Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Toxic Faith

from "Toxic Faith" by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton

21 Toxic Beliefs of a Toxic Faith

1. God's love and favour depend on my behaviour
2. When tragedy strikes, true believers should have a real peace about it
3. If I have real faith, God will heal me or someone I am praying for
4. All ministers are men and women of God and can be trusted
5. Material blessings are a sign of spiritual strength
6. The more money I give to God, the more money he will give to me
7. I can work my way to heaven
8. Problems in my life result from some particular sin
9. I must not stop meeting others' needs
10. I must always submit to authority
11. God uses only spiritual giants
12. Having true faith means waiting for God to help me and doing nothing until he does
13. If it's not in the Bible, it isn't relevant
14. God will find me a perfect mate
15. Everything that happens to me is good
16. A strong faith will protect me from problems and pain
17. God hates sinners, is angry with me, and wants to punish me
18. Christ was merely a great teacher
19. God is too big to care about me
20. More than anything else, God wants me to be happy
21. I can become God

10 Toxic-Faith Characteristics (found in a toxic church or system)

1. The members of the toxic faith system claim their character, abilities, or knowledge make them "special" in some way
2. The leader is dictatorial and authoritarian
3. Religious addicts are at war with the world to protect their terrain and to establish themselves as godly persons who can't be compared to other persons of faith
4. Toxic faith systems are punitive in nature
5. Religious addicts are asked to give overwhelming service
6. Many religious addicts in the system are physically ill, emotionally distraught, ans spiritually dead
7. Communication is from the top down or from the inside out
8. Rules are distortions of God's intent and leave him out of the relationship
9. Religious addicts lack objective accountability
10. The technique of labeling is used to discount a person who opposes the beliefs of the religious addict

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