A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Liam Goligher is a PCA theologian who says abuse is grounds for divorce

 

My position is that divorce is not just allowed but necessary where abuse has taken place.
— Dr Liam Goligher¹  Senior Minister of 10th Presbyterian Church Philadelphia

Liam Goligher thinks Dr Martin Lloyd Jones believed the same. He thinks perhaps he heard that from MLJ’s daughter.

If anyone can provide more info on MLJ’s beliefs on divorce for abuse, I would appreciate it.  I checked his book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, but he doesn’t mention there.

Now, will other ministers will take a public stand and say the same as Dr Goligher?

If you are a church leader and believe the same thing, my challenge to you is this: Will you put your name out in public and say it?

The blog comments are open. And it’s far more effective to comment on the blog than on our facebook page.

***

¹ Liam Goligher gave me permission to quote here what he wrote to me by email on Feb 13, 2019.

Other posts in this series

Thomas Cranmer on divorce for abuse

Puritans who said abuse was grounds for divorce

David Clyde Jones – a contemporary PCA theologian who said that abuse is grounds for divorce

About Liam Goligher

Dr Liam Goligher is Senior Minister of 10th Presbyterian Church Philadelphia. Some time ago we featured his ten-part sermon series on Esther because it gives such encouragement to those who want to stand up to abusers. Go to Part One of the Esther series to start reading or listening to the whole thing.

You may remember the ESS debate in 2016. Many folks in CBMW teach / taught the Eternal Subordination of the Son in the Trinity to defend their version of complementarianism.

When Liam Goligher asked Is it Okay to Teach a Complementarianism Based on Eternal Subordination? the christian blogosphere lit up. Mind you, Rachel Miller, Aimee Byrd and a few others had been publicly challenging ESS; they didn’t get much traction probably because they are women. But when Liam wrote about it at Aimee’s blog, a big fire started. While it’s sad that the women didn’t get traction, I think Liam is to be respected for taking a strong stance against ESS.

Go to our ESS Digest to see the posts about ESS at this blog.

9 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    Though no longer directly affected by the discussion on whether or not abuse is grounds for divorce (I was divorced over a decade ago, did not initiate the divorce, and did not involve the ‘c’hurch), I am following the series with a great deal of interest.

    I have especially appreciated the recent discussion between Clockwork Angel, Kind of Anonymous, Barb, and the earlier tie-in by Ruth Magnusson Davis on Theodore Beza.

    Indirectly, some of my own thinking has been challenged, though not specifically about the issue of divorce. Snippets of the discussion have re-affirmed my dedication to the pursuit of rooting out twisted thinking – on the surface, a topic may not appear directly relevant, but digging deeper sometimes reveals previously unknown cultural differences.

  2. A Purposeful Life

    “Now, will other ministers will take a public stand and say the same as Dr Goligher?
    If you are a church leader and believe the same thing, my challenge to you is this: Will you put your name out in public and say it?”

    Crickets

    Either church leaders don’t believe that abuse is grounds for divorce, or they won’t speak up!

    • Either church leaders don’t believe that abuse is grounds for divorce, or they won’t speak up!

      Or if they do believe that abuse is grounds for divorce, they don’t bother to follow let alone comment on this blog.

      If only they realised how much encouragement our readers would get if they commented here. And how sometimes I want to give up because of the lack of recognition I get from church leaders.

      • Amending my last sentence:

        …the lack of PUBLIC recognition I get from church leaders.

        I don’t want them to pat me on the head privately by saying they are grateful for what I do. If they think my work is good, I want them to publicly endorse it. And I want them to comment on this blog so that our readers will be encouraged.

  3. Eagerlabs

    I’ve listened to several of Liam’s sermons over the years…I like them! I didn’t know about this series…will definitely check it out thanks!:)

  4. Yes, yes, yes! Liam Goligher is absolutely right. Scripture is on his side, as are several Reformed and Puritan luminaries. I affirm without reservation that a man who has abused his wife had long since abandoned the marriage covenant. The abused partner then deserves the support of God’s people in a divorce which will merely make formal the dissolution of a covenant which is already dissolved in actuality.

  5. Ben P

    Barbara, Liam and Lance seem to be on the right track to me. The Reformed emphasis on covenants should be a help in understanding the real nature of marriage. But I feel I need to be better-read on the whole topic.

    • Thanks Ben P, and welcome to the blog as this is your first comment. 🙂

      You can check out our FAQ page What About Divorce? for a quick overview of what I believe. And dig in to the links there to find other material from wider sources (sources outside this blog).

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