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  • What sort of editorial intelligence would approve this for publication? There is no ready way to verify this woman’s claims in regard to her quondam husband and people lie routinely about this sort of thing.

  • No – they don’t ‘lie routinely’. That is a myth – the vast majority of people who report abuse do so because they are being abused, and careful study of the *tiny fraction* of cases where reports are false reveals that those who do so are in extremely vulnerable situations.

  • Nicola

    That’s really your comment? – – ‘This woman claiming to be a survivor of spousal abuse and misguided church discipline might be a liar.’

  • Rubbish. People filing divorce suits have to justify themselves to various parties in their social circle, who may not be quite braced and ready for the real reason, which is commonly “I think I can trade up”. Painting the opposing party in lurid colors is one such method. A claim of ‘abuse’ is sufficiently elastic that it’ll do.

  • Yes, that is my response. There are two sorts of people who look at what people say about the spouse they sued for divorce and take it at face value: stupid people and maliciously biased people.

  • Yes, that is my comment.

  • Larry

    You seem remarkably incredulous despite the lack of information to the contrary of the author’s story. You are relying on assumption in order to cast aspersion. Hurling the written equivalent of simian feces for its own sake.

  • John Standard

    I would like you to back up your claims, please. Surely if you are going to complain about the editorial intelligence (whatever that phrase means) that allowed this op-ed piece to be published, you could at least practice what you preach and show an ounce of proof that women claiming domestic abuse are routinely lying about it.

    Maybe while you’re at it you could provide some decent evidence that doing so somehow helps their divorce proceedings (given the massive risk if they were caught).

  • The author is making claims about herself. I am pointing out that it is exceedingly foolish to take such claims at face value. However, editors and reporters do this routinely if it’s something they care to report.

    you could at least practice what you preach and show an ounce of proof that women claiming domestic abuse are routinely lying about it.

    People are routinely deceptive about their domestic problems. because people can only bear only so much reality and can only bear so much embarrassment. Some of that deception takes the form of chuffering about ‘abuse’. You should know this, and I know this. I know this from being alive, from being past 50, and from not having lived under a rock. Talk to some attorneys who undertake civil practice including dissolution cases.

  • Maybe while you’re at it you could provide some decent evidence that doing so somehow helps their divorce proceedings (given the massive risk if they were caught).

    Massive risk? I think you’d have to scrounge pretty thoroughly to locate a case where someone was tried for perjury in a dissolution case.

    The contentions would not be in the primary suit (since unilateral divorce on demand is the rule everywhere now), but in appended proceedings on child custody. See the work of Stephen Baskerville and others. The family courts are a mess.

  • Larry

    That is a mighty hostile claim to make just on the basis of nothing more than an assumption. You appear to be basing the claim by pulling stuff from your posterior and a general hostility to women who discuss domestic abuse in their past. You know nothing about the author but felt the need to disparage her for your own amusement.

    Are you done trolling Art?

  • Oh, that’s cute coming from you.

    What ‘hostile claim’? That people are not to be taken at face value when they’re trying to justify themselves? That people involved in civil suits often had a rather elaborate idea of what they were due in this world?

    general hostility to women

    Which you derive from me pointing out that women are known to rationalize and dissemble from time to time, something which comes as no surprise to anyone who deals with flesh and blood women, as opposed to the cardboard cut outs of rancid social ideology.

  • Jack

    Art is right in all too many cases. Call me naive, but this story sounds true. (I know….I know: so do they all….) Unless she’s making up a story about recently receiving a letter from a deacon, I’m inclined to believe her.

    Today, though, church discipline gone awry is dwarfed by the number of lax or permissive churches where the opposite is the case. I suspect there are far more instances of church leaders burying their heads in the sand and avoiding discipline — and people getting harmed as a result.

  • Jack

    Art is correct in many, many cases and it’s not unreasonable to question any given case.

    I think this case, though, is for real. She’s not on a high horse, but appears gentle and humble in telling the story. No jeremiads about the evils of the church or other nonsense….and she makes a point to support strongly the idea of church discipline.

    Maybe we should all google her name and find out more about what she’s saying, but I think and I hope she’s being truthful.

