No Divorce for Abuse is a False Gospel
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.
Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal 3:3)
The widespread teaching permeating the Christian church that denies that abuse is grounds for divorce is in fact, I maintain, a false gospel. How can that be? After all, don’t the people that teach the permanence view of marriage (no divorce for any reason at all, never) profess Christ to be the Son of God, our Savior, through whom we are justified by faith alone? Well, yes….and no.
The fact is that even where Christians teach that divorce is approved by God only for adultery or for literal, physical desertion, but not for abuse, staying in an abusive marriage and suffering “for Christ” is presented as a means (a work) of making ourselves truly righteous before God, while failing to remain in that abuse puts the victim into a much more dubious standing in God’s sight. It’s true, isn’t it? Think it through. The thing is not overtly stated, but the implication is quite strong. If you want God’s approval of your life, then you cannot divorce. The Lord, it is claimed, will have a special place in heaven for those who suffer patiently at the hands of an abuser spouse. For those who drop out, well . . . hmm . . . maybe they will make it, but at best they will be given a seat in the back row.
This is nothing less than a false gospel. It is works added to faith. And any such message is pronounced anathema by the Lord ¯ set apart for God’s divine and eternal curse. Oh, and so are those who preach a false gospel.
We are justified fully, completely, and finally by God solely through faith alone in the work of Jesus Christ alone, apart from works of the law. And that also means apart from the works of man-made traditions. The goal of all false teachers, through the teaching of their false gospel, is to bring Christ’s people into bondage. We are commanded by our General to never, ever submit to such a yoke.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.