More on Abuse from John MacArthur – Double Aaaargh!
Well, what can I say? This speaks for itself. Once again this comes from the Grace to You website. Read it for yourself at Dialogue on Divorce(24 June 1979)
I think that John MacArthur needs to be called to task on this. We quote him saying these things in our book, A Cry For Justice.
John MacArthur from this point on (after the question) –
Question: Adultery is not the only extremely painful ingredient in a marriage, what do you recommend in your counseling where there is child molestation or wife beating or extreme alcoholism or some of those situations that become not just marginal but really intolerable for a wife we’ll say?
John: I think 1 Corinthians 7:10 says, very simply, I’ll read it to you, that there is an answer to that and I think perhaps that’s what is in view in this text, it says; “If she divorces” and it doesn’t give you any reason here, it just says if she divorces, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband but don’t let the husband divorce his wife.” What it is saying there is there may be a situation without adultery where you divorce and it may be, in my mind, it’s one of those situations. You know, I can’t counsel a mother who says, “What am I going to do? This man has committed incest with my child and he beats me up and etc. or beats up the children and so forth and so on. Do I just sit there and take it? And the chairs on my head and the stuff he throws at me and the cigarette burns on my arm and battered wives and all this stuff? What do I do?” Well, certainly there is nothing in the Bible that says you just stand around until you are just beaten to a pulp. You know, God has built into the human being a certain sense of self-preservation. Right? And it’s normal to separate yourself in that kind of situation. And maybe that’s what Paul is thinking about. There may come circumstances where divorce occurs but if it isn’t on biblical grounds, that’s it. I mean, you can remain unmarried or be reunited. But I would say that’s only a possibility in that text.
I really feel that if we are obedient to the word of God in that kind of a situation God would give us the grace to endure a lot more severe things than we think. So what we do is this. We counsel people this way, if you’re in an abusive situation, there’s not adultery involved it’s just abusive, cruelty or something like that, I don’t think alcoholism is necessarily in the same category but where there is beatings where it affects you or the children there’s nothing to say that you shouldn’t step away, get away to preserve your own health and your own safety and your own security. You don’t need to stay there and just be beaten to a pulp. God’s given us a self-defense mechanism. But I don’t think that’s grounds for divorce biblically. I think you have to hang in there and that’s what makes great prayer warriors People who can turn that kind of a thing into a draw nigh unto God kind of relationship. You know, when all your family has forsaken you the Lord will be your family.
END OF QUOTE.