Jan 212015
 

tony-jonesEmergent 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.

Problem solved!

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.

It’s abuse.

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.

Period.

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.

  230 Responses to “How To Dump Your Wife and Keep Your “Ministry””

  1. Sick, evil bast**d.

  2. And yet many people take them seriously……..
    Truly evil and devious!

  3. I’ve seen the same scenario in conservative, “Bible believing” churches…dealing with three examples right now.

  4. Where were the men in his life to tell him he was being an idiot?

  5. London,

    They were helping with the ceremony.

    Like I said, I’ve seen this over and over again….the “spiritual marriage” crap won’t fly in conservative circles, so they just cheat until the divorce is final.

  6. Rachel and Nadia should be ashamed , but I feel the same way about the CC folks doing conferences with another guy in their tribe. His ex wife and kids have suffered too.

  7. And he continues to teach at Fuller? I knew Fuller was sliding, but this is off the cliff!

  8. “Love suffers long…”

  9. time and time again these “anointed” ones get away with murder and entire communities turn a blind eye, all the while the woman suffers and is sent outside the camp. Disgusting!

    Oh how long O Lord!!!

  10. All I can say is “I am shocked.”

    Sarcasm off.

    Love the juxtaposition of this story with the gentleman you remind us to pray for every Wednesday.

    Hmmmmmmmmm, I wonder which one is really a man of Gawd?

    I also realize every denomination has this problem, but can we be shocked he is emergent, yes I went there. When God can be anything and always changing and open, I am not surprised Jones did this.

    Lastly, let me guess, new woman is 10-20 years younger, with no kids, and sorry to say, a nympho.

    This clown needs to reread the Sermon on the Mount regarding adultery in one’s heart. So should his adulteress wife.

    And this group wonders why no one takes them seriously, but a handful of people.

  11. Your script points labeled first, second, third….

    Yep, yep, and yep.

    There is little more unseemly than for a pastor to speak badly about his wife, no matter the reason, the forum, or the manner (i.e. cloaked as ‘humor’). And a lot of guys do it while staying married to her (and then wonder why their marriage is difficult??)

  12. OCDan,

    I’ve seen this in conservative circles for years…

  13. I should also add, under manner…next to “cloaked as humor’ would be “under the guise of a prayer request”….

    Some who would never joke about their wife will get their digs in through prayer requests…more spiritual that way don’t you know….

  14. Steve,

    Thank you for affirming this…

  15. I am sure that Tony has worn his suffering so well that the people who “know” actually applaud him for his courage, sensitivity, kindness, endurance and conscience.

  16. BD,

    You nailed it…these guys are veritable martyrs in their circles.

  17. Gotta love the Christians today. 🙂
    -mike

  18. Check your dates. I think the affair started in 2008, divorce final in 2009, marriage officiated after that. But I could be wrong myself.

    Other than that- I think it is a big stretch to blame this on “emergent” theology when we see the same thing across all spectrums of xtianity, or really any power positions, secular or sacred. I think we can only blame it on the fact that people want what they want and the unscrupulous use mental games to justify it to themselves and others.

  19. OK I checked this guy out in his own words.

    I can’t wait till these spiritual marriages bear offspring and dissolve in the face of life problems. I want to see how spiritually they resolve break ups, take care of the children, handle custody, manage mental illness in these new covens er uh coven-ants….

    And you are correct his moral impetus is that he claimed he was standing with all those who COULD NOT legally marry…. of course that sand is washing away.

    Let these guys build their houses where they will.

    Storms will sort it all out…. this stuff will wash away

  20. “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.”

    A few years ago I first felt a certain calling on my life, and I thought I knew what looked like. My wife was not particularly supportive, and it was a source of tension between us” I have to admit that my mind went to that script above.

    Looking back on it, man am I glad that my wife was there to temper me. I made tons of assumptions that probably would have put me in a pretty bad place today, had I followed them.

    Thank the Lord for crazy stubborn wives… sometimes. 🙂

  21. The tough part for me is that Tony is 50% of the JoPa Group, and the JoPa Group is throwing a Women’s Conference.

    It’s called ‘Why Christian’ and is set for Phoenix AZ in Sep 2015 (as I recall).

    Sadly, Tony has gotten Rachel Held Evans and Nadia to headline this conference.

    Many people have begged Rachel Evans to cancel. Instead, Rachel replied that she had interviewed Tony Jones about the situation, was satisfied, refused to interview the ex-wife, and then deleted all such ‘please don’t go and do this’ comments on her FB page.

    Including the comment by Julie McMahon, the ex-wife, stating that Julie had not contacted her, at all.

    Ignoring Deut 19 that requires ‘both witnesses’ to testify (or to be investigated) is an amazing affront to the Biblical justice.

    Ignoring the ‘spiritual wife’ teachings of Tony Jones, is an affront to I Tim 5, that says ‘if a man does not provide, then he is worse than an infidel.’ In short, if a church is willing to do only a spiritual marriage (and ignore the state marriage), then the Federal and State benefits are denied to the ‘spiritual wife’. Hell, does not anyone understand that Social Security Survivor benefits go only to your legally married spouse??

    And Rachel ignores Luke 10, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and walks on the other side. Rachel should have stated something like this, “I certainly will hear your story of being abused by your ex-husband. You can post it here, Julie, if you wish. Or, I can call you, and we can talk. And by all means, I encourage you to report it to the police.”

    Sad.

    I can only hope that Rachel Held Evans, publicly apologizes for her actions, and withdraws from the conference.

  22. Annie,

    Thank you for the corrections, they have been made in the article.

  23. Preachin’ to da choir. Been there, done that, got the Tshirt. Lived to tell that God is Faithful.
    Still lots of questions, never received an apology…..

    This is the best ‘explanation” of how the process works:
    http://www.nakedpastor.com/2015/01/abuse-and-the-privileges-of-power/?fb_action_ids=10204990396307332&fb_action_types=og.likes

  24. I actually agree that we should end our participation in state marriages … for opposite reasons…

    but I do not think we should marry people where there is no legal protection for the victims of those who break covenant.

    So get married in court and then before the LORD

    Tony is just about sexification of life…

    Let him reap his harvest in peace

  25. Rhetorical question. How is this any different than Mormon polygamy? This whole “spiritually married” to someone other than the legal wife.

    Abomination.

  26. Michael and Annie I was not writing that this only happens in emergent circles. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen it as well, in many circles of Christianity.

    I was just pointing out I am not chocked by this coming from someone like him.

    Now, if you had a story about MacArthur or Billy Graham or the Pope, yes the Pope, doing this, my shocked meter might move a little bit more.

  27. Seen this more times than I can count.

    Also seen women pulling this trick, claiming their hubby isn’t spiritual enough, all because the poor guy is out working full time to provide for his family, being honorable, having an honest job, loyal to his wife…but that isn’t spiritual enough because wifey is tired of that old guy and wants someone new and exciting.

  28. I have to say this anonymously because I know Tony personally and am known in certain circles where I can’t be tied to these comments. But this is interesting. I have been in the same room with Jones a dozen or so times over the last decade. We sparred on a few blogs. I always found him to be passionate about theology and the church, even though he and I were on very different pages. But I had a few “behind the scenes” interactions with Jones while within a small group of shared friends/acquaintances. You know that sense you have that something isn’t right? I left these more personal interactions feeling uneasy. I sensed that the guy he publicly portrayed himself to be was very different from who he was. Sadly, none of these revelations is a surprise in a way. I hate to see someone with such influence using their voice for such harm. But such is the way with many Christian “personalities.” Sad.

  29. Hey Paige, great reference and well worth reading. Thanks for sharing.

  30. He is emphatically disqualified and should have stepped down.

    One cannot tell others to obey the Lord if one refuses to do so himself.

  31. OC Dan- thanks for clarifying.

    Caryn- For the sake of accuracy I will mention that RHE said she had not spoken to ether Tony or Julie, but had looked into things on her own. However, she is a long time business associate of his, has head shots and photos taken by his current wife, the spiritual one, so it seems he would have more impact on her thoughts than his ex, simply by proximity and relationship.

  32. If Tony Jones were a reformed fundamentalist, RHE would be calling him to the carpet, not joining hands with him doing a conference.

  33. Someone above suggested the TJ should “reap his harvest in peace”. But the Bible teaches that where there is no justice there cannot be peace, perhaps because God will continue to cause the conscience to itch. I believe that he will reap his harvest in pain and agony, for he has treated Julie so badly that there is a stench of hell about him.

  34. Crazy sad… God have mercy on those kids.

  35. Arce,

    Those who know me needed no such clarification but thanks anyway

  36. Mike @ 30 – Well put!

  37. These folks thrive on notoriety. They think they are cutting edge and avant-guarde. The thing you can do that will irritate them the most is to ignore them. Like Dread said, leave them to their folly. All of them. Their writings are drivel and the most polite thing we can do is turn our heads the other way, just as we would if we saw someone in the grocery store vomit all over the cantaloupes. Just turn away and pray if you are inclined.

  38. Xenia- nope nope nope. All you’re saying is to ignore harm done. Ignoring it leaves his ex still vulnerable to the story he puts out there, and to continued abuse and harassment from him.

    That attitude reads as a gigantic SHUT UP to about who has ever had a story if harm to tell.

  39. I don’t know who T. Jones in this article is but generally speaking and as someone on this blog has already said before “If succeeding in pastoral ministry means failing as a husband or as a father, then we’ve already failed as a pastor”

    May we all take heed, lest we fall.1Cor 10:12

  40. Annie,

    You’re new here.
    We’ve been telling these stories for a dozen years.
    Xenia has been here from the beginning and is a great and wise friend.

  41. Hik Annie, that’s not what I meant at all but I don’t blame you for misunderstanding me.

    The attention, affection and concern should go entirely to the victims, that is, his wife and kids.

    He and his cronies should be completely ignored other than some court somewhere demanding he pay child support and alimony.

    What I meant to say was that no one should listen to anything this man says, ever again and he will reap what he has sown.

  42. That’s Hi Annie, not Hik Annie.

  43. How do you punish a narcissist? Ignore them.

  44. Hik to you too! I’m new, admitted. And a tad grumpy about this sitch. Thanks for the patience to clarify to a grumpy stranger.

  45. Xenia, to your #43, how do we do this when in reality we only have true control over one set of eyes and ears… our own. Many of these men have a ready crop of people to supply them with the adoration and attention that they are seeking. I can very easily ignore this guy, particularly because I really didn’t know who he was before, but how do you spread a message to ignore someone without giving them mroe attention?

  46. Matthew 7:21-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

    I Never Knew You
    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    I wonder if this spiritual wife qualifies as a “wonder” in Jesuss name.

  47. dswoager, you have a good point.

    This shows the problem with celebrity ministries.

    If my pastor dumped his wife and took up with someone else, he’d be fired by his bishop and that would be the end of it, as far has his ability to negatively influence our parish (and any other parish) goes.

    But with these authors/ internet celebs/ conference speakers who are a law unto themselves, I guess people (mostly people who are unknown to them personally) have to be warned.

    But as far as future conferences, teaching posts, books, web sites, speaking engagements…. all the stuff that made him well known in his circle, he should be ignored.

    This, folks, is why we should not follow leaders of parachurch ministeries and should give our time and effort to our local church instead.

