"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 America living with other men's wives, and thousands of supposedly respectable women living with other women's husbands." - R. A. Torrey From R.A. Torrey's book How to Pray, pages 94-95

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.

TRINITY BARS THE DIVORCED.; No Remarriage in the Church or Any of the Chapels.

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. The announcement was as follows:
View full article New York Times
December 7, 1904, Wednesday

Frequently Asked Questions, Comments and Arguments about Marriage Divorce & Remarriage


 Does Deuteronomy 24 / The Law of Moses Prohibit Returning To The First Spouse?

 

Comment/question
The scriptures clearly point out that for the estranged spouses to re-unite, they would have to marry again, but this is prohibited in OT scripture if one spouse has been defiled (i.e. married to another and I would posit, had sexual relations with another is sufficient for the defilement).
Response
I think we have a good picture of what God expects in the Book of Hosea. Gomer "left" the marriage and went after other men. Was their "bond" dissolved in God's sight? No, it was not. Hosea went after his wife and brought her home. She was surely "unclean/defiled"..............yet their marriage was restored.

 

If the "vow" of a second marriage is what you are thinking is the binding factor here, it appears that Jesus doesn't even recognize the vow as binding. Otherwise He would never have called a second marriage a sin (adultery). The bond of the first marriage is what makes the second union, adultery.

 

Comment/question
I find it interesting that you claim that Jesus was teaching anything radically different from the OT. In fact, everything Jesus taught was to clarify the meaning and the application of the principles that were contained in the OT Law. In other words, He came to fulfill the Law, not throw it out.
Response
I never said Jesus came to "throw out the law". Scripture teaches the "law" is good. Notice what He says immediately before He speaks of divorce/marriage as adultery in Lk. 16:16-18............Don't you find it interesting that the divorce/remarriage prohibition is placed just in that spot? I think it's significant.

 

You never addressed Deut. 24. Those who say it is applicable to us today-----the church and the teachings of the NT, need to compare apples to apples. This passage does not apply to us, nor does it line up with what Jesus taught on divorce/remarriage. Jesus DID clarify and at the same time brought back what had been perverted by man. Even the disciples were astounded at His Words-------and they knew the "law"---so something WAS different and some things did change. When Jesus came to the earth----no longer is it an "eye for an eye", but now it is "bless those who curse you", give more to those who take from you, "forgive and give the opportunity to repent----don't stone to death"....................many things did indeed "change"...........but the changes were to bring us in line with God's very heart and mind. Do you think the divorce/remarriage rate is reflective of people having the heart and mind of Christ..........

 

Comment/question
Are you suggesting that parts of the Law as written by Moses are contrary to the express will of God?............
.....Then it was permitted and tolerated by Jesus Himself as it was the Lord who gave the Law through Moses............
....I think it is very safe to say that Moses didn't get it wrong and didn't permit something that was contrary to the heart of God.
Response
Yes. Jesus addressed that point. He said that divorce was only PERMITTED/TOLERATED due to men's HARD HEARTS. Surely you don't believe "hard hearts" are the will of God?

 

I was addressing your first point above in which you were speaking of the express WILL of God. I think you are confusing the permissive Will of God with the perfect Will of God. Yes, God did allow Moses(permissive will) to enact a law contrary to His Perfect Will------until Jesus came and the light entered the world. Jesus brought the standards of marriage back to His PERFECT WILL by bringing us back to the creation intent of marriage. Hardheartedness had perverted God's perfect Will for marriage..........hardheartedness and disobedience led to not only divorce and remarriage, but to polygamy and many other practices against the intent for marriage.

 

Does He allow for that any longer, is the question? Many say He does and that the allowance does away with His definition of adultery in the NT----because people are STILL hardhearted they can break His law against adultery and their new relationship will be honored by Him as a legitimate "one flesh" relationship. The problem with this viewpoint is where can we see this shown to be the case in NT scripture? The "law", meaning God's moral laws made for mankind are said to be GOOD. Where do we see the breaking of the marriage covenant and continuance of relationships defined as adultery as "good" in the sight of God? Will we make the same concessions for those who believe because God allowed polygamy in the OT, today it is still permissible to God?

 

I also wanted to address Deut. 24:1-4's content, since every time it comes up people fail to notice that the woman spoken of in that passage is never charged with adultery by remarrying. Using this passage to say remarriage after a divorce is ok with God is not apples to apples. When Jesus speaks of remarriage, He DOES say a remarriage is adultery (Mt. 5:32, 19:9, Mk. 10:12, Lk. 16:16-18) . If this be the case, why do we always end back up in Deut. 24:1-4 trying to justify remarriages that in the NT Jesus has called adultery?

 

Comment/question
So, the question is, if a man has remarried, (and also under Old Covenant law it was an abomination for him to go back to his first wife after divorcing a second wife), how can either he or his ex (first) wife return to their 'marriage'
Response
Yes, it was an abomination, because he put her away for uncleanness and then to want her back after she had been with another man? What a horrific handling of the marriage covenant. As for NT teachings on this, Jesus said to remarry is to commit adultery. To commit adultery means to take to yourself what does not belong to you. Does being really sorry about stealing something, then make it mine?

 

If we want to keep it in the terms of adultery, do you believe if someone commits adultery (extramarital), then they can never reunite with their marriage partner? Isn't adultery able to be forsaken and the covenant marriage partners reconciled? NT teachings on remarriage after divorce speak of such as adultery. We do not find that in the OT. There was no forsaking of adultery---there was DEATH---which freed the "innocent" parties to get married again. Also, in the OT, if there was a divorce, the divorced (both parties) WERE free to remarry. None were considered adulterers for contracting second marriages. Not so in the NT. Jesus said AFTER a divorce, adultery takes place should someone marry again. So we see that the divorce does NOT dissolve the marriage. If divorce does not dissolve, then the parties are still married to each other and whatever vows they make to others are null and void to the Lord because their previous vows are still in force (unless one believes polygamy ok, which I still believe conflicts with NT teachings on marriage). Hope I answered your questions. Blessings in Jesus.

 

Comment/question
There is absolutely no way that Jesus would disallow his own Word. Moses wrote the Law by direct revelation from God. They met "face to face". Jesus affirmed and upheld every jot and tittle of the Law. Jesus would not and could not be correcting Moses in regards to what the Law says about divorce. Therefore, Jesus must be correcting only an interpretation of the Law.
Response
That's certainly not what I see Jesus saying: "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so" Mt. 19:8

 

"because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept, but from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female...........................what God has joined together, let not man separate" Mk. 10:5-9
Moses "permitted/allowed/tolerated" divorce and wrote a PRECEPT. This was NOT God's law. Here is God's law on the use of marriage:
"it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. Whosoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whosoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery." Lk. 16:16-17

 

Comment/question
Deut 4:1-5 Commands that a spouse cannot take back their spouse who has left and been with or married someone else (even if the second spouse dies) .... so I am not sure I see your point that they should leave their 2nd spouse and repent and go back to their former spouse. Old Testament Israel was commanded that they were not allowed to take them back even if they wanted to leave their 2nd spouse and come back to their former 1st spouse.
Response
Read Jer. 3 and then go back to Deut. 24 and see WHY it was said the wife could not go back. Also, consider that when Jesus address those who remarry, He said they were in ADULTERY. Adultery CAN be repented of, so unless you believe the second vow supersedes a first vow (which it sure doesn't appear to be the case in NT scripture on divorce/remarriage). In NT passages on divorce, God does not see the divorce as dissolving the marriage, freeing the divorced to join others. He sees the joining of others as sin against the original covenant.

 

Comment/question
No you are reading into what I have said. I said if she was never married (no sexual sin) and then repents she needs to be reconciled to her husband if she can be. However in this scenario it has been ten years ... what has he been doing with his life? Has he been remarried or had sex with another woman?
Response
So you believe if a divorced person has sex with another, they can not be rejoined with their covenant spouse?

 

Comment/question
Yes, the original covenant couple would be the recognized marriage in God's eyes. Can they come back together again to each other? They are still married in His eyes. With repentance can they be reconciled to Him and each other? Some say both have defiled each other, but can repentance and the blood of Jesus cover that since Jesus also took divorce to the cross.
Response
I think the answer to that lies on Jer. 3, Jesus' response to the woman caught in adultery, and the story of Hosea and Gomer.............

 

Comment/question
Deuteronomy 24 clearly indicates that divorce ends marriage
Response
In Deut. 24, women WERE allowed to remarry. They were NOT called adulteresses for doing so. This has clearly changed in Jesus' teachings on the matter which Paul reaffirms in his teachings on marriage and the marriage bond. Divorce does not dissolve the "bond" of marriage. If it did, there would be no adultery in a remarriage.

