The challenges professing Western Christianity has of maintaining any kind of relevancy and authoritative standing as “ambassadors for Christ” in the world are rooted not so much in the strength of its secular and religious messengers in opposition, but our failure to stay consistently on biblical point in Word and deed with our own message! While it is true Christians are not perfect or become so on this side of glory, we have, in spite of this, been commissioned by our Lord to represent His glorious resurrected reality, the truths and power of His Word in our lives and deeds as His ambassadors (Luke 24:44-49; John 13:34-35; Acts 2; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, NKJV).
Alas, though, in these latter days professing Western Christianity is willfully fractured many thousands of ways with equal numbers of voices speaking outside of the Word while at the same time claiming adherence to it; confusing many within and especially without that are watching and listening as they are continually summoned to join in (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 14:33). No less of an issue in this madness by way of example, is divorce. While some professed Christian leaders as solace attempt to tout that the divorce rate among Christians is far less than what it is among those of the world, the Lord’s standard of zero beyond the two instances He allows means He is not pleased!1
The divergent permissions guilty pastors, elders and other leaders are giving to allow divorce beyond what the Lord does is a shameful spiritual and social disaster! Some, as Rev. Pat Robertson did on his 700 Club television show in 2011, honestly seek to help folk in painful struggles. But this does not alter the truth that the Lord’s instructions are being disobeyed. This edited 2011 repost is presented not to put Rev. Robertson in a bad light, but to call us all who genuinely care in the Body of Christ to sober up and consider what we are doing even for compassion’s sake when we go against and lower God’s standards and very importantly, how the watching world really processes it.
Once again, unless we delight in being hypocrites, the Lord reminds us as Christians we have no rebuke for the world from His Word on any topic much less divorce if we ourselves are actively guilty of the same and without His allowed just cause (Romans 2:1-3). To his credit, I recently heard Rev. Robertson give counsel affirming the biblical worldview that the marriage vow is for life.
Originally Posted September 18, 2011
I have admired Rev. Pat Robertson, Founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of its 700 Club for over thirty years. I have all of the empathy in the world for him in the times he has mis-spoken, interpreted or applied Scripture outside of biblical orthodoxy. The Lord knows I do not believe I know it all either, but have as my unbreakable guiding principle to stick unequivocally with the plain teaching of the Bible even when it does not seem fair or right to my sinful flesh or popular. This is where I believe my elder and brother in the faith went wrong this past week in offering his opinion on marriage to a person with Alzheimer’s as I watched the program.
Shamefully, only because the secular news outlets monitor Rev. Robertson’s 700 Club show watching for him to say something they can seize upon to hold him up to ridicule, did they pick up on his suggestion to a viewer question that divorce would be acceptable in the case of one married to a spouse suffering with Alzheimer’s because, technically, that spouse may as well be dead. My brother is wrong, of course, to give a permission the Lord does not! As I write to men in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,2 the Lord’s design of marriage is until death as we commonly understand it as the total cessation of body life (Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39).
Traditional Christian marital vows are based on the Judeo-Christian teaching of the Bible that physical death is the only God ordained separation of a husband and wife. Divorce and desertion as separating factors are accounted for as accommodation to human sin, not perfect divine will (Matthew 19:7-9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16). Dementia and other debilitating issues of the mind were present in the first century too (Matthew 4:23-24), but were not taught by the Lord Jesus or His apostles as reasons to divorce.3 Therefore, in God’s program there is no instance of technical death or anything else other than what He has permitted that gives a Christian release from his marital vows.
Sickening to me was the hypocrisy of the secular media that actually found a reason tied exclusively to emotion and sentimentality to support lifelong marriage and gloat over the mistaken preacher. It is a lesson for every aspiring strong man and great woman of God that we are to stick with God’s script, the Bible and “lean not on” our “own understanding” even attempting to be sympathetic as our dear brother was obviously seeking to do with the husband whose wife suffered with Alzheimer’s (Proverbs 3:5, NKJV). The better, biblical answer would have been to counsel the man to honor his marital vows and seek strength from the Lord to bear up under this admittedly excruciating trial (Philippians 4:13).
1 See the March 24, 2019 post, Restoring Marriage As God Designed, under the category, The Cause.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 I have heard most if not all of the reasons professed Christians like persons of the world want to divorce in these latter days and they differ little from those of history
in which God has witnessed it all. Yet, He does not grant divorce except as narrowly allowed in His Word because He hates it (Malachi 2:13-16)! God is not cruel,
but we even as professed Christians can be very selfish and wicked--both men and women; willing to break the marital covenant vows and denigrate marriage
originating from God to have our way. This is also what is so spiritually disgusting from the Lord’s perspective about the way many churches and Christian entities
treat almost any divorce as an unfortunate event that a doting God wills to help them overcome by remarriage, rather than as a painful tragedy of immense propor-
tions in which an offended God will help heal only the injured party in obedience to His Word; forgive with repentance the offender, but allow the natural conse-
quences to unfold on both parties involved to head them off from repeating the same errors again that led to divorce in the first place--if they will give heed. The Bi-
ble's God will never let divorce be “no consequence!”
First it was the humiliation of missionaries coming from the former imperial possessions of Western nations including America in recent years to evangelize them. Now, in a stunning and decisive stand, United Methodist Christians from largely African nations recently stood against the formerly dominant Western denomination’s insistence on sanctioning the ordination and same sex marriage of LGBTQ persons within its ranks.1 Such is the intense spiritual warfare of these latter days as those that would be faithful to God and His Word as it is written not only must stand against a secular world in rebellion, but those that have infiltrated and would foment it in God’s house!
