Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reflecting on 3 Years of MDR-Genesistwo24

It is well over three years since I started writing the Genesis2 blog for the defense of marriage as one man and one woman for life. I can honesty tell you I never believed that I would have this kind of ministry. I know there are other ministries of this kind, and I know there are many who believe like I do that the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman for life. But I also see the serious problem in the institutionalized church, and how these institutions define marriage. In fact, it was the serious problems in these institutions which leaves me where I am today.

 It is that age old question, “Where do you think you will be five years from now?” If you had asked me this five years ago, I would have told you that I was currently looking for a solid, Bible-believing church. I had recently exited membership of Purpose Driven seeker-friendly church where I witnessed everything from the lack of financial accountability, embracing woman elders, and to listening to topical sermons which extracted Bible passages out of context. 

It was also around this time where I was starting to question the curriculum as facilitator in the DivorceCare ministry.  There were some things that did not add up in this program. I was also at the end of my period of remaining true to what I believed to be a marriage covenant. It was not surprising to me that the hurting people of divorce were quick to blame the actions of their spouse. Some of this blame was understandable and rightly so, but there are always three sides the story…the husband, the wife, and the Lord. Many of these people did not consider that the other spouse was not here to defend their actions, and maybe they had something to do with these actions. Regardless, it was clear to me that these hurting people wanted the easy way out.

But I must question. Is divorce the easy way out? I have personally found divorce to be a destroyer of much more than marriage. Divorce of itself is based on personal choice and selfishness. If you consider the actions of divorce, you must take into consideration the devastation it causes. There is the devastation of individual lives such as the husband or wife of divorce. There is the devastation of the children who have no say one whether they want to have parents who love each other. There is the financial strain…which ironically, many divorces occur because of financial woes. There is the breakdown of relationships. Friends of the marriage suddenly chose which side is in the right. There is the abandonment of church family…and this is the saddest part of all.

I am perplexed how the institutionalized church can be wonderfully creative and instrumental on performing and encouraging elaborate wedding ceremonies. They are instrumental in providing weekly premarital classes and marriage counseling. The presiding clergy even provide the signature on the marriage certificate so the couple can be recognized in civil law as husband and wife. …yet when the honeymoon is over and divorce is just around the corner…the church fades away.  

This was the problem I saw in DivorceCare. Church discipline was missing. Yes, it was mentioned briefly, but how many churches provide church discipline in the case of marriage woes? It is easier to provide “therapy” with the likes of a ministry such as DivorceCare than it is to save the marriage. I no longer am associated with DivorceCare and to me it is a threat to marriage and can only be called a monster and not a ministry. 

Just recently I listened to a Nov. 6 2007 “Are Evangelical Really Rethinking Divorce?” broadcast by Dr. Albert Mohler who is President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. (I encourage everyone to listen to this broadcast) This broadcast was discussing the Time magazine article which included David-Instone Brewer’s position on marriage, divorce and remarriage. What makes Brewer’s teaching so popular is that it provides ANY provision for divorce and remarriage. The reason I mentioned this broadcast is that the co-host with Dr. Mohler, Dr. Russel Moore, made a definitive statement about the shifting view of divorce from an evangelical perspective.   
 “You have Evangelicals churches now who have shifted on a view of divorce that at one time there was clear preaching and teaching about divorce as a sin, that moves into preaching and teaching about divorce as a tragedy…Now is moving in preaching and teaching of divorce as therapy. So at one time we would see divorce as a church disciplinable action that would have involved the entire church community…Now it’s just its own special Sunday school class, “we are now in the singles again class”…it’s (divorce) not seen as something as sin”- Dr. Russell Moore-Nov. 6th 2007

This statement is the truth. Divorce is no longer viewed as a sin, rather as therapy…and do not be that person who would think otherwise. Well, I am that person. I made the leap of faith some five years ago to expose the real problems in the clergy/laity system which I clearly noticed in the church I left as a member. If there are many failings of the institutionalized church, none are more devastating then what they preach, teach, and believe about marriage, divorce and remarriage (MDR).  The evangelical churches are quick to provide DivorceCare, rather than defend marriage. The thought is to get over your divorce as quickly as possible so that you can get remarried to fit in again to the chruchianity culture of “married” families.

