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View Full Version : Can a christian be divorced from a non-believer & remain a christian?


Frances
09-05-2005, 01:14 PM
I've had many to ask this question.
My understanding of the scriptures on this subject is that the only way to divorced is that if the mate has commited fornication.
What is your view?

Helen
09-05-2005, 01:36 PM
Frances, if a Christian is truly a Christian -- a born again member of the family of God (John 1)-- then nothing can undo that (Romans 8). He or she may do wrong(1 John 1,2), but he or she will also be disciplined by God (Hebrews 12).

That being said, what about divorce? There are two times when it is Scripturally allowable:

1. For a lifestyle of adultery (a one-time mistake does not qualify) (see Proverbs 2, for example)

2. If the unbeliever leaves the marriage and initiates the divorce (1 Cor. 7).

Divorce was never intended by God, but then, never was sin! Both occur.

In both the cases above, the believer who is fully divorced is free to remarry.

What about severe spousal abuse? Separation is the better part of wisdom. Don't stick around for more bruises and blood!

If a believer chooses to divorce for reasons of spousal abuse, God knows the heart and I don't think it is up to us to judge. Real abuse is almost a type of slow murder and I don't think we have the obligation to play willing victim! However, although I know separation is biblical, divorce in this situation is a highly argumented subject.

But adultery? Ongoing affair(s) are biblical reason(s) for divorce.

And, again, if you are a Christian truly, then nothing you can do will change that -- you are under His ownership, and not your own.

RightFromWrong
09-05-2005, 01:42 PM
I would add if a spouse is being abused by the other and their life or life of the children are in danger !

I know that isn't in the scriptures. But it is a legit enough reason.

At least seperation is in order.

donnA
09-05-2005, 02:38 PM
Once you are a christian, you remain a christian.

Frances
09-05-2005, 03:36 PM
If a born again person is in the act of fornication when he/she is called to heaven will he/she be accepted into heaven?

bapmom
09-05-2005, 03:42 PM
Frances,

if the person is truly born again than yes, just like the others said.

Their reception upon entering Heaven will not be what they had hoped, but they will still remain God's child.

Just like your children are still yours when they do wrong. The fellowship is hampered until that wrong is made right, but they are still YOUR children.

Brother Ian
09-05-2005, 04:57 PM
No one can pluck you out of God's hand. Remember what the grace of God teaches us (Titus 2:11-12).

God s divorce, but it is allowed in Scripture as discussed above. God would prefer for the marriage vow to remain unbroke.

Why would you single out divorce as a sin that could prevent your entrance into heaven and not, say . . . stealing?

Gershom
09-05-2005, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by Helen:


1. For a lifestyle of adultery (a one-time mistake does not qualify) (see Proverbs 2, for example)

I don't see where you've come up with this belief that a one-time mistake does not qualify. Can you explain?

Frances
09-05-2005, 06:41 PM
I never said one can't get forgiveness of fornication.
Satan has he power to pluck you out of Gods hand if you let him. You cannot blame anyone but yourself once one turns away and go back to finding more pleasure in the serving satan than God. Read Hebrews 6. and don't try to twist, add to or take away from. God means just exactly what he says!! This is one place you don't have to "rightly divide" to get the full meaning.

Frances
09-05-2005, 06:47 PM
Bapmom,,Where in the scriptures does it show that some will recieve a better reception than others? This is ridiculous!!! Either one is pure or either they're not. It is so pitiful how some people will believe anything and yet call themselves a christian.

Karen
09-06-2005, 01:19 AM
Hi Frances,
No need to sound like you're attacking Bapmom.
Maybe she was thinking of passages that talk about our rewards. Some will receive more rewards than others.

Karen

rjprince
09-06-2005, 01:48 AM
A believer can commit any sins that can be committed by an unbeliever. Those sins are under the blood of Christ as far as our eternal destiny is concerned, we are covered by the righteousness of Christ. Our sins only impact our fellowship with the Father and other believers, not our eternal security in the Father's hands. NOTHING CAN TOUCH US THERE. That is the whole point of John 10:28-29 – for anyone to take us out of God’s hands, they would have to be stronger than God. Should note that the word “man” in those verses is italicized – the original apographs read “neither shall any pluck them out” and “no [thing] is able to pluck them out”.

The Prodigal Son took himself out of the house of the father, out of the country of his father, out of fellowship with his father, out of the company of his brother, into a far country and into riotous living. BUT GUESS WHAT HE COULD NOT DO? HE COULD NOT TAKE HIMSELF OUT OF RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER OR HIS BROTHER! He may have lived like a pig, ate like a pig, smelled like a pig, and even looked like a pig. But, HE WAS STILL A SON – NOT A PIG!

