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Jesus Does Not Allow Divorce-An Apology

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  • Jesus Does Not Allow Divorce-An Apology

    There are many who read Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18 (verses which appear to be clearly prohibiting divorce and remarriage for anything) and they would like to believe that viewpoint because in their conscience that seems how it should be. I am one such person. I believe that marriage is sacred and can only be broken by the death of one of the parties involved.
    It is said that apologetics is a patient work. In defense of this view that "til death do us part" is in fact an accurate reflection of what the NT teaches, I ask your patience while you read this document. It will be a source of strength and Biblical confirmation to those who believe as I do and it may be a cause for reconsideration for those who believe that the NT does in fact allow divorce.
    I am the author of the attached article. I invite those who desire to do so, to copy and distribute for discussion and consideration. The following is about one half of the document.


    Jesus Does Not Allow Divorce (Part One)

    When asked about divorce, Jesus based his prohibition of divorce on what is written in Genesis chapter two. Jesus used what was said with regard to Adam and Eve's marriage as the grounds to why divorce is not allowed. Their being "one flesh" in marriage had special meaning since Eve was literally one flesh with Adam, having been made from his own rib. But Jesus made the same pronouncement of "one flesh" on all subsequent marriages! This places all lawful marriages on equal footing with that first one. Though wives today are not made from their husbands' ribs, married couples possess the same status as if they were. As it was impossible for Adam to change the fact that he and Eve were one flesh, so it is equally impossible for any lawfully married husband or wife to change the fact that they also are "one flesh". The Apostle Paul understood this very well as we can see in Ephesians 5:28,29. He refers to the husband and wife being one flesh as a great mystery" whereby the wife is part of the man's own body. Also in1 Corinthians 7:39 and Romans 7:2,3, he very clearly states that only after the death of the husband may the wife marry again. The truth of this subject is accurately reflected in the old solemn phrase, "Till death do us part".

    But did not Jesus allow divorce for the single reason of adultery? The following is an exploration of that assumption. Matthew chapter 5:
    31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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.

    Most people would agree that verse 32 is not very clear. It seems to be somewhat of a run-on sentence. And after looking at it for a while, one might say that its exception clause ("saving for the cause of fornication") causes it to appear somewhat self-contradictory. However, its context offers substantial help: In six places in Matthew chapter 5, verses 21, 27, 31, 33, 38, and 43, Jesus says "It hath been said" or "it was said", as we see in verse 31 above. And to each of these he makes an answer like: "But I say unto you... ". Many have not discerned the spirit in which Jesus is speaking in this chapter and have stumbled on his words in verse 32. They have interpreted them legalistically by supposing that Jesus meant 'adultery' when he said 'fornication'.

    One of the explanations of being legalistic is when someone takes the particular words that are used and reckons them to mean something other than what the spirit and context is truly saying. As the Jews did not correctly understand God because they stumbled on "the letter" of the Old Testament, so likewise, many Christians today have accepted a major heresy on the subject of divorce and remarriage because they have stumbled on the wording of Jesus' exception clause.
    Unregenerated human nature is also a factor to consider in understanding how the scriptures are incorrectly interpreted. In Luke 16:14-19 (17,18) Jesus' rebuke to the Pharisees for their covetousness is tied in with a denouncement of their allowing divorce. Pride and discontent are often at the root of both of these sins.

    If the assumption that Jesus meant adultery when he said fornication is indeed true, then Matthew 5 verses 31 and 32 would be the only one of the six topics in that chapter where Jesus lets a partial allowance remain. In reality however, the context indicates that his wording in verse 34; "But I say unto you ... not at all" nicely sums up the answer to the question of whether or not any of those six deeds are allowed. In verses 21 and 22 where Jesus addresses killing, we find that we are not even to be angry with our brother without a cause. In verses 27 and 28, on adultery, we find that we are not even to let it be in our heart. In verses 33 and 34, on forswearing and oaths, we are to "swear not at all". In verses 38 and 39, on "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", we are not to do that at all. In verses 43 and 44, on hating our enemies, we are to rather love them.

