Divorce Dilemmas in the Church

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I read this excerpt by Dr. Russell Moore recently.  He was asked what to do if someone is in a miserable marriage:

Does God want you to be miserable? Long-term, no. And that’s why God has designed marriage as a life-long covenant signaling the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the long-term, God wants you to be deliriously happy. But by long-term, I mean the next trillion years, and beyond. In the short-term, one often must bear difficulty and, yes, even misery. Remaining faithful to a wife you wish you hadn’t married might seem miserable to you, but taking up a cross and following Jesus is “miserable,” in the short-run. That’s why the Book of Hebrews presents the life of faith in terms of not receiving what was promised (Heb. 11:39), but seeing it and embracing it from afar.  Dr. Russell Moore, Source

small__5731937502This seems to be a common thought I’ve heard before – if Christ is our head, then we can and should be able to endure all kinds of suffering and persecution because this life on earth is just a moment in the bigger scheme of things.  We look with great anticipation for eternity, in light of our momentary sufferings – you know, the count-it-all-joy gig.

From my Bible reading and teachings in churches, I was always taught that divorce was permissible for desertion and adultery.  But read what Piper says:

The Covenant Remains till Christ Removes

One of the reasons that I have emphasized the ultimate meaning of marriage so much in this series is that the meaning of marriage is such that human beings cannot legitimately break it. The ultimate meaning of marriage is the representation of the covenant keeping love between Christ and his church. To live this truth and to show this truth is what it means, most deeply, to be married. This is the ultimate reason why marriage exists. There are other reasons, but this is the main one. Therefore, if Christ ever abandons and discards his church, then a man may divorce his wife. And if the blood-bought church, under the new covenant, ever ceases to be the bride of Christ, then a wife may legitimately divorce her husband. But as long as Christ keeps his covenant with his bride, the church, and as long as the church, by the sustaining grace of God, remains the chosen people of Jesus Christ, then the very meaning of marriage will include: What God has joined, only God can separate, not man.  John Piper, What God Has Joined Together, Let Not Man Separate, Part 1

I have not paid much attention to the varying views of marriage/divorce/remarriage in Christianity.  John Piper holds to a permanence view of marriage. I must have been living in a bubble my whole adult life. I had no idea until a year or so ago that some popular Christian leaders hold to a “permanence view of marriage.” The permanence view of marriage maintains that there are no biblical grounds for divorce or remarriage. Both Voddie Baucham and John Piper ascribe to this belief.

I found an article from the Pyromaniacs blog, On Divorce which had some discussion of this viewpoint in the comments.   Here was a helpful comment which fleshes out what the permanence view of marriage can look like after a biblically-sanctioned “permanence” divorce:

The permanence view creates an enigma that leaves the divorced or innocent party defenseless and instructs them to try to be satisfied with a life of singleness, a life of consequent frustration and hardships. They believe for example, that if a man with two small children divorces his wife for another woman and gets remarried, his former wife is to live her life without a companion and raise the children without a father (in the home). The exception clause Jesus gives allows her recourse to deal with a husband that has abandoned God’s will.

A few of these men concede that a spouse can be involved in gross sexual immorality that warrants a divorce, but teach that the innocent party should not remarry. Ironically, most in the permanence view would instruct the man in this example to continue his second marriage while instructing his former wife to remain companionless. I see no biblical justness in that. This position should be shown to be erroneous so that the innocent doesn’t suffer needlessly, attempting to live their whole life without a companion. (Source)

In contrast to the above excerpts, I wanted to share with you a recently published interview with author and blogger, Barbara Roberts from A Cry for Justice.  Barbara’s research on divorce was very informative and gives hope to those who are in abusive marriages.

I took a few notes, but strongly urge you to take the time to watch the video.  It is excellent.  And as an added bonus for watching the video, you get to hear two Aussies!

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A Few Notes from “Does God Hate Divorce?”  

Mark Brown interviews Barbara Roberts

Does God Hate Divorce?  Barbara begins by explaining that “God hates divorce” is a mistranslation of a widely known slogan from Malachi 2:16.

Abuse  “A person who is an abuser and we talk about abuse as a pattern of coercive control that is designed to maintain control over the other spouse and often of the children in the family, too.”    Ms. Roberts mentioned that “it’s a pattern of behavior which is intentionally designed to maintain control.”

Idolatry of Marriage  “The problem in Christian circles a lot of the time is that they have elevated marriage to be more important than the individuals within it.  They have actually made an idol of marriage. . .”  Barbara notes that Christians “prioritize the institution rather than the health and well-being of the individuals.”

Doctrine of Suffering  Ms. Roberts discusses the common confusion some Christians have about persecution.  Suffering persecution for the cause of the gospel is not the same as being persecuted by abuse in marriage.

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photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

268 comments on “Divorce Dilemmas in the Church

  1. bfourb:

    Please tell your typing hands to look my (and Monique’s) way.

    Leave Carmen alone and focus on my questions, if you would please. I cannot tell you how much I would appreciate an answer. Do you have an answer for me?

    If I didn’t know any better, I could be starting to get a complex or something…the way you evade/don’t see/ignore/choose to overlook my questions. 🙂 Say it ain’t so!!!

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  2. Gary W. wrote :

    Predisposed4Contention,

    You absolutely need to back off of Carmen. She needs your love, not your typically contemptible, fundamentalist style I’m-more-superior-than-thou, snarky, confrontational, put downs.

    You dang sure better quit it, you predator. I apologized the other day, but I’ve had about all of your garbage that I’m going to take, you coward.

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  3. Diane, he’s not going to answer you. Just look at the way he dives in and out of the threads here. He avoids the people that stand up to him, and jumps on thos whom he percieves to be weak or suffering. He’s just a miserable, old, cowardly predator.

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  4. Since this is WordPress, JA should have my email address. I give her permission to give it to anyone who would like to speak with me about unanswered questions.

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  5. Don,

    Thank you for your succinct but well packed answer. I can see how it is going beyond the actual point Jesus was making when I say “Looks like the person who causes the divorce bears the responsibility for forcing the innocent party into adultery if they remarry.” Still, I wonder if there isn’t something to the fact that Jesus says the husband “makes” the wife to commit adultery, as opposed to saying the wife commits adultery.

    Anyhow, one more book calling out to be read. Actually, Instone-Brewer has more than one book on Amazon. I’ve added “Divorce and Remarriage in the Church” to my Amazon wish list, but maybe “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible” is a better starting place? O.K., now they’re both on my list.

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  6. They also have your blog address, too, so they can talk to you about things there. Oh, wait, you chicken out of discussions on your own blog and just delete people’s comments. What a cowardly gasbag.

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  7. No, B4B, I at least am not going to be manipulated into jumping through your hoops to beg for something common courtesy demands you volunteer right here and now. Power plays for the sake of power plays just won’t cut it.

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  8. And one more thing. I certainly am not going to give B4B an opportunity to deluge me with emails, hidden from public view. If what he says under public scrutiny is any indication, can you imagine what it would be like if he had your email address? No thanks.

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  9. Divorce and Remarriage in te Bible is the one you want. In the Church is (from what I understand) written to be more accessable, but I’ve heard it’s not as good. If you can handle the deep dive into his scholarly work, In the Bible is they way to go (I found it to be interesting and not difficult to read, persobally).

    Usually, if people want something more accessable then I recommend Barbara Roberts book, which is also excellent. She focuses on 1 Cor 7, but her exegesis is sound and it is well written.

    But for IB and his work, I can’t recommend “In The Bible” enough.

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  10. Hey Mandy and everyone – I just got home and saw what transpired, but I must make some dinner for the fam. I’m going to pray that God will help me to choose my words and help me steer this blog in the right direction so that it is safe for all. Hang tight. I’ll come back with a response.

    Feel free to e-mail me if you have concerns/thoughts: spirituslsb @ gmail.com I will read them before commenting.

    Thanks!

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  11. Gary W, good warning. I would not recommend going offline with B4B either.

    B4B, That is how a wolf works. We are getting to know you better & better.

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  12. A Mom writes:

    If they think God wants a marriage to last, aren’t the violations the problem? Aren’t the violations what render a covenant/contract void? The resulting actions (divorce, prosecution, etc.) are a formality.

    This is the heart of the matter here. The divorce was already committed; the resulting actions were formal recognitions of that fact.

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  13. @bfourb

    “Since this is WordPress, JA should have my email address. I give her permission to give it to anyone who would like to speak with me about unanswered questions.”

