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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The husband of one wife

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RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Adultery like any other sin must be repented of.



This is interesting. When adultery is committed against a spouse they surely must repent. The foundational aspect of the covenant has been violated. The faithful Christian spouse is obligated to forgive. But is the faithful spouse obligated to 'finish the cookie or the coke'? (Proverbs 6)

Prov 30:20

Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she [u]eateth[/u], and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

And this is what makes adultery different than most any other sin -save murder. You cannot easily undo murder and you can't easily undo defilement. She 'eateth' and wipeth her mouth. This picture parallels what we read in Chapter 6. This is why the penalty for both murder and adultery was [i]death[/i].

Anything short of death is an act of mercy and is, I would argue, evidence of a changed heart. The heart of the man in Proverbs 6 is one of relentless unforgiveness and quest for revenge. Why? Because adultery is not a sin in which one wipes their mouth and says they have done nothing wrong. It is to [i]apostate[/i] within the marriage covenant. It is to defile yourself or contaminate yourself for the other spouses use. If, by God's grace, the faithful spouse can get past it then it is a good thing. But not everyone will. I refer back to the cookie and coke analogy. You can forgive the person- but the persons cannot undefile themselves. God's grace has to heal it and it is miracle upon miracles when He does and often is never known publicly. Only eternity will reveal the testimony of how God resurrected marriages after one spouse brought death through defilement.



_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/5/28 17:07Profile
UniqueWebRev
Member



Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: Divorce & Remarriage

Quote:
Forrest's: Considering that in Christ's time a woman's father or brother had to seek a divorce for her, and the man had to do the
divorcing even if he was at fault, if she were not permitted to remarry, her father or brother would be permitted to stone the adulturer, so that she would be a widow. I know that my father, were he allowed to, would have made sure I was a widow. He isn't allowed to, according to our law, and so my ex-husband is still alive.



Hi Forrest,

Sorry to not have been more clear. I do not type well enough to say all I would and sometimes leave gaps hoping to have been clear enough. My apology.

I personally don't know what the pastoral epistles truly intended to mean with the qualifications. But lest I cause offense, I have chosen to steer clear from official positions though I have been asked to step up many times. Maybe it's a cop-out? There is a great need for
ordained ministers today and I really don't want the headaches to be honest. I have chosen this line for some 15+ years now. God still uses
me in various capacities, but I never really known what certain folk believe so I try to stay out of the limelight. There are some very
conservative groups in Missouri and I would be looked down on - even though they don't really know what happened. God forbid that my life would ever be a source of controversy in the church. I'm better off with teaching Sunday school, working with youth, visiting shut-ins and other like things. No need for banners, chief seats or name tags. ;-)



Apology accepted gladly, but not needed. You are allowed to state your views as firmly as you need to, and I am allowed to disagree, right? Nor does anyone except God have the ability to call you to a position in ministry, and it sounds like you do a lot already. As for not wanting the responsibility, I do understand that. I am glad to be a woman, and not required to shoulder that burden except in extraordinary circumstances. And although I have chosen to lay out openly the details of my life, and would face any amount of questions over my marriage, including how badly I acted in my confusion from the head injury and from my pride, not every one is required to undergo such an inquisition.

But if your area needs Pastors, they need to start loking for less than the perfect man, for there is no such thing. Whether you need to lead formally is between you and God.

But for your own sake, you should take a position. I did, and I chose to err on the side of grace.

Robert, you didn't offend me. Your ideas and statements provoked me, because they appeared to set man's law and tradition above God's mercy and grace. I still think that they do. In fact, I was so thunderstruck by what you said, whether you meant it to be read that way or not, that I wrote back deliberately to make people think about what was written.

I am glad to have witnessed such a response. The love that your friends have for you is apparent by their instant defense of you. I like you pretty darn well myself for such a short acquaintanceship, besides loving you in Christ as my brother.

