ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Biblical Counseling, Christian Marriage, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence and Churches, Marriage, Marriages Damaged-Destroyed by Sp. Ab., Misuse of Scripture, Spiritual Abuse, Women and the Church

A Challenge to Abused Christian Women Regarding Teachings on Divorce

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Divorce, domestic violence, church teachings on Biblical divorce, David Instone-Brewer, abuse, Patriarchy, submission

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For years and years, I was taught that the only reasons Christians could get divorced were for adultery, abandonment, and if an unbelieving spouse wanted a divorce. I believed this wholeheartedly. Sadly, I looked down on people who divorced outside of these rules. I even looked down on those who divorced when there was adultery after hearing stories of couples whose marriages survived after affairs. The Christian world around me was very judgmental on this topic and I shamefully adopted these attitudes.

About a dozen years ago, I had a friend who called me on the telephone and said she was going to make an appointment with her attorney to file for divorce. No!!!  She couldn’t!! I knew about her husband’s long history with pornography. I knew of the affairs. I was convinced that with proper Biblical counseling, they could make their marriage work. I convinced her to call our pastor for one last attempt to save their marriage. She did. She set up an appointment and asked me to go with her. I agreed to go.

Our pastor met with my friend and her husband, along with me and a friend of her husband’s.  Her husband’s friend would be his accountability partner, and I would support my friend.  We had a plan. I was going to do my best to encourage and support her. The other friend was going to hold her husband accountable (whatever that means). And we would meet with the pastor again later.

To make a long story short, some 5 yrs later, they did finally divorce and both remain single to this day. Their adult children have adjusted and picked up the pieces of their shattered family. This was very messy. But it was the right decision. My friend is no longer tormented by lies, emotional abuse, betrayal. She was always so depressed in her demeanor, now she has new life. Her eyes show life. I regret my involvement in trying to keep her destructive marriage together. I prolonged the misery she had already suffered for 20 years.

Fast forward another few years AB (after blog), I started reading personal stories and talking with wives who have suffered greatly in abusive marriages. It compelled me to question what I had learned from pastors and teachers about divorce when abuse was involved:

  • How could God abandon an innocent wife and force her to pay the consequences if she divorced because of abuse?
  • Was it really God’s plan that abusive husbands should stay married, no matter what, with their wives?
  • Was it really God’s plan for pastors to believe husbands who claimed their wives were being unsubmissive before wives who had been harmed by their husbands?
  • Why were so many women not believed by church leaders?
  • Was it really true that if abused wives divorced their husbands, the husbands were free to remarry, but the wives were not?
  • Why did the church seem to default to defend the abusive husband, rather than support the oppressed wife and her children financially, emotionally, and physically?
  • Why were wives being put in church discipline or excommunicated when they initiated divorce because of abuse in a marriage?

One thing I’ve noticed since blogging is that 100% of the women I have spoken with who have been abused by their husbands believe in a doctrine wherein husbands are in a hierarchical position over their wives. I believe this doctrinal teaching enables abuse because church leaders have been preaching verses that make men not trust women to further underscore this belief. Here’s a key one:

To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Regardless of how the above verse is interpreted, surely it does not condone abuse to wives, yet we have an ongoing  problem of domestic violence within the church. There are many Christian women who remain in abusive marriages because of the teaching, “God hates divorce.” Yes, He hates divorce, but He allowed divorce as a way out of a destructive marriage.

Those who abuse their spouses have already divorced their spouses in their hearts by their actions and words.

God divorced Israel because of Israel’s hardened heart. Doesn’t it make sense that an abusive spouse has a hardened heart? Those who abuse their spouses have already divorced their spouses in their hearts by their actions and words. The actual divorce is simply a piece of paper.

If God is a merciful and just God whose concern is for the defenseless and oppressed, it makes absolutely no sense that He would expect abused wives to remain with their abusive husbands. That would make God out to be an abuser who cares more about law/rules than His own people. That’s not the God I know.

Over at A Cry for Justice blog, Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts highly recommend the scholarly works of David Instone-Brewer on the topic of divorce. Mr. Instone-Brewer is a senior researcher at Tyndale House. He has a video series in which he describes divorce, the original Hebrew meanings of important words, culture of the time, etc. Or, if you you only have time for a condensed version, check out the short 6-minute video below. If you come from the same teaching as me, I think it will be an eye-opener for you.

If there is one thing I think the church can and must do better, it is to give hope to domestic violence victims. We need to let them know that they do not need to live in bondage of wrongly interpreted scripture that punishes them, instead of their abusive spouses.

Understanding the original meaning and context of key verses can set women (and their children) free if they decide to divorce. Let’s be clear. I don’t think God likes divorce and neither do I. We’re not talking about normal marriages in which there is normal conflict, but marriages in which a husband is abusing and has a hardened heart and refuses to seek help or change. We need to come alongside these women and support them because I believe the majority of evangelical Christianity is still holding on to teachings that punish women, not their abusive husbands. I’m sick and tired of hearing from women who have been abandoned by not only church leaders, but by congregants. We can do better, and we must.

 

184 thoughts on “A Challenge to Abused Christian Women Regarding Teachings on Divorce”

  1. Daisy,
    I think you are getting at the heart of the matter, and something that is quite obvious on this thread. Contradictions in the Bible, of which there are MANY. I agree with you on your point about unhappy people looking for direction in the Scriptures — good luck with that. As I have been trying to point out (and I think you have been, as well) – every person should realize whether they are unhappy or not; they should be able to recognize if they are the ones doing all the sacrificing in the relationship; they should be able to understand that they are a victim or not. From what I read – on this blog and others – is that if a woman is looking for justification to stay miserable, there’s plenty in the BIble to keep you stuck in a dark place. I find that deplorable.
    As I’ve have said many times before, the Bible was written BY men, FOR men. You may recoil when you read this, but it’s the truth.
    Ladies, start listening to your own voice. You ARE able to make decisions that spring from your own mind, your own understanding, your own insight.
    It’s YOUR life and you have a right to be happy; indeed, you deserve to be.

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  2. Ed, I don’t really understand your point. Maybe we view the idea of OT divorce differently. Adultery would not have been ‘grounds’ for divorce as we understand it but the act of divorcing. A break of a contract, so to speak. The act of adultery WAS divorcing.

    Same with neglect as provision, protection. The ancient world was a brutal place. The problem might be that we have an aversion to viewing adult human relationships as contractural. But they are supposed to be. And I realize people might have a problem with that as it does not sound very spiritual.

