Easy Divorce among Evangelicals

If easy divorce is the latest church growth strategy for evangelicals, then why don’t we just start giving altar calls for unhappy couples at the end of our services?

I’m joking, of course. But the truth is not funny. Check this out . . .

QUESTION: Why did 120 Coptic Christians in Egypt recently leave their denomination?

ANSWER: Because its easier to get a divorce if you are evangelical or Catholic.

Under Coptic rules, adultery is the only valid reason for a divorce but outside the Coptic world, there is more scope for divorce for those in unhappy marriages. According to Al-Masry Al-Youm yesterday, “The Evangelical Church applies the 1938 Coptic personal status law, which permits divorce for nine reasons, rather than being restricted to cases of adultery.” One source says these 120 Christians are expected to switch over to Evangelical or Catholic but applications have not yet been made.

In the USA, Pat Robertson just added another valid reason for divorce . . . ALZHEIMERS!.

Rings broken divorce

Robertson stated on the 700 Club that someone would be justified in divorcing a spouse afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease because the disease is a “kind of death”. Joni Eareckson Tada, a disability advocate and really wonderful peson (I met her some years ago) is outraged at Robertson’s remarks. I don’t blame her.

ALSO: Recent studies showed that divorce in USA is higher in the Bible Belt than in the NorthEast.

New Jersey is among those with the lowest for both sexes; states with high rates for both men and women include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Earlier studies from Barna showed that Baptists beat out all the other denominations when it comes to divorce.

Evangelicals and easy divorce . . . What does this say about us? Is Mohler right in saying that divorce is the scandal of the evangelical conscience?


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Mark Morcom says:

    I remember a person I know got divorced in a Baptist setting and he was shunned. I have t admit that specific Baptist church was an exception!

  • Adam Shields says:

    The southeast’s high divorce rate is primarily a factor of age. People that marry before 25 have a significantly higher divorce rate right now. That does not excuse the issue, but it does give some explanation to why bible belt states have such a high divorce rate.

  • Adam Shields says:

    Also, according to Bradley Wright, people that claim to be Christian, but do not actually attend church at least once a month have a significantly higher divorce rate. Christians that attend at least 3 times a month have nearly half the divorce rate of non-Christians.
    Again, not trying to explain away divorce. But I hear over and over again that there is a 50 percent divorce rate in the Christian world. That is just not true.
    A college educated couple, that married after 25, that attend Church regularly has about an 85 percent chance of staying married.
    A high school or high school dropout couple, that married before 25, that claims to be a Christian but does not attend church and lives at or below the poverty line has about a 60 percent chance of getting a divorce.

  • Eric says:

    “states with high rates for both men and women include…”
    One would think that divorce rates would show very little difference between men & women!
    I think one reason we don’t say so much about divorce is that we know the problem is not just the divorce itself, but whatever caused it. And it’s much harder to put our finger on where something is going wrong. By the time the divorce is happening, our response is sympathy at their situation.
    As western Christians we let the church officiate our wedding, but if it comes to a divorce, there’s no thought of the church interfering. That the evangelical church is more lenient suggests they are closer to the western idea of the church keeping quiet in that case.
    I don’t know how the Church ought to lovingly take sin seriously – it’s easy to throw stones when the target is a long way off, but when you realise that pointing the finger is inadequate…
    In Australia, the gospel has fared better among well-off people, and that’s one reason our divorce rate is lower than the general population.

  • Wayne says:

    Speaking as someone who was an Associate Pastor for ten years before my marriage ended, I can say that divorce is the single most destructive things that I have ever laid my eyes on. I’m saying this as an “insider.” I was on staff of a large Southern Baptist church. But I put everything above my wife, including my church. Now my children are paying the consequences, along with my wife and our extended families. Everything about it is horrific. I believe there are five ways to almost guarantee divorce, regardless of spiritual belief: 1) Don’t leave and cleave. 2) Get heavily into debt as quickly as possible. 3) Don’t take time together alone, away from the kids. 4) Reunite with old flames on FaceBook. 5) Utilize the “silent treatment” as much as possible.
    Yep. This is a good list of how to destroy what could have been a great marriage. Just words for thought.

  • Andrew says:

    thanks Wayne. these are very helpful. the debt problem is not often talked about but is a huge factor.

Leave a Reply