Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Conversation on Divorce.

I initiated a discussion over at the Full Contact Christianity blog, (poor them), as to whether or not the bible agrees with divorce for reasons other than premarital infidelity. Well, the discussion really implodes; there is no divorce the Lord approves of, it simply points to Him the fact that you messed it up all the more without Him. He forgives you but not without a re-tuning of your understanding of what marriage is (and sure, He may forgive you even if you remain in the dark). The discussion here really degenerates, as do so many blog discussions today; but the truths gleaned from it are precious. The ugliness with which this discussion ends, I think, emphasizes how badly emotion had overtaken sensibility in this issue.

I'm going to look at the beauty though the ugliness. I'm sorry, but at the end of the day this is what I do and how I think. My design for the activity in this blog is for it to be real. The good and the bad. Development of a whole picture; fully illuminated with no dark part. Being accountable.

This is "reality blogging" at it's most real. Insufficient time for it, insufficient training for it, but issues come up that need addressing. Things stand or fall on their own merit. Nobody gets a free pass based on their credentials. Man's wisdom gets tested against God's, and, sometimes it gets swept aside by God's larger truths.

In this case, some uncomplimentary things were published about how God views divorce. When you sift the New Testament down on divorce, it doesn't appear to be o.k. under any circumstances. So the facts deserve to be sifted through.

Was "Full Contact" made with the issue? It ends terribly ugly; but not before an important matter is settled. A matter which demanded correction, whether done perfectly of imperfectly; a matter that needs to be addressed regardless of the willingness or unwillingness of one to be corrected. The main 'uglines' is a fellows tendency to look for technicalities to rescue himself from not having answers.

This discussion is sort of a tame one as blogging goes. Sometimes men of low character show up and shine light on things for us. Someone must. I'll be the weak one. God uses the weak. The test here is whether we are going to focus more on style or substance. Sometimes maybe God needs to use men with a strategy to get through our tangled web of excuses and willingness not to listen. I'll be the one with the poor manners, but "Full Contact Tim" will have to be the one with the faulty reasoning. Poor reasoning, in this instance, renders the institution of Christian marriage just a temporary formality; poor reasoning gives permission to a 'legitimate' exit from a marriage following an infidelity (and much less) in the place of reconciliation, forgiveness, and the process for maturation, hope. It replaces God's hope with our hope that the next marriage will be better; or the next. Reasoning that legitimizes Christians having the same divorce rate as Non-Christians as being the work of God..

In Nursing, it is taught that the important thing is the answer, not the means of obtaining it. And in the end, style is nice, but is nothing without substance. Good style can lead to a bad end. Good substance never will. God gives us clear and infallible substance to teach and help infuse into a marriage. When it appears to fail, it is our failure, not His. Marriage maintains it's potential for permanence without us.

-- Marriage is permanent and the Lord will never tell you divorce is a good end.

Christ will help you succeed; but He will not help you fail. He is not an "enabler" to disobedience and defeat. But if you accept that you have failed without Him, He will be there after a divorce to help you pick up the pieces and go on.

But the real astonishing part of all of this; He will be there to empower us to endure a marriage that we may not be able to see how we can possibly endure by ourselves, and which may hold a blessing that we have not yet grasped.

Now let us who are able, continue to expand on and teach that great truth. . . our own imperfections and all.

6 comments:

usernametodd said...

Well, my comment is still awaiting moderation.

Tim Nichols said...

It's up, and don't feel sorry for me. Happy for you to come and interact.

Sorry it didn't go up sooner; my software snags anything long and holds it for moderation. I get to them as soon as I can, but I have three jobs, so sometimes the site falls through the cracks for a day or two.

usernametodd said...

Tim,
I do appreciate your patience very much. I am genuinely trying to get somewhere in my thinking on this. Not very graceful at times. Hopefully I have enough of the preliminaries down as to what I'm getting at so I'm able to keep things a little more brief and to the point. I appreciate your help here. And Jim's.

usernametodd said...

You just employed the childish strategy of jumping from the subject and attacking me personally. It’s that same technique that we use so often at home or in relationships that leads to dysfunction relationship breakdown and divorce. Wow, you're very practiced and convincing at it.And all of these piles of problems with Christianity that you write about in your articles? You've shown here just how unlikey it will ever change.

In this world we have people asking us lots of questions, whether it’s about inconsistencies they see in the bible, or just basic confusion in teaching they have encountered, and we have to have immediate and solid answers that come straight from the bible. You brought nothing to the table except evasiveness and excuses. And then you place the burden of propriety on others or you are going to overturn the game board and storm off acting offended.

usernametodd said...

Tim, you said "Jesus legitimizes divorce". That is going to be offensive to any Christian. You were subsequently proven wrong. Because you were so evasive and lazy minded about it, it had to come at the expense of your pride.

I'm still in shock from how the truth became so simple and available in this exchange. You contributed nothing but evasivenes. I came away with more understanding than I could have originally hoped for.

As long as you remeber that Jesus does not legitimize divorce, or at least you think of me every time you forget, then you will have profited.

Tim, God's word is given to us in plain English to teach to plain people; even young children. Since the beginning of this blogishere medium, even since the beginnig of Christianity, we've witnessed the 'academics' disprove each other until they have all devoured each other. Yet we love them because they sound grand. Well pardon me Tim but I have much more of a fondness for the truth than I do for sounding good. I don't know why you play this game, but I play to learn. And I play to prepare myself to have the answers for both the ordinary fellow, and the academic when I cross paths with one or the other who has uncertainties or questions about their God.

And I have come to have real answers for them that will never let them down. Exciting and reliable truth from our God and I can show them where to find it and how to know that it is what it claims to be and why. Because our God does that for us and gives us that.

I've come away from this exchange with more truth than I expected. I was actually taken by complete surprise when I put all the pieces together. Our God is always like that. And Mr. Yoder wasn't deficient in his presentation, you even proved that in your rebutal of him, porneia does include all of those sexual immoralities you say, just not the one(adultery) you want; however, that by itself does not clear up the confusion you have been taught.

"Jesus legitimizes divorce?". That's entirely slanderous Tim. Face it, I was way too kind.

Tim, for my part, I've been perhaps a little sloppy in my approach, but, your part has been that of, if not a false teacher, then a deficient one. No apologies here for finding your evasiveness and laziness hard to deal with.

usernametodd said...

So take your medicine. Nothing but a greater understanding of those 'six little words in the bible' that too many Christian marriage counselors twist and misrepresent has been accomplished here. The Lord has been served. And yes, there is always room for improvement.