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UPDATE: NY Pastor Resigns After Suggesting Men Are Free to Rape Their Wives in His Sermon

Burnett Robinson
Source: YouTube

UPDATED Nov. 24, 2021: Dr. Burnett Robinson, who suggested in a sermon that husbands are permitted to rape their wives, has resigned, according to a statement sent to ChurchLeaders from the Greater New York Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The statement reads:

Pastor Burnett Robinson has resigned as the Senior Pastor of the Grand Concourse Seventh-day Adventist Church. 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. 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. We will continue to pray for and seek to become stronger advocates on behalf of survivors and those still living with violence and abuse. The Seventh-day Adventist Church condemns any language or behavior that perpetrates or encourages any type of violence against women.  We humbly apologize and ask for forgiveness.

Moreover, Religion News Service reports that the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has also issued a statement, saying, “We wholeheartedly condemn any form of behavior or rhetoric that perpetrates any type of violence against women — or any person. This is not what the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes.”


ChurchLeaders original article written on Nov. 23, 2021, below:

A change.org petition is calling for Dr. Burnett Robinson to resign as senior pastor from Grand Concourse Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Bronx, New York after a video of his sermon about wives submitting to their husbands began circulating. In the sermon, Robinson suggests that it is permissible for husbands to rape their wives. 

The church has deleted the sermon video from their YouTube channel, but YouTube user Sarah McDugal captured Robinson’s words and uploaded them herself. In this one minute and 22 second clip from Robinson’s sermon, Robinson can be heard quoting Ephesians 5:22 and then explaining his interpretation of the text. 

“‘Wives, you must submit yourself to your husband as unto the Lord,’” Robinson quoted from Ephesians. “And in this matter of submission, I want you to know upfront, ladies, that once you get married, you are no longer your own. You are your husband’s.” 

After this remark, Robinson paused a few moments for effect. As Robinson continued to pause, the congregation began laughing. Amid the somewhat nervous chuckles, Robinson said, “Do you understand what I’m saying?”

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Robinson then went on to illustrate what he meant by expressing his confusion at something he watched on television earlier that week. 

“And besides that, because I saw in court the other day on TV where a lady sued her husband for rape,” Robinson said. “And I would say to you, gentlemen, the best person to rape is your wife.” 

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dchamberlain@outreach.com'
Dale Chamberlain (M.Div) is the Content Manager for ChurchLeaders.com. He is also a blogger and podcaster who is passionate about helping people tackle ancient truths in everyday settings. He lives in Southern California with his wife Tamara and their two sons.