How many sermons have we heard screamed in IFB churches about divorce?

How many times have we heard other churches mocked for the fact that they have pastors, teachers, or administrators on staff who have been divorced?

How many times have we seen people stay in bad and abusive marriages because they believed that leaving their spouse would end their usefulness to God?

So I fully anticipate that Bobby Roberson will now fully separate from his divorced and remarried son, Steve. Right? Sure.

(To be fair, it looks like Steve’s church isn’t exactly the IFB of his dad’s day. The kids in his youth group look…normal.)

295 thoughts on “Separation”

      1. You are correct, Sir. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox and I thought it was later than this Sunday. This morning, however; I thought I heard someone on television say that today was Good Friday.

        While in the past I might have blamed this dispensing of misinformation on the lying media, sadly it was my own vain quest for glory that resulted in this two-fold failure. Quite by chance, I checked SFL and noticed a new posting with no comments. Having been shamed in the past by claiming first and then having the comment appear no better than second, I instead emailed the greeting with the bad information.


        1. HAHAHAHA! Good Friday to you too, Ben! Don’t beat yourself up about it–you probably did hear “good Friday,” and understood it as “Good Friday.” Capitalization does not carry over well from text to speech. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Bobby Roberson is the preacher who came to my Bible “college” and told about a time he was in a hotel by himself and a hooker came to the door. He said, “I thought of my dear, sweet mother” and ran away just like Joseph fled from the presence of Potiphar’s wife.

    I’ve heard the hotel hooker illustration many times, but the line about his mom creeped me out big-time!

      1. I don’t know, but I’ll bet a lot of IFB pastors were quietly asking him for the booking details when they heard that story.

        1. BJg,

          “La Hacienda de Silencio” “La Hacienda de mi madre de amor”

          I shouldn’t have laughed at those, but I did anyway.

      2. I may have heard of this happening back in the mid 80’s to an Army guy in staying at a motel in Seoul Korea. She also may have been accompanied by a case of the Clap.

    1. I remember that story as well. I’ve never stayed in a hotel where that happened. However, if he’s going to a small Bible conference perhaps the only room they could afford is a flea bag place that rents rooms by the hours.

      Or he could be using artistic license.

    2. That was not Brother Bobby, it was Brother Steve. You have the names mixed up. She did not come to the door either, she called on his room phone.

  2. While I think we all need to take the telos and theology of marriage seriously, I believe our hearts are just as hard as they were when Moses allowed divorce. Sometimes it is really the best option. I for one do not judge people for this – usually very difficult – decision.

    1. When I was growing up in the American Lutheran Church, divorce was preached as a last-ditch option, like amputation as a solution for intractable cancer. That is, it’s a permanent, inescapable change, it’s going to hurt possibly for the rest of a person’s life, and living with it is always going to be a job–but not doing it would have been drastically worse. The solution to “the rising tide of divorce” was preached as both men and women waiting until they were fully functional adults who could live on their own and knew what they wanted out of life, in their twenties or so.

    2. When you are in your mid/late 30’s and the hot girls that never talked to you in high school suddenly do… with kids and a divorce attached… you DO have to judge the reasons for the divorce. “He beat me” is miles away from “I wasn’t happy.”

      That might sound harsh and I’m sure it’ll piss off somebody. But I like my disposable income.

    3. The criticism isn’t about divorce and remarriage. I personally feel that divorce is a necessary evil for some people, and if you find true love and want to marry again, all power to you.

      The point is the hypocrisy. A pastor spends his life condemning divorce and calling remarriage, adultery. Many people are shamed and feel ostracized, because they are divorced and remarried. And, worst of all, question God’s love.

      And then they to turn around and do the very thing they preached against, and go against their interpretation of Acts.

      That’s the criticism. It’s a double standard.

      1. Right on sister.

        Besides, we all know how divorcees are. Am I right or am I right?


      2. Thou sayest! Of course, isn’t that the case with all IFB sins? It’s a sin until one of their own does it, then it’s “We need to extend grace and forgiveness!”

      3. Amen. Everything we have heard from the pulpit since 4 years of age is now ok since it is Bobby’s son and then he turns around and married the female known as the Homewrecker of GLBC. This is about her third husband.
        Pastor is to be the husband of ONE. Wife I heard all my life but like half what I was taught growing up was man’s law NOT God’s word. But since we are. not Into plural marriages I guess it means just one wife at a time. BS. Most of it anyway.i have to answer for what I do. But I doubt I will ever enter another church again accept for the rare special occasion.
        Everything that was harped on on my childhood that was such a sin really wasn’t’ no pants, no movies no shorts everyfreakin’ thing was wrong.

        1. It sounds like Steve Roberson has met his match. They probably deserve each other.

    4. My interpretation of the present post is that it’s taking certain people to task, not for divorcing and/or remarrying, but for hypocritically attacking other people for doing so and then later doing it themselves. The hypocrisy, not the marriage problems, is worthy of censure.

  3. Bro Steve pastors a small church not far from his Dad. He has been attacked by many. I am curious as to why you would pick a great man who is in his twilight years. I dont agree with Bro Bobby on alot of things, but I do respect him. Also, his grandson has been a very good friend to me through the years. He knows we differ on some things, but has always remained my friend. You truly dont know people’s hearts until you spend time with them.

    1. If Bobby is that far gone then why is he still senior pastor?

      Also, I’m sure the IFB folks show the same deference to Billy Graham’s advance age when they talk about him.

      1. I didnt say he was dying. Geez! Retirement is being discussed at times quietly by the family. He doesnt want to step down at the wrong time, and leave the church hanging. He wants a smooth transition. His pick the church would no longer accept. Of course, that is Bro Steve. Yes, I agree thats sad. Knowing the situation the way I do, the divorce was not his fault. Their was no infidelity or anything like that. I actually believe its more the man’s actions that could disqualify him. If his character was never in doubt then I dont have a problem with him pastoring.

        1. Ummm…what affiliation with Calvary Baptist in Red Bank, TN do you have? Steve’s divorce and demise as the pastor of that church could be nobody else’s fault but his own, right? But you just go ahead and rewrite history all you want. I think Greg Neal could run a school on that. And he was just at Bobby’s church for the Sword conference. Maybe he can teach a session next year.

          Blame his ex-wife, and not what he was alleged to have done that cost him the church and the marriage. Nice!

          Seriously, pull your head out if the sand.

        2. I never mentioned Judy. I simply said there was no affair. I am a friend of the family. If there had of been an affair I would know. Trust me. His nephew tells me stuff nobody knows.

        3. Also, I’ve known about as much as you can know about a place with out actually being there all the time. I used to serve with a prison ministry based in Cleveland. The founder was a member of Calvary. I went to Calvary to visit periodically as well.

        4. So you used to be with Rock of Ages? And you visited Calvary. I used to visit Calvary, too. And I’ve been affiliated with some area organizations. I still have no basis to trust what you say.

          The facts are that he was ousted, his wife then divorced him, and in my opinion, that puts him in an area where he is not above reproach…affair or no.

        5. And although I’m tempted to believe the accusations, I reserve that judgment. But I find no reason to believe your assertion that he is blameless in his divorce, and by implication, she is.

          Prove it or we can move on based on the facts that he was forced out of that church and subsequently lost his marriage. It is hard to claim he is above approach.

        6. Yes I was with the ROA for 2 1/2 years. My dad was with them for over 20 years. I grew up Ft Payne AL. Near that area. Im not saying he was not to blame at all for having to leave Calvary. I am just saying I dont believe the affair garbage. Yes, I can see how that it can make things look wrong because of.the way it all went down.

        7. “…I am just saying I dont believe the affair garbage….”

          I thought you knew for sure there was no affair. Now you are saying that you “don’t believe” it. Which is it?

        8. Tiarall-

          When I meet anal retentive, grammar Nazis such as yourself on the internet, I wrap my arms around them (or in this case you) and say:

          “They’re, their there, It’s OK……….” I KNOW what Adam meant.

          Calm down and stop insulting people. You have a bad habit of having knee jerk reactions on SFL and treating people like crap. I haven’t seen his name on here before, so he *might be newer here. Way to welcome someone!

          You also need to also stop attacking people when they don’t agree with YOU on every jot and tittle.

