Saturday, July 12, 2014

2 Questions On Divorce (Part 2) The Church's Neglect

The Church's Neglect
Before I go any further there is one thing I would like to clarify.  It is a truth that many have expressed and is something I agree with.  Many years ago, the Church as a whole began neglecting divorce.  The Church stopped addressing it as a significant, life-changing event that is a selfish, destructive, rebellious act not only against each other, but against God himself.  

They then began teaching people to recover from it rather than avoiding it all together. The Church all but ceased teaching that, other than a couple of very specific circumstances, scripture does not allow for remarriage of divorcees.  It actually teaches that it is considered adultery to remarry outside of these very specific scenarios.  

Please don't misunderstand.  Scripture does not teach that divorce or remarriage is an unforgivable sin, but it is a slap in the face of God's intended purpose for marriage.  This purpose was not, for us to be blissfully happy, never struggle, and never have to work at an intimate, covenant relationship.  It's original purpose was to "be fruitful and multiply" and spread God's image and glory throughout the earth.  Unfortunately, sin quickly corrupted man's ability to accomplish this.  Now marriage is intended to be a representation of the relationship between Christ and His Church.  Included in this is the expectation that we will be fruitful and multiply, and spread His image and glory throughout the earth.  

Divorce scandalizes that purpose and steals glory from God by distorting the image that is intended to be a direct representation of His love for His church and His church's love for Him.

Reasons for Divorce 
These are as numerous as the stars.  The reasons to end your covenant commitment of marriage are as nebulous as a cloud that constantly shifts and changes shape.  It seems almost anything can be written off under the guise of irreconcilable differences.  In other words, "it just got to hard."  Divorce has become common place now.  You don't even need a good reason.  It is just a fact of life.  Many times it is celebrated without the consideration of the wounds within that will take much longer to heal than even the individuals involved realize.  To say nothing of the emotional trauma that it causes the children of these divorced parents for years to come.  Divorce is the epitome of selfish acts.  It is the end all, be all of the Burger King philosophy that says we can and should have it our way, right away.    

Marital Compromise
The Church's neglect of addressing divorce and holding professing Christians accountable has had a great deal to do with the moral decay of our nation and the world.  It has had a great deal to do with the current compromising of the institution of marriage even within supposed "evangelical Christianity" that manifests itself in a social agenda supporting gay-marriage that is most prevalent in Europe and the States.

The Church's neglect of addressing divorce has much to do with the destruction of the family unit and the development of the modern day family that has gone from having two mom's and dad's because your parents divorced and remarried, to having two mom's or two dad's because the moms or dads are married to each other.

Ignorance is Bliss
This statement is quantified in this subject matter by the fact that ignorance of what God's word teaches regarding divorce has led to the idea that bliss comes from pursuing happiness at any cost.  If you look at the statistics, most professing Christians don't look any different than non-Christians.  The reason for this is that too many people have no idea what the bible teaches regarding what constitutes the basics of Christianity.  To say nothing of what they know about the application of Christian principles to our daily lives, to include marriage and divorce.  This goes back to the watering down of the gospel and the man-centered, Burger King Christianity style of preaching that is coming from so many pulpits, and has been for the last 20-30 years as divorce has been on the rise.

We Are Not Innocent
I am not writing this with the intent of conclusively placing all blame entirely on the Church.  Oh no.  We, as individuals, bear a tremendous responsibility.  At the end of the day we are all sinners.  We are all prone to self-indulgence.  And, we will all be held accountable for our individual choices.  If we are truly Christians then we ARE the church.  Yes, teachers and preachers hold a special responsibility and accountability. However, when we stand before God Almighty at the white throne of judgement, He will not excuse a single decision we made that was contrary to His word because it was or was not taught properly or at all.

Ultimately we are ALL responsible for reading God's word ourselves and knowing what it says.  We are all responsible for holding each other accountable according to God's word, admonishing and encouraging each other toward truth and good works in Christ.

Don't Be Angry, Be Responsible
So, if you find your self feeling convicted by anything that you may read here or in any other post regarding this subject and getting angry about it, I want to challenge you.  Ask yourself, are you interested in biblical truth no matter how unpleasant, or are you interested in maybe continuing to lie to yourself about feelings or thoughts that you have that are contrary to God's word?  Are gonna be angry and offended, or humbled and responsible?

It's For Me Too!
I have to make this choice as much as the next person.  My wife and I do not have the perfect marriage.  We disagree, we argue, we don't like each other very much sometimes.  But for myself, when I look at the mirror of God's word, I am continually taken to the woodshed regarding my responsibilities as a husband and father.  I am constantly reminded of what Christ has done, and continues to do for me as a member of his bride, the Church.  Consequently, I am continually reminded that he died to himself for me.  He gave all for me.  Even  as I reject Him by my sinful actions at times, He loves me anyway.  And I can do no less for my wife.  I love her very much.  But when my love for her runs short of motivating the appropriate response,  my love for my Heavenly Father and my desire for my life to bring Him glory must take over.

I must not get angry at the discomfort or difficulty of the truths found in God's word regarding marriage and divorce.  I must be responsible and faithfully strive to apply these truths to my individual walk and consequently, to my marriage for as long as we both shall live.

Glorify God
I love my God and I want to put Him first in all things.  No matter where you are in this discussion:  married, separated, divorced, or remarried, I pray that, in your current circumstance, nothing is more important to you than glorifying God with your life for the rest of your life, no matter how hard it gets.

Now I ask you to journey with me as we take an honest and sometimes painful look at what it means to fight to avoid divorce or to honor the biblical consequences of divorce depending upon the circumstance.

An Unclear Ending
I am not sure how this series will end at this point.  That is, I have a general direction however, there are so many different scenarios that can be considered in marital struggles and considerations of divorce.   So I will strive to deal with a few as honestly and biblically as possible and we'll see how it plays out.

I know I am just one lowly blogger and that my opinion may not mean much to many.  But if one person is impacted positively to the glory of God on this matter then it will have been worth the effort.  I just ask that you do me a favor and if you like what you read and you think it might be helpful to someone else, share it with them.  I truly want to have as broad an impact as possible in everything that I write.

Changed hearts and transformed lives for the glory of Jesus Christ is truly the only motivation that I have for writing this blog.

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone),


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