Mathew 5:32 and remarriage

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32 ESV)

    I am sure this topic has been exhausted and there are dovided opinions but Recently Ive been thinking about the topic of remarriage after divorce.

    Options on remarriage

    1. It is always ok to remarry after divorce
    2. It is sometimes ok to remarry after divorce
    3. It is never ok to remarry after being divorced

    Personally, i have never been married, but the topic seems important. I have read the following arguments:

    - take mathew 5:32 at face value, jesus stated that remarriage is adultery and he didnt say sometimes, he completely bans it so its never ok

    - mathew 5:32's context is jewish people who abused moses certificate of divorce and took the subject lightly and remarried at will without seeing the great tragedies of divorce. Therefore jesus' main point is that divorce is a big deal and the passage is not intended to be taken that remarriage is never ok.

    - God is forgiving, therefore remarry if you wish he will forgive you. Yes jesus says remarriage is adultery but he will forgive you (so presume upon his forgiveness)

    The above are three common arguments of the three views on mathew 5:32. Currently im in the middle on the subject. I dont see jesus leaving any room for the possibility that remarriage is ok. He didnt say remarriage is sometimes adultery, he said it is. He also didnt say go ahead and remarry ill forgive you in advance. Just a few lines before he stressed that remarriage is a sin he said, "
    And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew 5:30 esv) i see jesus magnifying the consequences of taking sin lightly. Yet, i also see that he is most likely speaking to people who have been taking remarriage lightly ( like many do today), therefore he may not have intended to box his statement against remarriage in to such a degree that it is never his will.

    Furthermore, I have reminded myself that Jesus always has meaning that comes from His nature when He commands. All of his commandments are there for good and for relationship to be good. With that said, If he did totally outlaw remarriage completely there must be affects he is trying to protect us from. Clearly remarriage is never ideal and always carries consequences. If one has been remarried or had any sexual sin that consequence will be carried over. God does heal and forgive but I would never presume upon his grace and test Him. A question that arises to my mind is, is marriage possible a second time or is a soul completely divided until death? I dont necessarily latch on to that view but is a possible theory.

    What are your thoughts?
     
    #1 zrs6v4, Jan 6, 2014
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  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    He didn't leave any room for the woman at the well to be forgiven and received into His kingdom, despite her five marriages and then living with a sixth man?

    You don't see Jesus leaving any room for forgiveness?
     
  3. Zenas

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    This shows that the remarriage is itself an act of adultry, so it would seem that as long as you remain remarried to another you are living in a state of adultry. Will God forgive you for a sin that you intend to continue committing?
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    Divorce for infidelity is allowed, and the spouse who violated the marriage vow is not allowed to remarry. However, the faithful spouse may remarry.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Matthew 26, (NASB)
    27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;
    28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins." ​
    Did I miss something in that passage, or does it absolutely not say "except for the sin of divorce," or any other sin for that matter?

    The act of marriage is a one-time act. You don't keep "marrying" someone, but you do remain married to that person, and biblically, that should be for a lifetime. Your implication is the height of legalism. God forgives all sin, even when we fail to consult Him before we commit the sin.
     
  6. zrs6v4

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    I think what you are revealing is a different side of the quest. I think Jesus clearly forgives. The woman at the well had lived an adulterous life and was forgiven.

    The point is that you cannot presume upon God's grace. In other words if I am in a relationship with Jesus and believe he tells me to do something like do not lie or do not steal or do not murder or do not commit adultery I can't just say, "what the heck there is forgiveness tomorrow and spit in his face today." The point is that we love and trust Jesus and we are commanded to do or not to do something we don't do it. Yes we make mistakes and sin constantly but that isn't an excuse to sin and live loosely.

    I am of course undecided on the issue I've raised above, but one thing I know is that if I come to the conclusion that He does not allow for remarriage then I will prayerfully guard myself from getting in that situation because I believe there is a lifelong purpose as to why Jesus would command such a thing. I have made a lot, I mean a lot of mistakes that Jesus has forgiven me of that are adulterous and while I know I am forgiven, I also do not want to continue to give into any sin.