          Posters like you have turned MANY newer posters from ever coming back.

        9. You know, Scorpio, those of you who have been here since the beginning are very rude to newcomers A LOT.

          The sad thing is, you’re all allowed to get away with it.

        10. “It’s not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?”

          –Norman Bates, “Psycho”

        11. I only responded when he disagreed with Darrell over what he’d originally said.

          He said one thing when he meant another. He then insisted that he didn’t say the one thing. I merely provided an outside authority to show where the misunderstanding occurred.

          Not sure why I’m getting jumped on but it was ok for him to jump on Darrell?

        12. Mrs. Roberson, is that you? I thought you would be on your honeymoon now.

          Jeanette – Questioning someone’s inconsistencies is not being rude. But then I guess I am also just being rude if I question someone’s reading comprehension.

    2. Commendable that you believe in knowing a man’s heart by spending time with them. The problem is in most IFB churches that only works for pastors and for certain sins.
      As stated above, we’ve heard pastors rant against the methodists and the episcopals because they have divorced and remarried pastors serving.
      This post is more about the double standard fundies use to judge people or show grace to people than it is about the pastor mentioned.

    3. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the blacklisting of Graham goes way back. After Graham left BJ College after one semester (thoroughly pissing BJ Sr off), he eventually graduated from Wheaton College and in 1949 conducted the Los Angeles tent crusade. Ultimately he cooperated with Roman Catholics and Neo Evangelicals to work on his city-wide evangelistic crusades.

    4. Anyone who criticizes Graham for “promoting” the “prosperity gospel” is way off base and as such is liable to be an IFB. ๐Ÿ™‚ Graham has appeared with people and places he doesn’t always agree with so that he has platform to share the gospel.

    5. You don’t need to know someone’s heart to notice that their personal actions contradict their public statements. That’s mere objective observation; it requires no mind-reading, heart-reading, and no consulting with the spirits.

  4. Ok, here’s the thing:

    I don’t believe that Darrell was saying that it was wrong for the guy to divorce and then remarry.

    I believe he was saying that since many IFB pastors teach that divorce is always sin and remarriage is infidelity (many counsel women to stay with abusive husbands), it is hypocritical for them to treat members of their congregation like dirt when they do it but turn a blind eye when pastors or pastors’ family members do it.

    One rule for the aristocracy, another for the peasants.

    1. Also, the ‘you don’t know people’s hearts until you spend time with them’ thing is triggering. So many people do evil things but christians stand by them because ‘oh, but you don’t really know him, he has a good heart!’ Jack Schaap had over a hundred letters sent to the judge by people who ‘knew his heart’ and supported him. He still got ten years.

      Actions count.

      And I’m not saying that divorce and remarriage is evil; I’m currently separated myself. I just mean that this idea that if you got to know someone you wouldn’t think they were bad, despite the evidence, is just wrong. Sociopaths and Narcissists are very good at acting like normal, good people.

      1. “Sociopaths and Narcissists are very good at acting like normal, good people.”

        Indeed, and their true colors often come out only after marriage or only in the presence of those closest — who may very well not have the power to expose them.

      2. Tiarall….But you shouldn’t take out YOUR triggers ON someone else here on SFL especially a newcomer.

        I think divorce is OK if any kind of abuse is involved; spiritual, emotional, and physical….etc.

        I saw my own mother being told that she had to stay married to my abusive stepfather by 2 different IFB pastors even though his was cheating. He made my mom’s life a living hell UNTIL she finally divorced him and then he could blame her.

        He married a women who is half is age is and he pushing 70.

        Remember, if something is triggering, take a step back and deal with it. Don’t attack another poster.

        1. “He married a women who is half is age is and he pushing 70.”–For that I give him a standing ovation. Way to go Bro.

        2. In my case, my parents picked my husband. When I was 14. I married him at 18. When I finally walked, 11 years later, it wasn’t just that I was unhappy. There were many factors, the biggest of which was pretty severe neglect. I was skipping meals to make sure that my children had enough to eat.

        3. While I shouldn’t attack anybody for posting my triggers, I don’t see why I can’t point out a logical fallacy in an internet discussion. I also don’t know why you’re reading my absolute disagreement with his argument as attacking somebody.

          The entire statement that he made was fallacious. It is often used to excuse wrong, and it shouldn’t be used. If the guy is genuinely ok, show some evidence for it.

          That said, I still believe that the whole point of this post was to say that it’s wrong to preach against divorce while excusing it in your own family when you haven’t repented of your previous teachings.

      1. Actually, I grew up hearing him preach at numerous youth conferences and camps. I sang at many of the same meetings in which he preached. I shared meals with him and spoke to him as a known acquaintance.
        He was against divorce and even more against remarriage, believing it to be perpetual adultery.
        He always said that if his wife were ever to leave him, he would leave with her and follow her around until she took him back.
        Of course, it has been around 15 years since I had a conversation with him. Much can change in 15 years.
        I feel for him, his wife, and their children. They are all human beings, after all.
        I do hate the tendency of ifb preachers to call out everyone else for their life choices then violate their own beliefs and claim it is nobody’s business. That is hypocrisy!

        1. “He always said that if his wife were ever to leave him, he would leave with her and follow her around until she took him back.”

          ๐Ÿ˜ฏ EeeeeeEEEEeeeeeeKk!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    2. Exactly and the female S. married this time is not fit to wipe her feet anywhere Judy Roberson has trod. Judy a true lady,great mother, has stAyed out of it all but she endured a few years of her husband’s messing around, suspecting but never said a word until she was approached by others and decided to compare notes .

  5. So we automatically assume they are evil simply because they are IFB. Yeah thats Christ-like. Are you not being guilty of the same attitude that many of them have by thinking well they are me therefore they are wrong?

    1. I didn’t say they were evil in this case. I’m saying your argument (that you know them better so we shouldn’t judge based on the actual results of their actions because someone who knows them would see how nice they really are deep down in side) is wrong.

      1. In fact, I specifically said that I wasn’t arguing that divorce and remarriage was evil, just that the argument was faulty.

        It would be nice if you would read my actual words before insulting me. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. I wasn’t trying to insult you. I was simply making a point. It was an observation. Perhaps I misunderstood. Forgive me

    2. Adam – What magic powers do you have to determine the evilness of the IFB? Since most of us have been burned by the IFB (some horribly) I think it is fair for us to view any IFB institution as “evil” until we have first-hand proof otherwise.

      My wife was divorced while she was in the IFB. She was shunned. Until we can experience an IFB that lovingly accepts divorced people, the default is they will treat divorced people as lesser.

      And in today’s post Darrell is just pointing out the hipocrisy that is rampant in the IFB.

      1. Scorpio, when my ex and I separated in 1986, I was a member of the local Evangelical Free Church. Hardly an IFB church. My ‘pastor’ avoided me (probably because he didn’t know what to say). Finally, when he heard that I was divorcing her, he requested I meet with him and an elder. We met for breakfast. He–who had said zero to me when we separated–now told me that God expected me to wait for my ex “if it takes forever”. Don’t divorce her for desertion. Wait forever and hope for reconciliation. No wonder I never darkened the door of that church again. All I’m saying is that evangelicalism and fundamentalism are basically twin sons of different mothers, or at least were then. Twin ugly sons.

        Since that time, the evangelicals at least have softened their stance on divorce a bit, have become less strident. Nonetheless, evangelicals 25 years ago were equally capable of shunning a divorcee as the IFB.

        The church. The only army that shoots its wounded.

        1. Well, to be fair to the Pastor, he was telling you the position the Church held for its first 500 years and which portions of the Church have held since.

          After that, the Catholic Church (and later, Anglicanism) granted Annulments. You then could divorce your wife, but the pretext was that somehow you had never been married. If you went through that, you could remarry (uh, get married for the (cough) “first” time).

          Of course, the reason for the early church’s “wait forever” was based on the idea that the divorced wife, being used goods as it were, wouldn’t be able to find someone to support her and marry her. She would by virtue of necessity have to come back and bargain on the husband’s terms. Women were not their own persons in that society. Women owning or controlling property were rare. Employment for women did not exist in the same context as we think of employment. Usually the options were marriage or prostitution or slavery.

