Wartburg Watch publishes today a sad, first-person account of how a woman’s misguided loyalty to a church tore her family apart.
By summer, the boys and I were driving to every service, and I remember standing in the parking lot of the Post Office telling my husband that I wanted three things:
To join Calvary Temple Church
for the boys to attend Calvary Temple School
and to move to Sterling, VA.
By that October, all three things had come true.
[ … ]
As the years progressed, in my eyes everything seemed fine. However, it was evident that my husband was growing unhappy. I didn’t know what to do about it. To me, serving Jesus was a choice that I was not going to abandon, and I truly believed that Calvary Temple was the best place to do that. I did realize that Dale did not like the church, but he never told me that he no longer wanted the boys or me to go there.
[ … ]
Another blow to our marriage and family was when our oldest son graduated from Calvary Temple School June of 2006. Calvary Temple leadership had sent down an edict that Dale (my husband) could not attend the graduation. Why? They said it was because he did not attend church. God forgive me, I relayed the news to my husband. This man who was such a good father…had attended everything that involved our children; had driven to Tennessee, staying awake all night, several years in a row, just to attend NACA basketball tournaments…this good man could not attend his oldest son’s graduation…and I allowed it…
Read the whole thing.
Recall, now, Albert Mohler, head of the SBC’s Southern Seminary, with responsiblity for training the pastors who are going to be counseling distressed couples, and couples who are about to wed:
(1) In 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Apostle Paul commands that Christians must “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” This command reaches far beyond marriage, but it certainly includes the covenant of marriage within its span. Paul’s principle is clear: The Christian’s commitment to Christ is determinative of his or her other commitments. A believer must not marry an unbeliever, for this violates the very logic of the Gospel and the believer’s union with Christ.
The believer in Christ acknowledges him as Savior and Lord, with an allegiance that exceeds any earthly commitment. When two believers are married, they share this mutual commitment and are commonly dedicated to the Lordship of Christ.
(2) The third theological fact about the family is the continued affirmation of the family within the redeemed people of God – the church. As the Gospels make clear, loyalty to Christ exceeds that of any family commitment, even as the church becomes the family of faith, embracing within its life all who come to faith in Christ and into the life of the church. And yet, Christians are explicitly instructed to honor marriage, to raise their children in the faith, and to order their family according to the Scriptures.
Let’s not forget, either, Dave Miller’s view:
Jesus was demanding that he be the first choice in our lives always. Pleasing and obeying him must be my highest priority, more than pleasing my wife or children or anyone else. Jesus comes first.
You can dismiss this woman’s church as a cult — but if so, that is only because it takes seriously the teachings that are a commonplace throughout Christianity, and especially in the Southern Baptist Convention. It is what Christianity teaches that is wrong.
As I have said about a bazillion times: Most people have too much sense and decency to be good Christians; it’s the ones who don’t that you have to watch.