Do you believe a Christian can remarry after divorce?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Marcia, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Some believe that a Christian cannot remarry after a divorce if the former spouse is still living, especially if it was done on grounds aside from adultery, since they believe God still views this marriage as viable.

    I posted the poll here so there could be discussion/debate since debate and lengthy discussion is not allowed in the Fellowship Forum.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    One of the most hurtful and prejudicial additions to God's Word is the man-made thinking you describe. Very sad.

    The motive for saying NO remarriage is often good - they want to help preserve/protect the sanctity of the marriage vows.

    But adding/twisting God's Word to try to make a universal prohibition against divorce and remarriage is not the answer.

    Will let others chime in, but there are very clear Scripture-based principles about a biblical divorce and then clear Scripture-based principles on remarrying following a biblical divorce.

    (I removed the other thread per your request)
     
  3. Aaron

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    The Scriptures are clear. Divorce and remarriage for any cause other than adultery, and the abandonment of a non-believing spouse (if the marriage was solemnized prior to either party becoming a believer) is adultery.
     
  4. Marcia

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    Dr. Bob, thanks for removing the other thread. I was going to do this as a poll, but this way is okay.

    Maybe I'll just post the different options and situations.

    (These statements assume the former spouse is still living)
    1. A Christian should never remarry.
    2. A Christian can remarry if the spouse committed adultery or deserted and that led to divorce.
    3. A Christian can remarry if they were divorced before being saved.
    4. A Christian can remarry if the former spouse has remarried.
    5. A Christian can always remarry.


    I do think there are too many divorces among believers these days, which makes the issue of remarriage more common.

    One thing that bothers me about remarriage is that it is confusing to children, imo. I am not saying I am against it, that is just a consideration that I think should be taken into account.
     
  5. Zenas

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    Aaron is right. The scriptural grounds for divorce are very narrow. So far as I can tell the scriptures do not expressly permit remarriage, but we can assume that if you have the right to a divorce you also have the right to marry. This is God's plan for the family. Unfortunately our culture sees things differently, and it seems Christian marriages fare no better than any others. More than half of all people who marry can expect to be divorced. This presents an enormous problem in the church. If we take a strong position against divorce, barring divorced persons from teaching, holding church offices or being deacons, we lose many of our most valuable members. It's just very difficult to rail against divorce when literally half the people in your congregation have been divorced.

    On the other hand, our acceptance of this phenomenon has no doubt contributed to the number of divorces. It wasn't too many years ago that there were real consequences for getting a divorce. Edward VIII abdicated the British throne in 1936 to marry a divorced woman. We have had only one divorced president--Reagan. Being divorced was a barrier to advancement in most careers. People would shun you in social settings. All this made the prospect of divorce a lot more grim and people were very reluctant to take this step on account of the dire consequences. Today these consequences do not exist, so anyone who is unhappy with his or her marriage goes down to the courthouse and gets a divorce. The absence of social consequences encourages divorce.

    On the civil side, nearly all states have adopted some form of no-fault divorce. All you have to do to get a divorce is go into court and state under oath that you have lived apart (meaning no sexual activity) for a certain period of time (6 months in my state) and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. It doesn't matter what the other spouse wants. If one spouse says the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will so find and grant the divorce. The marital property is then divided without regard to any marital misconduct. The law is now such that the contract of marriage is the only contract that can be broken without any negative consequence. The absence of legal consequences encourages divorce.

    So what do we do in the church? First of all, we should do more to strengthen marriages. We should redouble our efforts when a couple's marriage is in trouble. However, if one or both parties decide they must be divorced to be happy, we should treat them no different then we would treat someone who is in a homosexual lifestyle. We may lose some members by being hardliners but the church is the body of Christ, not a social club. Of course in either case if the person repents God will forgive them, and if God has forgiven them so should we. So what do we do about persons who remarry? As I stated above, if you have the right to a divorce you also have the right to marry. If you divorced your spouse without scriptural grounds, you can be forgiven but I don't believe God permits remarriage. I believe those who do are living in a state of sin.
     
