Home > Brandenburg, Divorce/Remarriage > What God Hath Put Together: The Bible on Divorce and Remarriage (part one)

What God Hath Put Together: The Bible on Divorce and Remarriage (part one)

May 8, 2007

No Divorce:  The Will of GodÂ

We want to know what God says about divorce and remarriage.  We look for statements that God makes about it, not implications, but declared truth.  Malachi 2:16 says that God hates divorce.  The word “hateth” is placed emphatically at the very front of the verse in the Hebrew, emphasizing the hatred that God has for divorce.  I looked up the times that this word for hate is used in the Old Testament to see if whatever it was that God hated was something that could possibly be in His will in certain circumstances.  Here they are:

Deuteronomy 12:31, “Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”

Deuteronomy 16:22, “Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.

Proverbs 6:16-19. “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Isaiah 61:8, “For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.”

The above are every instance with Malachi 2:16 being the last.  Do you see anything in those verses that God hates that He would actually be fine with someone doing based on the circumstances?  Not one.  God could have chosen a different word instead of this one that would have communicated some kind of permission or exception, but He didn’t.

Then the Lord Jesus says (Mark 10:6-12):

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;  And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.  And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

In the Matthew account (19:6), the Lord says:  “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

And then Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:10 writes:  “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband.”  The Lord commands, “Let not the wife depart from her husband.”  When Paul says that this charge is not his but the Lord’s, He means that he is aware of a specific saying from the historical Jesus which addressed this issue.  As a matter of fact, this text is much like the one in Mark 10 (above) where both husband and wife are addressed.  When the Apostle Paul summarized the Lord’s teaching concerning divorce, he did not include any exception to the total prohibition of divorce by Christ.  This says that Christ taught the indissolubility of marriage.  Otherwise, Paul might have been expected to include a commonly understood exception to divorce in his summary.

That is the will of God.  No divorce.  Nowhere does God say that divorce is acceptable.  Not one verse tells us that God allows divorce.  No place in the Bible do we see God give an acceptable reason for divorce.  Nothing is said to end a marriage.   In marriage, God joins together until death do part.

God practices what He preaches.  In John 10:29, the Lord Jesus says, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”  The Father gave the believer to the Son, and the Son has gone to prepare a place for them whom the Father gave to Him (John 14:2).  Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).  Even when we commit spiritual adultery against Him (James 4:4), the Son will never divorce Himself from us.

What About Exceptions?

In Luke 16:18 and Mark 10:11, 12, the Lord Jesus Christ calls all remarriage after divorce adultery, whether it is the husband or the wife who does the divorcing.  Anyone receiving just one of those two gospels, which were many in the first century, would have been hard-put to argue for any exceptions.  They would have known clearly that Jesus did not side with any of the sides taken in this matter in Hebrew society.  There are no exceptions to this rule in either place.  Jesus does not recognize divorce as terminating marriage in God’s sight.  The reason a second marriage is called adultery is because the first one is considered still to be valid.  The lost, godless Jewish culture of Jesus’ day considered all divorce to carry with it the right of remarriage.  In Luke, it is not only the divorcing man who is guilty of adultery when he remarries, but also any man who marries a divorced woman.  Jesus rejects the common cultural conception of divorce as including the right of remmarriage.

The Pharisees justified divorce with their interpretations of Deuteronomy 24:1.  The Lord Jesus rejected their intepretations in both Mark 10:2-9 and Matthew 19:3-8 by reasserting the purpose of God in creation, that no human being separate what God has joined together.  In Matthew and Mark, the Pharisees come to Jesus and test him by asking whether it is lawful to divorce his wife, having in mind the passage in Deuteronomy 24:1, which simply describes divorce as a fact, without giving any legislation in favor of it.  They wonder how Jesus could possibly take a position on the passage, but Jesus’ answer is, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives” (Matthew 19:8).

Moses wrote Deuteronomy 24, but he also wrote Genesis 1:27 and 2:24.  Instead of looking at case law which dealt with pre-existent sinning, the Lord’s will was to observe the very beginning of the creation (Mark 10:5).  From those two passages in Genesis, Jesus concludes:  no divorce whatsoever.  The Lord rejects the Pharisees use of Deuteronomy 24:1 and exposes God’s original intention in creation.

In the first century AD, the schools of Hillel and Shammai differed as to what, in view of Deuteronomy 24:1, constituted legitimate reasons for divorce. Shammai thought that divorce could be granted only for marital unfaithfulness. Hillel, on the other hand, asserted that even such a minor irritation as scorching the food was adequate grounds of divorce. In Gittin 10 this view is based upon a loose interpretation of the phrase some indecency (ervath dabar) in Deuteronomy 24:1, and R. Akiba even inferred from if then she finds no favor in his eyes that a man might even divorce his wife if he found a more attractive woman. Whatever one’s understanding of Deuteronomy 24:1, it happened that Hillel’s interpretation became the rabbinic norm. The question, then, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” was actually a question as to whether Hillel’s interpretation was correct. Obviously, if by eliciting from Jesus a statement as to which side he took in this rabbinic dispute over Deuteronomy 24:1 the Pharisees could involve him in a controversy, they would be well on their way toward nullifying his influence on the multitudes.

When Jesus answers them in Matthew 19, He says, “Have ye not read?”  He does that as well in Matthew 12:23, Matthew 12:25, Matthew 22:31, Mark 12:26.  If He doesn’t use that particular phrase, then He uses, “Have ye never read,” really just a version of the first. He does that in Matthew 21:16, Matthew 21:42, and Mark 2:25.  He uses, “Have ye not read so much as this” in Luke 6:3.  In every single case that this occurs, Jesus DOES NOT take the position of the religious leaders.  They weren’t trying to make Him look good. They wanted to trip Him up and create controversy to affect people’s opinion of Him.  Jesus never ever took that route.

(to be continued)

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  1. May 8, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Rather than attempt a point-by-point answer (I agree that God hates divorce, I agree that Christ did not take either side in the Rabbinical debate, and I agree that Deuteronomy does not sanction divorce — in fact, I said all that), I want to answer one misconception of the case for lawful divorce that is commonly floated (and is being floated here).

    The misconception is that we (those on my side in the debate) say that God hates divorce, but will make an exception in some cases. I did not say that. I have (thus far) been careful to distinguish which “putting away” God hates. God hates putting away. But in the case of fornication, who did the “putting away?” God attaches the responsibility to the fornicator, and that is the “putting away” that God hates.

  2. May 8, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Brother Kent,

    I would really like to be on your side in this discussion. I hate divorce and what it does to people and their kids. I hate what it does to the “picture” of Christ and His Church. I know that God hates it.

    How do you deal with the passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16. Particularly, verse 15: “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such [cases]: but God hath called us to peace.”

    What does it mean to be “not under bondage”, if it doesn’t mean a release from the marital “law”?

