Remarriage Issue

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Marcia, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    This is related to the divorce question posed by John on the other thread. I do not think the remarriage issue was settled there -- Pastor Larry and JohnV both said that remarriage after divorce is okay, but the Bible does not say that as far as I can tell. (I realize remarriage after the death of a spouse is okay). I looked at the passage Pastor Larry referred to:

    This does not clear it up since it refers to a man, and it says that if you are released from a wife "do not seek a wife." I am not sure how to apply this to a woman divorced as an unbeliever who becomes a believer.

    Here is the situation (this is a real life situation):
    Sally and Joe, both unbelievers, marry. They divorce after several years, (there are no children) but not for adultery or abandoment (no grounds for divorce biblically speaking).

    Sally marries Tom, and Joe marries someone else. All are unbelievers. Sally and Tom both have children with their new spouses. After several years, Sally and Tom divorce due to the adultery and abandonment of Tom.

    Sally becomes a believer after the divorce (Tom is still an unbeliever). Tom remarries and he has 2 children with his new wife. During this time, Joe (Sally's 1st husband) dies.

    Is Sally free to remarry? :confused:

    These are questions: Was Sally's 2nd marriage not really a marriage because the 1st divorce was not done due to adultery or abandonment, or does that matter if the couple are unbelievers? If the 1st divorce is not valid, then the 2nd marriage is not a real marriage. Joe died after the divorce in Sally's 2nd marriage, so his death frees her from that 1st marriage, but what about the 2nd marriage?

    Is Sally free to marry because Tom has remarried?

    Is Sally not free to marry because she is divorced based on what Jesus says about marrying a divorced woman causing to make them commit adultery, and/or due to other passages? I have been told by several people that Sally is NOT free to remarry as long as Tom is alive, although he is remarried and is an unbeliever (both of which could change, of course).

    Really would like feedback. Thanks.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    The divorce/remarriage principles apply to both people in the marriage, not just the man or the woman. The particular historic context addresses one; the legitimate application includes both.

    Marriage is always a marriage, provided that the person was not currently married. In other words, if a person is legally divorced, then their marriage is a marriage. There is no such thing as an invalid divorce. There is a biblical divorce and an unbiblical divorce. Both are divorces.

    IMO, having studied the texts at hand, I believe a divorced person is free to remarry, provided that the issues of the previous marriage have been fully dealt with, whether lack of commitment, adultery, desertion, abuse, etc. The best option is to not do those things. The second best option is to repent to your spouse and God, have forgiveness in the marriage, and work through the problems. In some cases, divorce is the right hting to do (i.e., personal endangerment).

    There is a great deal of debate and there is no clear answer.
     
  3. Johnv

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    Marcia, Paul said that it is good to be single, but if a man "burns with lust", then it is good for him to marry. He does not make a distinction of whether one has been married before. He only makes the distinction to being single. The topic has been debated hotly. Suffice it to say that the Bible does not clearly forbid marriage after divorce (it does, however) condemn leaving your spouse for another. And it especially does not condemn marriage following scripturally allowed divorce. It recommends marriage for an unmarried person who desires a sexual relationship.
     
  4. Daniel David

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    Remarriage after divorce is forbidden according to Christ and Paul. One can only legitimately remarry when the former spouse is dead.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    But that is not what 1 Cor 7:28 says. It expressly says that if you marry after having been released from a wife that you have not sinned. Those are the words of Paul.
     
  6. Daniel David

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    Larry, we both know that every text that the other mentions boils down to an interpretive issue, not a denial of what was said.

    We have enjoyed many go arounds with this issue.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Indeed, DD, It is a tough issue and there are many interpretive difficulties. I certainly wouldn't run anyone out of the faith because they disagreed with me on this.
     
  8. amixedupmom

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    This issue is like a lot in the Bible it's open to a view.

    I remember the story of "Cast the first stone" .. About the woman who was about to be stoned, until Jesus remeinded them that everyone was a sinner , and if they had never sinned then they can cast that stone. Everyone left. Jesus looked up and asked her where her accusers were. She said they had left. He told her to Go and sin no more.

    EVEN if this is a sin (repeating an earlier point) He's confessed it to us to himself and to everyone else, so it dosen't matter. It's forgive if he's a saved man. He needs to get on with his marriage and enjoy his life , and not kick himself for this anymore.

    Just like we all do with sin. Nail it to the cross and let the LORD deal with it. It makes no sense to drive ourselves nuts about things done in the past. Things we cannot change. We have to go on from HERE this moment.

    That is all i'm trying to say.

    God Bless

    Wendy Lea
     
  9. Marcia

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    This is not an issue of divorce -- the divorces were done and over with before Sally became a believer. She realizes they were wrong and it was wrong not to try to reconcile with Tom after his affair, but she was not a believer and had a different view of marriage then.

