This is a copy of the letter I sent to friends, relatives and pastors
To the friends & family
of Cheryl Chrisman
I’m writing to let you know why I have left my husband (Name Deleted).
It’s not that I don’t love him, and it’s not that he has wronged me. I don’t know what you may have already heard through the grapevine – probably that I have done something weird, crazy, inexplicable, stupid (take your pick.) And I’m sure that to most people it seems that way. So I’m writing to explain, to set the record straight, and to let you know how I feel and what I think – though after reading this most of you will probably still think I’m crazy, or whatever…
After much prayer and stress on my soul I have concluded that I must write this. I wish with all of my heart that I didn’t have to – that the church would teach the biblical truth in this matter, as the early church once taught, and as most churches taught up to about half a century ago.
The plain fact of the matter is that the Christian church of yesteryear taught that remarriage while a previous spouse was living is adultery. And that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.
However, today there are hardly any churches or pastors left who teach this. Why? There are many reasons, but perhaps the main one is that pastors are afraid of having people leave their congregation. For if they teach this truth today, many people will be offended and leave. So they teach something else, and over many decades they have come to believe themselves that what they teach is the truth. They do not actually lie, since they don’t know the truth, but what they teach is a lie, and it causes enormous grief and destruction in society and in the church – to the point where it must be asked whether most churches in America still deserve to be called Christian, or whether they have become something else.
Yes, I know these are fighting words, and many will be hurt by them, but they need to be said. I don’t mean to hurt anyone, nor cause anyone grief, but I can’t keep quiet while this truth is being suppressed everywhere.
I know that this is a very lengthy letter, but I hope you will read it all. To make it more accessible I have divided it into three parts:
– What happened
– Why I did it
– Who convinced me
– and at the end there are a few words in conclusion.
So – part one: What happened:
I married a divorced man with previous spouses living. On November 16, 2004, after three years of marriage, while studying the Bible and many other sources about this subject, the Holy Spirit convicted me of being in a state of adultery. I felt as if I had been struck by lightning.
I did not want to make a quick or rash decision about the matter – I wanted to make sure that this was of the Lord. But the more I searched, the more I found that I had not misunderstood – that this was indeed the truth. And as I wept and prayed before the Lord, asking him to forgive me of not obeying him, He brought to my attention that before I married, He had tried to show me in his Word that marrying a divorced person was wrong. But I chose to listen to the popular belief of the modern church and most modern pastors that remarriage was allowed under certain circumstances – such as adultery or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. I went into this marriage believing that you could be remarried because of the so-called “fornication clause” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 19:9 and because of the supposed unbelieving spouse abandonment clause that Paul stated in Corinthians.
I have since repented of my adulterous marriage. I have left (Name Deleted). It hurt very much to do so, but I could not stay in a state of adultery. To civil society and to current law what I have done is divorce, but the way I see it – and the way Christians throughout the ages have seen it – I have stopped living in adultery. The adulterous relationship was not (name deleted)’s fault, he didn’t know about this any more than I did. Though I should have known, and would have known if I had listened to the Lord three years ago.
So why can’t I repent of the remarriage and go on with my marriage to (Name Deleted)? The Holy Spirit showed me that you cannot get forgiveness until you forsake the sin. Which simply means to stop doing it – or at the very least try to stop doing it, for there are sins into which we fall and stumble, which aren’t so easy to stop doing. But marriage is not something you stumble into. When you wake up in the morning, in the cold light of day, you are still married. The only way to forsake the sin of remarriage is to stop being married. I challenge you find in the Bible where you can ask Christ to forgive you and at the same time deliberately continue in the sin.
Many falsely believe that you are allowed to remarry if your previous spouse committed adultery. I believed this too, but after careful study of the Scriptures I discovered that this simply is not so. As I struggled with this issue, some tried to comfort me by saying that I was forgiven. But I had no peace with this. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was upon me until I repented. Some told me that I was adding works to salvation. Where in the Holy Scripture is repentance and turning from a sin a work? Scripture tells us that if we don’t repent and forsake the sin we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
While working through this, I have found some other Christian couples who have fallen under the same conviction of the Holy Spirit – and also have repented of their adulterous remarriages. I have received emails with their testimonies. I thought I was all alone in this repentance, but now I see that God is beginning to wake up not only me but perhaps many Christians in America and throughout the world. Waking us up to the plight of this culture of divorce remarriage which He hates.
