DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN VIEWS
Sometimes to find the truth, it pays to find what is not true. If we look at all the different Christian view points about divorce and remarriage, (to put away and marry another) we will find that they all fail to meet some or all of these requirements from the Word of God listed below. The Truth must not contradict any of these things, so if your theories on this subject do contradict any of these things then you do not have the Truth. First I will list all the requirements the Truth must meet and then I will list all the different ideas thought up by man and prove them wrong. This will leave the one and only Truth to stand alone.
THE TRUTH MUST NOT CONTRADICT THE WORD OF GOD ON ANY OF THESE 7 POINTS.
1. If we simply allow divorce and remarriage then what do we do with all the scriptures that say it is wrong? Many will allow it basically in all circumstances. Others say "Oh it depends on the situation whether God allows it or not," yet when it comes to the crunch they will basically allow it at all times. So for those who allow it at all times, or cannot find a case where someone is living in adultery, I must ask what do we do with all the scriptures that disallow it? Why does God say let not man put asunder? Why does the apostle Paul and Jesus himself say that it is adultery? Were they just filling in some space to make the world's best-selling book? And if they did not mean what they said, why did they say it? And if they meant something else then might I ask, what did they mean? There are many straight forward verses that condemn both divorce and remarriage, and even if God allowed divorce and remarriage in some or even most cases, what about the cases that He does not allow? If we do not disallow divorce and remarriage in at least some cases then God's Word is meaningless. We say that God's Word is not true and call him a liar. So where are those that God does not allow to get divorced and remarried? Today’s pastors would be hard pressed to find one.
2. God says that a husband and wife become one flesh, they are therefore one and not two anymore. Matt 19:5-6 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mal 2:14-15 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
3. God says let not man put asunder what God Himself has joined together. Matt 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
4. God says that He hates divorce and so will not allow it. Mal 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
5. A covenant is literally unbreakable, though many will agree with this they will at the same time say that it may be dissolved under certain circumstances. Gal 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
Ez 17:15-19 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
6. Jesus says divorce was only allowed in the past for the hardhearted, therefore you allow hardheartedness when you allow divorce. Matt 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
7. Remarriage is called adultery, and must not be allowed. Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
FIVE DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN VIEWS.
1. The anything goes theory
2. The guilty party theory.
3. Desertion & better to marry than to burn theory.
4. You can get divorced but not remarried theory.
5. The law and deception theory.
Rather than list the same reasons over and over, I have listed and numbered the 7 things that the truth may not contradict above. Then there may be further reasons added which are relevant only to that particular theory.
1. The anything goes theory
Explained in no. 1 and also goes against reasons 3+4+5+6+7.
2. The guilty party theory.
This theory is that fornication (porneia) means adultery and possibly incest. The party who is guilty of these things is able to be put away by the innocent party who is then free to remarry. This would probably be the most popular theory, but cannot be true for the following reasons. Since many, if not most of those who believe this do not stop at the guilty party being able to remarry I will include reason 1 then reasons 2+3+4+5+6+7. The list of faults doesn't stop there though, there are more. There are further reasons 8+9+10 which can be added which are not from the list above.
8. Although the guilty party theory is supposed to allow divorce and remarriage for the innocent party, it usually also allows the guilty party to remarry also. This would then contradict the idea behind this theory that is that the innocent person only may remarry. It would therefore no longer be an exception if it also allowed the guilty party to remarry also.
9. At the risk of sounding s-xist, I must point out that Jesus did not say the innocent party may put away, but He said the innocent husband may, and there is good reason for this.
10. Although the root meaning of the word fornication which is (porneia) may include adultery and incest it doesn't necessarily include these meanings in the allowance for divorce, nor does it give us the right to translate it to mean what we want. You would be surprised to find how many very different meanings some words have, and a lot of these meanings do not have anything to do with the word being used. So although it can mean those things, it doesn't necessarily include them. If you were to use these other meanings, it would not make sense half the time because it is not what is being said. For instance, look here at the meaning of the word tree.
From H6095; a tree (from its firmness); hence wood (plural sticks): - + carpenter, gallows, helve, + pine, plank, staff, stalk, stick, stock, timber, tree, wood.
If you were to speak of a piece of land covered in trees you would not say that is was covered in planks, sticks, gallows or carpenters would you? That is because even though planks, sticks, gallows or carpenters may come from the same root word we are not speaking of them are we? We are speaking of trees. This verse says fornication and that is what it means, not only because it says so, but it is also the only word that makes sense when you look at this subject. And this is what I am proving right now. It is more important to find what is normally meant by a particular word and in what context it is being used, rather than to find and apply all meanings of a root word. To say a word can mean this or that, and so it does is very foolish and you will rarely find the truth in this manner. We must firstly seek out what God is saying to us through the scriptures as a whole not taking shortcuts by (as in this case) applying all meanings of a word and interpreting it to mean what we might want it to mean.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