          And of course, society has far outgrown those options and those ideas. “Wait forever” in today’s world would really mean “wait forever.” But your pastor, despite not being fundamentalist, never learned to read Scripture in historical context.

          You are right, evangelicalism and fundamentalism are twin sons. I don’t think they have different mothers. Historically they both spring from the same source.

        2. Right. Evangelicalism and fundamentalism are both (loosely, as we see so often) based on a “literal,” unchanging view of Scripture. If the Bible says it, that’s it. Except when it becomes obvious that some verses need to be modified in light of, uh, reality. And then it’s time for the interpretive gymnastics. Otherwise, as I mentioned in another post, bring on the rattlesnakes and bottles of poison!

          As I’ve said before, no one I’ve ever met (and I’ve been in church my whole life excepting the last 2 yrs.), at all, believes every word of the Bible is of the same value, no one, at all, believes every word must be applied in our times in the same way as it might have been understood in the past–no matter how insistently they say to the contrary. Everyone has their non-negotiable doctrines. And everyone has their expendable ones. And everyone has their solid Biblical evidence for why their view is the only correct one. Which explains the, what are we up to now, over 40,000 Christian denominations.

          Believe me, I feel fully the discomfort of this. I spent most of my life trying to figure out how to reconcile myself to the fact that some of the Bible sure seems out of touch. I mean, really–two people get married, grow apart for whatever reason, then they are punished for the rest of their lives for what amounts to ONE bad decision? When the Bible is the end-all of dogma, rather than the living, continual presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the community of believers, there’s bound to be some conflict between reality and dogma, or so it seems to me.

          It’s a scary thing to face, or at least it was for me. That fear of a literal eternal burning sulfurous hell thing is a powerful tool for coercing unquestioning belief. I think we’ve talked about this before, rtgmath. I just got to the point that I figured when I got to the Judgment Throne and God asks me why I disregarded some parts of the Bible, and I say, “Well, loving others, being merciful to others, kind of took precedence over the letter of the law for me–sorry about that,” and he responds by sending me to an eternal hell, I guess that’s the way it goes. I just can’t bring myself to love or worship a God who would do such a thing. That’s not the God I think I know. So I’m trying to find this God that I think I know, and I don’t see him in fundamentalism, I don’t see him fully in evangelicalism, I really, honestly don’t see him in any of the sectarian groups that claim to be Christian. Yes, I could be wrong. Maybe God really is like that. Maybe I should hold the letter of the Bible over every other consideration. Maybe I’m going to hell for rebelling against the Word of God. Maybe.

      2. I grew up IFB. My Dad has been an IFB Evangelist for 30 years. It does not take rocket science to figure out who is and who aint. Trust me I was burned too

    3. Yes, she IS guilty of doing the same thing as the IFB.

      See my comments above in your defense.

    4. Adam, of course we do not automatically assume they are evil because they are IFB.

      However, being IFB, we have learned what they do. After all, a tree is known by its fruit, the Savior says. A good tree does not bear bad fruit. And IFB is typically bad. People who think they are serving Christ doing all sorts of hurtful and despicable things in His name. Mind you, it pays to be suspicious.

      If you were invited to eat wild mushroom, and you knew that poisonous ones were in the mix, would you take the invitation? Just because a few of the mushrooms are deadly doesn’t make them all deadly, now does it?

      But really, being IFB, taking a stand and not enforcing it for themselves is expected. It is Pharisaical. It is fundamentalist.

      So, your problem is?

      Mind you, there are some good people in the IFB. I would not really trust anyone in a leadership position though. And though I love a lot of people in the IFB churches, I tend not to present my back as target practice.

  6. Wouldn’t it be nice if these Fundy pastors, who make a major change in their beliefs, would publicly apologize for misleading the people they had pastored over the years?

    For example: “I was wrong for shaming girls and women about wearing pants all those years. God never required ladies to wear dresses and skirts all the time, and I should never have added to Scripture to pressure them to do so. And I was wrong to reject others who went through mental illness and to set aside those who went through a divorce. God has been really working on my heart about these issues.”

    But to just act as if all those years of extra-biblical teachings never happened? Are we all supposed to just collectively forget?

    1. Sometimes I wonder how some of these pastors can be saved. I’m not saying they’re not or they’re going to hell, SO DON’T JUMP ON ME.

      But it seems strange. They preach a message of repentance and forgiveness, yet they are incapable of repenting and admitting that they sin themselves. We all sin. There should be no shame in admitting that you are human like the rest of us. All IFB pastors make mistakes. Their churches would be a lot healthier if they would admit that sometimes.

    2. Some do. I did and left the IFB for the SBC. It no longer represented me. I was a little fish in a big pond though

    3. Amen!
      When my family left IFB, relatives who didn’t prayed for us in many ways. One child prayed nightly that I would quit wearing pants (heard it myself babysitting).
      Now, they are still IFB and wear pants. Guess they either backslid or realized that was a stupid man made rule? Or they lost their long denim skirt/culotte provider?

  7. First, I have heard the IFB rail against divorce. Kudos to them for that. However, jeers for when they don’t allow for it where God allows for it in scripture.

    Next, unfortunately Darrel has committed a logical fallacy. Just because we have heard a bunch of IFB preachers rail about divorce in reference to pastors, etc, it does not follow that Bobby Roberson has done so as well.

    For example :
    Many apples are tart.
    I have an apple.
    Therefore it must be tart.
    (the apple may be tart, but it isn’t proven by the formula)

    An example of Bobby railing on divorce woukd then make this article more credible and not like “just another hit piece at the IFB”

    1. Yeah this.
      My old IFB church has divorced staff members working in the Christian school. No one there criticized such from the pulpit. I went to HAC and divorced Dennis Corle preached there and I never heard that criticized.
      It seems strange that one would assume that Bobby Roberson has preached against divorced pastors/staff members when so many IFBs do not.

    2. Bobby Roberson often railed against divorce until his own daughter divorced. He refused to perform my wedding to my second husband. My own mother said that Molly’s divorce was justified and my wasn’t even though we divorced for the same reason. Molly remarried, but I guess that was okay also.

  8. I will give you a big name who is changing slowly if you want . Maybe we can celebrate someone for a change.

    1. Yeah. I don’t really know him but in my time as a Southern Baptist I crossed paths with he and his wife. They were nice enough and I think they came to see that Southern Baptists are not anywhere close to liberal.

    2. Yeah, he’s seeing a lot of the problems in fundyland and changing his tune. It bothers me that the IFBs don’t recognize his sincerity and just accuse him of being a “compromiser.”

    3. Eric Capaci was on first name terms with my old pastor, who was covering up child abuse. I will be very surprised if he ever confronts my old pastor about it.

      1. Perhaps he will Tiarall. You never know.

        Look at how many of us are speaking out now.

  9. OK, so Darrell is picking on some poor Pastor and his pastor-son.

    Question: does a divorced and remarried pastor have ANY chance of finding an IFB church that will even consider him as their pastor, unless he is “grandfathered in”?

    1. It is a death sentence to just about any pastor’s career, IFB or not. It’s unfortunate but I understand the reasons. It’s like being a navy officer and having a ship under your command run aground.

      1. If the Navy were run like the IFB, the captain could just blame the ground for being under the water and he would get a new boat. And the Navy would say nothing about it.

  10. I remember when my mom’s youngest sister got divorced. It was the scandal for my Baptist Preacher grandpa. But things changed when she got remarried. He was a doctor – $$$$$.

    1. That is just plain screwball. It should have no bearing on a parent whatsoever if their child gets divorced, or really, anything else a person’s adult child does.

        1. Wait, WHAT? You can’t do that Natalie! For starters, I sent mine back two months ago for some simple darning (don’t worry, I am no longer having bean burritos and pickle juice for breakfast on Sunday) and haven’t seen it yet. I’ve been so desperate, I stole Scorpio’s butt cushion..which is nasty, by the way. And anyway, 100th doesn’t get a butt cushion! You can’t just change the rules; President Business.

  11. How many of these pastors who speak so strong against divorce (and remarriage) also listen to Rush Limbaugh who is on his 4th marriage?

    1. … or who keep reading CI Scofield’s notes as if they were inspired, even though Scofield was divorced?

