So, it’s kind of old news, but my alma mater, dear old Wheaton, fired professor Kent Graham because he got a divorce, and refused to trash talk his wife.
What’s interesting to me is how many people afffiliated with Wheaton seem to think this was the right decision.
I understand wanting to hold a community to Biblical values. What I don’t understand is how those values get selected. Of all the rules in the Bible, from not cooking meat with dairy to what to sacrifice for certain sins, how do you choose which ones you will follow and which ones you consider just not that important?
Yes, divorce is not good. It’s tragic. In Matthew 5:32, Jesus says that marital unfaithfulness is the only legitimate reason for a man to divorce his wife. And people divorced under other circumstances, should they remarry, are committing adultery (but it doesn’t say anything about whether they can teach or not).
Jesus says in Matthew 5:28 (just four verses before his teaching on divorce), “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Why doesn’t Wheaton hold its staff and student body to that “Biblical standard”? Well, probably because they want men to be able to attend and teach there, and if they required anyone who lusts to be tossed out, there would be no one left.
When I was a student at Wheaton, my theology professors warned against “proof-texting,” that is, taking verses out of context. So, what qualifies as taking a verse out of context? Is a verse in the paragraph prior considered “context”? When both verses are talking about adultery? Hmm.
I’ve never been a big donor to Wheaton, so they probably won’t miss my financial support. So they probably don’t care, but I am embarrassed to have the school’s name on my resume. They have chosen judgment over grace, they have done the very thing they told me not to when I was a student there, and they have demonstrated there’s another verse they’ve ignored: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7).
If I weren’t so angry, I’d be really sad. Good luck, Dr. Graham. You deserve better.