Divorce, Remarriage, Churches, Ministries, Christian Leaders, Teachers & Divorce Rates
In regard to the confusion between families and children; that is a problem now because of all of the divorcing and remarrying going on. Sin has consequences, and that’s why God does not allow this practice. If the modern Churches were teaching this properly, we wouldn’t have so many people committing this sin in ignorance. The only way to get it under control, is to take a stand against it now and educate people about what God has said before they make such a decision in ignorance which is difficult to undo. The fact that it has been tolerated and so-called Pastors haven’t had the courage to teach people the clear scriptures that say it is adultery has perpetuated and multiplied this problem.
Amen……….. As you said, if people were really educated in what the Lord has said on divorce/remarriage, many today would not be faced with some of the hard decisions they are now faced with as they see the scriptures come to life—-bringing conviction.
We must acknowledge that divorce was RARE 100 years ago——–and the same sins occurred in marriages back then as occur now (adultery, gambling, abuse, alcoholism, etc). Most marriages stayed together in spite of sin. What changed? It’s something we really need to ponder deeply—especially those in the Church.
To address your quote “My children have suffered as a result of the divorce but I have complete faith in the Lord to restore what the locusts have eaten.
The main thing I have stressed to them is that they must not see the “divorce” as a “normal” occurrence among christians. My son would expressly say, “Aww Mom, it’s just a divorce. It happens all the time!” That was a red flag for me that we may be teaching our children that divorce is no big deal! I seek to teach them what Jesus says about divorce and His apostles. I truly believe we lead our children by example and I know they learn best by what we do, not by what we say. At least my teens do.”
We don’t have to, the church is already teaching this by being more concerned with same sex marriage and doing little if anything to address divorce.
I’ll be more folks than not have not received effective help from their churches when faced with divorce, or worse, have been effectively “divorced” by their church for being part of a failed marriage.
I sought help from SBC churches, non-denominational churches, Catholic churches. No help from any.
I’ve read about folks here doing the same thing, seeking help and not getting help. So my experience is certainly not an isolated experience.
And THIS is why I have more issue with my kids going to “church” than I do with allowing them to be in the world. At least at home they can experience what it means to be a Christian and hold true to one’s promises before the Lord and one’s spouse. In the “church” they are getting a whole different message. AT least they know in the world, the world is living for itself, but the “church” is saying one thing, yet living in opposition to what it teaches on LOVE, fidelity, etc. It’s all situational—-no different than the “world’s” standards.
I was telling a friend today, “it seems the “church” today is more interested in ‘doing church’ than in BEING the church (Christ’s Body on the earth)………very sad, really.
No one knows better than a divorced Christian what the Scripture says about divorce (we live it, we breath it, it echo’s continously in our mind like a video on constant replay). Well meaning Christians need to realize that the Scripture says “the letter killeth” (2 Cor 3.6). Scriptures about divorce have been hammered home so many times and I’m not just speaking of Sermon Index but in churches throughout America.
I must disagree with you on this point. I personally know many people who are divorced, and they do know what the scriptures say on divorce, but for most divorced professors of Christ, they do NOT know what the scriptures teach, that’s why the majority of divorced get remarried in spite of what the scriptures teach to the contrary. What the scriptures teach is what R.A Torrey believed and wrote about: divorce for many is just legalized adultery.
If people “remained unmarried or were reconciled to their spouses” as the scriptures teach, there would not be this huge issue. The main issue in the church today is “legalized adultery”. Yes, divorce is the initial evil in this because if one/both of the marital parties believed in God’s eyes they were not free to “move on”, that they were indeed “joined” together BY GOD for life, many marriages would not end in divorce.
In years past, the same sins existed, yet families stayed together……..some admittedly were miserable, but that is where the ministry needs to come—-to help bring healing BEFORE a divorce occurs. If a divorce happens, then Truth needs to be applied to the situation and we need to stand with each other through that pain and help the one divorced be able to persevere without falling into sin (adultery/remarriage).
As I said, I know many who are divorced. I don’t think they would agree with you that divorced people are ostracized in church much today—–that is why it is such a problem in the church—-because divorce is being accepted. Where I see the biggest persecution is with those divorced brothers/sisters who believe that their spouse belongs to THEM until “death do us part”—-they believe the divorce did NOT dissolve their marriage in the sight of God. Many churches today DO teach that, so such saints who are standing firm in the truth and persevering are being ousted from their churches because their stance/belief makes the remarried uncomfortable. That is a sad, sad, thing.
I recently heard of a couple who tried repeatedly to have a meeting with their pastor on the issue of divorce/remarriage to find out what the church’s stance. The pastor would not return their phone calls/emails. They finally understood that he was unwilling to discuss it with them, so they felt no option other than to leave that church. They then received a letter from the pastor “blessing” them on their way. The enemy sure is having a field day in the church……….and sadly, we are letting him…..
I am personally offended by this comment,
“unfortunately… everything going on inside our Modern day Churches today is anything BUT Holy.!”
I am going to assume that you have been to my church and have found it unholy……. this leads me to believe that you may not be praying to the same god as I…… then it makes me wonder who you are praying to…… and the bottom line in my comment is THIS comment has no place on this board….. as I have said before on this thread… all I find here is mean people…. there is no love here… its very negative ….. its hard for me to read all this stuff and keep love in my heart… therefore I will again abstain from reading this thread….
I’m curious why you are so offended? Is EVERYTHING in your local assembly “Holy”? If it is, then you do not have to accept another’s assessment of your church. If EVERYTHING is NOT holy in your local assembly, then you should want to be a person of CHANGE in that local body……….someone who does care about holiness in the Lord’s sight and seeks to see change.
The truth is that there is MUCH unholiness in the American/Western Churches today. We have multitudes of churches who are accepting of relationships the Lord calls adultery……….we have multitudes of churches who accept homosexuality—not only as attenders, but as clergy, Sunday school teachers, ,etc. We have MANY churches/leaders who are fleecing the sheep for their own gain (the prosperity gospel). We have MANY churches who are teaching “easy believism”………creating multitudes of false converts—telling them that a simple prayer will save them. Paul spoke of the “last days” and the nature of men/women/children in the last days…………He also spoke of the “teachers” of the last days……….we are seeing ALL of these things come to pass in MOST CHURCHES in the Western World. (II Tim. 3-4).
If you are NOT in one of these churches, then praise God!!!! Don’t be angry at those who speak against the abominations within those congregations who profess Christ, but in their works, deny Him. Be thankful that you are NOT in one of those places—- and then PRAY for those who ARE walking in deception—-that they would have eyes to see so they can walk with Jesus with a pure heart among this crooked generation who only say they believe in Jesus, but do not really follow Him (Mt. 7:21-24)………..
Do you see why traditional marriage teachings have failed the church? The church has taught for more than an entire generation that the success or failure of a marriage was solely dependent on a wife’s willingness to lay her life down in complete submission and service to her husband. (A generation is 40 years.) Women have been taught that if they will submit completely to their husband and follow his leadership in everything, that God would deal with him and that someday, he would be a good husband. It did not matter if he treated her rudely, yelled at her, called her names, or even treated her worse than his dog. She was simply to submit and pray. This failed paradigm required a wife to function in the role of the husband, laying her life down for him as Christ laid His life down for the church. The church, for over 45 years, has taught marriage completely backwards! Is there any wonder that we have a 50% plus divorce rate in the church! You have to wonder if the church pushed the other direction JUST as hard what outcome would come.
I don’t know which churches you are speaking of, but if this were REALLY true, then why is the divorce rate over 50% among confessing Christians—IF women, in fact, are “enduring” to the end in terrible marriages because they’re being taught that in churches? The fact is: the same sins that are with us now, have ALWAYS been……….and families USED to stay intact.As a matter of fact, when women were much more submissive, marriages LASTED. The fact is that feminism has wrought horrible destruction upon families and the churches have embraced feminism. The “I deserve” mentality pervades many “Christian” families. No longer are we serving God in our marriages (sacrificially), but we are serving ourselves(men and women both). We do not want to endure tribulation, instead we seek “ease of life”—-to the detriment of our families and the upcoming generations, which WILL follow in our steps(if they too do not follow God). Again, the same sins that are with us now, have ALWAYS been……….and families USED to stay intact.
I will say this because I believe it to be true: in the most conservative of churches—those which teach BIBLICAL submission of wives and teach the BIBLICAL sacrificial love of husbands for their wives, you will find a much LOWER divorce rate than you will find in many liberal, charismatic churches. Why? Because of obedience to the Word—-in spite of the actions of their spouses.
In many liberal, charismatic churches you will find that EXPERIENCES/FEELINGS rule over the Word of God—-and because of this a VERY high divorce/remarriage rate. I know because when I came to faith in Christ, I was in a charismatic church and the divorce/remarriage rate was MUCH higher than in the conservative churches who were much more WORD focused/obedience focused that I attended later on. Did “flesh” come into play in the marriages in both Churches? Yes, but I find a much stronger teaching on SELF entitlement in charismatic churches than I find in many of the most conservative churches………and again, I say this is MY opinion based upon what I have personally experienced in attending/being very involved in various types of churches.
