"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


Jesus & The Woman With 5 Husbands.

John 4

 

Comment/question
(Jesus & The Woman with 5 Husbands)
1- Was she to stop having sex with the man who she was not married to?
2- Was she to marry this man?
3- Why did He call those other men her husbands if He did not recognize those marriages?
Response
1. Jesus didn't tell the woman to do anything, what He did do was let her know HE knew her sin.

 

2. Again, Jesus did not even indicate if this man OR HER was free to marry again-----only that the man she was with was NOT HER husband.

 

3. We don't have enough information as to whether they were "real" husbands or not by what He says. She could have lawfully married all of them according to OT law or she could have "had" 5 husbands which were not hers to have.

 

This passage is not thorough enough to try and rest in----for either camp. What we do have clear teaching on is that Jesus Himself said that to enter into a marriage AFTER a divorce is to commit adultery. Does committing adultery make a person the spouse of the other person? It doesn't appear to be evident anywhere in scripture to be the case.

 

Comment/question
Jesus spoke the truth. what are you talking about? Are you saying that all 5 of her husbands died? Why would he even address this if this was the case? He would have just addressed the man she was living with.
------
quote:
16He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here."

 

17The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband';

 

18for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."

 

19The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
-------
If her husbands had died they would be no more. Because after death there is no marriage. It was a good way though for you to go around the obvious.
Response
Exactly. Jesus said "you HAVE HAD"----past tense........you or I don't know any more info than that. All did die, hence the "you HAVE HAD" statement or as in OT times, divorce WAS tolerated......and with the tolerated divorce, remarriage was granted.

 

Like I said though, trying to extract MORE than is written to prove something is meaningless, IMHO. Unless it all is spelled out clearly, each of us is only speculating. I don't think that's a good way to determine solid doctrinal positions or applications. We need to stick with what Jesus and Paul did speak clearly on the matter.

 

Comment/question
Is there a scriptural example of Jesus dealing with an adulterer and giving her the instructions our sister is peddling. No, but there is the adulterer that Jesus meets in John 4 at the well of Jacob who our Lord acknowledges that He is aware of her multiple marriages, yet He invites her to partake of the Living Water of Life. This would be the perfect place for our Lord to instruct us of what to do with scrambled eggs i.e. multiple marriages, yet He is more concerned with the testimony of Himself. The "adulterer" becomes his chief witness in that region.
Response
Actually, in the above scenario, it is clear that Jesus DID allow her to know that the relationship she was presently in was sin. Did He specifically call her to forsake that sin? No. What He did do was invite a sinner to come and drink.............and He does that with ALL sinners. He does not say "first you must perfect yourself, THEN come to me".......After we come to Him, He will begin to show us those things which need to be forsaken.

 

On another occasion Jesus met up with another adulteress. Did He speak of her sin? Yes, He did. Did He address the forsaking of it? Yes, He did. He told her to "go and sin no more"........in other words, stop committing adultery. If one truly is repentant and a relationship is revealed by the Lord to be sin, one doesn't confess their knowledge of the sin, then go back into the sinful relationship. They confess in agreement with the Lord that such a relationship is sin and they forsake the relationship...........and that is what the sister in the OP did. The sin was revealed to her and she responded by forsaking the sin in obedience to the Lord. Jesus said, "those who love me, obey me"............she was PROVING by the fruits of repentance, her love for the Lord......... Blessings..........


Comment/question
Let me take issue with your response to my post, the woman at the well. As I stated, Jesus did read her mail - multiple husbands and even one who was not. This would be the prime opportunity for Him to instruct her on marriage. "Be careful not to marry again until your first husband is dead." If this is what was needed to keep her "spotless" surely Jesus would have instructed her before leaving town.
Response
I disagree with your reasoning here. Jesus almost NEVER addressed a particular person's sins. Zacheus comes to mind. The Lord didn't rebuke him of his taxation thievery...........he SAW his own sin when He opened himself up to the Lord. I believe this is the PERFECT way. Unfortunately, throughout God's Word, we see where people needed instruction on sin because they had gone astray and were walking in blindness........

.

However, again, I believe the Lord's perfect way is when one has opened their heart to Him, seeing their sin themselves---without the need for others' words. How many times have people in our midst (and even ourselves for that matter) sinned in word/deed and someone held their tongue, yet the "guilty" were convicted? Such was the woman at the well........she was convicted with the very few words the Lord spoke. She KNEW what needed to be done. As for Jesus teaching her personally, His Word on marriage/divorce went forth, did it not? Did He personally need to point to every step that she needed to take in order to repent?

 

Comment/question
We both agree the Jesus teaches that divorcing a spouse and them marrying another constitutes adultery and is wrong; the question is whether that is an act that happens at a point in time, or something that continues indefinitely nullifying the vow that was taken. This is something that is not stated clearly in scripture. In the story of the woman at the well, Jesus speaks about the woman having five previous husbands before living with someone who was not her husband. Here he seems to be acknowledging the validity of the previous five vows, and I believe it would be a stretch to believe that all of the other husbands died before each remarriage took place.
Response
Jesus also acknowledges that people "marry" in the Gospel teachings on marriage, divorce, remarriage..........yet what does He say? He says those who marry another commit adultery. As for the woman at the well, many try to use that event to say Jesus honored the woman's previous marriages as legitimate. There is just no evidence of this. All we do know is that she was PRESENTLY in sin. We also cannot assume that all her husbands DIDN'T die as the text does not say one way or the other. To me, this passage does not lean one way or the other for either side of this issue.

One thing to consider: if we are to assume the woman at the well's previous marriages were condoned by God and that they were "unbiblical" marriages, then we must allow for those who could use the argument that polygamy is honored by God because the women marry a man and are called husbands/wives. Is this ok with the Lord or are those relationships (the "marriages" entered into AFTER the first) adultery to the Lord?
 


 

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My Testimony
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Critique of David Instone-Brewer on Divorce

By Dr. Leslie McFall
Former lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament. Now a full-time researcher in Biblical Studies.
Former Research Fellow at Tyndale House Library (Cambridge, England).

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