Popular internet personality and Mt. Juliet, Tennessee pastor Greg Locke said it plainly on a recent Facebook video (now removed) that addressed his followers, “I did not divorce my wife.” While making the claim, now demonstrated to be false, that he was a “divorced pastor,” Locke insisted that it was he who had been abandoned by his wife and not the other way around. The claim of abandonment is an important one for someone in Locke’s position. There are differing views among Bible-believing Christians about what situations make divorce allowable. Those who hold to the permanence view of marriage, such as the owner of Pulpit & Pen, contend that divorce is never morally permissible. Others believe that the only permissible grounds for divorce is a spouse’s adultery. Some posit that spousal abandonment makes a divorce permissible. Locke, as a divorced pastor, could lose his following and even his church for being divorced. Demonstrating that he was abandoned could help Locke retain at least some of his followers. He has already compared himself to popular preacher Charles Stanley, whose wife demanded a divorce, in order to paint himself in a sympathetic light.
Abandonment is the claim that has Locke made.
Indeed, it was Locke’s wife who filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences”. However, court records clearly show that Locke responded in agreement. In arranging what could fairly be called a “quickie divorce” Locke filed documentation with the court stating that his marriage was “irretrievably broken”. There is nothing in Locke’s divorce papers that indicate he took action to fight the divorce proceedings or demand a trial. Locke signed a Marriage Dissolution Agreement. If that’s not taking action to “divorce his wife”, no matter who filed first, then what is?
A trail of witnesses from Mt. Juliet, to Mufreesboro, to the out-of-state women’s shelter in which Melissa now resides contend that Locke coerced his subservient and obedient wife into filing divorce in order to preserve for himself the claim that he was “abandoned”. These same witnesses contend that Locke basically ordered his wife out of the state of Tennessee. The traumatized woman is now isolated far away from her home and her family. Locke is still in close proximity to his church secretary, Tai McGee. The mandatory waiting period required by Tennessee law to make Locke’s divorce final has not elapsed.
Christians still following Greg Locke’s internet antics and attending his church should ask themselves if Locke is worthy of their time and generous donations. As an outspoken moralist, Locke’s actions towards his wife (and his secretary) are on display for the lost world to see and mock. Rather than condone his continuing pastorate, Locke’s familiars would do well to encourage him to repent and reconcile with his wife.
[Contributed by Seth Dunn]
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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