Part 7 of 7
Sadly, spiritual abuse is all too common and eerily similar wherever it occurs. It is not limited to particular denominations or extreme cult-like churches, but also happens among many normal, mainstream churches.
A contributing factor to this is occurring is that churches are organized with political structures for governing. It is the nature of these structures that can corrupt relationships within community. Hierarchical structures and authoritarian leadership produce the power politics that result in abuse.
Pyramid-shaped leadership structures produce an elevated class. This is damaging not only to the members who assume passive roles but also to the leaders who take on an inflated view of their spiritual authority and responsibility.
The idea of spiritual covering is a common teaching that supports this distorted concept of a leader’s authority. The covering teaching elevates the leader as a mediator, replacing the role of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the person’s life.
The church was supposed to be a new kind of society with a unique character. It has instead emulated the world in its leadership and organization.