Spiritual Abuse: Why Are Pastors Silent About the Real Reason People Are Leaving the Church?

"For from the least of them to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. And they have healed the brokenness of my people superficially saying, “Peace. peace,” but there is no peace."  Jeremiah 6:13-14





This morning it dawned on me, I have heard sermons on just about every subject imaginable ranging from social issues, church history, doctrine, creation, gossip, anger, but I have never heard one sermon on spiritual abuse. Not even in some of the good churches. Why? The answer is relatively obvious. Pastors rarely preach on the subject because, by and large, pastors and other church leaders (including parachurch ministries)  are the perpetrators of such exploitation. It is far easier to do a sermon about shared sin, like anger and immorality. It is even easier to do a sermon about how the church membership is not doing their part to build up said leader. It is much harder to talk about an issue that is primarily one-sided.


Some of us have a faulty view of Christian leadership which can hinder recovery from spiritual abuse.


Once again, we look to Barbara Orlowski’s groundbreaking book, Spiritual Abuse Recovery for some insights into this phenomenon. She says that many Christian have an inability to differentiate a flawed leadership model from a legitimate leadership model.(p.9). She elaborates “In the context of the contemporary Christian church, a deficient Old Testament leadership style can easily be developed by the fusion of a Mosaic model with that of the Aaronic/Levitcal priesthood. The New Testament model of leadership, which was taught and demonstrated by Christ, demonstrates an egalitarian servant leadership model.” (P.10)

She goes on to make s bold statement, hidden in a footnote on the same page, “A comprehensive study of this issues brings me to conclude in order for believers to recover successfully they need to adopt this perspective." For all of us who have suffered abuse at the hands of uncaring leadership, we must contemplate this provocative statement. In other words we MUST change our view of leadership if we are to be fully restored to health within the context of the Christian community.

Orlowski presents us with a number of different authors who define spiritual abuse. “Spiritual abuse is always about power. It happens when a leader with spiritual authority uses that position to coerce, control, dominate or exploit a follower.” “It comes from a place of higher power to a place with lower power. People in low-power positions can’t abuse people in high power.” (PP.12-13)


What kind of people are leaving the church due to poor or abusive leadership? Startling Revelation! Pastors-Pay Attention!


The author provides a list of the many books written on spiritual abuse. It stunned me to realize that so many books have been written but not one word has been breathed from the pulpit on this issue. Could it be that pastors are aware that this is an issue that points directly at them? Could they be overlooking a reason why the church in America is losing members?


Orlowski quotes from a study conducted by Dr. Alan Jamieson on the reasons that people left Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in New Zealand during the 1990s. He subsequently wrote a book on this issue called Churchless Faith. Link here.


The people who left the church were not the nominal believers. In fact it was core leaders that were active in church ministry that were walking out the door. Nor did they leave quickly in a snit. In fact, the majority of those interviewed left after much deliberation over a prolonged period of time. (P.22) And why would such involved people leave? Well, according to Jamieson, along with disenchantment with the entire process, it included disillusionment with the church structure. This points directly at the leadership of the church. Here are some of the reports from those who left on their perception of leadership styles that led to their desertion of the church. (PP.23-24)


  • Dictatorial authoritarian styles
  • Sexually abusive leaders
  • Spiritually abusive leaders
  • Lack of relationship with leaders
  • Hurt or disenchanted by church decisions, direction or vision
  • Lack of space to raise concerns about church directions or decisions
  • Legalism within church teaching and practice
  • Lack of theological and intellectual depth.



Do they come back to church? Church growth "experts"-pay attention!


What is the end result of those leaving? Those with the most integrated, mature faith never reconnect with established forms of churches. They developed a clear aversion to church and claim that it became simply irrelevant to their faith and life. Most of these folks had been members, on average, for 15 years before leaving! (P. 26) In other words, these are folks who were dedicated to the church for significant periods of time.


Abusive leaders encourage silence on the part of leavers in order to continue their reign of terror.


Scripture would seem to indicate that mature pastors should engage these church leavers. You know, like the Shepherd who hurries after one sheep that is lost? However, it appears that the particular type of pastor who contributes to the leave taking is not they type of person who would reach out to said leavers. In fact, they would be more prone to give these sheep the right boot of fellowship-swift and hard. Orlowski quotes another researcher, Marilyn Cudmore. “The conspiracy of silence in the Church may be in invitation for narcissistic leaders to be emboldened to continue their abusive practices.” (P.29)


TWW has discussed how this control is achieved. The pew sitters are told that they must not gossip about anything negative because that's what it says in the Bible. Actually, this is a distorted view of gossip. You can read about this at this link to our post titled "Shhhh! Don't Talk. It is imperative that leave-takers speak of their experience, if only to help those left behind to identify and understand the pain of being under the leadership of an abusive narcissist.


Why are some pastors vengeful to those who question their leadership?


According to Cudmore, “leaders who have narcissistic traits have achievement-based orientations requiring constant approval in order to maintain self image.” (P. 31). What does this mean in reality? These leaders cannot accept what they perceive to be negative comments, or even new ideas, because they must be the ones who are always right or to be the one who has thought of a new idea first.. As Rush Limbaugh is fond of saying (tongue in cheek) “I was born to speak; you were born to listen.” I personally know of one pastor who brags that his elder board has only disagree with him twice in 28 years! (I have always wondered what happened to those poor souls who did disagree-are they still allowed in church?)

