1. Have a distorted view of respect. They forget the simple adage that respect is earned, not granted. Abusive leaders demand respect without having earned it by good, honest living.
2. Demand allegiance as proof of the follower’s allegiance to Christ. It’s either his/her way or no way. And if a follower deviates, he is guilty of deviating from Jesus.
3. Use exclusive language. “We’re the only ministry really following Jesus.” “We have all the right theology.” Believe their way of doing things, thinking theologically, or handling ministry and church is the only correct way. Everyone else is wrong, misguided, or stupidly naive.
4. Create a culture of fear and shame. Often there is no grace for someone who fails to live up to the church’s or ministry’s expectation. And if someone steps outside of the often-unspoken rules, leaders shame them into compliance. Leaders can’t admit failure, but often search out failure in others and uses that knowledge to hold them in fear and captivity. They often quote scriptures about not touching God’s anointed, or bringing accusations against an elder. Yet they often confront sin in others, particularly ones who bring up legitimate biblical issues. Or they have their circle of influence take on this task, silencing critics.
5. Often have a charismatic leader at the helm who starts off well, but slips into arrogance, protectionism and pride. Where a leader might start off being personable and interested in others’ issues, he/she eventually withdraws to a small group of “yes people” and isolates from the needs of others. These ministries and churches harbor a cult of personality, meaning if the central figure of the ministry or church left, the entity would collapse, as it was entirely dependent on one person to hold the place together.
6. Cultivate a dependence on one leader or leaders for spiritual information. Personal discipleship isn’t encouraged. Often the Bible gets pushed away to the fringes unless the main leader is teaching it.
7. Demand blind servitude of their followers, but live prestigious, privileged lives. They live aloof from their followers and justify their material extravagance as God’s favour and approval on their ministry. Unlike Jesus’ instructions to take the last seat, they often take the first seat at events and court others to grant them privileges. They typically chase after wealth–at any cost, and often at the expense of the very people they shepherd.
8. Buffer him/herself from criticism by placing people around themselves whose only allegiance is to the leader. These leaders and churches view those who bring up legitimate issues as enemies. Those who were once friends/allies swiftly become enemies once a concern is raised. Sometimes these folks are banished, told to be silent, or shamed into submission.
9. Hold to outward performance but rejects authentic spirituality. Places burdens on followers to act a certain way, dress an acceptable way, and have an acceptable lifestyle, but they often demonstrate licentiousness, greed, and uncontrolled addictions behind closed doors.
10. Use exclusivity for allegiance. Followers close to the leader or leaders feel like lucky insiders. Everyone else is on the outside, though they often long to be in that inner circle. If someone on the inner circle speaks up about abuses, lapses in character, illegal acts, or strong-arming, that insider immediately moves to an outsider. Fear of losing their special status often impedes insiders from speaking up.
AWAY FROM THIS MAN! His mouth is
full of Biblical
verses but his heart is filled with hatred, jealousy, treachery and
power. This FALSE CHRISTIAN is the root of almost all evil in ACCN in
and he will even take you to court, if he can't get his way.
pretty much like Paul, dishonest and unloving, just less intelligent.
Janko is now building his humongous "warehouse" in Tarneit, destined to
of both faith and members. This UNREPENTED SINNER is still dreaming
becoming an elder!
and egoistic, this long-time "elder" has caused immense grief, division
misery amongst the Nazarenes in Australia. Some even call him a
sadist... not that Andrew really cares about anyone's opinion, though.
Currently residing in a nursing home in Perth.
nickname by constantly repeating "Ljubazni" (Dear Ones) while
preaching. This recently appointed "elder assistant" is ambitious, but
at the same time not
clever enough to realize he will always be just Paul's and Janko's
is Paul Pentsa's son-in-law and
definitely his best student. Proud, stubborn, arrogant - a classic
bigot. Due to his off-putting personality and some weird beliefs, he's
not on very
good terms with Janko Tomek and other Slovaks in Tarneit.
future Elder, whether you like the idea or not. Nicky is "a very nice
guy". No gift for preaching or
leadership skills, but being Paul Pentsa's son, he's actually got
everything he needs. Sooner or later his Dad will find the way to
install him as his successor.
Tomek's loyal admirer and bodyguard - sleazy, hypocritical, dishonest
His interpretation of the Scriptures can make you laugh as well as his
awkward sermons in
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and Mental Abuse
in ACCN in Australia -