Should We perform Weddings for Divorced people?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Kiffin, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    This is a touchy subject and I mean no offense to any Divorced people here.

    I use to perform weddings for just about anybody but now until I am clear from scripture and have a clear conscience will not marry any Divorced people. Understand I am doing this because of conscience sake and my own fallible understanding.

    What quidelines should we follow? Certaintly to perform Marriages for someone who did not Divorce because of Adultery and in rare cases Abandonement is wrong? I have heard some state that the Bible allows Divorce but not necessarily remarriage. I have heard a 100 differant opinions but was curious how others handle this.
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

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    My understanding of the prohibitions against divorce in Scripture is that they are built around an economic system where a divorced woman (who could neither work nor own property) was essentially left destitute and defenseless by the divorce.

    Consequently, I do not have an absolute prohibition against marrying people who are previously divorced. It is important to look at the circumstances of the prior marriage and divorce. Are the divorcees still honoring their parental and financial obligations? How is their relationship with their ex-spouse? Is it clear from their post-divorce behavior that they recognize the importance of a marital commitment?

    I am always hesitant to say "no" outright to a couple because of my fear that this will reinforce any belief they might have that the church has no use for them.

    Joshua
     
  3. Overdose

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    That is a touchy topic there... Hmmmm alot of variables would come into play. With the right circumstances remarriage after divorce I see no problem..
    Peace,
    OD <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Do or DO not, There is no try - Yoda <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    If one accepts biblical justification for a christian to divorce (sexual immorality or abandonment), then it is justifiable to have them marry again.

    And for unsaved, there is no pro/con in the Word. That is a call for the individual pastor or church.
     
  5. TomVols

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dr. Bob Griffin:
    If one accepts biblical justification for a christian to divorce (sexual immorality or abandonment), then it is justifiable to have them marry again.

    And for unsaved, there is no pro/con in the Word. That is a call for the individual pastor or church.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I tend to agree and practice this line of thinking. But let me ask a question to help clear some things: Do you interpret the "abandonment" exception in 1 Cor 7 as any kind of abandonment or does this only refer to spiritual abandonment (unbeliever deserting a believer)?

    [ January 06, 2002: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  6. rlvaughn

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And for unsaved, there is no pro/con in the Word. That is a call for the individual pastor or church.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Bob, should I understand that you mean divorce is not wrong unless one is a Christian? I am not sure I am following your line of thinking here.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Clarification:

    God hates divorce. It is evil, a blight on mankind, a product of our fallen sinful nature. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 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.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The New Testament makes 2 VALID reasons for divorce, otherwise it is an invalid divorce and a person then married to another will be commiting adultery.

    (1) Pornea - sexual sins. If a man has committed adultry, for instance, his wife may divorce him and be free to remarry.

    (2) Abandonment - physical abuse or physical leaving of the wife/family. If a man abandons his wife, for instance, she is free from the law of marriage and may remarry.

    Now, the NT gives instructions for believers. But the world is still out there, with lots more unsaved. It does NOT talk about reasons why unsaved get divorced or remarried; that is not the scope of the NT quotations. I Cor. 7 talks about "brothers" and "sisters", not the world.

    Marriage is an intergral part of society. If a minister, like myself, opts to perform marriages for non-christians, it is a boon to society. I feel I have that responsibility.

    I also have pre-marital counseling, detailed spiritual teaching on personal faith in Christ, and then at the wedding give forth the Gospel message of "God's love" as a basis for real, lasting relationship.

    Hope this helps clarify where I am at.
     
  8. TomVols

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    Dr. Bob,
    If I understand you correctly, you would interpret 1 Cor 7 as applying to general abandonment and not limited to spiritual abandonment. May I ask why you interpret this in this fashion? Please correct my understanding of your position if necessary.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

    If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. . .

    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.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I guess I am missing the question. This is talking about "dwelling" with someone or "departing". I take that as clear teaching of physical abandonment. I elaborate a little to include "abuse" as well (indicating they are NOT content to "dwell" with the person; they are trying to hurt them!!)

    There is no wording here that allows some sort of allegory or spiritualizing. It is nitty-gritty, real life.

    Unsaved husband departs, divorces and marries another. Saved wife is then "not under the law" and is free to marry in the Lord.

    Where are you reading otherwise? Always interested to hear when somebody questions what I say! Seriously.
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

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    There is another aspect of this marrying folks these days - they are often already living together. Seeking to get married means they are trying to make a sinful situation legitimate. I say lets help them.
     
  11. Rev. Joshua

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    I would say 75% of the couples whom I have married were living together beforehand.

    Joshua
     
  12. TomVols

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    Dr. Bob,
    I interpret that passage as teaching that divorce is Scripturally legitimate only in the case of an unbelieving spouse deserting a believer. It appeared your interpretaion was expanding to include abandonement for any reason.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Re-clarification!! [​IMG]

    IF a spouse abandons his wife, runs off with another woman, I try to ameliorate the situation personally. If he will not heed me (and none ever has), we call him to discipline at a church business meeting.

    If he will not hear the church, he is to be classified to us as "unsaved" <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So every "abandonment" situation within the church body will always end up with one side or the other being declared as "unsaved". This then fits the description of I Cor. 7 and allows for remarriage.

    Clear as mud? Or am I still missing the question?
     
  14. Aaron

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    I've been asked to perform a wedding three times. Each time I've had to turn them down.

    Two because I will not perform weddings for divorcees.

    One because there was at least one parent or guardian that was not in complete agreement and favor with the union.

    Folks have stopped asking me!! :eek:
     
  15. TomVols

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    Aaron,
    Do I read you right in that you will not perform a ceremony for a divorced person regardless of the circumstances?
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    Tom - that is a common position for Baptist ministers up north. Set down parameters as to who you will/won't marry.

    I was taught by Dr. Dick Weeks to have the following questions:<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Is one of the two a member of my church?<LI>Are both professing believers?<LI>Has there ever been a divorce, separation, abortion, premarital relations, etc?<LI>Is the couple "living in sin" before marriage?<LI>Will there be any drinking or dancing at a reception?[/list]If any were answered positively, then DO NOT perform the wedding. I have personally rejected this checklist.

    Now, the ifb preachers in town call ME to perform weddings on folks that are part of their church family but there has been a divorce or the couple has a child out-of-wedlock. Of course, they want them BACK in their church as workers and tithers, but "can't" stoop to marry them.

    Sore spot with me? Not really. Just more folks for ME to minister to.
     
  17. Rev. Joshua

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron:
    Folks have stopped asking me!!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Which is why I'm pretty flexible on whom I'll marry. Not only do they stop asking you, they stop looking to the Church in other areas of their lives.

    Joshua
     
  18. TomVols

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    Dr. Bob,
    It's common here in the south, too, among some. To refuse to perform a wedding for anyone who has been divorced for any reason seems to not take seriously the Scriptural grounds for divorce and remarriage. And you make a great point about how some pastors won't "compromise their ethics" to perform a wedding yet will take money, their attendance, etc.
     
  19. PackerBacker

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    Good posts. Similar to Dr. Bob, I had been led to believe that basically perfect people are only ones qualified to be married. These posts are good in that I am being challenged to make sure my former teaching was really biblical or traditional.
     
  20. preacher

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    I can find no justifiable cause in the Word for divorce between Christians. We are taught to forgive, period. We can choose not to remain together, but not to remarry, as Christians.
    Dr. Bob, on your point of abandoment, I understand about the unbelieving departing, but wouldn't it also be part of the Churches responsibility to help take care of a wife or mother who's been left.
     

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