Orlowski quotes (P.31) from Len Sperry in an article entitled “Leadership Dynamics: Character and Character Structure in Executives” found in the Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 49 (1997): 268-80 says the following

“As long as no one criticizes, competes, or attempts to share their glory, they can be encouraging, supportive, and fun to work with and for. However, if this unwritten agreement is breached, they can react with vengefulness. Finally, they can function effectively in the mentor role provided that those under their tutelage are perceived as loyal and noncompetitive.”


CEOs are running many of the churches-not servant leaders.

I am amazed at the number of pastors who claim they are servant leaders and yet live the lifestyle of the rich dictator. Talk about cognitive dissonance. Orlowski brings (P.36) up the book by Robert Webber entitled The Younger Evangelicals. Weber quotes Glenn Wagner who wrote, Escape from Church, Inc.” “Why is it that the only continent in the world where the church is not growing is North America? Because we have bought into gimmicks and programs, the razzle dazzle Las Vegas syndrome of Christianity, all flash and lights and gaudiness. But we have forgotten to do the church and to do ministry.” He then quotes another pastor who says “the megachurch movement of the last twenty years has been led by superstar pastors who are now dying out or burned out without having mobilized lay people for ministry. As a result, the church, which should be an army, looks like an audience.”


Quick digression for Ed Young Jr watchers, in the current Issue of Christianity Today, 2/11, on P.9, Ed Young Jr. says, “It’s a bit cheesy but cheese works.” Why? Get ready folks, it can get worse. He is now using 3-D videos in the service. Who are the members who are paying for this nonsense???? End digression.

Instead, we have professional CEOs masquerading as pastors and exhibiting the traits of Donald Trump, including the clothes, cars, homes and hair. (I couldn't resist)! Yet the Reformation, under Martin Luther, introduced the concept of servant leader, which was quickly supplanted by a hierarchical structure. (P.36).


Spiritual covering or special pastoral “anointing”- one more method of control

Orlowski states, “Spiritual covering is a misbelief in which the chain of command flows through those on the top to those on the bottom. Those lower on the chain are then expected to look to those above as their covering and submit to them as they would to Jesus. (P.41). There is no sound Biblical basis for such a command structure, which seems to overlook the entire New Testament. Christ is the head of the church and “He did not delegate authority over people to anyone.” (P.41) Frankly, this whole subject of spiritual covering by a human leader is a bunch of codswallop and I am flummoxed that some educated Christians buy this silliness without questioning the Biblical justification for such a concept in the New Testament church. (Whoosh-I need to slap some cold water on my face and maintain.)


We are left with the pain of orphaned Christians who no longer see the church as the Bride of Christ. They see the church as a shriveled version of its former glory. Instead of the magnificent, risen Christ at the helm, former members see egomaniacs who are using the church for personal gain, be it monetarily or psychologically.  The church in America is losing members and some of its self-proclaimed leaders are crawling all over one another, desperately trying to grab as much of the remaining share of passive, gross tithers as possible. Instead they should be looking in the mirror and saying “we have met the enemy and it is us.”


Lydia's Corner: Numbers 11:24-13:33 Mark 14:22-52 Psalm 52:1-9Proverbs 11:1-3




Spiritual Abuse: Why Are Pastors Silent About the Real Reason People Are Leaving the Church? — 39 Comments

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    I’ve never thought of myself as spiritually abused. But the more I read here, the more I see the points you and Orlowski make to be truth. And it saddens me.

    Ok, I admit it, I am a long time member of Ed Young’s Fellowship Church in Dallas. I began questioning ‘everything’ right after the jet came to light back almost one year ago. But now I remember a more subtle beginning to our concern. Shortly after Ed’s first trip to Hillsong for ‘conference swapping’, one of the worship pastors that accompanied him raved about how the Hillsong congregation ‘honored’ the pastors, put them on the pedestal, really placed them high in their esteem. And what began after that was an ‘introduction’ of Ed, each time he took the stage, an introduction led by one of his underlings and requesting, every service, that we stand and give an ovation for our pastor! At the same time, pastors and their families who once ‘sat amongst’ the congregation were now ushered down to the front row with roped off sections for all pastors and families, and especially for Ed’s wife and family. He’s always seemed like a rock star, but the star really took off 3 summers ago after the Hillsong conference.

    That’s when I began to question, that’s when I was rebuked for asking, for inquiring, for suggesting different courses, and when I got the proverbial “well, maybe this just isn’t the church for you”, after 10 years, now I’m in the wrong place? Well, maybe.

    Then the jet, then the lifestyle, then the non-answer answer, the shuck and jive, and then the exodus. People started leaving, attendance shrunk drastically, at all venues, and the talk of money/tithe/giving/’bringing it’ took over. Over 70 staff members ‘released’, just gone over the course of about a year. Was it a money shortage? Or were they just the wrong person for the job? Ed always tells the C3 crowd of minister/conference goers, “if it ain’t broke, break it!” Well, it’s broken.

    All the while I was a defender, a volunteer, a giver, a contributor, not just a taker. And then, the “10” series. The month of October, 2010, all giving, every service, the whole month, ad nauseum…that’s when it came to me.