  48. Wow! You’ve got the formula right Michael. Especially when there are confounding factors like mental illness. Jones is missing that opportunity- dump the wife and give her so little money she can only live over a garage. It’s an abomination in God’s eyes and I’m confident He will redeem the injured while punishing the offender.

  49. Michael, I have seen people on both sides say they have seen documentation that proves the case of the one they believe. Have you seen any documentation?

  50. Josh,

    What I wrote seems to be agreed on by both sides.
    I have refrained from further comment on the other matters.
    My guts tell me that anybody that does otherwise without documentation is in for a war.

  51. Some folks need to remember that mental illness falls under the “in sickness and in health” part of the vow they made before the Lord God Almighty

  52. Linnea,

    I know exactly what you’re referring to…I hope and pray that woman got both help and some justice.

  53. Michael,

    You know my situation. What you have written is a well-worn pattern among those who first undermine their wife integrity and character, while carrying on with one or more women to some degree, directly or indirectly. As he gains support, he becomes more emboldened and his abusive choices becomes worse, but most of the time, not to lead into physical abuse that leaves marks, etc. And when there are witnesses, he plays the all caring and attentive husband again, but flips the switch as soon as they are out of sight. When the abuse becomes so bad and after finding out that his philandering has not ceased and that the abuse is meant to cause the wife to want to divorce him, she may attempt to get additional support and help to hold him to an account. Only thing is, she doesn’t realize that all the while she was crying and pleading with him, he was making her out to be unstable.

    Telling the truth does not make person crazy. However, having your life threatened on numerous occasions while being silenced and thrown under the bus, because you are doing everything possible to help your husband to repent, get treatment, and to set straight the lies he has told, while trying to bully her into a divorce, thus being able to say, “what could I do–I did everything possible to get her the help she needed as she has had long term mental health issues (yes, it is projection on his part), but she just wouldn’t submit.” And if she refuses to file, he will and if the court refuses his petition, then what some will and have done is simply commit fraud by filing in another state or country, then enter into a bigamist marriage.

    While the wife remains in hiding because she know that more than anything else he would like to see her disappear. She tries to warn his pastor and others, but they only see what he is showing them. No one talks to her, because the pastor made it clear that, he is “a good judge of character.” Yet she remains faithful to her vows, speaking the truth, being cautious and ever on the alert for danger, wondering how in the world the church can be so blind and so uncaring towards those of us who have suffered so.

    Thank you, Michael for speaking on this.

  54. Yes, Linda, I know…and I know others in the same situation.

  55. Steve Wright @ 52 is absolutely right. “My wife is crazy” does not negate the marriage vows. Probably isn’t true either.

    Michael @ 51 – I think that is wise.

  56. A friend in local ministry attempted to take my wife for his own property under similar suggestions… ie: His current wife was “nutso” and unbefitting of his great stature and artistic vision. My wife was his “soul-mate” and in the wise words of Rascal Flatts stated, “God bless the broken road that led me straight to you.”

    So I’m really saddened by all of this…

    I’m just praying that folks stop trying to cover things up and stop trying to save face… and finally just apologize!!! …admit that certain folks are acting like asses and other folks have been their enablers…

  57. “Hypothetically, if a wife is suffering from mental illness, it increases a mans responsibility to his wife and children.”

    Most people who have any type of mental illness are not insane. Saying, because unless a person is insane, the spouse cannot put their spouse away. For whatever reason, these guys think they can drive their wives batty, then ask the state to take them off their hand. I think it also serves to gain sympathy among those who may question his motives for divorcing her, since he doesn’t have legal or biblical grounds to do so. It secures his reputation (false image) while garnering the attention they also thrived upon.

    That card will be played, when in fact, the only thing wrong with the wife is that she is being utterly and completely traumatized over and over and over again. She very well many develop a good case of Acute Distress or even PTSD, along with a myriad of medical issues. Marital counseling is the worse thing for this person to agree to participate in, particularly because he is not being genuine and is only using the therapist to come up with some type of diagnosis to legitimize the divorce. At the same time he will fight tooth and nail from paying child support and spousal support. In my case, one moment he was saying I have the potential of earning a good living while at the same time claiming that I was “crazy.”

    I know my thyroid completely shut down which then affected my heart to develop cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome—similar to what Jesus is said to have experienced to the point of rupturing. These things are steadily improving, thank God.

    What people see is this put together guy vs. this extremely emotionally distraught woman who may also be homeless and unable to work due to being so traumatized.

    She has told the truth but he uses it to plan his moves while also putting a whole other spin on it. He may even get on her about not working, but she tells him, she has an interview with so and so, but then she calls the prospective employer to confirm and finds out they are no longer interested in interviewing her. When this happens several times in a row–one has to wonder if he has sabotaged her to keep her broke and to end up becoming homeless. But in everyone else eyes, he is the golden child, the god fearing man who did everything to try to reconcile with her. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    In my case, I wasn’t permitted to attend church with him and when I did he made sure that I saw him checking out the young girls so I that I would be discouraged from going with him again. Can you imagine what it is like for a woman to be exposed to this while trying to come together with her husband with taking communion. One time, I excuse myself, trying very hard not to run out of the service, but to get to the restroom, where I would collapse on the floor while upchucking in the toilet.

    So, no one at his church knows me, including his pastor. I used to stay home and listen to the sermon, heart broken and ripped apart. Of course, he would be there in our home in the evening, acting as if nothing was wrong. I have been in hiding for over 7 years to one degree or another. I don’t even have an address. Since August 2010, total hiding per counsel received after being severely threatened by him. His pastor knows this—but ignores it. Yes, he is in the inner circle and would like very much to be a pastor. Very mission involved at this time and taken the classes to enable him to become a pastor. You would like him—most people do. I know because who his pastor and others think he is about are the same reasons I accept his proposal for marriage.

    I shared enough I think: just wanted to bare witness to others that what Michael is saying totally true and to make it more real by sharing what I have experienced and witnessed as well, first and secondhand.

    A Sister and a Wife in the Lord deserves so much better.

  58. God mends the broken heart. He looks unkindly upon such a man who would do harm to His handmaiden. God sees the tears and it moves Him to act.

  59. Well, the bible does condone and endorse and example multiple wives and concubines in the Old Testament with great men of God like Gideon, King David, Solomon and others as examples.

    Also interesting that David’s great sin that he was confronted with by the prophet Nathan was not all of David’s many wives and concubines…but that he took another man’s wife.

    Hard to ignore that biblical example…so something in the bible either changed, God changed or it’s still OK.

  60. …that’s something that has always baffled me with the whole “biblical marriage definition is one man and one woman”

    …no, not if you take the bible as literal. The NT example only states one man, one woman in the context of an Elder/Bishop or Deacon…the OT definition of marriage includes multiple wives and concubines as affirmed and permitted in the Levitical Law.

    That’s what the bible states, I can post the verses and examples.

  61. There is nothing new under the sun.

    Remember this “fastest growing church in the ‘least churched’ city in America?

    [Pastor] Barnett told his congregation that he was taken “in Spirit” to heaven, where he sang with angels and experienced “oneness of being” with Christ. Following this, he instituted “dancing before the Lord,” which was a free-form, individual dance with spiritual implications. In 1985, however, this evolved into a highly controversial, intimate two-person dancing practice known as “spiritual connections.”

    During church services, members were instructed to find a dance partner, known as a “connection.” By staring into each other’s eyes, a process known as connecting, partners were told they would in actuality be seeing Jesus in each other’s eyes, and were encouraged to look with love into their spiritual connection’s eyes in order to express their love to Jesus. Throughout the week, both in and out of church, members were encouraged to spend time with their spiritual connections in a kind of “quasi-dating relationship.” Physical intimacy often accompanied these “spiritual” connections, and connection love was taught to be more intense, and more desirable, than marital love. A former member has stated that the connecting experience was so intense that she and other women would experience orgasms without ever having any physical contact with their connections.

    It was taught that God was using the “spiritual connections” to break down the barriers and inhibitions within the congregation, and promote greater “unity” within the church. Spouses that felt jealousy watching were taught to “release their mates unto the Lord,” and Pastor Barnett taught from the pulpit that members were not to view the connections “carnally.” According to Barnett, what the people were doing (which included hugging, holding, fondling, kissing) was not to be viewed with the eyes of the “flesh.” As he explained, “What’s happening is they’re having spiritual union … It just looks the same on the outside, but what’s really occurring is spiritual, so don’t judge them or their motives.” In the book Churches That Abuse, a former member described what it was like at church services that included such sessions of dancing:

    “Picture your typical forty-year-old wife who’s out of shape and has six children. There she is watching her husband dancing with this little twenty, year-old , long blonde hair, in his arms, gazing at her for hours. And meanwhile the wife is going insane.”

    The practice often led to marital friction.

    Ya think?

  62. The O.T. told the people that the king was to have only one wife. Long before he lusted and then bedded Bathsheba, he has a problem with women.

    As for God condoning it, I don’t think so, but he permitted it among the people. Good point though, Alex about Nathan only addressing David taking another man’s wife. He may not have addressed all the rest, but he and his family certainly did suffer the consequences.

    Solomon ran off the driven or blessed path for taking all the wives that he did.

    As did the tribes of Israel when intermarrying with pagans or being with more than one wife: see Malachi, chapter 1-3.

    Abraham slept with Sarah’s handmaid, and suffered the consequences for doing so–as did the people to this day.

  63. Not to mention those who have already shot themselves in the foot and now years later, looking back, realize what an ass thy were.

    Many things draw one away from one’s marital commitment.

    Beauty, youth, handsomeness, excitement, fained spirituality, money.

    But in the end, not so wonderful was the choice they made.

    Proverbs 5:18-23

    Let your fountain be blessed,
    And rejoice in the wife of your youth.

    As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
    Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
    Be exhilarated always with her love.

    For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress
    And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

    For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
    And He watches all his paths.

    His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
    And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

    He will die for lack of instruction,
    And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

    Steve jobs widow is dating a man who has left three children and a wife for someone with 6 billion $$$.

    But even then it is still folly.

    No amount of money can ever erase the wounds or the related pain we leave behind when we stray from the reservation.

    There are many who have gone that route and now have come to the realization that what they had done was indeed wrong.

    They are who this thread is showing strong feelings against.

    While focus is on those who get victimized, there are those who have come around full circle and know that they have done wrong, but can have no voice in this thread, for the shame and condemnation that their actions brought upon their own heads.

    I want to say to them that our loving father, our God, is the God of second chances.

    Yes you were like a bull headed in your chosen direction, not listening to the wise counsel of your brethren who attempted to bring sanity to you as you went your own way willfully.

    Now that you have come to the realization that what you did was indeed wrong, you do not have to dwell forever in shame or condemnation.

    That is not the will of God for you!

    Be washed under the cleansing flood of the blood of the Lamb of God.

    Be restored, released and renewed in Jesus holy name.

    Be forgiven and restored through the hope that Christ brings to even the vilest of sinners.

    Short of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, you can be forgiven and restored by the God of second chances.

    Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up.

    He is the lifter of our heads.

    We are faulty, leaky vessels in need of a Savior.

    1 John 1:7 (AMP)

    7 But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].

    Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

    Psalm 51:1-3

    1For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

    Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

    2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.

    3For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.…

    Acts 13:22 says,

    “After removing Saul, he made David their king.

    He testified concerning him:

    ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.‘”

    Even though David took another man’s wife sexually, he recognized his sin and repented.

