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(RNS) Alyce Conlon was placed on paid leave early in 2011 after informing supervisors that she and her husband were considering separation or divorce.

15 Comments

  1. Kenny Noble Cortes

    This has been and I suspect will always be a thorny issue for some churches. It is my belief that Jesus didn’t come to unscramble eggs – rather to deal with situations as they exist. Had the eldership demonstrated compassion and forgiveness, the church could have been a shining light. I don’t question their right to do what they did, just that they did it. Lawsuits may hurt more Christians than are helped.

  2. If the case is as stated by the female employee, there is something wrong here. The whole idea of keeping my employer informed of the “progress” of a divorce proceeding is way off base, faith-based organization or not.

    • Rev. David Cole

      Both parties missed a great opportunity for understanding and practicing the Christian Faith. Reading between the lines I would chide the Inter Varsity Fellowship for failing to treat their employee as a fellow Christian, obviously dealing with a faith issue or her own. Divorce is not an easy matter. As a Christian I am sure she had some issues to deal with that may well affect her job performance and was trying to deal with those issues. The IVF should have exercised more patience and allow her to work out those issues. If both decided a change of jobs warranted that choice then could have entirely not occupied court costs and denigrating publicity. God loves all of us including those who may be going through a divorce or other issues of far greater consequences.

  3. As someone who has led divorce recovery groups in Christian churches for eight years I object to the sloppy and incomplete way scripture was referenced in this article. In my bible, NIV, Mal 2:16 says this, “16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[a] says the Lord Almighty.” The continual misrepresentation of the meaning of this verse is very painful to Christians who have legitimate reasons to divorce their spouse. Please stop inferring God’s judgement on innocent parties by continuing to mistate what the prophet wrote.
    An apology and retraction is due

    • Loren: Thanks for bringing up the citation of Mal. 2:16. When people cite the KJV-ized mistranslation of that verse, I retort with, “And bad translations.” That opens to discussing how the the KJV’s textual gymnastics started the church on a over four centuries of misreading a critical text. No translator prior to the KJV translated it as such, and modern translation (notably the vernerable ESV) are putting things right again. Just search the web for C. John Collins *excellent* breakdown of the verse, complete with historical understanding and why the ESV and and pre-KJV translations are closer to the truth. It’s not an easy verse to translate, but in any case it clearly does not support the KJV-ized rendering of the Hebrew text.

    • CC, because they interpret the bible the same way that slaveholders interpreted the bible: Whatever way I can use to my worldly advantage. “This patriarchy thing is working for me, so I guess I will understand scripture to support it.”

  4. I agree with Loren. Malachi 2:16 is trotted out as a key text, but you can ask any Hebrew professor: There are two words in that passage for which we don’t have a clear translation. No one really knows exactly what it says.

    That’s misusing a disputed text.

  5. Of course the vital information was not given (probably could not be found out). Was her reason for divorce biblical? Were the reasons biblical for the men who were retained? If their wives cheated on them or left them and she and her husband have just “fallen out of love” then there was nothing wrong here.

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