Dealing With Self-Righteous Religious Pricks

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? … Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye… – Matthew 7:3, 5a, NLT


When I was going through my trials, I had no shortage of religious people willing to “help” me see my “sin” or “contributions” to the destruction of my marriage. Even when my ex’s adultery became clear, some of these individuals held fast to their positions trying to stay “neutral” or full bore blame me for the end of my marriage. It was not pleasant.

I encourage strongly enforced boundaries with these individuals. Keep them at a distance if they have demonstrated a critical and condemning spirit in your life. For if it was life-giving criticism from God, it would not be crushing or condemning (see post here).

Whatever you do, do not open your hearts up to them (again)!

By participating in perpetuating the “Shared Responsibilities Lie” or blaming you for the adulterous ending of your marriage, they are demonstrating a fleshly–or possibly even demonic mindset–bent on continuing lies and your destruction. It is best to shut such actors out of your life before they cause you any more damage.

Let me expose one possible way these self-righteous, religious individuals may try to penetrate your healthy boundaries:

They may come to you as a Christian brother or sister (or leader) stating you owe them access to your life’s darkest and deepest secrets. You do not owe them access just because they claim the title “Christian” or even pastor. They need to demonstrate that they are worthy of trust (or rebuild trust if they have already broken it). After all, even Jesus did not share all His secrets with everyone as He walked this earth.

Now, with such people, you might find resistance to your boundary setting in these matters. They may try to make you talk by suggesting you are a “bad” Christian (or have the “wrong” theology) for denying them access to your life.

Do not buy it!

Such accusations are manipulation techniques designed to push your buttons to get you to open up and expose your vulnerabilities to them granting them power.

Do not give them that power!

My last encounter with a particularly onerous, self-righteous actor in my trial ended with me telling him that I did not recognize his authority over my life. I gave him some pertinent Scripture and a theological article to help him address a heretical view that he held regarding the covenant of marriage. Then I walked away even as he tried to lecture me that my theology was wrong. I have not heard from him since that encounter. As a lay person, he wanted to lecture a Yale educated pastor about my “sin” while he, himself, was supporting his family member’s adulterous lifestyle and sinful decision to divorce me. This was a serious case of log-eye.

Set the boundaries. Some people will not like it.

Do it anyways.

You do not have to be mean about it.

Be truthful and direct.

Then walk away.

You do not need their approval when you have God’s.

3 thoughts on “Dealing With Self-Righteous Religious Pricks”

  1. This totally speaks to my experience. About 6 months ago we went to our pastor to seek counsel on me wanting to end our 30 yr marriage where my h has lied and cheated and everything in-between. After sharing my pain and heart with the pastor while my stbxh was sitting there, the pastor drew two trees on a piece of paper. The Tree of good & evil and the Tree of Life. He place ME in the tree of good and evil and said I was judging my adulterous spouse and basically saying I was good He was evil (true). His whole point was to move me into the tree of life. I understand the concept, but once again I was judged by him as being unforgiving and angry. I told him I had righteous anger and I had forgiven my h many many times. NOTHING was said to my h about true repentance and again all the blame on me. NEVER went back. Seems like to me there was more value in the cheater than the betrayed spouse. This has happened so many times Ive lost track

    I’ve filed for divorce thanks to reading your counsel DM and true understanding of Gods Word. I don’t get it!! Did phone counseling of 12 weeks with journey to healing and joy, (christian based). Started out great and in the 10th week the counselor told me she “hated to see me make the decision to THROW AWAY 30 years”. Another blow. I would not want anyone to go through what I have. I wish I would have your advice years ago. someone on SOS referred me to your sight since I was so jacked up about clergy’s advice in the past. I am finally at peace and know in my heart God has provided me this way out, since I have not had a spouse who truly repented. Lies to everyone, especially himself and never had consequences for any of his sin. He will miss me when Im gone!….. Blessing pastor (you’re the best)

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