    I do agree with your premise that people totally misunderstand the law and its place in Scripture. And of course this was a huge problem in the early church as we see by all the problems with the Judaizers. Can you imagine trying to explain all of this to a Gentile convert in the first century? Most of us reading here are probably not practicing Jews but ironically the difference is we believe Jesus Christ was Yahweh in the flesh. (At least I hope so!)

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  3. Julie Anne,
    “I read an excerpt where he recommended that church elders go into homes to personally see and pronounce who were true Believers or not.”

    Seriously….in observing the behaviors, the scandalous cover-ups, and the continuing patterns of wickedness and evil on the part of pastors and church leadership (whether “elder rule” or church board rule (comprised of both genders) and their sins, and the sins of their own households which is legion, I simply cannot fathom having all of that double standardness coming into my home to ‘judge’ me and my family on the virtues of their false religion. That would be a large, hard pill to swallow!

    If I had stayed in the last abusive conservative, patriarchal church last attended, I would have had to sit under a pastor who ‘loved the ladies beyond his own wife’ and sat under a worship leader who was a convicted rapist (the church elder’s own son.)

    And these are men who point out the ‘jezebel spirits’ within their church.

    There are no words to describe the ‘vipers’ that ‘lead like a false jesus’ right now. Submission to Christ is so much different than what we see modeled within ‘the c’hurch.’ Must quit before the floodgate of tears flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “As I’ve have said many times before, the Bible was written BY men, FOR men. ”

    Katherine Bushnell, who wrote the scholarly lessons of, “God’s Word to Women”, said something very similar to this. She also made the point that men have been the historical interpreters. ‘o)

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  5. Lydia,

    I disagree that the act of adultery was divorcing. That is opinion based. Divorce actually included a BILL of Divorcement. There is two parts:

    Issue her a bill of divorcement
    Send (PUT) her away.

    My argument is that the first was not being done, while the second was.

    Polygamous or not, the law was the law. It only shows that the law was not being adhered to.

    But again, the law does not allow for remarriage for an adulterous spouse. I think that even you missed my point in that alone. An adulterous spouse, uh…under the law…cannot remarry if they were stoned to death, and that is what the law states to do for the cause of adultery. Dead people don’t remarry, let alone divorce.

    Ed

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  6. And these are men who point out the ‘jezebel spirits’ within their church.

    Projection. There is a lot of projection going on in the church. ‘I have a huge problem with x, so let’s deflect it onto everybody else’. Thieves are always worried about having things stolen, liars are worried about people who lie, control freaks are worried about someone ruling over them so they try to keep everyone else under their thumb.

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  7. I think many times we are nitpicking about reasons for divorce and missing Jesus’ point of how men treated women in the Bible. I really think it is a heart issue that God was trying to deal with and show men that they need to change their views/ behaviors because God didn’t agree with them.

    I have heard a pastor talk about how God hates divorce then turn around to say a wife has no Biblical reason for divorce if her husband had ONE affair, but repented of it, while truly working on the marriage. He failed to take into consideration the deep betrayal the wife felt and how hard it would be to trust that husband again. He also said, that God forgave adultery in this case but never talked about how that same God can forgive divorce. Needless to say divorced people are second class Christians in his church and I don’t think God had that in mind either.

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  8. I really think it is a heart issue that God was trying to deal with and show men that they need to change their views/ behaviors because God didn’t agree with them.

    Yes. This is what I think too. Which is why I don’t think it’s divorce that’s a sin. It’s the actions against ones partner, whether it be adultery, abuse or just poor treatment. (and I don’t remember the bible saying you get one free adulterous liaison! Sheesh)

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  9. “I disagree that the act of adultery was divorcing. That is opinion based. ”

    All interpretation has some percentage of opinion as it’s based on historical context, word definition, grammar and the filter we use for said interpretation. My exchanges here are not meant to demand a certain view but to interject another way of looking at things.

    “Divorce actually included a BILL of Divorcement. There is two parts:

    Issue her a bill of divorcement
    Send (PUT) her away.”

    The idea of a bill of divorcement brings up all sorts of questions. Was this written on papyrus or in stone.:o) think of the marriage ceremony of Ruth and Boaz. Or his bizarre declaration to the elders.

    Action was considered proof of intent. You see that all through the Old Testament.

    In the OT culture we can not negate the importance of tribe, land, protection, etc, in these matters. There was no such thing as, ‘Oh. we just fell out of love’.

    “Polygamous or not, the law was the law. It only shows that the law was not being adhered to.”

    Why was polygamy allowed in the law? If we start there we might see a much bigger picture. This is not a black-and-white issue then or now. What is the provision in the law for a neglected wife? What did neglect mean in the Old Testament era and what does it mean today under the law of love…..

    “But again, the law does not allow for remarriage for an adulterous spouse. I think that even you missed my point in that alone. An adulterous spouse, uh…under the law…cannot remarry if they were stoned to death, and that is what the law states to do for the cause of adultery. Dead people don’t remarry, let alone divorce”.

    It did for Bathsheba. Or did she get by on a technicality because the man she committed adultery with had her husband killed?

    Again, I ask. Would we need to explain this to a first century converted Gentile?

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  10. “I think many times we are nitpicking about reasons for divorce and missing Jesus’ point of how men treated women in the Bible. I really think it is a heart issue that God was trying to deal with and show men that they need to change their views/ behaviors because God didn’t agree with them.”

    Right! It is bizarre to us because we only read one side of History. God allowed all sorts of things we now think are bizarre or people would be in jail for because they had mingled with pagans for so long there was going to be a learning curve for them to look back to him for wisdom and guidance. As the OT unfolds, we see less and less focus on the law and more of a focus on mercy and righteousness.

    Frankly I see a lot of parallels between what came to be in the Old Testament with the Priestly class (yikes Malichai!) and what is going on today with our church/ pastor caste system. We have simply created another Temple system. Not exactly the light of the world He intended

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  11. Right, Lydia. My point, though, was that we get turned from heart attitude to lists of rules. Once you start on a list of rules, it goes on and on. Each rule requires exact definition and begets other sub-rules and then all the different situations for the rules have to be qualified. Pretty soon you have volumes of rules, rules for all occasions like Baxter, or like the Pharisees trying to define exactly what constituted work on the Sabbath. Or maybe something like Jack Trieber’s church handbook http://www.stufffundieslike.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/North-Valley-Baptist-Church-Staff-Manual-Jack-Trieber.pdf

    You can read the whole Bible and miss the point that it is all about heart attitude. No list of rules can combat the wrong heart attitude or create the right one. Love does no wrong to a neighbor, love therefore is the fulfillment of the law. We have been given the liberty to decide how best to walk in love, between us and God, no ruling class of authority being placed between us. A person can exort others to value their marriages, to love one another, to do the hard work of making a marriage work. They can have standards for those who hold offices in their organizations. But when they put themselves in the place of “permitting” or “not permitting,” then they’ve crossed a line. They don’t have that authority. That’s my opinion.

