Divorce as Rejection

What ultimately is divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have my laptop back and everything looks to be working fine, so let’s jump back into this topic. When it gets down to it, what is the #1 pain of divorce? If I could sum it up in one word, it would be rejection.

Many of us have experienced a break-up in our lives or have asked someone out and been told no, and those can compare, but divorce is just so much worse. Divorce is when someone makes a promise to you and then breaks it. Divorce is when in a marriage you have given everything you have to someone and they have said that it wasn’t good enough.

For me, this has hit quite hard as if you asked my parents about me growing up, I always wanted a woman in my ilfe, and this was long before I knew about the birds and the bees. I never had that faze in my life where girls were icky and had cooties or anything like that. I can still remember the first crush I had was back in elementary school in Transition and that lasted all through elementary school.

I also had got used to being told no later on when I would ask any girl out. No. No. No. I still want to roll my eyes when I hear a lady say something like “I just want a nice guy who cares about me and my feelings.” Let’s face it. We’re all a bit superficial at times and those looks play a big role in it. I would just prefer the honesty.

So when she came into my life and was interested in me, it was something incredible. I had never once encountered a girl that was actually desiring of me. Not only that, she didn’t get turned off by the Aspie traits that I have. Everyone who saw us thought we were the best couple. My best man at the wedding in his toast said he didn’t think there were two people more suited for each other. The counselor doing our pre-marital counseling said he had only met seven couples he thought were a match made in Heaven and we were one of those couples.

And yet something went wrong.

Did I make mistakes? Obviously. Everyone does. Only a fool says he goes into a marriage and makes no mistakes. Anything worthy of this? Not a bit. The message given is that things were so bad with me that she thought she had to break her promise to God to escape.

Now I realize that sometimes people divorce over issues like divorce and adultery being done. In that case, the party that divorces when their spouse is unfaithful in that way is responding to a rejection already. I recommend trying to work things out if possible, but if the other party isn’t willing, there’s nothing you can do.

Today, I notice that I am very sensitive to rejection. It’s different for different people. A girl I used to go to DivorceCare with said once the ultimate one breaks the promise and rejects, the other rejections don’t really hurt anymore. For me, they do. They remind me of that rejection.

I used to tell people I was on the spectrum and have no problem with it. Now I do it and get nervous beforehand worried that they will reject me. If I make a mistake at my job, I am sure for some time that I will be fired. It hasn’t happened yet, but that is still there. I do try to approach women, but I am still again sensitive to any hint of rejection.

Rejection is so painful because the message given is not just your actions but that you as a person are inadequate. You are not good enough. I find this ironic since what she always complained about was other people saying she wasn’t good enough. Now who is the one saying that?

By the way, I want to stress that while I am honest about her behavior when I speak of it, I am not trying to speak ill of her honestly. For her, I really do want the best for her. I want her to have a holy and happy life eventually. I do have my concerns about that, but I try to eliminate any animosity. That doesn’t do me any good after all.

My DivorceCare leader and I had a discussion a few months ago that covered rejection. I told him that I didn’t understand when he said he wanted me to speak less, but was always praising other people when they spoke. That was one thing among many. He thanked me for sharing and said “I thought you knew that I was encouraging them because they were new. I didn’t realize you didn’t see it that way.” In truth, I didn’t. It felt like a rejection every time.

I also realize that ultimately, this is not an issue with other people. This is an issue with me. I cannot demand that other people change to fit my happiness. None of us can. Anyone has a right and freedom to reject me if they wish. It could be wrong perhaps, but it is their choice. I also have a right to not accept everyone who comes to me. I have a desire to remarry, but I don’t want to remarry someone who isn’t a Christian.

I do know that at my workplace I will soon be able to have health insurance. I have a therapist already, but one of my plans is also to get a psychiatrist then so I can work on the issues that I am dealing with and if need be, get medication. I wonder if I might have a form of PTSD from everything I went through and I think a psychiatrist can best determine that.