I have even found instances where pastors have repented of what they used to teach, and are now boldly preaching the truth about divorce and remarriage. One pastor said the he had been compromising in this area all of his life, and that he spent a full night on his knees repenting to God. These repentant pastors are risking it all – their career, their paycheck, their reputation, their friends – to stand and preach the truth on this issue. Praise God!
Part two – why I did what I did:
Of course, I have said some of this already. What I believe about remarriage – that it is adultery – is clear from what I have written above. But there is more to be said – about why I changed my mind, why I no longer believe as I used to. I don’t expect anyone to be convinced by what I write simply because I say so, but I hope that this may serve as an introduction to the issue, and a starting point from where to read more. For there is more, much more.
There is no way that I can cover all scriptures and arguments in this letter, but here are a few:
In Romans 7 Paul gives no exceptions – only death breaks the covenant of marriage:
Romans 7:2,3 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Almost all modern day preachers think that because of the “fornication” clause in Matthew you can remarry because of adultery:
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication (or uncleaness porneia), and marries another woman commits adultery (moikeia).
Notice that the Greek word for fornication is “porneia” and the Greek word for adultery is “moikea.” Also, please note that this “except for fornication” clause is not found in Mark or Luke. This is because Matthew was writing to Jews. The Jews had a betrothal period before marriage. This was somewhat like our engagement period today, but more legally binding.
I’m sure you know the story how Mary was found to be with child before they were married, and Joseph was going to put her away until the angel of the Lord intervened. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he assumed she had been fornicating because he knew that he was not responsible for Mary’s pregnancy. Therefore he could have ‘put away’ his fiancée because of fornication. Notice that the Bible refers to Mary as Joseph’s wife before they were married:
Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife,
Matt. 1:20 … Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife…
The Jewish betrothal was begun with a proposal and a commitment made in the presence of witnesses. It was beyond the private promise made in modern engagements, and was considered legally binding. Furthermore, espoused partners were referred to as husband and wife (see Matthew 1:19 and 20 – “Joseph her husband” and “Mary thy wife.”) Therefore to break an espousal in Jewish society required a legal separation – a writing of divorcement equivalent to that required of married couples.
Jesus’ exception, quoted only in Matthew, was aimed at this Jewish situation. He was saying that divorce is wrong, except when putting away an espoused partner who has been unfaithful before marriage.
However, Mark and Luke were written to the Gentiles. That’s us. We have no betrothal period, so the “fornication clause” does not apply. Here are the texts from Mark and Luke. Notice that they have no such “fornication clause”:
Mark 10:11-12 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
It doesn’t take an education at a seminary or a degree in Greek to understand what the Bible plainly says about divorce and remarriage while the previous spouse still lives. The Bible says nothing about killing an unborn baby, but no Christian would argue that it is wrong. There aren’t many places in the New Testament which speak of homosexuality, but we plead with the homosexual to repent of his sinful relationship. But the Bible, and especially the New Testament, contains many passages concerning marriage and divorce, yet the church is so confused about the issue.
There are many objections. One is, “God didn’t consider my former marriage valid since my partner and I weren’t Christians.” Where does Scripture teach this? It is simply not taught anywhere. There are many places in scripture where God recognized sinners’ marriages. Dr. Webb lists some of these scriptures in his sermon on the enclosed CD.
Another common objection is that God would not want a happy marriage to end. Really? God will justify sin if it makes us happy? Where in Scripture does God want happiness instead of holiness? I’m not saying that God doesn’t want us happy, but he wants us happy on his terms. He is able to provide us with all the happiness we need. Our happiness is his concern. As Americans we have the right to “the pursuit of happiness,” but as Christians we must pursue holiness. If we pursue holiness, God will provide our happiness.
Christ was acquainted with many sorrows. The disciples and the apostles suffered greatly for Christ’s sake. The Happiness & Feel Good doctrine preached throughout modern churchianity is not Christianity. Jesus never promised that the Christian walk would always be easy. He demands our complete obedience even when it flies in the face of the modern church, society and our own happiness! Christ did not die to make us happy, he died to make us holy. He died to cleanse us from our sins, not apply a band-aid of grace so we could continue in them.
