Toxic, Addictive Faith

Fred R. Coulter—August 24, 1996

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Let's talk about the levels of the hierarchy as it comes down through any organization. It's talking about not just the Church, but we can see it in the governments that we have today. We can see this in the churches we have today. We can see this in the economy and banking system we have today. In other words, what we are talking about is a Babylonian system of the hierarchical structure. That's why Satan can most effectively use these.

Maybe this will help you understand why God is scattering the Church, to completely undo the hierarchical system, so that, hopefully, He can lead His brethren, people and ministers into understanding the right and proper kind of organization.

I will read to you from My Catholic Faith by Louis LaRavoire and then we'll look at the first level of hierarchy in the book Toxic FaithExperiencing Healing form Painful Spiritual Abuse by Stephen Arteburn & Jack Felton.

from: My Catholic Faith

The Hierarchy—Who are the members of the hierarchy? The hierarchy… [or ruling powers] …of the church are the Supreme Pontiff, Cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, prelates or abbots, apostolic administrators, vicars, apostolic perfects and ecclesiastical superiors.

The hierarchy is the orderly disposition of the ranks and orders of the clergy with ordinary jurisdiction. The teaching of the church, the ruling body, an army of leaders under its head the Vicar of Christ, having care and control of the holy sacred things of the church.

What they don't want to tell you is that they feel the whole world is theirs.

 Members of the hierarchy come in two different ways: by power of orders and power of jurisdictions.

Let's understand something: a hierarchy system by nature is political, the pullers and the pushers. A hierarchy by nature must be run by politics, because if you are down here, in order to get up here in the hierarchy, you must curry favor of the one above you, or your won't get there. Then when you get there, you must curry the favor of the one above you at that point so you can get there and on up the line. Let's see how this works in the Churches of God, or how it works in the addictive faith system.

Here are characteristics of the co-conspirator who I call the sycophant or the first level of enablers, or the addicted/addictee enabler. This person is addicted to the power; as an addictee he must feed off the power of the leader, and he's an enabler. This is the whole thing combined.

Characteristics of the Co-Conspirator [Sycophant] pg 189:

  • Assumes the role of the ultimate team player
  • Shows total dedication to the persecutor [leader and organization]

As I read all of these, it ought to see a lot of bells off in your mind.

  • Always finds a way to support the position of the persecutor [addictive leader]
  • Feeds the persecutor's [leader's] ego

Pushing him higher and then pulling himself up

  • Is addicted to the power granted by the persecutor [leader]

Using his name with great authority

  • Keeps things going within the toxic-faith system
  • Ensures that everything is taken care of responsibly
  • Typically is a small person who feels big when in on the action

Witness: Goebbels the propaganda Minster for Adolf Hitler. Witness: Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the order of the Jesuits to uphold. He is the perfect epitome of the sycophant who upholds the power.

Not only that, the sycophant has a code of the cadaver obedience, which means that you are to your superiors as a dead body meant to be used in any way the superior decides. If the superior says that black is white, it is white. If he says that that white is black, it is black. You do anything, regardless of scruples, regardless of whether he disobeys the laws and commands of God. Furthermore, all of them have been programmed to behave that way.

When you rise in the hierarchy and become a chief sycophant, then you have also programmed your mind do that. That's another problem we have with some of the Churches of God, because the sycophants get out there and try and start their own churches when they don't know what to do. Just look around and see it. It's true of any organization.

  • Willingly deceives to maintain the persecutor's power

—because he's maintaining his. Willingly deceives! Have we been deceived by things coming out that we have read? Yes!

The chief sycophant:

  • Is good at lying

Great spin control! All I ask you to do is watch your Sunday morning news programs and look at all the sycophants there, especially George Stephanopoulos! Spin control!

  • Enjoys being rewarded for willingness to distort the truth

With bonuses, rank and higher positions

  • Ties personal feelings of value to another person rather than to God

That is the key! That is how the hierarchy continues. You look to the person instead of God. All the hierarchy does is close off your relationship with God. Then it does its dirty work.

