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Foundations For Our Future #65

Foundations for Our Future (66)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler


Before we explore our Lord’s teaching about adultery further, it is necessary to pause and remind ourselves of the whole counsel of God. Why? Because there are so many divorces among us in 2021, and many of them were occasioned by adultery.

When I was a boy, I never had a friend whose parents were divorced. In High School I had one. By the time our daughter was in the Second Grade she came home from school one day and asked her mother: “Are you and daddy going to get divorced?” There were 17 divorces in a classroom of 23 children. From 1952 to 1984 there was a sea change in American culture. And also in the church of Jesus Christ.

Until 1973 no one could be remarried in an Anglican church who had been divorced. The General Convention that year changed the canon law of the church in America. It was explained as an act of mercy and grace for laity who had been cruelly and unjustly abandoned and divorced. They could remarry. With very strict guidelines, and the bishop’s permission, it was to be occasionally allowed. Today we have divorced and remarried men and women throughout the church, including many clergy and even bishops. Jesus taught that it should not be so. But because of the hardness of men’s hearts it is so.

Jesus also taught that there is mercy and forgiveness. He made it clear that there was a possibility, almost always, for a new start, a fresh beginning. Brokenness could be healed. Grace could cover, because of divine love, a multitude of sins.