Doing Evil so that Nothing May Come of Marriage

Repurposed from a comment here at Theology Like a Child.

I read Nathan’s Rinne’s post, “Addendum to the LCMS’s When Homes are Heartless: Another Problem from Another Angle”. Then I read,”When Homes are Heartless”. Then I read the post again.

First, the title: “When Homes are Heartless”. It is the beginning of an incomplete statement, the second half of which is, “then Divorce”. That sounds non-Christian, doesn’t it?

Throughout the essay a little game is played where divorce is equated to violence on the strength of Malachi 2:16. That is true: divorce is violence. But what the author(s) do is errantly reverse this truth to say that violence is divorce. That is not true in the same way that “2” is “a number” but “a number” is not “2”. But if one falsely says that violence is divorce, then he can blame the violent for the divorce instead of blaming the divorcer–the one who files for divorce–of committing violence.

This is made explicit when the author(s) writes: “Just as sin can kill a human person, it can also kill a marriage or permanently damage or destroy a family.” No! Divorce kills marriages. The knife in the heart of a marriage is the divorce decreed and nothing else. In the real world, you can punch the spouse, kick the magistrate, run over the bailiff’s dog and still not get married again until the divorce is decreed. In America more than 70% of the time it is the wife who murders her marriage. That’s just reality. Domestic violence is vicious and indefensible, but as despicable as domestic violence is, it does not kill marriage. It does no violence to marriage unless the violence actually stops a physical heart. To say that it does is to judge senselessly. Anyone who doubts this is living in a fantasy. They can test it by trying to marry another before the divorce is decreed.

Heartlessness in the essay is specifically epitomized as domestic violence, but heartlessness comes in many forms; often from women. In fact my observation of the churched (not just people, and not just Christians, but regular attenders) is that the wife is considerably more likely to be heartless towards her husband. Christian husbands I know have suffered through bouts, sometimes years long, when his wife denies him intercourse. I have heard wives publicly berate and shame their husbands for the smallest failures or infractions. I have known no husbands who have beat their wives for years, or even once. I’m sure they exist, but I will believe my eyes and say that whoever wrote “When the Home is Heartless” has acted foolishly and cowardly by wasting time on something that the “Left-hand Kingdom” goes out of its way to punish, but he ignores the weightier sins of fraud by wives within churches.

“But, but Cane! We haven’t stamped out every instance of domestic violence by every Christian husband. Therefore it is desirable that we focus on this irregular problem of domestic violence in the LCMS, and leave repentance for the common sins later. Besides, we will gain favor with the worldly; even the Feminists! They will see God’s glory in protecting women!”

“Their condemnation is just.” I mean: We do know that the general consensus of the worldly is that Christian men are pansies whose own ugly and cold wives don’t care to touch them, don’t we? Except they be hardcore Feminists or something else like San Francisco liberals–who live their lives without a white Christian (They indulge the non-whites with their “superstitions”) ever in physical sight–they do not believe Christian husbands beat their wives.

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9 thoughts on “Doing Evil so that Nothing May Come of Marriage

  1. Although add here wives who claim violence, in one manner or another, to get the church to support their leaving the marriage home. This then allows for a divorce because the situation was “so bad” that the husband deserved it. Really investigating things would show no such violence happened and it was all imagined, but no one wants to take that level of effort, so false claims about so women can be “free” from all these abusive men. The ones you note don’t really exist.

    Truly abusive men are a concern, but are not a common part of those who associate with churches. I wish that this fact could be drilled in people’s heads, but most will continue on ignoring it to the detriment of families everywhere.

  2. A better argument against the “But, but Cane!” argument, is that it would be reinforcing the misleading Feminist trope of men as abusers, and women as victims. Also, that gaining favour with the worldly and the feminists is not a desirable thing.

    By discussing whether or not the World believes Christian men beat their wives, or whether or not it’s a common phenomenon, is to enter the trap of these critics: neither the opinion of the World nor the frequency of domestic violence is an excuse to demonize men (and place women on pedestals).

