Kyle J Howard Again Defends Forgoing Church on Account of how Triggering it is.

Kyle J Howard, Professional Traumatized Person (PTP), appeared on the podcast ‘Saved by the city‘ which is hosted by RNS Managing editor Roxanne Stone and write Katelyn Beaty. These two were beyond elated to speak to him in order that they could justify their sloppy and haphazard church attendance.

Howard, who considers pretty much everything spiritually abusive and racists, explained that he considers the act of being spiritually abusive to be akin to attempted murder, on account of how serious it is.

“I’ve said that spiritual abuse is like attempted murder, because the dynamics there is you. People are attacking you, your foundations of faith, your foundations of belief, your foundations of hope, and all these things. They are seeking to kill you in the most fundamental areas.”

He says further:

In the book that I’m currently writing right now is addressing that specifically, the working title right now is When the Church becomes a Trigger. And what I’m doing chapter by chapter is walking through the various aspects of church spiritual life that have become triggering to those who have spiritual trauma, helping them understand why it’s triggering, and then hoping to help them heal from that.

It’s important to us understand that one of the ways in which our mind seeks to protect us from compounding trauma is to create things that we call trauma triggers. And so when someone’s been abused, it’s important to understand the context of that abuse. Do you understand that various trauma triggers that they have within certain situations?

The Word of God is supposed to be nourishment to your soul, it’s supposed to be a balm to your heart. When the Word of God is weaponized, is used to destroy rather than build up, then when you hear preaching, preaching is not something that you’re now like, ‘Hey, I’m going getting fed,’ it becomes more synonymous with choking, of someone trying to shove food down your throat in order to kill you, not trying to nourish your body.

When worship is not something that leads you to God and leads you into deeper devotion to God, but rather worship is something to control, and the words that were used in worship that are supposed to be exalting God were also meant to exalt the pastor or their version of God who was actually more oppressive than liberating, then the worship becomes triggering.

Howard has previously stated that black people ought to consider leaving their church and finding one where “black worship” is sung in order to alleviate the suffering and trauma that stems from the white worship experience.

He reasons that if they went to a church where they were spiritually abused, then they’ve come to associate songs like ‘In Christ Alone’ or ‘Amazing Grace’ that may have been sung there with spiritual abuse, making it impossible for them to sing or even be around people who are singing those songs.

Even instrumental music without lyrics can be traumatic for some, as it brings them back to the spiritual abuse they endured at the hands of the church. In perpetual PTSD, Howard explains that if he listens to music, it’ll only be from ‘pre-conversion era music or artists.’

For this reason, Howard believes that not attending church again- if it is the source of your trauma, is perfectly acceptable and that one would not feel bad about making that choice,

First and foremost, I want to just give affirmation and confirmation that there was absolutely a time and space where church can be too much for someone. God desires us to be joyful, and free in our worship and our fellowship with them. Many believe that the only way that I can come to God is through reading the Bible, the only way I can come to God is through say, even the Lord’s Prayer, the only way I can come is through collective worship and all these things. |

And so what I would want to say is that when things become triggering, because of the way that they have been used against you, you are not obligated to use those specific things when they do not bring you closer to God, but actually end up just hurting you physically and mentally and spiritually.

Worship and devotion is supposed to be healing, it’s not supposed to be harming you. So what must be done is look into investigating new ways of cultivating your spirituality and cultivating your relationship with God.

Try going for a walk and looking at the various aspects of nature, and the things that your father has created, and the various aspects of beauty that God has created, whether it be a walk, whether it be the arts, whether it be painting, music, all these kinds of things. There are ways in which you can recapture faith, so that it is vibrant, and directly connecting you with God rather than it becoming a hindrance.

The hosts see off Howard and then give signs of relief, noting that “one of the things I really appreciated was that Kyle gave permission and said it’s okay to skip church, right? Host 2 “Like probably not for the reasons I skipped church, which is again to stay in the aforementioned pajamas, But more imagining ways to connect with God when church is physically mentally too painful, imagining ways that we can still connect with God, even if we’re not in a church building.”

They conclude by talking about what their ideal day of skipping church would look like, which involves sleeping in, having a cup of coffee, going for a walk in nature, and then engaging in intentional fun like having pizza, spending time with friends,

Church is nowhere in that equation.




Bonus. Howard, reveals that starting from age 12, he was diagnosed with clinical depression, had suicidal ideations, and other “strong mental health issues’ like being diagnosed as being manic depressive, having ADHD, and also being bipolar. Somehow, however, despite all these challenges, he was a gang member who carried a razor blade in his mouth by night, and was an honor student by day .



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  6. Nothing God says or does is traumatizing, uncaring, or unloving. Nothing. He is love. He defines those things.

    If His Word traumatizes you, that’s your problem, not His. And it’s nobody’s fault but yours. Mr. Howard, you need to take the matter up with your Maker.

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