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Recovering from Religious Abuse: 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439192685
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439192689
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Recovering from Religious Abuse is a ground-breaking work. Others have written about the problem, but Jack Watts has gone one step further. He has developed a recovery program that works. Millions have experienced religious abuse—Catholics and Protestants. Finally, there's a program available to help wounded Christians get back on their feet. I recommend it wholeheartedly." (Robert McGee, bestselling author of The Search for Significance)

“Those who proclaim to come ‘In the name of God’ should offer a message of truth in love. But not every leader does. Some hurt rather than heal. For those who have been pained by religious abuse—and it does happen—Recovering from Religious Abuse offers stirring thoughts, hope and inspiration toward a real ‘freedom in Christ.’” (Dr. Tim Clinton President, American Association of Christian Counselors)

“There is good news for those who turn away from God because of their experience of hurt and pain at the hands of Christian leaders and others in the body of Christ. The God of the Universe, who loves and cares for us, should not be confused with those who have misrepresented Him. This practical and insightful book, Recovering from Religious Abuse, has been written to help you heal from the wounds that you have received. Out of the caldron of personal experience, Jack Watts shares the insights of his journey in an easy to follow, yet powerful format. Follow the 91-day plan—one day at a time—and your life will be transformed in amazing ways. I highly recommend this book to those who have been wounded, as well as to the counselors who assist them.” (Joseph A. Kloba, Ed.D. Provost & Chief Academic Officer Professor of Counseling Psychology Palm Beach Atlantic University)

“The healing journey for those wounded by trusted spiritual leaders can be daunting. Clearly Jack has walked this road and blazed a trail for those who will follow.” (June Hunt, Founder, CEO & CSO Hope for the Heart)

“I began my journey of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction in February of 1971. I began my recovery from religious abuse in 1978. I wish I would have had this book then. I have spent many years helping people find recovery from their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. During those years I have always looked for material that addresses the issues from both a clinical and a biblical perspective. Jack Watts has done that with this book. He also negotiates the fine line between showing compassion to the victimized (honor the struggle) without allowing them to develop a victim mentality. If you have experienced this type of abuse, you are in danger of confusing God with the abuser. This recovery program will allow you to discover who God truly is in the person of Jesus Christ, without the baggage of the abuse. I heartily recommend this to fellow strugglers.” (Dr. Daryl Pitts, D.Min Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church Adjunct Professor, Liberty University)

“I've often heard it said that Christians are the only army that shoots its wounded. For those of you who feel like you've been ‘shot,’ let me recommend Recovering from Religious Abuse. This practical, insightful book has been written to help you heal from the wounds you've received. It's a book that can help you regain your sense of purpose and be everything God ever created you to be.” (Matt Barnhill, Former Vice President, Rapha Treatment Centers Care Ministries Pastor, Riverpoint Church)

“Do you remember how joyful and hopeful you were when you first believed? That seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? This is especially true for those who have been wounded within Christendom—wounded by people they once trusted. That's why Recovering from Religious Abuse is such an important book. By working the 11 steps, disillusioned Christians can regain their sense of joy and purpose. It's a book every Christian should have in their bookcase.” (Orlando P Peccora, MD)

“Religious abuse is far more prevalent than most of us could ever imagine. Month after month during our Healing for the Nations Intensive Retreats, we see a number of people who struggle with the issue. Jack does a great job of presenting a recovery program that enables people to experience Jesus—seeing God for who He really is—not through the distorted lens abuse so often creates. This material is honest and real and encourages that kind of relationship with God. It is refreshing to see his understanding of clinical issues combined with discipleship and pastoral care. This material isn't focused on a victim mentality but, rather, victory in Christ. It offers more than just recovery; it offers growth, healing, and new life!” (Rujon W. Morrison, Co-Founder, Healing for the Nations)

“Where do you turn when you've been wounded by a Christian leader? For those who have been abused—either verbally, emotionally, socially, financially, or sexually—you can turn to Recovering from Religious Abuse, which has been written specifically with you in mind. Jack's tough, no nonsense approach, is precisely what you may need to put your painful past behind you and move forward successfully with your life.” (Jim Baird, Director, B&H Academic)

