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Are You Under Spiritual Control? Charisma Magazine July 1992

Are You Under Spiritual Control? Charisma Magazine July 1992

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Published by John Flaherty
I have "carved out" this article from another post as I feel it's importance is equal to if not greater than the article it was combined with.
I have "carved out" this article from another post as I feel it's importance is equal to if not greater than the article it was combined with.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: John Flaherty on Aug 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/06/2012

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Loyalty to ChristHimself mustSupersede LoyaltyTo CommunityLeaders.
 
Are You Under
SPIRITUALCONTROL?
from Charisma Magazine, July 1992By David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen
 
SilceJem
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UNDERSPIRITUAL
UWHOEVERWANTSTOBECOMEGREAT
amongyou,"Jesussaid,"mustbeyourservant" (Matt.20:26,NIV).SpiritualleadersarecalledbyGodtoserveHispeople,tonurtureandequip them.YetinsomeChristiangroups--churches, organizationsandevenfamilies-leadersusetheir authoritytocontrolanddominateothers,to"lorditoverthem,"asJesusdescribedit(v.25).Throughthesubtleuseoftheright"spiritual" words,membersaremanipulatedorshamedintocertainbehaviorsthatentraptheminlegalism,guiltandbegrudgingservice.Thisproblemmightwellbecalled
spiritualabuse-<leeply
ingrainedspiritualcodesofwrittenandunwrittenrulesthatenslavebelieverstoasys- tem,aleaderorastandardofperformancethatsapstruespirituallife.Relationshipsbetweenpeopleinsuchspirituallyabusivesystems,whetherthey're foundinchurchesorotherChristiansettings,aredictatedbyatleastsevenmajordynamics.Here'sa briefdescriptionofeachone-andsuggestionsforwhattodoifyoufindyourselfcaughtupinasys-temthatoperatesthisway.
1.Power-Posturing:
Power-posturingoccurs whenleadersspendalotoftimefocusedontheirownauthorityandremindingothersof
it,
aswell.Thisisnecessarybecausetheirspiritualauthorityisn'treal-it'sanemptyclaimbasedonsome- thingotherthangenuinegodlycharacter,whichistherealbiblicalbasisforauthority. Thosewhoareinpositionsoftrueleader-shipdemonstrateauthority,spiritualpower andcredibilityby
theirlivesandmessage.
Iftheydon't,they'renottrueleaders.Thereasonanyofusisgivenspiritualauthor-ityisthatGodhasledusthroughreal-lifeexperiences,bywhichHehasreveaJedHimselfandHisWordtobetrue.Thusspiritualauthorityisseeninthosewhosay:"GodandHisWordaretrue-I'veprovedthem inthefibersofmybeing.IknowthereishopeinGod!" TheapostlePaulsaidtohisfollowers:"Youyourselvesare
HERE'SHOW
TOIDENTIFY
IFYOU'RE
THEVICTIM
OFTHESUBTlE
INFLUENCEOF
ASPIRITUALLYABUSIVE
SYSTEM.
ARE
YOU
ourletter[ofrecommendation],writtenonourhearts,knownandreadbyeverybody...theresult ofourministry"(2Cor.3:2-3). Beinghiredorelectedtoapositionofspiritualleadership,talkingtheloudestorgivingthemostdoesnotgivesomeoneauthority.Godgivesau- thoritytoleaderssotheycanbuilduppeople,servethem,equipthemandsetthemfreetodoGod'sagenda-whichmayormaynotcoincidewiththepersonala$endaofthepeopleinleadership.
2.PerformancePreoccupation:
Abusivespir-itualsystemsarepreoccupiedwiththeperfor-manceoftheirmembers.
Obedience
and
submission
aretwoimportantwordsoftenused.GodteachesthatHelooksfirstupontheheart; He'sconcernedthatwenotdotherightthingforallthewrongreasons.It'strue,ofcourse,that obediencetoGodisnotnegotiable.Yettheway totellwhetherpeoplearedoingtherightthingforthewrongreasonistoseewhetherthey'rekeep- ingtrackofit.Ifobedienceandserviceareflowingoutof youasaresultofyourdependenceonGodalone,youwon'tkeeptrackofitwithaneyetowardre-ward;you'lljustdoit.Butifyou'repreoccupied withwhetheryou'vedoneenoughtopleaseGod,thenyou'renotlookingatHim-you'relooking atyourownworksandareconcernedaboutwho elsemightbelookingatyou,evaluatingyou. Areobedienceandsubmissionimportant?Withoutquestion.TheScripturesays,"Obeyyourleaders,andsubmittotheirauthority" (Heb.13:17).Tobringbalance,however, wemustaddtotheseversesanequallyimportantpassage.Considerthewordsof Peterandtheotherapostlestothereli-giousleadershewasdisobeying:"We mustobeyGodratherthanmen" (Acts5:29).Outofcontext,obedienceto leaderslookslikegoodtheology.Addthelargercontext,andyou'llseethat
it
is
onlyappro-priatetoobeyandsubmittoleadershipwhentheir
il
BYDAVIDJOHNSON
24
JULy1992,
CHARISMA
&
JEFF·VANVONDEREN

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