Are all Divorcees Adulterers? (Mark 10:11-12)
Sermon shared by David Smith
Summary: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Audience: Believer adults
About Sermon Contributor
It seems like weíve been covering most of my least favourite Bible passages of late, so perhaps I should have expected this one to come along - "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against herĒ. Another winner!
And what a good passage to have on the day of a baptism! Certainly it serves as a subtle way of informing any divorced parents who may be visiting us today, and who may be thinking about getting their children baptised, donít bother coming here!
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against herĒ. Thatís our stance, and we donĎt want any no good adulterers or adulteresses around here, nor your children of questionable origin!
Now, before someone actually does get up and try to punch me, I should point out that if there is a finger here being pointed at persons who have failed in their marriages and have been divorced and remarried, that finger is pointing squarely at me!
I am a divorcee, and I have remarried, and the church (not this church but the greater Diocese) never lets me forget that!
I received my synod badge the other day. This gives me the privilege of getting access to the 2006 sessions of the synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Itís a privilege Iím afraid I rarely take advantage of. Even so, I was fascinated this year to see that theyíve inserted some letters under my name - ĎACICí.
In truth, Iím not entirely sure what these letters stand for, but Iím guessing that they stand for ĎActing Curate in Chargeí, which, if correct, means I must have been demoted again!
I used to be ĎActing Rectorí. Iíve never been permitted to become full rector of this parish, despite having now been here for 15 years. Iím technically still a casual in this position, whose tenure is entirely subject to the whim of the Bishop, and I think now I must have descended still one step further down the ecclesiastical ladder!
In truth, I really donít care what label they apply to me here, so long as Iím free to continue to do the work I feel called to do. Even so, I know full well that there is only one reason that I get this label, and that is because I am one who has been divorced and has remarried, and so in the eyes of the establishment I will always remain a second class cleric, and should consider myself lucky to have been allowed to continue in this ministry at all.
Of course, itís possible that Iíve misinterpreted this badge, and that the letters actually stand for, ďArch-Chancellor in Constantinople!Ē, but I donít think so.
In truth, as I say, I really donít care what label people apply to me personally, except in so far as it is a testimony to the fact that they will not let me forget my failings. And yet it was Jesus Himself who said, ."Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against herĒ. That seems pretty final, and who are we to question the Lord Jesus?
No wonder the historic church has always viewed divorced persons in such a dim light, and refused to baptise their offspring.
By maintaining a high standard, and excluding divorced and/or adulterous persons from the fellowship, we maintain the purity of the faith community as a whole. Of course, for the person on the other end, the experience is something like having someone put the boot in when youíre already doubled up on the ground!
A woman by the name of Doris Mae Golberg
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