Now some of you might be tempted to go all spiritual on me and say “Well God accepts you. Isn’t that good enough?” In a sense, it should be for all of us, but God also made us social creatures. We are not meant to be alone. Even in the most glorious state in creation for man, it was not good for man to be alone. When our Lord walked this Earth, He had friends. Could there not be a hint of the pain of rejection in his words when he says to His disciples in John 6, “Will you go also?”

If I desire friends in my life and don’t want to be rejected, will anyone really tell me that’s wrong? If I desire for even strangers to like me and not reject me, is that wrong? If I also, which I do, desire a lady in my life to share my journeys with, will anyone say that that is wrong? These are all desires that I think are God-given so we should celebrate them and try to meet them.

Can this kind of thing be taken too far? Yes. That is something that I have to work on on my end, but at the same time try to better myself for my interactions with other people. I have read some books on interacting socially lately to try to work on this all the more. I can easily say I don’t ever want to go through the pain that divorce brings and is bringing again.

I say bringing because everything I do around me often is a reminder of it. When I go to bed at night, there’s no one lying next to me or no one who can reach over and touch me or vice-versa. She was the only person who I really craved the touch of. I live with my parents again now and I don’t even like it if they touch me.

When I am at work, I wonder if I would be where I was if she hadn’t rejected me. When I find myself going out there trying to make friends again and trying to win the heart of a lady, i often think about what I have lost. Yes. Despite the wrong that has done, I have lost something.

The Scripture says the two become one flesh. How can you become one flesh with someone and then when they are gone not have a real loss? When you marry, so much of your life becomes integral around another person and then that person says they don’t want you anymore? What are you to think of that? In some sense, does your identity not come into question?

I look through Facebook memories and so many times, I see myself making a post on how much she means to me. In the comments, I can sometimes see her talking about how much she will always be devoted to me and always love me and how thankful she is. Yep. That stings every time I see it.

I had a coworker ask me about animes recently. I don’t remember what brought it up, but that was hard to talk about. After all, the main person I know about those through is her.

When you’re 41 also, it’s much harder to find someone who is in your age range who is still looking for someone for marriage. Put in all my eccentricities and it can become even harder. Still, I think it’s worth it. I have a therapist working with me in this regard, but it is difficult.

If you’re in a marriage and struggling, please do try to work out your struggles. Aside from abuse and adultery, divorce should be a last option. It is a great pain to the person who is being rejected. I have met people who have lost a spouse to divorce and death and to a person, I think aside from just one maybe, all of them said divorce was worse.

Yes. Divorce is worse than death.

It’s worse I think because it’s an ongoing living death. You know the other person is out there and has intentionally acted in this way to get away from you. This person has decided that you are unlovable. Now I still maintain that if you think your neighbor is unlovable, the real deficiency is in you and not in them, but that doesn’t change that it hurts.

Yet I think the more I stay hidden away and don’t get myself out there, the more I am just bringing that rejection on myself. As I go out in the world, will I still get rejected? Obviously. Whether it’s for friendship or a date or a job interview, it will always hurt, but that’s life. You can’t control that other people will do hurtful things to you, but you are in control of how you respond to them. I have to make a deliberate choice to choose to overcome. Everyone has their choice to make. I also have mine.

Thank you for all who have been supporting me on this journey, fellow travelers.

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

 

 

Has The Bible Been Changed A Lot?

Is the text vastly different than it was? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It was recently brought to my attention that Business Insider decided to celebrate Christmas with a video on why the Bible isn’t trustworthy. Normally, I prefer to celebrate with presents and time with friends and family, but to each his own I suppose. So do we really have anything new here?

Of course not.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be addressed. After all, a lot of people will never bother to study what it is they believe and why. (You know how it is, we live in a society where people will learn about their favorite sports team, TV show, video game, etc. but won’t dare to really consider maybe they should think about the belief that they base their entire life on.) Sadly, this will also apply to many skeptics who will take a faith that makes strong claims and decides ipso facto that since those claims involve miracles they must be nonsense and never examine the claims seriously.

So let’s dive into this video. The speaker starts with talking about the Bible being the most sold book of all and that many think it contains the actual words of God. What many people don’t realize according to him is that the Bible has been changed, A LOT. So what are these evidences?

