Happy American Independence Day!! I’m especially excited about this day. Read on for a special announcement.

 

You’ve seen God’s name used to manipulate you to do what other people wanted. And you’ve discovered a name for this. You can even admit it, now. You’ve been spiritually abused.

But where do you, with all your raw realization, deep-seated angst, and vulnerability belong now?

You left a church and have found a better one…

but nobody understands what you went through.
You wish someone would understand.
You are weary of repeating yourself to confused looks.

You end up leaving several churches…

or a Christian organization,
or Christian family.
Maybe you’re discouraged at the politics, the mindlessness,
the game of Follow the Leader, (what happened to the Holy Spirit?).

Maybe you don’t even want to call yourself a Christian anymore…

but what labels really fit?
You don’t want to give up Jesus, at least not yet.
But who can you trust to help you rebuild this crumbling faith?

You feel torn, wanting to hold on and give up all at once. But, maybe your church was wrong about God’s displeasure. Maybe Jesus is really proud of who you are, even now despite all the ways your family has acted.

Your family makes you feel judged for breaking with their view of faith. So…

You speak up for yourself.
They think you are crazy.
You think maybe it’s true, maybe you are totally nuts,
but . . . you know you aren’t nuts… right?

credit: brutallyhonest.org

credit: brutallyhonest.org

You have questions, lots of questions, and you are tired of rehearsed and pat answers. You have hope that God offers more than this. Dear God, if you are there, please tell me there is more than this!

Where do you go?

Where do you go when you feel like church people are more interested in getting you to be involved in their church than they are in listening to your story. Perhaps you’ve heard some of these lines:

Are you accountable to anyone?
God can only use the local church… this local church.
God laid it on my heart to pray for you and you really need to return to our small group.
The Bible says your questioning is wrong… you need one of our gifted church leaders to guide you.

They imply you may not be a Christian, saying things like, “God’s people love to be with God’s people.”

And by “God’s people” they mean THEM.

Your rightly interpret their words:
You are not approved by God until you get my approval.
You once believed those words.
You feel embarrassed that you trusted them to let them use you.

Now you know you are not like them…. you also hope that your faith has deeper meaning, deeper roots.

You are cynical,
or puzzled,
or sorting your spirituality out with a scrap of faith.

You need confidence that you are not alone. You are thirsty for something more.

Where do you go?

 When you want community beyond a Sunday service, when your soul is hungry to be yourself beyond the small talk, when you need people you can really trust who share a like-minded hunger for truth and love, where can you turn?

When you want to stand up to abusers and say “You do not own me, my faith, my Bible, or my God!”

When you feel nobody understands, when you are in exile, orphaned in your faith, making your own way, when you want help, advice, strategies for dealing with the spiritually toxic people you can’t avoid, where do you belong?

This Independence Day my excitement is larger than fireworks to share that Soulation has created a place for you to declare your freedom: Freedom Builders!

Some have called Soulation “Church 2.0.” Freedom Builders makes good on this promise. As current FreedomBuilders tell us, “Soulation gave me what my soul hoped to find at ‘church.'”

Community.
Authenticity and humility.
Openness and love.
Learning and faith.
Freedom to struggle as you need
and to reach the conclusions that you must.  

These are not slogans of what we hope our community to become.  These are descriptions of what Freedom Builders IS, now available to you.

Freedom Builders invites exiles and spiritual orphans into recovery from spiritual abuse. We want you to consider join us and our community as we recover from the fatigue of the Christian tread-mill, to find a place to belong, to rest, recover, and be heard.

Freedom Builders is a community that begins with a Soulation eCourse: “Spiritual Health: A Foundation.”  This is for anyone along the journey of spiritual abuse recovery,

  • those who are just beginning to explore their spiritual abuse
  • those who want to refreshment in truth and love that frees them to be fully themselves
  • those well on their way who want a community to share in the journey now and beyond
  • those who want the building blocks to advocate for others.
credit: petdiaries.wordpress.com

credit: petdiaries.wordpress.com

For the next three months we will be laying the foundation for Spiritual Healing.  Our lessons will explore  God’s love, cultivating empathy for one another, and a better way to read and reclaim the Scripture, all in intentional community online. Our souls will sharpen and heal together… in community.

Become a Freedom Builder and start reclaiming your faith.

~~~

Not sure you really will belong with FreedomBuilders? Here is a quick test to see.

If you can agree to ten or more of these, Freedom Builders is designed with you in mind.

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  1. I often believe church leaders have ulterior motives.
  2. It doesn’t help me when Christians say my problems would be fixed if I just “found my identity in Christ.”
  3. I am suspicious of people who claim spiritual authority over me.
  4. My desires to spiritually grow create friction in my family or community.
  5. Church often feels empty and doesn’t challenge me to grow.
  6. I don’t think God would have treated me the way some spiritual authorities have treated me.
  7. I’ve noticed that my church community discourages me from feeling sad or angry.
  8. I’m never quite sure how to interpret the Bible.
  9. While God may love me, I’m unsure He likes me.
  10. I wish I could forgive those who’ve hurt me, but I’m not sure what forgiveness even means.
  11. Church has not typically been a place where my questions are welcome.
  12. Someone has harmed me, insisting that it was the “godly” thing to do.
  13. I want to follow Jesus but fear he requires me to be open to toxic people in my life.
  14. I feel like I deserve the suffering in my life.
  15. The Bible is used to bully me or make me afraid.
  16. I’m unsure where I spiritually belong.
  17. I would love to reclaim the Bible for myself.
  18. Spiritual authorities have asked me to cover up secrets for the sake of the “gospel.”
  19. I’ve felt used by Christians who claim to be loving me.
  20. I want a community who wants to grow beyond their pain into enjoying God’s love again.

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