Divorce and Remarriage: the real issue.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by pinoybaptist, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    What is the real issue here ? One poster in a thread for a similar subject said that I had ignored Matthew 5:32 where the Lord said, and I quote:

    But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

    The argument being that God allows divorce in cases where the marriage bed is defiled, thru fornication, which everybody in this board, it seems, considers to be adultery and only adultery.

    But how do we harmonize this with the other gospels, if so be that we teach that the Bible does not contradict itself, and all the gospels are in harmony with each other.

    Matthew repeats the same things in Chapter 19:9, and again stresses that the Lord said, "except it be for fornication".

    However, two gospel writers, Mark and Luke, did not emphasize the cause of fornication.

    Paul, the Apostle, writing to the Corinthians, do not even mention fornication, as a cause for married believers breaking up, but, of course, I may have missed the verse, so if anyone knows where Paul said something to that effect, please inform me, and I will gladly retract my statement here in this paragraph.

    Now, what was the real issue to the Lord in as far as divorce and remarriage among believers who call on Him, and who are known by His Name, are concerned ?

    It is not the divorce part of the issue !

    God, in Christ, emphatically told his questioners:

    The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
    And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
    Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    The Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah God of the Old Testament, declared He is the Lord, He never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His words do not change, His principles do not change, His commandments do not change, and from the very beginning, He has declared marriage to be undisolvable by no man.

    However, because of man's hardness of heart, unfaithfulness happens, and the marriage bed is defiled, and so, Moses, not God, but Moses, he allowed divorce, initially for the cause of uncleanness, which is fornication, or adultery, but which the Jews twisted to mean any uncleannes he perceives in his wife, even a constantly runny nose !

    Does that sound familiar ? What reasons run the gamut of those who have divorced, even in the churches ? Incompatibility. Physical Abuse. Mental Illness. Bad breath (good grief) ! Bad money habits.

    God, therefore, according to the Lord Himself, still says no to divorce, and would still say no, save for the hurt pride of the husband in the unfaithfulness of the wife.

    Divorce will happen, whether God says yes or no.

    However, look at the Scriptures very hard.

    The only God-recognized way for dissolution of marriage here on earth is death, not adultery, not wife beating, not because the husband is a closet homosexual, not anything else under the sun, but death and only death of one of the couples.

    Paul said:

    "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (Romans 7:1-3)

    Paul understood what Jesus was saying, and all the gospel writers understood what Jesus was saying. That the emphasis was on the remarriage side.

    We may divorce, we will divorce, but we cannot and should not remarry.

    If we do, whether we know it or not, whether we admit it or not, whether we like it or not, we have become adulterers and adulteresses.


    Jesus said in Matthew 19:8, 9:

    " He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
    And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

    The exception clause of fornication did not legalize remarriage, it only gave allowance for the reason for divorce as seen by Moses.

    That is why the disciples responded: If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry (Matthew 19:10).

     
  2. OrovilleTim

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  3. Marcia

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    I think pinoybaptist supported his view with scripture. I don't think comparing it to what Harold Camping thinks is fair - Camping could be right on some things even though he is significantly wrong on others. This is a logical fallacy called "guilt by association."

    I am not sure I agree, but I see the point of what pinoybaptist says.
     
  4. canadyjd

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    PinoyBaptist

    I appreciate your research here. From the other thread I see two issues here. The first is divorce. The second is how to respond to those who divorce and/or remarry. While I think you are correct on the issue of divorce, I am not so sure about your response to those who remarry.

    You seem to indicate that if a person divorces and remarries they will remain in a constant state of sin as long as they remain in the second marriage. This puts these folks in an impossible situation (of their own making of course), with no options for forgivness.

    For example, consider this senerio:

    A professing Christian couple divorces in spite of the good efforts of the congregation to help them and then both persons remarry, have kids, etc., One or both realize they have sinned against God by divorcing and remarrying, and repents before God and the church for their error.

    Reconciling with the previous partner is impossible without deliberately sinning against God by divorcing the second spouse(s), assuming both persons want to reconcile. To remain celebate in the second marriage is violating I Cor. 7, as well. You certainly want to raise your kids with a healthy display of mutual love and affection.

    Does God meet these folks where they are? Does He forgive them of their sin, as He has promised to do? Does He expect them to follow what He has taught about marriage in the 2nd marriage, or is there a way to return to the former state without deliberately sinning against God?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Harold Camping's soteriology leaves much to be desired, as far as I am concerned, but if he and I have the same view on this issue, it is because the Scriptures cannot be refuted. And if you look around, there are Baptist preachers who practically teach the same thing.

    The Scriptures cannot be broken. They are what they are.

    Like Paul says: We can do nothing for the truth, but for the truth.

