Lori Alexander at The Transformed Wife continues to advocate that there is no room for divorce for a spouse experiencing physical abuse.
A commentor at her post, For Those Considering Divorce – Stop!, speaks about her mother’s best friend who would show up with bruises and black eyes. With valid reasoning she questions Lori about not divorcing due to physical abuse.
I’m a bit torn on this issue issue (sic) while I do not like divorce and I believe you should do everything in order to avoid it there are times where I believe it is warranted. Growing up my mother’s best friend husband physically abused her and their children. There were many times where she would show up with bruises and black eyes and she in (sic) the children would stay few days until she went back home. The abuse got so bad she and the children moved away and I never saw them again. So while I believe that marriage is forever I just can’t condone marriages in which one partner is physically abusive.
Lori’s response is that physical abuse is no reason for divorce.
I understand your sentiment, Monique, but it’s not biblical for a woman to divorce her husband because he is physically abusing her. Yes, she needs to seek help and may even have to get the police involved, then separate for a time until he repents of his evil deeds, but there is nothing in God’s Word that says this is a reason for divorce. We must always base our opinions and actions upon the Bible and not what we feel is right.
Here is a post I have put together for women in difficult or destructive marriages:
I continue to remain concerned about Lori’s hard-line approach that divorce is not an option for spouses experiencing domestic abuse. Lori repeatedly heaps on spiritual abuse as she uses the Bible to convince spouses (in this case, women) to stay in their abusive marriages.
She is correct in that literally, the Bible does not address divorce due to physical abuse. The problem is that Lori’s literal interpretation does not allow any room for growth in the word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I hope that those who experience domestic abuse and follow Lori’s teachings see the error in this message and find the help they need.
*If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need help, please email us and we will assist in finding resources in your area. Or, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline for support at 800-799-7233 or thehotline.org.
Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, Divorce, Physical Abuse
140 thoughts on “Lori Alexander, Advocate of Women Staying Married to Their Abusers”
Using the phrase “it’s not biblical” is really just another way of saying “God agrees with me”. Because all it really means is “that is not the way I interpret the bible”.
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How can one dare disagree with you when you say “It’s not in the Bible?”
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I grew up as a buffer between my mom and dad. My mom endured 20 years of abuse. Nothing would change my father. My mom finally realized she couldn’t do it anymore, especially when I was set to go off to college (I couldn’t do it anymore, either). After two horrific beatings, my dad finally left. My dad’s second marriage was equally horrific, but it was much shorter as he really hurt my step-mom. Victims of serial abusers need a lot of help. Other than being permanently maimed or dead, I don’t know what else a wife can do except leave. Sadly, even a divorce doesn’t guarantee protection. My dad continued to verbally harass my mom for many years after (this was before the wider use of restraining orders.).
Children are also hurt. One of my siblings became violent like my dad (although, thankfully got help and is much better-no longer physical). I was an emotional wreck well into adult-hood, wary of relationships and fearful After the nightmares wouldn’t go away, I got counseling through my church (one that goes to great lengths to protect abused spouses), and I am better. However, I’ve never married, mostly out of fear of having a similar situation occur in my own life. I am thankful that in my state, educators and medical practitioners are required to report spousal violence.
Is Jesus lying or is Paul lying? Jesus said that adultery is the only grounds for divorce. Paul said that desertion by an unbelieving spouse is grounds for divorce.
If Jesus is correct, then Paul is lying. If Paul is correct, then Jesus is lying.
Or… we believe that the Bible is inerrant and that neither Jesus nor Paul were making absolute claims about what constitutes a legal divorce.
In fact, in the OT, a female slave (i.e. concubine) was set free if her tooth was knocked out or she lost an eye at the hand of her master. Would we then make an argument that a Hebrew WIFE had less rights than a slave when it came to physical abuse?
If either partner is hitting or berating the other, they are not loving the other – they’ve broken their vow. Once the vow is broken, it’s done.
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I sometimes get annoyed when I hear the phrase “It’s not biblical” since many have a different interpretation of what is biblical and what is not. Many will I always come up with their own conclusions of what the bible verses mean although I try to be more balanced and not just read the bible verses but understand the history and the whole context of the scriptures. As for divorce, the bible doesn’t say anything about divorce due to domestic violence but I have read articles from numerous scholars and pastors that give a convincing argument in favor of divorce due to abuse. Lori’s suggestion sounds ideal but may not be realistic in all domestic abuse cases as I read and seen crime stories on TV about women being forced to go on the run and even being murdered by their spouses once they leave them. I read stories from Christian women who did divorced their abusive husbands only to be shunned by their church, friends and relatives even if the abuse was also on the children. This makes me sad and in the future i will make a post about divorce among Christians on my blog. God Bless.
I know a pastor, wife had major addiction issues, violent, a danger to herself and others. He endured for a number of years and then she left him,she filled for divorce. At the worst time in his life, the church fired him, abandoned him, condemned him, because in their minds a divorced pastor can’t be a pastor. Fortunately he’s healing,found another church,and is still there for his ex-wife as she struggles. He’s one of the good guys, really walks what he talks.
My point being, the Lori churchians who worship at the foot of marriage make a travesty of the truth and reality of people’s lives and the kind of love the Lord has for us. No marriage was ever saved by some judgmental Christian acting like a jerk, heaping on additional spiritual baggage as if the shame of divorce was somehow greater than the burden of addiction or abuse or anything else that plagues us.
Lori Alexander’s morals are no better than Allison Mack’s or E. L. James.
All three of these sexually sadistic women have the same misogynistic fetishes.
Women being abused by a man, used sexually by a man, submissive to a man.
Allison Mack has been a fabulous help to her master pervert Keith Raniereand.
Lori Alexander is a fabulous help to the misogynistic comp men she is helping out.
The no divorce even for wife beating was one of the biggest reasons I started believing God is not real and was created by abusive creepy men. Why should I worship a God who hates my mother and loves my mother beating father?
I decided I won’t.
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Here’s a novel idea! How about if adults made up their own minds – based on their emotions, sense, and situations – and decided a course of action which would give them the most protection from negative situations? You know, like most grown people who are in control of their own lives?
Obviously Lori – who cannot and will not think for herself – wants others to gather ‘round her in her delusional outlook on life. This woman should be no one’s mentor, in any capacity.
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This group of people make God look heartless, hateful, and evil. Like he created people to watch them suffer as he gets a perverted pleasure out of it. They make people lose respect for God.
These people write so many books. God did not write the Bible right?
It is like these people a terrified everyone else will not come to the conclusions they want them to after reading the actual Bible.
Well, actually Christianity hurts, men wrote the Bible – for other men. It’s been a power grab from the get-go. 😦
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I wonder how Lori and Ken’s grown children have turned out? Have any of them broken free from their upbringing?Would Lori counsel her own children to stay in an abusive marriage?
Lori ought to read Denny Burk’s interesting article on his blog on 1 May ‘What about divorce and abuse’? Given the ‘stable’ he comes from, she couldn’t dismiss him out of hand.
There he argues that abuse in marriage is tantamount ot desertion, thereby permitting divorce. It’s a line of thinking I have not come across before. Mark – in view of your comment above you might find it an interesting read.
KAS, the problem with Denny’s interpretation is the problem with virtually all Evangelical interpretations. You can’t take Jesus’s words as binding and then “add” Paul’s teaching to them, as Burk does.
If I say “All presidents are wise Christians”, subsequently saying, “but Trump is a fool” is a contradiction. But, we have to remember that Jesus was a person and he was trying to make points about sin and righteousness, and often, those points were hyperbole. Did Jesus really mean that we ought to cut off our hands or pluck out our eyes, or was he making a point that we need to take sin very, very seriously?
I think this is what Jesus means when he says “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
Instead of looking for the bigger picture – how do we have compassion on abused spouses, and how do we understand the purpose of marriage and what the couple have vowed to each other – the Pharisees among us are looking for scripture to be a set of “if this, then that” rules and regulations.
That’s why it makes sense that Paige Patterson sent a woman back to her abusive husband. He understands the mint and cummin (don’t divorce), but neglects the weightier matters (protect human life). This is also why I think that the law was never meant to be a set of do’s and don’ts, but a view into the heart of God. That’s why David, for example, is mentioned favorably by Jesus, even though he broke the ceremonial law in eating the showbread. David understood the heart of God and knew that God would approve of him eating the forbidden showbread to provide necessary sustenance to himself and his men. It was the Pharisees that told Jesus’s men not to eat on the Sabbath.