    We see the God of second chances calling this adulterer a “man after my own heart.”

    So take hope dear one, you are not condemned if you repent.

    God is certainly not looking for perfect people, since there are none.

    He is searching for men and women like you and me, mere people made up of flesh.

    When you do wrong, you admit it and come to terms with it.

    I forgive you for what you have done!

    And I certainly know that the God of second chances does also.

    He loves you so much and has not abandoned you.

    He loves you!

  64. “And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.”

    “If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.”

    “Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines.”

    “Now Gideon had seventy sons who were his direct descendants, for he had many wives. His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech”

    “Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines”

    “Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.”

    “When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them.”

    “After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.”

    “Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.”

  65. From what ive read else where. He claims to be a Calvinist. So he doesnt think he is sin.

  66. Sounds like “spiritual wife” equals “concubine

  67. Thank you, BrianD…good to see you here.

  68. Joe,

    Tony Jones is as far from being a Calvinist as possible.

    I am a Calvinist and I’ve studied Calvinism for a couple of decades…and have yet to know of one who didn’t think adultery was a sin.

    Your comment is one of the Top 25 stupidest things said here in the last five years.

    Please do us both a favor and go away.

  69. Joe,

    You should know better then to mess with someone’s golden calf 🙂

  70. Deut 17

    14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that [are] about me;

    15 Thou shalt in any wise set [him] king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: [one] from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which [is] not thy brother.

    16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

    17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

    David should have stuck with Michal instead of abandoning her because he decided he had the right to do “so much more” in the presence of other women. Funny, how this is taught that Michal was being dishonoring to David.

    These men were not great men, but God used them in such a manner that made them great in our eyes. What was truly great about each one of them — that is except for Solomon, all the others genuinely repented. But as for Solomon, the kingdom was split into 2 kingdoms and the conditional promise that God made as to the seed of David inheriting the throne came through David’s son, Nathan, onto Mary instead—Mary’s seed.

  71. E,

    Go with Joe.

    Calvinism endorses the third use of the Law…which includes the prohibition against adultery.

  72. Alex. Valid and troubling. The giants of the faith in the Bible rarely if ever had what we might constitute as healthy marriages….Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, David…..Isaac might be the exception yet look at his wife and kids….Boaz might be the only guy. In the NT, Paul wasn’t connected to his wife, Peter and the disciples hmmmm.

  73. “She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her that she may bear on my knees, that through her I too may have children.” So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan”

    “When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.”

    “‘I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!” (God gave Saul’s wives and concubines to David, or so the bible says)

    “The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, whom she bore, were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan”

    “Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, Moza and Gazez; and Haran became the father of Gazez. The sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. Maacah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah.”

    “The sons of Manasseh were Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead”

    “When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion”

  74. With all sincerity here. 3rd use of the law? Where is that in scripture ?

  75. Take some time off and look it up.
    You could stand to learn something before you mouth off.

  76. Both Abraham and Isaac abandoned their wives. In fact, pimped them.

  77. I can sure feel the gift of the Love of Christ flowing from you tnight 🙂

  78. Google it, E.

  79. E. You started it then call M out on love? Hey plank, meet speck.

  80. God historically allowed His people to live outside His prescriptive will.

    Hs will for marriage was revealed first in creation, then in the law with the commandment against adultery, then again by Jesus affirming both.

    ““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
    “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
    (Matthew 5:27–32 ESV)

    “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.””
    (Matthew 19:3–9 ESV)

    Jesus is the revelation of the will of God to us, not the historical narratives of His peoples disobedience.

  81. Feel this, E.

    Bye, bye.

  82. If you believe the whole bible is the “perfect word of God”…then something changed…b/c it was okey dokey to have all sorts of wives and concubines so-much-so that the bible says “God said you can make wives of the good looking women of your defeated enemies under compulsion” and as many of them as you want.

    It’s all there, as black-and-white as any other verses in the bible…yet “bible believing Christians” don’t seem to ever discuss all those verses.

    I don’t know what the right answer is…clearly God was cool with many wives and concubines in the OT and clearly major “Heroes of the faith!” like David, Jacob, Abraham, Solomon, Gideon etc etc had many wives and concubines and had lots of kids with them.

    Tony Jones probably did something wrong b/c our collective Conscience of our age informs us it is wrong…however had Tony Jones lived in the OT times…he’d have been as righteous as David, Solomon, Abraham, Gideon, Jacob etc.

  83. Linda Pappas, I am so sorry for your troubles. They sound similar in nature. Thank you for getting it. From my experience I can only say it is spiritual warfare and the enemy has plucked Tony for his purposes. I still do pray for him and that he will be broken and repent but I am not holding my breath.

  84. True, Michael. I find it both troubling and comforting at the same time. Particularly considering the Patriarchs before the Law were so blessed.

  85. Alex – Gospel 101 – Jesus straightens you out.

    “And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they TWO shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Mark 10:2-9

    David and Solomon were disobedient to the Law-

    ““When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” Dt 17:14-17

    So Alex – if you were considering polygamy – think again!

  86. Neo, thank you. I appreciate your honesty. It’s there and it is troubling. I don’t understand it.

  87. The “righteousness” of the Old Testament patriarchs was imputed righteousness acquired by grace through faith and not behavior.

    Nothings changed there.

    Those OT narratives are earthy and honest about the sins of the fathers….and the greatness of the grace of God that calls sinners righteous by faith.

  88. Sister Wife, Jesus is speaking about divorce not polygamy in that example you note. It doesn’t at all prohibit multiple wives and concubines.

    Another interesting aspect is that Jesus never once refers to homosexuality as being sin, yet the refrain is to pull from the Old Testament to say “well it is assumed b/c it was sin in the OT and God never changes!” etc.

    Very slippery.

  89. Michael, but the prophet did not call it sin in the OT, why not?

    Why does the command in the OT in several places give permission via the “law from God” that multiple wives and sex slaves was not only permitted but encouraged?

    Were those words from the prophet not spoken on behalf of God himself? Who gave the law? Men or God?

  90. Moses wrote Deuteronomy according the the book itself.

    “10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.”

    (Other bible versions say since the marriage was forced under compulsion, also very troubling)

    Is this not a command from God and permission from God in the Law?

  91. Alex,

    We’ve ben down this road before.
    The Bible is a progressive revelation of the will of God…about a God who adopted a bunch of wandering people in a barbaric era and began to teach them the ways of the one true and living God.

    It was a process, and the process reaches it’s fullness in Jesus Christ.

    If the Bible told stories of squeaky clean saints who were always doing the right things for the right reasons then I would discard it as nonsense.

    What it does show us is people as they really are and how their God worked through these processes to show us Who He really is.

  92. Don’t recall Joseph having any problems relating to his wife and children (2). He had one wife.

    Job had only one wife and he was considered to be beyond reproach.

    Hosea had one wife and was obedient to the Lord in bearing up under her shannigans, even having children by other men. He never gave up on her and as a result, she finally got a clue and repented. They were reconciled on the condition that she would no longer be unfaithful to him and their marriage.

    Repentance — turning away from an adulterous mindset goes a long way in being able to be reconciled to one’s spouse and the Lord.

  93. Julie,

    Thanks for stopping by…I hope we helped a bit.

  94. Michael. I understand that. Completely. It’s revealing of human nature. Not building a case.

  95. It can be easy to underestimate how primary preservation of family lines and the related preservation of inherited land rights was to the laws regarding marriage in the OT. Take the incest taboos. The levirate marriage custom was obviously the exception to that taboo. Why? Because preserving the family line trumped the otherwise normative incest prohibition. Multiple wives would have tended to derive from the same precept, and rabbis have proposed that if a husband and wife had not produced heirs within the first ten years of the marriage the husband could choose to take a second wife so that heirs could be born. Note that when Sarah has Abraham dispatch a servant to get a wife for Isaac it’s from kin, Sarah didn’t want Isaac marrying some local woman. Preservation of the family line.

  96. Wenatchee can do theology too… 🙂

  97. Joseph married a pagan priest’s daughter, Hosea a hooker who left him, Job wasn’t a hero to his wife. The Bible is raw and real and perfect.

  98. my wife is crazy…for putting up with her knucklehead husband. 😉

  99. Great contribution, Hatchet

  100. Fil,

    Your wife is awesome. 🙂
    Say hi for me.

  101. My wife was married to five different men…all of the me.

    Can’t remember who said that.

  102. Where does it say it is sin? You all said a lot of things, but where is it sin and wrong other than being a disqualifying issue for Elders in 1 Timothy?

  103. Michael, will do…

    Neo, 😉

  104. David’s “adultery” was Bathsheba…another man’s wife…what was not rebuked by Nathan as adultery…but rather Nathan reminded David of all the wives and concubines God gave to him….was the fact David had many wives, many children…

  105. Sin is everywhere, Alex. I might be sinning right now. Condition more than action.

  106. Alex,

    I just posted two passages from Matthew where Jesus clearly says it’s sin.

    Exodus 20 is where you’ll find the commandment.

  107. What’s difficult for me that makes me doubt the credibility of intellectual honesty of most evangelicals is that you can create cases for very flimsy assertions like a doctrine of the Trinity or Rapture or other doctrines whose titles are not even present in the biblical text…and you can move the pieces around the board to condemn homosexuality when Jesus never talked about it…”God” as Jesus never references it in the New Testament that you said was the fulfillment of the law, the “new standard”…yet you can connect back to the OT for that issue.

    Not a hard dot to connect with regards to multiple wives and concubines…nowhere does it mention it is sin, you’ve got Nathan’s rebuke of David for “adultery” but not his many wives and concubines…you’ve got a large Group of major bible heroes having many wives and concubines…you have Deutero-Levitical Law given by God through Moses that explicitly states you can take multiple wives and concubines.

    But, Tony Jones can’t have a “spiritual wife” b/c the bible says so…yet it doesn’t say that, you are superimposing your Cultural Construct onto him b/c your collective Conscience has changed and progresses from the bible times to today and we consider it wrong for today.

    That’s how it looks from an intellectually honest perspective.

  108. I don’t recall ever saying multiple wives was necessarily a sin. Multiple wives were condemned in Deuteronomy 16-18 with reference to the king, and the reason was that too many wives would lead a king to form alliances with other nations and risk worshiping other gods. It’s worth noting that “too many” never got defined but would have been a responsibility of the people at large (at least according to Frank Crusemann’s interpretation, last I read it). The multiple wives in itself would not necessarily be considered sinful but it could be considered a significance risk indicating poor character in men of wealth and power. Did the guy take an extra wife to ensure an heir to the family resources? Well, okay … that’s acceptable. Did the guy take an extra wife to prove he has the hottest harem in the region? That’s not good.

    In the case of David it seems worth mentioning that David had begun besieging an Ammonite city of the sort that, according to the Torah, Israelites were not to lay siege to. In contrast to the earlier campaigns described in the books of Samuel, the siege David took up before he took Uriah’s wife was one that, however understandable it may have been in an ancient setting, was not about the welfare of the people as a whole but the honor and reputation of David as a king and a warrior. Once David made a decision as king that was about his glory and reputation rather than the welfare of the community things went downhill and never improved. It wasn’t that David was a better father or husband than Saul (far from it) it’s that he was considered to have a more responsible approach to how to get and use power compared to Saul.

