SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Marriage/Divorce & Remarriage- What does God say about it?

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 Next Page )
PosterThread
npautsky
Member



Joined: 2003/9/10
Posts: 82
Texas

 Marriage/Divorce & Remarriage- What does God say about it?

Jesus Christ said "Whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and he that marries her that is divorced commits adultery". -Matt 5:32

Paul said "The woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adultress"-Rom.7:2,3

Again Paul says in 1 Cor.7:39 "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord".

John the Baptist told Herod "It is not lawful for you to have your brothers wife". Mark 5:18

These words to me all seem to be straightforward and easy to be understood. If a person read the above statements and came to the conclusion that no man should marry any woman who has been previously married while the previous husband is still alive,I would think that they would be understanding exactly what God intended for us to understand when he inspired these words to be written. It seems that few heed this doctrine. For some reason which is a mystery to me it is perfectly acceptable in modern protestant Christianity for a man and woman to be married while the womans previous husband is still alive.

The word does say to rightly divide the word of truth and I know there are cases in the word where it says one thing in one place and yet in another place there is another scripture that qualifies and sheds more light on the exact meaning of the verse. Here then is my question. What does the word of God say about marrying her that is divorced? Are there some qualifying scriptures that would make the above scriptures clearer? Jesus does say in Matt 5:32 "except for the cause of fornication". Whose fornication? It would seem that he is saying that if a man or woman is unfaithful to their spouse then their partners are justified in seeking divorce and that they will no longer be liable for what the other one does. However the injured in this case has been put away and it would seem, according to Jesus that to remarry would constitute adultery. In Matt 5:32 where he says " Whoever puts away his wife except for the cause of fornication causes her to commit adultery". Surely he is not saying that if you are sexually faithful to your wife but divorce her and she remarries then you have caused her to commit adultery but, if you are sexually unfaithful then put her away then she is free to marry and you didn't cause her to commit adultery. That doesn't make much sense. In 1 Cor.7:15 Paul says "If the unbelieving depart, let him depart, A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God has called us to peace". This could be understood to mean that a Christian is allowed to remarry if their unbelieving husband/wife depart. So that would boil down to this: If a man or woman leaves their husband/wife then they are not abiding in the doctrine of Christ and are not real Christians but unbelievers. If one takes that view then all Christians are exempt from Matt.5:32, Rom.7:2,3 and 1 Cor 7:39 that says that a man or woman who remarry after divorce commit adultery and that a woman is bound by the law to stay married to her husband as long as he lives. That doesn't make much sense either. I have also heard said in the case of a person who is married to a divorced woman and then becomes a Christian - "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called" 1 Cor 7:20. and again 1 Cor. 7:24 "Let every man wherein he is is called, therein abide with God". Lets try to apply this to the case of John the Baptist and Herod. John reproved Herod for being married to another mans wife (in this case his brothers). What if Herod wanted to become Jesus disciple, wouldn't he need to put away Herodias according to Moses, John, and Jesus and stop committing adultery or should he profess Christianity and abide in the calling wherein he was called and keep on living in adultery? Just doesn't make sense.
All of these justifications for being married to someone whose previous spouse is still alive seem pretty flimsy to me. So will someone please enlighten me as to what the deal is with the current state of marriage and divorce in the church today? Maybe I don't understand exactly what the Lord is teaching with these verses or maybe there are some other verses that I am overlooking that would make things make more sense. I have no formal bible training but I do read the bible prayerfully and seek understanding as to how it is that God wants us to live. I tremble to think that perhaps I am correct in this matter, but what would that mean? It would mean that people would need to be taking radical action and departing from spouses that have been married before. It is interesting to note that Matt. 5:32 comes immediately after Jesus counsels us to take radical action to get sin out of our lives even if it comes to plucking out our own eyes or cutting off our own hands -Matt. 5-29,30. It would certainly give new meaning to 2 Cor.6:17 Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord. Almost every church would have members of the congregation who paid a very weighty price (ended adulterous relationship with their wife/husband) to follow Jesus. In our concept of Christianity today this may seem strange, but look at what they did in the old days for the Kingdom of God: Abraham left Ur and offered up Isaac, Moses left Egypt and all of its riches, Ezra 10:3 says the Jews made a covenant with God and put away all of their strange wives, and how about Jepthah (Judges 11) who swore to his own hurt and changed not when he had to offer his own daughter as a burnt offering, but there he is in Hebrews 11 listed as a mighty man of faith. Jesus did say to count the cost of following him and that no man could be his disciple unless he hated his father, mother, wife, child, brother, and sister. Again Jesus said "No man has left wife for the kingdom of Gods sake". What was he talking about there, extended missionary work? Perhaps so, but could this issue of adultery also be part of what he was talking about? If I knew for certain the answer to these questions I would have no need to post this question. The bible seems clear to me, but on the other hand most spiritual leaders sound no warning on this subject so maybe I am missing something somewhere. I have only made brief arguments here and I know there is much room for elaboration. I remember taking a survey here at sermon-index a while back about bible reading and I noticed at that time that about half the people that took the survey had read the bible through 2 times or more. I thought this might be a good place to get some answers on this matter. I would appreciate any thoughtful replies. Thank you.