MOST of the biggest scandals have come from those churches who are very FLESHLY based (relationships/money, etc)—-I wont’ name any names, but two HUGE scandals in the news lately are coming from those ministries who are VERY focused on worldly possessions……..and the flashing of those possessions. Did Jesus behave in such a manner while He walked the earth, nor did any of His disciples?
You know what? I think we really need to stop focusing on “role” playing in regards to Eph. 5 with our marriages and instead focus on living our our lives FOR CHRIST. “It is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives within me”…………that applies to husbands and wives alike. We need to be Jesus to WHOMEVER the Lord has allowed into our lives—-the good, the bad, and the ugly. THIS is our TRUE calling.
Not so. While it is true the same sins existed, women were dependent on the men for their support, so there were very little choices when they were mistreated. If your husband is the sole provider for you and the children, there is a great deal of fear to leave. How will you support yourself and these children apart from him? They stayed not because of covenant but because they really had limited choices. They couldn’t call the cops and be taken seriously. They would go to the church who would inform them to be quiet, submit, and go back home to your husband. God will change him. No support like we have now. I am no feminist but I do appreciate that women can now receive support so that they don’t have to “endure” mistreatment out of fear and lack of support.
The statement was made that IN THIS GENERATION, churches are teaching women to submit, but are not holding men to the standard of loving their wives like Christ loves the church. I disputed that because the increased divorce, initiated by women, does not prove the statement made by name deleted. Women are NOT being submissive in such cases. If the churches were, in fact, teaching submissiveness (biblical submissiveness, that is) we would not be seeing the utter destruction we see in families today that we are seeing. The simple fact is that many women are just getting tired……..tired of their husband’s affairs, tired of their husband’s control over money, pushing for more sex, being controlling in many areas of life, not helping with kids yet dictating how the kids are to be treated/punished/rewarded, spending time with buddies, etc, etc, etc. So now, women, who are tired of all the “flesh” they see in their husbands, can now, due to decent jobs, leave their husbands and think themselves free to find another husband (possibly even someone else’s husband).
You are right in that women sure do have much freedom today………….and where has it gotten us? Divorce rates that top 50%—in the church——and over 40million abortions in this country alone!! The numbers of extramarital affairs (speaking of married women) has exploded. Yes, women now have much more access to good paying jobs, they don’t need to “depend” on their husbands as much financially, yet……………………..many destructive things have occurred due to this “freedom”. Where is God in all this? Where is the enemy in all this?
The problem is that marriage is seen as, we didn’t go to the courthouse and file the papers. Therefore it is not on the books, so it doesn’t count in the stats. Te only thing statistics can do is register what is already on the books. There are no stats for marriages where the two live as if they are divorced. If “divorce” was seen as the state of the relationship and not just the paperwork, you would find that the church’s divorce rate is much higher!
The reason such lived as “divorced” is because one or both refuse to submit—–TO GOD!!!!!
Stats only represent what is true legally speaking. The false notion that marriages lasted even when it was terrible should really be cast down. It wasn’t the marriage that lasted, it was the legal agreement that stood. The terms of these covenants were broken. The relationships did not have intimacy. Forget about the marriage reflecting the relationship between Christ and His church (husband called to love, feed and care for their wives as their own bodies, the wives called to respect and submit to their husbands). These were atmospheres of fear, false submission, abuse and no trust. If that’s what you call marriages lasting, then I would suggest you reflect a little more on this.
Your flippant disregard to what GOD says is marriage is very disappointing. Try as you may, you cannot redefine marriage. It is as God has said it is…………and it matters not if the people involved even “like” each other. Liking a spouse or even “feeling” romantic love does not make a marriage. Coming together in a lifelong commitment with God as the “joiner” of the two, makes a true marriage. Man cannot supercede or nullify what God has joined together based upon his/her own reasonings of WHY it should be put asunder. God, and only God can truly put asunder what HE joined together and He has spoken on that matter (Rom. 7:2-3, I Cor. 7:39).
I don’t believe that women were ever much more submissive. It just looked that way because they had no choice. The only time you see true submission is when you have a choice. Where there is no choice there can be no true submission. Without choice there is nothing else you can do but what that person says.
The divorce rate shows that there is no true submission—–to God………….forget the issue of wife to husband, husband to wife, people are not submitting themselves to GOD……and THAT is the ultimate issue/problem.
Confusion (about divorce and remarriage) comes from Satan.
Not exactly true. Much of the confusion on this issue comes from LOOKING at societal trends (sin) and trying to make scripture fit what we see, rather than taking what we read in scripture and judging if society is in line with God’s Word or opposed to it. Most of us, if not all, have “fuzzy” vision because of the ungodliness that surrounds us, and some of the ungodliness that we have let into our lives in ignorance of it’s effects on us/our families. This has “clouded” our vision/understanding of truth……….it’s called desensitization and most Western Christians have it. There are many things that we probably would call “good” or even “neutral”, that the Lord would call EVIL, yet we can’t see some things for what they are, because we are desensitized to the sin around us. It is this desensitization that has contributed to our “confusion” on what God means in His Word when He calls remarriage, adultery (because society has accepted it more and more in the last 50 years, the stigma of being divorced/remarried has all but disappeared—in spite of what God’s Word says about it). It is this desensitization that has caused many to “wink” at divorce/remarriage and allow themselves to believe it is God’s will for them too—-because they believe we have a God who wants us to be happy—-no matter what. You are right though, (name deleted), the BEST thing for any of us to do is seek the truth by seeking GOD, not man…….but we must be very sure we are willing/ready to hear the truth that God sends our way………otherwise we will not accept it.
OK, if the wrong doctrine is listened to….Satan grabs a hold of the mind and confuses someone. If someone were to listen to ANY person without seeking confirmation, Satan can cause problems. There are conflicting views in this thread, so just reading a verse or to isn’t eliminating the confusion. All I’m saying is…if she asks the Holy Spirit for confirmation, she will have complete peace with the answer she gets.
Well, yes and no. If wrong ACTIONS are seen as Ok, then when the Word is heard the mind tries to process what they hear and what they see, there very well can be great confusion——and it was not Satan that caused it, but the acceptance as “right” of those things that were/are opposed to God. That is why it is necessary for 2 things to occur—–pray that the Lord give the one confused the right heart to KNOW the truth and be able to support that truth with the Word………..and to believe that when one diligently seeks the Lord on a matter, He is a rewarder of such, but it doesn’t always happen quickly……….we must press in and continuing pressing in, each and every time a new question comes up that causes us confusion. I know people who “pressed in” for many years before they had real “peace” and confirmation. The Lord wants us to have the “missing pieces”—-to break through the cloudiness that is caused by sin in our midst. This I fully believe.
Where I see the hypocrisy is where the betrayed spouse is willing to forgive and do the work we as Christians are called to do, to forgive the sins of those who betray us.
But instead of getting help from the church, the church treat us is we committed the sins of our spouse and not only doesn’t help, or try to find appropriate help, but treats the betrayed spouse like a leper. Like our divorce is a disease that they might catch if they are with us.
That is the hypocrisy. Not the divorce, but how the church often treats the divorced and the divorcing.
Do you know why many churches are doing that today? It is due to CONVICTION of the ever increasing sin in their midst——–and they don’t want to confront it. I can’t tell you of how many stories I’ve personally heard as well as read of people who are “standing” for marriage restoration (they are LOVING their wayward spouses—“yet while they are in sin”) and churches have ostracized them and caused them to leave their churches.
Why? Because most do not/refuse to LOVE as Christ loved. Those who have been offended have chosen rather, in many cases, to divorce and find a “nice Christian 2nd/3rd/4th, etc spouse”………instead of Loving the one God joined them to. Because that is the case, a “standing” one in their midst is offensive and appears to them as “judgmental”………and even more so to those who have taken others’ spouses and married them. To stand for a spouse who is with another, is to stand against the act of taking a divorced/separated spouse……….and many in the church today have done just that and to have such a “standing” one in their midst brings great discomfort.
As I said in a previous thread, if people did today what they did years ago—-refused to get involved with divorced persons, MOST families would be reconciled………..because MOST humans desire to have a family and a life partner. In such cases where there is no other person to run to, MANY would return and seek to heal their OWN families……….
I agree with you that more times than not, people when choosing to sin will try to “reason” their way around God’s word in order justify actions that they know are sinful, but I also know that many people who have no particular stake in this debate, either because they married only once or they have never been married, still struggle with interpreting some of these passages and understanding their application.
Yes, my husband and I are two of those………..we used to NOT understand what God spoke on marriage and accepted the current practices of the day in the church as OK. Then for some reason, the Lord put a strong desire in BOTH of us to study this out. We STRUGGLED to understand the truth of this issue, so I do understand that this is not an EASY thing to understand. I don’t believe it’s complicated due to the Word, but due to the accepted practices in the church today. What we see all around us has NUMBED us to God’s TRUTH as written in His Word. Many find it difficult to rationally reason what is written before them in black and white/red. When we see Jesus saying that two who enter into a remarriage/another marriage commit adultery, what is He saying? Is it hard for people to see that Jesus did not recognize the divorce as dissolving the first marriage, and THAT is why the second is adultery?
