I was naïve when I first began addressing the un-Christ-like treatment of divorced Christians within certain churches. I believed that the misinterpretation of the bible about marriage and divorce was at the root of the problem. Oh, yes, I knew there were certain churches where men treated their “sisters” as less than, but I neither understood how widespread was the problem or where it came from, hoping that the Church was evolving into a more enlightened institution.
Now, on the heels of the #MeToo movement, #ChurchToo is fast becoming a much talked about and controversial subject among conservative Christians and their churches. What has come to light is a much deeper, pre-Christian attitude toward women as needing to be under the authority of men.
What do I mean by “pre-Christian? John Temple Bristown, in his book, What Paul Really Said About Women (Harper, 1988) wrote, “In reality, the words that Paul chose to use imply different ideas from those conveyed by the English words we use to translate his writings. In fact, our English words imply ideas that [the apostle] Paul deliberately avoided!”
How could this be? In subsequent posts, I’ll share more of Bristow’s thinking about how and why bible translators misinterpreted Paul’s words. And we’ll explore how the Church’s patriarchal attitudes have led to the egregious behaviors of too many of its leaders which are now being revealed.
I advocate for healing of divorced people within the church by gathering stories of Christians who chose divorce because of abuse, and the response of their churches to that decision. (I'm interested in both helpful and hurtful experiences.) I also include those who have divorced because of their spouse's infidelity but have nevertheless been blamed by their church for the divorce.
If you’re interested in having your voice heard by contributing your divorce story in relationship to the church, please email me at LindaMKurthBlog@gmail.com for guidelines. I’ll be happy to help you share your story.
Know that I encourage respectful comments, keeping the blog a safe place to dialog about this subject.
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issues. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.