The Theology of Divorce {Matt.5:32}

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Ray Berrian, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    I was sorry to hear of Dr. Stanley's divorce. It should be a consolation, for some people, that he did not remarry.

    Jesus did say there was one reason why a man or a woman can remarry and that is because of an unfaithfulness of the other party in the marriage. [Matthew 5:32] I know the 'five point Calvinist' Mr. Harold Camping does not believe this, although he used to believe there was this exception.

    I also would advise men or women who are either habitually battered physically or emotionally to separate from their spouse. I don't believe that the Lord wants a wife to be beaten physically and to remain with a tyrant.

    I believe in a high bar for the Christian clergy but I see no evil if Dr. Stanley would remarry. Even if a Christian does commit a 'large' sin {humanly speaking}, does not God forgive? The Lord forgives and forgets. [Micah 7:18-19] 'Who is a God like unto Thee, who pardoneth iniquity . . . . and Thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.' In the New Testament God says in Romans 4:8 'Blessed is the man {or woman} to whom the Lord will not impute sin.' It seems that at times God's people are slow at forgiving and trying to forget the misfortune of a brother or sister in Christ.

    Some have wrongfully construed I Timothy 3:2 to mean that if a pastor divorces he should never be allowed to minister in the pulpit again. I believe what God speaking through the Apostle Paul means is that a bishop/pastor can marry only one wife and not more than one person. Some brethren who think that a pastor can never remarry have a very judgmental and even a 'Pharisaical attitude' toward a brother's misfortune in marriage.

    Even during these apostolic times Jews and Gentiles gave 'Letters of divorcement' because of insignificant reasons. God was and remains against this.

    Should any man or woman, clergy or non-clergy have to live without a mate the rest of their lives because of, in many cases, the adultery of their marriage partner? {and I have no reference to the Stanley family} If an innocent party in marriage does not remarry it may cause even greater 'ripples on the water' than if they were well-pleased in a second marriage.

    The tragedy is that Christian marriages have about the same average of divorce as the unsaved.
     
  2. Brutus

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    Ray;Ihad heard that the Stanley's had reconciled. Michael
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    Let us remember that Paul (as he was a Pharisee) was once married, and that more than likely, his wife left him (as we do not hear about her from Paul.)
     
  4. npetreley

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    I was going to point that out, but I wasn't sure if it was true that Paul was married. Someone mentioned to me that being married was a given if you were a Pharisee, but I don't know enough about the customs to know if he was right.
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    I had a Bible teacher who said that you had to be married in order to be a member of the Sanhedrin; I don't know if this can be documented.

    The Apostle Paul might have been a widower; perhaps his wife did not leave him.
     
  6. russell55

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    I had heard this as well....
    I think that he was a widower is by far the more likely explanation.
     
  7. Yelsew

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    What is Calvin's teaching on Marriage?
     
  8. Frogman

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    Bro. Ray,

    Even if a Christian does commit a 'large' sin {humanly speaking}, does not God forgive? The Lord forgives and forgets.

    I agree with the greater portion of your post, my comment is that given the above statement and the record of Scripture the fact that we are of the Spirit of Grace, it would be greater to seek to be more Christ-like and pray God grant us the ability to forgive if we find ourselves in such a situation.

    I a few preachers whose wife left them when they announced their calling and followed Christ. This situation is much different than that of unfaithfulness, yet God often works in ways we cannot understand in order to humble our human spirits.

    Perhaps something of this nature was Paul's 'thorn in the flesh.' I know when I was in rebellion against God's calling in my life (to preach) I have suffered such that in my human mind, death would have been better, [​IMG] but God is much wiser than I and I am resolved to trust His Will and Purpose for me.

    The situation must always be considered, I am sure. Even then, not all people are going to be able to see the reasonings for Dr. Stanley's predicament, and this ultimately reflects not just upon the church, but upon Christ, especially in the view of the world.

    I hope Dr. Stanley and his wife have reconciled, this would certainly be Biblical.

