When spiritual abuse drives people from churches, and the wounds remain

February 12, 2013

Church Exiters—Ministering Restoration: Recovering Spiritual Harmony
We’ve been hearing a great deal lately about people who leave the church. Here is a website that is devoted to helping those people whose exiting may have resulted from having suffered spiritual abuse.The website is a ministry of Dr. Barb Orlowski, who lives the Canadian province of British Columbia. She researches, speaks, and writes on recovery from spiritual abuse. Dr. Orlowski lists some common misperceptions about spiritual abuse, discusses its prevalence, and provides guidance for understanding how spiritual abuse wounds people and how they can recover. “Since many people think that spiritual abuse is only found in cults or cult-like groups,” she says, “it is a shocking reality to be informed that spiritual abuse can be found in many Bible-believing churches with orthodox doctrinal statements.” Her website includes articles about how patriarchy is related to spiritual abuse and how spiritual abuse is connected to other forms of abuse. She also provides links to resources for those who have suffered from spiritual abuse.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.