Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion

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Maschil Press, 2008 - Divorce - 190 pages
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Under what circumstances does the Bible permit divorce? May a divorced Christian remarry? Christian teaching on divorce and remarriage has varied widely. Interpretation of the biblical texts on divorce and remarriage has been hotly contested and the debate is still very much alive. Among those most hurt by the uncertainty and lack of consensus are Christian victims of marital abuse (otherwise known as domestic violence, battering, intimate partner abuse, family violence). Such people often think they must choose between two unpleasant alternatives: endure abuse, or face condemnation by God and church people for disobeying the Bible. Not Under Bondage, written by a survivor of domestic abuse, explains the scriptural dilemmas of abuse victims carefully examines the scriptures and scholarly research shows how the Bible sets victims of abuse free from bondage and guilt. Some conclusions of Not Under Bondage are: The Bible distinguishes between 'treacherous divorce' and 'disciplinary divorce'. Disciplinary divorce is permitted by the Bible. This applies in cases of abuse, adultery or desertion, where a seriously mistreated spouse divorces a seriously offending spouse. Treacherous divorce is condemned by the Bible. It occurs when a spouse obtains divorce for reasons other than abuse, adultery or desertion. If the offending partner was sexually immoral, the Bible allows the non-offending partner to remarry. If the offending partner abused, deserted or unjustly dismissed the other, and the offender has been judged to be 'as an unbeliever', the Bible allows the mistreated partner to remarry.

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About the author (2008)

Barbara Roberts has been raising awareness of domestic abuse within the evangelical church since 1999. She is a survivor of domestic abuse and a Christian who holds to the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. She has also read widely in the secular field of domestic abuse, trauma and recovery. At the blog A Cry For Justice - - Barbara and others are seeking to awaken the evangelical church to the evils of domestic violence and abuse in its midst. Her book "Not Under Bondage" focuses on the doctrine of divorce for domestic abuse. IMPORTANT NOTE: Since writing "Not Under Bondage" Barbara has changed her mind about church discipline in relation to divorce for domestic abuse. See here: Theologians' reviews of "Not Under Bondage are at To find out how Barbara ended up in an abusive marriage, read her bio at Barbara has also written the chapter 'Responding to Christian Survivors of Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse' in the multi-author book "Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A Multi-disciplinary Approach to Survivor Support and System Change", L. McOrmond-Plummer, D. Esteal, J. Levy-Peck, eds.

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