Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Divorce, Remarriage, Homosexuality, and Hypocrisy.


There is no mistake today that many conservative Evangelicals are adamant on their stance against same-sex marriage. On the other side of the coin, there are those homosexuals who militantly fight for same-sex marriage. Then there is the self-professing liberal non-confrontational Christian who not only agrees with the homosexual on same-sex marriage, they will agree that one can remain a practicing homosexual and not call this sin. By far the least known of all is the conservative Christian who not only calls homosexuality sin and rejects same-sex marriage; they also say scripture is clear that anyone who divorces and remarries is an adulterer.
This begs to answer a question that may lead to an unbeliever crying hypocrisy over these issues. (Homosexuality, divorce, and remarriage) On April 1 of 2012, Roger E. Olsen wrote a column on the patheos.com website. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/04/are-divorce-and-remarriage-and-homosexual-relations-comparable/
In this article, he asked a very important question.  

"Is an evangelical church that tolerates divorce and remarriage (for causes other than adultery) inconsistent, perhaps even hypocritical, when it then excludes from full fellowship or disciplines a homosexual couple known to be engaging in sexual relations?"


The column article itself was in response to a guest editorial of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A former pastor Tim Turner quoted:

 “Writing this certainly isn’t going to endear me to my evangelical friends, whom I love and cherish. However, it seems that despite their zeal to hold to a ‘literal’ reading of the Bible, the ability to pick and choose what one reads literally remains alive and well.”


The scripture that both these men refer to are clear passages that call divorce hardheartedness and remarriage adultery. This is an indication that the real problem is not the homosexual desiring to change the definition of marriage, but the hypocrisy of evangelical church tolerating divorce and adultery. It would seem that the definition of marriage is already compromised in the evangelical church.
1 Cor 7:10 And unto the married I [Paul] command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11. But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

If Paul is quoting what Jesus already said about divorce, would this indicate that the church ignores these scriptures by hypocritically endorsing adultery by remarriage? No where in the New Testament will you find that a person can "remarry" after divorcing a living spouse. In fact, Jesus says that divorce is a hardhearted decision. (Matthew 19:8 and Mark 10:5) Yet the evangelical church stands defiant against the homosexual seeking to redefine same-sex marriage.   

Austin Cline comments on the About.com website from the perspective of the atheist. (http://atheism.about.com/od/religioninamerica/a/ChristianDivorceRemarriage.htm)http://atheism.about.com/od/religioninamerica/a/ChristianDivorceRemarriage.htm

"Now, I'm not saying that such Christians should be silent on subjects like homosexuality — on the contrary, we should expect that they would  continue to voice their opposition to anything that would make homosexuality seem acceptable and appropriate. However, the fact that we see these same people saying nothing about remarriage — and in many cases remarry themselves! — indicates that they aren't what they claim to be."

The hypocrisy of the evangelical church on this issue strikes at the heart of the Gospel. We should call sin for what it is. Homosexuality is a sin that defies God's commandment that a man should cleave to his wife and they are to become one flesh. This marriage is a monogamous relationship between a man and woman that God calls a covenant that no man may break.

Calling homosexuality sin is one thing, but totally ignoring a hardhearted decision of divorce to remarry someone else is hypocrisy. It is also contrary to the Gospel, which calls the believer to seek repentance when someone sins against you. (Matthew 18:15-17) The Gospel also says we must forgive those who sin against us should they repent. Scripture such as 1 Cor 7:10,11 leaves the sinner with no other choice but to remain single or reconcile the marriage. Divorce is never an option and "remarriage" is ALWAYS  adultery.

 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: andwhosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. Luke 16:18 

Consider a scenario such as witnessing the Gospel to a homosexual. We tell the homosexual that their feelings are no different from a man who continually lusts for women. The Gospel is for those who come broken before the Lord and recognize that we all have a sin condition. This condition keeps us from reconciling to a holy God who requires perfection.

