Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Question about 1 Cor. 7:11

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Question about 1 Cor. 7:11

    I had a question about 1 Cor. 7:11...It seems the scripture gives the woman who departs from her husband two options: To stay unmarried or to be reconciled to her husband. The problem with me is that this seems that God is OK with the woman leaving her husband so long as she does not re marry. It seems to be very unfair to the husband because all she has to do is to choose the first option and she has no obligation to be reconciled to her husband if she chooses to not do so. Remember it does not say she should remain unmarried AND be reconciled, it says she can remain unmarried OR be reconciled. Why would God give her permission to leave him and no longer be required to be submissive to him when she was the one at fault for leaving him...? In other words, the husband suffers because of what she has done to him, and he has no recourse as long as she chooses to not be reconciled to him. There seems to be something missing in this picture, either in translation, or understanding, but I don't where the problem is.

  • #2
    Married believers have been commanded not to divorce except if there is unfaithfulness Matt 5:32 but there are extreme cases when partners act wrongly they may need to separate, a husband could be physically abusive or threatening, they still are not allowed to divorce but to separate to give some space.

    I see this separation as a time for the Lord to heal the differences and to restore the marriage and fellowship with Himself, yes I see that the husband may be in sin in my example and needs to repent to fix the problems between both parties.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I realize what you are saying, but this does not seem to be what the scripture is addressing here...It doesn't say 'If the couple thinks they need some space, then they can separate in order to get some healing." The command is to the woman that she should not depart from her husband. There is nothing here about some mutual agreement between the wife and husband, it is a command that she is not to leave him. This is also shown that the woman is at fault, (not a mutual agreement to separate) when it says 'let her be reconciled to her husband,' not that the man should reconcile himself to the woman. So I'm saying yes, a husband could be threatening and all that, but God is not saying that he is giving THEM space to separate, he is addressing the wife who is at fault for leaving her husband. My question is that God seems to be giving the woman two choices that are equally valid in his sight. She can just live forever separated from her husband, which leaves her husband in the lurch with no wife, OR she can be reconciled to him. This is the question: How can God just give the woman sanction to basically desert her husband and live that way as long as she pleases as long as she does not marry any one else, and refuses to be reconciled to her husband. This seems to me completely out of God's nature that he would not REQUIRE the woman to make it right with her husband seeing she was the one who was in error in leaving.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post
        The problem with me is that this seems that God is OK with the woman leaving her husband so long as she does not re marry.
        Hello Transmorgified, I do not believe that is the meaning the Apostle intended to convey (concerning his words that are set within the parenthesis for us in v11 in our Bibles, that is), because if it is, it would be, at best, very confusing.

        Here is what Charles Hodge has to say about Paul's words in v11, the ones within the parenthesis. Hopefully this will be helpful.
        .

        .
        But if she does. The law of Christ is that the wife should not depart; but if in violation of that law or if from necessity she is obliged to depart, she has only two things to choose between—she must remain unmarried, or she must be reconciled to her husband. This is not intended as an exception to the law, but it contemplates a case that may occur in spite of the law. “In case a woman has actually left, with or without just cause, then she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” There are undoubtedly cases that justify a woman’s leaving her husband that do not justify divorce, just as there are cases that justify a child’s leaving or being removed from the custody of a parent. The apostle teaches, however, that in such cases of separation the parties must remain unmarried.
        .

        --Deuteronomy
        .
        1 Corinthians 7
        10 To the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
        11
        (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
        .
        Matthew 5
        16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.


        Matthew 7
        12 However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.


        1 Corinthians 13
        1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

        1 Peter 3
        15 Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post
          My question is that God seems to be giving the woman two choices that are equally valid in his sight. She can just live forever separated from her husband, which leaves her husband in the lurch with no wife, OR she can be reconciled to him.
          What does it say the man's options are in this situation? I looked but it doesn't appear to say anything. Have you found anything on his options?

          Love is patient, love is kind. . .

