Monday, September 7, 2015

Pastor Shepherd or Wolf

Churches can be breeding grounds for narcissists. More and more, I have realized the helpful martyrship "church lady" masks can hide many severely damaging narcissists who use one's troubles and turmoils to drive the dagger in deep into someone's back. Don't just be careful of pastors but be careful of them too! The fake church ladies are just as dangerous. There are some who make a hobby of helping the downtrodden too but they just want to your broken down body to stand on.

I had one good pastor who was young and sincere in my small town church but obviously the me of today disagrees with some teachings regarding the church. We had one disagreement where I told him, many Christians are leaving the church system and the Bible seems to point to this fact but he said, every Christian should be in a good New Testament church. I said, "Well many people there isn't one good church in the entire county!" One thing that is worrisome about churches is charisma is what keeps the pews filled. And sadly it is mostly narcissists who have charisma in spades. The nice quiet thoughtful person, probably today gets weeded out in seminary or bible college for not doing an exciting enough sermon.

I visited a lot of churches in my present county and it always bugged me how churches revolved around the pastors. A few churches made a nod towards having a few deacons or elders, but most didn't. The pastor was the main personality keeping the show on the road. Maybe some would argue leadership is needed in every organization but isn't there a problem in the body of Christ where if the pastor leaves, the church folds? Why didn't the relationships among the congregation keep it going?

There are some pastors I ran into where oil oozed out of their skin and they came across as used car salesmen.  They always wore shiny suits and had big white shiny teeth. While I saw it right off, a few of these guys had big churches full of thousands of people. That always weirded me out. One guy was so charismatic, at one church, that was a smaller church, that troubled me. Those people were all eager to please the man. When I stood next to him he seemed to shrink away, I felt like he wasn't happy about this big fat woman showing up to his church. He kept bragging about his "vacation' [cough] mission trip to Jaimaica that he took every year. Can you imagine having a Jamaican trip every year as a job perk? I left that church after only a few visits. The people were nice but the pastor was literally worshipped. He would make sex jokes during bible study and present this cookie cutter suburban world I did not relate to.

The big money guys who have jets, and mansions are some of the obvious deceivers but they have many smaller versions in the "making merchandise of you" set even in small towns.


  1. I have a church that is so far so good. Mind you, there won't be any sociopath talk, but they do acknowledge the times are getting worse and the people are waxing cold more and more. But people are generally good? I know, they don't understand this. I go to a bible chapel. There is no pastor and there are speakers from all over or within the church. The music is great, old fashioned stuff. "How Great Thou Art" is a regular. I enjoy church, and I hope to go for a long time, but I do realize there will probably come a day when it will go in a direction that I cannot go in.

    Also, there is no collection, there is a box to put money in. No salaries, just utilities I think. and the church is over 50 years old, so it is paid for.

    I used to go to a church like the one you are saying. I remember a pastor preaching on the spirit of Jezebel for a long time and soon after he chased off with his girlfriend and left his wife and 5 kids. The new pastor praised himself for not being attracted to his very attractive secretary. The secretary wore micro-minis and she was a grown woman with a family in her forties.

    But sexuality is very common in the churches. And trips, and money. And lots of times they don't help families, even at Christmas. They say they can't afford it.

    I see what you are saying. We can't go to those types of churches. I do miss the old church, just like I miss sociopaths ( I still imagine they are good), they always looked down on me for being a single mom. They did marry me with my ex, who never went to church. He wasn't a believer even. I wish someone would have guided me more, I was always in way over my head. I just felt I needed to be married, and that is why I married him. I should have married a wall instead.

    1. I am glad you have a good church. As you all know I left the one here. I had left one around 5 years ago that taught things I did not agree with. Before then I had moved from the good one, and never could find one I fit into here. I'm done with the churches. I wanted to be seen as an equal and worthwhile person to others and I was not. The place where they treated me well, spoiled me for the places where I walked in and you could tell they really didn't want me there. I am glad I found the good church when I was newly saved. Thank God for that.

      I am glad your church recognized the signs of the times and people waxing colder. My old good church did too. The ones here, they seem to all feel like everything is safe and secure. I don't know if the class differences affect this, maybe so.

      The fact you have no central pastor is a good thing really. I've never seen a church here without pastor running it. There may be some Quakers as the exception in other areas and states.

      Yes things are good in church now, but keep discerning. That is a good idea. My good church folded when the pastor left. I probably would have moved back just for the sake of having a decent church years ago. That is very different not to have a paid salary to a pastor and more. I don't trust the ones who go on about Jezebel spirits and seem to have a thing about wicked women but leave the men alone. It doesn't surprise me that one ran off. I agree about the sexuality, trips and money. There are some making professional salaries in the churches who aren't even pastors. A lot of churches have turned into big business. Some of the big ones around here do charity work, but I have seen some that don't do any. The last one I attended was weird, why they would help some who asked directly, they didn't have any charity programs or anything like that. Everyone seemed secure. They did sermons that had all the classic Tea Party talk. My old good church was more working class and would take collections for those who had been unemployed and more. It was more down to earth.

      Sorry you were looked down on for being a single Mom. In this last church I felt like I was nobody simply for having no children. There wasn't one single or adult childless person in the place. They must have left from not being accepted.

