Christian Marriage and the Misuse of Scripture, Part 1 – Satan’s Lies

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted in the desert.  And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’  But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” ’ ” (Matt. 4: 1-4).

In the wilderness of an abusive marriage, stones can all too easily be mistaken for bread.

Satan, we should never forget, is the father of lies (John 8: 44).  Familiar with Scripture, he is adept at twisting the word of God to suit his purposes.  This can cause even the most sincere among us to be misled.

Here are a few of the adversary’s favorite lies.

“Christian Men Are Never Abusive”

Emerging Directors Showcase (2016), Author University of Fraser Valley, Source https://www.flickr.com (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

A glance at the news makes it abundantly clear that abuse is not foreign to Christians and men of the cloth.

Pastor Arthur Schirmer of the United Methodist Church was convicted in 2013 of murdering his wife [1].  Televangelist Joyce Meyer’s bodyguard, Christopher Coleman, was convicted in 2011 of murdering his entire family [2].

No Christian has the right to abuse anyone – man, woman, or child, inside marriage or out.  Christ came as the Servant to all (Mark 9: 35).  But not everyone holding themselves out as “Christian” has truly accepted Christ, and sought to emulate Him.  And Christians, themselves, are not immune to sin.

“There Is No Such Thing as Rape in a Christian Marriage”

Christian women are often taught that they give up all rights over their bodies to their husbands, and must submit to their husbands as to Christ.  While the Apostle Paul, at 1 Corinthians 7, does speak of a husband as having authority over his wife’s body, he, also, speaks of a wife as having authority over her husband’s body.

Paul was suggesting that husbands and wives not abstain from sex for lengthy periods, so as not to fall into temptation.  By no stretch of the imagination does this equate with entitlement by a husband to sex on demand, or the requirement that a wife serve as her husband’s punching bag.

Likewise, in Ephesians 5, Paul speaks of wives submitting to their husbands as to the Lord.  But he, also, speaks of husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church (giving His life for her).

These then are pictures of marriage under ideal circumstances.

The Apostle Peter states (at 1 Peter 3) that wives may win over their husbands by good conduct.  But we are, also, told not to cast our pearls before swine (Matt. 7: 6).

Clearly, neither Apostle could anticipate the level of domestic violence in the 21st Century [3][4]:

  • Nearly twice as many women were killed by their partners between 2001 and 2012 as soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Thirty eight million women have experienced violence by their partners.
  • Almost half the women in physically abusive relationships are raped.  Some 81% of women in violent relationships are, also, stalked by their partners.
  • The average cost of emergency room care to women for violence by a partner is $948.  Eight million work days – the equivalent of 32,000 full time jobs – are lost to such violence by women each year.  Financial abuse occurs in 98% of situations of domestic violence.

It is hardly likely that Peter or Paul would approve.

[1]  The Christian Post, “PA Pastor Convicted of Murdering Second Wife Profiled on ’48 Hours’ ” by Morgan Lee, 1/7/14, http://www.christianpost.com/news/pa-pastor-convicted-of-murdering-second-wife-profiled-on-48-hours-112130/.

[2]  The Christian Post, “Joyce Meyer’s Ex-Bodyguard Convicted of Murder” by Audrey Barrick, 5/7/11, http://www.christianpost.com/news/joyce-meyers-ex-bodyguard-convicted-of-murder-50138/.

[3]  Huffington Post, “30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic” by Alanna Vagianos, 10/23/14 (Updated 2/13/15), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776.html.

[4]  While men, too, can be victims of abuse, the vast majority of victims are women.

Originally posted 9/13/15

This series will continue next week with Part 2 – Faith and Fault

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

16 Comments

Filed under Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Justice, Rape, Religion, Violence Against Women

16 responses to “Christian Marriage and the Misuse of Scripture, Part 1 – Satan’s Lies

  1. You are absolutely right! A Husband’s authority begins and ends with serving the best interests of his wife. God does not want anyone to submit to abuse. Get out. Get shelter. Get healing. (Very easy to say, and can be very hard to do).

  2. Great post Anna..
    “Christian” can be by name only..
    And you are right.. I have read about pastors advising a woman to stay in an abusive marriage.. citing “for better or worse”

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post.