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To harp on it a bit more. That was the view of God and myself that I grew up with. The view that if I was a grain of sand caught in God’s big cog that God and I should both take pleasure in me being crushed so that the kingdom could grow.
So, the abused wife was a grain of sand stuck in God’s great cog of the sanctity of marriage, and God and she should take pleasure in the fact that God is using her to prove how important marriage is (and how unimportant she is).
This teaching is very pervasive. Why do we pray? Not to change the giant cog, but to prepare ourselves to be crushed by that cog in just the right way. Why do we worship? Not because God gets anything out of our worship, and not even because we get anything out of worship, but because we simply need to obey.
But it addresses violence so many times! Do they need someone to draw them a map? Do they think general advice all goes out the window when you put a ‘marriage’ label on something?
Even their favorite book, Timothy, tells you to avoid people who are abusive and violent. It’s like that stuff doesn’t count.
Proof testers. Read a little further than two or three passages about divorce specifically. Psalm 34:14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. What is a divorce from an abuser if it isn’t seeking peace?
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I agree, Mark, that people try to make a if this, then that law book out of the bible and it is causing errors. The bible is not like that. It’s a collection of stories, advice, allegories…People ultimately should make their own decisions on such a complicated thing as divorce. And ultimately they will, you know. Men who want to run off with another woman will do so. Women will decide that they can’t take abuse eventually, whether it is 2 or 20 years later. These two scenarios should not be treated the same, though. “you both ‘sinned’ by divorcing’. Not in any sane world.
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Lori is now saying in comments that divorce if OK in abuse because a reader shared with her a Michael Pearl video where he says so! The catch is you just can’t remarry. So, her views on this depends on what the Pearls say not what the bible says.
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I realize that she has a point, that separation may be the best first step. The big question is, how long do you remain separated and “pray he’ll get help and change”? Does Lori advocate that, if such an abusive man is left, and he never gets help, that the wife should keep on living separated but stay married to him; or, if she DOES need a divorce in order to be safe, that she should consider herself still married and therefore never re-marry? It’s where re-marriage after divorce is what I can struggle with. Is is ALWAYS perpetual adultery?
The one good thing I can see in that mindset is, if the abuser is left, and will forever be in a place of “separated but still technically married” that they then cannot re-marry, and therefore not abuse the next partner.
More learning to do, but isn’t there a verse in Corinthians that says if a woman separates, let her either remain separated or return to her husband? And if returning to her husband is not safe, is the Biblical thing to do remain alone unless/until the abuser dies?
Lori’s twisted teaching and other common teachings presented here attempt to put every marital circumstance into neat, tidy little boxes. But the intent of Scripture is to reflect the heart of God and His design for relationship – with Him and one another.
Over and over, Jesus powerfully condemned the legalists who had placed the cold dictates of the law above genuine relationship (Matthew 23), yet here we are still fighting the same battle. Although in I Cor. 7, Paul references marital separation and reconciliation, there is no indication of any evil that has permeated the marriage to prevent the spouses from reuniting. Overarching all of this, Paul also wrote, “Those who live by the Spirit are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:18) The Spirit is our law, yet we still get tangled up in all of this church-imposed legalism. Yet, “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” John 8:36 The Lord Himself set me free from my abusive husband; and although the legalists may question my freedom, I don’t.
And let’s be clear: Both in Malachi and the NT, the Lord condemns “putting away” – sending away a wife without cause or without a writ – not divorce for legitimate cause. I urge readers here to check out a literal bible translation or read a more in-depth view of biblical divorce here: http://www.hurtbylove.com/a-redemptive-look-at-three-of-the-most-commonly-misappropriated-scriptures-on-the-subject-of-divorce-part-i/
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32
Indeed. And Paul, with no qualifications given, says about the wife that if she decides to leave, she should remain unmarried. He doesn’t say leaving is any sort of grave sin! If all these crazy legalists were only worried about if one could be remarried, I might understand that from the text (although I disagree).
But Paul is clearly not saying it would be a sin for wives to divorce here. And the one about people who aren’t Christians seems to me more about not immediately divorcing your pagan, sun god or Athena or whatever worshiping spouse just because of religion. I don’t think that has anything to do with abuse.
thingsgodlywomensay: Thanks for catching that!
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From above comment by Lori: “I wouldn’t blame a woman for divorcing her abusive husband if it was on a continual basis and her life was threatened.”
What the heck does she think physical abuse is? Either a woman can or can not divorce a husband due to physical abuse. She needs to make up her mind.
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blockquote>Lori Alexander, Advocate of Women Staying Married to Their Abusers
And Serena Joy keeps on lecturing the Handmaids…
Lori and her buddies who teach likewise have an extremely high opinion of themselves. They flaunt power to announce damnation to an entire section of society, the victims of DV. They rant that pain, death, terror, hopelessness is God’s plan for this select group (apparently they also assume they have a special communication with God.
Do they have no clue how absolutely incorrect they are. Incorrect in thinking they have the right and power to pronounce damnation on any human who goes against their deadly instructions. Scare tactics used on the most vulnerable. Really?
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I do agree with you on this one post. I don’t agree with far-left feminism (as I have heard of men getting abused and “falsely accused” in relationships too), but this is a case where Lori is clearly not aware that she is in scripture error. I’ve tried to confront her issues by commenting on her blog resource and the comments are minimized or blocked.
“The Bible doesn’t give this exception…”
That is weasel-words for, it’s still wrong to divorce, but I wouldn’t tell her to her face that she is sinning – that is, unless she dares re-marry.
Cindy, your article is really compelling. How would you argue the “putting away” vs. “divorce”? It seems there is a lot of historical context there that makes it seem straightforward and logical, but I haven’t seen any scholarship on that. It’s also muddied by the fact the Pharisees explicitly say “give her a certificate of divorce” in Matthew.
I could see that in light of Malachi, the Pharisees, being “holy” could have decided that they could give a certificate of divorce and yet still hold onto the dowry, if they could claim that there was something “unclean” about the wife – perhaps she forgot to wash her hands before dinner or something like that.
I am much more skeptical of claims of false accusations and abuse by men than I used to be. They happen, but more rarely.
That said, they have nothing to do with far left feminism or with Lori’s bag of nonsense. I agree with you, she’s way out on a limb here.
She like many who are interested in telling you how super pro marriage they are, is unwilling to accept some hard truths. When presented with them, she will say she ‘doesn’t blame’ someone for divorcing but she won’t accept that it’s a good biblical response. What on earth does that mean? Seems like a lot of people accept that asking a spouse to stay with a man who might end up killing her is lunacy, but they still won’t publically state that they should just get a divorce.
Mark – good questions. In Matthew 19, the Pharisees’ trick question was whether Jesus had an issue with them “putting away” their wives for “any cause at all,” for they were “putting away” their wives, presumably to take other (younger?) wives, when the law required legitimate cause along with a writ that released the women to marry again. When questioned, the Pharisees acknowledged that Moses gave them permission to put their wives away as long as they gave them a writ of divorce. But it seems that “legitimate cause” had gone by the wayside, and our Lord shone a light on their selfish motives. Jesus goes even further, saying that Moses permitted husbands to release their wives as a result of THEIR hardness of heart. Perhaps Jesus sought to ensure that women who were not being loved by their husbands should be released – with the return of their dowries – and the freedom to marry another who might presumably take better care of them. This seems wholly consistent with the heart of God.
anongrace, I have also attempted to post on Lori’s blog, but apparently detractors are unwelcome. She thinks her teachings are above scrutiny although, if her teachings were sound, she should be willing and able to defend them.
Mark – You can’t take Jesus’s words as binding and then “add” Paul’s teaching to them, as Burk does.
I hope here you are not setting Paul against Jesus (as is the habit of some). In 1 Cor 7 Paul differentiates between reference to an actual saying of Jesus To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband and his teaching as a apostle of Christ To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
The ‘rest’ Paul is referring to here are mixed marriages, which Jesus could not have addressed as the church had not yet been founded. Yet Paul here is not speaking with any less authority than Jesus himself.
The important thing is that Jesus reinstated God’s original intention for marrriage from creation with regard to his followers: a man and a woman for life. Paul echoes this. That’s the rule, if you like.
Christian couples have an obligation to do this, and their pastors have an obligation to help them achieve this as well, if they want to be obedient to the Lord himself.
