Divorce as Exorcism
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Luke 13:10-16 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. (11) And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. (12) When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” (13) And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. (14) But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” (15) Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? (16) And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”
This weekend the thought came to me about how similar divorce from an abuser is to having a demon exorcised from you. Anyone who knows abuse –its mentality and tactics — understands that it is a torment and enslavement that really has to be in some ways similar to being oppressed or possessed by a demon. Maybe the only difference is that the demon is inside the victim and the abuser is outside. Well… even the abuser worms his/her way inside the mind eventually.
And then I began to think about how Jesus ALWAYS dealt with people who were oppressed by demons. He set them free. Can anyone find anyplace in Scripture where Jesus told the person “it is My Father’s will that you remain possessed. Remain in the condition you are in and trust the Lord”? Good luck in that search.
Notice the responses of the Jews to Jesus setting this woman free who had been oppressed by a “disabling spirit” for 18 years. They represent the same kind of mentality that we are seeing in the current religion of the Pharisees in our churches. They don’t glorify Christ for setting her free, they land all over him for healing her on the Sabbath. That is precisely what we are seeing today when we are telling these victims “you have God’s approval to divorce and leave your oppressor.” Here come the Pharisees, all angry and shouting at us because we choose to see these people set free. “You can’t do that! God hates divorce!” Yada, yada, yada. They are blind leading the blind.
How many Christians today who refuse to acknowledge that God permits and even blesses divorce for abuse would not treat their dog the way they demand that abuse victims must continue to suffer. Hey, that’s the very thing Jesus told those Pharisees — “You guys treat your cows and donkeys better than you treat this daughter of Abraham!” Those words condemn many Christians and pastors and church leaders today. “No, I am sorry, you must go submit to your husband and pray for him. You cannot leave your “marriage.” Now, excuse me, I have to go home and take my dog to the vet. He’s been suffering from fleas something terrible and I don’t like to leave him on his chain too long. That would be cruel. Good luck with your marriage. We sure will be praying for you.”