A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Adultery - Does Anyone Care???

Rudy Giuliani is a man of multiple women. 4 or more to be exact.

Rudy's first marriage was to his cousin and childhood sweetheart, Regina Peruggi. Rudy and Regine were married for 13 years. However, Rudy had this marriage annulled, supposedly after discovering that the sweethearts were second cousins instead of third cousins!

Giuliani left his cousin for another woman, Donna Hanover. Hanover is a D-list actress. She starred as Ruth Carter Stapleton in The People vs. Larry Flynt. Hanover has also appeared in episodes of Another World, Sex and the City, As the World Turns, Ally McBeal, The Practice, and my favorite - Law & Order!

Rudy married Hanover (who has recently found a new career as AOL's love-and-sex coach). She served as the First Lady of New York City from 1994-2002. After an affair with his press aide, Rudy met Judy Nathan. After his public and nasty divorce with Hanover was finalized, Rudy married Judy Nathan.

Like Rudy, two other divorced Republicans with a history of adultery have their eyes set on the White House. They are Senator John McCain and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In 2000, John McCain became the first confessed adulterer to run for the Presidency. According to Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times...

McCain was still married and living with his wife in 1979 while "aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful as she was rich." McCain divorced his wife, who had raised their three children while he was imprisoned in Vietnam, then launched his political career with his new wife's family money.

Recently, Steve Benen published a piece in the Washington Monthly entitled "High Infidelity - What if three admitted adulterers run for President and no one cares?" On Gingrich, Benen writes...

But the most notorious of them all is undoubtedly Gingrich, who ran for Congress in 1978 on the slogan, "Let Our Family Represent Your Family." (He was reportedly cheating on his first wife at the time). In 1995, an alleged mistress from that period, Anne Manning, told Vanity Fair's Gail Sheehy: "We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.'" Gingrich obtained his first divorce in 1981, after forcing his wife, who had helped put him through graduate school, to haggle over the terms while in the hospital, as she recovered from uterine cancer surgery. In 1999, he was disgraced again, having been caught in an affair with a 33-year-old congressional aide while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.
After impeaching Bill Clinton - are the Republicans ready to nominate a confessed adulterer???? Will the Evangelical-wing of the GOP support the candidacy of a cheating man???


Blogger Nathan said...

Great post.

A sin is a sin is a sin, unless you're a politician.

7:32 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

I agree that adultery must be dealt with and not tolerated in Christians. My question to you BDW is would you advocate practicing church discipline on a member of your church who admits to adultery and refuses to repent? Or how about a person who divorces their spouse for another?

9:01 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

The person you described should not be in a position of leadership (deacon, Sunday School teacher etc....). ANYONE can attend church. Hopefully while they are there, they will respond to the Spirit's leading in their life and repent. The church is for sinners.

As for the person who divorces their spouse, nice complicated question you ask. Did adultery lead to the divorce; was spouse abuse involved? If the person just chooses to divorce one person to marry another, of course there are discipleship issues that have ramifications for church leadership. When does forgiveness kick in for this person? Can he/she never serve in the future?

Remember the early Christian centuries. Discipline was tough of course, but even then the church set up ways for people to be restored to full communion.

Churches need accountability; no argument there. But the temptation to go too far is rampant in our history. The justice and mercy debate will go on forever. Glad God is merciful to us.

Fortunately, I'm not a pastor nor have I been called to serve in that capacity. Perhaps I'll serve in a Church Leadership role one day in the future and have to deal with these actual issues.

10:53 PM

Blogger averagedrinker said...

nope, definitely not. running for ofice is not just based on popularity, wealth, prestige, and other glorifying factors but credibility as well. some things can be kept secret but it doesn't lie forever under your sheets. if a public oficer,say, an intelligent and strategic-drivern politician will be nest in line, then i bet he must have practiced his moves on wealthymen.com. he can do whatever he wants there. these people can and will do anything and everything just to let their sensual urges out.

