Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Many Church’s Work Keeping Their Flock At Stage 3 = Cult?

This is not about developing disciples, this is about authority, ego, and narcissism.

Stage 3 – Synthetic, Conventional Stage

A person will normally move into the third of James Fowler’s Stages, the Synthetic, Conventional stage around puberty but apparently, many adults never move beyond it.

Here authority is located outside the self – in the church leaders, in the government, in the social group. Religious concepts are what Fowler calls “tacitly” held – the person is not fully conscious of having chosen to believe something. Thus the name “Synthetic” – beliefs are not the result of any type of analytical thought. Any attempts to reason with a person in this stage about his beliefs, any suggestion of demythologizing his beliefs is seen as a threat.

People like Mark Driscoll – promote these stage 3 – cookie cutter Christians, who are told they are sinning if they question. Plus many other cult-like issues that go on http://robertcargill.com/2012/01/24/how-much-more-evidence-do-you-need-mark-driscolls-mars-hill-church-is-a-cult/

James Fowlers Stages Of Faith

Stage 3 – where most Christians remain, all their life.

The name “Conventional” means that most people in this stage see themselves as believing what “everybody else” believes and would be reluctant to stop believing it because of the need they feel to stay connected with their group. It turns out that most of the people in traditional churches are at this stage. And in fact, Fowler comes right out and states that religious institutions “work best” (p. 164) if the majority of their congregation is in Stage 3. (Now THAT explains a lot of the preaching we hear that sounds destined to discourage people from questioning! To properly assure their continuance, churches apparently need people to remain in Stage 3. )

When a person cognitively realizes that there are contradictions between some of his authority sources and is ready to actually reflect realistically on them, he begins to be ready to move to the fourth of James Fowler’s Stages.


Lots of things I talk about with regard to faith, gets deemed to be wrong.

As I am currently struggling with patience and tolerance of people in general and their issues, I am staying away from stage 3 people.

There is no point talking to people, who are totally committed to not hearing you.

It takes wisdom, to know wisdom, the music means nothing, if the audience is deaf.

Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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