Monday, November 28, 2005
A colleague of mine was giving me a ride home. She is a Christian. We were talking about the usual stuff when our conversation turned to something very interesting. I’ll call my friend M.
M: So, how is N?
BP: N is fine..just busy with her daughter.
M: What about her husband?
BP: N got divorced 2 years ago. She’s a single mom now. I’m encouraging her to get married.
M: No she can’t marry. It’s against our faith.
BP: What do you mean? The lady is divorced, a single mom, why can’t she get married?
M: The Bible says so. A divorced woman can’t get married.
BP: Look..this girl went through hell to be granted a divorce from her abusive husband from her orthodox church. We’re close friends and she told me her story. She spent years running between courts and church officials in order to get rid of her jerk. I don’t fully understand the mechanics of granting divorces in church, but she finally got hers. Why can’t she get married again to a man she love?
M: She can’t. The Bible says whomever God joins let no man separates.
BP: Well, guess what, I am sure God didn’t join her with such an abusive husband. So the decision was hers and not God.
M: I am sure God gave her signs when she knew this man. But she didn’t heed to him and went ahead and got married.
BP: so you’re contradicting yourself. You just said that God joined her with this man, and now you’re saying that God sent her signs that this man was not a good person. I’m not getting it!
My friend got a little agitated.
M: Yes..if he was abusive, I am sure God sent her signs before their marriage. Now she can’t get married again. See, marriage is a holy union, it is not a game.
BP: Believe me, nothing was holy about their marriage.
M: I am talking about any marriage. We believe that God didn’t allow open ended divorce because that would ruin the meaning of marriage and make it a game. She should bear the responsibility of her decision.
BP: I thought God was a god of mercy. I mean he forgives mistakes right? Why can’t he forgive a mistake like this one. And what was her mistake? Not listening carefully to him. Sorry I don’t buy it.
M: Look BP, our Bible is clear.
BP: Nothing is clear. The Bible could be clear on basic stuff like prayer and the tenants of Christianity. But other stuff are subject to interpretations while taking the historical context of the text into consideration. This girl must have a way out of her misery just as a killer has a way out by repentance and stuff. If she thinks that getting married will help her and her daughter, I believe God won’t be so angry if she did so.
M: You’re thinking with your head. There are things that we will never know. God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts.
BP: That’s the lame excuse of everyone who doesn’t want to think and wants to live in the comfort zone he builds around himself. This is a huge problem and people are suffering from it. You cannot afford not to think about it. You can afford not to think about big stuff found in religion , however, personal matters such as marriage and divorce affect people’s lives and so we must think about it. That’s the same problem with Islam. Some maniacs want us to live according to how Muslims lived 1400 years ago without thinking about the consequences. That’s a classical problem. Most people don’t differentiate between unchangeable spiritual matters and worldly laws that affect our daily lives.
M: Look, I am not convinced with what you say. You don’t know what you are talking about.
I felt my friend wanted to throw me off her car. I called it a conversation and kept my mouth shut.