    So multiple wives aren’t necessarily a sin BUT whether they’d be considered acceptable would depend on who’s taking how many wives for what reason. The case by case nature of the assessment becomes a little easier to appreciate if you keep the primary idea in mind that preserving the family line was crucial. If a guy amassed dozens of wives he’d risk having to divide up the estate so many ways he’d be diluting the resources of his children and that could be considered poor parenting. Even if it wasn’t considered “sin” it could still be considered folly to have more wives than were needed to secure the family estate.

  109. W said, “Did the guy take an extra wife to ensure an heir to the family resources? Well, okay … that’s acceptable. Did the guy take an extra wife to prove he has the hottest harem in the region? That’s not good.”

    Doesn’t square with this, here is an example of Moses telling God’s people that God says they can take another wife for no other reason than they think she’s hot:

    “10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.”

  110. W said, “The case by case nature of the assessment becomes a little easier to appreciate if you keep the primary idea in mind that preserving the family line was crucial. ”

    No, that is not a compelling argument and there is no biblical support for that rationale other than you appealing to cultural context.

    David did not need any more wives to keep his family line going…he had many wives, many kids when Nathan confronted him for the “great sin” of adultery. Not only was David’s polygamy and concubinery not sin…it was not necessary to preserve David’s lineage.

  111. ….in fact Nathan refers to God “giving” David a lot of wives and concubines or a harem as more reason why David didn’t need to satisfy his sexual appetite with Bathsheba.

    The purpose for David’s many wives was purely sexual….and not “sin”

  112. When you can find the part in Deuteronomy that explains how many wives is too many for a king, Alex, let me know.

    You’re seeming kind of slow on the uptake tonight. I pointed out that the prohibitions against multiple wives are conditional and tend to only apply to people like kings.

  113. Actually … given that Nabal was “probably” the chieftain of the Calebite clan what David got by marrying Abigail was a whole lot of wealth. Most of David’s marriages come across as strictly military/political gambits. David wasn’t likely to say “no” to the sex part, but look at WHO he married.

  114. Julie @ 86. Glad to see that you are here, and that your voice was allowed.

    Linda @58: Your story had me shaking my head in incredible sadness. Thank you for telling your story here, as well.

    Hugs to you both…. simply hugs.

  115. Deconstructionism is in full flight…

    The church will prevail…

    The witness to Jesus will overcome…

    The truth cannot die…

  116. Michael:

    On 27 February 2007, Tony Jones mentions that “….Courtney blogs” and provides a link to the blog.

    Link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2007/02/27/finally/

    This small statement says so little, but implies so much… clearly, a relationship of some nature has begun between Tony Jones and Courtney Perry. Not a business relationship, and not a professional theological relationship… but rather a relationship statement that leaves the reader wondering.

    The link given by Tony Jones did take me to Courtney Perry’s website. Courtney was the mistress, then spiritual wife, then later second wife for Tony Jones.

    Feel free to take your own pic of the Tony Jones blog for your files.

    Michael: I suggest you update the opening statement of your blog to include this disclosure by Tony Jones.

  117. Michael:

    On 04 January 2010, Tony Jones posted a call for the clergy to get out of the legal marriage business.

    Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2010/01/04/a-call-to-clergy-stop-performing-legal-marriages/

    This post appears to lay the groundwork for Tony Jones to have a non-legal, but ‘sacramental’ marriage to Courtney.

    As before, feel free to take your own pic of the Tony Jones blog for your files.

    May I also suggest you update the opening statement of your blog to include this disclosure by Tony Jones.

  118. Michael:

    On 14 July 2011, Tony Jones posts that he ‘got married yesterday’ (that is, on 13 July 2011). This is the ‘sacramental marriage’.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2011/07/14/i-got-married-yesterday/

    As before, feel free to take your own pic of the Tony Jones blog for your files.

    May I also suggest you update the opening statement of your blog to include this disclosure by Tony Jones.

  119. Michael:

    After his ‘sacramental marriage’, and on/about 14 September 2011, the JoPa Group (short for Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt) publish “There are Two Marriages” by Tony Jones, PhD. Cover Photo by Courtney Perry.

    http://tonyj.net/portfolio-view/there-are-two-marriages/

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005N8SXFI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theoblogy-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B005N8SXFI

    As before, feel free to take your own pic of the Tony Jones blog for your files.

    May I also suggest you update the opening statement of your blog to include this disclosure by Tony Jones.

  120. Michael:

    On 14 May 2013, Tony Jones announces his plans to get married in August 2013 (see very last paragraph). This would be a legal marriage. I am unable to find the date of the legal marriage.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2013/05/14/on-the-right-side-of-history-on-gay-marriage/

    As before, feel free to take your own pic of the Tony Jones blog for your files.

    May I also suggest you update the opening statement of your blog to include this disclosure by Tony Jones.

  121. Michael: I submitted the above, so that your opening narrative may be complete and concise, and also based on the words of Tony Jones.

    Sincerely; Caryn LeMur

  122. Jesus did say that marriage was between one man and one woman. Anything outside of this sexually is forbidden.

    ““Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

    He never mentioned homosexuality as this statement alone covers what does and does not constitute a marriage. It was only due to the hardening of men’s heart that Moses did not follow through with what God had already set forth. God allowed it given the need for women to be under the protection of a man’s tent and to secure the Jewish women from being ravaged and worse by others not of their tribes.

    Although Nathan did not address David’s philandering clearly having multiple wives has devastating consequences which led David to lusting, bedding, and killing Uriah, in spite of his faithfulness to David and his army. David did not take any more wives, nor produce any children after he lost his infant son, repented and then having to deal with his entire household being turned upside down seeing his daughter raped, his son kill another son, and then being virtually run out of the his own kingdom for a time by another son. Those things were a consequence of David’s wayward heart. Yet God knew David’s heart, thus knowing David would be brought to his knees and heart being genuinely repentant. Had Uriah lived, then what? God had a greater plan in mind and used the sins of others to teach us the value of walking in obedience to Him and what happens when we do not, while moving forward in His plan towards ushering in the only One that could save any of us and cause our hearts to be changed to want to follow Him instead of satisfying the fleshly desires and wantonness of the world and its ungodly practices.

  123. W, I think you are arguing a Straw Man that isn’t my argument.

    I’m not fixated on the King vs. Not King dichotomy you seem to present.

    The issue is really simple:

    The biblical law permits the taking of multiple wives and concubines.

    Major bible heroes did just that. David’s “sin” was Bathsheba, Nathan rebuked him for that while reminding David that there was no excuse for it b/c God had given him may wives and concubines to satisfy his sexual desires with.

    Moses tells the people of God that God said they can take “good looking women” that catch their eye and force them to be their wives (along with the wives they already have) from people’s they defeated in war.

    Fast forward to the New Testament and the only verse that says anything about limiting the number of wives is in the context of Elders/Deacons in the church…which actually supports a multiple wives narrative as it assumes others in the church have more than one wife…which precludes them from being in leadership but doesn’t preclude them from being a part of the church or an official Christian.

    As you stated earlier, the bible doesn’t say it is sin, and it certainly wasn’t counted as sin to David.

    How does it connect to Tony Jones?

    Even though it seems Morally Wrong to our current collective Conscience and Consensus of our day…if one is a bible literalist and your God is the text of the bible…a strong case can be made that Nathan the prophet wouldn’t have had a beef with Tony Jones…unless the new wife was someone else’s wife already.

  124. Personally, I think Tony Jones is wrong. It doesn’t feel right (though not much feels right about 3/4 of the bible) and I feel sorry for his first wife.

    Most likely the issue for him ditching his old wife and taking a new one was sexual..just as the reason Moses gave to all of Israel when they conquered other peoples. Feels wrong, I know, which is why I warn against basing Morality on the jot-and-tittle of the bible.

    Our current Morality is based on Conscience and Reason and Consensus, not the letter of the bible.

  125. Joseph’s wife permitted her children to raised up in the Jewish faith. She may have also converted.

    Hosea wife repented and returned to her husband, never leaving or being unfaithful again.

    Job’s wife suffered as well and lashed out at him. But in the end, God didn’t chastise her but rather blessed Job and his wife with more children and many other things.

  126. From the lineage of Joseph’s two sons came Gideon and Joshua.

  127. I am looking forward to meeting all of those generations that are in the Kingdom to come to hear their stories and to understand even more how God weaved the scarlet thread throughout the entire O.T. and N.T. Working in and through the lives of so many–good, bad, and ugly.

  128. And where is it a sin for a woman to have multiple husbands? What’s good for the gander, is ok for the goose.

  129. Alex – Jesus said – as I quoted – that TWO become one – He did not say THREE become one. You seem to be arguing just for the sport of argument.

  130. Sister said, ” that TWO become one – He did not say THREE become one.”

    That is fallacy of arguing from ignorance.

    The two became one in the Old Testament as well. David was one with all his wives and they with him.

    David and wife #1 became one flesh together, then David and wife #2 became one flesh together and so on.

  131. and they were one flesh forming a family unit for a guy who was the runt of the litter and couldn’t otherwise expect to have any inherited or inheritable land.

  132. Sister said, “And where is it a sin for a woman to have multiple husbands? What’s good for the gander, is ok for the goose.”

    Women didn’t have the same rights as men in the bible. It is a Patriarchal construct and very male oriented. In fact, women had very few rights in the OT and a little more in the NT…as the bible seemed to evolve a bit with the Jewish Culture.

  133. W said, “and they were one flesh forming a family unit for a guy who was the runt of the litter and couldn’t otherwise expect to have any inherited or inheritable land.”

    Where does it say that in the bible?

  134. Now you’re just forgetting your own arguments.

  135. Dread said, “Deconstructionism is in full flight…

    The church will prevail…

    The witness to Jesus will overcome…

    The truth cannot die…”

    Yes, of course. The church will continue to evolve and progress (unlike Islam) and soon things like gay marriage and other things won’t be such a big deal. Stuff changes. God has changed a lot since the Old Testament and even the New.

  136. W, I took the comment to be your assertion that the reason God permitted multiple wives and concubines was to protect lineage…which is more than a bit odd…and I don’t see that reason for multiple wives and concubines expressed in the bible.

    The reason seems to be largely for the sexual pleasure of the male…in David’s case Nathan refers to it “God gave you a bunch of women already, you have no excuse for taking Bathsheba” and then again in Deuteronomy “if the woman is good looking to you, you can make her your wife/concubine”

  137. He also said that to divorce your wife if she had not committee adultery and then marry another is adultery.

    He told us that marriage was intended to be between one man and one woman. Paul told us that the husband body belongs to his wife and vice versa. He went on to tell us that marital is holy and sacred and that no person should come between them. In the O.T. in Proverbs, it warns us not to: see scripture quoted by someone else, “to obtain all our satisfaction from the wife of our youth. Gosh, that was David saying that, huh.

    Alex, you are as wrong as wrong can be, guy. Men may have made it about sex, but God didn’t. It was about love, protection and preserving the Jewish people–never about abuse, oppressing, or leaving a woman abandoned to fend for herself in her hour of need even if they were the survivors of war, in the those times of barbarism. How many children did David have by the way. With all of his concubines and no birth control, you would think there would have been far more. Obviously he was not having sex with most of them. Just a thought or two.