    Now in going back to verses 31and 32, on divorce; are we being told that if our wife commits adultery we may divorce her if we so choose? If that were indeed true, then verses 31 and 32 would also be the only one of the six where we are being given a choice! All the others are spoken straightforwardly in a graceful form of commandment, as Jesus the great reformer, ministers the New Testament. See Matt. 5:19 and Heb. 9:10 (Rom.14:17 Col. 2:8 John 16:8)

    This assumed choice given to the man to divorce his wife for adultery, not only violates Jesus' mode of speech and consistent train of thought, but also amounts to nothing less than allowing the man to harden his heart and not forgive. Consider these scriptures: "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Eph. 4:31,32. "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matt. 6:14,15. See also Matt. 18:21-35, (32,33). If Jesus' exception of fornication is indeed a liberty to divorce a married wife for adultery, then an exception must be made for these and all other similar references concerning forgiveness when applied to the sin of adultery. (A little leaven leavens the whole lump).

    The divorce-for-adultery pro-choice advocates are in effect making the statement that such references about forgiveness are deceptive to the common reader. They apparently believe that those scriptures are not necessarily applicable to the sin of adultery. It would seem they would have us believe we are in need of their assumed superior knowledge. To us, Jesus' teaching on forgiveness appears by every indication to pertain to all trespassers, including wives who have committed adultery. Is this not strangely reminiscent of the misguided professing Christians of the 14-1500's who felt that without their learned guidance, the common man or woman would be misled by reading the scriptures?

    By the above references, and especially in Eph.4:31,32, it is sound to conclude that tenderness of heart goes along with the act of forgiving, in the same way that hardness of heart goes along with unforgiveness. In Matt. 19:8 and Mark 10:4,5, Jesus states that the precept written by Moses allowing a man to divorce his married wife (Deut. 24:1-4) was written for the hardness of their hearts. Is divorce a product of hardness of heart as Jesus said, or is it not? In Matt. 5:31,32, Jesus is referring to that same precept given by Moses: "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you... ".

    How could the New Testament teach such things that we have read on forgiveness and also that Moses' allowance for divorce was written solely because of the hardness of their hearts; and at the same time allow divorce? Would God emphatically state that he hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and then command his Son to make divorce a personal preferential thing of choice? The New Testament never allows what God hates. If the exception of fornication means allowing divorce on the grounds of adultery, then Jesus by his own admission is allowing hardness of heart and unforgiveness towards the wife if she commits adultery.

    Furthermore, since by the New Testament, his laws of truth are written in the hearts of the believers (Heb. 8:10 Rom. 8:4 John 1:17), if divorce for adultery is legal, then hardness of heart and unforgiveness has also been written in our hearts in regard to adulterous wives.

    There are worse trespasses than adultery that a wife may commit. If Jesus' exception of fornication is assumed to pertain to the married wife, then fornication is defined to mean adultery. It would then seem reasonable to conclude that if she were to commit an offence other than adultery, her husband couldn't put her away for that because it is not the specified offence. But what if that other offence is worse than adultery? Wouldn't that cause Jesus to appear unfair and unreasonable? This kind of argument could be levelled at Jesus if he had allowed divorce in the married state for adultery or for any other specific sin because there will always be a sin which is at least as severe as the one which has been specified. Divorce would thereby be allowed for one sin but not for another, which may be even worse.

    Someone will now say that if she were to commit something worse than adultery, it should be understood that the husband has the right to divorce her for that also. But if this were true, Jesus then appears not to have said what he meant and not to have meant what he said. However, these valid arguments, which reveal that Jesus would have been unreasonable and inconsistent if he had allowed divorce for any specific sin, cannot be used against him because his exception clause does not at all pertain to the married state as will presently be shown.

