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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : 16th century Anabaptist taught : "innocent party to a divorce was permitted to remarry"

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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3110


Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery" (Matthew 5.31-32). In other words, "In An Ideal World", whomever you marry, you stay married to. And the only out is this, if you think you'll be better off unmarried, then get divorced, but then stay that way.

Mr. Bill

 2017/11/18 12:30Profile

Joined: 2010/7/9
Posts: 287
Canton, Michigan

 Re: Hermes A.D. 90

Hermes A.D. 90

Hermes was sold into slavery and sent to Rome as a boy. He was later set free by his owner, a woman called Rhoda. He became known as one of the authoritative Fathers of the Church and an influential Christian writer, noted for his detailed description of early Christianity. His surviving book, “The Shepherd”, was considered to be an inspired book of the Holy Bible until the fourth century A.D.

To quote the translators: “The Shepherd of Hermas is in form, an apocalypse. It consists of a series of revelation made to Hermas by the church, who appears in the form of a woman, by the shepherd, the angel of repentance, and by the great angel who is in charge of Christians. Each revelation is accompanied by an explanation, and from these it can be seen though the form of the book is apocalyptic and visionary, its object is practical and ethical.”

Hermas wrote:

"I charge you," said he, "to guard your chastity, and let no thought enter your heart of another man's wife, or of fornication, or of similar iniquities; for by doing this you commit a great sin.

But if you always remember your own wife, you will never sin. For if this thought enter your heart, then you will sin; and if, in like manner,you think other wicked thoughts, you commit sin. For this thought is great sin in a servant of God. But if any one commit this wicked deed, he works death for himself.

Attend, therefore, and refrain from this thought; for where purity dwells, there iniquity ought not to enter the heart of a righteous man." I said to him, "Sir, permit me to ask you a few questions." "Say on," said he. And I said to him, "Sir, if any one has a wife who trusts in the Lord, and if he detect her in adultery, does the man sin if he continue to live with her?"

And he said to me, "As long as he remains ignorant of her sin, the husband commits no transgression in living with her. But if the husband know that his wife has gone astray, and if the woman does not repent, but persists in her fornication, and yet the husband continues to live with her, he also is guilty of her crime, and a sharer in her adultery.

" And I said to him, "What then, sir, is the husband to do, if his wife continue in her vicious practices?" And he said, "The husband should put her away, and remain by himself. But if he put his wife away and marry another, he also commits adultery."

And I said to him, "What if the woman put away should repent, and wish to return to her husband: shall she not be taken back by her husband?" And he said to me, "Assuredly. If the husband do not take her back, he sins, and brings a great sin upon himself; for he ought to take back the sinner who has repented…In this matter man and woman are to be treated exactly in the same way. –The Shepherd 4:1-10

Hermas taught:

1. If a wife persists in adulterous behavior the “innocent party” may, and should, divorce in order to separate away from the sins of the offender

2. If a husband divorces his wife for such a reason he must remain single and not remarry.

3. If a wife repents of her offence the husband must forgive her and receive her back as wife.

4. If the husband does not forgive his repentant wife he brings a great sin upon himself.

5. Men and woman are to act and be regarded exactly the same in this matter.

David Fella

 2017/11/18 12:37Profile

Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 866


May I offer for some thought ?...


¶ He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

10 ¶ His disciples say unto him, 'IF THE CASE BE SO WITH HIS WIFE,' it is not good to marry.

11 ¶ But he said unto them, '***All men cannot receive this saying,'....

(And , next sentence Jesus continues,)

12 *For there are 'some eunuchs', 'which were so born from their mother's womb': ....

and there are 'some eunuchs', which 'were made eunuchs of men':,....

and, ...'there be eunuchs',...
...which 'have made themselves,eunuchs' ...'for the kingdom of heaven's sake'. ...He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Eunuch: ( Strongs Exhaustive Concordance)
2135 eunoúxos – properly, "alone in bed" (i.e. without a marriage partner) – literally, a castrated (emasculated) man; a eunuch; " 'a chamberlain, keeper of the bed-chamber' of an Eastern potentate, 'a eunuch' " (Souter); (figuratively) someone who abstains from marriage (sexual relations) to be solely devoted to God – as in Mt 19:12 where 2135 (eunoúxos) refers to someone who voluntarily chooses a life of abstinence.

