Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C
For those of you on Facebook, you have probably seen the meme going around that reads something like this. "If all religions teach peace, then why are they at war?" Religion is supposed to be a good thing. Religion is supposed to bring us closer to a God of Love, and yet all we see around us are religious people at war with each other, and against all others. Where is this disconnect, and how did religion become so toxic? Personally, I believe that the toxicity in religion stems from having toxic people in religion. When a toxic person converts to religion, unfortunately, the toxicity does not go away. As a matter of fact, they sometimes use religion to justify toxic behaviors, in the name of God. Atrocities, which would otherwise be repulsive and abhorrent, are somehow sanitized as right and just, when committed in the name of God. Religion gives an out for toxic people to harm others without fear of Divine retribution, and without fear of "what man may do to me." Toxic people also tend to use religion as a cover for unrighteous acts, while appealing to religion as their justification, and right.
The peace which passes all understanding cannot come to you if you are a part of toxic religion, even if you don't personally participate in the wrongs being committed. You will always find yourself caught up in the midst of what others are doing, as their actions will negatively impact your life. Perhaps you yourself have been a victim of toxic religion? If you have suffered from spiritual abuse of any kind, then you are a victim of toxic religion. Spiritual abuse includes such things as brainwashing in cults, financial abuse, emotional abuse from church members, toxic teachings that harmed you, toxic teachings that damaged your health, toxic teachings that rob you of peace of mind, curses, spiritual oppression, spiritual warfare resulting in broken homes, divorce, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and so on. If you have suffered from any of those, then you were a victim of toxic religion.
One of the things I have learned by watching the news reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and interacting with people on Facebook, is that people will justify anything, as long as it is done in the name of God. People will use false facts, misinformation, and plain propaganda, to get others to support their side of the story, and to turn others against the opposing side. When it comes to wars, religion is a formidable weapon used to assuage the conscience, when one is committing otherwise heinous acts. As long as God sanctions it, people feel it is okay. The problem however is that the other side also thinks that God is sanctioning their cause as well!
The main reason why toxic religion is so dangerous, is that it robs you of peace. No one in toxic religion is really happy, and they certainly are not experiencing peace. You can even see it in their long, pious, self-righteous faces. They see evil in everything, and nothing good. They are always searching for the devil hiding under every rock. Scripture is used as a sword to cut others to pieces, and sometimes they throw the whole Book at you! Perhaps you have been caught up doing the same, and are now suffering the negative effects of being in toxic religion. Lack of peace of mind, fear, intimidation, apathy, cold-heartedness, lack of love in one's life, lack of inner peace, cruelty, harshness, and so on, are all the effects of being in toxic religion, and even when you leave physically. Toxic religion is such, that the effects haunt you, long after you physically leave the toxic organization. This is because the teachings are embedded in your mind, and lodged in your subconscious, following you, wherever you go. Studying more scripture sometimes fail to free you from toxicity, as usually what happens is that you swap one form of toxicity for another form of toxicity. It's not unusual for people to leave one toxic church/religion only to join another toxic church/religion, or they bring the toxicity with them to their new church or religion. One of my favorite quotes from Einstein is this: "Problems cannot be solved by the same mind that created them." Surely then, if you want to rid yourself of toxic religion, you need help from someone other than your own mind. It is for this reason, why I have created a toxic religion deprogramming spiritual counseling program. In this program, I address the spiritual mindset of toxic religion, and help you to free yourself from that mindset, which is truly a form of spiritual bondage. In my program, you will finally be free to serve God, without the underlying toxicity, and find peace of mind. The program outline is as follows.
Week One: Identifying What Makes Toxic Religion Toxic
Week Two: Tactics Used to Attract People to Toxic Religion.
Week Three: The Types of People Who are Attracted to or Vulnerable to Toxic Religion
Week Four: Identifying Vulnerabilities Within Oneself to Toxic Religion
Week Five: Working on Your Vulnerable Areas to Remove Them
If you are interested in toxic religion deprogramming, please contact me at my website, and for more information. God bless you, and have a liberating day!