne (I think, I’m losing my place a bit) said, there are supposed to be systems. But the bullying/abuse advisors can only be contacted through a secretary at Church House, and the posts are often vacant. If no-one knows about them, they may as well not exist. The policies look good on paper. I know, I’ve read a fair few. But in practice, they don’t work.
    Keep plugging on Stephen. There will be a few gaps in my attendance. My Father-in-law recently died after a short illness. There’s a lot of travelling around involved, and more to come. Funeral, ashes. Remember our family please, all friends.

  13. Keeping you in my prayers, English Athena.

    Yes, often in life there is nowhere to turn. You don’t know how to turn anywhere anyway, or realise that you’ve been mistreated. Think of all the teenage girls now who we’re told don’t even know that they shouldn’t be raped – scarcely even have a concept of differentiating consent and rape. The church often doesn’t provide the sanctuary it should and paper policies can be meaningless and toothless good intentions.

    But somewhere in all this nightmare, sometimes things go right. A person learns to stand up for themselves. A wise, brave and compassionate person protects someone who’s under stress and suffering injustice. An evil doer is called to account. An organisation recognises its shortcomings, collectively repents and tries to set out on a new path. Just because these gospel actions can’t be guaranteed and built into automatic fail-safe systems makes them more, not less, precious. It’s often a dark world and a dark church, so all the more vital to look around and see the light of Christ shining here, there and from every direction, irrepressibly.

  14. “internal rage”, I think of the wasted years sitting in the church but in Corinthians it says God does NOT waste a thing in our lives. Come to the conclusion that parents picked a familiar spirit. Had a full blown evil warlock in one of my corporate offices and to date the most evil man ever met was a pastor. For anyone NOT deal with your unhealed childhood issues and forgiveness which then makes you go mentally ill and insane (King Saul was one example) and we have no MANY of those types in our pulpits (or homes). My former pastor had hitler/Napoleon complex and 6 things God hates and 7 is abomination unto him the pride, the self-righteous Pride of NOT being correctable, teachable to DESTROY so many people and lives and pious self-righteous spirit of thinking they have the right and justified wow. When the ministry, pulpit, church is NOT there’s it ALL belongs to God. Hey, that internal rage had me so P.O’d that started exposing the CORRUPT and Evil Pastorate/Churches in U.S. Such a Spirit of Insanity in Churches, WORSE WE ARE NOT Judging fruit and or looking who founded these Evil Regimes/Dynasty’s (trust they don’t die nasty), we’re content to sit in these Movements and be abused (subtle power of spiritual abuse by Johnson/Van Vonderan only one book, like Don’t Call Me Brother by Austin Miles and or Losing My Religion by Wm Lobdell; so many more).
    Assemblies of their god (“assassins of god)/Foursquare; you could have been born and died in the movement and they would have NEVER gone through the Bible completely once, prayer talked about NOT done or true worship not done, repentance, humility, holiness definitely not modeled and people tithe, attend and thrown money at these inane, inept, evil organizations of dead used car salesman selling THEIR religion. Then you have Smith Sr., one of the best in the Word-Bible but like Satan he knew the Word and DID NOT LIVE at all (told church leadership till the day I die would consider him a warlock and will NEVER change my Stance, Alex Grenier is only one example of many); when you give advice where people leave churches and kill themselves and want women and children to be abused you’re NOTHING for God but your god the devil. How many of our Pastor’s Leader’s are really warlocks and we are NOT judging fruit?
    Look at whose on Cover of June Issue of Charisma (2016), talk about Charisma denial is a river in Egypt and doesn’t research a matter, read over 120 hours of horrific abuses Caris Adele “how I hop made me hate God and Carp the Hell out of the Diem”; so many reads and Baby Jeremiah Candler dead and Bethany Deaton and Mother’s trying to get their brainwashed kids out and kids trying to get parents out; makes you wonder founder of Charisma what he is into and more important to make a buck (money) then to research truth and print the truth. Someone said “satan’s soap opera magazine waits till the scandal hits and then makes more money selling scandal”.
    Worse, who started these movements? a dead person tell founder of Foursquare to start movement (mental illness and inanity in itself) and its such a matriarchal Bioche regime=out of order so many people are so unhealed and yet ministers take the money to be kept in their lifestyle (Richard Rossi’s film on saving Aimee, would have to check correct title). I’m researching to see if AOG’s foundations aren’t Mormon, spent 17 years in this very evil movement/cult and it’s no different. Think your “exploiting the need to belong”, excellent. So much abuse in all these false churches/regimes and people are still, tithing, attending so sad, worse worshipping men/ministries like TBN over God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. How fearful it will all be on judgment morning/day.

