Abuse and 1 Corinthians 7 Desertion
1 Corinthians 7:15 ESV (15) But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.
There is nothing new in this post that we have not mentioned before. In fact, I believe you will also find that Barbara Roberts made mention of it in her book, Not Under Bondage [*Affiliate link]. So this is really just a reminder to all of us.
The Presbyterian Church in America (R.C. Sproul’s denomination) declared in an extensive position paper on divorce and remarriage (1992) that desertion as grounds for biblical divorce includes desertion effected by abuse even if the abuser is still physically living in the house. You can read it for yourself at:
http://www.pcahistory.org/pca/divorce-remarriage.pdf [This link is broken. You can find an updated PCA Position Paper on Divorce and Remarriage here. Editors.]
In the copy that I read online the applicable section was on page 227. It is in the section entitled Applying Paul’s Instruction About Desertion Today” (Section II, paragraph E, subsection 4).
This does not mean that we agree with all of the conclusions of this paper, but it is important for all of us to know that the PCA has already concluded that abuse is indeed biblical desertion. So when we take this position we are by no means acting as rebellious lone rangers who are resolved to do our own thing.
We should take this information and put it right in front of any Christian who is insisting that the only truly biblical position is that divorce is not permissible for abuse. No, the PCA is not infallible. But it is remarkable, nevertheless, that these men who were assigned to study the issue of marriage and divorce came to this conclusion.
And that is good news for all of us.