"I Don't Hate Married Women! Why, I Have Friends Who Are Married Women! They've Had Me Over For Dinner!"
My Husband Assaulted Me, My Church Took His Side
Five years ago, Sheri Ferber was violently attacked by her husband on the way home from Sunday service. Strong in her Christian faith, she turned to her church, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, for help. Saddleback is one of the largest churches in the country, and is lead by the very popular Rick Warren, author of the best selling "Purpose Driven Life." Many know Warren from his summit between then Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.
Sheri says she attempted to confide in a pastor, who refused to hear her story. She says that pastor even called her husband to warn him that she had been "gossiping about their marriage." As a parishioner for 10 years, Sheri was devastated. She says she then went to Warren, Saddleback's leader, but was repeatedly rebuffed by his large staff. She says the closest she ever got to Warren was his assistant. He never responded to her repeated requests.
Later, Sheri found out that her husband had had a history of domestic violence. She found that out from his first wife!The church never asked for my story, never asked to see the police report, never ever asked for facts. I made dozens of calls to the church for assistance via prayer and Godly counsel. They allowed my husband to come in, and be a part of the two ministries I had served in. All help was cut off.
Sheri's ex was convicted of domestic violence and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. He served 45 days of that sentence. He was also sentenced to three years probation, one year of weekly domestic violence counseling and community service. He was also ordered to stay at least one mile away from Sheri, perform community service and pay her restitution.
The philosophy of Saddleback and Rick Warren on the subject of spousal abuse is: in order for the woman to separate from the man, the abuse MUST BE REPEATED! The husband and wife must seek counseling TOGETHER. If the situation between the couple cannot resolve be resolved, then the wife may move away.
Divorce is not an option.
I myself have gotten bad vibes from Rick Warren's staff. Of course, these people are not the brightest bulbs on the planet, but with the stature of Warren constantly on their minds, you'd think that Warren would look bad if they rebuffed any call for help.
Then again, like Warren, they're Southern Baptists. When they see a woman, the first word that comes to mind: "Submit."
Just a thought.