I came upon your web site while trying to find answers regarding repentance for adultery, divorce, and the actions taken by so-called "Christians" thereafter. My husband left our nearly twenty-year marriage for another woman last year. We seemed to have a good marriage and he lied about any situations that caused suspicion during the affair - adamant until the last day that he loved me and was happy. In my struggle to find peace and understanding in all of this, I have become friends with several other women whose stories mirror my own. We've talked through many issues, but the one we find most difficult to comprehend is the utter lack of concern about, apathy toward, and even blatant acceptance of this behavior in society in general but most especially in our churches.
We have found no one is willing to rebuke these sinners - forgiveness is the only message out there. I could write a book on examples but I will offer a story from my own situation to illustrate this. My husband's family considers themselves devout Southern Baptist - to the point of looking down upon others. When my husband left me for a woman, his family was made fully aware of this. A while back, I dropped by our former shared residence to pick up some final items of mine. On the counter was a handmade casserole cozy - a gift from one of my ex-sisters-in-law - with a tag reading to my former husband and his mistress whom he lives with but hasn't married yet. His family obviously accepts them as a couple. I know my ex-sister-in-law thinks she's being a Christian by forgiving, but I fail to see that my ex-husband's continued relationship with this woman indicates any repentance on his part. I don't understand why "Christians" have adopted this doctrine of forgiveness that requires no change or remorse. To further illustrate this, my ex-brother-in-law married his mistress several years ago and has since been made a deacon in a large local church!
While this story is specific, all the women I have met are dealing with similar issues. We are disheartened by the reactions to these types of events. Our society seems to wonder why families are falling apart, yet there is no support to keep them together and complete acceptance of any action taken. I have done a lot of searching on the Internet to find guidance on this, and yours is the only one that stands on Scripture. The concern these women and I have now is trying to raise our children in this watered-down religious atmosphere. I really wish more church leaders had the courage to take your stance. The world would be a better place for it.
I'm sorry about your husband's sinful behavior. The reason this type of sin is being accepted is that people refuse to see their own actions as sinful. Most people rather pretend they are going to heaven than to actually obey the Lord. "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:1-4).
You won't find sound teaching among the denominations, but there are people who have rejected division and desire to follow the Lord's commands as given in the New Testament. I invite you to check out one of the churches of Christ in your area. Our numbers might not be as those seeking to please men, but we are sincerely dedicated to serving God as He desires (Galatians 1:10; Matthew 7:13-14).
Thank you. I do plan on checking out a local church of Christ. After finding this link, I did some more searching and found that its members have the lowest divorce rate. By coincidence, my teenage daughter has been visiting a local church of Christ with a friend on Wednesday nights and has really liked it.
Interestingly, I found an article from June of 2010 reporting that leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention were going to get serious about this subject. If I hadn't found the article, I would have never known this took place. I see no evidence of this. When my ex-brother in law who married his mistress was made a deacon years ago, I looked up the subject on the Southern Baptist Convention web site then, only to find that they take no official stand on this and allow each congregation to make the decision. It reads the same today. I just don't see how a denomination can remain on the fence on this or any other subject. They act as though the Bible is ambiguous.
Your collection of questions and answers would make an excellent book. I sent the link to many of my friends because I think reading it will bring them comfort and affirmation that the beliefs they hold are true interpretations of Scripture despite the contradiction to the more palatable messages being fed to society.