    2. LOL………..what does Rush have to do with this? He’s NOT a pastor an IFB pastor and from what I understand, he’s a Methodist. And your host on this site listens to him b/c he makes hi laugh, so does that make Darrell bad? Way to paint with a broad brush.

      What about Bill Clinton who raped Juanita Broderick and sexually assaulted Paula Jones and Cathleen Willy? Or Teddy Kennedy who got drunk, crashed into a lake and left his mistress in the car to drown? Or hows about Anthony the Wiener (no more needs to be said on that name.) Or the Kennedy who took a gulf club and killed a girl? I could keep going…………

      Did you vote for Bill Clinton twice?

      The Democrat Party covers up more sexual abuse and cheating than the IFB does, but I’m sure you vote D, am I right?

      1. That was out of line. Simple was pointing out the hypocrisy of someone who preaches against divorce, yet has no problem espousing the teachings (and they are that) of someone who has divorced three women. R or D has nothing to do with it.

      2. Jeannette… you might be taking out your Republican triggers on folk. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Jeanette – I remember you know. Seldom-time poster who thinks liberals are the devil.

          Oh I’m sorry. Was I being rude?

      3. Rush may not be a pastor but the truth is our political pundits are often guilty of theologizing. Beck, Rush, and O Reilly on the right have often spoke on theological issues as if they are experts. Stewart, Fugelsang, and Colbert on the Left.
        So pointing out the fact we are getting politicized theological information from people who are not even upholding lifestyles we would agree with is not far out of line. Perhaps we need to look at how we are blending our American politics with our Theology and then repent because that is syncretism.

  12. One thing that bothered me in the pentecostal world was that marriages that should have been allowed to dissolve weren’t. There are some that just shouldn’t be. Lots of shaming involved in all of this, much of it on innocent people.

    1. I agree. Frankly, there was a lot of “Your divorce is sinful; my divorce was due to ‘circumstances’ and was ok.” I’ve seen teh same argument about abortion- your daughter is a slut, mine ‘shouldn’t have to ruin her life for a poor choice’. Inconsistent, lacking empathy.

      The last pente church I attended, the pastor’s son was caught in the back of the church parking lot, having sex with his girlfriend. No repercussions for him, and his parents paid for the abortion to keep her quiet. (This from the church secretary, who hear the discussions happening in his office, which was on the other side of the wall from her desk.) When the girl who worked in the nursery got pregnant, she was fired, and drummed out of the church.

      Just one of many reasons we left.

      1. That type of double standard is shameful and contrary to the scriptures which say we should have no respect of persons (KJV talk for not kissing up to the rich or powerful).

      2. Yep. Yep. When pastors’ daughters no longer have access to pregnancy termination, we will see a shift in attitudes toward legal abortion.

  13. First, I don’t know anything about this family; I know that name, mostly because Bobby Roberson’s church has hosted the National Sword of the Lord conferences for several years.

    Next, the typical IFB position is that divorce disqualifies a man for the pastorate; however I know IFB people who don’t agree with that position.

    Even with spending many years in a HAC church, I never heard any preacher “put down” divorced people; they preached loudly against divorce, but were fair in their treatment of the divorced people in their congregation.

    1. No. I received hate mail when I left my husband – from someone who knew why I left. I saw one woman’s son physically attacked by a man who thought she was worthless because she was divorced.

      When divorce is preached against heavily from the pulpit, and there is no open teaching that there are biblical and necessary reasons to divorce (and it’s not your place to pry) divorced people get treated like scum.

      1. “It’s not your place to pry.”

        I don’t think he did and you’ve been very open about WHY you left your husband on the forum.

        You are taking your triggers out on every person on here who even disagrees with you a LITTLE.

        1. Wow, Jeanette, you’re really jumping up and down on Tiarali throughout the comments. I understand disagreeing with someone on something said, but this has serious beef written all over it.

          We’ve all been through painful pasts, which means there’s going to be a lot of emotional baggage doing the talking.

          And EVERYONE, new or old, is welcome here.

        2. I don’t believe that her comment was directed at me personally.

          My comment was just a basic truth; that not all IFB churches are the same, and it is painting with a broad brush to assume that all IFB pastors preach hate against divorced people. My own experience at a HAC-type IFB was not like that. They did not allow divorced people to be deacons, but they routinely excluded people from being deacons for many other reasons.

          There was never hate preached at divorced people, though. In fact, the pastor would, on occasion, marry a divorced person.

          Having said that, there were many clueless members whose brains didn’t seem much above the Neanderthal level (and that may be an insult to the Neanderthal)… example: when the pastor mentioned another pastor who had been unkind to him, several of these clueless people called the other pastor and were incredibly unkind, rude, and un-Christian to him.

          I can see such class of people hearing the preaching against divorce, and thinking “huh – divorce = bad; therefore divorced person=bad” and sending hate email to someone going through a divorce.

        3. Why so much mean spiritedness? You condemn others for their comments but have no self control yourself.

    2. In the churches where I grew up, divorced people were not treated cruelly per se, but they were sort of second-class citizens. They were not allowed to teach or be on the deacon board. I don’t remember the policy on men ushering or women serving in the nursery though.

  14. I’ve heard Bobby criticize those who divorce. I’ve heard them both preach that pastors should only marry once.

    Just come out and say we were wrong, or practice what you preach.

    And, if Steve had a mental problem, why did he resign so quickly? Why was it so hush hush?

    Around GL, I’ve heard people threaten violence to those who question the Robersons.

    That’s wrong AND sad. There is NOTHING wrong with questioning leaders, and everyone should have the freedom to do so.

    1. “And, if Steve had a mental problem, why did he resign so quickly? Why was it so hush hush?”

      Most people do not boast of having a mental illness. Hard to believe, I know, but most people are a little shy about saying “I am mentally ill and am seeking psychiatric help.”

      And generally, it’s not kosher to say “he left due to mental illness.”

      1. You make some good points, Elijah Craig. Of course if he was forced out due to mental illness because of what the fundies tend to believe about that – well that’s another kettle of fish altogether.

        1. Fundy attitudes on mental illness are a fairly new thing. If an IFB pastor went to Bible college in the last 20-25 years he likely spews some vulgarized nouthetic junk all over the pulpit. An older generation of deacons might be unfamiliar with it.

          And… It’s easy to deny mental illness when it’s something like depression. But, say, schizophrenia? The most hardcore IFBer will call the ambulance.

        2. Just remember that a good majority of IFBers chalk up any mental illness to sin or not reading the Bible enough.

          Which I believe is the kettle Beth is talking about.

        3. Heck, pentes will tell you that mental illness is from ‘demonic oppression’, if not outright possession. Frankly, I believe that if Christ lives in you, there’s no room for a demon. And mental illness is biochemical, sometimes even structural (TBI victims frequently manifest with similar symptoms). I don’t think the supernatural has anything to do with it.

        4. My first IFB pastor said that Christians should never take drugs for depression. He, too, believed it was demon possession or demonic influence. The drugs made it “hard to tell if you were talking to the person or just to the drugs.”


          Frankly, I do not believe in demons any more. My sins do not require the devil to make me do them. But I do believe that biochemical processes can sure mix things up if they get out of whack.

        5. A lot of Christians poo poo the idea of mental illness. However, let them encounter a schizophrenic person or someone with multiple personalities and they’ll call 911 in a heart beat.

        6. “Fundy attitudes on mental illness are a fairly new thing.”

          Can you define “fairly new”? My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (then manic depression) nearly 40 years ago, and every church we attended (quite a few given the fact that we were military) preached long and loud against mental illness as being of the devil. Medication was absolutely not happening. She just needed to “get closer to God.”

          I never did figure out where God was during those years. He wasn’t anywhere near my family, that’s for sure.

        7. I’m speaking generally. This all stems from Jay Adams and his book “Competent to Counsel”, which off the top of my head, was printed in 1971.

          It took a while for the ideas to filter down from a guy who ran in Presbyterian circles into the IFB movement. I know it started appearing at places like BJU or PCC in the mid 1980’s and was in full swing by the mid 90’s.

          I won’t say there weren’t individual churches preaching it before then. And I’m sure Jay Adams didn’t come up with the idea on his own. There was a pre-existing hostility toward psychology. It just wasn’t clearly articulated and wasn’t a set doctrine like it is now.