    By the way, I know there are probably a lot of people that are on here that have been divorced and remarried and I am in no way trying to be ignorant of that fact. While I believe there is an answer to my question I also know that everyone has a different situation they have been in or are in right now.

    If the conclusion is that remarriage is wrong and someone on here has been married, divorced, and remarried I am not at all saying that they cannot be forgiven. What I am saying is that if I know something is wrong ahead of time I don't think any of us should do it.

    I would like to hear more light shed on the possibility that Mathew 5:32 is not outlawing remarriage and see what some conclusions are and how you have arrived at the conclusion. I have friends and family who have been remarried so I am interested to know more here.
     
  7. zrs6v4

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    That is a good question to raise. Lets say someone does remarry, does God want them to get a second divorce? I do not think so. Assuming Jesus does not permit remarriage I still think there can be forgiveness for this sin unlike living in the state of same sex marriage. I think it is obvious that if one does remarry that Jesus wants them to stay together but no matter what there are affects that come from our past sins. Sure there is healing but we all bring all of our baggage into our relationships.

    But. I think it is important not to get remarried if we conclude that it is wrong to remarry. Just to be clear, sorry for repeating myself, I do not fully submit to the side that remarriage is always wrong at this point.
     
  8. zrs6v4

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    Biblically, where do you get, "divorce for infidelity is allowed, but the spouse who violated the marriage vow is not allowed to remarry?"

    what if a divorced woman whose husband cheated on her was not supposed to remarry?
     
  9. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    From where -- or more appropriately, from Whom -- does love come? If with prayerful consideration, pastoral counseling, and study of God's word, a couple is convinced they really do love one another, are they to assume there is any other Source for that love?

    I don't believe anyone should enter into a marriage without all of the above, if they've been divorced. For that matter, they shouldn't enter into a marriage without all of the above, even if it is for the first time. But if there is divorce in either or both of their pasts, and as Christians know they are in love, are they then to refuse to honor the gift and blessing of that love for some legalistic interpretation of Scripture?

    People make mistakes. They divorce when they shouldn't. They also marry when they shouldn't. God forgives both circumstances. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that He honors a marriage approached in the manner I've described.

    I've been married twice before. The first was before I was a Christian, when I was in the Army. She was a career-ladder climbing general's daughter, and the ladder she wanted to climb was mine, but I had no interest in having a wife who planned and directed my career. The second was also before I was a Christian, and my gambling addiction put it in great jeopardy. She threw me out, but before the divorce was final, I came to Christ and immediately felt called to reconcile. She refused. Said "People don't change," even though countless friends and family told her it is obvious I was not the same man, and deserved a chance. Turned out she was interested in some drug-addicted federal parolee who, within months, skipped parole because he was using again, got her involved in using, and she abandoned our kids. Short version: I gained custody, raised them and got them into college without any help for 20 years, and a few years ago met an absolutely wonderful, beautiful, godly woman.

    She has also been divorced, previously having married drug dealers, drunks, and (perhaps, we're not sure) a pornography addict. Did we sin in our divorces? Debatable. While actual adultery of a sexual nature never took place in the course of any of those marriages, spiritual adultery certainly did. In mine, there was no commitment to God. In hers, each claimed to be a "godly man" but failed to be be that man. We went through the process I've described. Our pastor put us through a fairly rigorous counseling process before agreeing that we were in a spiritual and practical circumstance for us to marry in the eyes of God. Now we have each other, we know we are on the same page spiritually, we love, support and dote on one another in Christ, and we help other couples who struggle with the world.

    Again, did we sin? In the final analysis, the answer has to be "yes," but are we forgiven? Beyond a shadow of a doubt. We are not adulterers. God gave us each other, and anyone who questions that is engaging in the worst form of legalism and doesn't really understand God's grace, or His word.
     
    #9 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jan 6, 2014
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  10. canadyjd

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    You should follow your conscience. If you believe it's wrong to be remarried (after careful study of scripture), then don't remarry.

    But for those who have concluded otherwise, they should follow their conscience as well. If they are saved, God will not withhold heaven from them because they got the issue wrong.

    Personally, I find Paul's direction in I Cor. pretty clear.

    1. Believers married to unbelievers and are "abandoned" (probably because of their faith) are "not bound".... should reconcile if possible but may remarry.