4:06 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

BDW, in regards to the active adulterer, at what point would you do what Paul prescribed to the Church at Corinth in 1 Cor. 5 or would you never cast out a "believer" even if he/she refused to repent of their sin?

I guess this would also entail asking the question, "do you believe in a regenerate church membership" or can "non-regenerate" people be church members? BTW, I don't think these questions are just for pastors. After all, if the congregation doesn't support the pastor it can spell doom for him in Baptist life. And if we truly believe in congregational polity and the priesthood of all believers, we must know where we stand on this because it will eventually come up whether we are prepared or not.

As for my divorce scenario, I was speaking exclusively of the person who for adulterous reasons divorces and remarries.

8:23 AM

Blogger Larry said...

It seems to me you would need to impose church discipline on one who divorced to commit adultery. Jesus certainly condemned divorce. Maybe after repentance they could come back, but I think just ignoring the sin because they are not in leadership is an inadequate response to Scripture.

7:14 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

If the adulterer was not in a leadership role, it is doubtful that I would cast out a believer. Again, the Church is for sinners.

Absolutely, I whole-heartedly believe in regenerate church membership. I also support believers baptism as a prerequisite to Church membership. Infant baptism does not suffice!

However, my home church in South Georgia recently allowed the Pastor's wife to join the Church without first being baptized. She was sprinkled as a child. Essentially, the pastor would only accept the pastorate if his wife was allowed membership. My small rural Church was desperate for a pastor with age and experience (Church is only 3 years old). I understand why they compromised. However, I was/am very disappointed with their decision.

Believers Baptism is THE Baptist Distinctive. I have found that the Baptist MDiv students I know do not fully recognize or value the importance of Believers Baptism. This is very unfortunate.

12:01 AM

Blogger D.R. said...


I agree that the Church contains sinners, but my question is not about someone who has committed adultery, but one who first is a member and secondly IS committing adultery and refuses to stop. Thus they are unrepentant. Is the church for unrepentant sinners. It seems you would say NO given your statement that you believe in regenerent church membership would require you to according to 1 Corinthians 5, discern whether a person who refuses to repent of such a sin is truly of God, and then if not ask them to leave the church.

What is interesting about your comment is that you assume that there will be unregenerant people AT church, amongst believers and they should be treated different. And I wholeheartedly concur. In fact, early texts indicate that the church allowed a person to fellowship up to two years without being converted. Such a person couldn't take communion or obviously lead in any way. In fact, they were to be silent and only listen during the formal meeting of the church. But once a member, they must adhere to the Church's discipline. And that is where you seem to break off, not requiring this adherance for anyone, except people in leadership. But I think that first of all doesn't do justice to the text of 1 Corinthians 5 and second fuels the false dichotomy between pastor/leader and regular church member, which your denomination has seemed to want to take a strong stand against for good reasons.

Finally, as to your comments regarding infant baptism, I couldn't agree more. Baptism by immersion is the most clear distinction of our churches. I find the story of your home church terribly sad. But, I wonder if this is a sign of what is to come with the CBF. Will CBF churches relax their standards on this? I know some Baptist churches who are Calvinistic have for the sake of fellowship with Presbyterians (which I find saddening), so will the CBF be next in your opinion?

Oh, and BTW, thanks so much for adding me to your sidebar. I really am honored.

3:48 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I really doubt CBF churches will relax their standards on baptism (anytime soon). Despite differences concerning issues such as inerrancy and women, the average middle-aged and older CBFer is truly a traditional Baptist especially on issues such as baptism.

As for the younger generation of Moderates, I wonder how the Emergent Movement (eh, Conversation) will impact current seminary students views on baptism. My father is a professor in the Baylor religion department and teaches a class each semester at Truett. He has asked the same question.

My friends at McAfee are strong supporters of distinctives such as Soul Freedom and the Separation of Church and State but I've yet to see the same support for a traditional Baptist view of baptism.

7:26 PM

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