It's Not My Fault

Just read this interesting article by Al Mohler on the No-Fault Divorce laws and the condition of marriage in America. After being rather candid with my thoughts in my anniversary letter, I thought this might be a good follow up.

A no-fault divorce is one in which neither spouse blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. Both spouses agree that "irreconcilable differences" have arisen, and that neither time nor counseling will save the marriage; it simply will not work. (I've linked this statement only to credit the source, beware, it's loaded with ads from a bunch of lawyers!).

After discussing some interesting facts on the legalities and even the "business" of divorce. Mohler says:

...divorce has now become an industry. Some lawyers and law firms specialize in divorce practice, and [Stephen] Baskerville describes the legal divorce business as "a multibillion-dollar industry" in which a vast number of persons hold a vested interest.

His charge to the church is well put:

Where are our pastors on the question of divorce? Why are so many pulpits silent on this issue? The obvious answer is fear and intimidation. Divorce has become so common that many Christian leaders fear creating a tidal wave of offense and resentment if they deal honestly with the issue--or address it at all. Accordingly, successive generations of Christians have now grown to adulthood believing that divorce is simply a lifestyle option. Where is the recognition that divorce is an affront to the glory of God and a sin that is expressly described in the Bible as an evil that God hates?
Without clear leadership from the pulpit, the issue of divorce has simply fallen through the cracks of church life, and many congregations effectively ignore divorce in their midst, as well as all the tragedy and brokenness that follow. In so doing, the Christian church has become complicit with the divorce culture and will bear God's judgment for its failure of nerve.

You can read the whole article here.

So what about divorce? What does the Bible say about it? There are many interpretations within evangelicalism on what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage - if and when it's allowed. I think at least two are valid.

The most popular (I'm guessing) is what I'll call the "2 exception clauses" view. This view says that divorce is prohibited UNLESS one spouse commits adultery, thus "freeing" the other to divorce and remarry; or if one spouse is an unbeliever and leaves the marriage, this frees the believing spouse to remarry. This view is held by many respectable pastors/theologians, one of whom being John MacArthur. You can read a brief statement from him here, as well as find some other of his resources on the subject.

The other view might be called a "No Divorce/No Remarriage View" and is presented best by Pastor John Piper here. Though I've not settled entirely on where I stand on this issue, as of now I tend to agree with Piper's interpretation of the biblical texts in question.

For further consideration, you'll find similar and other positions at monergism.com.

"...and they shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."
Mark 10:8-10 (English Standard Version)
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

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