Someone, during a spirited battle Jaysaved and I were having over Calvinism, when we agreed to disagree, told me that such behavior was cowardly. And frankly, I am sick to death of people pleasing, lest I hurt someone's feelings. I don't write to wound anyone either, but when I feel something deeply, I am now saying so.

Setting aside the fact that the thread we were involved with was in regards to limitations on leadership qualifications, the idea that one would not take Jesus literally when He said something really threw me.

And the idea of putting the victim of a broken covenant in the place of being the covenent breaker if he/she remarried did have me steaming.

As I said, if that is the individual's choice, it is one thing. It is another to teach against the exclusion that Jesus himself made. Simply put, in the economy of God, we do not have the right to make such judgments. We all sin, and each sin is the same to God. You can say
God hates divorce. Well, He also hates lying. And pride. And rebellion.

Levirite law was given by God. Jesus revoked a good deal of it, as marriage is as much a heart and soul issue as a body issue, and the New Covenent in Christ goes more to the heart and mind, with the body following. And frankly, if God divorced first Ephraim, then Judah, and brought us Christians into covenent with Him, we should take a look at that as well. I commit adultery in my marriage to God every time I go my way instead of His, and so does everyone else.
But because of Jesus, He forgives us.

No one should be so dogmatic in their beliefs as a Christian to not allow for mercy and grace for others. If you choose not to have mercy on yourself, that is your business. If you wish, as an adult, to have such strict standards for yourself, and teach them to your children, that is allowed you. I hope that you have a large church for them to select a mate of like teaching to choose from, as the Amish and Mennonites do, or a Christian from another denomination will taint your congregation when they marry in to your rules and regs. It's why Quaker's still read someone out of the Congregation (Excommunicate them) when someone marries 'out'.

It was why Mosaic law allowed for adulturers to be stoned to death. It wasn't just to punish the sin, but to crush the offense against the victim, and the society, and God as well. Adultery is that hurtful for God to allow, much less mandate, such a response. But in the New Covenent we are called to forgive, as He forgives us. We are not required, however, to accept the covenent breaker back. Yes, God would want us to try to make the marriage work, but there are times when you cannot.

In a society where a covenant marriage is not even recognized, and one has no legal rights even to force a spouse home to his/her duty, you run a grave risk of exactly my reaction to legalism as opposed to grace. Erring on the side of grace versus judgement is the wiser course of action in my view, particularly when the discussion is about a limited set of variables, the breaking of the marriage covenent by adultery admitted and blatant, and caused not by friction or ill-judgement in a marriage choice, but by outside events of illness or accident. But that was in regard to a Bishop's position, not the regular guy or gal.

When it come's to someone's personal life in this very complex age, I don't object to divorced Pastors or teachers, so long as the entire church knows the critical details, and it is okay with them. I doubt that a blatant, repetitive adulturer would be approved by anyone as a leader without a long period of proved repentence, service, and living in the fruits of the spirit, but even then anyone called by God is qualified, whether their divorce was due to a youthful marriage, made before conversion, or in mistake, due to bad teaching by their parents, or in caving in to the presures of the world for a while. These are case by case issues, for each church to make regarding their leader.

Jesus said, in Matthew 12:7 [color=993300] But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.[/color]

Yes, I know the above was about the sabbath laws in this specific instance. But for Jesus to then outlaw all Levirite divorce law, but leave in an exclusion for porneia, it can't have been to punish the innocent, or hold them to an already broken contract of marriage.

[color=993300]Strong's Number: 4202
Transliterated: porneia
Phonetic: por-ni'-ah

Text: from 4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest);
figuratively, idolatry: --
fornication.[/color]


Now, as to your cookie analogy, I wouldn't take my cookie back on a silver platter, unless God told me to do so directly. And even under those circumstances, I probably wouldn't be able to stand him touching me for quite some time, even if God guaranteed me a clean bill of health.

