Does Jesus Allow for Divorce in the case of Adultery?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    Does Jesus Allow for Divorce in the case of Adultery?

    The prominent view is "Yes." of course. Since He fairly says that in Matt. 19.

    However, some would argue that Jesus is actually refering to divorce as breaking off a betrothal (as in, Joseph found out Mary was pregnant and "resolved to divorce her quietly.") Under this view, Jesus is saying you may break a betrothal in the case of adultery, but once married, you are married for life, no matter what.

    Has anyone heard this view? Thoughts?
     
  2. revmwc

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    First look at the verse in Matthew 19 what does Jesus say, verse 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.
    Put her away for practicing "Porneia" fornication which means:

    illicit sexual intercourse
    adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
    sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
    sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,
    metaph. the worship of idols
    of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols
    Except it be for Fornication "Porneia" was what He said, then he says marrying another makes one "commith adultry" "Moichao" to have unlawful intercourse with another's wife, to commit adultery with.
    So you question needs to be defined is it Adultry "Moichao" then no, is Fornication "Porneia"? Then he said yes. But keep in mind also the pentalty for both in those days was stoning which freed the innocent party by the death of the other. Jesus was answering a specific question and answered as to why Moses allowed the writing of divorcement.
    You must qualify which one it is before you make the call.
     
  3. revmwc

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    One more observation, Verse 8 is the key; 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.

    God's plan was for no divorcement "from the beginning it was not so".

    Verse 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? Verse 8 & 9 shows His response.
     
  4. gb93433

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    For one to break a betrothal or marriage it required a divorce. Betrothal and marriage were legal issues in that day.
     
  5. MB

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    I agree with it and always have. I've been married for nearly 50 years. I have loved my wife ever since I first met her. Unlike most I did not fall in love. I love her on purpose because Love is an act of the will. If it wasn't we could not even hope to love our neighbors.
    I always hate to hear of someone getting a divorce. They use excuses like she cheated on me, or I just don't love her anymore. I'm reminded that when Peter asked how many times should we forgive and Christ told Peter 7X70. When a divorce happens it's because someone in that marriage will not forgive. If we don't forgive we simply will not be forgiven. People really need to think in those terms. Then remember we can love anyone we want to all we have to do is be willing to do so. Love is something that grows to the point of hold our hearts captive. to not love my wife is now impossible for me. Just as it is impossible for me to not Love my Lord.
    MB
     
  6. MB

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    What about forgiveness. You've been forgiven why over look the fact that if you do not forgive you will not be forgiven. The stoning to death presents another problem. You being the husban of the woman being stoned to death. If you do nothing to stop it or incourage it in any way you just became a murder.
    MB
     
  7. revmwc

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    That is why Joseph wanted to put Mary away privately to keep her from being stoned as was the command from God.

    Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death

    Which means it wasn't murder but capital punishment as set forth in the law.
    Are you saying God advocated murder? You say "If you do nothing to stop it or incourage it in any way you just became a murder."
    But God commanded it to be so as set forth in the Law. I believe Jesus may have written this verse in the sand for those who came and said John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
    Where was the man and then Jesus said those without sin possibly he might have said those without the same sin, those accusers possibly had been with her themselves and by the law were to be stoned also.
    The first and foremost thing should be foregiveness. If they continue in it (fornication) then the divorce can happen.
     
  8. 12strings

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    You are correct that I missquoted the verse in saying "adultery" instead of "fornication". I apologize. However, Adultery is one form of Fornication, and if a married person fornicates, it is adultery.

    So the question remains, is Jesus making an allowance for divorce in the case of a spouse who fornicates, or is he not? The verse at first glance seems to be saying that he does.
     
  9. 12strings

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    I realize that, which is why I'm asking the question. Some say that What Jesus is refering to here is ONLY breaking a betrothal...so that we today cannot use this verse to make allowance for breaking up a marraige, even in the case of fornication.
     
  10. 12strings

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    I would agree with your sentaments, as I have seen great hardship come from divorce (after adultery), and I have seen great fruit of harmony and family peace and blessing to the children that has come when a woman decided to stay with an adulterous husband, and even to raise the child of that adulterous relationship in their own home!