  3. May 8, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Your first section is entitled “No divorce: the will of God.” If divorce is not the will of God, how do you reconcile Ezra 9 and 10 (esp. the first half of chapter 10)?

  4. May 8, 2007 at 6:11 pm

     Petros,

    We must consider the period in which Ezra 9, 10 occurred dispensationally. When the Israelites were about to enter Canaan around 1440BC, they were warned not to intermarry with the pagan peoples of that land (Deut. 7:3; Ex. 34:16). When Ezra led exiles back to Jerusalem almost a millennium later, he was told that the people of Israel had intermarried with people in the land (Ezra 9:2). He prayed and confessed Israel’s rejection of the law of Deuteronomy 7:3 (9:5-15), and they proposed that a covenant with God be made to put away these foreign women and their children (Ezra 10:3), which they did (10:5-44). Old Testament prohibitions against mixed marriages were not essentially racial, as the examples of the mixed multitude in the Exodus generation (Ex. 12:38, 48; Num. 9:14) and Ruth (Ruth 1:16) illustrate, but the crucial objection was to marriages with those who did not worship Jehovah.

    Ezra understood the law to absolutely prohibit mixed marriages. F. Charles Fensham writes in NICOT on Ezra and Nehemiah (p. 135), “Foreign women were married contrary to the law of God. The marriages were illegal from the outset.” Ezra viewed them as unreal marriages, merely illegitimate relationships. They were contrary to the law. As a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, he used out-of-the-ordinary terms to describe the marrying (taking) and divorcing (sending away) of these women. Although Ezra knows and uses the normal verb for “to marry” (laqach, Ezra 2:61), he uses other terms when he says that they took (nasa’, 9:2, 12; 10:44) some of the daughters of the land, or gave a dwelling to foreign women (yashab, 10:2, 10, 14, 17, 18). Ezra uses the hiphil (causative) form of yatsa’, of putting away wives and children in 10:3, 19. Elsewhere in the OT the qal. form of yatsa’ (Deut. 24:2) is used or else garash (Lev. 21:7, 14; 22:13; Num. 30:9; Ezek. 44:22) or shalach (Deut. 22:19, 29; 24:1, 3, 4). Marriage is a covenant made between a man and a woman in the presence of God. These were not.

    Suggesting from Ezra 9, 10 that Christians today should divorce unbelieving spouses contradicts 1 Corinthians 7:12, 13. That separation surely caused great unhappiness, especially to families with children, but it must be viewed in light of the Israelites living in sin with these women. Sin always leads to unhappiness. The religious idolatry of their mothers undermines their innocence. The story indicates the real consequences of sin and the importance of the holiness of Gods people.

  5. May 9, 2007 at 5:35 am

    I don’t really feel like you provided a solution. God commanded that these men divorce their foreign wives. Your statement of “No divorce: the will of God” does not seem to coincide with this record.

    You state that “Marriage is a covenant made between a man and a woman in the presence of God. These were not.” How so? Were there not other marriages before this in Israel’s history that were between Israelites and unbelieveing foreigners? Are marriages happening today between two unbelievers not covenants “in the presence of God”?

  6. May 9, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Brother Art, I’m hopeful I’ll deal with that 1 Cor. passage, and Petros, you “don’t really feel.” Well, let’s think about it then. First, God didn’t command that these divorce. What verse says that? Second, did you read my comment? The Hebrew words are different than the standard marriage and divorce. I mentioned that. I also mentioned the issue of the foreigners. And then I mentioned that the laws were different for this theocracy, judicial law for the nation that does not apply to us today. You need to think about those things and take them into consideration. So yes, I stand intact with my No Divorce: the will of God. When God clearly hates divorce, we need to read Ezra 9 and 10 with that in mind, and see it in its historic context. Thanks for the interest.

  7. Anvil
    May 9, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Pastor Brandenburg, your line of reasoning here appears to go against what you said to Pastor Mallinak concerning what you called his “dispensational” view of the divorce laws.

    If God hates divorce in all cases, then he would hate it in Ezra’s time as well. I understand what you are arguing about those marriages not being real marriages, but as petros asked, what makes marriages between two unbelievers today any better or different, especially if they were performed in a strictly civil setting?

  8. May 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Anvil, I was actually waiting for that to come up, but I’m simply asking for a dispensational understanding of the passage, not a dispensational changing of the doctrine of divorce. It does show you are reading carefully, which I congratulate you for. There is a difference and it isn’t a cop-out. I believe that no-divorce was the will of God in Ezra’s day too. They didn’t see them as married before God in that nation at that time.

    By the way, am I the only guy who writes on or reads Jackhammer who takes my view of divorce and remarriage? If not, and there are others like me, where are you in the comment section. I’m carrying the water in total for this presentation. Pastor Mallinack is being challenged by me alone.

    Back to you Anvil. In a theocratic nation, they were not recognized marriages, and my evidence is given in my comment. I also showed how that 1 Cor. 7 clears this up in the realm of the marriage of unbelievers today. Also, if you noticed, Joseph as a just man was willing to put away Mary. That was a kind of divorce. God’s hating of divorce was between a husband and wife in Malachi. What happened in Ezra was a “putting away,” but because they were not in marriages recognized by the state, which was a theocracy, it was a different kind of putting away then what we see elsewhere in the OT even. I showed that in the Hebrew, if you will reread my comment.

    And Anvil, what is your point? What are you arguing for? Are you taking some practical point of view, the Hillel view of divorce? I’m not offended at all that you comment. I’m just wondering what your point is. Is it just to stir something up?

  9. May 10, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Pastor Brandenburg stated
    “By the way, am I the only guy who writes on or reads Jackhammer who takes my view of divorce and remarriage? If not, and there are others like me, where are you in the comment section. I’m carrying the water in total for this presentation. Pastor Mallinack is being challenged by me alone”

    I actually agree with you a 100 %. I don’t know the whole theological area like you, thus my comments will probably not make much sense, so I been rather quiet.

    I will comment later when I have more time.

  10. Anvil
    May 10, 2007 at 7:32 am

    First, let me deal with the idea that I am here simply just to stir things up. I’m sorry you feel that way.

    Perhaps it’s because I choose to retain a pseudonym. I do that only to keep personal issues out of the conversation so that it can focus completely on God’s word and the proper way to interpret that. Who I am is really not important. God and his word and purposes are important, and being able to understand the scriptures as fully as possible helps toward that end. In my view, discussions about God’s word are more edifying to all of us when they stays away from what positions or camps a particular man may or may not be a part of. Even terms we may hold dear, like “Christian,” “Baptist,” or “Fundamental,” have lost much of their meaning. Christian can mean practically anything these days, and fundamentalism outside our circles usually refers to bombers. Even Baptist can refer to churches like yours or churches that will “marry” gays, one of which is not too far from where I live. All that to say that names are less important than the actual topics and contents of the discussion.