As a Christian descendant of African slaves in America, I am pleased in the Lord to have founded this Ministry and to be leading its Kingdom cause to restore men, families and communities also standing firmly on God’s Word!2 Surely, it was ‘“for such a time as this’” (Esther 4:13-16, NKJV) in the Body of Christ that God has touched many hearts among those once considered of no account and inferior by their former masters to stand with the faithful of all hues against the “madness” of rebellion and apostasy now underway in the West and a large number of its churches as I write of my own labor in the Preface of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics; with joy replacing a “dumb donkey” for Christ’s sake (1 Corinthians 1:27-29; 2 Peter 2:12-16, NKJV).3
Prior to the book’s first publication in 2011, the Lord led me to write this edited 2010 Commentary contending for lifelong marriage as He designed it.
Originally Published March 2010
As an institution, marriage is under attack as never before as humanity in rebellion seeks to loose itself from all of God's program laid out in His Word (Psalm 2:1-3). Not only is marriage on the decline due to abandoned moral standards that permit temporary relationships of casual sex and living together, but it is being outright corrupted by those who want to legitimatize their same sex relationships. Destroying marriage as the Bible knows it too is the incredible divorce rate both in and outside of the churches. These divorces occur for many reasons beyond what the Lord Jesus Christ has permitted.
Marriage as God designed it is foundational to human existence and the oldest of all forms of human relationship. Indeed, before God introduced marriage, mankind was bottled up in the seed of the first man. The Bible does not glamorize God's purpose in creating the female version of man; it was to facilitate His will that the earth be filled with humanity through procreation (Genesis 1:27-28a). However, as a blessing to humanity and to sweeten the means to His end, the Lord gave us the gift of marital relationship. Thus, marital relationship exclusively between a man and a woman is of the purposeful construction of God, not society or the State since neither yet existed.
In the presence of Adam God declares, "'It is not good that man should be alone,'" (Genesis 2:18a, NKJV). God already knew that He was going to create a female for the man, but Adam had to know that being alone was not good. Adam also had to appreciate the value of relationship with another creature like him. If relationship for its own sake had been His sole purpose, then God was more than enough! However, procreation as He designed it would require Adam to have a suitably created, committed companion and helper with whom he could relate to for life.
God proclaims, "'I will make him a helper comparable to him,'" (Genesis 2:18b, NKJV). This helper God has in mind would not be an exact duplicate of Adam, but correspond to him as no other creature on earth (Genesis 2:19-20). After putting him to sleep and removing one of his ribs, the Lord God purposefully fashioned a woman and presented her to Adam. As evidenced by his joyful words, this woman corresponded to Adam in every way human--spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically (Genesis 2:21-23). They were equal in their humanity, but had different roles and responsibilities as plainly seen in their order of creation and the unique construction of their bodies.
Adam and his wife had a basic and functional relationship built upon their correspondence that would be mutually satisfying and endure for a lifetime apart from the romanticized notions of love we have today in which an estimated 40-50% of marriages fail in divorce.4 This does not mean they would not enjoy romance. However, this was only a small part of a total relationship that would be sustained in the main by a committed love for each other in unity and their Creator whose purposes they gladly sought to fulfill.
The Lord Jesus Christ, our Creator in the flesh declares, "'What God has joined together, let not man separate,'" (Matthew 19:4-6, NKJV). In God's design of marriage, it is permanent! While because of men's sin hardened hearts He allowed the concept of divorce to enter human experience, the Lord makes it clear before sin "'from the beginning it was not so.'" He permits divorce only after sexual immorality, which is already a break in the marital covenant (Matthew 19:7-9, NKJV). The Lord's apostle, Paul, later addresses the de facto divorce that occurs when an unbelieving spouse permanently deserts the marriage (1 Corinthians 7:10-16).
Aspiring strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ living to please Him and do His will, must labor vigorously to restore marriage as our God designed it. This means that we have to first be sure we are honoring His marital design.5 Then we must lock arms with our pastors that are faithfully holding the line on marriage as God designed it. Unless God's design of marriage is restored, we can count on seeing the rapid fracturing and decay of our society along with its descent into social chaos continue to the point there is “no remedy”6 and in the end, “wrath” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16, NKJV).
1 View the short news story produced by CBN News on its Christian World News program starting 13 minutes and 40 seconds in that interviews a Liberian leader in the
2 See the April 26, 2015 repost, Obeying God’s Word On His Side, under the category, The Cause and many others among my blogs using the search word, “marriage.”
3 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 Google “2018 divorce rate.” Some social scientists actually see a downward trend in divorces driven by millennials for such reasons as marrying later in life (which still
does not conform to God’s will) according to a Bloomberg article.
5 As I discuss in my book, this means among other things marrying “only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39, NKJV), loving his wife in the sacrificial, constructive and es-
teeming care displayed by Christ for the Church (Ephesians 5:25-33a) and honoring the vow of marriage as God intends for men to honor all of our vows (Numbers 30:
1-2; Matthew 5:33-37). Christian women too, must marry only in the Lord and honor the wedding vow as well as love their husbands as Christ loves the Father and the
Church, Him, in all submission and respect (John 6:38, 8:48-49; Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b).
6 A point which since I wrote this in 2010, the Lord led me to proclaim has arrived! Read the first mention of a “point of no return” in the July 15, 2015 part one 2012 re-
post, Powerlessness Of Being The Minority, under the category, Encouragement. A second mention follows in the October 22, 2017 part two 2013 repost, Mocking The
Rainbow, under the category, Biblical Worldview.
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