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  12. Lydia00,

    You had said:
    “My exchanges here are not meant to demand a certain view but to interject another way of looking at things.”

    My response:
    I like to base my conclusions on what is written, therefore, I, unlike you, demand a certain view. I don’t want to second guess. That is not my forte’, or cup of tea. I like black and white.

    The problem with this topic is that it is all over the place with many many different opinions. And with that, you get adulterous spouses remarrying, stating “Nener, nener, nener!” to the ones that got stoned to death for their adultery.

    You then have two different camps. One camp states that an adulterous spouse must be stoned to death, and the other camp stating that the adulterous spouse can get divorced, then remarry. And BOTH claim the historical and cultural card. Well, we know that ONE OF THEM is wrong, no matter how much education they have in the historical and cultural aspects of this topic.

    So, who is right, and who is wrong? Obviously, someone is. And when we get to that conclusion of who is right, THEN and only THEN, can we see the real and actual context of the words of Jesus to the Pharisees, because that is different, too, based on who is right and who is wrong about the law of Moses of Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

    Yes, I am nit picky about this, because of the abuse that goes on in regards to clergy restricting divorce, forbidding divorce, and forbidding getting remarried, and sticking their nose where it does not belong, demanding to be in the process of “reconciliation”, when it isn’t any of their business in the first place.

    Ed

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  13. So, who is right, and who is wrong?

    God knows who is right and wrong. I wish some of these pastors would realize that, and maybe have a little more humility.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Lydia00,

    In regards to Bathsheba, her actual husband did not know about the adultery, now did he? He never got a chance to stone her to death. He was in battle, and he was so dedicated to the King David that he refused to go home. He never found out.

    So, how can you use Bathsheba as an example of your point?

    You had said:
    “It did for Bathsheba. Or did she get by on a technicality because the man she committed adultery with had her husband killed?”

    My response:
    Absolutely, she got off on a technicality. He never found out about the adultery. And King David made sure of it. No divorce, no stoning. The Law of Moses is not negated, or ignored. If Bathsheba’s husband had found out about the adultery, you can bet your blank that she would be stoned to death.

    But God did punish her and David by killing their child.

    Ed

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  15. “But God did punish her and David by killing their child.”

    Nice guy, that Yahweh. Someone who is worthy of all glory, praise and worship, right there.
    Jesus H.

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  16. Carmen,

    Where is that child? Non-existent? King David said that he will go to his child, but his child cannot come back to him. That shows that the child went to paradise immediately upon death, which is a much better place than this life. Generally speaking, Christians would rather be in heaven, than on earth. Even Job said almost the same thing in Job chapter 3, when he wished that he was still born.

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  17. Ed, what a crap answer. If Christians would rather be in heaven than on earth, what are you waiting for? Seriously, do you know how horrible that sounds???
    THIS is the life you get, Ed. All you’ve got is an idea in your head. Not one shred of evidence.

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  18. Carmen,

    LOL!!! I don’t need evidence. You do. Even Jesus, after all the miracles that he performed was not believed either. So, the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Who do you think you are…God?”, for which Jesus said, “Ya, but you don’t believe me, even after all I did to prove it to you with evidence”. So, they had Jesus killed. Nice guys, those Pharisees, huh?

    Again, Job wished that he was stillborn. And he explained why. He talked a lot about heaven and a lot about hell.

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  19. Sorry Ed, but not letting you off that easy. Rather capricious of Yahweh to bait Job, wasn’t it? And you’re telling me that Yahweh deserves praise for killing a child to spite two adults he got pissed off at? Ed, give your head a shake.
    And in case anyone is wondering what this conversation has to do with JA’s topic – the whole idea of trying to rationalize whether or not a woman should stay in an unhappy, sometimes abusive relationship because of what they believe Yahweh might condone. . ( a god who was picked out of whole list of previous gods). . Unnecessary strife. Just like trying to make sense of the tall tales of the Bible, the interpretations only limited to individuals’ understanding – you can see that Ed, here, has HIS own interpretations just like many other men who are convinced they are right about THEIR interpretation. (And they are usually in a pulpit)
    Ladies, can you see why I get upset? Please try to think for yourself, you are quite capable of doing so.

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  20. Carmen,

    I know it’s been a while since we spoke, but I’d rather keep our personal debate about whether God exists or not in our facebook chats…for which, I’ve been on a hiatus from for a while, too. I had taken a long long break from blogging, etc. I don’t think that this is the proper place for that debate, as the topic can go all over the place, making it a distraction from the main topic of divorce.

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  21. Carmen,

    I don’t know if you have seen what I have written long above, a few days ago, but I am stating that Christians can get divorced for falling out of love. I, too, am telling both women and men to think for themselves, because the Bible does NOT forbid divorce or remarriage. Those restrictions are all man made up stuff. And even Barbara Roberts is restricting divorce, too. She states that sometimes divorce is a sin. I am saying, it’s never been a sin to begin with. This problem originated with the Catholics, somehow equating “PUT AWAY” with divorce. So, they replace everything that states “put away” with the word “divorce”, hence restrictions.

    Deuteronomy must be understood that the CULTURE of Jesus stoned adulterous spouses. There is no way possible that Jesus would state that you can divorce your spouse for adultery under a culture that stoned them to death, under the law of Moses. And, Deuteronomy must be understood that there is no such thing as an adulterous spouse getting remarried.

    So, why the debate about this with me, Carmen? How is your conversation to me about whether God exists or not a direct effort at telling women to “think for themselves”? Either they want to please God, or please you. We can be friends with the mammon, but we cannot follow the mammon.

    Ed

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  22. “I like to base my conclusions on what is written, therefore, I, unlike you, demand a certain view. I don’t want to second guess. That is not my forte’, or cup of tea. I like black and white.”

    I understand where you are coming from and I don’t think I communicated very well about the opinions in interpretation based in translations, word definitions, ancient genres, etc. I don’t view the scriptures as a magic book.

    I certainly do agree with you that people can divorce and remarry. And frankly, their reasons are really none of our business unless they want them to be or when one is harming another and needs our help in getting out.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Mark,

    I see your point on remarriage in RG paper and do not necessarily agree with him, not sure. I don’t think Gagnon’s paper is really complete on his views of marriage, divorce and remarriage and I do not know what they are in total, it would be interesting because I have heard him debate and he is very well versed and logical. The link was some of his problems with B-I work and I thought it would be worth the read coming from another scholar who found problems with work from JA’s post…and open up conversation about what the bible says on the matter.