    I am also assuming that “hammering,” even though I didn’t think I was doing that here, was to be part of this site. We can’t learn simply by patting each other on the back and being yes-men, which I’m sure you don’t want anyway. You guys spent a bit of time hammering on what you named “The Sharper Shop” for trying to keep any sparks from flying, and thus not allowing any real sharpening. Focusing on the weaker parts of the argument forces those of us listening to think, and it forces the one doing the talking to defend the position, both of which help all of us to come to a better understanding. Any stirring I am doing is intended to be only toward that end.

  11. Anvil
    May 10, 2007 at 7:55 am

    I believe I am arguing for the same thing you are — a biblical understanding of the concept of divorce, though currently we have differing views on what that is. Divorce, like many topics, is fairly complex, and we need to understand all of the scriptures involved to get a complete picture. Both the incident recorded in Ezra, and the “exception clause” given by Jesus himself must be considered as part of this conversation. I’m assuming you will eventually deal with the exception clause, but that you just haven’t gotten there yet. To make the argument that divorce is ALWAYS wrong, both of those scriptures must be explained, as they certainly *seem* to argue against your point.

    Regarding Ezra, I read your arguments, but I didn’t get the first time that you were referring more to the theocratic government in force for Israel at that time, under whose laws you believe the marriages referred to there to be invalid. Does this mean you believe that marriages must always be legal under some civil authority for them to be binding? I.e., a covenant before God is not sufficient? Further, it’s not clear that the marriages in Ezra hadn’t been done as part of Medo-Persian civil law (the kingdom of Israel no longer existed as a civil authority at the time those marriages took place). If they had, were they binding or weren’t they? All in all the Ezra passage is still not as clear to me as it apparently is to you.

    And on I Cor 7, I understand what it says about how believers should handle unbelieving spouses, but it’s less obvious how it applies when both spouses are unbelieving. And that doesn’t even get into what happens when the unbelieving spouse wishes to depart, but then the believer is no longer bound. That still sounds like divorce to me, and further, the Christian is not to even oppose it. It’s at least interesting that Christians can be put in the position of not opposing something God hates.

    If this were an easy issue, there wouldn’t be the range of views on this issue that exist within the most right-leaning fundamental camps, or even among the leadership of this site. I’m looking forward to the rest of this month as all you gentlemen lay out your cases on this topic.

  12. May 10, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Anvil,

    Please don’t take me as being sharp with you. I”m talking straight, but I don’t feel sharp about it. Jesus makes it clear, I believe, no divorce. In Malachi, God hates divorce. In that text, it is clear that this is between husband and wife. That makes me look at the Ezra passage in that light. I asked about your point, because you would come to something even looser than the adultery-exception view if you believe that there is something being established in Ezra 9, 10. Those who don’t believe it teaches divorce argue it three ways: the way I did, which was to get into the grammar and conclude that these weren’t considered legitimate marriages. I believe that is a fair interpretation of the passage. Others will say that it is divorce there, but an exceptional divorce that doesn’t apply anywhere else in Scripture. And then you have those that take both one and two and say that they weren’t marriages, but if they were, then it still doesn’t matter. I argue for number one. I think if you see an exception here then you open the door to whatever exception someone wants to make, and they use Ezra 9 & 10 to defend it. I believe that if we use grammar, history, and a plain hermeneutic, this issue isn’t as tough.

    I have a different view for why there are many positions. I believe that today it is mainly because of the break-down of the family and rampant divorce. Men walk after their lusts and we get laxer positions on it. That’s just what I think. I’m not wanting Pastor Mallinak to come in here now and think I believe this is why he takes his position, but I’m answering your point.

    By the way, Pastor Mallinak, when we first met and I wrote your name down, I always wrote a “ck” at the end, and sometimes when I’m not paying attention, I write it with the “ck” again.

    And Anvil, I will be getting to the exception, and to the “clincher” that I mentioned to Pastor Mallinak, and to the use of porneia that Pastor Mitchell mentioned.   And Cathy, you take the same position as I do.  Were you taught this position at some point somewhere?

  13. May 10, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Pastor B,
    I don’t think it was something I was actually taught somewhere, but it is pretty much the conclusion I accepted after reading several different key scriptures ranging from Hosea, to Ephesians.

    Basically from my understanding marriage relationship is an allegory of the relationship of Christ and the church (believers). So when the question comes up about divorce, I ask myself would Christ divorce the church? Divorce should never be an option, Just like losing our salvation is not.

    Here is a question for you Pastor’s. When doing premarital counseling, do you ask the couple what they will do if adultery is commited?

  14. Thomas Ross
    May 10, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

    You are not the only guy out there that takes the no-divorce view. Anyway, a brief comment on the Ezra 9-10 thing. Why not argue so: In the OT theocracy, God commanded Israel to kill anyone who committed idolatry, Deut 13:6-9. So, if Ezra, et al were not under the domination of the Persian empire, they would have put these women to death. Since they could not kill them, they did a lesser thing, that is, put them away. This would have no relevence for today and divorce, since today one is not to put to death a spouse who commits idolatry (Catholic, Mormon, CCM, etc.).

  15. May 11, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Brother Kent,

    Your reasons for pastors having a different view do not apply to me. I, until the last few years, had your position on this. I just believe that there are exceptions (which are RARE) to this. I believe these are taught in Matthew and 1 Cor. 7.

    I am eagerly awaiting your explanation of the 1 Corinthians 7 passage. Over a period of a couple of years I really struggled with this. I don’t believe I can make the Bible “stricter” because it is the way I was raised. 🙂

    Sister Cathy,

    I do indeed counsel people who want to be married, and I do ask that question. I have found that most premarital counseling is taken with a “grain of salt” when given.

  16. Anvil
    May 11, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Pastor Brandenburg, no worries on being sharp with me — hammer away! I would just prefer that your hammering be on my arguments and not my presumed motives.

    Regarding Ezra, I don’t think I’d ever heard the “invalid marriages” argument before. What I had heard was the “exceptional divorce” position, with the caveat that I don’t think I heard that it applied *nowhere else*, but only to something exceptional, and where extending those circumstances to today would seem to be invalid because of the dispensational difference. I’m open to learning, but that passage is definitely a complication to the “no divorce at all” position, which is why I brought it up. I think your “invalid marriages” argument is interesting, but then you have to go further to explain why similar marriages would be valid where those were not. After Solomon started his reconsideration of his life as in Ecclesiastes, would it have been right for him to put-away all the foreign wives he had?

    Sadly, I believe you are right about most of the confusion on this issue — people’s hearts are still hard. However, as you pointed out, that doesn’t mean that all who don’t take the “no divorce at all” position are seeking to make it easy either. We want to go as far as scripture goes and no farther — i.e. we want to know the exact meaning, if possible, not just the “safe” position.

  17. Cathy McNabb
    May 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Art “I have found that most premarital counseling is taken with a “grain of salt” when given.”

    And when they display that attitude, do you still insist on marrying them?

