Friday, May 29, 2015

The Village Church, the Christian Response, and Church Discipline...Reconciliation or Confliction?

I believe this  article "She Wanted an Annulment from a Pedophile. What Happened Next Ignited a Controversy", and the accompanying article "Dear God, What is Matt Chandler Thinking" lack clear biblical teaching , and in both cases offer conflict rather than reconciliation. I think it is also necessary to correct the title based on truth...It should read "She Wanted an Annulment from a "Confessing" Pedophile." Adding,or detracting a word can change the whole view of the article. However, I clearly understand there needs to be justice in this case, but not at the expense of reconciliation through the power of the Gospel. I think that many parties adding their two cents to this very serious case of church discipline have excluded many truths, and most importantly, have excluded the transforming power of the Gospel.

This case involves a husband and a wife within a body of Christ. The husband has sinned and is now under strict church discipline for his actions. He has since repented of his sin by first acknowledging this sin, and confessing that hat he did was sinful, and then sought the help from the body of Christ to reconcile to those he has hurt.

I will never retract from the horror of this sin, but the point is that this man publicly confessed his sin. Yes, there are consequences to his sin, and yes, there are many lives hurt by this sin. Not the least is a wife who is publicly humiliated, emotionally damaged, and spiritually betrayed by her one-flesh covenant husband. This is an awful tragedy. But to say that reconciliation is not possible, and out of the question, seems to be clear answer from several of the contributors. The though
t from these contributors is that divorce is the perfect option in this case. 

However, the fact remains that this is a one-flesh union that was violated by a man who sinned, who confessed sin, and seeks help to remain free from this sin. There is always three sides to story, in this case it is a husband, a wife, and God. I can understand Karen’s willingness to leave The Village Church, but I can also understand why the Village Church is seeking to enact church discipline. Yes, maybe TVC could have gone about it in more compassionate and private matter (Here is a follow-up to this article on their apology), but regardless, The Village Church is only seeking to keep the marriage together.

But this is not Karen’s desire. (At least by the tone of her letter) Nor do I get this feeling from the author of the first posts I mentioned. The sources quotes from the first article,  "She Wanted an Annulment from a Pedophile. What Happened Next Ignited a Controversy", have more to do with seeking divorce in this case than it ever has to do with biblical truth and handling this in a Christ-like manner. What every believer should consider is that there is real possibility of reconciliation even in a case such as this. Instead, the author of this article uses examples from women who have divorced and remarried.

This is the scripture for church discipline.  
Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

As far as we know, Jordan Root “confessed” his sin to the Village Church and to his wife. It appears Karen not only rejected the confession, she seeks to end the marriage. The Village Church enacted church discipline according to their “by-laws” based on Matthew 18:15-17, which is seeking that reconciliation be the final chapter in this story. 

If Jordan Root confessed his sin and seeks church discipline, what is the response of his wife? See wrote a letter seeking annulment from what she terms as a fraudulent marriage. Please understand that I would no way disagree that this sin was very unnerving and very serious. I cannot imagine the pain this woman feels, let alone the humility and betrayal of this horrible situation. However, she made a vow to the God of the universe, the same God who provided a way for salvation against her sins. Without the Lord Jesus Christ, she would be dead in her sins and face the just punishment for God’s wrath against sin. 

The point we must consider is that if Jordan Root remained in his sin instead of confessing his sin, even then, Karen would not have grounds to leave her marriage. The fact that Jordan did repent, she has the responsibility as a believer of forgiving her husband of this sin,(Matthew 6:15; 18:21-35) and over time, reconciling the marriage. At the same time, The Village Church is responsible, as a body of Christ, for both Jordan’s recovery, and enacting discipline (Which may well include jail time if convicted of a crime) for the consequences of his sin, as well as helping, assisting and caring for Karen while she grieves this pain. Karen appears at this time to have refused both options. 
All this said, reconciliation is not possible without the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all parties. Jordan Root will never forget the awful consequences of his sins. If he is transformed and renewed in Christ, he will have a deep regret for what he has done to his wife, his family, his church family, and most importantly, to God. However, the cross of Christ is exactly for men with horrible addictions. The power of the cross breaks chains of both the guilt and bondage of sin. God can use him in ways that we would never would think possible in areas of those who struggle with pornography addiction.

