I love the bumper sticker:
“God, save me from your followers.”
I have a personal connection to this issue. I grew up in the culture of Evangelical Fundamentalism. I know how the scars can be deep and painful and confusing.
It always amazes me how much pain and damage can be cause by churches. Damage caused by legalism, cliques, abuse of authority, exclusion, control, manipulation. I call all this: spiritual abuse.
Abuse by religious organizations is often subtle. But the pain is very, very real and can leave a person feeling abandoned, confused and excluded. A core part of their very being has been attacked.
Frequently, organized religion can cause more pain than they alleviate. Too many people have their foundations crumble when their “church family” turns on them or their leaders mislead them.
Churches can hurt. But there are ways to begin the healing process and re–connect with your spirituality. It is possible to feel safe and loved again. Counseling can help.
If you are not ready for counseling – I highly recommend the book: Sham Pearls for Real Swine by Franky Schaeffer.