Home > Brandenburg, Divorce/Remarriage, Jack Hammer > Got Controversy? Divorce and Remarriage

Got Controversy? Divorce and Remarriage

May 2, 2007

I’m not saying this is the most controversial.  Other subjects get more heat on the web–Calvinism/Arminianism, Continuationist/Cessationist, KJVO/MVO–to name a few.  We don’t attempt to avoid controversy here, hence Jackhammer.  Divorce and remarriage will be more controversial here than almost anything else, because this is one of those subjects about which we have some disagreement.  But only one view can be right.  God speaks plainly.  So we should be able to come to a clear conclusion.

We should look for the evidence in Scripture.  We should compare passages.  So let’s do that.

I separate doctrinally and practically over the support of divorce.  The Bible does not support divorce.  God hates it.  No one should like it.  No one should be recommending it.  I haven’t separated over someone only taking a different view than what I take.  The bottom line thus far for me has been non-encouragement of divorce.

I preach only my position in our church.  We don’t have anyone in our church, that I know of, that takes a different position than what I preach.  I don’t think my view is popular, actually the least popular.  Being the least popular doesn’t make it right.  I’ve always told others that the view that you take should be the one you can defend.  You lack in character if you take a position just because you’ll be more popular.  I believe your integrity is at stake if you don’t preach what you actually believe.Â

My position is no divorce-no remarriage.  People will not join a church, I’ve found, because of taking this position on divorce.  They have looked for a church where they could remarry.  I can’t imagine that any pastor would not know this.  I believe the Bible teaches no divorce-no remarriage.  I think I’m open on this.  I believe I’d be willing to change if I was convinced from Scripture.  However, every argument I’ve had over this has strengthened my position, so that I’m stronger than ever.  I still like hearing the other side.  I think I have some clincher arguments for the no divorce-no remarriage position.  I will be giving them to you.  Maybe you’ll learn something.  Hopefully, I will too.

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  1. Gary Johnson
    May 2, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Very much looking forward to this month. When first saved, I was taught the error of remarriage in various situations, of course this was done to defend the many divorced and remarried pastors. When challenged to study the subject on my own apart from what man’s opinion was, I found I had been taught wrong. I agree that divorce is always sin, and remarriage is never allowed.

    A subject I am interested in seeing brought out, what about divorced and remarried church members? Or should they not be church members, etc…?

    The hammering may get going strong, best get a good grip on the handle.

  2. May 2, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Thanks Gary. 🙂 Strong hammering. Is there a special helmet I should get?

  3. May 2, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Looking forward to it!

  4. May 2, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    People will not join a church, I’ve found, because of taking this position on divorce. They have looked for a church where they could remarry. I can’t imagine that any pastor would not know this.

    When first saved, I was taught the error of remarriage in various situations, of course this was done to defend the many divorced and remarried pastors.

    No doubt this happens. But I believe that there are cases when divorce would be lawful, and I don’t take that position in order to make it easier for someone to join my church. I am opposed to divorced men in the pastorate, so that is out too.

    I’d like to think that I can make a Biblical case for lawful divorce. And I’d like to think that I can change my mind if I see that the Bible disagrees with my position.

    Anyway, I think I’m taking a biblical position. But I’ll wait for Tom to tell me for sure.

  5. May 2, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    The last comment is very funny. I had to laugh out loud.

  6. Anvil
    May 3, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Not that you gentlemen care that much about what I think, but it appears I have a similar view to Pastor Mallinak on this issue, so it will be interesting to see the discussion this month.

  7. May 3, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Brother Kent,

    I used to have your position, but I have come to believe that the Bible does ALLOW for divorce in rare and specific cases. Personally, if I believe that the Bible allows divorce, I must believe it would allow re-marriage under in the same cases.

    I echo what Brother Mallinak says about pastors who have been divorced and re-married.

  8. May 3, 2007 at 11:49 am

    I found the secret to prevent divorce. Announce to your mate they get full custody of the kids.

    Seriously, though this will be interesting. I have been often told I’m an extremist on the subject. Maybe, but I think the Bible is our guide. If I am an extremist, at least I am a Bible believing extremist.

  9. Bobby Mitchell
    May 3, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Just want everyone to know that I just believe the Bible on this. I’m a Biblicist. Therefore, my position is the Biblical position. So there.

    Smiles!!!!

  10. May 3, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I’m glad we have at least one Biblicist here. (winky, winky)

    But before we get it going, what do you all believe should happen when a lawful polygamist (in a third world country) converts to Christianity? Should he keep all his wives, or should he only keep the first?