What of Karen? Reconciliation is possible in the life of a woman deeply hurt by the actions of her husband. The Lord Jesus Christ came to heal the broken, even in cases of a woman horribly betrayed by her husband. Some will say time heals all wounds, but those forever changed by the power of the Gospel will tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ heals all wounds. Karen can remain in bitterness over the actions of her husband and the actions of a church family that did what they felt was the best for all involved, or she could embrace the love of Christ for her, knowing that while she was a sinner, Christ loved her enough to suffer and die in her place.
The Village Church has since offered an apology concerning their lack of compassion in handling this. This should be a reminder that to all congregations that accountability needs to be a great concern for the spiritual lives of the body of Christ. In this case, a man was able to remain in sin without the knowledge of either his wife or his church family.  Yet, we must be clear that even if Karen does leave and is comforted by another church, she is still required to forgive as Christ forgave us. She must honor her marriage vow, and she must remain willing to reconcile the marriage. It is the duty of both the Village Church and the church Karen seeks sanctuary to uphold the one–flesh covenant of marriage.
In conclusion, the Lord Jesus Christ will get the glory if all partied involved seek His will, follow His word, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them to His understanding in all things.  This story should remind us that none of us are susceptible to the devices of this world. As individuals, we need to be in Christ at all times. It is how we act in every situation presented to us that the world will either see a Christ-filled life, or a “me”-filled life. Let humility, grace, mercy, kindness, and truth be the heart of all in Christ, so that even in the darkest hour, we will shine the light of Christ for all to see. And last, but not least, let us have compassion for those who repent of sin so that they will heal, and we will heal, so that Christ will be glorified.

 Eph 4:32-5:2 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.In Christ's love,


(Please read the comment section as there is an article with more details from Karen's perspective. As noted, I stated in this original article...

"As far as we know, Jordan Root “confessed” his sin to the Village Church and to his wife."
Again, there is many sides to a story, but God knows all, and this original article is centered on reconciliation through repentance by the power of the Gospel, and any subsequent additions to this story will not change the intended purpose of this post.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Please forgive me (John 6:63)

Please forgive me. The other day I read an article in the Gospel Coalition. In this article, the woman gave her testimony of her marriage and her total reliance on the grace of Christ to remain in covenant with him. Please read the whole story here. “I Still Do”

If I could use one sentence to describe the tone of the article it was this:
  “Death granted me an unlikely gift. I saw my marriage through the lens of eternity where my “sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed” (Rom. 8:18).”

When I first read this article I immediately began to question how a ministry such as The Gospel Coalition could share this article and still believe that scripture allows loopholes for divorce and remarriage. How can they not see the correlation of this woman’s testimony and the fact that those who believe in Christ will live, view and believe all things in light of eternity? In fact, every article I read on divorce and remarriage I compare to what they write to what I believe God says in His word is truth. I also must be clear that I only respond to “Christian” articles when it comes to defending the covenant of marriage. However, sometimes I respond without first considering how others will take my comments. I often categorize “Christians” and question their faith if they believe that there are loopholes out of marriage.   
In this particular case, the author of this article displayed the spirit indwelled life of a regenerated believer, and I believe that her actions should be the actions of every spouse in any situation of marriage. She shined the love of Christ, and this was impossible without first loving Christ first, even before her husband, and before her marriage. Marriage is a gift, and a new life in Christ is a gift. However, it takes a new life in Christ to love like Christ even when our spouse does not reciprocate the love of Christ to us.
I think what I fail to do sometimes is to heed the word of the Lord.

 John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

When I read an article such as this, on a ministry page such as this, immediately the word “hypocrisy” comes to mind. How can a ministry that stands for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ post this article of a Christ-filled woman who remained in a seemingly hopeless marriage, and then tell their readers that there are loopholes in marriage, and that divorce and remarriage is acceptable by the Lord in some cases? (Here and here are examples of such articles. I must note that I did respond to both of these here and here, respectively.)

