Daily Archives: April 19, 2011
Monica’s Longer Arguments No Better than the Tweets, part 2
Monica, who goes on Twitter as @Monicks, has thousands of followers. Why? Her arguments are even more vacuous than most. I think I got hooked into this for the same reason I follow @antitheistangie (Angie Jackson)–not for intellectual arguments or deep thinking, but because she’s really, really hot.
That said, let’s examine one of the remaining two commands of the Bible that no one follows. It’s interesting that I mentioned I’m following Angie because she’s super hot, since divorce (Mk 10:8-12) is today’s topic.
I agree that divorce is forbidden; so what? The people that God declares righteous in the Bible: were they perfect and without sin? No! Abraham lied numerous times. Jacob deceived his brother and his father to be the heir of promise. David slept with another man’s wife, then conspired to have the husband killed. Peter denied Jesus three times. Paul killed and tortured Christians to get them to renounce their faith in Jesus.
If we had to come before God with our works, we’d all be screwed. Especially me! I just admitted to a sin in the introduction of this post–looking at a woman besides my wife with lust! The righteous live by faith.
So, at the end of the day, the truth of Christianity doesn’t rise or fall on the actions of its practitioners. If it did, this religion would never have gotten off the ground.
But that’s getting away from the central issue of ignoring divorce. We’ll come back to the idea that the actions of Christians isn’t the arbiter of the truth of Christianity in a moment. First, let’s look at the parallel passage in Matthew 19:9, which reads, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (emphasis added). This is a twist on our story.
The translation “sexual immorality” really isn’t the best way to capture the Greek word that Matthew used. The NET Bible translates it simply “immorality.” The word is properly understood as separating parts from the whole or destroying the union or fellowship of [something]. I take this to mean that anything that destroys the fellowship of marriage (beating your wife, gazing with lust upon Angie Jackson, creating an unsafe home environment, physically or emotionally abusing your children) should be grounds for divorce. Sexual immorality is only the tip of the iceberg.
So, divorce is permissible if one of the partners destroys the solidarity of the marriage. Other passages confirm this (check 1 Cor 7:10-16).
Do I think that all Christian divorces are taking place because someone broke up the solidarity of the marriage? No! I’m not naive. I know that some Christian divorces occur for the same frivolous reasons as the unbelievers’ divorces: “We’re not compatible anymore;” “I didn’t know he snored that loud!” “She nags me everyday.”
That brings us full circle: the truth of Christianity doesn’t rely on the actions of its practitioners. If it did, this religion wouldn’t have survived for very long, because all of us are sinners–whether we lie about our marital status to save our own skin, deceive our closest family to wrongfully obtain an inheritance, or secretly wish Angie was wearing something skimpier in the latest video.
Tomorrow, we shall show that atheists truly don’t think very deeply about possible meanings of biblical texts. They read what is there and that’s it.