About the Author

Jack Watts has an A.B., from Georgia State University; an M.A., from Baylor University; and has completed everything except for his dissertation for a Ph.D. from Emory University. He has worked for nearly three decades in marketing, serving Christian ministries and publishers. Jack has five children and nine grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By EPullen on January 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Religious abuse is the elephant in the room everyone tries to ignore. For those affected by it, pretending it doesn't exist only ads insult to injury. Watts has delved into a topic that we don't discuss except among our closest friends and family. For those who have become part of the "de-churched" as a result of the painful experience of abuse, he offers hope. Emotional issues are always hard for the wounded to dissect and examine with objectivity. The abused must learn to separate the abuser--and the bad experiences--from the God whom the abuser was there to represent. It isn't easy. Like carefully untangling a knotted ball of string, Watts gently guides the reader to deal with each aspect of abuse one day at a time. By leading the reader through this 11-step process, he shows that it is possible to receive God's unconditional love and acceptance again. This is a book that we all wish wasn't needed but, with a proliferation of religious abuse victims, "Recovering from Religious Abuse" is a welcomed aid to the wounded who find themselves angry, cynical and searching for guidance, restoration and healing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patty Fitts on January 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As one who experienced abuse from my spiritual leader, a very hurtful rejection many years ago, I certainly would have benefitted from this book. Having prepared for the ministry, I was told that by this man and his cohorts that I was destined for failure without their approval. Their voice haunted me during years of struggle. It took most of my life to fully overcome this handicap. God brings the healing, but a book like this provides a road map to recovery that God can use.
Chaplain John C. Fitts III, Th.M., BCC, CT (Ret)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marjorie Osborne on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly structured authoritarian 'program' of 'recovery' in which, strangely, you are to 'admit your part' as though you have some control of your abuser. Confession is also somehow necessary, and there is a weird demanding thread that one remain with 'church' without question. No Spirituality in evidence. All very odd and kind of ominous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacy Harp on June 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good primer on basic level entry psychology and the twelve steps as applied to the problem of spiritual abuse in the church. Watts does a great job of sharing stories that people can relate to, however, I've found the book a little tedious and boring to read. This book is really a mix of pop psychobabble with a sprinkling of scripture to make it appear to be Christian in nature. So, if you like that type of thing, get the book, if not, save your money.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Billerbeck on February 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this book was excellent. I think it's so politically-incorrect to call a spade a spade when it comes to religious abuse. Because the abuser himself/herself told you how holy they were. How YOU were the one who wasn't being Christlike, so this is a hard one to get past. I thought Watt's advice was excellent about how to find your way back to God and that beautiful love relationship that has gotten tangled up in the abusive behavior of someone who claimed to be religious.

After I read it, I gave it to a friend whose family tried to "beat the gay out of him" and religiously abused him. I pray that it will bring him back to knowing that God is not his abuser!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roger R. Ramirez on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was good but it took too long to work through. It's a 91 day program and that's a little too long for me.
I highly recommend this book in conjunction with a support group or a therapist. It's very difficult to work alone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bee on February 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
To one who cousels others frequently and regularly sees the everyday carnage of spiritual abuse that litters the American landscape (my area of experience),a book like Recovering From Spiritual Abuse comes as a long awaited leave behind. For those who really want delivered from the sad state and limited horizons so characteristic of those who have been made the rejected object of the 'spiritually superiors' of this world and their pompous, not to mention God dishonoring manipulation, Recovering from Spiritual Abuse is a godsend.

When one has been relegated to the spiritually discarded ranks they often find themselves angry at the God they seriously need to bring them back to fullness in their spiritual lives. Until now many have felt there is really no reliable remedy to their wounded condition so they decide to self destruct, in a variety of self defeating ways, and marginalize themselves in a joyless and unfulfilled existence. Sounds dreary doesn't it. Then why are there so many who live every day of their adult lives in this hopeless condition?

Well, thank God real help has arrived. Recovering from Spiritual Abuse by Jack Watts offers the one who will commit themselves to the 91 plan in the book, a new life. A life they want but simply never believed they would see anymore. It will take time and it will take work but suffering the way these people do is far more time consuming and expensive that enjoining themselves to the liberating journey they have in front of them when the begin their own path of recovery. Probably the greatest take away from Recovering From Spiritual Abuse is the ability to become a giver rather than a taker, a player not an also ran, a real Spirit-filled Christian instead of a hollow, spiritless person in the dark corners of human existence. If you want out of there read this book. Devour this book and be delivered to joy and purpose in the process. It is now within your reach.
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