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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

Video: Wade Mullen on How to Spot Spiritual Abuse

By Julie Roys

Is there something wrong with me? Am I the only one who sees this? How do I get out of here because everywhere I turn, there’s a wall?

These are the questions that often plague those caught in a spiritually abusive system, explained Wade Mullen, director of the MDiv program at Capital Seminary & Graduate School, during his talk at Restore Chicago. Deep down, victims know something is terribly wrong. But they often feel guilty for even thinking there’s a problem, let alone expressing their conviction.

This is likely why many people were so profoundly impacted by Wade’s talk at Restore. I had one person tell me that she cried throughout the entire talk because it was like removing scales from her eyes. Also, rather than shaming her for feeling that something was wrong, Wade named the problem and explained why what she had experienced was spiritual abuse, not spiritual care.

I wish every Christian in leadership could hear this talk. Spiritual abuse is rampant in the church and sadly, going unchecked. But as we become educated, I’m convinced we can begin to contain this epidemic and hopefully, stamp it out.

My apologies for the soft focus at the beginning of the video. The problem is corrected after the first 12 minutes.

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ICYMI, there are three other RESTORE talks currently available:

  1. Lina AbuJamra’s raw and vulnerable Letter of Forgiveness Over Church Hurt
  2. Nancy Beach on How to Survive Abuse with Your Faith Intact
  3. My talk on An Unmistakable Move of God


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9 Responses

  1. Wow. It’s as if Wade was a part of our former church. Difficult to comprehend how far reaching the damage this evil has caused: broken relationships within the Body of Christ, distrust in future church leadership, distrust in your own discernment, no longer inviting the lost to attend church because of the fear the abuse may eventually show up in that church also and worse yet, no longer attending a church yourself. (those are just a few of the consequences expressed by those that have experienced spiritual abuse and it’s easy to see who is behind spiritual abuse)
    Lord use this message to open the eyes of the blind and to bring healing to the wounded. Humble the abusers still abusing by their on-going denying, deflecting, pretending and justifying sin. Help them to call sin, sin and deal with it biblically. Only by your Spirit’s power and moving in their hearts can this happen, Lord. Break their joy and justification over being able to point to truth-tellers as unappeasable and not being able to “let it go” or unable to “move on”. Wade, you nailed it. Lord use this message mightily.

  2. Terrible how a False Prophet named James MacDonald can become a multi-Millionaire off of the Tithes and Offerings of unsuspecting Sheep at Harvest Church!!

    But it is more Terrible still that he is getting away with playing the Victim Card and will be preaching at New Life church !!

    Where has the Biblical Discernment gone?

  3. Thank you Wayne for your excellent work. My wife Elizabeth and I just finished listening to your talk on spiritual abuse based upon your personal experience and extensive research which were quite encouraging as we look back on our own experience of spiritual abuse levied against us by a once powerful mission community. Our story is a confirms the disastrous consequences of abuse and the long and arduous road to recovery 23 years later. These are serious wounds and they still smart after all these years, but the rise of individuals such as yourself and Julie Roys, David and Patty Clancy and others is evidence that God is working a mighty work and will sanctify the Body of Christ. He will have a bride without spot or wrinkle.

    We should talk soon. Whoever administers this site, could you send my email to brother Wade so that the two of us can connect? Thanks. In Christ’s refuge and strength, James C. Stephens

    Let’s break the code of silence and let the healing begin. We have much work to do and the hour is late.

    I highly recommend the work of Dr. Ronald Enroth, Churches that Abuse and his important follow up work, Recovering from Churches That Abuse. Also another book which helped tremendously in understanding sustemic abuse- The Addictive Organization by Anne Wilson Schaef and Diane Fassel.

  4. Is it possible to get a print out of what Dr Mullen discussed. There was a lot of content and I would like to study it further. Has he written anything that’s available?

  5. I am on the edge of Christianity.

    So, I have a little different perspective. When I hear a spin doctored teaching, I will sometimes email the teacher.

    They don’t like that. Asking how the Old Testament storehouse for food became the local Christian church produces character revealing responses.

    That is, if they have the guts to respond at all. That’s right, most turn into pathetic cowards.

    And, how can I rob God of offerings? Again, no answer.

    Anyone who is afraid of the local pastor after a false teaching or inappropriate behavior is an agent for satan.

  6. Thank you for sharing this video. It definitely is helping me as I come to grips that there was a lot of abuse by the “apostle/prophet/pastor” of a church I attended many years ago. I’m just starting to recognize or admit to the trauma it caused.

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Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Hurt and Healed by the Church” by Ryan George.