Dear Jon & Kate, What About the Eight?

“Daddy, I don’t want you to go away no more.”Alexis Gosselin (5)

There are three popular reality shows on the TLC network about unusual families that have in some ways defined a genre.

One show is about a family with Little People parents with three average height children and one Little Person child.   Another show depicts the lives of a family that has 18 biological children and may indeed have more.  The third is a show called Jon & Kate Plus 8, about parents who have two sets of multiples, eight year old twin girls and five year old sextuplets.

The shows are unusual for network TV in another way.  All three families are professing Christians, and their programs usually depict their faiths in a positive light.

That is one reason that I find the recent controversy surrounding Jon and Kate Gosselin so troubling.  For a family who used to be so openly faithful, they seem to be acting with a surprising lack of faith.   Yes, it appears that Kate would be extremely difficult to live with, and Jon appears to have at least emotionally, if not physically left the marriage already, but I can’t let either of them off the hook so easily.

Here’s the thing.  I know couples a lot like Jon & Kate appear to be temperament-wise.  But, they have worked through the personality issues.  They have honored their commitments by relentlessly pursuing Godly lives and deliberately committing to the success of their marriage.

I’m sure that having your lives broadcast on TV can’t be helpful, but I hope and pray that somehow Jon & Kate work through their difficulties and raise their children together as a family.  That would really make a statement to the world.


MacArthur on Divorce Statistics

I agree with John MacArthur:

Question: Is it true that Christians and non-Christians have the same rate of divorce?


Some reporter called me a few months ago and said,

Reporter: There is a new study, a new survey that indicates that divorce among Christians is the same as divorce among non-Christians.  This survey has been done, this poll has been taken and it has been determined that Christians are divorced at the same rate that non-Christians are divorced in America.  What do you think of that?

John MacArthur: I don’t believe it–I do not believe that.

Reporter: But this is what the survey says!

John MacArthur: I don’t care what the survey says–I don’t believe that.

I don’t believe it, and in fact, I believe that is to dishonor the Lord, to say that the power of Christ is zero in a marriage–the power of the Holy Spirit in a marriage.  I don’t believe that.  I do not believe that true Christians get divorced at the same rate that non-Christians do.

Well, it showed up in a newspaper and the guy who took the poll wasn’t happy, because he thought I was questioning his integrity, so he wrote me a very, very strong letter.  I have a large “strong letter” file–this is one, “How dare you question me!  How dare you question the integrity of this poll!”  Well, I said, “I’ll question it on this basis: Who did you ask that question too?  If you just surveyed the people who ‘claimed’ to be Christians–that doesn’t count, and I might suggest to you that you don’t know who the true Christians are.”

So I didn’t buy it at all.  And what irritated me about it is that this is a dishonor to God!  Because it denigrates the power of God in the life of a believer, with regard to the marriage!  It wasn’t a question whether you get your statistics right, it’s a question of dishonoring God!  You can’t say that the power of God has no effect on marriages!  I said, “You don’t do that.”  Well, now it has become an evangelical urban legend–every time I turn around–I heard a secular news reporter say on the television the other day, “Well, now it has been proven that divorce among evangelical Christians or among Christians is the same as non-Christians.”  Now we are just another statistic.  This is to say that God has no power in a marriage?

When divorces occur in our church [approximately 10,000 members] and they occur occasionally here–very often it is because somebody in the marriage who professed Christ–didn’t know Him.  If you go out and survey people in “churches” across the spectrum from Catholic to Protestant, and denominations, etc., etc., etc, who knows what you are going to get?

The same company that does the surveys is the company that surveyed the people who said, “We don’t want Bible teaching anymore in the pulpit.”  Now what does that tell you about that crowd–if they don’t love the Word of God?

It might be true that the divorce rate among nominal, cultural, so-called “Christians” is the same as those who don’t claim to be Christians. But to assert that the divorce rate among true believers is the same as unbelievers–well, that’s just preposterous.