On Saturday, November 13, Burnett Robinson, a senior pastor at the Grand Concourse Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church, told husbands in his sermon that “the best person to rape is your wife.” Less than two weeks after Robinson’s insensitive and disrespectful approval on marital rape, his resignation was announced.
The Grand Concourse Seventh-day Adventist Church is located in Bronx, New York, and is part of the Greater New York Conference of the SDA (GNYCSDA). On Tuesday, November 23, the GNYCSDA announced that Robinson was on administrative leave.
The announcement putting Robinson on administrative leave came a day after Religion News (RNS) ran a story about Robinson’s sermon. The information was also made on the same day a clip of Robinson’s sermon was posted on Youtube.
On Wednesday, November 24, the GNYCSDA announced that Robinson had resigned.
In his November 13 sermon, Robinson preached from the Letters of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians. The apostle blatantly declares that wives should submit themselves to their husbands. Robinson reminded the wives present in his sermon that they were no longer their own once married. “You are your husband’s,” Robinson declared.
Robinson explained that he saw a woman on television who sued her husband for rape. “And I would say to you gentlemen, the best person to rape is your wife.” “But then it has become [i]legalized,” he added, alluding to a false belief that rape does not count for legally married couples.
Kevin Lampe, the communications consultant for the SDA, said Robinson is no longer allowed to serve at any SDA church. According to Lampe, the GNYCSDA acknowledges that “the sentiments expressed by Robinson has deeply harmed many.” “The views he expressed are wrong and not accepted by our church,” he added.
The GNYCSDA also declared that “rape and sexual assault of women are crimes and should always be treated as such.” “We will continue to educate and counsel all pastors, seminary students, and staff to fully understand that this type of rhetoric is abhorrent and unequivocally unacceptable,” their statement added.
The GNYCSDA appointed Pastor Bancroft Daughma of the Living Word Seventh-day Adventist Church as the interim pastor for the Grand Concourse SDA church.
Despite the GNYCSDA announcing Robinson’s resignation, the petition for his resignation in change.org continues to gather more support. As of the writing of this article, the petition is more than halfway through the 5,000 signature goal.