Jamie Dean of WORLD magazine makes an important point in a powerful way in “Putting Asunder,” published in the June 10, 2006 edition. Protecting marriage means confronting the evil of divorce. Consider this:
But as the gay-marriage crisis looms large, another massive marriage crisis churns beneath the surface and behind church doors. Tens of thousands of men and women will marry in the United States in June, the most popular month for weddings. The same month, tens of thousands of couples will also divorce. That trend will repeat itself for the rest of the year.
During a 10-month period in 2005, an estimated 1.8 million couples got married in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. During the same period, nearly 800,000 couples divorced. A total of more than 56.4 million married couples live together in the United States, according to the 2000 Census (compared with 595,000 homosexual couples). As many as 24 million of those married couples could end up divorced if the nation’s divorce rate continues to hover between 35 percent and 45 percent.
That evangelical phenomenon is “an incredible indictment” and “completely inexcusable,” according to Andreas Köstenberger, professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of God, Marriage, and Family. Mr. Köstenberger told WORLD that while it’s important for Christians to oppose gay marriage “we also shouldn’t lose track of the fact that so many of our Christian marriages are ending in divorce. . . . It certainly renders us vulnerable in the battle for the definition of marriage.”
Mr. Köstenberger says the problems of gay marriage and divorce both grow from the same dark root: sin and a low view of marriage. The church’s divorce rate equals that of the secular world, he adds, because the church has adopted a secular mindset full of “superficial remedies that don’t deal with the deeper problems.”
For example, most of the marriage resources in Christian bookstores are focused on “how-to lists and techniques.
. . . They’re really indistinct from the secular world,” says Mr. Köstenberger. Christians need a deeper understanding of biblical marriage and how it fits into the broader context of the Bible, he says, not just tips on better communication: “Liberalism is pervasive and it promotes the notion that we ought to make whatever choices are best for us as opposed to the biblical idea of sacrificial love.”
A church that refuses to confront the sinfulness of divorce will have little credibility in addressing the sinfulness of homosexuality.