If you know me, you may think this is an axe to grind. You can make that judgment call, if you will, but you must admit that there is such a thing as divorce discrimination. You won’t find it in most workplaces or in average daily life, but you will find it in the church.
Divorce discrimination is normally masked beyond Scripture. The verse in Malachi 2 about God hating divorce is often quoted. Have you ever thought that God hates other things? Is it just divorce? First, let me say that God instituted marriage with the idea that man and woman would stay together until death. However, sin entered the picture. When that happened, God clarified that divorce is not His design but He would make provision for it and grace to cover it. I am not promoting divorce, but I am saying that God gives grace and forgiveness.
As to what God hates, he gives a list in Proverbs 6: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, feet that are swift in running to mischief, the person that sows discord among brethren, etc. Don’t single out one thing because it’s your hobbyhorse!
This divorce discrimination has led many to limit what someone can or cannot do in the church. I know I will have those who disagree with me on this, quoting the “husband of one wife” phrase from I Timothy 3. This is literally translated “a one-woman man.” One can be safe going to the extreme right with this. However, God constantly used throughout Scripture those who would be considered disqualified today…adulterers, prostitutes, liars, thieves, etc.
Now for a few modern examples. Even the most conservative people carry a Scofield Bible, and C. I. Scofield was divorced. Charles Stanley (pastor of FBC Atlanta and founder of In Touch Ministries) is divorced. So is John Hagee and the late John Osteen (father of Joel Osteen and founder of Lakewood Church). God will use those He chooses.
Be careful in going too far with this divorce issue. There are great people out there who love the Lord and happen to be divorced. They still have something to offer other than their money into your offering plate. We still have gifts and abilities useful for the kingdom work. Feel free to disagree. Disagree or not, God has the final say!