Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Billy Graham: On marriage and divorce

In two letters this week, Billy Graham talks about trying to force a husband to go to church, as well as the topic for divorce...
More likely, however, they’ll ask him (why he doesn't come to church) instead of you (or at least in addition to you), and I hope you can encourage him in advance not to discourage them from going to church. If your children have become involved in the church’s youth group, choir or other activity, they’ll be less likely to follow his example.

If they are active in some way, from time to time they may be participating in some special program — a concert, Christmas program, ball game, etc. This would give you (and them) a reason to invite him to the church and might help break down his resistance.
So Billy's advice is to indoctrinate the children as much as possible whilst trying to guilt trip him into coming to church service? Chances are that he might come to other events anyway, and may just not want to go to mass for whatever reason. But actively trying to create a situation where he would look bad for not attending is both a violation of marital trust, as well as the creation of undue stress on the marriage. If you knew your spouse didn't like a certain meal, would you just keep giving it to them until they just gave up just choked it down day after day? Or would you ask why they don't like it, or if there is any way it could be made better?

If you sat your spouse's most hated meal in front of them every day, you would be the one in the wrong, and also a bit antagonistic. The same is true of trying to force him to go to church. If he doesn't want to go to mass, he doesn't want to go to mass. Where is the problem in that?
The real question, however, is this: Why is he opposed to attending church? Is it because he doesn’t want anything to do with God? Whatever his reasons (or excuses), pray for him, that God will open his heart and mind to Christ.
That church is even less interesting than football is? That what
you can actually see and show to be real is more important than
what you can't? That as mindless as football is, it's still more
sophisticated than religion? Sounds about right to me...
Does it really matter why he doesn't want to go to church? She married him (I assume) for who he is. To try and change him... to try and force him to believe is just plain wrong. She likely married him knowing he didn't go to church. It must have not been a problem before. But now they have kids. Enter the 'what do I tell my kids' worry. Here's a novel concept... How about the truth! Daddy doesn't go to church? Oh, that's because (whatever the truth is). Trying to institute an unwarranted change in a person stands the possibility of damaging or breaking the marriage. So instead of petty worries like this, I suggest simply trusting your kids with the truth. Quite often, how they react will surprise you in a positive way.
(on divorce) What your husband has done is wrong, both in your eyes and in the eyes of God. He thinks he's making the right decision — but he isn't. The Bible tells us that God hates divorce.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article832258.html#storylink=cpy
God hates divorce? Please explain Deuteronomy 24:1-4 to me. Because it doesn't sound very anti-divorce. 
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
So... According to the Bible, a husband can divorce a wife that he finds 'displeasing'. Furthermore, she's apparently no more than a sexual conquest since the first husband can't marry her again after she's had sex with another. But why is it that the second husband can marry her even though she slept with the first, but the first can't marry her because she slept with the second?

Whichever way you split it though, the existence of such an allowance for divorce hardly speaks to support the claim that God hates divorce. Oh wait... there is one time I can think of when God says that divorce is never allowed.
 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
-Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Well, isn't that just swell? Don't find your wife pleasing? Divorce! Oh you're a rape victim who was forced to marry your rapist? Too damn bad, marriage for life! Sorry, but why would anyone go to God for relationship advice?

-Brain Hulk

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  1. I understand this post is roughly four months old, but let me give you a resource for the future.




    Browsing your site, it's apparent that you're very adamant in your position on faith, and I won't say anything about that as it's no one's place to force changes on another. The only thing I could suggest to make your entries more detailed, if you so desire, is that you research a little deeper.

    1. Thanks for the links (though the second doesn't seem to go anywhere). I would like to make my posts more detailed, but the simple fact is that I haven't the time to write much more than I do since this is but a side hobby.

      I took a look at your one link and it really doesn't contain anything that counters the verse that I quoted in this post. You can say that God hates divorce all you want but that doesn't really explain away a verse where God states where divorce is okay.

      I also see a lot of claims that God gets to define marriage because he created it. But marriage is a concept that far precedes Christianity. Religions older than the Abrahamic creeds practiced marriage, and considering that there are animals that mate for life you could argue that marriage isn't even uniquely human.