3. Desertion & better to marry than to burn theory.
I will put these two together to make things easier and shorter. These are also very popular theories. Desertion and (it is better to marry than to burn) gives freedom to basically anyone and everyone to do as they please. Basically, these popular ideas break every Biblical rule there is. They break rules 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 and also this reason no 8. Read what I have written on 1st Corinthians chapter 7 and you will see that there is no foundation at all for these ideas to stand on. They are both based on one verse only, which might be OK if it were true, but it is not. These same people would have me prove certain things beyond a shadow of doubt with many scriptures then they will still reject it, yet they are able to produce these two theories based on one verse each and with the rest of the Word of God to condemn these ideas. Yet I am supposed to accept this as truth? I think not! Not only do they break every rule, but "it is better to marry than to burn" is also taken completely out of context. And the desertion theory is an idea that goes against every rule as I said and its foundation is based on something read between the lines, and I must say it is not even there to be read between the lines either.
4. You can get divorced but not remarried theory.
This theory can not be true for reasons 2+3+4+5+6.
And this reason no 7. There is an exception for divorce and in that exception as it is written, it also includes the right to remarry under these circumstances.
Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
In other words it says that whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery, (except it be for fornication). Which means that if a man puts away his wife and marries another he is committing adultery unless she committed fornication in which case he is not committing adultery though he is married to another. Note the exception is given to the man and not the woman. It is not written this way because it had to be written one way or another. It is written this way because this is what is meant, and that for a reason.
5. The law theory.
This is not a widely believed idea, most probably have not heard of it. It has many faults, but I will look at it nonetheless because it is a theory that some have, and mostly because it is believed by some that I used to fellowship with. There are some differing opinions between those who hold to this idea but basically, this is what they believe. It is said that Jesus was not speaking to Christians in general about this exception clause, he was speaking to the Jewish people who know the law. They believe that Jesus was referring to the law in Deuteronomy which says that if a man marries a wife who turns out to be not a virgin he may have her stoned and he is free to marry another. They also believe that deception is therefore a reason to allow divorce and remarriage. I spoke to the man who teaches this theory and asked a couple of questions which relate to the reasons why this theory is incorrect. It is incorrect for reasons 2+3+4+5+6+7 and also the following reasons.
8. There is no proof that Jesus was speaking only to the Jews. Even if Matthew was written more so for the Jews it was also written for us.
9. There is no proof that Jesus was even speaking of the law.
10. If Jesus was speaking of the law but did not want us to do
it then it would defeat the purpose of saying it.
11. If we are expected to keep this part of the law (as some say), then we might as well keep the whole law. (We may find ourselves in jail for murder).
Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is
circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
I could show a stack more scriptures but I hopefully would not have to fight too hard to prove to most people that the law is over even for a Jewish person.
12. We should not keep any part of these types of laws, whether you are Jewish or not.
13. There is no example in the Bible of deception breaking a covenant, or causing it to be unrecognised by God. In fact quite the opposite. God honored the covenant that Joshua made with the Gibbeonites even though it was against what God had commanded them, as He had told them not to make any covenants with the people of the land. Yet the Gibbeonites tricked Joshua into believing that they were from a far country, and Joshua entered into covenant with them which both the children of Israel and God Himself had to honor. We can see many years later that God was to punish Saul for not honoring this covenant. There are two more examples of a covenant and a blessing being founded on deception. Jacob received his brothers blessing by deceit and as Isaac said, "yea, he shall be blessed". Gen 27:33 Then later he was himself tricked and deceived into marrying the wrong woman, Gen 29:23-28 yet this covenant stood as well. So as you can see there is no foundation in the Word of God to support this theory and in fact quite the opposite.
14. There are also many other faults with this teaching; too many to mention and no point in doing so.
THE TRUTH ABOUT DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE.
Now we come to what I say is the truth on this subject. Not one of these other ideas passed the test; in fact they all failed miserably. They had between 7 to 12 reasons why they could not be true. Now I will show you the truth which does not fail the test in any way and so proves itself to be true. It is the truth and therefore it is perfect. The truth is that there is no way in which a divorced person may legitimately remarry under any circumstances. It may seem impossible (to some) to have an exception which doesn't cross all the above mentioned rules, but there is. I have previously discussed these things somewhat in Jewish marriage customs, Romans chapter 7 and 1st Corinthians chapter 7. Also there is more in the next page, The exception clause in Matthew 19. In brief the exception clause is not directed at the married couple and therefore does not allow divorce and remarriage. It is given to those who are espoused to be married, under the traditions of old. The wife in question here is an espoused wife to an espoused husband, just as in the case of Joseph and Mary. So for those who want the short answer this is it. For those who want some explanations read on. For those who want the whole story, I am sorry but you will have to wait, as I will elaborate on these things at a later date.
