Christian Divorce Trends Fuel Debates

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Nov. 28 2007 05:04 PM ET

When life coach and televangelist Paula White went into her marriage 18 years ago, she thought she'd end her life with her husband, Randy. Divorce was not anything she ever wanted to happen, she recently said.

Now separated from Randy and continuing her own ministry, White has found herself in the midst of a wide debate as more evangelicals show acceptance of divorce.

"The fact is as many have been critical or judgmental [about the divorce] (This fight has been raging on since the late 1970’s when divorce first began to appear in the church among preachers, teachers, evangelists – In all cases the divorced preachers, teachers and evangelists threw to the wind the words and commandments of Jesus Christ and the Apostles and sought to continue to ply their trade and continue in the lucrative lifestyle they had become accustomed to. Its ALL about the money and power and public notoriety these have received that are in an of themselves diametrically opposed, 180 degrees out of phase with the words and commandments of Jesus Christ.  To use the accusations of being  Critical” and “Judgmental” against the minority who seek to holdfast to the word of God  and speak in reproof correction or admonition one is walking in blatant sin, and seeking to teach others to walk in their perverse ways – Is to declare that Jesus Christ and God himself are guilty also of being sinfully “Critical” and “Judgmental” against them.)  ... I've also found thousands that have reached out to me (She is speaking here of the many in the thousands that are seeking to comfort her, and make her happy in her abject sin.  The many that are encouraging her to keep on walking in such sin and even all the more corruption, and that they are willing to follow her and her ministry along the broad way that leads to eternal damnation and death.) in a way that maybe they never did," (She is saying that never has she had such encouragement and comfort when she was preaching and teaching – She has fallen into utter darkness.) said White in a live interview Monday with CNN's Larry King.

The famed Pentecostal preacher's divorce announcement in August compounded with the divorce case of another power couple – televangelist Juanita Bynum and Bishop Thomas Weeks III – that same week (Has) fueled discussions on whether Scripture allows the separation (Divorce or Sundering) of marriage partners as both couples received support.


Matt 5:31 - 32 (NKJV) 31“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except £sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Mark 10:2 - 9 (NKJV) The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. (No m

an separate


What does the New Testament (Testament of grace) say.

1 Corinthians 7:10 - 11 (NKJV) Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord:
(The Lord commands) A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, (The Lord commands) let her remain unmarried or (Actively seek to) be reconciled to her husband. And (The Lord commands) a husband is not to divorce his wife.
I am very concerned that when one in leadership justifies their
(Unbiblical and unscriptural) actions which the Bible clearly states is wrong, (More than wrong, it is forbidden so that it should not be named in any in the church) many other Christians (Seeing preachers teachers and evangelists getting divorced and keeping their ministries) will do the same in their marriage. I had heard that the divorce rate among Christians was equal (Higher) to non-Christians but until recently I did not believe it. How could Christians, who know what God has said on this issue, divorce without Biblical cause of infidelity or non-believing spouse? (This started in the late 1970’s due to the new feminism being present in a great number of young Christian women that were getting married at the time. The new feminism is diametrically opposed to a male as the head of household, much less the high priest of the household so that these women readily made war with their husbands and sought to usurp their biblical positions instead seeking to make men their servants or give them the boot.)
It would seem we are taking a path that Israel took in justifying their sins and still claiming God's blessings. I do pray for her marriage but mainly that God will bring them out of spiritual deception.
(Their deception and self justification began way before they divorced and way before they became Christian TV personalities. One has to fall a long way before they could teach and preach the prosperity message along with all the baggage that comes with it) Anything that justifies what the Bible clearly says is wrong is deception.