But knowing his current lifestyle, I have to remember to pray for him and his current wife, and the others that were involved with him as well, because they are all in such danger. And to be frank, since I don't know exactly when the adultery started, I still have to worry about AID's showing up in me...it's only been 11 years, after all. It's hard to live in a small town, and in addition know exactly who, when and where, and in what sequence, from the horse's mouth.

Yet, if I can forgive him, his current wife, and all his former lovers, over and over again, everytime the subject comes up, and I have to deal with all the pain again, how could I not give the benefit of the doubt to another similar victim, physically damaged by one of life's accidents or by disease, then deserted and betrayed by a marriage partner?

If Jesus forgives us, why cannot we forgive one another?

My whole point in this matter is to leave judgement to God, and have mercy on one another.
As to covenent marriage, every covenent is a contract, including the one we have with Christ. That Covenent is not unconditional either. Provision was made in Levirite and Christian marriage up into the early 1900's a.d. for seperation, support, and even divorce in those covenants, such as for the inability of bearing an heir. Jewish men leaving for war traditionally gave their wive's divorces so they could remarry if their body was never recovered, or their death witnessed.

In the Israel of today, one woman had a great deal of trouble getting a divorce from her husband, since all the Rabbi's could do was threaten the adulterous husband with jail if he did not give her the divorce, and the husband was already in jail, and spiteful to boot. The fact that he had tried to kill her from unwarranted jealousy, abused her and her children, and would not leave her alone in a seperated state were the causes for the Rabbi's to order a divorce. Are we to be less merciful?

And erring on the side of mercy, I also allow for spousal and child abuse, insanity, and downright cussedness, because we are people, humans, not passionless robots.

Yet, I took my vows seriously. I never even wanted a divorce. He wasn't willing to wait the ten years minimum for my recovery. For him, life had to go on, while I have been recovering these twelve years, and am still not anywhere near to being marriage material, unless someone really likes taking care of people.

Yet if God were kind enough to send me an observantly practicing Christian man, with a good sense of humor, that was attractive to me, I would re-marry, even knowing how difficult it would be for us both. I would assume that God had something He wanted us to stretch for, to walk through the pain and joy and heartache to get to, for any marriage is difficult, and requires dedication to make it work.

I would have loved to have been brought up in a sane church, with deeply held views that were practiced to the best of everyone's ability, and without hypocrisy. God didn't have that planned for me, even as an option, or I would have had different parents, different genes, and been a different person.

But I take the Bible literally. If it says forgive, I do, to the best of my ability. And if it says Christ said divorcing (dissolving the marriage covenent) an adulterer was okay, I take Him at His word.

He is, after all, God.

Blessings,

Forrest


_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/5/29 13:50Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Forrest's: And the idea of putting the victim of a broken covenant in the place of being the covenent breaker if he/she remarried did have me steaming.



Hmmm. Maybe this is where I was misunderstood. Certainly I believe that the covenant breaker in the case of adultery is the adulterer. The faithful party is not guilty in any wise. My points were addressed to those who break covenant within marriage and marry another without just cause.

Quote:
No one should be so dogmatic in their beliefs as a Christian to not allow for mercy and grace for others. If you choose not to have mercy on yourself, that is your business. If you wish, as an adult, to have such strict standards for yourself, and teach them to your children, that is allowed you. I hope that you have a large church for them to select a mate of like teaching to choose from, as the Amish and Mennonites do, or a Christian from another denomination will taint your congregation when they marry in to your rules and regs. It's why Quaker's still read someone out of the Congregation (Excommunicate them) when someone marries 'out'.



Actually, I understand the subject about the same way as you do. Somehow those few posts must have cause some serious confusion. :-?


Quote:
Now, as to your cookie analogy, I wouldn't take my cookie back on a silver platter, unless God told me to do so directly. And even under those circumstances, I probably wouldn't be able to stand him touching me for quite some time, even if God guaranteed me a clean bill of health.



And I don't believe you have to. I only would ask folk to try to work it out- if that is not possible- it's not possible. But a terrible grief it is.


