Skip to comments.The scandal of evangelical silence on divorce
Posted on 08/06/2013 12:01:51 PM PDT by Morgana
August 6, 2013 (Breakpoint) - If I asked you to name the hot button social issues of concern to Christians, youd probably cite abortion and gay marriage right away. Of course, the coarse and hyper-sexualized nature of popular culture might also come to mind.
But what probably wouldnt come to mind is the high incidence of divorce. Given the clear biblical teaching on the subject and its impact on families and children, that is, to put it mildly, more than a little odd.
Actually, as one Christian leader rightly puts it, our lack of attention to the subject is a scandal.
That leader is Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. I recently came across a three-year-old podcastbetter late than never, especially in this casein which he labeled our indifference to divorce the scandal of the Evangelical conscience.
The podcast began with an interview of Mark A. Smith, a political scientist at the University of Washington. Smith had recently written a paper entitled Religion, Divorce, and the Missing Culture War in America.
As Smith studied the culture wars across the U.S., he was struck by the issue that was conspicuous by its absence: namely divorce.
For instance, during its existence, the Moral Majority mobilized and lobbied on many political issues, including abortion, pornography, gay rights, school prayer . . . and sex education in schools. In contrast, divorce ranked so low on the groups agenda that books on the Moral Majority do not even give the issue an entry in the index.
This makes no sense. As Smith noted, from the standpoint of simple logic, divorce fits cleanly within the category of family values. In fact, divorce seems to carry a more direct connection to the daily realities of families than do the bellwether culture war issues of abortion and homosexuality.
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So Mohler asked Smith, why the silence on divorce?
Smiths answer is that the inclusion of divorce on the agenda of the Christian right would have risked a massive alienation of members, so the issue went virtually unmentioned.
Or, as Mohler put it, evangelicals allowed culture to trump Scripture. According to him, the church largely followed the lead of its members and accepted what might be called the privatization of divorce. Churches simply allowed a secular culture to determine that divorce is no big deal, and that it is a purely private matter.
This happened despite the clear scriptural teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life.
As divorce has been privatizedfenced off from Scripture, Christian teaching, and from the communityso has marriage. If marriage is merely a means to happiness or sexual fulfillment (instead of a sacrament, a life-long commitment of sacrificial love open to the creation of life), no wonder same-sex couples argue that they deserve the same happiness and fulfillment available to heterosexuals.
In addition, what Mohler calls the real scandalthe fact that evangelical Protestants divorce at rates at least as high as the rest of the publiccreates a significant credibility crisis when evangelicals then rise to speak in defense of marriage.
No, divorce is not an unpardonable sin but, as Mohler insists, it is a sin, and our acceptance of this particular sin while inveighing against other violations of Gods plan for marriage is hypocritical.
My point here is not to pour salt on the wounds of divorced Christiansthey deserve and need our compassion; but its to get the Church to acknowledge the beam in its own eye and, thus, end a silence that is not only conspicuous but scandalous.
Certainly up until this summer, HETEROSEXUALS have been wholly responsible for the destruction of the institution of marriage.
Irony, the Mark of Quality Literature.
I was shocked to realize recently that Reagan has been our only divorced and remarried president - ever. Not to say that some of them weren’t fornicating scumbags (Jackson married a still-married woman not yet divorced from her husband), but the fact that we have had a pretty high moral social standard for the presidency overall comports completely with the values espoused at the founding of our Nation. But, I don’t see this happening much in the future, if we even have one.
Pride ruins marriage like pride ruins all of us... gay pride can counterfeit God’s union but their pride will be their ruin too...
It is imperative that a pastor be “the husband of one wife,” not divorced. I get sick when I see presumptuous people dragging this abomination into the pulpit.
Ping for later.
Sometimes the truth hurts. We give liberals Christians a lot of crap for excusing bad behavior - rightfully so - but we excuse things of our own. This is one of those times when we need to look at the plank in our own eye.
I’m the product of a divorced family, and even I didn’t realize how much I’d come to excuse divorce. There’s something to be said for that.
His role in the history of divorce in america goes way beyond that.
I realize that. As Calipornia goes, so goes the nation, as the saying goes.
Divorce is not a sin. God does not like it and He, also, doesn't like gossip.
And since when are faggots and their supporters concerned about sin? So much for their hypocrisy about what is suspicious in their thirst to be accepted when God has destroyed a city because of it's depravity.
Today we say that Catholic priests don't preach against contraception because so many in their congregations are guilty of it, and would quit coming back to church.
I suspect that many preachers don't preach against divorce because so many in their congregations are divorced and would leave, along with their contributions.
And Reagan was highly embarrassed by his divorce. He regarded that as his biggest personal failure.
Or could it be that many Evangelical churches are populated with ex-Catholics who left because they did not want the annulment hassle?
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
When I was in hs, I had a tough old priest for Latin class who had been an army chaplain who went in on D-Day and the France and German campaigns.
He couldn’t make it through a full hour class without a cig. He would teach 40 mins, give us a worksheet, and split until dismissal.
One day he came running back in and said “guys, I just heard President Kennedy was shot by a sniper”
So being gay is new? Not according to God's Word.
This is simply an Alinsky type attack on showing the traditional their own beliefs as a way to accept/condone what God says is an abomination to Him. Don't be caught up in it nor justify it some way. God created marriage between a man and woman. Period. End of story. Let them live with their own mess.
Churches simply allowed a secular culture to determine that divorce is no big deal, and that it is a purely private matter.
Indeed - one of the things I’ve never been able to understand. Especially the divorced people who were having affairs with other congregation members, then get married IN THE CHURCH and expect everyone to rejoice with them. And too many do.
Mohler is exactly right. Toleration of divorce is a huge black eye on Protestant churches. I have only attended one church that took divorce seriously, and that one ended up splitting because the majority of the congregants were unhappy about the ban on divorced officers. Now I’m told the same people are grumbling about the ban on female officers. All the other churches have been A-OK with divorce. I’ve even heard pastors admit to counseling in favor of it even in cases where there was no abuse.
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