Emergent leader Tony Jones had a problem.
He had a girlfriend…but he also had a wife.
What is a holy man to do with such a conundrum?
His solution was genius….and wicked as hell.
While he was in the process of divorcing his wife he would get “sacramentally” or spiritually married to his girlfriend.
Tony Jones divorced his wife in 2009.
His wife discovered the affair in 2008
He claimed to be “spiritually” married to the new woman.
He even wrote a short book on the subject cloaking his theory as a way for churches to deal with same sex marriage.
“There Are Two Marriages: A Manifesto On Marriage” defines a “sacramental marriage” as different from a “legal marriage”.
It’s genius indeed…and not the first time I’ve heard a religious adulterer say something similar when they abandon their wives and children.
The script usually goes something like this…
First, complain bitterly to all in your inner circle that your wife is not “spiritual” enough for a man of God like yourself.
Second, assert that because she’s not “spiritual” enough, she can’t possibly be “supportive” of you and of the wonderful ministry God gave you.
Third, start telling people that she’s mentally and emotionally unstable…”crazy” if you will.
It’s very important to put the emphasis on “crazy”…
Certainly, no one expects a man of God to bear up under such strain and certainly no one will blame him for finding a proper “help mate”.
The wife is slimed, smeared, and abandoned, while the “man of God” enjoys his new toy.
I’ve seen this scenario repeat itself a couple dozen times if I’ve seen it once.
Let’s call it what it really is…a lie, and common, garden variety, adultery.
When there are children involved the sin is even greater and more wicked.
Hypothetically, if a wife is suffering from mental illness, it increases a mans responsibility to his wife and children.
It does not provide a “get out of marriage free” card.
Whether it’s in the “emergent” church or Calvary Chapel it’s adultery, a disqualifying sin, and a stench in the nostrils of God.
Those who affirm such actions, share in the sin.
Update: There were factual errors in the original story that have been corrected.
My apologies for the errors.
The Wartburg Watch has an excellent review of the situation.