  3. You’ve not mentioned wives that have adulterous affairs.

    But the analogy of ripping the one flesh apart in divorce v.s. “heartless” might be to consider someone who is a paraplegic. The legs are there, but he can neither feel nor move them. Yet we never amputate the otherwise healthy but nervously disconnected flesh.

    But as to denying intercourse, Natural Law notes nature has a teleology, a purpose. One intrinsic end of sex is children. We have severed God by denying him the ability to create a new soul with contraception, so sex then becomes at best unitive for the couple, but more often selfish, for pleasure, not teleologically different than masturbation. How many men are approaching their wives with the idea of making another baby? And if the man’s attitude in the approach is pureley selfish, why is the wife’s puely selfish denial worse?

  4. The Word of God never instructs us Christians to get the world to like us.

    Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to [l]treat the prophets. 24 But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25 Woe to you who [m]are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to [n]treat the false prophets in the same way.

    James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

  5. Cane,

    Superstition is a good word for it. Myth would also be appropriate in its proper sense of an idea useful not for its truth content but for its influence on cultural thinking and practice.

    @tz,

    Your scenario requires a man to deny himself until he is convinced his motives are pure, and then reason his wife into having sex. Plus, listen to you answer your own question: if the man’s attitude is selfish, why is the wife’s action worse? Not only is one just attitude and the other action, but a man’s “selfish” attitude and its outworkings are good for the marriage; the wife’s selfish (no quotes) actions are destructive.

    A woman will turn a man’s reasonable desires into sin, and her own sin into a virtue. (The preacher will do this, too.) A man may sin, but he will hide it and lie about it; a woman will sin and shout it from the housetops, being truly convinced in her heart of hearts that her actions make her the more virtuous because she “followed her heart”. I live with this kind of stuff every day. This is the core reason that women are forbidden from teaching in the assembly.

  6. “To say that it does is to judge senselessly.” And?
    To me, the lack of concern about judging senselessly is a big problem. Remember, Nice Christians think generalizations are evil, and substitute emotions for judgment. Therefore, violence equaling divorce feels right, and your rational response will only feel mean to them. So you value right-thinking, but the church devalues it to a position below sincere emotions.
    I like what you posted though and pray my brothers can hear it.

  7. Pingback: Getting Away with Divorce | Things that We have Heard and Known

  8. We have severed God by denying him the ability to create a new soul with contraception, so sex then becomes at best unitive for the couple,

    Thanks tz, that is insightful. For some reason God’s part in the three-strand relationship called marriage hadn’t come home to me until you said that.

  9. Cane….these two posts on divorce are as near a perfect description of the mental and linguistic gymnastics that inform so called polite conversation about the ruination of a good man through the legal and social processes that crisis cross at divorce.

    I have stated and written many times that there is a simple cure for the so called epidemic of divorce. Don’t File. There no more perfect remedy than to not undertake the act of will that is to physically file a divorce and see it all the way through. The arguments that follow are vacant of all but the most superficial plays on words.

    “But the divorce occurred long before the thing was filed”, is what many women have said to me. and when they are women I know, and when i know that they had reconciled with the husband prior to that absurd but lawful future date of finality, I observe, “therefore you are not having sexual congress until the new wedding, yes? When is that? I wouldn’t miss it.”

    First God released the poor girl from her meanee ole meanee. She may say God also delivered the guy that restarted her microwave (having lived with the slow cooker all these years). So she was free…… because, because pornea…..or something Biblicalish that the other women and/or the pastor told her was truth.

    I have never, not once, met a female who can grasp the elegant simplicity of the points you are making. Its even worse when I say I have met lots of men who may or may not know better but who Lift Chase by going along with this nonsense.

    Seemingly unrelated….but not…..today one of the guys for me in my department said something about some girl deserving “to be heard”. I asked him very seriously to please stop and describe to me in real terms what that even means. Silence…..a nervous chuckle….”that’s what I thought”. I said.

    Making a difference one young man at a time.

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