I think there are exceptions to this, namely a spouse commits immorality (Jesus) or an unbelieving spouse wishes to separate by divorce (Paul). (The really difficult question is the one of remarriage following such a divorce, but that is a separate subject.) So I don’t think all divorces are sinful, though I don’t doubt they are all the result of sin. Paul clearly does allow for separation, but instructs singleness in the hope of reconciliation.
It seems to me that pastors who rightly want to preserve marriage have been making a catastrophic mistake in assuming they must keep spouses under the same roof come what may in order to achieve this. It may well be when abuse comes to light that the very first thing to do is to get the wife and any children away from the abusing husband for their safety. Physical separation. This does not have to result in divorce, but gives room for attempts to achieve reconciliation if at all possible.
At a recent seminar I attended on the subject abuse in the church the speaker said that churches are now waking up to the fact the physical separation may be essential for a victim’s safety, so perhaps this kind of mistake may happen less often in future.
On the other hand, divorce should not be the first port of call when a marriage heads into serious trouble.
It’s a real dilemma. Who said being a Christian is easy?!
KAS – “I hope here you are not setting Paul against Jesus (as is the habit of some).”
I’m saying that if Jesus MEANT “only” then Paul cannot add an exception. That’s the mistake Burk makes. What if Jesus said “I am the only way to the Father”, then Paul said, “but… if you’re a really good person…”? Would we have the same view of Paul? So, Jesus MEANS that he is the only way to the Father, and Paul never adds any exceptions. In fact, Paul says, if anyone adds exceptions (e.g. Judaizers), they are accursed. So, I’m setting Paul against Jesus as a rhetorical device to explain why we cannot take Jesus’s “only” as a literal rule, as many Evangelicals choose to do.
“Paul clearly does allow for separation, but instructs singleness in the hope of reconciliation.”
NOOOO! Paul says that the Christian spouse of an unbelieving husband who deserts her is “FREE”. Free to remarry. Not free to remain single until the unbelieving husband dies. You probably take this as a “here is one exception to the rule”, but it is actually an explanation of the marriage covenant. When the covenant is broken, the innocent victim is free to remarry, whether it is broken by adultery, abuse, or desertion. What Jesus is saying, then is that this wasn’t meant to be a ten year contract, or, “as long as she’s young and hot”, and then move onto the next. He’s not saying that a woman is obligated to subject herself to emotional, spiritual and physical abuse because her now husband deceived her and got her to marry him.
“On the other hand, divorce should not be the first port of call when a marriage heads into serious trouble.”
I think you are sin leveling here. If you define “serious trouble” as significant disagreements, I completely agree, but that is not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about abuse – a pattern of coercive behavior meant to belittle and control. We’re talking about the kinds of things that could involve criminal charges against the husband.
“I think there are exceptions to this, namely a spouse commits immorality (Jesus) or an unbelieving spouse wishes to separate by divorce (Paul).”
I think you need to understand that there is a much, much bigger picture. For example the Old Testament talks about fraud surrounding marriage. The husband is to pay the “bride price of virgins” (the dowry) in order to marry. But, if she claims to be a virgin, but on the wedding night he finds that not to be the case, he can have her put to death. Not just divorced. Joseph could have legally done this to Mary, but he chose not to assert that right, but instead was going to quietly divorce her. Also, concubines (essentially slave wives without full marital rights) had significant rights in the Old Testament.
So, the “rule” is that marriage is a lifelong covenant between loving spouses. The “reality” is that due to sin, this covenant is broken and can be reestablished or walked away from, and in some cases (e.g. codependency), forced apart for the safety of the couple. We need to understand that God does not necessarily reestablish all broken covenants, and neither should we. God divorced Israel, and a generation after Jesus, God divorced Judah.
No, they just think you aren’t understanding Paul. Or alternately, Jesus.
KAS, I notice you left off the part immediately following where he says (eh) ‘but if she does…’ And never claims it’s some major sin. Which it clearly is not.
Physical separation followed by divorce will be necessary in almost every abusive marriage. Abusers who actually ‘repent’ are incredibly rare. Until the marriage permanence folks accept that, their advice will always be bad.
There are many thousands of people whose adult lives have been deeply affected for decades because they had to watch spousal abuse as small children. They’ve felt helpless and powerless to stop it happening. Some will have become victims because they sided with their mother. Sorry but abusers don’t stop by prayer alone and by staying, the abused person is feeding their abuser’s habit/addiction. Children above all must be protected, bible or no bible.
This is the kind of callous advice spouses are given that makes them stay until they are so beaten and broken, spiritually, mentally and physically, that it takes them years to recover if they make it out alive. Shame.
Yes. Women too. I don’t believe it’s against the bible to protect yourself and your children. If I did, I would not be a christian. This is the choice they ask women to make, when they say these things.
“that it takes them years to recover”
Many of them never recover. My great grandmother divorced my great grandfather in the 50s. She proceeded to have night terrors for the rest of her life. She was still having them the year she died in 2002. Family members would have to go into her room in the middle of the night as she sat in bed hollering and crying believing my grandfather was coming after her. She spent the rest of her life in terror from the sick sht he did to her; not that any comp would give a tiny dmn.
She was deaf. He beat a deaf woman and many heartless, misogynistic, sadistic Christians want all men no matter how horrible, evil, and vile to have a trapped female under his thumb. This is the reason I do not believe this group of Christians are Christians because they believe in God or worship Jesus. They are Christians because they are misogynistic and they cannot live in a world where women can tell men (NO) and to (hit-the-road), even if he is beating and raping her.
It is obvious the same ones who don’t want a woman divorcing her wife-beating husband are the same ones who don’t want child rapist to go to jail for it or have to feel bad about it, and are also comp.
Mark – I’m glad you don’t set Paul against Jesus, that is what I was hoping you would say. It’s standard liberal theology, but sadly creeping in amongst evangelicals who don’t alway like what Paul said.
To clear one thing up, it is vital to differentiate just whom Paul is addressing in 1 Cor 7. Paul does allow for separation taking place in the case of believers, but does not allow for remarriage – that’s the context of Paul alluding to ‘what the Lord said’.
In the case of an unbelieving spouse wanting out, a different case, the believer is not ‘bound’, meaning enslaved to continuing the marriage because Jesus forbade his followers from putting asunder what God has joined together. It is an exception to this rule. (You cannot assume a right of remarriage here either, but as I said this is a complex subject.)
Lea – KAS, I notice you left off the part immediately following where he says (eh) ‘but if she does…’ And never claims it’s some major sin. Which it clearly is not.
What I said to Mark above ought to clear this up, but in talking about believing spouses I said So I don’t think all divorces are sinful, though I don’t doubt they are all the result of sin. Paul clearly does allow for separation, but instructs singleness in the hope of reconciliation. That refers to believers. Christian couples. Exactly why a wife might separate from her husband isn’t stated, it could be due to adultery (in line with the saying of the Lord), or some other reason not stated. It does strongly support the argument that marriage is indissoluble apart from death.
If that understanding is correct, think of the implications of it in the light of modern culture, including too many evangelicals, and tell me being a Christian is easy. These issues require a great deal of careful thought if we are to avoid forbidding what God actually allows or conversely allowing what he actually forbids.
No it doesn’t. You are interpreting it as ‘separate’ and not divorce. Then why is she to remain ‘unmarried’? How is she remaining ‘unmarried’ if she is supposedly still married???
And yes, there are zero qualifications given for why she might separate. kind of sounds like she makes that choice and paul doesn’t really have a comment on the why’s. And yet, doesn’t sound like a sin does it?
I could honestly see the argument on advising people not to remarry (although I would disagree) however, divorce is clearly ok here.
Like abuse? Murder? treating a wife ‘harshly’? Those are all clearly forbidden.
Today I made a comment on that woman’s comment. If Lori repented of her original comment then she should have removed it. Anyway, abuse and none of it should be tolerated, any abuse is grounds for a divorce. She is a false teacher, teaching works salvation. My post as follows and then the comment I made. The Transformed Wife, has not been transformed by Jesus. Go and sin no more is not the gospel by which we are saved. I read the exert of her book. Nowhere does her testimony show Godly sorrow that worketh repentance unto salvation. Michael and Debbie Pearl are false works salvationist, which are her supposed inspiration. This is just one of the false teaching that Lori teaches other women. Women cannot divorce for physical abuse, nor is she to remarry.
This is my comment on her blog post to a poor woman who said a woman left because the husband was physically abusing her and her children. Calling the police is not always safe or wise, or optional. Especially when dealing with lost police and abuse is happening because of your faith. I know, I was there, and I left and divorced and remarried.