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post
            I had a question about 1 Cor. 7:11...It seems the scripture gives the woman who departs from her husband two options: To stay unmarried or to be reconciled to her husband. The problem with me is that this seems that God is OK with the woman leaving her husband so long as she does not re marry. It seems to be very unfair to the husband because all she has to do is to choose the first option and she has no obligation to be reconciled to her husband if she chooses to not do so. Remember it does not say she should remain unmarried AND be reconciled, it says she can remain unmarried OR be reconciled. Why would God give her permission to leave him and no longer be required to be submissive to him when she was the one at fault for leaving him...? In other words, the husband suffers because of what she has done to him, and he has no recourse as long as she chooses to not be reconciled to him. There seems to be something missing in this picture, either in translation, or understanding, but I don't where the problem is.
            Hi Transmorgified, and welcome to the Forum. I hope you profit much.

            As to your question, here is the context. 1 Corinthians 7:10-13;

            10 "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
            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.
            12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away*.
            13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him."


            You probably know that there are some things which can make a marriage very difficult. When I raised my children, I impressed upon them that we (my wife and I) would accept whoever they brought home and/or fell in love with, but that marriage, already made difficult by the fall of man (see Genesis 3:16), would be made a lot more complicated by marrying a partner with a different (1) culture, (2) language, (3) color and (4) RELIGION. The Lord predicted in Matthew Chapter 10 that the gospel would provoke abnormal enmity - even with your closets relations. He ends in verse 34-36 with, 34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

            The context of 1st Corinthians 7 is the dissolution of a marriage when the UNBELIEVER abhors the religion of the Christian partner. In this light, the words of Paul mean;

            If the UNBELIEVING partner abhors your position in Christ and wants to separate, or divorce, the BELIEVING partner may go. BUT ... the one driven out should, for the sake of his/her testimony, stay single, or be reconciled. This is because the Church represents Christ's marriage (Ephesians 5) and Christ has only ONE WIFE. And because Christ takes us "warts and all" and is faithful to us, we should strive to keep the marriage together.

            BUT ... (again), God made man in a certain way, and it is NOT GOOD to be alone. The very design of man is conducive to the marriage BED. God's primary view of marriage is "becoming ONE FLESH". And men, and women, BURN when they they are alone for a while. And this BURNING is so strong that it will drive the single man or woman to fornication - that is, the OPPOSITE of union. Such behavior is CONTRARY to Christ and the Church - (one Spirit). It trashes the testimony of the Christian. So God takes this into account in verse 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." The despised, and hated and CAST OUT partner, who has been left for the sake of the gospel, IS FREE IF THE UNBELIEVING PARTNER ABHORS THEM AND CASTS THEM OUT. It is different to martyrdom. Martyrdom ENDS on the spot. The Christian pays the ultimate sacrifice and is DEAD. But the cast out partner in a marriage BURNS for the rest of their years (which could be 50 or more). Romans Chapter 7 confirms unequivocally that neither man nor woman will hold out (except those few to whom it is given). So a separation and divorce because of becoming a New Creature in Christ, in God's mercy, ENDS THE UNION. It might not be a good argument, but the marriage UNION is made in heaven. "What God has joined let NO MAN put asunder". But God, who made the union, MAY PUT IT ASUNDER - as He does every day over 100,000 times a day world-wide by DEATH.

            The bottom line is;
            1. If at all possible the BELIEVING party must stay in the marriage. Some opposition to one's conversion is not grounds to run away
            2. If the BELIEVING party is left (in the case of the man), or put away (in the case of the woman)* they should try to stay single or be reconciled to the UNBELIEVING PARTY
            3. If the marriage is dissolved and the BELIEVER who has lost their partner because of the gospel cannot cope, they are FREE to enter another union AND STAY THERE

