My New eBook – Spiritual Abuse: A Victim’s Guide to Recovery

Written exclusively for my blog readers, Spiritual Abuse: A Victim’s Guide to Recovery is now available for your Kindle.

About the eBook:

Spiritual abuse is happening in increasing numbers around the world. As Christian fundamentalism grows, so do the numbers of psychological and “spiritual” abuse victims. Spiritual abuse is becoming a common term for those harmed in churches and cults. Lisa Kerr is an ex-cult member and former reverend with the Assemblies of God who worked with a group called Master’s Commission for nearly a decade. Today, she advocates for ex-cult members and those who’ve experienced spiritual and psychological abuse in the hands of clergy.

If you enjoy the book, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or visit my author page for upcoming events.

A bit like death

My title is a play on that movie title: A lot like love. Isn’t it cute?

I can’t even begin to explain how badly I don’t want to be that person. That old person who complains about every ache and pain and bad day. Oh, but I am. At the moment, my body hurts so badly I just want to take a …..I don’t know much about pills, so I guess I’ll let you guys guess.

As I wrote about here, I was recently diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I very much feel like shit. All the time. I’m not entirely sure that it’s all PCOS related. Who knows? You know how that stuff goes. I’m actually beginning to think it’s stress related because apparently (after a recent trip to the dentist) I discovered I grind my teeth at night. Some of my teeth have been affected, too, which is awesome. But mostly, my face and neck hurt when I wake up.

What is PCOS related, I assume, is the emotions I’m having today. I’m crying a lot over just about everything. I cried over accidently destroying this Drupal website I was building. I was so sad because it has taken me so long to master different parts of Drupal and I have broken the site at least twice now. If you have a website, you can’t exactly break it all the time or your readers will email you like crazy about it. Come to think about it, when I started this site, I broke it pretty often. Hmm. I remember a few good friends kept emailing me, “Hey, did someone shut down your site?” they would ask since I was writing explosive rants about churches I had been a part of. “Nope, just broke my website.” I would answer.

After the random cry, I did some things and then some more things and then started looking at an internet friends photographs. She’s a wedding photographer and has some great photos. Oh, she’s awesome at architecture photos. And she’s also cool because she is an ex-JW (Jehovah’s Witness), which means she’s been through what we all have.

And THEN, I started crying AGAIN. Come on. I cried over the engagement photos–everyone is getting engaged and married and having their children. And I’m not. Well, it’s not as bad as all that, but I’m not.

Anyway, here’s a fluffy monkey brought to you by Mr. Morck.

cute-monkey-on-a-branch-of-tree-widescreen-1920x1200

 

 

Completely off topic, do you have any older relatives? I became really close to my Grandpa the past few years (long story) and he’s getting older. He lives so far away, and I feel so sad I can’t visit him more often. What do you do in this situation? (Besides go visit him, I guess, which is the most logical answer.)

I’m Over “Occupy Wall Street”

First, let me say, no one likes corporate greed or government greed but this whole movement is a bit ridiculous. I’m behind the concept and I think the police brutality is disgusting, but I’m over it.

Let’s Occupy Churches and Religion and fight the greed and power hungry bastards there instead. But let’s not sleep in parks and act homeless. Let’s blog about it, share news stories about abuse and corruption in churches and organized religion and be responsible citizens in who or what we listen to when we’re “taught” about “truth.”

#OccupyChurches #OccupyReligion

Things I found online

This Christian blogger has raked Mark Driscoll against the coals quite finely over this Tweet:

mark driscoll is a douchebag_thumb

She writes an awesome post, which you should check out and then nails him with this:

Not all of us have the daddy issues or broken background that makes your brand of leadership attractive. Some of us don’t find shame to be a spiritual motivator…Why not seek some professional counsel for some of these issues?  Why not humbly and prayerfully consider if there are some areas where you need growth?  (emphasis my own)

She then acknowledges that even though she knows and loves people associated with Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 network of churches, she cautions them:

Note: I realize that I am going to have some readers who are Driscoll fans, or who belong to his Acts 29 network of churches. I have many people in my life who I respect who are a part of Acts 29. So let me say this: I started this post thinking I was addressing an annoying shock-jock pastor. As I went deeper in reading his quotes and watching videos, I became deeply disturbed. I now suspect that he is a misogynist with a personality disorder and some serious issues with sex and women. If you belong to a church that is affiliated with Driscoll. I URGE you to do your research about this man. The links above are a good place to start. If you are also troubled . . . speak up. Hold him to accountability. He’s a charismatic guy and is described by many as a bully, and it’s time for people to stand up and say, ENOUGH. (emphasis my own, again)

 

Bravo! I’m so glad to hear people in the Christian community standing up to Driscoll, despite his apparent popularity. Yes, Driscoll is ruining the image of Christianity, and it is time people started standing up to him and pointing out what he’s doing wrong. Oh, and it’s a woman calling him out on his bullshit. Even MORE awesome! Go Kristen!

