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Letters to a Devastated Christian: Healing for the Brokenhearted

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Damaged by the domination of an overly authoritative Christian group, Ken finds himself a troubled young man with many questions. Ken's experience is representative of the large number of individuals who have been hurt by different Christian movements during the last decade. In Letters to a Devastated Christian, Gene Edwards explains the different techniques practiced by C Damaged by the domination of an overly authoritative Christian group, Ken finds himself a troubled young man with many questions. Ken's experience is representative of the large number of individuals who have been hurt by different Christian movements during the last decade. In Letters to a Devastated Christian, Gene Edwards explains the different techniques practiced by Christian groups who demand extreme submission and passivity from their members. The book's final chapters include some very personal and practical letters to those who have left such groups only to be faced with the difficult tasks of dealing with bitterness and resentment and rebuilding their faith and trust.


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Damaged by the domination of an overly authoritative Christian group, Ken finds himself a troubled young man with many questions. Ken's experience is representative of the large number of individuals who have been hurt by different Christian movements during the last decade. In Letters to a Devastated Christian, Gene Edwards explains the different techniques practiced by C Damaged by the domination of an overly authoritative Christian group, Ken finds himself a troubled young man with many questions. Ken's experience is representative of the large number of individuals who have been hurt by different Christian movements during the last decade. In Letters to a Devastated Christian, Gene Edwards explains the different techniques practiced by Christian groups who demand extreme submission and passivity from their members. The book's final chapters include some very personal and practical letters to those who have left such groups only to be faced with the difficult tasks of dealing with bitterness and resentment and rebuilding their faith and trust.

30 review for Letters to a Devastated Christian: Healing for the Brokenhearted

  1. 5 out of 5

    Todd Coburn

    Wow. This is a fantastic book with solid Biblical truth for the Christian. It is most useful for folks who have been wounded in an authoritarian or overly controlling Christian organization. The author deals with the ideas of Specialism (our Church is the only or best of all Christian churches), Unity (the body of Christ is called to unity therefore you should join our church and never leave), and Head Covering (each spiritual organization should be "covered" by the authority of select leadership Wow. This is a fantastic book with solid Biblical truth for the Christian. It is most useful for folks who have been wounded in an authoritarian or overly controlling Christian organization. The author deals with the ideas of Specialism (our Church is the only or best of all Christian churches), Unity (the body of Christ is called to unity therefore you should join our church and never leave), and Head Covering (each spiritual organization should be "covered" by the authority of select leadership or eldership, so you must submit to the leadership in "our" church.) All of these ideas have some spiritual basis, but have been grossly distorted in practice repeatedly throughout history to suit the purposes of mankind rather than of God. Gene takes this distortion by the horns and exposes it for what it is. The book also touches on the practice of living in community, of sharing things in common, and of organizations that carefully monitor the lives of their practitioners. It also addresses the wounds many folks have received at the hands of Christian organizations, leaders, or volunteer workers, and provides solid insight, advice, and redirection to these folks for getting back on track with God and man. Wow. I found Gene's treatment of these subjects to be in perfect alignment with Scripture, and sense that this short little book could be very helpful for Christians. The book is written in a style that is similar to C.S. Lewis's "Screwtape Letters", and although the writing is not as elegant nor perfect as Gene's other books "A Tale of Three Kings" or "The Prisoner in the Third Cell", the truth in this little volume is so right-on and profound that it easily ranks five stars in my mind. A great read. A solid perspective. A Biblical expounder. A must-read for the Christian. Enjoy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mark Sequeira

    This, along with the Tale of Three Kings are must reads for those battered or wounded by the church or authoritarian figures who have a position of trust. Hard to describe how two such small books could have such a powerful impact. HIGHLY REVCOMMENDED.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Светлана

