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Wednesday
Sep012010

Same-Sex Divorce? Not in Texas!

The cynic in me believes that one reason why the legal community has tended to support gay marriage is that same-sex marriages will increase the number of divorce cases--probably exponentially.  Well, one Texas court has thrown a gay couple a real curve--no divorce because there is no gay marriage--at least in Texas!  No gay divorce in Texas

A Dobson-Beck alliance?  A black robe regiment of "Christian conservatives"?  What is that all about?  Now I am really creeped out.  More two-kingdom confusion at its finest.  A Beck-Dobson Alliance?

The Jesus Seminar--which, apparently, has miraculously resurrected itself--is now celebrating the 25th anniversary of their collective tantrum against their fundamentalist up-bringing.  I noticed that one of the featured speakers deals with the thesis that Paul was not a Christian.  OK . . .  What else would you expect from these guys and gals?  Jesus Seminar's 25th Anniversary

Finally, this strikes close to home.  Should sex offenders be allowed in church?

As you may know, Christ Reformed has had to deal with this issue--what do you do when a Megan's law offender becomes a Reformed Christian and wants to worship with you?  You let him worship, but escort him at all times while he is on campus, and you warn people that he's there (see Christ Reformed's policy here:  Christ Reformed's Megan's Law policy).  The results of the CT poll pretty much jibe with the reaction we've gotten from church members. 

Reader Comments (13)

Beck and Dobson? Those two deserve each other. The problem is, we won't like the results of the union. Not surprising but pretty bad.
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpb
Beck and Dobson........creepy verrrrrry creepy
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles S
Re: enforcing Megan's Law in the church sounds like two-kingdom confusion. What happens when the "registrant" applies for membership? How long does the church need to continue to remind a repentant offender of their particular past sin (1 Cor. 6:9-11)? Is a system of multi-tier church membership useful?
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Albrecht
I live in Iowa and same sex divorce was the first move that led to same sex marriage. Of course, spineless politicians and the farce of court-made law have culminated in our troubles. The Texas court was absolutely right to not divorce the same-sex couple as that accepts the premise that there is a marriage to divorce.
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug
Glenn Beck, Palin, Hagee and Dobson all have their blind love for political Zionism in common. This union does not surprise me at all.
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRana
Dr. Riddlebarger,

I write not as a sex offender, but as one who was raised with sexually inappropriate things said and done around me and to me. I never really thought of myself as "sexually abused" until the person (former step-mom) made a thinly veiled confession that her behavior was tantamount to sexual abuse. Now, as an adult (38) and a Christian, I agree.

That said, when reading your treatment of Megan's Law "registrants" even *I* am appalled. I read that and -- even speaking as a victim -- my thought is, "This brotherhood? Is this fellowship? Why even bother showing up?" Your rules impose thus: "Registrants shall not [...] initiate contact with members in person, via phone, e-mail, or any other mode of communication." Good Lord! The redeemed brother shows up and is forbidden to engage/initiate with other members -- brothers and sisters in Christ -- in basic conversation?!?! Oh, I see, if they initiate with him, fine. But otherwise he has been issued a church-mandate piece of duct tape for his mouth. Why don't you make him wear a hat with "SINNER! AVOID!" on it while you're at it?

Brother Kim, again, I write as man who is intimately familiar with sexual abuse, abusers and the lives of all involved.

Finally, contrary to popular misunderstanding, not everyone on Megan's Law site is a child abuser. I personally know of one case of a man who took a leak in an alley behind a bar, was arrested and convicted years ago, but ended up on the Megan's Law site because his indecent exposure conviction is technically a sex crime. I'd love to lead him to the Lord, but not your church.

I have my trusty copy of the case for amillenialism in the room next to me, PDFs and MP3s of yours on this very laptop... yet my respect for you as a man of grace -- term used almost sarcastically after reading your policy -- has dropped immeasurably.
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEloquorius
Tom:

I'm with Calvin on this one. While we do need to keep the two kingdoms distinct, ideally these kingdoms should complement one another since both were ordained by Christ and are under his sovereign rule.