    Now that all of that is over, and the 1st husband is dead and the 2nd one is remarried, is Sally free to remarry (it has been 14 yrs. since the 2nd divorce)?

    I've read this text that you cite, Pastor Larry, but I do not read it as saying that one is free to remarry. It seems to say not to (do not seek a wife). I am not sure that in v. 28 Paul is speaking to those who have been divorced, but more that he is just talking about getting married in general. He says "if you marry," not "if you marry again." If this is saying that you can get married after a divorce, then that contradicts Jesus' very clear statement that he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Sally is divorced, so according to what Jesus said, a man who marries her commits adultery (and makes her an adulteress). Is this not the prohibition on remarriage after divorce?

    I realize that there are differing views and I appreciate the feedback, but how does one reconcile what Jesus said with what Paul might be saying in 1 Cor 7.27-28? I don't think they can contradict. Hope to get more feedback.
     
  10. Craigbythesea

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    This statement is false. 1 Cor 7:27-28 actually says:

    27. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
    28. But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. (NASB)

    The Greek word translated here “released” can also be translated “free,” and in this context it is not speaking of a divorced person, but either of a person who has never been married or a person whose wife has died. We know this for certain because verse 28 can not be interpreted to say that if a divorced person remarries, it is not a sin, because the author, Paul, in the very same chapter of the very same epistle has already excluded that interpretation:

    11. (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. (NASB)

    This statement is false as already shown from the very same chapter of the very same epistle.

    1 Cor. 7:27-28 do not explicitly say that that if a divorced person remarries, it is not sin. However, verse 11 does explicitly say that the divorced woman “must remain unmarried.” But even if it were not for verse 11, the following verses explicitly forbid remarriage (to a different spouse) after divorce:

    32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (NASB)

    Matt. 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." (NASB)

    Rom. 7:1. Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
    2. For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
    3. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. (NASB, 1995)

    1 Cor. 7:10. But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
    11. (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. (NASB, 1995)


    Question: Is the interpretation of the scriptures that I am presenting here a new interpretation from modern theology? No, it is the teaching of the Church for 1500 years, and the teaching of the vast majority of the church until just 40 years ago. The teaching that remarriage after divorce is not a sin is a new interpretation from modern theologians and pastors. This licentious teaching only became popular in the last 40 years as pastors wanted to make divorced people feel more comfortable in their churches, just as the liberal churches today are changing their theology to make homosexual couples feel more comfortable in their churches. Where is this licentiousness going to stop?

    But there is no real need for me to appeal to ancient church history to defend the interpretation that I have present here, for that interpretation is the one and only literal interpretation of the Scriptures, and we all know what has happened to the family as a consequence of the licentious teaching put forth by modernists.
     
  11. Craigbythesea

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    Are we to obey scriptures that are explicitly clear, or those that "might be" saying what we want to hear?

    But as for 1 Cor. 7:28, as I posted above,

    The Greek word translated here “released” can also be translated “free,” and in this context it is not speaking of a divorced person, but either of a person who has never been married or a person whose wife has died. We know this for certain because verse 28 can not be interpreted to say that if a divorced person remarries, it is not a sin, because the author, Paul, in the very same chapter of the very same epistle has already excluded that interpretation:

    11. (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. (NASB)

    Therefore, 1 Cor. 7:28 can not be saying what so many people want so desperately to hear.

    The teaching of Jesus on divorce and remarriage is extremely strict.

    Matt. 19:9. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
    10. The disciples *said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."
    11. But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. (NASB)

    Even His disciples saw that the teachings of Jesus on divorce and remarriage is extremely strict and they replied, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."

    What could possibly be more clear:

    Mark 10:11. And He *said to them, "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." (NASB)

    Notice that the exclusion clause is not found in either Mark’s or Paul’s account of the teaching of Jesus. For this reason, and because of the reaction of Jesus’ disciples to his teaching, many scholars believe that the exclusion clause found Matt. 19:9 is a very early scribal gloss from Matt. 5:32. If that is the case, we have:


    Matt. 19:9. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, and marries another woman commits adultery."
    10. The disciples *said to Him, "If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry."
    11. But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. (NASB)

    And this is in perfect harmony with both Mark and Paul.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Craig, I don't see how you can honestly say that v. 28 is not about divorced people. The immediate context of v. 27 makes it clear that it is. YOu quoted it yourself above (saying my statement was false).

    "If you are married (bound to a wife), do not seek to be loosed." How would you seek to be loosed from a marriage?? Paul is not talking about murder or hoping for the death of your spouse. He is absolutely talking about not seeking a divorce.

    "If you are loosed, do not seek to be remarried." In the context, this "loosed" almost certainly is the same as the previous one. You should not seek a marriage.