        8. Wikipedia says it was published in 1970. I know people who knew him back in the day. I think maybe he taught at Gordon-Conwell seminary back then. Some people referred to him as “Jack Ass Adams.”

        9. Ok, those dates would be about right re: when my parents got sucked into it. I’d put that at 1971 or 1972, irrc, and my mom was diagnosed with “manic depression” in 1977.

          I don’t think the push back against mental health issues is solely the territory of fundies, either, sadly. Plenty of new age-y people recommend everything from sunshine and vitamins (or whatever) to cure depression to drinking bleach to purify the body of autism. Meanwhile certain other churches also seem to subscribe to the “mental illness = sin” beliefs. Too many people falling through the cracks.

      2. It’s different when one is a pastor. In hindsight, it would perhaps have been wiser to be more honest with the church as to why the pastor is stepping down.

  15. I don’t know about this particular situation. I do know that in my IFB experience divorcees were treated differently. Not rejected necessarily, but sort of demoted to second-class status. Damaged goods. But then, if the divorcee got remarried, there were a few months of whispered “did-you-hear” and then things went pretty much back to normal. Weird, now that I think back on it.

    Anyway, if these here Robertsons preached against divorce and remarriage in the past but changed their tune when it got real for them, then certainly an apology from them would be the normal and right thing for them to do. So it seems to me.

    And as far as the reasons for the Calvary dismissal goes, neither Larry nor Adam have provided more than anecdotal evidence and speculation. Might want to just drop this and focus on the hypocrisy of the divorce/remarriage thing unless one of you can provide convincing juicy evidence otherwise. I think Elijah is right on this one. Mental illness is not really something people would be comfortable admitting, and neither is having an affair. Unless Bro. Robertson feels comfortable sharing his medical history, or his alleged erstwhile lover feels like spilling the beans, we have no real basis for any assumption. I know I wigged out a little bit under the pressures of the ministry when I was a pastor. It can certainly happen!

    1. I always felt sorry for the divorced women who lived on decades after a divorce without marrying because the thought it would be a sin.

      1. It is sad.

        Why should a person who divorced b/c of abuse live alone for the rest of their lives if they meet a good person?

        I don’t think they should.

        I DO think it’s a good thing to know WHY a person divorced before you marry.

        I have a family member who married a divorced person and both are Christians. But I think she’s finding out that he isn’t such a good guy. She was never married but he was and she was pushed by her father to marry b/c he had money.

  16. Darrell, Darrell, Darrell, where have you been?

    The IFB don’t make a BFD over divorce anymore. They’ve moved on to fighting teh gayz for tearing down the institution of marriage. Go to the source, man! It’s not the married couples’ fault – it’s the gay agenda!

    1. I’ve been away from it so long, I confess, I don’t know the current Unpardonable Sins.

      I knew they were spewing and spitting over gay people, though.

      Can I quote Honey Boo Boo?

      Can I anyway?

      “We’re all a little gay.”

        1. I suggest you shouldn’t have said it after all. Throwing a brick at child joke, not funny.

        2. That’s a shame… And even more of a shame that I laughed at it.

          Don’t take Fundystan so seriously, finallyme. He just has that kind of sense of humor.

          You should hear emergency people talk and the way they joke. It’s the same kind of jaded.

          Be weary of the ones who don’t joke like that.

    2. Yes, we’ll ignore some sins in favor of really making a big deal about others.
      After all, it’s not our fault traditional marriage disintegrated… it’s obviously the gays.

      1. They never talk about Heaven and what’s in store for us after we die. My hubby and I have been studying Heaven and the New Jerusalem and what it will look like.

        I haven’t been in the IFB for over 11 years.

        And then for the six years before that, we ONLY visited a few on occasion so I haven’t heard what’s being said or what the hot button issues are.

        I do remember the KJVO being a hot button issue and the Fundy U I went to which was in WI.

      1. Of course. Back to the old Adam and Eve thing. That may be why the fundies keep railing about “It’s not Adam and Steve.” If they don’t have Eve, they don’t have their favorite scapegoat. The woman.

        The IFB is basically misogynistic. And much of evangelicalism is, as well.

        1. “Itโ€™s not Adam and Steve.โ€

          Speaking of which, if I have to hear that ONE MORE TIME from a fundie, I’m gonna scream.

        2. That may be. But I’ve always thought that the fundy overuse of alliteration and rhyme was more just a mnemonic device. When they get to huffing and blowing and slobbering and leather-slapping when they reel off the litany of all that’s wrong with America, how else are they going to remember not to leave out one of the major points of doctrine? Eve, Steve. It just trips off the tongue. ๐Ÿ™‚

        3. If they preach against homosexual sins because it’s their area of secret temptation, that is probably reaction formation.

          But I think the LGBT thing is also an easy target for the IFB types. Somehow they make a really big deal about the gay thing and use the church’s defense of “traditional marriage” to convince the membership that they are doing something for God by fighting the enemy. It’s a fundraising technique, at the expense of this minority group.

        4. It’s also an easy target because it’s a sin that many don’t have to struggle with. By making homosexuality out to be the worst sin in the world, they make all their own sins littler. They can feel good about themselves because no matter what they do, at least they’re not gay, right?

          In the same way they ban alcohol and other things that are very easy to follow rules regarding. I don’t listen to CCM like those dirty heathens – guess nobody will notice if I pay my staff peanuts and ignore the plight of the widows and orphans in my neighbourhood.

      2. Tiaralu, once again you hit the nail right on the thumb. And btw, it was Madam and Eve

  17. Seriously? This is all news to me. He used to come preach at the youth conference every year at Trieber’s church. Don’t know if he still does. Never heard a peep about him being divorced. In his defense, he was the easiest speaker to listen to. Lots and lots of stories, and who didn’t love when we all did the “thunderstorm” inside?

    1. Loved the thunder storm! Yeah he doesnt come to North Valley anymore. Trieber had to separate from him because liberalism is contagious ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I know a woman that Trieber advised divorce to because her husband “went liberal”. I wonder how he feels about bro Steve?
      Its all petty and tragic.

      1. A divorce because the husband went “liberal”?

        A couple hours south of Trieber I know of a church started by a former staff member of his that would not condone a divorce for an abused woman!!!

  18. So saint Steve and Lord Bobby are not to be questioned about their personal affairs as they are Of the House of Roberson.

    The Admiral of the Fundie fleet in NC, commanding from the deck of his flag-ship, The IFB Gospel Light , is above reproach and should not be questioned by the scurvy swabs on board “The Black Pearl of Great Price Before Swine.

        1. Yeah, someone told us it was good, so my wife and I started the first episode and…didn’t finish it. It was just too raunchy for our tastes. I did buy the books, though, which are ok (the first three, anyway). Unfortunately, Martin has a lust for illicit sex, violence, and cruelty, so be forewarned that these books are thoroughly pagan. Kind of like real life in that regard.

        2. I won’t watch Game of Thrones simply because every single watchblog out there has people who allude to it in every. single. discussion.

          I’m contrarian.


        If you are not careful, the ministry gets too mechanicalโ€”like a business. I heard a great preacher say a while back, โ€œBrother Bobby, even if you cannot preach well, but you love your people, that means something.โ€ Donโ€™t look for benefits, but look to do Godโ€™s will and God will take care of you.

        If you are not careful, the ministry gets too mechanicalโ€”like a business?!

        So, what has changed?

        It seems like the Mogs customarily “not careful.”


  19. I think these whole conversations odd because divorce and remarriage is actually one of the things Jesus DID speak about and yet what he said is normally ignored or brushed aside.
    Why is that? (not judging-I try hard to not do that). I just always wondered why that was.

    1. Yup. I was just talking with a friend about that earlier this evening. Jesus said NOTHING about gays, but was very opinionated about divorce. And of lack of compassion for the poor, for the commercialization of religion, for hypocrisy, etc, etc, etc. Guess what I’m going to listen to?

      1. Most people find it odd that Jesus never addressed “sodomy” as the OT refers to homosexuality, but one must remember that Jesus came to “His own”, the nation of Israel, and homosexuality was not a thing needing to be addressed in that nation. Like adultery, the convicted would have been stoned to death, as OT law required. Homosexuality was considered generally a Gentile (esp. Roman) practice, not part of Jewish culture. However, divorce was an abused practice among the elite, hypocritical religious groups. Sound familiar?

