Coercion and violence is never acceptable in family life. God created families to be contexts of mutual love, respect and nurture.
The recent release of the Anglican Church of Australia’s report into domestic abuse and family violence in church communities makes clear that in church families, every bit as much as in the wider community, God’s intention for marriage and family life is blighted by human sinfulness.
Our concern must always be first and foremost for the victims of this tragic betrayal. We cannot say too strongly or too often that domestic violence is entirely incompatible with the teaching of the Bible. The attempt to justify any form of violence or coercion by appeal to the Bible is in fact a scandalous twisting of the Bible’s teaching which dishonours the God whose word this is.
There is much we must do to protect the vulnerable and strengthen family life and I pray this report might be a stepping stone towards that not just in Anglican churches but in all churches and all communities.
The Rev Canon Dr Mark D Thompson, Principal
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