    Yelsew,

    I am not familiar with Calvin enough to know his teaching on divorce. What was his position in the RC before seperating? Would he have even be married? I don't know, a good study point, though.

    Paul also did not recommend against marriage, but certainly warned against 'trouble in the flesh' as a result. At either rate, the devil certainly knows the weakness of man and holds no scruples in attacking these weaknesses in order to weaken the heart of man.

    I have heard preachers who explained this along with Matt. 19 by particularizing between fornication (being sexual sins prior to marriage; while adultery is within (during or after) the marriage relationship) The preacher I heard on this, though I don't necessarily agree, seemed to be saying the extramarital affair wasn't reason for divorce, but that pre-marital offenses, if not disclosed to the marriage partner, but discovered later, were. This was his explanation. As I said, I don't agree with this. Though my pastor and another preacher I know teach it this way. I have not yet bitten it. I don't see the ability to particularize fornication as sexual uncleanness prior to marriage only as they seem to be doing here.

    Does this make sense to anyone as to explain my position on this topic? :confused:
    God Bless All.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    I am moving this to the baptist general discussions forum since it is not related to Calvinism/Arminianism issue.

    Please follow it there.
     
  10. donnA

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    Where does that come from?
    I know that to be a Pharisee they had to be married, but not sure where it is that his wife left him.
     
  11. Frogman

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    I believe this was mentioned as conjecture. :confused:

    Bro. Dallas
     
  12. Johnv

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    Whether or not Paul became divorced is conjecture. Paul was not big on writing about himself too often, so the fact that his wife is not mentioned is non-conclusive.

    Confusing thing about divorce. What does a pastor do if his wife decides to leave him? If he becomes divorced against his will, that would make him the injured party, and therefore him remarrying would not place anyone in a state of perpetual adultery.
     
  13. Primitive Baptist

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    He could remarry, but he would be committing adultery. How can yu just say something like, "The Lord forgives and forgets." That makes it okay? If he remarries, he will do so without the Lord's blessing. And you all call Calvinists Antinomians. To say, "Just remarry, the Lord forgives and forgets," is Antinomianism if I've ever heard it.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    Primitive Baptist,

    I find that some Christians believe that if a Christian would commit almost any other major sin {humanly speaking} God will forgive and forget that transgression. For example: theft, possibly murder, or destroying another persons character. But, when it comes to divorce, they somehow back down, and give no assurance to a saved person that he or she can be forgiven and be remarried.

    No one can be forgiven by the Lord if they do not confess that sin. That's why the Apostle John says in I John 1:9, 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us, our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' But, if a believer does confess his wrong, God graciously forgives that person.

    No Christian would say it is all right to repeatedly commit adultery. If they did they then would be teaching 'antinomianism.'

    Almighty God reminds us that if a Christian continues to commit adultery in his mind and heart, he is antinomian in his life style. [Matthew 5:28] Jesus said, 'But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' Even if he commits this sin only one time, he is responsible to confess his wrong and to amend his life.

    Should a Christian man confess this sin of the mind to his wife, if this ever happens to him? My view is that he should confess and forsake this sin before God, but save this grief from his wife. What is your view 'about the sin of the mind,' Primitive Baptist?

    My regards,

    Ray
     
  15. rlvaughn

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    Paul's status - married, divorced, widower, whatever - is a matter of conjecture not verifiable from the Scriptures, and therefore would appear to me to be best left out of the Theology of Divorce.
     
  16. GEMJR

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    Divorce is a painful experience. First the part must evaluate them selves through counseling. It is hard for one party to omit to the other party they are wrong. It take a special person to look in the mirror and omit they are wrong. We can pray and ask forgiveness but we must be sincere. You must love the other person as much as you love as you love yourself. You must be the model of Christ.
     
  17. Christian41974

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    Ray, it almost sounded when you spoke of marriage as if it was as important as trading cars not a set of vows before the Holy God, a state also where the Bible says two people become one flesh. God made one woman for every man. Adam didn't have a second choice. God did not put him in a dating game. From this example I believe God has the right mate for me and you if you have not yours yet ,and in the process of time by Providence I believe God will allow me and you to meet our mates. The persons that in a sence complete us (make one flesh).

