DiscoverChristian (Non-Fiction)

Spiritual Abuse


Loved it! 😍

A timely book exposing the shocking--and at times, dangerous--choices of a church through the eyes of one who lived it.

As an avid churchgoer, this book caught my attention right away and, unfortunately, some of these thoughts shared throughout have been my worst fears. With attendance going down everywhere and young people not going to church as opposed to the previous generations, it sometimes feels like a church will do anything to keep membership--and the finances--coming in.

Sabella's personal account is not only relevant, but troubling. Also, I hope serves as a cautionary tale for any church who feels desperate to keep afloat when things are in the red. This book is definitely targeted to former and current church members, but I believe an argument can be made for churches to also sit down and analyze this text for themselves.

Over the past couple of years, we've seen various stories in the news about pastors flying on their own luxury jets with money congregants gave to their churches, various abuses by members being brought to the forefront and other controversies named. Sabella's account may not be cultish by nature, but it comes pretty close to being depicted as such. As he said in the text, I too questioned why one would stay in such an environment when they knew what was being said or done was wrong. Sabella shows that the problems go deeper than what they may seem on the surface. Also, that these issues don't happen overnight but are a gradual, frightening transformation leaving you trapped and unsure what to do.

Sabella leaves it all on the table throughout this short book and his honesty, storytelling and concrete examples of what Scripture tells us shine through. This is also a quick read easy to understand without fancy word jargon and backed up through careful research, personal account and more. I wish more of the story focused on what to do rather than Sabella's story. However, we do have a few chapters dedicated to what one should look out for and do if they find themselves in a similar situation. Another useful tool are questions for readers to download from each chapter so they can explore what may potentially be going on in their own churches.

Overall, this is a relevant book to be studied carefully and not pushed to the side. Great work by Sabella on his candidness and sharing his truth. Let's hope it helps others and avoid future pitfalls churches don't need right now.

Reviewed by

I am an avid reader and enjoy writing of any kind. I have been a blogger for 4 years, writing book reviews since 2016 and reviewing books for Hallmark Publishing since 2018. Books and words inspire me and I want to share those thoughts and stories with others.

My Journey of Faith

About the author

I am a full-time pastor, author, podcaster and conference speaker who has served in ministry over forty years. Together with my wife and married children, our passion is to help people connect with God, grow together and serve the community. My books all focus on leadership in some capacity. view profile

Published on October 19, 2019

Published by

20000 words

Genre: Christian (Non-Fiction)

Reviewed by