  18. Gary Johnson
    May 11, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Bro. Kent,

    “By the way, am I the only guy who writes on or reads Jackhammer who takes my view of divorce and remarriage? If not, and there are others like me, where are you in the comment section. I’m carrying the water in total for this presentation. Pastor Mallinack is being challenged by me alone.”

    Sorry to be missing out on the fun. I am in Virginia Beach this week visiting my parents. Just checked in to read your post that was due this week. I am with you 100 %, just don’t have time to post anything in defense. Mother’s day is coming, first time in five years for the family to visit Mom and Dad’s place.
    Keep hammering. I will be home next week to join in.

  19. May 11, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    I know I’m supposed to be a contributor to this site, but I feel a little out-classed in this discussion. This is a topic I’ve never had to deal with personally. But I will make a comment on a comment:

    Thomas said, “Why not argue so: In the OT theocracy, God commanded Israel to kill anyone who committed idolatry, Deut 13:6-9. So, if Ezra, et al were not under the domination of the Persian empire, they would have put these women to death. Since they could not kill them, they did a lesser thing, that is, put them away.”

    This is an arguement I have read used today for a biblical defence of divorce in cases when the spouse should have been put to death, but the civil government doesn’t use capital punishments. i.e. murder, etc.

    Hypothetically, Can the spouse of a murderer lawfully (biblically) divorce?

  20. Micky
    May 13, 2007 at 4:03 am

    About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

    Peace Be With You
    Micky

  21. Pastor Travis Burke
    May 13, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Pastor B,
    Sorry I have been out of town the last week and extremely busy before that (I truly don’t see how so many have so much time to post so much info). Any ways…I totally agree with the NO DIVORCE stand. If God hates something…that settles it. Matt. 19:8,
    ‘from the beginning it was not so.” If that is not the intent of God and He hates it…what is there to argue about? I know from pastoring now for three years…there are many distinct ‘cases’ and occurrences…but I cannot believe the Bible and ever counsel anyone to do something God hates. No matter what. Also, based upon Scripture, I believe that marriage is a picture of salvation (Ephesians) and I know that I can’t lose my salvation!
    God also says that when two are married they become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). One is the smallest indivisible unit, you try tearing it apart, you have disaster. Also, Scripture teaches that marriage is a covenant and not a contract (Prov. 2:16-17; Mal 2:14-16). A contract is between two people and allows that if a trust is broken the contract becomes void…a covenant is baed upon unlimited trust no matter what happens. A contract is signed by 2 people with limited responsibility on each side, a covenant has unimited responsibility and continues no matter the circumstances. A contract is a legal promise between you and another, a covenant is a spiritual promise between you, another, and God. A contract can be voided by mutual consent, a covenant has no escape clauses. We see this in the Blood covenant, the Ark of the COvenant. There are no escape clauses in a covenant. The Ark of the covenant, above it was the glory of GOd Himself, a visible presence of God…go to a wedding, the two make their vows of that covenant and our God’s glory is to be pictured there. This is a sacred and precious event. 1st time a covenant is found in Scripture is in Gen. 6:18 when God makes a covenant with Noah. After that covenant was made, a token was given as a reminder of the eternality of that covenant (a wedding ring is to represent the same). In Gen. 15, 3 animals are divided (heffer, goat, ram) and God passed between the pieces in making the covenant with Abram. Why did He pass between the pieces? He was saying, May I be divided in pieces in this covenant is broken. You say that is not possible! True! That is why it is called a covenant. We are saved because of the blood covenant, we can’t lose our salvation b/c it is a covenant.
    Jesus told us in Mark 10 and Matt. 19 not to put assunder what God has joined together.
    In your vows, you should say, Till death do us part. That should mean something or don’t say it!
    To defend divorce is to defend something God hates. Even if I thought it was right in some cases (which I don’t) I wouldn’t talk or write about it. God said He hates it, Who am I to defend it? All pastors know this…if you open the door a little, it will soon be wide open! I say divorce is wrong b/c the Bible says so, b/c Christ says so, who was it that was defending it? PHARISEES! I would much rather have the mind of Christ than a pharisee.
    I realize in looking back on this, that I rambled. Hope you can make some sense out of it. I just had a few minutes and didn’t want Pastor B to think he was alone on the issue.

  22. Thomas Ross
    May 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Two thoughts: In relation to Ezra 9-10 being a justification for divorce where the OT theocracy said that people should be put to death–that does not work, I believe. The NT equivalent to OT death penalty is church discipline, not divorcing your spouse (1 Cor 5:13; “put away” that wicked person parallels the OT death penalty removal of the sinner from the covenant community). In relation to our Catholic friend Micky: please consider the following contrasts between the Roman Catholic religion and Christianity. (I am sorry if this is a long post, but I don’t want to leave an affirmation that God is pleased with Catholicism unanswered). This material is available in print from Bethel Baptist Church, http://www.pillarandground.org, from the “Truth For Catholic Friends” tract. The material below in the rest of this post relates to Catholicism, not to divorce, for those who already know what Scripture teaches on the former subject.