In Christ's kingdom we care for the sinner's spiritual needs--we provide word and sacrament (i.e., the keys of the kingdom). Caesar has meted out a severe civil punishment (he's given the sword). Given the severity of the crime, the conditions of parole are onerous.

In this way, the roles of both kingdoms are recognized and kept distinct.

Eloquorius:

I'll accept that this is an emotional issue for you. But you've missed a very important point. In the state of California, most parolees are prevented from entering public areas where there are children present, and they are prevented (as a condition of their parole) from initiating contact with people when children are present. In fact, this part of our policy was suggested to us by the parolee to protect himself (in terms of his parole conditions) and to ensure that parents did not worry that he might engage in any inappropriate activities.

I 'm also not sure you noticed that there is great flexibility in the policy to treat each individual case on its own merits.

Do you want to rethink some of the rather judgmental things you had to say about me? I wish you could ask our Megan's law offender how he feels in terms of whether or not we've been gracious to him. Frankly, his opinion on this counts far more to me than yours.



September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
@Eloquorius

I do not wish to speak for Dr. Riddlebarger, but I agree with him. Simply because a person is saved and no longer bears the guilt of the sin does not mean they are not temporal consequences which they must obey as a part of their repentance. A murderer may be repentant and reformed, but as a condition of his repentance he will remain in prison, he will eventually be executed, and he must accept this as just.
The RPCNA (my denomination) had a pastor that was caught in someway with child pornography. He has given a credible repentance, but he will never pastor a church, he is spending his just time in prison, and he admits that he needs to be watched for the rest of his life.

The grace of this situation is to the children of the congregation, to protect them. Why are you forgetting them in favor of him
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDouglas Gregory
Beck and Dobson -- strange bedfellows seems to be the order of the day.Check out "Pray and Act" (http://www.prayandact.org/). Roman Catholics, off the deep end neo-Montanists, evangelical Right types and...(surprise!)...Chuck Colson. Among others.

Megan's list -- I'll need to look that one over. We are working through something somewhat related in our church, involving the spouse of a (now former) pastoral staff person.
September 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
Good for Texas!

I wish Beck would just stick with politics. I like Palin because of her views on less government, less spending and less taxation. However, because of 2K I cringe when I hear her bring God into politics. However, most of the politicians do this as they continue to confuse the two kingdoms.
September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Tom (and maybe Eloquorius), I don't see how this can be a confusion of kingdoms for the reasons Douglas points out, i.e. redeemed doesn't mean perfected, thus there are simply certain realities which must be accounted for this side of glorification. IOW, it doesn't seem so much a 2K issue as it does an issue of how we understand the nature of sin, mortification/vivification, sanctification, etc.

I wonder if what you're trying to get at is that the way we treat some as yet unperfected saints can seem a little over the top, indeed perhaps a little beholden to cultural demands to grill sexual criminals and make them pay extra, as it were. That's not at all to trivialize the seriousness of certain crimes, etc., of course. And it's not to speak out of school about certain situations at certain churches...but, I gotta say 3. b and c seem kinda rough. Remember that scene in "O Brother Where Art Thou" when they hustled the cons into the movie theatre?
September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Eloquorius,

May God sustain you and bind-up the wounds in your heart.

Since sexual sin (or its abuse) exacts a particular sort of injury to the human soul, powerful emotions tint clear thinking and Godly wisdom in such matters.

The terrible tragedy at the epicenter for both victims and perps is that sexual violation incites pathological self-focus.

Perps tend only to their gratification; victims tend only to their pain. No offense intended and there's more to it of course . . .but here is the reality.

As for all sinners, our only hope is look to Christ (a different focus than self) and that IS what happens each Lord's Day at Christ Reformed Church.

Meanwhile, let's not forget the reasonable concern parents bear towards the situation.

Each Lord's Day we pray for our MLO and all victims of abuse and believe God hears us.

Real life is messy and painful.

While we groan, I'd rather have Real Grace than recovery.
September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
Still trying to see how the two-kingdom principle is being applied consistently here. Did your church policy pre-date the existence of Megan’s Law? If not, would your church have instituted such a draconian policy without the civil imposition of Megan’s law by the politicians? How can this be viewed as not merely reaction but a careful consideration of body life based on God’s revealed Law-Word?
September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Albrecht

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