Editorial – What God Has Joined, part 3

Instead of trying to find a way to be able to violate God’s counsel and still be saved, the converted Christian will be seeking to bring every aspect of his life into harmony with the divine standard. If Jesus truly has our heart, we will be willing to suffer inconvenience, and even hardship, rather than dishonor our Redeemer by disregarding His revealed will. All of the universe is watching to see who we deem worthy of the greatest honor and whether or not we are trustworthy and faithful servants. The one who is saved is one who swears to his own hurt (as many have done in their marriage vows) and changes not. (See Psalm 15.)

“I have received a letter from your husband. I would say that there is only one thing for which a husband may lawfully separate from his wife or a wife from her husband, and that is adultery.

“If your dispositions are not congenial, would it not be for the glory of God for you to change these dispositions? . . .

“My sister, you cannot please God by maintaining your present attitude. Forgive your husband. He is your husband, and you will be blessed in striving to be a dutiful, affectionate wife. Let the law of kindles be on your lips. You can and must change your attitude.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 161.

Following an editorial like this one, we will no doubt receive many letters and calls. However, please let me tell you in advance, as we have told many others, we do not believe that any church, or any human being, has the prerogative to determine morality—a determination as to what is right and what is wrong. God has revealed the standard of morality in His Law and in the explanations of that Law given us in the inspired writings. While we can share with you these messages, we dare not venture to advise you as to the course that you must follow.

“Oh,” somebody might say, “mine is a special case.” No matter now singular it is, all that a Protestant pastor can do is read what the Word of God says that is applicable. While we fully believe in the grace of God over people in complicated situations, let us be careful that we do not abuse the grace of God and outrage the Holy Spirit (see Hebrews 10:26), thereby losing our soul. Over and over again the apostle Paul urged upon Christians not to deceive themselves. If the record book in heaven reveals that the divorce you are contemplating was made from selfishness, all of the reasons in the world will be of no avail in excusing you from following God’s revealed will. What will you say in the day when the Lord asks you why you were not afraid to put asunder that which He had joined together? How will you escape a verdict that you are a traitor against the divine government and not subject to the Lord of heaven?

“The last great day is right upon us. Let all consider that Satan is now striving for the mastery over souls. He is playing the game of life for your souls. Will there be sins committed by you on the very borders of the heavenly Canaan? Oh what revealings! The husband will know for the first time the deception and falsehood that have been practiced by the wife whom he thought innocent and pure. The wife for the first time will know the case of her husband, and the relatives and friends will see how error and falsehood and corruption have been clustering about them; for the secrets of all hearts will stand revealed. The hour of Judgment is almost here,—long delayed by the goodness and mercy of God. But the trump of God will sound to the consternation of the unprepared who are living, and awaken the pale nations of the dead.” Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.

The root of the apostasy that led to the Dark Ages was the idea that something could be added or taken away from the Word of God by the church or the clergy. This concept was the very fountain from which flowed the errors of Babylon. (See The Great Controversy, 289, 290.) If we ever condone that which God has not condoned, we will be in serious trouble indeed.

“We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors’ wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?” Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 188.