I could certainly have found some kind of scriptural excuse to stay in my marriage. Does anyone think that I wanted to leave a man I loved with all my heart? But I had chosen to enter into a doubtful marriage, not listening to God telling me through his Holy Spirit and his Word that it was wrong. So I had to repent, I had to leave. I was definitely not happy about it, but happiness was not the issue. Obedience was the issue, and still is. Above all, I want to do the will of God. And I want to spend eternity with him in heaven. The Bible clearly says that no adulterer will enter the kingdom of heaven. And that remarriage while a former spouse still lives is adultery – adultery that must be repented of and forsaken.
Now to part three – who convinced me:
Of course, I believe that God was the one who convinced me. The Holy Spirit would not let me go until I saw the truth. But as he always does, he used human helpers.
I am sure that most truly born again remarried Christians with their previous spouses still living have doubted at some point about the spiritual validity of their remarriage because they have heard enough from Scripture to put just little doubt into their hearts. Those who take this doubt seriously, as I finally did, will want to review the same material I have. This material is not easy to find, as opposed to the multitude of sermons, articles and books trying to explain away the truth, which can be found more or less everywhere. Therefore I have included extracts from several sources I have found, along with the internet links where this material can be found in full.
First of all: I have enclosed two CDs with a sermon by Dr. Joseph Webb and a radio talk broadcast with Rev. Stephen Wilcox. I wish with all my heart that some pastor or preacher could have preached Dr. Webb’s sermon to me before I married. He refutes the reasons and excuses pastors and preachers give to allow divorced people to remarry. He put to rest any remaining doubts I had about the remarriage of divorced persons in the light of Holy Scripture. Had I heard this before marriage, it would have saved me much heartache and despair. I guarantee that you’ve never heard a preacher in your local church preach what Dr. Webb preaches. If you listen to these CDs, I hope the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to the many falsehoods being preached about divorce and remarriage in the modern churches.
What is on these CDs, and many more resources for finding the truth, are available at www.marriagedivorce.com, the website of Rev. Stephen Wilcox. Wilcox has written an article which covers the complete history of the early church views on this matter, along with historical facts and information about when and where the lies or remarriage crept into the church. Another article, “What Jesus Said About Divorce & Remarriage” by Bishop Arne Rudvin, is specifically about the words of Jesus on this subject, especially about the “porneia exception” which so many have misunderstood. And there is much else as well. If you don’t have internet access I will gladly provide printed copies of these articles for you.
At www.lornematthews.com you can find the music and marriage ministry of Lorne and Ruth Matthews, who also teach the truth about divorce and remarriage. At www.hardtruth.net there is a website discussion forum where I am currently involved in a discussion about this issue. Anyone can join the discussion. And if you visit my own website www.cadz.net I have links to the articles mentioned above, and others as well, covering all Scripture on the issue, both New and Old Testament, and many of the various objections.
As you can see, I have also enclosed the essay “Do You Have Any Doubts About Remarriage?” by Rick Frederick, and also four chapter excerpts from “Holy Matrimony” by Dirk Evenhuis. The whole book is available from www.holymatrimony.org. It is rather lengthy, but if you are really a lover of the truth you will read it. It really was an eye opener to me and I hope it will be an eye opener to you as well. Here is a small excerpt from the book’s chapter 11:
“Let us now examine Christ’s words to Israel through Matthew. “It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32). Recent translators have displayed their ignorance of Jewish life and taken license to substitute the words `marital unfaithfulness’ for the clearly understood word fornication. They have argued from the Greek, their right to such license However we would make this fact perfectly clear. Never once does our Lord say fornication when He means adultery, and never once does He say adultery when He means fornication. In Matthew, and Matthew only, Christ deals with the exceptive clause of fornication for the Jews for they understood perfectly what He was saying. Nowhere in all scripture has adultery ever had any dissolving or annulling effect upon the marriage bond. Christ clearly resisted Moses’ concession to the hard hearted and introduces absolutely no such grounds as `marital unfaithfulness’ for the dissolving of a marriage covenant.”
“Does not 2 Corinthians 5:17 allow remarriage because it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”?”
Some men and women feel that they can remarry another even if they are guilty of divorcing their first spouse. They appeal to 2 Corinthians 5:17 and interpret it to mean “the old things (sin of divorce) are passed away… all things are become new (forgiveness means I can marry again in ‘the Lord,’ now).” No one is doubting that the Lord can forgive the sin of divorcing a spouse, but this does not mean that remarriage to a new partner, even though he or she may be a “Christian”, would not then be considered adultery by our Lord.
