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Chris Pratt is Engaged: A Christian Perspective

After divorcing actress Anna Faris, Chris Pratt is on the road to remarriage.

Chris Pratt is known as one of the few actors in Hollywood who is willing to talk about his faith in public.  And he’s one that hasn’t been resigned to the cranky, conservative, Christian has-been label that usually defines Christians in Hollywood.

TheBlaze ran an article on the engagement saying that the couple would likely have a religious wedding.  They cite an Instagram post by Pratt that says “He shared a photograph of the two, and captioned it, “Sweet Katherine, so happy you said yes! I’m thrilled to be marrying you. Proud to live boldly in faith with you. Here we go!”

Marriage, and by extension, sex, are not things that people just do.  They are reflections of the God who made us.  They represent the sacredness of God’s first instruction to humanity, to be fruitful and increase in number.  They convey God’s loving-kindness to us by permitting the expression of love between two people for life.  They are part of God’s ordained plan for men and women.

When a professing Christian’s life is confronted by difficulty in marriage and the possibility of divorce and eventual remarriage, the church has to be there to articulate what is acceptable for the body of Christ.  Peter Heck wrote some time ago that Christians aren’t primarily concerned about people’s sex lives, we merely respond to the onslaught of the world as it promotes sin.  Yet and still, the church has a responsibility to those who profess faith in Christ.

I think Chris Pratt’s engagement provides us with the opportunity to look at divorce and remarriage in the abstract.  We know scripture gives us instructions for how to live life in a sinful world, but each person’s own life may present nuances or scenarios that aren’t easily explained.  Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, but sinners.  Paul describes the types of people who won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven and then turns to the church in Corinth and says “and so were some of you.”  Life is messy and broken.  People have to deal with their circumstances and often times can’t correct mistakes in the past. So how do Christians go forward?

When Christians consider whether an arrangement is sinful or whether it pleases God, they must remember to establish a set of facts.

1: Who is marrying who?

2: What is their disposition toward God, are they saved?

3: When did they become saved?

4: What are the reasons for divorce?

5: Depending on 2, who initiated the divorce?

6: Who are they remarrying, are they saved?

7: Depending on all these, will a marriage or remarriage be sinful?

Do you see how complicated this is? Christians were bought at high price as Christ’s own blood purchased us back from sin and death.  It is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us. That is why we have to get things right in marriage.  That is why marriage cannot be entered into uncritically and without concern for one’s own faith. When the world looks at Christians and sees people who live life how they please, the world sees hypocrites.  It damages the witness of the church when the body of Christ is contaminated by those who wish to remain of the world. It’s the Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis problem. A divorcee lecturing everyone else on marriage. The church can understand and work with people who are full of contradictions, but the world doesn’t understand it.  Israel was supposed to be a priestly nation, a peculiar people, a city on a hill. Israel sinned and its image as God’s chosen people was tarnished.  The world doesn’t have to understand that God still loved Israel. They don’t have to understand that God disciplines those He loves. But when the principle problem of humanity is sin, the church must police itself so we can be effective ambassadors for Christ.

What then guides Christians as they contemplate matrimony?  The seven points I listed are illuminated by the following principles found in scripture.

1: Both singleness and marriage are acceptable.

2: It is better to marry than to burn with passion.

3: A Christian can only marry a Christian.

4: Individuals who become Christians after they have been married must remain married if their unbelieving spouse is willing to stay.

5: If an unbelieving spouse leaves, the Christian is no longer bound by that marriage.

6: A Christian who is allowed to remarry, must marry a Christian.

7: A Christian who is not permitted to divorce and does so anyway AND remarries commits adultery.

8: A Christian who marries a divorced Christian who was not permitted to divorce commits adultery.

9: A Christian who marries an unbeliever unites the body of Christ with Satan.  

10: A Christian may divorce their believing or unbelieving spouse because of marital unfaithfulness.

From Chris Pratt’s own testimony, he became a Christian before he married Anna Faris. Anna Faris has been described as irreligious, though there may be some indication that she expressed some interest in faith during her son’s health issues.  So we have a Christian marrying an unbeliever or a false convert.  Scripture doesn’t say how to move on from that. Do you divorce? Do you remain in something you should have never been in to begin with?  He united Christ with Satan. And now that the unbeliever left, he is technically free to remarry, but that allocation was supposed to be for those who convert while already in a marriage.  Some may say that one is not bound in a marriage that was never permitted in the first place.

I’m sure there are plenty of Christians who divorced for reasons other than marital unfaithfulness and still remarried.  Are they doomed to commit adultery if they remain in this new marriage or can they somehow repent and have that new relationship be redeemed?  I don’t know.  While some may say that the burden is too great, it was abundantly clear that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. While discussing marriage and divorce, the disciples panic at how much room there is for sin to abound in marriage and divorce. They say it’s better to stay out of marriage.  Jesus then replies that this is the price some will have to pay.  If you have to remain celibate to be obedient to God, then that is what you will do.

I hope that Chris Pratt’s new marriage honors the Lord.  The prospect of sharing life with someone in Christ is truly heartwarming.  Pratt’s statement, “Sweet Katherine, so happy you said yes! I’m thrilled to be marrying you. Proud to live boldly in faith with you. Here we go,” does not appear like one made by a person who is not concerned about what his faith requires of him in marriage.

I’ve critiqued Pratt before over a gospel-less Christmas message, but that’s nitpicky.  Chris Pratt seems like one of the few people in Hollywood who is sincere in his faith.  Hopefully, that sincerity leads to a marriage that God intended.

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