            * Note that God upholds His government irrespective of whose fault it is. The man can put away his wife. He is the HEAD. The wife cannot put away her husband. She doesn't have the authority from God. All she can do is LEAVE him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post
              I had a question about 1 Cor. 7:11...It seems the scripture gives the woman who departs from her husband two options: To stay unmarried or to be reconciled to her husband. The problem with me is that this seems that God is OK with the woman leaving her husband so long as she does not re marry. It seems to be very unfair to the husband because all she has to do is to choose the first option and she has no obligation to be reconciled to her husband if she chooses to not do so. Remember it does not say she should remain unmarried AND be reconciled, it says she can remain unmarried OR be reconciled. Why would God give her permission to leave him and no longer be required to be submissive to him when she was the one at fault for leaving him...? In other words, the husband suffers because of what she has done to him, and he has no recourse as long as she chooses to not be reconciled to him. There seems to be something missing in this picture, either in translation, or understanding, but I don't where the problem is.
              The reason why the woman should remain unmarried is because she is bound by the marriage law as long as the man lives. When he dies, she is free to marry again in the Lord.

              (1Co 7:39) A woman is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the man has slept, she is free to marry whomever she wants, but only in the Lord.
              (Rom 7: 2) For the married woman is bound by the law to the living husband; but when the man dies, she is rid of the law of the man.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Deuteronomy Skaggs View Post
                Hello Transmorgified, I do not believe that is the meaning the Apostle intended to convey (concerning his words that are set within the parenthesis for us in v11 in our Bibles, that is), because if it is, it would be, at best, very confusing.

                Here is what Charles Hodge has to say about Paul's words in v11, the ones within the parenthesis. Hopefully this will be helpful.
                .

                .
                But if she does. The law of Christ is that the wife should not depart; but if in violation of that law or if from necessity she is obliged to depart, she has only two things to choose between—she must remain unmarried, or she must be reconciled to her husband. This is not intended as an exception to the law, but it contemplates a case that may occur in spite of the law. “In case a woman has actually left, with or without just cause, then she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” There are undoubtedly cases that justify a woman’s leaving her husband that do not justify divorce, just as there are cases that justify a child’s leaving or being removed from the custody of a parent. The apostle teaches, however, that in such cases of separation the parties must remain unmarried.
                .

                --Deuteronomy
                .
                1 Corinthians 7
                10 To the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
                11
                (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
                .
                Hello and thanks for your response. I understand what you are saying, however it seems that if Paul had wanted to say that he would have worded it that way..like 'if she is obliged to depart...' where do we get the idea that she might be obliged to leave? The command was for her not to leave, and whatever reason she had to divorce outside of fornication would have not been a valid reason. When the Pharisees asked Jesus if they could put away their wife for ANY reason, he said no, there was only one valid reason, which was fornication. If the issue was fornication she would not have been prohibited from divorcing him, so for Paul to command her not to leave is describing that she has no valid reason and is actually disobeying God by leaving.

                Going on with the commentary quotation it says 'In case a woman has actually left, with or without just cause, then she must remain unmarried..." But even here if there was actually a just cause, it would have been fornication in which she would not have been forbidden to marry another. So it seems to me the commentator is looking at this the way he (and me) would actually like it to say, but the problem is, no matter what we want it to say, or think it should say, is not what is actually being said.

                Going on with the quotation it says..."There are undoubtedly cases that justify a woman leaving her husband that do not justify divorce..." the problem here again is that 1 Cor. 7:11 is not talking about a woman just leaving her husband without getting a divorce. The context itself shows she must have filed divorce papers without just cause for Paul to even say she should 'remain unmarried.' If she had just left him, then there would be no room to say she should 'remain unmarried,' because she apparently was still married to him if there was no divorce.

                He goes on to say 'The apostle teaches, however, in such cases of separation the parties must remain unmarried." The assumption that seems to common here is that 'remaining unmarried' means 'don't marry anyone else...' but that is not what 'remain unmarried' means. As far as the husband he says 'both parties must remain unmarried," which would not be true, because remember, it was she who filed the divorce papers without just cause. In the sight of God they are both still married unless there was fornication involved.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Walls View Post

                  Hi Transmorgified, and welcome to the Forum. I hope you profit much.

                  As to your question, here is the context. 1 Corinthians 7:10-13;

                  10 "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
                  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.
                  12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away*.
                  13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him."


