Divorce and Re-Marriage

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gerald285, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. gerald285

    gerald285
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    The following is a plea for the church to return to God in the area of divorce and marriage. I write this as one who understands the needs of the divorced person weather they are innocent in the divorce or the guilty party. However our desires are not above the scripture on the issue and the church must return to her Lord's commands.

    It is evident that today the church as a whole is no longer seeking God on the issue of divorce. God's commands on this issue are no longer relevant for most of the claimed believers. Instead most seek exclusions from what the bible teaches on this matter or simply totally ignore the commands as if God's word is secondary to personal desire. The problem is so prevalent that the church today in America has either equaled the world or surpassed it in the percentages of marriages that fail. In essence God simply does not matter in this issue. This is seen in our actions. Most who violate God's command on the re-marrying issue after divorce shrug off the command by claiming grace and that they are not under law. However let us be ever so careful since when anyone ignores God's commands with the expectation of forgiveness they enter into a deep pit of presumption and that sin is of a type that cannot be confessed biblically in most cases. David cries out to God to keep him from presumptuous sin.

    Psalm 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

    We would do well to take a great warning from David's plea and not venture into the area of thinking that we can sin because God will forgive. While His mercy is great and His forgiveness beyond understanding He warns us that He will not be mocked.

    Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    This is a self evident verse in the area of divorce and un-biblical re-marriage. It is seen in the broken lives of the children that follow and the lifestyles of the parents that rush into this trap. The command is clear for those who divorce without biblical grounds.

    1 Cor 7:11But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to [her] husband: and let not the husband put away [his] wife.

    There is only two reasons for a biblical divorce which allow re-marrying. One is if the spouse leaves because the other has come to Christ and the un-saved spouse no longer wants to continue in the marriage with this person who now practices the callings of God.

    The other reason is where there has been some sort of sexual relations outside the marriage. These two and only these two offer the innocent person in the marriage the right to re-marry. If the divorce came about for any other reason, then the divorced person even if innocent, is to remain single or seek to re-unite in marriage with their spouse. There are no exceptions given in scripture.

    However today the church for the most part has abandoned the word of God in this area and stands condemned for its practice. Let us keep in mind that sin leads to more sin and in the end judgment. Like Israel of old unless we return to the precepts of God in all humility we also will be cut off from the grace that He has so mercifully offered. God's commands are not suggestions that we can cast aside at will because we feel that our circumstances are outside their purview. God's commands are just that, commands. His mercy was never intended as a for-thought to allow the individual to sin and escape judgment. Forgiveness and mercy is always an after-thought for sin that has taken place, although willfully on our part, for those who come in true contrition and humility over what they have done.

    Presumptuous sin falls outside the realm of true biblical ability to be able to confess and leaves the person in a state of non forgiveness before God unless they can reverse their understanding and heart filled sorrow over what they have done. A very dangerous path to take. However even if we can come to a place of forgiveness that forgiveness does not justify the sin and any limitations that are imposed remain on the offending party.

    So may we take great care in who and why we marry the first time and if there should be a divorce that does not fall within the guidelines of biblical permitted divorce and re-marriage then let us remain un-married or return to the one who we divorced.
    God bless
     
  2. Zenas

    Zenas
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    Gerald, I assume you don't believe in eternal security because if you do your comments make no sense at all. If by being saved all our sins are forgiven--past, present and future--then it is impossible be be in a state of sin. With eternal security we are free to divorce and remarry for any reason without fear of eternal damnation. We may grieve the spirit for awhile but we will not lose our salvation.
     