        1. I don’t buy the argument from silence about any of Jesus’ ministry, not merely because it is poor logical form, but because there are all kinds of things that Jesus didn’t address – like bestiality, pederasty, and cannibalism.

        2. Silence does not mean consent. Nor does it mean condemnation.

          Christ’s silence on a particular issue means we either have to look at larger applications of His words or look elsewhere in Scripture for guidance.

          Jesus ate and drank (i.e. fellowshipped) with prostitutes and tax collectors, the moral outcasts of the day. He received worship from the sinners (the woman who broke the perfume box on his feet). He refused to condemn the woman taken in adultery. Nor did he condemn the woman who had been married multiple times (the woman at the well). In all of Jesus’ actions, he demonstrated compassion and mercy to those who were out of the way. His harsh rebukes were saved for those who were trusting in their own righteousness.

          I sincerely believe that Jesus would have treated the LGBT community with compassion. He did not focus on sins, but on salvation.

          And by salvation, we need to understand, He did NOT mean measuring up to the rules the Pharisees lived by. No, He brought the lowly into a relationship with Himself.

          When we focus on relationship with God, God can focus on the behavior and the becoming — in His time and in His way. The Peacemakers will want this, will try to smooth the way for people to come to Christ.

        3. Homosexuality is nowhere near bestiality or cannibalism. Be careful that you do not make the logical fallacy of trying to equate different things.

        4. rtg, it wasn’t my intention to equate homosexuality with anything. I wanted to point out that there are all kinds of behaviors that are immoral, illegal, and even disgusting that Jesus just didn’t address. Ergo, Jesus’ silence regarding homosexuality means absolutely nothing about its morality. If we say that Jesus didn’t care about it because he didn’t talk about it, we would also have to say that about some other things which are clearly disgusting, if not evil.

        5. Thank you for the clarification. Touchy issues make me a little too sensitive to potential nuance.

          Of course, Jesus did not specifically address such issues. But He did stress that His disciples should love each other. He did stress that we should treat others with mercy and with grace, even as the Father treats us.

          And *that* should take care of such issues, don’t you think? Cannibalism does not seem to fit the pattern of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Nor does gay marriage fit a pattern of licentiousness and fornication. I mean, if two men want to create a commitment to each other before God, whether you think it is wrongheaded or what, it is not a case of wantonness and disregard for consequences.

          So which is worse? Straight sex without commitment or Gay marriage? I would say the first, hands down.

          Jesus did give us lots of principles to use. Mercy. Grace. Love to God and to others. Sacrifice. Speaking Truth to Power. Being willing to criticize the Law as being insufficient and even twisted by sin. Looking for a better way. Understanding that you can’t have fellowship with God if you and your brother have unresolved issues.

          But you are right to point out that Jesus’ NOT saying anything about homosexuality doesn’t say anything about His attitude toward it.

          So what about his attitude toward “sinners”? Did He go into the homes of the sinners and roust them all out of their professions and relationships and toss their dignity on the ground? I mean, he even stayed in the home of a prostitute, Mary. (Yes, the one whose sister was Martha and whose brother was Lazarus. The one who broke the ointment box on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The one the Pharisees thought, “if He really was from God He would know this woman was a ‘sinner’.”)

          The Bible says nothing about what her work or life turned from or to as a result of Jesus. But it doesn’t say anything except show how Jesus had the most extraordinary compassion for her.

          Jesus was *that way* with sinners. So should we.

    2. It’s more complicated than that. Jesus quoted Moses’ prohibition on divorce “save for fornication.” That would make it seem like there is only one exception, but Jesus was referencing what was in Mosaic law.

      Then Paul comes along and gives yet another exception: abandonment by an unbelieving spouse.

      I studied the question for an ethics paper in seminary, and read from a diversity of sources, from Roman Catholic scholars to liberal Christians to John Piper’s strained interpretation. The hardline approach that’s popular in fundagelical circles right now has always existed but historically churches across the spectrum have given more leeway. The Puritans were more lenient, allowing for divorce in the case of physical abuse, financial neglect, etc. Many churches allowed for divorce or annulment a spouse wouldn’t perform their sexual obligations. As I stated above, John R. Rice allowed for divorce in a wider variety of cases than most contemporary Fundamentalists do.

      The whole problem is that fundies want to proof text and it’s just not that easy to do if you really think through what was said. Jesus was quoting Mosaic law; Paul mentioned yet another exception. *IF* a person believes that the Bible is a coherent book, then Jesus’ statement cannot be taken as an absolute one. That leaves open the possibility for other grounds for divorce. Elders would have to discernment at this point, with the guiding principle being that God intended marriage to be for life and it shouldn’t be treated as a light thing.

      Discernment is not fundagelicalism’s strong point.

      1. Elijah, considering your current theological position, I’d be interested to know where you went to seminary. This is in no way condemning (trust me). I graduated from DTS with a Th.M. and I haven’t been to church in 7 years. Became disillusioned with the lot of them. I’d love to have a beer or three with you some time to pick your brain.

      2. Yeah, that’s a good observation. Of course, this isn’t the only topic where discernment comes up. Unfortunately, the fundagelical side not only has to have a rule for everything, but is stuck in simplistic, binary paradigms that often inhibit the use of wisdom or reason.

  20. My teens went to the Impact Youth conference that Steve held. It was great. The kids loved it. We went to “sinful” Dollywood and Dixieland Stampede. We also had somewhat normal preaching. The kids could wear normal clothing (Shorts). The guys and girls did have separate hotels though….The conference was way better than Bill Rice Ranch or anything else that was out there.

  21. The Fundamentalists have a double standard. There is no grace for homosexuals, or denominations who have allowed for divorced and remarried clergy, etc. They condemn and mock the homosexual and other pastors and hollywood types. But there is a justification for their own. then they cry persecution when people point their double standard out.

  22. At my IFB church in SC, the pastor once asked my opinion about the push for a constitutional amendment in “defense of marriage.”

    I told him that we should not promote or advertise the signature-gathering, nor take a position on that as a Church. He was surprised and asked why.

    I told him this “amendment” was trying to appear as if Christians were supporting marriage, but on the cheap. What is a signature? And it is only about denying others the rights we claim to have.

    I said that when Christians were ready to have a constitutional amendment banning divorce, that would be quite another thing. When Christian men stop abusing their wives and children, that would be supporting marriage. When adultery was no longer the leading reason for Baptist preachers leaving the pulpit, we might be making progress.

    I stressed the need for Christian education on how to make our own families work.

    To his credit, he listened. He started classes on marriage and put an increased emphasis on pre-marital counseling. Years later, when I’d left, the Church then took an “official” position against same-sex marriage.

  23. Well, see, here’s the thing. If his wife divorced him and then married another, that could be considered adultery, thus giving him an “Biblical” excuse to be free to remarry.
    If you are going to play the rules game, you get to take advantage of the loopholes. At least until your MOG closes them for you.

    1. So, did his ex-wife remarry before he did?

      That’s a very important “rule” at the IFB church I used to attend, which by the way, both Roberson preachers have frequented that pulpit at annual Pastor and Youth conferences for many years.

      Also, that same IFB church would preach “mental illness” as bogus, unless proof of physical, chemical imbalance. Otherwise, it is NEVER, as the preacher declared, a “head problem” but rather, a “heart problem” (meaning, sin).

    2. According to NEO IFB, she left him.

      Because his illness caused insomnia and he became violent.

      But, she left him. That might be the key. She not only separated; she divorced, apparently.

      There is a diversity of opinion in IFB, but no less than John R. Rice allowed for remarriage in the case of abandonment.

      1. P.S. I’m just saying that might be the line of thought that the Robersons use to justify the re-marriage. It doesn’t represent my own thinking.

  24. Hyles’ daughter has come out and said publicly that her father was having an affair for years and that her family home was not a nice environment in which to grow up.

  25. “Iโ€™m still waiting for the day when we have an IFB Female Pastor who has the zeal of a Joyce Meyer and Paula White or the Hillsong lady”

    IFB woman pastor. Stop. My sides hurt.