“Don’t listen to Lori, physical abuse is a reason to divorce, in the King James Bible God hates the violent man. Psalm 11:5- The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. God divorced Israel when they worshipped other gods. Divorce is not a sin, sin leads to divorce. Abuse is a sign of devil possession, you are to leave, protect yourself and children. You are supposed to purge the evil among you. I am appalled at the comment Lori left. You are justifying the wicked at that point. Paul said that if the unbelieving depart you are not in bondage anymore. The abusive spouse has broken the vows and therefore you are not in bondage anymore and are free to remarry in the Lord. I was abused for my faith by my ex and divorced him, then remarried in the Lord. Jesus has blessed me through that time, he provided all my needs and gave me a way to escape. In the OT God commanded the Israelites to divorce their strange wives, because they were bringing in wicked and worshipping other gods. A man who is abusing his wife and children is worshipping the devil, the Bible says to depart from the unclean thing, to be ye separate, purge the wicked from among you and do not return to the wicked. That would be as the bible says a sow that returns to her mire.”
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Lea You are interpreting it as ‘separate’ and not divorce. Then why is she to remain ‘unmarried’? How is she remaining ‘unmarried’ if she is supposedly still married???
The verb separate in 1 Cor 7 : 10 means separate by divorce, in this case separation being the effect of divorce, the one flesh relationship has in practice ended. Put asunder. The wife in this circumstance is told to remain single or more literally remain ‘not married’.
There is a popular saying that in Jesus’ sayings on divorce and remarriage, because the further marriage contracted after the divorce is adultery (e.g. Luke 16 : 18) this must mean the remarried partner ‘is still married to the first spouse in God’s sight’. I think Paul’s language here refutes this. The marriage has ended. However, Paul does not allow for remarriage in the circumstances of Christain couples he is discussing here. It’s remain unmarried or reconcile to the husband. So I can understand the notion that in some sense the former marriage still exists.
Elsewhere Paul is clear that only death actually breaks the marriage bond.
I’ve read round this subject a lot over the years, and heard studies by people I greatly respect, but in all my years of local church I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon on it. It is hardly any wonder there is so much confusion over this subject.
If you do think adultery/immorality or desertion divorce does allow for remarriage, and I sometimes still waver in this direction, modern evangelicals seem to spend all their time on the exception and very little on the rule, and try to take the exception and expand it to include circumstances that drive a coach and horses through the sayings of Jesus.
The pastoral implications of this are immense, especially in view of the parlous state of marriage in the general culture, where you can opt out of the marriage relationship for no reason at all.
KAS, I think you’re following a false hermeneutic. Yes, Paul says “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”
But, you are interpreting this as one single verse in an entire chapter of instruction.
For example: “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. ”
How many pastors today say that single young men and women should NOT marry? Hmm crickets?
So, you are picking and choosing what Paul instructs IN THE VERY SAME CHAPTER because you’ve already chosen what of his instruction you want to listen to. Instead, you should understand that this instruction is given in light of what Jesus calls “this present evil age” – not a permanent injunction. Jesus was saying that the current generation would face significant tribulation – first the diaspora, and then the destruction of Jerusalem and persecution of Jews and Christians by the Roman empire.
So, you seem to fall into the same trap as the Pharisees. The Divorce Law was designed to counteract the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts – to protect women. They worked around the law by creating a new category (i.e. separation) that was the equivalent of divorce, but without the rights granted to women.
In the same way, Paul is saying that we need to take marriage seriously, but he is not saying that people are inextricably bound to abusive, adulterous, husbands simply because they chose to marry someone who ended up being a wolf.
All this mindless discussion about a decision that should come down to a personal one, made by sensible, thoughtful people who have their own interests at heart and mind. A two thousand year old book written for goat and sheep herders being used for meaningful instruction?
People – think!! (Smh)
“However, Paul does not allow for remarriage in the circumstances of Christain couples he is discussing here.”
I don’t think this is what Paul is teaching. I think you are either unaware, misinterpreting or misrepresenting the Old Testament teaching. In an agricultural, patriarchal culture, the wife was provided for by the land the husband owned and the crops they harvested. Women who were widowed, put away or single were generally unable to provide for themselves and had to beg or seek sustenance elsewhere. There are hints of this here and there. For example, it was horrible for Naomi to have lost her husband AND her sons. Ruth took the role of Naomi’s son by gleaning (Israelite welfare) so she could provide for Naomi. The Sidonian widow during a drought had no means to provide for herself. In fact, when Jesus was on the cross, he provided John as a substitute for his care of his mother Mary. Paul also recognizes this when he instructs the widows – if they are young, they should remarry. If they have family, the family should provide for them. If there is no other means for them to find sustenance, then and only then should the church provide.
So, marriage in that society was how women were provided for. That is why “putting away” was so horrible. Not only did the Pharisee refuse to financially provide for her, she was also not free to remarry. It was essentially a death penalty.
If Paul is really teaching that remarriage is forbidden, then the entire Gospel is suspect. God “divorced” Israel and created a new covenant with the Gentiles. As God says in Jeremiah, “If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the Lord.” and “She [Judah] saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce.”
In the same way, you can’t with the same mouth say that Paul’s teaching about divorce is “absolute” and then say that we should ignore his rule that young men and women shouldn’t get married unless they lack self-control. That IS what he said.
“that drive a coach and horses through the sayings of Jesus”
Jesus was all about protecting the weak in society. Women were considered worthless, children were considered worthless, lepers were considered worthless, the physically and mentally disabled were considered worthless, yet Jesus treated these people with the utmost care, concern and respect.
The “sayings of Jesus” were about flipping our society’s value equation upside-down. Jesus used hyperbole and other rhetorical devices that we understand to be just that to make his point. Is the man who calls his brother a “fool” only guilty enough to stand before the high priest, or is he guilty enough to go to Hell? Why do we understanding that as hyperbole and said for effect and then take Jesus’s teaching on divorce in the midst of much hyperbole to be direct and literal?
Jesus’s teaching on divorce was specifically about restoring the worth of the woman. He was condemning the Pharisees for treating last year’s wife like trash to marry the next year’s model, while maintaining the air of holiness. He wasn’t waving away all the Old Testament protections for abused, mistreated and neglected wives.
I would be very, very, very surprised if Jesus’s point in teaching against the abuse of women was intended to be the basis for… wait for it… further abuse of women. If it was for the hardness of the men’s heart (read sinful abuse and neglect) that God granted divorce (as a protection against said abuse and neglect), then how can you say that you have the correct interpretation of scripture when… wait for it… it furthers abuse against women.
And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
Carmen – I think you have unwittingly perhaps put your finger on the problem. The 2000 year old book (its age has no bearing on whether it is true or not) instructs husbands to love, cherish, nourish and consider their wives. If this were lived out, abuse would stop overnight.
You said sensible people should look to their own interests. But that is the modern (and not so modern) problem, looking to your own interests. A biblical marriage means each spouse has to look at the interests of the other, take these into account 24/7 until death do you part. It’s a specific application of loving your neighbour as yourself, and the apostle Paul especially directs the attention of husbands to this. I wonder why that might be!
The permanency of marriage is not intended to trap women with an abusive husband, but rather to give security to both husband and wife, the latter in particular imo, and any children they may have. A bonus is it prevents the spread of disease. Easy divorce on the other hand is enormousy destructive.
We are living in a society that doesn’t even know what a man or a woman is. Intellectually confused. The NT was written against the background of the greatest intellectual civilisation the world has ever known, the Greeks, yet when it came to the idea of God, they never got beyond agnosticism, an unknown God, their thinking was skewed into worshipping statues. The sheep and goat herders might actually have got it right! 🙂
KAS, yes, BUT… We can’t say “if this were a perfect world, then… therefore do this.”
We put locks on our doors. If this were a perfect world, we would not need locks. We have an army. If this were a perfect world, we would not need an army. We have police. If this were a perfect world, we would not have police.
In a perfect world, we would have permanent marriage.
But, then sin entered the world and we have spousal abuse, we have adultery, we have broken genes that give us physical characteristics that look like one sex and brains that make us think the other. We have broken genes that give people a vagina with testes instead of ovaries.
At the same time, we have have people that say, ‘this is the way it was meant to be, therefore we should force people into this mold.’ We have people who want to ignore the physical reality of sin and force people into the perfect created order.