  3. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    Hey Gerald, I appreciate your zeal for holiness. OK this is a long post, stay with me if you can. I would agree with you that
    However I have to disagree with you on a couple other issues. First of all you seem to indicate that you believe many Christians do not take the issue of divorce seriously and that is why divorce rates in churches equal or surpass those of unchurched America.
    This statistic is widely quoted by preachers as an example of failure within the church but it makes me wince every time I see it because it is a classic example of statistical error through context. You are looking at divorce rates in exclusion of marriage rates. Yes a church couple is as likely to get divorced as an unchurched couple. But a church couple is much more likely to marry than an unchurched couple. Because we hold to Biblical teaching on adultery and fornication couples within a church environment are much more likely to marry when unchurched couples would live together and have ‘marital relations’ without the marriage. Instead of looking at the divorce rates look at the break up rates for couples that know each other biblically and you will be comparing apples to apples. The truth is that most churches still take marriage and adultery very seriously.

    You seem concerned about premeditated sin under the cover of Grace but then you quote David. Bad choice of verses imho, how many wives did David have? Oh yea, and how many other men’s wives? Yet David was forgiven was he not?


    I am afraid I also have to disagree with you on the biblical grounds for divorce.
    Your first biblical ground is correct. If someone comes to know Christ and their spouse is unsaved and they (the unsaved spouse) wants to divorce than the Christian spouse is blameless and free to remarry. Don’t forget that this only applies if the unsaved spouse wants to divorce the Christian spouse is not to seek divorce and is specifically instructed to stay in the unequal union if the unsaved spouse is willing.

    My problem is with your second ‘biblical’ reason for divorce, sexual relations outside of marriage. That is not what the Bible says. What Jesus said in Matt 5:32 (also found in Mark 10:11-12. and Luke 16:18) is:
    I am sorry, and I know it goes against what most people in our modern society believe but Jesus is not giving people the right to divorce if their spouse cheats. What he is saying is that if you divorce for any other reason, you are causing your spouse to commit adultery. Obviously if they have already committed adultery before the divorce then you did not cause them to commit adultery, they had already done it. If you look at Jesus’ words in Matt. 19:5-6 I think it is clear.

    In verse 7 the disciples ask why Moses allowed divorce, and in verse 8 Jesus answered:
    Check out Mark 10:7-8, I don’t believe Jesus is giving any exceptions. He is saying that divorce is always wrong, always against God’s will, no exceptions whatsoever. The only exception I see is that given by Paul in I Cor 7, and I think verse 28 says it best:
    The sin is in the divorce, not the remarriage. Staying unmarried does not mitigate the sin of divorce it only keeps the door of reconciliation open. Divorce is always wrong, reconcile if you can. If you can’t remarriage is not a sin. At least that is what the Bible says and as gerald 285 said:
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
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    Sure it is bad. But is it not permitted in cases of adultery?
     
  5. npetreley

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    Depends on who you ask. I believe it is permitted in case of adultery. The following passage doesn't rule out divorce, it simply states the obvious -- that if you divorce your wife EXCEPT for the cause of adultery, you are causing her to commit adultery if she has relations with another man. This passage isn't about when divorce is permissible, it's about the consequences of being one flesh.

    If I recall correctly, if you divorce your wife and she becomes one flesh with another man, OT law does not permit you to take that wife back again. I don't remember where that appears in the OT, but I'm pretty sure that was considered an abomination to the Lord. Not that we are bound to OT law, but the principle tells you something.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Has the church come to a consensus on this issue?
     
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I was giving you my opinion Jkdbuck. I do not think that it is. I am sure I am in the minority on this subject and npetreley does not agree with me.
    You are absolutly right npetreley, the passage does not specifically say that divorce is forbidden in cases of adultery. I believe that because of the other verses I referenced (Matt 19:5-7 and Mark 10:7-8)

    I would like to find that passage in the OT law you mentioned npetreley. It seems like I remember something like that also, but I can't find it right now. Wasn't there also a prophet who's wife was a harlot and left him and he went and purchased her back? Of course that was a picture of Israel, leaving God and chasing other false gods and then God redeeming them.