    Ed must not be such a great leader after all. If staff have to be released because of money, and the only way to keep them is to get rid of the jet, well…lead. If staff have to be released because they weren’t the right people, well…where was the leader when they were hired? He’s not a pastor. He’s a great speaker, and he loves God, and he wants unbelievers to believe, but he’s not a pastor. And when you point that out…abuse happens.

    The 3-D glasses are gone now, replaced by Ed driving a Rolls Royce onto the stage in preparation for C3 next week. Like you wrote above, “because we have bought into gimmicks and programs, the razzle dazzle Las Vegas syndrome of Christianity, all flesh and lights and gaudiness.” and it’s just what he does, what he prefers, what once used to work. And, like you wrote, “the megachurch movement of the last twenty years has been led by superstar pastors who are now dying out or burned out without having mobilized lay people for ministry. As a result, the church, which should be an army, looks like an audience.”

    And the audience is listening. Listening for the still small voice. Listening for a humble shepherd to guide and lead. Listening for anything other than the constant drone to take our vounteer hours to a ‘whole nutha level’. Listening for an apology. Listening for truth.

    God, I pray the church is not too far gone…

    You were right Dee. This was therapeutic.

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    I know that sometimes even I think I have only one drum on which to play, so excuse me if I trod that well worn path once again.

    In thinking about the leaders in the church, you are not far off in thinking of them as CEOs of a business and, just like in the world, there are those who flaunt the trappings of power, whether it be houses, jet planes, bank accounts or servents. But if you continue to think about the anaology, you will realize that there are many business owners and even some CEOs who are much more low key, and subtle in the wealth they acquire. The real question is, are they really any different once you take away the glitz and charisma?

    I maintian that they are much more alike and share many more traits than differences. Like business owners, they all have a certain personality, call it type ‘A’ or some other moniker, but it is what makes them good and successful at being an owner, they are natural leaders and predators.

    They all instinctively know how to control and manipulate, sometimes with good intent, other times not so much. Employees are forever hoping to have a boss or a CEO or president of the company they work for be someone who is looking out for others, being altruistic, honest and open with customers and employees alike, a mensch! Ever wonder why they are so difficult to find…because they are like unicorns, they don’t exists, because if they truly exhibited those traits they wouldn’t be in business very long. In the same way, leaders in the church, becaue of the very nature of the job, tend to be equally self-absorbed and controlling.

    Now, I grant you, you may from time to time find a good pastor, almost always in a small church, not intent on growing large, not intent on acquiring wealth, power or prestige, but even there, these people wield control and are trying to constantly fiil the pews that they have. Is this for Jesus? Is it for the good of those they are enticing? No, it’s because their job depends on it, there is a board of elders or deacons to answer to, people are looking at that collection plate and then expenses required to run even a tiny church, from heating, utilities, salaries and of course, we just have to buy a new organ this year.

    The realization of the existance of spiritual abuse has only just begun, for like many things, consciousness raising comes in waves or platforms, one level at a time and until you’ve scaled one mountain you are incapable of seeing the one right behind it. It is the entire concept of “belief” or “faith” which has been for centuries preached, taught, lectured and in the past doled out at the point of a sword, which has permeated our psyche.

    What we now see and call abuse, that which we point out to others, amazed that we could not see it for ourselves for so many years…that which is so painfully obvious that we stand in disbelief when a fellow brother or sister in Christ is unable or unwilling to acknowledge what is so clear to us, is mearly the tip of the iceburg. I maintain that the very idea of faith is nothing more than an ancient mechanism misued by our ancestors for the very same purposes which we protest today…power, control, authority and wealth, and those who willingly follow, those who want to belive with all their heart, those who put their trust and faith in anything other than their own reason and common sense, those who think for one moment that they are unworthy, and that servitude in and of itself is somehow redeeming are exactly what’s needed to perpetuate the problem, an unending supply of sheep.

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    I was at Ed’s church for a short time and I understand how charming and sincere appearing he can be. I really feel for you. Perhaps I can encourage you.
    Ed has a habit of disposing people who no longer fit within his plan. The church worker who told you that, after 10 years, “maybe this isn’t the church for you” couldn’t care less about you. You are only good so long as you play the game exactly how he has taught you to play. I remember a man who did so much for the church, helping them to plan, etc. He gave so much of his time and talents. But, he had some financial issues come up. Suddenly, his services were no longer wanted. He was a persona non grata because he wasn’t rich and successful.Ed ignored them It broke his heart and his wife’s heart. I don’t know what happened to them but I never forgot them.

    In a real church, you are always wanted even if you share a difference of opinion. A real pastor who truly loves God and understands his mission knows that as well.

    In CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, there was a man in the new Narnia who had not been a follower of Asian, the Christ figure. I am not sure he had ever heard of Aslan. He had followed an opponent but had served that opponent with honor and dignity. Aslan congratulated him and told him the honor with which he had served his master was in fact serving Aslan. All the good things that you did for Ed’s church was done for the honor of Christ. You did what you thought was right and from a good heart. I had a pastor once tell me that it isn’t the end result that God is interested in. It is the process that we take to go there.

    You might be interested in knowing that HIllsong has had lots of complaints lodged against the ministry.There are allegations of spiritual abuse. The ministry has been under investigation by Australian authorities for misuse of certain funds given to the church to hire indigenous peoples. They are another big money, wealthy pastor, hyperauthoritarian ministry with lots of razzle dazzle. No wonder Ed liked them.