    2. Married believers should not divorce, and if divorced should not marry another but rather reconcile.

    This issue will not be solved today, tomorrow or even in our lifetimes. Plain and simple, cut and dry.
     
  11. zrs6v4

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    Canadyjd, i agree with what you said above. It is a tough topic.
     
    #11 zrs6v4, Jan 6, 2014
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  12. Zenas

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    My friend, you have created a fiction. The act of marriage occurs each time a couple beds down together and therein lies the problem. It's what, only a few years ago, we would call "living in sin."

    The interesting thing about this discussion is that we are having it. A hundred years ago it wouldn't have been an issue--divorce and remarriage was not permitted by any church. In 1936 Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England to marry a divorced woman because it was forbidden by the Church of England and, as titular head of the church, he could not marry her.

    How far we have come (regressed?) since then. As recently as 1990 men who were divorced and remarried could not serve as deacons in my church. Neither could men who had married divorcees. Since 1990 that has changed and we no longer inquire into a deacon's marital history.

    Why has this come about? Because divorce and remarriage has become so pervasive that speaking out against it inevitably offends many people. So rather than speak out against it, we look for loopholes in the words of our Saviour to justify it.
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    The "problem" here is your refusal to acknowledge God's grace and forgiveness, and His willingness to bless that which is initially sin. Ever hear of David and Bathsheba?

    Not with benefit of a marriage license it isn't.

    Ah, yes, legalism at its finest! The good old days! [/sarcasm]

    More's the pity. Had Edward been king, instead of resigning under ridiculous legalistic interpretations by a church more interested in politics than faith, he might have slapped some sense into Neville Chamberlain.

    So now it's "regression" to abandon legalism? I'd like to see some justification for that.

    That's because it wasn't biblical to do so. Where Paul advises Timothy to make certain his deacons are "the husband of one wife," the phrase is in present tense, meaning not to assure himself they haven't divorced somewhere along the way, but that they aren't polygamists.

    No. We have finally abandoned legalism in favor of grace. We aren't under the Law.
     
  14. Van

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    Perhaps the question should be, how does anyone get anything else from the passage?

    1) A man sends his wife away should give her a divorce. (V-31)

    2) The only reason for divorce is infidelity. (V-32)

    3) If a man divorces his wife for a reason other than her infidelity, he makes her violate her marriage vow, i.e adultery.

    4) Whoever marries a divorced woman (properly divorced because she committed infidelity) is guilty of adultery. Here the problem is infidelity toward God.

    From these explicit instruction, we can derive the following:

    1) The only basis for divorce is infidelity of the spouse.

    2) A Spouse properly divorced (the one not guilty of infidelity)
    can remarry.
     
  15. zrs6v4

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    I think there is a balance that needs to be mentioned on this topic. There are clearly two extremes that we want to avoid.

    The first extreme is trying to box God in so much that we create a legalistic and heartless approach to this topic.

    The second is to be so liberal and hing up in wmotion that we are all overvthe place not really rightly looking to Gods word.

    I think we want to look to Gods word for this and be thoughtful. This is my hope for us. We need to deal with the word of God here. Id like to see someone show there view from scripture, that is our only safe bet.
     
  16. Zenas

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    You seem to be hung up on legalism by pinning the name on anything you don’t like. You also seem to have a problem drawing a bright line between what is sinful and what is not, preferring instead to create shades of gray between good and evil. Do you really think God smiles on a society where 50% of marriages end in divorce? Cf. Malachi 2:16.

    I’m not suggesting that all persons should stay married to each other. Sometimes they have to live apart due to one spouse (usually the husband) abusing the other. A divorce renders them free to remarry in the eyes of the law, but not in the eyes of God. Note the scripture I cited in Post 3. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” You don’t commit adultery by the divorce; you commit adultery by the remarriage and Jesus did not add any provisos, exceptions or qualifications. I’m not making this up, which would be legalism. I’m quoting our Lord who should be able to speak with authority on the subject.

