Jericho Road Fundamentalist Church — by Gary W
A student of theology, desiring to justify himself, said to his professor, a wise and Godly man in his 90’s, “And who is my neighbor?” The professor replied:
“At a time when nobody else appeared to be present, a young woman was walking through a remote corner of Jericho Avenue Park with her husband, a publicly charming predatory narcissist who had neither empathy nor conscience, but who was a prominent, highly respected, tithing church member. When the young woman meekly expressed an opinion that differed from her husband’s, he flew into a towering rage, verbally berating her, physically pummeling her, stripping her naked, forcing himself on her, and taking her phone, driver’s license, credit cards, check book, and cash. He then walked nonchalantly away, leaving her half dead.
“Now by chance a deacon had been observing this incident from behind a hedge. As a pretext for gazing on the young woman’s nakedness, the deacon approached her and began berating her for having “obviously” behaved in a manner that triggered the assault. After arbitrarily pontificating on the evils of provocative dress, sexually alluring ways of walking, and erotic speech – and after dwelling on the young woman’s supposed refusal to satisfy the desires such objectionable (supposed) conduct had most certainly engendered in her husband – he proceeded to call her a slut, a whore and worse. After reluctantly submitting to the young woman’s wailing, tearful pleas to call her pastor, the deacon, patting himself on the back for his magnanimity, trundled off to his Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting.
“The young woman’s pastor arrived shortly thereafter. After covering her nakedness with a blanket, and after interrogating her, he began lecturing her.* Being convinced that the young woman had surely provoked her husband, her pastor berated her for having failed to glorify God in her marriage. He admonished her that she must surely have been relying on her marriage as a source of true happiness. Surely, he insisted, God, in His Providence, had visited humiliation on her because she had not been trusting God implicitly and doing His will in all things. The Pastor admonished the young woman that it was now her duty to love her husband with gracious gospel love, to respect him for his position over her, and to submit to him as unto the Lord. The pastor insisted that she must now demonstrate a love toward her husband that is large, constant, and free, and which does her husband good and not evil all the days of his life. The pastor insisted that it was now the young woman’s duty to respect her husband, consciously recognizing his special authority over her as her husband on the basis of God’s Word and the covenant she freely entered when she married him (never mind that the marriage had been arranged by her father the patriarch). Such submission, the pastor insisted, was to take the form of a cheerful acquiescence to her husband in all things consistent with the revealed will of Christ, with a sincere desire to please her husband – all for her husband’s good and Christ’s glory. Her pastor took special pains to emphasize how the young woman’s expression of an opinion contrary to her husband’s was in and of itself lacking in evident love and respect for him as her husband. Her pastor was especially incensed that the young woman had doubtless interrupted her husband with her opinion before he was finished teaching her something of great spiritual value.
“After assuring the young woman that her husband was much better than she deserved, and after indicting her as being a much worse wife to her husband than she ought to be, the pastor drove away without offering further assistance. After all, it would have been unseemly for a pastor to transport a woman clothed in only a blanket, and the civil authorities are never to be involved in internal church matters – or so the pastor thought. Also, the pastor felt that it was most urgent that he catch up with the husband to offer the support and comfort he must so urgently need after having been so intolerably provoked by his wife.
“But a radical secular feminist, a woman who was a director of a government funded women’s shelter, came along some time later, and when she saw the beaten, raped and robbed young wife, she had compassion. She went to her and held her in her arms, and called an ambulance and the police. The feminist accompanied the woman to the emergency room where she continued to administer comfort, supported her through the trauma of filing a police report, and paid the hospital’s charges. Afterwards the radical feminist arranged for the woman to stay at the women’s shelter, where there was food and clothing; and she also arranged and paid for ongoing, compassionate, healing counseling.
“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the young wife?” the old professor finally asked.
The theology student said, “The one who showed her mercy.” And the professor said to him, “you go, and do likewise.” C.f. Luke 10:29-37.
Fictional but Representative Post Script
The husband, though prosecuted, was found not guilty by the jury following glowing testimony in his support by, not just the pastor, but by the woman’s father, mother and erstwhile friends. The husband was shortly thereafter elevated to the position of Assistant Pastor for married couples. The woman, having filed a police report, having refused to recant her statement, having consented to willingly and truthfully testify to the assault, and having refused to agree to a withdrawal of the divorce proceedings filed by her husband, was put out of her church, disowned by her family, deprived of custody of her young child and shunned by nearly all her acquaintance. But for the compassion of the radical secular feminist, the young woman likely would not have retained sufficient sanity to relate her story. Perhaps she would have taken her own life. She prefers not to say whether she has renounced her faith.
*Here begins a parody of actual mandates contained in A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism published by D. Scott Meadows, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed), Exeter, New Hampshire USA.
Editor’s note: The above footnote was added to this post at the request of the author, Gary W, on August 7, 2014.