    Though many have stumbled on Matt. 5:32 by assuming that the phrase, "saving for the cause of fornication" means that adultery is a legal grounds for divorce, there have also been many who have discerned the spirit in which Jesus spoke in Matthew 5 and have concluded that it does not seem that Jesus could have been allowing divorce. After all, he gave no partial allowance to any of the other five subjects that he addressed in that chapter. As for the exception, they honestly say they don't understand it. They find consolation in Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18, where Jesus gives no indication whatsoever that an exception to the married state exists. In fact, those verses seem to be unquestionably against the slightest notion of divorce.

    With the apparent prohibition on divorce (Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18) set alongside the exception of fornication (Matt. 5:32; 19:9) it is understandable how the exception of fornication could appear at first, and perhaps for a long time afterward to be a thoroughly confounding problem. The question may be asked: "Is there an exception or is there not?" However, a more appropriate question, which at first seems unworthy even to consider, holds the key to the understanding of this issue. It is as follows:

    Is it possible that the apparently more easily understood teachings in Mark and Luke are to be accepted at face value without adding anything, and at the same time, some form of exception happens to exist which does not conflict with those straightforward prohibitive statements in Mark and Luke? In other words, could Jesus' apparent outright prohibition on divorcing the married wife stand unmovable while at the same time some form of exception happens to exist, which does not oppose that outright prohibition? Could there be found some largely unnoticed Biblical evidence that would shed some light on the subject so that we could see that an exception does exist but at the same time there is "no exception"? You can see now what I mean when I say it is a question that seems unworthy even to consider. Unfortunately for those who have not asked themselves that question and thereby have not discovered its potential, but have assumed and taught that Jesus meant adultery when he said fornication, the answer to that question happens to be a very loud and provable 'yes'.

    Let me illustrate with a hypothetical situation. You are working, unloading large bags of grain by hand. A notice on the wall states, Whosoever Tears a Bag Must Pay the Cost of Contents. Suppose that as you bring a bag to your shoulder, it slips, and in an attempt to grab it, a large section of the bag rips off before it hits the floor. It would not seem possible that this could happen without your being found guilty. But there is a way, by virtue of a previously unknown factor whereby you would be judged as not violating the true intent of the notice. How could this be? The answer is very simple. You would not be found guilty if the bags were all double-walled and after tearing and hitting the floor, the grain was still very well contained within the remaining layer. The phrase "tears a bag" was expected to be understood to mean that if a bag tore, the contents would spill on the floor.

    Let us say also that after tearing only the outer layer and hitting the floor, (the grain being yet very well contained), some of your fellow labourers are uncertain on whether or not you should still pay, since technically you did tear a bag. Therefore, the man in charge, in order to avoid such a misunderstanding, changes the notice so that it reads;

    Whosoever tears a bag, unless it is only the outer layer, must pay the cost of contents.
    This hypothetical scenario does not pretend to cover all the aspects to be discussed about Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. There are hypothetical statements that could be brought out which are grammatically similar in construction to Matt. 5:32 and 19:9. These show in a straightforward manner the effect of an exception clause inserted within such statements. They also show how certain kinds of exception clauses (such as those we find inserted in Matt. 5:32: 19:9) may apply to a closely associated aspect of the subject and not to that aspect which is being directly addressed. However, in this present scenario, the main purpose is to show how separate true statements made about a particular situation may seem to be totally contradictory and unquestionably irreconcilable, simply because an unknown duality exists pertaining to the situation.

    The bags being double-layered was the unknown duality which in effect made it possible to tear a bag without tearing a bag. It was torn, but not after the intended meaning of the notice. The unknown duality concerning Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 lies in the fact that there were two kinds of wives; 1) the betrothed or espoused wife, and 2) the completely married wife. Therefore also, there were two kinds of divorce. While Jesus upheld the liberty practised by the Jews to divorce their unmarried betrothed wives for their fornication (in which case the husband would divorce "his wife" before he married her), he prohibited the divorce of the completely married wife for whatever reason. We can see by this how it is possible to divorce without divorcing.