    My beliefs on this topic are pretty much summed up by William MacDonald here –
    http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/article/1919

    As far as the rabbit hole question, ironically I think RG answers it here?
    http://www.layman.org/response-divorce-remarriage-divorce-jesus-paul-rejoinder/

    Got questions explains my take on Proverbs 26:4-5 here –
    http://www.gotquestions.org/Proverbs-26-4-5.html

    The bible uses figurative language, hyperbole (pluck out your eye), similes, metaphors, parables, allegories, etc., nevertheless they have a real and true meaning. I think the The Sermon on the Mount was definitely a shock, It’s not a means of salvation but I think it is supposed to show a disciple the condition of their heart whether hard and sinful or spiritual and obedient. Also “everyone who hears these words of MIne” will be found either a wise man or a foolish man according to how they act on them.

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  24. The Sermon on the Mount is a tutor to bring us to Christ. Because any honest person who reads it knows he not only has violated it but will violate it in future. And that is where our redemption comes in. If anyone thinks they can keep it, try away.

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  25. Lydia00

    You had said:
    “I don’t view the scriptures as a magic book.”

    My response:
    I don’t get it. What are you saying there? That we are not to look at the Bible for answers? Just curious.

    Ed

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  26. Lydia00,

    I can see it now…

    You had said:
    The bible uses figurative language, hyperbole (pluck out your eye)…”

    My response:

    God states:
    Why didn’t you pluck out your eye like I told you!

    Me:
    You were serious about that?

    Ed

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  27. “I don’t get it. What are you saying there? That we are not to look at the Bible for answers? Just curious.”

    I don’t view it as a manual. For over a Millenia, scripture was denied to the average person due to a illteracy or it was illegal for them to read it on their own by the state church. It was even a while before the canon was formed. The early Christians only had the Old Testament which did not mean much to the Gentiles. They certainly were not going to the synagogue to hear it spoken.

    It is not an either/thing to me. We tend to either make too much of scripture or not. enough. I do not think all the translators throughout history were inerrant. I think a misuse of them and looking to them as an answer book for life actually denies the beauty of them and turns them into a weapon.

    I do think they contain a beautiful narrative of God’s provision of rescue for His creation.

    I fear for many the scriptures replaced the Holy Spirit.

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  28. “The Sermon on the Mount is a tutor to bring us to Christ. Because any honest person who reads it knows he not only has violated it but will violate it in future. And that is where our redemption comes in. If anyone thinks they can keep it, try away.”

    Something else to consider. Jesus was talking to the Jews who despised their Roman pagan occupiers. It makes no sense to me that Jesus was advocating that Jews go around slapping each other and doing harm to one another acting like nothing happened over and over. A lot of Christians actually believe this which is why we see so many excuses for harm done from one Christian to another without any question as to the state of the person’s soul who is doing the harm.

    But it makes perfect sense that he would tell the Jews this about their Roman occupiers. The Jews were supposed to be the light of the world too. He was rescuing them in a very different way but it was still rescue.

    However I cannot wrap my head around the idea that Jesus Christ was perfectly okay with Jews constantly harming one another with no consequence. The Sermon on the Mount was how the Jews were to be the light of the world to their pagan occupiers.

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  29. Lydia,

    I’ve heard many people say, “All they had was the Old Testament”. But here is the deal:

    The Old Testament confirms the New Testament, and this is one of the reasons that the Bereans were more noble, and studied it out…for themselves. Paul was basically saying to check out what he was saying. And what did they check out? Obviously, the Old Testament. And where did they get that Old Testament? Obviously, the Jewish Synagogues.

    And in Acts, we had Phillip who was asked about a scripture in Isaiah, for which Phillip explained to him that the Isaiah reference was in regards to Jesus.

    All the rest, I blame on the Catholics, for reasons that should be obvious. This topic of divorce being a sin is a Catholic concoction.

    But here is the bottom line for me:
    How do we know what to repent from, if we have no clue or idea what sin is? Where do we find what sin is? We need the Old Testament to inform us what to repent from. That is the basis for what God considers sin. So, what we have today is theologians making up sin now, stating that divorce is a sin, when they have no clue as to what in the heck they are reading. We have Gentiles trying to be Jewish scholars that have no clue about the Jews. We have Greek Scholars that are a dime a dozen now, that all claim a cultural and historical education, but none of them can agree on much amongst themselves. So, yes, for the most part I agree with you in regards to the replacement of the Holy Spirit, however, scripture is needed, both old and new. We can’t have the new without the old. The Word of God isn’t complete without both.

    Ed

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  30. “But here is the bottom line for me:
    How do we know what to repent from, if we have no clue or idea what sin is? ”

    Ironically, scripture tells us how without Scripture from day one:

    “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

    Writer:Paul
    Audience: Jew and Gentile converts in Rome
    Occasion: the converted Jews were coming back to Rome after being banished. There was much confusion among the Gentile converts concerning how God had dealt with “His” people versus the Gentiles.

    While the Jews totally dissed God, the Gentiles are still without excuse because God has made himself known through creation from day one.

    The immersion of most of protestant Christianity into the realm of total depravity has kept us from fully understanding our innate”image of God” and our ability to know right from wrong.

    Even children on the playground know what is fair or not.

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  31. So, yes, for the most part I agree with you in regards to the replacement of the Holy Spirit, however, scripture is needed, both old and new.

    I think the spirit is supposed to help us interpret scripture in specific situations. A knowledge of the time/greek/Aramaic/etc is certainly helpful but not required.

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  32. The immersion of most of protestant Christianity into the realm of total depravity has kept us from fully understanding our innate”image of God” and our ability to know right from wrong.
    Even children on the playground know what is fair or not.

    Yes, Lydia. It’s probably too blasé to compare the holy spirit to a conscience, but I think sometimes it works the same way. If the way someone interprets scripture seems plainly wrong to every sense of right or wrong? It probably is.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Q, we both agree on Prov 24, which means that two contradictory passages (answer a fool, and don’t answer a fool) need to be understood with Spirit-led wisdom and not just applied literally. So, when we pick and choose that which is literally true for all places and times and apply it without wisdom, we can fall into the snare above.

    Consider, for example, if the two verses in Prov 24 were not situated next to each other, and the “do not answer” was only conveyed through positive example, like King David not answering the man who hurled insults at him while he was fleeing. I think verse thumpers would take Prov 24 as a rule that we should always be blasting fools.