    How many times did God tell the men to return the wives and children begotten to their own people. And what about Eliezar, the person that took over the priesthood of the levitcal tribe when he ran a spear though the couple caught in the act. Why was it okay for the woman to be stoned but not the man—-yet Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more or worse would come upon her.

    God does not always deal immediately with the sins that people commit, nor does he address all of them at one time, but rather more often than none will take the one that is the jumping off point of no return and deal with that instead–for now that is.

    Alex, personally what you have shared causes me great pain to read. I know that you are much more insightful than this, so please know those of us who have suffered as a result of not being protected and supported by those that could have done so, but like you have made excuse for such, well what can I say—or do I really need to do so. Maybe another time in private would be more appropriate. Yes, for my heart is so very tender at this moment, as if a spear has been plunged into it.

  138. Linda, it says some of those things you state, which is typical of the contradictory nature of the bible.

    “He told us that marriage was intended to be between one man and one woman.”

    ^ It doesn’t say that. It alludes to it in some spots, but is very specific in the OT that it’s OK to have more than one wife.

    I don’t care to argue it any longer, the bible verses are what they are and I’ve laid out a very basic rationale for my position but don’t don’t want to take over the blog.

    The reality appears to be that it’s not so cut and dry as with many things in the bible. It says and examples one thing, then alludes to some other things with the only specificity of “husband of one wife” being in the context of church leadership in the NT.

    Paul had his own thing, saying you shouldn’t marry…that that was “best”.

    OT = Marry as many as you want

    NT = Don’t marry, but if you do and want to be in leadership…just one wife please.

  139. “The reason seems to be largely for the sexual pleasure of the male…in David’s case Nathan refers to it “God gave you a bunch of women already, you have no excuse for taking Bathsheba” and then again in Deuteronomy “if the woman is good looking to you, you can make her your wife/concubine”

    Here’s another consideration, Alex:

    Is it possible that God was saying to David, hey stupid, you took what I gave you and brought disgrace upon me and your household. I permitted you to have those wives and those concubines. You didn’t take care of them and you have all these kinds, but you didn’t spend the time that was needed to honor any of their mothers but instead because you could not practice self control, you made it about you, David and then misused your authority, seduced the wife of a faithful husband and soldier of the kingdom I placed in your hands to lead and to protect. And by one wink of an eye, you decided a long time ago that you could do what you wanted to do in spite of the harm it would bring upon this present generations and the generation to come. For this David, you will lose your son and your household will never be at peace again. But I will promise you this, not because you deserve it or are as great as you think you are, I will take from your seed and to bring about a King who will rule forever on the throne that you now sit upon.

    Thus, David repented and he suffered much as a result of becoming so caught up in his desires he could not see beyond his own nose to see the wreck and the ruin that his household was in, as well as, his own heart. David had taken some pretty serious steps in doing things his way and thus pulling away from God. God stopped him dead in his tracks, dealt with one specific sin that involves others sins interrelating to it, but in these were not the only sins that he was committing, yet God did not address them directly but instead told him what the fruit of how far he had gone awry or astray due to his narcissistic mindset. God permitted David’s house to be sifted and sin to reign within it among his children for a purpose. But kept David’s son, Nathan in the background and away from the murderous, incestuous, and power hungry behavior of his other children. He knew what Solomon would do and how these people of each kingdom would be placed in exile and when He would permit them to return to Israel one day, united once again to receive the good news that the Messiah has come and will return. And this is just part of the story, as we all know.

  140. Linda, Paul the Apostle says it’s best to “not” get married…but that if you can’t keep it in your pants that you should marry.

    If that’s not marrying for sex, then what is?

  141. “if the woman is good looking to you, you can make her your wife/concubine”

    Please site this, as I am unable to locate it in the scriptures as written.

  142. Deuteronomy

    21

    10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

  143. “I took the comment to be your assertion that the reason God permitted multiple wives and concubines was to protect lineage…which is more than a bit odd…and I don’t see that reason for multiple wives and concubines expressed in the bible.”

    If you’re insisting on a single prooftext rather than a literature-wide survey of precepts and precedents then you’re going to find it “a bit odd” that family lineage and property rights are major themes in the OT literature.

    If, however, you opt to engage with the entire Torah as a body of case law and framing narrative and you may find that the rationale for Sarah telling Abraham to go into her servant Hagar was … to raise up an heir. What was Abram promised? A son, a son borne through Sarah. When the promises to Abraham hinge on an heir and countless descendants then it’s relatively safe to say that lineage and inheritance (i.e. a promised land) are central to understanding the narratives and case laws in the biblical text.

    Patriarchal tendencies withstanding the exceptions to the case laws demonstrate the paradigm that preserving the family line (and with that the family estate) was paramount to the authors and compilers of the OT. For instance, the exception to the general rule of patriarchal inheritance via sons was the point of the narrative that opens Numbers 27. Numbers 27 deals with a case in which it was established as normative that daughters would inherit a father’s estate if he died bearing no sons and if he had no children at all his brothers would get the property.

    As previously noted, otherwise effective incest taboos were rescinded for the sake of a levirate marriage that would preserve a family line.

    Alex, if your position was coherently defensible from a wide-ranging understanding of the texts that’d be one thing, but you haven’t demonstrated that level of competence just yet. If you want to play a game of listing texts and making them into something like a case …

    Framing a summary of OT case law regarding marriage as dealing with the sexual pleasure of men doesn’t seem to square with details in the Torah. For instance, a newlywed man was barred from military service, he was required to spend that first year learning how to please his wife and bring happiness to her (Deuteronomy 24:5). It’s not so that she may be sexually pleasurable to him. If anything, rabbis have noted it was the other way around, the husband was obliged to bring her happiness, sexual and otherwise. So, sure, pleasure and pleasantness in marriage was a priority in OT case law but proposing that the primary reference point was sexual pleasure for males may be you reading some agenda on to the texts that simply aren’t there.

    If you suspend contemporary western assumptions about why people would marry to begin with you may find that the OT marriage laws, whether you find them tasteful or not, have a pretty simple organizing premise, preserving and promoting family lines and preserving property claims. It’s not as though it was a small deal how Ahab ended up with Naboth’s vineyard. Not even kings could just decide to buy land from someone who was obliged to keep the estate within the family line.

    So the case that the OT laws and narratives were concerned with family lines and property rights is pretty defensible.

  144. Alex, @ 144.

    No, it is not. It is saying that rather than to use sex inappropriately it is far better find a wife who you are able to love, protect, and honor, so that your joy would be fulfilled and that you are not held under a burden that would prevent you from being able to honor, love, and to serve me. If you take all the scriptures concerning the relationship between a man and a woman, as one in Him–then you would know that sex would be a by-product of being able to share and to express to one another and only to one a level of intimacy and blessings that you cannot have by merely treating marriage as the cost of one must pay in order to get sex. In other words sex is not a vehicle to use another person as a human masturbatory tool or as an object or some piece of clay to work into your own selfish self-seeking pleasure.

    Basically we are told in scripture that there is a time and purpose to develop this level of intimacy with another person. It’s called marriage and the act of sexual communion has to do with the oneness that exemplifies the same heart that Jesus has towards his bride, the church. Society has made it so much less and far more destructive. Sexual addiction is rampant in the church and throughout the world. But this is why God gave the desire to be in relationship with others. Unfortunately, we have used sex as a means to fill that void without having to vest our hearts to the one whom God has designed to be our spouse for life.

  145. Gay marriage is devolution…

    It is not higher it is lower…

    Wrong direction

  146. Why anyone would want MORE than one wife is beyond me….

    One woman is all a dude can handle.

    Even Solomon came to understand this.

    Anyway, I’m not presenting a case for polygamy…

    Only finding fascination and comfort in the story of the Patriarchs and such…

    Through it all….

    Jesus is the Answer.

  147. Again, no Deut 21 is not about sex, although I certain some turned it into such. Read the scripture again. It is talking about war and having taken captive the enemy. We know in that time the pagan considered women as part of the booty, so to speak (no pun intended) and we also know that by taking the women, it was a political move to signify to the conquered army that the victor had the power now, so much that they could no longer provide for or protect their own women. God knew this as well, but in these scripture he does not permit the Jewish man to treat her disrespectfully or as if she is a piece of meat to be beaten up, chewed up, and then spit out as Pagan societies would do. The women cannot defend themselves any longer so it was accepted that this would be their lot if their men lost in battle. God provided a way for the Jewish people to demonstrate mercy and compassion for the women. One being by telling the person who did fight to honor the woman he found attractive by clothing her with good clothing, and honoring her by respecting the need to grieve over having to leave her parents or losing them in some other way, then to consummate this union. He also provided relief to this man yet honoring the women should he decide that this wasn’t working out and that although she might have been pleasing to his eye or attractive, there are far more other things to consider when it comes to picking a wife . None which are to her fault, but to his own instead. Thus, instead her being under such a one who could not love her in the manner that she needed to be love, thus affecting his ability to be affectionate, loving, and honoring her, God also told him to let her go while not bringing any more dishonor upon her as he already has thus done because he was not commanded to marry her, but rather he chose her because he found her attractive in some manner, by treating her as a slave would be treated or as a possession to sell to another.

    In other words, God made provisions on all sides here, but if the man puts her away then he had the duty to let her go without dishonoring her as he had done by simply marrying her for a type of fleshly desire that is neither honoring nor enabling himself to bond to her as should have as her husband.

  148. “as HE should have as her husband.

  149. Here are many scripture, both in old and new testament that speaks on husband and wife while making reference to he and she.

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/search.php?q=husband+wife&hs=1

  150. The one woman man approach of 1Tim3:2 NT should be the standard for shepherds if we are going to follow the early Church model. Also if Christ gives Nathans and Samuels in our personal life and ministry today by all means embrace them and the counsel they give, as they will help us from repeating the same mistakes David and Solomon made.

    If a man doesn’t have Nathans or Samuels in his personal life and ministry presently this would be a great petition to ask The Lord. Peace

  151. Gideon had 3 wives, however, does scripture say they were his wives at the same time or could be that he was married to them one after the other marriage ended due to divorce or death.

    Scripture on “wives.”

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/search.php?word=wives&page=2&order=&bsec=

    I think Jacob’s son had one wife each.

    Also Noah and Lot, they also had only one wife.

    Scripture doesn’t say if Paul was married or not.

    But what scripture does say is that when making reference to a wife or husband, it uses the singular he or she, not he and he or she and she.

    Did Adam have more than one wife or even a concubine or two or three.

    Wasn’t it Lamech who started the multiple wife thing and what was his story?

    And Moses had only one wife. His father-in-law was called by 3 different names.

  152. This article sounds similar to the the Dinesh D’souza affair a couple of years ago. If I recall my ex CC pastor even invited him back to speak at his church after the scandal blows over. What a scam.

  153. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Carol and Alice.

    But of course adultery is ok as long as you call it “spiritual” or “biblical.” I’ll be right back, going to rob a bank so I can practice “spiritual stewardship.”

  154. A few things come to mind –

    1. Given the nature of the OP, I’m not sure how the discussion of multiple wives began. Jones didn’t say that he wanted this woman AND that woman. He said that he wanted this woman and NOT that woman. His plan wasn’t to multiply, but to subtract and add (or add and subtract, depending on perspective).

