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When Is It Okay to Divorce?

When Is It Okay to Divorce?

Divorce affects a lot of people in our community. Many people in the church have been through it themselves. Some are in the midst of divorce right now. And many people know about divorce from a different angle, growing up with two homes—one for mommy, and one for daddy.

As a pastor, one of the questions I get more than any other is this: “Is it okay to divorce? To remarry? If so, when?” Sadly, many Christians talk about divorce as if it’s the unforgivable sin, the one line in life that once you cross it, you can never really recover from. It’s as if you are wearing a Scarlet D that demonstrates to God and the world that you are a divorcée, and a second class Christian. But that’s a lie.

It’s interesting to think about the current debates surrounding divorce, because the same question I get all the time was alive and well during Jesus’ day. In fact, some of the same answers were given then that are still given today. But Jesus’ gospel-centered answer on divorce was counter-cultural and transformative—both in his day and in ours.

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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.