  • Protects sense of self-worth [image] by protecting the persecutor

If he goes, I go!

  • Appears unassuming and grateful to be number two in the organization

—or on the Board of yes-men!

  • Enjoys material things

—that high salaries brings!

  • Is sincerely deluded
  • Feels weak
  • Lacks the strong charisma and leadership abilities of the persecutor [leader]

That's why he's a sycophant!

  • Feels extremely inadequate
  • Works as a single unit with the addictive leader/persecutor

Your thoughts are my thought!

  • Lives to be appreciated and recognized by the persecutor [addictive leader]

Just sits there in sermons waiting for his name to be dropped!

  • Needs to feel safe in work and relationships
  • Is viewed by outsiders as trustworthy, conscientious, competent, mature and reliable

The Role of the Enabler

The role of the enabler varies from that of the co-conspirator; though the co-conspirator is an enabler.

While the co-conspirator is actively involved in the delusion and connives to keep the persecutor [addictive leader] in power,

The enabler is not as active in the deception; it is a passive role that allows, rather than promotes; in other words is victimized. So, this is the body of brethren, who are now no longer brethren, but are tithe-payers!

pg. 194—The only hope for enablers is reality.

That's what's happening the Church of God today. God is bringing you right smack in front of the true mirror of reality.

They must face the reality that the system continues in large part due to the [enabling] support they offer the system and the persecutor [addictive leader]. Enablers must admit that they are playing out an unhealthy role that has trapped them in a system doomed to failure.

  • Is it failing?
  • Is it coming to an end?
  • Is the Catholic Church going to fail?
  • Are the governments of this world going to fail?
  • Yes! Every bit of it!

Hope comes from ending the charade; so you must take off the scales of deception that have been covering your eyes; quit playing the silly game of pray, pay, stay and obey! Quit staying in your box! Connect with Christ and God the Father, and quit being the victim of men.

pg 195—Characteristic of the Enabler

  • Allows victimization rather than promotes it.

Sits there and passively takes it!

  • Supports victimization with silence.

After all, the leaders are right!

  • Is dedicated to not rocking the boat.

—because they may not get to a place of safety!

  • Does not trust God enough to allow family turmoil or destruction of a ministry
  • Appears powerless.
  • Receives praise for sainthood in being able to survive under severe persecution

That is you are intimidated and put in fear every Sabbath!

  •  Can be perceived by co-conspirators as the enemy or a threat to the co-conspirators position

—if they get out of their box!

  •  Allows the persecutor [addictive leader] to live in denial
  • Covers up the harm done to the family or the organization.
  • Eases the persecutor's [addictive leader's] pain

By being always loyal!

  •  Outwardly appears loving and supportive of the persecutor [leader]
  • [At times] Inwardly is angry at living an unfulfilled life

You are cutting off the Spirit of God when you do that, and you are not loving God; you don't know God.

There you are wondering what to do, and you're trapped in passive inactivity because of fear and intimidation! If you do anything, sure enough, it's going to be your fault! Wrong! Not true!

  •  As a persecutor begins to lose credibility, will start to develop other skills, such as obtain a degree in counseling…

Sound familiar to a lot of second and third level ministers? Yes, indeed!

  • …knowing the system and the family may fall apart
  • Feels very little self-worth
  • Becomes a caretaker of the persecutor [leader]
  • Is addicted to the persecutor and the system
  • Has the primary goal of maintaining peace and the status quo
  • Has great difficulty thinking for oneself

 You ought not do anything important unless you counsel with the minister first. After all, 'the mind is deceitful above all things,' and who is to know whether you can think properly or not. Check with the minister—right? In other way of saying it is when you come to Church, check your brain at the door the first time you come and never pick it up again thereafter!

  •  Goes along with group consensus
  • Acts to survive
  • Feels extremely responsible

Yes, I must tithe more, pay more, and more activities. I must be addicted! I have to go to this club. I've got to go to this activity. I don't have time to pray, God, but these activities are wonderful!

  • If the ministry fails, blames self
  • Neglects personal needs for the sake of the ministry…

How many people have neglected taking care of their bodies, their teeth, their eyes, their children and their house?

