A recent guest editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (April 1, 2012) argues that evangelicals are inconsistent, if not hypocritical, when they tolerate divorce and remarriage but condemn homosexual relations. (I am assuming the author means by the latter monogomous and faithful homosexual relationships.)
Former pastor Tim Turner closes his editorial with “Writing this certainly isn’t going to endear me to my evengelical friends, whom I love and cherish. However, it seems that despite their zeal to hold to a ‘literal’ reading of the Bible, the ability to pick and choose what one reads literally remains alive and well.”
Turner makes the case that Scripture, including Jesus himself, condemns divorce and remarriage with the sole exception of adultery as the reason for the divorce. And he argues that the biblical case against divorce and remarriage is even clearer than the case against homosexuality (by which I take it he means homosexual sexual activity).Turner then assumes that, by-and-large, American evangelicals have come to tolerate divorce and remarriage both in society at large and within their own churches.
My question to Turner and to you is whether this is comparison and critique is justified. Are divorce and remarriage and homosexual activity ethically identical from a biblical perspective (in terms of their being wrong)? Is an evangelical church that tolerates divorce and remarriage (for causes other than adultery) inconsistent, perhaps even hypocritical, when it then excludes from full fellowship or disciplines a homosexual couple known to be engaging in sexual relations?
I am not sure whether Turner’s editorial is available on line. If so, it will be found at the web site of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I think this is an important challenge and evangelicals either need to explain themselves/ourselves or change our habits.