  26. So Calvary fired Steve Roberson without publicly stating an official reason?

    And Bobby Roberson has never publicly addressed the issue either?

    1. He resigned, and as far as what public declarations have been made, I believe Bobby did announce their separation or something from the pulpit (as I was told by someone who heard it).

      I’ve heard Bobby brag on Steve and his church while listening to the church’s radio broadcast. I tune in on occasion, but can only stand so much. I start getting the twitches after too much.

  27. This is way off topic, sorry. I spent the day today with my beautiful wife on a Jeep trail in Sedona. (Yes, we went to a vortex.) Anyway, Sedona is one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever been–once outside the tourist shop areas. For those who have not been here, I recommend it as a place to refresh one’s attitude. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

    1. I live in Arizona and never went to Sedona until about a year and a half ago. I decided Sedona is one benefit to being a Zonie!

  28. Okay. I would like to examine Jesus’ references to divorce, the Matthew 5 and Matthew 19 texts.

    You might find this interesting.

    The Matthew 5 text actually starts at verse 27. Jesus says that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    The Jews of the day (well, the wealthier ones, including the Pharisees) had something of a game going. They could very easily divorce their wives. The wives, of course, could not divorce their husbands.

    Now while having multiple wives was still permitted, it wasn’t very economical — not to mention the squabbling having more than one wife in the house would cause. So when the husband was tired of his wife, he would start looking for an eligible replacement. And replacements were to be found quite easily, almost like a swap meet. Just divorce your wife and bring in the other girl — likely also divorced!

    So in verse 32, Jesus gives two situations.

    First: He is guilty. She is not. Remember, He was planning this! By divorcing her, he causes her to commit adultery. Even if she is NOT guilty of fornication or adultery, placing her into the field to get remarried makes her an adulteress.

    Second: She was not guilty, but she remarries. She is committing adultery.

    Yep. That is what the text says. Pretty tough on the woman, especially when you consider Matthew 19.

    Verse 9 presents three situations:

    First: He is not guilty. She is guilty. He puts away his wife. He marries another (but not one who is divorced). He does not commit adultery.

    Second: He is guilty. She is not. He divorces and marries another (whether divorced or not). He commits adultery.

    Third: She is not guilty of adultery. He divorces her. She remarries. The person who marries her commits adultery.

    So, according to Jesus, the woman never wins. Oh, the man can win. If he is innocent he can remarry and take a virgin or a widow and he is just fine.

    But the woman? Whether she is innocent or not, remarriage for her is always adulterous. And she can’t initiate the divorce, either, even if her husband is a lying, cheating louse!

    I had trouble with these verses years ago. I decided to interpret Matthew 19 as saying that the husband couldn’t remarry either, since Jesus obviously wouldn’t be so sexist and unfair. Unfortunately, the clearer reading is that Jesus *is* being unfair.

    In my mind, this poses a serious problem. How can I accept as solid the morality behind the strictures of divorce and remarriage when the Scriptures themselves blatantly treat the woman as dirty, used, and disposable? Why is she burdened with sin even when she might have no fault, especially when the man is not so burdened?

    So I don’t like the implications.

    Of course, in I Corinthians 7, the possibility of the woman being able to divorce is mentioned in verse 13. This reflects Rome’s more expansive view of the rights of women. Not that it was a lot more expansive, but there were some benefits to living under Roman law.

    Still, even Paul is careful not to expand on a woman’s freedoms too much. He specifically tells women that if they divorce their husbands, they must not remarry. The command is the words of Christ recorded on the topic. He says the husband should not divorce his wife, but does not give any command on remarriage should he do so anyway.

    Of course, if we were to delve deeper into Paul’s reasoning, we might want to know what makes children of a believer “holy” while children of unbelievers are “unclean.” Fine can of worms we could open there, eh?

    So I wish that Scripture were more fair. The blatant unfairness of the situation tells me that the commands have cultural bias built into them.

    1. Seriously!? You think the Sovereign Lord of the universe is being unfair? Question. When did God ever say He was fair anyway? He is just. God never says anything about being fair. Regardless, He is always right.

      1. Adam, I don’t know whether you are being serious or not! That is just the reaction a fundamentalist would give. Most evangelicals would, too. Please forgive me for not knowing.

        But just in case you are being serious ….

        So, what is the rationale for the man having privileges the woman doesn’t? What is the rationale for making women bear a sin not of their choosing?

        Oh, the idea that God is always right is based on the “might makes right” philosophy. He can get away with anything, and call it right. Abraham and Moses didn’t subscribe to that theology, by the way, and were willing to counsel God on what His Responsibilities were! (They got away with it, too!)

        By the way, justice in the Scripture is nearly always paired with equity (fairness).

        And since we know from Scripture that God can “repent” of something He has done or decided, and choose to go in a different direction than He had before, this indicates that not even God thinks that everything He does is right.

        Reading the Good Book for what it actually says instead of what we expect it to say is a real eye-opener.

      2. I will have to talk later about my reaction to the term, “the Sovereign Lord.” Not right now, though.

        Except to say that if this is the Calvinist idea of Sovereignty, God has a lot of explaining to do as to his initiation and support of sin and wickedness.

        1. I am unapologetically a Calvinist, but I do not believe that God is the author if sin. I have never met a Calvinistic Baptist who did. That is more Presbyterian doctrine, and is a falacy. That would mean that therd is something.bad about God

        2. I understand your position. However, Calvinism inevitably leads to the idea that God is the author of sin, taken to its logical end. And Calvinist theology prides itself on being logical.

          I am, without apology, NOT a Calvinist. No, I do not believe in “works salvation.”

          God can be Sovereign without every aspect of His will coming to pass. People disobey laws, rules, and rulers, even “sovereigns” of state. If God is sovereign in the complete sense of Calvinism, then the bullet fired by the robber is directed by God in its path toward the innocent victim, and the victim’s death is part of God’s plan. If everything is superintended as a part of God’s Providence, then God takes over the decision-making for us, and for others, leaving us with no will of our own.

          I cannot accept that. Of course, if I have no free will, then God decided for me that I couldn’t accept it, thus putting God in the position of making a person honestly looking for the truth to believe a lie. Deliberately.

          Too many inconsistencies for me.

          It seems to me that the idea that God is “Perfect” takes a Greek idea of Perfection which the Hebrews, Jews, and early Christians never embraced or codified in Scripture, and interprets Scripture according to this foreign model.

      3. Adam, may I ask a question? I ask in all honesty and seriousness. I’m sincerely wrestling with these things, not just trying to start something with you. Why would you love a God such as the one you describe? Merely because he commands you to love him?

        It seems to me that if God is as you describe, the only logical and sane motivation for serving him would be fear. I mean, goodness, he could fly off the handle one day and just wipe everybody except one family off the face of the earth.

        Or he could get upset that someone touches something holy, say, like an Ark of the Covenant, even if for a good reason, and just smite him.

        Or, to settle an argument with Satan, he could decide to kill a man’s children, take all of his goods, and strike him with excruciating boils.

        Or he could choose to favor one family-tribe over all others, and order them to kill and/or drive out the people living in the land that he wants to give to his favorite.

        Or he could slay a husband and wife because they fibbed about how much money they gave to the church.

        Or he could send some she-bears to eat up children who make fun of his bald-headed prophet.

        Or he could create an eternal place of blazing fire and torment to cast everyone who did not believe and obey his sovereign commands. It’s even within his rights, as the Just & Sovereign God, to send people there who have never even heard about Jesus. Because, as God, he would know that they wouldn’t have heeded the message anyway. But then again, he could have just not created them in the first place. It almost appears as if he gets some kind of fulfillment, or proves something or the other, by creating beings that are fated to burn eternally. Can’t quite figure that one out.

        You may be right about God being unfair. I mean, you do have the Bible on your side, I suppose. But I still can’t see why you seem surprised that some people might not feel drawn to love and worship this God of yours. Fear him? Perfectly understandable.

        1. I would say your underlying premise is that God reacts like a human when someone offends Him. That is flawed. Undrstand two things. Fairness is based on what people deserve. Justice is bases on truth. If God were fair, we would all be in hell right now because we have broken His holy law. I dont think, based , on that wants God to be fair. Justice means the demands of law have been met. Christ met every demand with His sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection. He did that for you. There is nothing you can do, on either side of the cross, to merit God’s Grace. He freely gives it. I will take justice over fair, with God, everytime.

