My father was an evangelist and my mother, sister and I were going to join him in his full-time ministry. It wasn’t long before we were on the road. For me that road stretched over four years of time; I lost track of the number of miles and faces.
Who says dual leadership won’t work?? Who says some one person has to make the ultimate decision? This is not a “truth” that I find explicitly stated in Scripture, nor is it one that has panned out in real life in every case. I would suggest that it is in the category of “old-husbands’ tales” that have been taken as gospel truth for far too long.
Confronted with the breakdown of the traditional family, we as Christians wonder how to minister to people in non-traditional family structures, and we also wonder what standards we should uphold in our own families.
The Hebrew view of marital sex, in contrast with Neoplatonism and early church, was not celibate. The Jews were never prudish about sex. The best evidence of this is the high place Solomon's Song of Songs, an ancient collection of poems on courtship and love, holds in the canon of Hebrew Scripture and in the worship of the synagogues, where it is usually read on the 8th day of Passover.
For whatever our experience of singleness, be it freedom and joyous fulfillment or agonizing aloneness, our life this side of eternity will never be what God originally intended in creation. Regardless of our marital status, we cannot escape the human condition of fallenness.
When we tell a woman that the Lord hates divorce, why do we fail to add that the same verse declares God’s hatred of violence? “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering his wife with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty.
In Jesus’ day some Pharisees allowed husbands to divorce their wives for almost any reason, but the law did not permit wives to divorce their husbands. The wife had no legal recourse to prevent the divorce. In a society where only men received fair pay for their work, divorce put women at a severe economic disadvantage.
What I am against is the disgusting and deceptive way that some use the Bible to oppress and manipulate faithful, honest church folks. The SBC’s recent “statement on the family,” which faculty members at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary were asked to sign, presents a case in point.