Just days after a video clip from a sermon went viral, Dr. Burnett L. Robinson, the senior pastor at Grand Concourse Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bronx (New York), has resigned. It comes after he told his congregation earlier this month, “Gentlemen, the best person to rape is your wife.”
… Wives, you must submit yourself to your husband as unto the Lord. And in this matter of submission, I want you to know up front, ladies, that once you get married, you are no longer your own. You are your husband’s. You understand what I’m saying about you?
And I emphasize that, because I saw, in court the other day on TV, where a lady sued her husband for rape. And I would say to you, gentlemen, the best person to rape is your wife.
Robinson was echoing the complementarian sentiment, popular in conservative Christian circles, that women must submit to their husbands fully, including in the bedroom, because that’s what God demands. It’s a belief that many Christians and former Christians will tell you has allowed abuse to thrive within their church since some wives who are subject to abuse feel like they have no way out of their marriage.
“Pastor Burnett Robinson has resigned as the Senior Pastor of the Grand Concourse Seventh-day Adventist Church,” a spokesman for the SDA’s regional conference said in an email this morning.
“The Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists recognizes many have been deeply harmed by the sentiments expressed by Robinson. The views he expressed are wrong and not accepted by our church,” spokesman Kevin Lampe continued. “Rape and sexual assault of women are crimes and should always be treated as such”…
It’s worth noting that while the church recognizes the harm of his statement, they’re only condemning his specific words, and not the theology that says women must submit to their husbands. They’re not saying both partners in a marriage are equal or that the husband should also submit to his wife. They’re just upset that Robinson carried that belief to its logical, despicable conclusion.
Robinson had been preaching at this church since 2013. It’s not clear how often he made these kinds of statements in the past or what he plans to do now.
(via The Roys Report)