Mar 12 2009

Spiritual Roofie

By John Immel

“We are strongest when we are connected to others. Why do we run from this reality? Could it be that in our pride we don’t like the idea of exposing our weaknesses to others?”

This is a Spiritual Roofie.

“Well, you know that Iron sharpens Iron. You need to have more friends that will hold you accountable. You need to come be a part of our group.”

This is a Spiritual Roofie.

“…But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We need each other everyday to offer unbelief-splitting encouragement to love God through the cross and only at the cross. If God loves you, my desire is to love you the same.  We should get together.”

This is a Spiritual Roofie.

As are comments like “Confess your faults, that you may be healed…”  “They met from house to house…. ”  “Lay hands on no man suddenly…” that get sprinkled liberally into conversations where one party demands a level of intimacy they have not earned nor do they deserve.

A Roofie, of course, is the drug of choice for those men or women who can’t manage to demonstrate enough value to anyone and need to acquire intimacy by force. The drug is used to compensate for a profound lack of personal definition and values. Its use reveals the criminal pathology of those who will exploit others for their own lack of emotional and social and relational development, by taking from them the right to have personal limits.

Flunitrazepam is the drug’s trade name for Roofie. Its medical uses include anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety, and a sleep aid. But like all drugs with a righteous use, it is used in the despicable practice of disarming men and women so others can use them. Said another way, the use of the drug steals the right of an individual to have and enforce personal boundaries. Said another way, the use of the drug grants unearned intimacy.

The above bible passages and quasi-spiritual sentiments, and many other such comments are really used the exact same way. Of course, like the drug, the passages and sentiments have their own truths to be revealed and benefitted from.

It is true that strength is multiplied by numbers. Specialization is the single greatest lever of human existence, so partnering with others of different skill sets gives exponential power to any individual life. But specialization and complementary partnership is not a function of weakness, and connectedness is too ambiguous to be a yardstick of intimacy. Partnership is profoundly different than collective participation.

And Friendship is not the default outcome of Group participation, neither should it be. Friends do sharpen each other but not everyone is destined to become friends.

Friendship grows from the soil of mutual life philosophy. Those who walk together must agree. Agree on what? The fundamental assumptions of how life is supposed to be lived: the integrating ideas that define values and moral action, truth, and ethics. Before friends can ever be friends, they must first be individuals with a defined identity. THEN, they can search out relationships that COMPLEMENT.

Those who have no individual identity search out interactions (typically GROUP interactions) that compensate for their vacancy. They have no defined values and moral action, nor truth and ethics. They are social moochers, and their moral and spiritual vacancy prevents them from sharpening anyone.

Doctrines of “Community” and “Relationship” are making the rounds in Christianity, AGAIN, for the umpteenth time, trotting us down the path to where collectivism ALWAYS ends: Bloody Despotism.

The Doctrines play on our feelings of isolation and our fears of inadequacy. It appeals to our deep-seated drive to be KNOWN, to embrace and be embraced. It uses a series of bible passages to set a standard of transparency and vulnerability that is utterly absent personal boundaries, or common sense.

Let us all link arms in communal brotherhood, sing Kumbaya in “relationship” with each other. Oh the unity, oh the fraternity, oh the brotherhood!!!! Makes me shiver!!!!!


There is no such emotional/relational utopianism because there is no such thing as community. What I just said, for some of you, is like telling a six-year-old that Santa does not exist. Community is really the aggregate mass actions of people and masses are always INDIVIDUALS acting out their assumptions.

People’s assumptions are always the content of their life philosophy.

Metaphysics: How we define the nature of existence.
Epistemology: How we know what we know.
Ethics: How we Value what we know.
Politics: How we interact with other people.

If your philosophical assumption–your integrated ideas that are the motive power of your actions–is that the group gives you identity, gives you value, you can never have intimacy. Relationship intimacy is not a magic function of location, or imputed from groupy participation.

Intimacy is EARNED. Anything earned is the result of work, and investment, and commitment, and perseverance.

The use of Spiritual Roofies is really a manipulative method to demand intimacy that has not been earned. The use of Spiritual Roofies is really a despicable shortcut around the work, investment, commitment, and perseverance necessary to demonstrate the true value of another human being and the resulting privilege of participating in their mind and spirit and time and talents.

Dosing Spiritual Roofies is in pitting the value of group participation and group validation against the demand for spirit and soul transparency. The side effect is that it disarms men and women so others can use them for their own social gratification. It steals the right of an individual to have and enforce personal boundaries, and justifies a demand for unearned intimacy.

People are not entitled to know what is inside of you. You may gladly share yourself with those who reciprocate value, but you have no moral obligation to open yourself to the core.

Just because someone at church says, “Iron sharpens iron, so for us to get sharp I will be your friend. I want a deep relationship with you.” If someone wants to have a relationship, they can INVEST. And here is the important part: YOU get to define the person with whom you will interact and the value of that INVESTMENT.

Most Christian wounds stem from the use of Spiritual Roofies. People are compelled to enter the “Community.” They are told that authentic Christian participation requires baring their inner selves. They are told their inner self will be safe. They eventually realize that not all people have an inner self to share, and many that do are not really worthy recipients. They soon realize they are not safe, but they are compelled to continue with the transparency.

Spend enough time in churches and you will encounter a man or woman whose real motive for the enforced transparency is to supply information for critique, condemnation, judgment, qualification, and authenticity. These are the college frat boys who can’t get a woman, can’t get ANY form of intimacy without criminal, despicable actions. These are the folks who couch their appeal to DEEPER relationship so that refusal to open up to THEM is part and parcel of falling away, part and parcel of rejecting GOD, and the Church.

These men and women are the worst sort of humans, using the heady power of personal insecurity and spiritual manipulation to command intimacy, command transparency, demand familiarity. And if you cannot recognize them with my above definition, notice that these despicable souls offer no commitment to specific outcomes, and condemn with impunity any expectation to reciprocal transparency.  For all their overtures to Brotherly Love and Eternal Fraternity, they reserve the right to define the nature of “relationship” to fit however they want to act. The moment you are not willing and compliant, they drop you faster than a one-night stand.

The next time you are standing round the church frat house, drinking your grape juice, and a sorority sister or fraternity brother start demanding unearned intimacy, quoting scripture, and implying you are not an authentic Christian if you are unwilling…

Check your drink… they are slipping you a Spiritual Roofie.

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    1. 61

      Sorry, sarcasm is hard to type. I’ll keep my personally directed snarkiness to myself:o) I was playing on the fact that Juli had once been told that if you say “God lead me” to do such and such that means your statement can not be refuted because “God lead you” to do it.

    2. 62

      speaking of that anon, that is a spiritual roofie of the worst sort…in the sense that they remove intimacy with Christ and presume to take His place of intimacy in your life – UGH!

    3. 63

      Doesn’t sound like any fun…

    4. 64

      yeah, especially since God is way cooler than the men in SGM…hehehehe

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      Church Leader Voyeuristic Pleasure | spiritualtyranny.com

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