_________________
Noel Pautsky

 2004/10/15 15:32Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Marriage/Divorce & Remarriage- What does God say about it?

Hi Noel
this isn't the first time we have looked at the topic, but as so often with this topic there seem to be honest, bible believing, Christians who have different outlooks.

See where the discussion went the first time by clicking here and also here.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/10/15 15:49Profile
disciplejosh
Member



Joined: 2003/6/13
Posts: 210
Southern California

 Re:

Noel,

You are asking what God says about it...

I think you covered most of what He says in His word.

I'll be honest and tell you that I have had a rather difficult time in 'sorting' all this out as i am trying to deal with it all in my daily life. My Mom and Dad split up and then got divorced all in the last 5 years (after almost 28 years of marriage).

My mom hasn't remarried. My dad, on the other hand, was remarried to another woman he says he loves and the whole time this was/is going on still calls himself a brother (I was in 1 Cor. 5 at the time this all unfolded and took it literally for a time, wavered, and now am in the midst of returning to it's straight forward and literal approach).

I don't know what to do. There hasn't been any visible repentance as far as I can see. I would appreciate your prayers for me as I try to seek the Lord's will and what He would have me do in the situation.

I have read the other threads on this subject. I would appreciate straight answers, rather than semantics, etc. Noel is raising a great question. And I agree with Noel...

...I've heard Pastor's and laypeople's reponse...What does God say?


_________________
Josh

 2004/10/16 2:24Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I have read the other threads on this subject. I would appreciate straight answers, rather than semantics, etc. Noel is raising a great question. And I agree with Noel...

...I've heard Pastor's and laypeople's reponse...What does God say?

Josh
Semantics, used in its derogatory sense, usually means 'playing with words'. There is a parallel danger which is not so obvious called 'playing with lives'.

Many pastors have struggled painfully and prayerfully with a bewildering array of relationships, and with a heartfelt resolution to be faithful to the scriptures and those for whose souls they watch. They have studied the scriptures and listened to the counsel of other godly men, understanding that ...in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.(Pro 11:14 KJV) They have not come to different conclusion because they lack courage or honesty or a love for the scripture. IF it were a decision between white or black we could all have the luxury of absolute views, but people's lives are involved here.

Let me illustrate my point from an extreme example. Many years ago I was teaching 2 teenage Bhutanese men some bible truths. As far as anyone may tell they were the first baptized native Bhutanese in gospel history. An American missionary who had spend over 25 years working with Tibetans and Bhutanese said 'when it is discovered what these boys have done, they will be poisoned'. I tell you that concentrates the mind for a Bible-teacher! I looked at these fine, brave young men and I thought 'am I sure that what I am teaching is worth these young men dying for?'

I have views about most things, as you will know if you have read these forums, but you have to be absolutely sure when other peoples' lives are on the line. In a different context something similar happens with a pastor when faced with divorce and remarriage. This is not a doctrinal nicety under discussion; this is whole life-times of pain we are handling.

When you hold a position on divorce and remarriage and discover that great and godly men hold a different position it behoves us to be gentle with each other, respecting each other's love for God and truth and being prepared to listen to each other.

If it were as easy to come to black and white conclusions as you suggest Christians would not have been struggling with the concepts for hundreds of years. The question is never as simple as 'what does God say?' The question is 'what did God say to whom and when and why and how do we apply that to the broken lives of this man and this woman?'


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/10/16 14:48Profile
disciplejosh
Member



Joined: 2003/6/13
Posts: 210
Southern California

 Re:

Hey Ron,

Again we seem to have the problem of typing and not talking and not being able to grasp the 'tone' of someone's words.

I know that my wording might not have been the best of choices and I am not insisting that there be a 'black and white' answer to right the wrongs and deal with the pains of broken people.

I know God is patient. I know God is merciful. If He wasn't, we wouldn't be here. Being a pastor and involved in counseling, I understand the lifetimes of pain that are involved, the hurt, the brokeness, the sense of betrayal, the anger.

I did and didn't mean to use 'semantics'. In a sense I did, because seeing the questions posed by people and the posts that ensue are not addressing the question...they are more and more questions brought out, then they are further from answering the original question then when they began.

I am the first to admit that I ask questions and get distracted from the original question someone might ask. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that some get caught up in 'playing with words' rather than addressing the question. I know they need to understand where the question is coming from, but where is the answer? (I am saying this respectfully and calmly, not out of frustration).

