Saturday, August 27, 2016

Devout or Disobedient? The Divorce Stories of Two NFL Quarterbacks

There are two very prominent names in the world of sports who have recently been in the news lately. They are in the news not because of their athletic achievements, they are in the news as two “devote Christians” who have divorced, or are about to divorce their wives. One has already divorced his wife and "remarried" another, and the other one is in the process of divorcing his wife with the hopes to remarry another. There is something that needs to be clarified, and quickly. “Devout Christian husbands” do not divorce their wives, and they surely would never remarry another.

The problem with both these men is obvious since a husband is never to divorce his wife. (1Cor 7:11) If this is not disturbing, it should be that “self-professing” Christian media outlets such The Christian Post and Charisma Magazine are promoting these men as “Devout Christians.” 

The first man is the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson who married his covenant wife Ashton Meem in 2012 and then divorced her in 2014. It is still very unclear as to why the divorce occurred, and other than rumors, God certainly knows the truth. Russell Wilson makes the claim to be a Christian and is very open about his Christian faith. In March of this year, Wilson married pop singer Ciara. What is significant of Ciara is that she is not a believer. Paul makes it clear that believers should not yoke with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14), much less marry one after a divorce of a covenant spouse. It should be noted that both Russell Wilson and Ciara publicly agreed that they would not have pre-marital sex before their marriage. I guess this is significant to the public since it was very evident that Ciara fornicated with her ex-fiancé before meeting Wilson.

In a recent article by the Pentecostal website CharismaNews, Wilson is referenced as asking the people in a church (Rock Church in San Diego) to pray for his “commitment” and that God told him that he needed to lead Ciara.

“Speaking at Rock Church in San Diego shortly after the couple confirmed they were dating, Wilson said God spoke to him about Ciara, saying, “I need you to lead her.’”
“He asked for prayers to help them honor the commitment they'd made to God.”

I have a hard time believing God asked Wilson to “lead” a woman knowing that he is disobedient to God in his divorce of his covenant wife, Ashton Meem. Even if Ashton committed adultery in their marriage, the Lord gives no command for Wilson to divorce his wife. (1 Cor 7:11) In fact, God commands that a man is not to divorce his wife, and if he does, and then marries another, he commits adultery. (Mt 5:32; 19:9; Mk 10:11,12 and Luke 16:18) Not only that, if Ashton remarried another man, Wilson is guilty of her adultery against him as well.
It is no surprise that the editors of the CharismaNews are so focused on the piety of Russell Wilson, while they ignore the clear elephant in the room…divorce and remarriage. The title of the article is, “Russell Wilson Accused of ‘Brainwashing’ Wife with Christian Lifestyle” and comes in response to a secular article by Celeb Dirty Laundry, “Ciara Now A Stepford Wife:Brainwashed By Russell Wilson?” What is interesting about the secular article is that the writer questions the “faith” of Ciara who has been thoroughly yoked with a secular lifestyle. The question is whether her “faith” is real, and that it is a matter of time before we see the real Ciara...

“The singer is no longer in contact with some of her closest friends, including Kim Kardashian and isn’t provocatively dancing and giving fans lap dances during her performances like she used to. Ciara might have made a lot of changes to help please her husband Russell Wilson, but will it take long for the cracks to show in the façade before she goes back to her old habits?”

What is not in question is the divorce and remarriage of Russell Wilson. This is because secular society has no problem with divorce and remarriage as this is very common in the entertainment industry. Instead of there being a stark contrast of worldview when it comes to divorce and remarriage, it is quite clear that CharismaNews and Celeb Dirty Laundry are on the same page. In fact, CharismaNews believes Russell Wilson is a “devout Christain” and Celeb Dirty Laundry is only questioning the faith of Ciara and is counting the days when she resorts to her old ways. If these "Christian" websites would treat marriage as the Lord sees marriage, Ciara would not be civily married to Russell Wilson.

I want to be very clear that the Holy Spirit does call people out of darkness through the power of the Gospel, and that He may be working in great ways to transform Ciara in to a child of God. If this is the case, then eventually she will see the complete picture of her “marriage” to Russell Wilson. This is also the case with Wilson. The Holy Spirit will work in way for him to see that his divorce from Aston Meem is not the actions of a “devout Christian”, but one who is disobedient to the covenant vow he made before the Lord.

The second man in the news is Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3). The Christian Post titles their article, “Devout Christian Robert Griffin lll Filing Divorce of Wife of Three Years”. According to this news source, RG3 is in the “process” of filing for divorce, thus is still in marriage with Rebecca Liddcoat. According to this source, RG3 is the one who initiated the divorce since his infatuation with Grete Sadeiko and that his wife was in the process of standing for her marriage. Regardless, what gives RG3 the right to call himself a Christian while having an adulterous affair while still in covenant with his wife? How can he look in the mirror and call himself a Christian when he is in direct disobedience to his wife of covenant? 

