• The issue of divorce and infidelity is growing in the church at large, so it’s natural it would befall musicianss as well as pastors and leaders. It seems we have placed a large emphasis on “being happy and fulfilled” and lost things like community building, responsibility for others and family as a unit as opposed to a group of individuals. The center had shifted from community and family to me me me. The result is destruction.

  • Gavin

    This article is terrible. I get the subjects are interesting artists and are “public” but for the most part this is a family matter. But I guess RNS as turned into TMZ. Editors…Get a life. And report of news that matters.

    Sure divorse is an issue but this is just cheap writing. Sarah is usually better than this.

  • Atheist Max

    It is possible that lifelong Marriage is a mistake.
    I’ve been married for 27 years but if somebody can’t handle it or it turns out you are not done dating – why stick it out?

    religion puts up barriers where none should be.

  • Gavin,

    Adultery, like murder, lying, and stealing, are public matters with which the Church must deal. In order to preserve the peace and purity of the church and vindicate the honor of Christ, sin must needs be taken seriously. It is public any way you look at it. I am not saying it should be reported as news, but it is not merely a private “family” matter, not to mention Proverbs 6:32-33.

  • Pingback: Divorce of Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken, Amidst Suspected Adultery, Rocks Christian Music Industry | BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network()

  • Pingback: Christian Couple Gets Divorced and Husband Admits Guilt… So Why Is Anyone Blaming the Wife?()

  • Pingback: Will Divorce of Christian Artists Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken Affect Their Music? | Urban Christian News()

  • Ryan J. Ross


    Matthew 7:1-5 has no bearing on the issue. The author is not judging him in some self-righteous manner, while ignoring or denying her own sinfulness; she is reporting a public scandal which has disrupted the peace and purity of the Christ’s Church. That verse is so important to directing saintly affections and governing how we encourage the godly to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. It is a shame when it is misused and misunderstood.

    Moreover, I am not advancing the usefulness of Christian gossip columns. Personally, I find it unbecoming and rarely honoring to Christ. But it was Derek who hurt his family, not the author. Honest reporting does not hurt the family. Derek, his wife, and their children need to fly to Christ in this time, making petition upon petition for his familial mercies. Let’s not confuse the author possible “gossip” with Derek’s grave infidelity, which upset the peace of the Church and the security and joy of his family.

  • Mark

    Part of my issue is that RNS claims that its “goal is to promote civic engagement and discourse on religion. We strive to inform and challenge our readers, out of a conviction that religious literacy is a necessary component of effective citizenship.” It also says that it is “a secular organization committed to an ongoing conversation about the role of religion in public life.”

    If the article had left out the three paragraphs on the affair, then I think it would have been appropriate. Instead, Bailey wrote on an affair that, as far as I can tell, was not public knowledge until her article. Her statement that Webb and McCracken “announced on April 17 that their 13-year marriage was ending after an affair” is a misrepresentation of the announcement. True, the joint public statement read, “While we both acknowledge our own human sinfulness, Derek has taken full responsibility for the events which led to this decision.” One could rightly assume marital infidelity, but there could have been a number of other things behind that statement.

    For RNS to spend three paragraphs on revealing the affair publicly and in detail strikes me as gossip. That seems even clearer to me because Bailey references the divorce papers of the other party in the alleged affair. (And if you’re going to be a thorough journalist, why not reveal her name as well?)

    All in all, there was a better way to approach the main premise of the article–divorce in the lives of Christian music artists–without spending time exposing the affair publicly.

  • Ryan, you wrote, “Honest reporting does not hurt the family.” I don’t know how old the children are, but making the affair public in this manner does nothing to help “the peace of the Church and the security and joy of his [Webb’s] family.”

    Also, if you truly believe that this is a Church issue, then why shouldn’t Webb be held accountable via the Biblical process of discipline rather than being vilified in public?

    I’m not defending Webb’s actions if he had an affair. I’m just not sure why his affair and divorce has to become a public spectacle.

  • Yes, we can’t publicize the FACT that Christians divorce at the same rate at heathens without the Holy Spirit. If that would get out, you’d have to admit that American Christianity is a farce and has no power at all.