  4. These figures are alarming. Very disheartening. However, I do appreciate how unassuming you are. You clearly do substantial background research before making assertions about the issues of our days. Apparently, abuse is no ”respecter” of persons with religious or spiritual beliefs . Christians need to be watchful and prayerful for the adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Great post, Anna.❤️

  5. Good post Anna. Paul and Peter were misogynists and this is the basis of their writings. Jesus definitely would have been appaulled at the abuse which is being shown by anyone. From the Gospel of Thomas ( one of the excluded gospels for the Bible)

    (114) Simon Peter said to him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.”
    Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become
    a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will
    enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    • Thank you for the compliment. Unfortunately, I cannot agree that Peter and Paul were misogynists. There is a reason the so called “gospel” of Thomas was excluded from the canon. It does not reflect the teachings of Christ or the character of the Apostles. Nor is it thought by scholars to have been authored by the Apostle Thomas, despite the claim.

      Among the women Paul worked with and commended highly were: Lydia (Acts 16: 22-25, 40; Phil. 1: 1, 3-6), Phoebe (Rom. 16: 1-2), Priscilla (Rom. 16: 3-4), Mary (Rom. 16: 6), Persis (Rom. 16: 12), Tryphena and Tryphosa (Rom. 16: 12), Euodia and Syntyche (Phil. 4: 2-3), and Apphia (Philem. 2). He characterized Rufus’ mother as a mother to him, as well (Rom. 16: 13).

      Peter describes women as join heirs with their husbands of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3: 7).

      I hope that clarifies things.

      • Thank you, I do not follow the Church teachings, but the direct spiritual teachings from the Divine Manifestor/God. I really like your posts for your writing not the quotes from the Bible. With respect the authenticity of the Bible which was produced by Constantine, a known murdering tyrant is very questionable. There were so many other cultures in the world whose history has been completely ignored and have much value to offer in our lives. Bless you.

      • You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs. But it was not the Emperor Constantine (whatever you may think of him) who determined the biblical canon. That is simply a fiction.

        Since you do not accept the Bible as the revealed word of God, it is difficult to know what exactly you mean by “the Divine Manifestor/God”. God has spoken to people of all places and times through nature and conscience. Many cultures, however, have had confused and mistaken ideas about Him. The Egyptians, for instance, believed in a host of animal gods. The Aztecs performed human sacrifice to appease their gods.

        I urge great caution as you sort through these varied belief systems. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. May you find Him.

      • Thank you I have found Lord Yesua or Jesus. I agree with you on the cultures which performed human sacrifices. I understand very well the difference between good and evil. There are many belief systems which are questionable. I follow the Essene where Jesus originated from they did not agree with the Old Testament as they thought it fiction. They were considered to be the Pre-Christians. The early Egyptians pre Pharaoh knew God and followed his teaching they were known to have the highest mistry schools. The Israelis did not like this. Both Mary Jesus’s mother and Jesus studied in Egypt. As Mary was a master healer and energy worker and in tune with nature and the all so was Jesus. I work directly with God, Holy Archangels, Jesus plus we are situated in a myriad of Galaxies where our galaxy is not so good. Jesus came to teach God’s word as the Pharasees were not teaching God’s word and they planned his crucifiction. They succeeded.

        I am not here to argue with you and respect our differences. I enjoy your posts.

      • Thank you again for taking the trouble to read my blog. It is not my desire to argue w/ you or disrespect your views. I am sure you are sincere in your search for the truth. However, you have mistaken information.

      • I have not received mistaken information. Through speak to God and Jesus/Yeshua. This is how they wish me to work, no religion.

      • It grieves me that we are at odds. I do not doubt that the Holy Spirit is capable of communicating w/ you. I am not advocating for any particular Christian denomination, and certainly not for a legalistic approach to faith. What I am saying is that without the Bible as a touchstone, we are rudderless. There are falsehoods being circulated which have given rise to heresies. Among them is the suggestion that Christ studied Eastern religion. If you care to read more about this, you might check out “Did Jesus Visit the Himalayas?” at Never Thirsty https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/did-jesus-visit-the-himalayas/. I wish you well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.