He wanted to return as a servant, but the father received him as a son, BECAUSE HE STILL WAS A SON! His inheritance was gone, squandered on wild living, but his relationship was secure as was his place in the father’s house.

In 1Cor 11:28-34, Paul stresses the importance of examining yourself before partaking of the Lord’s Supper. To declare that we are in fellowship with the Father and the brethren by partaking of the Lord’s Table when matters are not right in our own life is to partake in an unworthy manner. Some of the Corinthians were doing just that. God had judged some of them with sickness and some of them with DEATH! (v. 30). The purpose of God’s judgement on these believers was to deal with their sin and to deal with them SEPARATELY from the world! The world will be condemned. God judges believers in this life to mark them as His own and to keep them separate from the world. They were judged now, that they would not be condemned with the world later! Two different forms of the Greek word for “judge” or “condemn” are used in this passage. The general one speaks of our chastening for sin, the intensified word speaks of the ultimate damnation of the lost. A believer shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life.

If eternal life ever ended, it really would not be eternal, would it?

John 10:28 - And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish...

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 5:24 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

As for the divorce issue, yes. Two reasons – sexual immorality, and desertion by an unbeliever.

RightFromWrong
09-06-2005, 01:59 AM
JOHN 10:27 says........My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give them ETERNAL LIFE ( that means forever ! ) and they shall NEVER PERISH; and NO ONE shall snatch them out of my fathers hands. My Father who has given them to me, is GREATER Than all ; and NO ONE is able to SNATCH them out of the Fathers hand. I and the father are one.

Jesus even said it twice for those who had trouble understanding the truth.

Frances
09-06-2005, 02:08 AM
Oh my goodness! I am so shocked that some people even believe that some will be rewarded more than others in heaven when God plainly states that we'll inherit it all, not less to some than others.

Indeed!! Rightfromwrong after we inherit eternal life(immortality)we can't be snatched out of Gods hands.

Frogman
09-06-2005, 02:13 AM
Actually, many Bible scholars debate whether Paul added to the words of Jesus.

Many believe Paul was not.

These will say the context of 1 Cor. 7 shows that Paul is speaking toward our being content in whatever condition we are called.

Thus, were an 'unbelieving' spouse to leave a 'believing' spouse, rather than opening a door to enter into a second marriage, it becomes necessary for the believing spouse to resolve his/herself to being content in the Lord and not seek to remarry.

Thus, there is only one reason given for divorce, this is given as fornication. Again, the disagreement is where this 'fornication' is defined. Is it 'premarital relations' that are not disclosed prior to marriage, therefore rendering the marriage to be based on falsehood; or is it 'extra-marital' relations?

In either case, a believer remains a believer regardless of marriage, single, divorced, remarried, etc. According the Bible the particular condition only restricts possible avenues to service.

As far as myself, I cannot judge any man or woman.

I am thankful God has been pleased to bless my marriage to keep us together even when we have suffered 'trouble in the flesh'.

Bro. Dallas

Frogman
09-06-2005, 02:15 AM
Dear Frances,
1 Cor. 3 teaches concerning our rewards. As to whether these are eternal or not is insignificant.

Even if your cup is 'bigger' than my own, my cup shall also be overflowing (Ps. 23) and thus I shall be eternally satisfied in Christ.

Bro. Dallas

RightFromWrong
09-06-2005, 02:35 AM
Frogman are you saying its ok for someone who is being physically abused and their children, that that person should stay in the marriage? How about if the children are being sexually abused ?
To me that would be way worse than fornication any day.

RightFromWrong
09-06-2005, 02:40 AM
Frogman how about addressing Frances misinterpetaion on being saved after we die not before ? She keeps bringing this up ?

Why would Jesus talk to those who believed in him about NO ONE being able to Snatch THEM ( those he was talking to ) out of his father hands after they die and go to heaven. Obviously he was talking about after they were saved while they were on Earth.

Frogman
09-06-2005, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by RightFromWrong:
Frogman are you saying its ok for someone who is being physically abused and their children, that that person should stay in the marriage? How about if the children are being sexually abused ?
To me that would be way worse than fornication any day. Dear Sister RFW,
I did not mean to leave the impression that was what I was saying.

But that the view that Paul taught a 'second' means or justification for ending a marriage is not a Biblical view. Paul did not alter, nor add to nor deminish [spelling] the words of Christ.

