On divorce

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by KRJ, May 21, 2014.

  1. KRJ

    KRJ
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    Hello all,

    I was lurking here and decided to join after reading the thread about pastors and divorce. I saw several things mentioned in the thread that I wanted to comment on. Not about pastors and divorce but about divorce generally. I am divorced. I have not dated once since my divorce five years ago. I do not know if I will ever date again or re-marry but I do not believe I am an adulterer if I do.

    I should begin by saying that when talking about divorce I believe we should start with Moses and work forward and not start with Paul and work backward (which is what most people seem to do). I also believe the KJV is correct in making a distinction between divorce and putting away; I do not believe divorce and putting away are synonymous: divorce is a legal decree and putting away amounts to "getting separated" and then taking up with someone else. I know the concepts are closely related and often go hand in hand but there is a difference. Am I correct that the Hebrew and Greek words for the terms are also distinct?

    With that in mind we see in Deuteronomy 24:

    1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

    2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.


    Is that the Word of God or not? If it is, then a divorce decree ended a marriage in the sight of God and man. So how do we interpret Jesus' teaching in light of that?

    I believe if a man puts away his wife and marries another he becomes an adulterer because he did not get a divorce. He married someone else when he was only separated, not divorced. Likewise he commits adultry by marrying a woman who is put away because she did not receive a divorce and is only separated.

    Also, regarding sexual immorality being grounds for a divorce, Jesus could not have been teaching that sexual immorality was the only reason you could get a divorce because the OT law for adultry was death. Sexual immorality meant you did not have to bother getting a divorce because if the law was executed you were going to be a widower soon and thus free to marry. In light of that, I believe Jesus was teaching that if the death penalty was not executed by those responsible then that would be the only time you were free to re-marry without getting a divorce.

    The woman at the well was also mentioned. This account is not usually associated with divorce teaching but I think it's a valuable insight. I concede we do not know for sure that she was not widowed five times. But that idea does not seem to fit the context and tone of the passage because she later testified that Jesus told her all that she had ever done. Had she been widowed five times it seems like Jesus would have told her of all the misfortune that had befallen her, not all that she had ever done. I think it seems more likely that she found no favor in the eyes of five men and was divorced. And yet he considered her to be a woman who truly had no husband. A woman with no husband is free to re-marry.

    Do most people here hold a view of God's perfect will and God's permissive will? I know that divorce is not God's perfect will from the beginning. Jesus made that clear. But God has permitted it since the days of Moses. Physical death was not God's perfect will either. Neither was man leaving the garden.

    If you disagree with me I have purposed in my heart that I'm going to love you anyway.
     
    #1 KRJ, May 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2014
  2. InTheLight

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    I was hoping someone would answer this earnest post. Anyone?
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    Think that the original intent of the Lord was to be one man and one women until death parts them, but that also we have the effects of the Fall and sin to mess that up!

    From the perspective of the NT....

    Jesus would want a Christian to ONLY marry another believer in Him, and to live together in the power and presense of the Holy Spirit in their family...

    If they are coming to severe marriage breakdown, God does grant time to separate from each other, for the purpose to seek a reconcialation of their relationship. not in order to count down dates to a divorce!

    IF the other party lives, deserts. commits adultery, without any repentance and desire to come clean with God and their spouse, they can divorce, and do not see the offended party under obligation to never remarry again IF that other person already remarried..

    IF they have left, would see the Bible teaching stay pat, and seek to reconcile if at all possible..

    And if one gets saved while married to someone still not saved, if that lost person wants to stay marries, under obligation to stay there and seek that other party to get saved!
     
  4. Thousand Hills

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  5. JamesL

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    I think the OP has put together an interesting line of thought. Divorce is tough to figure out when trying to reconcile Paul with Jesus. The typical way of constructing a view is by employing compilation theology.

    What I mean is that people take the first, Jesus, saying divorce only for adultery. Then they take Paul's words about being abandoned by an unbeliever. Then they compile these two seemingly conflicted passages by saying Paul's allowance was added later.

    I've got to say that I'm not a fan of compilation theology because it usually employs the twisting of context to blend into one view.

    I say kudos to OP for this view, and I look forward to investigating further, to see whether it bears out.
     
  6. convicted1

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    I think why divorce should be a "last ditch effort" is because it is a picture of Christ and His bride, the church. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25 for the husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church, and gave His life for it. Divorce breaks that bond, and we know that nothing can break the bond betwixt Christ and His bride.


    Now, TBS, divorce is acceptable only if it meets biblical criteria. Nowadays, if the husband crosses his eyes at his wife, or vice versa, they're running to the courthouse to divorce one another. Marriage was never to be disposable...but if the unbeliever departs, let them depart...a Brother or Sister is not under bondage in such cases....
     
  7. kyredneck

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    And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery. Mt 19:9

    Those are two different words in the Greek. What Christ is saying is that the ONLY justification for divorce was for sexual immorality PRIOR to the marriage. The bride was proven to have been a virgin by displaying the blood stained bed clothing after the wedding night. If the man was going to divorce her this was the only window of opportunity that he had to do it. After that, it was too late.

    This is why even the disciples were taken aback by Christ's words.
     
    #7 kyredneck, May 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014
  8. clark thompson

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    God hates divorce but knew that we were far from perfect and made a provision for it this does not mean we should look for to get divorced after the first sign of trouble it should be the very last resort.
     