    1.) The true church teaches that “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in [God’s] sight . . . a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law . . . God imputeth [credits] righteousness without works . . . being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 3:20, 28; 4:6; 5:1).
    Catholicism teaches that: “If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema [condemned to hell] (Council of Trent, 6th Session, Canon 12).
    2.) The true church teaches that those who “believe on the name of the Son of God . . . may know that [they] have eternal life” (1 Jn 5:13).
    Catholicism teaches that “that no one can know with a certainty of faith . . . that he has obtained the grace of God” (Ibid, Chapter 9).
    3.) The true church teaches that all who have ever been justified by faith will certainly live with God forever—God will never reverse His declaration that they are righteous and cause them to eternally perish, for “whom [God] did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified [they will enter the glory of heaven]. . . .Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect [His chosen people]? It is God that justifieth. . . . [N]either death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate [God’s people] from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).
    Catholicism teaches that “it is to be maintained, that the received grace of Justification is lost, not only by infidelity whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin whatever. (Ibid, Chapter 15).
    4.) The true church teaches that “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God” (Ex 20:4-5). “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5).
    Catholicism teaches that “all bishops and others who hold the office of teaching . . . instruct the faithful diligently in matters relating to the intercession and invocation of saints, and the veneration of relics, and the legitimate use of images . . . it is good and useful suppliantly to invoke [the dead saints] and to have recourse to their prayers, aid, and help . . . they think impiously who assert . . . that our invocation of them . . . is idolatry. . . . Also, that the holy bodies of martyrs . . . are to be venerated by the faithful; through which bodies many benefits are bestowed by God on men . . . they who affirm that veneration and honor are not due to the relics . . . are wholly to be condemned . . . images of Christ, and of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and retained particularly in temples, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them . . . the images we kiss, and before which we uncover the head, and prostrate ourselves . . . if any one shall teach, or entertain sentiments, contrary to these decrees; let him be anathema.” (Ibid, 25th Session).
    5.) The true church teaches that baptism is being “planted together in the likeness of [Christ’s] death . . . and also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom 6:1-6), so it is by immersion, by going down “into the water” (Ac 8:38) and coming up “out of the water” (Mat 3:16), picturing through a burial in and rising out of water the Lord Jesus’ death and resurrection. The one who “believeth” is “baptized” (Ac 2:41; 8:12, 36-38; 18:8), not infants, and one is saved by faith (Jn 3:18, 36) before baptism, so the water does not take away sin.
    Catholicism teaches that “If any one saith, that baptism is . . . not necessary for salvation; let him be anathema. . . . If anyone says that children, because they have not the act of believing, are not after having received baptism to be numbered among the faithful, and that for this reason are to be rebaptized when they have reached the years of discretion; or that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be baptized in the faith of the Church alone, let him be anathema” (Ibid, 7th Session, Canon 5, 13). “Parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth . . . baptism . . . erases original sin . . . justification is conveyed in baptism” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 450, 1250, 1992).
    6.) The true church teaches that the Lord’s supper or communion is done “in remembrance of” Christ (1 Cor 11:24-25), and it does not save or help save. The bread and the fruit of the vine do not change in any way. At the moment the elements are consumed, Scripture states that they are still bread (1 Cor 11:26-27) and the juice of grapes (Mr 14:25). They certainly do not become the Lord Jesus’ literal flesh and blood, nor can the Son of God be re-sacrificed by a priest, because “as it is appointed unto men once to die . . . so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. [The] offering of the body of Jesus Christ [was] once for all . . . this man . . . offered one sacrifice for sins for ever . . . by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 9:27-28; 10:10-14).
    Catholicism teaches “If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ, but says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, let him be anathema” (Trent, 13th Session, Canon 1). “If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God; or that to be offered is nothing else than that Christ is given to us to eat, let him be anathema” (Ibid, 22nd Session, Canon 1). “If anyone says that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood, or that there is no power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord and of forgiving and retaining sins . . . let him be anathema” (Ibid, 23rd Session, Canon 1).
    7.) The true church teaches that one goes to heaven or hell immediately upon death; he who believes on the Lord Jesus alone for salvation already “hath [present tense] everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24), and so, instantaneously possessing perfect and eternal forgiveness upon believing, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). The lost, immediately upon their death, are “in hell . . . being in torments . . . between [them] and [the saved] there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from [heaven] to [hell] cannot; neither can they pass to [heaven] . . . that would come from thence” (Lu 16:23, 26). No verse in the Bible contains even a hint of an intermediate state of purgatory where God tortures His children, and after they are there long enough, or other people with extra good works or money (Acts 8:20) pay off the sins of the dead, He finally stops tormenting them and their souls escape to heaven, while such an idea is condemned by multitudes of verses, for it denies that “the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7) to affirm that human sufferings, actions, and money take care of sin instead, and it rejects the promises of the God of love to completely save all who simply trust in His Son.
    Catholicism teaches “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened to him; let him be anathema” (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). “the Catholic Church . . . [teaches] that there is a Purgatory and that the souls there detained are helped by . . . the sacrifices of masses, prayers, alms, and other works of piety, which have been wont to be performed by the faithful for the other faithful departed” (Ibid, Session 25).
    8.) The true church teaches that the 66 books of the Bible were all “given by inspiration of God” and are able to make the believer “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim 3:16-17) without any other authority, such as unwritten tradition. The Word of God did not “become” Scripture because of some church council hundreds of years after it was written; Bible writers knew they wrote by inspiration (Jer 36:2; Rev 1:11), and believers received the Word as inspired as soon as it was written (Jn 17:8)—the books of the New Testament were recognized as Scripture equal to the Old Testament immediately after they were composed (1 Tim 5:18; cf. Lu 10:7; Deut 25:4; 2 Pet 3:15-16; Rev 1:2, 11), just as the Old Testament books were immediately recognized and received as Scripture (Ex 24:3-4; Josh 1:8-9; Deut 31:26; Josh 24:26; 1 Sam 10:25; Dan 9:2). Furthermore, God has preserved the Bible uncorrupted for us today (Mat 5:18; 24:35). We are, therefore, to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4), and not “add unto the word . . . neither . . . diminish ought from it” (Deut 4:2; 12:32). The Lord Jesus spoke of those who “made the commandment of God of none effect by [their] tradition” (Mt 15:6). The last chapter of the last book of the Bible warns “every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev 22:18-19).
    Catholicism adds the Apocrypha (1 + 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 + 2 Maccabees, additions to Esther), a group of books nearly as large as the New Testament, to the Bible, despite the fact that the Apocryphal books are never quoted or referred to in Scripture, they contain clear factual, chronological, and historical errors, they were always rejected by the true church, and Catholicism itself did not even add them to God’s Word until the 16th century. They even teach that they are not inspired (1 Macc 9:27)! It also makes its unwritten traditions equal to God’s Word, affirming today that its “unwritten traditions . . . the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand . . . [Catholicism] receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament . . . as also the said traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated . . . by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession . . . if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the [Apocryphal] books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema” (Trent, 4th Session, Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures).
