Growing tolerance for divorce and immorality in Southern Baptist churches

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by dianetavegia, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Theologian Questions Findings on Divorce, Immorality Among Believers

    By Jim Brown
    January 31, 2003

    (AgapePress) - The president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary says there is a growing tolerance for divorce and immorality in Southern Baptist churches.

    A recent survey by the Barna Research Group found that born-again Christians were just as likely as non-Christians to read magazines and watch videos with sexually explicit content. Not to mention, Barna and other researchers claim evangelical Christians are more likely to go through divorce than are non-believers.

    None of this comes as a shock to former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president Paige Patterson.

    "I happen to be a pre-millennialist when it comes to my end-times viewpoint, and as such I do believe that evil will wax worse and worse in the end times," Patterson says. "[A]s we come down to the time of the Lord's return, it will be difficult even for the elect of God to evade this. So that part of it should not surprise us -- even though it disappoints us."

    However, Patterson says one problem with Barna's surveys is that he often does not define exactly who it is he surveyed. For example, Patterson says he would like to know Barna's definition of an evangelical church. Consequently, the SBC leader urges caution when it comes to Barna's figures.

    "I think if you were to take churches ... that are evangelical churches with a strong pulpit devoted to the scriptures -- such as First Baptist Dallas or Bellevue in Memphis -- you'll find a little bit of divorce and you'll find some immorality in there," he says. "But my guess is that it won't be anywhere close to what Barna paints."

    Patterson says when listening to statisticians, it is important to ask them how they chose their churches when doing the survey.

    © 2003 AgapePress all rights reserved.
     
  2. donnA

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    We had a recent poll where people thought this was alright, as a matter of fact some argued it was art.

    On topic, I think it is taken too lightly these days. Some christians divorce becasue of biblical reasons, but some just becasue they are tired of being with some one, as if the marriage relationship is as disposable as razors and toothpicks.
     
  3. narrow is the way

    narrow is the way
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    I believe this to be true. Not only in just SBC church`s, but in christianity in general. Christians in general are tolerating more and more. I believe it is part of the falling away of the church that must happen before Jesus is to return. Judgement must begin in the house of the Lord first.
     
  4. John Wells

    John Wells
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    Matthew 24:24 (NIV)
    For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

    False prophets would be modern day church leaders (pastors) who preach a watered down version of the Bible to a) keep their jobs, and b) give their flock "what their itching ears want to hear."

    But there's only one answer to the problem short of Jesus' second advent, and that's a transformation one believer at a time to be discipled by another believer to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
     
  5. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    Worldly evangelistic techniques and humanistic preaching produces worldly, humanistic congregations.
     
  6. TheOliveBranch

    TheOliveBranch
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    How many times has the topic of divorce been raised here on this board? There are many divorced people here. I disagree with Patterson, in trying to down grade Barna's poll. I suppose it would be a better way to save face by trying to discredit the source that to admit a truth.

    Truth in this matter runs strong when this topic is discussed. Those believing that divorce and remarriage is wrong are condemned as "legalists" when standing strong on this topic. And when it becomes a question from a divorced and remarried preacher, why would this poll seem so far off? [​IMG]
     
  7. John Wells

    John Wells
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    I have been divorced! It happened before I became a born again Christian, however. This is not an indictment against the many of you out there who are also divorcees. But I will never divorce my bride, my sister in Christ, my wife that God has blessed me with now.

    Malachi 2:16a (NIV)
    “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel"

    To turn this ugly trend within the body of Christ around will require two things: 1) Pastors growing and discipling committed Christians, and 2) committed Christians (whether your pastor leads the charge or not)!

    The world-view regarding marriage today is "I take this husband/wife until discord do us part." The courts call it "irreconcilable differences."

    What is God's view of marriage today, yesterday, and hasn't changed since the Garden? Jesus said, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” - Matthew 19:5-6 (NIV)

    Which view then has the better than 50% of divorcing Christians taken? But doesn't the Bible tell us to be separate from the world? Doesn't the Bible tell us to "be not conformed but to be transformed?" I'll tell you, there's a whole lot of "non-transformed" church goers out there! :eek:

    For those of us who are divorced and/or already remarried, we can't turn back time and undo what's already done. But for those who may read this who are hurting and struggling with a horribly bad relationship right now, Jesus Christ can fix it if you want Him to! If you love Jesus enough to not want to do something He hates, you'll work with your spouse. Now if he/she won't work with you, if they are not a committed Christian also, then your options are more limited. But I'm talking to two committed Christians who are seriously considering divorce. God is bigger than your problems and "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." - Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

    I'm not a marriage counselor, but there is one thing, more than anything else, that will put you on the road to a vibrant, healthy marriage . . . pray together daily! You say, "I'm so mad at him/her I couldn't possibly do that." Do it anyway! :eek: Make yourselves do it . . . every day! Ask God in front of one another, in prayer, to heal your marriage, to bring forgiveness for whatever either of you has done to the other. Cherish what God has joined together as one! Recommit to God and to one another. Jesus said, "I hate divorce." He also said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." - John 14:15 Do you love Jesus? Ask Him to help you to relearn to love one another.
     
  8. Ben W

    Ben W
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    It seems to be that a number of churches are willing to accept things that the bible says not to do. Sometimes people have the opinion that they are covered by the blood, and it will all be sweet.

    I heard an excellent sermon by Chuck Swindoll on "The Remnant", The Christians who stand firm, even though others in their own churches turn away from the way. Powerfull sermon.
     
  9. rufus

    rufus
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    Ephesians 5: 25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it

    Ephesians 5: 22. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

    Two keys to avoiding divorce.

    Rufus IMHO as a Professional Counselor
     
  10. g_1933

    g_1933
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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I would add: Wives love your husbands as they love you; and, husbands, submit to your wives as they submit to you. (expounding on Jesus' rule of us doing to others as we would have them to to us).
     
  12. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    a local christian radio station did a renewwal of vows ceremony on Valentines morning.. My wife and I have had some very rough spots. I would say we came close to considering divorce. John Trent said some things that really got my attention. He spoke out of Songs of Solomon. In his experience the number 1 lacking thing in marriage was genuine praise of each other. I am committed to genuinely praising my wonderful bride at least 3 times a week. She has committed to the nearly impossible task of finding 3 things to praise me for too.
     
  13. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    My wife & I both have taught our kids (33 with one daughter, & 35 with one of each, both happily married) that if you want to focus on the faults of the spouse, won't be long before you can't stand him/her. However, if you focus on the good points, you'll always feel that you got the best end of the deal. [​IMG] :D

    Many's the time I've gotten extremely irratated at my wife for some "gross annoyance", but as I think of the aggravation I cause her at times, I truly wonder why she ever saw any reason to love & marry me. :confused:
     
  14. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    Interesting... John Trent said if we are always looking for praiseworthy things in our spouse we dont have time to dwell on the opposite things.
     

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