12 thoughts on “How Many Things Wrong With This Picture?

  1. Some of these NeoCal congregations are beginning to make the pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Church look holy by comparison. Kyrie eleison.

    • I’d say it is feasible. Prosecuting it may be next to impossible, though.

      At the end of the day, it’s her word against his on that one. If he (she) materially harmed her (him), he (she) will have to answer to God for that.

      Our hearts are deceptive, and both sexes have the capacity to spin their most heinous acts into acts of righteousness. But we cannot deceive God.

      • I think the accusation of Marital ”rape” is one of the most egregious forms of wickedness I have ever seen.

        I especially hate sins that allow people to look innocent by shielding wickedness in victimhood while making the alleged perpetrator the actual victim.

        • The idea of forcing my wife to have sex with me is downright repulsive. While a man (woman) has an inherent right to his (her) wife’s (husband’s) body, forcing the matter is an action that risks damaging a number of things within the marriage.

          Does such an act qualify as rape? I can see a case for it, although prosecuting such is close to impossible in the absence of hard evidence.

          Like I said, in cases like that, God is the witness. He will ultimately vindicate the innocent and vanquish the guilty. And woe to those who bear–or have borne–false witness on that matter.

  2. What would be the right course of action for this church to take? Given Jesus doesn’t seem to give any provision for divorce save for adultery.

    • It’s not a provision for divorce, but rather for remarriage after divorce in that case.

      If you’re dealing with a case of abuse like that–and I believe this was a very nasty case, as the words of the church eldership tend to indicate that the husband’s issues are hardly in dispute–I would provide an admonishment something like this:

      We understand your desire to end the marriage, given the severity of your husband’s pornography issues and physical abuse issues. While he has expressed remorse and repentance, we also understand that, as an addict, his repentance will be determined not in days or weeks or even months, but rather years.

      At the same time, we are Biblically obligated to provide a general admonishment regarding divorce and remarriage. Jesus had very rigid teachings on the matter, and remarriage, except in the case of divorce due to adultery, constitutes adultery.

      As you choose to navigate the waters of post-marital life, that teaching can–and should–make anyone uncomfortable. We are not comfortable with this ether, but it is the Scripture, and we have to come down on the side of Scripture.

      God is fair, but that fairness does not always conform to our understanding of fairness, as his thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways his ways.

      At the same time, we also realize that, in dire situations such as yours, the risk of staying in the marriage is sufficiently high that ending the marriage and thus risking the adultery tag in the event of remarriage is itself less risky.

      With that in mind, we leave you with that general admonishment.

      At the same time, you are not under church discipline.

      We would, however, recommend that, after a cooling off period of separation, that you consider reconciliation with your husband. It may be workable; it may not be workable, as the answer to that question is not wholly dependent on you. But we at least recommend that you look into it.

      The husband, however, needs to be put out for at least a season. Flagrant sexual immorality–and I would include chronic porn usage under that umbrella–qualifies for that.

      • Sounds sane. What do you think is the perverse incentives in place that are causing coverup instead of sanity in dealing with cases like this?

        It seems like given the hostility of the world to Christ and vice versa. There is this tendency to do this in house.

        And I do notice that the comment section seem to indicate the other extreme. The heresy or error of egalitarianism in marriage in defiance to the Will of God.

        It seems that like chastity the good lies between the 2 extremes of abusive “patriarchy” and full on egalitarian rebellion including the ways that society has enabled wicked women to destroy men via proxy violence of the state.

        Patriarchy as ordained by God is an entirely distinct construction that avoids the wickedness of either of such extremes.

        Both positions are satanic and either constitute false alternatives.

        Fleeing abusive male authority into feminism and then vice versa seems to be the precise errors people make in the absence of God’s truth.

        • In this particular case, there is a huge conflict of interest, as the offending husband is the son of the pastor.

          In cases like these, you need a truly independent third party consulting you. Not another pastor–and certainly not another NeoCal. I would recommend a Christian counselor for consultation with the eldership as to how to handle these particular situations.

          The wisdom literature provides excellent guidance, particularly the advice to seek counsel. The more I live life, the more I am convinced that the Church pays little or no attention to the wisdom literature.

          As for Patriarchy, it is a two-edged sword. When Paul provided instructions to husbands and wives in his letter to the Ephesians, he addressed neither in a vacuum. He commanded wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord. In the same passage, Paul commanded husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.

          When you mention that, someone always raises the question, “What if he says, ‘I want to have an affair.’ Do I have to submit to that???” The answer, of course, is NO!!!

          This is not to say that the wife can just dismiss anything the husband says as “immoral” or “abusive”–and trust me, I have seen wives do exactly that–but rather, just as a Soldier has the obligation to disobey unlawful or immoral orders, a wife is under no obligation to acquiesce to things that are clearly immoral or abusive.

          Still, it does provide a guiding principle: she needs to be giving the husband the nod as a general rule, and abrogations of that are the exception and not the rule.

          It also provides serious guidance for the husband. After all, Christ bore with a band of disciples who were always bickering, always trying to be large and in charge, who often failed, and who even proposed some very dark ideas (like wiping out cities with fire and brimstone) at time. He tirelessly taught, hung out with, admonished, and ate with, this ragtag group of men who would end up carrying that commission in Acts and beyond.

          • Agreed. Christian Patriarchy is much more different than people know. They are certainly prejudiced against it. There does seem to be a passage though in peter which seems to suggest that the wife submit to her husband even if he does not obey the word:

            Excepting of course obeying or aiding and abetting obvious sin

            The sinful husband however would also likely still be subject to church discipline

  3. That passage would seem to be referring to a wife who is married to a non-believer. That’s a big deal today, as a fair number of women in the church who are married to non-believers, have a tendency to use their “unequal yoke” as a license to dismiss the desires of their husbands, all while playing the martyr.

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