 

Comment/question
In the OT, the law stated if a man divorced his wife, he was to give her a writ of divorce. What do you think the spirit of this law is? God didn't have to give this concession to man at all (much like what we try do with one another today). What do you think God doing by allowing this?
Response
Actually the Lord through Moses was allowing for man to reveal his hardheartedness----- towards the marriage covenant which GOD made and his partner in life(whom the Lord allowed him to have)......

 

Many things changed as far as "allowances" when the Lord Jesus came upon the earth..Acts 17:26-31.

 

Comment/question
God does not change; if he allowed it then, he certainly allows it now. Divorce is not his first choice, never has been, but it is not sin to remarry after a divorce has dissolved the bonds of the first marriage.

Just my $.02 worth, but I think it is certainly Scriptural.
Response
I disagree. In the OT you are correct that when a woman was put away she was ALLOWED to remarry---without sin. You say Jesus does not change, yet in His very Words He does indeed change what was once tolerated due to hard heartedness. Where a woman was NOT guilty of adultery through remarriage in the OT, in His Words in the NT we find that such a woman is now GUILTY of adultery should she remarry----as would her husband who remarries. God does not recognize a divorce as dissolving the marriage bond, hence to join in another relationship is adultery to the Lord. This is very plain to see in Rom. 7:2-3.

 

Comment/question
The Pharisee asking Jesus the question was clearly trying to pull Jesus into this debate between the 2 houses of Pharisees.

 

BTW, it does NOT mean adultery, as an adulterer was killed under the Law so there was no need of divorce.
Response
And Jesus didn't appear to take either side, did He? You are right also that the penalty for adultery was death...........and we even have such an example in the NT of that almost occurring (the woman caught in adultery).............in that case, mercy and forgiveness was extended to the guilty woman with the admonishment to go and sin "no more".........
Comment/question
Except that situation was still under the Mosaic covenant, as the NT had not been effected yet by His death and resurrection.
Response
The Mosaic covenant called for STONING. It was not an option, but required by God. Yet, in this instance, God(Jesus) extended mercy and gave admonishment not to continue the sin...........so yes, something DID change when Jesus spoke.
Comment/question
#1 - Jesus NEVER broke the Law or told any one else to break the Law. If he had, he could not have been the sinless sacrifice, spotless lamb to atone for our sins.

 

#2 - The Law required 2 or 3 eye witnesses to testify and they had to be the first to throw the stones. It also required BOTH the man and woman to be stoned. Since He said "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" and the "witnesses" were guilty of trying to trap Jesus, they could not throw. Since the man was not there, they were also guilty of covering up his identity. The whole thing was a scam and everyone knew it (with the possible exception of the woman).

 

#3 - there is mercy in the Law as well. Don't buy into the Pharisees' lie that there isn't.
Response
Luke 16:16
"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
16:17
"But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
16:18
"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

 

This is God's law concerning the use of marriage, (name deleted). The law of permanency never changed. Jesus brought man BACK to God's laws, because they had transgressed. Paul reaffirmed what Jesus taught in Rom. 7:2-3, I Cor. 7:39. Death and death alone is what separates what God has joined together.........anything relationship outside those parameters is sin to God.
Comment/question
Everyone must look at the concept of jurisdiction here. There is much written about what the Law said. I have as well. It is important to know what God desires and you can find out a lot from the Mosaic covenant.

However, unless you were born Jewish, you are not under the jurisdiction of the Law. It was never given to gentiles, saved or otherwise. (ref Acts 15). The same would go for much of what Jesus said, as it was directed to Jews who were obligated to the Law. As far as I remember, all of Jesus' teachings on marriage had to do with Jews and the Law. While instructive, it is not binding on Gentile believers.

Paul's instructions in 1 Cor 7 are more germane to the discussion since it was directed at a congregation that was majority believing gentiles.
Response
Paul, while addressing Roman Christians (believers) spoke about the "law" of marriage and spoke of marriage as binding until death----EVEN in the instance of adultery.....

 

Comment/question
Please note: the scripture in Deuteronomy states that if the woman has MARRIED A SECOND PERSON AFTER SHE HAS BEEN DIVORCED; NOT IF SHE REMAINS UNMARRIED..... Because the scripture says that she is defiled. So.....if the woman is unmarried, the man can go back and remarry her. She has not been defiled. Some people interpret this scripture to say that if the man divorces his wife and she remains unmarried, he cannot go back and marry her. It is only if she has married someone else and has been divorced again a second time. God bless.
Response
Here's something to ponder: David did not divorce Michal. Saul took her away from David and gave to her another man. She then became another man's wife. David, later on after marrying a couple of other women, retrieved Michal from her 2nd husband and took her back to himself. Was he sinning? Was she "defiled"?

 

What in Deut. 24 is the defilement? Is it having relations with another man? Is it taking vows with another? Is it that the husband puts his wife away for "uncleanness" and wants her back again after she's been with another man?

 

Comment/question
In the Old Testament Law, the punishment for adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10). At the same time, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 mentions remarriage after a divorce, does not call it adultery, and does not demand the death penalty for the remarried spouse. The Bible explicitly says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), but nowhere explicitly states that God hates remarriage.
Response
In Mal. 2 we see that what God hates is the putting away of a COVENANT spouse---the wife of one's youth, the treacherous dealings against the wife.........as He says "she IS (not was) the wife of the covenant"

 

Notice also in that passage that the Lord rejects the man's offerings, though he comes to the altar in tears. Does it appear that the Lord is pleased with the man's current marriage?

 

Also, it is correct that in the OT law spoken of in Deut. 24, there is no mention of the woman who marries again committing adultery. However, we DO see that label used by Jesus in the NT concerning remarriages.

 

Comment/question
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 does not describe the remarriage as invalid. Ending a remarriage through divorce would be just as sinful as ending a first marriage through divorce. Both would include the breaking of vows before God, between the couple, and in front of witnesses.
Response
Does God honor those vows when one is not free to make vows to another? What about the previous vows? Why is it that people demand others keep vows they are not free to make, but they do not have to keep the vows in the marriage God joined together?
Comment/question
No matter the circumstances, once a couple is remarried, they should strive to live out their married lives in fidelity,
Response
Is that not an odd view considering Jesus Himself has called such a union adultery? How does one live in fidelity when they are committing infidelity in the Lord's eyes?

 

Comment/question
Where does the Torah bind a woman to her ex-husband as long as he lives? It does not. Those who know the law know that the law does not bind a woman to her former husband. On the contrary, the law frees the woman from her ex-husband; it does not bind her to him
Response
Where does OT law teach that a woman who is divorced commits adultery when she marries again? Adultery was a stonable offense remember...........

 

The only so-called OT law that bound a woman to her husband til death was the creation law of marriage----one man/one woman for life. This is the law that the Roman Christians understood........the same law Jesus spoke of ........"in the beginning"

 

Comment/question
First off, in properly executing the law and applying it to serve the People and not Hurt the People, its important to look in the Past to see how the various Laws were applied.
Before Moses, in the Time of Abram and Sarah, when Hagar had a child with Abram (at Sarah's request, out of the Will of God) after Sarah sent her away the first time (Gen16:1-7) and the Angel of God sent Hagar back to Sarah and Abram. God was concerned about the Pregnant woman raising a Child WITHOUT A FATHER.

 

Later on when the Child was much older, "for PEACE", God told Abram to hearken to Sarah and send away the Bondwoman and the Child (Gen 21:8-14). At this time Ishmael was much older.
Look at the Heart of God to correctly apply the Law of God.
Response
Are you trying to say that God allowed this because of Ishmael's age? You believe because a child is older that it then gives the dad freedom----in God's sight----to pursue what makes him happy, no matter what it does to his family?

 

Your situation is not apples to apples anyways because Abraham did NOT leave his covenant wife and child......... he sent the OTHER woman and child away.......because THEY were threatening the well-being of his COVENANT family.

 

Comment/question
FORGIVENESS DOES NOT EQUAL RECONCILIATION!!!
Response
In His Word, our relationship with the Lord is likened to that of a husband and wife(Eph. 5). If you believe that within a marriage forgiveness does NOT open the door to reconciliation (or only does if one "feels" like they want to), then your understanding of the Lord's relationship with His Church is out of balance. It is ALWAYS His heart to have reconciliation with those whom He forgives. He does not forgive, then slam the door shut on a future relationship, neither should we..............

