Skip to comments.Travesty
Posted on 05/16/2006 7:54:47 PM PDT by sionnsar
Some time ago a trusted leader in my parish decided to divorce his wife. There was no adultery (at least not on her part), no abandonment, no abuse. He told me he just wasnt happy; that he hadnt been happy for some time. He told me straight up: the Spirit is leading me out of his marriage. God, after all, wanted him to be happy.
I spent several months trying to dissuade him. He is staunchly orthodox doctrinally speaking and remained rock solid after GC2003. During those days I remember having conversations with him about the nature of ECUSAs error; agreeing together that Gods Spirit would never contradict his Word.
When I brought this up to him in the context of his manifestly unbiblical decision to leave his wife at the supposed behest of the Spirit, he shrugged, Maybe I was wrong?
No, he was not wrong. He saw the truth correctly. It had just become inconvenient.
In the end he refused to reconsider; refused professional Christian counseling; refused finally even to meet with me. He left the wife of his youth without cause. So, sadly, we began a process of discipline modeled in Matthew 18:15-17.
When the process was complete and no repentance forthcoming, I asked him to absent himself from the altar rail and to leave the fellowship until he was willing to repent. Afterwards, I sent the sad news to the other pastors in town who honor biblical discipline.
The whole affair was absolutely devastating for his believing wife who hadnt seen it coming. She felt/feels rejected, humiliated, and unlovable. She is a woman of great faith who has found and is finding her solace in Christ. But she is still in the throes of deep grief. Her life has been ripped apart.
I cant imagine a Christian man doing this to someone.
The parish also is grieving. This man was a leader, someone people looked up to for strength, confidence, humor. In a thousand years I never would have imagined he would betray Christ and his own wife in this way. But he did.
I suppose in the grand scheme of things his lot is the worst. He has exchanged Christ, commitment, honor, trust, real love, marriage, a community of brothers and sisters to find his elusive happiness.
I pray for his repentance and restoration every morning.
But short of that I suppose all is not lost. While he will not be welcomed back to my parish until he repents and seeks restoration with his wife, he can always become bishop of Northern California.
She must not be a good listener, not to be aware that her mate is unhappy, and for such a long time.
"Its almost embarrassing to continue this, but after that last post, I do have to ask, what on earth are you smoking?"
Heidi's smoking something, and she could save the world from insomniacs if she'd pass it around.
Happiness...that was the excuse my ex kept giving for his affair with an Asian girl, kept saying that "This is my Happiness!" Guess who's laughing now! He thought I'd never have the courage to divorce him, guess who's laughing now! He thought this little threesome would go on the rest of our days, guess who's laughing now!
Happiness, God, I am so sick of that word, I hope he chokes to death on his Happiness!
It's one thing to seek a pleasant life, it's another thing to trample on other's feelings/repect. Even something as simple as admitting, "I am sorry" would make a difference. No doubt his wife is reporaoching herself for what she did or did not do. Couldn't he have the decency to say, "Honey, I can't make you happy, you deserve better"?
Sometimes a lie masks what should be true.
Tread lightly, it looks like this thread has become "everything you never wanted to know about somebody else's sex life". :)
Sorry if I provided TMI.
Your wife sounds like one sick cookie. Your former church sounds clueless.
Best wishes for a happier life from this point forward.
While there is always more to narratives such as this than meets the eye, I couldn't agree more with the basic premise. Withholding oneself from her/his lawfully wedded spouse is an egregious act that is the flip-side of adultery - an equal form of infidelity. Two wrongs never make a right but you are certainly correct in your assertion that while adulterous actions get all the attention, it seems that the actions that lead up to causing the adulterous actions get off the hook. Such should not be the case and those who preach from the pulpit should be as evenhanded as God's word is on the subject. People often don't like to use the words responsibility and duty when it comes to sex within marriage but in fact if it is a responsibility and duty for a spouse to remain faithful (as scripture clearly shows), it is an equal responsibility and duty for each to make sure that there is more than sufficient sex to make sure the other is not tempted to stray.
While there are two sides to every story, I would point out from your comments that desertion is also a grounds for divorce, and your Christian brethern should be at least willing to explore whether your wife abandoned the marriage relationship by her acts.
I don't think this is what I would want said about my Bishop.
...this sounds more like the punishment of Mormons, Jehova Witnesses, and extreme fundamentalists rather than the Episcopal faith I have come to love. Who knows what went on in the bishop's marriage? Perhaps his wife was making his life miserable...PERHAPS even she was not the model that St. Paul decreed and refused "to be silent in church"! (In which case it would seem reasonable to have the divorce to the person who wrote this) < /sarc >. A former priest of mine went through a divorce. There was no adultery in this case either, his wife simply went off the deep end...and went out of her way to mortify him at every event they attended as a couple. During their separation she met an Iranian man, cohabitated with him, and had the audacity to even bring him to services that her former husband was offciating, in full view of the congregation and her children.
After something like that happens, one does look back and say, 'why didn't I notice this or that' but if you think everything is fine, you don't notice stuff, or you just worry about the mate, thinking they're depressed or having problems at work or whatever.
And until they actually leave, they don't tell you. They let you think it's not you. In fact, sometimes they do things that indicate strongly that they still care, while all the time planning and plotting to leave.
I cannot speak for the Jehovah's Witnesses or "extreme fundamentalists." But as "Mormon" bishop, I do not deal in punishment; I leave that to God.
On those occasions when a disciplinary council is necessary, its purpose is threefold: (1) to save the soul of the transgressor; (2) to protect the innocent; and (3) to preserve the good name of the Church. At no time is the intent to punish the transgressor.
The situation described in the article is certainly a sad one. Given the facts as presented, I would have counseled the man to stay with his wife and try to save their marriage. However, if the man decided to sue for divorce anyway, I would not have disfellowshipped or excommunicated him. Such a step would be warranted only in cases of serious sins, such as adultery or abuse.
I cannot agree because I find disfellowship or excommunication warranted only in the case of blasphemers of the Holy Spirit of God (defined as atheists...not agnostics).
Somewhere in the period between infancy and childhood, it is my belief that we all come to possess the ability to sin--and that sin is manifested in thought, word or deed. And every adult or age of accountability child, IMHO, sins every day (I know that I do at least). So, where better place is there to confront those sins, as Christ taught us, than a place of worship? It is my understandiing of Christianity also that no one sin can stand out more egregious than another as the literal definition of sin means "missing the mark."
A long time ago, because it seemed to be so family oriented, I attended a meeting and tried to read the Book of Mormon as I wanted to know more about the church. But I gave up somewhere around the middle of the tale and the notion that Joseph Smith (or Angel Moroni) wanted me to believe there were flourishing American civilizations and gleaming cities in America long before the Spanish Conquistadors. That is not a slam at LDS because I still admire the family principles of the church, I just cannot understand some of the tenents.
So my belief about every one sinning is probably far different than yours. But if you kick some one out for sinning (or in the case of historian Fawn Brodie, for writing something the church didn't like) where is he/she to go but to the devil?
A very keen observation, Asfaras....
How easy life would be if we always had our spouse's best interest on our hearts...I can't help but think that everything would fall nicely into place, as it should.
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