  6. Salty

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    This Stat though untrue is often used,
     
  7. Aaron

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    A quick Google yielded the following stats:

    • The divorce rate in 2005 (per 1,000 people) was 3.6 -- the lowest rate since 1970, and down from 4.2 in 2000 and from 4.7 in 1990. (The peak was at 5.3 in 1981, according to the Associated Press.)
    • The marriage rate in 2005 (per 1,000) was 7.5, down from 7.8 the previous year.
    • The same study said that only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents -- the lowest figure in the Western world.
    http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsUS.shtml

    Anyway, Zenas merely said half the folks in his church were divorced. He should know. Out of the 29 folks in the maintenance crew at my place of employment, 13 are divorced (45%), and most of them have remarried.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Christians remarry all the time.

    But here's the grind: Are they less Christian because they remarry?
     
  9. thegospelgeek

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    (Luk 16:18) Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.



    (1Co 7:15) But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
     
  10. Zenas

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    I had not given much thought to the percentage of divorced persons in my own church until you guys started questioning my numbers. Having thought about it now, I realize there are some 25% of our people, including children, who have never married. So if you take half of the 75% who have been married, you come up with 38%. That seems about the right percentage for my congregation.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    My general answer is no. There are very few exceptions.
     
  12. donnA

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    Scripure seems to indicate that no a divorced person can not remarry, unless they marry the person they are divorced from, unless their unbelieving spouse divorced them because of their christianity. Thats the unbeliever who gets the divorce, not the believer. Scripture says if you divorce and remarry another it is adultry.
    And yes, christians do it all the time, never considering what scripture says, or possibly some don't care what it says.
    It says what it says, just because divorce is culturally acceptbale does not mean it is acceptable to God. If people obeyed scripture in the first place they wouldn't even consider divorce, or rather, wouldn't even need or want to consider divorce.
     
  13. Thinkingstuff

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    I'm with you there Donna.
     
  14. thegospelgeek

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    My answer when asked this by people in the church is to point them to the scriptures I posted. I never comment on them. They are very clear.

    Most people read them and do what they want. Very few pay any attention to what God says.
     
  15. drfuss

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    drfuss: I think the declining divorce rate can be misleading. More and more people in the general population are not bothering to get married; they just live together for a while and then move on to the next partner. Consider the large number of single mothers who never got married. I think the declining divorce rates are due to people in recent years seeing no need to get married, and it being accepted by the general populace.

    I suspect the divorce rate among Christians may still be climbing.
     
  16. Aaron

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    No less than the Christian who steals all the time.
     
  17. Thinkingstuff

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    How many pastors here will marry a divorsed woman or man?
     
  18. thegospelgeek

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    Not I :praying:
     
  19. canadyjd

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    I had a friend ask me to perform a marriage ceremony. He was twice divorced and the woman he was marrying had been divorced.

    I told him I couldn't marry them.

    He has not spoken to me since.

    Now a question to everyone. Pastors often say, "by the power invested in me by Almighty God, I now pronouce you....."

    Exactly where in scripture does God give a pastor the authority to marry anyone? Isn't this a tradition of the Catholic Church kept by protestants?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  20. Jon-Marc

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    One thing I've learned about Christians is that they can forgive most anything except divorce. It doesn't matter what the circumstances are; you're still in sin in their minds. I divorced my first wife because of adultery after she said "I won't change."

    Then I made the mistake of remarrying. Two weeks after we married the honeymoon ended, and so did that marriage. For the next 7 and a half months all I heard from her mouth was constant criticism of me. I couldn't say or do anything right. Two weeks later (after being together just 8 months and 12 days, she left me and divorced me. She had found that I wasn't perfect like she was. :laugh: I have no intention of ever marrying again. I should have stayed single and NEVER married.

    In two different churches the deacons wanted me removed as the song leader even though there was no one else to do it except the pastor. The pastor shouldn't have to do the preaching, teaching, and lead the singing. Divorce is the "unforgivable sin" to many Christians.
     

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