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How You Can be Manipulated and Abused

Article Index
How You Can be Manipulated and Abused
Bad Discipleships Make It A
Sin Not To Follow Their Rules
The Problem of Bondage
Commitment Manipulation Tactic
Discipleship Membership Card


 The Bible offers us these examples of sin:

  • "the cravings the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does" (1 John 2:16)
  • "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lover of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:2)
  • "bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice" (Eph. 4:31) and "sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed" (Col. 3:5)
  • Romans 13:13 mentions "adultery, murder, stealing, coveting" as sins

 In abusive discipleships, sin is expanded to mean almost anything that the leaders do not like (e.g., challenging leaders’ actions, not obeying leaders’ advice, disagreeing with leaders, questioning leaders, or openly criticizing leaders).

 The most common non-Biblical idea that is planted in members’ minds by abusive groups is that they are rebellious, hardhearted, or prideful when they decide not to follow the group's rules. Breaking a rule is usually taken to mean sinning against God. This is coercion because these dedicated Christians will force themselves to follow agendas they would otherwise refuse to accept.

 An important, yet subtle, rule is: 

You should wait until both you and your discipler agree before you actually make an important decision. 

You are led to believe that you should get this confirmation so you will "know" that whatever you want to do is God's will. Actually, it simply means getting permission from the discipler. Responsible disciplers will not ask this of you (they know from experience that they have advised people wrongly in the past). Occasionally, the wise discipler does not "have peace" about a situation but he realizes that the disciple may be following the Lord's leading by not accepting advice. The abusive discipler presumes to know what's best for you. (Note: To "have peace" is a code phrase used by some groups and churches. It means that a person feels that God wills certain things and, thus, the person feels spiritual peace concerning these things).