    That said, Gagnon’s response is a non-answer. In Matthew 5, Jesus had just declared adultery to be a sin of the heart, and there in the next section he’s talking about divorce and adultery. The problem with MacDonald is that he places an exception on the adultery “proper divorce”. I don’t believe the Bible makes that exception. Jesus is pointing to creation. The two become one flesh. That is a spiritual and physical reality. Regardless of the reason, divorce doesn’t somehow undo the spiritual and physical reality. For example, Paul says, ‘Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.”’ A man-made decree of divorce does not undo the “one flesh”.

    If that is true, then even divorce for the grounds of adultery doesn’t prevent the adultery of the subsequent remarriage. Does that mean that the church should forbid all remarriage of divorced people? I don’t think that is the point. The point is that Jesus is that divorce shouldn’t be taken lightly. It shouldn’t be like the guy who texted his wife three times that he divorced her.

    I will also say that calling something a sin doesn’t necessarily make it a sin. For example, Jesus says, “Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?” He isn’t saying that they don’t break the Sabbath because of this or that. He says plainly. They break the Sabbath. Period. Yet… They are innocent. Hmmm. Perhaps the person who divorces for valid reason (not just adultery as MacDonald seems to indicate) and remarries commits adultery and yet…. is innocent!

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  34. I should have stated it better. Calling something “unlawful” doesn’t necessarily make it a sin. The priests break the fourth commandment and yet are innocent. That opens the door to people who break other commandments (think of legalists and surprise birthday parties, or nazis at one’s doorstep) and are innocent.

    Like

  35. Lydia00,

    1 John 3:4 King James Version
    …sin is the transgression of the law.

    Romans 3:20 King James Version
    …the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 7:7 King James Version
    …I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Ed

    Like

  36. A divorced woman without children, whose father was a priest, could eat her father’s holy meat in Leviticus. Can you imagine if a Pastor had a divorced daughter in this day and age?
    Leviticus 22:13King James Version (KJV)
    13 But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall be no stranger eat thereof.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. “Yes, Lydia. It’s probably too blasé to compare the holy spirit to a conscience, but I think sometimes it works the same way. If the way someone interprets scripture seems plainly wrong to every sense of right or wrong? It probably is.”

    Not blasé at all! And I agree with you. I often think of the example of David. How come we would put him in prison today just for polygamy and perhaps a conspiracy for murder conviction. On the first he was within the law. Today, prison. On the second, he wasn’t but instead we often convict God of killing his son for his adulterous behavior.

    Was Bathsheba let off with a technicality because her husband was murdered?

    Did the Gentiles have to learn the law so they’ll know what sin is?

    Like

  38. I’ve been pondering some of this stuff and had somewhat of an epiphany this morning. As Westminster says, there are three types of law. Moral Law = the Ten Commandments, Ceremonial Law = the various rules and regulations having to do with the temple, priests, cleanliness, etc., and the Judicial/Case law, which Westminster says passed away with the nation of Israel and only binds us today as it helps us understand the moral law.

    So, we have this sin problem. We were initially created in a world without sin. Now there is sin. So, the moral law seems to be based on a sinless world. That is, there is no work to be done on the Sabbath. Yet, Jesus says, the priests break that law and yet are innocent. That is because the very nature of the priesthood exists because of sin. No sin, no priests, no need for priests to work on the Sabbath.

    When you start looking at the case laws, it is all about how to deal with the fact that sin in the world means that we seemingly have to violate the moral law. For example, oxen kill people. That is a result of the curse on nature and sin. There are case laws about oxen killing people. One might say, better to not have oxen in the first place, or to require oxen to be restrained properly so that they cannot gore. But… oxen were needed so that people could eat and people needed to eat to live, so oxen are allowed, and even, it seems, allowed without crazy protection schemes to keep them from goring. It’s only after an ox is known to gore that the owner is required to take special precautions.

    So all this to say that in a sinful world, it is not possible to 100% obey the 10 commandments. Not just that I am a sinner, unable to obey, but that the very nature of sin requires me to break the commandments. We call these exceptions. For example, if my donkey falls into a ditch (result of sin) on the Sabbath, I have to rescue it (break the 4th commandment). Yet, I’m innocent. I may have to kill someone in self defense.

    What this has to do with divorce is that the mere fact that marrying a divorced woman is “adultery” = breaking of the moral law, does not mean that it is, in fact, sinful.

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  39. “So all this to say that in a sinful world, it is not possible to 100% obey the 10 commandments.”

    Mark, I don’t want to be over dramatic but please think this through. This indicts God as unjust. He instituted laws that HE KNEW PEOPLE COULD NOT OBEY?

    Like

  40. I don’t either, Lydia but it’s amazing how many grown adults do. Worse, they scare the bejesus out of their kids. . . 😦

    Like

  41. I do think there are eternal consequences for evil. I am certainly not wanting to spend eternity with Pol Pot. So not a universalist, either. I don’t know exactly what those consequences are though but a study on words like Gehenna or Hades does not deliver what is usually taught.

    All I know is we choose our behavior here and now.

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  42. Lydia, I don’t think you read my entire article. What I’m saying is that the Ten Commandments are representative of the “original intent” that is, in the Garden of Eden, we could have kept the Ten Commandments.

    The problem is that we now are in a sinful world, and not only do we have to interact with the sin of others, we have to deal with the curse on nature.

    So, in the Garden of Eden, there are no priests, and there is no reason for the priests to have to work on the Sabbath, which is forbidden by the 4th commandment. But… because of sin, those priests have to work on the Sabbath. But, is God unjust? No, Jesus proclaims that those priests are innocent even though the “broke the Sabbath” that is, they violated the 4th commandment.

    Now, there are two approaches, the first approach, which is the status quo, is that we come up with all sorts of exceptions – “works of necessity and mercy” is what Westminster says, and we say that the 4th commandment is redefined around those works. However, if we were in the Garden of Eden, I don’t think those exceptions would be necessary. We wouldn’t need to fix our broken car or take our kid to the hospital, so circumstances would never come up that would cause us to have to put one command against the other. We would never have to kill to preserve life, or lie to protect our country from an enemy, or divorce to protect ourselves from abuse.

    So, in effect, God had to provide a new justice – one in which we have the tools to deal with sin. The Ten Commandments represent the ideal of justice, and the Judicial laws show how we deal with sin and our cursed nature. If there were no poverty, we would not need to leave the edges of the field uncut. If there wasn’t carelessness, we wouldn’t need to build a fence around our roof. One in which we, who would otherwise be guilty of breaking the law, can be innocent.

