Only too often, I come across this kind of sad story of spiritual control:
“I committed some “offense” (usually not a sin but something that went against the church’s “rules”), and the pastor /church excommunicated me. No one else in the church is allowed to talk to me. My old friends avoid me in the grocery store. The ones it hurts most are my kids, who just don’t understand….”
As far as I’m concerned this is control and abuse. It’s an application of the “heresy” of covering.
Control takes other forms too. Like baptism. Only someone who is ordained can baptize. Show me that in the Bible! Or communion. It takes a special sacred person to give communion.
Often it’s applied specifically to women. Women can’t baptize. Where’s that in the Great Commission?
Give me a break!