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.
I notice you didn't get hot and bothered over fellowship at #39 as a response #37 :
It took me years to realize that all professing Christians are not followers of Christ. Particularly in the South, my family for instance would say they are Christians because it the South everyone is, they all go to church but do they follow Christ? It is a social network. This is the problem with Evangelicals and SBC.
37 posted on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 17:53:58 by ThisLittleLightofMine
And who are Mormons and Catholics following?
39 posted on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 18:10:07 by presently no screen name
But when you get to my statement of fact in #53 which mischaracterize as "anti-Prototestant" you get all upset about "fellowship" in spite of ignoring snark regarding Catholics much earlier in the thread. Why are you so selective if you actually believe what you're saying?
Based on exactly where in the series of comments the subject comes up, apparently your definition of "fellowship" is a one way street with Catholics ignoring snark, wisecracks, and offensive comments in order for your "go along to get along" crowd to feel good about themselves.
When I see a non-Catholic jumping on one of their non-Catholic pals about Christian fellowship for posting lies, snark, and offensive comments regarding Catholics I'll believe comments about fellowship from that poster. Until then talk of fellowship from when posted along with a false accusation is just another tactic in the silly games some people play.
Now, please apologize for mischaracterizing my comment as being "anti-protestant" and for pretending I altered the tenor of the discussion when offensive remarks directed toward Catholics began much earlier in the thread.
(advantage being they know theyve got their backside covered, FR a Roman Catholic website)
I wonder if the Vatican has actually sent Albino Monk Assassins to ‘persuade’ the owner and mods to make FR a Roman Catholic website or if the mere threat of the Jesuit supercomputer with all the Protestant names and locations is enough to ensure compliance.
Oh trust me, it isn't.
I was speaking in general of the churches plural here in America, not a particular local church.
You know who a lot will be laid on? Those who don't teach the GOSPEL properly and those who don't teach God's Word is the FINAL authority. They are leading 'their flock' astray. But that doesn't let the flock off the hook for each one is responsible for themselves. There is no 'he made me believe that' in heaven. It's over.
I certainly agree with you on the gospel, and God's word is indeed the final authority, but the subject of this thread is divorce. And on that subject, Mal. 2:11-17 and Matt. 19:3-9, among other texts, are that final authority you speak of.
Christianity is about having fellowship with The Lord where one gets to KNOW Him and learn more about Him daily and they know what pleases Him, His Way and what He hates.
Yes, but if our subject is divorce, and preachers preached more on passages like the Malachi and Matthew passages above, one would know "what pleases Him, His way and what He hates." He hates divorce.
I was speaking in general of the churches plural here in America, not a particular local church.
So was I! But that doesn't stop one from saying they are against it; yet, authorizes it under a different name.
but the subject of this thread is divorce.
We can speak about it for hours and it all goes back to the person. How strong and committed their beliefs are. And sitting in a church on a Sunday doesn't produce strong belief - one has to KNOW THE WORD and then OBEY it. And a pastor can't make that happen. That responsibility lies with each individual.
I was referring to the usual flood of threads on the RF about the Pope, etc. and etc. In that respect, I am correct in saying non-Catholic threads are rare.
Then here comes Rashputin pushing his agenda, on a thread about the scourge of divorce in ALL our churches, the churches here in America in general, pushing his institution (the RCC) in specific. One would have to be blind not to see that is what he was doing.
Rashputin wants me to apologize, he is the one that should apologize for his dishonest denial of the highjacking of this thread in order to push his agenda.
You are correct, but IMO just using the concepts of "Catholic threads" and "non-Catholic threads" itself prejudices the argument. There are no such things as "Protestant" and "Catholic" threads in the Religion Forum. Rather, there are "open" threads, "ecumenical" threads, and "caucus / devotional / prayer" threads. They can be about virtually any topic. You can read more about these categories here.
Catholics and Protestants and others are free to post any materials of interest to them to the Forum, so long as the contents don't fall afoul of FR general guidelines. Catholics have demonstrated a greater willingness to take advantage of this freedom, and thus the tone of the Forum takes on a Catholic bent. As a result, because Protestants and others have failed to post sufficient threads of their own liking, the Religion Forum has a distinctively Catholic flavor. The Religion Forum is what we make (or don't make) of it. If Protestants don't participate, they only have themselves to blame IMO.
Then here comes Rashputin pushing his agenda, on a thread about the scourge of divorce in ALL our churches, the churches here in America in general, pushing his institution (the RCC) in specific. One would have to be blind not to see that is what he was doing. Rashputin wants me to apologize, he is the one that should apologize for his dishonest denial of the highjacking of this thread in order to push his agenda.
Generally speaking, avoid making your posts personal. Discuss the topic, not the poster and not his/her "agendas" for posting something. Either disprove the post content or learn to ignore it. If a poster gets his/her feelings hurt because others ridicule or disapprove or hate what that poster holds dear, then that poster is probably too thin-skinned to be involved in "open" Religion Forum threads. Old-timers in the Religion Forum know that "open" threads often lead to heated and often contentious debate. Antagonism should be expected in "open" threads, and a thick skin is always required (and expected) to participate effectively. Failure to operate with a thick(er) skin usually drags the debate into a flame war.
As an alternative, posters may choose to ignore/avoid "open" threads altogether and instead post within threads labeled "prayer", "devotional", "caucus" or "ecumenical." And if they can't find such a thread, they can always post one for themselves and enjoy Moderator protection, so long as the thread stays within the posting guidelines of the Religion Forum.
Thanks, good info, I'll take it to heart. Maybe I'll even take your advise and get around to posting a thread of my own (when I have more free time, when one posts a thread he has to stay pretty close by it appears) I'm sure it will be interesting if and when I do.
Does ignoring honestly asked questions aid the growth of an attitude conducive to Christian fellowship?
Well, no matter. And since I know that your genuine Christian desire for sincere fellowship will get the better of you sooner or later, apology accepted.
Here's a little something that would help you really blossom as a an advocate of Christian fellowship:
God bless you, I'll add you to my prayer list.
Been there, done that :)
LOL, I got a real belly laugh out of that one. Poor guy in the middle, good thing he has on his armor, a Protestant getting double teamed on the RF?
As the passage of so much time since comment #66 was posted without that comment being deleted and with no comment by the RM proves, there is absolutely no doubt about who is permitted to ignore the rules in order to "double team" who on the Religion Forum.
Oops, I forgot to ping Morgana who posted the article. I won’t bother with the long, long, list of people who would get a really good laugh out of that “double teaming” joke. The list is just too long to type in when I”m having trouble typing.
I’m not sure what post 66 is about but the topic of this thread was divorce in evangelical churches and why there is so much of it. Yes there are high divorce rates in all protestant churches. Yes they all should address the problem, not just the evangelical ones.
As my priest said we should stop using the word “Marriage” because it is over ratted and call it what it is and that is “Holy Matrimony”. Don’t know what “Holy Matrimony” means? Look it up, it just might surprise you.
Oh my, “potty” language, too.
Nice try but all you did was prove my point.
I only ask due to not understanding why a post of mine elsewhere was pulled.
That said, both of you and all on this thread: do not make this thread "about" individual Freepers. That is also a form of "making it personal."
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
I cannot believe that this comes from the RM. We all know that as Catholics, that we are continually discriminated against since the RM is a well known antiCatholic bigot. The Protestants believe that Catholics are coddled and given great licence to practice their unChristian prattlings.
I presume that you ice skate.
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