But, also, we as a society do not struggle with the exact same sin issues that 1st century Christians did. We don’t have “putting away” in the United States. We have laws that protect the rights of divorced women. However, what we don’t have so much is laws that protect married women. So, we have churches that allow emotional and financial abuse of spouses. We have domestic violence laws, but poor understanding on how to enforce them. We have churches that send abused women back to their abusers. But… we try to read the letters that Paul wrote to a 1st century church that was struggling with 1st century issues, as if they are a policy manual for a 21st century church. No surprise that the commands and rules Paul gives to the 1st century Corinthian church doesn’t apply so much to the 21st century American church.
The Earth is pretty old too. Really really old. The Earth was just for goat and sheep herders too. Guess the Earth really doesn’t apply to us anymore either?
Let’s diagram the logic
The Earth is lots of years old.
The Earth was originally only for sheep herders and hunter gathers
Therefore because the Earth is so VERY old and was originally for sheep herders, it has no application to our lives today. 🙂
Comment from Lori which has been deleted from FB:
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I was always confused about Jesus’ words in the book of Matthew. Listening to preachers’ explanations didn’t clear up anything. I wondered why Jesus’ words were so confusing and why he didn’t say it in simple understandable words. Then I read about it and found out he did. Everything became so clear to me. His words have been mistranslated in English. People have been kept in bondage due to mistranslation.
This is the link: http://www.totalhealth.bz/divorce-and-remarriage-putting-away.htm Plus this one too: http://www.totalhealth.bz/divorce-and-remarriage-truth-1.htm
Regarding the marriage “permanence” view… I don’t see how this kind of legalism should have any theological importance, given the fact that Jesus Christ does not view marriage as permanent. T
The Sadducees tried to trap Jesus by posing a ridiculous scenario about marriage laws and customs. Jesus basically wipes them all out with this:
Matthew 22:29-30 (NIV)
29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
Marriage is an earthly covenant between two human beings. People enter into marriage because they believe it will be a helpful and nurturing partnership. If one spouse is destructive, adulterous and/or abusive, why can’t the aggrieved spouse get a divorce? According to Jesus, marriage has no bearing on our eternal life to come… so why do the legalists keep pounding folks with this false religious doctrine of permanence? Just my 2 cents.
Mark, this is the only answer these types have for women. Men should be more loving and then everything would work fine.
Oh, what’s that you tell me? You have women being murdered by spouses ever day? Oh well. Christianity is hard.
Lord save me from that ish!
I have been searching many verses in the Bible (what the Bible says about divorce) and still searching to see if physical abuse is comparable to abandoning vows by the abuser.
If any future husband hurt my daughter, I would be supportive of my daughter if she chose to seperate. A clear solution would be getting a restraining order for separation for her and the kids safety.
However, Lori Alexander is merely expressing her interpretation of what the Bible allows for grounds for divorce.
I’m still searching about abandonment of vows which clearly physical abuse is,, at least in my views.
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@ David w
Would you support your daughter if she chose to divorce the man who is abusing her?
Yes I would support any daughter if she divorced, in truth I’d have a harder time accepting her decision if she stayed with him and the abuse continued.
However, this is suppose to be a Christian Blog where contributors should be using scripture to back up what they are writing about. (whether they agree or disagree with a person’s view, liberal or conservative)
This is an important topic, and the author of this post has given me reason to dig deep enough into scriptures in search of where it says that physical and mental abuse is grounds for divorce including Neglect and Abandonment as a reason.
In the New Testament, God tells husbands that they are to care for their wives just as the husband would care for himself. Check out Eph. 5:21-29.
Isn’t that just it, David? Lori uses the same book to justify her position. The Bible says a lot of things, things which we know are not true. (You know, like the earth is flat, that it rests on pillars, etc. That it’s peachy to keep slaves. . .and on and on).
Which is why I advocate for women – in particular (because the Bible was written by and for men) – to seek advice/support from their own good sense, intuition, and infinite capacity for possibilities. – – you know, use their brains and ambition to help themselves .
Ephesians 5 is clear that the man is suppose to love his wife as much as Christ love the church, he is suppose to love his wife as much as himself. When he is assaulting his wife that is a clear violation of vows. As he isn’t embracing that they are one.
I read Lori’s article, she is an advocate for marriage healing not a woman getting physically abused. From what I read in Lori’s article she isn’t advocating a woman to go back in an unsafe environment.
I think I have discovered enough verses after the Gospel was written to justify divorce in order to remain safe.
What I’m suggesting is when the author of this article disputes Lori’s biblical reasoning of her views, it might be nice to see some bible verses.
If the current contest of the Bible were written by a woman, would your feelings of the bible having untruths be same. What is to say a woman wouldn’t dictate God’s word the same as a man?
I don’t minimize the magnitude of how strong you might feel about the bible being a sexist manual favoring men over the woman. Maybe that is because of the toxic chauvinist treatment of women from men who self-profess themselves as Christian while ignoring Ephesians 5.
This is suppose to be a Christian site, Julieanne professes to be a Christian so she must believe the bible an authentic guide, Typically Christian don’t pick and choose what is wrong and right in scriptures. Now how one interprets the verses in the Bible, certainly differs.
I know this thread is open to both Christian or non-Christian. I’m sure there are Christians that feel the same about the bible as you. But it is far easier for non-Christians to proclaim the bible as untrue. Whether it was written by a man (or a woman) inspired from God’s instruction.
This thread makes Lori look like she wants to enable the abuser at the expense of the wife to stay in a marriage and continue to be beaten,
From my research in the Bible the earth is round. If you don’t want to read all the references maybe read the first verse and short paragraph below.
He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end” (Job 26:10).
This observation by Job contains a significant scientific insight, refuting the frequent charge by skeptics that the Bible says that the earth is flat, with four corners. The Bible teaches no such thing—quite the opposite, in fact. Columbus did not sail west to prove that the earth was round; he already knew that, and so did many others long before Columbus.
As far as the Bible is concerned, the word “compassed” in our text is the Hebrew khug, meaning “circle,” or even “sphere.” It is so translated in Isaiah 40:22; “It is [God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” Viewed from any point in space, the earth would appear simply as a great circle, with its spherical shape projected on a plane.
The word is translated “circuit” in Job 22:14, where Eliphaz said that “[God] walketh in the circuit of heaven.” The ancients assumed the starry heavens to be a great celestial sphere, rotating daily around the earth (so do modern surveyors and navigators as they use the stars in practical astronomy today). It is obvious that such a “circuit” at least suggests a spherical earth.
In Proverbs 8:27, the divine Wisdom (actually God Himself in the person of His Son) is saying: “When [God] prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the [deep].” Both here and in our text, the “compass” refers to sea level, projecting as a circular horizon, at the same elevation all around the globe. The great circle through the earth’s center marks the boundary between day and night, where “day” and “night” each gives way to the other, again implying a spherical, rotating earth.
Mark – I think trying to ascertain the grounds for divorce is the wrong place to start. In his discussion with the Pharisees, Jesus overrode the OT Mosaic law concession and went back to Genesis and God’s original intention for, and definition of marriage. A man and a woman become one flesh – a unity, a new kinship. Once the minister has proclaimed you man and wife and you have signed on the dotted line before witnesses, your wife is your next of kin.
You have voluntarily vowed before God to stay faithfully together for the rest of your lives.
Your former next of kin – parents and siblings – are still kin, and no law could ever be introduced that could change this. It’s in some sense eternal – my dad is still my dad even though now with the Lord. Similarly with marriage, except that this status of kinship is for this life only, and ends with death. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
If a man commits adultery against his wife, she remains his next of kin. If he divorces her, in God’s eyes she remains his next of kin, even though humanly speaking the marriage has ended. This is why all remarriage after divorce is adultery, and Jesus reintroduces God’s original intent for his followers by prohibiting them from divorcing, What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Remarriage after divorce is adultery because the kinship still exists. Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. (Judicial separation is not the point here.)
The disciples baulked at this – ‘better not get married then’.
You then get the ‘exception’ clause in Matthew’s gospel, where divorce is permitted for immorality, and later Paul’s exemption where an unbeliever wants to leave a believer. Vast discussion of this amongst evangelicals, too much of it trying to find ‘grounds’ for divorce that would allow for remarriage, i.e. focused on the exception rather than the rule.
Lori is right here to uphold a high view of marriage, and right that physical separation may be essential in cases of violence and abuse. Maybe divorce is ultimately necessary, but in this case Paul says but if she does [divorce], let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband.