                  You probably know that there are some things which can make a marriage very difficult. When I raised my children, I impressed upon them that we (my wife and I) would accept whoever they brought home and/or fell in love with, but that marriage, already made difficult by the fall of man (see Genesis 3:16), would be made a lot more complicated by marrying a partner with a different (1) culture, (2) language, (3) color and (4) RELIGION. The Lord predicted in Matthew Chapter 10 that the gospel would provoke abnormal enmity - even with your closets relations. He ends in verse 34-36 with, 34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

                  The context of 1st Corinthians 7 is the dissolution of a marriage when the UNBELIEVER abhors the religion of the Christian partner. In this light, the words of Paul mean;
                  f the UNBELIEVING partner abhors your position in Christ and wants to separate, or divorce, the BELIEVING partner may go. BUT ... the one driven out should, for the sake of his/her testimony, stay single, or be reconciled. This is because the Church represents Christ's marriage (Ephesians 5) and Christ has only ONE WIFE. And because Christ takes us "warts and all" and is faithful to us, we should strive to keep the marriage together.

                  BUT ... (again), God made man in a certain way, and it is NOT GOOD to be alone. The very design of man is conducive to the marriage BED. God's primary view of marriage is "becoming ONE FLESH". And men, and women, BURN when they they are alone for a while. And this BURNING is so strong that it will drive the single man or woman to fornication - that is, the OPPOSITE of union. Such behavior is CONTRARY to Christ and the Church - (one Spirit). It trashes the testimony of the Christian. So God takes this into account in verse 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." The despised, and hated and CAST OUT partner, who has been left for the sake of the gospel, IS FREE IF THE UNBELIEVING PARTNER ABHORS THEM AND CASTS THEM OUT. It is different to martyrdom. Martyrdom ENDS on the spot. The Christian pays the ultimate sacrifice and is DEAD. But the cast out partner in a marriage BURNS for the rest of their years (which could be 50 or more). Romans Chapter 7 confirms unequivocally that neither man nor woman will hold out (except those few to whom it is given). So a separation and divorce because of becoming a New Creature in Christ, in God's mercy, ENDS THE UNION. It might not be a good argument, but the marriage UNION is made in heaven. "What God has joined let NO MAN put asunder". But God, who made the union, MAY PUT IT ASUNDER - as He does every day over 100,000 times a day world-wide by DEATH.

                  The bottom line is;
                  1. If at all possible the BELIEVING party must stay in the marriage. Some opposition to one's conversion is not grounds to run away
                  2. If the BELIEVING party is left (in the case of the man), or put away (in the case of the woman)* they should try to stay single or be reconciled to the UNBELIEVING PARTY
                  3. If the marriage is dissolved and the BELIEVER who has lost their partner because of the gospel cannot cope, they are FREE to enter another union AND STAY THERE

                  * Note that God upholds His government irrespective of whose fault it is. The man can put away his wife. He is the HEAD. The wife cannot put away her husband. She doesn't have the authority from God. All she can do is LEAVE him.


                  I think you are part right in that Paul first speaks to the husband and wife who are believers, while the other part he addresses a different category in which there is a believer that is married to an unbeliever.

                  The issue with 1 Cor. 7:11 is that he is talking to a husband and wife who are both believers...so I don't think the other part of what Paul is saying would apply in the same way. He first addresses the married believers, he then says, 'But to the rest speak I, not the Lord."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by angelmike View Post

                    The reason why the woman should remain unmarried is because she is bound by the marriage law as long as the man lives. When he dies, she is free to marry again in the Lord.

