The Divorce Deluge

I overheard an unpleasant conversation recently and before I could regret having been close enough to hear it, I came to believe it might be worth thinking about. It was one of those one-sided conversations where one person says all of the nouns and verbs and adjectives while the other person merely confirms that they are still awake with occasional affirmations.

The topic of this dismal monologue was divorce, at least at heart. The guy doing all of the talking was complaining that his ex-wife demanded credentials for a babysitter he had hired to take care of his children. He jokingly suggested just how absurd it would be if his ex-wife asked for similar information about anyone he dated.

But is this really something to joke about? Divorce causes immeasurable damage to children and adults, and it never seems to lack in the ways it does so. Why should the people invited into the lives of one’s children suddenly be outside the realm of discussion just because the parents of the children are divorced? I’m not arguing that anyone is legally obliged to make any effort on this. The legal system treats sacred vows like junk mail and throws them away only when it doesn’t have enough time to shred them, so this isn’t surprising.

The well-being of children should not be compromised even further than the divorce itself by allowing total strangers to have access to children with the consent of only one of their parents, but such access is legally permitted. Any attempt to limit it is met with mockery. “It’s my life, I see who I want and hire whichever babysitter I like”. But the welfare of a child is the responsibility of both the mother and father. Why do we instinctively mock attempts to protect children as nothing more than sticking our nose in other peoples’ business?

There are no easy answers to these problems because there is no easy answer to a severed vow, especially one that has produced children who are tied as much to the vow and relationship of their parents as they are to each individual parent. For children of divorce, the rejection of one parent by the other will always be in part a rejection of the child. Our civilization seems to care so little for children that after dragging them through the hell of divorce, we still show no concern for their well-being.

Divorce, and particularly its Satanic no-fault incarnation, is just a deluge of suffering for children. Every time you think you’ve been able to list all the ways it harms children, you’ll find another waiting. When Christianity is replaced with the Worship of Self, it is no wonder that the least and poorest in spirit are crushed. Whatever children escape the horrors of abortion often find families broken by selfish, pleasure-seeking adults. It is one of those things that makes hell seem lenient.

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Abortion Better than Life for Orphans?

I encountered this image, courtesy of “FeministsUnited” or some such group on Facebook:

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Three problems are obvious after reading it.

First, many pro-life people do adopt children. Some even forgo having children of their own in order to adopt. Pro-lifers also donate millions of their dollars to help care for children who have no parents in their lives.

Second, there is another alternative to abortion and adoption: not getting pregnant in the first place. While leftist feminists will immediately bring up rape when this is pointed out, the fact is that rape accounts for a very small fraction of pregnancies. Enough that, thankfully, it is a rare exception and not a rule. For the vast majority of what feminists might call “unwanted” children, the children were brought into existence by the immature behavior of their parents. Had the parents taken responsibility for their actions, the children would not require adoption.

Third, and most important, this position requires the person who holds it to affirm the following statement: It is better for a child to die than to live in circumstances I find unsatisfactory. This brings to mind the origin of Planned Parenthood and its mission of eugenics.

A person who is pro-life is condemned for focusing on the barbaric slaughter of 60,000,000 unborn and innocent children while not doing enough for orphans, where enough is never defined. A person who is pro-abortion is praised for giving human life value based on the circumstances of birth. Far from being “pro-choice” as the slogan goes, the pro-abortionist denies any choice to the only innocent party involved.

You can tell, based on the existence of images like this, that supporters of abortion know they are defending moral bankruptcy and horrific depravity. Else, they wouldn’t try to stretch so far to find justification. If abortion were not from hell, why act like it needs to be defended? If unborn children are just masses of tissue, why abandon the argument?

As for the girl in the back of the text, the pro-abortionist must be willing to say that she ought to have been murdered before birth. I dare them to do so.

Marriage is Inevitable

No matter what people do, no matter how much feminism is entrenched in modern thought, there seems to be no way to avoid the necessity of marriage. Or, at the very least, a pathetic marriage substitute.

From Breitbart:

According to the language of the bill, “consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter, and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”

Aside from such an absurd law being unenforceable, dependent on one witness against another, based on feelings, and so easy to break that any sane and self-controlled man would just skip it altogether, it’s also kind of like marriage. A marriage devoid of its best parts, but a marriage nonetheless.

And now California is having students learn about the process:

Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation aimed at making California the first state in the nation to bring lessons about sexual consent required at many colleges into high schools, his office announced Thursday.

Last year, California became the first to require colleges and universities to apply an “affirmative consent” or “yes means yes” standard when investigating campus sexual assault claims. That policy says sexual activity is only considered consensual when both partners clearly state their willingness to participate through “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” at every stage.

This pathetic marriage substitute called “yes means yes” is apparently pretty important to the anti-marriage crowd. It’s interesting that within a century of feminism dismissing marriage for being restrictive and suffocating, a marriage substitute that is even more restrictive and suffocating, not to mention clinical and sterile, should replace it. It’s marriage without force and meaning.

Can Christians be Leaders?

romesenate1With the 2016 political season drawing closer, there has been a lot of talk about the role of Christianity in politics. Although that topic is deserving of its own series of posts (which I intend to write someday if I figure out how to blog consistently), it’s a related but distinct topic that is the purpose of this post.