Paul was teaching that when a marriage is disrupted (ex. by a non-believer leaving a believer, or one who is abusive, who continually so, inmho, is a non-believer); then the believer's response is to remain unmarried. I believe this is the teaching of the context of 1 Cor. 7.

Then, as I said, I do not judge any person's heart.

Not a few will reject such married and divorced and remarried as members of the church; I do not.

None of us are worthy of being redeemed nor of being members of the Lord's church.

Remember, Jesus told those he was speaking to that Moses only gave them divorce because of the hardness of their hearts and that from the beginning it was not to be so.

If it was so from the beginning, then it is still so, if it was given because of the hardness of our hearts, then it remains so.

More later, Lord willing,
Bro. Dallas Eaton graemlins/wavey.gif

rjprince
09-06-2005, 03:04 AM
Frogman,

Paul himself tells us that he is adding to the words of Jesus! "to the rest, speak I, not the Lord" (1Cor 7:12). He cited the Lord regarding staying in the marriage in v. 10, now he adds to this with the allowance of divorce at the request of the unbeliever.

ONE Key to understanding 1Cor 7 is the word "agamos" - "unmarried" -- only used four times in the whole NT and they are all in this chapter. Paul defines it in verse 11 as one who has "departed" - "chwridzw", a technical term for "divorce" (w=omega). Departed = divorced.

As far as children being sexually abused, that would be included under "fornication". The word "porneia" is a very broad Greek word encompassing a great variety of sexual sins, certainly including pedophilia.

RightFromWrong
09-06-2005, 03:13 AM
rjprince wrote.....As far as children being sexually abused, that would be included under "fornication". The word "porneia" is a very broad Greek word encompassing a great variety of sexual sins, certainly including pedophilia.

Very good point why didn't I think of that

graemlins/thumbs.gif

Frogman
09-06-2005, 03:14 AM
Originally posted by Frances:
I never said one can't get forgiveness of fornication.
Satan has he power to pluck you out of Gods hand if you let him. You cannot blame anyone but yourself once one turns away and go back to finding more pleasure in the serving satan than God. Read Hebrews 6. and don't try to twist, add to or take away from. God means just exactly what he says!! This is one place you don't have to "rightly divide" to get the full meaning. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Why would anyone who had tasted of the Grace of God be mindful of the old life and desire to go back?

Do we not already sin enough in the flesh to know that we have no desire to return to a carnal condition?

Having been born of the eternal Spirit, through which Christ presented himself through, how do we become unborn?

Having been brought out of death and into life, how would we either desire to die again, in spritual death, or how could we accomplish this when we could not even bring ourselves to the birth?

Now, about twisting Hebrews 6, does vs. 4 not say "IF" it were possible for them to fall away, and then vs. 6 says if they shall fall away it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance, so, have your ability to be lost again, just don't expect to have any more opportunity of repentance, because Christ is then crucified afresh, and it is thereby that He is put to an open shame.

All the above is straight from Heb. 6, without twisting, adding or deleting, just presenting the words as God inspired the Apostle.

Bro. Dallas Eaton graemlins/wavey.gif

Frogman
09-06-2005, 03:16 AM
rjprince,
You do make a great point. Paul points out the distinction between his words and that he received from the Lord.

Bro. Dallas

rjprince
09-06-2005, 03:22 AM
Thanks FM and RFW.

RightFromWrong
09-06-2005, 03:22 AM
Frogman...... I've already delt with HEB 6 with Frances and she has chosen to ignor the truth.
Here is what I wrote...

Frances.....I explained to you both HEB. 6 and why TRUE Christians have Assurance of Salvation you have rejected Gods word. I hate to say it but you are much in the position of those in HEB 6.

HEB 6 explained
Lets look at a few words and what they mean.

ENLIGHTENED: Intellectual understanding

TASTED: Enjoyed his word, experenced Gods wonders

FALLEN AWAY: From adherence to realities and facts of the faith.

IMPOSSIBLE: Incapable of existing or taking place.

REPENTANCE: Right relationship with God.