You don’t need to tell me how hard this is to modern ears, though previous generations largely took it for granted. Who would want to be a pastor having to deal with the mess people get themselves into in the modern West, trying to be both faithful and compassionate.
David said, “What is to say a woman wouldn’t dictate God’s word the same as a man?”
I think if a woman like Carmen had written the bible she would have put in the Ten Commandments: thou shall not rape.
Of course, if a woman like Lori had written the bible she would leave it out because putting (thou shall not rape) would help women and offend misogynistic men. And Lori is never about helping women and always about not offending misogynistic men.
The New Testament has many Bible verses telling women to be submissive to their husbands and none telling men not to RAPE. It is obvious the Bible was written by selfish misogynistic pro-slavery men.
If God hates rape which the Bible never says he does maybe he is okay with a woman divorcing her abusive husband which the bible doesn’t say he does.
One of my great grandmothers thought a girl should marry her rapist; she got this idea from the Bible.
In my experience the Bible is a handbook for wife-beating, child- raping men that know a woman who has not been brainwashed and has her own money will tell him she does not want to have sex with him ever again, stay married to him, or have children with him.
As a woman, I would never want a man having sex with me against his will, be married to me against his will, or have children with me against his will.
I would NEVER want my husband to be or feel that he has to be submissive to me because I would not want to use and treat him to like a dog or a child slave.
The women in my family were submissive to their husbands. They had lives like child sex slaves; they could not say NO to anything, and they were treated like dogs. They can thank the Bible for that.
This is not really true. Everybody picks and chooses whether they admit it or not.
Anyways, I believe the intent of scripture is pretty clear that marriage is not supposed to be a husband abusing his wife and her being stuck there for eternity. If people chose not to see it because they need a verse that says you don’t have to stay with a man you think might murder you, that’s nonsense imo.
I’m not looking for a proof text for something that is common sense. In some ways this is a letter/spirit of the law conversation. The spirit is clear. I’m going with the spirit.
Christianity hurts – both rape and kidnapping to enslave a Hebrew in the OT carried the death penalty. Hence it can hardly be claimed that the bible and its God endorse either. I looked into the slavery issue in great detail a while back, as one of my daughters kept encountering this stock objection to the bible. It was heavily regulated to ensure as much fair treatment as possible.
The old testament kept sex for marriage only, and this carries over into the new testament. That is the only place it is morally right, so this excludes everything else, including rape. There doesn’t need to be a separate command not to rape, and of course there isn’t one as you say. What the NT tells husbands to do in how to treat their wives rules this out absolutely. It is the precise opposite of misogyny.
I might add the disapproval of slavery carries on into the NT, it is considered wrong, against sound doctrine.
In fairness, there are some verses that atheists I have discussed this with quote that do appear on the surface to condone slavery, and of course the objection ‘a victim must marry her rapist’. More reading on the background and linguistic use sheds much necessary light on this, but no atheist I’ve encountered seems willing to do this, they largely repeat stock objections from hostile web sites (sceptics annotated, evil bible etc.). They think the bible was written in verses that are self-contained units, and so ignore the context in which something is said with disastrous consequences for understanding it. Mind you, they aren’t alone in that!
KAS – “In his discussion with the Pharisees, Jesus overrode the OT Mosaic law concession and went back to Genesis and God’s original intention for, and definition of marriage.”
No, he didn’t. He explained the purpose of marriage, and how they were abusing the purpose of marriage by not only violating the original intent, but also Moses’ concession.
As I said before, we can’t live in the fairy-tale world of a sinless universe. Paul said beware of wolves. Don’t even eat with them. Is that a command based in fairy-tale utopia, or reality?
What is Jesus doing, then? He is pointing to the created order and explaining why the law had to be created (hardness of hearts). In a perfect world, there would be no death, so no reason for Paul to explain what happens to marriage at death. There would be no disbelief, so no reason to explain what happens when there is an unbelieving spouse.
But, these are not “rules and exceptions” – this is an exposition of how law is to be understood. Law is created to protect the innocent parties. To protect the weak and powerless. And that is what you miss. Your response puts the wife back into a relationship where she is abused, demeaned and treated unfaithfully. Jesus points to the OT saying – I desire mercy and not sacrifice. We don’t believe in a God who will throw the weak and the powerless under the bus due to the “rules”. We have a God whose “rules” have a precedence of protecting the weak. David broke the “rules” by eating the showbread, yet Jesus praised him for understanding the heart of God. David knew that God’s provision was more important than the ceremonial laws.
“hostile web sites (sceptics annotated, evil bible etc.).”
I get my opinions from the Bible itself.
Can you quote the Bible verses that condemn slavery and rape? The way it does homosexuality.
Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
Why can’t the Bible call rape and slavery an abomination?
“There doesn’t need to be a separate command not to rape” It is scary that you would say that. As someone who was raped, I will say there does need to be a commandment not to rape. This would be a very sweet loving Commandment.
Gods favorite men were always having sex with other women that were not their wives.
Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Leviticus 11:9-12 King James Version (KJV)
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
If the Bible can plainly call shrimp and homosexuality an abomination why cant it call slavery and rape an abomination?
If you can ignore and changes these Bible verses why cant women ignore and change the wife submission Bible verses?
The Bible says that Lot begged men to gang rape his daughters. Later in the Bible Peter calls pro gang rape Lot righteous.
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
And he rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless.
Apparently arranging gang rape of your own young daughters is Godly and lawful.
I noticed you isolated one of my quotes “Typically Christian don’t pick and choose what is wrong and right in scriptures.” but didn’t isolate my qualifying quote “Now how one interprets the verses in the Bible, certainly differs.”
“The Bible says that Lot begged men to gang rape his daughters. Later in the Bible Peter calls pro gang rape Lot righteous.”
I think this is a bad hermeneutic. The Bible sometimes calls out sin for sin and sometimes we are left with an historical account without commentary. For example, the Bible calls David a man after God’s own heart, yet Nathan calls out David for his sin and David is punished, yet Jesus and others in the New Testament use David as an example of righteousness. Calling someone “righteous” is not one and the same in calling that person perfect. For example, the patriarchs are held in high regard, yet each one of them had their sins pointed out.
Lot was weighing his options. For him, protecting these visitors he had welcomed into his home was more important than protecting his daughters. He did not see any other way out. God provided that way out miraculously.
For the OT quotes, we have to understand that sanctification is a process that slowly and steadily progresses towards righteousness. We don’t expect a 2-year-old to behave like an adult, and we don’t expect a 1st century Christian to behave like a 20th century Christian. I think there have been dark times here and there, but overall, things are improving. We simply couldn’t have had a #metoo discussion 50 years ago. We couldn’t talk about marital rape 50 years ago.
In the same way, I think the OT represents God looking at a completely greedy, oppressive and backwards culture and trying to start the ball rolling towards true freedom. So, we can look at something like “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.” and see it as horrible, but back then, the slave owner (as slave owners in the South did!) treat that daughter as a sex slave, and then after six years put her back into society as someone who was “untouchable”. Instead, the Bible commands the slave owner to treat her well, essentially as the wife she is.
I think the problem you are seeing in modern Evangelical Christianity is that somehow they long for those oppressive OT days, and they use the OT language not to see grace and sanctification, but to try and return to that oppressive and degrading culture, but that just isn’t the message we should be getting. Jesus was not kind to the Pharisees that were using the OT “rules” to further their abusive and degrading agenda, just as he may not be kind to the likes of KAS and Lori who use the “rules” to send wives back to abusive husbands.
Hi Christianity hurts,
I noticed you also isolated one of my quotes
“What is to say a woman wouldn’t dictate God’s word the same as a man?”
Then you responded:
“I think if a woman like Carmen had written the bible she would have put in the Ten Commandments: thou shall not rape. Of course, if a woman like Lori had written the bible she would leave it out”
It is clear in the Bible that God condemns Rape and Abuse and it is clear to me that Carmen and Lori also condemns Rape and Abuse.
If Carmen or Lori were to write the Bible inspired and under the guidance by God, the words wouldn’t change.
First of all, this is suppose to be a Christian inspired site, I made that comment because of quotes made by Carmen about men and the bible, that were sexist and seemed as if she is purposely ignoring what scriptures says about abuse/divorce.
Keep in mind, I have endured extreme Spiritual Abuse at the hands of a Hyper-Calvinist that preached like Fred Phelps of Westboro. He secretly stayed within the narrow perimeters of TULIP instead using the Bible as a whole, which punches a lot of holes in TULIP which is law based like the Pharisees who used their authority to judge the sinners into Condemnation, whereas Christ rebuked the Pharisees for misrepresenting what the OT says in order to hold sinners captive.