    You commented publically so please answer it publically. Private email discussion is a distraction and an insincere one. I am going to conclude that you read your interpretation into the verse, since you refuse to provide any explanation other than
    “CONtext.” This is very disappointing.

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  14. “What it means and what most translations do not show is that the Pharisees are asking whether Hillel’s “Any Matter” divorce (that is, divorce by a husband for any or no reason) is found in Deu 24:1 (to use verses which did not exist back then) which was a current debate at the time of Jesus that we can know about from the Jewish Mishnah. This drastically limits the scope of the question. The way it is normally translated makes one think the scope is general, but it is actually a very specific question. ”

    Thanks Don! This lays it out better than the videos, I think and in a synopsis. The thing is, Jesus’ Jewish audience would have known the reference as it was a topic of the time.

    So many miss the “spirit” of the teaching for the letter of some badly interpreted law which excludes historical context. Scripture cannot replace the Holy Spirit.

    After all the years of seeing comp seminars, marriage sermons, etc, I really do believe a focus on Christ and being Christlike is the answer to the problems in marriage. In that context, abusers don’t fit in. But they love comp seminars and pecking order marriage sermons.

    God does not expect us to stay married to people who hate and harm us. And people who abuse/harm you, hate you.

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  15. The one MAJOR thing that I see of the Calvinist…they are too CARNAL for me. Christians are to be SPIRITUAL, not CARNAL.

    They often quote 1 Cor 2:14
    14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    But read 1 Cor 2 and 3 and you will see that the Corinthians were the natural man…Christians, who are not spiritual.

    The Calvinist will attempt to sway you to believe that the natural man are those who are unregenerate, whatever that means in English. Ahhh, I know what it means…it means that anyone who is not a Calvinist are the natural man, and that Calvinists are the Spiritual man….NOT.

    Calvinists refuse to see a marriage in light of us being married to God. Once married to God, there will never be a divorce, because GOD WILL NOT abandon us, abuse us, hurt us, etc.

    Where does God allow for his bride to suffer? We are to run TO HIM for COMFORT, not FROM HIM in FEAR. He states of the Holy Spirit, in that the Holy Spirit is our COMFORTER.

    Calvinists have no clue as to how to SPIRITUALLY discern anything in the Bible. They are more focused on CARNAL EXEGESIS. Who really cares about that?

    Ed

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  16. “This place is helping me to heal as well. I was a silent, watching to see if it was safe. It’s safe, not because damaging views are absent (they abound in the real world) but because God’s truth & love live here, defended by heroic men & women.”

    Yes, A Mom! Thank-You, I love the ferocious gals & men here… Baby steps for me…

    J.A. I must have missed Ken’s comment, yet glad to hear: “Gail- -I think the 3 steps forward, 2 steps back is very normal. It’s a process. Didn’t Ken say recently he’s still learning after 17 years? That’s a long time.
    Comforting to read that… I am not alone in the process. xo

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  17. Born4Battle:

    You know and have been reminded numerous times that this blog is here for people who were spiritually abused. We’ve talked a lot about extending grace to people. I think I have extended grace to you. In this environment where people are free to use their voices to express themselves, many have been very honest with you, telling you how your words have affected them. Sometimes your words/tone have reminded them of their former church leaders/pastor. Yet, not once have you acknowledged the hurt that you have caused, instead you have ignored that pain and continued in the same behavior, even after a time-out in the SSB “dog house” and being moderated.

    This is a place where feelings count and you have dismissed and ignored the pain caused by your words. Where is the love of Christ in that?

    Many times you have challenged us, asked us questions, we have responded, yet you have not given us the same courtesy. In fact, today, multiple times this subject has been brought up, yet you continue to give rude comments and still evade those questions.

    Apparently, communication to you is a one-way street and only on your terms because later today, you invited people to contact me to arrange behind-the-scene connections via e-mail so that you could address their specific questions. That is not going to happen. I have seen how you have treated spiritual abuse survivors publicly. How will you treat them privately with no other eyes watching you? I will under no circumstances arrange for them to contact you privately behind the scenes. It started here, it must remain here. Period.

    I am big on closure. If you have a response to those questions, please send them through the blog and I will publish them. However, beyond that, I will not be approving posts of yours until I see proof of a major change in your heart, and after much prayer and consideration.

    By the way, I know that I and others have been praying for you. People have told me via e-mail. That has amazed me because some who have been hurt the most realize that something is amiss and want the best for you – enough to pray for you. I pray that God will soften your heart so that you can see what has happened here and make things right. You know how to reach me. ~ja

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  18. Eric and Lydiasellerofpurple, I really appreciate each of your very blunt, articulate posts, in particular your defense of those being bullied. As JA has pointed out, allowing B4B to continue speaking freely provides a dialogue and challenges us to think. For me, continuing to dialogue with someone like this on this safe venue has helped build courage also be willing to do so in person when necessary. However, I still am so easily triggered by the passive aggressive BS, the non-responses, the belittling comments that suggest if you were a real Christian you would CLEARLY see things his way, blah blah blah. Knowing that you’ve got Carmen’s back and others gives me courage to stick around here. So thanks.

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  19. RP, Thanks for the compliment, and I’m glad you got some benefit from your interactions with BeFurby. I’m sure you’ve noticed the pattern in his interactions here: at first, shotgunning towards all who disagree, then after gleaning the responses, and a few parting shots at those who won’t play into his game, he focuses on those who will engage him. The bitter rhetoric ramps up until a few people call him out on it, so he ducks for cover, only to pop up and take a few pot shots at people whom he considers easy, weak targets. JA smacked his nose with a newspaper and put him in the kennel, and he played the sad puppy for a day or so, but then his true nature inevitably resurfaced, lashing out at Carmen.

    In the midst of all this were the plaintive cries of how he is the one being bullied and persecuted. The thing is, when you cry not being shown grace from people who have previously shown you grace and gotten tired of having it spat back into their faces, you’re not a victim, you’re a manipulator. I’ve seen the fire-breathing fundamentalists do this same thing to people on other forums; they’re seeking to be a powerful influence on a weaker or less informed person. If you agree with them, they’re your best buddy online, but quibble with them in any way, and you immediately become the new target of their witch hunt.

    Ed nailed some points squarely on the head in his last post. This behavior is firmly based in carnal desire for power and influence, not in personal spiritual growth and healing. I write a lot of long-winded stuff, not to get anyone to agree with me or gain followers, but hopefully, to get people to think about some ideas and take them in their own direction, for their own growth. Doesn’t matter at all to me if they wind up agreeing with or supporting my position, the point is to gain intellectual independence. Being able to retain independent critical reasoning can be one of the most powerful defenses against spiritual and psychological abuse. “You’re wrong” can be a weapon meant to weaken someone; “I don’t agree” is a tool for clearer communication. I try to only use “you’re wrong” in the context of someone misunderstanding or misrepresenting my position.

    Were any of you to hang out with me for a while, you’d probably say that I’m one of the most laid-back guys you’ve ever met. And I really am, but I have a great deal of passion for certain things and values, and that passion comes out swinging when I perceive one of those values to be violated. Those of you that are familiar with Kiersey/Myers-Briggs typology will find me deep within INFP territory. Letting people think for themselves in peace and freedom is one of my big passions. Doctrines are fine, so long as they remain only doctrines, and not be used as tests to determine a “real Christian” or instruments of punishment and torment for dissenters.

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  20. Why do I get so passionate about people thinking for themselves, and being to do so ably? Let’s look at a verse from the Sermon on the mount that doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as the rest of it. Mt. 5:48, NAS “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    Perfect is a poor translation for modern English speakers in this verse. The greek word that is being translated as ‘perfect’ is teleios (teleioi in the first use, teleios in the second; the difference is in being plural in the first and singular in the second.) To modern English speakers, ‘perfect’ means ‘flawless’. But this is not the real meaning of teleios which means ‘fully developed’, ‘matured’, ‘needing nothing for completeness’, ‘finished’. To use this Greek word as ‘perfect’ requires us to extend the meaning of teleios to what we understand today as the word perfect. No human can ever be perfect in this world, but we can be mature, fully developed, and even complete. If we are earnestly striving for the goal of maturity and completeness, we don’t have to subordinate ourselves to other people in a church hierarchy, we are in the growth process of the independence of the Father. The Father gives the rain that brings the real growth; we humans can only till the soil and plant the seeds.

    We are to grow and mature, and help others towards that maturity and fullness. How can anyone ever hope to reach maturity, fullness, and needing nothing more for completion when we submit ourselves to a human authority that wants to control our thoughts?

