Christian hate-preacher: Even if your husband's an axe murderer, "you cannot divorce him"
Preacher Duncan Urbanek says divorce is always forbidden, no matter the situation
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During a sermon streamed live on June 25 and that is still available on YouTube, Christian hate-preacher Duncan Urbanek of Pure Words Baptist Church in Houston, Texas told his congregation that divorcing your spouse was never an option on the table regardless of the situation.
Taking things to an immediate extreme, he argued that women couldn’t leave their husbands “even if they're, like, an ax murderer.”
It only got worse from there (1:26:31 mark in the full video):
… if you’ve been married for a period of time, and you just don't like your spouse—you don't get along together, and you hate each other's guts, or they’re unfaithful to you—I'm sorry, but you cannot divorce him.
It doesn't matter what the cause is, “what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” [Matthew 6:19]. I don't even care if the person is a reprobate, and they hate God, and they hate you, and they… even if they're, like, an axe murderer, you cannot legally divorce them in the sight of God.
Now, here's the thing: If, you know, your spouse turns out to be some kind of reprobate axe murderer, then I'm not going to stay in the same house!… I'm gonna flee and go on the other side of the world!… You know, what you shouldn't do is divorce them, because that would be adultery, right?
You would just, essentially, separate from that person ‘cause you're in danger of your life. I mean, if they're abusing your children, get away from that person! But you know what, you wouldn't have the grounds to actually get a divorce… you’d just separate from that person, protect yourself and your family. Even in that extreme situation, you still don't have the ability to get divorced.
And that's why you young people, you had better be very, very cautious who you decide to marry…
To recap: If your husband is an axe murderer who’s literally “abusing your children,” then it makes perfect sense (to Urbanek) for women to “get away from that person” and flee to the “other side of the world.” He and his Christian God have no problem with physical separation as long as, on paper, you remain legally wed. The paperwork is truly all his God cares about.
Urbanek is giving cover for continued spousal abuse. Happy marriages don’t end in divorce; if someone wants out of a serious relationship, she probably has a very good reason for doing so because why the hell else would she want to leave?
Urbanek and Christians like him don’t give a damn even in the most clear-cut situations. If you’re the victim of abuse, or your husband’s proximity is a threat to the lives of you and your children, it doesn’t matter. You said “I do” in the past and, for people like Urbanek, that’s an eternal contract sealed by God.
Needless to say his views are batshit insane. They’re not fringe, either. Just ask anyone raised in Purity Culture. If you were raised as evangelical or Mormon or Catholic, divorce wasn’t just seen as something to avoid; it was treated as something forbidden (as if everyone else in the world got divorced on a whim).
Having the option to escape a troubled relationship gives more power to victims of abuse. At the very least, it gives people the opportunity to seek happiness in ways they weren’t finding in the marriage. It’s not a sin. It’s not a sign of personal failure. It happens for a variety of reasons. And as many people could tell you, staying in a bad relationship for the sake of the children isn’t good for the children.
These preachers aren’t simply trying to prevent women from asking for a divorce. They’re attempting to maintain control over women before they find the courage to leave a broken marriage.
It’s telling that Urbanek has no advice for the axe murderer-slash-child abuser. He spends no time urging that person to pray or seek professional help or become more loving. Instead, he directs his concerns toward the women, urging them to find a safe house from which to escape their husbands’ wrath… before admonishing them for even considering a legal separation.
As I’ve said before, the size of this New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church doesn’t matter. All that matters for New IFB preachers is their social media reach, which allows them to spread their hate-filled, faith-based messages to a much wider audience than they could ever get otherwise. (At least one hate-preacher has admitted he discovered New IFB preachers by watching videos on YouTube and going down a recommendation rabbit hole.)
As of this writing, the church’s YouTube channel (one of several it maintains just in case any of them get taken down) is still up and running.
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