My pastor’s such a nice guy. But he refuses to do anything about my situation.
[September 9, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
My pastor continues to utter nonsense from his mouth. This is what he said recently:
“When you run away from difficult a marriage you are running away from that which will make you like Christ. To please God, you need to be like Christ.”
He mentioned “difficult marriage” along with other things like difficult people, difficult jobs, etc., but the blanket statement could be deadly for a victim of domestic abuse.
I don’t think he realizes what he is doing. It’s so sad. He’s such a nice guy. But he’s not a nice guy in that he refuses to do anything about my situation.
There are marriages where people give up prematurely and they should stick it out and make an effort. But when you have people in the congregation who are emotionally spent because of abuse, they will personalize it.
He’s so caught up into marriage as covenant (doesn’t see that abuse has broken the covenant) and the stupid marriage-as-idol thing. It’s so annoying. Sometimes I really want to scream. He’s not going to get it until his daughter or someone close to him marries an abuser.
That is what someone emailed to us recently. And all the ACFJ team responded. It was the kind of conversation which I think many of our readers would like to join in on, so we are sharing it with you all. Or y’all, if you prefer!
Each paragraph below was contributed by a different member of the ACFJ team. I love how we all inject our little suggestions and we end up with a grab bag of empathy, humour, good ideas, respect for each others different situations, and hope.
When Christ walked stealthily away from the Pharisees who were trying to harm Him, was He not being like Christ?
We are free to run away from all kinds of abuse and persecution. We are not free to deny Christ. In fact, if the Lord provides a way out of a trial, and that way is one that does not involve sin or denial of Christ but is perfectly good for us to choose, then we have the freedom to take it. I have the freedom to change jobs if my boss is a jerk and the possibility of leaving that job exists. In addition, a wicked spouse or wicked employer is not the Holy Spirit — the one who really fashions us into the image of Christ. Does the Lord use trials in our lives for our good and our sanctification? Of course. But nowhere are we told that we are required to stay in those situations if we don’t have to. Let’s see — cancer. There’s a trial I may well have no way to escape. But is seeking medical cure a lack of faith then?
Paul told slaves that if they could obtain emancipation, they were free to do so!
What this pastor is teaching is the company line that is man-made tradition passed down to us disguised as Bible. After a time, everyone thinks it is Scripture because they have heard it so often.
Nice guys are not our friends. Not if you are oppressed by the wicked.
God will never put an institution above the people who make up the parts of that institution. He is too loving and merciful a God for that.
“If you are surrounded by clowns you must be in the circus.” A move out of a legalistic church never did anyone any harm.
Well, you could break all decorum and raise your hand and ask him pointed questions…. Nah….just kidding!
And our correspondent said:
I cannot leave this church yet. My kids are firmly planted here and they need stability, especially since stability is lacking at home. I will just sit in the pew, roll my eyes, and rant to my friends when he spouts off nonsense.
[September 9, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 9, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to September 9, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to September 9, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 9, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]