If someone unlawfully divorced his wife, and repents, then he is forgiven for that sin, yes. But the Law still says if he marries another he would be committing adultery. For example, scripture does NOT say, at Luke 16:18, “Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: But if he repents of divorcing his wife, then he is free to remarry.” It does not even imply that. Just because we are forgiven for one sin (divorce), does not allow us to ignore the law in another area (remarriage). That law is still binding.
To give an example from scripture, when a thief stole under the Old Testament, he was to shed the blood of a goat, and then he would have to pay restitution. He would be forgiven for that sin by the goat’s blood, but he would still be bound to pay restitution. There are still consequences to his forgiven sin. And under the New Testament, if a thief stole something, and repented and believed in the blood of Jesus Christ, that thief would still have to pay restitution to those he stole from. Just because he was forgiven by God for his sin of stealing, it does not mean he is free to ignore the law of restitution to people. That law is still binding upon him.
Likewise, just because God forgives a man for his sin of divorce, it does not mean he is free to ignore the law of re-marriage to people. Even though the thief was forgiven, there are still consequences…paying restitution for his theft. And even though the man who divorced was forgiven, there are still consequences…he cannot re-marry once divorced. That law is still binding upon him. Forgiveness in one area does not permit disobedience in another.
Before I finish I would like to include a quote from activist, Elroy McKinley: (McKinley’s Full Article Here)
A divorced man who remarries is entering into an adulterous relationship. And it’s not just a relationship; it’s an adulterous lifestyle because the remarried man chooses to continue living in the adulterous relationship for the rest of his life (or until he divorces and remarries again). However, if you ask this adulterous man if he is still a Christian, he will say something like, “I believe God has forgiven me and I’m now living under his grace.” And ask him if he’s willing to leave his current wife in order to “turn from his adulterous lifestyle,” and he will refuse because “God’s grace has already saved him.” But this is the same man who earlier claimed that the homosexual must turn from his “sinful” lifestyle as a condition of receiving God’s grace.
. . .
The Religious Right is nearly half-full with people living in continuous adulterous lifestyles, and those who are not remarried fully accept their remarried brothers and sisters without question. They even perform their adulterous marriage ceremonies in their churches. Yet they have the gall to preach from their pulpits or shout through the airwaves that God wants us to stop the world from accepting homosexuals the same way they have been accepted by God.
Jesus warned us not to be like the servant who was forgiven his debt by the grace of his lord but then used the legal system to throw a fellow slave in jail. The Religious Right, however, claim God’s grace for their own lifestyle sins but then turn around and give tremendous amounts of time and money to use the legal system against homosexuals.
It is a double standard. It is a mockery. If Christ took their sins to the cross, and became an adulterer through propitiation before burying that sin in the ground, then Christ also took the gay person’s sin to the cross and became a homosexual before burying that sin in the ground. The Religious Right, and everyone else, should either accept that God’s grace covers all of us, including those living in sinful lifestyles, or that none of us are covered. They should either condemn their remarried members or shut up about those among us who are gay.
But they don’t. And we are left to wonder why.
Why do they pick on one “sinful” lifestyle but not their own? Why homosexuality and not adultery? They say it’s because homosexuality is damaging our families and hurting our children. But which is really worse? Over 50% of American parents get divorced. Most of those remarry. Over 50% of our children have their families torn apart and then merged with the families of strangers (causing a lot of sexual abuse on children by step-parents). But less than 5% of the population is homosexual. Even if they had twice as many relationships as heterosexuals do, they could not possibly cause the kind of damage that heterosexual divorce and remarriage does.
The former vice-president of Focus on the Family, a leading Religious Right organization, stated in his book, “James Dobson’s War on America” (Dobson is the founder and president) that when their donations went down, they could simply broadcast a scary special about the gay agenda (or the evil women’s movement or the even more evil abortion rights groups – but never remarried people since that would drive away nearly half of their listeners) and their revenues would increase substantially.
There are some very eye opening truths in Mr. McKinley’s article. Homosexuals understand what the Bible says about remarriage – but so few Christians know, or should I say “want to know.” It’s pretty sad when a homosexual can see the hypocrisy of the modern church and most Christians cannot.
Mr. McKinley is not alone in this observation – other homosexuals as well have challenged us to prove that marriage is worth keeping. They are basically saying – and they are quite right, as shocking as it may be – that a homosexual “marriage” by two people who love each other and are committed to each other, is every bit as valid and every bit a biblical as remarriage while your first spouse is still living. Basically, these homosexuals are stuffing our feet in our own mouths as evangelical Christians, leaving us with no moral authority to make the argument against homosexual marriages. Few Christian leaders, pastors and preachers purporting to want to rebuild our families will even touch on this sin of divorce and remarital adultery lying under the skirts of the church. The homosexual activists are using this against us, and doing a very efficient job.