    I have yet to see someone who seeks a divorce based on adultery who's heart is to please Christ first and foremost. Most who approach it that way, while they may consider divorce, end up staying with their spouse and forgiving them.

    However, I do not know that I would be able to tell someone BIBLICALLY that the bible forbids divorce EVEN IN THE CASE OF UNFAITHFULNESS.
     
  11. revmwc

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    If you go back to my original post you will the distiction used in the Greek words, they have different meanings. Adultry by the greek is exclusive to being with another persons partner. "Moichao" meaning "to have unlawful intercourse with another's wife, to commit adultery with" is used of adultery here in verse 9. "except it be for fornication(Porneia), and shall marry another, committeth adultery (Moichao): and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery (Moichao).
    Jesus used "Porneia" in saying except for fornication, He made a distintion in the terms. Yes adultry is a part of fornication as you say but the term "Porneia" encompasses a lot more.
    Although Jesus made it clear that God didn't intend divorce from the beginning. Divorce came because of the hardening of the heart, unforgiveness is harding of the heart is it not? So with Jesus saying fornication was it because of the illicitness of it the continual habitual act. Continuing unrepentant in it? If they asked for forgiveness and repent turn away shouldn't the partner forgive?

    to have another's wife
     
    #11 revmwc, Feb 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2012
  12. MB

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    Of course not I was speaking in the terms of our Law now.
    That it would be and is how I was thinking, this would be true today.
    Not so it was moses that allowed divorce.
    Yes it can but that still is not as marriage was originally intended
    Mat 19:8 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.
    This shows me that it was Moses who allowed divorce not God, because Christ said in the last phraise "But from the beginning this was not so." Since God never changes then God would still be against divorce no matter what Moses allowed, and especially when they just go out and commit adultry right away with another.
    Divorce is a terrible thing and should not be taken lightly and those who will not forgive at least as often as Christ has forgiven us are wrong for doing so. This is why;
    Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    As far as Love, Like I said before we can Love anybody Love is an act of the will. We must be willing to Love one another.
    MB
     
  13. MB

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    Our Pastor has held counseling for married couples for years and he preaches on marriage every now and then. I don't exactly know just how he handles the counseling but most who go to him seem to work things out. That I'm thankful for. We have quite a few single parent children that come to our church and anyone can see their suffering. It's written all over their little faces. I pray the Lord will fill their lives with Love. After all they are the ones who suffer from divorce the most and unfairly I might add. It just seems to me that divorce is such a selfish endeavor. I'm all for trying to talk them out of it.
    MB
     
  14. DaChaser1

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    God permits it to happen IF the offending party has already broken the covenant vows, such as adultery, without repentance and forsaking of that sin!


    think God hates divorce, would want reconciliation, but IF the sinning party refuses to "get their act together", offended party able to get the divorce...


    Thornier question is after a "biblical divorce", is the offended party now freed to remarry again?
     
  15. 12strings

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    I would think that your answer to that question would depend on the first one. I don't see biblically how you could say, "The bible allows for divorce here, but not remarraige". If the person cannot remarry, then they should not have gotten divorced in the first place.
     
  16. seekingthetruth

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    Ok, but how bout this?

    A pastor's wife committs adultery. She leaves him and divorces him.

    Can he still be a pastor?

    John
     
  17. MB

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    In my opinion that all depends. If he get's married to another while his X wife is still alive, he would be living in the sin of adultry. I would not sit and listen to a pastor who lives in sin would you? Then there is the fact that at least one of the couple is unforgiving.
    MB
     
  18. gb93433

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    That happened to a friend of mine. For quite awhile his wife was chatting online with a man in another country where she had relatives. She visited the man under the pretense of visiting her relatives. The church kept him on as pastor but required him to take time off with pay and get help so he could come back well. That church grew a lot during that time. It seems as though the city found out about how the church handled their pastor and God blessed their attitude. My friend is a changed person. He knew what love felt like when he expected to resign and be discarded.

    In scripture a divorce implies remarriage. Moses required the men to give a bill of divorcement to their wife so she was free of his control and could remarry.
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    You need to look more carefully. Moreover, you really don't have a way of seeing someone's heart, so your assertion is opinion at best.

