Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Gay Marriage vs. Remarriage Hypocrisy

I've been struggling a lot with the notion that many Christians are hypocrites (myself included).  One particular area I struggle with is the way we as Christians treat homosexuality and gay marriage.  It's not that I disagree with what the bible says about it.  What I struggle with is the hypocrisy in the church to mark that as clearly wrong and sinful, and overlook the sin of remarriage between a man and a woman.  I've been searching scripture lately and I sincerely cannot find one clear verse that seems to permit a person to remarry unless that person's spouse has died.  The only verse that comes close is this one:

 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:9 NASB

I suppose from that verse alone we can conclude that if your spouse cheats on you and you leave them, you are permitted to remarry someone else.  Yet there are other verses that contradict that idea.  Here are a few:

"A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:39 NASB

 "And He *said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." Mark 10:11-12 NASB

So is it okay or isn't it?  I wish it were clearer.  There are far more verses that suggest that it's never okay than suggest that it's okay in the context of adultery being committed.  And what about when there hasn't been adultery and people simply can't make it work and find someone else?  All across the country there are conservative churches that will recognize the remarriage of couples who join their church.  They don't call it an adulterous relationship even though the bible does.  They don't insist that the couple absolve their union.   

I can't figure out the double standard.  The gay marriage will never be recognized, but the remarriage between a man and a woman seems to somehow be grandfathered in as okay.  We say, "They repented of their sin so therefore it is valid", but we don't extend the same courtesy to a gay couple who does the same thing.  

I literally have no answers for my own questions.  But I know I feel like something is remiss.  Why do we allow some things and not others?  Why do we ostracize an entire group of people, yet welcome another?  I just don't know.  


  1. How interesting! I just had a conversation about divorce with a friend the other day. Both my mom and sister are married to divorced men - one for adultery and the other not. It's particularly frustrating as my mom is so harsh about my own situation. I think we tend to look over a lot of "sins" that have just become "normal" in our culture. You should read a book called "Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins we Tolerate." It's a great book and takes on that hole "little" sin "big" sin debate. Thanks for asking the tough questions!

  2. I think the key here is repentence. Someone who repents after a divorce has admitted he has sinned, repented, and asked for forgiveness. I feel like homosexuals don't repent for being gay because they do not believe it is a sin. There is a big difference.