church nonsense, war on women

Woe to You, Sir!

Ted McGrath, Creative Commons

Ted McGrath, Creative Commons

I was going to write a parody on a ridiculous post:  10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry.  But as I read through some of the many comments it garnered, I decided to go a different route.

Most of the comments zeroed in on #2 – the divorcee.  I have something to say about that, too.  And since comments are closed on the post, I’ll weigh in here:

My first husband divorced me after six years of marriage.  We had a two year old.  His reason for leaving us?  He didn’t want to be married anymore and God wanted him to be happy.   “No,” I said, “God wants you to be a man of integrity, a promise-keeper.”  But with no-fault I had no say.

I lamented that my life was irreparably ruined.  Sin was foisted upon me and there was nothing I could do about it.  And then my friend, to whom I was lamenting, simply said, “God can forgive sin.”  Whoa!  What?  My life isn’t over?  It still felt over.

For years I did not date because I was not sure Scripture allowed me to remarry, so what was the point?  But God showed me through Scripture that He held my ex-husband accountable, not me.  He also showed me that He likes marriage, it was His idea and He would prefer that I rear my daughter in the context of one.  How will she know what a good marriage looks like if I don’t model one?

So I began to open up to the idea.

About that time a male friend mentioned that he would never marry a divorced woman.  Damaged goods and all.  I told him he might miss out on someone really great.  Someone like me.

When I married my first husband, I did not believe in divorce.  My parents were divorced and I knew the pain it causes.  Life with him was not easy but I was committed to sticking it out.  My commitment to the long haul was tested and true.

My first husband, who grew up in a Christian home with parents whose marriage lasted until death did they part, also had his commitment tested.  His commitment failed.

On paper he looked like a solid investment – reared in a Christian home, parents still married.

On paper I looked like a risky investment – reared in a non-Christian home, parents divorced.

And yet his commitment failed and mine did not.

You never know for sure what will come out of a person until marriage squeezes them.  My friend who would never marry a divorced woman is still single these many years later.  If he does find someone to marry, someone who looks good on paper, it is still a gamble.  I think he will have a greater guarantee of success if he marries someone whose commitment to marriage has been tested and proved solid.

The pastor who wrote the post, the one I yesterday called vile, evil or sorely misguided, once again played fast and loose with the Scriptures.  The examples are many.   I pulled this one from the comment section:

Andy, I live in New York State where gay marriage is legal. What happens if you get saved after a gay marriage? Well, you must immediately leave the gay marriage and cease from the sin of homosexuality.

Same thing here. What happens if you get saved after a 2nd marriage? Well, now that you know it’s adultery, you immediately forsake the 2nd “marriage” and cease from the sin of adultery.

John 8:11:
“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

What?  Two wrongs make a right?  Repent from the sin of divorce by committing the sin of divorce?

And don’t go misinterpreting Jesus’s words.  The woman was not married to the man with whom she was committing adultery.

If I could, I would ask that pastor what he would do with David.  David clearly committed adultery with Bathsheba, then married her.  When Nathan finally confronted him, marrying Bathsheba was not on God’s list of grievances:

Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 2 Samuel 12:9

Yes, God hates divorce.  Not for the sake of hating it but because it hurts people.  He also hates judgment and gossip and slander and lies and haughty eyes because those things hurt people, too.  They hurt the people He loves.  Of course He does.

I’ll give Jesus the final word:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”  both from Matthew 23
© The Reluctant Baptist, 2015

17 thoughts on “Woe to You, Sir!

  1. No such thing as “undamaged” goods – “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!” All we can do is repent and move on!

    You have wonderful observations!

    Glad you haven’t let it weigh you down. comments were likely closed because of backlash!
    If my wife had wanted a perfect man she would not have married me! If I had wanted a perfect woman I would not have married her!
    So far we’ve had 37 years of imperfect marriage, 3 children and 3 grandchildren!
    Are we perfectly happy? Let’s not be silly or stupid! – We are content!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John 4 (just sayin’)
    “17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

    Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

    19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

    21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

    26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
    And this…
    1 Corinthians 13

    13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
    Sorry I took up so much space…loved the post.


  3. I’ve always admired Bathsheba. Most Bible scholars are pretty sure that she is the virtuous woman so highly praised by her son, Solomon. Seems God must have had mercy on her and allowed her to sit on the right side of Solomon’s throne. People came to her for advice. One foolish man came to her to ask for her support in getting to himself one of Solomon’s wives.

    My word. We humans can be a sordid sort. I had a young couple come to me once years ago. She had just confessed to him that she was raped as a child, long before they met and were married. He wanted to leave her because she was “impure.”

    If I had any Irish in me, it would have surely risen to the top. I was SO disgusted with him. I pointed out to him that the victim is not the one who is impure; the perpetrator is the one who is impure. He wasn’t impressed.

    I really hope she found someone who could love her for the sweet, humble person she was.


  4. This is wonderful, trb. I’m very happy for you, having found strength to move away from hurt, to heal through faith and to charter your own interpretation of scripture. Not letting misguided pastors within the church spread their un-Christ centred views.


  5. Also read the post from and think it’s not only misguided, it’s also hateful and misogynistic. Check the Older Woman, the Childbirth Avoider, the Feminist. It angers me people claiming to lead an entire church spread ideas like that.


  6. 100000lightyears says:

    Not a whole lot of grace on display from NY. There’s a passage somewhere in the NT about unbelieving spouses leaving believers and to let them go. I can’t imagine the advice is much different if someone who says they are a believer leaves you … And if Paul wants young widows to be remarried I can’t see why abandoned women are different.

    The part about don’t marry an older women got me. There was no Bible passage at all for that one, just statistics. Which is nice ‘n all but if you’re going to use statistics rather than Scripture as your guide you should also point out that divorce rates also tend to be high when the man is significantly older than his wife (on the order of my age gap from my husband actually – not that either of us is planning it as far as I know). But I noticed NY pastor didn’t pass comment on that setup.


    • There is so much that is twisted in that post. My husband is 8 years older than I am chronologically and I am about 20 years older than him spiritually and we are doing just fine. Most likely because my husband would be appalled by that pastor’s post. Thank you for adding to the conversation.


  7. Martha Kennedy says:

    I read that blog post and was horrified …I am (in one woman) MOST of the women Christian men should not marry (fine by me, since I have the wanderlust, never wanted kids [and couldn’t ], am divorced, might be a feminist [don’t know]…). What about the mote and the beam? The “Let he who is without sin”? What about God’s grace? Love one another? As thou doest unto the least of these…. I could really go on in that vein a long time and I would also end with 1 Cor 13 (quoted above) — the greatest of these IS charity.

    Liked by 1 person

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