    2. There are plenty of descriptions of men who had multiple wives in the Bible. Yet description is not prescription. The prescription for marriage is found in the early chapters of Genesis and affirmed by Jesus and Paul. In discussing divorce, Jesus said that Moses allowed it due to hardness of heart – but it was not so from the beginning. Jesus draws His theology from the beginning prescription and does not draw normative conclusions from narrative descriptions. That God allows departure from the prescription is an unremarkable comment. That we would make normative the descriptive passages over the prescriptive texts is the remarkable thing.

    3. Something that hasn’t been commented upon (I think) is that w multiple wives, the new wife may replace an older wife in the husband’s affections and attention, yet the previous wife/wives are still cared and provided for. No doubt, even conjugal visits would still be in order. But Jones, in adding one wife had to subtract the other. He stood (I assume) before God and gathered witnesses and pledged covenant love to the wife of his youth. He then proceeded to betray, reject, and eject her. I don’t know that David promised Michal that there would be no others, but I’m sure Jones promised that to his bride. Broken promises lead to broken people.

    4. When I read the OP, I thought of King Henry VIII. “My wife isn’t fertile enough for me. I want fruit that she is not bearing. I must get rid of her.” He jumped through a bunch of spiritual mumbo-jumbo- loops, too.

  155. A lot of the ridiculous rules and concepts that men come up with would be exposed if the Body of Christ operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And if Christians knew their Bible well.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-holy-spirit-triumvirate-series.html

  156. Well well,

    And God created man in his own image so man returned the favor and created god in his own image.

    Marketplace religion the new true idolatry

  157. There is a market for sensitive well-spoken leaders who can sympathize with the average smuck who just wants to be left alone, have great sex, do the kind of good works that get public praise, and just be a live and let live guy.

    He will always sell books, have conferences, be spoken well of by all people and get away with whatever he (usually he) does.

    Welcome to National Lampoon’s Christian Vocation…

  158. I still do not understand why people wring their hands over this. I said this when we discussed it on the other thread earlier in the week.

    “Tony Jones is not a Christian and his organization is not a Christian organization.” They can be categorized as any of the other 1,000s of organizations, groupings, religions – Christianity is just not one of them

    Don’t tell me I cannot judge in this matter. I have already taken the log out of my own eye in this area, so I can. Please join me.:-)

  159. As you read the OT….
    Polygamy brought nothing but hardship for those who practiced it .Jacobs household was a pure travesty. King Davids children were a mess… Rape and murder….

  160. Marriages end, get over it. People get divorced – more often than not it involves someone else, not always as a cause but often as a result of a marriage not working.

    Why pick on this man rather than any others? For someone to call him ‘sick’ and ‘evil’ is so completely over the top. Nobody’s perfect, not even his wife I suspect.

    Judge not.

  161. Gideon (Jerubbaal) had many wives and concubines. In total he had 72 sons. His son, Abimelech killed all his brothers except for Jothan . All because he wanted to succeed his father.

    http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0709.htm

  162. Tiggy writes: Marriages end, get over it…Why pick on this man rather than any others?

    I’m sure the OP was written about Jones because he is a significant leader in one stream of the church and sets the tone for his movement and serves as an example of Christlikeness in his movement. He was singled out because, in many ways, he has singled himself out as someone who should be listened to in spiritual things. He is a public figure.

    Marriages end, get over.
    This isn’t about marriages ending – I think you’ve missed the intent of the OP by a good country mile. It’s about betrayal and lies and intentional disobedience of a well known Christian leader in light of covenantal responsibilities both to spouse and church.

    Marriages end, get over it.
    Christian leaders treat their wives despicably, commit adultery openly, seek justification for it through spiritual mumbo-jumbo and betray and abandon the wife of their youth. Christian leaders set a unChristlike attitude before the very people they are to lead into Christilikeness. These leaders sin against God and spouse and church and go on like nothing has happened.

    Is that what I’m supposed to get over? One of the diseases in the church is that we do, unfortunately, get over it.

  163. Tiggy, my point was this man said he had a “spiritual wife” before he was legally divorced from his very real wife. If that isn’t sick and disgusting, I don’t know what is. To try and dress adultery up as something beautiful and “spiritual” is truly sick and evil.
    Yes people get divorced and remarried every day, let him do it the legal way and not try to dress it up as “spiritual.” Do you not see something wrong in this?

  164. Note on 165 link:

    David Guzik is incorrect in his notation that 68 brothers were murdered. Scripture states that Abimelech killed 70 brothers. How can this be when scripture also tells us that Gideon had 70 sons. Simple, the 70 had been born prior to Abimelech and Jothan.

    Abimelech would have had a on long wait to be in first place to succeed his father.
    Multiple wives and concubines create problems for the children, if anything, as Watnachee shared in his comments. Such sorrow and lack of remorse is the pinhead that will bring any house down upon itself.

    Marriages do not fail, they are torn asunder by pure unadulterated sin left to its own devices.

  165. Dee Parsons of The Wartburg Watch and I have been talking behind the scenes to get a GoFundMe account set up for Julie McMahon. It’s up and running. If you would like to help support Julie, here is the link: http://buff.ly/1yNSysL

    #IbelieveJulie

  166. Marriages do not fail, they are torn asunder by pure unadulterated sin left to its own devices.

    Linda, I 100% agree!

  167. Tiggy,

    Are you a friend of this man? Or are you just flippant about the marital covenant vs. legal sanctions that justifies or covers up the adulterous marriage.

    His wife was neither a cheat or an abuser. So what grounds did he have to divorce his one and only wife.

    Perhaps you identify with his sin more than that of the violation of his wife? Not judge, we are to judge all things in the body of Christ? See 1 Cor 5-6. for the sake of repentance and reconciliation. To not judge means to enable and to approve, to tolerate, and to enable such to go on. There is no repentance, well until after the fact and the damage have been done, but hey that’s supposed to legitimize the adulterous marriage. Not according to scripture, it doesn’t. Maybe in the eyes on man’s court, but not in the eyes of God. This guy has twisted scripture and flipped things around or in reversed. A lot of people will be unfaithful telling themselves, it will be okay, I can just repent after I get remarried. That is not true repentance. It is deception, but God is not mocked.

    For those who are remarried and have not schemed then offer this prayer of repentance, but have come to their knees, I think God grants forgiveness, but even then this couple needs to vindicate the innocent spouse, at minimum.

  168. Thanks, Julie Anne!

  169. Julie Anne,

    Gosh, an original quote, I might add.

    Figured this one out as a result of my own situation as well of all those whom I have been privileged to hold in confidence.

    Great idea about the fund being set up for her. Will send when I can pull a few dimes of my own together.

  170. Tiggy

    “Nobody’s perfect, not even his wife I suspect.”

    Committing adultery and leveling the playing field by saying no one is perfect is a typical way of justifying a horrendous sin. Also remember, although we say sin of adultery. Adultery involves far more than this. For instance according to the data presented his wife discovered the affair in 2008. Now, the timeline for affairs to take off begins far before there is a physical or even an emotional attachment. All the lies, the hurtful things said and the withdrawal of his affection, along with the time spent in pulling the wool over her eyes, as well as, others, along with belittling or engaging himself in causing others to support him in his endeavors, then turning their backs on her, along with leading or co-leading this new flame of his into co-conspiring to violate his marital vows, the marriage, his wife, and the body of Christ—-can hardly be dismissed by saying:

    No one’s perfect–get over it, and don’t judge. WE make a huge error when we treat sin so flippantly and with such glibness, then expect others to join us in this ruse or attack them for standing up and speaking the truth and say this is wrong and this is why, and you need to repent and make right as much as possible the harm you have brought upon this person or persons—Including the person you decided to pull into your scheme to defraud your spouse.

  171. “because the marriage is not working.”

    There is never a good excuse to commit adultery and if you do, it has nothing to do with your spouse—it has to do with you, and you alone.

    If your heart is divided and wants to be single, but married, that should tell you that you are on the wrong track and that it will end up hurting a lot of people — but then again, you didn’t care, now did you. Not really. It wasn’t about the marriage nor was it about your spouse–it was all about you.

    The sins we conceive when we practice to deceive.

  172. @ 147 Wenatchee:

    I’ve been meaning to get back to you on this just to say I think that is one of the best comment I have read on this topic.

    It’s a keeper—may I tuck it away in my file that I keep to use privately as I take strength and consider life upon that highway which I travel?

  173. I agree with Linda but would have said a great deal more about the covenant obligations that drove the matters as to Abraham and his offspring and the ongoing view of how the covenant was the centerpiece of understanding the male female relationship.

  174. Well spoke – Tim Brown!! – #166

  175. On this subject I am instantly brought to Malachi 2 (English Standard Version)

    Malachi 2:13 (ESV) “And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one Godfn seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselvesfn in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

    Malachi calls people like this faithless!

  176. I wish to offer that I ok with human failure. I had my own marriage struggles. Bonnie and I separated twice. Reconciled twice. It was incredibly difficult. We stayed together despite my diagnosis of PTSD and GID (Gender Identity Dysphoria). We celebrated 39 years together last summer.

    Bonnie learned to love someone with certified mental disorder – that is, me.

    I own my strikeouts. I own my humanness.

    It has disturbed me is that Tony Jones has not owned his ‘Sacramental Marriage’ doctrine as heresy. He has not apologized for the doctrine. He has not owned his part of the divorce or openly admitted to his years-long affair.

    However, I am totally and deeply saddened and horrified that Tony Jones is, in essence, inviting many well-known WOMEN Speakers/Authors to a ‘Why Christianity’ conference under his banner of the JoPa Group.

    One such speaker is Rachel Held Evans. Another is Nadia. And the list goes on….

    Tony Jones’ control of the battlefield is soooo good, that Rachel Held Evans hid every contrary comment, every pleading for her not to attend, and every scriptural disagreement from her FB page. Hid them. Like they no longer matter. Like they no longer have a voice that can touch her heart.

    Suddenly, Rachel is no longer just implying her consent of the Sacramental Marriage heresy, but she is additionally ‘walking on the other side’, avoiding the wounded, and once again demonstrating by example that Christianity cannot hear the incoherent voices of the one that is ‘half-dead’ and abandoned by the system.

    In my opinion, Tony Jones’ heresy may be just a cover that allowed him to justify his affair and live-in female partner.

    But now, in my opinion, we are watching true ego-power ignoring the Word of God, and becoming the controlling gravity of a cultic movement, and the unspoken horror that says: “Move away from the wounded, and erase their words, because our leader and our mission outweigh anything else.”

    This is what I perceive: Women leaders and female Christian authors silencing Christian women that wish to speak of their abuse… they say, in essence, the Church is not a place for your voice or healing… go away.

    This is what I perceive: A male leader that is out of control and answers to no one…. that says in essence that women can and should have no legal rights via marriage, so long as a ‘christian’ minister performs the ‘sacramental’ ceremony.

    This is my only hope: That the invited Female leaders and authors openly and publically state they will NOT attend nor speak at the ‘Why Christian’ Conference, due to the ‘Sacramental Marriage’ heresy.. and then, open their hearts and blogs once again to the moans of the sisters that have been left ‘half-dead’ on the side of the road.

    Why not honor God’s way more than the way of a man?

  177. […] Wartburg Watch has a very balanced assessment of the ensuing drama. PhoenixPreacher has a very biting assessment of Tony. Much controversy has swirled around Julie’s allegations […]

  178. Well said, Caryn.

  179. “Suddenly, Rachel is no longer just implying her consent of the Sacramental Marriage heresy, but she is additionally ‘walking on the other side’, avoiding the wounded, and once again demonstrating by example that Christianity cannot hear the incoherent voices of the one that is ‘half-dead’ and abandoned by the system.”

