Saturday, January 10, 2009

Church Sending Wrong Message To Victims of Abuse?

A few days ago a teaching Pastor Tom Holladay who is with Rick Warren's Saddleback Church publicized their views on domestic violence and marriage. It goes on to say the Bible only condones 2 reasons for divorce-adultery and abandonment.

Upon reading this my first thoughts were of Drew Peterson who clearly committed adultery during his 4 marriages and now is claiming that Stacy Peterson abandoned him so he will be seeking a divorce, because he's engaged. My guess is the next press release from his legal team of Marsmallow Roasters will include quotes from the Saddleback Church as sort of a right of passage to marry a fifth time. But first, he will have to have the title of "Suspect" removed from the Will County State's Attorney's office which is not happening anytime soon. Nor is marriage #5 in his future, unless of course it's behind a metal structure.

Back to the point. I respect everyone's opinion, but when a man of God interprets the lives of those who are likely to be killed and basically says to separate or leave, that is dangerous. Those who leave their violent relationships are more likely to be murdered when they leave their abusers. I am talking about women who are threatened with their lives by abusers on a daily basis. And when they leave, we read about on the Internet or with our morning coffee.

Women like my mother, murdered by my father. Or the thousands of others,vanished, murdered, buried, hidden by those who profess to love them. Women must have a clear plan that includes safety minus any guilt from religious organizations when they leave with their lives in one piece.

[Colossians 3:19] says.. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Divorce, is a premature terminating of a marriage, always involves sin of some kind, on the part of one and sometimes on the part of both marital partners. Each situation needs to be examined on its own. The two reasons that give a wronged spouse the freedom to declare a marriage over (publicly and legally) after a guilty partner has basically ended the marriage are (1) marital unfaithfulness and (2) malicious desertion. By "malicious" we mean a willful, unilateral, and permanent desertion.

Consider the following scenario: Suppose a husband physically abuses his wife. He has been encouraged to get help for his sinful behavior. Yet nothing changes and he continues to abuse or threaten to murder his wife and children. It may get to the point where she might divorce her husband, but in doing so she is not the one who violated the marriage bond. He did so through his sinful actions. This example does illustrate the biblical principle that when someone has violated the marriage bond through unfaithfulness or malicious desertion, the "innocent" party may obtain a divorce and not be guilty of violating God's guidelines regarding marriage and divorce.

If any man sins against you and beats you, you have no obligation to stay and allow him to continue to sin. So you would obey God and not stay and allow him to sin. You would leave and divorce him.
Here is a synopsis from Saddleback Church: "The Bible does not permit a woman to divorce a spouse who is abusing her."

In audio clips on his Saddleback Church website, the Purpose Driven
Life author says the Bible condones divorce for only two reasons --
adultery and abandonment.

"I wish there were a third in Scripture, having been involved as a
pastor with situations of abuse," Warren said. "There is something in
me that wishes there were a Bible verse that says, 'If they abuse you
in this-and-such kind of way, then you have a right to leave them.'"

Warren said his church's counseling ministry advises separation and
counseling instead of divorce in abusive marriages, because it's the
only path toward healing. "There's an abusive cycle that's been set
up," he said. "Separation combined with counseling has been proven to
provide healing in people's lives."

In the bible, John 3:16 says: for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten so, that whosoever believeth in him shall have ever lasting life. This is the most important verse in the entire bible. If you are a believer, and have accepted Christ into your heart, the kingdom of God awaits you.

And if you are in an abusive relationship, carefully plan, and get out. And remember, God will be with you, always !


Anonymous said...

My child is a Christian and she thought she was to keep turning her cheek. For 8 yrs she made that bad decision to stay and endure torture. Finally God rescued her and put her abuser was put behind bars. It's taken months of therapy to help her get over the thought she may have sinned by leaving him and protecting her life and the lives of her children.
You're not helping a batterer by forgiving him if he's not sorry. The laws and the punishment needs to be upheld for their good as well as the innocent victims good. Forgiveness is between him and God. He hasn't asked for forgiveness, he hasn't shown any remorse, he doesn't even think he did wrong. Why would I want to forgive him? That would only encourage his bad behavior.
That' s why I was glad to read outloud in court my child's victim's impact statement. He and his family have not heard the truth told to them very often. It was the most loving thing I could do. I put his sin in the son-light and now God will take care of the rest.
Very Good Post Susan!

Delilah said...

This message needs to get in front of a lot of women. God made man and woman in His image. I truly do not believe that the God I know would want to be seen as a beaten punching bag.

When it comes to a life or death situation, I don't believe that God expects a woman or a man to turn the other cheek and put themselves in harms way.

He says He will deliver us from evil. Evil is one who abuses the very mate that they took a vow to love.

Delilah said...

If you are a member at Facebook, I urge you to join this group and let your voices be heard. If not, use the email addresses and let the Obama camp know how you feel about his choice. Let's see if Obama is going to listen to "the people"! This issue could be a test for the future of the next 4 years.

Anti-gay pastor Rick Warren has been selected to give invocation at Obama inauguration. This is an utter nightmare and a total insult to the LGBT community and their straight allies.

There are few things you can do about this,

1. Call on President-elect Obama to restore our trust and take real action on equality!

2. Take action on the pick of Rick Warren for Obama’s invocation speech:

3. Send Obama a letter at and ask Rick Warren to be removed from the event!

4. Email Parag Mehta, Obama's LGBT liaison on the transition team at to express your concern.

5. Emmett Belivau is the Executive Director/CEO of the Inaugural Committee. Let him know your thoughts:

6. Have your voice to be heard and send emails to the members of Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, including

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Harry Reid

Sen. Bob Bennett

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Steny Hoyer

Rep. John Boehner

7. Post your letters on the discussion board. Let the whole world know why are you disappointed and outraged!

8. Ask your friends and family members to do the same.

Hannah said...

I listened to the audio, and Tom H. doesn't have clue I'm sorry! "Its NOT like you can escape the pain" as he said. In the audio about miserable marriages? According to him beating on a regular basis is domestic violence. He downplayed shoving for example.

The man needs an education.

Cherry: Forgiveness is NOT for the abuser. Its a release for you to let go of all the venom and contempt that weights on you. You can let go, and go on with life without this HUGE burden of hate to drag along with you. lol those who told you that it is for HIM - don't know what they are talking about. Forgiveness and repentance are two different things. Although I have seen TONS of parties attempt to say they are same.

Churches who have respect MORE for the covenant of marriage than those parties that are within the marriage need to read their bible more often. They clearly missed the part.

Saddleback needs to get some education on domestic violence before they get someone killed.

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