Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

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Episode 68: The Link Between Narcissism and Legalism, Interview with Dave Orrison – Part 2

by | May 27, 2020 | Expert Interviews, Healing from Spiritual Abuse, The Flying Free Podcast | 5 comments

In this episode we continue our discussion with Pastor Dave Orrison, author of the book Narcissism in the Church. You can listen to part one HERE.

“The fundamental bottom line of narcissism is that you are not a real person. You are only some other person or force that affects my life. As long as you affect my life, then I have to deal with you; but I don’t have to treat you as a real person because a narcissist literally does not see others as a real person – neither does the legalist: the legalist pastor, the legalist parent, the legalist church members. People say they don’t understand the church. How can you be friends (and we’ve all heard this) such deep, wonderful friendships for years, and you cross them one time, you do something where they think differently than you do, and all of a sudden you are a pariah. You are pushed away, they talk about you behind your back, and they are cruel. What kind of a friendship is that? That’s a friendship that is self-serving. That’s a friendship that didn’t value you as a person, it valued you as someone useful in their lives. I’m not sure that makes me feel any better, but it answers the question and again is a connection between legalism and narcissism.” – Dave Orrison

About Dave Orrison

Dave Orrison is an author and long time pastor (42 years) who lives and works in Colorado happily enjoying life with his wife and eight sons. You can find Dave on his website: He has also written the following books:

Practical Grace was written for those who want to know how to live without the rules and condemnation of legalism.  What does life look like under grace?  Not just church life, but regular life, the kind of thing we all live day by day.  You will learn what it looks like to walk with Jesus through daily life.

Milestones of Grace was designed for those who have known the message of grace but have allowed the old habits to sidetrack them in their walk with Jesus.  This is a thinkers’ book.  It will help you reestablish the foundation of your life under grace.  Five touchpoints are offered to help anyone find their way back to the truth of the love of God in Jesus and the powerful effect of His grace.

Narcissism in the Church exposes the practice of narcissistic behavior in various parts of church life.  From parents to friends to pastors and denominations, the book shows how narcissists use the church culture to satisfy their own desires and use people as their narcissistic supply.  This book will explain many things for those who find the church culture to be toxic.  At the same time, it offers hope and practical solutions.

Walk with Me is a devotional for those who want daily reaffirmation and assurance in their walk with Jesus.  Accompanied by beautiful expressions of nature, the readings will encourage your heart.

Click to play: 

Read the transcript here!


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Listener Shout Out

You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and your Father loves you! Keep walking in HIs truth! Thank you, tstrey for taking the time to leaving a rating and review on iTunes!

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  1. H

    What is a sycafit? (sp?) @ 16:56

    • Natalie Hoffman

      Sycophant: someone who uses flattery to get what they want.

  2. just ... K

    Wow. Right out of the park. I really needed this today. Thank you so much Pastor Dave and Natalie!

  3. Louise

    I used to tell my husband “I need you to see me as a person.” It was such a strong feeling in me and he had no idea what I was talking about. It is healing to see that I wasn’t alone in that experience.

  4. Teresa Strey

    This is so timely for me. Thank you Pastor Dave for your courage


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