Christian Personality Tony Jones Uses Lame, Unbiblical Excuse to Rationalize His Adultery – He Calls His Mistress His Spiritual Wife, According to Various Online Blogs and Sites
Sometime in the last few weeks especially, a story broke out on various liberal or Christian or ex Christian type groups and blogs about a guy in the emerging church by the name of Tony Jones.
I am uncertain if Jones works as a pastor or is simply an author or blogger. I’m not terribly interested in the myriad, minute details of this situation for the purposes of this post. His bio which popped up in a search on Google returns this:
- Tony Jones is an American theologian, author, blogger, and speaker who is a leading figure in the emerging church movement and postmodern Christianity.
As you should be aware, if you’ve bothered to so much as glance over other content at my blog, I often discuss issues pertaining to singleness and marriage, and how Christians do a terrible job teaching about these things, or in supporting celibacy.
From the Christian blog The Wartburg Watch, (link to TWW Home Page), which usually specializes in reporting about spiritual abuse by Christians in churches, here is an excerpt from a post they did in January 19, 2015:
- Tony Jones divorced his wife in 2009. Julie discovered the affair in 2008
- His BFF, Doug Pagitt, knew Tony was having an affair and came up with a theological argument to justify Jones’ actions. Jones allegedly told Julie that he had a spiritual™ wife which took precedence over their marriage because their marriage was simply a legal matter. (2009- one month before official divorce).
- Julie claims she was assaulted by Jones.
- Rumors circulated amongst their Emergent group that Julie was mentally ill. She claims that the leaders tried to get her committed to a mental institution.
- Julie was awarded custody of the children and Jones was given visitation rights.
- Tony Jones sacramentally (his term) married his new wife in 2011 and legally married her in 2013. They refused to get legally married until gays could get married.
The ex wife, Julie, claims that Tony physically abused her, including throwing her up against a wall, which dislocated her shoulder.
There is much bickering about this whole thing on other sites as to who to believe, Tony (who claims his ex wife is a trouble- making, crack- pot), or Julie (for the record, based on what I’ve seen so far, I tend to believe Julie’s side of things, and she says that Jones was diagnosed as having NPD – link about NPD on health site).
There are other aspects about this I don’t want to get into in my post, such as a conference involving Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans, and how, when, or if Christians in positions of authority use that influence to silence victims, etc etc.
You can go google the rest of the story if you’d like to read more about all this. There are other blogs, Facebook groups, and forums who are discussing this story from multiple angles.
The point most all accounts I’ve seen agree upon is that this Tony guy had an affair, and Tony refers to his mistress (who I believe he is now legally wed to?) as his “spiritual wife.”
This “spiritual wife” line was used to justify or rationalize his extra-marital affair and divorce.
The Bible teaches no such thing as a “spiritual wife.”
Jones is a piss-poor “theologian” if he thinks the Bible teaches the concept of spiritual wives.
That this Jones guy still gets speaking engagements or book deals, in spite of being widely known as an adulterer, speaks quite poorly to the state of affairs or discernment among Christians today.