SanctiFusion

Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

Archive for the ‘love’ Category

May the Divorced Remarry?

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This question has plagued people now for centuries. The consensus in many “Bible-believing churches (should this be redundant?)” is that Jesus said it was an absolute no-no because God has decreed that every marriage is forever, end of discussion. But is this the case?

Before going farther, there is no intent here to encourage anyone to take the marriage vows any less seriously. “Til death do us part” still means the same thing and, as many of us know, divorce can be even worse than death for those so-affected. If you are married, then unless your life is in real danger, that is, if at all possible, make it work, please! Many go running out that “back door” only to find themselves slammed through the brick wall on the other side of the doorway.

If Jesus said that divorce is a sin, and that those divorced must stay single, then we have an interpretation problem. In the Sermon on the Mount He had said that He would not be changing “one jot or one tittle” of the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. As a body, it is “fulfilled” when every figure and prediction has come to pass. At present count, the 2/3 which covers the Second Coming and the Kingdom Age is yet to happen. The Law, then, including the parts in which God gave the statutes for divorce as well as the parts for honoring parents, respecting others’ property, and loving God with our all, are still in effect.

“Giving divorce?” Yes, before the Giving of the Law divorce did not exist. A man had all rights in the marriage, including to expect a deserted wife to wait for him indefinitely in case he wanted to come back in a few years and sell her and her children on the auction block. God, through Moses, changed this for His people. “For the hardness of your hearts it was given” Jesus said. To protect the injured party from continued neglect, abuse, or infidelity the Law allowed a clean break, with a certificate to show that person was free to remarry or, as Moses wrote it, “free to go where she will.” Marriage, even remarriage, was the norm because of God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” and the male-driven economy which made it nigh-to-impossible for a woman to strike out on her own. This would have been the exception, not the rule.

If we but recognise that Jesus is, Himself, the Word, the Logos, of God, then we see that for Him to change course with any detail of the Law would be for Him to contradict Himself as the Law-Giver. It was not His purpose to outlaw divorce, or any other detail of the Law. As much as it can hurt, and yes it can be about like an amputation, if the amputation takes years to complete and the anesthetic is in short supply. But like an amputation it is not done for cosmetic purposes unless one is either incredibly dense or psychotic, but to save a life. In like manner, for the Church to marginalise the divorced would be like a handicapped parking spot being open for all but amputees.

Is this the whole story? Not by a long shot. There is more- We have yet to touch on Jesus actual words on the subject, or the implications in the Church for leadership, or the charge given to modern pastors and leaders for dealing with the situation as it stands. But this is a good spot to stop for questions. What’s yours?

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Written by Robert Easter

Wednesday, 9 September, 2009 at 20:21

Who’s the Liberal?

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Hear O Israel, the LORD thy God, the LORD is one, and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy mind. The second is like unto it, that thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets.

It has been said that if a young man is not a Liberal he has no heart, and if when he is older he is not a Conservative he has no mind. In the Church we may have the opposite trend.

The young Christian finds it easy to believe the most hidebound dogma from whatever the tradition he finds himself. A Brethren convert will most adamantly support that group’s teachings, and a Pentecostal theirs. Their Bible was delivered from God in just that form, leather binding and all.

As time passes, young Christian hears and reads a lot of differing opinions: The Bible is a contradictory collection of outmoded tribal traditions and priestly forgeries. Jesus learned His teachings from Indian Buddhists. All roads lead to God, however you imagine “God” to be. Sometimes young Christian believes that claptrap, and falls into all kinds of despair, even enlisting to spread that claptrap to others out of anger at being told that simplistic first story to begin with.

So who, really, is at fault here, and what can be done to change things? The first culprit, of course, is the one who started the first dogma. Does God demand Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 17 October, 2008 at 13:13

The Billy Generation

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The “Boomer Generation,” also known as the “Love Generation,” and the “Beemer Generation” among others, born between 1946 & ‘64, has done the most, good or bad, to shape the contours of America-as-we-know-it. This generation has written the schoolbooks, movies, sitcoms, and newscasts, and shaped current social trends and Government policy. According to recent polls, nearly 80% of Americans acknowledge a “born again” experience. By all rights, this should be the most authentically Christian nation anywhere, and any time, in history. Yet in the past thirty-five years over fifty million lives have been violently extinguished by abortion, more children nation-wide are growing up in single-parent homes, chronically neglected by absentee fathers (or sometimes mothers) as they learn to esteem the “thug life” as honorable, and homosexuality is being pushed as a new normality,