 

Comment/question
As I said before you don't accept all of God. Every aspect of His nature. This false MDR doctrine prevents that. You are expecting man to be like God in every sense and that is not possible when living in a sinful world. This is why we were provided laws of concession and we are shown an abundance of mercy and compassion by God. Thank God!!! We are but flesh, remember that? God says this about us! He says this about YOU!!!
Response
Nowhere in God's Word will you see that divorce was granted for anything OTHER than hardheartedness.......and that allowance we see Jesus saying as coming from MOSES, not the Lord God. ("Moses tolerated", as Jesus said).

 

Also, this concept that we all are just sinners, so God gives us allowances for that, is hogwash. You'll never see any such teaching in the NT, by Paul or any others. We are called FROM sin, not given a license for the flesh due to offenses that come against us. Paul taught that we are to DIE so that Christ may live in us. If we are resting on our "flesh" to justify doing anything other than what Jesus Himself would do, then we are living for SELF, not for Christ. If we say we do not have the power to do as God calls us to do, then we need to question ourselves to see if we are in the faith to begin with. Whom He calls, He empowers----no matter how bad the situation looks.

 

Comment/question
No... the abomination does not occur until the 1st marriage covenant has been replaced with the second....

 

The abomination is not the 2nd marriage, but rather the return to the 1st covenant.

 

That is what is shown in Deutt.
Response
Jesus very clearly states that a second marriage is ADULTERY. If it is adultery, then it is not a marriage HE joined together. It can't possibly be both. It is an illicit relationship. Scripture also clearly shows that illicit relationships CAN be forsaken and the covenant spouses reunited.

 

Concerning Jer. 3, God addresses Deut 24..........."THEY say".....................but I say unto you, "return unto me"
Comment/question
I do not see what you are saying with Jeremiah 3. It actually (verse 1) supports Deut 24.

Jer 3:1 “They say, ‘If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him, and become another man’s, will he return to her again?’ Wouldn’t that land be greatly polluted?
Response
We must not take that passage alone...........the next verse GOD says, "YET RETURN TO ME"
Comment/question
Please understand. ONLY a husband can give a certificate of divorce. Not the wife. Had God divorced his people at this point? No. Later He does divorce the northern kingdom (but not Judah) but that has not happened yet. Israel running around and playing the whore is not the same as the husband (God) divorcing her. And, unless she becomes covenanted to another god, there is no violation of Deut 24 in her return
Response
Jesus addressed divorce in both cases---the husband doing it and the wife doing it. He knew the cultures of the world. He focused on DIVORCE, not just Jewish divorce. Both women and men were told if they divorce and take another spouse, they would be guilty of committing adultery.

 

As for becoming "covenanted" with another-----that can not happen until the death of one of the original covenant makers........DEATH nullifies the marriage covenant. (Rom. 7:2-3). If that has not occurred, those involved are not free to make other covenants........the original stands.

 

Comment/question
Was Israel able to create a covenant with another god?... No... because other gods cannot make covenants (because they are not a living god).
Not the same...
Response
She was not able to because she was already covenanted to God. The same goes for marriage. We cannot covenant ourselves to others when there is already and existing covenant. God defined the terms of that covenant, we make the decision to enter into it.........and then we are bound by the terms of that covenant. God has stated that every marriage HE joins(not what man joins himself/herself to), will remain intact until the death of one of the spouses. Death is the vehicle the Lord has chosen to loose us from each other when in covenant.

 

Comment/question
Debate all you want any interpretation of the Law but the foundation of any debate, argument, interpretation must be that the Law as written by Moses at the face-to-face direction of God is perfect.
Response
Law as given to Moses: "Thou shalt not commit adultery".............OT punishment: death to both parties

Law as spoken by Jesus: "Whosoever puts away his/her spouse and marries another commits adultery, and whosoever marries one put away commits adultery".........................remedy for this sin: not death, but the ability to repent (forsake the adultery and be forgiven). Grace reigns.........and not Grace used to STAY in the sin, but Grace to allow one to forsake their sin (Go and sin no more).

 

Jesus was very clear in regards to the original laws given to Moses (ie; 10 commandments)........Lk. 16:16-18.

 

Comment/question
"Let none suppose that Christ allows his people to trifle with any commands of God's holy law. The law is the Christian's rule of duty, and he delights therein."

Romans 3:31
Are we abolishing Moses' Teachings by this faith? That's unthinkable! Rather, we are supporting Moses' Teachings, we make it clear that the law is important, we establish the law.
Response
Not to go tit for tat, but we must be clear about JESUS' WORDS concerning Moses and the divorce allowances:

 

Here are Jesus' own words on the matter:

"it has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: BUT I SAY UNTO YOU....................." Mt. 5:32

 

Who is Jesus talking about in the first part of the passage?

 

Then:

 

Jesus says, "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered (allowed) you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so"........Mt. 19:8

 

So, again, is Jesus affirming what some are saying here that HE commanded this "allowance" which was NOT a law of God? Does He not make it VERY clear that this was something MOSES brought forth due to the hardness of men's hearts? Does He also not make it very clear that from the beginning (When God created mankind and marriage), divorce was not a part of marriage?

 

And:

 

Jesus says, "For the hardness of your heart he(Moses) wrote you this precept, BUT from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female..................What therefore GOD hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Mk. 10:5-9)......

 

Seems pretty clear that Jesus was setting the standard right again. That is why the disciples responded in shock to this "new" teaching and that is why in Luke 16:16 we find that His CREATION laws are in effect even in this day--------they were never superseded by what God allowed through MOSE'S precepts given due to HARDHEARTEDNESS. His laws will not fade away...............and as has been noted before, this verse was just not thrown in that exact position without reason..............Interestingly, right after Jesus spoke about the laws not failing, He speaks on those who divorce and remarry and those who take to themselves divorcees.

 

Comment/question
In the word of God under the Law of Moses, which Jesus did not come to destroy, the guilty spouse was as good as dead; as it was given to Moses understanding; both persons involved were taken and killed.

 

The innocent one was released from the marriage at that “point” by the guilty spouses’ death.
Therefore no adultery and or free to marry again. ..................
In today’s world the exception works through the guilty spouse who is still living, as fulfilled by Christ, they are already dead…or condemned but not killed as in the days of the Law of Moses.
Even though the guilty spouse remains alive, the sad part is this person is already dead according to the Law; but it is for a purpose; it is in the hope that they will become saved. Eph 2:1
Response
That is flawed reasoning. If the "law" you speak of concerning adultery within marriage is for one, it is for all, yet, many who claim to right to marry another after their spouse has committed adultery, believe it quite ok FOR OTHERS to remain with a person who has been unfaithful-----if they so desire. So those who believe such a thing, believe in fact, that adultery does NOT result in the death of the guilty, but instead GRACE can be applied to some. To others-----those who DON'T want to extend forgiveness/Grace, they are entitled to walk away from the covenant they entered into with another AND GOD---and then enter into another covenant with another person----until they do them wrong too. Is God a respecter of persons? Those who will not extend forgiveness/Grace towards the offender/spouse, are they just as much in the will of God as those who DO forgive/extend Grace towards their sinning spouse? Are those who believe the covenant remains intact in spite of sin, in the Will of God by waiting, praying, loving those spouses who are wayward?

 

Another thought is this: did Jesus, when He came upon the woman caught in adultery pronounce her "DEAD"? No, He did not. He extended Grace, telling her to go and sin no more---He in fact offered her LIFE. In the same way, He is calling all who are sinning, to GO and sin NO more. He is still in the business of offering LIFE. The same grace that is extended to us (the Church---His Body) is the same Grace we are expected to extend to our spouses(Our Body/One Flesh).

 

Comment/question
There is not a soul in this thread that would support the marriage between a son and his stepmother, a brother and sister, an uncle/niece, or a gay marriage. The problem is that you have taken this and gone beyond what scripture calls illicit. You're adding to the Word. The Bible defines illicit relationships for us in Leviticus 18.

 

Never...with a neighbors wife (adultery) - Before you want to claim this as proof, just remember Israel lived according to the whole law and they understood upon divorce a woman was free to marry again (it was explicitly stated in the writ), so this is regarding a married woman, not a divorced one. Moses' hearers would have understood this command was not referring to a put away woman with a writ of divorcement.
Response
Jesus said, "WHOSOEVER (some translations say "EVERYONE who") divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery and whosoever marries one divorced commits adultery." Here Jesus addresses those who ARE divorced..........and He charges them with adultery if they join with their "neighbor's" spouse. We are further admonished by Paul, "for this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God: that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. (I Thess. 4:3-6).
Comment/question
Nowhere in this list is a 2nd marriage contracted after a divorce listed as an illicit, adulterous marriage. Nowhere in the OT is a marriage contracted after divorce called "adultery". Once we get into the NT, Jesus straightens them out letting them know that if they were not divorced for biblical reasons, they were not really divorced and a 2nd marriage would be committing adultery
Response
You are correct. Nowhere in the OT was a marriage after a divorce spoken of as "adultery". We also see in the OT that polygamy was not spoken against either, but we now according to Jesus, marriage is between one man/one woman for LIFE. What was once "tolerated" in regards to marital practices are NO MORE tolerated by the Lord. To go against the teachings of Jesus is to enter into sin.