The Gospel messages is…John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

After we believe by faith that Christ became the propitiation for ours sins, His blood washes us, sanctifies us, and we are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. We become a new creation and old things passed away; all things become new.  Surely a homosexual would recognize his or her sin and seek to leave that sin behind, never to acknowledge that this sin as acceptable. Nor would they continue to remain in that sin and not call it sin.

Compare this to the adulterer of remarriage. A repentant adulterer will not remain in the sin of adultery, nor would they approve of those who do. If the adulterer remains in the sin and believes it is not sin, are they truly repentant? Are they truly saved?    

The Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ is always applicable to the one who repents of sin. A Christian who forgives as Christ forgave us is walking in the spirit of the Lord. Anyone who believes they can judge the homosexual who wants to redefine marriage when they divorced their spouse to marry another, walks in unrepentant sin. They are not only guilty of hypocrisy; they are a poor witness of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is Olsen’s final sentence in his article~
 “I think this is an important challenge and evangelicals either need to explain themselves/ourselves or change our habits.”


I could not agree more.

In Christ’s love,

Neil

4 comments:

Ronald Pirie said...

Greetings Brother Neil,

A Christian friend sent us the link to this post on Wednesday last, 12th and we have now read all (4) of your Blog Archives including your Profile. Barbara and I live in Australia, we have been engaged in the battle for covenant marriage over some years now and your posts have been an absolute 'breath of fresh air' as we perused through them this week!

Personally, we would enthusiastically encourage you dear brother on your bold and courageous venture into an area which is, as you say, 'a touchy subject matter that remains taboo among the church', Thank you for speaking out concerning the blatant hypocrisy insofar as divorce, remarriage and homosexuality are concerned, it desperately needed saying and to be put 'out there' plus your excellent post entitled "The Story of the Prodigal Spouse ..." - a great encouragement to 'standers' who wait on the return of their prodigal covenant spouse to the marriage - some of these faithful believers now being known to us. Again we say 'well done' and please continue to speak out the truth which the Lord Jesus and the N.T. writers proclaimed. So too it is a joy to see your use of non-polluted Bible versions when quoting scripture.

Neil, we would desire to send your Genesis 2 blogspot link or alternately the complete file of your archives found under 'Home' to those in our email address book - some 50-60 folk. We are unaware of what response this will elicit, but we would like to encourage any who will read through your posts to add a comment, be it encouraging or disagreeing in which latter case you may want to respond. Are you happy for us to send your blogspot to our mailbox? It may draw comments but on the other hand you may not receive any.

Awaiting your response.

Shalom and may God bless your work for His Kingdom dear brother ......... from Ron and Barbara.


Neil Novotnak said...

Dear Ronald and Barbara,

Thank you for the response. When I decided to start this blog, I was more than prepared to point others to clear scripture that supports the permanence of marriage. It is rather simple once a believer realizes that divorce is nothing more than hardheartedness and this action is contrary to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that there are many such as you who believe the scriptures as they pertain to marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Therefore, I am more than willing for others to share my blog posts. In fact, I encourge every believer to support the one-flesh covenant marriage today more than ever. Thank you again for your words of encouragement. God bless you both.

In Christ's love,

Neil

Ronald Pirie said...

Hello again Neil, our blessings and thanks for your kind response.

Just one thought - we found it really difficult to post our comment on your website and almost gave up! Some of the 'select profiles' were unknown to us. Having tried them all, we found they would not 'work' as a red screen continued appearing at the top with a word 'invalid'. Had it not been for a rarely used 2nd email address, we would not have wished to open a new account with Google and wondered if that could be the case with other would-be commenters as there has been no response so far to your excellent posts?

It could be something for you to look into as there may be an easier method for readers to respond. Will leave it with you and hold off sharing your blog right now in case you find a simpler way. Would be a shame if we share with others and they wish to comment but have difficulty doing so.

Shalom, in His love ............ Ron and Barbara.

Neil Novotnak said...

Dear Ron and Barbara,

I apologize for the difficulty in posting comments. It appears I had to adjust the comment settings. I believe this is corrected and you should be able to comment. Thank you for your help.

In Christ's love,

Neil