Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Great Divorce Debacle

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 Not too long ago someone posted this on Facebook and I wanted to address it and the topic of divorce in one article, so let's get to the goods;

Let me start by saying that I agree 100% divorce IS BAD, VERY BAD, BUT it's not bad in and of it's self.  Divorce is NEVER defined as a sin, however, divorce is actually a result OF SIN, rather than sin it's self. Confused? Allow me to explain. Almost everything has an appropriate time and place, for the sake of this example I'll use Killing & Sex. Killing & sex are NOT defined as sins in The Bible, they only become sinful when they are executed outside of the parameters when they are applicable.

For example: if a man looks at me funny and I kill him, I committed a sinful act. If a man enters my home with intent to kill me and I kill him while defending myself in the process, I did not. The  difference in these situations are the legality of the action. In one, I killed a man arbitrarily, in the other I killed man defending myself. Hence why when the police or when a soldier kills someone we do not arrest them for murder.

Another example: If I have sex with a woman that I am not married to, it's considered adultery, and I should not be having sex. However if I am married, then sex is completely appropriate. The issue here is that people regard Christians as being anti-sex, WE ARE NOT, we are very PRO-SEX, we're just ANTI-ADULTERY.  And all sex outside of marriage is adultery.

These examples bring me to Divorce. As I said earlier, Divorce is NOT a sin but rather a RESULT OF SIN. In the same way Killing in and of it's self is NOT sinful but a result of sin. God has declared that He hates divorce,

"16 For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” - Malachi 2:16

But hating something and declaring it a sin are 2 different things, as I clearly stated above. Divorce does NOT come with a consequence of being stoned as the image says and there are not COUNTLESS verses talking about Divorce, there are, to my count there are 7 verses that deal with Divorce and none of them mention stoning. So whoever this Pastor is, clearly hasn't read The Bible. Death however IS mentioned as a consequence of adultery (Lev 20:10) , which will bring me to my second point. 

Because of Sin we live in an imperfect world where certain things are inevitable, like killing, God gave us a Law so that when a kill takes place it is not murder (the unlawful taking of someone's life). So when David killed Goliath, David wasn't condemned as a murderer. In a like manner God knows that divorce is inevitable, and because He knows this, He provided a stipulation in which divorce IS acceptable. Jesus tells us in Matthew 19:9;

 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

"EXCEPT FOR IMMORTALITY, in Jesus' own words, He provided the ONLY scenario in which divorce is appropriate. Therefore if a Husband cheats on his wife or vice versa, by Jesus' own words a divorce would not be wrong is such a case. HOWEVER, when a marriage does suffer infidelity there are a few options that should be explored before divorce executed. Reconciliation; if The Husband and Wife can sit down together and discuss their issues and actions peacefully (maybe with a 3rd party, a Pastor preferably) and come to a place where infidelity is not likely to take place again, that option should be explored. After all, we serve a loving and forgiving God and a Husband and Wife should be open and willing to forgive each other and pursue reconciliation if at all possible. 

Therefore reasons such as "irreconcilable differences" is NOT a grounds for divorce. Marriage is an EXTREMELY serious institution that is constantly undermined when people who enter into marriage doesn't have a grasp on what it means to be married, not just from a physical stand point but from a spiritual stand point. Regardless of whether or not you're a Christian, Atheist, Hindu, ect. ect. Once you enter into a marriage, you are there til' death do you part. Not "until we get tired of each other", "until we want to have sex with someone else", "until I don't love her/him anymore" ect. ect. Therefore you should be 100% certain that the person you choose to marry is the person you want to marry because otherwise you're going to be stuck with someone you don't want to be stuck with. If you follow that ideology, the idea of "irreconcilable differences" wouldn't occur.

The rest below this will be my own opinion and therefore can be taken with a grain of salt but I'll use scripture to explain why I believe what I believe here. In terms of domestic violence or child abuse or the general safety of one's being, should be taken into account and there are several verses in The Bible which discuss the conduct of a husband and wife. Husbands and wives are commanded to love each other as their own bodies;

" 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church," - Eph 5:22-29

;therefore a man/woman who loves their spouse as their own body wouldn't seek to cause it intentional harm now would they? So in a case where domestic violence occurs, I'd suggest removing yourself (and your children, should you have any) from that situation (staying with parents, a friends, ect. ect.) and attempt to open lines of reconciliation, understanding and forgiveness. If the party who is causing the abuse resists reconciliation and requests no forgiveness for their actions, take legal action. I'd also recommend discussing with a Pastor if divorce is acceptable, and in this case I wouldn't argue that it isn't. And all of this applies to situations where children are being abused as well. Husbands and wives are told to honor each other, (Eph 5:33) and beating each other is not honoring, nor is undermining someone's opinion because of their gender honoring. And while continuous dishonor is not grounds for divorce it's certainly a catalyst towards infidelity and other issues that can harm a marriage. This concludes my opinion portion.