    Now I may be reading to much into this, but one of the reasons that marriage is so sacred is because it is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Chruch, between Israel and God, between us as belivers and God. When marriages fail, they fail to live up to that picture. Because I believe in eternal security I also believe that marriage vows are sacred and should not be broken.

    Yes I believe that you have a scriptural obligation to forgive and take back a spouse that has cheated on you. That is a hard thing to believe and many today do not believe that but I believe that is what the Bible teaches. Now if they have abandoned you and taken to living a lifestyle that is not Christian, then I believe I Cor does give you an out, but if they repent and return to you I think your obligation is to follow the example God has given us when we repent and turn to Him.
     
  8. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    Do you mean Hosea and Gomer?
     
  9. npetreley

    npetreley
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    I found it...

     
  10. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    Divorce

    Is divorce wrong, yes, but not in all cases. There are somethings worse than divorse. I have in the past and will continue in the future to "pastorally counsel" some women to leave their husbands and get a divorce. I will not bow down to any Judiaziers opinions in this area. I have divorced men in my church that are not that way because of their wife and not their own choice. I will joyfully use these men as deacons and other leaders in the church and not loose one minutes sleep over it. I am so tired of the legalists trying to beat down such a large portion of our churches, is it any wonder why we have no joy and spreading of the gospel.

    It ain't 1950 anymore and they were wrong about many things that we have since discovered and they were wrong in their interpretation over divorce. What can be worse than divorce? Let's try the murder of the wife because she was told to stay with the maniac husband. How about the sexual mulestation of the children because mom was too afraid to speak up and leave the slim-ball. Then there is always the wonderful situation of the children being taught that the wife/woman is the doormat and worthy of being regularly beaten and made to be a slave.

    I am so glad that we have the tool of divorce and I will not hesitate to use it.
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    Yes LeBuick, Hosea was who I was thinking of.

    Thanks npetreley. Interesting passage. It seems to imply that she can remarry other men but not the previous spouse. Also it is interesting that the first husband divorces her because he has found some ‘uncleanness’ in her but the second husband detests her, divorces her, or dies and makes her a widow. I am going to have to do some prayer over this one. Yea, I know, we are under grace and not bound by the law but this passage still brings up some interesting questions.

    Jsurley, yes I would agree with you that in some cases divorce is the best option left, specifically abuse cases. But God never intended for those marriages to get to that point. There is still sin in these cases. Every divorce should require a period of repentance and remorse. If nothing else they chose to marry the wrong spouse and some reflection on how that happened and what to do to keep it from happening again is warranted.

    I would not say that Christians should never get divorced and that was not the message I was trying to convey above. What I was saying is that God never intended for divorce and every divorce involves some sin of some kind. If you are counseling someone in an abusive relationship or a case where you fear for the safety of the children by all means get them to separate immediately, and in many of those cases divorce will be the eventual outcome.
     
  12. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    No Room for Sin

    I never intended to communicate the idea that sin is one sided or that there is divorce with no sin involved on both parties. I do believe that sometimes people do not show who they really are until after the Honeymoon. Sometimes people change and many times it is just plain sin involved. I am not a promoter of divorce first, but I do believe that in many situations it is better than trying to salvage a sinful abusive relationship.

    I do want to imply that divorce is one of the stupidest things that we tend to over focus on. We have cost many families and individuals a wonderful relationship with the Father because of our stupid attitudes about divorce being so "evil." If we would reach out to these and work to find them an appropriate place in love and not by or through exclusion, in the body of Christ, our outreach would be doubled almost immediately.
     
  13. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    A-Men to that
     
  14. mommietosadie

    mommietosadie
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    Divorce...