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  21. Hello good people on Julie Anne’s Blog! I’m four hours ahead of most of you (on the East Coast of Canada) so I missed many of the comments that were put on when I was having my supper and then – in the evening – taking our grandchildren out for an Ice Cream Social. So it’s with great amusement (regarding B4B) that I read these comments this morning. Please don’t think that I am – IN ANY WAY- weak, nor do I feel picked on. Since I called this fellow on his fundamentalist ‘ranting’ on his own Blog a few topics back, he’s obviously targeting me for the nerve I touched.
    I cannot imagine that he would feel superior to the good, honest, kind, forthright, intelligent Christians who are commenting on here. The fact that I DON’T consider myself a Christian, perhaps, has put me on his ‘hit’ list – I’m fine with that! You see, he’s the kind of Christian I really take exception to – the ones who wave the Bible around as some sort of flag of self-righteousness, and somehow think they’ve got the moral high ground. It just doesn’t work that way. To me, that kind of fundamentalism is dangerous – and a FACT to many people in North America who still have images of the smoking towers. I think everyone should be leery of that kind of Christian. Or perhaps, more specifically, that kind of man.

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  22. On DIB, I recommend all his books, I have them all. He wrote the big one on divorce first and the other one latter, so it has some info the first does not have. If you can afford it, get both.

    Back to Matt 5
    Mat 5:31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
    Mat 5:32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    So what this means in cultural context is that a husband was taught by Hillel that he could divorce his wife just by writing and then handing her a certificate of divorce, she did not even need to do anything wrong (this is unstated, but implied once you know the context). Jesus opposed such “Any Matter” divorces where the wife was divorced for no reason at all. He agreed with Shammai that Deu 24:1 only allowed a divorce for sexual immorality. However, there is a LOT not stated and those are the other possible reasons for divorce, such as neglect or abuse which are given in Ex 21:10-11. These were not discussed by Jesus. In Matt 19 Jesus corrects seven (7!) misinterpretations of Torah by the Pharisees, but one needs to know what they taught to be able to see this clearly. For a 1st century Jew, they knew what the Pharisees taught as they were the judges in the local courts, so they lived it, but we need to study to know about it.

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  23. Born4Battle: Did you read my comment addressed to you last night? Apparently, you didn’t because you did not heed my words when you submitted that last comment (which was not approved). Instead of looking at yourself to see how your words have affected people, you once again think you get to use my blog to tell people how to act as Christians. That’s not happening here. Sorry.

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  24. Julie Anne, feel free to send it to ME if you like, I bet it’s directed my way! ha, ha. He really is amusing. . . . see what I mean about the moral high ground?? That kind of arrogance I find very easy to deflect.

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  25. Eric,

    You gave an excellent summary of what transpired with Born4Battle. I’m glad you did because many people may not have followed along the whole time, or some may not have seen the same signs that you saw. You are very good at taking a look at the full picture. I’ve greatly appreciated your insight.

    I probably should not have approved his comment to Carmen yesterday (I was at lunch with friends and was distracted when I hit “approve”). I knew something was up when I read the strong responses – whew you guys are good! Anyway, the strong responses clued me in that I missed something. Sorry about missing that. And thanks to those who dealt directly and strongly with your comments in defense of Carmen.

    Carmen, I’m glad that you could see through that and am very pleased that you feel comfortable here. I had no idea that you had an exchange with him on his blog. That does add more to the story – very interesting.
    Switching subjects – our East Coast in the US is 3 hours difference from West Coast. So you are even further east to go into a new time zone! Wow. Learn something new every day. The Navy took us to Maine in the early 90s. I loved it – gorgeous country – and can only imagine how beautiful it is on the East Coast of Canada.

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  26. Actually, Carmen, he’s correcting all of us with his biblical “wisdom.” It wasn’t about you at all. And he just now sent in another one which will be sent to the trash box for not following my instructions.

    You get no podium or platform here, B4B.

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  27. Julie Anne, the exchange I had with him was on here, on a post last week – can’t remember. But he included his Blog name, which I checked out and then wrote something back to you about it, on here – which he surely saw! Just to clear up the confusion! I wouldn’t give him any audience on that Blog of his; it’s full of hate messages, thinly disguised as Christian rhetoric. If you ever want to take a vacation. . we’ve always got room! It’s much the same scenery as Maine, which we love!

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  28. Carmen – Thanks much for that offer. That’s a dream of mine – I’d love to also visit Prince Edward Island. Maybe one day!

    I’ve heard reports that there is heavy moderation on his blog. Tread with caution.

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  29. Julie Anne said, “Eric, You gave an excellent summary of what transpired with Born4Battle. I’m glad you did because many people may not have followed along the whole time, or some may not have seen the same signs that you saw. You are very good at taking a look at the full picture. I’ve greatly appreciated your insight.”

    Agreed. And what Eric described in his 2:45 post sounds like spiritual abuse, IMO.

    I pocketing Eric’s quote of Richard Beck July 20 7:49 for myself, but I think it works here:
    Richard Beck hit the nail squarely on the head when he wrote, “When you hear a person say that they love God more than people they are preparing to hurt someone.” The uber-Calv fundamentalist argument posits God as the only object worth loving as the low view of people hinders the ability to love one’s neighbor in a healthy manner.

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  30. JA to B4B @ 6:01 AM: “[Y]ou once again think you get to use my blog to tell people how to act as Christians. That’s not happening here.” JA now enjoys the distinction of sharing more than just initials with a certain hero, martyr and canonized saint. The two now join in the distinction of having been instrumental in the lifting of a siege. The other JA was instrumental in the lifting of the siege of Orléans during the Hundred Years’ War. I speak, of course, of the Maid of Orléans, Jeanne d’Arc in her native tongue, Joan of Arc to us.

    B4B, you have been routed by a woman! Actually you have been routed by every woman on this blog, women who have defeated you by showing nothing but grace and mercy.

    I must resist the temptation to indulge a goodly measure of schadenfreude

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  31. That’s a nice compliment, Gary W., but whoa, being compared with a canonized saint?

    There are other words for JA that I’ve been called (and I can sometimes be) Use your imagination 😉

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  32. I echo all the thanks for making this a safe place from bully behavior. I’ve learned as well so much from all of the articulate and intelligent dialogue here. I have to say, reading B4B’s comments has been an “enlightening” experience to say the least. I’ve wondered to myself more than a few times if he’s really for real or just trolling…..

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  33. Monique – I think he’s the real deal. Remember hearing about my former pastor, how he can’t let things go and stalks former members? They are all from the same mold.

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  34. Yeah, I thought he was “done” with us a few blog posts back…..well, unfortunately his comments have been more of a “clanging symbol” than anything else.

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  35. “There are other words for JA that I’ve been called (and I can sometimes be) Use your imagination ;)”

    Judge Advocate? Jury Analyst? Jelly Assessor?

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  36. JA,

    Use my imagination to think what names you may have been called? That’s easy. One need only consider what sorts epithets would have been applied to the original Joan of Arc by the humiliated MEN of the armies she defeated.

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  37. a mom wrote~

    “The uber-Calv fundamentalist argument posits God as the only object worth loving as the low view of people hinders the ability to love one’s neighbor in a healthy manner.”

    If you keep telling yourself (as a believer like I see so many doing) you are the worst sinner you know, a “chief of jerks” (ala RS Clark recently on his blog to which I want to say—REALLY?….you really believe that?) and/or nothing better than slime worthy of hell, then you will view others like you and treat them accordingly. It is horrible way to view oneself who, as a believer, is a joint heir with Jesus Christ, and adopted son or daughter, chosen, blessed, favored, redeemed, forgiven. (Eph 1)

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  38. Julie Anne

    These posts, comment threads, and commenters – are just wonderful…

    Enjoying reading – Learning so much

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  39. I haven’t read through all of the comments here, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some or all of this has been said already. I am of the belief that God designed marriage to be for life. Marriage is certainly important to God. The Bible speaks frequently of marriage and family, even equating Christ and the Church to husband and wife. Some manuscripts of Malachi 2:16 do say, “‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord.” In this sense, marriage is designed to be permanent.

    Many people get divorced over reasons that they should work through but don’t try hard enough. I would say divorce for reasons like that is sin, and the best course of action would be to attempt to reconcile the differences and get back together. That is of course assuming that both people are still unmarried. While I think many Christians are progressing in their attitudes on divorce, there is still a lacking of grace and forgiveness towards divorcees. Would God be happy that the couple divorced for petty reasons? I doubt it. If they can’t reconcile however, I don’t believe that is something we should hold over their heads for the rest of their lives. Should one or both people remarry, I think God would be happy in that new union, especially if they learned from the mistakes of their past and made their new marriage God-honoring. Furthermore, the people in the second marriage now have a committment to one another that should not be broken. I do not believe God would want these new vows to be broken for the old ones to be renewed. I believe God would show grace and love toward the new marriage.

