We hear a lot from conservatives who want to protect “traditional marriage” from the prospect (now the reality) of government recognizing the union of two men or two women as a marriage. But those same conservatives are willfully blind to and sometimes even supportive of something that has done much more to destroy the institution of marriage than homosexual marriage ever will. That is the scourge of no-fault divorce.
What is most distressing is how the church – despite the very clear teaching of Jesus Christ on the subject of divorce – has utterly abandoned Biblical doctrine on the subject of divorce. Not only do you never hear sermons about the Bible’s clear teaching on divorce in the vast majority of churches, but many of those churches actually endorse what Jesus Christ Himself described as adultery by performing marriage ceremonies for people who have divorced their spouses without Biblical justification. They are not just silent. They are in open rebellion against Scripture.
Is it any wonder why non-believers see this hypocrisy as a stain on Christianity itself? Is it any wonder why even some Christians become discouraged and abandon the local church due to the hypocrisy?
But aren’t there some Biblical justifications for divorce?
Yes. But when the foundation of such an important truth has been destroyed, it is not appropriate or helpful to start covering the exceptions to the rule. What the church needs to do is reaffirm God’s clear statement in Malachi 2:16 that He hates divorce. We need to rebuild the foundation that has been destroyed through decades of compromise with sin and open rebellion against God’s word that has corrupted the church. Only after we have rebuilt the doctrinal foundation should we start talking about exceptions.
So what can individual Christians do to be faithful to God’s Word on the subject of divorce? We should rebuke, exhort and encourage our pastors and elders to not compromise and take a stand against this sin. If a church will not repent, leave that church and find one that honors God’s Word. Churches will be more likely to repent if their congregations hold them accountable. Most importantly, we should pray for compromisers and rebels to repent of their sin.