Is Past Spiritual Abuse Keeping You From Enjoying Community?

Anchor + Waves Ep. 112

Hosted by Stacy Ludwig w/ Special Guest CARA RUNYAN


  • The definition of spiritual abuse | 3:22
  • There is a spectrum for spiritual abuse | 13:35
  • What are the “red flags” | 29:08
  • Should I stay or should I go? | 38:45
  • Hope and redemption on both sides | 43:05
  • “Just My Type” Enneagram 5 w/ Cara Runyan | 55:25
  • Closing + Prayer | 1:27:125


1 | What is the definition of spiritual abuse?

The use of spirituality, religion, or scripture to control and manipulate people for a goal other than their good. | Listen in at 3:22

2 | Red Flags to look for
  • Pay attention to what scripture is often quoted and the context that is used. It is important to see where people stop when quoting.
  • Ask the question, “Who ultimately benefits from this?”
  • Is the message “do better, try harder,” doo more is not gospel. Jesus came to redeem and save us so we can live a life of faith and gratitude to the Lord.
  • What boundaries are in place and is there push back to having boundaries?
  • Is there the “No talk rule?” Where, yes, there is a problem but you can’t talk about it, you can’t question it.

Listen in at 29:05

3 | Commitment to a local church body is vital and essential to a growing christian life, AND it needs to be a healthy accountable one

It is incredibly difficult to seek a healthy church community after spiritual abuse, yes. But
the beauty and grace and value is so much more important than to just throw the whole
thing away
. | Listen in at 40:14

4 | Personal application:
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Have things in place to hold you accountable.
  • Have people in your life that will question you.
  • You should ALWAYS be questioned.
  • Always been teachable.
  • End well, you did not do great things, God did them through you.
  • Ask yourself how often do you apologize?
  • Lead with real vulnerability.
  • Ask for feedback.


What is spiritual abuse? Have you experienced it? Or have you done it? Join Stacy as she interviews Cara Runyan, a Denver Seminary graduate, as they dive into the weighted subject of spiritual abuse. You’ll get a glimpse into what it is, who is doing it, how God feels about it, how to combat it, how to spot it, what to do if you are in it, how to make sure you don’t do it, and is it keeping you from enjoying the benefits of a healthy church community? We are created to thrive in a spiritual community; if spiritual abuse is one of the big things that is keeping us from that, let’s talk about it. Let’s do something about it. Join in on the conversation.


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