To begin with, no first edition exists. All we have are copies of copies.

This sounds scary if you’re someone who doesn’t know about manuscripts in the ancient world, until you realize that we don’t have the first writing of ANY ancient work that I know of. If there is one, I will be quite surprised. We have copies in every case. How much we can trust the account depends on a number of factors.

How soon is the earliest copy to the date of the original writing?
How many copies do we have?
Can we check these copies back and forth?

So how does the New Testament measure up?

manuscript copies

As you can see, Homer comes closest and it’s not even a contest really. Now if the speaker wants to make a big deal out of this, we ask that he be consistent. Please be extremely skeptical of all the other books on the list as well.

The speaker then says that this all took place many years after the events supposedly took place. It would be good to know how much skepticism he has. Would he go all the way to being a mythicist? Inquiring minds want to know! He also points out that many of these copies weren’t made by professionals but were made by laymen.

Naturally, we can’t expect someone busy enough to make a video for Business Insider to go out and read some of the scholarship on this issue and actually inform himself. While he cites a couple of scholars, there’s no in-depth looking at what they say and providing context for the issue. He could do what I did and interview Charles Hill on the Early Text of the New Testament and issues of canonicity or interview Daniel Wallace. (And if he can’t interview at least listen to what they have to say.)

The speaker goes on to talk about how this lead to many errors and omissions.

No. It’s not a typo on my part. He’s the one who said “This lead to many,” Who knows? Maybe he differed from the original script at one point.

If he wants to talk about these kinds of omissions and errors, he’s free to examine the texts. We will have a little bit more on this, but we have so many texts in so many languages that it’s easy to cross-check. When we do, we find that in fact the Bible does hold up, but again, a little bit more on this later.

We go to the three biggest changes. The first is the woman caught in adultery. It’s a shame that this is news to so many Christians, but such it is. We live in a time of great Biblical ignorance.

The next is the Gospel of Mark. (It’s amazing how predictable these are.) This change is the ending of the Gospel and how it has no narrative of Jesus rising and appearing. The speaker then tells us that in original manuscripts, this story is nowhere to be found.

Wait a second.

What original manuscripts?

Our speaker has gone on and on about how there are no original manuscripts and now is saying this is not to be found in the original? In what way does he know? Could it be that we can tell because we can actually check the texts back and forth and see what they say and compare them? Has our speaker undermined his own case?

The third is that in Luke, Jesus makes a dying plea to forgive the executioners, but it was not intended to refer to the Romans but to the Jews. This was taken out and then added centuries later to appear to be about the Romans. This is one many haven’t heard of, but notice something.

Apparently, we don’t have a clue what the text said, but we can tell what the originals somehow said, that a change was made, and that said change was later corrected. We can discuss why it happened and how, but that doesn’t change what the original said. Even his source on this, Bart Ehrman, says it is likely to be found in the originals.

While we’re at it, what else does Bart Ehrman, this non-Christian New Testament scholar say about the New Testament?

If the primary purpose of this discipline is to get back to the original text, we may as well admit either defeat or victory, depending on how one chooses to look at it, because we’re not going to get much closer to the original text than we already are.… At this stage, our work on the original amounts to little more than tinkering. There’s something about historical scholarship that refuses to concede that a major task has been accomplished, but there it is. Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior: An Evaluation: TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism, 1998, a revision of a paper presented at the Textual Criticism section of the 1997 Society of Biblical Literature in San Francisco. http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol03/Ehrman1998.html

 

In spite of these remarkable [textual] differences, scholars are convinced that we can reconstruct the original words of the New Testament with reasonable (although probably not 100 percent) accuracy. Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 481.

Sadly, too many Christians won’t be prepared for something like this because, well, all those sermons on how to be a good person and how much God loves you won’t really matter when the text that all that is based on is called into question. Even worse, these kinds of objections are not the crisis that many people think that they are. With some serious study, instead of focusing only on one’s personal hobbies, it’s amazing what one can learn.

Hopefully Business Insider from now on will stick to business instead of going to Biblical studies.

In Christ,
Nick Peters