What I do believe that church can do in the case of a Christian brother or sister who is seeking a marriage in rebellion to God’s word is to make sure they are not condoning it. Before the marriage the church should be actively dealing with the issue following the outline for Church discipline given in Mt. 18:15-20. If this fails and the wedding happens, they should not be celebrating with this couple at the wedding, and they absolutely should not be conducting the wedding. Unfortunately where I see the church failing today is in this area. Many churches remain silent when their members seek divorces and remarriages that are outside the guidelines in Scripture, and many pastors are actually conducting these weddings.
So when exactly does such a couple punch through the sin gauntlet? I find it ironic that there are pastors who won’t officiate at the marriage of divorced couples (they don’t want their hands dirtied), yet they will welcome these couples back into the church once someone else has officiated the marriage and the ink is dried on the marriage license.
When do they punch through the sin gauntlet? When they choose repentance. You have asked this many times before, and my answer is still the same.
What if they don’t see themselves as having sinned? Are they living in a state of adultery because they have not “repented” yet? If so, why are the churches taking such couples into the church—–directly opposing what Paul taught in I Cor. 5?
Even if that is all they (pastors) are doing, they are better handling this than many pastors. However, I personally believe the church has failed if this is all that is done. They should have been handling this situation as outlined in Mt. 18 before the marriage took place. If a couple in rebellion towards God still chose to marry, they should be welcomed back as unbelievers until there has been clear repentance, and the church should be helping them to walk through that process.
Ah, for me, I see your mindset as the problem in many churches today. We welcome people into the church who are in blatant sin……..hoping, that they will come to faith(and scripture already tells us that MOST will NOT come to the faith). I am curious, would you dare call such persons unbelievers to their face? Paul taught that we are to put out all who “call themselves brother” who live in unrepentant sin. Why? Because if left alone within the congregation of believers, that sin will GROW………..I think we can both agree this is exactly what has happened in the churches today and why we have such a big mess to deal with now. Instead of “going OUT and making disciples”, we have “brought in” the lost, bringing in unrepentant sin, causing the true sheep to stumble and sin by watching the acceptance of unrepentant sin from other attenders/members. sigh……..and many people wonder why there has been such a huge departing of people (not the unbeliever, but I’m speaking of those who really love God) from organized churches????
Something I want to bring up…really think about this…. All this talk about the MDR subject….yet I see that no one has addressed the issue of what can be done for the women (and children) who’s life this affects. A woman who is in caught up in the subject of MDR wishes to leave her husband, thereby following the Lord’s commandment…yet she has been a faithful housewife to her husband. Cooking, cleaning, etc. She has no other income as her husband has always provided for her. Where does she go for help? Who will help her as she has no income? Where can she go for help?
I know situations like those are HARD. First, I would ask such a woman if she has family that can help (even in scripture the family was BEFORE the Church in regards to providing for one in need). If the one(s) in need do not have family, that is where the church should be stepping in. Does such a woman have a local body that she attends? So many churches today preach on tithing and it being biblical for the NT Christian, yet it seems many churches do NOT take care of those members who are needy. Instead they pay big salaries to a huge staff, have expensive outreach programs (worldly programs, many of them), build bigger and bigger buildings, having bigger and bigger mortgages, etc. Not biblical in the least bit, I believe.
I know there are people who ARE willing to help/provide housing in such cases, so there IS help when one’s family is either unwilling or non-existant. If the person really wants to forsake their sin, there is help.
The bottom line though really comes down to obedience. If no one helped, would such a woman STILL obey……..or would she only obey when things are made easier for her? Personally, I have seen cases where this has been done………and the Lord opened doors of provision. We must take the first step of obedience though, whether in heart(purposing to forsake the sin) and then DOING something to ensure we walk out the repentance —-ie; putting out resumes, job applications, calling family for support, going to the church body/members, etc.
One thing we need to remember, whether one is in adultery, homosexuality, fornication, if they follow Jesus, they are called FROM their sin. Jesus didn’t put conditions on that. In each of the sexually explicit relationships there are hardships to bear. If a woman was living with a man whom she had children with but wasn’t married to and he wouldn’t marry her, do we tell her “it’s ok, the Lord understands that you have to stay for financial reasons”. Most Christians would not counsel such a thing. They would counsel such a woman that she needs to forsake that illicit relationship. Having children does make things much harder. The Lord knows that………..and yet, when He calls someone from sin, everyone is on equal footing. Blessings………
Just out of curiosity, what percentage of Evangelical Christian churches in America do you believe teach heretical views on marriage? Do you believe these churches are apostate?
Years ago, very few churches taught differently than what I believe. Very few churches would have EVER thought to marry a divorced person. It was unthinkable—-because it was adultery to them. NOW, most churches teach that the adultery which occurs at remarriage is just a one-time act, and MOST churches willingly marry divorced persons……….and most churches DO NOT ever go to the other spouse to find out the reason for the divorce before they will marry someone into a remarriage.
Are most of these churches apostate? Yes, I believe their actions speak for themselves that they are not following the Jesus of the Bible. Others from non-western countries can see the mess Western Christianity is, but we are blind to our own deceptions………and they are many. We need to pray fervently that we have our eyes opened, flee from the iniquity that we are involved with, and follow hard after Jesus so that the world will truly KNOW HIM.
No, I would not ask my children to unquestioningly accept the majority view, but I do ask them to look at all of the evidence, and the credentials of people to whose opinions they give weight. If the majority view on an is a view held by a majority who have studied and articulated the issue, and the reasoning for their view appears sound, then a great amount of weight should be given that view before deciding to oppose it.
Is this what scripture teaches us—-that we should look to someone’s “credentials” to sway us concerning truth? If this be the case, then the disciples of Jesus were not qualified to be considered as having the truth………..because they were a “few” and they were mostly uneducated. Intersting that you would place value on such things. When I read the scriptures on this issue, it seems to me that God takes great pleasure in revealing His truth to those who are NOT the “esteemed” among men—but are the “regular” folk.
Most Evangelical church leaders have studied these (divorce/remarriage) passages, and most of these churches do teach these passages from a biblical point of view, but many unfortunately don’t follow through in their actions.
This is VERY untrue. Most pastors today will hand you a book written by someone else (usually Jay Adams or someone of similar viewpoint). When asking them point blank on many “hard” issues, they cannot respond intelligently because they have NOT studied this in depth. What many churches are doing is merely “passing on” someone else’s interpretation of divorce/remarriage. I was in a VERY mature church, by today’s standards—the pastor a very engaging/studied pastor. However, when my husband and I went to speak with him on this issue, we saw just how ill-equipped he was to handle this topic—-and this is a church which prides itself on being a “nouthetic” counselling church/center. The associate pastor also could not answer some of my husband’s questions. The truth is, if one does have this topic down pat, they should be able to answer ANY scenerio given to them—–because they know the Word of God. They will not respond with such answers as, “Do you mean to tell me……………”.
I understand not following the crowd, but when most Christian scholars and theologians reject these conclusions, don’t you think that should carry a little weight? After all these are people who have spent a great deal of time studying these passages.
Most of today’s Christian “scholars” would be at odds with the Early Church leaders/pastors/teachers.
Before I address the rest of your post, I would like to understand your point of view on this issue a little better. Approximately what percent of the American Evangelical church do you believe to be apostate?
What kind of question is that? I do not know what EVERY church teaches on this issue. I do believe the American Evangelical church has moved very far away from God in it’s teachings/practices………
You really avoided the question, and I really want to understand better what your view of the Evangelical church is. I am not looking for an exact number, but I would like to better understand your perspective. You said that most Evangelical churches are apostate, I would like to understand what is meant by most, do you believe it is it closer to 50% or is it closer to 100%?
I find it odd that you are trying to pin me down on the % of apostate churches in America, but I can’t seem to get a straight answer from you in the more “knowable/discussable” issues. Why not focus on the issue at hand (MDR) and what scripture speaks on that, than to try and discern what you are asking?
I will answer you question with this: what we do know from scripture is that MANY who call Jesus Lord, are not really saved. Many, He says, will walk the broad road to destruction. He also asks the question, “when I come, will I find faith on the earth?” We also know that before Jesus comes there will be a GREAT falling away from the truth (apostasy)(II Thess. 2:1-4), so with that in mind, what percent of Christiandom are false Christians?
The reason I would like a more complete answer to this question is simply to understand whether we have a compatible definition of Christianity. It is hard to discuss the specifics of a Christian view of marriage and divorce, if we don’t appear to even have a similar definition of Christianity itself. Just to put all the cards on the table, my churches Statement of Faith can be found at http://www.efca.org/about/doctrine do you believe this is a valid Christian church, or apostate? Note: none of the churches in our denomination that I am aware of accept your point of view regarding divorce and remarriage.
The last church I attended was an efca. Just for your info, they do not adhere to all the same doctrines, for instance pre-trib. The one I attended was post trib, though not all the elders agreed on it. There is varying viewpoints, etc. Not all in the same denominations hold to the same exact interpretations of various doctrines. As for any “holding my point of view”……….who cares about my view. What matters is what JESUS says about divorce/remarriage, no? In any case, as I said, my view is much more inline with the Early Church than present day popular views/positions. Does that knowledge (that what we see around us now is NOT what the Early church practiced) hold the same/equal weight with you or are you more concerned about present day teachings and their popularity?
