Apologetics Index
Churches That Abuse

"Churches That Abuse"


Excellent book by Ronald Enroth addressing the characteristics of abusive churches. Unfortunately, it is currently out of print. However, you may be able to find this book at libraries.

Second-hand copies of Churches That Abuse can often be obtained via Amazon.com.

Note: We have received permission from Dr. Enroth to post his book, Churches That Abuse, online at Apologetics Index.

We have been waiting a long time for such a book. It is a landmark event in this field and will be of immense value to former members of abusive groups, their families, and helping professionals
Michael D. Langone, Director, American Family Foundation

A much needed and singular volume of case studies related to churches which abuse their members. Having collected testimonies of numerous persons who have departed from such abusive churches, Enroth has woven this material into a larger tapistry of interpretation of the characteristics and methods of abusive churches. This he has done with professional skill and pastoral concern
James Leo Garrett, Jr., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Enroth identified 10 sets of features he found in abusive churches: control-oriented leadership, spiritual elitism, manipulation of members, perceived persecution, life-style rigidity, emphasis on experience, suppression of dissent, harsh discipline of members, denunciation of other churches, and the infliction of painful exit processes (...snip...)

A theme throughout the book is that "spiritual abuse can take place in the context of doctrinally sound, Bible-preaching, fundamentalist, conservative Christianity. All that is needed for abuse is a pastor accountable to no one and therefore beyond confrontation" (p. 189). The author believes that "tendencies toward abusive styles of leadership are more prevalent than most Christians realize" (p. 205). Legalisms, and the destructive applications of discipleship, authority, shepherding, and abuses within charismatic groups are discussed. (...snip...)

This book brings information, insight, and direction to those helping and to those needing help after being abused by a wide range of churches. Individuals, couples, and families will find help here directly for themselves. Professionals offering guidance will find that this book spells out for them what has happened mentally, socially, spiritually, and financially to the victims of abusive churches.

- See Also -
» Spiritual Abuse research resources, including articles by Dr. Enroth