UCTAA churchlight

Site Search via Google

Reflections on Ethics 50
Well they claim to get their morality from the Bible...

To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.

But I say unto you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:32

A couple of years ago, the Barna Group, a Christian market research group, conducted a survey in the USA on divorce.[1]

They found that the overall divorce rate in the USA was 35%. The rate for born-again Christians was exactly the same as for the general population.

There were variations among the denominations with Catholics having the lowest divorce rate at 25% and Protestants overall at 39%. Amongst the latter, Presbyterians had the lowest rate (28%) and Pentecostals the highest at 44%.

There are a lot of rules in the bible, and Christians follow some of them and ignore others. The ones in the Old Testament, with a few significant exceptions, are the ones that Christians in general feel they have a bye on. The New Testament is considered to contain the more valid and current set of rules, and those expounded by Jesus, the most valid of all.

Given Matthew 5:32, we would expect that Christians would consider divorce to be absolutely wrong except on the grounds of adultery, and remarriage also to be a sin.

So what did the survey find on Christian attitudes towards divorce where adultery is not involved?

Only one in four born-again Christians strongly agreed that divorce where no adultery has taken place is a sin.

While I find this to be an enlightened attitude, it totally undermines the claim of the majority that they get their morality from the bible. No - they only use the bible when it supports their view of what is right and wrong. Recognizing that it is wrong to be locked for a lifetime into a failed marriage, they are prepared to ignore the very words of Jesus on the matter.

Ultimately we all, Christians and non-Christians alike, make our own decisions as to right and wrong.


  1. Born Again Christians Just as Likely to Divorce as Are Non-Christians. Barna Group