This testimony was posted in the Spirit of Hosea Fellowship forum. Used by permission.
Raised Catholic. One of eight kids. Number three child. Number two son. Dad would say the hero was the guy who married the divorced woman and raised her kids. We lived in a time when Catholics had big families. We were fat on ritual, but lean on Spirit. I strayed away from the Catholics around age 17. Then I lived like a normal heathen for about 15 years. During that time the Lord was reaching out to me through people I would meet. I came to a saving faith while separated from my first adultery partner. We were married by a Justice of the Peace in Illinois in 1983. (Her one-flesh covenant marriage partner was still alive and had since married another woman.) Page 63 of “Power for Living” by Jamie Buckingham explained how I could receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I was miraculously saved in March of 1985. Even before receiving Christ I had an unsettled feeling in my spirit that I should not be married to a divorced woman. After being saved, I would listen to hours of Bible teaching each day. But the teachers were all Matthew/Pauline exception theory people. They convinced me, against my apprehensions, that my marriage to the divorced woman was “OK” with God. That illegitimate marriage ended in 1988.
When my first illegitimate marriage ended I was very active in the Christian churches. Everyone was Matthew/Pauline exception theory and “we live under grace not under law”. At that time the only people who questioned whether second marriages were legitimate were a couple of holiness Pentecostals and an occasional Mennonite. Since my Christian churches did not teach the one-flesh covenant marriage concept, I was left in limbo
We know that when a never-married-before guy marries a divorced woman, he is living in adultery. So to get right with God, he should flee that adulterous relationship. Why? Because the divorced wife is violating the vows to her one-flesh covenant marriage partner. She is disobeying the statement of Jesus: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. “ (Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9). So, in the eyes of the grace-not-law folks, I’m forever a “divorced” man. They don’t teach about the one-flesh covenant marriage relationship, so, in their eyes, a person divorced from a legitimate marriage is in the same boat as a person divorced from an illegitimate marriage. So, can I ever marry again and not be living in sloppy-agape?
Now follow my logic here: A marriage can’t be legitimate and illegitimate at the same time. If you divorce from a legitimate marriage and remarry anyone else you are committing adultery. But, if you divorce from an illegitimate marriage and marry a life-long single person, you are not committing adultery! You are not violating anybody’s one-flesh covenant marriage relationship. If you divorce from an illegitimate marriage and marry someone who has never been in a one-flesh covenant marriage relationship, you are not committing adultery! You are not violating anybody’s one-flesh covenant marriage relationship.
I met my second illegitimate marriage partner in 1992. (Her one-flesh covenant marriage partner was still alive and had since married another woman). I stepped into church-sanctified adultery in 1993. Years later in 2001, while still living in church-sanctified adultery, I had a desire to have a closer walk with the Lord. So I had this idea: I would have the audio reading of the New Testament play softly while I slept. All night long my spirit would hear the word of God and I hoped that this would bring me closer to the Lord. Most of what I heard would be like gliding down a highway on a smooth road surface. But, when I would hear Jesus equate remarriage with adultery it was like hitting a speed bump at 60 mph. I could not have a peace about my marriage situation. Nevertheless, everywhere I would go and whoever I would speak with had no problem with me being married to a divorced woman. A woman who’s one-flesh marriage partner was still alive.
In July of 1995, employment opportunities moved (name deleted) and I away from our home churches. I was no longer under their strong influence. My convictions started to grow until 2003 when I told (name deleted) that I was having reservations about our marriage. She said I should go see a psychiatrist and summarily dismissed the subject. The people who hoodwinked me INTO church-sanctified adultery, became the same people fighting me as I struggled to get OUT of church-sanctified adultery. Sound familiar?
The reactions to my convictions were swift and strong. Instead of engaging me with the scriptures, they were trying to pull the rug out from under my feet by saying the following:
“It sounds to me like you have come back under the law!”
“You don’t understand Grace!”
“You are guilty of stinking-thinking!”
“You should be a fisher of men not a cleaner of the fish bowl!”
