On March 26, SIFC sent a letter in response to the Moody Bible Institute’s pleas to donate to meet an 8% shortfall in their semi-annual fundraising goals. SIFC pointed out that it was unconscionable for a growing number of us to fund a considerable portion of their programming because it encourages people to remain in, rather than repent of, their sin of “marrying” someone else’s covenant spouse under the nation’s immoral divorce laws. The hope was that they would seriously consider the eternal consequences of this policy and practice, that the Holy Spirit would convict somehow. They were kind enough to respond, and not to send a canned form letter, but the content of that response was better left unsaid. I share it with our readers now:
April 3, 2017
Thank you for listening to Moody Radio, for your past financial and prayer support, and for taking time to write expressing your concerns about Family Life Ministries feature FamilyLife Blended with Ron Deal.
I can understand your concern for any programming content that would “sanction legalized adultery”. I will be standing right beside you on that. However I fail to see where the content in the programs you listed are sanctioning adultery.
May I take your thoughts a little further on the topic, beyond the thought that divorce led to the creation of a blended family? Ron Deal at FamilyLife could give you more specific information, but we are learning that many people who come to Christ ater in life are from broken homes. We receive emails nearly every week, mainly from Christian women, that their spouse has divorced / left them, some recently. We also know of Christians who are widows or widowers who remarry. In fact, several years after my grandfather died, my 82 year old grandmother remarried a wonderful widower.
Most churches do not address the unique issues that are present in these Blended Families. We believe that the feature and FamilyLife Ministries is helping these marriages and families not only to survive but possibly thrive by providing helpful information not available anywhere else.
[“Standerinfamilycourt”], I’m sorry that I don’t have the audio to send you, but here is the script of one of the first FamilyLife Blended features.
What would you do if your fiancé told you she was pregnant and it wasn’t your child? I heard about one man that found himself in that very situation. He was distraught, he was hurt, and he chose to walk away. I mean, after all, the responsibilities were not his. But then the Spirit of God let Joseph know that there was something bigger going on. And Joseph chose love. This Christmas as you remember our dear Savior’s birth, let’s also remember and encourage the step-parents and adoptive parents who, like Joseph, didn’t have responsibility or obligation, but they chose to love anyway.
I hope this information may shed a little more light on the reasons that we broadcast the FamilyLife Blended feature on Moody Radio.
Again, we appreciate you listening to Moody Radio, and appreciated your financial and prayer support through the years. If you feel the Lord directing you to support another ministry, we understand and pray that He will multiply the impact of your gifts to that organization. We do hope you will continue to pray for us as we seek to minister to as many people as possible and help them take their next step in their relationship with Jesus.
Manager of Programming
SIFC had to go back to the original March 26 letter / blog to make sure we remembered to mention that Moody Radio was leading millions of people toward hell as adulterers with this programming, but then again, Mr. Craig admitted that he didn’t “see how the programming content was sanctioning adultery”.
[translation: we don’t consider remarriage following civil dissolution of a consummated marriage to be adultery, even though Jesus repeatedly said it was, as did Paul. But just in case, we’re going to obfuscate the issue by jumping topics to widowhood and betrothal].
A zinger of a rebuttal could certainly be had, if only it were profitable to the kingdom of God to do so:
Dear Mr. Craig,
A sincere thank you for responding, and doing so with your personal thoughts.
Since most churches do not address the unique issues that are present in LGBT families, would you therefore recommend that Moody promote programming by a comparable sodomy “pastor”?
….Most churches do not address the unique issues that are present in these Gay Families. We believe that the feature and GayFamilyLife Ministries is helping these homosexual marriages and LGBT families not only to survive but possibly thrive by providing helpful information not available anywhere else. (Right!)
And then there’s the emotional bit about Mary’s Joseph….with the acute dissimilarities swept conveniently under the rug. Taking the analogy a bit further, had Joseph indeed put Mary away privily, being a just man, would it have been adultery for another man, for whom the “responsibilities were not his”, who (correctly) perceived from the Spirit of God that “there was something bigger going on” to have come along and married this forsaken unwed mother? Or would that have been holy matrimony in God’s eyes? Yes, but not for the reasons fancied by Mr. Craig. Mary was not yet made irrevocably one-flesh with Joseph, unlike the sort of “bride” that Ron Deal has the unbiblical audacity compare her to.
Taking Ron Deal’s analogy even further, Mary would be “divorced” (that is she would have been given a Hebrew get, a bill of divorcement), but that’s not the kind of “divorce” Jesus was referring to on all three instances / occasions where Matthew (in Hebrew text) , then Luke (in Greek text) quoted Him as saying,
“whosoever marries one who has been put away from a husband commits [enters into the ongoing state of] adultery. “
Had another man married Mary and raised Jesus, it would not have been adultery according to the laws of the kingdom of God, because she would not have been impeded by an unsevered, undissolved one-flesh bond with Joseph whether or not there was any of man’s paper involved. Jesus was referring to exactly the sort of otherwise-godly, unsullied and innocent third party man (and still calling him an adulterer) that Mr. Deal would like us to believe is exempt from the clear, repetitive commandment of Christ, so long as he’s doing it out of apparent compassion. But let’s not forget the five-ton elephant in the room — that it’s not strictly necessary for a man to marry an unwed mother (even if the one Mr. Deal has in mind isn’t exactly unwed) to show her the love of Christ or meet her essential life needs for a season. Boaz, after all, married a widow. True love always considers its impact on everyone’s eternal destination who is involved in the picture.
SIFC is pondering at this moment whether another attempt to enlighten Mr. Craig by return response is likely to be fruitful or merely be casting pearls before swine. Who knows whether he is among the 40-50% of the contemporary evangelical church who is living in this sin himself, or among the even larger percentage who has a loved one who is perishing in this immoral state. It seems likely to further offend him personally to tell him that adulterous homes are not supposed to “survive and (possibly) thrive”, but are to instead repent the same way one repents of any hellbound sin, by severance and forsaking and (possibly) reconciliation with the covenant spouse(s). After all, he saw fit to ignore the most forceful points in the first letter and pretend that he didn’t see them. He never responded at all to our serious inquiry about why Moody is not at least covering the unilateral divorce repeal efforts in Texas and Oklahoma. Lastly, longtime listeners to Moody know that the MBI of today is steeped in Calvinism, where you hear at least implied umpteen times a day that Jesus died for regenerated persons’ past, present and future sins. The corrosive, lethal mix of Calvinism and legalized adultery have stripped the church of nearly all of its supernatural power in the last five decades. Between the days of Luther / Calvin and the stroke of Ronald Reagan’s pen in 1969, most of the Spirit-led Protestant church didn’t succumb to it, even though it’s been out there since the 16th century Reformation.
It would be good to at least let him know that those of us in the biblical marriage permanence movement are indeed praying for Moody Bible Institute and Moody Radio.
7 Times Around the Jericho Wall | Let’s Repeal Unilateral Divorce!