  • Adam

    It’s unfortunate that this ended in an affair. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, but there are better ways to end a relationship than affairs. Hopefully this doesn’t affect their music career too much. Perhaps once they’ve moved on they can throw up a profile on the website MillionaireMatch and try their luck.

  • Neon Genesis

    Somehow I doubt evangelical Christians would show as much tolerance if Derek Webb had an affair with another man yet they have no problems forgiving if it’s with a woman.

  • Drew Darnell (@drewdarnell)
  • Pingback: Me, Derek Webb, and the long path of repentance | Knitting Soul()

  • bergontin

    Its Okay. Nobody reads RNS anyway.

  • bergontin

    That’s right. Kids don’t need their parents to stay together. Whatever feels good, do it. If you fancy that girl next door, go for it. Stupid religion, putting up barriers.

  • bergontin

    That’s right. Kids don’t need their parents to stay together. Whatever feels good, do it. If you fancy that girl next door, go for it. Stupid religion, putting up barriers.

  • bergontin

    Oops, sorry about that, For some reason this showed up here, when it should have been for the post preceding yours. Ignore.

  • Very sad news especially in light of other adultery read about recently. I agree with one commenter that wrote it now seems to be about me me. Another wrote how this is now TMZ. In my opinion there is no room for error when commenting on a story like this..scripture is clear..although I am not sure that the commenter gives it much weight.Timothy 5 ..Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. If this was TMZ their would have been interviews with the whorish woman who came to break up this home or secret cameras rolling to catch Derek in the act. While this story is not seeking to fulfil 1 Tim. 5 it is most definitely appropriate and balanced.

  • Elledra

    I would be interested in reading more about McCracken, since the article seems mostly focused on Webb. On the other hand, since the divorce is formally stated to be Webb’s responsibility, focusing on him is probably a good way to respect the privacy of the rest of the family.

    On another topic: Russell Moore’s comment “Listening to that artistic contribution is not an endorsement of everything that person is about” fascinates me. I work with classical music and that controversial issue comes up every now and then (e.g. Is it ok to enjoy Richard Wagner’s operas without seeing some of them as endorsements of his anti-Semitic views? Can one really separate artists from the works they create?).

  • Theophilus


    I agree with you on this. Christians are often influenced by the world not only in terms of immorality, but also by adopting its “superior” ethical standards. Marriage is a public act, and so is divorce, especially for a couple that has accepted the role of being Christian celebrities. John the Baptist was not out of line for publicly vilifying Herod for marrying his brother’s wife.

    I would also like to add that I agree with Matthew Smith that the wife should not be subject to shame in this matter; not because she is the woman, but because she is the partner against whom adultery was committed. She has been wronged, presumably through no fault of her own.

  • Theophilus

    Perhaps. But if he were to confess to both sins — adultery and sodomy — and strive to repent from both, he would certainly get my respect. The current moral climate makes it very difficult for someone to admit that his same-sex attraction is something he should not act on. For now, anyway, the man who feels attraction to young children at least has the opprobrium of the culture at large to bolster his resolve if he is striving not act on his feelings.

  • Karla

    This shows that real preaching needs to start again! Far too many
    churches today are about fun,drinking coffee,finding a good spouse,
    music and people who want to go to heaven but don’t want to Repent.
    Jesus said you are one of Mine only if you follow Me! We must follow!
    Bible says Repent or perish but we sure don’t hear that preached
    anymore. Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10
    says that drunkards go to hell so why are Christians still drinking and
    getting drunk? It’s because far too many “preachers” today have a book
    to sell and only talk about gay marriage or abortion so they don’t have
    to face their own sin like getting drunk,gossip,being mean/sharp tongues,
    sleeping around,gambling,smokin cigars,coveting/jealousy. People today
    seem to forget Jesus said many will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter
    heaven! If people say they love Jesus and then don’t follow the Bible
    no Truth is in them! Not enough to believe in Jesus. We must Repent then
    follow Him/the Bible/religion. Bible says Repent or perish! We must Repent!

  • Theophilus

    No drinking or smoking? And I was hoping Martin Luther and C. S. Lewis would be in heaven!

