When he joined the Christian fundamentalist scene, Brian was faced with ‘spiritual warfare’

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Brian McDowell entered the “fundamentalist Pentecostal church scene” when he was 17.

His brothers joined the Gold Coast community first and — from Brian’s vantage point — it seemed like a positive influence.

“I saw change in their lives, so I thought maybe there’s some goodness [in it],” he tells RN’s God Forbid.

After joining the church, Brian recalls being enveloped by “the sense of community and acceptance”.

“At first, it’s ‘Come in!’ Open arms. ‘Jesus loves you, Jesus accepts you. There is grace for anything you might have done wrong,'” he says.

“[It was] love bombing — really roping you in through it. Whether it’s done intentionally or unintentionally is up for debate.”

The term “love bombing” is typically used in relationships to describe one partner inundating their new spouse with attention and affection. It can create a power imbalance and lead to isolation.

Brian says this tactic drew many people to the church.

“Particularly for people who may sit on the outskirts of society, who might be outcasts — I wasn’t, but I saw a lot of people that came in who were.”

Content retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-19/spiritual-warfare-christian-fundamentalist-church-sect-australia/102097882.

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