    All of this assumes that the divorce was for more petty reasons. I believe things are different when we are talking more cases of infidelity, abuse, criminal conduct, things of that nature. In these cases, I believe it is ultimately up to the individual if they want to remain in the marriage. Can God heal these types of marriages? I believe he can. Should people in these types of marriages work towards fixing the marriage? I believe they should insomush as the capable. It may be that they are not capable at all and it is evident from the beginning, or that their efforts are going nowhere. I believe they would be justified in seeking a divorce.

    Then there is another issue. What if your partner is seeking a divorce that you do not agree with? What if your attempts to work on it do nothing to deter your partner? We are accountable for only our own actions. Would God blame you for the divorce? Would God want you to suffer through a loveless life because you are remaining comitted even though your spouse has gone off on their own? I think it is up to the individual to determine where that point is, but I believe God is the God of peace, and living in that kind of turmoil indefintely is not peaceful and I doubt it would be God’s plan.

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  40. Amos,

    Sneeze? Not exactly of course, although there is a certain release or relieving of pressure with either phenomenon. It’s just that the release associated with schadenfreude is rather dark in nature, the word being, as I understand it, a combination of the German for harm (schaden) and joy (freude). I suppose, but do not know, that schaden is related to shade, so that I think of schadenfreude, taking pleasure in another’s misfortune or discomfiture, as “dark joy.”

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  41. Diane wrote

    “If you keep telling yourself (as a believer like I see so many doing) you are the worst sinner you know, a “chief of jerks” (ala RS Clark recently on his blog to which I want to say—REALLY?….you really believe that?) and/or nothing better than slime worthy of hell, then you will view others like you and treat them accordingly. It is horrible way to view oneself who, as a believer, is a joint heir with Jesus Christ, and adopted son or daughter, chosen, blessed, favored, redeemed, forgiven. (Eph 1)”

    This constant self-deprecation produces horrible effects on human behavior, especially when combined with a doctrine of determinism (hard-core predestination). Recent studies have shown that people who are exposed to messages refuting free will have a greater tendency to cheat and steal afterwards. Combine that with the constant messages of one's depravity, and it's no surprise that some people feel no remorse at all after their bad behavior. After all, it really can't be their fault, can it?

    Since psychology and theology affect one another so deeply, it's important to emphasize the positive teachings of religion, e.g, love, grace, charity, kindness, rather than sin, depravity, judgement, wrath, and retribution, not because it simply makes people feel good as the criticism goes, but because it makes people behave better.

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  42. Gary W

    Hmmm? schadenfreude??? = Dark Joy???

    If that is as tasty – as the once “Forbidden Joy” – of Dark Chocolate….

    Count me in…

    Who wudda thunk Dark Chocolate would become – Health Food. 😉

    Thank you Jesus – For removing that guilt

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  43. I was divorced after spouse was sleeping around, one-night stands, dozens of them, and refusing to discuss not doing that. She wanted the divorce. I was single for over a year, and had several family members, Christians all, who were praying that I would meet the right person and get married again. Everyone who knew me at all well knew that I was made for marriage and being a daddy.

    I had prayed that God would make clear to me his will and if I was to be married, would make clear who I should marry. One Sunday morning, two weeks after I had met a young lady, I was in the choir, singing the invitation hymn, eyes closed and praying, as I always did. A word came into my head: “look up and see your future”. When I did, she was shaking the pastor’s hand, joining the church. I had also told God that, if I were to marry, the woman would propose. Twelve days later, on our second date (though we had spent some other times together), she proposed. We had known each other two days short of four weeks. That was almost 35 years ago, and we are still very much in love and equal partners in a fantastic relationship.

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  44. And…

    It’s nice to hear that folks are praying for “Lovingkindness” aka b4b…

    Mat 5:44
    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
    do good to them that hate you, and *pray for them* which despitefully use you,
    and persecute you;

    And “Lovingkindness” seems like someone who needs – lots and lots of prayer.

    And having “Lovingkindness” around is certainly a challenge.
    Seems his Strange B.S. can be a bit upsetting for me also…

    In the natural realm of “Physical Abuse” and “Sexual Abuse” the record shows…
    Most of the time – The one doing the “Abusing” has themself been “Abused.”

    And I’m challenged to remember – when reading the comments of “Lovingkindness”

    Hurt People – Hurt People

    Healed People – Heal People

    So, I pray for “Lovingkindness” that his broken heart would be healed…

    Thank you Jesus…

    Jer 31:3
    …therefore with “lovingkindness” have I drawn thee.

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  45. Eric said:

    This constant self-deprecation produces horrible effects on human behavior, especially when combined with a doctrine of determinism (hard-core predestination). Recent studies have shown that people who are exposed to messages refuting free will have a greater tendency to cheat and steal afterwards. Combine that with the constant messages of one’s depravity, and it’s no surprise that some people feel no remorse at all after their bad behavior. After all, it really can’t be their fault, can it?

    This is so true, Eric. I saw it time and again with the young people at our former church. They knew they could never measure up and so it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Can you imagine going to a church camp over a long weekend and hearing messages on hell the entire weekend? I just checked, there were 6 messages, most over 70 minutes long.

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  46. Eric wrote~

    “Since psychology and theology affect one another so deeply, it’s important to emphasize the positive teachings of religion, e.g, love, grace, charity, kindness, rather than sin, depravity, judgement, wrath, and retribution, not because it simply makes people feel good as the criticism goes, but because it makes people behave better.”

    Yes. it does. What teacher says to their class–hey, I don’t expect much from you. You are just crazed out teens. You are going to act the way you act. Oh well. There is just not much I can do about it.

    So I, as a parent, say to my teen that I expect good decisions while realizing he will fail, and, most importantly, that I believe he HAS the ability to make good choices. Why would someone aspire to do/be better if one is frequently told one cannot help one’s depraved self? It makes no sense to me.

    This article explains well one avenue of consequences that self-deprecation brings in an adolescent’s (or anyone’s) mind. Although this is explained from a circumstance where parents have too high expectations (perfectionists— and I am not advocating anything close to that), I think it can be applied to parents who frequently tell their kids they are depraved, broken, deserving of hell every day…etc. I have no issue with explaining the gospel and how Jesus saves us from sin. I do have an issue with obsessing with sin every minute of the day.

    “From such experiences of being constantly below standard, the child comes to perceive himself as something fundamentally flawed, basically inadequate.

    Again and again, the child in this position learns that “who I am is not good enough.” The love, care and attention that he craves is unavailable, and the reason for this is—apparently—his own deficiency as a person. His constant sense of failure, and of being a constant disappointment to others, give rise to a fundamental sense of shame.

    Hence:

    Who I am is not good enough. Nothing I can do will ever be good enough.

    I should feel ashamed of myself just for being me.

    Even before I try, I know I’m going to fail—so there’s no point in even trying.

    At least I will always be right about one thing: my inadequacy.

    I have nothing of value to offer anyone.”

    http://personalityspirituality.net/articles/the-michael-teachings/chief-features/self-deprecation/

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  47. Thanks Julie Anne for posting my interview. Having taken three years to write “Not Under Bondage”, studying the various positions on divorce and trying to figure out how all the divorce scriptures could be interpreted in a way that did not contradict any of the passages, or run counter to the merciful and just character of God, I respectfully suggest that the whole thing cannot be nutted out in a comments thread on a blog. (Not meaning to offend any commenters here, as I can see you are having good fellowship and helping each other grow spiritually by interacting on this blog. 🙂 )

    Your readers might like to know that I rely strongly on Instone-Brewer’s treatment of the ‘Any Matter divorce’ which Jesus addressed in Matthew and Mark. If Instone-Brewer had not pointed out what “Any Matter divorce” meant in 1st century Israel, I would not have been able to untangle the Gordian knot of divorce passages in the Bible.
    I also follow suit with I-B’s treatment of Exodus 21:10-11 and Deuteronomy 21:10-14. I take a slightly different interpretation of the rest of the major divorce texts to that taken by I-B, but our end points are the same: we both teach that divorce is permitted for adultery, desertion and abuse. And we both consider that abuse means persistent maltreatment of the partner including emotional and psychological abuse, severe neglect, and other major violations of the marriage covenant.

