TotemtoTemple has posted a list he received in email written by Dr. Gary Sweeten. It's called Warning Signs and it lists several warning signs about pastors who are about ready to fall. In other words, controlling pastors. Having studied this for many years, I consider this list to be an excellent compendium of red flags for congregants. Here are the signs, but for a more complete description of each one, see the above link at TotemtoTemple. I've added comments of my own after some of the points.
1) He has external religiousness rather than personal spiritual sensitivity.
My comment:Frankly, after being under a few of these types of pastors, I have wondered what exactly goes on in their minds. I must admit it is baffling.
2) He works more than 60 hours a week.
My comment: Since this type of pastor's life is totally wrapped around his "ministry," this isn't too surprising.
3) He moves into a non-submissive authoritative position..........
4) He teaches, preaches and writes on the importance of submission for others.
MY comment: This would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. Oh by the way, by "others," I think this means the pastor's congregation, and at times elders. I say, "sometimes" elders, because pastors can play it two ways. One way is to dominate the eldership if they are weaker. But if they are strong then the controlling pastor goes into the "good 'ole boy" mode with them.
5) He becomes distant from his family and staff.
6) He insists his programs are always correct.
My commentsThere are two characteristics of every controller whoever they might be. One is that they must always be right; and, they must always look good at any cost.
7) If caught in sin, he will go into "deliverance and healing" with a well-known healer/deliverer/therapist and proclaim himself free.
My comment: This is another example of needing to look good at any cost.
8) He claims extraordinary spiritual wisdom, faith and insight.
My comments: See comments for #6 and 7.
9) He's away from home a lot.
10) He shows anger to others.
My comments: Isn't this the real problem of all controllers? Anger problems?
11) He may wear dark clothing and be in dark moods.
My comments: Think Jim Jones (the dark suits and dark glasses).
12) He may not exercise or eat properly.
By the way, I have a six-page website on this very topic of control. Page 5 of the website covers control in the church as well as the 5-step progression into control and cultism. Check that site out here -- The Faustian Covenant.
A Place to Fail
4 weeks ago