There is a doctrine which makes “brokenness” the supreme virtue. It is supposed to be the mark of humility and absolute surrender.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (ESV) 

I still do not fully understand this doctrine. 

  • I suspect that like many extreme and dangerous doctrines, it contains important elements of truth which are taken out of context and twisted until it no longer faithfully represents the character of our loving God.

The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (ESV) 

If you live a life of cruelty and perversion and God reveals His goodness and holiness and His willingness to forgive, your heart may well be broken by the realisation of the harm you have done and your sorrow for sin. 

  • This is a healthy reaction to the goodness of God but it is not supposed to be an ongoing way of life.

On the other hand, there are ultra zealous holiness preachers who are obsessed with sin and rebellion even more than with the love and goodness of God. They see it as their duty to lead their congregations into a chronic attitude of brokenness. They actually try to break the will of their people. 

  • It is cruel perversion of spiritual authority. 

There are parents who think they must break the will of their children to train them into obedience. 

  • This is not what David meant when he wrote about the broken spirit of the repentant sinner.

A son or daughter, an employee or soldier whose spirit is broken by cruel authority figures is a broken human being. 

This is not the will of God for His children. God is LOVE.

  • If you are a wife and you are taught you must give your husband total, unquestioning, unconditional obedience, you are being abused, oppressed and potentially deceived.
  • If you are a young adult and you are told you must unconditionally obey your parents, you are being misled.
  • If you are a church member and leaders tell you that you must never leave one church to join another, you are hearing a man made doctrine. Look for it in the Bible. It is not there.

I heard of a church which taught that everything that happens is the will of God. If you die of cancer, it is the will of God.

  • A boy was timid and felt unable to evangelise his friends, so he prayed God would give him cancer, so he could die bravely and people would believe in Jesus because of his faith. After he prayed, he really did get cancer. Four people were converted to Jesus at his funeral.

So did God answer his prayer? Did God give him cancer? NO! NO! NO!

  • God is good and the devil is evil.
  • Dark spirits also listen to your prayers.

Jesus said:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV) 

If you listen to harsh, negative preaching, you may not pray to get sick and die but you may pray to be broken. As a very young man I was a new convert in a very fanatical and authoritarian church. I was taught that I must be broken, so I prayed that God would break me.
I was mistreated by church leaders and I had a nervous breakdown.

Negative authoritarian religion is terribly dangerous.

I once asked a young Muslim wife how she hurt her face. She said a door hit her. I didn’t ask her if she reported the door to the police. 

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up building. Romans 14:19 (ESV) 

God is love. God’s purpose for his children is to build us up, not to break us down.

I thank God that I escaped from this perversion of Christianity. I now count good and gentle pastors amongst my friends

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