    For readers who want to explore I-B’s work, I would recommend his longer volume “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible”. His more simple book “Divorce and Remarriage in the Church” is a condensation of his larger book, and having read his long book first I would say that it more accurately sets out his view on divorce and remarriage.

    Reviews of my book can be found here:
    http://www.notunderbondage.com/reviews/reviewt.html
    JA, I hope that’s okay to give that link; take it out if you feel it’s inappropriate.

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  48. Barb, thanks much for stopping by and giving more clarity. I look at these blog posts as springboards spurring interest in the hopes that people will dig deeply for themselves. Obviously there is a wide range of thought on the issue of divorce just by looking at the 3 sources I used in the article here. I appreciate the work you’ve done on the book and the ongoing support you have shown to spouses who are suffering from domestic violence. There are so many people in bondage under bad teachings.

    PS – I’m absolutely fine with the link.

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  49. There is a podcast by Carl Trueman and Todd Pruitt on spousal abuse and divorce. This is coming from a Reformed and complementarian perspective. I’m listening to it now and pretty impressed. (http://info.alliancenet.org/mos/podcast/what-church-do)

    This episode of The Mortification of Spin takes on a more serious tone as Todd and Carl offer a pastoral approach to the sensitive topic of spousal abuse. In tragic cases of abuse within the church, where does the dividing line between church discipline and civil law exist? Does abuse stand as justifiable, biblical grounds for divorce? During their thoughtful discussion, the hosts answer these questions and more, offer helpful book recommendations on this challenging topic, and (surprisingly) reveal what’s right about feminism.

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  50. I have recently come to the conclusion that all remarriage while the other spouse is still living is ongoing perpetual adultery. It was always that way for 1600 years until Erasmus made a translation error and the reformers latched on to it.
    That being said, I do not understand why God would not allow divorce for
    abuse and constant unrepentant adultery or desertion. Where MOses permitted divorce back in the day, it was for protection for the female so that they could remarry .
    I don’t understand why God would now say that remarriage is unacceptable to the innocently divorced , and why marriage is now left to be just some example of Christ and his church, and not something that benefits the creature more. Us permanence people just say “suck it up and carry your cross” and put a hard burden on people.
    It’s a very hard burden for me after being divorced now 20 years. I was about to be remarried this year when the scripture came alive with why remarriage is adultery. To be honest, I hate it. I don’t understand…. IonI feel sorry for those who are in an abusive relationship who think remarriage is wrong. It’s a tough road to hoe.

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  51. Jeff! You need to read Instone-Brewer’s work if you haven’t already, and also let’s remember that Jesus did not come to abolish the law of Moses – but to fulfill it. I agree this makes no sense: “why marriage is now left to be just some example of Christ and his church, and not something that benefits the creature” — it is senseless because it is inconsistent with the character of God and all of the scriptures on marriage, taken as a whole.
    I found that once I read Instone-Brewer’s work, everything made sense. I read somewhere that even Martin Luther came to the same conclusions, although he felt he couldn’t “prove it” at the time through scripture because he didn’t have access to the first century Jewish customs and divorce practices — but he came to that conclusion just by reading God’s word and understanding His character.
    The reason the permanence view seems so unjust is because it *is* unjust.

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  52. Jeff Hildebrand, I am not sure why and how you came to the conclusion that Erasmus translated something wrongly in the divorce texts and that led to all the reformers making an error in saying that remarriage is permissible after biblical divorce. That’s a new one on me, and I studied what others had written about divorce in the Bible for years before writing my book “Not Under Bondage”. I believe you have arrived at a wrong interpretation. You might like to check out my book (you can read more about it at http://www.notunderbondage dot com. I have many reviews of the book on my website, including some by eminent writers like William Heth and David Instone Brewer.

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  53. Hey
    Thanks for trying to help. I have read pretty much everything on MDR there is and still have come the permanency view. I think the church is in error as whole on this, but I don’t force my views on the remarried who thought is was ok to remarry because someonOst e had bad exegesis 600 years ago.
    Most permanence peeps would tell all you remarried peeps you are living in perpetual adultery. You did commit adultery probably unkowningly when you remarried because of what had been taught in the prostestant mainstream since the reformation.
    I don’t know of God calls you to repentance by asking you to disband your second union….. I do not see a scriptiual example of that in Pauls writings in Corinth. And I have to assume there were converts who were on their 2nd or 3rd marriages.
    Divorce was virtually nonexsistant 100 years ago ( even with the two exceptiIons) and had gotten out of control the last 60 years. I’m not some sorta “blame the churchs problem on divorce” but I know that what we have now is a farce and mimics the world.
    I have many questions that will not be answer

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  54. Jeff, Really really check that out about Erasmus. I wish you would give us the details of the bad interpretation. Martin Luther thought Erasmus a bit of a heretic.

    And I hope you were not engaged long before you changed your mind. That would be so unfair to her.

    Divorce was non existent (except for the wealthy) because women had no rights and were forced to stay with abusers, drunks and so on. Men had little reason to desire divorce as they held all the rights of property (including children) even if she brought property or money to marriage, etc.

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  55. Lydia,
    I wasnt engaged very long. I discovered this view while were dating and after a few months of praying and asking God what was the right thing, I think he told me,( and yes, I was unfair to her..and I am very sorry. I love her very much)
    The big problem I see is that we want say divorce is ok because we are the victim…likewise Christ is the victim when we divorce HIm and forsake him. He forgives seventy times seven…he forgives our adultery….our desertion. Likewise I think we should do the same. Part of the reason the early church never subscribed to this new idea of remarriage is that the offending party might repent and come to thier senses etc…that the wait and patience we have towards the wayward would be exhibited in such a case is hard, but its the heart of the gospel i suppose.
    Consider this….Christ says, whoever marries someone who is divorced commits adultery on numerous occasions. The Pharisees hated it….the disciples asked him again if what he said was true. He repeats what he told the Pharisees and they are amazed…they say “if thats the case its better for a man not to marry”. I take that as your stuck for life. Jesus then responds that its a a hard teaching and its not given to everyone to hear it….and then goes into the saying about eunuchs. “Some are eunuchs from birth….some by men…some make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of God. This was all in reference to marriage and divorce…and i believe Christ was saying, remarriage is adultery, (Paul says adulterer do not inherit the kingdom of heaven) and that (in context) your stuck with whoever you got, even if the desert you (as my people do ) or remarry themselves. Do you want me or another unlawful marriage(God says)? Do you want to show the slow patience of God waiting for repentance of the guilty party or do you want to fulfill your desires,
    On that note, again, as not being one of those permanence people who are complete asses…..I am suffering and it hurts and I wonder how God is in this desicion I made. I could say that he will work this out in this life if i believe….but i know…we all know, he may not. I might be celibate 4 ever. Whatever side you fall on, know that God never leaves or forsakes us…adultery , desertion…whatever. He is still there with love. Shouldn’t we be too?

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  56. oh…i am a permanence ass by the way lol….i just hate being affiliated with most of them….sorry about my not well thought through conclusions…i type everything as i think it. 🙂

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  57. “likewise Christ is the victim when we divorce HIm and forsake him. He forgives seventy times seven…he forgives our adultery….our desertion. ”

    again. You are way off base here, because Jesus did not die for those who will reject Him. His sacrifice is sufficient for all, but there are those who will reject him anyway. He died for those that say yes, I love you Lord, and repent of my sin. Extrapolating Jesus crucified onto marriage and earthly relationships and trying to say that we should lay down our lives for the wicked who hate us — is insane. There are way too many examples in the Bible of exactly the opposite, you are clinging to this idea because you seem to want to be a martyr. God himself is a divorcee and he “remarried” the Gentiles after He was rejected.
    I’m sorry but you will not get martyrdom this way. That only comes from being persecuted for Christ’s sake. You are laying down your life on a pointless altar that will have no benefit to you in the end. I’m going to heaven the same as you — but I don’t have to crucify myself with lonliness for the rest of my life here on earth to get there.

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  58. Katy said:

    I’m sorry but you will not get martyrdom this way. That only comes from being persecuted for Christ’s sake. You are laying down your life on a pointless altar that will have no benefit to you in the end. I’m going to heaven the same as you — but I don’t have to crucify myself with lonliness for the rest of my life here on earth to get there.

    That is such a good point and one I’ve heard before about persecution. How is Christ getting the glory when one of His own is in misery?

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  59. Jeff,
    You HAVE read “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible” then? I’m surprised that wouldn’t convince you. Barbara’s book is also excellent if you haven’t read it. I think it’s one of the best books on the subject, so if you haven’t read it, I would suggest you haven’t read everything there is on MDR.

