Toxic fairh

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Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn & Jack Felton (Oliver-Nelson, 1991)
1A. DEFINITION OF ADDICTION
1. Excessively/compulsively devoted (sacrificing family, job, economic security, relationship with God, their bodies or mental health) to a substance, relationship or behavior
2. The pain in our souls was intended to drive us to God who, alone, can meet the deep longings of the heart. Instead,we pridefully fight relying on God alone to meet our needs. We often find patterns of behavior that dull the pain, thus making it easier to live with. These pain medications can be virtually any substance, relationship or behavior that provides relief. When a person develops a pathological (abnormal) relationship to a mood-altering experience or substance that has life-damaging consequences,addiction exists
3. Three basic types: substance addiction, emotional addiction (letting an emotion run your life e.g., depression), process addiction (e.g., work, religion)
4. Addiction is ultimately idolatry, that is, the worship of a relationship, substance or behavior instead of God
6. Religion becomes unhealthy when our attendance and service flows out of a need to be loved and find worth.Religious addiction is hard to spot because it has to do with motive. Religious addicts are also usually the best workers in the church so their dysfunction is not only overlooked but rewarded. Meanwhile, their lives head for disaster.
 1B. Erroneous beliefs that fuel toxic faith (unhealthy Christianity)
1. Security and significance with God depend on my behavior
2. When tragedy strikes, truebelievers should have a real peace about it
3. If you had real faith, God would heal you or the one you are praying for
4. All ministers are men and women of God and can be trusted
5. Material blessings are a sign of spiritual strength
6. The more money you give to God, the more money he will give to you
7. I can work my way to heaven
8. Problems in your life result from some particular sin
9.I must not stop meeting others’ needs
10. I must always submit to authority
11. God only uses spiritual giants
12.Waiting for God to help me and doing nothing until he does
13. If it's not in the Bible, it isn't relevant (all truth is in the Bible)
14. God will find me a perfect mate
15. Everything that happens to me is good
16. A strong faith will protect me from problems and pain
17.God hates sinners, is angry with me, and wants to punish me
18. Christ was merely a great teacher
19. God is too big to care about me
20. More than anything else, God wants me to be happy (free from pain)
21. You can become God
 
1C. Irrational thinking patterns common in religious addiction
1. Thinking in extremes: black or white mentality very hard on himself/herself and others. Usingwords like "never, always."
2. Filtering out the positive and distorting reality. Hear only the negative, about everything, especially themselves
3. Filtering out the negative and distorting reality. hear only the positive to shield their already low self worth. They allow in themselves what they would condemn in others. A lot of relational wreckage
4. Thinking with the heart; feelings becomethe basis for reality because I think my perception is "certainly accurate."
5.Constant self condemnation of not being able to measure up
6. Egocentric feeling of being responsible for everything; must be in control; eyes always on the needs of others at the expense of their own
2. TOXIC RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS
A. Characteristics of a toxic faith system
1."Special" claims from the leader
* aspecial pipeline to God which places them at a level above all the others in the church, unapproachability. The leader can use this superiority to manipulate the followers
* Having a special destiny or mission that can be performed by no one else. Pathological need to be valued or esteemed. Special powers from God like the ability to supernaturally heal
* The victimized followers, lose...
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