Former IRA volunteer and ex-prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh, 4 years on the blanket and no-wash/no work protests which led to the hunger strikes of the 80s. Completed PhD at Queens upon release from prison. Left the Republican Movement at the endorsement of the Good Friday Agreement, and went on to become a journalist. Co-founder of The Blanket, an online magazine that critically analyzed the Irish peace process. Lead researcher for the Belfast Project, an oral history of the Troubles.
Yes, a lot of abusive 'pastors' out there. They need gullible and Biblically-ignorant sheep to fleece and lord it over, and there are plenty of those around too. Innocents.ReplyDelete
Add to that sheep who have their own prosperity and health as their goals and you have recruits by the droves.
He also identifies several factors that will trouble even good churches and pastors, opening them to abusive behaviour - the ordaining of recent converts puts those converts under unwarranted spiritual temptations. And the merry-go-round of pastorates, where abusive pastors are passed on to other churches, usually without due investigation of their spirituality. Their gift of the gab gets higher priority, and such pastors can turn on the charm with ease.
It's not an entirely new phenomenon, as the New Testament letters mention pastors like that. That means any Christian today has no excuse for not being on guard for the abusers.
I have know many real pastors, men with a servant heart. Their story gives the other side of abuse - congregations who are unruly or are fooled by abusers into getting rid of the very man who is looking out for their interests.
Most real churches, made up of real Christians, have problems from time to time, but overcome them eventually. The high number of abusive pastors mentioned here is a warning to them to be on their guard continually.
I guess like most things in life it is the Parson's egg. 90% is a big number and I think for it to hold up more than two studies would need to be carried out. It doesn't bode well for pastors. It is an image probably reinforced by the greedy pastords we see so much of in the US, literally insulting people by claiming their god told them to buy a new plane.Delete