This past fall I embarked on a six-month long version of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. The first few weeks in particular were very difficult as I encountered text after text in the daily readings that triggered past trauma from spiritual abuse and toxic theology. I hadn’t read some of these texts for a while, and while I have done a lot of work in the past seeing Scripture in a new light, I found myself feeling gut-punched over and over with each new reflection. I knew the old interpretations were wrong, but that didn’t stop the emotional reaction to reading them and hearing past sermons in my head.
So I began working on studying texts and their contexts and trying to understand how each passage fit into the larger picture of God’s arcs of justice and restoration.
Then I began to wonder: are there certain texts that have been particularly poisoned by misuse in toxic theology? And so the idea for this project was born.
My initial thoughts are to collect texts from folks in my circle (and anyone you care to share the survey with!), and then start writing a series on each text, probably right here for my newsletter.
More details to come as I figure out the best way to release those posts, but in the meanitime, let’s get the ball rolling. I’ve set up a google form for folks to submit which texts have been most poisoned for them. Please fill out it and share it with anyone who may be interested!