Carmen’s distrust of scriptures expanded even went further, as to suggest the Bible says the earth is flat. There are many that may interpret 4 corners of the earth differently. Being a seaman, 4 corners could mean (among others) N, E, S and W on the compass. (not the earth being flat)
If this thread doesn’t want to use scriptures (and there are plenty) to question how Lori makes her biblical conclusions, then how can this be a Christian Based site?
Actually, David, that’s not how I understand this site. Certainly Julie Anne is a Christian, and so are quite a few of the commenters. But it’s not primarily a “Christian site”. As far as I can tell, the focus here is on abuse — mostly spiritual abuse, though other kinds are discussed as well. JA and other believers will often talk about how spiritual abuse is contrary to the Spirit of Christ, but non-Christian have their own views on the subject, and they need to be heard as well, particularly since many of them have been targets of such abuse themselves.
Please remember, David, that you’re a guest here, just like the rest of us. Don’t try to dictate to Carmen or to Christianity Hurts what this blog’s purpose is. That’s for Julie Anne to decide.
Why does it have to be scripture, David? I agree with Lea on this. Even as a believer myself, I see no need to employ Bible bullets when common sense and simple human decency will do to make a point.
You might not have as much experience with Lori Alexander as the rest of us. Considering all of the warped and harmful views espoused in her book, and her habit of actively deleting comments with information to help battered spouses, it’s not such a stretch that she’d be that callous.
David, “Carmen’s distrust of scriptures expanded even went further, as to suggest the Bible says the earth is flat.”
I think her distrust of scriptures is well-founded. There are a lot (perhaps the majority) that look at scripture as a set of do’s and don’t’s. I was one of them. I thought that no matter how backwards and insensitive scripture looked – it was something we had to blindly obey because regardless of our own understanding, God’s way is best.
Then I started realizing that the problem Jesus had with the Pharisees was not “works-based righteousness” as Calvinists like to claim, but an entire misunderstanding of God’s will and the purpose of the law – in fact, the same misunderstanding I had. I was a VICTIM of that misunderstanding, and I was abused by men who held that same understanding.
The question I have for you is… why does a “Christian” understanding of scripture make the powerful more powerful and the weak more weak? The Pharisees were POWERFUL and rich religious leaders, just like our mega-church pastors are today. The Pharisees used their interpretation of scripture to collect money, power and honor to themselves, just like our mega-church pastors today. The Pharisees created a culture of legalism that victimized the poor and powerless of our society as unrighteous sinners, just like our mega-church pastors today. The Pharisees paid lip-service to helping the poor and oppressed, by calling attention to their works, while they perpetuated a culture where the poor and oppressed remained poor and oppressed, just like our mega-church pastors today. And, the truth is, it’s not just the mega-church pastors. The disciples and apostles found the same oppression and legalism in synagogue after synagogue as they tried to preach the gospel.
David, “This thread makes Lori look like she wants to enable the abuser at the expense of the wife to stay in a marriage and continue to be beaten.”
Yes, and we are using Lori’s own words to make our case. For example:
Says Lori: “We are called to forgive 70 x 7 times”
“Love… bears all things… endures all things…”
This is in response to a question of whether divorce is appropriate for abuse. So, what she is saying is the wife has to forgive the abuse, and the wife has to endure the abuse.
I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say this isn’t what she means to say, but she is a published author and a conference speaker. She understands that there are many women who are listening to and following her, and that the words she chooses and how she makes her arguments are critically important. That strongly suggests to me that what she believes is that a battered wife must forgive her batterer and she must submit to that battery – or she is unloving.
You wrote: “I think the problem you are seeing in modern Evangelical Christianity is that somehow they long for those oppressive OT days, and they use the OT language not to see grace and sanctification, but to try and return to that oppressive and degrading culture, but that just isn’t the message we should be getting. Jesus was not kind to the Pharisees that were using the OT “rules” to further their abusive and degrading agenda, just as he may not be kind to the likes of KAS and Lori who use the “rules” to send wives back to abusive husbands.”
I agree that certain theologies like Hyper-Calvinism, is law and sin center based and can imprison the minds of their victims (congregations) comparable to what the Pharisees did.
I don’t see Lori is advocating battered wives to go back into a marriage if she thinks they are going to get their brains knocked out. She is advocating if all possible marriage healing and reconciliation and trying to stay within the perimeters of how she is interpreting scripture.
A better way for me to say this, Lori isn’t going to stay in a the same house if her husband was beating her.
Mark – just as he [Jesus] may not be kind to the likes of KAS and Lori who use the “rules” to send wives back to abusive husbands.
What KAS actually said:
“It seems to me that pastors who rightly want to preserve marriage have been making a catastrophic mistake in assuming they must keep spouses under the same roof come what may in order to achieve this. It may well be when abuse comes to light that the very first thing to do is to get the wife and any children away from the abusing husband for their safety. Physical separation.
At a recent seminar I attended on the subject abuse in the church the speaker said that churches are now waking up to the fact that physical separation may be essential for a victim’s safety.
The permanency of marriage is not intended to trap women with an abusive husband, but rather to give security to both husband and wife,
Lori is right here to uphold a high view of marriage, and right that physical separation may be essential in cases of violence and abuse.”
Can you really not see the difference between arguing for the permanence of marriage as Christ himself reintroduced it (we are not under the law of Moses) and saying that this means an abused woman must stay with her husband, live together, come what may?
What do we do with the absolute statements of Jesus who did not speak with the contemporary culture and practice in mind, but went right back to the beginning before there was a culture?
That is because that is the one I wanted to call out.
People do pick and choose. Call it interpretation if you like, but if you do then admit that the preceding thought is useless.
BTW, there are a truckload of inaccuracies and inconsistencies in KAS’s comment. Slavery was clearly allowed in the OT, and it was not at all a one man/one woman rule, there was polygamy and concubines and slaves. Let’s deal honestly with that.
Ya’ll. The NT is not a lawbook. It is a series of stories and pieces of letters to various people giving advice. It is useless to treat it as if it will legally cover every possible scenario. That is nonsense and harmful at that.
This is how things worked in that time period. It is completely fair for a modern to point out that that was MONSTROUS. As was throwing the slave woman out to be gang raped to death in another story. There is a lot of sick stuff in the bible that we don’t want to happen today and would rightly call out as evil.
I have to admit, I’m dealing with a hateful spirit over spiritual abuse and working with those with a criminal mentality. But also to those who mistreated my wife and those that have taken advantaged of her gentle spirit..
When Lori proclaims to forgive and to love, it doesn’t mean she is telling the woman to go back to her husband and continue to take beatings.
What we should be doing, is to dig deeper in what qualifies for Divorce and or Separation. Lori may be having a difficult time in discovering scripture of a wife’s life being in danger as a qualifier to Divorce, but I don’t think she has a problem of separating.
I don’t see what is wrong with Lori proclaiming scripture “We are called to forgive 70 x 7 times” “Love… bears all things… endures all things…”
It is a true to the word of God and again Lori isn’t against separation when the wife is in danger and abuse is putting the wife’s life in danger.
Abuse is breaking the marriage vow, in my view with certain passages in the Bible, are grounds for divorce It wouldn’t surprise me that most that abuse their wives are also cheating on them, a cause for Divorce.
The truth is, we could use scripture all day long.
It would say things like “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Or “8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Or “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
But the proof texters wouldn’t listen because he didn’t specifically say ‘if your husband is beating you into a pulp every night you are welcome to divorce him’ in those exact words. So quoting bible verses in this context is useless.
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I see more non-Christians that typically pick and choose what is right and wrong in their view of the Bible,, not so much with Christians doing it.
What I do see happening is different theologies that are based on their own interpretation of the Bible.
Now there are those who dispute having multiple translations. Especially those that advocate a hard line for King James Version (an old English Version that for many hard to read) as being the only true translation. They don’t even like the New King James Version.
What is the second thing???
The answer is ‘go back’. Whether it is after 6 weeks, months, or years. That’s the only answer they have. That’s where a ‘marriage permanence’ view always leads.
This discussion can be had anywhere, so why have a discussion on biblical grounds for divorce on a supposed Christian site, when the motivation is either find holes in the bible or dismiss what the bible says.
I did not know that most involved in this discussion wasn’t going to involve biblical justification for Divorce and Separation.