Long before I understood the complexities of my own union of adultery, I began to have a clear view of marriage. I understood what it took to stand for a marriage, and it is only the grace of God that He let me do this knowing full well I was in an adulterous union for 20 years. It was around this time that I knew I had to react to this revelation. I immediately related to the co-facillitator of DivorceCare that I know longer supported this ministry and told the details of my own convictions.

It was also around this time I was attending a Bible church, not as a member, rather I was worshiping on Sundays. I had several conversations with the family pastor of this church and at one point was willing to introduce the DivorceCare program to him. Thank the Lord they did not use that information. I have since recanted my support for DivorceCare and he is fully aware of my position on MDR and he knows my testimony of my own adulterous marriage. While he is like many others understand my position, they cannot fully come to terms with the idea that a “remarriage” is not an adulterous union. This is mainly because they believe the clergy/laity system is ordained by the Lord, and that “remarriage” vows by their hand are marriage vows in the Lord. One saving grace is that he did mention that he will not “marry” divorced people…Dr. Mohler makes this point in the mentioned broadcast, but what power does this have if they think that there are provisions with exception clauses? 

The Genesis2 blog started shortly after my marvelous revelation that my own marriage was nothing more than an adulterous union. That day began with me typing a letter to her covenant husband asking his forgiveness of getting between a one-flesh covenant marriage. I had already dealt with this sin to the Lord, but there needed to be public declaration of this sin. That is when the Genesis2 blog came to be.

It was also during this time I sent out letters to churches asking them serious questions about MDR and accountability through church discipline(Mt 18:15-17) I bought several books on the MDR subject and corresponded through email with divorce and remarriage defenders such as David-Instone Brewer and Dr. Craig Keener. I also contacted nearly every “DivorceCare Expert” and told them the truth of MDR. I attempted to respond to my former pastor and area pastors about MDR, and did not receive any response except from those who defended the exception clause and abandonment excuse. One such response was phone call with the local AOG pastor who defend divorce and remarriage since his daughter was divorced and remarried. 

I also began to meet other champions of marriage through social media. In fact, this is where I have placed a Genesis2 group and page which I update on occasion. It was over the last several years I have written over 125 posts on marriage and have corresponded with ministries such as Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and James Dobson Family Talk and divorce and remarriage defending bloggers on the www such as Ron Deal and his "remarriage" monstery. I have recently conducted a quick church accountability correspondence with various churches and ironically, or not so, this culminated with the events of Lysa Terkeurst’s public declaration and her association with mega Elevation Church. The results of these accountability findings were sad.

The bottom line is that marriage is under attack, and the institutionalized church is not the answer. The answer is individuals speaking the truth of marriage as one man and one woman for life, a reflection of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The answer is one-flesh married couples coming forward and speaking the truth about marriage. The answer is those who trust the Lord and will remain in their vows even in the most horrendous of cases. The answer is communities making marriages accountable through church discipline. The answer is supporting the abused and abandoned and not turning away. The answer is not therapy, the answer is calling divorce sin, and remarriage more sin of adultery.

 In conclusion, I will continue to stand in the gap and I will respond to the same questions on those who defend divorce and remarriage by proclaiming that marriage is one man and one woman for life… This is a simple plan which thwarts fornication cohabitation, adulterous union of remarriage, same-sex marriage, and gender redefinition. The plan of God for future existence of mankind is one man and one woman for life. No excuses, no exceptions. I have started to believe this five years ago and here I am today…I pray that in five years more people will see marriage as one man and one woman for life and that I can look back and see that evangelicals repented of what they were always taught to believe. Will you defend marriage as one man and one woman for life? What will you believe in five years about marriage?   

In Christ's love,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I for one thank you for this blog. Your story and faithfulness has been a tremendous encouragement to me. My husband divorced (in the eyes of the world) me two years ago after 37 years of marriage, we will have our 39th anniversary September 1st. What God has joined together man cannot seperate, he is my husband until death we do part, not sin we do part. Praying that the "R" in MDR is reconciliation. God is faithful in his provisions and finding your blog is one of the many ways I have experienced His care.