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After your latest blog post I must say I found it quite patronizing and superior thanks as someone who is trying to work through church abuse issues your smug tone doesn’t help for nothing
I Have known Stephen for 5 years, his book “Ungodly fear” has helped hundreds of people. He is a caring person, anything but ‘smug’. Will you please give evidence of what he has said that you object to? Accusations without substance is not at all Christian.
However, I wish you Peace, I honestly do. Chris
I am somewhat confused. Which of my posts (203 and counting) do you think is smug and superior? I have been accused of many things but this particular accusation is a first. I wish there were other resources I could refer you to, to help in this grievous topic of church abuse. I am doing this work as, as far as as I know, no one else really wants to talk about it. So I intend to carry on because I know that people are being helped. No one is expected to agree with everything I say. I know that my training and background put me in the ‘liberal’ camp which some Christians find threatening. I make no apologies for this as, for one thing, I do not claim to have all the answers but would see myself as still a learner, even though I am nearly 70. I also completed eight years of full-time theological education in the 60s and 70s. The more I learn, the more I realise I do not know. I will always be suspicious of anyone who claims to have answers in the area of God and faith. Faith will involve searching and questions. That learning and questioning will always be part of the mood of this blog.
Hi Stephen The post I am referring to is Politics and Religion it is not which camp your are in liberal or otherwise that I found superior but the tone I perceived you took in particular your paragraph about people trusting a guru and not having to think for themselves. This to me feels like another example of blame the victim for being stupid for being sucked in to such a group. If this was not your intension then I apologize however I would ask you to remember for future posts it is not just academics who read your blog but real people who have been affected by these issues.
Donna I have looked at the ‘offending’ part of Politics and Religion and can see why you might be offended. I do read a lot and have read a lot on these topics but I do not regard my involvement as in anyway academic but merely to further the cause of understanding in these areas. One of the things that this blog is trying to do is to awake people up to be able think again after entering the ‘dream’ of being wrapped up in a cultic or abusive religious set-up. No one takes on blame by being ‘conned’ by a religious leader or church, anymore than it is blameworthy to be caught by a confidence trickster. But my experience and the experience of this blog is that the moment someone discovers that they have been taken advantage of emotionally and intellectually is that they want to understand what has happened to them. I cannot through a blog provide emotional healing for people but I can provide material to help people who want to have insight into the processes that have taken place. Someone once said ‘to understand is to forgive’. I could say that to understand is to be able to move forward. I do not know your story but I firmly believe that some of the material on this blog will help you to have insight into the dynamics of influence, persuasion and being abused. The use of the word guru is for me a convenient shorthand to describe the situation of abject dependence which some cults and churches use. It is an unfortunate place to be in but not a place of shame. Vulnerability is not a place of shame, just a state that may have been visited on us by family or social circumstances. To be able to see clearly what is and has been going on puts one in a position of strength. That is where I want you and anyone else who reads this blog to be and that is why I continue to work hard at the blog.
Thanks for that Stephen I can see where you are coming from now. Bless your work
Wow! I have just stumbled across your blog. How brave of you and how timely for me. I’m not going to comment until I have read more of your blog. I have my own opinions about some of the causes of ostracism within Anglican churches, so let my reading begin! Thank you.
Welcome Christine. We’re small group, and Stephen is off sick at present. But I’m sure he will be up and at ’em again soon.
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