    9.) The true church teaches that Mary was a very godly woman (Lu 1:48), although John the Baptist was greater than she (Mt 11:11). Mary needed to have Christ as her “Saviour” (Lu 1:47) because she was a sinner like every other descendent of Adam (Ro 3:10, 23; 5:12, 19). The gospels record her bringing a sin offering for her uncleanness (Lu 2:21-24; Lev 12:1-8). Jesus was her “firstborn” son (Mt 1:25; Lu 2:7), after which God blessed her marriage to Joseph with many other children (Matthew 13:55-56; John 7:5 + Psalm 69:8; Ac 1:14; 1 Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19). She does not have special access to the Lord Jesus (Mt 12:46-50; Lu 11:27-28) and praying to her, saying she is the queen of heaven, making her a mediator between God and man, and all other additions to Biblical teaching about her are abominable idolatry (Deut 12:32; 1 Ti 2:5; Is 48:11).
    Catholicism teaches that Mary “was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life . . . the Church [confesses] Mary’s real and perpetual virginity . . . The Church rightly honors the Blessed Virgin with special devotion . . . the Immaculate Virgin . . . when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things . . . her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 411, 498, 971, 966, 969).
    10.) The true church teaches that all believers are “a royal priesthood” (1 Pet 2:9) and “kings and priests unto God” (Rev 1:6; 5:10). Christ is the great High Priest (Heb 4:14), and there is no special sacrificial priesthood in the New Testament. The only two church offices are pastors/bishops/elders (different names for the same position) and deacons (Php 1:1; 1 Pet 5:1-2; Ac 20:17, 28; Tit 1:5-7). Bishops/pastors are often married with children (1 Tim 3:1-5), just as the apostle Peter and other apostles ministered with their wives (1 Cor 9:5; Mt 8:14; Mr 1:30), for “marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled” (Heb 13:4). On the other hand, “the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils . . . forbidding to marry” (1 Tim 4:1-3). Christ also forbade the use of “Father” for a spiritual office (Mt 23:9), the Bible only calls God “reverend” (Ps 111:9), and Peter, who did not start the church at Rome (Rom 1:7; 16:1-16) and certainly had no successors there as a pope, was by no means infallible (Mt 16:22-23; Gal 2:11-14). The Bible predicted the coming of “that man of sin [the Antichrist, 1 Jo 2:18, 22; 4:3] . . . the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Th 2:3-4), the leader of a religion “full of names of blasphemy” (Rev 17:3). The Lord says to every such Satanically energized man who affirms, “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God,” that “thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God . . . because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God . . . they shall bring thee down to the pit” (Eze 28:2, 6, 8).
    Catholicism has priests, archbishops, monks, cardinals, friars, primates, abbots, rectors, and other “reverend Fathers” not found anywhere in the Bible, who are forbidden to marry, and states that “And if any one affirm, that all Christians indiscriminately are priests of the New Testament, or that they are all mutually endowed with an equal spiritual power, he clearly does nothing but confound the ecclesiastical hierarchy . . . If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination . . . let him be anathema” (Trent, 23rd Session, chapter 4; canon 6). “When the Roman pontiff [pope] speaks ex cathedra . . . he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter . . . infallibility . . . should anyone . . . have the temerity to reject this . . . let him be anathema” (Decrees of the First Vatican Council (1870), Chapter 4:4). Catholicism says to the pope, “thou art our shepherd, thou art our physician, thou art our governor, thou art our husbandman, thou art finally another God on earth” (Address of the Fifth Lateran Council, Session IV, to the pope), and the pope declares, “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty” (Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII on the Reunion of Christiandom, June 20, 1894). The “chief Pontiffs [are] the vicars on earth of Christ” (Bull for the Resumption of the Council of Trent, Under the Sovereign Pontiff, Julius III). The word vicar signifies in Latin one “in the place of” another, corresponding in meaning to the Greek preposition anti (cf. Lev 24:18, Latin Vulgate “vicarium,” Greek LXX anti). When the pope calls himself “vicar of Christ,” he claims to be “anti-christ.”
    11.) The true church teaches that the Greek word “church” means “assembly,” a way it is translated in the Bible (Ac 19:32, 37). A church is a local, visible congregation of saved and scripturally baptized saints (a term for all God’s people, including those alive on earth, 1 Cor 1:2; Col 1:2). One must be justified by faith before he can join the church by baptism, so church membership cannot be essential to salvation. The Bible never speaks about Christ’s church as a “universal church.” While churches may choose to work together, each congregation is independent and self-governing, without any hierarchy (Mt 18:15-18; 1 Cor 5). The only world-wide “church” entity is the universal religious system centered in Rome prophesied about in Revelation 17-18, where it is called “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev 17:5).
    Catholicism teaches that it is the one “universal” church, since “the word ‘catholic’ means ‘universal’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 830). It says that “the Church . . . is necessary for salvation . . . they could not be saved who . . . refuse either to enter it or to remain in it . . . the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord . . . [with] the Church of Rome” (Ibid, 846, 834). Only those already dead who are “canonized” are proclaimed saints (Ibid, 828).
    12.) The true church has existed since the first century (Mt 16:18; Eph 3:21) founded on Christ, who the apostles (including Peter) acknowledged was her Rock (1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 2:4-7). She has preserved pure worship and practices, based only on the Bible (2 Tim 3:16-17; Deut 12:32), since Christ founded her, and although she has always been a “little flock” (Lu 12:32) and will remain a small minority until Christ returns (Mt 7:14), her Savior will preserve her until He comes again (1 Cor 11:26, Mt 28:18-20). Known under different names through the centuries, martyred, tortured, and persecuted by Catholicism and other pagan religions, she has gone under different names through the centuries, such as Waldenses, Donatists, Cathari, and Anabaptists. Today true churches are found among those called “Baptists.” Catholic leaders and other non-Baptist historians have admitted that the Baptists far predate the Reformation: Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, appointed president of the Council of Trent, A. D. 1560): “If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and boldness of which a man of any sect shows in suffering, then the opinion and persuasion of no sect can be truer and surer than that of the Anabaptists since there have been none for these twelve hundred years past, that have been more generally punished.” This Catholic cardinal, living at the time of the Reformation, admitted that the Baptists had been around since A. D. 360. Allowing them an origin any earlier would make his position very uncomfortable. Mosheim (Lutheran): “The true origin of that sect which acquired the name of Anabaptists, by their administering anew the rite of baptism to those who came over to their communion . . . is hid in the remote depths of antiquity, and is consequently extremely difficult to be ascertained.” Dr. J. J. Durmont & Dr. Ypeig (Reformed): [The Baptists] descended from the tolerably pure evangelical Waldenses. . . . They were, therefore, in existence long before the Reformed Church . . . We have seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called Anabaptists . . . were the original Waldenses; and who have long in the history of the Church, received the honor of that origin. On this account the Baptists may be considered the only Christian community which has stood since the Apostles; and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrine of the gospel through all ages.”
    Catholicism is a corruption of Biblical Christianity and the true church that falsely claims to be founded on Peter (Catechism, 442). It has often joined hands with the State to make itself the universal religion in countries (Rev 17:2), is “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev 17:6), having murdered millions of them through its Inquisitions, and continues to descend into ever greater corruption of the truth. Consider when the following unbiblical Catholic teachings were established (some dates approximate): Prayers for the dead instituted, A. D. 300/ General introduction of infant “baptism,” A. D. 400/ Priests began to wear special clothing, A. D. 500/ Prayers offered to Mary, dead saints, and angels, A. D. 600/ Bishop of Rome assumed the title of Pope, A. D. 607/ Power of Popes over civil government, A. D. 750/ Worship of the cross, images, and relics, A. D. 788/ Marriage of Priests forbidden, A. D. 1079/ Rosary beads invented, A. D. 1090/ Sale of Indulgences, A. D. 1190/ Sacrifice of Mass, A. D. 1215/ Auricular confession of sins to a priest, A. D. 1215/ Worship of the bread used in the Mass, A. D. 1220/ Purgatory proclaimed, A. D. 1439/ Tradition held equal to Bible, A. D. 1545/ Apocryphal books added to the Bible, A. D. 1546/ Immaculate conception of Mary, A. D. 1854/ Infallibility of the Pope, A. D. 1870/ Bodily assumption of Mary to heaven, A. D. 1950/ Mary proclaimed the “Mother of the Church,” A. D. 1965