    Preachers are to be the husband of one wife. Not just one at a time. Seems as if the important fact tht a preacher is called to the ministry is being missed here, because of this if he is or does get divorced he has canceled his call to the ministry. If his wife leaves him that would go under breaking the "house kept in order" requirement. Now we may not like all of these rules and requirements but God made them its in His Word and that should be enough whether we understand it all or not.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    Agree, CD, with the concept that the sanctity and commitment of marriage is being undermined.

    We need to be salt and light to the world that is looking for something different than the mentality of the world.

    And we may speculate on Paul's marital status (having Jewish background, I know that marriage and a male heir would have been required for him) whether his wife and son had died, etc. But we ought to build a theology on the two passages that deal with divorce/exceptions in Matthew 5 and I Corinthians 7.

    sola scriptura
     
  19. hrhema

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    When this subject comes up it seems to be that many have focused on the part where Jesus said "Because of the hardness of your heart." They never try to understand that Jesus was dealing with this subject because Moses had allowed divorce for many various reasons and many of them were frivoulous like Burning a Meal or some other ridiculous reason .

    The word "fornication" came from the word Pornea which we get our word Pornography. Stop and think. What sexual sins are in pornography?
    All of them. Homesexuality, beastiality, Adultery, Incest and on and on. So Fornication is really all sexual sins.

    When Jesus used the word Fornication he was not just talking about pre-marital sex but all sexual sins.

    I think anyone who would say that a person has to stay in a relationship with a continuously cheating spouse does not have the mind of Christ at all.

    Jesus did say that if a person is cheated on they can remarry. Paul said if a believer is married to an unbeliever and the unbeliever leaves then the believer is not under bondage to them anymore.
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    C.D.Griffin,

    I understand your thoughts and your human desire to keep all the clergy pure before God. I take it then, that you do not believe God can forgive sin and forget it with reference to divorce, only your selected sins can be pardoned and not retained in the mind of God. [Micah 7:19d & Romans 4:8]

    You give me the feeling that you are somewhat like an 'arm chair general.' You may not have been out there in the trenches, as I have been as a pastor, having to deal with human failure in the life of the church.

    Your "Church Discipline" book may cleave only to I Timothy 3:2 as the only standard for Christians, but you must learn also to dovetail all of the Word of the living God. We observe all of God's Word which also qualifies this Divine principle in the Pastoral Epistles. Notice: Matthew 5:32.

    If adultery is obvious in a given situation and the pastor or any laity is the innocent party, then Matthew 5:32 comes into the picture. If Jesus says something directly, as He did in Matthew five then it is more than good enough for me.

    KJV says, 'But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, save {except} for the cause of fornication, causes her {or him} to commit adultery . . . '

    The New Century Version says, 'But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife forces her to be guilty of adultery. THE ONLY REASON FOR A MAN TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE is if she has sexual relations with another man.' {Almighty God did not say with the exception of denominational clergy} Sorry, the Word of Christ does not read this way. This does not mean that the offended person cannot forgive the wayward spouse. If that person can reconcile with his wife or husband then that is also pleasing to God.

    The New International Version says, 'But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, EXCEPT FOR MATITAL UNFAITHFULNESS, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.'

    I think my three children would have understood these versions when they were in junior high school.

    Much, much confusion takes place when a denomination or "Church Rule" is even more strict than God Himself.

    I would not want to be responsible for telling a Christian not to remarry if her husband had affairs all over town and she decided to divorce the scoundrel. It would be better, in my view, to remarry her to a decent man than have her to be tempted and fall into sexual sins the rest of her life.

    Your diatribe about 'used cars' was cute, but hardly the work of a Biblical exegete.

    As I recall 'Christ will judge every one' and not human, clay vessels, [John 5:22] and in the case of Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ. [II Corinthians 5:10]
     

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