 

Comment/question
So now Paul is abolishing/break the Law of God thru Moses!!!??? You're taking Paul totally out of context.
Response
16"(A)The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time (B)the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

 

17"(C)But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

 

18"(D)Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

 

Comment/question
You just made the word of God in Deuteronomy as lie!!!
Response
Why do you keep going back to Deut. when Jesus already addressed the practice of divorce?

 

Are we under the law of Moses or are we to follow what Jesus said? Did He not say EVERYONE who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery? Does He not say that EVERYONE who marries a divorced person commits adultery? Did not Paul say that marriage endures til death? Why do you keep going back to the evil, hardhearted practices of the Pharisees who were looking for a way "out" to fulfill the evil desires of their hearts---all the while trying to look "legal" while doing so?
Comment/question
The so-called "Moses" law is what is/was used to govern the folks Jesus was speaking to. He used a hyperbole to and answered the "motives of their heart". Divorce, protected the innocent by freeing her to become another man's wife. This is not NT vs OT. Christ and the folks he was responding to see the scriptures as a whole... The Church of the new covenant is still allowed to use the moral law as principle where applicable, and the spirit of the law prevails...
I See the scriptures as one continuum, but with different stages of spirituality (kinda like going from kindergarten, thru to college) some things do not change they get further developed, but principles and circumstances dictate the proper application.
Response
Mk. 10:7-8...........the Lord says that what He joins, are no longer two, but one. JOINED AS ONE ENTITY, not two separate individuals any longer----each part of the other----impossible to be again separated----until death. It is the mysterious work of God.............. a work man can not undo.

 

Eph. 5:25.........husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church (not only if she deserves it)......washing her for sanctification (she NEEDS him), He is called to LOVE her as Christ loves the church...........not to forsake her when the going gets tough and find another "wife" more to his liking. As he loves his own body, so should a man love his own wife.

 

I Cor. 13:4-8..............Love (real love, agape) NEVER fails...........If we truly LOVE as Jesus loves, we will not forsake those that the Lord has joined us with----in marriage or as concerning those who are members of the Body of Christ. The idea of CHRISTIANS divorcing and remarrying in light of what we are called to in regards to LOVE, is appalling. How can one claim to be ONE as referenced in Jn. 17:20-24 with a Christian brother or sister when they have either forsaken their covenant marriage/children OR they have joined themselves with another person's spouse? Are they walking in unity with those brethren/sisters in the Lord? I don't believe so. Such are at odds with the Body of Christ.

 

The truth is that many ARE defrauding their brothers and sisters----by taking other people's spouses as well as causing a brother/sister to stumble by committing adultery/fornication with them. Paul speaks about this: I Thess. 4:3-7.

 

If we are defrauding our brothers and sister by either taking a spouse for ourselves who does not belong to us and causing THEM to be adulterers because of our own self-seeking, we will be under the judgment of the Lord as Paul speaks in verse 6.

 

John teaches in I Jn. 4:20: "if a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother (or sister), he is a liar; for he htat loveth not his brother or sister who he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also."

 

If we think we are LOVING God AND our brother/sister (our spouses, someone else's spouse, etc) by divorcing them, having affairs with them, etc..........we are deceiving ourselves. We are not "loving", we are feeding our flesh---- which is at enmity with God.

 

See, (name deleted), I too see Spiritual progression -----------and I do not think some have a handle beyond the elementary concerning what the TRUE love of Christ is. They think it's for them, but they cannot see the application of Christ's love towards OTHERS. That is why they look for and make excuses for not LOVING others as Christ loves...........justifications continue to fly today just as they did with the Pharisees Jesus rebuked. They wanted to look "legal", but their hearts were wicked. Nothing has changed to this day. The Pharisees did not want to LOVE as Christ loved, but wanted love on their own fleshly terms.........and that is ok. The Lord will allow those who choose that path to continue on it...........but there will be a very heavy price to pay, not only for them, but for those whom they hurt along the way.

 

I think if we really cared about what the Lord wants, we would say, LORD, what is YOUR way. I guarantee if most of us did that and then obeyed the voice of the Lord, we would not even be having this discussion now.

 

Comment/question
I see major inconsistencies in your argument here.
First you were quick to point to my reference to Deuteronomy 24: 1-5 and discredit it because it's NT, then I see you constantly referring to Hosea and Gomer, and Malachi.
Response
You know why you see inconsistencies? Because you look for an "out". See, the thing is, God LOVES and you will find His heart of LOVE in both Hosea and Gomer. What you will NOT find in your often argued Deut. 24 is LOVE. Jesus continually goes back to the Truth that Divorce was NEVER created for marriage............it only came about due to man's HARDHEARTEDNESS. You over and over focus on what Jesus calls hardheartedness to support your position that remarriage is AOK with the Lord, even sanctioned by Him. You are wrong.

 

The reason I speak on Jesus and Paul's teachings so much is that they are focused on GRACE and LOVE. You are stuck in looking for "outs" and trying to use/misuse the Law to do so. LOVE NEVER FAILS, brother. If one is looking for an "out" and then an "in" into another relationship, using God's Word to justify such a thing, there is something very important missing.............LOVE. Think about it with a heart that desires to know AND walk in the Lord's heart.

 

Comment/question
Yes, the intent of marriage is a permanent situation. But there is sin in the world. That is why God wrote the Law of Divorce through Moses. It completes the "permanent" covenant of marriage in dissolution.
Response
Why do you keep saying that God wrote the law of divorce? Every time Jesus was asked about divorce He said that Moses "tolerated" it..........and then Jesus said, but from the beginning it was not so........."whatsoever God joins together, let not (a command) man put asunder"........and then He brings what Moses "tolerated" (due to HARDHEARTEDNESS) back to the original creation intent. I can't seem to find anywhere that Jesus said "because you are sinners, divorce is understandable, therefore whoever YOU decide to join with, I will agree to and I will then make you into ONE"..............can you show me such a passage?

 

I see Paul saying something very different..........there was a time that the Lord "winked" at sin due to ignorance, but now, since the LIGHT has come into the world, ignorance is no longer an excuse for sin. The Lord will not "wink" any longer.
Comment/question
I doubt that God 'winked" at sin because we didn't know any better. The law was set forth to show people "better" but to prove that we were incapable of doing "better". The Light has always been here. It is Jesus that saves us through grace because neither then nor now has anyone been able to always to what is right!
Response
Scripture teaches us that God did in fact wink at sin, but that things changed when "light" came into the world...........now every man/woman will be without excuse as we have ALL be commanded to repent and turn to the Lord.

 

"and the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man who he hath ordained"...........Acts 30-31

 

"and this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved their darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil; for every one that doeeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (examined), but he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God"......Jn 3:19-21
Comment/question
This is for marriage or any other area in our lives. Does an on going sin of gluttony cause the same concern when you see someone over weight?
Response
Weight is not always an indication of gluttony.........there are some very THIN people that are gluttonous.
Comment/question
Does the on going sin of hurting the "temple of our bodies" cause the same concern when you see someone smoking or being foolish as a weekend sports player and hurting themselves? Does the on going sin of materialism that so many of us deal with to some degree ever concern you this much? I don't see God winking at any of the things that we wink at. I do see Him loving us and covering our sins with His redeeming work. I do see Him working in our lives to do less of these mistakes and outright sinful choices. We were never ignorant about divorce and therefore earning a free get-out-of-jail card.
Response
I agree that God works in those who belong to Him.......in an ever progressing way. When I first became a Christian, I swore like a sailor............but not for long. He dealt with that, then swearing became offensive to me. I also smoked. Again, in His perfect timing, it was gone. Same with drinking alcohol.........THAT is what we can say is the Lord's Grace. When we come to Him, it is only through Christ that we are "perfect"................however, if we truly belong to the Lord He does not leave us in our newborn state, still walking in the flesh and all it's desires. As we grow, He teaches us more and more what is offensive to Him and if we love Him, we will obey those things He speaks to us.