I did not say that every efca church held to exactly the same doctrine. What I said is that “none of the churches in our denomination that I am aware of accept your point of view regarding divorce and remarriage.” and then I gave a reference to our Statement of Faith. A statement of faith that intentionally does not mention pre-trib/post-trib because many in the Free church do disagree on this point. Our SOF only says that we believe in the “imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If you are questioning my faith in Jesus Christ, I can assure you that I am quite mainstream in what I believe about Jesus, who He is, why He came, and the eternal future of mankind, saved and unsaved. As to their statement of faith, I saw nothing on the marriage/divorce issue, so what is your point?
I did find it interesting that Under the EFCA’s proposed revision of the Statement faith section on the bible(6), it states, “it is to be believed in all it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.” In essence, the EFCA teaches that true believers are required to obey the teachings of the bible. Yet, it seems to me that you almost present obedience as an “ideal”, not a requirement for a true believer, hence your problem with the agreement some of us have with the scriptures on eternal inheritance. You seem to be greatly offended that we believe adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God—-yet, that is exactly what scripture teaches. Jesus also said that only those who do the will of the Father in heaven shall gain eternal life. Then, in the same passage, Jesus calls the “false ones” workers of iniquity/lawlessness. What is iniquity/lawlessness to you?
We have a very big disagreement on what JESUS says about divorce and remarriage, and I want to understand if that disagreement is or is not more deeply rooted in how we view Christianity itself.
Well, if you view obedience as “optional” in regards to following Jesus, then yes, I do suppose we have a very different view of Christianity.
I find it interesting that you say that you are “quite mainstream in what I believe about Jesus”, but are continually very evasive about answering whether you believe that “mainstream” Christianity is apostate. I have not questioned your faith in Jesus, but it appears that you do question mine, and I want to understand if that appearance is really a reality. Again, you said that most Evangelical churches are apostate, I would like to understand what is meant by most, do you believe it is it closer to 50% or is it closer to 100%?
Again, I said I have no issue with the statement of faith. We all can say we believe something……..it’s a much different thing to actually ACT on what one believes. The evidence of apostasy is in the ACTION, not necessary the confession. I think we both know what Jesus and Paul taught about the end time “church” (II Tim. 3 and 4). It does not appear that the majority of confessing believers are actually true believers, does it—-according to scripture………….
It is very clear that the majority of Christian scholarship does not support your view on this passage. Your implication has been that anyone who doesn’t interpret this as you do, has either not studied these passages, or has some kind of sinful motives for rejecting your interpretation. I completely reject this premise; there are many very Godly men and women who have diligently studied these passages and have NOT come to the same conclusions that you have! To propose that those have not seen the “clear” teachings you claim are there, have missed them because of apostasy, or lack of study is a very dangerous doctrinal stand.
No, sorry, I do not believe I am “above” others in way, shape, or form in regards to the permanency of marriage. I USE TO believe as you presently do. I did not seek to change my views to what they are now. The Lord caused my views to change when I was challenged to study this issue out due to circumstances brought to my path. Do I believe that many who give counsel in this area are not well studied? Absolutely. I have experienced it in my own walk/church experience—and yes, even while I attended an EFCA (the one I said was the most mature church I had ever attended), which was very disappointing to my husband and I. The church we attended before that was horribly ignorant in it’s knowledge/application of biblical truth. One of the pastors told a parishioner, “I’ll marry anyone!”(he was divorced/remarried—to the woman he had an extramarital affair with)……….His son, who was pastor, told my DH about a man who left his wife. He married him into his second marriage, then the guy left that woman. When the man came for the pastor to marry him to a third woman, the pastor said to my husband, “I drew the line there!” Do I believe that the present culture of divorce remarriage which you seem to think is supported by “Christian scholarship” is not dangerous? Oh boy, the scriptures dealing with unrepentant adultery are very serious. The fact that Western “Christian scholarship” does not speak about the sins in the church and what God’s Word says about those who are workers of iniquity……..those who call themselves “brother/sister”, THAT is dangerous—-as it has eternal ramifications.
As for sinful motives, well, I can’t judge that. I can speculate based upon what choices someone has made—-especially if they entered into another marriage knowing the scriptures, knowing the covenant spouse wanted restoration of their marriage, etc. Even so, only the individual knows WHY they are motivated to a particular point of view, and if that motivation is Godly or not. God is judge in that arena. I do believe many do not want to seek the inconsistancies they see because they fear what will happen to their comfortable church/fellowship life, their comfortable family relationships, friends, financial situations, etc.
Me, I did worry (and sometimes still struggle with that), but for some reason, my fear of losing fellowship/relationships does not overrule my desire to know truth and in knowing truth, to walk in obedience before the Lord. I’m glad the Lord has brought me to this place because you know what? People who know my(and others like mine) stance will come to me/them when they want prayer for their marriage……they will come when they REALLY want to know what God’s Word says and are not looking for a way out………….they know, if they are having troubles in their marriage, I/we will be compassionate, yet straight with them, AND I/we will stand with them for their marriages to be healed. I/we will not waiver……..I/we will NEVER say, “well, we can only pray for the Lord’s will”, (thinking divorce and moving could be the answer to prayer). I/we don’t believe it is EVER God’s will for a covenant marriage to end in divorce—EVER, so I would NEVER pray for that. Can you say you and other who believe in “outs” have the same heart towards covenant marriages……….and that people would have as much faith in people who believe God gives an “out” in marriage, when they need someone to help them stand against sin and restoration?
Here are a couple of articles. Sorry if they’ve been mentioned, I didn’t see them here: What God Has Joined – Christianity Today Tragically Widening the Grounds of Legitimate Divorce – John Piper
John Piper, “Instone-Brewer’s interpretation is an example (common, it seems, in New Testament studies today) of taking extra-biblical observations and using them to silence the fairly plain meaning of biblical texts. Over against what Instone-Brewer says, Jesus did in fact reject, for his disciples, what Moses commanded (Mark 10:5) or permitted (Matthew 19:8) in Deuteronomy 24:1. The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” To this Jesus said, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.” In other words, he did not approve of Moses’ permission of divorce. Then he pointed them to the other part of Moses’ writings, namely, Genesis: “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:4-9). Jesus does not line up nicely with the Shammaites. He demands a higher standard than Deuteronomy 24:1. ”
John Piper, also believes that a covenant is formed when a remarriage is entered, and specifically says that no one should ever divorce after entering such a marriage, but they should repent. This is the point I made to which you have repeatedly raised objections.
Let me just say, although I gave kudos to John Piper in my last post, and I think he has it MOSTLY right, he leaves people scratching their head. He teaches that NOTHING dissolves a marriage joined by God—not divorce and not remarriage —only death.
Since he will not answer the contradiction to his teaching, maybe you can explain it. How is it that a marriage endures UNTIL death(and that is what he teaches) and it also be ok to remain with another person? Does Mr. Piper believe in polygamy? Is that how he views a second marriage contracted while one has a living spouse?
I find it interesting when someone teaches that a remarried person can never go back to their covenant spouse (speaking of Deut. 24:4), but they say Deut. 24:1 is no longer permissible/applicable. Can’t quite figure that one out. For one, it was written for the nation of Israel and as far as I’m concerned I am a Gentile believer. I do know of a lawyer who has a radio ministry that believes second unions are adulterous and that they need to forsake such unions, but…………..then he says such persons cannot return to their original mate. How does that work? One is bound for life to another, but they can’t be together? Piper has the same problem, only larger, because Piper teaches that people can stay in these adulterous unions due to God’s grace————–but don’t forget, he too uses Rom. 7:2-3 to say that marriage is LIFELONG and only DEATH severs the bond of marriage.
I think he (Piper) shows he has a genuine understanding of repentance when he gets to the end. It is your conclusions that I find incongruous with the scripture, not John Piper’s.
You do understand that John Piper teaches the exception clause is NOT adultery, but pre-marital relations during the betrothal period, right? Piper does not believe adultery allows for a remarriage to take place. He teaches Rom. 7:2-3 in regards to the permanency of marriage.
However, when it comes to actually dealing with those who have divorced and remarried, he contradicts all he has previously taught on the nature of repentance and his belief of the permanency of marriage. His end note nullifies all the previous things he has taught are truth. The fact to me, that he will not partake in the marriage of divorced persons, yet will stand arm and arm with those in leadership he believes are sinning by taking part of such unions, shows the compromised stance he takes. It seems he thinks as long as his own hands are not “bloodied”, he is ok. I’d like to ask him, at what point AFTER the remarriage, does he then think this couple is ok? And, what does he then believe about the original marriage which he teaches endures until the death of one of the ones God joined together?
In my opinion….. I believe every one of us has sin in our lives. So the sin of divorce is no different than any other sin. I think you qualify as long as you are the husband of ONE wife (not a boligamist -did I spell that right?) and your house is in order. I think the ‘house in order’ means that everything is running somewhat smoothly. I think if you have situations in your home that require urgent attention the said pastor should step down for a time to tend his family, and when his house is in order again he will be free to lead the flock. I think the requirments for leadership are quite a bit more simple than some may think. BUT thats just my opinion.