But WHY,..Would some 'make themselves EUNUCHS,....'FOR'.....

Next verses Jesus is talking about 'little children'...and 'the kingdom of God'


13 ¶ Then were there brought unto him 'little children', that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: 'for of such is the kingdom of heaven'.

He just talked about marriage / divorce, and 'an Eunuchs' and 'the kingdom of God', ......

...and now He switches to 'little children',....and 'the kingdom of God',...

Then on down,...
The rich man desiring Eternal Life,.."what must I do to inherit Eternal Life? "

Taking all this teaching into consideration,because it seems to be a continuation,....,...

....what is Jesus getting at ?

This is what I see, .....

Jesus is giving instructions, for 'for His kingdom, 'the kingdom of God'
or 'the kingdom of The Word / Spirit,..on :

marriage / divorce,..
Then, 'little children'

Little children,......( us ).......humble, willing to hear / obey,...teachable.... in the kingdom of God or God' kingdom ...

Then 'the rich man' ,... was he willing to 'hear' / obey ?

* all for 'the kingdom of God'........Eternal / Everlasting Life ...?

I cannot tell anyone what to do,..but I would encourage ,...

In all these things, it not to be 'filled with The Spirit of God' and 'to be led by The Spirit of God,...?

......hear what He is saying to us individually....through The Spirit, and confirming it in The Word,...and conversing with God, on any matter.

That Devine effluence upon our heart,....( Grace. )


 2017/11/18 12:44Profile


Eliberh writes...

""In all these things, it not to be 'filled with The Spirit of God' and 'to be led by The Spirit of God,...?

......hear what He is saying to us individually....through The Spirit, and confirming it in The Word,...and conversing with God, on any matter.

That Devine effluence upon our heart,....( Grace. )""

To which I would say Amen. James would say in another way. What seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.

The problem is some are trying to take New Testament truth and make it binding up on the saints. To make it a legalistic yoke that makes the yoke of Sinai look like grace.


 2017/11/18 15:52

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 993
Germany NRW

 Re: 16th century Anabaptist taught : "innocent party to a divorce was permitte

Divorce and Remarriage is a difficult subject. There are hard cases such as remarriage before conversion and when children are involved. We must go by scripture regardless.

1.Cor 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

15 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.

Where does it say that this means remarriage?

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

1.Cor 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

I just cannot find any scriputure in the New Testament that permits remarriage except for the death of one spouse.

Again, the only remarried person in the NT I can think of was king Herod.

Divorce and remarriage was not enshrined into the law until about 100 years ago, because law makers and the general public tended to fear God more than today.

We are talking about the option of remarriage for the believing, innocent party in this blog.
If I read Romans 7:3, Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 in the plainest sence even the innocent party is committing adultery if they remarry - please show if I am wrong.

In the past people understood that marriage was a covenant between husband and wife for life, recognized in society and joined togehter by God. People held out even if the marriage was not happy. They understood that it would be better to stick it out together than to abandon spouse or children to fight for survival.

Marriage is bigger than husband and wife living together. It is something that is a the very core of God's plan for mankind, it was there even before the fall. It is a mystery that mirrors Christ's relationship to his bride that will NEVER be dissolved.

It is a serious thing to take assunder what God joined together. By legalizing divorce and remarriage the very fabric of society has been destroyed. Children and abandoned spouses carry deep scars.

Mal 2: 15-16 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.

50% of all marriages end in divorce and God hates it.

Drug abuse, mental illness, violence is spinning out of control in the US, and Europe is not far behind.

We are paying a very high price for this freedom.

 2017/11/18 16:06Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


RE : /// Divorce and remarriage was not enshrined into the law until about 100 years ago, because law makers and the general public tended to fear God more than today.///

If I am correct the law of the land has always allowed Fault divorce "such as abandonment, cruelty, incurable mental illness, or adultery."

Secondly the 16th century Early Anabaptist understood that the Scriptures allowed the innocent to remarry. It is not some new way of reading Scripture that has only came about in the last 100 years by people whom fear the general public more than they do God.

 2017/11/18 16:25Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36457
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


Greg, I feel like you are trying to hide in the midst of words. I agree that if a Christian divorces his or her husband or wife for any other reasons than adultery, then that divorce is not Biblical, it is sin, and it must be repented of and then the couple or person must do as they are led by the Spirit.

