As I read Erikson’s post, several things stood out:
(1) If half of what she says about her pastor is true, he is a manipulative, micromanagy scumbag.
Seriously? Using the FB page of a parishioner to confront them about what you perceive to be a problem? Go back and read Matthew 5. If you believe that the husband is head of the wife, then it is on you to take it up with the husband–or talk to the two of them together–if it is that important. Facebook is not the place to be airing that crap.
And calling people out for crying babies? That’s so juvenile. While I can understand where a pastor may find such interruptions annoying, I’ve seen many good pastors–even hardcore conservative fundamentalist types–deal with these issues with grace and humor.
(2) Her husband has no balls.
If my wife is doing something of which my pastor does not approve, and he airs it on FB rather than come to me first, I’m going to let him know–in no uncertain terms–that (a) I, not him, am the head of my wife, and (b) if he has a problem with something that my wife is doing, he needs to take it up with me, and (c) if he takes it to Facebook like that again, I will personally rip his head off.
By going around the husband and confronting the wife, he is attacking the manhood of her husband. That the husband does not stand up to that is troubling.
And that’s not to say that the pastor was wrong to be concerned about the matter–her taking her kids into Victoria’s Secret. It was arguably worth a mild admonition, although I probably would have let the matter slide if I were a pastor.
(While I have no qualms with her going to VS herself–one’s intimate apparel is, and ought to be, a private matter–it does not strike me as the best judgment to take one’s children in there. Like I said, if I’m a pastor, I probably wave that off, but I can understand why a pastor might at least have a word in private with the couple about it, just to give a mild admonition. But doing and end around the husband is very bad Biblical protocol.)
(3) Jenny is wrong for divorcing her husband, and has exposed herself as a liar.
She claims that the pastor acted on a “4th hand rumor”, and yet she had already made up her mind and in fact told her husband that she had already filed the papers. There was no “rumor” at all; it was a done deal. To keep falling back on the “rumor” argument is factual dishonesty.
Moreover, she listed no Biblical reason for her divorce. Even stipulating that pastor was a jerk and that her husband has no balls, none of those stipulations–individually or collectively–make a Biblical reason for abrogating the marriage covenant.
At best, Jesus allows divorce for one case: adultery. If he cheated on her, then she has grounds.
Some folks will suggest that abuse is legitimate grounds. While I will never fault a husband (wife) who divorces an abusive wife (husband), I am not going to twist the Scriptures and suggest that the Bible endorses it. In such cases, it may be a necessary evil, but it would be less than honest to suggest that the Scriptures say something that they don’t. Even then, Jenny has not provided a case that her husband was abusive. If anything, he was too passive. But abusive? Not so much.
Yes, her pastor is a manipulative jerk.
Yes, her (now ex) husband is probably an otherwise decent man who is way too passive.
Still, Ms. Erikson is worse than the two of them combined, as she is dropping a nuclear bomb on her children.
(4) the church is correct for excommunicating her.
Whatever their faults, they should call this crap for what it is, and call her to repentance.