Divorce as considered in the Bible and the Christian's path in righteousness
Yes, I go with JT, Sr.'s words regarding divorce. He is simply stating what you and I both hold - i.e., God's intent is that marriage involves permanence and, intrinsically, a certain moral ground. His language is to the effect that marriage is to be regarded, inherently, as an inviolate relationship, and divorce is not regarded in scripture as a licensed, automatic counterpart to marriage. However, divorce is given - provided for, if you will - in Scripture and it is, in that respect, a scriptural provision. One can argue the intent of God regarding marriage and the nature of marriage as given by Him in scripture; but, this does not gainsay that divorce is also part of scripture. In certain cases it might be necessary for a Christian to enact divorce to maintain righteousness before the Lord. This is all that I am saying, and I am certain it bears the scrutiny of scripture.
Yes, the circumstances of Christians today are most humbling. Of course, that reality is in no way a license to appropriate and to settle into lower moral ground - as has been done by so many. The word is to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and Philadelphia has the accreditation that thou "hast kept my word." This is to be our part. Joshua was on his face before the Lord in the matter of Achan; but, the word of the Lord to him was distinctive - "Rise up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?" There seems to be a certain tendency with Brethren to use language indicating a need as to being humble due to the breakdown. However, while not wanting to seem unkind, I have observed that, while pious sounding, it seems to carry a general sentiment that it would be unhumble to "contend earnestly." Prophesy not again, they said to Amos.
The proper ground for fellowship in scripture is that one is found righteous. This righteous state is inherent to walking with the Lord, and inherent to walking rightly with the saints - "if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another" (1John1:7). If we cannot "judge righteous judgment" it indicates the activity of the natural will. Such activity, at best, grieves the Holy Spirit. Without divine intervention, the result of that grieving will typically lead to a further drifting away from the truth. The "navigation system", speaking reverently, that the Christian has through the Holy Spirit will have become affected.
The ultimate danger is that a saint(s) becomes "fixed" in the inability to properly judge. I told a brother approximately fifteen years ago that, speaking generally, the saints appeared to have an inability - a dullness allowed by and fixed on them by the Lord - to come to full and proper judgments as to the vital features and causes of this current declension. He instantly agreed. I trust your possession of certain, relevant facts to declension here locally over fifty years ago can help you as considering them prayerfully before the Lord to come to a proper assessment of those matters - the initial leaven of these matters linked as they are to subsequent failures of those we refer to as brethren around the world - substantial and sorrowful failures as known to us both. Through no immediate fault of your own - you were subjected to gross and abusive wrestings of the truth as a youth, and were, manifestly, unable to extricate yourself to any degree until relatively recent years.
Through the Lord's much grace, I was never involved in any of those departures. I have my own sin, of course; but, it was not any of that, and I believe I have a relatively clear-eyed view of the nature of this sobering declension. I say to you again that all these peripheral matters as to which you are occupied carry no import relative to this general failure of brethren in the last fifty-plus years . In matters of iniquity and departure, we each need to clear ourselves before the Lord, and to follow the Paul's admonition in 2nd Timothy to pursue righteousness with others who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.
With love in Christ,
_____ 26 Aug 2012