Skip to comments.The Sin of Divorce
Posted on 01/04/2005 12:24:26 PM PST by Keyes2000mt
The words were said countless thousands of times last year as a minister concluded the ceremony. "What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." But so often man and woman do.
While gay marriage has been roundly condemned in most churches (and rightly so), you will not hear much about divorce. In many cases, if divorce is discussed in church, it's talked about as this horrible circumstance that comes upon people, listed in the same breath as automobile accidents or serious illnesses.
The Bible is quite clear on the issue of divorce. Malachi 2:16 says it clearly, "For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that He hateth putting away (i.e. Divorce)..." Hate's a strong word and Christ reiterates this in the New Testament. Yet, in the church, even in Conservative churches, a man is more likely to feel uncomfortable with pierced ear than with a couple divorces behind him.
There's good reason why the church and conservatives are skittish about this topic. There's no one who doesn't know someone who's been divorced. They fill our church pews every Sunday. We know them to be decent folks who agree with us on a lot of cultural issues. Randall Terry, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh have all been divorced.
We also know folks who have been victimized by their ex-spouse: abused, cheated on, and treated like dirt. Or, perhaps you dear reader have had a divorce where you weren't at fault and that you didn't choose.
On the other hand, most Christians know very few homosexuals and even less know homosexuals who'd like to get married. The odds of a pastor offending a large tither whose gay and wants to get married is quite small.
To say our current divorce rate is a national sin is not to say that all divorcees are to be condemned and treated as despicable outcasts. The church should be compassionate, but even as Christ said, "Go and sin no more," It must be proactive in dealing with divorce.
Divorce must be taught against strongly in the church. The church as a community should be dedicated to helping preserve the marriages of the church. Strengthening the marriages of believers should be considered as important if not more so than evangelism. Children of broken homes often wander spiritually and in many cases fall from faith. Thus, a large church may win 100 converts, but if it produces 40 broken homes in the same year that leads to 100 angry and embittered children, it is not truly building the Kingdom of God.
Also, church discipline should be used when appropriate for those who divorce without just cause and refuse reconciliation efforts. Watching Cornerstone Television, I saw former NFL player and Pastor of Antioch Bible Church Ken Hutcherson. He organized the Mayday for Marriage rally in Washington, DC opposing gay marriage. Call him anything you like, but don't call him a gay-hating hypocrite. Hutcherson said that in the past year, he'd censured five members of the church, including some for ending marriages without just cause.
The structure of most Protestant Churches is anti-authoritarian and the idea of church discipline is scary to most of us as we've heard horror stories about how cults have abused it. However, desperate times call for desperate measures and a biblical use of church discipline could aid in preserving marriages.
The devastating number of divorces is an area where the interests of church and state collide. Studies have shown that divorces lead to economic problems for states and communities, as well as the long term problems that come from children of broken marriages. It's no accident that the richest states are those with the lowest divorce rates.
The fact is that anyone who finds themselves in a bad marriage made a mistake at one time or another. Half the time, their biggest mistake was getting married in the first place. To prevent these bad matches or to help get the marriage off on a better start, marrying couples should be required to undergo several hours of marriage classes and/or marital counseling from a licensed minister or marriage counselor.
Secondly, no-fault divorce laws must be reformed. Marriage is the most important relationship a person has legally, yet it has all the force and effect of a month-to-month lease thanks to no-fault divorce laws. The laws should be reformed so a no-fault divorce can only be obtained if both parties consent. This would also reduce the court costs associated with issues of custody and division of the property as a no-fault divorce could only be obtained if both parties were agreed on it.
Those who believe in gay marriage have pointed to divorce as an argument against those who seek to protect marriage from same sex unions. I reject the argument that one evil prospering requires that we allow another blow to traditional family values. However, preserving the family is about more than one single issue and if we're going to be serious about it, we have to address all the issues that threaten the survival of the Family.
Tag.. Future Comment (If time allows)
I'm divorced-----best thing that ever happened to me,my former spouse,and our 5 kids(who were all adults when we were divorced).
"The fact is that anyone who finds themselves in a bad marriage made a mistake at one time or another. Half the time, their biggest mistake was getting married in the first place. To prevent these bad matches or to help get the marriage off on a better start, marrying couples should be required to undergo several hours of marriage classes and/or marital counseling from a licensed minister or marriage counselor."
For people marrying in a church ceremony, this is almost always, if not always, required. Yet there are plenty of divorces among those couples, too. The counseling is often cursory and the couple may not pay that much attention-it's just another thing on the long list of to do's.
Well, evidently you and I are sinners in the minds of the "real, true" conservatives.
How bout I just shack up instead. /unintended consequences
You all must have lived a depressing life.
Not just you guys....
Add me to your list of "sinners"
We are not worthy!
Well, this will be a good thread; it will let all the Freepers out there know just where we stand with Renew America.
Guess what, this one ought to send you reeling. I didn't know you were divorced and couldn't possibly care less. That's your own private business and has no impact on the person you are. For once, we agree on something.
This thread will go into the hundreds.
I'm of the mind that it actually makes some of us better people. But, of course, that's just me.
Throw me in there, too.
The level of crap masquerading as "conservatism" on Free Republic has friggen multiplied exponentially as of late.
ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD....including those at Renew America.
I guess it's a good thing Mr. Ex's ex (sounds funny lol) was an adulteress, otherwise we'd be living in sin. Or are we anyway?
Too confusing for me. :)
The solution is simple: marry the right person. Then you won't have to get a divorce. Otherwise, it's the best solution rather than live in hell.
Even if you do marry the "right" person, things can change.
I'm glad my parents divorced.
Divorce is NOT the "Great Sin".