“God doesn’t recognize unbeliever’s marriages!”
“Wake-up, we live in different times!”
“You have fallen into legalism!”
“Where is your love?”
“Don’t be so dogmatic!”
“It’s subject to interpretation!”
“You are being so negative!”
“Where is your compassion?”
“The scripture is not to be taken in a wooden-literal sense!”
“They may not be perfect, but God knows their hearts!”
“All things have become new!”
“Your beliefs are way off the main stream of Christianity”
“Your words come from the lunatic fringe!”
“What rabbinical school or seminary agrees with you!”
No doubt the modern church would level the same charges against Jesus or John the Baptist if they were to open their mouths in these modern assembles.
In 2003, I had an epiphany: I was no longer under their spell!!!!!
1. They say, “David is being judgmental” (But quoting the truth from the Bible and applying it to our lives is not being hypocritical. It is demonstrating righteous judgment (John 7:24 and 1 Corinthians 2:15)
2. They say, “The whole point of the sermon of the mount is, ‘be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven, is perfect’“. When they say that “no one is perfect” they mean that “no one is obedient”. We should have a heart that is perfect toward God. An obedient heart that walks in the steps of faith, that does the works of faith and the deeds of faith. That is what God desires.
3. They conveniently fail to mention that Moichao (3429) in Matt 5:32 is in the continuous tense. Matthew 5:32a; “Anyone who divorces his wife for any other reason than porneia, he causes her to commit adultery.” Matthew 5:32b; “He who marries a divorced woman keeps on committing adultery.” The adultery is not a one-time act, it is a state of being! Present tense in the Greek usually describes a continuous activity.
This apostate teaching has oppressed me for nearly seven years. It has robbed me of fellowship. How can I sit under teaching that I militate against? How can I sit in these churches and pretend that everybody is all right? How could the Lord instruct me to tithe to these organizations? Why should I strengthen their hands? This has brought me to my knees. I am shaken to the core. I am cast out into the wilderness. I am outside my children’s’ lives. Who understands? Who cares? I take a big risk when I share these thoughts in this forum. But what else do I have to lose? Tears flow when I consider what has been taken from me and from so many other people. Do I dare cause one of Jesus’ little ones to stumble? Do I dare teach people to live in re-marital adultery? Is it merely subject to interpretation?
I made a vow to my second re-marital adultery partner “for better, or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part”. Why would God honor a vow that resulted in the sin of adultery? Still I feel a responsibility for the three girls we adopted during our marriage. I have been working under the premise that, if you bless the mother, then you will bless the children. In order to provide for the children, I can not afford to live like a normal person. God has shown me ways to make ends meet. I’ve been living in an RV for 4 years now and I’ve been enduring harsh Ohio winters. My hands are cold as I write this testimony, but my heart is warm. I drive 100 miles each way to spend Saturdays with the kids. I work late Friday nights and get about 5 hours of sleep then I make the journey up to spend time with them. I head back toward the RV around midnight Saturday nights. I also pay their tuition at the Christian academy. I die a little every day. I live by convictions not preferences. We are called to be living sacrifices. Obedience servants! By the way, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22b)
It hits me hard how I am “outside” of my children’s lives. I get to hang with them about 10-12 hours a week. The adverse affects of the separation immediately dumped on me and has not let up since. I went back to the cold empty house. I was stuck with the task of moving out and cleaning up the house that
I could no longer afford to rent. I was now on the “outside”. Almost a stranger around the kids that I had burped, diapered and caressed. In one swoop I was “out”. The system made me an instant criminal. Papers were served. Savings were decimated. Lawyers were excited. Friends were only briefly perplexed. Then they moved-on. Some picked sides. Most just sighed and let it be crowded-out by the worries of the day. No one ever asked whether the “marriage” was legitimate in the eyes of God. Now I have huge forced child support payments to make for the next decade. Not understanding the circumstances, my youngest daughter tells her classmates that I have no friends, that I am not a Christian. She says that she is embarrassed that her dad lives in a motor home.