    I think it is funny to hear that Ed was having people introduce him and give him a standing ovation. I can see him smiling at this, pretending he was embarrassed, etc all the while he was the one who planned for it to occur. Ed, ever the showman. He should be ashamed of himself but he has too big of an ego.

    Finally, if you are the exmilitary anonymous (I can’t keep all you anonymous names apart:) I want you to know that I would want you by my side. Your loyalty is a trait that is often lacking in these days.

    As for being taken in, just know you are among friends. We were all taken in by pastors at one time or another. But, we are now experts and won’t make the same mistake again. That is why I am out here-educating and encouraging.

    As for Ed loving God..well, that’s between him and God. But, after all the criticism, you would think he would forgo the Rolls Royce entrance. Perhaps he has lost something along the way. Most idiots would see that was an unwise decision. Surely the Holy Spirit, if present is talking? I don’t know but one thing is for sure. He is an entertainer but isn’t he supposed to be a pastor?

    Your comment was so good, I plan to post it all by it’s lone self tomorrow. We don’t usually post on Wednesdays so there is an open spot. Your story will help many, many people. Maybe even some folks at your church. Just know that you have friends at TWW.

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    Hi Karl

    I’ve missed hearing from you. As usual, you challenge the faithful with your point of view.

    Throughout the ages of the church, there has been the remnant, challenging the status quo, reforming the abuses and bringing the simple Gospel message that men like to mess up with secular viewpoints on leadership and wealth accumulation.

    As much as I see, as much as I read, I cannot turn my back on something that is so real to me. The reason there is so much sin, even in the church, is the exact reason why we need Jesus and His grace. We are incapable of running any institution without screwing it up precisely because of our human nature. So in our failure, I also see Jesus. And in Jesus, I have hope one day that all will be made right.

    And as Paul said, Forgetting what lies behind, I press on towards the goal, to win the prize of God’s high calling in Christ Jesus. So, the faith is a battlefield and, eventually, the victory is assured. And no, this is not some gobbledy gook for me. I buy it, hook, line and sinker.

    By the way-how much snow have you gotten up there in Vermont??It sounds like it has been a tough winter.

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    Great post. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were talking about my old church, in Nashville. Everything you said is true about that insane asylum.

    Anonymous: Wow! That place is messed up. Your points could not have been more discerning. It’s funny, because people in the congregation know how warped that place has become, but they still go there because Ed is still sickenly entertaining. So, that might be somewhat of an indication of what is in their hearts. Life is too short to not reassess and go somewhere where there’s more authenticity.

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    I’m not sure, since I’m in Maine…but if it’s anything close to what I have here it’s a ton! The snow has covered the railing on the back porch, and when I tried to bring in some wood for the fire last week, one step off the driveway and I was up to my hip!

    We are thinking of moving, maybe to the Atlanta area, but we want to also live in Bogota, Colombia. With a passport (no visa) I can stay in Colombia for only a maximum of 6 mo. out of the year, so I was thinking splitting the year up, and trying to get the best weather from both places… Jun, Jul, Aug (Bogota), Sept, Oct, Nov (Atlanta), Dec, Jan, Feb (Bogota) and finally Mar, Apr and May back in Atlanta.

    Probably won’t do anything until next fall since the summers here in Mane are so nice.

    I know that Jesus is “so real to you”, but I really believe it is just a lifetime of indoctrination by parents, friends, society and the church, fear of being punished, desire to be loved along with a psychological need to be part of a group and a wish to believe in something greater than yourself.

    That combination makes it difficult to see clearly and provides a powerful motivator not to see clearly. Jesus is simply the focal point, the manifestation of those desires. It is why people can look at spiritual abuse in the church and yet will not see that the entire sctructure is no more than a means of control.

    It’s like the person who’s obese. On some level they recognize that they need to lose weight, but the can’t admit to themselves that they have a serious weight problem, so they play at dieting (“Hi, I’ll have the pasta grande special, a baked potato, oh, and a diet coke please!”). It let’s them feel like they are attacking the problem, but really they are still in denial.

    Religion, Christianity, the church are all simply a means of control for those in charge and a refuge for people who have been convinced that they need something outside of themselves. The article talked about people leaving the church, you know where historically most people have lost their faith? In seminary, but you don’t hear that preached from the pulpit very often either.

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    I was tired. I have a good friend in Vermont and had a mind burp! I know you live near beautiful Penobscot Bay-gorgeous territory, albeit a bit cold for these now Southern bones.

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    “He’s not a pastor. He’s a great speaker, and he loves God, and he wants unbelievers to believe, but he’s not a pastor”

    This is cognitive dissonance at work. One cannot love God and over a long period of time make merchandise of His Gospel. I know, I know…it is considered self righteous and hateful to say that. But we miss the foundational problem if we do not see this. And then we err further by spending our time looking for righteous “leaders”, instead of other true believers who are striving for maturity that we can share with, encourage and study together.

    Ed has for years been very much into worldly leadership principles for the church and has countless conferences about leadership. He is more flashy than Hybels or Warren but they are cut from the same cloth. Church is a business for them. All this stuff is no different than the secular leadership training and conferences I put on for years. The only difference is they slap a fish on it.