In days gone by, the Jewish people were not married as we do today. They did not get engaged and then set a date to be married. They were espoused to each other. These espousal vows were the same as our wedding vows which we make at the alter, so they enter into a covenant relationship before the wedding day. They then waited often a year before they had the wedding and were joined together as one flesh by God (as they consummated the marriage). During this time of espousal, if the woman fornicated she could be put away just as Joseph intended to do when he was espoused to Mary and she was found to be with child. We do not hold to this tradition and even the Jewish people (at least for the most part) do not anymore either. Therefore this exception clause will effect very few people. You may say that it does break the rules which I said the truth must not. Well yes and no, you can under this exception clause divorce and remarry, but there are a couple of very important differences. And I suppose if it were not at least partly an exception, then Jesus would not have said except it be for fornication. Although there are points that clearly may not be compromised, and the truth certainly does not do this. Starting with the divorce, the difference between this divorce and forbidden divorce is that the marriage has not as yet been consummated. God says that the two shall be one flesh and no more two, this is a most important point. In this case it has not as yet happened. Once the two have been joined together as one, then God will not allow divorce. In fact He says that he hates it. However, God himself says that He had put away Israel.
Jer 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
Therefore this divorce is allowed while others are not. Then we come to the remarriage part. Yes, one who does put away under these circumstances may remarry, BUT he is not committing adultery because he has not broken his vow in doing so. How can this be so, you might ask? Jewish people allow a man to have more than one wife, and this is legitimate in God's sight. God allowed David to have many wives and only found fault in him when he took someone else’s wife. We on the other hand may not as this is not only against the law here but we all make a vow saying we will forsake all others. So if a Jewish man under these circumstances puts away his wife whom he has not been joined to as of yet, he may marry another as he is allowed to by God. But the vow he made with his betrothed still stands. It is not and cannot, be broken. He simply enters into another covenant with someone else. So yes, he does divorce, but he was never fully married. No one separates what God has joined together, as it was not joined as yet, and the vow is not broken either. It still stands, which is why the exception is given to the man and not to the woman, as she is only allowed to have one husband and may not remarry. And as for the hard-heartedness, we must still forgive one another but the real difference here is (as it seems) that they were not joined. Once God has joined the two, He then considers it to be breaking your vows to put away. Why is this so? Well for a start God makes the rules and if He says it will be that way then it is. However we can see that God places great importance on the two being joined together. We become as one when we consummate the marriage. We become responsible for her on a no-return basis once we have become physically, emotionally and spiritually joined to her. We are not only bound by what we say, but also of what is expected of us by God, and so if God says that we break our vows by divorcing our partner whom God has joined to us then it is so. And if we have broken that vow then God will not accept another, therefore any subsequent marriages are considered adulterous. This obviously makes a big difference in God's sight, once the two have become one they have to work out their differences or separate if absolutely necessary, but no divorce. Yet here it seems that God will allow one to perhaps save himself years of pain and suffering because he was about to marry someone who is not faithful, but only because they have not been joined together as yet.
ONE FINAL WORD
I hope that now you can see why I say this is the truth and that you may agree. There is one question I can think of that some may ask and that is, Q. If it is true that God honored the covenant that Joshua made with the Gibeonites (this being against Gods commandment) then why not a second marriage? A. We have already partly covered this, as I said before that once the two become one, God will not allow divorce. But here is more. As an example, God will honor a marriage made between a Christian and a non-Christian because even though it is against God's Word and sinful in part, it is nonetheless, a covenant made between two human beings and God is simply a witness to this fact. In the same way if you are to fornicate and become a parent, it was sinful for you to disobey God's Word but now what is done is done. You must make amends and turn from your sin. To not give back what you have stolen is wrong, and so to remain in an adulterous relationship is wrong also, but to care for the child who is now your responsibility is not. So too, to marry one God has said not to is sin, but to honor the covenant made is not. However when a divorced couple get married it is not honored by God. So why is it that God cannot simply be witness and honor the covenant made between the divorced couple? The reason for this, is it not only goes against God's Word but his Word specifically states that it is adultery. He will not honor it because the divorced person's first vows still stand. t\They have been joined together by God and another relationship is therefore called by God Himself adultery, whether they believe this or not. A second marriage can never be valid (unless of course the first partner dies) even though man may make this vow to man and God sees it, he can not validate it because it is not only sinful and against God's Word, but because of the fact that a vow is unbreakable and because they are still married to the first partner whether they believe this or not. They can not legitimately marry another as this is adultery in God's sight. You would be committing adultery against your original and legitimate covenant partner. The relationship itself is adulterous and therefore sinful.
Mar 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
SO THE TRUTH ABOUT DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE IS:
1. The exception clause is only for those who have been betrothed in the traditional Jewish customs or such like.
2. A vow is never dissolved.
3. Divorce is only allowed for one who’s betrothed wife has fornicated. And then the vow still stands.
4. It is sinful to divorce after consummating the marriage. The vows of course are still valid, and if you remarry God will not honor your vows as you will be living in adultery. If your former wife remarries then she will be committing adultery with the one she marries and you will be responsible for that.
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
div & rem different christian views