        2. Thanks for your response, Adam. I respect your right to this view.That’s pretty much the same position I held for most of my life, the same teaching I instructed others to believe when I was a pastor, and I was always able to stave off my recurring doubts about it until a few years ago.

          I would only ask that you try to understand the other side of this thing as well. You write, “I would say your underlying premise is that God reacts like a human when someone offends Him. That is flawed.” I’m not sure how someone can be faulted for having this underlying premise, based on what we read in the Bible. I gave several examples from the Bible of God acting *just like* an offended human. Only sometimes worse, since he has absolute Power and we don’t. Just saying, Well, he’s God, doesn’t seem like a sufficient defense for the unbelievable amount of suffering and torment he has ordered or allowed in the history of humankind.

          I’m not an atheist. I’m not trying to figure out if God is real or not. Someone, something is out there, in my view. I’m just trying to figure out how, if the Bible depiction of this God is true, I’m supposed to love him. Because he first loved me? Gracious–spare me the love that inspires such terror as, for example, God’s insistence that if any of the Israelites dared even brush up against the mount of his Presence they would die. Or the kind of love that creates human beings knowing they would fall; planting a tree in Paradise knowing they would eat, and then, when they do, condemning all humankind to eternal torment unless they believe in and love him. He made these rules, not me, but it seems to me that there is no necessary reason that one instance of disobedience calls for eternal punishment–for everyone.

          To me, God’s actions in the Bible are not only unfair, they are unjust. I also know (because others have not been reluctant to tell me so) that I have no right to question God. Or the Bible. All I know is that if any other father acted like the Bible says the Heavenly Father acts, what would we think? If any absolute ruler acted like the King of All, what would we think? Fair? Just? Loving? Merciful? As I mentioned earlier, it should not be surprising that some people of good-will have honest doubts about the way the Bible portrays God.

          I guess I’m just trying to say–don’t assume that anyone who questions the Bible is somehow against God. It’s more complicated than that.

          (And I would also add that it does not surprise me when fundy and fundy-like Christians are despotic, cruel, unforgiving, judgmental, letter-of-the-law-ing, inflexible, self-aggrandizing, etc. I can only assume that they have read their Bibles well.)

        3. Nico,
          God is certainly strong enough to handle your questions, but are you prepared for the answers. That is why I actually encourage people to ask questions. Grace does not produce a love out of fear. The Bible tells us the God has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. I don’t serve Him out of fear, but out of love. To be honest, I did not know what real love was until I met Christ. I don’t know what happened that caused a crisis of Faith in your, and you don’t have to tell me. I do know that God is bigger than any crisis. I would ask, “why do think God is unfair?” I don’t deny that God is angry with the wicked everyday, but I also know that He loves sinners, and is willing to forgive and pardon. I also believe in absolute truth. I don’t believe anything is relative. Where most all IFB preachers get way off track is they don’t know to preach the truth in love. You can draw a whole lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. I would also say that you need to understand that God dealt differently in the Old Testament. Man failed under the Old Convenant, and so God in His Grace and mercy mediated the New Convenant Himself. Yes, God judges sin, no matter what part of the Bible you are reading. However, that does not mean He hates. It actually shows His love.
          Jer 31:3

          The LORD appeared to [fn]him from afar, saying,
          โ€œI have loved you with an everlasting love;
          Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. God in this passage, dealing with Israel, tells of a time of restoration. This is because they were His children. In the NT, He tells us to not despise His chastening, because it actually is a proof that we belong to Him. I mean this with all sincerity, My heart hurts for you. I too, at one time, had no desire to pastor again. I had been deeply hurt at a church I pastored. Overtime though God began to heal my heart, and I know that the fruits and callings of God are without Repentance. Now, I am pastoring the best the church I have ever pastored. If God can use someone like me, He can use anybody. I will commit to prayer, for you, that God will reveal His truth to you, by the Holy Spirit.

        4. My faith has been in crisis for as long as I can remember. Maybe I’m just one of the reprobates, a non-elect, an Esau or Pharaoh. That kind of takes away the urgency of the whole thing for me, at any rate! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Anyway, Adam, thanks for your kindness, and for your prayers.

  29. I think it’s very brave of the son to publicly admit he has a mental illness. In the IFB, that’s code for “hidden sin”.

  30. I rarely post here…I lurk more than anything, but your Steve and Bob Roberson postings caught my attention. I am 57. I grew up IFB…In fact, I grew up in Bobby Roberson’s church. Steve was my youth pastor for several years. I know Judy, and their kids. I’ve also visited Steve at his Chattanooga church.

    I have a deeper connection than most, I am family. Steve and I are cousins. I know the details of the divorce. …notice I said “know”, not “heard.” There was no infidelity. There was no mental illness. I will not say what caused the breakup of his and Judy’s marriage…that is their business, not mine, and certainly not yours.

    I will say this. Those of you who are condemning him, are no better than the IFB people you claim you are not. You are judgmental…just like most IFB people are…which is so wrong.

    By the way, I am no longer IFB…I am divorced and remarried. That is all.

    1. Everyone is judgmental to some degree. That’s part of being human. Also part of being human is being nosy and jumping to conclusions based on what we don’t know, what we think we know, and even a bit of what we actually know from being part of a situation.

      I don’t claim to be better than IFB people. I’m different now than when I was IFB, and I think I’m a better person now that I’m out.

    2. Many of us have heard IFB leaders condemn divorce over and over, and had it drilled into our heads that a divorced man can not pastor or serve as a deacon. So when we see one of these same leaders, who strongly held this standard for others, change his convictions on a dime to serve his own purposes….yeah, we’re going to talk about it.

    3. Keith,

      I am glad you posted…i also “lurk” and rarely respond. I am IFB and grew up in IFB churches. I am also a former pastor’s wife. We have had lunch with Steve and Judy (back in the day) a few times…Gone to several conferences where he preached, etc.

      My husband and I had great respect for them as a couple in the ministry. I was broken hearted to hear their marriage ended and I was curious why. I was married for 32 years and my marriage ended around the same marriage ended over his infidelity and choosing the other women. I was open for reconciliation but he was not.

      Divorce is CRUEL, Divorce is DAMAGING, Divorce is SELFISH and DIVORCE is SIN! When you share that there was no’s sort of GOOD but BAD news at the same time. DIVORCE is not an OPTION ..IF BOTH claim to be Believers. I MEAN….COME ON ..>Give ME A Break!!!

      My Adult children suffered and are still shaken by it…The Name of CHRIST is Damaged…Don’t we EVEN care anymore…MY LIFE has been ONLY a Struggle ever since. MY youngest daughter has suffered tremendously.

      IT’s WRONG, WRONG, WRONG…I don’t care WHO you are …if your are BOTH Christians…then just GET your ACT together…stop focusing on your OWN WORTH..and FOCUS on CHRIST.


      LIVES are Damaged!!! Hearts are Wounded!!! Stop having the attitude of…”Ahhh…so I’m getting Divorced…People will get over it!”

      SORRY…it’s WRONG!!!

      1. if both parties are willing to work on it great however if not why waste the time? His church gave him a few months to try to work things out, he never even contacted Judy during that time…

  31. also since finding out Bob Gray was a pediphile, and Jack Hyles a pure lunatic, it amazes me anyone ever goes to a Baptist church anymore period…now that Sherry Hutson Camperson has committed suicide, etc. honestly it makes me wonder were we all NUTS to ever listen to any of the Baptist preaching period!!
    Back when the sisters were all traveling singing they were required to have a man travel with them to approve their clothing, shoes, etc. No open toed shoes, that was a sin etc.. I mean honestly what a CROCK!!!!
    Now that Steve is back in NC all at once it is not a SIN for him to be pastoring again, etc…Everything his dad ever preached against and railed about is NOW OKEY DOKEY since it was his SON!!!
    the Bible staye the same thru’ centuries etc. until it was the Roberson son now it is a new generation, things change, we shopuld just accept it and move on????? sorry i just do NOT buy that anymopre!!

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