Thursday, September 30, 2010

Divorce — The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience

Commentary by Albert Mohler

Note: Albert Mohler is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 ( - Mark A. Smith, who teaches political science at the University of Washington, pays close attention to what is now commonly called the “culture war” in America. Though the roots of this cultural conflict reach back to the 1960s, the deep divide over social and moral issues became almost impossible to deny during the late 1970s and ever since. It is now common wisdom to speak of “red” states and “blue” states, and to expect familiar lines of division over questions such as abortion and homosexuality.

In the most general sense, the culture war refers to the struggle to determine laws and customs on a host of moral and political issues that separate Americans into two opposing camps, often presented as the religious right and the secular left. Though the truth is never so simple, the reality of the culture war is almost impossible to deny.

And yet, as Professor Smith surveyed the front lines of the culture war, he was surprised, not so much by the issues of hot debate and controversy, but by an issue that was obvious for its absence — divorce. Click here to read full story.


The reason that I have posted this article was to bring to your attention something that is very important to God -- and that is marriage and family. I think everyone here would agree that "marriage" is a very important element of any "family" and that it is instrumental in the emotional and spiritual growth of both adults and children. Then why do we not want to raise any issues about how divorces in the country affect the family? We certainly talk about how abortion and homosexuality affects the family, but for some reason the Christian community stays silent on DIVORCE. Have we forgotten what the Word of God tells us about DIVORCE (Malachi 2:16, Matthew 19:8-9, 1 Corinthians 7:11-13)?


RCUBEs said...

Very timely...Glad you posted about this great reminder! God bless.

DeanO said...

Bro. Lloyd,
Good point. Satan is on a warpath to destroy the family - in the church. It seems every where you look, Christians are falling into immorality and divorce. We just had a couple's retreat and "divorce" was definitely mentioned. Preach the word!

MTJ said...

Hi Lloyd,

I have to agree that divorce is a topic which often goes ignored within the Christian community. I was reading yesterday in the Wall Street Journal (New Vow: I Don't Take Thee) that there are more people between the ages of 25-34 who have never been married than there are who are married. By contrast, the number of those who cohabit and those who divorce continues to climb.

The reasons for these numbers vary but certainly the eroding view of marriage and the ease of divorce are contributing factors.

The church needs to take a larger stake in helping to heal and resurrect marriages which are failing or in trouble.

Blessings and peace.


ME said...

good post thanks for sharing. I know how hard and how divorce teared one family, I can say this because I was on that situation. Now a days some of aclaimed christians are one who pratice this element of devil to destroy a covenant between husband , wife and our God.

GOD thinker said...

This is such a huge issue in Christianity. It should not be that the number of divorces in Christian households is the same as in the world. God HATES divorce!!! Not only does it terribly hurt too many people financially, emotionally and spiritually; it destroys the image of what God says is His relationship between Himself and the church. God would never leave or forsake His bride (the church). Our marraiges need to reflect that.

Steve Rives said...

Malachi 2:16 does not say that God hates divorce.

That is a mistranslation

See the ESV or the Holeman Christian Standard Bible for the right translation.

If divorce is a taboo topic (that is, one not discussed by Evangelicals in the so-called culture war), then I suggest that women who are being beat by men is also taboo. Men are hurting their Christian wives, and the church has not allowed them to get divorced. The root problem is one of biblical studies. Read more here:

mike said...

Our marriages certainly do matter to the Creator more than we seem to think in our evangelical churches.

Julie Reynolds said...

Great post on the subject of divorce. It is true that the subject isn't dealt with adequately in any way.

Arts&Disability said...

Hi Lloyd,
I think a major problem is that when we meet people.... anyone... there may be abortion, divorce, abuse, in their background... So, these wounded may not feel so welcome....?? How to respond in the practical... that is our concern in our Lord.
His Sonshine

dfish said...

We often hear that we pronounce a couple husband and wife by the authority of the state. It is an unscriptural definition of marriage, as God joins them, not the state. Accepting the idea that the state, or the church has this authority allows them to grant a divorce.

The problem is largely a result of false doctrine in some other areas, in my opinion.

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Hi Lloyd,

Thanks for sharing this topic with your readers.
You ask, "Have we forgotten what the Word of God tells us about DIVORCE (Malachi 2:16, Matthew 19:8-9, 1 Corinthians 7:11-13)?

I think the answer to your question is located within the article, "Smith explains that the inclusion of divorce on the agenda of the Christian right would have risked a massive alienation of members. In summary, evangelicals allowed culture to trump Scripture."

Based on my persoanl experiences, I am in agreement with Smith's conclusion.

My questions are, have we Christians learned anything from this AND what are we doing to correct this grievious offense?


pjzionca said...

Thank-you for your post. This is a topic that is very dear to my heart. I pray that the Lord will continue to work in our families and restore.