Saturday, August 1, 2015

Exposing DivorceCare: Facing Anger and Depression



Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

This is the fourth of a series of posts exposing the popular divorce recovery ministry of DivorceCare. This is the first , second  and third posts.

DivorceCare claims to be a Christ-centered support ministry established for people who have experienced or who about to experience divorce. They claim that their goal is to help find help for the hurts of divorce, discover hope for the future, and experience God’s blessing. The founder of DivorceCare, Steve Grissom, is a product of divorce and remarriage. He started DivorceCare based on his experience of divorce and the experience of healing from this divorce to remarry. He claims it was God’s calling to start this ministry.


I have decided to combine the third and fourth session of DivorceCare (DC). If you have read the first two responses to the video session, you will see that DC has provided a false gospel and a false idea of marriage and divorce and how this coincides with the “pains’ of divorce. This foundation of sand only begins to deteriorate as they continue to “teach” on divorce recovery. In video sessions three and four, DC addresses “anger” and “depression”.  

These two “spiritual emotions” often coincide since they are often associated with an action that goes against what we believe to be true. The first “emotion” is anger. Anger is not to be confused with wrath. Righteous anger is a result of reacting to something or someone who has gone against the will of God. The Lord Jesus Christ had righteous anger when He cleared the Temple. He had righteous anger when he addressed the Pharisees. He has righteous anger against sin. Wrath is not righteous anger. Wrath proclaims judgment against those who deny the Gospel and this is totally in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. Righteous anger ALWAYS calls for repentance. God’s wrath against sin if for those who reject the remedy of that wrath which was poured out on the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Overall, DC’s handle on anger is one of the few bright spots in these video series. They accurately describe the difference of anger and wrath and make it clear that God’s will is that we be angry but do not sin. In fact, it is parts of these videos that seem to contradict what they believe overall on divorce. Anger against a cheating spouse is righteous anger, and making it clear that God is not blind to this sin seems to detract from a person remaining in covenant marriage. 

The problem is their false sense of believing divorce can end a marriage reflects in what they teach about anger and depression. This is evident in constantly using the words “ex” and “divorce” , as if the marriage is over. Anger in believing that there is no hope in the restoration of a marriage is one thing, anger in calling out the sin so there is actions of repentance is another.

The intention of this video is to keep the attendee returning for the rest of the series. Anger and depression coincide with the reactions against sin, and if DC is not addressing the sin problem, they will compensate this truth to what they believe to be true of divorce. In fact, most the advice they give on anger and depression only gives credence to the fact that marriage is permeant until death.

This will even be further evident when they start talking about forgiveness and reconciliation.
In the depression session DC offers similar advice and definition as they do for anger. The problem again is that they believe results of depression comes from their failure into believing that divorce ends a marriage. I believe that most depression people feel from divorce comes from believing the divorce actually ends the marriage covenant. This can be said of their anger as well.

If a person has a personal relationship with Christ, they will know that the marriage does not end in divorce, thus the only depression they would have comes from knowing a spouse is believing deceitful teachings on marriage, divorce and remarriage. The brothers and sisters in Christ I know have feelings of depression relating to their prodigal spouse believing he or she is justified by God in their divorce and remarriage. If the advice DC offers for depression coincides with remaining in covenant and believing beyond all doubt that God can restore a prodigal back to Him, then depression is the work of an enemy whispering in the ear that all hope is lost. 

I personally feel depressed by these teachings of DC because I know they lead people to believe that divorce ends what God joins together. I think of all those who are lost believing that God approved of their divorce, then they believe He sanctified their remarriage to another while their covenant spouse is still alive. I must tell you this depression is only temporary because I totally believe that God does give these people the correct definition of marriage, and they either reject it or accept it. It is not in my power to change anyone, it is my responsibility to present the Gospel and expose the evil of false teaching. 

This is why I am writing these posts. It is to point people to the truth of God’s design for marriage. What DC fails to understand is that marriage is an eternal covenant that is binding in heaven. This is not to say that marriage of a man and woman will last in eternity, rather that earthly marriage is a true representation of the eternal love God has for His children. Anger and depression are only temporary when we understand that God is the One who will bring righteous judgment for those who reject the Gospel. We also know that He is patient, not wishing any would perish, but that they would come to repentance. 

In conclusion, even though DC offers very good teaching on anger and depression, their teachings stand contrary to what they believe about marriage and how this applies to those who abide in His word on marriage definition. Anger and depression that contrasts marriage definition only leads to more pain and suffering. Anger and depression that is in harmony with marriage definition points to repentance, reconciliation, and deep dependency for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:31-39 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us
 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Christ’s love,
Neil   

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