 It’s as if only certain kinds of believers can remain single, be led by the Holy Spirit, have the faith to remain obedient to God, honor the vow of marriage, and be the light of Christ (such as the case of this article)…The believers who can’t remain single, or remain in covenant and love like Christ, they have the freedom to divorce and remarry? Now either it is one way, or the other….
 I can honestly tell you that my faith in Christ sustained me in the most difficult times and I will honestly tell you that it was the power Holy Spirit, and not me.  I just get angry when there appears to be loopholes for some, and others tend to not need loopholes, they just need the Lord. I can assure you it is the later person that blesses me, and not the one who leaps for the loophole. The one who leaps for the loophole does not need Christ, they prove to me that they need gratification of the flesh and that holiness, faith in Christ, and the love of Christ play second fiddle to what they believe ought to be true. 

This makes me angry. Righteous anger, or anger in the flesh? Did the Lord throw tables, and issue scathing remarks at the scribes and Pharisees in the flesh, or was it righteous anger when he called them serpents and vipers, asking them how they would escape the damnation of Hell? (Matthew 23:33) Looking back in some of my comments, I would like to think it was righteous anger.  

Will I lose my own joy of Christ, and then write in response to these articles, or is it profound sadness for the lost, knowing that lack of repentance from the sin of adultery brings judgment? 

Instead of posting simple verses that only require the promptings and truth of the Holy Spirit, I often expound upon this, and add my own take on the matter…as if the Holy Spirit is absent, or God’s word is not significant enough. Why should I try to convince someone that they are going to Hell if they do not repent of sin?

Is it the love of Christ to warn others that unrepentance of sin leads to judgment, or is this using verses to condemn others? Or, do the verses such a Luke 16:18 bring conviction, thus adding my two cents makes me appear self-righteous, or judgmental? 

Of course this is when I often make the claim that these false, but very popular views on divorce and remarriage are eternal issues, thus I am warning those who believe, approve and participate in remarriage after divorce. I am warning them to repent and dissolve these adulterous unions, or remain in these unions and face God’s wrath against unrepentant sin. I believe Christ came to save the lost, not the righteous. After all, it was the Pharisees who permitted both divorce and remarriage, and the Lord called one the actions of the hardhearted, and the other, he simply called this adultery.  

I will tell, and you may not believe me, but what is really behind this is a very genuine love for people, and that I sincerely believe that many are deceived by those who support and approve loopholes for the false interpretations of the exception clause (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9) and the Pauline privilege. (1 Cor 7:15) I sincerely believe that the early church taught the truth of marriage, divorce and remarriage and that the modern church has fallen victim to believing that culture, feelings, emotions, and worldly lusts of the eyes, and lust of the flesh, and the pride of life trump and supersede God’s word. But how do you come across as being “loving” when you tell someone that they are in adultery, and their “remarriage” is not a marriage in the Lord? 

I must admit that I often ride the coattails of truth, and leave grace behind. Surely there is grace in marriage, but why would I neglect grace for those who want to validate their second, third, or fourth marriage after their first, second and third divorce? Is there grace to remain in what God calls adultery? Or is it “ok” to say I am sorry that I divorced my spouse, so I can remain with a person who is not my spouse? 

The grace I offer, is to those who repent of adulterous remarriages, and those who repent of teaching loopholes to exit a one-flesh covenant marriage. Repentance is first acknowledging sin, and then never calling that sin anything other than sin. Thus, grace is for the penitent adulterer who ends the adulterous union by “divorcing” from the “remarriage.” God forgives and forgets the sin of adultery when we ….go and sin no more.   

Still others who think they know me will say…”Neil, you have to get over the fact your wife left you for another man.” That is until I tell them that I was not married, but in adultery. or…”You are bitter and misery loves company…you are miserable, now you want everyone to be miserable too.” Then I tell them that if what I am writing and saying is truth, everyone you know who is in a “remarriage” after a divorce of living spouse is in adultery. Is it bitterness, or is it a fear of God that I will stand responsible for not telling others the truth about divorce and remarriage?  Then there is…”Neil, you are only doing this because of your circumstance.” That is until I tell them that those who divorced and remarried did so only because they believed they could remarry. Their circumstance of divorce gave them the option to believe that they could remarry, even when the Holy Spirit was convicting them that God’s word said that they could not. 

