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.