Control is a dark sickness that infects much of conservative Christianity, (though not all of conservative Christianity). The doctrines of our faith, the authority structures, the very culture, can be used as weapons and chains that bring hurt instead of healing.
Typically these abuses happen under some form of authority. The horror stories from Parental, Pastoral and (for lack of a better term) Non-Pastoral Spiritual Leaders that cause damage within our circles are legion. These leaders will exercise more authority than is healthy, and in the vernacular of our day, we tend to call this ‘Control’.
Control doesn’t allow for God to be God, but steps up and says, “I will be Sovereign”. Lack of faith and inability to trust the possible outcomes that God would allow means the controlling person must do God’s job, and force the outcome that they find acceptable. Manipulation, shame-tactics, and intimidation are used to guide people to preferred opinions, beliefs, actions and relationships.
It is an evil thing to try to force people to accomplish the outcomes that God has not decreed, but mere humans have decreed instead. To stifle people’s growth before God so that they serve another person is more than just idolatry, it is a person setting themselves up as the idol.
I hope the good theology we believe, that says we worship One Trinitarian God, will lead us to admitting that we are not one of the three members of that Trinity. Instead, we serve and trust the Lord, as He exercises His Sovereignty. We don’t need to be sovereign over another of God’s image bearers. To do so is spiritual slavery.