April 6-9, 2016
Religion plays a major role in the lives of millions, especially in our early formative years. Sometimes this formation is positive. But far too often it’s not. Toxic theology, any theological system that fosters trauma or abuse, is all too common in the Christian Church experience. Some of the hallmarks of toxic theology are:
- A violent image of God
- Threats of torture and punishment in Hell for all eternity mentioned in almost every lesson
- Focus on the basic badness of humanity and our personhood: an example being that the majority of sexual feelings are considered sinful. Almost no skills given for dealing with sexual feelings, just threats of punishment.
- Rejection of certain types of people by God with slogans, sarcasm and condemnation from the pulpit.
- Black and white thinking: either you believe what we believe or you are an atheist, nothing in-between.
- Hierarchical relationships: No questioning allowed. No thinking, exploring or coming to terms with your own faith.
- Symptoms include: Avoiding people from one’s old church in the grocery store or the mall. Dreading family gatherings. Searching in vain for a bridge to relate to loved ones. Expecting people at work to relate the same harsh way people at church related. Feeling adrift and cynical. Endless searching for a better church.
Come join us as we explore the destructive role of toxic theology in our lives: its negative impact on our health, and the ways in which we can heal from this trauma.
Using a variety of learning styles, Recovering from Religion will engage our hearts, minds, and bodies allowing us to address what may well be the number one cause of PTSD in our country: repeated exposure to toxic theology as a child. Through lectures, panel discussions, artistic presentations, and contemplative practices, we will address this important issue and explore ways to recover and heal.
The conference is appropriate for healthcare professionals, clergy, and anyone whose life has been touched by a negative religious message, either personally or though the experience of a close relationship.
More information to come. Watch this page for more details and registration!