Beyond Accountability

When a group influences its congregation to trust in the leaders and discourages criticism of the leadership, the group creates a lethal combination! They encourage errors to be overlooked and leaders can get away with almost anything.

"Jan" was in prison. In her disciple's notebook she wrote ... I want to share Jesus with others but I don't want them to be in prison with me.

Jan's prison had no walls. She was constantly baby-sitting for the married couples in her group and her presence was required for so many churchrelated activities that she had little time for herself or the nursing school she dearly desired to attend. Jan could not fully understand why the guidance of her leaders left her in such a situation. She only knew that she felt that she was in a prison. Although her situation was extremely oppressive, Jan felt she could not question the leadership, doubt their decisions, or ever say anything negative against the people she viewed as "God's men."

Abusive discipleship is a prison of the mind which therefore imprisons the body to accept the will of the group. ....


Trust is an important word for believers. Our Christian life is built on trust. The Christian fellowship is a community of those who trust God. We should trust one another, especially our leaders. A lot is made of trust of the leadership in some discipleships and most controlling groups. Some programs indicate that if we are not totally trusting in our discipler we are hard hearted and rebellious; that we are in sin.



•control negative feedback of leaders
•squelch legitimate criticism of leadership
•teach people to obey even when they don't feel right about it (thus encouraging people to die to their sense of right and wrong) •teach that doubts and criticism of leadership equals sin
•teach that all criticism of leadership is probably slanderous, divisive or factious
•cause members to loose jobs, promotions or deter them from school or other goals or family activities
•emphasize Biblical ideas like dying to self in a non-scriptural way •subtly redefine the meanings of words
•hound on these certain Biblical words almost to the exclusion of other sound Biblical principles
•induce guilt in members so they confess being sorry for not trusting their discipler more
•not tell you that in the Bible trust or loyalty is never used in reference to church leaders
•teach you that unity means that you need to change your opinions to match the groups' instead of constancy of purpose
•teach you that you must only go to leaders in private when you are pointing out error
•encourage the combination of trusting leaders and not criticizing

Copyright 1996 Mary Alice Chrnalogar
At Twisted Scriptures