 

As far as being "ignorant" on divorce, I agree with you. I think deep down MOST all people know in their hearts that divorce is not right----morally, socially, and in the big scheme of things. What we disagree on is that you believe that marriage----in God's sight-----can be entered and exited at will, human will, that is. I believe since it is God who joins the two into ONE, that we must then fall into line into what HE says concerning marriage and how we are to use it. If Jesus says that remarriage is adultery, that means it is not acceptable to Him. If He says the union of two is sin, He will not join that union into ONE. You say He understands our weaknesses and allows for it, I say He does not and that someday, the Church coming first, we will stand in judgment.............some will experience His wrath, some who claim they are His (Mt. 7:21-24). I do not want to see that.

Comment/question
Deuteronomy 24
Law of Divorce

1"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house,
2and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's wife,

 

3and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife,

 

4then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
Response
Many try to use that passage to say a covenant wife and covenant husband are not to be rejoined after a remarriage has taken place. However, if we truly want to be correct in what is presented scripturally, then this would only apply to the wife, since in the OT times, women were NOT allowed to put away their husbands.

 

Again, to be scripturally accurate, if the wife in Deut. 24 was guilty of adultery, she would have been stoned, either due to adultery within the covenant marriage OR if the 2nd marriage was adultery(as Jesus taught in the NT), she would be stoned THEN---along with the 2nd husband. Stoning (death) ended the covenant marriage---just as DEATH ends a covenant marriage in the NT (Rom. 7:2-3, I Cor. 7:39).

 

In any case, Deut. 24 does not fit at all with the teachings of Jesus and Paul in which remarriage IS considered adultery. In Deut. 24 a man could divorce his wife because he "hated" her........certainly that is NOT in line with what Jesus taught. Deut. 24 was a code of conduct regarding divorce. The prohibition was to prevent frivolous divorce. The MAN was actually the one punished if he put his wife away. The punishment was that he could NEVER have her back.

 

Even so, that is not the way of the Lord........we all have the option to repent of our sins now, thankfully. The heart of the Lord is shown in Jer. 3:1. The Lord says, "THEY say, "if a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man's, may he return to her again? Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers, YET RETURN TO ME, says the Lord"............

 

In Mt. 5:32 the Lord says that if a wife is put away by the husband and remarries, she commits adultery. The Lord charges HIM with her sin. Notice that her new marriage is called "adultery"-----having unlawful relations with one who is not a spouse. She is STILL bound to her first husband.......and whoever gets involved with her will commit adultery by doing so because she is bound to her husband TIL DEATH(a new "vow" does not negate the original vow......if it did, she would not be "called an adulteress). As Romans 7:2-3 teaches, "so then, if while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man." Death is what severs the original marital bond......not divorce, not a new marriage vow.

 

And for a second witness of this truth to a different group of believers, Paul teaches, "a wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives, but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." I Cor. 7:39
 

Comment/question
Reconciliation with the faithful spouse is not compulsory.
Response
Yes, and I think Paul discussed this one very clearly: the one who has departed must remain unmarried. That is the alternative to reconciliation, though I believe the Lord's ultimate goal is humbling all and bringing all to repentance so that those whom HE joined together are walking in unity as He desires.

 

Comment/question
I don't see Jesus saying return to your first spouse if you remarry. He doesn't say what to do either way, and to me it's adding to scripture when you say you must go to your first spouse, regardless. Especially when Deut. 24 states that it is a sin, among other verses regarding other sins.
Response
If a new relationship is called adultery (sin) and one repents from that, the "fruit" of TRUE repentance means forsaking the sin (relationship). We also have the Lord's command concerning covenant marriages: "remain unmarried OR be reconciled".........

So, if someone has transgressed and gotten themselves into sin, they are to "remain unmarried" or be reconiled to their lawful spouse. Staying in such a sinful relationship was never mentioned as an option, since the relationship itself is sin in the Lord's sight.

 

Comment/question

There is not a verse in the New Testament that says "leave your second spouse and return to your first, IF you do marry again".

He gives us specific instruction, and I just feel that it is adding to scripture by saying you are to leave a second spouse and return to the first.

Response
The fact that Jesus calls a new relationship "ADULTERY" says that the person/persons involved belong to another person in the sight of God. Now, if one forsakes an illicit relationship (adultery), they are still BOUND to the one God joined them to. No? If they are bound, how is it that they should NOT reunite, if possible? They are merely returning to the covenant made before God and with God.................

 

Comment/question

I am confused, though, because, Deut. 24:1-4 says that for a woman who was divorced and remarried and then either was divorced from her second husband or widowed it would be "detestable in the eyes of the LORD" for the first husband who divorced her to marry her again. Yet it seems that many on this forum think that the one who was divorced and remarried SHOULD return to the first spouse.

Also, I also had asked a question about polygamy. Do you think all polygamous relationships, other than the first wife, are adulterous?

Response
Ok, let's break down Deut 24:1-4, compare it with other OT passages and NT passages, and see if it really means what you think it does.

First of all, let's look at the nature of OT marriage. Men could have many wives (it was tolerated by God and was never spoken of as "adulterous", though we can see that first wives were considered FIRST by God, though not necessarily loved best by the husband(as in Jacob's case). Women could NOT lawfully be polygamous. In the NT teachings of marriage by Paul and Jesus, marriage was brought back to 1 man/1 woman for life. Polygamy, not only is against the law civilly, but is also against Jesus teaching on creation marriage. So, yes, to be involved in polygamy would be to be an adulterer/adulteress, since God only sees the first wife as the one He joined the husband to.

Now, looking at the admonishments of Deut. 24, we see that the prohibition was for a man to take back a wife put away for "uncleanness", but we see no such prohibition for a wife to take back a husband, since wives could not "put away" their husbands to begin with. In OT scripture, we do not find where a man's virginity mattered in regards to the marital bed-----only the women's, and a woman could be stoned to death if she came to the marriage bed "defiled".

Here in Deut. 24 we see that a man marries, takes his wife to his home, then finds that she is "unclean". He rejects her, giving her a certificate of divorce, sends her away, then she becomes another man's wife. The next husband then has the option of divorcing her because he "hates" her(nice, huh,---something we can agree with that is NOT OK with Jesus). If the second husband dies, she is free to marry, but not the first husband. We must ask ourselves these questions: In OT teachings on marriage, do we see that she committed adultery by marrying the second time? If so, why is she not stoned as adulteress were? If if wasn't adultery, why is it that now (NT)Jesus says something very different----"whosoever marries her that is put away, commits adultery"? Does it appear by Jesus' teachings that divorce is something that dissolves a marriage(as was practiced in the OT). No, that is not what Jesus taught about divorce. He said: "whosoever divorces his wife/husband and marries another, commits adultery, and whosoever marries one put away commits adultery".

The first husband is prohibited from taking her back because she was defiled (that is the reason he put her away). What many try to say is that the second marriage "defiled" her. The problem with that rendering is that David's wife, Michal, married another man, and David took her back. Did David sin? I don't believe so. David did not divorce his wife and then want her back. He did not treat the marriage covenant with his first wife in a "flippant" way----divorcing her, then wanting her back. She was taken from him and then she entered into another marriage. So the marriage did not "defile" her. In Deut. 24, a man cannot take his wife back because he rejected her FOR being defiled, then for some reason after she is another man's wife(even more defiled now), wants her back??? No, he could not have her.

However, let's go to Jer. 3:1 to see what the Lord ultimately thought about receiving back one who is "defiled": They say, if a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man's, may he return to her again??? Would not the land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to me, say the Lord.

Interesting the Lord would use Deut. 24 in such a way---------saying that even though one is DEFILED, He wants them back and leaves the door open to that!!!!!!

Let's now go to Hos. 2:7..............we see that after Hosea took Gomer, a prostitute, as wife, she returns to her harlotries----she suffers for her sins. She then decides that she will return to her FIRST husband.............

Hosea is all about God's redemptive love for a world caught up in "adulterous/harlotrous" acts. Does it appear that God thinks Hosea taking Gomer back as his wife is an abomination----especially since she is so "defiled"?

Now we go to Mal. 2:10-17. A "priest" has divorced the wife of his youth (his covenant wife) and then taken a heathen woman as his second wife. The priest goes to the altar to bring his offerings...........he covers the altar with his tears, weeping. What does the Lord say? He does not regard the offering ANYMORE, nor receive it with goodwill.

Why? Because he has put away the wife of his youth. The Lord says, "SHE IS (not was) your companion and your wife by covenant"............. We also see here that it is in regards to COVENANT spouses that the Lord says He hates divorces. Many like to say that God hates ALL divorce, but that is not true. God does not hate the putting away of unlawful partners. As a matter of fact, true repentance requires the putting away of unlawful relationships. I hope I answered your questions.