  15. Google: The Beggars are a Sign by David Wilkerson, 3-13-1989.
    It’s timely message and information mentioned on greycoats.wordpress.com (click on Julie’s Story and read comments also).

  16. Christine: Need to create a website, have 8 pages of list of books to get over church and other abuses. Somewhere posted have a bigger list not sure which article. My one great friend sent me John/Paula Sandford books she is very gifted apostolically and she can’t fault his books; I like Dr. Laura, Susan Forward, Herb Goldberg; Toxic Faith by Arterburn, New Life Group has a list of Authors to help with such abuses along with Minirith-Meier Group, Townsend/Cloud haven’t read all It friends tell me what help them like Cages of Pain by Aeschliman, Victoria Secunda books, Healing of Damaged Emotions by D.S. and all his books; Dan Allender-Cry of the Soul. Can’t think of them all but Graham Cooke’s message “Wounded and Betrayed Believers are Useful to God” on UTube was one of the most life changing messages for me ever. Derek Prince was a great help in lessons on legalism, church abuse and forgiveness, Fuschia Pickett and Leonard Ravenhill and Arthur (Art) Katz written works set me on the straight and narrow they were the Holiness guys which is very very rarely modeled in our pulpits it’s about money/power and self-serving narcisstic evil regimes because God doesn’t get any money. Worse, we celebrate and support Liars. Look at J. Lee Grady’s Titles of books. Don’t follow or worship men/ministries just God, Jesus, Holy Spirit but there are great teachers out there forgot about Mary Garrison books, Pigs in the Parlor-Frank/Ida Mae Hammond, Strong Man’s His Name What’s His Game, Sons of Zadok; someone just told me about Liberty Savard and Paula A. Price, and John Paul Jackson (tape, NOT book teaching about 14 characteristics was another life changing message). thegreycoats site (list more books, because defend abused children and we are all God’s children no matter what age). Also, More Excellent Way by Henry Wright.
    By the way, I inquire if I can read the book and no means no and sometimes it’s timing; it might now be for now but later. Also, learned NOT to concentrate on demonic (the Bible and their are some great teachers on the subject) but the Glory and the Love of the Father.
    Worship, true worship has really been really healing also.

  17. Wow! Well…was that you who needs to create a website or me?

    You have no idea what joy you just brought me. I love the Sandfords. (I am a Prayer Minister through their Elijah House Schools.) Some of your books are old-time faves of mine. I have Pigs in the Parlor-Frank/Ida Mae Hammond, but need to talk with someone more knowledgable than me about that as I am not totally in agreement and could leave it at that but their points do need addressing. On the other hand, I agree, “NOT to concentrate on demonic (the Bible and their are some great teachers on the subject) but the Glory and the Love of the Father.” My books on this subject are tucked away for those need to know moments.

    There’s a whole set of books missing and John and Paula Sandford touch on the subject of seers. There are others writing on this subject at the moment. James Goll and others.

    Michael Green’s, I Believe in Satan’s Downfall is sound.

    Two books that I seem to have to rely on from time to time, and compatible with the Sandfords as far as I can see are by Dr Kenneth McAll. Healing the Family Tree and Healing the Haunted. Sheldon Press. I have found that prayer for generational matter to be dramatically, yet calmly healing. I suspect that some folk who have suffered childhood abuse may have this element in their backgrounds. My own daughter was healed after I had a dream and prayed into that dream. The dream did not seem to refer to her, nor did I pray for her as a part of the dream but all of a sudden she was healed of a lifelong phobia. I’d say that the key to it was my repentance and a heartfelt ‘saying sorry’ for family sins.

    There’s one more. Day of the Wolf: Unmasking and Confronting Wolves in the Church Kindle Edition by Coleman Luck (Author), Carel Gage Luck (Illustrator), Coleman Luck III (Editor) Publisher: The Sandstar Group; 1 edition (September 30, 2014) Publication Date: September 30, 2014

    Do you think that an interactive site might be of use? I would like people to write brief reviews or comments – a bit like Trip Advisor. Star ratings? Actually, I guess a WordPress document would do it as it has a comments section. A page per book. That needn’t be too difficult. A better course would be some brilliant librarian who could connect the list to libraries. OK time to stop daydreaming. I appreciate your Comment.

    Oh yes, and Worship. Totally agree.

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