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Churches That Abuse [Hardcover]

Ronald M. Enroth
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (Jan 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310532906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310532903
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 876,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

When does a church cross the line between conventional church status and fringe status? What is the nature of the process by which any given group devolves into a fringe church or movement? What are some of the signs or indicators that a given group is becoming abusive of its members and is headed for the margins? When should a member consider bailing out? Answering these and other important questions about abusive churches, this book warns and informs readers about the "fringe" churches and groups that operate - organizations and churches that are not necessarily characterized by doctrinal deviation, but have particular traits that make them behavioural and sociological outsiders. It also helps readers identify and be aware of abusive tendencies in more "normal" Christian churches. Other books by Ronald M. Enroth include "The Lure of the Cults" and "Evangelizing the Cults".

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Higher end of the Spectrum of Abuse 14 Sep 2008
Format:Hardcover
I found this book very dissapointing in as much as it gave only examples of what seem to me to be very extreme cases of Spiritual abuse .. Although these do indeed exist and are one of the most dreadful sins perpetrated on mankind, there are Milder forms of abuse (if abuse can ever be labled as mild)

Anyone reading this book may think that their Church is not as bad as these portrayed and feel they are mistaken in their assessment of abuse. I don't believe this to be the case , as I have suffered from a Dictator of a leader who did not go as far in his demands on my personal life but nevertheless hurt me and so many people in our Church by manipulation and downright cruelty that we have not yet recovered after years of leaving it. This is far more common than we think and the book by Ken Blue entitled "Healing of Spiritual Abuse" is a far better guide as to what dangers to be aware of.

I would only recommend this book to those who have been in something like the Sheperding movement or similar
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights Into Abusive Churches 22 April 2005
By Seeking Disciple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I believe we all know of people who have been in abusive relationships and even abusive job situations but it is sometimes hard to imagine people getting involved in abusive churches. That is why this book is a must read for every disciple.

This book exposes abusive churches. Dr. Enroth even names names. Every chapter opens with an abusive story. Each person is real. Each person has been hurt by abusive churches. The irony is that the leaders discussed in the book fail to see their abuses. Many try to cover them up or simply ignore the pain they have dealt to others.

In the end, I appreciated Dr. Enroth showing the reader that Jesus is not the abuser. While most of these religious groups claim to be speaking in His name or even quote Scripture, they have twisted the teachings and practices of Jesus to be something He never intended (1 John 5:1-4). Truly, Jesus is not like men (Hebrews 13:8) and He will not cause us the pain that is found in this book (Matthew 11:28-30).
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book to own and to regularly review 10 Sep 2004
By LindaT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was published in 1991. But the central message is as true now as it was then. The church can be a wonderful source of comfort, spiritual guidance and fellowship to Christians. But unfortunately, there are churches -- some of them seemly "mainstream" -- that exercise too much authority in the lives of the people who attend them.

Ronald Enroth gives a list of red flags to look out for to indicate an abusive church. For me, one of them stands out strongly: when a particular person in the church (often, but not always, the pastor) announces him/herself as the channel through which God is working and that obedience to that person is a sign of being truly submitted to God. Some of them will even go as far as to say that if they are wrong, God can still use that for the ultimate good.

Well -- technically, that could be right. If you'll pardon a cliche, God can and does make lemonade out of lemons all the time. But nowhere does the Bible teach that we are to deliberately subject our judment, spiritual discernment and independent thinking to another person.

Since the book was written over 13 years ago, some of the groups Enroth describes may have changed -- but the warning is still there, and it is good for Christians to be aware that there are people who want to steal away the freedom that Jesus Christ can give. He explains why this can happen and gives suggestions on how to either avoid it or get out of the abusive situation.

This book is at its best when reviewed a lot.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful 2 Feb 2006
By R. Callicotte - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is helpful and encouraging. Find the life in it and you'll be glad you read it.
0 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Churches that abuse 27 April 2010
By Ramona C. Lopez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very preachy and boring. Doesn't hit on the topic of the book.Not satisfied with book at all.
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