Church planter Gino Curcuruto tells his story of spiritual abuse and trauma in the church, which unfortunately mirrors so many other stories we’ve heard. If you’ve experienced spiritual abuse, you’re not alone.
Gino is is our Community Liaison at Gravity Leadership, a chiropractor, and a co-vocational church planter in Philadelphia (The Table Philly), where he lives with his wife and kids.
You can connect with Gino on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and check out what’s happening at The Table Philly.
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Jesus is too compelling. I love that. Our family (particularly me and my eldest daughter) dealt with similar issues in a church in CA. She dealt with depression–and the church there said it was 1) a result of her lack of spiritual maturity (in 5th grade) and 2) a result of my bad parenting for sending her to public school. Long story short, God was faithful to bring us through to healing that glorifies Him.
Mallory Ruark says
We are so sorry to hear that you have experienced spiritual abuse, but we celebrate with you the work God has done in you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Stephanie. Grace and Peace to you.
Thanks for sharing. I have learnt a whole lot being in leadership in ministry as well and experienced some similar things. I think a lot of us with experience have in some way.
I was reflecting on the gaslighting and building a case of being unqualified by the “Franks” in our lives.
I would love to engage with this so much more, to share the dynamics of relationships. There is an explanation for what moves people like “Frank” to exert this distorted authority. This form of control without care. This is not Frank choosing to be evil, this is an instinct in “Frank” to connect to others. He is simply immature, he is acting as a unparented child.
No amount of engaging in confession, repentance and forgiveness will ever bring a solution. This is a place of engaging immaturity, “to compensate for the stuckness” in the Franks in our village.
I work with Foster Children and Delinquent Children who have the same Alpha Complex. Once we see they have “no choice” but to respond as they do, we can then have compassion for them. They need to be invited into the dependent mode. Only in the dependent mode, in the context of an attachment where these “Franks” are provided for, can these “Franks” ever have any maturation, any growth, any moving forward.
There is a way to provide for another, there is a way to lead others that creates a space for them to grow. Attachment relationships are Hierarchical, and there is a dance where we are the answer for another, and it is full of care and leading at the same time.
This is discipleship; to provide for those who are immature so they have a context of relationship to come to rest. Only in that place of rest will they have any capacity to grow.