It is the consequence of all the sins which led up to it.
Divorce is not a sin. In the orthodox faith divorce eclesiastical divorce is permited for specific enumerated reasons. The faith allows for two divorces or three marriages. The humor goes one for being too young, two for being on the rebound, and the last marriage you better get it right.
There are even specific provisions petitioning for special permision to go beyond that for more specifically enumerated reasons. (death, fraud, deciet, misrepresentation)
Too bad england did not stick with the orthodox faith, then king henry may not have needed to break from the home church.
If we are REALLY serious about reforming civil divorce then some legal conservative thinktank should make a proper model divorce code. Right now the ONLY model divorce code used by legislators has been written by the ABA which has more no-fault, homosexual sex partner visitation standing, and children as an accessory to mariages of adult "breeders" (not to be confused with homosexual marriages.)
Well, so far, I'm thinking we're in good company.....LOL.
Strong words that need to be heeded... it's too easy to get divorced.
I can't argue with that. But the bigger question that the article raises is where in the Bible is homosexuality identified as a more series sin than divorce or the underlying cause of many divorces, adultry. Homosexuality doesn't even make the top ten "thou shall not" list.
I don't know either one of you, but if it makes you feel any better - I'd say that everyone on this platform are sinners, real and true conservatives included.
Looks like I'm on that "Hell Bound" list too.
At least I die secure in the knowledge that my EX is doomed as well.
When I was a kid I was this person who didn't know anyone who was divorced. All my relatives who were married and all their friends who were married were permanently married. Divorce was unthinkable. And nobody was miserable either.
Looks like we'll have a big party "down there." I wonder if there's internet access?
Not,it wasn't depressing---there were more good years than bad and my family life with five kids kept us all busy.
When I finally made the decision to get a divorce it was tough for all but we survived and we all get along well.That was 17 years ago and we were married for 27.
Life goes on!
Where's the article on "The Sin of Spousal Abuse"?
I wouldn't be surprised, but since it's eternal punishment, I'm betting it's AOL on a 33.6 dialup.
IMHO, of course.
It seems every man that is over forty and single was married already.
My folks divorced and, aside from the fact that you think I'm a despicable human being (which I take no small sense of pride in), I'm actually a very well adjusted person. And, God have mercy on us all, my folks actually get along just fine. It didn't make me afraid of commitment or resentful of my parents. It was tough to begin with of course (I was 12) but I honestly believe it was the best thing for everyone now.
OMG, that's so funny!
Suppose divorce is made more legally difficult.
Do you really think this will keep people together? (Well, I was going to pack my bags and hit the road, but wait! The state says I'm still married! Now I can't leave the house...)
Or perhaps they'll just hit the road just like they were going to anyway, and the meaningless state license is made even more of a farce as that individual pursues relationships with others.
Making divorce legally difficult is like putting a band-aid on cancer. It does nothing to address the root causes - and those are where the battle lies.
Even the most painfully pious among us are sinners. I'm not sweating it.
Feel free to put words in my mouth at any time. Geez.
This hits close to home since my parents who have been married to each other for 20 years have recently gotten divorced, and they both are conservative Christians. It pains me to see my 7 year old sister go through this. It's heartbreaking when I see my sister and she wants to stay at my dad's house longer but can't because she has to go back "home" and she starts crying. She won't have the same luxury that I had, growing up in a 2 parent household.
Interesting article. It's easier to hate or criticize those who are not part of your group. It's a heckuva lot harder to do so for members of your group.
Most churches have their complement of divorced members. You look at them every Sunday. How are you going to criticize or hate them.
OTOH, most churches have no homosexual members. It's a lot easier to hate the person who's not there, it seems to me.
Kind of makes it tough for those of us who believe divorce is sometimes necessary but remarriage is a grave sin.
It seems every man that is over forty and single was married already.Some of us have been more sensible than that. >:)
>>I'm divorced-----best thing that ever happened to me,my former spouse,and our 5 kids(who were all adults when we were divorced).<<
In the long run? (I am speaking of eternity here)
Don't get me wrong. I am divorced too. But I am one of those "never saw it coming" guys...
Oh, and it worked out very well for me as well. Met the woman of my dreams and we are just about done with year six of our honeymoon. The ex and my kids didn't do so well though. They'll live, but the scars on the kids are quite permanent. I did eventually get custody of the one that is still a minor.
The church didn't require this when the wife and I got married in the Philippines but BOY the Navy did.
Took us 2 years from the time I asked for her hand before the Navy gave us permission to get married.
All types of counseling, pressure, paperwork, etc.
It also helps to discuss this ahead of time.
Both of us knew, going into marriage, that neither of us believed in divorce.
If it's harder then maybe they'll think twice. No matter anyway, the lawyers will make out like bandits.
Why won't your mother let her stay longer?
Oh for Pete's sake, we've been doing this for years now and you should know when I'm just trying to get your goat. Don't be so touchy or I'll have to take back the decent thing that I was thinking about you a few minutes ago.
Do you know why a divorce is so expensive?
(ready the rimshot)
>>>>Those who believe in gay marriage have pointed to divorce as an argument against those who seek to protect marriage from same sex unions. I reject the argument that one evil prospering requires that we allow another blow to traditional family values<<<<
I am divorced. I do believe that divorce is a sin in most cases, but not all. For instance, Christians need not stay married to non-Christians. The thing is, Christians are forgiven for their sins if they seek it, believe they need it, and intend to change as well.
The comparison of homosexual marriage vs. divorced Christians is unfair. Homosexuals are choosing sin as a Lifestyle, while most Christians divorcing experience extreme pain, soul searching, and attempt NOT to make the mistake again. It can not compare to staying in a relationship which God abhorrs.
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