Divorce and remarriage is quickly becoming the prickliest subject in the church today.
On the one hand the Bible is profoundly clear on the subject that God hates divorce (Mal ), but on the other hand as many as half the people sitting in the pew may be divorced.
At the risk of offending the ‘faithful’ (pun intended) most pastors remain conspicuously quiet on the subject. It would seem counter-intuitive to offend half our congregation, so it is easier to just avoid the subject altogether. Look, nobody understands better than me how easy it is to say something stupid on TV. So I am going to give Pat Robertson the benefit of the doubt that…
We are just so selfish and have no understanding of the virtue of sacrifice.
I spoke about this issue last Sunday in our church.
A newcomer was annoyed with me and told me that her friend’s husband (wink wink) was abusive and she was now living with another man.
Why was she not free to divorce her husband and marry Mr Wonderful, she wanted to know. You do not have to live with an abusive spouse, but you are not free to divorce him and marry another.” To which she said, “Don’t you believe that God is happy when we are happy?
We have no desire to chase divorcees out of the church but at some point we need do something to do stem the tide and return to honouring this God ordained institution. Sarcasm aside, this is exactly what I am talking about; that preachers have become so soft on this issue that their voices are almost indistinguishable from that of non-christians.
The church’s standard on marriage took a big step backward last week when the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson gave a man, whose wife was suffering from Alzheimer’s, the incredibly bad and unbiblical advice to “divorce her and move on.” After a firestorm of criticism he came on air a week later and said that he was misunderstood. He never recanted or apologized but instead insisted that he would never advise someone to divorce their sick spouse. (Although I am quite certain many would not think it very honorable to divorce a terminally ill spouse) Most vows today still include the commitment; for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do we part.It is a sad state of affairs when we are not willing to stand by our spouses in their greatest hour of need.In the case of the guy whose wife had advanced Alzheimer’s, it would only be a few years or months and he would be free to remarry soon enough.” I responded sarcastically, “Yes, that’s it, our personal happiness trumps all the other principles of God’s word.” To which she rebutted quite satisfied, “Then I rest my case.” Aaarrrggg Lord help us!If I am to get even bolder and blunter, this sentiment is actually coming from the clergy itself.We have not clearly articulated God’s will regarding marriage nor provided the resources to help marriages succeed. I just want to know why these preachers have not stepped gracefully out of ministry and allowed God to rebuild their obviously broken lives?