Which I believe there is with Abuse.
Well David, are you saying that ‘non-Christians’ care what the bible says about morality, or are you judging who is Christian or not based on their interpretations?
Or are you griping about Carmen, who isn’t a Christian, or CH, who has a valid reason to be angry at the misuse of the bible by people who would spit verses at her like knives?
Now you’re judging motivations?
You are missing the whole point. I hope one day you understand.
I’m not judging motivations, I’m exposing them.
You think so, do you?
Men like you always think they know so much, when you make it clear at every turn that don’t understand a thing.
I’m not putting words in your mouth, so please don’t try and suggest that I’m doing the same.
I’m not judging you or anyone here. Carmen did not proclaim to me that she is or isn’t a Christian. What I do believe in her words, is she has endured abuse beyond what I can measure.
I have responded to some push back regarding the contents of the bible which she disputes that were written by men, earth being flat,
And I have not been rude.
This is suppose to be a Christian based site.
You’re just ‘exposing’ people’s motivations? But not judging.
Does ‘Christian based’ mean we can’t have an honest conversation? If you’re looking for the kind of Christian site where everybody will just let you tell them what to think, you’re in wrong the place.
Men like me?
I grew up the eldest child of a single mom who endured a lot of abuse. I married a woman who endured a lot of abuse.
You are making judgments about people’s motivations.
Abuse is a terrible thing, if you have experience with it you should understand, instead of judge the reasons for other people’s views on scripture.
Yes, “Men like me?”
I never thought or would think to suggest about having a discussion about the biblical grounds for divorce and say “Women like you” as it would make me sexist. Something I hope this site doesn’t condone, but maybe it does but in reverse.
I place value in people on this site. But it seems as if I question or am seeking interpretation of scriptures on abuse and divorce and want to include the bible into the conversation, is the wrong thing to do.
When I go into a Christian site, I have made the assumption that I can openly base my comments on what the bible says, not knowing there are those in this site that don’t embrace the bible.
Or even send verses of the bible that dispute the argument that the bible says the earth if flat, then I can tell that my views aren’t welcomed and being judgmental.
It seems I’m the one being judged.
You sound very put upon, David. And yet, you have openly judged people’s motivations and then whined about being judged! You have been answered regarding scriptures and you accuse people of not being Christian enough on this Christian site, because they don’t like proof texting. People explain their perspectives, you ignore. Honestly, this feels like game playing and I dislike such games.
I said men like yourself, because you are a man and I have heard such arguments before. I have heard entirely too many men come along and play lawyer with bible verses, which they know will never affect them precisely because they are a man. That is the only reason sex is relevant here. It would be nice if that were not true, but it is.
Serving Kids in Japan is a man, and his perspective is entirely different. This is not about ‘sexism’. What nonsense.
I have stated that I believe there are bible verses that allows a battered woman to separate. If talking about referencing the bible in a Christian site sounds like “lawyer’s” talk to you, then I know I am way over my head.
I’ve had biblical discussions from both men and women, with your point of view of not desiring to reference the bible it is unclear to me where you are coming from) and I have had discussions with both men and women who like to reference the bible. We never insulted one another by saying “men like you” or “women like you” and go on to suggest “you think you know everything, but you don’t understand a thing”.
Me wanting to pursue bible verses from others on a Christian like this, is an indication that I’m looking for some references from others that know more than I do.
Again, there is no way, I would say or think a “woman like you” (or anywhere in this politically correct environment we live in) in a site where there are battered woman by mean chauvinistic men with distorted interpretations of scripture to justify their actions.
For you to reference a “man like me”, is off topic, unless you don’t mind being referred as a “women like you” in some toxic stereotypical way if a man is trying to belittle your intelligence instead of having an articulate discussion.
You look like you have a beef with me. You appear to be intelligent and generally I like talking to intelligent people, man, woman, liberal, conservative, doesn’t matter.
But if you are purposely not wanting to reference scripture back and forth a little in a Christian site on an important topic like Physical Abuse and Divorce and then stereotype me in retaliation, then what is the point of all this?
It is unclear to me where you are coming from other than you appear to have taken a disliking to me.
Lea – there are a truckload of inaccuracies and inconsistencies in KAS’s comment. Slavery was clearly allowed in the OT, and it was not at all a one man/one woman rule, there was polygamy and concubines and slaves. Let’s deal honestly with that.
Yes let’s. I’m not going to keep doing this, but KAS actually said It [slavery] was heavily regulated to ensure as much fair treatment as possible. If it was regulated, then it existed. But it was never promoted as a good thing if that’s what you mean by ‘allowed’, even if expedience sometimes made it necessary.
Yes, there was polygamy and concubines in the OT, but from the beginning it was not so. These departures from the creation order if you like, together with divorce that Jesus specifically refers to, being a human invention, were tolerated in the OT but never had divine sanction as far as I can see.
What happened in the OT is now obsolete, as Jesus has given clear instructions to his disciples for the whole of the church age regarding monogamous marriage and its intended permanence. There is no more toleration for departures from Genesis 2.
I agree with you that the NT can be treated as a law book, especially in the area of divorce and remarriage, and it shouldn’t be. That said, this is usually less the case than modern evangelicals are trying to find ways round actually obeying what Jesus said in the gospels and later through his apostles. Obedience isn’t legalism.
I’m not feeling “put upon”, just a little puzzled as to where you are coming from. I have pretty much explained my desire to reference bible verses when it comes to Abuse and Separation and Divorce, which I think there is.
I realized too late, that there are visitors and contributors in this Christian that do not want to do that and criticize those that do.
I’m sorry I found this site, with exception of expanding my biblical knowledge referencing actual bible verses that condemn abuse.
I wish you all the best.
“Lot was weighing his options. For him, protecting these visitors he had welcomed into his home was more important than protecting his daughters. He did not see any other way out. God provided that way out miraculously.”
I like and respect you, but this is a bad excuse. Nothing is eviler than trying to arrange the rape of your daughters. God turns the mother to dust for looking back at the home she raised her daughters in. As if that is worse then trying to arrange the rape of your daughters. Wouldn’t most men say kill us all? We will die before you rape my daughters?
“So, we can look at something like “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.” and see it as horrible, but back then, the slave owner (as slave owners in the South did!) treat that daughter as a sex slave, and then after six years put her back into society as someone who was “untouchable”. ”
God is always telling people what they can and cannot do. He unleashes his wrath on them when they do things he does not like. He could easily tell them if he hated it; not to rape or have slaves. And not to treat rape victims like dirt.
One of my great-aunts is the only person in my family who hates rape almost as much as I do. She is a devout Christian and has many good reasons in her opinion for the horrible things the bible says about women and rape. But, they are not good reasons and good excuses to some people who were actually raped as children and raised in Christianity.
God could have emphatically condemned rape and rapist from start to finish. He could have told the Jews to embrace empathy for rape victims. He was telling them all kinds of other absurd stuff. He never did.
None of these excuses are logical considering how powerful and smart God supposedly is. I read the Bible over and over as a teenager desperate to find that God hates rapist and loves women. I never found such needed Bible verses.
“If this thread doesn’t want to use scriptures (and there are plenty) to question how Lori makes her biblical conclusions, then how can this be a Christian Based site?”
This is a Christian based site. Julie Anne is a Christian that has made it abundantly clear she hates wife beating, child rape, and misogyny. She lets survivors who were spiritually abused come here and tell their stories about the abuse they received. Some of these survivors have stopped believing in God because of the abuse.
Julie Anne cares enough about these people and is confident enough in her faith to allow these atheists (former Christians) tell their stories.
You can quote scripture all you want.
I was born and raised in conservative Christianity and have become an atheist because of Christian misogyny. I come to this site to worn any good people listening that little girls are living in misery because of the misogyny many conservative Christians peddle.
Most of the people who post here are Christians. They are thoughtful, compassionate, and loving. They also hate child rape, wife beating, child abuse, and misogyny.
Unlike the majority of the Christians I grew up with; the Christians here think, care, and listen. These are the best Christians I have ever known and I have two preachers in my huge family.
Lori Alexander is completely sadistic, sadomasochistic, and extremely misogynistic. She is no better than Allison Mack; they are both perverts that get a thrill out of women being slaves for men. Lori has the exact same fetishes and pet peeves as the man who repeatedly sexually abused me as a child. She is pure sick evil. Debi and Michael Pearl are her idols. They promote the most extream cruel child abuse, baby abuse!