    This is not my refusal to acknowledge God’s grace and forgiveness. I seek and receive these things daily. I’m also not of the opinion that adultery is any worse sin than others. They are all bad and they can all be forgiven, even murder, as you alluded to with David. With David, however, I would remind you that Bathsheba was a widow when David married her. (Yes, I realize how macabre this statement is, but it meant that David would not be living a life of continuous adultery by being married to another man’s wife.) Whether you or anyone else is willing to admit it, the second marriage is not a one-time sin. It is continuing adultery as long as the man and woman are together.

    Finally, as for your statement about Edward VIII, Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler, you really ought to go back and read some history.
     
  17. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    If that is your characterization of my clear statement that divorce is sin, but Christ forgives, then you have a problem understanding biblical truth. My view does not create "shades of grey" as you allege. It acknowledges sin, and Christ's unequivocal forgiveness of that sin when a believer repents. The better statement is, why do you have a problem accepting the second part of that statement?

    No, I'm positive He doesn't. I'd like you to show me where I've said that. You know I haven't. God doesn't deal with society as a whole yet. That comes at the judgment, when He returns. He deals with sin only individually for now, and I would remind you of what John said in his first epistle.
    1 John 1, (NASB)
    9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ​
    Or were you planning on telling me that divorce is the exception to that verse? There are no exceptions to that verse! Any sin, sincerely confessed by a believer in Christ Jesus, is forgiven. That includes divorce, adultery, fornication, homosexual practice, murder, etc. Any marriage undertaken by one or both people having been divorced, if counseled by a Bible-believing, gospel-preaching pastor and having previously sought to deal with the divorce through either reconciliation efforts or earnest soul-searching, prayer, meditation on the word, and who can come to that marriage with a clear conscience, is not an adulterer. Anyone who claims they are is, yes, a legalist!
    That last part is pure unadulterated garbage that denies the forgiveness, power, and healing authority of God.
    Read this carefully. I don't disagree, but you deny God's grace. I don't. Can a divorced person biblically remarry? Not if they committed adultery during their first marriage. Not if they divorced their spouse for trivial reasons. And not if they haven't resolved the issues that fed their first divorce. Still, God is gracious and forgiving. If we seek His kingdom first, He will restore the years bad judgment and emotional trauma have stolen.
    Perhaps you do. But you're unwilling to acknowledge others do the same.
     
  18. Judith

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    Part of the problem with that passage is how it is broken down in the English. There are no periods in the Greek and reading it in English the way it was translated can make it read incorrectly.

    Here is how it should read.
    "But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery."

    There should be a period at the end of that statement because He is saying that if you divorce for any reason other than sexual immorality you become guilty for the others adultery when/if they re-marry. If you divorce for adultery you are NOT responsible for the others adultery because they have already committed it, but divorcing for any other reason puts the innocent partner in a bind because of their sexual need and if they remarry you become guilty for their adultery. They too are guilty, but you are guilty for causing it. Consequently from that we can also see that any re-marriage is adultery even if you are the innocent party in the divorce.

    The last part stands alone and confirms the first understanding.
    "whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery"

    So yes any re-marriage after divorce is adultery. John Piper speaks on this as well.
    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/divorce-remarriage-a-position-paper
     
    #18 Judith, Jan 7, 2014
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  19. zrs6v4

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    I agree with everything you said. Your very last statement (#2) im not so sure about. The only place i can see that interpretation is mathew 19:9.

    Im undecided on the issue but am leaning to the view that remarriage is not biblical.
     
  20. agedman

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    What God has put together, man does not have the right nor privilege to dismember.

    All discussion over what is "legal" for divorce, comes down to what one holds about a single element of marriage:

    What the Bible declares becomes "one flesh."

    It matters very little what folks want to discuss as what is or is not "legal" for divorce after that point.

    For, ALL divorce and remarriage after that point is adultery.

    The only way to get past the "one flesh" issue is to completely disallow:

    3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?4And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” 8He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 10The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.
    There is no law, no man, and no Scriptures that allow for divorce after "one flesh."

    That divorce has continued (under the law of Moses reasoning) is just human excuse for excess.

    There will be the majority of the BB that disregard this, and some of the BB who have been divorced and remarried that do not like the sting of rebuke this Scriptures may bring, but none of the human desires for freedom from the vow made to God and the consummation into "one flesh" can be brought to disqualify these verses.
     

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