    Beyond that, though, does the Permanence view really make sense coming from Jesus who said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”? Did God create something like the Sabbath FOR MAN, as something to benefit him, and then marriage as bondage that would destroy him in a small number of cases (was man made for marriage)? Because permanent marriages to abusive people DO result in murders and destruction. Does the Jesus who heals on the Sabbath sound like the kind of God who says “look, I know this will destroy you for the sake of a religious institution, but them’s the breaks, sucks to be you?”

    Yes, God calls people to suffer. But not for the sake of religious rules. He does for the sake of his glory and the benefit of mankind. God is not glorified when a wife submits in marriage to her death. I know it is argued that he is, but explain to me how. A sacrifice made to an unrepentant, vow breaking spouse, is not a sacrifice made to the Lord. It is an empty sacrifices that brings no hope to this world (which a good sacrifice ought to do).

    I suggest you dive deep into yourself and question why you believe what you do. Is it possible you are willing to inflict pain upon yourself in order to convince yourself of your righteousness? I’m not asking that to be a jerk- I’ve been there. I still do it. But if underlying this is a sense of asceticism, you need to be free from that. “Better safe than sorry” is not good theology, especially if “safe” means obeying some rules of men that has no power to bring righteousness, and it does not glorify God.

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  60. I am not trying to look righteous. In fact I could give a flying flip what most people think.
    If Jesus would have said divorce is ok sometimes , he would not have wasted his time spelling it out, first to the Pharisees then to HIS OWN!
    No, I did not read the book, I have read some of instone brewers stuff and I find it odd that all of a sudden in the last 60 years we have a new definition of what Christ had in mind for marriage and divorce.
    I agree with you and also question if marriage is suppose to be for the good of creature or if it’s suppose to be more of a model to the world.
    In the case of an abusive marriage I would say separation is in order no matter what. To say that is reason for remarriage after divorce seems to be out of order, but if I had it my way, I’d give the opportunity for remarriage to the abused in a heartbeat.
    Let me say again, I’m not going to change my mind on this, but I would like to apologize for those who believe like I do, but are real jerks about it. They are nasty and usually lack compassion. I feel bad for people like myself and I dont judge those who remarry, especially if they were taught the two exceptions. I don’t point a finger and say “your going to hell because your an adulterer”. I pray God is more compassionate than that. I know he is Holy and expects us to follow when it hurts. But this subject of MDR is difficult and although I don’t believe like you, I am n

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  61. Do yourself a favor and pick up IB’s book. I thought his view was very unconvincing before I read it. He does address your objection about what we know “all of the sudden in the last 60 years”.

    Again, what IB shows is that Jesus would not have been understood to be saying divorce is prohibited in all cases. We are reading into and mistranslated what he said to get to that conclusion.

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  62. Hi Jeff H.

    What you are doing, altho it does not seem like it is taking the divorce and remarriage verses out of context and not hearing them like a 1st century reader would have. This is unfortunately very easy to do, which is why I think it is essential to study David Instone-Brewer. I also have an all day teaching on this, which I am willing to go over with you, as it is that important to not get this wrong.

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  63. Here are 2 reasons why it is so easy for us today to misunderstand Jesus on divorce. 1) the use by Jesus of Jewish remez, (hint in English) which is a short extract of some teaching that is meant to act like a hypertext link and bring in the whole teaching by the short reference. 2) the use by Jesus of Jewish idioms that have a meaning that one cannot simply figure out from the words used. My claim is that without reading David Instone-Brewer on this you will not even know what you do not know in this area and so continue to make mistakes.

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  64. Thanks be to God that after 2000 years of Church history Dr. Brewer and Barbara Roberts have restored what marriage and divorce really means! Why did God wait so long?
    Dont ever trivialize what I believe by being a smart alleck and saying I am putting on self righteous aires and that I am on some sort of man made alter of my own doing.I am just a dude trying to obey God and you can have your new found ideas about divorce and remarriage. I hope it works out for you, but dont make me look like a martyr because I believe different than you.

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  65. “I have read some of instone brewers stuff and I find it odd that all of a sudden in the last 60 years we have a new definition of what Christ had in mind for marriage and divorce.”

    Not sure where the 60 years comes from but anyway, things like this should not surprise you. For a thousand years babies were baptized and very few questioned it as necessary.

    It is also shocking how much archeology, finding of dead sea scrolls and ancient language experts have added to our understanding of meanings within ancient cultures. Tradition is not a good measure of truth. The church has a bloody evil history of wrong teaching.

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  66. “Thanks be to God that after 2000 years of Church history Dr. Brewer and Barbara Roberts have restored what marriage and divorce really means! Why did God wait so long?”

    Why did God allow such bloody evil from what called itself His church for a thousand and more years? Did they not have the Holy Spirit? Why are you blaming God instead of man? Do you honestly think God was cheered when what called itself His church persecuted even to death other believers? When church history reveals that only certain people were even allowed to read scripture? When church attendance was mandatory or the magistrate would come for you? When women were owned like chattel with approval of the church/state?

    Your appeal to church history is very sad but typical.

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  67. I found this article compelling:
    Though I hold that the author’s conclusion(s) on “remarriage” (persistent adultry), or what the Cristian’s response or stand on the matter must be, to be incorrect.

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  68. Ron, please stop spamming my blog with comments and links supporting the permanence view of marriage. I do not believe your viewpoint and don’t believe God would ever want an abused spouse to remain married to her abuser. That would make God out to be an abuser which contradicts his clear message throughout scripture that he is a merciful God and protects and defends the oppressed.

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  69. You certainly don’t believe in free speech. My post, the link to a well-spoken article, is not “spam”. But, you already know that. You want to simply silence ANY views contrary to your own. And, I am certain that if it was reported that a husband was so “silencing” to his wife, you would call it abuse. And, on that point, you would be right!

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  70. Jeff Hildebrand said
    (and some of what I’m saying in this post is pertinent to some of R Carlson’s comments):

    Thanks be to God that after 2000 years of Church history Dr. Brewer and Barbara Roberts have restored what marriage and divorce really means! Why did God wait so long?

    Dont ever trivialize what I believe by being a smart alleck and saying I am putting on self righteous aires and that I am on some sort of man made alter of my own doing.I am just a dude trying to obey God

    I have to say one advantage of having a severe faith crisis in the last few years (after having converted to Christ at a young age and being a seriously devout Christian my entire life), is I have had my eyes opened to just how arbitrary and wrong so many Christians are on so many topics, including marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

    You may THINK, sincerely think, you are understanding what the Bible has to say correctly in regards to marriage, but you really need to seriously consider you may have totally misunderstood it.

    Regarding in particular this section of Jeff H’s comment,

    Thanks be to God that after 2000 years of Church history Dr. Brewer and Barbara Roberts have restored what marriage and divorce really means! Why did God wait so long?

    There really is not one standard definition or understanding of “marriage” through out the Bible.
    About the closest we can probably see to God’s intent was Jesus’ comment about “have you not read that in the beginning God created them male and female,” and we all know that Adam and Eve were a couple.

    Now, in the past few years, when debates about the legalization of homosexual marriage became the latest controversy, I saw some very interesting editorials and articles, some of whom by liberals who supported homosexual marriage – and even conservative Christians were conceding the points made by these editorials.

    The meaning and definitions and motives of marriage have changed from culture to culture over time. Even in the Bible, the state of marriage is not consistent.

    People might have married way back when over tribal reasons, to promote peace between one family and another. The Old Testament patriarchs had concubines in addition to a wife. Some of them had more than one wife. God never did completely put a halt to polygamy, but only instituted guidelines for it.

    There are self professing Christian fruit cakes today who practice polygamy, and who argue a man having more than one wife at a time is moral, proper, and biblical.

    Arranged marriages still go on in some parts of the world today, in other cultures. People in the United States only started to marry out of a sense of love several decades back. More recently, because women can stand on their own financially and no longer “need” a husband, people choose to marry for a sense of personal fulfillment (in addition for love).

    The state of marriage is largely a culture thing and a thing consisting of preferences and cultural forces – there is no one, for all time proscribed “biblical” way of marriage described by God in the Bible.

    It looks to me as though God leaves a heck of a lot of “wiggle room” for certain life events and choices – that God allows people to form institutions, family structures, hobbies, and habits based on whatever people’s cultural norms are.

    Many Christians today get gender complementarianism wrong – they swear up and down that God forbids women to teach men, to preach, or to have equal say in marriages, and they use the Bible to defend this sexism, much like American Christians used the Bible in the 19th century to defend the notion that it is supposedly godly and biblical for white adults to own black people as property (slaves).

