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God's Not Mad at You
“What about divorce, remarriage, and abuse?”

“What about divorce, remarriage, and abuse?”

FEBRUARY 5, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “What about divorce, remarriage, and abuse?”

Steve Brown:
What about divorce, remarriage, and abuse? Let’s talk about it on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers from the Bible, that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. How you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing really good. And, that’s so much better, cause you’re here.

Pete Alwinson:
To share the, to share the abuse.

Steve Brown:
To share the guilt and the abuse. Yeah, no, I, man, I do appreciate, you know, you’ve done this for a long, long time.

Pete Alwinson:
I know. Well, I don’t know how many years, but too many that we don’t want to talk about.

Steve Brown:
No, we really don’t. Our producer, Jeremy was praying for us before we started and he said, give them wisdom beyond their years. And then he said, even though it’s a lot of years.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
At any rate, that’s Pete Alwinson, go to ForgeTruth.com. That’s right, isn’t it Pete?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah man, you got it.

Steve Brown:
And you can get all things Pete Alwinson. If you don’t have his book Like Father, Like Son, that’s a life-changing book, you ought to be, you ought to get it. You can get it at Key Life or Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or most good bookstores. Don’t patronize them, if they don’t have it. And, Pete comes in every Friday and as we’ve said, it’s been a lot of years, and we sit down and honestly answer questions that you send, and we love your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, and you can hit the right button and record your question. And sometimes we’d put your voice on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or you can write

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you could email us at Steve@keylife.org. And those are touch points where you could help us financially, if God leads you to do that. If he does, I promise we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in giving it. And we understand when you can’t. And by the way, there’s a new thing. They just told me about it. And I don’t understand it, but it works. If you’d like to give by using your smartphone, you can text Key Life at 28950. That’s 28950, and just follow the instructions. We make it easy for you. And if you can’t do it, we certainly understand. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer. And then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Let’s do it. Father, we do come to you at the end of this day, thankful, actually at the end of this week, thankful that we can pray. And Lord, what an energizing thing it is to know that we can come before the one who created us. The one who has provided for us all these years, the one who’s redeemed us, and the one who holds on to us every day of our life. And so we praise you for your power, your goodness, your mercy, your kindness. And Lord, we honor you. We pray that Lord, not that you would make everything go our way, but that you would make everything go your way and that we would be able to be in the flow of your plan. Thank you for your grace and your mercy. And we pray for our pastors and teachers and leaders and worship directors and missionaries and tech teams and all of those that really are crucial in leading your people in worship. Lord, bring us all back together and enable us to glorify your name together. Thanks for Steve. Thanks for this ministry and all those behind the scenes here at Key Life. And now we commit this time of Q&A to you. As we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, this is an email. It says, what does the Bible teach about divorce, remarriage and abuse?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Well, this is, you got a standard sermon on this man.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, I do. I, you know, I’ve kidded about it. I’ve said, look, if you’ve been through it, if you’ve been divorced for whatever reason, I don’t want you to listen to anything I’m going to save for the next 25 minutes. In the last five minutes, I’m going to talk to you. And then in the first 25 minutes, I tell them they’re going to lose their salvation, if they get a divorce. And that no Christian would ever do that. And you can’t get any, if you do it, I’ll come after you. And then, and then the last five minutes, I say, if you’ve been there, there’s no one forgivable sin. God starts with where you start, but this is a little bit different. This isn’t just marriage and divorce and remarriage. This has to do with the abuse. And there are those who say, I don’t care how much you’ve been abused. That’s mostly said to women or sometimes to men, and you’re stuck forever, because that’s what the Bible teaches. And I frankly don’t think it does, but you can speak to that.

Pete Alwinson:
No. I agree with you. I think, you know what, you know sexual infidelity, breaks, doesn’t necessarily irreparably break the marriage bond, if there could be forgiveness, but the provision for divorce is there, because of how it breaks the marriage bond. And I think abuse is the same category.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I do too. I really do. You know, I’ve had to often, and I’m sure you have too, to deal with that issue in couples, and with, with somebody that just can’t leave, because they don’t believe God would honor that. And so they continue to be abused, continue to be hurt. And I, I agree with you. And I think also, in that kind of situation, the leadership of the church needs to be involved.