    If you think you have something to say on this, and you have Scriptures to refute Scriptures, then do so.
     
  6. OrovilleTim

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    To base something on excluded, or unknown variables, is also flawed logic. It is a fallacy to say something is definitely so, because it isn't specifically mentioned as not being so. This appears to be the case as an inference is being drawn based on what isn't expliciltly stated, which is exactly what is done in the case of Camping. Some elitist will always come along and feel that they need to "fill in the holes", and it leads to some very strange (and uber-legalistic) position. It's just some holes are smaller and only require a only a little "enlightenment" and some holes are gaping and require whole volumes of Doctrines & Covenents, and "other Testaments of Jesus Christ." Whole religions have been started on "filling in the holes", and man's demanding to have an answer to every question.
     
  7. OrovilleTim

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    I have nothing to say, but I think the Scripture suffices (showing context of your Matthew 19:10 reference):

    "9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
    10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
    11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given."

    The "case" you mentioned, would appear to be if the man put away his wife for other than adultery.

    Where is scripture saying that one cannot remarry after putting away an adulteress?
     
  8. npetreley

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    I don't think he supported his view with scripture very well. Just because it doesn't mention fornication in one verse doesn't cancel the fact that Jesus said it in another.

    It is true that from the beginning it was not so. But Jesus was talking what was said in Genesis, before sin entered the world. In other words, God designed marriage to be perfect, one union that was never to be broken. One cannot possibly argue with God's intent. But we are now bodies of fallen flesh, and we STILL have hardness of hearts today, even among the saved. That's why Moses allowed for divorce. That's why we should forgive those who sin by divorcing and then repent of it.
     
    #8 npetreley, Aug 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  9. pinoybaptist

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    No, bro. Any sin, willfully commited or not, has been covered by the blood of Christ, provided they truly belong to God, more so in the case of your scenario where they realized what they have done after the fact of divorce.

    That is why I said that if a divorce and remarried former member of a particular church still wanted to come and worship, if I were the pastor, I would still welcome them as worshippers and visitors, but not as members.

    You see, no pastor has the right to deny God's children the privilege of worship despite the pastor's personal convictions about issues like this, however, as pastor of the church he leads he is to follow, or attempt to follow, James 1:22 and like Scriptures, such as James 1:27, and lead the church collectively toward the same path.



    The above speaks of separation. Gill puts it this way in his commentaries:

    To accept back into membership, or retain into membership, those who knowingly and willfuly commit adultery through remarriage after divorce is not to keep oneself (as believer) and the church as a whole, from the world. Paul said follow me as I follow Christ, and if remarriage after divorce were something that Christ already allowed, that would have been clearly taught by all the New Testament writers to the church.

    Remember that David was told by Nathan, "The Lord also hath put away thy sin...."

    God is never surprised by decisions made by His own, nevertheless, even the children of God are not exempt from the consequences of willful sin in this life, and that is, a seared conscience.

    You are right when you said it is something that cannot be undone once commited, you can't divorce the new spouse anymore, and remarry the former one, especially if both have remarried.
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    npet, I don't know if this is a problem of communication between me and the readers, but, somehow, I get the feeling that you all are trying to portray me as legalist here by insinuating that I espouse not forgiving those who sin by divorcing and repented of it.

    Please, read my posts.

    Of course if somebody divorces, gets married to another person, figures out later that he/she has sinned, and repents, that person is to be accepted and forgiven.

    However, my scenario was a couple decided they want a divorce, the church labors with them, explains the consequences if they divorce, which includes not remarrying, and that they will be guilty of adultery once they do, but they still went ahead, divorced, and remarried other persons, then they have now become willful, knowing parties to adultery according to Scriptures, not according to the practices of the church.

    Sure they probably were not convinced that they sinned. Somebody who wants something will work towards what he wants even when warned that it may burn him, that's human nature.

    People will justify divorce, and adulterous remarriages, because they want that in their lives, no matter what the Scriptures say.

    Now, if such a couple were members of my church, who willingly violated the Scriptures thru adulterous remarriages after we labored much with them in advisement and prayers, I cannot in all good conscience not bring their case up before the church, and ask that they be excluded.

    I realize some pastors would not want to go that way, not because they feel it is bereft of grace, or unloving, or anything else, but because these could mean a family (or more) less in membership.

    At the same time, I believe there are still many in the ministry who value the commands and principles of the Word of God more than anything else.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Well, follow the account, and read it as it is written. The first question the Jews asked was, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause" ?

    His answer to that question was in essence, "no, it is not lawful for any man to put away his wife for every cause". He put it this way, "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder".

    Logically, the next question was, if it is not lawful for any man to put away his wife for any cause, then why did Moses allow that ?