    About the closest comparison with this to modern culture would be the scenario of a man breaking off the marriage plans after discovering that his engaged wife-to-be has fornicated. In old time, this would have been regarded as a divorce on the grounds of fornication. (For Biblical proof that the words "husband" and "wife" and "put away" applied to both the married and unmarried couple, see Deut. 22:23,24 "virgin" "betrothed" "husband" "wife". Deut. 20:7 "taken". Matthew 1:18-24; verses 19 "put her away" and 20 "take... Mary thy wife" and 23 "virgin").

    Another point this scenario serves to highlight is in regard to the question of why Jesus mentioned the exception at all since it doesn't pertain to the married state anyway. In answering this we should again consider how an exception clause may apply to a closely associated aspect of a subject and not to that aspect which is being directly addressed. Though Jesus was directly addressing the married state (which is proven by Matthew 5:31) the closely related state of betrothal warranted the insertion of the exception clause. Since there were two kinds of wives that could be divorced, Jesus clarified himself by including the exception clause. In the above scenario, not just any tear required payment. It had to be a complete tear. So likewise, not just any divorce constitutes a transgression of God's law. What God hates, is the divorcing of the completely married wife.

    By the context of Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10 6-9, it is easy to understand that the husband and wife to whom God says "Let not man put asunder" are those couples who have been pronounced by God to be one flesh by virtue of lawful marriage. That pronouncement was not intended for the betrothed unmarried husband and wife. Though the exception clause, which allows "divorce" is found in the context of the married state, it does not pertain to the married state. Since betrothal was so closely associated with marriage itself, inasmuch that in betrothal the man and woman were regarded as husband and wife, it seems that Jesus' strong words concerning divorce could have been wrongly perceived to also prohibit the customary divorce of the betrothed wife for fornication. The exception clause would have prevented that misunderstanding.
    Last edited by Alaska; Oct 25th 2007, 02:13 AM. Reason: more easily read

  • #2
    Sorry m8, I have a bit of an ADD, would you mind splitting it up into smaller paragraphs?

    Would help me read it so much faster
    Jesus Christ: My Original Superman

    The question asked in order to save her life or take it

    The answer no to avoid death the answer yes would make it
    "Do you believe in God?" written on the bullet; Say yes to pull the trigger.

    Repitition: God's exclamation point

    Comment


    • #3
      Fact is it was said what God has joined together let no man seperate.. God also said he HATES divorce. But like everything else God knew man wouldnt listen and would come up with every excuse to get divorced.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am not fond of divorce myself..and do not wish to derail your thread but would be interested if you might offer some insights with greater detail to how you determined scripturally "why God hates divorce" and how you have applied it..

        I am offering these thoughts for some possible explanations why He does..that challanges your position on adultery because as you said God does not condone what he hates..he hates adultery and he hates divorce but perhaps there is a bit more "to this"..God did indeed "institute divorce" so this is not a "sin" when under very specific circumstances..and "adultery" was one of them..

        Divorce that is, a complete break in the marriage contract is lawful, because virtually all marriage contracts involve vows made by two parties. In God's marriage to Israel at Mt. Sinai, Israel (the bride) agreed to submit to His authority and obey His laws (Ex. 19:3-8). God, on the other hand, agreed to give them the Kingdom and the blessings of the Birthright. These included honor, protection, sustenance, and children (Gen. 12:1-3).

        Israel violated this contract, being incapable of full obedience, and refused to repent; and thus, her Husband divorced her and sent her out of His house. Jeremiah 3:8 says,
        8 And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.


        Note that God not only sent her away, but only did so after giving her a written bill of divorce. This was in accordance with the law in Deut. 24 that we will quote shortly. Hosea 2:2 also shows that God’s divorce meant Israel was no longer God’s wife, saying to her,
        2 Contend with your mother [Israel], contend, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband;

        Because God Himself is a divorcee, we can safely say that divorce itself is not necessarily a sin. It can be a sin, of course, if the one demanding a divorce does so with evil motives that are not in the will of God. But the fact that God divorced Israel shows that lawful divorce is the result of sin, or violation of the contract. It is the final solution to the problem when all else fails, and when reconciliation is impossible. God's law on divorce and remarriage is given in Deut. 24:1-4.



