Imagine yourself as a good churchgoing Christian, but you’re in a marriage so broken you seek solace in an extramarital affair.

You know it’s wrong, even unbiblical to commit adultery, but you don’t want to give up the affair, and you decide you want out of your marriage. Seeking spiritual guidance, you turn to your pastor, who upon hearing you confess your affair in confidence, tells you that if you don’t repent and return to the sacred bonds of your marriage, you will suffer the biblically prescribed discipline of the church. Rather than risk that discipline, you resign your church membership, but the church proceeds nonetheless. You are “disfellowshipped,” shunned by the congregation; church elders reveal your sins in a letter sent to those within the congregation and those outside of it who might have been affected by your unbiblical behavior. You are told all this has been done out of love, to redeem you from sin, but you decide to sue anyway.

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