I don’t believe the issue for most of us is so much divorce, but it is in the remarriage—-which Jesus calls adultery. If one is remarried, they are NOT the husband of one wife. They have married 2, and only one is looked upon by God as the lawful wife. The other relationship (remarriage) is called adultery by Jesus and Paul both.
I do agree with you that a pastor of a church who has a mess of a covenant marriage needs to devote himself to his wife/children. The problem I have seen in many churches though, is that people want the pastor to lead them no matter what. That is exactly what happened with Charles Stanley. He one time told his parishioners that should he end up divorced, he would step down as Pastor. When he ended up being divorced, he did not step down, the people wanted him to stay on. That caused quite a division in his own family, the church he pastored, as well as in the Body of Christ in general………
I have read through many posts on this thread, and while not agreeing with all the stands taken, do appreciate the civility and charity extended to those who hold these positions Pastor (name deleted), I think would be in a position to expound on this, but it is one thing to espouse strong positions on the adultery of remarriage on a forum to strangers such as this, yet a far different scenario to do such in the real world standing before a people entangled in it.
In fact as of late I have wondered if the body of Christ who believes and teaches that only the forsaking of unbiblical unions to be the fruit of repentance are prepared to step in and help economically and otherwise those who take that step of repentance. Preaching a spouse must forsake adultery is all fine and good when it is not I that am facing potential poverty or at the very least real uncertainty. And this is only exasperated when it is a mother with small children. Not to suggest such help is not being provided now, but I see this as a real crisis that should be addressed.
You are right about that. If we are willing to publically call people from their sin, we SHOULD be willing to help them, financially, emotionally, etc……….whatever is needed to help such people to get on their feet. This issue is no different than abortion in that regard. If we are to call people from murdering an unborn child, then we need to be willing to step in and help that person/persons in whatever way is necessary.
I do have to say though, our obedience to Jesus is not prefaced on someone making things easier for us to follow Jesus/forsake our sin. We need to be WILLING, and THEN, I truly believe the Lord will give the opportunity. None of us can operate on the “what if’s”………..we must trust the Lord that as we “seek ye first the kingdom of God, all these things shall be added unto us”…………… Blessings, Brother.
Yes, and I suppose my thoughts are of Moses in some respect. Those near him, who believed and loved him helping to shoulder the load. Helping to lift and sustain his weary arms.
Absolutely. I was just speaking with my husband about this today…………about MDR and the value the internet has for the lonely convicted/lonely deserted/etc. They NEED support. They are not getting it in most churches today. If someone IS convicted of being in adultery, many in the church will tell them they are NOT in sin. If a covenant wife/husband tells their pastor they are “standing” for their wayward spouse, praying for restoration, many church leaders feel threatened and some even ask the faithful to leave their churches or remain silent about their convictions so as not to disrupt/upset their congregations………and so, they are alone, and struggling. The internet surely is not the optimal way to support/encourage each other, but it is a way for now.
Thankfully, through the internet, pastors who are teaching the truth, as well as those who are living it out, are finding there are many of us out there who are like-minded with them. There IS support for them to stand fast and preach the truth, though many churches are falling away from the truth. The difficult thing is that because so many churches are falling away from the truth, many who are convicted to repent—-who normally would have a local body to go to for support, do not have a local body to support them tangibly/spiritually/emotionally. A benefit of the internet is that we can now find people in our areas/states and form somewhat “local” fellowships. I’m sure you already know this, but there is a lot of “networking” going on behind the scenes, but there needs to be a lot more.
Some 366 x’s in Scripture we are implored to “fear not” or similar wording. And as believers at some level we must know our obedience will trigger God’s provisions, those provisions made possible by us the Body of Christ.
Amen. I have seen this in my own life……….thinking, “if I do this Lord, what you want me to, I will LOSE everything”………and after taking a step of faith and trusting Him, have seen the Lord’s provision. Many others know what I speak of because they too have seen the Lord’s provision when things looked very bleak indeed.
To forsake what God calls sin at this level is really stepping out into the unknown. And as anyone who has will tell you, they needed the support of like-minded saints.
Oh, I cannot even imagine. I have had dreams that my husband was my second husband and not my first and that I came under conviction…….It was horrible—I woke up crying…….and it was only a dream for me. Yes, those who come to the knowledge/acceptance of their sin and want to forsake it, need others who will give them the love and support they need to get through the very hard road ahead.
As with any problem, repentance is only an initial step. What I have found woefully lacking is the “after-care”, the discipleship ect…
True. The problem is that some become so depressed/frustrated/mocked, etc, that they draw back from those who can help/encourage them the most. I am looking forward to when there will be more avenues to minister/connect/disciple those who are hurting.
As well, an aspect I have not once heard addressed is the idea that there was pleasure in sin for a season. And again, no matter the sin repented of this is a battle the saint faces. In other words, the repentant saint wishes to hate their prodigal experience in its entirety if you will. Yet there are those pieces, those memories, and those seasons that were not horrific.
Well, I think we can see that those still UNCONVICTED are many times, loving their sin (though they can’t see it as such—-they see it as experiencing God’s Blessings, since they’re with what THEY believe is a much better “fit” for them). The relationship is fresh and exciting……..maybe their partner has different qualities than their covenant mate had…….maybe they’re more attractive, a better cook, profess Christ, a better provider, kinder, etc. It’s much easier to feel comfortable in sin or not regret it so much when the person you’re with(or was with) is pleasant/doing/liking the same things you do.
The thing is, that with ANY illicit relationship, there are memories produced……….even in “bad” relationships there are some good memories. I think that’s one reason why it is so important for us to teach our children to guard their hearts………save your heart/love for the one you will marry. Any of us who hasn’t lived that, knows that EVERY relationship produces memories and we can’t block those memories from coming to the surface—-sometimes at the most inopportune times, even though one is in a loving covenant marriage. The Word tells us though, that such relationships are/were sinful………and those who we were involved with, we should not have been, because they either belonged to someone else, we belonged to someone else, or we were involved with someone else’s future spouse………..
R.A. Torrey said, “Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce. Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good society; and women do likewise. There are thousands of supposedly respectable men in American living with other men’s wives, and thousands of supposedly respectable women living with other women’s husbands.”
R.A. Torrey also said all of the following:
1. Be determined to find out just what God intended to teach and not what you wish Him to teach.
2. Interpret the words used in any verse according to Bible usage.
3. Interpret the words of each author in the Bible with a regard to the particular usage of that author.
4. Interpret individual verses with a regard to the context.
5. Interpret individual passages in the light of parallel or related passages.
6. Interpret any passage in the Bible as those who were addressed would have understood it.
7. Interpret each writer with a view to the opinions the writer opposed.
It seems Mr. Torrey did 1-7 to come up with his belief on divorce being legalized adultery. It seems that he used his knowledge of interpreting the scriptures correctly to come up with the belief that those who DO marry a divorced person are in actuality living with someone else’s spouse——that person does not belong to them, in other words.
added: an excerpt from R.A. Torrey’s book How to Pray. On page 94-95, Mr. Torrey said, “Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce. Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good society; and women do likewise. There are thousands of supposedly respectable men in American living with other men’s wives, and thousands of supposedly respectable women living with other women’s husbands.”
For those who do not know, R.A. Torrey(1856-1928) was a very well-known Christian writer, evangelist, pastor, graduate of Yale University, and was also the superintendent of Moody Bible Institute for 19 years. Wonder if those writings/beliefs of R.A. Torrey’s would be acceptable today to those who are now running Moody Bible Institute?
I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but there is a scholarly study published by Eerdman’s on this subject from 2002. http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Brewer/PPages/DRB/Book/index.htm The author argues that we need to look at the New Testament texts in the Rabbinic context and concludes that divorce and remarriage were permissible on a few grounds, namely: adultery, abandonment, emotional & sexual neglect, abuse. The author is an Evangelical. His views seem close to what we in the Orthodox Church teach. In the Orthodox Church, divorce and remarriage is permitted for the innocent party in cases of adultery, abuse, and abandonment. But no remarriage is possible for the guilty party.
Yes, many have read Mr. Instone-Brewer’s beliefs on divorce/remarriage. Some of his teachings were presented in a recent Christianity Today article and many responded by pulling their subscriptions from that magazine—believing Mr. Instone-Brewer of adding to the problem of the epidemic of divorce/remarriage in the “church”.
As for the Orthodox church, they allow for MANY different reasons to dissolve a marriage joined by God, including someone’s mental health. Yes, that sure sounds like the Jesus who was sent to the “sick”. I guess some do not believe that true born again believers are held to the same mindset/love that Jesus holds towards those who are “sick”………
To the issue of the “guilty” party, the Orthodox, as well as some other churches who hold this view, are flawed in their judgment. If the “guilty” party is “bound” to the marriage covenant/person, then the innocent is ALSO bound. If the innocent is free, then the guilty is free also. It either is ONE FLESH, or it is not ONE FLESH.