The praise of his fellow athletes is astounding. If it were not sad that these news media sites praise this man, it appears that he is getting much support from his teammates. Even his mom tells us what a "devout" man of God this man appears to be. It is not surprising that both men are extremely wealthy through their athletic achievements, and that the bottom line is that "happiness" and "prosperity" trump the need to be obedient to a covenant vow.
What should sicken every believer is the fact that these professing Christian news websites would blaspheme the name of Christ by associating these two men as “devout”. Regardless if Christian Post was making a point, they never should have associated RG3 and "devout" based on the fruits he is bearing now.  Professional athletes have a great influence on society to the point that many worship these men above the Lord Jesus Christ. That alone should give us pause and cause us to shudder.

Marriage must be a holy union that depicts the love of Christ for His bride, and news site like this have
turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. They have disregarded the clear teaching on marriage and have embraced the world's view of marriage. Instead of rebuking these men so as to save their souls, they have glorified their lives and associated divorce and remarriage to one who are devout. God help them.

In conclusion, it is very apparent that the gap is getting wider in the deconstruction of marriage when professing Christian news sites glorify the heinous actions of men who disregard their vows of covenant to appease their flesh. This is really no mystery as it is most likely that the editors and writers of these sites are most likely associated in some way with divorce and remarriage. The good news is that there is hope for all associated with these sad stories.

The Lord Jesus Christ came in grace and truth, and should the Holy Spirit convict all parties involved, we would see these men repent of their actions and restore the marriage of covenant. We would see woman who will honor the vows of marriage by refraining from getting involved with men who are married. We would see a Christian news site that condemns these actions in such a way to urge such men of such action to repent of their sins and remain faithful to their wives of covenant. We would see more and more Christian couples fighting for the truth of one-flesh marriage covenant and standing up for the truth and remaining a witness that marriage is one man and one woman for LIFE! In doing so, we would see the representation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 5:31,32 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.

In Christ's love,


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Simple Responses To Exceptions and Privileges

As you may have realized by now, this blog is solely dedicated to defending the truth of marriage as a reflection of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe scripture tells us that marriage is a one-flesh covenant bond sealed in Heaven, that the Law of Marriage is as it was in the beginning, and is a representation of Christ's love for His church. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9; Ro 7:2-4; Eph 5:31,32) and that God gives us clear words that tell us this covenant can only end in death of one or both spouses. I believe that divorce was permitted to a hardhearted people by Moses with the intent to protect women, and that God does not permit this action (divorce) in the New and better covenant of His only begotten Son.

I also am very aware that historical facts of the early church indicated that if divorce was enacted through civil channels, a remarriage was always an adulterous union since it is widely agreed a divorce decree cannot end a one-flesh covenant. The divorce only permitted a person to remain unmarried or to reconcile the marriage.

I am also aware that the capitulation of marriage definition eroded over the history of the church beginning with the “Constitineization” of the church, and the subsequent Protestant Reformation totally redefined marriage as a matter of the state in the writings of the Westminster Confessionof Faith. It was this latter movement form which the “exception clause” (Matthew 5:32and 19:9) and the Pauline privilege (1 Cor 7:15) first appeared in Christendom.

I am aware that the redefinition of marriage continued in the succeeding centuries and that in the past 100 years we were introduced to feminism, no-fault divorce, woman clergy, and same-sex marriage. All of these have not only caused schism among the brethren, they have all contributed to the dismantling of the family unit as God commanded from the beginning. The church continued to capitulate on these matters by endorsing books by men like Jay Adams and David Instone-Brewer who believed like the Pharisees of Jesus day in that there are “many” grounds for divorce.

Today many churches recognize “remarriages” without the thought of how these remarriages came to be in the first place. The idea of church discipline is replaced with acceptance and I am convinced that divorce and remarriage is no longer a concern in most evangelical churches. Yet, it is this single action of divorce that contributes to the other sins for generations to come.      

Since I have come to the truth in the year 2012, I have defended one-flesh covenant marriage in many forums and often find myself repeating the same answers to the same questions. There are certain reoccurring positions that require continual rebuttal. In particular, it is common for most people to take Matthew’s account out of context to validate a divorce and remarriage by the “innocent” party from the actions of a spouse who committed adultery within the marriage. A simple and concise paragraph in response can clear this misconception and invite particular dialog to correct and bring a person to the truth.

Therefore, I have decided to write brief paragraphs that defend the one-flesh covenant marriage by rightly dividing the word in truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) This is a basic list on where people have been in error and is intended to bring the grace and truth to the understanding of one-flesh covenant marriage. These are designed to cut and paste when commenting on social media or comment sections in articles and I intended to write these to use myself.

Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 aka the exception clause-This exception is always used to allow an "innocent" spouse to divorce and remarry in the case of the unrepentant adultery of the other spouse. This at one time was exclusive to "adultery" but is now associated with substance abuse, pornography abuse and other forms of sexual immorality.

Matthew’s account (Mt 5:31-32 and 19:9) can only be viewed through the NT knowledge that this Gospel was written to Jewish Christians who understood that “fornication” (except for fornication-verses 5:32 and 19:9) was a sin that allowed a Jewish betrothed husband to put away his Jewish betrothed wife because she was not a “virgin” on the night of the consummation of the marriage. The whole foundation of Jewish marriage was understanding that a wife was to be pure and unblemished, and “except for fornication” can only be viewed in the context of pre-resurrection Jewish betrothal. It is poor and erroneous hermeneutics to teach, preach or believe that divorce is applicable to post-resurrection believers and the context text of Matthew’s account corroborates with the unambiguous texts of Mark 10:11,12 and Luke 16:18. 

 Verse 7:15-aka "The Pauline Privilege" The interpretation is often misused to validate a divorce and remarriage for the believer when his or her unbelieving sposue abandons the marriage.

Taking 1 Cor 7:15 out of context places this interpretation on contradicting grounds to other verses in the chapter. Abandonment is not grounds for divorce, and neither does it permit the believer to “remarry” another. In context, the verse is calling the believer to “peace” knowing that he or she was not at fault for the abandonment of the departing spouse. The believer is not to feel guilt or shame for the abandonment of an unequally yoked spouse who decided to leave the marriage. However, even though he or she abandoned the believer, they are still bonded in the covenant marriage until death do they part. Thus, remarriage is not an option since divorce is not applicable to severing a one-flesh marriage covenant. This correct interpretation corroborates with the bookends of Paul’s teaching on the one-flesh marriage covenant. (1 Cor 7:10,11and 1 Cor 7:39)

This last response it to the new idea inspired by men like JAY Adam and David-Instone Brewer that allows divorce and remarriage in the case of spousal abuse or other abuse such as pornography and drug addiction. 

Abuse is never an excuse to divorce. If a spouse is abusive, we as believers are to enact all forms of church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) to bring him or her to repentance. If this does not work, then he or she is to be released to the laws of men which God has allowed to protect people in such cases. It is sinful to allow a spouse to continually abuse us, therefore the greater love is to hand over the impenitent spouse to law to be prosecuted and indicted to the fullest extent of the law. Separation is the temporary solution so that such abusive and sinful spouse will repent. Divorce is never an option since the impenitent spouse may one day repent, turn to salvation in Christ and be saved, thus restoring the marriage. The spouse willing to love like this is an example of Christ’s love for us. 

The last topic is the idea that "remarriages" and "blended-families" are socially acceptable, and that we must accept these in the church as well. I see it all the time where there is this "grace" of divorced couples who reunite with each other for the sake of the children. The problem is that one or both have "unmarried" another, and we should applaud these new families...God forbid.
Step-families and blended families are only possible when one or both spouse’s previous marriage ended by the death of a one-flesh covenant spouse.(1 Cor 7:39) A “remarriage” after a divorce of a living one-flesh covenant spouse is not a marriage in the Lord as this union is adulterous which requires repentance. (Mt 19:9. Mk 10:11,12;Luke 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10,11, 39; Ro 7:2-4; Heb 13:4) Teaching that a “remarriage” after divorce is a marriage in the Lord is a lie and causes people to remain in the sin of adultery.

There is no such thing as an “ex-spouse”. A one-flesh covenant marriage can only end in death. Divorce is no longer applicable in the New Testament as the Lord defines marriage as it was in the beginning. (Gen 2:24. Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9, Eph 5:31,32) Do not believe that lies that marriage was handed over and governed by civil governments or traditions of men (Westminster Confession of Faith) Marriage is one man and one woman for life, no excuses, no exceptions.

These are all just basic responses to the basic and constant questions surrounding the popular idea that a divorce is applicable for the New Testament believer. We must always respond in kindness with the intention to bring a person to the truth. Many people are deceived because they believe what their Pastors have told them and not what the Holy Spirit tells them from the word of God. Yet, there are many who know the truth and want to ignore it anyway to appease the desires of their flesh.

Still, it is important to pray for the Holy Spirit to convict the person when answering and commenting. Social media is a great tool to communicate, but the only drawback is that it does not convey the compassion or love that is associated with face to face contact. Many take comments as “trolling” or a way to be vindictive or quarrelsome. Therefore, it is imperative that we be both salt and light in our commenting so that it leads people to the power of the Gospel which is so evident in the permanence of marriage. Our intent must always be to restore a person to the grace and truth of Christ, and if we do not write in this mindset, we should not write at all.

Col 4:5,6 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

In Christ’s love,