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  43. Mark,

    I think William MacDonald lays out what is in the NT pretty clearly. I like that he said, in the beginning, with all the different cases arising it would tax the wisdom of Solomon, and ended with calling marriage a holy union, saying that the church should not be more liberal nor more strict than the word and mentioned God’s grace and forgiveness.

    In Matthew 19, when Jesus was tempted by the pharisees, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?”, Jesus repeats, “except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery”, he is not calling it adultery and making that exception clear, not as a command but as a allowance, so I don’t think in this case if the one ‘sinned’ against remarried it would be labeled “!adultery and yet…. is innocent!”

    If the one who commits adultery is not free to remarry but the one who doesn’t is, it seems it would be a strong deterrent and would also be a strong reason for the sinning person to want to reconcile through clear godly repentance on one side, and forgiveness on the other side, maybe that’s the point.

    With the priests breaking the Sabbath, it’s interesting that they were ordered to in Num. 28:9–10, Lev. 24:8–9. Jesus seems to leave out some technicalities and address some other things he wants to get across e.g., “something greater than the temple is here” and Hosea 6:6 “For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings”.

    My thinking with Gagnon is in a way he was pointing out that not all sins are equal. Allowing divorce for lustfully looking at a woman is not grounds for divorce, it would give every wife (and possibly husband) grounds for divorce, an absurdity. I don’t believe Jesus would desire such a thing, “God’s remedy for these problems is never one that creates worse problems”.

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  44. Mark, it does not help to refer to Westminster as it is deterministic and it was political.

    God is not a trickster who gives laws knowing full well people are “unable” to keep them. They were able. Just not totally willing.

    We end up making way too much of the law. Think about the law and converted Gentiles. Would they have to learn the law in order to know how sinful they are to be properly Christians? The Judiazers thought so.

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  45. Lydia00,

    You had asked:
    “Ed, would those scriptures mean that human beings could not know right and wrong before the Mosaic law?”

    My response:

    Deuteronomy 1:39 King James Version
    39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    Genesis 3:5 King James Version
    5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    Obviously, there was once upon a time that we all, uh, that is, everyone, did not know the difference between good and evil (“good and evil” as opposed to your “right and wrong”).

    1 John 3:4
    sin is the transgression of the law.

    Romans 3:20
    the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 5:13 DING DING DING DING
    For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Note: Calvinists do not teach that verse. They skip over it.

    Romans 4:15
    where no law is, there is no transgression.

    Romans 4:8
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Romans 6:7
    For he that is dead is freed from sin.

    Romans 6:11
    Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead

    Romans 7:4
    ye also are become dead to the law

    Galatians 2:19
    For I through the law am dead to the law,

    Romans 7:8
    For without the law sin was dead.

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  46. Mark,

    Hi Mark, this is Ed.

    You had said:
    “As Westminster says, there are three types of law. Moral Law = the Ten Commandments, Ceremonial Law = the various rules and regulations having to do with the temple, priests, cleanliness, etc., and the Judicial/Case law, which Westminster says passed away with the nation of Israel and only binds us today as it helps us understand the moral law.”

    My response:
    The Jews do not catagorize the Law of Moses like that. I read that on a Jewish website, that they do not catagorize it like what you laid out. To the Jews, there are 613 “commandments”, and we are also told that if you break just ONE of those, that you are guilty of all of those. They are all sin. None of them are OK to break.

    BUT…they had sacrifices to COVER those sins.

    My next point is that divorce is not a sin to begin with. But what is strange, is that you are indicating that marrying a divorced woman is adultery, and telling us that adultery is OK? Hmmmm.

    I’m confused by that comment.

    Ed

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  47. Lydia00

    You had said:
    “Mark, I don’t want to be over dramatic but please think this through. This indicts God as unjust. He instituted laws that HE KNEW PEOPLE COULD NOT OBEY?”

    Romans 5:20 (NIRV)
    The law was given so that sin would increase.

    YES, HE DID.

    Lydia, do you really think that once Adam and Eve at of the tree of knowledge that he said to himself, “Now look what you did…you screwed up my plan”.

    One, God did not tell them anything about the tree of life. In order to have gotten eternal life, they would have had to have eaten from it. God only told them about the tree of knowledge.

    Put a chocolate bar in the middle of a young child’s bedroom and tell him not to eat it. See how far that one goes. The kid will disobey, and eat it. Would you be surprised?

    Ed

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  48. The bit that I’m struggling with is that the priests break the Sabbath and are yet innocent, and that David broke the showbread law and was innocent. We good Reformed people like to say that they really didn’t break the law because there was some unknown exception in the law that they used to their advantage. I just don’t think that is the plain reading of the text.

    That makes me think…I was taught just as you say, “they are all sin, none are okay to break”, but in those verses Jesus said, they broke them, but are innocent.

    My first thought was a sense of priority, that is that some commandments have priority over others, and when there is an apparent contradiction (e.g. preservation of life vs. preservation of truth) we need to obey the more important commandment. And this thought is along those lines, that sometimes we are in a position where we have to disobey one commandment to obey another. David ate the showbread to preserve his and his companions’ lives. The priests work on the Sabbath to do the important work of atoning for sin.

    So, if Jesus’s explanation of divorce is along those lines – not avoiding the reality of the adultery and yet explaining the need to provide mitigate the sinfulness of sin, then we don’t read it as the church rulebook on divorce, like it has been.

    My experience with this was similar to Julie Anne’s. We were aware of a situation where the husband was addicted to porn and the wife wanted a divorce. The roles got reversed when the elders got involved – the wife’s reasoning for divorce was not biblical and the husband wanted to reconcile, so they provided accountability and forbade the divorce. What happened was that the wife got the divorce anyway and as soon as the divorce was finalized, the husband’s desire to conquer his sin vanished, which made me think that his desire was to trap his wife in marriage rather than reconcile. But, it’s easy to see that the hardness of our hearts victimizes women yet again.

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  49. Ed, part of my struggle is that I grew up with specific (Pharisaical?) explanations and workarounds for various confusing passages. Like ignoring that wives and husbands should submit to each other, but emphasizing that wives should submit to their husbands, or that having one’s house in order is a requirement for an elder, but not children who believe. So part of my healing process is starting to question whether the interpretation I’ve been taught of a certain passage is really the correct interpretation, or whether it is taken out of context for the pursuit of legalism.