Quote:
Yet, if I can forgive him, his current wife, and all his former lovers, over and over again, everytime the subject comes up, and I have to deal with all the pain again, how could I not give the benefit of the doubt to another similar victim, physically damaged by one of life's accidents or by disease, then deserted and betrayed by a marriage partner?



This is why for a marriage to work after adultery both partners had better be seeking God with all their might. Ten minutes of lukewarmness and the enemy will come in like a flood. Only God can bring a person through this type of betrayal. Solomon in Proverbs 6 hits the nail on the head.

BTW Greg has posted some really good material on this subject. I believe it deserves an honest read from both sides.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/5/29 14:57Profile
UniqueWebRev
Member



Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: Divorce & Remarriage

Quote:

RobertW wrote:
Quote:
Forrest's: And the idea of putting the victim of a broken covenant in the place of being the covenent breaker if he/she remarried did have me steaming.



Hmmm. Maybe this is where I was misunderstood. Certainly I believe that the covenant breaker in the case of adultery is the adulterer. The faithful party is not guilty in any wise. My points were addressed to those who break covenant within marriage and marry another without just cause.

Quote:
No one should be so dogmatic in their beliefs as a Christian to not allow for mercy and grace for others. If you choose not to have mercy on yourself, that is your business. If you wish, as an adult, to have such strict standards for yourself, and teach them to your children, that is allowed you. I hope that you have a large church for them to select a mate of like teaching to choose from, as the Amish and Mennonites do, or a Christian from another denomination will taint your congregation when they marry in to your rules and regs. It's why Quaker's still read someone out of the Congregation (Excommunicate them) when someone marries 'out'.



Actually, I understand the subject about the same way as you do. Somehow those few posts must have cause some serious confusion. :-?



I'm just glad to know we're on the same page, er post, now.8-)

Quote:
Quote:
Now, as to your cookie analogy, I wouldn't take my cookie back on a silver platter, unless God told me to do so directly. And even under those circumstances, I probably wouldn't be able to stand him touching me for quite some time, even if God guaranteed me a clean bill of health.




Quote:
And I don't believe you have to. I only would ask folk to try to work it out- if that is not possible- it's not possible. But a terrible grief it is.



Yes, it is so awful it is worth almost anything to bear and forebear with one another.

Jesus, as God, knew the pain of spiritual adultery. To Him there can be no greater pain, and sense of horrifying disgust with what we do so easily...stray away from Him. Yet His love is so great, He can cleanse us with it, if we repent, and turn to Him.

I would my love were as great, but it isn't, at least for my ex-husband. That cookie is very crumbled after all this time. In fact, the poor cookie is so changed I hardly can recognize him, even in thought. And yet neither of us will ever forget the other, for the pain of the circumstances, and our reactions to them, and for the many good years before that time.

And I am grateful to Jesus to not have to feel sinful if He sends me someone to marry. I feel very much like a widow anyway.

I am glad that God can choose not to remember our sins against each other and against Him. And I will be glad when we are Glorified, and all that pain is removed from us because of the intensity of God's love, and our new, cleansed, state of being.

Ah, if only those we once loved had turned back in time. Love can do a lot, even in a human being. If only.... Very tragic words, for us as divorcees, and for man, if he is apart from God, or leaves Him.

But in my case, and I pray yours also, God turned it all to good...it just took a while, and frankly, He's not even finished yet!

And see, even we, as brother and sister, can misunderstand one another, talk it over, and find out that we agree after all is said and done.

I want the real deal from Christians...particularly in marriage. Walk it out, day by day. Work on the problems. Forgive and overlook a lot, except your safety, sanity, and walk with God.

But be faithful, oh please, be faithful.

Isn't that what God is always asking of us?

Blessings,

Forrest




P.S. My bolding on previous posts was not purposeful yelling or emphasis - I just figured out the quote quote /quote /quote thing!


_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/5/30 15:23Profile





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