I saved the topic of excommunication and shunning for the end—beginning with the next post. It seemed appropriate to wrap up this topic by addressing one of the most traumatizing, and most feared elements of Spiritual Abuse, in many cultures. Not to mention that excommunication also signifies an ‘end’ of sorts. (The irony is not lost with me.)
Because of the power in excommunication, to psychologically abuse the mind, I expect it will require several posts to cover the topic. If it is more than two posts, I will take a break to celebrate Father’s Day.
I am aware that the role of women in Spiritual Abuse is conspicuously absent in this series. There are several reasons for this. (And our innocence isn’t one of them.)
The first is that in my cultural background women were not allowed in leadership and were rarely given a voice. I am not so naïve as to think many didn’t ‘run the show’—I witnessed them telling their men what to do. (Secretly we all knew the Bishop’s wife and ministers’ wives had their fingers in the soup…. And, God bless ’em, we probably needed that. In the words of Maria Portokalo, in My Big Fat Greek Wedding: “Let me tell you something…. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any she wants.” And that was kind of how it was.)
While other manipulations, from women, came into play from time to time, spiritual abuse did not to a noteworthy extent. Furthermore, the Jezebel Spirit series that I am working on for the future, will cover some of that.
But first, I’m working on a ‘Sex, and the Abuse of It’ series. I will share (discreetly) parts of my life story, as well as my journey to overcoming the aftermath. Again, because abuse took place in our home, in our community, as well as in the church of my youth, there will be intertwining with religion. I will explore the confusion that this element brings with it, and how it influences our view of God.
People have already sent questions via FB, and other media, asking if I teach/talk on controversial topics surrounding sexuality—things like, same-sex relationships, pornography, masturbation, sex toys etc. All I can say is that I will speak from my heart.
Some of what I share will be based on personal thoughts, preferences, opinions, or experience, in which case you can take me to task and try to change my mind, if you wish. And I will also draw from some secular material that speaks volumes in these areas.
The Bible will be a key resource as well, in which case you are still welcome to challenge me but you should know that I’m kind of stubborn when it comes to what my Bible tells me, if it isn’t one of those things that leave a lot up for interpretation. If it’s direct, so am I. And, even then, I have been known to get it wrong. Passionately wrong. I’m not afraid to do a 180. I’d rather move passionately in the wrong direction, than to be apathetic and eternally undecided.
I anticipate being respected, rejected, loved, hated, envied, despised…. applauded by some, called a bigot by others, and whatever else comes with having opinions that are not welcomed in mainstream society…. or Christianity, for that matter. I’m cool with that. To present my heart any other way would be to be less than authentic. In the words of Kurt Cobain, “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than to be loved for who I am not.”
Others future topics include Marriage, Parenting, Current News and random inspirational thoughts, but not necessarily in that order. Some topics I am passionate about for obvious reasons—like marriage and parenting–and others because they impact us as believers. Current news is random, whatever environmental events take place, and whatever good or evil mankind decides to get into on a given day—particularly the evil, since that seems to stir greatest interest in the best and the worst of humanity. (Oh depraved souls that we are!) Even then, my goal is to find good and hope, or, at the very least, let it challenge us to do good.
I pray often, “Lord, make my words beautiful, so that they reflect you.” And that is my prayer, that my words will lift up and encourage, even while tackling the tough topics.
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/