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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Christian Church Rethinking Divorce?

    Nifty Yahoo article about a Time mag article.

    The book by Instone-Brewer is good as well, I read it a year ago.

    On questions relating to the Bible's treatment of family and morals, one might expect assurance, if not rigidity, from Evangelical Christianity. So, it may surprise many to learn how "live" the topic of divorce remains in Evangelical circles. Last month, the cover story of the monthly Christianity Today was titled "When to Separate What God has Joined: A Closer Reading on the Bible on Divorce." The heated controversy provoked by the story showed how Biblically flexible some Evangelicals can be - especially when God's word seems at odds not just with modern American behavior, but also with simple human kindness.
    I was a little appalled at the 60% negative reaction to the CT article last month, though. (Talk about knee-jerk, imo.)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I was a little appalled at the 60% negative reaction to the CT article last month, though. (Talk about knee-jerk, imo.)
    I wonder if anyone thought about age span. When you live to no more than 30 as a couple, and the only goal is to have lots of (your kids)... it seems divorce makes sense (if one believe marriage makes sense) when we now live to three times that age (and typically are married for 3-7 times as long...)

    Errr... probably not. Guess I'm asking if Evangelicals actually talk about how situational the morality of the bible is (period it is written in, etc.)

  3. #3
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Errr... probably not. Guess I'm asking if Evangelicals actually talk about how situational the morality of the bible is (period it is written in, etc.)
    It depends on the Evangelicals and the situation. Some denominations are hardline on divorce, but allow women to be ordained, etc some visa verse. They tend to share a lot of the major points of doctrine but have a lot of variation on the lesser points. That's doctrinally (theoretically).

    Practically, they can't be too hard-nosed about it because, well, a lot of people are divorced and if you don't let them join, you can't collect their tithe.

    The denomination I'm from does not allow people who have been divorced and remarried to be ordained (and they lose their ordination if they divorce and remarry). Pastors ordained through the denomination are not allowed to preform weddings for people who have been divorced. These practices, if I understand correctly, are hotly debated at general council year after year. My impression is that the Old Guard believes it is losing ground. If the teachings survive the Baby Boomers and Gen X, then the Millennials will probably keep them. I have my doubts about them surviving that long.

    There is one practical good thing that my friend who has worked in environments that are easy on divorce on hard on it has noticed about the hard on it places: much less hanky-panky among the ranks. I haven't had the opportunity to really observe, so that is just one take.

    Personally, the best pastor I've ever had is divorced and remarried. He is from a different denomination than me, but they were hardline about it, too, so he lost his ordination. He ended up joining a less structured minister's group and is still able to pastor. IMO, it would be a crime to stop that man from pastoring. He loves it and he really does a lot of good for people.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Errr... probably not. Guess I'm asking if Evangelicals actually talk about how situational the morality of the bible is (period it is written in, etc.)
    Well, this is sort of what the book covers -- the contextual and cultural aspects of divorce in the time period that Jesus said what he did.

    In general, the "context" argument just bogs down into slushy discourse. You get people who excuse anything as merely a "cultural remnant"; and those who can't handle nuance and say that it means the same thing and applies the same way to all situations; and everything in-between; and few people actually change their mind, they are all arguing from the gut usually.

    The ignorance factor does not help either.... i.e., people who are reading a document that can be 2000+ years old and not understand anything about how it was put together, where it came from, the culture it was describing, etc. They read it like they'd read an owner's manual for a VCR.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post

    There is one practical good thing that my friend who has worked in environments that are easy on divorce on hard on it has noticed about the hard on it places: much less hanky-panky among the ranks. I haven't had the opportunity to really observe, so that is just one take.
    can you plz rephrase? I didn't understand what you said here.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Usehername's personal thoughts on divorce:

    *clearly the church has a problem when its divorce rates are statistically identical to the general population's rates

    *there's additional issues facing Christians that affect their divorce rate
    (1. being pressured to wait until marriage for sex means that they generally get married very young... and how many 19-22 year olds really know themselves well enough to make a good decision for life? They exist but not to the extent that the church leads you to believe
    2. people getting romantically involved and emotionally attached to someone before they discuss their faith and core beliefs; this is how people get "yoked to unbelievers"... i'll have non-Christian friends until the day I die that I will immensely value, but I can't imagine sharing my heart and soul and home with someone who doesn't hold the same core belief on life as I do. This is draining and makes for a difficult family situation, esp. when kids come around and you have to choose how to raise them. Unnecessary tension that hinders both parents' ability to contribute to the world.
    3. I'm sure there's more but i can't think of them atm and i don't want to make a ridiculously long post.)

    I'm not against, obviously, divorce for reasons such as abuse, adultery, etc. Those are actually biblical divorces. And personally I have seen enough couples where one has given up on life and shut down their personal growth, their personal joy, and refuses to life b/c they are unhappy. When they continually suck the other spouse down for years, I figure this marriage has no fruit and it's only hindering both people's abilities to do good in the world. I've seen cases (a few friends' parents) where I feel like saying, "i'm sure God would rather see you separate and have at least one of you growing than together and both stifling". That's totally not biblical, in case anyone uninformed is reading. That's personal opinion.

    I'm sure there's a few Extenuating Circumstances wehre I would be okay with it, too.

    But generally, I think many people a) firstly choose crappy partners b/c they don't do enough self-exploration or Important Talk before they get emotionally attached to the person and b) give up without trudging through the rough times.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    I can see how a marriage can be a mistake just like any sin can. Morally and ethically divorce SHOULD be frowned upon in my opinion but I don't see how it has to be considered something that will condemn one's soul to hell. Religion or not, people need to learn who they're marrying before they rush into it. That is the problem with the epidemic (if you want to call it that).

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