Neutrality is not neutral
[August 11, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
With domestic abuse, it’s not okay for pastors to take a neutral stance vis a vis perpetrator and victim. The church ought to fully support victims while holding perpetrators accountable.
Pastors: if you take the neutral stance, you effectively become an ally of the abuser. It means you are taking the view that both parties are contributing to the marriage problem. Or you are effectively saying It’s not abuse; it’s not that serious. Abusers always seek to deny or downplay the seriousness of their bad behaviour. And they always try to blame the victim. So if you take a neutral stance, you are serving the abuser’s agenda….even though you probably do not mean to serve the abuser’s agenda. Even though you might think you are serving both spouses equally and ministering impartially to both of them, your neutral stance ends up serving the perpetrator’s abusive agenda.
When responding to domestic abuse, the only righteous stance is to fully support the victim, while holding the perpetrator accountable.
[August 11, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to August 11, 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 August 11, 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 August 11, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 11, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
Church discipline and church permission for divorce — Showing that biblical discipline of abusers should be carried out according to 1 Corinthians 5 rather than Matthew 18.