The following is a transcription of a hand-written letter received by one of our blog followers, an abuse survivor. Abused by her abuser and, so typical, by her church as well. The letter was anonymous except of course to claim it is from a fellow Christian “who loves” the victim and her family, including her abuser. I will refer to the letter-writer as “her” because the writing looks to be by a female hand. Here you go. Note it is addressed to the victim AND the abuser. After all, you know, marriage “troubles” are ALWAYS 50-50 shared blame. (I have bold-faced terms in the letter which the writer underlined) –
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, (Proverbs 2:16)
And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. (1Kings 16:31)
God’s Word in Holy Scripture is pure, right, life-giving, and true. Whenever and wherever scripture is cited to support evil, we can be sure that its real teaching has been distorted. Verses such as the ones quoted above have been very frequently twisted to misrepresent the fundamental nature of women and I want to tell you how I (and most all of you) have personally seen these distortions played out among Christians.
There are many other emails that were avalanched onto Stephanie by her ex-pastor which also included some communications from the “biblical counselor.” All of them put the primary burden for “saving the marriage” on Stephanie rather than where it belonged, on her abuser.
Here is a copy of the letter informing Stephanie that she had been ex-communicated, “In Christ’s Love” as you notice it is signed off. The fact is that this is exactly where her ex-pastor and church had been headed in the entire process, though they would deny it. Stephanie refused to “get in line” and had to be taught a lesson as well as the rest of the women in the church.
It is with deep regret that I write this letter to inform you that ___________ Reformed Baptist Church voted unanimously to excommunicate you from the church according to the process in our church’s constitution and Matthew 18. This action was taken by the church after much prayer and private advisory consultation with other Pastors at sister churches outside of our congregation.
This action was taken because you refused to continue to receive counseling to save your marriage. Also, this includes your deliberate actions to pursue an unbiblical divorce and break your covenant vows that you made before God in the sight of witnesses.
This action has been taken out of deep concern and love for your soul. We will continue to pray for you and your husband that the Lord will grant you repentance and reconciliation with Christ, your husband, and this congregation.
In Christ Love,
So there you have it. This scenario is being played out in local churches every single day. Many of you have been through it yourselves.
Notice that this “pastor” insists that THE way to “save the marriage” is for people to submit to his “biblical counseling” routine. Notice also that he denies that abuse is grounds for a divorce and that when a person “signs on” to a marriage with vows, the “for better or worse” includes being bound to the abuse with no way of escape.
Finally, notice the lies. He says he and the church have a deep concern and love for her soul. That is a lie. They have NO concern for her. Just like an abusive cult, they are punishing her for refusing to bow to their oppression. “Let this be a lesson to anyone else thinking about going against the Pastor!” That is what is going on here.
Well, Stephanie, their “ex-communication” is not an excommunication from Christ. You are like the man in John 9 who Jesus healed and who was then put out of the Temple for confessing Christ. And then he found Jesus outside that Temple, just as you will.
Many blessings in Christ to you, Stephanie. May the Lord use your story here to His glory and may you keep experiencing more and more freedom from the evil that has been done to you.