 

Comment/question

But then were all Levirate marriages of the OT adulterous? (Because I find it very hard to believe that all the men who married their dead brother's wives were single.) Or did something change in the marriage relationship at the time of the NT?

Response
I'm not sure if they were all single, nor if that matters when we are speaking of NT teachings on marriage. Jesus was very clear that marriage was to be between one man and one woman. Man perverted God's creation intent for marriage----in many different ways, as we see manifested not only in OT times, but in our present age.

 

Comment/question
Jesus is the Word made Flesh. He does not change. The OT & NT is about the same thing.
Response
Can you show me in the OT where a person AFTER a divorce was said to be committing adultery when they married again---since you keep insisting that things are the SAME in the OT and NT?

 

Comment/question
You seek to dismiss the Pharisees and teachers of the Law but Jesus does not! The issue wasn't about everything they taught being perverted. Why would Jesus explicitly instruct the people to obey everything they told them, if that would lead them into following twisted teaching? No. Jesus warned the people not to do what the Pharisees and teachers of the Law were doing, which was not practicing what they preached. That was the problem according to Jesus.

Seeking to discredit the Pharisees and teachers of the Law because what the believed and taught goes against this doctrince is a common practice.
Response
Jesus SPECIFICALLY addressed the "law" of marriage and the conduct of the Pharisee in Lk. 16:15-18------

"15And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

16"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

17"But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail. 18"
Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery. "

 

Comment/question
I see no indication in this passage (Deuteronomy 24) that the 2nd marriage was "defiled" nor do I see any indication that would suggest that the 2nd marriage covenant was invalid.
Response
I agree with you here. There is no indication that the second marriage is viewed as invalid. Actually, quite the opposite. So, if she is not "defiled" from the second marriage, then your view that she cannot return to the 1st husband does not make sense in light of what Jesus taught in the Gospels. In Deut. 24 the divorce IS recognized as freeing the woman to be with another. In the NT, divorce is NOT recognized as freeing a woman/or man to be married again without "being defiled"(committing adultery). Deut. 24 then is NOT relevant to what Jesus taught on MDR.

 

Comment/question
I personally believe that asking someone to divorce would be not only be encouraging sin, but would also be involving me in their sin. This is the reason why I believe that a willingness to reconcile with a spouse that has remarried is wrong.
Response
I hope then that you are confident to be able to share the scriptures which such people who can see scripture teaching that divorce did not nullify/dissolve their marriage in the sight of God and that He calls the second relationship, adultery. I don't think one can, in good conscience, try to point a person to Deut. 24 when that passage does NOT show adultery in the case of a remarriage.

Comment/question
I believe that a willingness to reconcile with a spouse that has remarried is wrong; when that marriage begins to have struggles (and it will), you may end up providing an easy escape and ultimately encourage a divorce that should not have happened. I think this is why there is this prohibition in Duet. 24
Response
Ah, there is a problem in that regard with even using Deut. 24 because it speaks about a man putting away his wife because he "hates" her..............in such cases, it appears she can marry again. Is this the case with Jesus' teachings? Deut. 24 and Mt. 5, 19, Mk. 10, and Luke. 16 are not apples to apples. Jesus taught something VERY different than we see in Deut. 24............Jesus taught what we see in Hosea/Gomer's case......a case in which she DID return to her 1st husband.

 

Comment/question
If we agree that there was no defilement in the second marriage, and we agree that in the OT case the second marriage covenant was valid, there still remains the question about why there was a prohibition about remarrying the first husband. My view is because that it is because it makes it much easier to break the second vow, when the first husband is willing and maybe trying to persuade his wife to return to him.
Response
Absolutely, it is "easier" to break a second vow if one's first husband is willing to reconcile..........as it should be, in my opinion, since I don't believe a second vow overrules the first one honored by God. I think though, emotionally, many will suffer. However, in the long run God will be glorified by such acts of repentance, as it is HIS will that covenant couples return to their covenant---the one HE entered into and rejoin the one He joined them to---for life.

What you said above makes no sense to me in light of what we read there in Deut. 24.........even if the second husband dies, she is prohibited to return to her first, so she would not be treating her second vow flippantly if that marriage was dissolved anyways, would she?

My view on Deut. 24 is that BECAUSE the husband put away his wife for being defiled, it was HIS PUNISHMENT to never again be able to have her. See, even if she is free from her second husband, she cannot return to him. I believe that was to discourage frivilous divorce.........to make a man KNOW, he shall NEVER, EVER have his wife back, should he chuck her away. I have read some interesting studies on this passage. It has been said that in that day, the man received quite a nice dowry from his bride's family. If a man put away his wife, he lost the dowry. Some may have been tempted to again try to regain the money that came with this wife---hence to prohibition to marry her again. I don't know about that as it is merely speculation.
In any case, what we do know is that in the NT, adultery DOES occur with a new marriage and it doesn't appear anywhere that as long as the 1st spouse lives, the second marriage is anything but adultery.

 

Comment/question
If you define reconciliation as including divorce and a return to the former spouse, but that is not the definition of reconciliation.

Reconcile - (Greek diallasso) - to renew friendship with one
Websters
cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.
to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
To reestablish a close relationship, as in marriage.
Response
If one is committing adultery against one's spouse (and that is what Jesus calls remarriage), then yes, reconciliation on the part of the erring spouse would be to reestablish the marital relationship---since there is no indication in scripture that Jesus sees the adulterous relationship as anything other than adulterous. As for the third party, reconciliation would come in the form of sincere apology(asking for forgiveness) and the forsaking of sin with that person's spouse. Then, and only then, would the "guilty" in such cases be free to come to the altar of God and bring Him offerings.

Comment/question
Sometimes reconciliation only leads to friendship. No hostility and warm wishes for the other party. Sometimes it results in a restoration of the marriage. The parties involved are the only ones qualified to make that determination after they have sought the Lord individually.
Response
Whether a friendship occurs or not is not the issue. If one has stolen, in reconciliation/restoration, they give back what they have stolen. If the Lord says the thing stolen(a spouse) cannot be kept by the stealer(adulterer), it matters not whether the one offended wants what they have been joined with by God back.

Comment/question
There are many divorced couples who are great friends. They have been able to forgive one another for whatever offenses occured during the marriage. Reconciliation does not carry with it a command to return to the former spouse. There are those who have been reconciled and never remarried their former spouse.
Response
In regards to marital relationship, that is not true reconciliation. What God has joined, let no man separate. It is God's will for that which He joins to remained joined, or if separate, to be restored. Only man's sinfulness keeps what God joined together apart.

Comment/question
If one insist that reconciliation means divorce the current and remarry the former, then those who choose not to return to the former after divorce would still be out of order according to how this doctrine is stretched. The passage in Matthew does not support a remarriage to the former. It does not go that far.
Response
Oh yes, it goes that far and much father. Jesus doesn't recognize adulterous unions as lawful. He calls them adultery. Husbands and wives every day enter into adultery and then forsake their sin and are restored. How the civil authorities have entered the process does not change how God still views the union He joined together, nor does it change how He views those who have joined themselves in sinful relationships.

Comment/question
No. What is says is that He won't accept the offerings if you have not made the attempt to renew the friendship with the offended party.
Response
Scripture does not say "friendship"----it says that such persons are to be reconciled. One cannot be "reconciled" when they have another's spouse as their own and refuse to forsake that sinful relationship. They may kid themselves into believing they can keep that which the Lord calls adultery, trying to be "nice" to the one offended, but God is not mocked. He hears the cries of those who have been forsaken---whether it be spouse or brother/sister/friend in Christ. The Lord will hold us accountable in how we treat our brothers/ sisters.

Comment/question
There is a balance here that is missed many times by folks who are controlling for example. It is not peaceful to ever force your desires on another person. If they don't want to be with you, you should leave them alone and pray. If they choose not to return, then it is very hostile to try and make them come back to you and it's even more out of order to use the Word of God to do so.
Response
Oh, I agree with that. If the person does not come back, they have their own problems with the Lord---above and beyond their marriage. Showing them God's Word will not work because they are rejecting of God's ways anyways. When one is of that mindset, they will not receive God's Word, so all one is truly left to do is pray that the Lord penetrate such a one's heart and draw them to repentance.

Comment/question
I may be, as a divorcee for example, perfectly fine with being Jim's friend but just because he wants to be married again, doesn't mean I'm obligated to do so. If Jim refuses to be friends with me because he wants more, then my offerings are acceptable to God. His will not be.
Response
Well, if "Jim" has truly repented for the cause of separation, then yes you would be in sin if you did not reconcile. Jim would not be in sin by him desiring to rejoin with the person God joined him to. He may be sinning in how he is going about trying to reconcile, but wanting to reconcile and not wanting to be "just friends" is not sin.

Again, "whatsoever God has joined together, let not man separate". If a woman had the need to separate due to sin in the marriage, the Lord commands she remain unmarried OR be reconciled to her husband. If such a woman took another man as husband, she now becomes an adulteress(Rom. 7:2-3)----much more so if she has taken a sister's husband as her own.........and the same would be said for a man who does not remain "unmarried", but instead joins himself with another woman/another man's wife.

 

Comment/question
There is scripture that says specifically to not go back to the first spouse after marrying after divorce (Deut 24). But it is continually ignored.... as is the parts in 1 Corinthians 7 that deal with marrying after being loosed from a spouse or abandonment.

I expect that the treatment of these verses will remain the same....
Response
It is not ignored. We have addressed Deut. 24 MANY times. I think you just do not like what has been said in regards to the OT laws made specifically for Israel, the truth that in the OT remarriage did not =adultery, and NT teachings that remarriage=adultery as spoken by Jesus and Paul. As for I Cor. 7:15, Paul never taught that the bond of marriage was dissolved, releasing the deserted one to pursue remarriage. Paul taught that only DEATH dissolved the bond of marriage, giving the right to remarry.

 

Comment/question
The fact that Deut says that if a man divorces his wife and she marries someone else, and then she is either divorced again or widowed she cannot under any circumstance be reunited with her former husband, which is described as "abomination," clearly shows that remarried is a state recognized biblically.

Abomination means God finds it absolutely detestable. He does not change so you cannot just write this off as "...the law which passed away."

Response
Read Jeremiah 3:1.........also, explain David taking back Michal after she was married to another man..........then explain why it was in the OT a woman who marries again is NOT looked at as an adulteress, but in Jesus' teachings in the NT a divorced woman IS looked at as an adulteress if she marries again while her husband is still alive.

Comment/question
The divorce was never legal, Saul did it arbitrarily without any legal cause or legal course.

That doesn't prove what you say it proves.

Response
What makes the rejoining of an original marriage couple in Deut.24 an abomination------the rejoining of such AFTER a divorce or the rejoining of such AFTER a third party has entered the fray or the rejoining of the original couple AFTER the man has treated the covenant of marriage in such a flippant way (NOT wanting his wife, then wanting her after she has been another man's wife)?

Comment/question
Because the divorce was completed legally. Saul couldn't break the marriage contract, because he wasn't one of the ones held in binding by the covenant.
Response
Yes, true. Because David did not divorce his wife(OT), she was still his wife........and even though she "married" another man(was committing adultery), she did not belong to the second "husband"---though she entered into marriage with him. Her being "defiled" by being with another man did not stop David from taking her back, nor should it stop anyone from taking back their covenant spouse who no longer is involved in an adulterous relationship.

In the same way, in the NT, we see Jesus teaching that divorce does NOT dissolve what He put together, nor does a new marriage nullify what God joined together. A man/woman CAN take back what is theirs because the ONE FLESH was NOT dissolved........the second relationship is not lawful in the sight of God (as was the case with Michal and her second husband).

Comment/question
No... had the divorce been legal, then you might have a leg to stand on... apples and oranges...

ETA
All you've proved that if a women is given to another man illegally (no binding divorce) by her father, she may return to her husband.

Response
Exactly, the point. In the OT, a divorce did dissolve a marriage and a woman was NOT an adulteress if she remarried (at least that is not found in the passage). What we do find in the OT is that if a woman marries unlawfully(as was the case with Michal), her husband CAN take her back, even though she has been with another man(in marriage). The "abomination" then is not in her being with another man, is it?

In like fashion, we see then in the NT, that when a person has entered an unlawful marriage (in the Lord's eyes), the person remains bound to the the one God joined them to----irregardless if there has been vows taken in marriage. The marriage is "null and void" in God's eyes, it is adultery----just as Michal's "marriage" was.

 

Comment/question
Can you show me where David ever gave her a "get," or certificate of divorce? If he did not disolve the marriage, then it was not this situation.

Do not be swayed by our modern sense of egalitarianism in what was called sin and what was not.

Response
No, you are 100% correct. David did not give her a 'get'........their marriage was still binding according to OT practice. Even though Michal was "with" another man, David taking her back was not an abomination. So with that in mind, if Jesus does not observe a divorce as dissolving a marriage(one HE joined together), why is returning to one's spouse in NT times an "abomination"? What do you believe IS the abomination of Deut. 24:1-4?

Comment/question
Deut 24:4 then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the LORD. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

I believe it is narrowly defined by the text itself. A man marries a wife and for some reason (we do not know the real meaning of ervah) divorces her. She then marries another man and is subsequently divorced or widowed. If the first husband remarries her, it is the abomination described here.

Response
You still didn't answer my question. What is the abomination to you: that the woman vowed to another man, that the woman was "with" another man, that the husband put her away for uncleanness, then would take her back after being with another man?

Comment/question
It seems quite clear to me that (c) is the only one specifically stated in the text. Although the term "uncleanness" is a guess.
Response
Ok, so do you believe the "abomination" would be with the husband for doing such a thing(treating the marriage covenant in such a flippant way), or do you believe the abomination is directed at the wife (for being with another man)?

I personally think that the abomination is that the husband put away his wife for "uncleanness" or something along those lines (which WAS tolerated, as Jesus says), yet would want that same wife back, AFTER she was even MORE "unclean" by being with another man. Such actions concerning the marriage covenant were abominable. It seems to me that this prohibition was a punishment against the man........and would hopefully give them pause before doing/causing something so irreversible.

The big difference between the NT and OT is that this putting away was "permitted/tolerated" by Moses. However, we do not see such toleration of this in the NT. Where in the OT it was not spoken the woman who marries again commits adultery, in the NT Jesus does say that those who marry again after a divorce commit adultery..........why? Because the divorce does not severe what God has joined together---hence when one marries another, they are committing adultery against their TRUE covenant marriage partner.

 

Comment/question
But he (ex-husband) cannot come back to me, as God said that is an abomination in HIS eyes.
Response
Sister, let me ask you to please really study the meaning of Deuteronomy 24, in light of the OT passages I will talk about below, as well as how Jesus views a second illicit marriage. Ask yourself these questions: If God was talking about the taking back of a covenant spouse AFTER they had married another as what the abomination was, what did He mean in Jeremiah 3:1? Did David sin when he took his wife Michal back from her second husband? Did Hosea sin when he took back Gomer? (Hosea 2:7) If God Himself calls a second union adultery(not a marriage HE joins), is not TRUE repentance FORSAKING the adulterous relationship? Is going back to one's original spouse after they have committed adultery an abomination? Please ponder these things. Blessings.

 

Comment/question
What if I should go back and remarry my first partner, which also is wrong.
Response
If Jesus did not dissolve a first marriage to begin with, it is NOT wrong to reconcile. As a matter of fact, it is putting things right since God Himself said that what He joins together will NO LONGER BE TWO.............

Man likes to think he has the power to put asunder what God has joined, but he/she does not have that power. If the ONE is no longer TWO, they are not able to be split apart, unless it is an act by God HImself.

 

Comment/question
(Name Deleted) continually repeats an argument based on the Hebrew grammar of Duet. 24 to explain why the plain sense understanding this verse should be ignored, but there is absolutely no Hebrew scholars that would give any credibility to his explanation, and as a student of Hebrew I can tell you that his argument is completely without merit i.e. he is bluffing and hoping no one knows better
Response
There are Hebrew scholars and those who KNOW of the cultural practices that will say that the reason this prohibition was given was due to MONETARY gain by the husband who would want his disgarded wife back. They will say that the "defilement" was in regards to the man's intentions. This was a "law" for the nation of Israel. It was not a law given to all the nations. We also see that in this action, the woman who is put away is NOT charged with adultery, so Deut. 24 is not even applicable to what Jesus and Paul taught on divorce/remarriage.

I find it interesting that many say we are no longer "under the law", yet they go back to the Old Testament laws given to Israel to prove that a wife/husband should not repent of their adultery and return to their one God joined them to.