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    I agree…now just take it one more step 🙂

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    You may not realize this but the very act of screening out the extraneous garbage that has been added on to the faith brings us much closer to understanding and experiencing the real Jesus. Phillip Yancey wrote a book called The Jesus I Never Knew. He is one who has rejected a lot of the manmade mandates (I just realized that mandates starts when the word man-there’s a post in here somewhere) In fact, you are losing us in a profound way.

    BTW glad you’re back. Missed you.

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    Come to Atlanta! You will be close to us. And just think about-you will enter the heart of the Bible belt. So much time, so many Christians hmmmmmm……

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    “I agree…now just take it one more step”

    That step is following Christ…not man. :o)

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    Anon 6:37 – You are not alone. This post could have been written by me. I feel you pain. The only difference for me is I left in February 2010. Very tough decision. It has been a long year and I have had a hard time finding another church and trusting another pastor. I loved FC. Reading and writing about it is therapeutic!

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    I Lived in Atlanta before, not to worry just as many good atheists there as there are in Maine!

    Maybe we can get up a good game of paintball “Christians vs the Lions” a night in the woods. 🙂

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    I agree with Lydia, How can Ed Truly love God if he Mocks and Defiles him? How can he truly love God if he steals from the very God he claims to represent?

    I know a couple who still go to Fellowship, in fact they LOVE it. (I’ve never set foot in any Fellowship “church”. I know to stay FAR FAR away from it.)

    I just think He’s going to get worse and worse. I just can’t believe that people (that still attend) at any one of his “Churches” cannot see through the BS he loves to pull.

    It’s so painfully obvious what this man is ALL about (and it’s not Jesus, that’s for sure)

    He just does not care who he hurts and runs over in his quest for world domination.

    I have prayed that God keep on exposing Ed Young and others like him, and if money has to disappear from people’s bank accounts in order for them to finally wake up and realize what a egotistical jerk EY is than so be it.

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    P.S. does anybody know how long Ed has been mocking and profiting from the Gospel?

    I also heard that he would bring out like live animals on stage too. I first heard about him in 2009.

    I’ve been on their website and I’ve seen Dating Tips on there. What the Heck?

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    Ed has always been enthralled with the rich and famous. I attended his church back in 1991 for a short time. Ed has had beds, tanks, cars, animals,you name it.
    In the beginning, I though he was a guy who actually cared about evangelization and used somewhat over the top tactics to do so. Now, I am not so sure.Maybe he started out with the right heart but got sucked into something that he wasn’t strong enough to overcome. It’s too bad his wife couldn’t have intervened but I guess she’s into it as well.

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    Dee, I agree maybe at one time his heart was with God but it is no longer. I’ve watched videos of them on Youtube. One was of his family at an airport and I noticed that they had Louis Vuitton luggage. LV Is VERY VERY expensive. $1,000 to $5,000 on up depending on what bag you buy. He even mentioned LV in one of his “sermons” that I watched on Youtube.

    It’s really really sad to see people continue to go to his churches, despite the fact that God keeps on exposing him. esp. since the “10” video came out (I watched the 7 minute version). That was the most puke worthy video of a so called man of God I’ve ever seen.

    I think EY is his own worst enemy.

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    He has always been impressed with himself. I had to laugh at a sermon I listened to recently online in rich he made fun of Tony Romo’s salary. Tony doesn’t pretend to be a Christian.Ed is so lost he cannot see how ridiculous he looks. I actually wonder if there is something wrong with him. A man of average intelligence would perceive that the gig is up. Where is God in his life?

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    “P.S. does anybody know how long Ed has been mocking and profiting from the Gospel? ”

    Jessica, His dad was a big wig in the SBC and had a mini mega church in Tx. He learned the foundations of his “art’ at his father’s knee. He just took it a few steps further. His dad was quite the player in the SBC. If you look past the trappings of clothes, stage effect, etc…they are really not that different.

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    Guess how stupid I was? I thought that Ed Jr was different from the dad and dad was a great guy-most godly. When I saw him defend his son, I realized-two peas in a pod.

    When I lived in Dallas, daddy’s house was featured in some architectural magazine as one of the 10 most beautiful homes in Houston. Now, that’s saying a lot. There is big money in Houston and daddy has one of the most beautiful homes. I guarantee you some oilmen were trying to figure out how he beat them out!!!!!

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    Dee, maybe Ed thinks he is a God or some sort of God. I also watched a video about Ed ranting and raving about people who “steal” his members away from him or people who decide they want to leave because God wants them to plant a church somewhere else.

    Who the heck needs a $15,0000 espresso machine anyways. I noticed that on his Youtube channel, All the comments are turned off and once the scandal of his luxury lifestyle broke people were trying to get a hold of him by either e-mailing him or calling fellowship and he never responded back to any of them.

    Just by going by what I have observed of him on youtube, and correct me if I am wrong it seems to me like Ed thinks he is way above and thinks he’s better than other people.

    I don’t think Ed cares because, he’s Ed Young and he can do whatever he darn well pleases. I’ve read on various blogs from people who were former employees of his say that if you are not attractive enough then you can’t serve. WTH???

    He makes Joel Osteen look like a saint.

    I think Ed Young serves only one person and that’s Ed Young.

