There is a place that promises acceptance, spiritual growth, and friendship, but instead delivers criticism, abuse, and exploitation. A place that declares marriages will be strengthened, treasured, and protected, but instead weakens, diminishes, and marginalizes them. A place that claims to obey the word of God, but in practice weaponizes the word against those who disagree or doubt. A place where the good news of a tenderhearted, loving Savior is blurred by leaders who are controlling, traumatizing, and self-serving. A place that calls loudly to the storm-tossed at sea, only to lure them to the rocks where they flounder and fall apart. A place that appeared to be a house of friendship but was a place of betrayal. That place might be a Christian church. It might be a cult. It is probably both. In the House of Friends: Understanding and Healing from Spiritual Abuse in the Christian Church is written for survivors of abusive churches, their families and friends, and all who want to understand spiritual abuse and help the abused. Dr. Garrett is a long-term pastor of a diverse, urban congregation and combines personal experience, sound academic research, and pastoral theology to address a poorly understood, rarely admitted problem today--spiritual abuse in Christian churches.
Kenneth J. Garrett is senior pastor of Grace Church, Portland, founder of the Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education, and is a member of the advisory board of the International Cultic Studies Association. Ken and Sharon have three daughters and three grandchildren and live in Portland, OR.