  23. May 14, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Micky, Come out from among them and be ye separate. If you are truly converted, you will leave Roman Catholicism, which teaches a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

  24. May 14, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Cathy,

    When I say “with a grain of salt”, I mean that most of the time after they are married, this attitude is made evident. By the way, this applies to every kind of counseling I do.

    I have married very few people, and I intend to keep it that way. The ONLY people I will marry are members of my own church who show evidence of following the Lord.

    God called me to preach and teach the flock of God. No where does it say that part of my “calling” is to marry people.

  25. May 14, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Cathy,

    Let me add, however, that it is a great PRIVILEGE to officiate the marriage ceremony of people who truly love the Lord and are committed to serving Him.

  26. May 14, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Art, or is it Pastor Art, anyway, I guess why I was questioning it is because I wonder if one of the reason’s why divorce is so rampant in our Churches is because couples getting married don’t take it serious, (there is always an escape clause), and Pastor’s don’t take it serious and marry just anyone.

  27. May 16, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Cathy,

    You can call me Art or Pastor Art, I’m not sensitive. You are right in your observations about people not taking it seriously. Really, they don’t take God seriously.

    Some pastors actually supplement their income by marrying people. I cannot in good conscience do that. The only authority I have is in my own church.

  28. Pastor marc
    June 7, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    What about God divorcing Israel?
    Jeremiah 3:8

  29. Thomas Ross
    June 17, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Dear Pastor marc,

    See the later posts-that is dealt with.

  30. Cheryl Lynn
    April 24, 2009 at 3:19 am

    I guess divorce and remarriage falls in the non-forgivable sins? I would think the work on the cross would cover all things including this?

    I keep wondering about the ‘What God has joined together versus what man has?’ What if there is a God ordained marriage he recognizes and the rest He doesn’t just as God didn’t want to recognize those in Ezra? I was divorced 15 years ago and felt it was more like God helping me get free of all the abusive disrespect that was accumulating.. When people sit there and judge divorced people it’s a shame because the human judger has no idea what heartfelt cries were made to God, the escape God provides in answer to those prayers.

    I do hesitate to cheer on someone who gets tired of their mate and discards them. I typically put them in the hands of God to help them heal from the hardheartness that caused that.

    But at the same time whether the person has married none or 5 times, if they finally get the person they were meant to be with does any of their previous sin matter if it’s been put under the blood of Jesus and they attempt to live a much better cleaner walk before their Savior?

    I think bottom line, is your walk clean and right before God with the help of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding you through all your decisions? If your doing your best to present every decision before God, He will help your way be made right.

    There has to be a clean slate for those who have truly repented and put everything under the blood of Jesus at the cross and goes forth with a clean conscience.

    I know my heart has been healed and if God should send me a man of God, that truly walks with God ( and has the needed qualities), I’d finally leap and dance for Joy that God chose to have him become my Husband.

  31. David Warner
    April 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Mrs. Lynn,

    First, God did not establish marriage for it to end in divorce (Mark 10:9). Second, there is not much you can do when your husband decides to divorce you (I Cor. 7:14-16). I believe you should as much as possible restore the relationship. But if the unbelieving husband departs, then you have done all that you could have done, and he, not you, is the one making the divorce.

    Also, if you decide to marry another man, then you will be guilty of adultery (Mark 10:11, 12). Even if he is a godly man, you are not permitted by God to marry him, having been divorced.

    I hope what I have given leads you in the right way to making your decisions to please God.

  32. Cheryl Lynn
    April 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Appreciate your advice about the restoration of marriage.. Attempted that for 16 out of 17 years while being married knowing I chose wrong after the first year was over. But, when a man decides to move on 6 months after a divorce and marries another, I’d say restoration attempt is done. God didn’t call us to abuse of any sort, so to me restoration of marriage isn’t always the answer. Redemption and forgiveness, offering a new future does. God is the God of a second chance, if He chooses to bring love into someone’s heart then WHY wouldn’t he allow someone to get married again? Are we truly called to be alone and miserable? After all isn’t it better to be married then burn in lust? We have a ton of grace offered with God if we walk with Him and not according to our flesh. I think when my ex-husband chose to marry again, he became a non-believer towards the union he vowed to maintain with me. I am standing on the fact that I have the right to get married again because I was washed with the blood of the lamb and worked as hard as I could to maintain a marriage that was chosen wrong in the first place. In Genesis, God created Woman for Man so that he would not be alone, we were born with the automatic desire to not be alone. Many people don’t get the clue that is why they are drawn to try to find someone to be with as soon as they get divorced or end relationships.

    Does God really call us to be alone for the rest of our lives if we made the wrong choice in the first place and tried our hardest to make it work, only to have it end? Can you imagine the brokenheartedness in a person that didn’t realize that the disfunctionalism of their parents isn’t the right model to choose someone from, but after true redemption and healing they learn what is the better choice for love. To choose someone who has truly been healed and made whole from the Lord is a gift from God, shouldn’t all have that second chance if they have truly repented and been made clean under the blood of Jesus or we always truly called to live under the laws?

    My prayer for you sir is that you never ever have to face the emptiness, brokenheartedness, loneliness. I truly hope you find the true love in your marital choice and that your never faced with mistakes, regrets, nor abuses that affect your walk with God. God calls us to peace, saftey, and hope; to disolve the chance of ever truly receiving love from another human being as we were created to be loved as in the Garden of Eden isn’t that what we strive for? To walk with God and a mate, just as he created in the Garden of Eden? I think that is why people keep trying to fill the void by remarrying without counting the cost. They neglect to know exactly why they are seeking a mate.

    Aren’t there other scriptures that offer hope? Like Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.

    Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
    For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.
    Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?
    Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not easily broken.

    Isn’t a divorce the death of a marriage? A death of a oneness? If someone has truly repented aren’t they forgiven and their sins redeemed, shouldn’t they have a chance to be loved again and walk with someone in the LORD then to be alone? After trying to make a marriage work for 17 years only to find myself feeling like I was dying every day. Repenting and putting it all at the foot of the cross for not choosing right in the first place, I believe I am considered an unmarried woman with a history and hopeful for love in God’s timing and choice – instead of a divorced woman with no future or hope of ever being loved again in this lifetime.

    Isn’t it better to teach people how to choose rightly? Deal with the wrong choices and how to learn to walk with God then to state someone never has a chance to actually experience life as it was intended to be as in the Garden of Eden.. Walking with God and the mate that makes you one with Him and a true three-fold cord? I think it’s much more prudent to raise the conscience level to choosing right in the first place then to condemn those that chose wrong and are left bankrupt emotionally, devestated, and face the ill effects of divorce.. Those people need love and redemption and to know they have a future in God if they would just put their lives in HIS hands instead of trying to lead their own lives without Him.. You serve the greater good when building, supporting, and encouraging right choices in the first place.

    IF I ever get to truly love again sir, I don’t think I will be considered an adultress in God’s eyes. I will be a blood bought, washed in the blood of the lamb, saint of God who finally submitted their heart and mind to Christ, made whole and healthy enough to love again and daring to embark on knowing God is the God of second chances and that I was truly truly forgiven and my past is truly gone and forgiven, while my tomorrows are a life waiting to be written by the hand of my Creator.

