Navigating Abuse, Divorce, and Building Marriages in a Culture of Marital Breakdown; Pastors Weigh In

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(Photo: Unsplash/Jeremy Wong Weddings)

For most sincere Christians, hesitancy abounds as to whether it is ever permissible to recommend divorce. 

Yet many Christians found it appalling that one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s leading figures, Paige Patterson, said that he never counseled couples to get a divorce even in abusive situations (though he advised temporary separation in severe cases). 

In the wake of the controversy surrounding Patterson’s comments as well as the #metoo movement — exposing the epidemic of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse — that began escalating last fall, The Christian Post spoke with an Illinois pastor, a marriage counselor, and a Methodist layman who facilitates DivorceCare in his church to find out how they advise couples who are having marital problems. 

They addressed Scripture, relational dynamics, and the challenges and general messiness of ministering in a culture ravaged by abuse, divorce, and family disintegration.

Illinois Pastor on Scripture misunderstandings and connecting with the heart of God

Neil Schori, 42, who pastors a Edge Church in Aurora, Illinois, believes Christians hesitate when it comes to when divorce is allowed partly because of the high rate of divorce in the U.S.

“We rightfully have a concern as Christians, who are called to forgiveness and reconciliation, and it makes a lot of sense that we would be contending for marriage. I think where it gets a little skewed is that there is a fundamental misunderstanding scripturally, about what God calls our marriages to be,” he told CP.

In addition to misunderstanding, a…

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