You really believe that God would continue to use people like John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, Schuler, Sandi Patti, Amy Grant, and many others to further the kingdom and win souls to him, but not bring forth in them the conviction that they are living a sinful life by being remarried?
Yes and no. Yes, He will use even the UNSAVED to bring others into the kingdom—it is His Word going forth that brings salvation—-people are only the messenger. Do you believe that all RC priests are saved? Do you give credit to the Unsaved priest or the Word of God when someone truly become born again while attending the RC church, listening to the messages from God’s Word? Does that new conversion give evidence that the RC priest is in fact saved and walking in a pleasing way before the Lord in all areas of life? Will that priest be saved in the day of judgment if they remain Unsaved, yet continue preaching God’s Word (though twisted)?
If God is in them he will not let them stray…he will correct etc. right???
You are partly correct. Scripture teaches that the Lord does offer a way of escape from temptation……….the problem is when we don’t take that way of escape, but give into our sinful flesh. God DOES let us stray. However, you are correct in that IF we belong to Him, we will not be left unchastised. I know of people in remarriages who have been and ARE being chastised. Many looking in from the outside would never know it, either.
So you are saying all these people are lost and going to hell because they live in an adulterous remarriage???
I don’t say anything apart from the Word regarding continuing in sin (and adultery is only one of the sins listed for those who will not inherit the kingdom of God). Galatians 5, I Corinthians 6.
Name me one homosexual that has the Mega church thing going on today. I think he just removed and Evangelical that was lying through his teeth about his sexual preference out in Colorado. Name me one person that does what Joyce Meyer is doing on the circuit? There aren’t any that we know of, and God removes them. He hasn’t removed Hagee and these others… He continues to Bless them and grow their ministry for him…that speaks volumes to me.
There you go:
edit: Sorry, the wikipedia site I gave does not take you right there. You’ll have to click on one of the links on the page you will first come to. You will see how this church has GROWN, so if we are to base GROWTH as evidence of the Lord’s blessing on one’s ministry, do you say this church’s leadership is AOK with the Lord since they have grown to quite a large church?
Check this out,. It is an article I found in the NY times, written in 1904. Notice it comes from the denomination who now, in 2008, honors same sex unions and even has a head of clergy living in a homosexual relationship. Notice how they once viewed the remarriage of divorcees:http://www.nytimes.com/
TRINITY BARS THE DIVORCED.; No Remarriage in the Church or Any of the Chapels.
December 7, 1904, Wednesday Page 1, 400 words
The clergy of Trinity Church announced yesterday that under no circumstances will divorced persons be married by any of the clergy of that Episcopal parish, nor will such marriages be permitted either in the church at Wall Street and Broadway or in any one of the parish’s eight chapels.
Just as Paul has said, a little leaven leavens the whole batch. When the church lets a little sin in, the sin grows and affects others who used not to partake in such sins. When the episcopal church opened the door to accept immorality, bit by bit, we now see the fruit of that. Many, many church denominations are going the same way: Methodist, Presbyterian USA, ELCA, UCC, liberal Mennonites, etc, etc. It is because what was once clearly adultery in the church/society (remarriage), has now become accepted……….and is growing, and so, has opened the door to other types of immoral relationships. a “few” voices are heard crying out concerning the church’s stance on remarital adultery, there will be “few” voices crying out on the church’s stance on homosexuality…….and they too will wonder why so many can’t see what is so very clearly spoken in God’s Word.
Personally, I tend to believe those who have made their entire life out of studying this to be more trustworthy than those who are saying remarriage is ALWAYS wrong.
I know people who have studied the word of God in the Greek/Hebrew their whole lives too, and they believe marriages joined by God endure until death. Any of us can find those who are incredibly studied to “boost” our own wants on what scripture is saying. However, when we stand before the Lord, we will not be able to rest on other’s teachings in regards to the choices we have made. We will be responsible for what WE did with God’s Word.
When presented by something that someone like a Max Lucado writes…he is called a liar???????? David Instone-Brewer…is just a man interpreting it all wrong????
None of us should be focused on MAN or rely upon their teachings—pro remarriage, or pro lifelong marriage. Just as a side note though: I LOVE some of the writings of Max Lucado. He has a real grasp of and ability to express through his writings the Love of God and of the magnitude of God’s grace towards fallen mankind. The visualizations he gives us through his writings, make us fall in love with the Lord over and over again. However, Max is not real deep into the other side of God—His judgment of unrepentant sin and the eternal ramifications of rejecting God’s gift and living for oneself.
Wait…..what did Jesus do with the five thousand hungry? Did he not provide for them? You try to dump a person’s sins back on their own shoulders when Jesus forgave them and provided for them? Would Jesus do this? Would He allow the disciples to do this? Did He not command the disciples to feed the five thousand with just a few fish and loaves….As far as contacting you….this is not the issue on this board…this board is actually very small. You are thinking small…I am thinking five-seven-ten thousand…can this board handle that much? I don’t think so .
We are never called by Jesus to handle 5,000 or even 5,000,000 on our own before calling someone from their sin. When Peter preached, he did not first make sure that all the people’s needs were met before he preached repentance. People came from their sin, THEN came to the church for help. See, if someone really is putting the LORD first in their life, they will follow no matter who is there to help them. Even in the passage about the Lord calling the adulteress from her sin, it does not say that He then made sure she had the means to not go back into her sin again.
I personally have tried to correspond with one who complained about people teaching this yet not being willing to help……….she would not respond to me and then shut off her email account so as not to be contacted. This showed me that her complaining was a ruse and that, in essence, she did not want help, she wanted to remain in her situation with the justification that others were all talk, yet no action. Very untrue. Though some of us do not wish to publically post our addresses/phone numbers, we most certainly are willing to help.
How about thinking of a more permanent situation for a woman and her children in this ordeal. Should a woman hop from house to house? Come on, let’s be real here….some women/children need medical attention, or life-saving prescription drugs, etc. What are we to tell them? “Because of your sins you have to pay the consequences?” No, Jesus would never tell anyone this…he WOULD tell his disciples to provide for them. He WOULD show mercy, grace and love towards the woman, and he would expect the same thing from anyone who says they are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who flat out REFUSES to help one of his little ones, it be good for them to hang a noose around their neck and plunge themselves into the sea. This is the WORD of GOD!
It seems to me that a person with this mentality expects to be helped in only the way she wants to be helped and if it does not come in that way, then the help will be rejected. That speaks much to me. As for people having to “pay for their sins” if they become born again, no, they do not have to pay for them ETERNALLY, yet many do SUFFER for the sinful choices they have made in THIS LIFE—due to the repercussions of such choices. Sometimes, miraculously the Lord delivers His out of the repercussions of our sins, sometimes not. It all, if they are His children, it is for His purposes, that He either allows us go to THROUGH the fire, or delivers us before the fire.
It seems to me, that what you suggest, if it is scriptural, would fit EVERY case, yet in reality, I see that it does not. The Lord promises to provide for our NEEDS, yet what He does not promise to do is provide for those needs in exactly the way that we would like them to be provided. Many times He provides in ways that will GROW us and purge those things in us that hinder our continuing growth in Christ………and in the end, when we look back and see what He has done in us and through us, we PRAISE Him!!!!
I really think that there is a LOT of people that do not understand God’s unconditional love for the sinners.
Yes, I agree with that……….and I think there are also many who have taken the message of Grace and used that as a means to avoid dealing with His judgment of sin—especially concerning sin in His own camp.
Why point out Luther’s difficulty with Erasmus (which had nothing to do with the topic of remarriage) and ignore the fact that Luther believed the same thing about remarriage?
Let’s look at some things Luther taught about marriage:
“Now in the law of Moses God established two types of governments; he gave two types of commandments. Some are spiritual, teaching righteousness in the sight of God, such as love and obedience; people who obeyed these commandments did not thrust away their wives and never made use of certificates of divorce, but tolerated and endured their wives’ conduct. Others are worldly, however, drawn up for the sake of those who do not live up to the spiritual commandments, in order to place a limit upon their misbehaviour and prevent them from doing worse and acting wholly on the basis of their own maliciousness. Accordingly, he commanded them, if they could not endure their wives, that they should not put them to death or harm them too severely, but rather dismiss them with a certificate of divorce. This law, therefore, does not apply to Christians, who are supposed to live in the spiritual government. In the case of some who live with their wives in an un-Christian fashion, however, it would still be a good thing to permit them to use this law, just so they are no longer regarded as Christians, which after all they really are not.”
Here he teaches that divorce was made for the UNGODLY………and if a Christian Does use this practice, they are no longer regarded as Christians.
“Thus it is that on the grounds of adultery one person may leave the other, as Solomon also says in Proverbs 18, “He that keepeth an adulteress is a fool”. We have an example of this in Joseph too. In Matthew 1 [:19] the gospel writer praises him as just because he did not put his wife to shame when he found that she was with child, but was minded to divorce her quietly. By this we are told plainly enough that it is praiseworthy to divorce an adulterous wife. If the adultery is clandestine, of course, the husband has the right to follow either of two courses. First, he may rebuke his wife privately and in a brotherly fashion, and keep her if she will mend her ways. Second, he may divorce her, as Joseph wished to do. The same principle applies in the case of a wife with an adulterous husband. These two types of discipline are both Christian and laudable.