    I guess people who are still left at Fellowship are more afraid of Ed’s wrath than God’s Wrath.

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    Dee, I think we were blinded by these wolves because they constantly say they want people to come to Christ. They present themselves as “evangelists” when they are really pop icons seeking followers for themselves.

    But now, we know to ask: What is your understanding of WHO Christ is, what He did and how that truth emerges in a born again believers life?

    As JTB said: He must increase. We must decrease.

    Ed mingles a tiny bit of truth with tons of error.

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    I like the comment about mixing a bit of truth with error. It is very true. I sometimes wonder if Ed is just a weak man who married a weak woman. They seem to be unable to handle the peculiarities of living in the Dallas area which specializes in the “big hat, no cattle” syndrome. (Lived there for over a decade and that’s my opinion).

    If you look at pictures at his site, he only shows the typical good looking, flashy people. Funny thing about it- he misses the description of Jesus who was, by all accounts, not physically attractive. Perhaps that was to show us how attractive the Spirit is in the life of a person. Some of the most beautiful people I know are not “Ed and Lisa” types. One is in a wheelchair with spina bifida, another is an exceedingly poor janitor,another is a long time missionary with missing teeth. All of these will reign in heaven. Ed, on the other hand, is going to have to account for quite a lot.

    Jessica, your comment about the Vuitton luggage had me laughing yesterday. I am in Scottsdale and flew there from Raleigh. I watched all the luggage coming off the carousel and didn’t see one Vuitton. The Youngs appear to love to flaunt it.

    Ed and Lisa-if you are reading this- the gig is up. Do something worthwhile with your lives. Go serve the poor, the lost. You will be so much happier.

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    I travel a lot ~ Africa, South Pacific, Europe- anyway I can not even think of five times I have ever seen LV luggage coming off the carousel. (When I do I can’t help but think bad things about them. This is my sin for judging them. I am wrong. I know it.) But dash! A preacher using peoples you’re and sacrificial money to buy LV? So. Hard. Not. To. Judge. It’s like dangling chocolate before this huge glutton.

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    The Bible says not to judge in regards to someone’s salvation or motivation. That is something between them and God. But the Bible does tell us to judge actions. We have the right to say we believe something is wrong or unbiblical. In fact, we should. Unscrupulous pastors, leaders, and regular people tells us not to judge when they know they are doing something wrong. It’s a big, fat trick which deflects the problem back onto the person making a reasonable assumption.

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    Trust me, when I see someone with a LV bag, I am in sin. I know what is going on inside of me.

    I mock and judge them in my heart. For all I know that bag was a gift from their grandmother, imparted to them on her death bed, carrying her ashes somewhere. Yet, I am busy looking at the outer (a LV bag) and deciding they must be bad stewards. Or for that matter, I don’t even know if the LV is even real. When my daughter was in college she bought herself a “designer” knock off for a couple of bucks. After a few years, gave it to me. I was broke and was thrilled to just have a black purse when I needed one. (My hippie heart is sort of opposed to designer labels on anything- my thinking is that if they want a walking billboard- they can pay ME to wear their stuff.) Anyway, people could have judged my motives for carrying a purse that had a designer label on the outside. But I knew it was a 20 dollar hand me down from my precious daughter and that was enough for me.

    I have no doubt that Ed Young is a douchebag. No problem believing that at all. And I think the LV ridiculousness— errr, I mean luggage is an outward sign of it. But still, I have to be honest and say that I feel there is tons of self righteousness in me when I sit around and look my nose down on people for the accoutremants (sp?) in their lives. (I’m not saying anyone else is sinning, but I know I am.) Heck, just today I was walking past Tiffany’s and Bergdorf Goodman’s in Manhattan, kinda mocking (read: genuinely condemning) trust fund babies. My niece nailed me, reminding me that I am looking down on people just because of the life situation they find themselves in. Then she reminded me that one of her best friends is a trust fund baby. Then that reminded me that I am the the steward of someone else’s trust fund.

    Then there are the people who fly first class and how much I hate them—- until I have been bumped up on nearly every flight I’ve been on in the last few years. I judge a lot, then God puts me in the shoes of the people I judge and I go, “Opps.”

    So I’m not saying that it’s wise for someone to spend hard earned money on an LV bag, but also, I just don’t know how someone else came by it (gift, found on the street, stole it) nor do I know why they bought it IF they bought it (maybe they worked for the company once upon a time or it represented something to them that went beyond money and status or who knows what). So since I don’t know these things, I know I need to not be such an idiot. (Though it comes to me so easily!

    who still thinks preachers who spend their church’s money on status symbols are evil

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    This is why I like you so much. You have such deep and honest insights. True story, I have a Vuitton purse but I am embarrassed to carry it. I got it from two wonderful OBGYN doctors who, when reviewing their new referrals for the year, realized that I had referred them the most patients. (I talk a lot). I used it as a diaper bag and still feel strange carrying it.

    I also have an amazing fake fur coat that looks exactly like ermine. I stopped wearing it in public because so many people made all sorts of comments about my beautiful coat and didn’t believe me when I said it goes in the washer and dryer.So, I wear it to take out the trash when I won’t be seen.

    As I once told my husband, I am tract home person stuck in a custom world.

