Previously: On unrepented sin
According to a Barna research study, born-again Christians divorce at the same rate as non-born again adults in America. While this is shocking — how can the Church be a city shining on a hill if they live exactly the same as the culture around them, sins and all? — what is even more shocking is that 66% of born-again Christians in America strongly disagreed with or dismissed the statement that “when a couple gets divorced without one of them having committed adultery, they are committing a sin.”
But what does the Lord say about divorce? That He hates it. The word “hate” from the Hebrew means “to detest strongly, to view with enmity, as an enemy or foe.”
“‘For I hate divorce,’ says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘and him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’” Malachi 2:16
“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32
“When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?’ And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’ They said to Him, ‘Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.’” Matthew 19:1-9
“And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.’” Mark 10:11-12
“But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?” 1 Corinthians 7:10-16
And Paul even makes the Lord’s position on divorce more clear by saying, in essence, “These instructions about divorce are not my idea; this is the Lord’s command: the wife should not leave her husband; and the husband should not divorce his wife.” This agrees with Jesus’ teaching also, except Jesus adds the single condition where divorce is allowed, which is adultery.
66% of born-again Christians in this country (that is two- thirds of us!!!) contradict the clear teaching of Scripture on divorce. Why?
to be continued …
Update: Continued in On patient endurance with love