  11. Juan Carlos Asmat
    May 3, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Enjoy very much reading the comments and looking foward to this very interesting topic. Questions??
    Which marriage “counts” before God, the civil or the religious one?
    What about if a man had a child with a woman(were not married) but marries another woman; what should that man do?
    Why did God allow Jacob to have children from four(?) different women and blessed them as the twelve tribes of Israel? Is there a difference in O.T. and N.T. teaching on this topic?

  12. May 3, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Hey Juan. On the polygamy question, which overlaps on comment #10 and #11, the Bible is silent about what to do with those situations. Since the Bible teaches one man-one woman husband-wife relationship, I would treat the other two as invalid and tell them to go elsewhere after repenting of their immorality, etc. I believe the man should support the other former polygamist wives too. I don’t get the second question exactly. If a man has a child with a woman he doesn’t marry and then marries someone else, he is married to the second woman but the child is still his too. He should support the child and the mother of the child, as well as his wife and stay married to his wife. God allows a lot of activities and then records them, which is evidence of inspiration. He blessed Jacob for the faith in Him. The Bible hasn’t changed on marriage, even as Jesus testifies in the Gospels.

    Bobby, I don’t take the Biblical position, but the historic Evangelical Reformed Baptist Augustinian Nicean Council Fundamental Irenaean Covenantal Dispensational View.  

  13. May 3, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Pastor Mallinak,

    Good question, I do believe there is something mentioned in the OT about that if a man takes on a second wife, he must make sure he still cares for his first wife and not neglect her and still provide for her? Not sure of the reference, but think it is in Leviticus.

    I would guess, the issue would be is if it is legal to practice polygamy in that country?

  14. May 4, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Since the Bible teaches one man-one woman husband-wife relationship, I would treat the other two as invalid and tell them to go elsewhere after repenting of their immorality, etc.

    The question on polygamy would be, does God consider legal polygamous marriages as invalid? If the marriages are legally binding, then how does the man end the marriage?

  15. May 4, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Dave,

    Since Scripture is silent, we are speaking in the realm of speculation, but my speculation would be based upon marriage being more than something “legally binding.” I believe one aspect of marriage is legal. However, we are talking about something theological. If our country legalizes sodomite marriage and beastial marriage, which is not out of the realm of possibility any more, that doesn’t mean that we count them as married does it?

    Anvil,

    We listen to your opinion.

  16. May 4, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Scripture is not silent on polygamy when polygamy is legal (Ex. 21:10). Homosexuality, however solemnized, is punishable by death according to OT law. But David among others was a polygamist, and in no way does the Bible view his polygamist marriages as invalid.

  17. May 4, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I don’t think Exodus 21:10 is permitting polygamy. I believe the understanding is “another wife instead of her.” This is based on the Hebrew word “lo,” in verse 8, which does not show up in the English. He does not betroth her to himself (verse eight) but another woman (verse ten). I don’t believe “duty of marriage,” the Hebrew word, is necessarily conjugal rights.

  18. May 7, 2007 at 7:29 am

    I wouldn’t say that Exodus 21:10 is “permitting” polygamy either. I would say that it is regulating it. Clearly, the Bible teaches against polygamy, and yet we have polygamy. David married multiple wives, and never once did the prophet come by to say “thou art the man.” (Consider also 2 Sam 12:8). God rebuked and chastised David for adultery, but not for polygamy.

    The point is that if you are against divorce ever for any reason, then it is hardly consistent to require divorce in cases of polygamy.

  19. Anvil
    May 7, 2007 at 11:52 am

    One other thing to consider (and one of you may have already intended to bring it up this month), is the situation in Ezra where the foreign wives were to be put away (e.g. Ezra 10:3). Is this permitted divorce, or would it be argued that those women were not truly “valid” wives (as with the argument above on wives # 2 through #x in a polygamous relationship)? Obviously this is not NT, but it seems that when considering the body of scripture on this topic, this incident must be part of the conversation.

  20. Paul Emile
    May 26, 2007 at 12:05 am

    ” Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity ” , Thoreau wrote it and I believe in it’s intended roots and complexity. Simplicity verses complexity? Think of it . They intended to stir the pot so that people would talk, discuss and come to a reasonable conclusion given the known facts that we knew at that particular moment in time.

    I now believe that the words ” What God have joined together, let no man put assunder” is perfectly said but poorly interpreted. What if the Lord simply did not bring any particular union together? Then if God did not create the union was there ever a divorce?

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