Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
This is the fifth of a series of posts exposing the popular divorce recovery ministry of DivorceCare. This is the first , second , third and fourth posts.
DivorceCare (DC) 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 DC, Steve Grissom, is a product of divorce and remarriage. He started DC 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.
In these sessions of DC, the video sessions highlights the “pains” of divorce. It is important to note that pains, emotions, feelings and thoughts after divorce, or separation, come from the consequences of sin. “Emotional damage” of divorce is a direct result of one or both spouses feeling the effects of sin. Unfortunately, the actions of sin touches many lives surrounding the one-flesh couple, thus divorce is like an atomic bomb that destroys or maims everything in proximity of the lives of those who divorce.
In the Facing My Loneliness session, the creators of DC bring us to a conclusion that loneliness is a real possibility when faced with divorce. However, it is also imperative to note that the loneliness is the consequences of one or both spouses believing that a divorce ends the one flesh covenant of marriage. Again, DC makes very good points on how to handle loneliness, but their foundation in determining the cause of loneliness is flawed.
As previously noted, DC uses actors and scenarios to create a visual and emotional representation for the definition, causes, poor responses, and dealing with loneliness. DC also offers “expert’ advice from pastors, phycologists and councilors to answer the questions on loneliness. The experts agree that the definition of loneliness is an emotional isolation.
I agree this is true, but in the case of divorce, this emotional isolation is due to ignorance of believing that a divorce ends the possibility of restoring the marriage. The evangelical church compounds this “loneliness” with how they deal with and define divorce. DC states that the first cause of loneliness is the “rejection by your ex.”
DC continually uses the term “ex” in referring to the spouse of covenant, as if the spouse is no longer part of the covenant. This is a lie. Thus, throughout these sessions DC makes it clear to the reader and participant that divorce completely severs the covenant of marriage. The problem of loneliness is not just the fact that DC and the evangelical church believes it is a rejection by your “ex”, they also believe that there is a mishandling of rejection.
I would agree with this because DC and the evangelical church has done more harm to people of divorce then they will ever admit. The problem is not divorce, the problem is believing a divorce ends a marriage. If a person believes that a divorce ends a marriage, they will feels all the emotions of fear, depression, anger and loneliness knowing there is no hope in restoring the marriage. The problem is the church has made marriage into a contract and not a covenant.
If the church viewed marriage as a covenant no man can put asunder, would the church agree that divorce ends a marriage? The confusion of believing a marriage can end in divorce compounds the idea that a person feeling loneliness may be due to the fact family, friends and the local church have no idea who is to blame for the divorce. Instead of the church standing firm on all marriages, they have turned the marriage into the hands of the one who believes a divorce can end a marriage.
A person becomes isolated because the church has not stood firm teaching there is no possible way for either spouse to divorce, let alone remarry someone else. Support by the church for restoring the marriage is replaced with ministries such as DC. Pastors are relieved of their “duties” as shepherds. They can just push a divorcee to the next DC session and forget about teaching the truth that marriage is God’s design. I understand there are some pastors and elders who take marriage very seriously, however this does not detract from the fact that a “disgruntled” spouse can go to a church or denomination that appeases their desire to divorce and remarry. All in the name of Jesus…
DC offers real good advice for those trapped in loneliness, but this advice should never be for the spouse who believes that a divorce ends a marriage. This advice should be for a spouse standing for their covenant marriage while the church enacts church discipline to an unbelieving spouse. If a spouse had clear understanding that the church was doing everything it could to make it very difficult for their spouse to remain in sin, the emotions of fear, anger and loneliness would have very little effect.
In the next session of DC, we will finally understand the foundation of what DC believes on marriage, divorce and remarriage. We will have a clear picture of why they believe that it is necessary to call the other spouse an “ex.” We will understand their stance on what happens to a person of divorce, and how they deal with anger, depression and loneliness.
In conclusion, there is a desperate call for the evangelical church to repent of false teaching on divorce and remarriage. The devastating effects of divorce and remarriage have caused more damage to lives than can be counted. The time is now to reject these divorce recovery ministries and turn back to the cross of Christ. Marriage is not a contract, divorce cannot end what God hath joined, and a remarriage is not a marriage. Once we can understand this simple truth, we will see that more than ever marriage is a representation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We did not deserve marriage, but God in His mercy said that man should not be alone.
In Christ’s love,