The religious narcissist will see God as perfect, infallible, the all-powerful figure, not unlike how they see themselves.
Beware of the spiritual narcissist who wraps themselves up in the mantle of Godliness. They may go to their place of worship every week and fool the congregation into believing that are a good person with high morals. They can quote scripture and act righteous. They may even be the minister, the pastor or the priest. Being the head of the church, they would have many followers, obedient people who hang on their every word and people who look up to them for guidance. What a wonderful source of narcissistic supply! (Of course, I am not saying that all people who are preachers or who go to church are narcissistic, but there are some!) Not everyone who claims to be a follower of The Church, Synagogue or Mosque is a good person.
‘Proverbs 4 v 16
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.’
The religious narcissist is the greatest of hypocrites, judging others and preaching about fire and brimstone for the wicked and for the unfaithful. Everyone appears to be bound for hell, except them. They use religion for their own ends, to build themselves up whilst tearing others down. If they are your parent you will undoubtedly hear, ‘Honour thy father and thy mother’. Now that’s a difficult commandment for anyone to abide by if they have a narcissistic parent.
Narcissists use religion to control and manipulate by inducing fear. Children of narcissistic parents are forbidden to hold their own views on religion. There is no room for differences of opinion. These children often grow up scared witless, fearing death believing they are destined for an eternity in hell.
The spiritual narcissist may:
- Not practice what they preach. (Their behaviour is not likely to match their words.)
- Want to be at the heart of church activities such as prayer meetings and services.
- Display extreme devoutness.
- Put others down by pointing out their shortcomings all in the name of God.
- Think they know the Bible. (Quoting verses from the Bible which back up their views, feigning an excellent knowledge. They will recite verses which point out how right they are and of course, how mistaken you are.)
- Tell you that the Bible teaches you to forgive and forget.
- Make you feel that your opinions aren’t worth considering. They are right. You are wrong. There’s no happy medium.
Many people stay in toxic relationships because they believe that their religion demands that they should forgive. They have been conditioned to believe that they should turn the other cheek.
Perhaps this verse from the Bible will let people see this logic from another angle.
‘2 Timothy Ch. 3 v 1-7
But understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of Godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.’
Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon