Dear sir, You state as your expertise that you deal with..."Spiritual abuse caused by authority figures in religion." Many years ago, I was wrongly excommunicated from an authoritarian abusive church. I sought reconcilliation with them, however, reconcilliation is based on me confessing and justifying their false accusations against me which I have challenged and they still maintain. The minister has spoken falsely against me even going to my mother whom he has never met and is not a member of the church. He maligned me to my mother with inuendos and fabrications. The minister and elders have shown no sign of sorrow, remorse or repentance for their wrongful dealings with me and I struggle to find forgiveness. In light of Matt6:14,15 will I be excluded from heaven if I cannot forgive?
Ron, sorry to here about your experience from the authoritarian abusive church. You experienced one of the main things that Spiritual Abusive Religious people and cults do and that is they are abusive to people who leave their cult.
Ron, spiritual abusive Leaders are in thier positions because they put fear in people and they rule by Controlling others. If they can not control others they are ineffective. They tell you
where to live, how to live, who you can marry, and they control everything in your life.
These spiritual leaders are usually people who have borderline personality disorders and have mental issues a lot of time. Good example, is Charles Manson and his cult who killed Sharon Tate the 1960's. Look at the FDLS in El Dorado, Texas is another good example.
When people do not follow the Spiritual Abusive Leaders orders, they are chastised or like you found out are excommunicated. This Leader tries to spread lies and make you look bad to other members of his cult because you may have made him look bad. This is all about control. He can not control anybody or anything unless you let him. And I am telling you this so you understand what happened to you is common among spiritual abusive churches and cults. So do not feel like you are by yourself
I hope you are out of this cult and if not get out as soon as you can.
If this abusive spiritual leader is "still making false accusations, inuendos, and fabrications" you need to seel Legal help and get this stopped.
You stated "the minister and elders have shown no sign of sorrow, remorse or repentance for their wrongful dealings with me." Who cares if they show any sorrow or remorse and you SHOULD NOT CARE IF THEY SHOW REMORSE OR FORGIVENESS IF YOU ARE OUT OF THAT CHURCH. The problem here is YOU. You "struggle to find forgiveness." You need to ask God to forgive them for what they have done to you and THEN LET HIM DEAL WITH THEM AND NOT YOU. HE CAN HANDLE THEM. Problem here is you do not want to forgive them. You want to hang onto all your hatred for them. Let go of this and ask God to forgive you for the negative feelings and that is the end of it. But the problem is you may not feel forgive them and pick it back up. This is wrong.
Good example, there was a black woman and a white woman who came to the cross with all of their baggage of hate/unforgiveness/all other sins to the CROSS. The black lady said "Lord forgive me for I am a sinner. Please take this hate and bitterness from. Forgive of my sins." The white Lady said "Lord forgive me for I am a sinner. Please take this hate and bitterness from. Forgive of my sins." The black lady left all of her old baggage at the cross and was forgiven. The white lady picked up her baggage again because she did not feel forgiven. Are you acting like the white lady? Are you still hanging to old baggage? Get rid of it. Once you ask God to forgive you then you have to believe you will and you ar CLEAN and FORGIVEN.
You stated "In light of Matt6:14,15 will I be excluded from heaven if I cannot forgive?" Absolutely not. The only thing keeping people out of Heaven is not believing that Jesus is their Lord and Savior and not being saved. If you are not saved, you need to find a Bible Beleiving Baptist Church and worship with real believers. And ask God forgiveness.
Forget about the spiritually abusive cult leaders. I suggest that you find yourself a Christian Biblical Counselor and get some counseling to keep you feet on solid ground.
To be truthful. All churches are spiritually abusive to some extent. Church leaders of all denominations exhibit some abusive leadership to the congregations. It maybe stealing money from the church, spending money in an extravagant manner, playing favorites among certain members, having an affair outside of marriage, etc.
But you are not going to be excluded from Heaven.
Blessing to you,
Dr Don Howe, RN, PhD, ThD, CARN.