Question:

Hello,

I've been in the Lord's church for 11 years now. My stepfather and mother were baptized a few years after I was. This is my mom's first marriage (I was born out of wedlock) and my stepfather's fourth. I'm not sure why he was previously divorced but logic and probability tell me they likely were not all scriptural reasons. I started thinking about this issue a few months ago after watching a video about remarriage. Afterward, I sent the video to one of the evangelists/leaders (we have no elders). He told me he had seen the video before and that this is a complex issue that caused havoc in a certain congregation he knew of. The evangelist told me that he doesn't want to be heart lead and encouraged me to be more focused on sharing the gospel with the lost. I have a lot of respect for this brother, but i think he was avoiding the issue. I tried to forget about the issue but I keep thinking about it. I even tried to find some scriptural loopholes for remarriage but the only arguments I can find are not based on scripture but just emotional. I want to talk to my mom and step father about it but I'm afraid it will ruin our relationship. Should I approach the evangelist again or speak to some of the other leaders? I don't want to be seen as divisive. I also want to be faithful in warning my brethren about sin. Your advice is greatly appreciated.


Answer:

The preacher is correct that this issue has caused problems. First, people hate confrontation and they rather pretend all is well. Besides, to take a firm stance against adultery caused by improper divorce would cause all these sinners to leave. Like the Corinthians in I Corinthians 5; they rather say, "At least they are going to church," than to say "At least they are going to heaven." Second, the teachings on divorce and remarriage have not been consistent. He is wrong that the issue is complex. It is emotional, but that the teachings are plain.

Yet, that doesn't excuse him from ignoring a problem brought to his attention. He'll have to answer to God about that one. Since you suspect, but are not certain that sin is taking place, pushing on a suspicion is not fair to the parties involved.

You are in an awkward position. I don't know how old you are, but as your mother's child, she would not see you as an authority, especially in the matters of marriage. It has nothing to do with whether you are right or wrong, it just places you in a position that is difficult to overcome.

What I would suggest is finding a short paper on the topic that explains the Scriptures well and approaches it in a gentle and loving manner. A paper because they will then have the verses to look up. Having a paper by a preacher gives some independent authority and since it isn't someone local, it would less threatening. Give it to them and say, "I've been studying this topic for a while and it has me concerned. Could you read it and tell me what you think in regards to your situation?" Odds are that they will avoid it or give some excuse. But at least you know you offered them the truth. Until you have their answer, it is hard to say what the next step should be.