    Divorce has been a major struggle when I consider the church’s position that adultery or abandonment are the only grounds, and yet I know that abuse is pervasive. I see women who have been trapped in abusive relationships because they know the church would frown on divorce for anything other than adultery. When people have gotten divorced, it seems the church feels compelled to provide judgment by excommunicating one or the other. It’s generally the wife who gets blamed for divorcing.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Mark,

    I think that you are on the right journey to question what was taught. I’ve been on this divorce topic for a couple of years now, not necessarily due to abuse issues, but because I see an inconsistency within all church’s.

    Long ago, though, I have categorized the two types of capital punishments for certain sins. The two, hanging and stoning. Adultery is punished by stoning. Therefore, how can one conclude Deuteronomy 24:1 “uncleanness” as “adultery”, which would allow for not only a divorce, but a remarriage, too? Therefore, that word, uncleanness cannot represent sexual sins at all. And therefore, my conclusion is, is that Jesus never said that one can divorce for the cause of adultery. One more additional thing, I don’t use “modern” English translations. I use the KJV, coupled with a Strong’s Concordance. Put away is not divorce. The word “divorce” is a certain Greek work, and “Put Away” is a totally another certain Greek Word. So, bottom line, you can put away an adulterous spouse, but you cannot divorce an adulterous spouse (in the days of Jesus, under the law of Moses). As soon as you put away, you stone her to death.

    That one word, “Uncleanness”, misused, has caused havoc in Christendom, all because someone concluded that it means some sort of sexual misconduct, indecency, fornication, adultery. But people seem to have forgotten that adultery is a capital punishment under the law of Moses.

    Your questioning is a good thing. My only suggesstion is that you make time, serious time, and get a Strong’s concordance, coupled with a KJV, but also have an NIVr handy. I do not recommend reading “commentaries”. But if you read them, just remember, it’s nothing more than opinion. They may be right, they may be wrong. And, whatever conclusions that you make, may disagree with them. Me, I am extremely analytical, and that includes the first 4 letters of that word, too, which is why I am so adamant about this topic of divorce, that it is not a sin to begin with. The Catholics made it a sin, all due to the word “uncleanness”, and equating “send/put away” with “divorce”.

    Ed

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  51. “It’s generally the wife who gets blamed for divorcing.”

    And why wouldn’t the c’hurch not want to blame the wife, the woman, the one who, by their definition, is supposed to be quiet, submissive, always saying ‘yes sir, yes sir’ when told what to do. The wife, primarily, is not the main bread winner within the family structure, it is the man for the most part. So why wouldn’t the false c’hurch system want to blame the woman for the divorce, for all of the “sin” within the marriage, for all of the moral failures of the marital relationship, when indeed,

    ” the majority of the “offering and tithing” money, comes from the man of the house.”

    To call out the sin of the man in the marital relationship and placing the blame on him for the moral failure of the marriage would prove to be a financial crisis for the 501c. 3 church system for they need the money to operate their business.

    “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10

    Blame the man for the failure of the marriage, and not only will the church lose him as a ‘member’ but also that continuous paycheck with which to lavish themselves. They need money to keep the clock ticking and most women in the church cannot afford to keep the establishment in operation for they are tending to the needs of their own households; bills, children, staple needs to live and survive.

    I have never seen a man in church called out and held ‘accountable’ (the c’hurch’s favorite word to ignore sin) for his moral or spiritual sins, never, ever in all my years of attending. But to our shame, I have witnessed the calling out of women in their sins, by the male pastor, male oriented leadership, and the overall patriarchal system of what is defined as Christianity with regards to the c’hurch systems that man has set up and incorporated.

    There have been women throughout the ages that have become the ‘scape sheep,’ for they too, are born again of the Spirit of God and call Jesus as their LORD and Savior, whether single, married or divorced.

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  52. Ed, I am not a fan of proof texting. Romans is the worst. We can make scripture say pretty much what we want out of context. It is too much to get into here. I think it is perfectly ok to bring common sense and reason to the process or our precious Lord become a tyrannical conman trickster. I believe the focus is wrong. It is about our response. Our behavior. To do good or evil. We often use God/the blood of Christ as an excuse and use the bible to “prove” it.

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  53. Lydia00

    I am a fan of proof texting. There are a lot of “legalists”, too, that are not a fan of the Apostle Paul, specifically the book of Romans. But I am a fan.

    Ed

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  54. Allowing divorce for lustfully looking at a woman is not grounds for divorce, it would give every wife (and possibly husband) grounds for divorce, an absurdity. I don’t believe Jesus would desire such a thing, “God’s remedy for these problems is never one that creates worse problems”.

    Right, because we’re all just sitting around waiting for any excuse to get divorced and the only thing stopping us is these men’s rules…
    smh

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  55. That brings up an interesting point. Is the nature of the marriage contract physical only? When I promise to be “faithful” to my wife, is it okay to be physically there for her and yet mentally and emotionally gone?

    If Jesus is appealing to the ideal, pre-Fall marriage, then even adultery of the heart is a breaking of the covenant. In fact, that’s what prophet after prophet, including Jesus rails against.

    “Because this people draw near with their words
    And honor Me with their lip service,
    But they remove their hearts far from Me,
    And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…” (Isa. 29:13)

    Interesting that it’s okay for God to divorce his covenant people on the grounds of adultery of the heart, but for us, only physical adultery will do.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. JA I found these two resources online that I found very telling concerning abuse and spanking in comparison to a more positive parenting approach.

    http://news.utexas.edu/2016/04/25/risks-of-harm-from-spanking-confirmed-by-researchers

    The actual report for the above is at
    http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/fam0000191 I think I am going to purchase it and make it available to You and the folks at WW but I have to check the copywrite info about that. Thanks.

    http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/can-prevention-technical-package.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Brian, don’t want to hijack this. I read a great book, “The Highly Sensitive Child” by Elizabeth Aron. She has a good definition of discipline. For discipline to work, the child needs to be in a certain state of (mental) arousal. For most children, some form of discipline brings that arousal, but for highly sensitive children, they are probably already at the rails. Highly sensitive people form about 20% of the population.

    So, she doesn’t rule out spanking, but she says that definitely for the sensitive child and probably for most children, spanking is going to overarouse them and then they are in sensory overload mode which makes them incapable of learning whatever you want them to learn.

    But, thanks to crappy theology, we would face judgment and scorn if we said we don’t spank our kids. It’s not that I’m philosophically opposed. It just was too much for my sensitive kids. When they were calm and ready to listen, that was the moment, and it could still be tied to a consequence. But, there are also kids whose minds are vacationing until you give them a swat and then they focus. The one-size-fits-all approach that’s fought on both sides just doesn’t work. I like to say that it’s the parents of calm, compliant children that write parenting books.

