WRIGHT WAY: Is Alzheimer’s grounds for divorce?
by WILLIAM WRIGHT
Sep 21, 2011 | 3560 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Associated Press reported, “Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his ‘700 Club’ viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s is justifiable because the disease is ‘a kind of death.’”

During the portion of the show where Robertson takes questions from viewers, he was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from the incurable neurological disorder.

“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.

According to the AP, the chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network said he wouldn’t “put a guilt trip” on anyone who divorces a spouse who suffers from the illness, but added, “Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.”

I wonder if the caller was looking for more Bible-based advice than what he actually received? The light most God-fearing people are looking for is not based on the opinions of men, but on the Word of God.

In reference to this All-Wise God, Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” If God’s word is able to guide humans on a path leading to long-term happiness, would it not be wise to consult the Holy Scriptures on matters of family happiness and divorce?

Jesus Christ, the wisest man to ever walk the earth, did not rely on his own wisdom, but stuck to sharing the Word of God.

At John 12:49-50 he said, “I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has commanded me what I must say and speak. And I know that his command brings eternal life. What I say, then, is what the Father has told me to say.” — Good News Translation.

If even Jesus Christ relied on God’s Word instead of his own authority, how could anyone professing to be a Christian do any less? Do you believe the Bible has the highest ethics to live by for families?

When religious leaders approached Jesus with a question, not unlike the one Pat Robinson was asked, Jesus did not give a personal opinion. He used God’s Word as the ultimate authority.

Matthew 19:3-6 says, “Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him by asking, Does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife for whatever reason he wishes? Jesus answered, Haven’t you read the scripture that says that in the beginning the Creator made people male and female?

“And God said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one. So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.” — Good News Translation.

By quoting Scripture Christ set the pattern for all true Christians to follow. Jesus totally answered their question, based on Scripture, in Verse 9. He said, “I tell you, then, that any man who divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness (Greek: porneia), commits adultery if he marries some other woman.” — Good News Translation.

Mr. Robinson clearly contradicts Jesus Christ by giving an opinion rather than upholding the high moral standards of God’s Word. Rather than take a self-centered view of love, 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures every circumstance.” — New Living Translation.

As difficult as the circumstances surrounding Alzheimer's, most families caring for loved ones with the disease do not view them as disposable or in “a kind of death.” Loyalty to their spouse, to God and to the memory of their cherished life together has caused numerous people in this situation to endure faithfully to the very end.

Only then would the words of 1 Corinthians 7:39 apply, “A woman is obligated to stay in her marriage as long as her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wants, only it should be a believer in the Lord.” — Common English Bible.

No doubt families were inflicted with diseases in ancient times as they are today, only without the diagnosed labels. God’s Word was written for every generation to apply its principles and guidelines to meet His approval and to find happiness.

Heeding the opinions of imperfect men could result in the blind leading the blind, as Jesus said at Matthew 15:14.

When “religious leaders” stray from God’s Word, implying it is outdated or is no longer applicable to the challenges facing humans today, can they rightly claim to be following Jesus’ example? In the issue of loyalty to God and His standards, whose side are they really supporting? What about you? Do you prefer human wisdom to the time-tested wisdom found the Bible? It's your choice.

1 Timothy 4:1 warns, “God’s Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons. They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling.” — Contemporary English Version.

By sticking to God’s Word we can avoid this deception.