Let me make this real simple for you Greg. Here is a yes or no question. Can a Christian man or woman whose spouse has cheated on them, divorce and remarry in the eyes of God and not be an adulterer ? Yes or no? ............. bro Frank

Brother Frank,

I stand with our Lord Jesus Christ's words. I believe they are a warning and have consequence. And I have no problem in sharing them with others as I believe that is true love. Only God can help in very extreme hard cases of which we are alluding to in these threads. For the more plain situations it is clear where Scripture stands.

Whether or no a person who commits adultery in this case enters heaven I am not sure. It seems to be a very dire warning.

Matthew 5:32 King James Version (KJV)

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

SI Moderator - Greg

 2017/11/18 16:57Profile

Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 866


Bro Blaine,
Thank you for your kind words,...I appreciate them.

Now could we take a closer look at the word 'yoke' ?

The Lord does not want us to go backwards again back again iinto The 'bondage' of sin, ...that we were once yoked up to / with,...He has broke the yoke of sin from off us.....It is a heavy laden yoke.

Jesus wants us to be yoked up w/ Him, and continue yoked w/ Him.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

(Grace to us and peace / rest)

29 "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find 'rest' unto your souls..".....

......(not only 'learn of me, but a yoke,........a yoke,...but why a yoke ?
We are yoked up w / Jesus......he quides 'The Way'...helps us every step of
The Way,...( I Am The Way).......grace,.....(strength), help in time of need..

30 "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Dear Brother,
I am not telling anyone what to do,...the Word says for us 'to work out our own 'Salvation' with fear and trembling '

His Spirit is within us to 'Save,...Salvation us from our
sins,..everyday,..always,...He will never leave us or forsake us.
( however, we might could leave Him.)

Do hope I am not coming across as 'legal'

*The new and Living Way, to be filled w / His Spirit and to be led by His Spirit,...( not legal)..(not law).

Lovingly always,

 2017/11/18 18:11Profile

Joined: 2012/9/25
Posts: 403


Brothers and sisters
As I read these posts I have to agree and disagree. I am walking in the anointing the LORD has given me and the shoes He has given me..
Mosty I agree with Mercy. I always will side with Mercy.
PSA 103:Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.[a]
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

There are reasons why people divorce. Two people break the covenant..
What about Abuse??
MAL 2:16
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.
God hates abuse.. violence that is covered..

Regardless.. of the reasons if the people repent?? IS there not forgiveness from Our Father..
We are under the Abrahamic Covenant and the Covenant of Grace. What is the message of the Cross??
To me it is Mercy.. JESUS took my place.. Jesus took my shortcomings. HE DIED FOR US ALL.. He knows all things..
He knows each one of our hearts on this forum. Does He not??
Im not trying to be mockful here..
Psa 139:16Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Regardless of the reasons.. Is there not Mercy?? Is there not forgiveness for this sin.. As Mr. Bill Pro quotes

Matthew...12:31 Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven

I am a believer who will always side on MERCy..
I believe the Lord forgives those who are truly repentant. Whether they married unsaved and then got saved or one goes toward the world and cheats, or sleeps with a man or woman..
This is dangerous on how we are splitting hairs..
I will always side on mercy.. I will always remember the STONE i carry.. God will judge us all and will lift one up and the other..
When I get to the other side (Hopefully) I would rather be chastised for being too Merciful than for being too judgmental..
Just my thoughts no disrespect intended.; I pray we can all agree to disagree.. for I am only walking in the anointing He has given me.. As a Daughter of the KING who has Mercy for me a sinner saved by His grace no matter what I have every done He has forgiven me.. I repent if I have disrespected JESUS; teachings.. I give Him permission to correct me if Im in err.
In Christ


 2017/11/18 18:44Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Wismar Articles (Dutch Anabaptist, 1554)

Wismar Articles (Dutch Anabaptist, 1554)

Article IV.
In the fourth place, if a believer and an unbeliever are in the marriage bond together and the unbeliever commits adultery, then the marriage tie is broken. And if it be one who complains that he has fallen in sin, and desires to mend his ways, then the brethren permit the believing mate to go to the unfaithful one to admonish him, if conscience allows it in view of the state of the affair. But if he be a bold and headstrong adulterer, then the innocent party is free--with the provision, however, that she shall consult with the congregation and remarry according to circumstances and decisions in the matter, be it well understood.,_1554)

 2017/11/19 10:23Profile

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