In this, Luther teaches that it is praiseworthy to divorce a wife who has committed adultery. Yet, in the same breath he also states that it is ok to KEEP a wife, if she mends her ways……….he says BOTH behaviors are Christian????
But a public divorce, whereby one [the innocent party) is enabled to remarry, must take place through the investigation and decision of the civil authority so that the adultery may be manifest to all – or, if the civil authority refuses to act, with the knowledge of the congregation, again in order that it may not be left to each one to allege anything he pleases as a ground for divorce.
You may ask: What is to become of the other [the guilty party] if he too is perhaps unable to lead a chaste life? Answer: It was for this reason that God commanded in the law [Deut. 22: 22-24] that adulterers be stoned, that they might not have to face this question. The temporal sword and government should therefore still put adulterers to death, for whoever commits adultery has in fact himself already departed and is considered as one dead. Therefore, the other [the innocent party] may remarry just as though his spouse had died, if it is his intention to insist on his rights and not show mercy to the guilty party. Where the government is negligent and lax, however, and fails to inflict the death penalty, the adulterer may betake himself to a far country and there remarry if he is unable to remain continent. But it would be better to put him to death, lest a bad example be set.
Wonder what Luther thought of Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery? By his reasoning above, he believes Jesus did the wrong thing in letting her go and commanding her to go and sin no more. Jesus also forgot to tell her that she is now one who is considered “dead”……………
Some may find fault with this solution and contend that thereby license and opportunity is afforded all wicked husbands and wives to desert their spouses and remarry in a foreign country. Answer: Can I help it? The blame rests with the government. Why do they not put adulterers to death? Then I would not need to give such advice. Between two evils one is always the lesser, in this case allowing the adulterer to remarry in a distant land in order to avoid fornication. And I think he would be safer also in the sight of God, because he has been allowed to live and yet is unable to remain continent. If others also, however, following this example desert their spouses, let them go. They have no excuse such as the adulterer has, for they are neither driven nor compelled. God and their own conscience will catch up to them in due time. Who can prevent all wickedness?
Where the government fails to inflict the death penalty and the one spouse wishes to retain the other, the guilty one should still in Christian fashion be publicly rebuked and caused to make amends according to the gospel, after the manner provided for the rebuking of all other manifest sins, Matthew 18 [:15-17]. For there are no more than these three forms of discipline on earth among men: private and brotherly, in public before the congregation according to the gospel, and that inflicted by the civil government.”
Where does scripture teach that a repentant one who has been PRIVATELY confronted and has PRIVATELY repented to the one wronged, that it must be made PUBLIC and then for such a one to receive PUBLIC rebuke? Luther surely had not read the passages he quotes too well.
Here you should be guided by the words of St. Paul, I Corinthians 7 [:4-5], “The husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does; likewise the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does. Do not deprive each other, except by agreement,” etc. Notice that St. Paul forbids either party to deprive the other, for by the marriage vow each submits his body to the other in conjugal duty. When one resists the other and refuses the conjugal duty she is robbing the other of the body she had bestowed upon him. This is really contrary to marriage, and dissolves the marriage. For this reason the civil government must compel the wife, or put her to death. If the government fails to act, the husband must reason that his wife has been stolen away and slain by robbers; he must seek another. We would certainly have to accept it if someone’s life were taken from him. Why then should we not also accept it if a wife steals herself away from her husband, or is stolen away by others”
Hmm, not giving oneself to their spouse “DISSOLVES” the marriage bond? Now, where do we find that in scripture? Yes, we do find in scripture that one is not to rob the other of their body, that to do so is to walk in disobedience to the LORD, yet we find nothing in scripture which then goes on to say that such acts nullify the marriage God joined together………..also, if such a thing happens, the civil govt. is to get involved??? and if the wife does not submit……..put her to death??? Wow, Luther is doing exactly what he charges the Catholic Church of doing—–adding laws to God’s Word………… He then goes on to say that a husband must reason then if the civil authorities fail to act, that his wife is dead………then he may take another. Not quite sure what he is saying here. Should the husband kill his wife, hide the body and claim she was stolen away and killed by robbers??? wow………..
All I can say is that for those who trust in the reformers, believing them to have used sound scriptural reasoning in regards to divorce/remarriage, you need to really study what they wrote and see for yourself just how UNGODLY and UNSCRIPTURAL many of their conclusions are.
Most Christian scholars recognize several different grounds for divorce, based on Matthew 5 and 19 they would understand that in the cases of a adulterous affair that innocent party is free to remarry if a divorce is the result of that affair, based on 1 Corinthians 7 most would accept that abandonment by an unbelieving spouse is grounds for divorce and remarriage, and most believe that choosing to divorce in any subsequent marriages is just as sinful as choosing to divorce the first time. And most would reject the idea that a spouse who remarried should divorce and remarry their first spouse based on Duet. 24 which clearly seems to prohibit this practice.
You have several times accused some of us of not rightly representing your views. You are doing the same thing you accuse others of doing. Firstly, you need to clarify the scholar statement. You should say MODERN scholars. The truth is that MOST scholars of PREVIOUS generations did not believe a remarriage dissolved the marriage God joined together. They believed the new union was adulterous. R.A Torrey (of Moody Bible Institute) called such marriages, legalized adultery. This is also what almost EVERY writer/teacher in the early church taught. Now if one wants to lean on the reformation changes that took place concerning the nature of the indissolvable marriage bond, they will also have to bring in why the reformers justified remarriage. I think I did post what Luther said about remarriage. I also think you would not subscribe to his reasonings, or would you? Most today who believe remarriage to be ok while one has a living spouse would NOT align themselves in thought with Luther and his reasonings why remarriage was permitted.
First, I wouldn’t define scholars after the 1500’s as modern, so I do believe “modern scholars” would be inaccurate. Second, even prior to the reformation there were those who did hold dissenting opinions to the church, but since it was accepted for almost 1,000 years prior to the reformation that the Pope interpreted the scriptures, there was very little room for decent. For much of that time most of the clergy couldn’t even read the scriptures because there were not translations available in there own language; most did not read the original languages or Latin.
Yes, there were some who held dissenting views………..starting around 300ad. Prior to that, you will not find dissenting voices to the teaching that marriage until death was indissolvable. You will not find anyone attacking this teaching. If there were people who believed it an unbiblical teaching, there would have been voices of opposition, as there are today with today’s practices concerning divorce/remarriage.
Concerning what you stated about the popes, I think you have not done too much study into Catholic history. The doctrine of papal infallibility did not come about until after the 1300’s and actually not until the 1600’s with Pope Innocent XI. Prior to that time, accepted/rejected church doctrine/practices came about with the various councils.
I would encourage anyone interested in this subject to see what Christian scholars who have spent their life studying the scriptures have to say on this topic and how they address the arguments that some on this forum will present.
This is what I encourage—forget the scholars. Get out your bible with a good concordance and STUDY to show yourselves approved. Study in-depth. Pray hard. Have a mind that truly desires the truth—no matter the personal cost. Someone recently wrote me that this is what they teach Seminary students. They teach them that PERSONAL bible study, without the indoctrinations/persuasions of others who are esteemed, is the BEST way to find GOD’s Truth. I have found this to be the case as well. Another thing I have found: many of these so-called “scholars” have different takes on the passages in question. The question that will ultimately come to mind is this: which Scholar is 100% correct? What if they are wrong about only 5%, but that 5% changes the rest of their whole conclusion?
God said to “study to show yourselves approved”………….Study what? Others writings? No, we are to Study God’s Word. When we do that and the Holy Spirit reveals Truth to us, we can easily see the faulty reasonings of man which conflict with God’s Truth.
This absolute non-sense! People should reject the opinion of those who do not express a true faith in God, they should also understand that God’s word is inspired but the views of scholars are not, but to reject their scholarship simply because they are “scholars” is to reject the gifting God has given them as part of the body of Christ, and it is a mistake! It is also impossible for those who are not fluent in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic to reject the influence of these scholars because every translation of the bible we have is the work of those scholars whom you ask us to reject. If we cannot trust their opinions about cultural and linguistic background to the scriptures, why should we ever trust any translation they produced?
Wow, you think it’s non-sense to put aside commentaries and study God’s Word for ONESELF? Maybe I missed something, but I don’t think scripture says that we are to study OTHER’S writings to show ourselves approved. We are called to study GOD’S Word. I guess you have a real problem with seminaries who teach their people to think for themselves and study God’s word without a lot of outside influence.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like to read commentaries and other scholarly writings—-for consideration, but as I said, on this issue, many believe DIFFERENT things about the many points of MDR. That shows me that the “scholars” do not know it all. As for the differing translations, do you believe they ALL are equal in their accuracy? Personally, I think there are some scholars who are probably more accurate than others…………some who are less biased on their final conclusions………some who base most all of what they teach/share due to intense study/desire to know truth and expound on the light they have been given. The truth remains: Scholars are flawed human beings, just like the pope is a flawed human being, subject to making errors in presenting truth as they see it.