  • Never stops hope things will change

Somehow God will work it out!

I remember looking into the eyes of an elder who told me that, and I said, 'You have the Spirit of God and God expects you to exercise your responsibilities! He finally got the point and did.

  • Never stops fearing what will happen if things do change

Characteristics of the Victim

He is manipulated and exploited. They believe the spin-control. They believe everything that is put out. They believe all the lies at the first level that the chief sycophant puts out.

  •  Make tremendous sacrifices out of a…desire to serve God…

—and is intimidated through fear.

  •  Wants to feel a valuable part of something important

—The Work! That's the idol!

Listen, brethren, I want to tell you something very clearly. If the work of God is in you, and you are His workmanship, then you're developing the character of God. God is going to destroy every other work on the face of the earth! He's destroyed Worldwide, He's destroyed Church of God International (CGI), He's destroyed Global/Living Church of God, and He's going to destroy United Church of God—they are focusing on a work, rather than God, and that is their idol!

God isn't going to bring any new people into such confusion and wretchedness when He's in the process of destroying it. We've all got to return to God and change and repent and get back right with God! Then God can add new ones.

We've got to get our brains unscrambled and get our lives straightened around, and we have to come to the love of God, the knowledge of God, the hope of God and get rid of all of this stupidity that the hierarchy and men have foisted upon us with this toxic/addictive faith.

  •  Looks for someone to make salvation easy

If I stay here, I'm going to be saved!

It's like the Titanic, 'this won't sink!' Never challenge God!

  • Often experiences loneliness
  • Actually believes money and effort will buy favor with God

Some people who tithe, give great money, and then they expect a blessing and when they don't get it, they say, 'Well, God, I did this…' Yeah, but you weren't serving God! You were serving your idol of tithing! You'll never be blessed in that. Serve God, then tithe, then you'll be blessed.

  • Willingly sacrifices time, money and self for a cause considered to be of God
  • Is easily manipulated by persecutor [addictive leader] and co-conspirators [chief sycophants]
  • Is spiritually molested [and abused] by toxic-faith leaders [and the sycophants]…
  • Feels victimized when truth about toxic-faith ministry [addictive faith ministry] is revealed

That couldn't be true! It is!

  • Often abandons spiritual journey upon discovery of abuse by an exploitative leader…

Give up the faith, and that's exactly what Satan wants you to do!

  • Is often threatened by co-conspirators and persecutors [addictive leaders and sycophants] to keep the victimization a secret
  • Bears the pain of existing in a world of lies and deception

—passively hoping that God will work it out!

  • Sometimes leaves one toxic-faith [addictive faith] system and moves to another

We've seen that time and time again!

  • Frequently is very emotional in the practice of faith.
  • Becomes isolated and lonely once he or she is disillusioned about a ministry or family

Now then, there's a pecking order, just like with a flock of chickens, there's a pecking order. Just like with a pack of wolves, there's a pecking order. You must always cow-down to the chief wolf.

pg 206—Toxic [Addictive] Faith Pecking

The toxic [addictive faith] system has its own pecking order and uses certain toxic [addictive] roles for keeping that pecking order in place.

  • The apostle
  • The evangelist
  • The pastors
  • The preaching elders
  • The local elders
  • The local, local elders
  • The deacons
  • The super-deacons
  • The deaconesses

At one time they had armbands: Deacon! My that was wonderful! That begins the pecking order!

  • The religious addictive persecutor is bound by the fear of giving up the power-and-prestige position, lest he or she has to face failure and insignificance

So, they claim, 'I was born to this.'

  • The religious co-conspirator [chief sycophant] is bound to the system to have a purpose in life and to avoid the fear of letting the persecutor [chief addictive leader] down
  • The religious enabler is bound by fear of ridicule and shame

What will people say if I leave this church, after all I told them it was the one and the only—didn't we?

  • The victim of religious abuse is bound to follow and blindly believe

If they say so, it's true!