    Now, if so many Christians have gotten slavery wrong, and they’re getting complementarianism wrong today, and all these people are convinced (or were at one time) that their interpretation of the Bible was the plain, obvious reading of the Bible, don’t you think you should consider that maybe your understanding of marriage or remarriage might also be incorrect?

    I know you think you are trying to obey God, but you may, unfortunately, be misunderstanding God’s views or intent, which means you are not obeying God but only unnecessarily burdening yourself due to misinterpretations of the Bible.

    (end of part 1, continued in a part 2)

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  71. Part 2 –

    As to more general commentary and observations about R Carlson’s comments or the topic of the permanence view of marriage. I may have said this already in this thread, but the older I get, the more perplexed I am why Christians do what they do.

    Life becomes a lot easier to live if you stop trying to put every single life choice and decision (like whether or not to divorce or remarry, for instance) through the “Bible grid,” or in worrying to yourself,
    “What would God think if I did X, Y, or Z?,” and,
    “But what if other Christians don’t approve of my decision to divorce my spouse?”

    I can tell you that if I ever marry, and my husband turns out to be emotionally, sexually, or physically abusive, I will divorce his butt without worrying what-so-ever if God will be upset or angry at me over it.

    In all my years, I’ve never heard of God striking a person dead with lightning as punishment for divorcing a spouse.

    I’ve never seen a Bible verse that says divorce is the only unpardonable sin that will cause God to remove you salvation and send you to hell.

    If I were in a terrible marriage, I would not be concerned with other people’s interpretation of what the Bible says on the topic of marriage or divorce, or if God approves or disapproves of divorce or remarriage.

    You get only one life to live down here (the years fly by the older you get, it seems), and you should decide FOR YOU what works and what does not, and what keeps you safe, healthy, and happy – whether or not other Christians think your choice is “Bible-approved” or not.

    I feel some pity for Christians who are still trapped in this bubble of caring too much about what God’s opinions are on whatever given topic, or ‘what does the Bible say about thus- and- so.’ It is such an unnecessarily limiting way to live life.

    My faith crisis of the last few years has been so eye-opening in so many ways. It’s caused me to see that too many Christians are living their lives far too rigidly – they are too consumed with being concerned with ‘what the Bible says.’ And here is the cherry on top of that point:

    And Christians cannot agree on what the Bible says or means.

    Christians debate each other over so many topics; here are just a few examples:

    -Some Christians think that baptism should only be done by immersion to adults, while others think that baptism by sprinkling an infant with water is acceptable.

    -Re: Communion. Some Christians think that the wafer and wine (or grape juice) are merely symbolic, while some churches teach that the wafer and wine (or grape juice) literally become the body and blood of Christ.

    -Some Christians believe in a literal, flame-filled, eternal Hell for non-believers, while other Christians say that Hell is merely a “state of mind” with no fire.

    – Re: Prophecy. Some Christians think that the Rapture of Christians during the Tribulation will happen “pre trib,” while others promote a post-trib or mid-trib view. Some don’t even think there will be a future Rapture or Tribulation at all.

    -Some Christians believe that mankind does not have true free will (Calvinists), while others do (Arminians, other groups).

    Secondly, Christians cannot even agree on WHICH Bible is the “right” one.
    Here are a few examples:

    Versions King James Version Onlyists believe that ONLY the KJV is trustworthy and that all other Bible versions, including the NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, etc, all contain heresy and inaccuracies deliberately put there by a Roman Catholic and New Age conspiracy to corrupt the Bible.

    Calvinists seem to think that the ESV is the only “acceptable” version Christians should use.

    Translation method/ related – Some Christians think formal equivalence Bible versions are the only proper ones, while other Christians are fine with dynamic equivalence versions.
    Some Christians distrust the ‘gender neutral’ or ‘gender inclusive’ Bible translations.

    In light of everything I just pointed out about the Bible, and how Christians have been fighting and disagreeing over WHICH version to use and what the text means on any given topic,
    Why would anyone want to go around basing vital life choices on a book whose adherents cannot even agree with each other upon what it means?

    Why would you think YOUR opinion on what the Bible says about remarriage should be taken seriously and lived out by other people?

    And what purpose does it really serve to tell another person, “And if you remarry, you are guilty of adultery,” other than offending that person?

    There are, sadly, some women who stay trapped in loveless or abusive marriages for decades because they believe in this propaganda they hear and read from other Christians who condemn divorce – but even some of these types of Christians eventually tire of hurting and want practical solutions, which for them, may mean divorce.

    (That means they will eventually get to a point where they will stop caring if divorce (or remarriage) is a sin or not.)
    And, if they tire of being lonely after divorce and meet a nice guy, they may want to remarry.

    This is similar to the years I used to suffer with depression:
    Some Christians shamed me from using medications and seeing doctors for the depression and told me to rely only on prayer and Bible reading.

    So fine, I gave up medications and doctors, but after struggling several more years using the Christian-prescribed methods and not getting any relief, I was hurting so badly, I didn’t give one stinking WHIT what God felt or what Christians believed about doctors, psychiatry, or medication.

    I eventually went back to the doctors and took medications again. I wanted a solution that worked. I no longer cared if God or the Bible were anti-psychology or anti-medications, as some Christians teach.

    You get to a deep, dark, low point in your life where that stuff ceases to matter, you don’t care about being spiritually noble or strong any more, or doing the “right biblical thing”, and you just want HELP.
    I can imagine for a person in a horrible marriage, it’s much the same way.

    At the end of the day, it’s my life to live, and I’m not going to live it by Jeff Hildebrand’s or R Carlson’s opinions, or Jeff Hildebrand’s or R Carlson’s interpretations of what they think the Bible says on the subjects of X, Y, or Z.

    I just so wish other Christians out there – the ones who have mental health problems, or are in crummy, loveless, or abusive marriages or whatever they are going through – would just make the choices they feel serves them best, instead of holding back from doing what they think is right for them, all because they think the Bible is against their choice, or that God would not agree or approve, or some scolding Christian on a blog tells them that their choice is (in their opinion) a “sin.”

    Like

  72. I merely posted an article I found compelling.
    Your long reply did not address any it…
    With even a modicum of discernment, one can read between the lines
    and see what you are really saying.
    The truth is available for those who want it.
    Perhaps, I should not cast pearls…
    Here is the article again, for those who want to seriously consider the matter:
    [website removed: promotes permanence of marriage which is harmful teachings (especially when abuse is involved, it could be deadly) ~ja]
    (Will it be freely allowed for discussion, or tyrannically silenced…?)

    Like

  73. I don’t find any of it compelling, and here is why, Mr. Carlson:

    Contrary to popular Christian belief, started by the Catholics, of course, it is not a sin to divorce…for any reason. Neither is it adultery to remarry.

    Intro:

    Major note: I use the KJV, not a modern English Translated version. Why?

    For example, 1 John 3:4, in some modern English translations state that sin is lawlessness. That means what, in English? In the KJV, it states that sin is the transgression of the law. That means something significant, because according to Romans 3 and Romans 7, the law of Moses is what defines what sin is. What is the Law of Moses? It’s the Old (Not new, or renewed) covenant that spans from Exodus 20 (Not Genesis 1) thru Deuteronomy, which, I might add, includes Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the topic of divorce. It’s The Law.

    In the statement by the Pharisees in:

    Matthew 19:7
    They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

    The Pharisees were not discussing Moses, THE PERSON, but the law of Moses. The Law of Moses is not an invention of Moses. The law of Moses is the Law of God, to wit:

    Joshua 24:26
    And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.

    Nehemiah 8:8
    So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

    Nehemiah 8:18
    Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.

    Nehemiah 10:28
    And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

    The Law of Moses is known by many names, one of which is the Law of God. Another name for the Law of Moses is, “The Law”, for which some confuse with the word “Torah”, which it isn’t. Torah begins in Genesis 1:1, whereas the Law of Moses begins in Exodus 20.

    Still, other names include the words, “Book of Moses”, or, just “Moses” alone. So, we should be able to see that Matthew 19:7 is not discussing the person of Moses, but rather, the Law of Moses, or more specifically, the Law of God. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is Law.

    Law is not God’s toleration of a situation, nor is it Moses tolerating a situation. Law is God commanding Moses to “write it down”, so that when the word “Moses” is mentioned, it is God’s Word, written by Moses, so it is God commanding the Children of Israel, not Moses, the person.

    Hebrews 10:28
    He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    So let’s start off with a question.

    Is divorce, based on Deuteronomy 24:1-4 the law of God, or a toleration of Moses?

