Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Divorce and the Church

Why is there so much divorce in the Church? Divorce is so prevalent among Christians it has reached an epidemic level.

Scripture is clear that one may divorce for only two possible cases: infidelity (adultery) and in the case where a believer is married to a non-believer and the non-believer wants a divorce. That is it! It doesn't say you can divorce if you think your husband doesn't fulfill your emotional needs, it doesn't say you can divorce if you argue too much, it doesn't say you can divorce if you no longer love each other, etc.. Scripture is very clear on this matter, yet divorce is RAMPANT in the Church. How can this be?

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9; see also Matthew 5:31, 32).

Yet even in that case it is better (assuming the transgressor is repentant) if the marriage can be saved:

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18).

“And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery” (Mark 10:12).

Christ said:

“He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

So clearly God takes marriage very seriously and so should we. I read that according to polling Christians actually now have a higher divorce rate than non-Christians! This is truly shameful and appalling. I've heard of couple getting divorced for the most flimsy of reasons. Why are so many entering marriage with such immaturity? Could pastors do more to prepare couples for marriage? Could parents do more in raising up their children to have a Biblical view of marriage? I have even seen some Christians arrogantly assert that getting divorced is their right. If you point out that there is only two acceptable cases for divorce they will literally become enraged and rant about how dare you tell them how to live their life, etc. Clearly they have a very low view of God's Word even though they claim to be Christians.

Another problem I have noticed is Christians marrying non-Christians. Once again Scripture is crystal clear on this matter:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6:14).

The other case for divorce is if a Christian is married to a non-Christian and the non-Christian wants a divorce. Paul writes:

“If the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace” (I Corinthians 7:15).

I hate to say it, but I suspect not enough preachers are saying what Scripture clearly teaches on divorce because they fear alienating a good portion of their congregation who have already divorced and remarried for unbiblical reasons! We must teach pastors to be bold when proclaiming Biblical truths and not to act cowardly. This is such a sad thing to witness. The destruction done to society is massive and when children are involved the negative repercussions can last a lifetime. Yet, I feel as if almost no one in the Church truly seems to care about it. We need to life up our voices and speak out on this issue, even if it makes people uncomfortable, even if our pastor doesn't want to speak about it, even if we lose friends in the process.

Friday, September 20, 2013

More depressing news on how the Church views mental illness

According to this article, more than 50% of Americans believe prayer and Bible study alone can cure mental illness!

This is really worse than I thought things were. Feeling very depressed after reading this article! It's shocking, but at the same time understandable. So few Christians are raised in a way that educates them about mental illness. So few pastors are teaching on mental illness, nor do they provide any resources for those in their churches suffering with mental illness. Couple these factors with the explosive popularity of Charismatic/Pentecostal churches where every disease is believed to be caused by a Satanic attack, and where they believe the cure for every disease is prayer and Bible study! Ugh. This is really appalling.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mental Illness - mind or body problem?

Here is a professor at a local seminary who is director of their biblical counseling institute. He questions the commonly held view of mental illness as an organic disease and views it as a spiritual matter. His view is that the mind is not part of the body. He says,"Can someone get mentally ill? No. He can be spiritually sinful, physically sick, but the mind cannot get sick and therefore we don't need to cure minds."

It's a shame such views are being taught at seminary! No wonder so many pastors and Christians view mental illness as merely a manifestation of sin. This serves to stigmatize those suffering from mental illness and puts all of the blame on the one suffering which only makes them feel worse! Ugh this gets me angry!
I think very few mental illnesses are caused by sin. Maybe some mild ones, but people suffering with schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, those are physical organic diseases and have NOTHING to do with sin! And what really irks me is that this guy is the DIRECTOR of the whole biblical counseling institute so he is probably training tons of people who become counselors at their churches! The body and mind are interlinked, but I don't agree with the notion that most mental illness is just a result of sin! That is insane to think that in my view. I agree a holistic approach has merit, and some people with low grade relatively minor mental illness can benefit much from Biblical counseling, but this is not, in my view, the case so much with severe mental illness. If someone gets diabetes or polio do we suddenly start questioning whether it was from sin? Of course not, and we shouldn't question organic mental illness either! The amount of damage being done to Christians with mental illness is mind boggling! And they are being stigmatized and taught that they are at fault for their own suffering! It's sadistic and very wrong. I'd even go so far as to say such teaching is itself sinful. Further, so many suffer needlessly in the Church because they were taught they don't need medication just Biblical counseling, or even worse some are taught that psychiatric medication is itself of the Devil!


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