Churches That Abuse
- The publishers of Apologetics Index have received permission from Dr.
Ronald M. Enroth to post online the full text of his book, Churches
The following description comes from the book's front flap:
When does a church cross the line between conventional church
status and fringe status? What is the nature of the process by which
any given group devolves into a fringe church or movement? What are
some of the signs or indicators that a given group is becoming abusive
of its members and is headed for the margins? When should a member
consider bailing out?
Churches That Abuse answers these and other important questions
about abusive churches. This important new book warns and informs
readers about the "fringe" churches and groups that operate in this
countryorganizations and churches that are not necessarily
characterized by doctrinal deviation but have particular traits that
make them behavioral and sociological outsiders. It also helps readers
identify and beware of abusive tendencies in more "normal" Christian
Ronald Enroth identifies what is meant by "abusive churches."
Then, he describes abusive churches, using the ten identifying traits
of control-oriented leadership, spiritual elitism, manipulation of
members, perceived persecution, lifestyle rigidity, emphasis on
experience, suppression of dissent, harsh discipline of members,
denunciation of other churches, and the painful exit process. Finally
he shows readers how to discern fringe churches and offers several
"red flags" that can be discerned when convention churches drift
toward the fringe.
Churches That Abuse tells who the abusers are, how their
techniques operate, and what the consequences are for marriages, small
children, and teenagers. Where most books stop after reporting problem
areas, this one continues and offers suggestions for those helping
victims of abuse. And it can be read beneficially by those who are
involved in abusive churches and have no one to turn to.