Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting back on the future of marriage

It is the last day of the year 2014. As I look back on the many posts I wrote during the course of this year, I cannot help to wonder what 2015 will bring. I started this blog in March with the intent to honor God and His covenant of marriage. My testimony is directly related to the reason I chose to write on this subject. I consider this as a ministry because I know from many angles how God views marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The irony of this ministry and my personal journey is that I was never married to a woman in the eyes of God. 
In fact, a gentleman once asked me why this ministry? He said if I was never married, why is this ministry so important? In another discussion during the year, a man asked me… “As I read your story, I wondered if you may have come to your overly strict view of divorce and remarriage due to your own circumstances.” Ironically, this man was in a “remarriage” and my question to him was…”I wonder if you have come to believe loopholes to divorce and remain in your “remarriage” is due to your own circumstances.”  

Divorce is not a fun thing to talk about, and divorce is something that I wish no one had to experience. This man was divorced and through his own thought process, he made a determination by what he believed to be true. He believed that God allowed him to remarry another woman. Thus, his view of marriage, divorce and remarriage is a pre-determination in why he chose to remarry another woman. When I used scripture that speaks to the permanence of marriage and told him that he was committing adultery on his covenant wife by remaining with his “second” wife, his last defense was to attack my personal experience. At first, this seems like a good option, until you realize that you have committed a logical fallacy by attacking the person, and not the problem.

I have over the course of the year presented both scripture, logic, and marriage being a representation of the Gospel, as a clear case for the permanence of marriage. My personal experience is not a good example for the permanence of marriage unless it has a foundation of truth. I have experienced what I thought to be a valid marriage….it was not. I have experienced the pain and agony of what I thought was a divorce from marriage…which it was not. I have experienced standing for what I thought was a marriage in the Lord…which it was not. So what has my personal experience have to do with a ministry that I believe is vitally important for the souls of men? 

The few things I experience every day which are applicable to my believing the former things is the consequences of my sin which includes the rejection of forgiveness from a woman who I loved for 20 plus years. You cannot truly explain pain until you know that you are unforgiven. Yet, this is a result of loving someone who I had no right to love in the first place. She was another man’s wife. However, my love for her has changed over the years. I care for her eternal soul, and the eternal soul of everyone who makes a decision to divorce, or to believe a divorce ends marriage. 

My journey for the permanence of marriage is a lonely one. As I look back today, I can see where my first words for the permanence of marriage had a negative effect on those who divorced and remarried. This became quite evident when I started attending the DivorceCare program offered by the former church of which I had membership. It was apparent later as I became a facilitator for this program. My stance from the very beginning was to wait on the Lord in singleness. 

This was not a popular choice by the others in my first DivorceCare group, nor was this a popular choice by others when I stressed this singleness as a facilitator. My stance also contradicted a particular segment of DivorceCare that defined marriage. This particular session was devoted to telling the truth on marriage, divorce and remarriage from a biblical perspective. However, I began to challenge this session as it took scripture out of context and ignored other scripture that called for singleness if divorce was an option. This session also ignored the fact that all remarriages after all divorce was adultery.

Then there is the matter of the response of the “Purpose Driven” church in which we both had membership. Looking back today I could see how uncomfortable my stance posed on others. Even though I left this church membership on unrelated yet very significant terms, I can see why the Senior Pastor refuses to acknowledge my request to give my testimony. This updated testimony for the permanence of marriage will not sit well for the many “remarried” who fill his pews on Sunday morning. Not to mention that he has “performed” many a remarriage ceremony… 

This Purpose Driven church system works to the advantage of any one man. Thus, a Senior Pastor who appoints a trusted Directors of Ministries, can all but control who will lead the various teams (ministries) under their guidance. They also incorporate a “vision” and anyone not focused on this vison of the “ordained” Senior Pastor is considered an opposition of God. Once you change and control the leadership to your specifications, it is easy to manipulate and control the vison. Often the leadership will “use” new believers as candidates for positions in the various church teams. This was my case for sure. I was a new believer and I had a testimony that would strengthen and give credence to the system. The leadership handpicked me because I was new in my faith and I was more 
impressionable in my vulnerability. However, once I started to mature in my faith and read the word of God through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I started to see the deception.
Spiritual discernment is the greatest need today. There is no limit to the amount of false teaching today. If you do not attend a church with an open bible and spiritually test every word from your pastor’s mouth, you may just find yourself being led into apostasy. The Gospel must be recognized daily, if not minute by minute. As I write this post, I need to remind myself of the promises of God’s word and the hope of things to come.

Which brings us all to the conclusion of another year in our nation. Every New Year brings new hopes and expectations for the future. In looking back on 2014, marriage is under attack like no other time in history. If it was an exclusive attack by the world, it would not surprise, yet this attack comes from the very halls of churches across the western world. There are Christian married couples who sit in their pews that have a voice to proclaim the permanence of marriage, and yet most remain silent. All around them they see the destruction of marriage through divorce and remarriage, and they remain silent. They see the redefinition of marriage with the rise of same-sex couples, yet they remain silent. 

They see a handful of men and woman who stand alone in covenant marriage. These men and woman stand for the truth that marriage is a covenant no man may break. These men and woman believe that God is the author of marriage and even though their spouses ran off and divorce and remarry, these men and woman will stand alone in Christ knowing that divorce does not end a marriage covenant. Yet, the Christian married couple says not even a simple word of encouragement. Instead they tolerate divorce, they tolerate remarriage. If that was not all, they tolerate sex before marriage and co-habitation by their children, their parents, and their friends. They even encourage those who do this. 

If 2015 is anything like 2014, I would not be surprised. The Holy Spirit is exiting churches across a perverse nation of murderers and adulterers. You say…”When did we murder?” You murdered your spouse of covenant by issuing a murderous divorce decree of which death can only end a covenant marriage. You partake in murder when you agree that divorce ends a marriage.  You say…”When did we commit adultery?” You commit adultery when you believe you acknowledge, commend, attend and partake in you or your neighbor’s second marriage after divorce of a living spouse.  

Is there hope in all this? Yes, and no. There is hope for the individual, but there is no hope for the future of this fallen world. The word of God says that Christ will return to make all things new. The Gospel says that a relationship with Christ is what you need more than anything this earth can provide. The Gospel in marriage is wonderful and beautiful to behold. The moment the church does not stand for the truth for the permanence of marriage between one man and one woman for life, is the moment that the end of this fallen world is very near. 

In conclusion, each individual will give an account on the last day. Will 2015 be the year that you stand for the permanence of marriage because it is a reflection of Christ’s love for His church, or will 2015 be the year that marriage becomes a part of a verse that tells the story of the times of Noah? As they say, only time will tell…It is my prayer, my ministry, and my dedication and thankfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ that I continue to stand for the truth of His word in all things…even should I stand alone.

Matthew 24:35-39
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
In Christ’s love,


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