Today’s (10/28/15) FOTF broadcast includes Ron Deal and his philosophy on improving a marriage as a blended couple. It must be CLEARLY understood that FOTF and Ron Deal both believe that a "remarriage" after a divorce of a living first covenant spouse is a lawful marriage.
FOTF President Jim Daly adds a disclaimer at the 4:40 mark of this podcast and tells the listeners that,
"'step-families' are formed from the death of spouse and other “biblical “circumstances, but not exclusively for unbiblical reasons".
This is a very significant statement. What FOTF is saying is that the information provided in today's broadcast is also for “unbiblical” step-families. Does Jim Daly address the difference between biblical and unbiblical?
No, he does not.
What FOTF, Family Life, and Ron Deal fail to eternally understand is that ALL blended families that include any combination of a divorced and remarried spouses are unlawful marriages. They fail to understand is that what we teach our children about marriage will reflect in what they understand about the Gospel. Teaching children the truth about one-flesh covenant marriage is remaining in a one-flesh covenant marriage.
The guest on today's FOTF program is Ron Deal. According to the "About Us" on the FamilyLife Blended website, Ron Deal is the President of “Family Life Blended” which,
“provides biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce”.
The Bible says that a person is in adultery if they divorce their spouse and marry another (Mt 5:31,32; Mt 19:9; Mk 10:11,12; Luke 16:18). Instead of misplacing humility within the "re-marriage", men like Ron Deal need to place the emphasis of humility in covenant marriage. This requires a Christ-like heart and puts zero emphasis on breaking a vow and considering nothing less than faith in Christ to remain obedient to that vow. If Ron Deal, Family Life, FOTF, and the majority of the evangelical church seriously want to “break the generational cycle of divorce”, they need only heed the word of God.
It would take just ONE generation if ministries like Family Life, FOTF, and the evangelicals would unite in treating marriage as a one-flesh covenant that can only end in death. The Church can ONLY be united in teaching the permanence of marriage. Instead of creating loopholes to allow divorce and remarriage (These loopholes are contrived by believing that the Westminster Confession of Faith trumps the word of God), perhaps the church should buckle down on defining and teaching that marriage is a one-flesh covenant. They should also address and combat the sin that is the underlying reason for divorces, and they should become accountable with disciplining the unrepentant spouse. Here is more on the how the Church should deal with the problems behind divorce. How the Church SHOULD handle Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage?
The Lord makes it clear that a one-flesh covenant marriage can only end in death (Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9;Romans 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:39), and that the scriptures point to reconciling the marriage in ALL cases (1 Cor 7:10,11). This may include "drastic" measures such as not allowing an abandoning spouse to believe he or she can leave a marriage without consequences. This may include "drastic" measures such as one spouse humbly remaining unmarried until his or her prodigal spouse comes to repentance. This may include "drastic" measures such as praying for an unsaved spouse who leaves a covenant he or she made before God. This may include having faith in God through the Holy Spirit to chastise and convict an unrepentant spouse. The idea that God is smaller than our marriage problems is never a laughing matter. It is an affront to God to disregard the permanence of marriage.
When it comes down to it, any spouse who abandons a marriage will go to Hell unless he or she repents and returns to the marriage. Instead of “killing off” a spouse through divorce, it is time to show "humility" as men and women who will never divorce even in the most difficult of situations. This is because we are new creations in Christ who understand the eternal severity of breaking a one-flesh covenant before a Holy God. We no longer live for the flesh, but we live in and we are guided by the spirit of God.
This is an eternal issue that many want to treat as an earthly matter. Folks, marriage is very serious to God, and providing a bandage for a severed limb is only avoiding the real problem. Humility starts and remains IN A MARRIAGE IN THE LORD, and never must we teach that divorce is anything but a hardness of heart and totally contrary to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. What witness of the Gospel do we send to our children that depicts the end of a family through divorce? Here is a post on those convicted that remarriage is adultery and how it pertains to teaching children the truth about marriage. "Dear convicted remarried believer."
The ministries like FOTF and FamilyLife need to seriously consider the many brothers and sisters who have warned them of their false teaching. The human philosophy these ministries spew on the sheep in their care only exposes the truth that what they offer is temporary, futile, and lacking spiritual truth. The permanence of marriage represents the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and offers truth, grace, mercy, and humility of which is totally foreign to divorce and remarriage.
Instead of patching the wounds of divorce with lies and deceit, its time to end divorce once and for all. Instead of living for the temporary and appeasing the flesh to "remarry", it is time to end adulterous remarriages and live in the Holy Spirit so that the world will see what eternity in Christ really looks like. This can only happen if ministries such as FOTF and FamilyLife teach what humility and repentance look like in a covenant marriage, and not misplaced humility to remain in sin.
James 4:8-10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.