Church hurt is real. It’s an unfortunate reality that we have to deal with living in a broken world. Humans are imperfect beings, and that is no different for Christians, or Christians in leadership.
Dr. Cassie Reid is the creator and director of Master of Marriage & Family Therapy graduate degree program at The King’s University in Southlake, Texas. She works with Church Rehab, which started as a vision in 2012 to provide a safe place for those in ministry, those hurt by ministry, and everyone in between. She personally works and helps those who have experienced deep hurt by the church, and helps them heal.
Dr. Reid is here to answer your questions on church hurt.
Question: I’m not a Christian at all (more agnostic than atheist but that’s besides the point) What’s the point of even going to church if there’s such a high risk of abuse and supporting such a harmful system. Seems so counter-intuitive to me when Christians can just believe what they believe without learning how to force it on others.
Dr. Reid: Can I just say, I am not an agnostic, work with churches, and sometimes ask myself the same question. I always think of this analogy. I have a young daughter who always loves to put her hands on the glass door leading outside. That is what has happened to Christianity in my opinion.
Humans have put their fingerprints of insecurity, inferiority, hierarchies, and pain on the clear mission and purpose Christianity. Many times this involves forcing it onto others when it doesn’t even look like the original scripture or intention. I am sorry you have encountered people who haven’t led with love, but led with agenda.
Question: How do I over come and move on with my relationship with Jesus when the Bible teaches men are the authority over women but I have been abused with those verses it makes me feel like God doesn’t love women the same as men like he values my abuser over me…. How do I trust God?
Dr. Reid: This is unfortunately a common question. One mistake many have made is believing that Jesus/God= the humans that represent Him in church. This is simply not true. Not to challenge you, but I cannot find in scripture where it states that men are more valuable than women. Scripture enforces that we all are equal and loved regardless of gender, sin, or circumstances. I feel that you may have been exposed to faulty church doctrine and old-school ways of interpreting scripture. I know it is difficult to unwind from these beliefs but in time I hope you can see your value and worth.
Question: How do you know you are in an abusive situation verses just a painful one?
Dr. Reid: Let’s use an analogy, if you are working with a personal trainer, there may be some pain to get to the desired outcome. If that trainer continued to hurt you repeatedly, regardless of your complaints, that is abuse. When individuals are used and put through pain to support or hold up the insecurity of leadership, that is abuse. We all go through trials, but no where in scripture does it say we are supposed to stay there.
If you have a question you would like to have answered by Dr. Reid, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Cassie Reid is passionate about the synthesis of the clinical and spiritual in the field of therapy and beyond which includes Church Rehab. It started as a vision in 2012 to provide a safe place for those in ministry, those hurt by ministry, and everyone in between.
Dr. Reid currently serves as creator and director of Master of Marriage & Family Therapy graduate degree program at The King’s University in Southlake, Texas. Her professional experience includes serving as a school counselor and special educator in a North Texas school district, interning at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, managing the Texas Woman’s University Counseling and Family Therapy Clinic, working as a member of the National Institute of Health research grant in pain management, partnering with numerous grief organizations, consulting projects for a variety of organizations as well as launching her private counseling practice in 2010.
Dr. Reid is author of Unwrapped: Open The Gift Of Holiday Sanity and has a new book that will launch in 2021. Dr. Reid and her family reside in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.