This should shock the church back to it senses, to look at this subject in light of God’s word. But is this happening? On any given Sunday morning a large portion of the people sitting in the churches of America – including their pastors – are either adulterers or fornicators according to biblical standards. They are in violation of God’s holy Word, and are unwittingly taking the lead in tearing down and desecrating the American family. In fact, so bad is this situation, that the divorce rate in the church is 4% higher than the nation as a whole – and in the “Bible belt” with the greatest concentration of so-called evangelical churches, the divorce rate is 50% higher than in the nation as a whole! With such a situation, how can we ever be capable of winning any culture wars? This is basically the pot calling the kettle black.
I don’t know of a single prominent ministry in this country, especially those that purport to be rebuilding the family, which will focus on their own constituency and address them on the issue of divorce and remarriage. They will not do it. So now we the church have set ourselves up for absolute defeat. We have absolutely no moral authority to speak against the homosexuals who insist on their “right” to “marriage.” We don’t have righteousness in this nation, we don’t even have righteousness in the church. In our nation pastors have a divorce rate that is the second highest in this country! If this sounds unbelievable, check the statistics for yourself! Visit www.saveus.org for the statistics. George Barna, pollster to the church, has spent the last ten years gathering statistics on this and many other issues involving the church.
Until the church from pulpit to pew repents of this matter, the church is and will continue to be powerless in winning the lost. Racked with its own adultery and fornication, it has the nerve to hypocritically point the finger at homosexuals and their lifestyle – while preachers and pastors remain silent on divorce and remarriage. Homosexuals make up about 5% of the population but have more of an impact on society than the church does.
Christ is returning for a spotless bride. Will he find it in the American churches? Why would a homosexual want to enter our church gates if all he sees is hypocrisy on our part? I can’t blame the homosexuals; I no longer want to attend many of the so-called Christian churches of our day either. Since the religious leaders of our day remain silent, it is we the “rocks” who cry out against the unrighteousness within the church walls. If someone doesn’t speak against this, the church will spiral more toward the apostate church predicted by Christ in the end times. I cringe now when I hear a pastor speak of the sin of homosexuals, while not willing to speak of the sin of remarital adultery! Just because our denominations have changed their interpretations of the scriptures in the last 50 years does not mean that the word of God has changed.
Finally – in conclusion:
On Nov. 16, 2004 the Holy Spirit convicted me of being in adultery. Since then I have diligently searched the Scriptures to make sure this is so. When various pastors tried to comfort me, encourage me and pray for me I found no peace until I repented of the adulterous relationship. I believe that the Holy Spirit is trying to open not only my eyes, but the eyes of many remarried adulterers – however, the preachers and pastors just explain away the scriptures. And the convicted souls accept this, finally quenching the conviction of the Spirit. They will then feel a false peace – a “peace” which is not peace, merely the absence of conviction.
So what must we do? We must be like the Bereans in Acts, searching the scriptures ourselves to see whether the pastor or preacher says is so. Our souls must not rest on the opinions of men, but on “what saith the Lord thy God.” “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”
Many denominations have reinterpreted what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage, and now we are reaping the evil fruits of these misinterpretations. The divorce rate among Christians is higher than in the rest of the nation! Everyone is doing what is right in his or her own eyes. Preachers will tell you whatever you want to hear. Most of it is a blend of psychology, popular Bible quotes and American culture and good feelings. That’s basically how our theology on marriage has been reworked in the last 30 to 40 years.
What’s going on? Whatever happened to the authority of scripture? There was once a time in this country where our thoughts on divorce marriage and remarriage was almost unanimous. Even unbelievers knew what the Bible had to say. But today only one out of every 4 or 5 “born again” adults believes that divorce is sin (according to George Barna Research.) This tells us that our pastors are not teaching the truth, they are only feeding the people religious feel-good philosophy to build up the congregations and get the money flowing in.
I have not only searched the scriptures on divorce and remarriage, I have also read church denominational papers and beliefs on this issue, from the Assemblies of God to the Baptists. I have found that most have changed, dramatically, their stance on remarriage from where the church of yesteryear once stood. This has been done to please men rather than God. These church leaders think that just because they have redefined their doctrines to allow for a sinful behavior, God somehow approves! But God had not changed.
