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Old 06-13-2017, 03:26 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Divorce and Remarriage?

Bringing this over from the Debate section for more exposure and discussion. A poster wrote this:
I was wanting to get some feedback on remarriage after divorce. There was someone I know who made a statement that if you are remarried with a living spouse then you must leave your second(third, fourth, etc.) and either be reconciled to the first or remain single. Although I dismissed this on the grounds of it being illogical especially when children are involved.

I don't have any scriptural guidelines to give definitive answers on the subject. Jesus did say it was adultery to remarry those divorced or put away. Does their second marriage cease being adultery when the person repents or does repentance require termination of the adulterous relationship? Also, Paul makes reference that it is better to marry than to burn. That being said if a divorcee is struggling in their flesh with being single wouldn't it be better to be living in fidelity than to be tempted to fornicate.

What if there spouse leaves them because of their Christian conversion? Are they to remain unmarried throughout the remainder of their life? Some of this seems a bit harsh to me. Although, I understand that God does not want us to have license to divorce... but as a preacher/teacher I want to lead people to live godly lives.

Appreciate any input

To which I replied:

Difficult subject. However, about being reconciled to the first spouse:
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 KJV When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. (2) And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. (3) And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; (4) Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
And:

There is the argument that Jesus disallowed all divorce with one exception. However, there is the counter argument that Jesus disallowed "putting away", which is technically separate from "divorce".

There are two things to consider: putting away, and divorce. Putting away is when a husband send his wife out of the house and says "I am no longer your husband, I am no longer responsible to or for you." Moses required a "writ of divorce" or "bill of divorcement" in such cases. Thus, in order to put away his wife, a man had to give her a paper stating he had dissolved the marriage contract. This would prove that she was divorced, and would allow her to re-marry without the new husband being accusable of adultery with her first husband's wife. This of course enabled women who were put away to find another husband and have someone to take care of them so they didn't starve as a homeless vagabond or spend the rest of their years at Mom and Dad's house in artificial widowhood.

Jesus said Moses allowed a bill of divorce because of the hardness of people's hearts. Apparently, he knew there would be men who were buttheads and kick their wives to the curb, so he made an allowance to protect the woman in such cases by requiring a written proof of divorce, rather than just a separation ("putting away").

There are some who say that Jesus did not actually say all divorce results in adultery, but rather that putting away (without the divorce paper) would. The difference hinges on the meaning of two Greek words, which in the KJV were given the same English translation, thus (they say) obscuring the actual issues.
Matthew 5:32 KJV But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
The words "put away" and "divorced" are actually the same Greek word, apoluo, which literally means "loosed from" and refers to the separation. There is another, different Greek word for "divorce" which refers to being put away with a divorce writ. So, the argument goes, Jesus is condemning "putting away" as causing adultery, not necessarily divorce. the exception clause is "for fornication" which means a man discovers his bride is not a virgin. He may then put her away (annul the marriage) without requiring a divorce writ (which involves witnesses) and neither incurs nor causes any guilt. Joseph was minded to put away Mary privately when she was discovered to be pregnant, because ... well, for obvious reasons. (Of course, Mary had not been guilty of fornication, but Joseph had no way of knowing that until the angel told him the facts.)

This interpretation results in the following:

1. The law of God is not suddenly changed by Jesus' statement. If Jesus had suddenly disallowed all divorce as resulting in adultery, people who were not in sin prior to His statement suddenly found themselves in sin. All divorcees who had remarried and all who had married divorcees were now all of a sudden committing adultery, whereas prior to His statement they were not. This also prevents the accusation that Jesus had changed or abolished the law on the subject of divorce and adultery, which Jesus said He did not come to do. (It is one thing to expand the law to highlight the spiritual aspects, it is another thing to make unlawful what was explicitly lawful previously.)

2. Paul's statements that a person who is "loosed from a spouse" may marry without committing sin is in keeping with both Moses and Christ (1 Cor 7:27-29).

3. It provides for mercy for those who were divorced by their spouses. It is a fact that just as in Bible times, so today, there are hard-hearted people, and by requiring a divorce writ for those who would put away their spouses the one put away is protected. God obviously does not like or prefer divorce, but knowing what jerks humans can be He put in place a mechanism where the put away spouse's future was protected, so that divorce wasn't the end of life.

4. The exception clause is limited to premarital fornication. One who expects to marry a virgin, and then finds out she is not, is not bound to marry her. (If, of course, he is pleased to dwell with her anyway, then he cannot come back some time later and use it as an excuse to get rid of her.) EDIT: the exception clause is limited to "porneia" or fornication, which would include premarital immorality but also any forbidden relations (incest, heathens, etc).

5. The exception clause rules out adultery. Under the law there was no mechanism for getting a divorce on the grounds your spouse cheated on you. Rather, if adultery could be proven, the result was capital punishment, not divorce. And if a charge was levied, and could not be proven according to the law, then the one making the charge could potentially be liable to execution themselves for being a "false witness". Nobody under the law ever sought divorce on the grounds of adultery, at least not publicly. (However, a man might for example divorce his wife for "other reasons" so as not to publicly accuse the woman of adultery, creating the need for a felony investigation.)

