Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pat Robertson on Adultery and Alzheimers

Recently Pat Robertson apparently advised a man whose wife had contracted Alzheimers to divorce and remarry...

Many, such as Dr. Moore, condemned the teaching as anti-Christian, and rightfully so.  What struck my eye however was another comment by a reader of the post, who went a little deeper into the issues:

"Moore completely missed the point, although everything he said is good and right. Folks, did you not hear what Pat Robertson subtly said in the interview? He called Alzheimer’s a type of “death,” and on THAT basis, justified divorce. This is the exact same trap, in principle, that virtually every Christian pastor and writer has fallen for in the matter of divorce on the grounds of—not Alzheimer’s but—adultery. From John MacArthur to Tony Evans to James Dobson to Charles Swindol to Charles Stanley and on and on, they argue that when a spouse commits adultery, such adultery amounts to the death of the marriage, since in the Old Testament, adultery would have resulted in the death penalty of the guilty spouse, hence, no more marriage. Therefore, they argue, in the New Testament, divorce is the “gracious” alternative to the death penalty that would have otherwise ensued. What Pat Robertson did is no different in principle than what any of your favorite preachers do when they say that adultery kills a marriage and therefore divorce is OK. We need to set the record straight with ALL these guys, not just Pat Robertson, and say that death means death; Alzheimer’s doesn’t kill a marriage, and neither does adultery. Divorce is not the alternative to the Old Testament death penalty; forgiveness is! You have no right to criticize Pat Robertson’s “Alzheimer’s-equals-death-of-marriage” view if you yourself hold the “adultery-equals-death-of-marriage” view. Both are built on the same premise and both must be condemned. “Till death us do part” does not include adultery any more than it includes Alzheimer’s, or any other thing we want to insert that we believe “kills” a marriage, including desertion, or incompatibility. Death means casket-death, and nothing less. If you’re going to criticize Pat Robertson, you must attack the foundation of his premise, which is that Alzheimer’s amounts to the death of a marriage. But if you’re going to do that, then you must [also] be consistent and condemn the view that says adultery amounts to the death of a marriage."

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