when my parents divorced when I was 6, the church in Paoli (Pa.) told [my mother] that divorce might be the best thing for her in this situation because she found “true love” with another man and that she had her whole life ahead of her. The church did not fight for the unity of our family. … So we stopped going to church.Rob's mom got saved through the witness of a friend who told her Jesus could heal her marriage; she was facing a third divorce at the time. Rob was drawn to Christ through the witness of a pastor whose family spoke to Rob in the way they related to each other.
Right in the middle of this conversation, his wife comes up with a plate of cookies and coffee and their two little preschoolers come up to get a big kiss goodnight, and there was joy and peace and order and beauty in that home. I wanted that. They brought Christ to me philosophically and biblically in their lives.As an adult, Rob's family was in a church that went through a nasty schism.
Because Shelley and I are both children of divorce, when the church fell apart it brought terrific stress to our marriage. We know of a number of couples that then divorced after this meltdown.Rob and his family have converted to Catholicism, which seems to be a popular trend these days. The article is in National Catholic Register. The "evangelical" movement was most popular at the same time that divorce rates were soaring. For most Protestants, the choice was to attend a church that embraced grace so much that anything was acceptable, or to attend a church that imposed strict and often legalistic standards on its people. Legalism kills the spirit of people and isn't how we're supposed to live in Christ. His harshest criticism was always for the Pharisees, who loved God but who were graceless taskmasters over His people. But neither can we bear to say 'anything goes,' at least not if we're being true and honest with Scripture. The evangelical movement has had a difficult time with this balancing act, and families experiencing divorce have suffered both sides--either too much 'grace,' as the Donut Man describes in the first quote above, or none at all in churches that acted like divorce was the unforgiveable sin. I think this is one of the reasons that we're seeing the pendulum swing back to tradition and ancient ways. Protestants are converting to Catholocism, evangelicals are converting to Anglicanism, and even I find myself in what is probably best described as a reformed Baptist community, where liturgical forms and songs from a century or two ago are the norm. We long for structure, having grown up in a wishy-washy culture that infiltrated the church. Maybe now, we can begin to infiltrate the culture, the way it's really supposed to work.