This story about Dinesh D’Souza from WORLD magazine is just the beginning of the ink spills, I am afraid I have to say. What could he be thinking?
I don’t believe he was thinking. It may be a case of that Scottish proverb about male anatomy not having a conscience.
In his response at foxnews.com, D’Souza clarifies what happened and defends his actions. I believe the clarifications he provides. It makes the most sense out of the story World reported. However, D’Souza misses the point.
A man going through a divorce showing up to speak at a Christian apologetics conference with his new fiancé tells you everything you need to know about the state of Christianity in America. This is why the LGBT movement says we are bigoted: we do whatever we please, whenever we please, but then have the gall to tell them they are sinful for trying to do the same thing. I see their point. D’Souza defends himself by saying what he did (becoming engaged before the divorce was finalized) was legal. But it just so happens that what he wanted to do was legal because American Christians have spent two generations modifying the divorce laws to their favor so they can do as they please, making marriage, divorce, and remarriage as convenient as possible. Don’t get me wrong: two wrongs do not make a right. I oppose changing the marriage laws. But the harshest words Evangelicals have to offer should be reserved for this kind of nonsense, just as Christ’s harshest words were reserved for Pharisees, not prostitutes.
We are not in this instance talking about someone who went through a divorce while an unbeliever, only to become a Christian at a later point and live out his life with grace and dignity within the Christian model. We are talking about someone responsible for sharing the gospel doing this while in that role and professing belief. It would make all the difference in the world if the apostle Paul stood by, pleased at the stoning of someone after his conversion as opposed to before. All the difference. Had that chronological order been reversed, Paul wouldn’t be worth listening to. And neither, now, are folks like D’Souza, even when they have bestselling books on their bio. No one wants to listen to people tell everyone they should be reconciled to a God who will judge them when they won’t even reconcile with the husband or wife who lived in their house.
D’Souza said, “I sought advice about whether it is legal…” Perhaps, as a believer, he should have sought advice from the Bible where God warns believers to love the wife of their youth, and failure to do so is as much an insult to Him as it is to the spouse. The point is not whether he stayed in a separate room than his fiancé. The point is that a man spreading the gospel is not in the same room as his wife. If this isn’t a perfect parallel to Pharisees who dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’ of the law, but missed the whole point of the law while doing so, I don’t know what is. If he thinks he can escape this, he is fooling himself and mocking God. He should go away and live a quiet life of repentance, sharing the gospel with his friends and neighbors, using this as an example of something in his life that brought on shame and requires forgiveness, not a pleading defense. His ministry has lost its authority, forevermore. After King David fell, he lost his authority as a righteous believer. He was never again the great warrior striking down giants who opposed God. The example we have of David after he fell is not one of a mighty warrior but one of a repenting man whose life was never the same. There is still a witness in that, just of a sort very different from the one D’Souza is trying to salvage. D’Souza’s glory days of being a warrior for the gospel are over. His only chance now is in showing an example of humble repentance, of lost opportunities, of mercy in the face of sin. Needless to say, he’s off to a terrible start.
This is heartbreaking for those of us who have enjoyed his work over the years. Every Christian has real, active sin in their life, even those with formal, professional ministries. We have all fallen short of the glory of God and will continue to for as long as we live. But being a fallen sinner constantly battling the sin in our life is very different from crashing our ministry to the ground after spending years describing the joy and peace to be found living as a convinced, convicted believer. It’s also different from crashing to the ground, then defending the wreckage of that crash because every ‘i’ was dotted and every ‘t’ was crossed according to the letter of the civil law. Until Evangelicals realize this is precisely the sort of thing that is crushing Christianity in America, it will not get better for us. http://www.onmanythings.com
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