                    (1Co 7:39) A woman is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the man has slept, she is free to marry whomever she wants, but only in the Lord.
                    (Rom 7: 2) For the married woman is bound by the law to the living husband; but when the man dies, she is rid of the law of the man.
                    So are you thinking she can break God's commandment to not leave her husband and then is just free to leave him in the lurch without a wife until he dies? Remember Paul is giving her two options...she can remain unmarried OR she can be reconciled to her husband. Does it sound right that God would just allow her to leave her husband with no just cause and leave the man with no recourse at all if she refuses to reconcile with him? If she has no just cause then what happens to the scriptures that command the woman to be obedient to their husbands in every thing..? if she has a choice whether to reconcile with him or not, then this scripture seems to show that somehow she has achieved a status through her disobedience that has put her above the commandment for wives to submit to their husbands. This is why I cannot get my head around these two options Paul is giving her, as it seems they are distinctly contrary to other scriptures. She can break God's commandment and apparently she does not have to repent? She can refuse to obey her husband if she doesn't want to?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pdun459 View Post

                      What does it say the man's options are in this situation? I looked but it doesn't appear to say anything. Have you found anything on his options?
                      No, that is the reason for this dialogue...I am trying to get an understanding of what Paul means that is still cohesive with the rest of scripture. At least in 1 Cor. 7:11 the only thing it says about the man is that he is not to put away his wife. So it seems while she has left him without due cause, he is forbidden from putting her away. All of this part sounds reasonable because there was no fornication involved anyway, so this ties in with other scriptures that forbid a man from putting away his wife unless it is for fornication. The question is not really about the man, but how is that Paul seems to be giving the woman options which do not seem to require her to do what would be right...it would be like saying 'Don't commit adultery, unless you want to."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post


                        Going on with the quotation it says..."There are undoubtedly cases that justify a woman leaving her husband that do not justify divorce..." the problem here again is that 1 Cor. 7:11 is not talking about a woman just leaving her husband without getting a divorce. The context itself shows she must have filed divorce papers without just cause for Paul to even say she should 'remain unmarried.' If she had just left him, then there would be no room to say she should 'remain unmarried,' because she apparently was still married to him if there was no divorce.
                        I see where you are coming from now, you see this verse in this context, "But even if she does depart, let her remain divorced(unmarried) or be reconciled to her husband.?"

                        Ive always read it differently "But even if she does depart, let her remain abstinent(unmarried) or be reconciled to her husband and a husband is not to divorce his wife"

                        So the issue may be the word unmarried and as you say if the husband is not to divorce her, then they must be still married even though she is instructed to say unmarried.

                        The word is only used in 1Cor ch 7 so its hard to get context, but the way I see it is meaning is not to have relations in vs 34 The unmarried woman is compared to a virgin who cares about the things of the Lord, while the married woman cares about the things of the world and how to please her husband.

                        While im not 100% positive Im seeing it correctly I guess I see it as her being told to remain unmarried which is akin to not entering into another relationship with someone, which I also see as joining of two flesh and becoming one(married in the sight of God) which would then be married twice(adultery)

                        I think looking at the word from a modern day western society and human law perspective gives different interpretation?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Exactly...the problem is she was commanded to not leave or divorce her husband. So up front she had no cause or she wouldn't have been forbidden to do what other scriptures would have allowed her to do...i.e. put away her husband for fornication. However the later statement seems so problematic in that seemingly he first tells her not to do it, then says one of her options would be to remain in that state that she was formerly just forbidden from entering into, by saying 'but and if she does depart, let her remain in that same state, i.e. 'unmarried.' The problem even gets worse as you see he seems to give her permission to stay in this formerly forbidden state, and then on top of that he gives her the OPTION, (not requirement) that if she wants to, she could be reconciled to her husband. It seems like a double whammy of contradictions. I would like to think 'remain unmarried' would mean to not marry anyone else, but even then it does not answer the question as to why she could put her husband in such a condition through her own disobedience, and then not be required to make it right with him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post

