The teacher that spiritual abuse survivors most need is the Holy Spirit. He teaches only what he hears from the Son. No mixture of pride, seeking self and glory, no manipulation, no lies or deceit. Only God’s beauty, goodness, and truth.
Aaron, this is so helpful. Thank you for your work. I know your post comes from your own difficult journey, but what you and your wife have been through is bearing fruit in my life. As I see so many deconstructing because of abusive shepherds, you show a different path. Here you give us a map to true healing, one of disassociating Christ from counterfeit guides and then showing us how to turn and lean into the faithful shepherd of John's gospel, who is with us as we come up from the wilderness, who not only sets his seal on us, but sets us as a seal on himself (SoS 8:8-9).
You are so right about analogical relationships. God gives us these analogies so that we can know him. When the shepherd no longer mirrors the Lord we know by pushing us aside and telling us that we do not belong, we need to disassociate and disengage. It is dangerous to our souls to remain in an environment where the divine life is not mirrored and the love of our Shepherd-king is so distorted. Thank you for showing us through John's gospel that Christ sees us. Through your hard work in John, Christ is turning my eyes to himself and bringing comfort to my soul. Thank you!