I'm not sure really how to express all that I'm feeling or even the doubts that I do have. First, I would like to ask a question: I've seen your essays on the "modern" tongues, and, to be honest, I agree completely with you.
I'm divorced, now for 2 1/2 years. It all came about from this tongues thing, and the manifestations of the "spirit." My wife got involved with a group of people that taught this. As a matter of fact, we attended a church together for 10 years, and the pastor never could convince me that what they called "tongues' was credible. I staunchly rejected it. My wife, on the other hand, embraced it as evidence of being close to God.
She was introduced to Tommy Tenney's "God Chasers" book, with the lightning bolts splitting pulpits and people being thrown around as evidence of God's manifest presence. I tried to reason with her, and show her scriptural evidence that this stuff wasn't so, yet she denied it.
Then the torment began. The more I tried to keep her from it, the more she pursued it. Then a friend of hers started sending her "Charisma" magazine. I remember seeing all of the prophets and apostles of the new age on the back of it. I was infuriated with it. My anger and rage about what she was doing were insurmountable, I had to start taking anti-depressants, even before taking anti-depressants was cool.
She would suddenly just start babbling in what she called tongues, and I asked her what she was saying, and she would tell me that she didn't know. I asked her: then, how do you know you're praying to God?
It permeated every aspect of our life, and I was miserable. I committed adultery and filed for a divorce. A week later, I realized that I shouldn't do this and that I should try to work things out with her, if possible. She then said that God told her to divorce me.
I worked hard trying to salvage anything that was left. Now, after 2 1/2 years, I've finally conceded the fact that it's over. I told her two weeks ago that she would never convince me that God had told her to divorce me. She got that command from I Kings chapter 13 in which it talks about the lying prophet from Judah. It doesn't say anything about a divorce, but she says that is what He told her.
Now she posts things on the Internet of her horrific experience with being spiritually abused and has actually found a group to lay 100% of the blame on me. I have searched and searched, and continue to do so about this whole tongues thing, and Holy Spirit, and all of these other manifestations that they claim happened. I don't see it, but they still claim it.
She calls me delusional, yet she is the one who sees things, such as cobwebs hanging from the ceiling -- not real cobwebs, spiritual cobwebs. She sees amoebas and all kinds of other things and feels that she is on a conversational level with heaven. She anoints the windows of the house with oil to keep out evil spirits and has accused me of bringing them into the house. Too many other things to list, but my question is this, as I grow weary of this whole religious thing anymore and trying to find the real truth, am I or was I wrong to take such a stand against the things that she was doing?
I know what I did was wrong, and it really nullified any credibility that I had, but I cannot accept that these things are from God. Where do I go from here?
Thanks in advance for your response.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4).
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:9-12).
When a person doesn't love the truth, which is the word of God (John 17:17), they are not impressed with arguments based on the Scriptures. It doesn't matter what the Bible says, their personal feelings are far more important to them.
The only hope I can give you concerning your ex-wife is that charismatic believers tend to burn out after a period of time. The religion is heavily built on emotionalism which is hard to sustain over a long period of time. If you keep in contact, perhaps you can be there to pick up the pieces when she burns out on it.
You are absolutely correct that your adultery was both wrong and ruined your credibility with your wife. Sin never fixes sin. I'm sorry that she decided to divorce you. Like most charismatics, she avoids claiming personal responsibility for her own decision; instead, she claims that God told her to do this. You are right that God could not have said that. "For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously."" (Malachi 2:16).
What you ought to do is find a church that teaches the Bible. Get your life right with God. Then from a position of strength, you can be an aid to your ex-wife when she is ready to listen to the truth. Standing for the truth, no matter what the reaction to the truth is never wrong. As Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
I have just one question: She's been doing this now for eight years or more, her friends and co-workers encourage her in her walk this way. She believes that she's a prophet and God is preparing her to be a healer and is getting more involved with the ministry of Joel Davisson.
He has her convinced that everything is my fault, totally, and he even holds Hosea accountable for Gomer's adultery. He endorses the speaking in tongues, prophecy, and visions. He recommends divorce for women to get their husbands to change and casts all the blame for a woman's behavior on the man.
My question is: How do you love someone out of a delusion such as this, (if it is one) when they are self-righteous, judgmental, and just plain out mean?
By the way, I do study the Bible with a preacher at a local church here. He has worked with my wife for many years and believes that she is unregenerate. He tells me to move on, and stop looking back (just as Lot's wife). I haven't spoken with her for a couple of weeks now, but the last two years, even after the divorce was final I bent over backward for her. I've stopped watching the stuff that she posts on the web. I've gotten to the point where I find out it's useless to defend myself against her critical nature. Everything seems so useless anymore.
Since each person has free will, you cannot make a person do what is sensible. You can only hope to persuade them of the truth. Your ex-wife isn't interested in truth at this time, so there isn't much that either of us can do. The preacher you spoke with is correct in this matter; it is time you get on with your life. When someone has their mind made up that you're wrong, nothing you can say will dissuade them. After all, take a look at how the Pharisees treated Jesus. All the solid teaching and the miracles he did in front of them did not persuade them one bit that he was from God, the Father. But also learn from Jesus that it isn't necessary to justify yourself before such people. "As a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
I know God gave me a family, and I guess I just couldn't take the pressure of the things that were going on. I'm not looking for a justification of the things that I did; I know they were wrong, from any perspective. But all modern psychology maintains that it takes two people to make or break a marriage, and I feel like it's totally my fault. How can I rid myself of this guilt and come to terms with the fact that I have a broken family and that my influence on the lives of my children is nominal at best? Somehow, I just don't feel whole without my family, and I desperately want to feel whole again.
The time for all these questions was before you decided to commit adultery. You are living with the consequences of your sin. The fact that your wife also has issues neither lessens your own sin or justifies weakening the consequences. All you can do is clean up your act and get on with life.
For example, there is a law of gravity. If you walk off a cliff, you're going to end up with a broken arm (if you're lucky). The fact that someone else made you so mad that you weren't watching where you were going doesn't get you a reprieve from the law of gravity.
While you are not looking for justification for your sins, you are asking for release from the consequences of your action. Whether that happens in this life is completely up to God.
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14).