The author of Hebrews is talking to Christians, but as we all know there are those who think they are SAVED and they go to church ( even Baptist churches ), they try to do good on their own, all the while thinking they are one of us. This was the same in those days.
He was speaking to Christians on MATURING in Christ HEB.6: 1-3 then further down Heb. 6:7, he's talking about their FRUITS and REWARDS. At the same time he addressed those ( he says "for in the case of those" ) who were NOT SAVED and told them that they had tasted and were partakers of the word and all that Christ had to " OFFER " them but if they fell away ( walked away from God and the church ) that it would be impossible to be brought back EVEN IF they wanted to. Since they basically had their chance to repent and be saved.If you reject with such full light, how could you ever be saved? See the point?
That they would just be mocking Christ and what he did on the cross. Christ died once and for all, not over and over again. He then goes on to show the FRUITS of those who are truly saved and those who are not.

HEB.6:7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

MATT. 7:16 By their fruits you shall know them

bapmom
09-06-2005, 09:44 AM
Wow Frances!

I thought it was a friendly discussion, now Im not even really a Christian! lol

The Bible clearly teaches that there will be rewards given in heaven and we will cast our crowns at Jesus' feet. It also clearly teaches that our works will be judged, and those things that were dross will be burned up, while those things that were worthwhile will stand.

Frances, I think you said too that Satan can snatch us out of God's hand if we allow him to? Wouldn't that mean that Satan is more powerful than God if he gets a little help from us?

No one, not Satan, not you, and not me, and not anyone else, can take us out of God's hand, just like the Bible says.

TexasSky
09-06-2005, 12:43 PM
Christians are still sinners. Christians are just forgiven sinners.

Karen
09-06-2005, 01:08 PM
Dear Frances,
I Corinthians 3: 10-15 and 2 Corinthians 5: 1-10 address the subject of rewards. The passages are NOT talking about doing good works to gain salvation.

Karen

Lydia's Legacy Ministries
09-06-2005, 08:01 PM
In regards to divorce for abuse, we need to see the Bible as a whole. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength and love our neighbor as ourself. If you love God, you aren't going to beat your spouse. If you stay married to that spouse (even though you are seperaed) that's not what God meant by marriage. God tells us that as marriage partners we are to cleave to each other. How can you do that when you are seperated? You can't. Can can two walk together if they aren't agreed? They can't. Maybe beating on your spouse wasn't prevelant back then, but God did give us a 6th sense -- common sense. Is it common sense to be united to someone who is killing you? No. It doesn't. As a latin woman, this line of thinking is why there is so much violence in our culture. It's because we are told that God wants it that way - for us to stay connected to a man who can and very well could kill you if he gets the chance. What are we suppose to do? Pray that our spouse dies so that we can move on? Heaven forbid!
It's different when you want to divorce for personality issues. We ALL have personality issues so divorcing your spouse on those grounds are a no-no. You're going to have to deal with that personality again, so might as well work it out. But regarding abuse, I don't see why people have such a hard time. As a loving parent, if your child and grandchildren were getting beat down, would you actually tell him/her to stay married? You wouldn't. Why would God? Until you actually see a pregnant woman barefoot running down the street to escape her crazed husband with a knife in his hands, abuse is something you might not understand. I thank God I've been protected from it and that I have an awesome God fearing man. But what about the other women? The new trend is for suburbian men abusing their wives. What can you tell them? Pray and hope you don't get killed? God is LOVE. Love doesn't do that kind of thing. It just doesn't.

El_Guero
09-06-2005, 08:07 PM
Frances

Yes

Lydia's Legacy Ministries
09-06-2005, 08:11 PM
I'm confused. Are you saying, yes, pray you don't get killed and stay married?
I don't want to misread you.

Johnv
09-06-2005, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by Frances:
My understanding of the scriptures on this subject is that the only way to divorced is that if the mate has commited fornication.There are two permissible reasons for divorce:

Adultery (fornication by one of the spouses)
Abandonment of the covenant (aka, desertion). Most often is when a spouse literally leaves the home to separate him/herself from the marriage. But abandonment can also be committed by a person who physically remains in teh home, but has abandoned the covenant. Alcohol and drug abuse are good examples. Spousal abuse is another. In these actions, a spouse abandons the marriage covenant in favor of something else.

But, in your title, you asked "Can a christian be divorced from a non-believer & remain a Christian?" Divorce is not a litmus test for one's salvation. One can be a Christian and a bigamist, abuser, and cheater, albeit that person will probably a lousy eample of Christianity.

El_Guero
09-06-2005, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by Lydia's Legacy Ministries:
I'm confused. Are you saying, yes, pray you don't get killed and stay married?
I don't want to misread you. Frances

Yes, a christian be divorced from a non-believer & remain a christian.

I did not realize the thread had drifted from divorce and remaining a Christian to killing a spouse. I pray this clears up the confusion.