“I think conservative Christians are becoming more liberalized (Christian liberalism became the vogue with the coming of the television in the household. – Endlessly teaching and instructing its viewers in secular liberalism the love of riches and the things of the world humanism communism feminism animal rights and homosexuality.  And as television goes, so goes the church.) in the sense of, I guess, making more room for the acceptance of divorce and remarriage,” said Mark Galli, Christianity Today magazine's managing editor, according to Religion News Service. “You’ll see a lot of churches that plunge right in and have divorce ministries. ... Marriage is a really difficult thing in our culture right now.” (It has been made so in the world and in the church that preaches and teaching all the building blocks towards the church’s and household’s catastrophic failure and demise)

The monthly magazine
(Christianity Today) published last month a cover story titled "When to Separate What God has Joined: A Closer Reading on the Bible on Divorce" that stirred controversy particularly with conservative evangelicals. (For the free grace element in the church [Defining grace as a free ticket from ever having to say you are sorry for any sin you might commit] Murder, stealing, rape, incest, fornication, adultery and divorce are only a parking ticket that they can simply shrug off. Whereas in all reality these sins are listed in the Old Testament and New Testament as sins unto death. In scripture though David was forgiven the sword never departed from his household. David’s daughter was also raped by his son, another son raped all David’s concubines and wives that remained behind – Rape never departed David’s house either. So those who commit such acts as believers – the sentence of justice for such sins will remain over their households even after they are forgiven of their sin. And for those who have done such sin and then turn and accuse others of their same sin they are even deeper in the hole as God will revoke their forgiveness and make them account for all their sins as long as they shall live, and then in the next when they stand before the white throne and must give an accounting. The reason for rampant divorce is the preachers and teachers and evangelists and the false doctrines and open disobedience they have taught in word and deed.)

In the article, British Evangelical scholar David Instone-Brewer wrote that God allows divorce and subsequent remarriage (To another) in cases of adultery,
physical and emotional neglect, abuse and abandonment(In other words you can get divorced if you are not happy) a shift from the commonly held view that only adultery is a biblically justified reason for divorce. He later clarified that divorce is not allowed for just any emotional or physical neglect or other minor infractions but only on "serious and specific grounds." (This entails the wife only needing to seriously seek divorce – serious and specific can mean anything – further in the writings of Paul believers are even forbidden to use courts against one another or face being cut off, how much more is this between believing husbands and wives) In effect, divorce is allowed for adultery, abandonment or abuse, he stated.

Televangelist Bynum separated from her husband after alleging
he assaulted her at an Atlanta hotel parking lot (In public in an open car lot) in August. The Whites did not give a clear reason for their divorce but insisted the separation was amicable.

Meanwhile, theological conservative John Piper called the widening grounds of legitimate divorce "tragic."

Piper pointed out that Jesus' standards for marriage were high and that he is "radical, not accommodating." Alluding to the biblical meaning, Piper further explained that marriage displays the covenant-keeping faithfulness of Christ and his church and that Christ will never divorce his wife and take another.

"The world we live in needs to see a church that is so satisfied in Christ that its marriages are not abandoned for something as amorphous as 'emotional neglect,'" he stated in his website

The world, however, is seeing a less faithful image.

Studies in recent years have shown that born-again Christians are just as likely to get divorced as non-Christians. According to The Barna Group's 2004 survey, 35 percent of born again Christians have experienced divorce – a figure identical to that of married adults who are not born again.

The research group also reported that "relatively few divorced Christians experienced their divorce before accepting Christ as their savior."

Both Paula White and Bynum continue to have a strong following even after their highly public divorces. White has out a new book, You're All That!, and Bynum said she believes her experience may broaden her ability to reach people.
(Under their circumstances her divorce disqualifies her from her office and her husband from his as well.)

One pastor, however, isn't convinced.

"Marriage is to be a picture of God's relationship with His covenant people," wrote Christopher Tillman in response to Instone-Brewer's debate with Piper. "To allow for divorce in the life of a believer is to do serious damage to Gospel witness in one's life."

But in a culture where the divorce rate is increasing and Christians are struggling in their marriages, Tillman adds, "What needs to be communicated is not that rethinking marriage yields more 'biblically' lenient standards for divorce than have been traditionally held, but rather, that marriage is an institution to be treasured by us as Christians."