    Boom! There it is!

    This accurately describes the central problem with celebrity driven Christianity. Many (not all) who attain some type of status, and it doesn’t always have to be on a national or international scale, lose the sense of hearing the heart’s cry of the least of these. There status is elevated to a place where what is seemingly important is something other than giving the cup of cold water o those in need. They become emotionally, mentally, and spiritually detached from the very Christian religion that they claim to make known.

  180. OMG!! Guys!! I missed you all. Can’t believe this blog is still going strong. How is everyone? Michael, I follow Stuff Christian Culture Likes and she shared this thread. My worlds collide.

    Happy New Year!!

  181. Ready to blow my story outta the water? HAHA. j/k

  182. Shannon…it’s been a long time.
    Good to see you again, and I hope you are very well.
    I’m glad I checked the computer before bed. 🙂

  183. Ixtlan,

    Exactly…

  184. It has been! Years! I am so very well. Finally pain free (3 surgeries later).

    I’ll email you later with an update.

  185. Please do… 🙂

  186. I went through the link summarizing the Tony Jones affair. It absolutely sickens me how Julie has been treated. I believe it would be wise of people when telling this tale not to us the word “deranged” in speaking of her. It’s an affront to all of us who struggle with mental illness.

    I’m beginning to believe the giants of the faith are the moms who raise a family and the husbands who earn an honest wage to support them.

    Pastors who are faithful in their calling to care for their congregations no matter the size are also giants who walk among us.

    This idea of a spiritual wife is laughable and tragic at the same time because people seem to be buying it.

    The truths contained in the word of God are systematically being dismantled. Sadly a lot of it comes from the pens and mouths of those claiming Jesus as their savior.

    Hello Shannon. I recall you from years ago. Hope all is well with you!

  187. Hi Erunner,

    All is well!! Been a long journey to health physically, mentally, and spiritually, but I’m finally on the other side! 8 years later…

    Hope all is well with you!! I remember you, Michael, Dusty, Babs, and a few more..you were all so instrumental in my healing, you’ll never know!

  188. Shannon, it’s great that you’re doing so well. You are a blast from the past! 🙂 I’m doing well and have much to be grateful for. God bless!!

  189. Hello Shannon,

    These boys have kept things lively

  190. I know this will sound contrived and rather stupid, I sometimes struggle with rising to a level of even considering myself a human being, let alone a child of God. It seems much to presumptuous to me but I would never treat a lady I promised my life to like this, I know GaG put finger down the throat. It is also most likely stupid. But I just would not do that. I mean from what I saw Tony worked the business, and it has been economically successful for him from my personal observations. That is big time good and should be praised in any endeavor. But I could never really do that, it would make me physically ill. God that is pathetic I know it is but its just what I am.

  191. I posted this comment on a friend’s repost, and I thought I should post it here as well:

    “I’ve always thought Tony Jones was a giant ass from the first time I met him, but this Michael Newham is just as big an ass. I’ve known the person he reduces to a “new toy” as a friend from before the Tony Jones days. (I’ve never understood what she saw in him, but people make their own choices.) She’s bright, talented, and generous.”

    I understand the deeply embedded patriarchal attitude that allows men like Michael to casually reduce women to objects, but it doesn’t make him less an ass.

  192. Derek

    Your post makes no sense at all. Please expand or correct what you posted.

    If you are excusing Michael N. Of something it has to be verifiable and make sense.

  193. Bob, I think what Derek K. is saying is that the new girl friend is “bright, talented, and generous.” In my mind, that would not release her from the instruction “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. So that they are no more twain, but one flesh.”

    My personal belief is that life is difficult and I don’t want to judge someone else since I never know all the facts and the old saying about walking a mile in their shoes applies.

    However, there is a sanctity to marriage that any party should recognize and respect.

    Again, I don’t know the facts even vaguely, but I would not find the “other women” blameless. Those that know more of the situation might have a different view.

    Derek K., perhaps you could explain your view in more detail and help us understand. Was there an affair while Tony Jones was still married? Is the lady you refer to the one who had the affair with him? Did she know he was married? Seems like those are the essential questions if we are understand her actions.

  194. Derek – Michael did not reduce Courtney to a toy. He accused Tony Jones of doing so.

  195. Mr Koehl,

    Clearly there is no shortage … judging by the braying

  196. I understand the disappointment but not the surprise at this behavior. All of this makes perfect sense when one accepts that Christianity is just as made up as any other religion. And that does not make Christianity bad….it’s not a knock on it. It simply suffers same fundamental problem that all religions do….we invented them.

  197. Ben,

    I take it that you are not a Christian. And why would you want to be when observing what those who say they are, behave as they are not.

    I am not going to hand off any type of excuses such as “no one is perfect,” or that “everyone sins, but is forgiven if they believe in Jesus.”

    But what I can say and that I hope that you would consider, that when we judge God by the actions of others, we tend to think that God is like humans. Thus if humans behave the way they do while claiming to be a Christian, it is really difficult to see the tree from the forest. People will also chalk God as being a mythological figure that people use for multiple reasons which I am certain you can provide a never ending list to reinforce this.

    However, as one who is a Christian and life, mind, and heart who has been changed, just know that not all who claims to be Christian are just giving lip service, but have in fact come to a place in our lives that convince us that God is as real and as personal and as loving and caring as one care be and in this, we do claim Jesus as our Savior and our Lord.

    From my heart to yours, thanks for sharing. I am so sorry that what you have seen or witnessed does not bear this out in reality for you.

  198. ‘She’s bright, talented, and generous.”

    You left out “adulteress’.
    My guess is that the wife and children whose home was wrecked don’t find her “bright, talented, and generous”.

    Yes, I am an ass, but you haven’t been around long enough to understand in what ways.

  199. I should never try to defend Michael. He’s quite capable of his own defense. And in a lot less words that I used.

  200. J.U….it’s appreciated, trust me. 😉

  201. Derek,

    I gave some thought towards your desire to defend your friend, while trying to put myself in your place. What I see is that you are only viewing these thing from a perspective in the manner that you have been treated by this person, thus the good qualities that you see within them outshines any negative things that you have other people report or shared. Therefore, wanting to defend them, you pick up your banner and come to her defense.

    However, to be a really good friend to her, don’t you think that it would be far more advantageous to determine if in fact what is being reported is true. And if it is (not saying that it’s not) then, then what? How can you being a good friend to this person join her in the deception and the violation being and have been committed against the wife (biblical) whom she knew for many years now that the man she involved herself was already married. Thus, no matter what reasons he gave to justify his adulteress choices, it did not justify her own choice of buying into this and thus, by a sacred and holy covenant made before the Lord, also abused this woman while robbing her of those affections/honor/protection that are strictly provided/sanctified within the Holy Union between this wife and her husband.

    How is it that you as her friend can justify yourself to your friend to enable her to think for a moment that her union with another person’s husband is legitimate. Wouldn’t it be better to counsel her to leave this man so that he could get right with his wife. Yes, she could file for an annulment. As if the marriage never took place in the place. Look it up. Then she could go to the real wife and do what is necessary to reconcile with her as well as to vindicate her. Heck, she could work with this wife to cause him to be held to an account by those in the church to enable him to do what he needs to do to enable himself to develop an understanding of the depth and breadth of what he had done, not just to her, but to you and those he has misled by distorting God’s word to scheme and to justify abandoning and abusing his wife. In turn, healing and reconciliation could take place. Of course, your fried would also need to grieve and get her own counseling, but at least she would have a clear conscious and be able walk away and seek out a man that does not already have a wife. Maybe you, if you are available.

    After this, the both of you could also add to those qualities, that of being honorable, which is a character trait that is far more important than what you have suggested.

    I leave you with the following:

    Proverbs 27:6

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

  202. Michael’s a good man. Not many I have found to be better when the chips are down. I have challenged him hard many times and in the end he has always been gracious and stuck to his faith and stuck to his guns when it comes to being there for an abuse victim etc. He’s been unshakable in that regard and I think it is among his best qualities.

    I could care less about rough edges, we all have them. If there is a God and if there is any truth to Christianity, Michael is an example of the good in it even when we don’t agree.

  203. Linda Pappas, I am truly appreciating your input on this thread. Thank you for joining us. Welcome also, to Julie Anne and Julie McMahon. Excellent company.

    Thankfully, our hope is the ultimate righteous justice and judgment of God in such matters, when we shall know as we are known and all things done in darkness shall be revealed in The Light…. We may never see justice in this life.

    While terrible injustice and sorrow is perpetrated in situations as the one discussed (and dissected) here, focusing on the perpetrators and the injustice only delays healing, IMO.

    I love that saying “Stop looking backwards. We’re not going that way.” Keeping eyes, heart and mind on Jesus, the ‘slow and certain light’….. is the way to move forward, find hope and cling to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

    Read Matthew 23 last night….Quite an extensive diatribe by our Lord on phoney, externally religious and abusive leaders. Nothing new under the sun.

  204. Alex 🙂

  205. Derek,

    You are not going to spin Michael like that. No sir.

  206. a Shannon the Cannon sighting! awesome.

  207. Alex,

    Thank you for the kind words…much appreciated.

  208. Reuben,

    It’s all good…I spun him back. 😉

  209. I’m going to be out for most of the day…I’ll check in as I’m able.

  210. Thank you, Paige

    “hile terrible injustice and sorrow is perpetrated in situations as the one discussed (and dissected) here, focusing on the perpetrators and the injustice only delays healing, IMO. ”

    I don’t think it is so much as placing a focus upon the perpetrator than is to say, this is what happened, this is where I am and depending upon one’s status (relating to this thread) in their marriage, this is what I am still processing through as a result of xyz. Along with this by providing a description of the perpetrators behavior, it helps other to understand and it facilitates the ability of the person harm to put words to what they experienced when for a long time, they have their reality jacked with (gas lighted), their voices muzzled and been had their lives turned upside down, at risk and in danger. By being able to express these things it also helps others, as well as, the self to gain strength, get their voice back and to go forward. Mentioning the perpetrator and their behavior in light of one’s own healing is not a detriment. Actually, it is quite healthy.

    I’m not talking about obsessing over them. Yet, for a time due to acute stress, trauma, or PTSD, this is quite most important to be able to do but with the intention of talking it out, talking it out, talking it out with those who have the patience, understanding, and compassion to do this with. After this, it then becomes a matter of not focusing upon the perpetrator, but rather more of discussing the various behavior used that served to dupe us as well as everyone else and the effect and impact it has had upon us.

    As we do this, it also gives legitimacy to the truth that the perpetrator and their supporters failed in their efforts to hide this while burying us alive, so to speak. For some, like myself—I am still waiting at the altar and trusting in God to do what is necessary to bring about that which has yet to be revealed so that healing and reconciliation can take place.