Christians have stated that divorce undermines the institution of marriage because people enter into it unknowingly, find out they don't like it and leave as callously as they entered into it, and we allow them to because we've ignored whole sale what it means to be married as ONE BODY, Gen 2:24. So when I see things like;
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I COMPLETELY agree, the institution of marriage is ALREADY DAMAGED! HOWEVER, instead of damaging it MORE with "Gay Marriage", we should fix what IS broken. And that means REALLY driving it home to people what it means to be married. And that means calling out people on their infidelity, calling open marriages what they are adultery, and so on so forth. We need to bring SHAME back into the public lexicon and REALLY start showing some disapproval of these actions, and at the same time, nurturing a healthy, Biblical understanding of marriage, so that when people DO enter into a marriage they'll know exactly who they're marrying, what they believe about marriage and how it should be conducted. 

To deal with the latter portion of the image at the beginning of this article, if a Pastor truly said those things then I'm incredibly saddened by his lack of Biblical understanding. As I already pointed out, the consequences of divorce was NOT being stoned, that was the consequences of adultery. Furthermore, we didn't stop stoning people because we realized it's inhumane to do so, we stopped stoning people because we no longer live under a theocracy and therefore certain sins such as blasphemy and adultery are no longer punishable by Law (at least here in the United States).

Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, The Law was fulfilled in Him (Matt 5:17-18, Rom 10:3-4,  and therefore the social and legal penalties of that theocracy no longer needs to be enforced. Jesus kept The Law perfectly because we could not, therefore in order to be right with God we look to Jesus, NOT to The Law. I'll unpack this in another article and link it HERE once it's written (the reason I'm not doing so now is because I don't want to make this article much longer than it already is) but for a Pastor to openly ignore that or be unknowing of that is scary and unfortunate to say the least. 

FURTHERMORE, The Bible DOES indeed provide the consequences for sexual immortality as laid out in Romans 1:18-27;

"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."

Romans lays it out, "AND RECEIVING IN THEIR OWN PERSONS THE DUE PENALTY OF THEIR ERROR". What could that possibly mean? Disease? Physical issues? Psychological issues? They're pretty rampant in the gay community (unfortunately they're rampant everywhere else where immortality is prevalent) but sexual immortality causes A LOT of issues, absence of progeny, diseases and so on so forth. The Bible goes on to say that sinners will not inherit the kingdom of God, included among them are homosexuals, 1 Cor 6:9-10;

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

So for a Pastor to not emphasize that homosexuals must repent and change their lifestyles, and disregard being excluded from The Kingdom Of God as a HORRIBLE consequence is disturbing. What's more disturbing that he concludes with Mark 12:31;

" 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

and COMPLETELY IGNORES. Mark 12:30-31;

 "30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

So this Pastor thinks loving his neighbor is allowing them to openly continue in sin and to voice support of sinful behavior...ummm no. Loving your neighbor is encouraging them to repent and getting them into The Word Of God so they can find peace and love in Jesus Christ. Anyways, I have another article to right, maybe later tonight but we'll see. Peace in Christ all.


IrishFarmer said...

I have to admit that I'm still somewhat torn on the issue of Gay Marriage. This was a good read, because you don't really hear a lot of well thought out non-"progressive" perspectives on the issue.

The way I see it there are two issues that have to be tackled here. One, does the state have the right to disallow homosexuals from marrying.

And two, is homosexuality a sin today.

Most Christians agree on number two, I think, but number one is an area that often gets kind of glossed over. It's just assumed that if homosexuality is a sin that therefore the state can and should ban it.

I'm still wrestling with this issue, because I know homosexuals who are also religious, and I always wonder, "If they asked me about this, because they weren't sure, what would I say to them?" Answering that question isn't as easy as I thought it would be.

Ugo Strange said...

First of all, let me say that I'm humbled and honored that you'd grace my blog with a comment even after my shameless plug.

The prospect of The State disallowing gays to marry in a tricky one ONLY if you allow the definition of marriage to be changed. Marriage BY DEFINITION is between a Man & Woman. NOT between a Man & Woman, and another Woman, and another Woman & Vice Versa.

We need to be careful in acknowledging Gay Christians and Christians who are gay. There is a SOLID difference between a Christian who is warring with his Homosexual nature and acknowledges it's sinfulness and a person who CALLS themselves Christian and yet claims that their homosexuality is NOT sinful.

We can't just let them walk around with a fake garment of religiosity, they either repent like the rest of us or deny they ever were Christians. No room for a middle ground.

Anonymous said...

KILLING is a sin.
Exodus 20:13. "Thou shalt not kill."
End of story.