“I think victims of abuse are drawn to churches not for the hope of being healed, but because it’s an abusive environment they’re used to. AND churches offer them spoon-fed answers that are presented as “rock-solid truths”. And that’s what a victim of abuse needs, something concrete and predictable.
I recently watched a Discovery Channel special on Dolphins raised in the wild and in captivity.
When the underwater gates are opened in a domesticated Dolphin’s tank, the captive dolphins will swim out into the open ocean just for a few min and promptly return. Why? Captivity is all they know.. AND they’re spoon-fed fish in there.
Dolphins and people are very intelligent creatures. But both have an affinity for prison if that’s all they’ve known.”
This reminds me of Stockholm’s syndrome whereby the victims of enslavement or abuse would tend to sympathise with their oppressors because their oppressors had professed to look after them in the past. Usually, they have become used to the slavery or abuse, and might feel odd if they were to experience freedom from being controlled. Sometimes, the institutional churches may also place guilt trips on the congregation by putting obligations on them to “repay” their kindness by being loyal to the church or using the name of god to manipulate them.
The best way to be free then is to ignore the churches’ tactics and keep a distance from them. I learnt that while I can be grateful for the basic teaching of grace, I need not be obliged to follow them or agree with their practices. I am my own saviour and co-creator, as we all are meant to be.