Then there are those who say…”You have no idea what it is like to go through divorce.” Where is your compassion?” Well, I have gone through the effects of divorce, only because I believed for 20 plus years that I was married. Therefore, I know exactly what it is like to experience the pain, rejection, humility, and isolation of divorce. I do have compassion for those who go through divorce, but never at the expense of God’s word. I do know that I believe there is an injustice to those who believe in loopholes to divorce and remarry, because I know there are brothers and sisters out there that despite the injustice, they remain in faith to God and His word, even when their spouse, their family, their pastor, and the majority of the evangelical church, will not.  

Rarely do I get…”You know what Neil, you might be right about this.” It just so happens that this time I did get words of encouragement, (but mostly words of exhortation) after responding to this article. Someone responded to my comments, and I thank God for this. You can read this here, or read the entire comments section of the article.

Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Which brings me to an apology. I know I have responded to posts in the flesh. I will say I have tried to respond in a timely manner carefully selecting words that glorify the Lord. I have tried to convey my love for God, and the love of Christ for people. I know God loves everyone, and He does wish that none would perish, but that they would come to repentance. I believe this. I believe that God hates divorce and that scripture points to a life in Christ to remain in marriage, no matter the circumstance. I know that we are called to plant and water, and that God provides the increase.    

But I know I have responded with anger in the past. Please forgive me if it was not righteous anger, seasoned with grace humility and a gentle spirit. Please pray that I would seek and remain in the spirit of Christ so that He will get the glory. I pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that His institution of marriage will not be compromised, that I will always reflect the truth of the Gospel, as it applies, mirrors and reflects in the sacred covenant of marriage, and that others will be edified for the sake of the Kingdom.  

In Christ’s love,


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Response to the "The Divorced Pastor: Is He the Husband of One Wife?"

I recently read an article written by a Pastor on the significance of marriage and how this pertains to the office of “Pastor”. Unfortunately, the truth of the word of God will expose the erroneous depths of this article and once again show the hypocrisy of the pastoral ministry and the ability of this ministry to redefine God’s institution of marriage. It is the duty of every believer to preach the word and reprove, rebuke, exhort, with longsuffering and doctrine. I hope that when you read this you believe my love for God and His people. It is my hope that many will understand that the clergy/laity system is not a true representation of the body of Christ, and that this system has done more to undermine the sanctity of marriage than anything else.

The article is titled: “The Divorced Pastor: Is He the Husband of One Wife?’ You can read the entire article here.

The author states:

The Key Passage. In the Epistles, Paul sets forth the spiritual qualifications for elders, deacons, and pastors. In 1 Timothy 3:2, 12, and Titus 1:6, the apostle straightforwardly indicates that a pastor must be “the husband of one wife.” The actual Greek in all three verses reads the same: mias (one) gunaikos (woman/wife) andra/andres/aner (man/husband). Quite literally, the pastor must be a “one-woman man” and hence a “one-wife husband.” Most English translations render the translation “the husband of one wife.”

Before we ever talk about whether a not a divorced pastor can serve as a pastor, we need to rightly divide the word in truth on the “qualifications’ in 1 Timothy and Titus. The author included “pastors” with the qualifications for an elder. I believe we should all come to a conclusion that the term “pastor” is one of the attributes of an elder and not the “hireling” position it is today. (Eph 4:11) I will argue that the “Pastor” (capital "P" as in profession with a title) position is one that has developed well after the early church set the qualifications for elders.

If we go by the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6 we have neglected to show all the surrounding verses in context (1 Timothy 3 1-13 and Titus 1:16) and thus we must conclude that not only would we have to exclude a “divorced” man(1 Cor 7:10,11), we would exclude 20 somethings fresh out of seminary, (1 Timothy 3:4-7, Titus 1:6) and women (“the husband of one wife”-1 Timothy 3:2,12, and Titus 1:6).

The article states-“The position that pastors must be married (with children) is untenable. The apostle Paul himself was single without children. Paul was simply presenting the typical situation: a married man with a family.”

