Update, March 2, 2013: It occurred to me that it seems I am advocating divorce in direct opposition to God’s word. That is not my heart. My heart is that by confronting bad behavior, a problem might be solved and the church might be more of what she is called to be as she grows up into the head which is Christ, Ephesians 4:15 (new version).
I have suffered domestic violence. It’s a nice phrase that covers all kinds of pain delivered by the hands of people who are supposed to love and care for you, which multiplies the heartbreak. It means betrayal – I thought you loved me? It means abandonment – I thought you were for me, that we were a team? It means fear – if my own parents or spouse feels this way what can I expect from the outside world?
WFAA.com ran a couple of articles about domestic violence and, in one, blamed the church for telling women not to leave their husbands. I can see both sides of that argument. It occurred to me that the church does have serious problems. At the bedrock root, we do not obey God. In Matthew 18:15, we are told that if we are offended by a brother, we are to go to him and “show him his fault”. If he listens, then we have won our brother over and covered over a multitude of sins – Romans 5:20, but if he does not listen then go to two other siblings (in Christ) and take them with you. If he listens-praise the Lord, but if he does not, then tell the church. If he does not listen to the church, treat him as you would a tax collector – which in that time meant avoid at all possible costs, so I believe we can safely say that avoiding at all costs still holds true today. But, if the church does not stand with you, what good will it do to go to them?
If God meant for the Hebrews to build safe cities for murderers how much more would He want the one beaten by family – men and women suffer domestic violence – protected? He said He hates divorce and (emphasis mine) a man covering himself with violence – Malachi 2:16.
The time has passed, as evidenced by the people hemorrhage the church is experiencing, for her to fall to her knees and choose to obey God and His word. Otherwise, she is not the church but just another futile religion that only binds its people to futile rules and regulations.
If I have offended you, I am sorry. Come and show me my fault.