These church leaders like to take the passages of Scripture which are somewhat more vague and harder to understand, and use them to explain away the plain teaching of Scripture. This helps them justify our own selfish behaviors. Charles Finney, the great revivalist of the last century, once said that “selfishness is the whole of moral depravity,” and isn’t selfishness the whole of the current acceptance of divorce and remarriage? Why else change everything, other than to allow for the selfish desires and needs of men? This is exactly the opposite of the high calling of every Christian: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Another thing often seen in churches today, is pastors who do preach the truth, but don’t preach the whole truth. They like to skirt around the hard issues found in the Bible. But that doesn’t make those hard issues go away. They are still right there, waiting for the day when pastors again will fear God as much as they fear the opinions of their congregations. On that day we will see a revival like never before. When preachers get that kind of fear of God, we will have a revival that would make John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Dwight Moody, Charles Finney and Billy Sunday look on with awe. When I go back and read of Wesley, Edwards, and Finney’s revivals in the past centuries, I see nothing in the church of today that even remotely resembles this. This is not because there are no sinners outside the church needing salvation – it is because of the professing “born again” sinners within the church. It’s because of pastors who do not have the boldness to preach on hard issues, the boldness that can lead to true repentance, as it did in years past.
There are many churches today where the Bible is loved, preached and believed, but we almost always find that the pastors focus on only the positive side of Christianity. They will never preach on hell, they will never preach on specific sins, they will always talk about what Jesus can do for you, how he can help you to be better, how he can help you overcome this and overcome that – as if all these other things, the negative and serious things that are hard to hear are not in the Bible, when in point of fact they are.
We are so deceived. And we want to be deceived, because it is easier to be deceived than to know the truth. And there is no place where we want to be deceived more than in the realm of sexuality. People tell themselves lies until they believe those lies. That is why a pastor of a church of approximately 10,000 in southern California divorced his wife after five years. And one week after the divorce was final, he lined up seven prominent pastors across the front of his congregation to bless his remarriage! When Jack Heyford called him to task for this, he said, “God didn’t call me to marriage. He called me to ministry.” And this sort of thing is going on all over the country.
The core of the problem is that we don’t preach repentance anymore. We just don’t believe in it anymore, because to have repentance you have to hear the hard truth of the Word – the truth that gives God the Holy Spirit something to work with to bring conviction to our hearts. True repentance is what it’s going to take to turn this thing around. Instead of pointing our fingers at others – mostly at homosexuals – we must confess and repent of our own rebellion!
There is some good news. There are some who are standing up to the rot and sin of the church and the deafening silence of the pulpit. Like attorney/pastor Charles Crismier and his national radio broadcast, Viewpoint, who will speak openly and truthfully about this issue. Like pastors Steven Key, Stephen Wilcox and Joseph Webb who will not stand by and let Satan walk all over God’s precious institution of marriage. And regular ole church folk like me and many others I have corresponded with, who are standing up and no longer willing to be silent. If the pulpit wants to remain silent, let it. God is waking up people in the pews instead. God’s truth will not return to him void. The “rocks” are starting to cry out.
I wish the Lord hadn’t led me to an issue that was so controversial. But we, mankind, have made it controversial so that we may do our own will and not that of the Father. I cannot step away from this issue in fear. As I read about the Roman Empire in its last stages decay, the one thing that was so typical of those last days of decay was the prevalence of divorce, remarriage and homosexuality. The church will address homosexuality with great fervor, but will not touch divorce and remarriage. We seem to be reliving the last days of the Roman Empire .
If we don’t repent of divorce and remarriage, in 20 to 40 years we the church will be facing the same problem with homosexual couples in the church. Pastors who are fearful of preaching a repentance message to the remarried adulterers in their pews, will become just as fearful of preaching repentance to the homosexual couples who will be sitting in those same pews. Just as the church has become accustomed to remarital adultery in the last fifty years, it will become accustomed to homosexuality.
I was one of the many remarried adulteresses sitting in the pew on Sunday mornings. If I had waited for the pulpits to preach repentance and truth on this issue, I would still be in my adultery. But praise the Lord – one Saturday night the Holy Spirit and his Word convicted me. I fell and wept before the Lord and by his grace repented. And praise God, now I see many others around America waking up and repenting also!
Yours in Christ,
Radio broadcast of this testimony by Charles Crismier