As if divorce doesn't come with enough sense of shame, despair, hopelessness, failure, and regret in the first place... ahem.
In this particular case, in light of Mr. Piper's position paper on divorce and remarriage, this individual presented two questions to me:
- If you're divorced and remarried, does God look at this as an adulterous union?
- When you remarry, are you still married to your first husband in God’s eyes? Where does that leave your second marriage?
After a few days of reflection, prayer, and asking spiritual counsel from a church leader who's been a pastor far longer than I've been a pastor, I began the conversation with a disclaimer:
To be fair, I come at this knowing the particular theological perspective behind Mr. Piper's position paper will fundamentally conflict with the Wesleyan perspective I bring to these questions, and with the perspective of any woman appointed to a pastoral position, much less a woman who pastors after being remarried—such as myself.
To a certain extent, I agree. Where theological perspectives differ on this topic, though, is at the point of concern with implications of regeneration, or "new life," of the believer in Christ, as far as that "new life" includes remarriage as a Christian. It so happens I've personally been blessed beyond all comprehension by God's mercy shed through a denomination which has extended an enormous amount of grace to me, in respect to Jesus' compassion for fallen women and His baffling elevation of "the worst of sinners." Suffice to say, from my unique context, entering the discussion around Mr. Piper's paper comes with acknowledged bias and a grain or two of theological salt.
Thus prefaced with an agreement to hold loosely our differences over denominational leanings, may they be toward either law or grace, I offered the best response I could. Now I offer it here, for any fellow traveler who can make use of it, with the prayer that God will use these words for His good work in restoring others by His grace. Wherever we lack wisdom, may the Spirit of wisdom teach us gently, walking closely with us in the Lord's great mercy and forgiveness.