We absolutely should study for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we should reject the studies of those who have gone before us. We are called to be disciples, and part of discipleship is learning from those who have gone first. We should always weigh what is said against the word of God, but nowhere in the bible does God’s word ever call us to reject the teaching of everyone else!
It seems you discriminate who you believe should be rejected. I would say they came WAY before the scholars you are placing your trust in. You reject the Early church Fathers(AnteNicene)teachings on divorce/remarriage—-continually misrepresenting them to be the Roman Catholic Church under the papacy. When you say such things, you show your lack of study concerning who the early church Fathers were(those who were taught by the Apostles and those who were the followers afterwards—-before the inception of the Roman Catholic Church).
Most people who do study the bible for themselves, don’t come to the conclusions you have. Why should they accept your opinion and reject that of almost all other Christian brothers and sisters? Especially the opinions of their Christian brothers and sisters who have spent time learning the languages on which this argument is based, when you have not done so yourself.
Most people TODAY, are in a culture racked by divorce/remarriage—-either involving those who are doing the “studying” or they have been affected/influenced by it’s practice through family/friends who are divorced/remarried.
If the MANY generations before us, who LOVED GOD and studied their bibles, believed marriage to be permanent, hence prohibited remarriages of divorcees in the church, how is it that all of a sudden, this generation’s scholars/pastors—-who are outrightly disobeying God by marrying divorced persons, are somehow “smarter” and more believable in their presentation of biblical “truth”?
I have an article written in 1904: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9901E6DC163DE733A25754C0A9649D946597D6CF
In it, the EPISCOPAL churches/parishes say that they will not marry ANY divorced person, under ANY circumstances. This same church today ordains practicing homosexuals into the clergy.
Do you think their “modern” scholars are somehow more informed, more intellectual, more studied than they were in the days when they prohibited remarriage in the church?
I just read an article by a pastor in a church in Washington state. He is a Lutheran. He states:
“My third point is this: we need to take the story about no divorce and no remarriage in the Gospel of Mark pastorally and not literally. Let me explain. Jesus is very clear in the Gospel of Mark: No divorce, no remarriage. Anyone remarrying a divorce person, lives in adultery and sin. This is very clear.
There are often two mistakes made with this passage. First, the literalist mistake. If you take a literalist interpretation of the Bible, this is another passage that gets you in trouble. There are crucial texts in the Bible, where if you take the passage literally, you create trouble for yourself and your loved ones. Here, you condemn many of your friends, friends and family with your narrow interpretation of the Bible. The second mistake of Biblical interpretation is to make the words of Jesus into new spiritual laws. We then have the spiritual laws for marriage and divorce in the Old Testament, and the spiritual laws for marriage and divorce in the New Testament. The point is: we make the New and Old Testament into a set of spiritual laws that we try to apply to our culture. We now have a new set of spiritual laws but they don’t quite work.”
Speaks for itself, doesn’t it? This is where most of the church is today in regards to following Jesus…………if it fits our culture, fine………….but if it does not, and it costs us too much, then we can’t take what Jesus says literally, we need to find another way to apply it.
The reality is the vast majority of Christian pastors, theologians, and laity believe that what what you and others on this thread have presented is “twisting the words of Jesus Christ”, using “some verse out of context and give it a new meaning which the original writers had not intended”. Most reject the idea that those pushing this “no remarriage ever” theology here on this thread have some “revealed truth” than no one else can see, and the fact that those holding to this point of view so often question the faith and salvation of all who disagree with them raises a lot of WARNING flags that should cause everyone to reject this teaching.
The truth is: the VAST majority of Christian pastors today will not preach the Word of God, Word for Word:
“EVERYONE who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and EVERYONE who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
What is there to twist in that passage? It seems very straightforward to me. The problem is that the “church” has redefined the word “adultery” so as not to have to deal with that HUGE sin within it’s midst now. Here’s a great writing on just that: www.timcoody.com/articles.html
I have been studying this subject for a while on and off, and I do believe that divorce and remarriage are sin. At first I believed that divorce and remarriage were permitted in cases of adultery or abandonment. The more I read, I began to see how heavy God’s Idea of marriage actually is, and for the first time I recognized why the apostles had the strong reactions to Jesus teachings on the subject. In the process of God convicting me of what his actual idea of marriage was, and the seriousness of it, my stomach began to turn, I remember thinking I must be hearing wrong because in our time no way could it be. I also remember thinking this is probably something that could make you an outcast today in some ways.
That is EXACTLY how I felt when I started see the seriousness of the covenant of marriage in God’s Word……….and I started looking around seeing that MANY confessing Christians were sinning in regards to their marital practices. As to being an “outcast” if you hold to the permanency of marriage………….that is VERY true. When my husband and I started questioning the pastor of a church we attended and served in, we were politely asked to find another church that “believes like us”. Talk about having the wind knocked out of our sails!!! However, I soon found out that we are not alone in how we were treated. MANY I have come to find out about were either asked to leave their churches when they started asking very pointed questions/challenging the teachings/practices of their churches or they were told to “be quiet”. I also know that there are many who do believe in the permanency of marriage, but because they do not want to suffer being ostracized, they remain quiet…………and disheartened seeing the downward spiral of morality within the confessing Body of Christ.
Those on this forum who tell us that the bible does not permit any remarriage ever, have questioned the validity of John Piper’s faith in Christ because his beliefs are not perfectly aligned with their point of view.
I do not question one way or the other John Piper’s faith. Truly, none of us can say with 100% certainty whether someone will be saved or not. Only the Lord knows this. All I know is this: I am just as saved now that I hold the permanency of marriage belief as I was when I did not hold the permanency of marriage belief. God enlightened me according to His Grace and timing. I hope that for Pastor Piper. I pray the Lord would show him his error in teaching that one who is “remaining unmarried” must remain unmarried because they are in covenant, yet the “remarried” who committed adultery by remarrying is A-OK. They can be in two different covenants while the first spouse lives, but the other spouse who remained faithful cannot. He is teaching a form of polygamy………..a very strange form of polygamy where one spouse is tied to the bond of marriage til death, yet the other one can have two or more spouses. It is a very strange teaching indeed.
The response to the example in the original post given here is exactly why so many reject the teaching of those on this thread who push the no remarriage ever view point; this response is far from what is taught in the bible and does not reflect the heart of God.
No, my response is exactly in line with the Lord’s heart. I am curious as to how you view the forsaken spouse? Do you take joy in that one being forsaken and the “new” spouse having someone else’s covenant spouse? The Lord speaks on this situation in Mal. 2:10-17. It sure appears that His heart is with the “forsaken” and is against the spouse who takes another to wife/husband…………and not only against temporarily, but in the long term, as long as they remain away from the one God joined them to and with another, it appears their offerings will be rejected. I am sorrowful for the woman who was left in the scenario Rose gave, but the fact remains that she sinned against the Lord by marrying a divorced man. When we sin, any sin, we have to know that whatever sadness comes from that could have been avoided had we followed the Lord, doing things HIS way, not ours.
I am very encouraged to hear how some pastors are coming back to the truth in this area and are repenting of their false teachings. They have discovered they were just regurgitating the Erasmus teaching, since it was the only one they had ever known in the last century.
Yes, me too. It is VERY encouraging that some are TRULY hungering to follow Jesus rather than have the lauds of men. I believe because the practice of divorce and remarriage has exploded in the “church”, many pastors are now being challenged by their members to seek the truth outside of their standard marriage/divorce/remarriage materials. In other words, some pastors are really getting into God’s Word to find the answers to some of the “hard” questions being posed to them.
Today, while reading, this verse was brought to my attention:
II Chronicles 36:14-16—-“Furthermore, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful following all the abominations of the nations; and they defiled the house of the LORD which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.
The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;
but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy.
I believe the Lord today is sending His “messengers” to warn His people to repent of following the abominations of the nations, because of His great compassion. Many will continue to “mock”, yet it is my hope that many will truly ponder if they have followed in the ways of the nation and are caught up in that which is an abomination to our Lord. It is the Lord’s desire to see repentance, rather than have to mete out judgment.
The honest truth is that Pastors today are not dealing with this issue period. People check a box and turn in a card and become a “member” of the huge crowd. No one knows who is in that crowd. They do not know if they are “scripturally” divorced and remarried (if there was such a thing), so it has become a free for all and anything goes now. They are not teaching on the subject because they don’t want to touch it with a 10 foot pole. It’s VERY telling when you can’t find their position in their statement of beliefs, or their teachings online.
Yes, that is very true. Some do have their teachings online, but many will not post what they believe on MDR. You are also correct about Pastors not knowing who is in their church and worse than that, many pastors do not know who they are marrying. I believe in most churches today, the pastor will NOT go to an original spouse and see WHY they are divorced before he will marry divorced persons. They don’t want to open that can of worms. “don’t ask, don’t tell” seems to be the policy of the day. Like you said, it is VERY different today than in days gone by when pastors wouldn’t even marry divorced people………and if they did, they had to know the details behind the divorce before they would marry someone. They certainly would never marry someone who deserted their family/spouse—especially if they knew the original spouse wanted to reconcile. It’s all very sad indeed……….