frgavin on August 30th, 2012

By Trey Dinsdale, Christian Post

[…]  Bishop Robinson, who was once married to a woman and is now divorced and remarried to a man, was asked at one point why he should be taken seriously as an advocate for his position when he himself has broken the vow that he took with his former wife. Bishop Robinson’s reply was interesting and in a way, I can see how it would seem noble to one who thinks from his perspective. His response was a description of how his marriage ended. Mr. and Mrs. Gene Robinson went to the courthouse with their priest and lawyer and after they received a divorce decree, they went directly to their church where they read apologies and gave back the symbols of their vows, the rings that they had exchanged seventeen years earlier when they were married. Their vows had been to honor one another and when it became clear that the present circumstance was unnatural for Mr. Robinson, they mutually agreed to release one another from those vows in order to honor those same vows. There is a circular and internal consistency to their logic.

There is one profound problem, however. Marriage vows aren’t exchanged to be self-affirming and internally consistent. Marriage vows have become an important ritual that reflects the supernatural union of a man and a woman. No less than the Lord Himself tells us that it is God who joins the two into one flesh and that no man (which includes the parties to the marriage) can separate that union (Matthew 19:6). Jesus simply does not provide a contingency plan in case those vows become too difficult to honor or in the case when tortured logic seems to affirm that the best service to those vows is to break them. The fact remains, vows do not join a man and woman together in marriage. God does that. The ritual is important, but the ritual is reflective of the reality and the reality is that the marriage union is for life no matter the circumstances. The “reverse marriage” that Bishop Robinson described is unique and interesting and certainly sends the message that he takes marriage “unbelievably seriously”, in his own words. The precedent that he sets, however, is a selfish one. What preferences amount to a circumstance that would necessitate the breaking of marriage vows? Surely there are others. Who is the arbiter of the answer to this question? The individual? If that is the case, marriage is meaningless. The institution falls apart, because every marriage vow has a qualifier attached—I am committed to this marriage and to you UNTIL the circumstances don’t suit my preferences. The Bible simply makes no provision for a “reverse marriage.” Because of sin, Moses made an accommodation for divorce which is really designed to protect the vulnerable (Matthew 19:8; Deut. 24:1) and believers are given permission by Paul to relent in their resistance to divorce that they did not initiate (1 Corinthians 7:15), but nowhere does God make any provision for undoing marriage. In fact, God regards it as a violent and destructive act (Malachi 2:16).
Read here

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.