Pete Alwinson:
It really does. It really does, Steve, you’re right. And I would say to men, if you are abusing, if you are an abuser of your wife, then the reality is you gotta take yourself by the shirt collar, and get help. And you gotta, you gotta say, I gotta stop this. I gotta break this cycle. And, and, you know, there’s a possibility you could save your marriage, but you got to take responsibility. Grace can help you for, can forgive you and provide the energizing power for transformation, but you got to jump into it.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, you really do. And sometimes that’s not going to happen.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
Sometimes, and this is often something with the wife. I think the elders need to step in, uphold her and give her permission to do what, the permission of the church. And that’s a big deal.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s a big deal.

Steve Brown:
In allowing her to move. And Paul says that the one who was offended and talking about sexual unfaithfulness, is no longer a bound. So, the remarriage issue then comes up. And Deuteronomy 24, where Moses taught on that. He said that, he was very clear that remarriage was a part of the deal. In fact, if you, if you didn’t, if you remarried without getting a divorce, Then you were guilty. And so, that was this text that Jesus, they referred to, when they asked Jesus the question. And he was talking about divorce, but he was also talking about the concept of putting away. Which meant, a husband could kick her out, never give her certificate of divorce and he was free to remarry and she was free to be nothing but a prostitute.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. So Jesus, as well as the Old Testament tried to break the break that notion.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, absolutely.

Steve Brown:
And listen, abuse is a major problem, and you guys, we’re we, I mean, don’t put up with it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Make sure it’s real abuse. It’s not when your husband’s angry or your wife’s angry. I mean, that’s a part of being married.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But when the real abuse is taking place, you need to deal with it on both sides. Okay. Our country’s in the midst of losing our entire moral foundation. You and I were just talking about that, back in my study. You hear people speak of the problem, but nothing seems to ever be done to fix it. And it’s only getting worse. So why aren’t any Christian leaders banding together and starting a movement to save Christianity and the morality of our nation?

Pete Alwinson:
You know, that that is a fascinating point. And, I think, initially my comment is that really the evangelical church, the Bible believing conservative church is divided significantly along social issues and moral issues. And, and so we don’t have our collective house in order. I don’t know who is going to do that. I am thinking about that though, too. I don’t know? Maybe you’re going to start the movement, Steve.

Steve Brown:
No, I’m not. But, you know, that’s kind of, it’s like saying that there are people dying of hunger in the world, what are you going to do about it? And you know, that makes you feel guilty, but it’s not very helpful. What do you say to a hungry, poor world? How do you deal with it? And it’s a false sword that used to create guilt and condemnation. Yeah, of course we need to speak truth. And we need to speak it clearly, with the platforms that we’ve been given.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
But we, you know, you and I were talking about Chuck Colson, and, I was, I wish I could remember the name of that book, but in it he was talking about the new dark ages, and he said this 25 years ago, before it had become so prominent, and so real to all of us.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. That’s true.

Steve Brown:
And he said that in the past, during the dark ages, That’s another name for the middle ages, that Christians backed off. And they began to form communities, monasteries, places where they would gather and practice their faith. And they waited. And he said, when the thing was in shambles and it always is, then the Christians came out with the light they had and people listened.

Pete Alwinson:
Yup. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And I, and I think there’s something to be said for that.

Pete Alwinson:
I do too. And I think that, in addition, just to follow up what you said, that a lot of us as Christians are not, are not using our platform. We always want to do the mass thing. We always want to do the big thing. Well, what about, talking to, just being a friend of your neighbor, loving your neighbor, and when they say things with which you disagree and you have some truth, speak into it. It’s risky, but that’s how the gospel spreads and that’s how it spread the first time.

Steve Brown:
And God honors that.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And, I think, you know, I hear what the, you know, I feel I’ve asked the same question, you know, I’ve said, you know, I really, I have a pastor friend in the Midwest that I ride to pretty regularly, and he has started a whole new movement, but, and I want to encourage him. And I have. But I’m afraid that it’s not going to be as successful as he thinks it is. It’s hard to move a nation, and it’s easy to make people feel guilty by saying you’re not moving the nation. And, things are as they are because we have a sovereign God. And if we’re faithful, the light will shine, but we’ve always been in a minority. We just know it now. So, you know, there aren’t any good old days when everybody loved Jesus and walked with him I don’t think. And that may be a cynical first impression.

Pete Alwinson:
No, I think it’s absolutely true.

Steve Brown:
Listen guys, I thought maybe we’d get one or two other questions. No wait, we’ve got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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