    Again the Lord's answer was in essence, Moses did, I did not. He began with, "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives". It was Moses who was overcome with the hardheadedness and hardheartedness of Israel, it was a breach in his leadership, he caved in.

    But look at the next phrase: "But from the beginning, it was not so". It was never meant to be that way. From the beginning, God's design for marriage was that it be permanent, severed only in death.
    Sure, man messed it up.

    That is why God created Israel in the midst of people who did not know Him, so that Israel will be a showcase of God's rule before the people of the land because of their conduct towards Him, and towards one another.

    That is why Christ founded the church, and sent preachers and pastors and teachers, so that the church is the place where God is glorified in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, but what happened ?
    The world has come in to the church ! The world influenced the church, not the other way around !

    verse 9 is a continuation of His answer to the question, can a man put away his wife for every cause ? Because of the action of Moses there is now one cause, and only one, in the entire Israel, where a man may put away his wife, and that cause is fornication. But this was Moses' edict, not God's, it was part of Israel's national law.

    Jesus was giving them the right answer.

    Citing that fornication is an exception was not an approval of that exception. It's just a fact. In Israel, only fornication is the legal and justifiable ground for a man to divorce his wife.

    To give you an illustration of how God hates divorce, take a look at Isaiah 50:1-2, where the Lord confronts Israel who was behaving as if she was not married to Jehovah:

    "1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?"

    There is no bill of divorcement. God will not divorce His own people whom He purchased with His own blood. This is the clear picture for the elect children of God.


    Where is the Scripture that says there is a rapture coming ? Where is that word found ?
     
    #11 pinoybaptist, Aug 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  12. saturneptune

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    Actually, you as a pastor have no right to either accept membership or not of anyone, that is a vote of the congregation. That aside, there is no Scriptural basis for saying someone can "worship" but not "serve." That conclusion is a result of flawed thinking.

    Since you persist in ignoring Matt 5:32 in all your posts, one has to wonder what other verses in Scripture you ignore. Since according to your theory, divorce is wrong for any reason, then why do you spend sentence after sentence trying to explain an "adutlerous remarriage" since they are all that way to you.

    The bottom line is that you have not come up with one Scripture that teaches against remarriage for obeying Matt 5:32, and in fact, for divorces not covered by that verse, you have failed to come up with a Scripture that says the remarriage cannot be forgiven, such as in blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
     
  13. OrovilleTim

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    Yellow flag flys, whistle blows... "Deflection in an attempt to answer a direct request for scripture to back up a position - 5 Yard Penalty!" (I've got football on my mind.)

    Did I say anything about the rapture?
     
  14. thjplgvp

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    RE:divorce and remarriage

    Having read every post on both threads I would say that the scriptures have been treated fairly faithfully with a couple of exceptions.

    First it was not Moses who established divorce it was man and it was God through Moses who established the divorce proceedings or regulations governing divorce.

    Secondly the purpose of the divorce was not to terminate the marriage but to reconcile it. A careful study of the Old Testament divorce proceedings and the New Testament church discipline will show you that both are designed by God to reconcile. God wrote Israel a decree of divorce not to divorce her but to affect reconciliation.

    Thirdly Jeremiah is clear when he says once a divorce person is remarried they cannot go back to their former spouse because the land is polluted.

    People today like yesterday will do what they want, hardness of heart if you will, our question (local church) should be how are we going to minister to the results of sin? All divorce is ultimately caused by sin and the last I read we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    Having said this I understand P-Baptist when after counseling a couple and they determine to divorce that would tend to place both parties within the realms of church discipline. Our church takes a more practical view of this sin, we restrict their involvement within the church to just attendance until such time as repentance and acknowledgement of their sin is recognized by them. We believe the best place to hear the word of God that affects repentance is in the body and as long as they do not remarry there is hope of reconciliation.

    We are not tolerant of open sin but like many churches we have not found a truly cut and dried way of handling the myriad of scenarios brought about within today’s culture.


    thjplgvp
     
  15. pinoybaptist

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    Ah, the man is back. I hope you had a good day at work.

    First, please tell me where I said remarriage cannot be forgiven.
    Second, I am willing to discuss this issue with you, on the condition that you will not attribute to me words I did not say, such as the above.
    Third, notice my question to Orovilletim.
    Where is the Scripture that uses the word rapture in connection with the second coming of Christ ?
    Answer.
    There is no Scripture that uses the word 'rapture', but the inference, or the principle, is there.
    Christ will come for His own.
    There may be no phrase that says remarriage is forbidden, but the inference or the principle is right there in your favorite proof text, Matthew 5:32 which says:

    One just needs to understand what is being said in light of the context of the verse. (But, of course, when we are smarting from something, like maybe being divorced and remarried and because of that we must face the fact that the word of God calls us adulterers, context does not matter).

