I look back and laugh at it now, but there was a time early on in my Christian life that my pre-conversion divorce was a huge blot on my character. I was a divorcee. Okay, well actually, since the people I hung around with back then claimed that there's no such thing as divorce, that I'm still married to that other woman in God's eyes, now that I'm married again, I now have two wives, and am an adulterer, and probably not a true Christian because of it.
There's a line of thinking in some strains of fundamentalist Christianity, a foul smelling doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage that makes anybody who has ever been divorced - even if they were the unwilling innocent (and willing reconciling) party in a marriage that was broken by the other person - an equivalent of the disease leprosy. Toss every imaginable sock of sin into the washing machine with the bleach of Jesus' blood, and out come the socks of murder, lying, theft, abuse, drug addiction, harlotry, whoredom, profanity, all pure white. Yet the socks of divorce and being divorced remain soiled. For many in the church, divorce is treated quite literally as the unpardonable sin and a dead end roadblock to any advance whatsoever in the Christian life. Divorcees, no matter how innocent, have the scarlet letter "D"
I'll take a few posts in a short series to discuss how bad theology and a misunderstanding of biblical teaching can really screw up people's lives. First hand experience, here.