Relationship with, the power, or charm of the leader creates followers and like-minded fools. They became complicit with the abuse though maybe having the best intentions.
Abusers actually have a great deal of self-control. They know when to dismember and when to charm.
Those who suggest emotional or verbal abuse is not really abuse need to consider scripture and psychology.
Indicative of the abuse of power in the home, church, organization, or workplace is entitlement. Scripture gives no leeway to those who think they are particularly important.
In the experience of abusive leadership in the home, workplace, and government, it is not uncommon to hear demands of submission as if the leader has absolute and ultimate authority. Biblically, it is not true. Don't be fooled by the blustering.
Wading into the depths of Psalms 44 & 46can be both the healing balm and helpful aid to building boundaries that protect our integrity from those who war against a Biblical understanding of abuse.
We are all dependent. We long for respect and love and relationship. But leaders need to depend on God, not our subordinates.
People were created to love God and neighbor. They were created to care for and keep the world [Genesis 2:15]. To create flourishing. They were not created to sow power and reap abuse.
As we watch current events unfold we are seeing the results of narcissism in bold and deeply disturbing colors.
Reading the early part of Paul's letter to Titus is at once like sitting at a brightly lit sidewalk cafe with a freshly brewed coffee in hand and curled up in a corner in depression. We need these kinds of leaders.