I am pro-life. My wife is pro-life. We have never had to deal with the type of conflicts that can come when a married couple disagree so fervently over such an important topic. With that said, I can honestly say that I would have still married her if she were pro-choice. I believe that God brought us together and despite differences that arise and arguments that ensue when people are married for 20 years or more, we have always come to the same conclusion eventually.
That’s the biggest (and possibly only) problem with Mark Driscoll’s list of reasons why people should not marry anyone who is pro-choice. He admits that he was pro-choice and his girlfriend helped to convert him to pro-life before they got married. He says that his wife would not have married him had he not changed his mind. I believe that no single conflict in opinions should be enough by itself to prevent a marriage. The reason: we do not know if we are intended to help this person or not. God’s Will does not have rules that He cannot break.
If two people are supposed to be husband and wife, to encourage them to not get married over the issue of abortion (or any issue, for that matter) is not within the calling of a pastor. That does not mean that two people should get married regardless of their differing beliefs. It’s only to say that it’s not right to give a blanket answer to a question without looking at the individual situation.
The list was made the way it was to grab headlines, most likely. I cannot see into Driscoll’s heart, but I do know that his actions in the past and the way that this has been turned into a controversy rather than a teaching lends itself to the possibility that this is his ego talking rather than anything inspired. If ego were removed, it would be much more productive. For example, it could have been “9 Aspects of Pro-Lifers that Must Be Understood Before Marrying Them”. It’s more realistic. It’s more helpful. It’s less controversial and therefore less ego-driven.
The Bible can make blanket statements about what people should and should not do. A pastor should not unless it’s Biblical doctrine. It’s one thing to say that the Bible does not support abortion. It’s another thing altogether to say that the Bible says not to marry anyone who is pro-choice. That sort of blanket statement simply doesn’t work and isn’t Biblical.
The Bible says that it’s a sin to lie. Does that mean that you shouldn’t marry anyone who has ever lied?
This is not a statement supporting pro-choice nor is it really even a scolding of Mark Driscoll. What we as Christians must understand is that authority is given only through the Bible, that divine inspiration is given through the Holy Spirit, and that forgiveness is given only through belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Do not follow the doctrines of man. They are flawed.