Church people say, “Become a part of our group. Submit to our church leaders. Come to our assemblies often enough and we will give you our stamp of approval. God has called us to peace. Don’t question our doctrine. Don’t make waves. You can’t be a Christian if you don’t go to church. Every church is bound to have some questionable doctrine. Pick one and submit. Who do you think you are anyway?” It’s no longer, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). But it’s, “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4)
I am not going to sit under teaching that I can not stomach! If, I walk into any of these churches, I will be tempted by the women seeking another adultery partner. They say, “God understands our sinful desires. God knows my heart. He knows I will stumble from time to time. Isn’t that why Jesus died for my sins? So I don’t have to worry when I commit sins?”
Christ within us, the hope of glory. The average “Christian” does not understand. The others are hopelessly clueless. The Christian faith has become a set of rules and regulations. A code of conduct. A way of living. Parameters which define our acceptable response to the lusts of the eyes, the flesh, and the pride of life. So much of what we see is external to the true life of Christ. We have our doctrines, our arguments, our perspectives, our comforts. But we don’t have the life. We don’t have Christ walking within us. I can’t yoke with the apostates. I will not run with the crowd. “Why won’t you conform? Who would ever want to hang with you? You are taking this Jesus stuff to an extreme. Wake up and smell the coffee.”
Don’t get me wrong I’m not making this a litmus test for true salvation. In the times of Jesus, the religious leaders said the people were ignorant because they did not know the law. In the “dark ages” they said the people were ignorant because they did not know Latin. Now they say we are ignorant because we don’t know “proper” hermeneutics and exegesis. Without their systematic theology we can not “properly” understand the scriptures.
It’s everywhere I turn.; divorce, remarriage, adultery and fornication. I am the one who gets in trouble when I question it. How could I be so “out of it”? Oh well! Just another divorce. First husband. Second husband. Third husband. We treat them all the same. The “Christian” lawyer was just doing his job and “not passing judgment”. Let our apostate religious leaders parse through their self-inflicted “difficulties” with scripture. It takes a lot of words and human reasoning to re-interpret what scripture clearly teaches. “You don’t expect me to lose my preaching position, do you?” Our viewpoint is attacked from all directions, “heathens” and “saints” alike. The church has lost its salt and light. Where is the righteous standard?
How many of us are satisfied with religion that is not acceptable to God? Living in a dream state that ultimately leads to eternal destruction? Actually taking a walk on the “wild side” when it appears that we are being quite conservative!
Consider the following sacrifices we make:
We go to church every Sunday, but we live in adultery.
We go to church every Wednesday evening, but we live in adultery.
We abstain from beer, but we live in adultery.
We serve our church, but we live in adultery.
We pay our tithe every week, but we live in adultery.
Some sacrifice each Lent, but live in adultery.
Are we deceived into thinking that all our sacrifices will enable us to disobey God’s law? Is man’s law as a good substitute for God’s law?
We all know that society is “going to hell in a hand basket”. What about the broad-road church that encourages re-marital adultery? Society looks at the “church” and sees no difference in behavior. The “heathen” say why bother with all this Jesus stuff. Those church folk are no better than we are. I have had “heathens” tell me that fornication is less of a sin than adultery. “Why not live with my girl friend, at least I’m not living in adultery.”
I could be “hanging out” with all kinds of people right now. Watching sports. Drinking liquor. Chasing women. Catching women. “Get involved with people, if you do then all of your weird beliefs will disappear.” “Enjoy life while you can.” “Do you believe that it is evil to have some fun?” “I have some girl friends who would like to meet you”. “Relax a little”. “Live a little”. “Don’t be such a bore”. “Go with the flow”. “Don’t judge other people’s behavior.”
There are lots of very attractive women in my line of work. (It’s nice not to be looking for romance from every lady I see.) They wonder why I am not on the “rebound”. Some question whether I am gay. They think that maybe I don’t have the social skills to attract a woman. What an odd ball! How come he doesn’t go out drinking with us? What does the Bible have to do with anything?