        1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

        From verse 1 we see immediately that God recognizes there must be a cause of divorcement. It is not specified in any detail, other than finding something unclean in her. Some insist that means divorce is only lawful in case of adultery. But the penalty for adultery is death—not divorce.
        Others say it means divorce is only lawful if the husband discovers that his wife had had illicit sexual relations with someone else before they were married. However, such a situation also calls for the death penalty, and this is elaborated upon in detail in Deut. 22:13-21.
        Thus, the grounds for divorce in the 24th chapter must be something else.
        When a marriage contract has been broken, and especially if one or both parties refuse to repent and restore the lawful order, divorce may well be the only solution. God does not expect the innocent party to honor the contract when the guilty party refuses to do so. The contract is always conditional. Thus, Jesus' statement, "For the hardness of your heart," should not be construed to mean that divorce itself is a sin. Remember that God Himself is a divorcee, according to Jer. 3:8, yet He did not sin in divorcing Israel.

        Nor must we believe that the people twisted God's arm and forced Him to allow divorce. If divorce were a sin, and God allowed it, then God was legalizing sin. This would be a serious accusation for mortals to make, especially in view of the testimony of David in Psalm 19:7 that "The law of the Lord is PERFECT, converting the soul."
        "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." —My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote

        Comment


        • #5
          Divorce is one of those things the new covenant has abolished. If Dt. 24 is going to be quoted to support divorce as if it is still allowed, why not quote the scriptures from the old covenant requiring physical circumcision or the verses implying that polygamy is OK or killing your son for being a drunkard and slothful or ....
          Jesus gave the reason for throwing out DT. 24:1-4. It was written for the hardness of their hearts. Unforgiveness is directly connected to hardness of hearts. If there is any one thing that is emphasised in the NT, we should agree that forgiveness fits. Hence no more "eye for an eye" hating your enemies or any other of the things, including divorce, from the OT that was a part of the law but that is now not part of the NT law.
          I believe those using the OT law to claim obligation to do what the NT now contradicts are under, as Paul said, "bondage to the law".
          "The law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ".
          Divorce in itself is a sin by the NT but going on to get remarried is another and greater sin because it is an ongoing state of adultery as long as the divorced person is involved in the second marriage.
          Marriage involves sex. Adultery is a sexual sin that violates a marriage.
          Remarriage is adultery because the real and lawful spouse is still alive.
          They are still husband and wife in God's eyes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Alaska, this is more suited to Bible Chat and I have moved it on over here for discussion.
            Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
            Not second or third, but first.
            Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
            when He is the source of all hope,
            when His love is received and freely given,
            holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
            will all other things be added unto to you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Can I get the Cliff Notes version? How about thread on tape? Walls of text makes my eyes bleed! LOL!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Alaska View Post
                Divorce is one of those things the new covenant has abolished. If Dt. 24 is going to be quoted to support divorce as if it is still allowed, why not quote the scriptures from the old covenant requiring physical circumcision or the verses implying that polygamy is OK or killing your son for being a drunkard and slothful or ....
                Jesus gave the reason for throwing out DT. 24:1-4. It was written for the hardness of their hearts. Unforgiveness is directly connected to hardness of hearts. If there is any one thing that is emphasised in the NT, we should agree that forgiveness fits. Hence no more "eye for an eye" hating your enemies or any other of the things, including divorce, from the OT that was a part of the law but that is now not part of the NT law.
                I believe those using the OT law to claim obligation to do what the NT now contradicts are under, as Paul said, "bondage to the law".
                "The law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ".
                Divorce in itself is a sin by the NT but going on to get remarried is another and greater sin because it is an ongoing state of adultery as long as the divorced person is involved in the second marriage.
                Marriage involves sex. Adultery is a sexual sin that violates a marriage.
                Remarriage is adultery because the real and lawful spouse is still alive.
                They are still husband and wife in God's eyes.
                I am simply going to have to disagree here regarding the claim the "divorce" was abolished ..per the scriptures of the NT..that is simply not accurate..