There are, however, some problems with this approach:

1. It makes Jesus providing no new information about the command and law of God on the subject of marriage and divorce except that a man might put away his espoused wife if he discovered she was not a virgin. But arguably this was already the way things were, hence Jesus provided no new information about divorce at all. (It may, however, be argued he was saying that once betrothed nothing could end the betrothal except the fornication exception, in contrast to certain Pharisaic teachings on divorce.)

2. It makes Jesus not actually answer the question He was asked. He was not asked about putting away during the betrothal, but about divorce. This is not insurmountable, though, as Jesus often answered His adversaries in ways they did not expect or desire. But it is a definite objection that would need to be addressed.

3. It tends to give wiggle-room for divorce, and would tend to encourage - rather than discourage - divorce. If divorce is seen as a possible and lawful option, it is more likely to be taken than if it is believed to be utterly disallowed.

Any thoughts?
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Last edited by Esaias; 06-13-2017 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:21 PM
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

Nobody wants to touch this one, eh?

lol
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:53 PM
Monterrey Monterrey is offline
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

Marriage is a covenant, if the covenant is broken then the covenant is no longer in effect. The covenant can only be as strong as the covenant makers. That is why God alone can make an unbreakable covenant.

If the covenant is broken and the covenant makers both forgive and go on then the covenant is still in effect. But if one or the other refuses to renew the covenant then now it is of no effect and is of no power.

That is why a covenant breaker is listed in Romans 1. The sin is not divorce, the sin is covenant breaking. Divorce is the fruit of the sin.

But if someone repents of covenant breaking then what? Do they go back to the first or even wait for them? But what if the first does not want to reconcile?

Many of the no remarriage proponents are living under a law mandate versus the grace mandate. If you are going to do that then you must also use the same punishment for adultery that they used, death. But, that is not available, thank goodness, so today we have Grace.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:37 AM
YounginHope YounginHope is offline
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

There is a good thread/debate from back in 2012 started by james34 titled simply "adultery". It covers everything talked about on this thread and it got a lot of response. When this subject comes up I always go back to that thread to read over the comments. I would love to see this thread get traction as a refresher.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:01 AM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
There is the argument that Jesus disallowed all divorce with one exception. However, there is the counter argument that Jesus disallowed "putting away", which is technically separate from "divorce".
Does this tie into following concept?
Agunah (Hebrew: עגונה‎‎, plural: agunot (עגונות); literally "anchored" or "chained") is a halachic term for a Jewish woman who is "chained" to her marriage. The classic case of this is a man who has left on a journey and has not returned, or has gone into battle and is MIA. It also refers to a woman whose husband refuses, or is unable, to grant her a divorce document in Jewish religious law, known as a get.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agunah
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:25 AM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

I know a church near me (not Apostolic) that teaches that remarriage after a divorce is always adultery. Their concept is essentially like that held by the Catholics and I assume it is taken from the follow texts:
Matthew 19:9
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication (revealed sexual activity prior to marriage that nullifies the marriage), and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Mark 10:11
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Mark 10:12
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
However, they often apply grace to remarry through the spiritual authority of the church based on this text:
John 20:23
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
If a divorcee (or divorcees) seek to marry, they approach the church leadership for permission to marry. If the pastor hears the details of the divorce (or divorces) involved and feels that their marrying is indeed for their greater good, the pastor prays with them and speaks forgiveness into their circumstance and allows them to remarry. But, if the pastor feels that unresolved issues persist and that the second marriage isn't in the couple's best interests, the pastor allows them to remain bound to their previous spouses. This very same use of spiritual authority is used when dealing with remarried couples who are remarried prior to attending this church.

I just thought it was a strange way of addressing the issue.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:49 AM
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

Speaks forgiveness? Was their divorce a sin against that pastor? If not, he has no power or reason to forgive.

That issue is between them and God as far as forgiveness goes.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:19 AM
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

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Originally Posted by jediwill83 View Post
Speaks forgiveness? Was their divorce a sin against that pastor? If not, he has no power or reason to forgive.

That issue is between them and God as far as forgiveness goes.
They remind me of the Catholics. They believe the church is delegated authority to forgive or bind sin upon the individual.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:48 AM
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Nobody wants to touch this one, eh?

lol
I think you covered it fairly well.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:29 AM
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jediwill83 jediwill83 is offline
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Re: Divorce and Remarriage?

Good post.

I'm divorced due to adultery...

Few weeks after our separation she let's me know she's expecting with someone else's kid...she's had several more since then.

I'm nowhere near perfect and certainly wasn't the best husband but there's no way in heck I'm reconciling with her.

Married for a second time and I've learned a lot due to being previously married.

Wouldn't wish divorce on anyone....it's a horrible thing to go through.
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