    The day before my 24th birthday my ex husband came to me and stated he no longer loved me. I had never been involved with anyone else. And he stated he had not either. Both of us were/are believers. On that day my entire world fell apart. My 25th birthday our divorce was final. I attempted in every way I could to get him to reconcile our marriage. For our divorce was not a biblical one. He continued to claim that I had cheated on him. I had not done so.
    A little over a year ago I met and married a man with two children. I married him after knowing him for only two months but thought that he was the man of my dreams, unbeknownst to me he is not and never will be. He uses every opportunity to berate and call me names. Although he claims to be a believer, he refuses to attend church with me or his children. He is cruel and refuses to work. I attend to all of his needs, his childrens needs and my own. However my own mental health at this point is being affected. What should I do? Stay in this marriage? Am I going to hell because I decided to get married again after my first marriage failed because he was no longer willing to work on it? I would love to be able to have all the answers however I have struggled with this one. I won't say i'm the perfect innocent party but do I not deserve happiness as others do?
     
  15. youngmom4

    youngmom4
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    You say your husband is cruel. What exactly do you mean by that? If you mean that he is abusive to either you or the children, I say run...as far and as fast as you can. No one should have to put up with abuse. If he hurts his children, or you suspect that he could/would, you need to get in touch with their mother (if possible) and/or the appropriate authorities who can remove them from that situation. No, you will not go to hell simply because you have divorced and remarried. If that were the case, there would be a lot of people who fill pews every Sunday that will end up in hell. I just don't believe that is so. If your husband claims to be a believer, you might try having your pastor come to the house and speak with him about his responsibilities as a Christian husband.

    Overall, it is hard to advise you because we don't know enough about your situation. I definitely wouldn't stay in an abusive relationship if that is the case, and if it is not, then I would seek help from a professional immediately. Most churches have a pastor who does marriage counseling, and if yours doesn't, you can look up Christian counselors at the Focus on the Family website at family.org.

    I hope this helps. :praying: for you.
     
  16. The Scribe

    The Scribe
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    I agree, most churches today don't care they go their own way. That needs to change.



    If people would think before they married the first time there wouldn't be so much divorce. Marriage should be taken seriously. Unfortunately not even those in churches seem to care and rush into marriage like the world does.

    If people truly believed marriage is sacred they would think before they married and put forth an effort to stay together. If you claim to be a Christian. We are to act better than the world. Unfortunately most don't care. I hope to see this change.

    I'd like to see churches return to God in the area of divorce and marriage.
    ;)
     
  17. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    When ever problems are discussed about the church an assumption is made and a core problem is overlooked. For instance the divorce rate in the church assumes everyone or even most are actually born again. This is most likely not true and the divorce rate is indicative of this. The church allows anyone who claims to be a christian into its membership under the easybelievism heresy that permeates the church in many cases so that we can count baptisms and be applauded for our "living church". The real problem isn't divorce or infighting. It is the lack of concern for the purity of the church.
     
  18. D28guy

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    MommietoSadie,

    How can I best put this?

    How about....

    NO...NO...NO...NO...NO...

    ...you are NOT going to go to hell for remarrying just like you are not going to hell for divorcing.

    If you are a redeemed child of God than you are dearly loved by Him and one day you will be with Him for all eternity. You have a lifetime guarentee on that...

    Dear one, let me refer once again to the scriptures that some others posted regarding this topic.

    The entire 7th chapter of 1 Corinthians is the clearest and most exhaustive New Covenant treatment of divorce and re-marriage that we have in the sciptures.

    Beginning with 7:8 it reads...

    And the context makes clear that by "unmarried" he also has divorced people in mind.

    Then in 7:27-28...

    God bless you,

    Mike
     
    #18 D28guy, Nov 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2007
  19. mommietosadie

    mommietosadie
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  20. skypair

    skypair
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    mommie,

    It sounds like your hubbie thought he was marrying his mommie. I don't think the proper context was ever there to marry, was it?

    I don't suppose anything keeps you from moving out, setting up your own account, and reestablishing your own "headship" in your own home and only going back under "terms."

    And then, of course, you need to pray for discernment and good counsel before getting back into the relationship or doing any other thing.

    skypair
     

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