  • The outcast is bound by the desire to let the truth be known and to be free from the toxic [addictive] system
  • The roles, except for that of the outcast, are driven by the fear of not belonging to the toxic [addictive] faith family [system]. The only thing more fearful than not belonging to the family of the toxic [addictive] family [of faith] is the fear of not belonging to anything at all

Isn't that so?

  • Though astute in business and other affairs, naively practices a blind faith

—in following the addictive leader/persecutor!

  • Refuses to doubt questionable activities; instead rationalizes why exploitative things would be necessary for the ministry's survival

Key, #1 thing to always remember:

  • You do not cause spiritual accomplishment by carnal, physical means! Never!
  • You do not enhance the Truth by lying! Never!
  • You do not support someone when they are not supportable! Never!
  • That's how you stop the cycle!
  •  The more money given to the ministry, the greater the resolve to protect and defend it
  • Gives untold hours to develop the ministry and then sacrifices further in attempts to fix it
  • Sacrifices a wonderful family for the sake of a toxic [addictive] leader
  • Often has a martyr complex
  • May be seduced into a sexual relationship to meet "special" needs of the minister.
  • Is reluctant to stop the victimization for fear of looking foolish

—held captive by shame and guilt!

  •  Often is involved with the toxic [addictive] faith ministry out of a desire to be or look important
  • Willingly pays a high price for acceptance

—even at the expense of personal morals!

pg 203—Characteristics of the Outcast

Now, here we are; we're the outcasts! This is what we need to do. I'll tell you one thing that is always true: If you are a true outcast by nature, you will never be political!Where we are right now; not addicted to the toxic faith syndrome:

  • Is not a religious addict

—but has true faith

  • Does not possess an addictive faith

—to the addictive leader or organization; always pointing to Christ!

  •  Willingly stands alone
  • Stands up for what is right and true
  • Is willing to be rejected by others in the toxic [addictive] faith system
  • Can discern right from wrong
  • Commits to leaders having integrity

—rather than those who are building on their egos!

  • Refuses to be victimized by false teaching and lack of integrity
  • Speaks out for the Truth
  • Usually loses a job within a toxic [addictive] organization over concern for it
  • Suffers rejection by friends after challenging the leadership of those in toxic [addictive] faith system
  • Often is treated as a leper

Yes, they are disfellowshipped, don't anyone ever talk to them. If you see them in the store, turn and go the other way!

  • Is begged by others in the toxic [addictive] faith system to support the persecutor [leader]

Oh, come back and support him! Why are you saying these things?

  • Endures shame for actions
  • Refuses to respect or be manipulated by those in the toxic [addictive] faith system
  • Sees the truth and acts on it even if it produces great personal pain
  • Interprets reality for self
  • Is motivated to protect people from spiritual fraud
  • Is very dedicated to God and the people who seek a relationship with Him

That, brethren, is the reason why we are where we are; the very reason and principle why the Christian Biblical Church of God does what it does, and we do what we do, and I do what I do. We need to understand that we can all come out from underneath this if we truly and really seek the things that God wants us to do.

  • we have to admit that we have been addicted
  • we have the admit that we admired pride and were respecters of persons and political promotions
  • all of these things that went on in the name of Christ
  • we have to admit that we need to re-establish a relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father

{note study paper at}

This is so true! Everything that I have read we have lived through. Everything that I have read we have seen, been visited upon, watched it happen. The reason that it can happen is because we're living in an age that is just that way. We're living in an age where the whole world functions that way.

  • The government operates by lies!
  • The economy operates by lies!
  • The 'religions' operate by lies!

Every one of them do it, and it's going to build and build until you come to the great lie that's going to deceive the whole world. If you don't love the Truth you are going to believe a lie!

  • the Truth is not compromise
  • the Truth may make you stand alone
  • the Truth is going to divide

Christ is scattering to see who loves the Truth, and who doesn't love the Truth! You need to be ready to face those things. You need to be ready to admit this. Everyone is beating up on the Laodiceans, but this is not meant to beat up on them; this is meant to give a message to encourage them to repent and return to God.

