Page 40 - October2012BrowardGoodNews

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REAL LIFE
40
November 2012
Good News - Broward Edition
Dawn Coates
Good News
God’s Perfect Plan
According to the scriptures,
and contrary to conflicting
opinions in today’s society, God
ordained marriage as a covenant
between one man and one
woman, in which “the two are
united into one”(Genesis 2:24).
During his earthly ministry,
Jesus also taught that, “Since
they are no longer two but
one, let no one split apart what
God has joined together” (Mark
10:9-10). One man, one woman,
united as one flesh, forever —
this is God’s desired will, out of
his infinite wisdom and because
of his great love for His children.
Our Broken Reality
When sin entered the world
in Genesis 3 and tainted all that
was pure and good, this picture
of marriage would not be
immune to its devastating
effects
and
consequences.
Because we are sinners who
marry sinners, and live in a
sinful world, it is not difficult to
understand why God’s perfect
plan for marriage is often not
realized even among Christians.
Jesus himself references the fact
that
Moses
granted
the
concession of divorce because of
the people’s “hard hearts” (Mark
10:5). In fact, born again
Christians are “indistinguishable
from the national average” in
that one out of every three who
has married becomes divorced
(Barna Group, 2008).
Biblical Grounds for Divorce
Though the issue of what
constitutes a justifiable divorce
is debated among pastors and
theologians, a general point of
consensus is found in Jesus’
Sermon on the Mount: “But I say
that a man who divorces his
wife, unless she has been
unfaithful, causes her to commit
adultery” (Matthew 5:32). It is
important to note that the
original language translated
“unfaithful” here has a much
broader connotation. The Greek
word “porneia” in this context is
commonly
translated
as
“fornication”
or
“sexual
immorality.”
Does Pornography Qualify?
Whether
or
not
pornography qualifies as a
biblical justification for divorce
depends
upon
how
one
interprets the meaning of
“porneia.” Generally speaking,
religious liberals hold to the
narrow definition of fornication,
which is restricted to actual
sexual intercourse between two
unmarried
persons.
Conservatives, on the other
hand, tend to expand the
meaning to include various
other sexually immoral acts. If
the latter is the case, then it
could be legitimately argued that
viewing pornography is biblical
grounds for divorce.
God’s Standard for Purity
While Christians tend to
categorize sin and use others’
behavior as a standard to
measure
their
own
performance,
the
Bible
repeatedly calls us to look to the
righteous requirements of the
law of a holy God alone. Jesus
Is Pornography Grounds for Divorce?