  • Jack

    John, plenty of women lie about abuse, and plenty of men lie in plenty of other ways. Most divorce suits are initiated by women — the overwhelming majority, in fact — and in most of these cases, abuse isn’t an issue….and again, in a certain percentage when it’s claimed as an issue, it really isn’t.

    So to pretend there’s no reason to be skeptical is to close one’s eyes to reality.

    But I don’t want to go the opposite extreme and assume people are lying until proven otherwise.

    I don’t think this particular person is lying. Her particular story and the way she tells it rings true.

  • Our church is a few blocks from the church Autumn grew up in. I have known Autumn and her family for near forty years. When a “Man” holds a gun to his wife’s head, he needs more than his head examined and if a woman stays with him she really needs help. Autumn got a raw deal, but has chosen to build on it and is helping thousands of people in her ministry. PTL.

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  • John Standard

    “People are routinely deceptive about their domestic problems. because people can only bear only so much reality and can only bear so much embarrassment. Some of that deception takes the form of chuffering about ‘abuse’. You should know this, and I know this. I know this from being alive, from being past 50, and from not having lived under a rock. Talk to some attorneys who undertake civil practice including dissolution cases.”

    I believe I asked you to back up your claims with the same kind of rigorous fact checking that you demand of this publication. Your age and your confidence in your own logic are not that.

    Please cite from what source you obtained the information that convinced you that many women are falsifying claims of abuse to hide the real reasons they want a divorce.

    Why should I take what you assert at face value, but not the author’s personal testimony? (Which by the way, can be fact checked. You have no reason to believe that it was not.)

  • Rita

    Thanks for your thoughtful article Autumn. I had a beloved aunt who belonged to a small evangelical church that did not believe in divorce. Her husband was alcoholic, routinely and openly had affairs and at times I suspect he was abusive. He never provided well for his family and was a horrid example of a father. My aunt was told by her Church leaders that to be a good Christian she had to stay in her marriage. I never understood why she listened. At age 54 she told my father she could see no way out except death. The next day, she had a massive heart attack and died. After her death we discovered years earlier she had bought her own grave plot so she would not be buried next to her husband. I have no doubt, that had things been the opposite and she had been the one who was alcoholic and having affairs her husband would have been given permission to divorce. To this day, I cannnot fathom what those so-called Christian leaders were thinking.

  • I know this family, personally. I wish what she says was not true, but it is. Christians makes mistakes we are humans who at times get it terribly wrong.
    The key is as mentioned in this article is to apologize and try and make sure it does not happen again.
    For myself, I hope the mistakes of others can teach me how to do it right.

  • If you listened to Matt Chandler’s apology and studied it you would realize that it wasn’t the best of an apology.

  • From the majority of comments I can see the assumption is, if a woman claims abuse, it’s written off as a lie, the husband is automatically given the benefit of the doubt. Really folks? Although I do believe the husband is the head of the wife because the Bible says so, the husband has the RESPONSIBILITY to love his wife as Christ loved the church…Christ didn’t batter the church. Women are amazing people and in the end, they make their husbands better people than they actually are.

  • Kristen

    I know Autumn personally and I am here to tell you I am honored to call her my cousin(by marriage).She is a survivor of domestic abuse. He was a horrible man and if you knew her you would know she would never lie about anything. I have known very few people that truly lives by the bible (I am not one) she absolutely does.

  • Kristen

    Autumn would never lie about anything. I have known her 15 years. I married into the family. She is a great woman. Do not characterize all women to be liars about abuse. She was 100% abused! Her family and friends know this for a fact.

  • Denisse

    Really??? Out of all she wrote, the question is whether is true or false? Instead of being so negative, which by the way we have enough of that in this world, we should see that she is talking about hope and how the church should and can play a testoring factor in the life of someone that was or is being abused. This article can fall into the hands of someone that could be going through abuse and find hope and freedom from just the fact that Autumn is being able to talk about her experience (whether is real or not). We need to learn to lift others and not bring them down with accusations and assumptions and see the bigger purpose in things.

  • Jack

    As I said, I believe her because there seems to be a humility and fair-mindedness in her article that characterizes truth-tellers.

    But I don’t discount Art’s point that this is an arena where lots of lying takes place.

    In this case, I believe we’re hearing the truth, but we can’t assume that in every case, unfortunately.

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