Does that headline sound like a National Enquirer exaggeration? I wish it were. I want to give you a summary here of “loving Christian counsel” that was recently given to a victim of 25 years of abuse. Intense, evil, destructive abuse directed against her and against her children. It is ongoing. She has decided to separate. And this is what her Christian “friends” are telling her. I will only summarize the points so as, alas, to protect the guilty (but I’m not sure why):
- John MacArthur and other prominent pastor/teachers say that God only allows divorce for adultery. (Actually, this individual misrepresents MacArthur, as MacArthur also allows divorce for literal desertion). But, no divorce for abuse of any kind.
- If you divorce your husband, it will have terrible consequences on your children.
- Your children are indeed being hurt now, but this is part of the suffering that Jesus has called you to.
- Our purpose as Christians is to suffer, to be crushed, to be brought to nothing.
- God has put you (the victim) in this place of abuse so that you can suffer for Him. It is your “crown” to endure.
- If you drop your cross at Christ’s feet and tell Him it is too hard, you will end in hell.
- You have a beautiful family and you need to stay there and preserve it.
I will leave the commenting to all of you. Maybe you could address, in your comments, just how this kind of terrible spiritual abuse could actually lead a suffering victim to kill herself. Is this person’s God the God of the Bible? Tell me what you think.
NOTE: There used to be an excellent related article by Steven Tracy entitled “Domestic Violence in the Church and Redemptive Suffering in 1 Peter”.