                I am also going to have to disagree that "divorce" is declared a 'sin" scripturally, when in fact there was provision for divorce per Christ himself with clarification and qualification that in very specific cases that is simply not the case.

                There is scriptural context for what constitutes "cause" and Christ clearly stipulating that He did not come to do away with the Law, as in the spirit of it..but to 'complete it,the "hardness of the heart" was directed to those who saught divorce and pursued it for illigetimate and evil purposes at the same time maintaining great care and sensitivity for those who were the victims of this abuse.

                In this manner Christ instituted grace in regards to the hypocrisy and harm of "legalizing" for hypocritical and sinful reasons on the part of those who abused Gods "intent and purpose" for marraige.At the same time Christ responded that writing a certificate of divorce should not be taken as a "legislative privalege", as many men were doing and also brings into context the "law" that "what God has brought together, let no man tear assunder.".

                Furthermore it would appear Christ wanted it clearly understood that sins committed against 'a spouse' are sins committed against God. When a covenent is established my mutual agreement, it is the "fault" and burden for the covenent being 'violated', .."murdered..put to death" on the part of the one who does this, not God or the innocent party..

                This constitutes "death" of the covenent..that God permitted both divorce and remarraige..in the event there was no longer hope or opportunity for "life" or the covenent to be 'restored or healed.

                Adam and Eve were instructed by God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would 'surely die'

                They did 'eat'..Did they "physically die"?..Not right away but they did die "covenentally" with God right?

                Romans 6:23 says, "for the wages of sin is death..", again not 'physical death..sinners are not physically dead but they are dead "covenantally.

                Divorce and remarraige are both based on the same covenant model that marraige is..

                I genuinely believe that the stipulation of one being inelligible to remarry contingent to the death of the former spouse is limited to no valid scriptural "cause" for divorce being in place, hence no "legal" divorce at all..

                OR spiritual grounds to have 'left' the covenent..and was addressing one specific case being asked to be responded to, and this "case" being sited as a standard for others who tried to justify 'wrongful' divorce.

                No differently than the standard of how Pauls own sins and crimes, or Peter's were from Judas's against Christ, but indeed the response to God in regards to the matters of remorse and repentence were vastly different.

                Remarraige is "only adultery" on the part of the one who broke covenent with God and their innocent spouse..AND THEIR spouse is still alive,they may have obtained a legal divorce but they never received a biblical one from Christs standpoint..they are the ones who must "wait" for the death of their former spouse "literaly" as one of the consequences for their conduct..not the innocent spouse.

                They acted under the letter of man's law and are subject to the "Letter of the spiritual law" of God.Not the innocent party..they are under the law of Grace...as this is applied to 'believers' opposed to unbelievers. IMHO.

                "If" once again remarraige is ever allowed at all scripturally ..it can not be called sin..same with divorce..and reciprocally not every marraige is allowed. Furthermore, the covenent God has entered into with each individual spouse "in Christ" preceeds the covenent betweens the spouses and God..there is no contradiction here.

                There is always a distinction of the letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law when Christ set forth his teachings..he never taught contradictions, he simply resolved them and exposed those who attempted to impose them upon others.
                "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." —My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote

                Comment


                • #9
                  I dont advocate divorce but...

                  What of the case of the husband beating and abusing his wife? SHould we as Christians counsel her not to seperate herself or get a divorce telling her it is sin?

                  Say she does stay in the relationship, and eventually the husband kills her. Should we still stand on the grounds that we gave her godly and wise counsel by staying in the marriage and that obviously it was God's will for her to be murdered?

                  Or are we violating another commandment if we tell her to stay, which says, "Love your neightbor as yourself?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Paul knew that there would be situations where it is wise for the wife, lets say, to depart from her husband. In the case of abuse or threat to her life it is responsible to counsel her to depart at least until a resolution can be found. And if a resolution cannot be found she is bound to remain "unmarried". To go further than separation and getting a divorce is a sin because divorce is a statement that the parties are no longer husband and wife. Such a statement is a denial of "let not man put asunder". She can get restraining orders and separation and it is not necessarily a sin. To get a divorce and thereby contradict the statement God has made over their marriage is a sin. And then to get remarried is adultery.