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    Ed Young in his tithing sermon on 10/10/10, Mentioned Tony Romo and i think Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. WHY he did this I have no idea.

    I don’t know if any of these guys are Christians, even if they are it does not matter because they are NOT Pastors.

    It seems to me EY is throwing a hissy fit because of how much they make.

    I have a solution for EY; If you LOVE money that much ( and it SURE seems like you do) quite preaching and get a job that has nothing to do with Jesus.

    of course it he did that he would not make nearly enough like he is now.

    I’m sick of these Frauds in the pulpit who are ONLY in it for the money.

    even sicker are the people that defend these guys.

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    I agree with you. I found the Tony Romo quote bizarre. Perhaps he hoped that people would focus on Romo’s salary and realize that Ed is poor in comparison to him.

    His major mistake is not understanding that he needed to tone it down. Doing the rap video with the dollar sign necklace was bizarre. The 10/10 sermon was a mistake and then he compounded it by removing the video which makes it seem as if he is hiding something. That didn’t work, it just raises questions. His advisors are not doing a good job, but maybe he doesn’t listen to them.

    Then, he recently drove a Rolls Royce onto the stage. It cause more than one person to leave the church-I received emails.

    One has to wonder if he is touch with reality at this point.

    BTW, people defend him because they have to for their own feeling of self worth. If Ed is wrong, it means they are wrong and that they have wasted their time following him. I have only one thing to say about that. We all make mistakes. People disappoint us. The faith is not dependent on the actions of one man. I can only hope they find joy and freedom which is not shackled to the legs of a particular man. Only Jesus is worthy of our total dedication. Only jesus will not fail us. I had to learn this lesson the hard way myself.

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    Dee, what’s next? a Helicopter on stage? I know a couple who still attend Fellowship. 🙁
    I don’t know the man, but to me EY seems too far gone at this point.

    He refuses to come before a Holy God and say “I was wrong, please forgive me”.

    He could possibly repent, But I’ve NEVER heard of a Wolf in sheep’s clothing repenting.
    (Jim Bakker does not count because he now used the fear Gospel to get people to give him money). He’s still peddling his wares.

    I just think EY is going to get worse and worse. I first heard of EY when he was doing that primetime special about ” Are we born to cheat”. I didn’t want to lump him in with the majority of Mega Pastors but it turned out he is JUST like the majority of them.

    How could anybody believe him? He speaks lies about Jesus. it makes me sick.

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    He also tweeted that someone gave him a brand new Ferrari. I’m sure he just had to announce it before his congregation when he drove the Rolls Royce on stage.

    He posted a picture of a Ferarri (not the one he has) on his twitter.

    This man makes me want to get sick to my stomach.

    P.S. he is once again talking about Sex. I guess everything I’ve heard is true you will learn VERY little about Jesus at Fellowship.

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    P.S. Ed Young is recycling the message he did for Primetime Live about Adultery in 2009. This time HBO will be filming it at Fellowship and it will be broadcasted on HBO sometime in 2012.

    Gag me with a Spoon.

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    Jessica, Ed does not surprise me. What really bothers me are al the people who think he represents the Gospel. The thousands of people who believe him are the ones that really scare me. There will always be Ed Young’s. The question is…why do so many fall for it?

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    Now, now ladies. Y’all are being “uncharitable” and attacking Ed’s character…

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    Here’s the skinny on the car. Ed tweeted someone had given him said Ferrari. he drove it out on stage then said the Ferrari that God gave me was my (and your) body and we need to treat it right.

    I think Ed is a real jerk for pulling this. He let that tweet stand for a couple of days. He now claims that Ferrari was not his. But, with Ed there is always a but, he hasn’t denied that he actually owns a Ferrari. Apparently he hasn’t returned calls. He did a quickie video stating he claimed he meant the body God gave us is a Ferrari.

    After all of his issues, I would say that the jury is still out about the Ferrari. I think he is getting that he is being watched.

    However, let’s assume his motive was a pure as the driven snow. Mine never are because it is always mixed, but maybe his are. Then he needs to get his head examined for pulling that stunt when he knows he is being watched. Has anyone out there who knows Ed asked him to get some counseling? What kind? I will leave that up to your imagination.

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    Thank you so much for your article. The quotes here could not have described more accurately the ongoing antics of Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and its alleged peace school, the Magnificat Institute of Music, singled out for donations in the Vatican’s annual Holy Friday Lenten collection. The whole project is saturated through and through with narcissism, self-praise and self-promotion, made even more despicable by the scant or negative basis for any of their largely bogus claims.

    “Peace. peace, but there is no peace.” How about getting prestigious prizes mainly in Italy (Knight of the Italian Republic, various medals and honorariums) over the past few years for the director and founder, Fr. Armando Pierucci, promoted by them also as one of the “greatest living organists and composer of great talent”? Numbers alone are enough to nullify the premise of peacemaking and render them laughable.

    In an enrollment of 80-120 over the past 10 years, having a handful of Jews as either staff of students is surely not anything to brag about especially when Arabs and Jews study and work routinely together in any of the music schools or universities in Israel. In fact, the Magnificat has a much smaller percentage of non-Palestinians than most institutions.

    But this doesn’t stop the Custody from unleashing its peace monk in Europe several times a year to drum up attention, prizes and money for the school (not a little for himself either). In 2003, the propaganda was 180 students from various backgrounds to “explode a peace bomb” with so much strife outside – an island of peace. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Only there is not a shred of truth in it.