Revelation 3:15: "I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot…" You've been entrapped in this political system and the hierarchy. You've been addicted to these things that are wrong!

"…I would that you be either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth" (vs 15-16). The Greek means I am about to vomit you out! That's what's happening, the vomiting has been taking place and it's going to continue, and continue, and continue until all of this is regurgitated out of the Body of Christ.

Verse 17: "For you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'…"

  • have been blinded by all these things that have come along
  • have been addicted
  • have been an enabler
  • have been a sycophant
  • have been a co-conspirator

whatever your role has been

  • have stayed in your box
  • have passively accepted all of these things
    • God is calling you to repentance!
    • God is calling you to get rid of your
      • idolatry
      • pride

and return to Him with all you're heart! That's what God wants; it has to come to an end, and let it be with every one of us. Let us all say:

  • Let it end with me, today!
  • Let it stop with me, today!
  • Let it no more be done, today!
  • Let me never be a sycophant, today!
  • Let me never be victimized again, today!
  • Let me never again be an enabler, today!
  • Let me never believe the lies again, today!

Then return to God, instead of talking back to God and making every excuse and "…have need of nothing…"

"…and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire…" (vs 17-18). It isn't going to be easy! When this whole satanic system comes upon the whole world—to try the whole world—if you think what you've gone through is tough, you'd better gird up the loins of your mind, heart and spirit, because it's going to get a whole lot tougher. If you can't endure what has been going on here and can't come out of this, may God help you down the road! He's doing this so you may be rich, truly rich in Christ—with His grace, love, hope, and to be there at the resurrection!

"…so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed…" (v 18)—that you may be there at the marriage of the Lamb and be part of the bride, dressed in white and clean!

"…and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see" (v 18)—because you've allowed all of this to deceive you! You've allowed all of this to take away your spiritual vision and reality, and you have settled for all of the putridness of this system!

Verse 19: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…." That's what's happening. God is going to rebuke, chasten, scatter and just absolutely keep this up until there is repentance because He loves you! He wants you! That's why He called you!

"…Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock…." (vs 19-20). Right now Christ is standing there knocking at the door of your mind!

  • Will you take away the locks of deception?
  • Will you take those things that have caused your mind to be a steel trapdoor, sealed shut in the blindness of your own deception and victimization and sycophantism; following an addictive leader instead of following Christ in love and Truth?
  • Are you?
  • Are you going to open the door?
  • He's knocking!

"…If anyone hears My voice…" (v 20). Remember: He who has an ear to hear!

(go to the next track)

Let him hear! Will you hear?

"…and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To the one who overcomes… [God calls you to overcome all of this] …will I give authority to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father in His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (vs 20-22). Brethren, repent of all of this addictive, false faith.

  • Do not ever again apply it to a man!
  • Do not ever again apply it to an organization!
  • Do not ever again be there to pray, pay, stay and obey, and be exploited!
  • Do not ever again be held down by intimidation and fear and be blamed for everything under the sun, which is not true!

You repent of that and come from underneath it and return to God!

1-John 1 is the fellowship that it needs to be. This is the only solution, brethren. You've got to come out and love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being, and get rid of all of this nonsense and stupidity that Satan has foisted off upon the Churches of God.

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning…" We need to go right back to that which came at the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

"…that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of life" (v 1). They saw Christ! They had the Truth emblazoned in their heart and mind to write these things for us, so that we can understand what God wants from us. This is great! This is not attacking a person! This is not putting anyone down! This is calling you back to God!

Verse 2: "(And the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life… [that's what God wants to give you; that's what your whole calling is all about; to give you eternal life] …which was with the Father, and was manifested to us); that which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ" (vs 2-3).

Brethren, let that be what it needs to be! Repent and come back to God, understand the circumstances that have been, and have that true fellowship with God. As Christ said, "He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 3:15-22
  • 1 John 1:1-3

Also referenced: Books:

  • Toxic FaithExperiencing Healing form Painful Spiritual Abuse by Stephen Arteburn & Jack Felton
  • My Catholic Faith by Louis LaRavoire

Transcribed: 4-28-14