    This book de-allegorizes Edwards' earlier thoughts depicted in his bestseller A Tale of Three Kings. Both books deal with life under unjust authority—an experience that almost everyone goes through at some point in time. The "devastated Christian" of the title is someone that has been "sold a bill of goods" by becoming committed to an unhealthy Christian movement, one where the leader demands more than he gives, and seeks to make overreaching decisions about believers' personal lives. Sadly, thi This book de-allegorizes Edwards' earlier thoughts depicted in his bestseller A Tale of Three Kings. Both books deal with life under unjust authority—an experience that almost everyone goes through at some point in time. The "devastated Christian" of the title is someone that has been "sold a bill of goods" by becoming committed to an unhealthy Christian movement, one where the leader demands more than he gives, and seeks to make overreaching decisions about believers' personal lives. Sadly, this is not uncommon, since no one has unlocked the key to instantaneous sanctification (though many have tried). Many Christians go through this experience of disillusionment coming out of their youth. After spending a few years serving a thriving church movement, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we ripen enough to spot the weaknesses in our leaders. What do you do when you see weakness in your leaders? When should the weakness be a red flag that you are in a truly unhealthy church? Edwards' counsel is to look for a few keys which I believe are quite telling: - "Specialism": "We are the move of God in this generation." - "Unity": If anyone doesn't meet with us, they are damaging Christian unity. - "Covering": Decisions have to be approved by the elders. After all, every believer needs "covering." In the course of the book, Edwards also tackles the idea of following a "New Testament pattern"—an idea fraught with danger when divorced from its cultural context and taken to extremes. In the last chapter, Edwards gives concrete counsel to his "devastated Christian," most of which resonates with his advice in A Tale of Three Kings: 1. Broadcasting bitter experiences with everyone you meet is an unhealthy way of seeking release. It would be better to seek not to dishonor Christ by bashing those who have served him in an unhealthy way. Edwards has right motives here in advising discretion; however, as other reviewers have pointed out, survivors of significant abuse need to find significant outlets to better understand their pain. He only lightly touches on this— 2. Christian counseling is healthy for those who have undergone significant or long-lasting psychological abuse. 3. Don't give up on structured Christianity. For all the weaknesses, there is a lot of good to be found. 4. Don't surround yourself with bitter people. Try to find some positivity. 5. Finally, "You are going to have to start believing. You are going to have to believe that there are movements born of God. You are going to have to trust Christians and [Christian] workers again." (p. 44)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dayton

    The content and subject was spot on... however in assessing the authoritarian religious groups and those who have been devastated by them, the author quite often is rather harsh with the fictional “Ken” who he is addressing these “letters” to. His conclusions and guidelines and remedies are good and solid... just harsh at times. One more thing: I understood where the author was coming from because I had read his earlier book A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness. Definitely start with the The content and subject was spot on... however in assessing the authoritarian religious groups and those who have been devastated by them, the author quite often is rather harsh with the fictional “Ken” who he is addressing these “letters” to. His conclusions and guidelines and remedies are good and solid... just harsh at times. One more thing: I understood where the author was coming from because I had read his earlier book A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness. Definitely start with the earlier book and then read this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Lei

    Edwards' final letter in this book seems especially helpful and practical for those who have been hurt by fellow Christians in one way or another. He discusses bitterness, awareness, and the renewal of hope. God has not abandoned the hurt Christian! Edwards' final letter in this book seems especially helpful and practical for those who have been hurt by fellow Christians in one way or another. He discusses bitterness, awareness, and the renewal of hope. God has not abandoned the hurt Christian!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    good

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth J.

    Unfortunately, this book is not a resource I would recommend for survivors of abusive churches. There is a great deal of victim-shaming in it, as the author does not believe that people are actually tricked and deceived into joining such churches, nor does he seem to appreciate the power and spiritual forces at work in the "ministries" of genuine false teachers/abusive-narcissistic pastors. Instead, the author attempts to gently challenge his recipient in the book (in a series of letters) that i Unfortunately, this book is not a resource I would recommend for survivors of abusive churches. There is a great deal of victim-shaming in it, as the author does not believe that people are actually tricked and deceived into joining such churches, nor does he seem to appreciate the power and spiritual forces at work in the "ministries" of genuine false teachers/abusive-narcissistic pastors. Instead, the author attempts to gently challenge his recipient in the book (in a series of letters) that it was the victim's fault that led him to the abusive church, and that he should be more prayerful, more repentant, more committed, etc., and that he should not talk about his abuse, or spend time with other survivors from the abusive church. Despite the good intention of the author, current research into the field of cult/abusive church recovery, and my own (personal) experience, argue strongly against his counsel and conclusions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Needed book for many.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Loie

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stefani Anderson

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bexbooks

  12. 5 out of 5

    Agbabi Solomon

  13. 5 out of 5

    Soula

  14. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Selvey

  15. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Hudson

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike Savage

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kingsley Manuel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caye

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gary Kienel

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Collings

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darren

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rob Sellitto

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angela Watts

  25. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark Mckim

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy Denson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Alves

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dave Lloyd

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Pershing

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