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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %RECOGNIZE ADDICTIVE IDOLATROUS RELIGIOUS LEADERS 980308 We will do well and be well when we can openly and honestly recognize addictive/idolatrous religious leaders who encourage others to surrender their privacy rights, which are essential to being responsive to Holy Spirit's guidance. Such leaders pervert: 1. Confessions --- so as to make followers vulnerable to the addictive manipulations of codependent supporters. 2. Integrative standards --- to re-formulate them into handles which are useful as tools of coercive manipulation. 3. Conceptions of the nature of Love --- to turn Love into an angry god who demands mindless conformity. 4. The freedom to be safely vulnerable in being true to self and others --- into vulnerability to religious leaders as a prerequisite for permission to enter into an exclusive kingdom of heaven. 5. The worship of God --- into the worship of self appointed powerful representatives who have been thoroughly corrupted by their arrogation of the power to appear to be in control. 6. God's gift of healthy sexual relationships --- into something to be feared, worshipped, manipulated and used in the service of self appointed Administrative Assistants of the most powerful one. 7. The Good News of Forgiveness and Reconciliation --- into legalistic codes which empower the keepers of the codes to manipulate those whom they teach to worship the codes. 8. The call to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God's children in the Kingdom of God --- into a crusade to demand perfection in their Kingdom of Self Righteousness. 9. Calls by Love to promote both personal and communal integrity --- into demanding calls for conformity and exclusivity. 10. Calls to repentance and new forms of growth --- into calls to return to old ways and traditions --- which affirm old accomplishments as being of ultimate worth and value. 11. Interpretations of scriptures --- so that they serve to satisfy the leaders' preoccupations with issues of control. 12. People's sense of duty --- so that people are encouraged to be more generous and dutiful than they can honestly be with personal and communal integrity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================