I saw the following comments on a Facebook thread recently:

No true Christian can be a politician, we are called away from worldly government and institutions.”

 A bit later, in response for a request of Biblical evidence of such a claim, the same person said:

“John 18:36 would be an example, but more examples can be sought by actually reading the Bible. God’s Kingdom is not of this world, and every government on earth is in rebellion to God, so what place does a follower of Christ have in such a Carnal man made institution? If you think that Christians are going to defy prophecy through politics, then you are reading a different Bible.”

The author of these comments sees true Christianity as that which is disconnected from the world, which seems rather unlike Jesus’ demand to be “in the world, but not of the world”. If we are charitable, we could suppose that this author is referring only to the very specific situation of Christians in national leadership.

And yet, is this Biblical? The example the author gives of a Biblical basis for his claim is John 18:36 which reads:

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

The author sees this as a rebuke of Christians in political office, but is that what Jesus is talking about? The context is Jesus’ trial before Pilate. Pilate asks Jesus “Can Christians be involved in politics?”

Just kidding. Pilate isn’t asking about Christian behavior at all. He asks Jesus what crime Jesus has committed and whether He is “King of the Jews”. His questions is about Jesus and His Person, not how Christians ought to participate in worldly government. True enough, Christ teaches that His Kingdom is “from another place”, but then Christians in government office are not establishing the Second Jerusalem.

When considered long enough, the author of the comments really doesn’t specify the scope of government office, and his argument has nothing to limit it to the national level. What about state governments? County governments? City governments? The local school board? The family? Are there no places of leadership that Christians ought to participate in?

It seems obvious that there are. Jesus commands obedience and points to His Kingdom as distinct from the world, but He never forbids His followers from doing what they can in the world that is good. He tells them to be the light and salt of the world. Why would a Christian arbitrarily limit their influence by avoiding some of the most important positions in the world?

Jesus on Divorce

ancient-jewish-wedding-customsFrom Matthew 19

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

The authentically Christian view of marriage and divorce is despised as much by those who claim to follow Christ as those who do not. Consistent Biblical mandates about the headship of the husband are transformed into the husband submitting to the whims of his wife. Consistent Biblical mandates about the submission of wives to their husbands is seen as oppressive even in Christian circles. Even when the concept is accepted, there is a substitution for the extra-Biblical construct of “mutual submission”. If mutual submission, why not mutual leadership? The two are the same, and both are clunky ways of saying “Democracy”. Is that really how Jesus relates to His church?

As badly as Christians misrepresent Christian teaching about marriage, the Christian teaching and treatment of divorce is even worse. Jesus declares that divorce is never right, and remarriage after divorce except for sexual immorality is adultery. Somehow, modern Christians have got it into their heads that divorce is right in myriad circumstances. Emotional abuse and unhappiness are frequently used as excuses for divorce, despite the fact that both of those entirely subjective measures are not mentioned once in all of Scripture as a cause for divorce.

Modern Christians often have no problem with divorce and are blind to the overwhelming moral qualities of it. The rest might have a problem with something, but it isn’t divorce itself. Often, and despite not being treated as leaders in their home, husbands are blamed for the negative behavior of their wives – including divorce if it occurs. Instead of blaming the person who initiates a divorce (which is usually the wife), Christian leaders blame the husband for not doing enough. This contradicts Christ, who gives no circumstance that ever justifies divorce, and Paul, who always describes the roles of husband and wife as unconditional.

If Christians want to learn to follow God’s Will, they could certainly do worse than following his clear moral teaching on marriage and divorce. As it stands, it’s a bit of an embarrassment to be surrounded by Christian leniency toward divorce when one of the chief complaints that non-Christians have about Christianity is the hypocrisy of it’s adherents.

Don’t Judge Me

It's always wrong to judge decisions that other people make, right?

It’s always wrong to judge decisions that other people make, right?

No one says “don’t judge me” when they are proud of something they’ve done. It is never used to express modesty. You don’t hear anyone say “don’t judge me for giving all of my money to the poor”.

The phrase is used exclusively when someone feels guilty about having done something that is obviously wrong. It is almost always used in a situation where sound judgment, spoken in good faith, would be the best possible thing to ask for.

Christians of all people should know better than the use the phrase, but as in many things, many of the people who claim to be Christ’s followers resemble the world around them more than their Lord. The Bible does not unilaterally condemn judgment. The oft cited verses (Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37) that say “do not judge, or you too will be judged” are never cited in full context. Christ qualifies the statement by telling His disciples that they ought to make sure that they apply the same standard to themselves that they apply to others. He says at another time (John 7:24) to “judge with righteous judgment”.

Without the ability to judge the actions of other people, we wouldn’t be able to have a legal system. It would be impossible to enforce laws. You wouldn’t be able to avoid a known serial killer because to even call him a serial killer is an act of judgment. You wouldn’t be able to lock your doors at night lest you judge the sort of people who might try to enter your home.

Whenever you are tempted to say “don’t judge me”, it would be wiser to instead stop doing the act you don’t want judged. Chances are, if it’s worth doing, you wouldn’t be asking for people to overlook it.