Episode: What the Bible Says about Abuse Within Marriage


Quick to Listen Logo
Subscribe
What the Bible Says about Abuse Within Marriage

Note: Malachi 2, ‘I hate divorce.’ Said by guest as 5:2, says “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect.” In 2000, Paige Patterson was asked about women who are abused by their husbands. Here’s what the now-president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary said: It depends on the level of abuse to some degree. I have never in my ministry counseled that anybody seek a divorce, and I do think that’s always wrong counsel. There have been, however, an occasion or two when the level of the abuse was serious enough, dangerous enough, immoral enough that I have counseled temporary separation and the seeking of help. I would urge you to understand that that should happen only in the most serious of cases. . . . More often, when you face abuse, it is of a less serious variety. These comments recirculated on social media over the weekend, not surprisingly sparking fierce criticism of Patterson’s remarks. On Sunday, Patterson released a statement where he clarified that his happiness in the situation came from seeing this woman’s husband return to church. He also said that physical or sexual abuse should be reported to the appropriate authorities, “as I have always done.” Patterson also stated that, “I have also said that I have never recommended or prescribed divorce. How could I as a minister of the Gospel? The Bible makes clear the way in which God views divorce.” Patterson’s statement seemed to suggest that abuse was not included as one of the ways in which divorce is biblically sanctioned. But that understanding isn’t really a biblical one, says Justin Holcomb, an ordained minister and the co-author of Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence. “Sometimes people like to out-conservative the Bible. … I appreciate the desire stay to close to the authority of Scripture,” Holcomb said. But some Christians may be wary about sanctioning divorce after abuse because it’s not explicitly mentioned as a cause to end a marriage, despite the fact that the Bible speaks frankly about violence and abuse, he says. “In Psalm 11:5, the psalmist, referring to God, says ‘I hate the one who does violence and abuses,’” said Holcomb. “Some people want to quote Malachi 2, ‘I hate divorce.’ If that’s how that’s interpreted—which I’ve already put a question mark to—well you can find a whole bunch more passages that say that God hates the violent and the oppressor. Holcomb joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to explain how he interprets Malachi 2, if there is a theology or faith practice that correlates with spouse abuse, and if there’s a real tension between pursuing a biblical marriage and taking a hard line on domestic violence.



Quick to Listen
Listen
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

Quick to Listen > Don’t Remember Reinhard Bonnke for His Crowd Sizes

Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. Last Saturday, Reinhard Bonnke, a prominent German evangelist in Africa, passed away at the age of 79. Bonnke’s ministry began in 1967 and lasted for 50 years. Millions of people attended his crusades, leading him to be dubbed by some as“the Billy Graham of Africa...

Quick to Listen > Talking Is Not Going to Change the World

Here’s how Quick to Listen producer Richard Clark introduced this podcast last year: I’ve been fascinated by the potential of podcasts because I see them as an opportunity for listeners to opt-in to become part of a captive, actively listening audience. Podcasts provide us with opportunities for active listening, a chance to hear multiple perspectives on a subject without the temptation to click away or draw conclusions too soon...

Quick to Listen > The Church Doesn't Get Men. Can It Learn from Non-Christians Who Do?

Check out this headlines from the past decade: “Why Don’t Most Men Go to Church?” Christian Century, October 2011 “Why Men Still Hate Going to Church” CT Pastors, Summer 2012 “7 Actions to Engage Men in Your Church” Pastors.com, March 2014 “Why Do Men Hate Church and What Can Be Done About It?” The Tennessean, Jan 2015 Mending Men’s Ministry, Christianity Today, June 2018 And then there’s a newsletter, The Masculinist, which reflects on a monthly basis on the factors driving men men from church...
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.