                    "but and if she depart let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband"

                    Remarriage is not an option: remarriage is adultery.

                    "And if a woman divorce her husband and marry another, she commits adultery."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nor must we believe that the people twisted God's arm and forced Him to allow divorce. If divorce were a sin, and God allowed it, then God was legalizing sin. This would be a serious accusation for mortals to make, especially in view of the testimony of David in Psalm 19:7 that "The law of the Lord is PERFECT, converting the soul."
                      It was perfect only in certain senses. It was perfect in the sense that it fit the bill for what it was intended for: unregenerated humans who had not the regeneration of the Holy Spirit because Jesus had not yet come.
                      God planned that new wine would be placed in new wineskins.
                      The atonement came also with a new covenant, a reformed law: the NT.
                      The NT says that perfection did not come by the law and that if it did there would not have been a need for the Messiah. The NT says that the law made nothing perfect and that the law was weak and that the law has been changed and abolished in some regards.
                      The law pointed to the time when the Messiah would come. When Jesus came it had served its purpose as a schoolmaster. Jesus brought about its fulfillment by introducing the NT. He came not to destroy it but to fulfill it.
                      By the obvious changes made in the NT when compared to the OT, we cannot interpret him coming to fulfill the law to mean he came to enforce it.
                      No more are we to exercise, for example, "an eye for an eye". Yet that was part of their OT law. Changes such as this infuriated those bound to the law and not free in Christ. Hence, the offence of the cross yet offends.
                      "No man is justified by the law" yet believers continue to use from the OT law what the NT has abolished to justify certain behaviours. Paul had to war against this with regard to physical circumcision among other things.
                      Amazingly some believers in Jesus today are using certain OT references to make polygamy acceptable to God now. An example of the logical conclusion of the leaven of not understanding what Jesus meant when he said he came to fulfill the law.

                      Since there existed what was called a "divorce for fornication" which meant a termination of the engagement, (See the situation of Joseph and Mary in Matt. 1) the exception clause in 5:32 would have served to emphasise the prohibition of divorce and remarriage (as we see it emphasised in Mark 10: and Luke 16:18) because it holds the message that the only way a man can divorce his wife is if he does it before he marries her.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you for your responses however I would need to see the scriptural verses you are using in regard to the context you are coming to the conclusions you are for these statements for better clarification:

                        The NT says that perfection did not come by the law and that if it did there would not have been a need for the Messiah.

                        The NT says that the law made nothing perfect and that the law was weak and that the law has been changed and abolished in some regards.


                        The law pointed to the time when the Messiah would come.

                        When Jesus came it had served its purpose as a schoolmaster.

                        Jesus brought about its fulfillment by introducing the NT.

                        He came not to destroy it but to fulfill it.


                        By the obvious changes made in the NT when compared to the OT, we cannot interpret him coming to fulfill the law to mean he came to enforce it.
                        Since there existed what was called a "divorce for fornication" which meant a termination of the engagement, (See the situation of Joseph and Mary in Matt. 1) the exception clause in 5:32 would have served to emphasise the prohibition of divorce and remarriage (as we see it emphasised in Mark 10: and Luke 16:18) because it holds the message that the only way a man can divorce his wife is if he does it before he marries her.
                        Have to say this is a bit subjective commentary IMHO>>

                        "to put away" has broader applications, as does "fornification" and I am aware of Josephs "legal and spiritual" right to "put Mary away" on the basis the engagement itself held the contractual status of a "marraige".

                        The "exception clause" was addressed because of the corrupt grounds that were being used liberally, to obtain the right to divorce and "put away" a spouse opposed to the only ones Christ permitted...and He did "permit" on specific grounds, fully aware of the cival and spiritual grounds of marraige, divorce and remarraige laws being practiced by Jews as well as subject to Roman law and authority.

