Dr Barbara M. Orlowski’s remarkable book, Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness, has recently been published by Wipf and Stock. You can order a copy direct from Barb by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. I really would encourage any of you who have been touched in any way by this terrible experience to read Barb’s healing, encouraging book, full of the mercy and the justice of Christ…
From the publisher’s website:
What factors contribute to active Christians in ministry leaving their church and becoming exiting statistics? Every year dedicated Christian people leave churches because of spiritual abuse. The stories of people who left their home church because of a negative and hurtful experience paint a picture of a widespread occurrence which beckons consideration by church leaders and church congregants alike.
Spiritual abuse, the misuse of spiritual authority to maltreat followers in the Christian Church, is a complex issue. This book shows how people processed their grief after experiencing spiritual abuse in their local church and how they rediscovered spiritual harmony. Their spiritual journey shows how one may grow through this devastating experience.
This book offers a thoughtful look at the topic of spiritual recovery from clergy abuse through the eyes of those who have experienced it. It invites church leaders to consider this very real dysfunction in the Church today and aims to demonstrate a path forward to greater freedom in Christ after a season of disillusionment with church leadership.
“In an age of increasing calls for strong church leadership, this book is a gift to church leaders and those who have been severely hurt and abused in our churches. Through careful research and an insider’s perspective, Barb has opened up both pathways for healing from church abuse and insights for leadership to ensure that potential future abuse is stopped.”—Alan Jamieson, author of A Churchless Faith
“What we refer to as spiritual abuse was a concern for Jesus in his earthly ministry and it is a common problem today. It is, therefore, surprising that more attention is not given to it by today’s Christian community. Barb Orlowski, however, does take it seriously as she offers insight into the causes of bad church experiences and how to recover from them. Her counsel alerts people to the dangers of spiritual abuse, and if leaders hear her, they will be less likely to become part of the problem… I encourage you to read it”—Ken Blue, author of Healing Spiritual Abuse
“Dr. Orlowski’s research has provided a balance for various perspectives on the experience of woundedness. She listens to the voices of the wounded and lets them inform us of their reality of feeling disappointment and disenfranchisement, tragedy and turbulence in the Church… For recovery, Dr. Orlowski gives an excellent starting point—the voice of the wounded—and follows that with the grace of God demonstrated through hearing the voice of God and basing recovery on the Word of God.”—Kirk E. Farnsworth, author of Wounded Workers