    For reference, go to my post to canadyjd on this thread.

    For a little help, let me point out to you that this verse says that if the man who divorces his wife, save for the cause of fornication (which is not an endorsement of divorce, but simply in reference to the question of is it okay to divorce for every cause), causes his wife to commit adultery, and the guy who picks up this wife and makes her his wife, becomes an adulterer himself.

    Implication ?

    The disciples got it, if you didn't. They go: "duh, if divorcing my wife makes me a party to her adultery later on, and if marrying a divorced woman makes me an adulterer, then better not marry, right ?" (Matthew 19:10).

    Sorry, man, but there's just no way to get around this.

    Oh, by the way, divorce for any reason is not my theory.

    It is a fact.

    Unless you want to lock horns with Christ who said, "whatsoever therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder".

    Or unless you want to debate with Paul who said the only way any marriage is dissolved is thru death of one or both of the spouses.
     
  16. thjplgvp

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    RE:adultery

    Just so you understand my above post, adultery by fornication is sin and needs to be dealt with by church discipline for this is not a grey area but one that is clearly defined within the context of scripture.

    Divorce on the other hand is between the two spouses and not between the church and one or the other spouse. The church ie. Pastor, leadership etc. is to be the mediator or reconciliation for in the mouth of two or three witnesses let a thing be established.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    Pinyo,
    One thing that you seem to be forgetting, unlike some in these threads, I have no personal stake in this. I have always been married to one person, and for all we have been through, plan to keep it that way.

    With that said, let me ask it a different way. If a man was to divorce his wife for adultry, and say remarried a never married woman, is there any way that can be adultry, and if so, please explain how?
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    No, its not adultery
     
  19. Helen

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    Let me tell you about the counselling Barry and I received before we were married. First, he had never been married before. However I had been married for 20 years to a man who had a series of affairs for about fifteen of them, if I am to believe what he told me. In 1991 he left us for one of his other women. Within weeks of the divorce being final (I refused to file; he had to. I did not want the divorce no matter what), he was married to her.

    I did not think I could marry again, and actually, because I knew the pain 'another woman' could cause, I would not even talk to another man unless it was in a strictly business/professional relationship for at least seven years.

    When Barry and I found our professional relationship turning into a friendship and then into a much deeper friendship (although we were 12,000 miles apart!), both of us sought counselling regarding the matter.

    Here is what he was told -- which really was the clincher for both of us:

    In the Old Testament, if one marriage partner committed adultery, that person was stoned to death. That left the innocent party widowed, and thus free to remarry. We do not stone adulterers to death today; instead divorce. Does this mean the innocent party must be penalized because we do not sentence the guilty party to death?

    Shortly after my ex had left us (call it abandonment, for the kids never even got birthday or Christmas cards after the first year, let alone anything else! The judge had to order child support and we got none until the divorce was final.), I was reading the Bible one day and came across the following from Psalm 2, which almost exactly described what had happened.

    It [wisdom] will save you from the adulteress
    from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
    who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.
    For her house leads down to death
    and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
    None who go to her return
    or attain the paths of life.


    When I read that I literally and out loud screamed at God, "NO! That's my HUSBAND!"

    But the years have proved the accuracy of that proverb. My ex is a bitter and hateful old man now. He is dead inside, certainly. It appears in God's eyes that he is dead, and has been for some time now.

    For nine years I raised six children alone -- five being adopted special case kids. I would wake up at a run at 5 in the morning and I think I was unconscious before I was even horizontal around eleven at night. I was most certainly not on a husband hunt! In fact, two days before Barry and I were married, I was hysterically trying to talk him out of it, primarily because I did not think I could be a good wife again; I didn't think I could trust or really open up again.

    But it has become totally obvious to us both in the almost six years that we have been married now that this is truly of the Lord. The kids (grown now) have responded to this man in incredible ways and there has been so much healing in the family. His research has made giant leaps forward and I am a much, much better person than I ever was before. God has blessed us in more ways than I could count. Sometimes I look at him and wonder how come I was the woman in all the world who got to marry this incredible man.

    Remarriage in these circumstances is, I am now convinced, entirely allowable and blessed by God.

    No, divorce is not right in any way, shape, or form. However I had no choice in the matter, and the counselling we both got from several different pastors and my brother who is an elder in his church helped us see that we could go ahead with our relationship and know that we were not sinning.
     
  20. Scarlett O.

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    Thank you, Helen, for that testimony. You won't believe how much it will mean to people in that same predicament as you.....and there are untold number....both men and women.
     

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