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-Divorce: Americans Have a Different View Than Pastors

by Dr. D ~ August 17th, 2015

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Lifeway conducted a survey of the attitudes of Americans toward divorce. The data demonstrated that there is quite a contrast between the general culture and Protestant pastors on the issue. Here’s the story from One News Now:

LifeWay Research conducted separate surveys of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Protestant pastors. Respondents were present five different scenarios, then asked if divorce was a sin. One scenario was if a couple no longer loved each other; the remaining were when a wrong was committed: adultery, addiction to pornography, abuse, and abandonment.

The survey results indicate that while pastors make a distinction about divorce being a sin based on the reasons behind it, the majority of Americans believe divorce isn’t – regardless of any of the scenarios. In the case when a couple no longer loves each other, only 38 percent of Americans surveyed believe divorce is a sin.

In contrast, three of five (61%) of Protestant pastors who participated in the survey believe divorce is a sin for couples who no longer love one another.

<Read the whole article

Response: In the last 60 years or so the attitudes of Americans towards divorce have changed dramatically. There was a time in America when it was considered to be something to avoided at all costs. Among Christians it was understood to be a sin except in the case of adultery, abandonment, or abuse. Not so anymore, and divorce is just as common among Christians as the rest of the culture.

Nevertheless, Protestant pastors have a much more conservative view than the rest of society. Much of it, by looking at this data, is still based upon Biblical teaching where adultery and abandonment are clear excuses and where a case might be made also for abuse.

I found this particularly interesting in light of what is recently going on with same-sex marriage. Just a few short years ago it was totally unthinkable. Now the general American culture is well on its way towards accepting it and even many younger Christians are far more accepting of it than the older generation.

Nevertheless, pastors and church leaders and still a large number of Christians who view the Bible as authoritative in their lives will not be going along with the majority of the American culture on this issue. I also find it interesting that many Christians want to talk about traditional marriage and the Bible when comes to homosexuality but few want to talk about what it has to say about divorce.

What will America look like in 60 years or so? Many Protestant pastors and churches will still be standing with the Bible but the American culture may go the same way that it has gone with divorce- away from Biblical teaching. If so, there will still be a counter-culture of Christians who refuse to be moved.

Christianity went through this once already in the Middle Ages and then there was a revival called the Reformation that brought Biblical teaching back into the culture.                *Top

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