Why A Marriage
Should Never Be Saved
At The Expense
Of A Life
New book, In Defense of Divorce, defends divorce from traditional religious ideas, extenuating the guilt and reserving emotional energy for solving practical issues going forward.
The book explores such questions as:
- Is divorce a sin or a solution?
- Has religion over influenced public opinion on marriage, divorce and remarriage?
- Did the Old Testament allow divorce?
- What did Jesus teach about divorce in Matthew chapter five?
- Does God really hate divorce?
- How did Paul judge divorce matters?
Ennis Pepper, the author, experienced divorce first as a teenager when his parents broke up and later through other family members and friends. As a minister he witnessed the haranguing troubled couples experience when considering divorce and the rejection should they get one. And with a Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree and more than 25 years ministry experience he is able to address this topic confidently with both a biblical and practical perspective.
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Most people think of divorce as something to shun, not defend, so Ennis’ book title raises questions at the start. And since the divorce rate is reaching all time highs there is no indication that the general population lacks the courage to initiate a divorce so why bother defending the issue? Read more
Part 1 Is Biographical
Part 2 Is Technical
Read Part 1
So, back to my dilemma.
At the age of 21 I was fully recommitted to Christ but I didn’t know what that commitment looked like. One question I struggled with often was:
“How much should I give to God and how often should I give it?”
It wasn’t an easy question to ignore. The offering plate was passed in every church service and since I attended every one of those services I was constantly wrestling with a compulsion to give without knowing specifically what to do.
I was hesitant. I wanted to do the right thing but knew there had to be a limit where “right” ended and “irresponsible” began. Should I just pass the plate along, wave a hand over it like I was putting something in, actually put in a little change, give a chunk or what.
The one thing I couldn’t do was avoid it.
To motivate people to give, the minister would mention the financial burdens of the church and then pray for the offering. What sincere Christian could be unmoved. I wanted to do my part but wasn’t sure exactly what my part was.
To make things even worse, my Dad, a hybrid Baptist/Methodist from way back and a Presbyterian during many of his last years, was constantly accusing the Baptist of only wanting money. He didn’t like me attending a Baptist church and he was even less impressed with me giving them money.
In this case, however, I was 21 years old and responsible to make decisions for myself. And to be smart I decided to do some research. That is where my friend Nancy came in.
She was a mature Christian and had much more knowledge of the Bible than I so I decided to broach the question with her.
I didn’t, however, expect what I got. Read more
Part 1 Is Biographical
Part 2 Is Technical
Proceed to Part 2
I was 21 years old and had recently recommitted my life to Christ. As a result, my career path changed, my life was motivated by a different purpose and I was deaf to any advice to the contrary. My commitment was unshakable.
I had gotten to this place through a series of circumstances too involved to share in detail but suffice it to say that I had been flitting from one attraction to another for many years and had learned to numb the pain of aimlessness by engaging in selfish pursuits and questionable pleasures. It was all about me.
So, at 21 and with a renewed sense of commitment, having previously experienced things that did not fulfill, I was determined not to waste another second being self absorbed. I was willing to do anything required to follow Christ. Anything!
The problem was I didn’t really know what to do next. I got baptized, sure, and I attended church, even when there was no service, but other than that I was ignorant.
One afternoon in the early stages of my recommitted journey, however, I was hit with a sledgehammer of guilt. I was doing what I often did when not in church, visiting Christian friends, and on this particular day I was visiting with Nancy, a friend I had known for many years.
Nancy and I grew up in the same neighborhood and her brother, Richard, had led both of us to salvation in Christ, along with several other kids in the neighborhood. We were 13 at the time but it still seems like yesterday.
The first few weeks following that conversion were exhilarating!
Richard got us kids together almost daily, sang Christian choruses and taught short Bible lessons. We didn’t worry about getting into trouble. It didn’t occur to us to cause any. We had a new outlook and everything seemed great! We were headed in a new direction.
Nancy and I were only 13 but during that time both of us made commitments to serve Christ in some full time capacity. Everyone thought we were crazy, except Richard, but as it turned out, God was behind it.
I’m not sure what ministry Nancy committed to specifically but I committed to missionary work in Africa. I didn’t know where in Africa but at the time it wasn’t an issue. I wasn’t packing my bags to leave the next day. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Africa, other than it was a big place and was home ground to large ferocious beasts, but I was certain in my heart that God wanted me somewhere in Africa.
I remember the moment I made the commitment vividly. Read more
Tithers Offer Confused Instructions
Anti-Tithers Give None At All
Other Than Don’t Tithe
The definition of tithing is really straight forward. The word means one tenth or ten percent and it is the designated amount of one’s income dedicated for God’s purposes. A “Tither” is someone who contributes ten percent of their income to God.
But don’t let that simple definition fool you. Tithing isn’t an easy topic to dissect. Every tither agrees on the ten percent part but they don’t all agree on how to calculate it or how it should be applied. When one person says “Tithe” it can mean one thing and when another person says it, it can mean something very different and the differences are significant. Questions abound. Read more
Not So Appealing Surrounds
Just south of Amanzimtoti – near Winkelspruit – the Suntide Illovo Sands, a Holiday Club timeshare, is situated approximately 150 meters walk from the shoreline.
My wife and I made a midweek visit during the winter months – middle of June – and here is what we found.
- It is quiet, except for the sounds of the surf and the blowing of the wind. Very pleasant.
- Units were neat, tidy, well maintained and self catering.
- Grounds were clean and well maintained.
- Our six sleeper unit had two bathrooms and two bedrooms. The 5th and 6th person were accommodated on beds in the lounge, beds that I could rest on.
- Easily accessed braai units (BBQ’s) are located throughout.
- All the usual timeshare services and amenities: daily house cleaning, game room, pool table, table tennis, an assortment of games, laundry, pool, TV and babysitting.
- Every unit has beautiful views of the beach and ocean.
- Personnel are friendly and professional.
- The upmarket Galleria Mall within 12 kilometers drive.
Unfortunately, however, the negatives outweigh the positives, at least for me: Read more
Two Very Different
But Amazingly Complimentary Books
This post is a shout out to Tara Eisenhard, author of The D-Word: Divorce Through a Child’s Eyes, for taking the time to read and review my book In Defense of Dirvorce. If you’re not sure what a defense of divorce looks like, read her review. She covers all the salient points.
You’ll find my review of her book here.
If you’re curious about the divorce issue read both books. The books speak from two different perspectives and are amazingly complimentary.
The D-Word is a fictional narrative that is forward looking and encourages hope rather than despondence toward life following divorce and In Defense of Divorce is more technical and debunks the idea that divorce is sinful just because it is divorce.
Read the books.