                        Again..adultery, as were other sexual immoralities, already prescribed a legal recourse of action..in most cases, capital punishment...so "fornification" met other criteria and "divorce", ( putting away) was indeed a practice that was permitted by Christ and discussed in detail by Paul..

                        So it was not done away with, nor was remarraige not allowed. So I believe that Christ was not simply addressing Deut. and simply a concession to Deut 24 but also if not exclusively the "moral law" of Gen.2:23-25 in respect to the restoration of the original marraige law.

                        There was the case of Gods "divorce' of Israel..Jere. 3: 8,14..so again God can not sin, so not all divorce "is sin"..

                        I can follow and accept the challanges to establish if there is indeed a scriptural basis for remarraige outside of very limited situations..what I can not follow or accept are the statement's that God did not permit divorce, or that all divorce is sin..clearly He hates it..and understandably "why". Also that marraige was intended to be a life-time commitiment to be abided by both spouses..however Christ acknowledged that this was sadly not always going to be the case..and he did not avoid the fact that it was, and responded to it.

                        I do not wish or intend to derail your thread if you do not desire questions to be posed, so thank you once again for responding.
                        "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand." —My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, Edward Mote

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                        • #13
                          Nevermind, I read something wrong

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                          • #14
                            Divorce Not Permitted

                            Hi guys,
                            I just thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in. As a young girl I was forced to marry someone I didn't love by my dad. I was not a christian and I did not know God's laws. The marraige never lasted more than 12 months and we were seperated for about 12 months and we divorced months later. I prayed for years after not knowing who I was praying to for a real family, someone to love me and to have children to and to share the joy of those children together as they grew up. I had been through 2 more relationships and had 2 children one from the marriage and one from a defacto relationship. Then after my last relationship broke up God found me and rescued this sinners tail from hells fire. God brought in my life a wonderful christian man and we got married and now we have two beautiful boys. As a young christian I had asked God to forgive me of all my sins and I realize my divorce was one of those sins. It was done as a sinner not as a child of God and God has forgiven me that sin. I do not condone divorce I am saying if it is done unknowingly and you become a christian and confess that sin God if faithful and just and He forgives you that sin. But on the other hand if you are a christian and you knowing God's law on divorce decide to divorce and remarry, then that marriage will not be blessed by God, because you have done it knowing it is a sin and that sin will not be forgiven you. As christians we should not go out to intentionly sin against God. If you do that then you don't love your Father enough to obey Him.
                            John 8:31-32



                            31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”


                            Dizzy

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                            • #15
                              what I can not follow or accept are the statement's that God did not permit divorce, or that all divorce is sin
                              Of course God did allow divorce but that does not mean it was right or that he wasn't suffering that for the time being until perfection came by way of a new testament.
                              After establishing that the truth is reflected in "let not man put asunder" based on that they are one flesh after the pattern of Adam and Eve, the Pharisees very clearly saw the implication in this and asked him why then did Moses command to allow divorce. He responded that it was for the hardness of their hearts but that from the beginning it was not so; again supporting the prohibition based on the pattern of the first marriage in the beginning. Paul said the law served until the seed should come to whom the promise was made and that the law was imposed until the time of reformation. We now have a reformed law as per the NT. In their carnal unregenerated nature, it was kinder to allow them to do what their very nature would do in rebellion anyway if he tried to prohibit it. They weren't able to bear what Jesus would later bring along with the Holy Spirit and regeneration and clarification. Some of the law was in very deed regulation to control and order the then present state of affairs which existed under the control of the unregenerated fleshly nature. It was but a man's covenant. Law regulating polygamy is a good example of what was allowed for the time being until perfection in a "better" covenant came.
                              Which brings to mind your belief that since God described a parabolic spiritual divorce scenario to people under the OT law, therefore the ability to divorce literally for us in the NT must be allowable.
                              By this reasoning we should also then be able to have more that one wife because he uses what they were familiar with regarding polygamy to equate himself as having two wives in another parable in Ezekiel.
                              I appreciate your patience and ability to listen. Talk to me more.

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