      LOL about marrying a wall instead. Yes they push marriage and maybe you married feeling that influence. Everyone has to couple up. I am sure any Duggars who don't marry or procreate will be told they are losers.

    2. I was just thinking that I don't readily know if anyone in my church is poor. I never see them when I volunteer. I don't know if its ok for people to talk about this. I do the collections for the food bank at my church, and I believe they are generous, relative to a small church. But my church doesn't take up collections at all, not even for helping people, and money is very rarely discussed.

      I was also thinking of my last church and there was a whole lot of preaching against sexual immorality. I'm not sure why. I mean how complicated is it, and all I felt was dirty when I left church. I think maybe the pastor was trying to wipe his own dirt on the congregation. I've also known a lot of people in my life who insist that it is proper to do up that last button on their blouse. Like everything is dirty to them.

      I think from now on I'll have to check to see how I'm affected after service. I understand that God convicts us for things, but I remember a time when church made me feel dirty, when I wasn't doing anything at all. I also learned way too much about homosexuality, I think its best to stay innocent of those things really. One time a pastor discussed group sex. This is not good.

      OM gosh, these were actual church teachings.

      I see the narcissism in all this.

  2. I would appreciate hearing your opinion of Clayton Jennings, a young guy who calls himself "Author/Actor/Director" but is circling around as someone people call a "young Billy Graham." His website is claytonjennings (dot) com. So many people I know are posting his videos and other stuff, and they are mostly pretty decent people, not shallow, etc. He has a lot of videos, and he might be a great guy, and his written stuff seems to be fine, but there is just something really "off" to me in his videos. Does he set off your narcissism alarm bells? What kind of preacher calls himself an actor/director as part of his main title? I feel a little crazy having these doubts because so many other seemingly reasonable people are so taken with him.

  3. Hi everyone! I want to warn you that some claim they are fighting for our Civil Rights are narcs who want attention and accolades. I still believe in Civil Rights and opportunities for non-white people. Unfortunately, there are poor white people who are not racist and who are being set up to hate us by elites and narcs.

    I used to fall for these types of articles and then learned many hard lessons. These "activist elites" are not interested in helping poor minority students to succeed in Ivy League university or other elite institutions. I asked for support and mentorship and got hurt. I could give you several examples. Hope it will make you think before you jump on poor people like Peep or others who are complaining about narcs in politically corrected world rather than people of other racial background who are true victims of many racial incidents, hate crime, and discrimination you could imagine. I have been there and still believe in fighting for these issues. However, I also believe in class-based and race-based affirmative actions and programs for poor people. I hope you are aware that there are affirmative action for children of wealthy parents (children of alumni or children of wealthy people who donated multi-million dollars to an elite university, etc) and that poor minority students have been denied of admission to these top universities.

    Another example I could tell you is that minority students who are in Ivy League universities are usually descendants of people who came from Africa or other countries rather than descendants of slaves or those who came from a very poor family who did not have social or educational capital. Several universities made efforts to correct these issues while at the same time they are making sure that these student-applicants are ready to take courses in their school.

    Third thing I want to warn you is that when I approached African-American professors and graduate students for mentorship, they hurt me worse than their white counterparts. For example, one professor told me in an email that she is not interested in working with me in graduate school because she did not think we were a great match. She referred me to a white professor who treated me much better than she did. In another instance, a black graduate student complained about me when I sent her emails for mentorship and advice on graduate school. She was a teaching fellow of a class about slavery and I was interested in studying slavery issues. She complained to her supervisor, a main professor of the course. I was stung when the professor sent me an email and copied it to the dean of student affair complaining that I was disruptive to the class and she wanted to remove me from the course! So here is goes! I don't think Peep and other poor white people are racist. Please be kind to people and don't give narcs their glory!

  4. I used to go to a fairly large church about an hour away. We had gone there for about 9 years but never really connected and have no real friends there at all. The pastor is the center and I know the church would be no more if he ever left. He is the church.
    We stopped going to the services and now just watch online. It's kind of lonely but we don't know what else to do right now. I'm afraid to even try to find another place to go closer to home because I don't know if it would even make a difference. It seems to be really hard to make real friends at churches. I run into what I call "churchy ladies" who want to take you on as a project(like you've talked about in other posts). It seems like most women are just "too busy" to be a real friend to anyone. Why can't people just to together and listen to each other and care? But not have a need to fix?

    1. I understand you leaving that church, it had a lot to do with why I left the recent one. I put a year in and saw it going nowhere. My energy is very limited. I only met one lady in there willing to talk to me in any real fashion and talk to her on a social website. Too many churches revolve around the pastors, it's like showtime for them, and I saw one that was good in some respects die just because the pastor omved and got another job. There are Christians out there leaving the church system. I just can't go through the motions anymore and many of the churches have become protective havens for narcs and if you aren't the right demographic forget it anyhow. It is hard to make real friends and you feel like everyone is trying to get everyone to impress each other and that is what a lot of the busy brigade stuff is about. Showing off, status, look at me I'm so important and they run about treating people like projects rather then offering real connection. I don't even feel like people listen anymore either too except the very rare friend or online friends. I think the need to fix is rooted in what this culture has become, everything about being the perfect pod person.

    2. I pray you find some good real true friends and Christian fellowship around you too.