    At the same time, keeping my eyes upon the Lord and being faithful in my vows and in my walk with Him. Much wiser and strengthen in His strength, yet grieved and broken hearted, but so much more able to towards Him than be in bondage to that which for a moment had be under the bus and left for dead. Alienated and isolated, yet safe and at times scared, but ever holding on and giving thanks for every kindness that is given to me and every kindness I can give to another. Hanging on and ever so grateful for what I have been given yet knowing that in a moment, I can lose that as well. Holding loosely, yet all the more tightly to Him who have sustained me thus far. Waiting, standing in the gap, asking others to remember me in prayer and asking God to use me for His good purpose as well. Enemy constantly there to undo me—-nipping at my heels, tired, worn, and ever so wondering yet knowing this is what it means to be a Christian and keeping my eyes on that Cross before me.

    In some ways I am a different person than I was before being betrayed. I missed the freedom and safety I once enjoyed. I missed the millions of things that used to bring a smile to my face. So yes, in processing through and not burying those things that has brought me to this place, it gives me strength to take the next step and the step after that to stand up and bare up under that which was placed upon me, but no longer in the way that was intended, purposed, or meant to destroyed me. As Joseph stated: You meant for my harm, but God meant it for good.

  211. Something ltxian said last night;
    “This accurately describes the central problem with celebrity driven Christianity.”

    This should be a first indicator that someone like Tony Jones (fill in the blank for any ‘celebrity church worker) cannot – as in it is impossible, be a Christian.

    Christianity is about humble invisibility. Doing for your neighbor and not for yourself.

  212. Didn’t God speak through an ass one time? And didn’t Jesus choose to honor the colt of an ass upon which no person had ever sat? Maybe being called an ‘ass’ is a back-handed compliment. 😀

  213. Linda– I haven’t been around much lately– came to this blog 8 or 9 years ago. You’ll find this to be a place to find your voice and to heal. It’s important that those along the healing continuum are able and willing to share. You help those who are just behind you in the process. Paige, your perspective gives hope to those who have survived to know that they can thrive. Blessings to you ladies :).

  214. Hi Babs and Fil!!!

    Looks like it has been lively! I’ll try to visit more often!

  215. Derek said, “I understand the deeply embedded patriarchal attitude that allows men like Michael to casually reduce women to objects, but it doesn’t make him less an ass”

    Wow. If Derek was so concerned about ‘patriarchal attitude’ that ‘casually reduce women to objects’ he would be more concerned about Tony Jones’ treatment of his friend and ex wife.

    Is it just me or does religious hypocrisy from liberals look even more idiotic than from the fundamentalists?

  216. Patrick- as one who is neither a liberal nor a fundamentalist xtian, I can assure that the hypocrisy looks equally ridiculous.

  217. For the sake of fairness, we should probably at least take a look at this “Statement By Tony Jones Regarding Allegations of Abuse” http://goo.gl/fb/PBpVPc

  218. Roger, I reviewed Tony’s lawyer’s point by point response and I reviewed the allegations by Julie.

    There are many things that don’t square with regards to Tony’s take and I was initially wowed by what was a seemingly thorough response.

    Some facts that both sides agree on that are important:

    1. Tony was diagnosed NPD.

    2. There was some sort of altercation the night Tony served Julie with the divorce papers…and Tony’s lawyers don’t deny the specific allegation that he “pushed” or shoved her…they just claim it wasn’t “abuse” or “harm” or a crime…and Julie maintains that her son witnessed the altercation and had to help get a piece of furniture off of her and helped her up. There’s a police report of that incident and a witness that is old enough to be reliable. Julie says she was injured from the “push” or shove, but the injury was of a nature that it wasn’t evident that moment when the cops were there…but she noticed the pain later after her adrenaline was down and a doctor confirmed she had an injury…which is common similar to car accidents where the pain and injury of the initial accident doesn’t show up until the next day or days later and you can’t move your neck and bruises then appear etc.

    3. There are people I know and trust who claim to have the psychological evaluations (as well as other documents) of Tony and Julie, and that Tony’s story isn’t jiving with regards to his claims about Julie. We’ll see if those documents see the light of day.

    I think it is important to see the police report from the “pushing” incident and to see what the son (as a witness) has to say…and to see if a doctor can confirm injuries to Julie after that incident. Tony’s lawyers were very careful with that issue and issued a non-denial denial…they didn’t deny the incident or the pushing/shoving…they simply framed it as “not abuse” and not a crime b/c there was no arrest…doesn’t mean she wasn’t physically assaulted by Tony and doesn’t mean she was injured…and the fact the lawyers treated that issue in such a lawyerly manner is a red flag and draws attention to that issue.

  219. “doesn’t mean she WASN’T injured…” above.

  220. Roger: I offer that you focus on what I would call the “Doctrine of Sacramental Fornication and Non-provision for the Spouse” being espoused in writing by Tony Jones.

    Concerning your point:

    1. Some of us have chosen to avoid the ‘he said – she said’ arguments on the Internet.

    2. After all, I have been amazed for many years at how people honestly remember the incidents differently…. and horrified at how lawyers will reframe the evidences and memories. I have also come to realize that our American justice system is based on adversarial law.

    OK. That said, I notice, Roger, that you completely avoid the concern of the greater Conservative Christian community that Tony Jones, a founder of the JoPa Group, is creating a Cultic following of young believers.

    These young believers do not realize the teachings and life-style of their cultic leader – to paraphrase the words of Jesus, they follow the blind leader blindly, and both will ultimately fall into a pit. It is the job of the more mature believers in Christ to point out the ‘blindness’ of their guide – otherwise, we are tacitly responsible for them falling into the ditch.

    The evidences offered from Tony Jones’ own published words of Cultic beliefs and behaviors were covered earlier in this lengthy thread, so I won’t repeat them here.

    In short, I have concluded that adultery is adultery; fornication is fornication; not providing for your spouse is financial and material abuse – and asking ‘fellow clergy members’ to perform only ‘marriages’ that are ‘sacramental’ acts of fornication was brazen, abusive of the Word of God, and shows a serious need for his business partners and followers to avoid him.

    However, the ‘Doctrine of Sacramental Fornication and Non-provision for the Spouse’ as taught by Tony Jones, blurs adultery, honors fornication, recasts non-provision as a gift to God (that is, spiritual ‘Corban’), and urges Christian Leaders to follow the example of Tony Jones rather than the example of Christ and the Bride.

    Now…. let’s explore some interesting points:

    Business Partners:

    It is also alleged that Fuller Theological Seminary and the Common English Bible support Tony Jones, as an adjunct professor (Fuller) and with donations to the JoPa Group (CEB). Additional sponsors shown on the JoPa Group website include a Seattle School of Theology, San Francisco Theological Seminary, and still more. Some of us are amazed that these organizations continue their tacit approval of the ‘Doctrine of Sacramental Fornication and Non-provision for the Spouse’ as taught by Tony Jones… and appear unaware or unwilling to ‘call a spade a spade’.

    Followers:

    It is also documented that Tony Jones, through the JoPa Group, has invited Female Christian Leaders, such as Rachel Held Evans , to a ‘Why Christian’ conference as major speakers.

    I offer that readers need to reconsider how a Cultic Leader grooms his victims and followers with incredible acts of humanity and generosity and praise…. encourages them (even begs them) to move away from all evidences of wrong-doing… then reframes all the contrary evidences into a positive light… uses ‘scripture’ to prove his points to a cloister of close followers… and finally, when they have been sufficiently isolated, theologically entraps and philosophically rapes them all.

    Consider this also:

    Rachael Held Evans, a Christian author, allowed the voices of the abused on her FB pate… and is a friend of Tony Jones. When Tony Jones was accused of heresy and spiritual abuse, Rachel then ‘hid’ all the comments against her leader. That appears to be cultic protection, and avoidance of contrary evidences.

    To my understanding, Rachel Held Evans continues her tacit approval of the ‘Doctrine of Sacramental Fornication and Non-provision for the Spouse’ as taught by Tony Jones. To my knowledge, Rachel plans to headline the ‘Why Christian’ Conference, and has not renounced the heresy taught by Tony Jones.

    Roger:

    You may not be a believer. And so, you would not be terribly concerned that clergy have been urged to perform marriages that are indeed approval of fornication and non-provision. You would not see these as an abuse of the scripture.

    You may not understand that a minority of clergy performed ‘sacramental’ marriages for gay couples and lesbian couples, because there was no better alternative of provision. However, the clergy that I know of (that perform LGBT marriages), are now insisting that the marriage also be a legal marriage (due to issues of spousal rights, protections, and support).

    You may not see the sleight-of-hand performed by Tony Jones when he ‘sacramentally married’ his female partner, because he wished to gain (through brazen sin) the support of the LGBT community. To a believer, performing brazen sin in order to show compassion and empathy, is a shallow tactic indeed, and a gross abuse of the principles of the Scripture.

    Furthermore, it then appeared that LGBT believers were encouraging Christian Leaders (like Tony) to brazenly sin in ‘sacramental fornication’ and not support their spouses – and this simply was not true…. LGBT believers seek ‘marriage equality’ for the sake of their spouses… they do not seek ‘sacramental fornication’. Good grief.

    You may not understand the damage done by Rachel Held Evans, as many married women now must reassess her tacit approval of the ‘Doctrine of Sacramental Fornication and Non-provision for the Spouse’…. which leaves a woman more vulnerable than ever before.

    Here is my final thought… let’s imagine a woman meeting with her pastor…..she says, “Pastor, should I marry my boy friend ‘sacramentally’ and not legally? Tony Jones taught this an acceptable gift to God, and I don’t want to offend Jesus. I realize that I will have none of the normal benefits of marriage should my husband die or divorce me, but I truly want to please God. And pastor, I don’t want to lead you into sin by marrying us legally.”

    And I imagine the Pastor replying thus:

    “Tony Jones was a cultic leader that taught the ”Doctrine of Sacramental Fornication and Non-provision for the Spouse’.

    “Tony Jones has been renounced by Fuller Theological Seminary as a heretic, and many other sponsors withdrew their support.

    “Rachel Held Evans, and many other Female Christian Leaders, were groomed by Tony as future puppets… but they all walked away from Tony.”

    and then this statement, “Let’s not sin against God with fornication – you and your man go get that marriage license, and I would be honored to sign it for you and perform the ceremony. And trust me, this ‘legal plus sacramental’ marriage will be a more pleasing gift to God.”

  221. […] that Jones was unfaithful to her, had an affair, then divorced her.  There’s a great summary here for that.  In that linked article, you’ll find out that Jones and his crack-head emergent […]

  222. What about John Hagee? He did this, too, (around 1975) and is now revered and has a HUGE following. Was there true repentance when he started another church on the very next Mother’s Day after he admitted immorality to the congregation and divorces his wife, mother of their two children?

  223. My pastor (also my employer) asked me to be his “spiritual wife” and when I declined he fired me. He and his wife threatened all the other employees and church members that if they supported me they, too, would lose their jobs. Two people stood by me, and both lost their jobs.

    I had never heard of this “spiritual wife” before it happened, nor since then, until I read your article here. When this pastor first approached me with his offer, I saw in my mind a cage being lowered over me… and that I was his “pet” bird in that cage. It only took me 2 seconds to run… but it was useless to defend myself. He took my “rejection” and turned it all around, making me the perpetrator.

    Thank you for this article!

  224. […] God,” which I seem to remember was exactly the excuse lobbed by at least one Christian hypocrite who wanted to commit adultery and get away with it in busybody-laden Christian communities: he was “spiritually married” to […]

  225. Wow.. This sounds EXACTLY like how my pastor husband got rid of me and his kids.. To the letter.. He must have followed this guy’s ministry model.. Amazing

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