Paul was an apostle and elder, not a "Pastor". Yes, Paul pastored and taught among the church, but he did not have a congregation that provided him with a salary, living arrangements and a pension, and nor was he hired or had a title of "Pastor". The Pharisees of his day had titles. Confusing the modern term of “Pastor”, with the term pastor of Eph 4:11, and equating this profession with the definiton of the early church elder is the problem. The former term is a hireling profession that is solely dependent on performance. If the “Pastor” proves that he does not live up to the standards of the congregation which hired him, he can be fired.  

The article states-“Jesus and Paul allowed for divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery (Matt. 5:31–32; 19:9) and willful desertion (1 Cor. 7:12ff.). But it is also very possible that Paul was erecting a double standard here. Because pastors are to be “examples of speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” to other believers (1 Tim. 4:11–12), their marriages may come under a stricter judgment.”

Both the Lord Jesus Christ and Paul did not allow divorce and remarriage and nor did the early church.  These “exception clauses” and Pauline privileges appeared later in the history of the church. Ironically, it was the “Pastor” (aka. Hirelings) who twisted the word of God to allow both divorce and remarriage. Thus, Paul did not erect a double standard. What is even more ironic is that articles like this expose the lies of the pastoral ministry, and in this case that divorce does not end a one-flesh covenant of marriage.

If a man is to be above reproach, he would be like Christ and remain obedient to His word. Thus, he would never divorce his wife as commanded by the Lord (I Cor 7:10, 11) Emphasis on “commanded). The law of marriage is permanence until death (Romans 7:2, 3) However, one can have an extensive library of books written by “Pastors” that defend the “exception clause” (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9) and the Pauline privilege (1 Cor 7:15) while at the same time they write books on the significance of marriage permanence and how this is a true reflection of the Gospel. The hypocrisy is more than evident, it is appalling.

One John MacArthur’s quote,-“A one-woman man is a man devoted in his heart and mind to the woman who is his wife. He loves, desires, and thinks only of her. He maintains sexual purity in both his thought life and his conduct.”

This is not entirely true. A one-woman man is devoted to Christ and His commandments. A man who loves his wife is the man who first loves Christ above and beyond his wife. The same can be said of a woman. The love for Christ must exceed everything, which includes a man’s wife, his children or his own life less he cannot be a true disciple. (Luke 14:26) It is by his love for Christ that man can rightly love his wife, his children and his own life. This is wonderfully displayed in the writings of Paul to Ephesus.
Eph 5:25-28 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

The article states-The Key Issues. Should, therefore, a man become a pastor or, if already ordained, remain in the ministry after a divorce? In answering this question, we must consider four facets of Paul’s teaching. First: the biblical rule, or the “letter of the law.” Certainly, both Jesus and Paul allow for a “biblical divorce,” and for the possibility of remarriage, but “only in the Lord” (i.e., to another believer). If a pastor’s wife commits adultery, or if she quits the marriage without desire to reconcile, that pastor is “an innocent party.” The church should grant him permission to divorce and allowance to remarry. Pastors fall under the guidelines and freedoms of Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7.
Since scripture already proves that the pastoral ministry is solely a hireling position and not biblical eldership, we can have a clear understanding that “ordination” in to the pastoral ministry is a nothing more than a tradition of men. Since we also can understand that both the Lord and Paul command that a man is never to divorce his wife (1 Cor 7:10,11), we can discern where this article is going. Another erroneous statement is the author’s ability to associate “remarriage” with a marriage “only in the Lord”. Was Paul actually talking about “remarriage” after a divorce of a living one-flesh covenant of marriage when he pertains to a “only in the Lord”? 

If a man is to not divorce his wife, a marriage “only in the Lord” is referring to a man or woman who marries after their spouse has died. Romans 7:2,3 makes it clear that the “law of marriage” is of marriage permanence until death of either or both spouses. If someone twists the word of God to include “remarriages” after divorce as a marriage in the Lord, they have already contradicted other passages on the subject. Since a woman is “bound” to the law of marriage as long as her husband lives, this would corroborate with 1 Cor 7:10,11 where a husband is never to divorce his wife, and a woman, if divorced(against the “law of marriage”), is to remain unmarried or reconcile the marriage. 