I hear what you are saying, Ron, but I still think that the bottom line (not ngating the who where why what and how) is 'What did/does God say.'

All that being said in an attempt to clarify...

is there an answer or some possible answers out there?


_________________
Josh

 2004/10/16 15:18Profile
ZekeO
Member



Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re: Marriage/Divorce & Remarriage- What does God say about it?

Hi all,

Don't know if this is thoughtful or not, humble offerings away. From what I have read and been taught, these are the grounds for remarriage that applies for both male and female.
If in the previous marriage one of the parties was found to be committing adultery, it gives an opportunity for the one offended to remarry. This seems to be quite clear cut, but at the same time highlights if it is an offense it can be forgiven, then they should stay married. At the coal face, in the heat of battle to recommend that to someone could ellicit some rather unique responses. God hates divorce he has said so, but to tell someone in that situation 'stay married, work the thing through' can only border on advice and council but never I believe, constitute a command from scripture. Interesting that Jesus said it was because of hard hearts initially that certificates of divorce were issued.

There is another situation in which remarriage is allowed. If one of the parties deserts the marriage, so in their hearts and by their actions they anul the marriage relationship. If God made the two one and one party refuses to be one, in fact seperates themselves from that relationship then the spouse is free to remarry.


_________________
Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/10/16 16:10Profile
lastblast
Member



Joined: 2004/10/16
Posts: 528
Michigan

 Re: Marriage/Divorce & Remarriage- What does God say about it?

Noel,

I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. It appears to me that more and more people these days are being led by the Lord to study this topic---not casually, but quite indepth. I too have come to exactly the same conclusions as you have due to exactly the same passages of scripture you quoted. Personally, I have found that to publically take a stance WILL guarantee backlash in some form---from other professing Christians. On one Christian site I have frequented for 3 years, the Admin threatened me to NOT "go there" anymore or risk being banned. I am far from disrespectful in my communications, so it wasn't for that reason. It was due to my stance on the topic of divorce/remarriage. They even went so far as to add another rule to their board---forbidding anyone to intimate that remarrieds should ever leave their current spouses.

I personally have never told anyone to do such a thing, only pondered the issue that if the sin of remarriage (adultery) were a continual state of sin(Rom.7:2-3), the result of true repentance is to forsake the sin---as would be the case with all other sins. What I have found usually in my communications, the conversation does not stay on topic, but goes off into an emotional tirade: ie: spousal abuse, verbal abuse, drug abuse, etc.........as excuses to divorce AND remarry: "surely God wouldn't expect me to stay in such and such a relationship. I DESERVE to be happy". For me, really don't have a problem with separation when one's life is in danger. Remarriage, however, is a whole nother ball of wax. That point when discussed(whether remarriage is allowed and when it clearly is biblically defined as adultery)---then what to do---- gets ignored unfortunately in favor of inflammatory discourse. I've learned from such: When God's Word is not the focus and emotionalism is what is used to determine the rightness of a situation, I bail from those discussions because they are unfruitful.

My current church, (reformed based), pretty much takes the stances of John MacArthur and Jay Adams. I don't find their viewpoints to line up with scripture. None can answer what Rom. 7:2-3 means and IMHO, of one can't adequately answer what Paul appears to teach (the permanency of marriage until death), I'm not sure how they can truly feel confident with all assurance they are not leading people into sin.

When I think of this the scripture in Matthew comes to mind about causing the little ones to sin and also in Mal. 2 concerning those who call evil "good" and good "evil"..........

Even with this in mind, though I now hold the viewpoint you do, I am also mindful that we as believers are to be careful about calling something sin that is not sin..........Job's friends come to mind. We must be careful in all our determinations to make sure we are not perverting the nature of God/His judgments to others as well as attributing sin to a person who is guiltless before God. It truly is important how we handle the Word of God and how we treat others in our discourses..........Blessings


_________________
Cindy

 2004/10/16 16:31Profile
lastblast
Member



Joined: 2004/10/16
Posts: 528
Michigan

 Re:

http://www.rsglh.org/marriage_divorce_remarriage.htm

Hi Zeke,

I wrote a response back to you, but somehow I deleted it. Oh well. In any case, here is a site which I very much agree with and addresses your points very well. It's very long, but well worth the read, as it not only touches on what the Word of God teaches, but historically how it has been applied in the Church---though that part is not an exhaustive writing on the subject.
Blessings.


_________________
Cindy

 2004/10/16 16:57Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Here is a link that someone posted last time around. It is a thoughtful and gentle consideration. Please click here


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/10/16 18:24Profile
lastblast
Member



Joined: 2004/10/16
Posts: 528
Michigan

 Re:


_________________
Cindy

 2004/10/16 20:44Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy