"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


Men Can Divorce, Women Cannot??

Comment/question
The reason a woman could not remarry was because a woman could not legally divorce. If she just left, she was still married... hence remarrying was adultery.

 

I also think (may have to find it later) that there is a verse in the old law where if a woman was "put away" and there is a remarriage, then marriage back to the old spouse was forbidden.
Response
Jesus addressed a woman divorcing her husband(Mark 10). It WAS being done in His day. As a matter of fact Herodias divorced her husband Philip---and it was a scandal because she married again while her husband was still living. Realize WHY John the Baptist was beheaded: because he told Herod that he had his brother Philip's wife. The divorces of both of their spouses (Herod's and Herodias) did NOT dissolve the bond of marriage between Herodias and Philip. She was his wife until HE (Philip) died. Herod and Herodias were not in actuality married in God's sight, but were committing adultery, in addition to breaking Jewish incest laws.

 

As to Deut. 24:1-4, I am in disagreement as to one not returning to their 1st spouse after a divorce/remarriage. In that passage the wife was NEVER charged with committing adultery through a remarriage. In the certificate of divorce that was given the wife, she was PERMITTED to become another man's wife. This passage in no way aligns with NT teaching on divorce/remarriage.........with remarriage being adultery while one has a living spouse.

 

Comment/question
I would like to add something to (name deleted) discussion of the 1 Cor. 7 passages...there are several areas in this chapter where Paul tells Wives that if they leave their husbands, they cannot marry. Then he says "Husbands who are loosed from their wives CAN marry." Paul was not being discriminatory in this: he was responding to a LEGAL reality of that day. The WIFE could not divorce her husband. She could leave him, but she could not divorce him so was therefore bound to him unless he divorced her; under these circumstances if she were to "marry" it would not have been legal since she was still bound to her first husband. If the husband divorced the wife, then she was no longer bound to him and was then loosed to marry again.
Response
Jesus addressed both men divorcing their wives as well as wives divorcing their husband. Wives could and did divorce their husbands-----especially in the Gentile world---which Paul was a preacher to.

 

Comment/question
Since women are no longer viewed as property, women are now equally able as men to pursue a divorce. In the Greco-Roman era, from what I'm told, only men could divorce their wives. Women could not divorce their husbands..
Response
just wanted to point out where you are in error. First, in Mk. 10(a gospel given to a Gentile audience--unlike Matthew which was sent to a Jewish audience) Jesus DOES speak of men AND women putting away their spouses, not just men. Secondly, we also know from Josephus' writings (a Jew who wrote Jewish History), that Herodias divorced Philip to marry Herod, Philip's brother. We also know from the scriptures that John the Baptist referred to Herodias as Philip's wife, not Herod's and rebuked Herod for having her (hence lost his head for that rebuke).............

 

Comment/question

Ah, but cultures and traditions are not irrelevant. I'm not saying they're of paramount importance, either. The Bible was not written in a vaccuum. It was written by various authors in Israelite and Greco-Roman societies/cultures. The words, the phrasing and even the understanding of how far certain concepts extend is very much culturally rooted. (And, since culture cannot be fully separated from language, these things have a strong linguistic componant.) A verse cannot mean something now it never meant when it was written.

If you take all of the Bible as your guide for what is right and wrong, am I safe to assume you oppose women wearing pants, women not wearing head coverings, men praying with their heads covered, women braiding their hair, and women saying anything at all in church? The majority of Christians today have decided those matters, though mandated in Pauline scriptures, are culturally bound and do not apply to us in the same way today.

Divorce meant something quite different to Greco-Roman Jews than it does to us today. Financially, a divorced woman had nothing. She had virtually no means of supporting herself—or the children she probably took with her after the divorce. "Hardness of heart" to cast a woman and her children out on the street? You bet! It was more than the severing of a relationship and a legal arrangement of assets, which is what we know it to be today. Therefore, while it made perfect sense to condemn those who cast others into poverty, divorced people today don't have the same lack of financial opportunities.

I'm not saying divorce is a good thing. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I just don't think it always represents moral failure.

That's it. I'm done. I don't want to go 'round and 'round in an argument that will benefit no one.

Response
I understand that cultural practices are sometimes important to understand what is meant throughout the Word. However, in regards to divorce/remarriage, Jesus and Paul have spoken on the matter. I gave you the passage by Jesus in which He speaks of women divorcing (Mark 10), so to say that was NOT a cultural practice of Jesus' time is at odds with what the Word of God says. Josephus, the famous Jewish historian, even wrote of Herodias divorce from Philip, so it was a practice in Jesus' day. I too, don't want to debate you on these issues, you just need to understand that you are presenting your case from faulty information-----information that directly contradicts scripture.

 

Comment/question
1 Cor 7:3-9
Although a man was allowerd to divorce his wife, the wife was not allowed to divorce her husband for any reason. Legally the wife was bound to her husband as long as the both lived or until he divorced her.
Response
Since it is your belief that adultery gives right to a divorce and then a remarriage, I would like you to address a few scriptures if you will: Jer. 3:1, Hosea 2 (particularly verse 7), Rom. 7:2-3, I Cor. 7:39.

I know you addressed I Cor. 7:39, but it appears that you believe woman could NOT divorce, only men could. The thing is that Jesus DID discuss women divorcing their husbands (Mk. 10), so it WAS a practice of His time---that's why He addressed it. Also, we need to understand that Paul in Rom. and I Cor. was speaking to mainly GENTILE CHRISTIANS, not Jews. In the Gentile culture, women COULD divorce their husbands. Matter of fact, Herodias divorced Philip in order to marry Herod. So the "law" Paul is speaking of here is not Jewish law, but the Law of marriage, which binds until death. Thanks for your input.
 

 

Comment/question
The scripture literally says if a woman divorces her husband, she is to remain unmarried.
Response
In Mark 10, Jesus says and if the wife put away her husband and marry again, she committeth adultery. Why? Because she is still joined to her 1st husband in the eyes of the Lord. He does not recognize the divorce as dissolving what He joined together. If she is still joined to her first, that means the first husband is still joined to her, so it would be adultery for him to remarry as well. 

 

Comment/question
People use that scripture about a wife who departs ought to remain unmarried or reconcile with her husband. This verse doesn't fit my story, so it doesn't apply. I didn't leave my husband. He abused, abandoned, and divorced me.
Response
Paul never addresses who left who. It very well could be that the wife is put out of the house. That doesn't change Paul's (actually the Lord's) command. Paul also said a husband is not to divorce his wife. Paul did not mean in either case: but if you do....................THEN you can go and get another wife/husband.


 

Why I Repented Of A Marriage God Called Adulterous!
My Testimony
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A Preacher's Repentance From Adulterous Remarriage.

The Testimony of J.M Humphrey


Judy's Repentance From Remarriage Adultery


Tony Sexton's Repentance From Remarriage Adultery


Dave's Repentance From Remarriage Adultery


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Frequently Asked Questions, Comment, Arguments About Marriage Divorce & Remarriage


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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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