    In 2003, there were only around 80 students and the numbers really haven’t increased for various reasons, even with the tuition being much lower than other music schools that have to compete in the free market. At least until 2010 there were hardly any more than the century mark but they insist on advertising 200-250 regular students.

    “The conspiracy of silence in the Church may be in invitation for narcissistic leaders to be emboldened to continue their abusive practices.”

    Why should this be significant? First of all, if it is a falsehood, then the Church is raising money on bogus premises which is fraud. It’s also bad example to the children who learn that you can dissemble if you are rich and powerful. But there’s yet another issue, there are more pressing needs in the world than supporting the artificial low fees for music tuition for kids who for the most part are well to do. Obviously they caught on to the dynamics of successful PR, 200 students should be the absolute minimum for convincing others they are making peace, although it is not really that much in terms of music school enrollment.

    “Leaders who have narcissistic traits have achievement-based orientations requiring constant approval in order to maintain self image.” How about spreading all over the Internet, the Catholic press, the Custody of the Holy Land news outlets and websites, incredible PR about the director and founder of the school, not only making miracles of peace but a great organist (where are the CD’s?), promoting his compositions (not peer reviewed) at every opportunity? The websites of the Magnificat Institute and the various blogs, Terrasanta, etc. have reams of self-praise gushing out at every event, people falling to their knees, barely holding their tears back, in short, clerical spin shamelessly quoting Scripture when convenient and renting the sainthood of their founder or others as collateral for others to believe their fibs.

    “As long as no one criticizes, competes, or attempts to share their glory, they can be encouraging, supportive, and fun to work with and for. However, if this unwritten agreement is breached, they can react with vengefulness. Finally, they can function effectively in the mentor role provided that those under their tutelage are perceived as loyal and noncompetitive.”

    As it could be imagined every negative corollary of narcissism is present. The questionable music of the founder and director is ubiquitous, used as obligatory pieces in their also questionable piano competition for which their own students win anyway, not to mention Masses and CD’s that must cost a lot of money to put together especially when foreign soloists and ensembles are engaged.

    Why the Custody would permit such an egregious lack of humility is a mystery except the Magnificat has become a nice little mascot, a cash cow for money and attention. The basis of their promotion, is of course, making peace, but that is where it gets very sticky.

    Pierucci in 1997 was the editor of their bimonthly Franciscan magazine Terra Santa in which it said that the Jews will disappear. (“unhappy is the people who stand before a woman with a machine gun, they will disappear” free trans. from Italian)

    A scandal ensued on both sides of the Atlantic that went all the way up to the prestigious newspaper Corriere della Sera. Did anything really change, judging by some of the remarks made in the recent Synod in the Vatican concerning the Holy Land? Well, the Custody in Jerusalem has figured out a way to convince people they are doing their peace obligations through its alleged music school and it turns out to be very profitable indeed – have a few token Jews, magnify the proportion and number and wage an aggressive campaign to portray themselves as saints. They are getting credit and money for something they are not remotely doing.

    It seems that hierarchical clerical culture is really the culprit here. Anything that favors the institution must be kept and anything that threatens it, even if it is the truth, must be thrown out. The Custody in terms of self-promotion has been successful. Pity their peace school is only a despicable Potemkin village.

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    Cabbage Juice

    Welcome to our blog. I am interested in what you have to say. I would like to do some reading since most of my experience is in the evangelical arena. Give me a day or so to get back to you.

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    Thanks for answering. I was brought up in the Catholic Church so had more than enough experience how the clergy on too many occasions stonewalls and protects its own rather than stand up for what is right.

    Later I gravitated to Protestant churches (which in my childhood was forbidden but seems to be OK now.)

    Unfortunately, in the “Holy Land” non-Catholics are also not adverse to exploiting the political situation in order to attract money to themselves, even if they are doing nothing or less than to help it. The peace racket is a VERY successful business venture. You sell the public “peace”, a VERY unsubstantial item and they freely empty their pockets. Show them a few pictures of poor kids, and you have it made!

    The story above might be a textbook example of misrepresentation and rampant narcissism. It’s bad enough when discrimination is parading itself as peacemaking. (They have an annual music competition that is only open to Palestinians but at the same time getting prizes for making peace through music!) But it gets even worse, enabling pathological behavior. All I can say is I am VERY sorry I did not make a police report when physically attacked 6 years ago. Instead, I trusted that the guy in charge would take proper steps. Was I ever so deceived! And this is after leaving the Church many years ago and sheepishly coming back. I feel VERY stupid indeed but also angry enougn to want to expose the poseurs.

    I have also been threatened (re: “People in low-power positions can’t abuse people in high power”) as though whistleblowing from a two cent whistle can even compete with the multi million dollar enterprise of the Catholic Church with its high level political and business connections.

    The recent events in the Middle East with the masses overthrowing tyrants, are an occasion for hope. The possibility of previously unfranchised people coming together and making their voices heard via cyberspace has changed the situation greatly. The truth will out.

    It is ironic that an organization that predicates itself on morality, no other product really that it is selling to the public and has become VERY wealthy from, has something to fear from the truth.

    As Abraham Lincoln said. “You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time”.