(h/t) to Stuff Christian Culture Likes for the link

Speaking of Stuff Christian Culture Likes, I just found Stephanie Drury via an amazon.com review of Driscoll’s book (which apparently just came out…I don’t follow Driscoll’s books):

I meet a lot of people who have significant spiritual and emotional wounding, and I’ve gotten to hear the stories of many people who have been involved at Mark Driscoll’s church here in Seattle (Mars Hill). The stories out of there cause me so much concern. What I hear about gender roles and authoritarianism manages to surprise me and make me cry even after six years of hearing them on a fairly regular basis.

I think Stephanie sums up how we all feel. Driscoll’s hatred makes us want to cry because we are baffled how many people love his style.
Then, the author (Alisa Valdes) of the newly published book The Feminist and the Cowboywrote a very heartfelt blog post about how she wanted to come clean with her readers and let them know that she isn’t with the cowboy anymore. She said some of the horrible reviews had made her see what she wrote was actually not what she intended to write, and she’s deeply disturbed by it all now:
…While I set out to write a memoir that was a love letter to a man I was deeply in love with, a man who challenged me in myriad ways, a man who changed my life profoundly, a man I respected and honored greatly at the time, what I actually wrote was a handbook for women on how to fall in love with a manipulative, controlling, abusive narcissist.
Unfortunately, the blog post which she wrote the above in has now been taken down, but you can read some of it in this condescending post here.
As a writer, I wish Alisa all the best during her book launch. I’m sure this will actually be a very emotionally challenging launch for her, but I’m sure she will come to realize that it’s okay to write about you feel and have those feelings change. After all, we writers are human and one of our greatest strengths is our ability to tap into our feelings and create stories around them. I know I have written about my life in a way that felt very authentic at the time, but is something I wouldn’t write today. I’ve even written about ex-boyfriends and former lovers in a way that maybe villainized them too harshly or put them on a pedestal. Maybe an embarrassingly high pedestal.  Luckily, my feelings weren’t intensified by a number of negative reviews and the pressure of your whole career being affected.  I hope Alisa knows that history is filled with sonnets and stories and letters to lovers from writers who would probably change a lot of their writing, if they could.
Life is not a fairy tale, after all, and no one’s love lives are perfect.
Best wishes on your book sales, Alisa.
big_thefeministandthecowboy

Sarah Palin and Master’s Commission

It may be old news, but it’s worth noting: Sarah Palin has ties to Master’s Commission.

Below are some important links and noteworthy mentions (this list is by no means complete):

Palin at Church, Addressing Master’s Commission (1/2)


Palin at Church, Addressing Master’s Commission (2/2)

Sarah Palin’s Churches and The Third Wave: New Video Documentary

Sarah Palin used AK tax dollars to fund dominionist churches

Ethnocide. Master’s Commission. Palin

Text Transcript of Sarah Palin’s Speech of June 8, 2008 at Master’s Commission of Wasilla, Alaska

Q & A: Why Did You Lose Your Faith

The past few days have brought on a surge of new inquiries about why I lost my faith in God. Some people wonder How could you love Jesus so passionately and with such zeal and not love him today? Some people call me to tell me they’re praying for me, or if I have a bad day or go through a surge of anger, they pray for me.

To be fair, I always prayed for people. But by always I mean a span in my life that lasted about 10 years or less. From age 15, when a very catastrophic family event occurred, to 25 when another catastrophic even occurred, I prayed. I believed. I loved God.

I really did love God and now I truly do not believe he exists. I am what’s called an antitheist which is actually one step further than atheism, if you will. Christopher Hitchens wrote, “I’m not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful.” This is closer to what I believe than atheism. Religious belief and churches are harmful.

In case you’re not following, theism is the belief that at least one god exists. I find that idea not just unrealistic, but dangerous. I think it’s wrong.

Yes, I think I was wrong for 10 years. But religion is a very powerful force. There’s the pull of group thinking, peer pressure, societal pressures and essentially the false confidence in “knowing the truth.” It’s very appealing.

Atheism was not appealing to me. For years I assumed atheists were hateful and doomed. Then, I started thinking for myself (That’s not an insult. There’s no other way to say it.), discarded all my Jesus beliefs and attempted to reevaluate them one by one.

I asked myself questions:

  1. Where did I first hear this belief? Was I born thinking this way?
  2. What did my first experiences in church influence me to think and do?
  3. How did my desire for a “perfect family life” (my childhood was very dysfunctional) make religion appealing?
  4. At age 15, when first entering church, I doubted the Bible. Where did I lose my ability to doubt? Who influenced me to do so?

These questions were some of the beginnings of what you see now. But that’s been several years, and many other questions have followed.

If I ask you to question and doubt and you’re still very religious, it falls on deaf ears. To doubt, as I was taught at 15, means you do not have faith.

But is that so? Perhaps that’s not true with liberal or progressive Christians, but in fundamentalist or evangelical circles, it’s true.

So, if I wanted to doubt, how could I claim to be a Christian? I couldn’t.

Many people I know have a LOT of questions for me. I’d like to give you the opportunity to ask me anything about why I lost my faith.

Put your questions in the comments or you can email me at mycultlife@gmail.com.