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  58. Brian, I should also say that I take some of those studies with a grain of salt. (From the writeup, it looks like it has the potential to be a well done study, but there may be flaws in the methodology or analysis) There was a study about 5? years ago that said spanking causes delinquent behavior. I had more time back then and I read the study.

    1) The study was based on an oral survey given by the researcher to random college freshmen. That researcher has been a vocal opponent of spanking.
    2) The study defined spanking as any form of corporal punishment, from a swat on the rear to hitting with a belt to a punch in the face.
    3) According to the study, when the more severe forms of discipline (i.e. abuse) were removed, the statistical significance of the results vanished.
    4) The survey itself was somewhat open ended, that is, the delinquent behavior was what the researcher and student could work through together to recall.

    Overall, the fact that this study was published is a disgrace to the professor, the university and the field of science.
    1) An oral survey already invites confirmation bias. The research is not going to be as interested in uncovering delinquent behavior in someone who wasn’t spanked, but someone who was spanked was going to be questioned until something came up.
    2) We already know that abuse correlates with delinquent behavior, so the study merely confirmed that. Redefining “spanking” for the purpose of ax-grinding is scientifically dishonest.

    Overall, this is a really touchy subject and it’s hard to separate spanking used in love with spanking used in Pearl-style deluded Christian abuse to even spanking in terms of generational child abuse.

    My experience with my highly-sensitive children was that it didn’t work, and it quickly escalated, because we got into an overstimulated positive feedback loop. I’m not going to generalize that it doesn’t work for everyone, but it didn’t work for me and it didn’t work for my children.

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  59. I am confused.

    We recently received our updated church statement of Doctrine and Theology.

    It states “we teach that God hates divorce, permitting it ONLY where there has been UNREPENTANT sexual sin or desertion by an unbeliever.” (caps mine)

    Am I OBLIGATED to stay married to an adulterer, even if he repents?????

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  60. EPH320, I saw your comment at a different site.

    I, personally, think that ‘unrepentant’ part is nonsense. It’s way too easy for people to pretend to be sorry. The only way you know they’re sorry is if they CHANGE behavior, and the only one required to decide if wish to stay is you.

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  61. Hi Lea.
    Thank you for responding!

    One of the Bible references used in the document to support this IDEOLOGY is:

    1 Corinthians 7:12-15New International Version
    To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

    ????????

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  62. My personal opinion, is that the unbelieving husband or wife referred to here is not a bad person, or abusive or adulterous, but more like a follower of one of the random roman gods, just not a Christian.

    Before that Paul says for a wife not to divorce her husband but if she does, let her remain unmarried. This given with no reason for her divorce I can see. So why would we take such a hardline stance from that? Paul certainly doesn’t make it sound like that divorce is the worst thing ever!

    I make sure to qualify these things, as they are just my opinion. I think people cobble together the thing about forgiving someone and mix that up with the divorce passages and that’s where they get that ‘unrepentant’ bit. But I don’t see it anywhere listed. Adulterers are generally liars too. How could you trust a claim of repentance under those circumstances?

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  63. Lea, of course you can tell yourself anything you like. I’d guess, however, that a disbelieving person just doesn’t believe in any gods. Period. It’s in the word, ‘disbelief’. 🙂

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  64. Carmen, I’m referring to Paul in the Roman era! It’s more likely they were worshiping MULTIPLE gods.

    For today, certainly atheists or Buddhists or what have you might be what we’re talking about.

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  65. Thank you, Lea!

    My concern is that spouses are being told
    that they are OBLIGATED
    to stay
    in the marriage
    if the adulterer is “repentant.”

    What if they are repentant, but have contracted AIDS?

    ??????????????????

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  66. “What if they are repentant, but have contracted AIDS?”

    What if they have contracted a disease the CDC has not even discovered yet?

    I read books about fashion. it seems like half the fashion industry died of AIDS in the 80s. When they were living it up at Studio 54 they had no idea AIDS was around the corner.

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  67. That is true. New viruses popping up all the time. I’m totally fascinated by that topic! Did you know there is a tick that makes you allergic to meat?

    But it’s hard to make decisions based on a thing that hasn’t happened.

    I actually know someone whose husband cheated and contracted aids.

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  68. “I actually know someone whose husband cheated and contracted aids.”

    One of my cousins has an STD. It does not have a cure, people don’t realize how expensive it is to pay for STDs.

    “I’m totally fascinated by that topic! ” After reading each of those books I kept wondering, what if there is something more traumatizing than AIDS coming in the next ten years? I am an asexual, but even if I wasn’t, I can’t imagine being willing to roll that dice.

    A nineteen-year-old I babysat when she was a baby came over recently. I mentioned how terrified we were of AIDS when we were little. She was shocked we knew what AIDS was when we were kids. She said she did not hear about AIDS until after high school. How could that be? She went to public school and we went to home school.

    How can an American turn eighteen without knowing what AIDS is?

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  69. I basically remember being taught that condoms wouldn’t stop AIDS. I pretty much got the impression that any sex at all would lead to an STD and/or pregnancy. Not true. I know a lot more now!

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  70. Samson stayed with a hooker but the Holy Spirit did not depart from him. Women can not remarry because their husband cheated or porn problems .They can depart though for any reason but they are to remain unmarried and he is free to get him another woman.A cheating husbands porn problem is not adultery unless he is screwing somebody else’s wife. ( adultery is crime commited against husbands not wives and the adultery is against the man whose wife he screwed not his own wife.) But YOU can interpret that way if you want to.It will however get women killed.) SEE OJ.(so it’s best to let women depart from husband but they dont remarry (this will protect her from aids/abuse it also helps if you let men have multiple wivesn)LORD/ God is willing to be an enabler of “cheating husbands”. SEE WHAT NATHAN TOLD DAVID. I HELPED YOU CHEAT ON MICHAEL THE DAUGHTER OF SAUL. (NOTICE NO PROPHET CONFRONTED DAVID FOR “CHEATING” WHEN HE TOOK AHINOAM AND ABIGAIL. The departing OF A SPOUSE Is directed towards women NOT TOWARDS A MAN.We MEN are not to put away our wives unless she commits adultery NOT because we have a midlife crisis. However the midlife crisis CHEATING ISNT ADULTERY BUT SHe has to share with his first OR…however many wives he allready had.The Law is sexist or otherwise it would be sexist because if your not being sexist your being sexist if the sexes are different.

    We males are not suppose to do her (then repent) than do another than repent etc then get married. (Women are chattle/property but specialized property. We can’t throw them away for a “prettier” or younger model etc. Wives can only be discarded for “sex offenses adultery” not for other disagreements.

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