There are two places I can see where a toxic church (abusive or has wrong teachings…or both can be outed. First to others in the church through interaction between a person who realizes the church is toxic, and then in public through media or online.
Most people, I believe, do not out a toxic church. They may stay for family or for social reasons and not say anything to keep the peace. Others do out the church to friends or family, but keep it pretty quiet. Then there is someone like me, I’ve told some people that are not just family and close friends as time has gone on and am writing an anonymous blog. Some friends who still attend my former church know my feelings and some of my reasons, but for the most part, people don’t know much about why we left that church.
Then there’s another group of people, bold people or maybe unwise, not sure. They openly write the toxic church’s name out there in the public. They name names not just situations. They share it all. Am I ready to do this? I am not sure.
First, I must pray. I must read scripture. I must seek counsel. I must see what my husband thinks. I must get organized. I must decide. Do I want to openly name our former church? I’ve named a few associations, but not named them directly. Do I want to name pastors? I know my motives must not be for revenge or self promotion. I also do not want to hurt someone (the pastor has a family and children…and the pastor need only to be accountable for what he’s done not smeared for assumptions or unfair conclusions).
If I can help teach others without naming names, it may be better. This church is likely similar in nature to a lot of churches. I’ve had some people write me thinking I might be from their area after reading my posts, or they say their story is similar. So the point can be made without bringing someone into the spot light of critique.
I just wonder when it’s time to be specific?