  9. KRJ

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    I appreciate the responses. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, of marriage being a typology of Christ and his bride (in the old testament Israel was called the wife of God), and that in the beginning God created a man and a woman to be together for life. None of this is new to me and I accept it all. But I'm still left with the fact that God legalized divorce (not putting away but divorce) in the law of Moses.

    Thus I conclude: 1) Divorce is not God's perfect will from the beginning; 2) He graciously allows it. My viewpoint hangs on there being a very real difference between divorce and putting away.

    When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

    Divorcement: Strong's 3748

    For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

    Putting away: Strong's 7917 and 5493

    As the English words are different so are the Hebrew words. For those who do not use KJV, I believe the NASB (and other Westcott Hort translations) that simply say divorce in both places are still translated from a text that also uses different Hebrew words. Am I to believe the Holy Spirit had no reason for using different words?

    So when I read Jesus' teaching in Matthew and Mark I have to read it in light of the above. It can get confusing because Jesus' conversation with the Pharasees and his disciples goes back and forth between saying divorce and put away in the same passages, just as we might say the terms divorce and separation in the same breath today. I know they often go hand in hand but who among us thinks divorce and separation are the same?

    So I believe if you marry a divorced woman you have married a woman without a husband. But if you marry a woman who is merely put away (separated) you have married a woman who still has a husband. Thus you have committed adultery.

    It is reasonable for those reading this to be critical of my conclusions because I am divorced. You can suspect that I simply found what I wanted to find in scripture when I was getting divorced. I did find what I wanted to find but that does not mean that what I found is not correct. I just ask anyone critical of my conclusions to remember that I have not dated once in the five years since my divorce. It should be obvious that I did not conclude that God allows divorce just so I could rush out and hook up with someone else. I take marriage seriously.
     
    #9 KRJ, May 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
  10. kyredneck

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    18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
    19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
    20 But when he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Mt 1

    FWIW, the 'putting away' here was to occur before the actual marriage while Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Is there a distinction to be found between putting away and divorce in this example? Would it be correct to say Joseph could have 'divorced' Mary during the betrothal period?
     
  11. HAMel

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    It is reasonable for those reading this to be critical of my conclusions because I am divorced.

    KRJ, I appreciate your openness and position on the matter of divorce.

    My wife and I have been married going on 49 years and I find that on occasion I'll tell her that I've decided she can stay a bit longer. Course, this is all in fun and she knows it so there's no problem. In fact, I would really be in a problem if it wasn't for my wife. Praise the Lord for my wife!!!
     
  12. kyredneck

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    Excellent attitude brother.

    I see the two as being synonymous, or at least ‘divorce’ as simply being the ‘legal finishing touch’ of putting away. Is that what you mean?

    1 Thus saith Jehovah, Where is the bill of your mother`s divorcement, wherewith I have put her away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities were ye sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away. Isa 50

    31 It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
    32 but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery. Mt 5

    7 They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away? Mt 19

    Right on. This mystery is great:

    31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
    32 This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. Eph 5

    1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.
    2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven of God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21

    Backsliding Israel was divorced:

    8 And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot. Jer 3

    …and treacherous Judah, the great harlot, murdered her husband Christ the king:

    7 How much soever she glorified herself, and waxed wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall in no wise see mourning.
    24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that have been slain upon the earth. Rev 18
     
    #12 kyredneck, May 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
  13. gb93433

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    James refers to his readers as adulteresses. Malachi says God hates divorce. Divorce is a deviation from what God wants. It happens because of a hard heart toward God being seen in their relationships with God and others.

    Many who are married or single, are divorced in the basic sense of divorce simply because they are not living out what God wills and intends for them. Divorce extends beyond a legal physical legal divorce but into the realm of the heart. So often in our society we use to divorce to mean a legal and physical separation from a spouse. In Jewish culture of the day a divorce must have been sought to break a betrothal which is similar but different to an engagement today.
     
  14. kyredneck

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    Almost assuredly because his audience, who were Jews, were turning back in their hearts to that old whore who crucified their Lord. That was their HUGE problem of that day. To fall back into apostate Judaism.
     
  15. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    But they are routinely the same word in the original languages. The KJV tranlates it "putting away" or "puts away" while the NASB and other modern translations render it "divorce." How can the KJV be right in translating the same word with a different nuance than the actual meaning of the word?

    As example, let's look at the KJV and NASB translations of the first mention of divorce in context of the Law as interpreted by the Pharisees in the New Testament.
    Matthew 19, NASB
    3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"

    Matthew 19, KJV
    3 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?​

    In both cases, the word is the same -- the Greek apoluo. It means "set free." There is no basis for you to assume that "putting away" is separation while "divorce" is the commonly understood legal dissolution. The KJV translators simply did not use the word "divorce," which is a mystery, given that the word existed at that time, as did "dissolution." Either could have been used.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    Agree here with you, as there is really no distinction to be made...

    Also, one needs to remember that jesus answer was to pharisees and scribes, those so called experts of the law of Moses, and to get all that God has to say on this issue. must bring in what the Apostle paul added under inspiration also of/from the Lord..
     
  17. corndogggy

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    Sorry but I've got to ask... why does it matter? What's done is done. Atone for it and move on. This seems to be more about justifying a decision and action that you've already made rather than wrestling with a decision yet to be made or learning a lesson to apply towards future situations.
     
  18. gb93433

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    I would say that Mt. 19 illustrates an example of man's arguments to justify an action and God's plan from the beginning. It also illustrates an argument from the political sides of an issue and points out what God wanted from the beginning. Man tends to complicate God's plan just as the Pharisees did.
     

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