The problem with the pastoral ministry is not unlike a world that wants to make a god in their own image. Marriage permanence is not an earthly thing and thus divorce and remarriage derides the very word of God. Pastoral ministry becomes more than the word of God because the power of the word is extinguished by tradition of men, and not centered on the spirit of Christ. This article clearly seeks to redefine marriage as God commanded.

 The pastoral minister will be the first to say that marriage “should” be as God “intended”. The moment they use the word “intended” is to know they already compromised what God “commanded” of the law of marriage. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

The article states- The Key Question. So should a church hire (or keep) a pastor who goes through a divorce? This is a complicated question with no easy answer.

There you have it…Hireling. I would reword this: "So should a "congregation" hire (or not fire) a Pastor who believes a divorce ends a one-flesh covenant of marriage?"

I would agree there is no easy answer, simply on the fact that the clergy/laity system in not the answer to the body of Christ. Paul commanded that the church should “appoint” elders and deacons according to the qualifications. Please understand that I would never disagree that there are godly men and women in the pastoral ministry, but to say this pastoral ministry is founded on biblical truths is a lie. Even though there are godly men in women in this ministry, they have exhibited an ability, or rather a spirit of disobedience to the word of God in adhering to these qualifications. I have had the most volatile of conversations with an ordained man or woman after explaining to them that their “profession” is not based on the truth of God’s word. These volatile conversations are second to the conversations I had with men and women of both pastoral and laity concerning the permanency of marriage.

Some will argue that pastoral ministry is a secondary issue that is not relevant to the Gospel and the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. I tend to disagree with this. In fact, the most dangerous of heresies originated from the clergy/laity system. This includes the clear downfall of the permanence of marriage. The congregations that first redefined the roles of the elder were the first to adopt the worldly standards of “no-fault” divorce. This has evolved into these same congregations believing that a homosexual relationship is of God. For those who believe that the clergy/laity system is the law of church polity, the inerrancy of God’s word becomes relative in most instances of repentance, holiness, obedience and marriage permanence, but objective when it comes to allowing loopholes to divorce, remarriage after divorce of living covenant spouse, same-sex marriage, woman elders, and the qualifications of the clergy/laity system.

In conclusion, this article represents the standards of the clergy/laity system based solely by those who embraced the system over the truth of God’s word. The contradictions and hypocrisy of this article is most evident. What should we do about this? The answer is simple. Repent. When the leaders of the clergy/laity system repent of their sole reliance on the traditions of men and place Christ above all, then once again eyes and ears will be open. 

This seems almost beyond hope that this will ever occur. The word of God makes it clear that the end of this fallen world cannot take place until there is a falling away from the word of God. My dear brothers and sisters, the Lord said that no man knows the day or the hour. But he also said that if it were possible, even the elect would fall victim to the apostasy.

I certainly believe that marriage redefinition started long before we ever thought of same-sex marriage. This marriage redefinition started when men of tradition believed that marriage was a contract, complete with loopholes. Paul wrote that marriage was a representation of the Gospel (Eph 5:31,32), but the clergy/laity system has made marriage into what seems right to the laws of men and not the laws of God. Divorce and remarriage is not only performed in the congregations, divorce and remarriage is embraced by a church that has embraced the ways of the world.

It is my prayer that those of the pastoral leadership and those of the laity would repent of ever believing that marriage is anything other than one and one woman for life. This would take a great deal of repentance. This would not be anything the world would embrace. This would include an unequivocal view of marriage permanence, a spirit of Ezra for the dissolution of all remarriages after divorce, and accountability within the body of Christ. This  would include a body of Christ that seeks to solely place the Lord Jesus Christ at the headship of all areas of life, including individual, marriage, family, and church polity. 

As always, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the ever present desire for unity should be the cry of the church. This will take humility and contrite hearts. This will take the power of the Holy Spirit to change the hearts and minds of a people desperately in need of a Savior. We need to show the world the light and salt of those radically and eternally changed by the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. So that He will ever be glorified by a people that are all members of one body which reflects His eternal love, grace and mercy for us. For His glory!

Eph 5:30-33 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
In Christ's love,