What has gone wrong? We can go into particular causes for a lot of that stuff, but the root to it all is Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Monday, 1 September, 2008 at 14:59

Life as we (Don’t) Know It

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We last looked at the principle of the New Birth. One thing about Jesus’ teachings that impresses me is that if something were a parable, a story offered to illustrate a point, then He would say at the first, “the Kingdom is like thus and such. If there were a true story that He used, then, “There was such a man…” If He was saying that something is this or that way, then that’s what would come out. Like when a group of Jews “believed on Him” as far as opinions go, but still cherished their own sinful attitudes and ambitions, He told them that “You belong to your father, the devil.” God, the Father, has no part with such deceits, and those who hold to them have no right to call Him, “Father,” because it is the devil that is “the father of lies.” So, then, if we are to belong to God, and hear from Him, we need to be born again, by His Spirit, by faith. Faith, in this sense, is more a continuing process than a momentary decision; and the New Birth is, like natural birth, an event that marks a life, and not the whole life in itself.

Because of this, we don’t say that the New Birth is the Main Point, or the Final Experience, for anyone’s life. Two terms Jesus used for the New Life Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 24 August, 2008 at 0:36

Planet of the Walking Dead

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Dead inside? Did INXS sing, “..every single one of us is dead inside,” or did I just keep hearing it wrong? If they did, they were right. Almost. When Jesus told the Jewish elder, “You must be born again, ..of the Spirit, to enter the kingdom of Heaven,” He wasn’t just using a figure of speech. Sure, for years the Jewish Establishment had been using the term for when someone of the goyim (nations) became a Jew through mikveh (water immersion), that he/she was “born again” as a Jew, but that’s another story for another time. When God warned innocent Adam that if they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (well, evil, really. They already knew good!) they would immediately die. When they were still walking around the next day, we guess God was just kidding, or making some kind of parable that really meant something else. Nope. God has a wonderful, original, sense of humor, but death and sin aren’t funny. Their very next encounter with God shows something had changed drastically. A careful read shows that to that point they were wise, happy, and fearless. Now they were stupid (wrapping themselves in gummy, prickly, fig leaves!), miserable (hiding in the bushes), and cowardly (shifting blame). When God made Adam, He breathed His own Spirit into the man, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 22 August, 2008 at 9:21

Aborting our Souls?

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The Wall Street Journal today, in a story about an upcoming report on the effects of the abortion trauma on the mothers involved, quotes one clinic director, Susan Hill, who runs clinics in five southern states, as saying that, “‘..women today need less counseling, less psychological care than they did in 1973,’ when abortion was legalized but still carried an enormous stigma.” We might speculate that this is in line with the overall loss of sensitivity for human life, generally. Over the last thirty or so years we seen a shift from a time when the film, Bonnie and Clyde

(From Warner Brothers, no less- What’s up, Doc?) stirred such controversy over its gory scenes. Now Hitchcock’s style of suspense stories has been replaced by “splatter films,” and pop music now features brutal rape and murder in place of undying love and devotion.

Ms. Hill, who has been in the business of “providing abortions” for thirty five years, said she, “has tried offering postprocedure counseling sessions — but very few women show up.” In her words, “They want to get past it and move on with their lives.” Overlooking the possibility of all kinds of motives for not returning to the “clinic” to walk through that trauma all over again, it might be good to consider the real effects on all the people in this picture. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Tuesday, 12 August, 2008 at 15:32

The Suicides of the Fathers

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Reading of a famous writer, whose young life had been marked by his own father’s suicide. How tragic! And yet, how real to so many. The father’s eyes had turned inward. Inward to his own weakness, his own inadequacy: His humanity. It was too much for him, and he withdrew. Withdrew from the company of others he saw as beyond helping: Unwilling, unable, or else unfit, at any rate he withdrew- from human company, from his family, his son, from life.

Is this unusual, or was it just that his method was more pronounced? What of fathers today who don’t swallow a pistol, or kiss a Freightliner? How many children today grow up with Daddy in the picture, but realise as they mature that he was only posing? That Daddy was already dead to them, dressed in his burial suit as he vanished into a grave of career, ambition, or drink? Escaped from human company, from his family, his son, from life, pursuing a dream, inheriting a nightmare. The greatest tragedy is that he is never alone, has never escaped, but the nightmare he inherits becomes the mother’s life, and a legacy for his children. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Saturday, 9 August, 2008 at 16:07