Raising My Voice

This week a well known "television evangelist" commented on his national TV show that in his opinion it is perfectly fine to divorce  a spouse who is afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease because, after all, "it's kind of like a death has occurred." He went on to say that he is not an ethicist but that this is the way he understands and believes. He does however purport to be a man of God.

I am not an ethicist either so I can't speak on the subject from that frame of reference myself. But I am a man of God and I can speak from that point of view.

He's wrong.

He's beyond wrong. He is, no pun intended, dead wrong.

Most of the other words I would wish to use to describe his thoughts are best to not even be uttered or written.

And I suspect that the overwhelming majority of spouses of those with Alzheimer's would agree that he has missed the mark on this one. Their lives are unbelievable hard, emotionally draining and difficult beyond imagination. They deserve our honor, respect, and gratitude.

And if I could be as bold to speak for those of us who try to live our lives under the sovereignty of God, who teach and preach the truth of scripture, allow me to make this disclaimer for the rest of us.

"The views and opinions of this individual  do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of followers of Jesus Christ or scripture. Much less the view of those caring for a family member stricken with a terminal condition."

Where would he have us draw the line? If divorcing a spouse who has Alzheimer's is OK in his book, what about leaving a family because a child has a special need?

After all, isn't the birth of a child with a special need or lifelong disability, "kind of like a death" to use his own words. Death to dreams. Death to self. Death to the expected life.

Whatever happened to "in sickness and health?" Whatever happened to the idea of making a covenant or taking a vow?

This morning I stared at the television mortified as this minister, this "spokesman" for God, made those statements. And I turned to my wife and said "some of the big name evangelists and  well-known ministers should speak out on this." And I hope some will.

Because I'm afraid the unchurched world, those who don't follow Christ, will think this man speaks for us. Or even worse, that he speaks for God.

Well I'm not well-known and I'm not a big name minister.

But I do have a voice and right now it's full of righteous indignation. And I'm using it today to say those remarks were reprehensible, repulsive, and repugnant. And he needs to repent and recant what he said.

I wish he could meet my friend John. John's wife battled multiple sclerosis most of her adult life and spent her last years bedridden in a nursing home. John was always there for her and by her side. He would make arrangements to bring her to church every Sunday.

At her funeral, I asked him how he did it.

He turned to me and gently said, "I took a vow."

That's what a real man of God would say. "I took a vow."