    Speaking as someone who has been through this personally, the church (and the self-appointed experts on the 'situation' in another person's marriage) often respond to this very difficult and traumatic situation in ways that are destructive and profoundly unhelpful.

    I used to be a self-appointed expert on how to handle adultery in marriage. Although my heart was in the right place and I was sincere, I didn't know what I was talking about.

    You also need to realize that spouses sometimes abandon the legal marriage (for all practical purposes), long after they have abandoned the marriage bed for the bed of another.

    After I caught my ex-wife (in the act) cheating on me, I tried to work it out with her for well over a year - living in the same home and treating her with grace and love. She refused all attempts to get counseling and instead took advantage of my willingness to take on a second job so she could go back to school and get a masters degree in order to change careers. (She had claimed that she was unhappy with her life and wanted to change careers, so I agreed to help her make that happen.) During that time, she would disappear for days at a time without calling and refuse to tell me where she had been. She also apparently had male visitors to our home when I was working at those two jobs (which wasn't hard since I was working more than 70 hours a week). She also refused to go to church or associate with any of our longtime friends.

    As soon as she had finished her degree, found a job and received her first paycheck, she cleaned out our bank accounts (nearly $20,000) except for $200, racked up $13,000 in credit card charges, and took off without a word. Days later I found out she had moved in with a guy that she had previously worked with (not the one I had caught her with) and I was left to figure out what to do.

    I confided in a Christian friend about my situation and he insisted that it would be ungodly for me to file for divorce since the Bible "says its wrong" and only "hardhearted people" do that sort of thing. Plus, there had been a lot of divorce in her family, so I had solemnly promised her that I would not divorce her when I had proposed.

    For three more months, I endured the limbo of a broken marriage where she was racking up even more charges on our credit - she was getting new cards and accounts (we're a community property state, so I'm responsible for her debts), buying things like a new washer and dryer and all kinds of major purchases for a new home, so it didn't sound like she was planning to come back.

    After that three months, I sat down with a very wise pastor who knew me well and knew my story, and he told me that filing for divorce would simply be informing the state that the marriage had ended. The real marriage had ended long before. Furthermore, my promise not to divorce her was a well-intended promise, but a foolish one. I simply gave her confidence she could do anything she wanted without consequences. Moreover, filing for divorce protects others when they are trying to make decisions about extending her credit. I was barely able to feed myself because of the costs of trying to repay all of the debt she had racked up. It was getting to the point that I wouldn't be able to pay and others were going to lose money.

    I finally filed for divorce and received instant and vicious condemnation from members of my church, seminary students I worked with, and other religious people.

    I was accused of having a girlfriend waiting in the wings, of being physically abusive, of being "hard-hearted", of not having faith and rushing into divorce, of being incredibly selfish and not considering the fact that my ex-wife is going to face a "stigma", etc.

    I faced such a barrage of criticism and condemnation, I checked out of church for more than a year for my spiritual health. I didn't want to be bitter against well-meaning but incredibly misinformed church people.

    Nearly 18 months later, I found a church that didn't treat me as a second-class member. I also met a woman a couple of years later and proposed marriage after dating eight years. I now have a happy marriage where we support each other's walk with God and can minister together.

    And for those who think I shouldn't have remarried, here's two things to consider:

    1.) My ex-wife has remarried (at least once) and there's a biblical prohibition against remarriage in that situation.
    2.) In biblical times, my ex-wife would have been stoned to death for her behavior and I would have been widowed, not divorced.


    There's much more to this story, but I think that expresses the basics.

    When you do your arm-chair theology about what people should and shouldn't do in an adulterous marriage, remember that there are real people involved in very complex situations, trying to exercise grace and mercy at the expense of their own happiness and desires. I wanted desperately to stay married to my ex-wife, but she would not allow it.
     
  20. 12strings

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    I know these are personal issues, and from the sound of it, your wife left you, which is completely different from what I was describing. I was thinking of situations I know of in which a spouse is known to have cheated, but wants to make amends, and the other spouse refuses and claims his biblical right to divorce.

    As I said, I have no biblical grounds from this passage to tell him he is wrong, but other passages regarding forgiveness seem to point to a different path.

    I think Paul's teachings about abandonment (1 Cor. 7) would apply in this situation.
     

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