Monday, February 22, 2010

About Divorce and Remarriage and Ministry...and Benny Hinn

To answer the question regarding people who are divorced or divorced and remarried and their role in ministry, we must first be certain we understand Jesus and his teachings on divorce and remarriage. They are hard teachings, yet if we look carefully at what he said and what others said by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Bible perhaps we can come to understanding in properly judging what is right and wrong, proper and improper, Biblical and Unbiblical regarding divorce that one who ministers with that scar. I have not given biblical references, but if you have a question where I got this, I can. I'm assuming my readers are biblically literate and understand the allusions I make. On the other hand, if demanded, I will include all the Bible Bullets.

Can anyone who is a minister be divorced? Many are. Many do? They were once at a point in their lives where things happened that led to a difficult and undesirable end. That end caused pain and suffering only one who has been thru it can understand. There were mistakes. The marriage might have been fought for by Counseling. Time. Patience. Sometimes no matter the efforts at reconciliation, a marriage dies.

Now they are Divorced. The sin is not the divorce, sin is cause of the divorce. Pride, stiffneckedness, infidelity, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness and a thousand other sins of the spirit will lead to the woundedness, and it leaves a nasty scar. It's the same application of all kinds of things that lead to all kinds of sin and death. Its part of the curse of sin that we must constantly have dealt with in our lives. Let me be clear. The Bible never calls divorce a Sin. It's a scar. A wound. A blemish. Like might happen if a person was in an automobile accident and now carries the scar of that disaster. The Scar is not sin. Perhaps the one injured was the driver, perhaps the one driving was drunk and in the accident that resulted there was a scar left. The scar is the result of sin

Sin carries consequence. If you drink too much and get cirrhosis of the liver, the cirrhosis is the wound, not a sin. The drunkenness is the sin. If you rob a convenience store and are shot by the owner for your attempt in sin, the hole in your side is not the sin, the act of robbery was.

Of course sometimes, not as often as we think, people are sideswiped by a divorce experience. They are surprised by a divorce filing as Benny Hinn says he was. I won't cast stones. I will ask the obvious question....How can a man or woman ever be surprised at a divorce filing if there is intimate communication going on in the marriage at an intentional level? Not paying attention may well be a sin of omission. This deals with all the things about "Falling Out of Love".

So, what then? Is divorce the ultimate unpardonable sin (even though it's not a sin, it's a scar). Of course not, there is only one unpardonable. The way some treat it, it seems to be. I make no excuses for divorce. I don't wink at it. I don't go soft on Divorce. I recognize it as a scar. A scar that may not need to be shown to just anyone. It's a private matter but it needs to not be hidden either. There is a spiritual balance, particularly for one in ministry. Avoiding the accuser of the brethren is best accomplished by SONSHINE.

If Jesus paid for our SINS, does that include the ones that lead to the scar? The scar from the drunk driving accident, the scar from the alcoholism, the scar from the aborted robbery? Did Jesus sacrifice on the cross where he not only took our sins, he became SIN for us, was it sufficient? Does propitiation cover that sin?

I'll let YOU decide. I already know the answer.

Now, the BIBLE does say many things. God hates Divorce. Because men have hard hearts Moses allowed for it. The Levitical law was pretty specific about who could and could not minister at the altar. These requirements are previous to the better covenant.

Jesus was asked by Pharisees about Divorce. They asked about a specific type of divorce called "Any Cause" divorce that was practiced by men in Jesus day. Men could divorce their wives for "Any Cause"...just say, I divorce you and turn the wife out on the street. It was a brutal practice. It wasn't recognized by Jesus; "Any Cause" divorce. In fact he said, if a man divorced his wife under these principles he causes that woman to commit adultery because the divorce wasn't recognized.

Jesus does talk about what causes there are for legitimate divorce. Adultery being key among them. Now, what does THAT mean? Adultery can be a pretty wide swath. Jesus said that if a man (He means Women too) looks at someone with lust in their heart they have already committed adultery. Adultery means a diversion of affections. A loss of. A death of a covenant to Cleave only unto their spouse.

God looks badly at easily broken covenants. He values covenants. He's a covenant keeping God. Yet, he knows that we are flawed people with sinful natures. We have all broken covenants. Large and Small. If you don't believe it, have you ever lied to someone about anything ever. You broke a covenant to tell the truth. I won't belabor the point.

In conclusion, God hates Divorce, Divorce is a scar. God hates that his children are suffering scars. He wants us to avoid being scarred. He warns against breaking covenants, including marriage. He warns us against being flippant about these things. I know few people that treat divorce lightly. I know people who break covenants without much thought.

Divorce for any reason results in a death. The marriage dies. The covenant broken is death to a vow taken. They are after divorce as if they were made widow. It's over.

Does God allow for the widowed to be remarried? To serve? To be loved? To have a companion into old age?

Or to Minister before God?

That's the question I will take up last. It's not as easy as you think. It takes deep discernment. There are principles. We must know the answer clearly to decide if we will permit a divorced person to minister from the Platform. Divorce is not without consequence...yet.


Pastor Dan said...

I have experienced divorce while in ministry. My first wife shook her finger in my face and said "I am not going to be a preacher's wife!" Over a period of about two years, I shot myself, my wife left me along with my 2 1/2 year old daughter, my church revoked my license to preach, I lost a union job and my father died of cancer at 45. Everything that was stable in my life was gone.
I felt that God had just left me on my own. It took over 20 years to get through that. I have been told by numerous leaders in churches that I would never be a pastor. But, God is faithful and His gifts and callings are without repentance. Thank you Father God.

Gene said...

YOU my brother are the kind of man of God that I am writing this for. You will be blessed by part three