  33. April 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    David,

    Wouldn’t it be wiser and more Biblical to direct this woman to her pastor who knows her situation and who can help her with the Word of God?

  34. April 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Cheryl Lynn,

    I’m not asking this with the assumption of anything bad. Are you a member of a church? Does your church take a position on divorce and remarriage?

    Pastor Mitchell,

    Regarding David, I thought his answer was fine. He made objective statements based on texts of scripture. You tell me if I’m wrong, but your concern here would be that her church takes a different position than David and his church do, that allows for divorce in certain situations. And by giving her this scriptural admonition, he is in fact stepping over the authority of her church and pastor? Of course, we wouldn’t have this problem in the NT because everyone had the same position on divorce and remarriage (our position, of course 🙂 ). The example of Jesus would be to do something like we see David do here, that is, just tell the truth. I didn’t think he went into anything personal here, but just said scriptural statements to what he heard as error coming from error. He dealt only with the error that he heard.

    This is of interest to me and an area that I have room to grow in, and I’m talking about when someone has said something outside the bounds of church authority.

  35. David Warner
    April 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Mrs. Lynn,

    Your thoughts are interesting. I hear that kind of language quite often.

    God does give us mercy, but it is not mercy to go on and sin against Him. I say that because if you marry another man, God says that it is adultery. Mark 10:11, 12 say this: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” If you plan to submit your heart and mind to Christ, then you should submit yourself to what He said.

    It is true that for a Christian the sins are forgiven, but it does not mean God allows him to live whatever life he wants. Indeed God is giving you chances–they are to remain in the status which you are in and not marry another man. To marry another man would be a sin on your part. The only time a lady can marry again is when her husband dies (I Cor. 7:39).

    As far as your emotional hurt from the marriage and divorce, a Christian can be content in whatever circumstances he goes through (Phil. 4:11). Actually, Ecclesiastes was written to portray the perspective of an ungodly person. If you read through the book, you will see that a person without God is miserable because he needs all kinds of earthly things and pleasures to satisfy his emptiness, even though it will never be enough to satisfied him. The relationship of people can be one of those things. Often we see this with children. They always follow and listen to their peers. Why? They feel empty without them. If you feel miserable and empty being divorced and alone, then why? If you have God, then you can obey what He said in Mark 10:11, 12 and be satisfied with the circumstances you are in.

    What do you think about Mark 10:11, 12? Do you think that is something you will believe to govern your decisions?

  36. David Warner
    April 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Pastor Mitchell,

    I did not see your comment until I submitted my comment. Both you and Pastor B. commented while I was writing.

    I agree that it is something to think about. I think her church, if she has one, should deal with her.

    I also realize that I am not married, that I am but a youth, and that I have zero pastoral authority. Because I know that, the only authority that I will come from is the words of God. I try my best to always be that way.

  37. April 24, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Simply put: I’m more and more convinced of the need to be practical with our understanding that the local church is the pillar and ground of the truth. Since it is, I think that I ought to be constantly pointing people to their church and pastor, provided they are in a NT church. If they are believers but not in a NT church I need to deal with that first–teach them to join one and then they’ll grow there. Cheryl needs a pastor and church to help here with these issues, not an internet presence, no matter how godly or well-intentioned that presence is (and I’m assuming that David is a fine and Biblical young man).

    One final thought: We are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (paraphrase). I would want a member of this church pointed to this church and this pastor for help and counsel, and so I should do the same for other churches and pastors and I should also encourage men like David to think about this practice.

    Warm regards!

  38. April 24, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Pastor Mitchell,

    I think the direction to a church is something David, myself, and everyone else should do as well with people. Directing them to the pastor should be something we do with everyone. Thanks for the reminder. Good counsel!!

    Warmer regards back.

  39. Cheryl Lynn
    April 25, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I appreciate your concerns. I do have a church and I did submit to my Pastor at the time the divorce was to be filed, his response was “We do not advocate divorce, I can’t recommend it, our belief is to restore the marriage. But hearing your circumstances, I will say this, you can not afford the divorce ( I wasn’t able to work at the time), If it is God’s will for you to become free from the marriage, a means will come to you.” The means came to me. I know that God freed me from a man that chose to give up on our vows and later decided to move in and marry someone else after the divorce was final. My Church believes once repented your sins are forgiven.. God doesn’t keep a stack of sins that are forgivable and those that are not. When Jesus drew the line in the sand he told the woman your sins are forgiven, sin no more. Is it not sin to allow someone to abuse you and discredit you?

    While our Church doesn’t advocate divorce they are not opposed to re-marriage if done in the LORD and with counsel. There isn’t a man in my life, but I feel I am not a divorced woman, I do not walk about life with a scarlet Letter D that says no future love is available to me. I believe my mistake of marrying the wrong man in the first place has been forgiven. I believe that should there ever be someone who is walking with the LORD and has been led into my life I should be free to marry him, If the LORD permits.

    So those who gossip are they not murderers and yet they commit the sin constantly, daily don’t they? How can marrying a man that wants to love you and protect you be a sin? I don’t believe God forgiving ALL OF YOUR SINS is error. ALL means ALL. You can’t pigeon hole what God calls forgiven and what he doesn’t.. ALL means ALL. It says God’s mercy leads us to repentance, my sin was not that I divorced, my sin was that I insisted on not marrying rightly in the first place. My penalty was attempting to maintain a marriage that wasn’t right and allowing it to become an accumulating abusive situation. I am not the only person out there going through the same thing. I am not whining about my past, I am attempting to show you by my scars of my past that God does have forgiveness even in divorce, but the requirement is if you should marry in the LORD it must be a believer.

    In my eyes, the husband that commited in vows to death do us part caused a death to our Oneness and marriage. He dealt treachously with the wife of his youth and I have been forgiven for allowing myself to endure that. I see myself more in the sense of a widow to the oneness of the marriage.. but more I see myself as an unmarried woman with a blood bought salvation, cleansed and sanctified with the blood of Jesus. I have a past that has been wiped clean with the blood of Jesus and with the repentance and forgiveness and I have a future waiting for the Father God my Creator to write me a new Life and story.. To live in his Grace, be loved in this lifetime as He decides is rightly.

    I love that God allowed me to get healed, I love that God knows all my needs and supplies them according to his riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. I also love knowing that if He sees that there is a man worthy of my love, I have been forgiven and can be free to live a life filled with love, not one without that.

    Call my words error if you must, but there’s alot of hurting hearts that need to know God is a God of mercy and grace. Jesus work on the cross should never be mocked in repeated sins… But ever repented sin is forgiven, thrown in the sea of forgetfulness and not counted against us any more.. So I can totally throw in that same sea the Scarlet Letter D that would symbolize me as a lepor to society never allowing me to be loved in this lifetime by someone who chooses to in the LORD. I hope my heartfelt responses at least help you to see the Grace side of things.. 🙂

    God Bless you and may His Grace shine upon you and give you peace.

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