                            So are you thinking she can break God's commandment to not leave her husband and then is just free to leave him in the lurch without a wife until he dies? Remember Paul is giving her two options...she can remain unmarried OR she can be reconciled to her husband. Does it sound right that God would just allow her to leave her husband with no just cause and leave the man with no recourse at all if she refuses to reconcile with him? If she has no just cause then what happens to the scriptures that command the woman to be obedient to their husbands in every thing..? if she has a choice whether to reconcile with him or not, then this scripture seems to show that somehow she has achieved a status through her disobedience that has put her above the commandment for wives to submit to their husbands. This is why I cannot get my head around these two options Paul is giving her, as it seems they are distinctly contrary to other scriptures. She can break God's commandment and apparently she does not have to repent? She can refuse to obey her husband if she doesn't want to?
                            I think we need to look at the circumstances. We do not know why Paul gave this instruction. I believe there were mixed circumstances that led to the withholding of divine service. It's like Walls said, there are always reasons why two married couples can't function together. The woman feels called to higher things where the man might put a damper on her and try to keep her from serving God. Or maybe the man is infatuated with a spirit of dictatorship that treats her like a floor cloth. Who knows, maybe he'll hit her? The script is not difficult to understand if we understand the cause of the cause. Paul also announces, as I have already mentioned, that not only can a woman get rid of the man as she pleases, there is also the law of God that she must obey. Many of these marriages' problems arose only after the rebirth that separates light from darkness. Many women now believe that they are saved and not the man, they can get rid of the man as they please. Some believed they were now married to Christ and would rather obey Him than the man. It is here where the confusion regarding marriage occurred that the woman's desires were for God and not the husband. I think it must also have been difficult to obey God and man. The man set careless requirements that sometimes prevented the woman from paying full attention to the calling that brought confusion between husband and wife. Here, some involuntarily made their own decisions and left the man without consulting.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Transmorgified View Post



                              I think you are part right in that Paul first speaks to the husband and wife who are believers, while the other part he addresses a different category in which there is a believer that is married to an unbeliever.

                              The issue with 1 Cor. 7:11 is that he is talking to a husband and wife who are both believers...so I don't think the other part of what Paul is saying would apply in the same way. He first addresses the married believers, he then says, 'But to the rest speak I, not the Lord."
                              I think you have a point. Let us examineagain. 1st Corinthians 7:9-17;

                              9 "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
                              10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
                              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.
                              12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
                              13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
                              14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
                              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.
                              16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
                              17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

                              Failing any indication to the contrary, verses 10-11 are addressed to a marriage of believers. But the verses are difficult if they are directed at both parties being Believers. In Matt.5:32 and 19:9 we have two salient points; (1) There are no grounds for separation except fornication. (2) If there is fornication the innocent party is NOT obliged to be reconciled. Paul, having been trained by the Lord for 14 years, would not have commanded them to be reconciled. So, it would seem that the separation in verse 11 is due to something else. What could it be if not incompatibility of religion?

                              There is a possibility that Paul was referring to the Law, where there were grounds for divorce other than fornication. But this is Corinth, not Jerusalem. Paul is addressing ex-heathen who have no background in the Law of Moses.

                              The next difficulty is verse 10; "And unto the married ... ." The word "and" is cumulative, which means they are an additional group to who he was addressing up to verse 9. And in those 9 verses Paul addresses the INDIVIDUAL. It is ASSUMED by Christianity at large that these would be perfect marriages where both would be believers. This is based on a false understanding of
                              2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" I do not say that we should just marry anybody, but the context of this verses is NOT MARRIAGE. It is the building of God's House - the Church. Being "yoked" is not "becoming one flesh". It rather refers back to Judah building the Second Temple where Samaritans offered to be involved in the work. Let us be very practical. In Corinth, what are the chances that the majority of marriages had BOTH as believers? And what are the chances that one believing party would marry somebody they did not love just to have a Christian partner?

                              I propose that, although the lack of indicators seems to indicate Paul addressing marriages with both parties believers, he is actually not. The whole matter then rests on the word "REST". Who are the "REST"? Are they:
                              1. The marriages who have only one partner believing?
                              2. The marriages who have not separated but are in danger if doing so?
                              3. The marriages of convenience to avoid "burning"
                              Notwithstanding the power of your argument, I think the matter of separation is dealt with by the Lord addressing disciples, and Paul is dealing with MIXED couples where the enmity that the gospel produces was very real among heathen who had no Law of Moses to regulate fornication and adultery.


                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X