Reply To Honestly by Tom Copeland Part 4

What about wealth and divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this part, Copeland decides to have us look at two different issues that he wants to use to draw an analogy to how we treat same-sex relationships. These are wealth and the question of divorce and remarriage. Let’s see how he fares.

At the start, he says we should not condemn rich people or divorced people. I agree. I would have said the same thing even before my own divorce. So what does he say instead?

In looking at wealth, he cites many common verses such as not laying up treasures in Heaven and no man can serve two masters. There’s examples of giving generously and of the early church in Acts and Luke 6 supposedly saying to not ask property back from the one who robs you.

Unfortunately, none of this is with any context whatsoever. In the last case, the ones who were doing this were likely the Roman soldiers themselves who were essentially the police force in this context. Rome, the biggest empire in the world, has a soldier who takes something from you. Who are you going to go to?

In the early church, there was certainly the case of people giving, but also we see in Acts that Ananias and Sapphira had sold their land and they had all right to keep some of it for themselves if they wanted. Instead, they lied and acted like they were giving it all away. Note also that if some people were selling, that means private property was existing. (Also, if you believe Jesus has pronounced doom on Jerusalem, why hold on to the land anyway?)

As for other warnings, having money is not the problem. Money having you is the problem. Money can indeed too easily become an idol and I do believe that if you have been blessed financially and know how to make money well, you should be giving some of that money away. See below on this blog if you want to consider this work as a means of giving.

Copeland goes on to say the Bible must not be really saying what it sounds like it’s saying, and indeed, to an extent, that’s true. Copeland is reading it apart from the social and historical context. He says the passages are easy to interpret, but we ignore that. Not really. We don’t need sermons condemning wealth, but greed is another thing altogether.

Now when it comes to the passages on same-sex relationship, those are also quite clear and even with the social and historical context, the meaning doesn’t change. Are we to brush that under the rug? Unfortunately, Copeland’s position looks to be that we should.

Copeland isn’t all down on wealth. He does think we need to look at questions we ask about retirement and are we really saving up just so we can live easily later on in life? I have no problem asking such questions. Do we give preference to rich people in our churches instead of poor? We do need to consider that. The problem is none of these make the analogy work.

With divorce, Copeland says that Jesus is clear. If you divorce your spouse for a reason other than adultery and you remarry another, you are guilty of adultery. I agree. I think this could also include reasons such as desertion as in 1 Cor. 7 and abusive relationships as these are people who have also betrayed and broken the covenant.

He says that divorced people walk down our aisles and sign our cards and join our churches without a question about their past sexual behavior. Unfortunately, this is not so. I know whenever I have talked about doing any ministry, I have had to explain my divorce and its circumstances and relive the pain all over again.

Copeland says that this should concern us because divorce and remarriage have done a lot more damage to the church than same-sex relationships have. I disagree. I contend that making divorce easy was the stepping stone to another redefinition of marriage. This in turn is the stepping stone to all the chaos resulting from transgenderism.

If marriage is not meant to be permanent, then that is the first step. Then after that, it can easily become just another relationship and hey, why not let same-sex attracted people marry one another? With that, the male-female requirement is gone. If that is gone, well, why not do away with male and female altogether? I have no idea what comes next, but we’ve already descended into insanity.

What happens along the path? The further breakdown of the family unit. We have lost the meaning of sex, marriage, and family. Copeland’s approach will just keep us going further.

Copeland goes on to say that if we want to teach that same-sex relationships are wrong, he wants us to condemn just as much the accumulation of wealth and the divorce culture every time. Well first off, many people do condemn that. Second, Copeland doesn’t set the rules. Third, it’s interesting the conservatives have to change their ways, but the ones on the left do not.

Anyway, next time, we’ll look at what a friend of Copeland has to say about relationships.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)




Support Deeper Waters on Patreon!