from Pastor Blain

August 2008


"pray with me"

On Sunday mornings, we are now at the 19th Chapter of Matthew.  I have decided to skip past the first 12 verses which deal primarily with the subject of divorce.  This is highly unusual for me, and so I would like to explain the reason for this decision. 

Knowing that Dennis preached four sermons on the subject of divorce and remarriage out of Matt 5:31-32, Dennis and I have always planned to have him preach Matt 19:1-12.  Because Dennisí sermons represented a thorough handling of the subject matter, we both believed that having him preach on Matt 19:1-12 would be a wise stewardship of time and resources. 

Over the last few weeks, I have not had peace with this original plan.  Dennis ministered in the Czech Republic as we approached this passage, is presently readjusting to life back at home, and is not in position to begin this series.  I also for other reasons believe that it would be better to forgo having Dennis preach these messages. 

I believe that Dennisí prior sermons out of Matthew 5 thoroughly present what our Church teaches on this subject.  I am making these sermons available this morning on the back table for any of you who would like to listen to them.  I do not think that most in the congregation need further teaching on the subject of divorce and remarriage.  If they do, listening to Dennisís prior sermons should suffice. 

But I know that there are a people in our Church who do not agree with what our Church teaches on divorce and remarriage. Talking with a few of these people, I now realize that they still feel we have not addressed several questions which linger in their minds.  I would like to take some time to identify these questions, study the answers to these questions from Scripture and communicate either just with them or perhaps compose a position paper on the subject of divorce and remarriage available to whomever would like to read it.   

I am not planning on preparing a complete treatment of this rather large subject knowing that there are several well written and comprehensive books that are available presenting the various views.  My intent would be to focus on the specific questions that people in our congregation feel we have not addressed thus far. 

The main issue is whether or not Scripture allows for divorce amongst Christians.  There are some in our Church who believe that Scripture forbids all divorce by a Christian.  This is a position held by other respected theologians, but this is not the majority position.  The majority position is the position that our Church teaches.  In brief, our Church teaches that, even though all agree that God hates divorce, divorce and remarriage are permitted by Christians under certain conditions identified as Biblical exceptions to Godís general commandment against divorce. 

It certainly does not matter to our Elder Board which view is the majority view.  We desire that our Doctrinal Statement accurately reflect the correct interpretation of Godís Word no matter what others may believe.  Being in the minority is the place to be if Godís Word is being handled accurately. 

Thus I am planning on moving forward this Sunday with Matthew 19:13-15.  Later I will return to the subject of divorce and remarriage and respond in a manner which seems best to the Elder Board.   

I understand that for some in our Church, this is a delicate, weighty, and difficult issue.  I would urge all of you to pray for me as I seek the Lordís guidance as to what would best meet the needs of our congregation.  Certainly each of us has the responsibility to treat this and all doctrinal issues as ďBereansĒ, Acts 17:11:

            Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word
            with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

 Feel free to E-mail me if you have questions concerning this subject.

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427