 

Comment/question
The Lord Himself say that is defilement , abomination to take ex spouse back, who had remmarried with another. What The Lord joined together was defiled and is abomination to be together again as it was before defilement...it was put asunder before His own eyes, as abomination is a terrible situation of a state that before was pure in marriage bed. That is terrible.
Response
So you do not believe that ANY marriage in which adultery has taken place should be restored---because it has now been "defiled"? I think you will have much problems with trying to prove this idea based upon scripture (see Hosea, see Jeremiah 3, see the example of David and Michal). The thing is that if God does not recognize a divorce as dissolving what He joined together (and scripture says that He doesn't recognize it), then the original marriage is still ONE FLESH in the eyes of God----it matters not that the new pair have a piece of paper saying they are now joined in marriage. We see that very example with Herod/Herodias. Even after their marriage to each other, John made it quite clear that Herodias did not belong to Herod. She belonged to his brother, Philip.

Comment/question
Yes sure the Child of God must forgive but to reconcile it needs two in the same step for it to happen. God does not reconcile with those who are not repentant and seek forgiveness. What you seem to disregard is the hardened heart state of a person before the Lord...

You can say there is no if with God but is not what Himself says in Hid Word. The Word of God is full of "Ifs" conditions to follow Him. If one does not believe in Lord Jesus the Only way, If one does not walk in the Spirit, If you don't abide in Christ and Him in you, If you take the narrow way, if you trust and obey, If you submit to God, there are more then 1500 verses in the Bible with If, the Precious Promises of God and its conditions.

Response
I agree that in order for TRUE reconciliation to take place, there must be repentance. However, the problem lies with man and his timing. If repentance does not happen soon enough, they then believe that they are "free" to then find another. Scripture does not teach that. Scripture teaches that love never fails............love is long suffering.........love hopes all things. If one says to themselves, "this person is hopeless...........they will never come to repentance!", is this the Love that is spoken of in I Corinthians 13----the love that believers claim is within them? Scripture teaches us that faith is the substance of things HOPED for............do we have faith if we have lost hope for the one who is wayward?

Comment/question
He does know who are those who belong to Him. Teaching what He does not and try guessing the state of those who harden their hearts by adultery and remarried,and to an spouse to wait for them, is not what the Lord said.. He already said by doing so is defilement, abomination to go back to ex-spouse who remarried. Sure the Children of God listen to Him in His World and search Scriptures as Bereans. Our waiting is in Him alone and obedient to Him alone walking by the Spirit.
Response
You sure are trying hard not to see what Jesus says about the divorced, Adriana. If Jesus doesn't recognize a divorce as dissolving the union HE joined together, then the second union is nothing but adultery----period, because the original covenant STANDS IN FORCE. The adultery does not dissolve it, nor does new vows (see Romans 7:2-3 as well as the biblical examples I gave you above.)

Comment/question
For sure one thing I sure take very serious is the fear of the Lord and what Himself says and His perspectives as a Holy God. When He says something to truly take to the heart and very very serious obey. Lord have mercy on us and Blessed be Your name as You alone are God!
Response
I absolutely agree with you. I would not want to be found in adultery---whether it was "extra" marital or by remarriage. The fear of the Lord is something that is not in much of the professing Church today. That is why we see rampant sin in those who profess to know Him. They acknowledge Him as their Saviour, but they just cannot see Him as a HOLY GOD who will judge ALL of mankind.

 

Comment/question
Are we taking about adultery or to put away a spouse for any reasons? I sure talking about adultery because to put away for any reason leads to adultery when person remarried anyways and sure in those circumstances it applies "remain unmarried" or reconciled if remarriage did not happened because it would be defiled and abominations go back to ex-spouse (everybody sure loosed one way or another by sinning before God and law), as the adulteress were sentenced to die by the Law of Moses in Leviticus. Yep swapping in the ways of men is nono for sure. Adultery we know was death punishment...so serious. Still nobody now days is stoning no adulterous (well some Muslim countries still practice that..)
Response
You are stuck on the law of MOSES (Deut. 24:1-4). That seems to color everything you say in regards to those who enter into adultery. Please explain to me what makes a person defiled and unable to return to their covenant spouse. Is it adultery or is it the remarriage? Does what Jesus said in Matthew 5, 19, Mark.10, and Luke 16 apply exactly to what Moses permitted in Deut. 24?

Comment/question
The truth in the Word is that people could not move on as the way the please, but move on based on the law of God. And sure if you were sinned against by adultery , as it was punished by death one would become widow and sure widow could marry again in the Lord. Then sure the Word of God remains as the seriousness of adultery, as defilement and abomination before the Lord to receive back ex who remarried. The Word says that based on God's perspectives as we can read in it
Response
It seems to me that concerning "punishments" you are stuck in the Old Testament. Do you not understand that Jesus gave GRACE to the adulteress----she did not die for her sin of adultery. The Lord gave her chance to "go and sin no more"............just as He does for each of us. Jesus changed MUCH from the OT (see Matthew 5). He gives us the opportunity to forsake our sin and to follow HIM. The OT "law" on adultery made sense-----if a spouse was no longer alive/around, there would not be what we see today in Step families where there is a living spouse(chaos, financial issues leading some first spouses/second spouses to be very angry about not being cared for due to divided incomes, children heartbroken because their parents are with other people/are taking care of other's children, etc, etc). Do you honestly believe the Lord thinks this is a "good" thing to offer the one who has had adultery committed against them?

Comment/question
I do believe of the Bible tells us so..as in NT the way is forgive to be forgiven, but there is a great violence before the Lord when person divorce by put away and any reasons, and the state before the Lord when an adulteress remarried, to go back is abomination and it takes another marriage to remarried those who divorced..and abomination and defilement implicates that the 1ts covenant were broken, as the Lord says that it is abomination...People must not mock the Lord as to harden one hearts and step and step in more sins is not a light thing as to "wash" the way of men do, but it takes the Blood, precious blood of Christ. The spouse sinned against by adultery do have a stand before the Lord, clearly. Sure forgiveness is required and reconciliation, but after adultery remarried the situation is abomination as the one who remarried did so contrary to what the Word of God says. Then my standing base on the Word is that clearly, there are 2 very different standings as the one who sinned against the other who were sinned against, before the Lord.
Response
Like I said, I think you are really stuck on the law of Moses and do not see that Jesus was nullifying ALL in regards to ANY toleration/permission to divorce/remarry. The fact that Jesus labels a new marriage as ADULTERY means that He does not see a divorce as dissolving what He joined together. If you are believing that a new marriage nullifies the marriage God joined together, I would truly like to see New Testament scripture which shows this. If you say adultery destroys the covenant of marriage, again, I would like to see scriptural evidence of this. In the Old Testament the covenant was not destroyed by adultery...........the adultery lead to the DEATH of the guilty----DEATH destroyed/nullified the covenant of marriage. We see the SAME thing spoken in Romans 7:2-3. The woman in Paul's illustration is not freed from her husband due to her adultery. Paul teaches that she is only free with his DEATH. DEATH frees one/both from the covenant. You will find nowhere that Paul teaches divorce or adultery dissolves the covenant of marriage for those God has joined together.  

Comment/question
About Herodias and Heroes they on top of all sins were committing incest..I am telling you Cindy,.the nobles did what they pleased and go sinning, if was another Jew sure would be stoned to death, as Philip by the law to receive her back was abomination, by the Law...and sure John the Baptist died because of his godly standing about situation going on. And sure lets not forget the adulterous is adulterous because they broke covenant, they are not free as the sinned against was and is. Who were to be put to death in this situation by the law of God? Those 2 of course...they were "untouchables" in their thinking and ways, but the Lord sure is just and Himself do justice because it belongs to Him. Amen
Response
By the law, Philip did not divorce Herodias, she divorced him (unlawfully) and married his brother. So, in fact, if we are to go by the law of Moses it would NOT have been an abomination for Philip to reclaim his wife. David reclaimed his wife from her second husband, and there is no record that what David did was sin in the Lord's sight. What CAN be ascertained in the Herod/Herodias situation is that she did not belong to Herod----she belonged to Philip, irregardless of the divorce, remarriage, adultery. She was NOT Herod's wife in the eyes of God.

Comment/question
Yes, men mess up big time as always, the Lord is merciful and have great patience as He wants everybody to repent and come to salvation in Him that His blood, only His blood covers the sins and we take His righteousness...the situation is that covenant before the Lord is very much serious, although the world change laws and see it the way they see it, still in God eyes things are the same, abominations still the same before Him. Each one walks before the Lord and will stand before the Lord a individuals. The Lord work on men's hearts and do the convincing, if one hardens and hardens, goes unrepentant and dies unrepented, they sure will die in their sins. I am sure do pray for prodigals a the Lord as the prodigal Father is waiting more the any of us for their return. Still only the Lord knows regarding prodigals.
Response
I agree............however, we do not know about the prodigals, yet many today believe it quite ok to give up on them and "move on", when we do not have God's Word to do so----to the contrary.

 

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Critique of David Instone-Brewer on Divorce

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