    I’m teasing you, Karla, but I do think you need to leave _some_ room for the grace of God. I’m as conservative as (nearly) anyone, but if everyone who has ever gossiped will be excluded from heaven, our sweet Lord will be the only one there. If you are striving not to hurt your brother or sister in your speech, and seeking God’s forgiveness when you come up short, that is consistent with a redeemed life. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that the Christian life is impossible. I know no one can live it in the flesh, but even with the enabling of the Spirit we will all stumble from time to time.

  • ViannaR

    Would you mind getting specific? I am wondering what exactly, in your opinion, is cheap about this article. It seems to be quite respectful while examining questions regarding divorce in the church as a prominent Christian artist goes through this process.

  • ViannaR

    This isn’t my situation to forgive, but infidelity is a tragic choice with devastating consequences.

  • ViannaR

    Good question. I am a former Woody Allen superfan. No longer.

  • e.rose

    I agree largely with your comment, but I think we need to be really careful about language…to use words like ‘befall’ in reference to infidelity and divorce…I think we need to be careful. Infidelity and divorce do not simply ‘befall.’ As if the persons in question are inert creatures on which something horrible has ‘befallen.’ The one who made the CHOICE of infidelity to their spouse–no, that did not ‘befall’ them. They were not helpless to resist the charms of another instead of working on their marriage. The fallout of it certainly ‘befalls’ their spouse when they find out about it…but we need to be clear that sin is a choice. And it is one we, as individuals choose, or choose to run from. We are instructed in scripture to “RESIST the devil, and he will flee.” We have a choice. To resist. Or to choose to dance with the devil. But make no mistake, it IS a choice, and the consequences are very real. Resisting the devil leads to greater life and freedom in Christ. Dancing with the devil leads to destruction and death. Restoration IS possible in and through Christ–at least on a personal level–but restoration in Christ does not free us from the consequences of our sin. The consequences will often remain this side of heaven. I think too often–Christians think “restoration” equals an erasure of the consequences…it doesn’t.

  • Pingback: Mid-Week Religious News Report | Evangelically Atheist()

  • Pingback: Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken’s divorce announcement rocks Christian artist community | Toledo Faith & Values()

  • Pingback: Marriage, Revenge, and Unmerited Favor: Engaging Faithfully With Matters of Our Day | Christ Church Anglican()

  • Pingback: Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken’s divorce announcement rocks Christian artist community | Broward County, Florida, USA()

  • Kirstin

    I think that the article is completely valid and respectful.

  • Thomas Nester

    I agree with your statement. I immediately thought the same thing when I read the first comment– that divorce does “befall” one, but is something one does. I believe that a distinction should be drawn between divorce (tolerating it), and divorcees that should be extended grace and mercy– “Hating the sin and loving the sinner”, as it were.

  • Thomas Nester

    Oh Lord. Does NOT “befall” one.

  • Mike

    Thank you!

  • Daniel

    “What bothers me is that among conservative Christian circles, people would think that maybe Sandra didn’t try hard enough for her marriage or that she is somehow at fault,”
    That’s exactly what conservatives do all the time. Paint people into corners without EVER EVER EVER considering an opposing point of view.
    What reason did that comment have in this article? What an asinine thing to do.

  • Ray

    ^^^ What he said.

  • I really love Derek Webb’s music, mostly. I also really love Sandra’s hymns. I love what they’ve done.

    Webb has been a challenge at times for me. The songs “Heavy” and “Blocks” have been permanently deleted from my library because they are spiritually, emotionally & relationally devastating to me. I have absolutely no idea what he was thinking, but the root to all sin is evident somewhere to those who are looking.

    I am glad that Sandra is doing this, even though I am powerfully anti-divorce. The fact he smeared her name in a public record about her unwillingness to become his sexual tool was a real wakeup.

    Then again, it is a tragedy and I am not glad at the same time. I think we should pray for both of them. And then I think we should totally forget the whole thing, because when it comes right down to it, it isn’t our business what goes on in their lives.

  • Pingback: Christian Atheist Divorce | Simple British Columbia Divorce Online()

  • Pingback: Christian Song For Divorce | Simple British Columbia Divorce Online()

  • Pingback: Christian Divorce Beliefs | Simple British Columbia Divorce Online()