    "But if you do marry, you have not sinned." In other words, this seems an explicity refutation of your position. He then includes unmarried people (virgin).

    How does this comport with v. 11. Paul makes it clear that remarriage is not a reason for divorce. Do not get divorced hoping you can remarry. That is not acceptable before God.

    However, just previously, he has said, If you are burning with passion, get married.

    So you have to put all of this together is a way that makes more sense than you have. I don't think you can simply ignore these passages because they don't fit with your position. You have to deal with them. The words of Christ and Paul can be reconciled by saying what I have said. Divorce is never God's best and should never be pursued by a Christian with the possible exceptions of adultery and desertion. But once it happens, it is a sin that can be forgiven.
     
  13. Glory Bound

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    Wait a minute... it sounds as though you believe Paul contradicts himself within two verses? "Don't remarry... but if you do, it's okay"?

    That doesn't make sense to me - why say "Don't" if it is really okay in the first place?

    :confused:
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    Because the ideal is to be single after divorce, or to be reconciled with your spouse (earlier in teh chapter). But he also acknowledges that some are burning with passion and it is better to marry than to burn. So while not seeking remarriage is better for several reasons (stated both before and after vv. 27-28), remarriage itself is not a sin. It simply brings troubles that would otherwise not be known.

    For an example of a similar thought, look later in teh chapter when he says that it is better to be single, as he is. That way, you only have to worry about the things of the Lord, whereas a married person has to worry also about the things of this life. But he goes on to say that it is not wrong to marry. It simply brings additional issues into your life.

    In all cases, it is better to marry than to burn, because and inherent part of the marriage relationship is the physical relationship (vv. 1-6).
     
  15. Bible-boy

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    Amen Brother Larry! There's another 3 pointer for you to chalk up on your score card. Solid exegesis and sound hermeneutics all around! Context, Context, Context. ;)
     
  16. Craigbythesea

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    If this is true, then both Jesus and Paul are liars!!!

    11. And He *said to them, "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."

    1 Cor. 7:10. But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
    11. (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

    Only in the case of persons who are truly single is it better to marry that to burn with passion. But in all cases it is better to obey God than to burn in hell.
     
  17. Craigbythesea

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    Since when was contradicting Jesus and calling Paul a liar and making a mockery of God “solid exegesis and sound hermeneutics”? Any exegesis or hermeneutic that does these things is neither solid nor sound!!!
     
  18. Craigbythesea

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    I see that this verse is confusing some, and I must admit that this translation (NASB, 1995) makes it confusing to those who are not familiar with Paul as a writer.

    Perhaps a less confusing translation would be"

    Are you entangled to a wife? Do not seek to be un-entangled. Are you not entangled with a wife? Do not seek a wife.


    But regardless of the translation one chooses, when the reader is familiar with Paul as a writer, the confusion vanishes. Paul likes to draw a contrast between opposites:

    • Law/grace
    • Old Covenant/New Covenant
    • Sin/righteousness
    • Darkness/light
    • Jew/Gentile
    • the wise/the foolish
    • who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,/who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead
    • to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality/to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth
    There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek/but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
    • Greeks/barbarians
    • Married/not married

    When one understands this, there is no reason at all to suppose that divorce is in view in 1 Cor. 7:27. And when one reads Cor. 7:28:

    28. But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

    the “you” is the man who is not married. And notice also in verse 28 the pairing-off of the man and the woman (virgin). Paul’s words are much easier to understand when the reader understands Paul the writer.
     
  19. Craigbythesea

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    Λέλυσαι,

    Definition:
    1. to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened
    1. bandages of the feet, the shoes,
    2. of a husband and wife joined together by the bond of matrimony
    3. of a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married
    2. to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free
    1. of one bound up (swathed in bandages)
    2. bound with chains (a prisoner), discharge from prison, let go
    3. to loosen, undo, dissolve, anything bound, tied, or compacted together
    1. an assembly, i.e. to dismiss, break up
    2. laws, as having a binding force, are likened to bonds
    3. to annul, subvert
    4. to do away with, to deprive of authority, whether by precept or act
    5. to declare unlawful
    6. to loose what is compacted or built together, to break up, demolish, destroy
    7. to dissolve something coherent into parts, to destroy
    8. metaph., to overthrow, to do away with

    Source: Bob Jones University

    For further study of this word, see pages 328-356 in volume IV of the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.
     
  20. Bible-boy

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    If this is true, then both Jesus and Paul are liars!!!

    11. And He *said to them, "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."

    1 Cor. 7:10. But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
    11. (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

    Only in the case of persons who are truly single is it better to marry that to burn with passion. But in all cases it is better to obey God than to burn in hell.
    </font>[/QUOTE]There is no possible way that a person who has never been married (a virgin) burns with lust for sex in the manner in which a person who has been married (experienced sex) will burn with lust for someone.
     

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