    My second question to you would be:

    Why isn’t verse 3 taught?

    Deuteronomy 24:1-4 shows a, get this, twice divorced woman. Twice. Let me say that again…Twice.

    Deuteronomy 24:1-4
    1 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.

    That shows that divorce is not a sin, and neither is, get this…remarriage.

    NOTE: Some people, and theologians in particular, ERRONEOUSLY interpret the word in verse one, “uncleanness” as some sort of sexual sin, aka, adultery, or fornication. Some have interpreted this to be “some sort of ‘indecency'”. Indecency? Are you kidding? This is an anatomy issue, not a sin issue. Any interpretation of anything sexual, or sinful here is wrong, big time. This issue deals with the anatomy of the genitals, that there is something wrong with the genitals that the man does not like, stating something like, “I’m not touching that with a ten foot pole!”.

    What is the punishment for adultery under the Moses, uh, er, the law of Moses? Divorce? Divorce with the opportunity for remarriage? Or Death?

    Leviticus 20:10
    And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

    So, let’s reword Deuteronomy 24:1-2 for a moment and see the logic in this:

    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 out that she committed adultery: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

    What? She can get a divorce and then marry someone else? How is that possible if she is supposed to be dead, according to Leviticus 20:10?

    Part 2
    Many years later, in the gospels, the subject of divorce is discussed…or is it?

    The original question by the Pharisees had nothing to do with divorce at all. It had to do with “put away”, not divorce.

    Matthew 19:3
    The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

    Mark 10:2
    And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

    This is where I get into theological disputes with SOME people. I use the KJV. Other versions will miss this. There is two different topics being discussed, not just one topic:
    1.) Put Away, and
    2.) Divorce.

    They are not the same, not even the same Greek word, but the Catholics…and others, have equated them to be the same, redefining “put away” to equate it to mean the same exact thing as divorce. That is wrong.

    A Put Away spouse is a separated spouse, without a divorce decree.
    A divorced spouse is a put away spouse with a Certificate of Divorcement.

    Isaiah 50:1
    Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

    NOTE: GOD PUT AWAY HIS WIFE, BUT DID NOT DIVORCE HER. This shows that put away is not divorce.

    In the case of adultery, divorce is not necessary. Why? What is the penalty for adultery again? Divorce? NO NO NO. Death by stoning…even in the days of Jesus, the penalty was STILL death by stoning.

    Jesus would not have told any Pharisee that people can get divorced in the case of an adulterous spouse. Never. Adulterous spouses get stoned, not divorced…that is, in the days of Jesus walking under the law himself, discussing the law with lawyers.

    Can you imagine the heyday that the Pharisees would have over this one, telling lawyers that adulterous spouses no longer need to be put to death under the law, but rather that they can simply get divorced now, and not face any penalty of death?

    Put away, then death is the only thing necessary for adultery. Divorce is not warranted in the case for adultery when Jesus walked the planet, as he, too, was under the Law of Moses, yet did not sin.

    “PUT AWAY”, is another way of saying, KICK HER OUT OF THE HOUSE.

    For any other reason, if you put away your spouse, you need that divorce decree, otherwise, you are still married. And, if you marry someone else while still being married, that is bigamy.

    There is a verse that must be dissected once this is understood. The verse, already dissected, states that if a divorced man marries a put away wife, they are committing adultery, all because the wife is still married to her so-called former husband. She never got a divorce. So, their relationship is bigamy.

    What is that verse?

    Matthew 5:32
    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.

    and

    Matthew 19:9
    And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    In the first reference, a man married an already still married woman, who is still married to another man. She never got a divorce yet. She was only KICKED OUT of the house (Uh, that is, PUT AWAY) by her husband…without the divorce.

    We can divorce for simply “hating” our spouse, as Deuteronomy 24:3 states. If Jesus didn’t love us, would we be compelled to remain married to Jesus?

    But, why do theologians not want to discuss that one verse, verse 3?

    Why do theologians not want to discuss that in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, that in any remarriage, NO ONE GOT KICKED OUT OF JUDAISM?

    Oh, but, they want to teach us that in Christianity, people are hell bound for eternity if they get remarried? That logic, is insane.

    Jesus did NOT change the rules of divorce. And again, Moses, the person, did not allow divorce. God did. He made it a law, not Moses, the person.

    Hardened hearts, one may retort. Well, when did that change? Humans have hardened hearts by nature. God made a law allowing for divorce, just simply for hating your spouse. But theologians don’t want to discuss that for some reason, thinking that Jesus forbids divorce, when in fact, he forbids “put away”.

    Now, in regards to 1 Corinthians 7, we are not to PUT AWAY our spouse, but the spouse is FREE TO LEAVE. The choices after she leaves…divorce her, or reconcile with her. Both parties here are believers, where not one party is an unbeliever. A separate verse addresses where one spouse is an unbeliever.

    NOTE: Both parties here are believers. In the law of Moses, when a divorce happened, neither spouse was kicked out of Judaism, right? RIGHT.

    The words, in 1 Cor 7, which states, let her remain unmarried is just another way of saying, DIVORCE HER, but he Catholics, and others, think it means that she can never remarry again. I say that is hogwash.

    Again, the two choices when both parties are believers, reconcile or divorce, but don’t “PUT AWAY”. Why? Because she can leave on her own accord without the husband kicking her out. And guess what? She can remarry, and still be in the family of Christians, a Child of Jesus.

    Therefore, I disagree with the theologians that put restrictions on people getting a divorce, even those who think that the only reason to divorce is for abuse. A Christian can get divorced for just for not being in love anymore. But we never seem to hear preaching on verse 3 of Deuteronomy 24 from the theologians. That is interesting since they believe that an adulterous spouse under the law of Moses can get remarried.

    And for those who think that God hates divorce, in the KJV it does not say that. It states that God hates “PUT AWAY”, not divorce.

    Malachi 2:16
    For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away

    Remember, Joseph was going to”put away” his fiance’, quietly. Why quietly? Because her pregnancy would be evidence of adultery, and based on evidence, she would be killed…not allowed to marry another person.

    So, again, tell me why you don’t preach verse 3 of Deuteronomy 24? What do you do with a married couple that at least one party just isn’t in love anymore? Keep them in bondage because you think that Jesus only sanctions divorce in abuse and abandonment issues? Come on counselor! Really?

    Do we not get it yet that there is no such thing as a divorce, let alone a remarriage, for the case of “sexual immorality”? It’s just death. Being stoned is the means of death for sexual immorality, until you are dead. The subject of Deuteronomy 24:1 has nothing to do with sexual immorality, or as some have translated it to be, “indecency” to begin with, and even if it did, verse 2 is NOT ALLOWED, which proves that your theology is wrong in this regard.

    To review, the original question by the Pharisees had nothing to do with divorce, but “PUT AWAY” (AKA Send away), is that the Pharisees were allowing “send away” for any reason, not requiring a divorce. And THAT alone is what causes adultery when the sent away spouse “marries” another person, because that “another” person is really an additional person. The old marriage was not severed by divorce.
    This is the basis for my argument, because there is no such thing as a divorce for the cause of adultery in the days of Jesus. No such thing. It’s just death.

    Christians can get divorced, where both parties are believers, where no abuse issues are going on, simply for not being in love anymore, just like Deuteronomy 24:3 states.

    “Put away” is the only conclusion for an adulterous spouse, therefore, put away and divorce cannot be equated. The only authorized reason to put away is in the case of adultery, then death. For any other cause, you must not only put away, but divorce as well.

    In the days of Jesus (Jesus was talking to lawyers here), the law states death penalty, point blank. We do remember the woman caught in adultery that was going to be stoned to death, and Jesus made a point to say “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

    And, I reference the following already:

    Hebrews 10:28
    He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    It was Jesus who showed mercy, not the people, not the Pharisee’s, nor the rabbi’s, or anyone else. The Law does not allow for a divorce, let alone a remarriage for an adulterous spouse.

    Also note: One reason for divorce, according to Deu 24 is just because the husband didn’t like his wife very much. So, what do you do if a spouse does not love the other? Forbid a divorce when Deu 24 allows for it?

    JESUS would never allow for a divorce for an adulterous spouse. Dead people cannot divorce, let alone remarry.

    The Catholics really screwed this one up, and the Reformation folks bought off on it.

    Like

  74. In the article that you provided, Mr. Carlson, it states the following:

    “This law of Moses didn’t allow divorce for ‘every’ cause, it allowed divorce of the betrothed for immorality, the unlawful nakedness or illicit sexual behavior (fornication)”

    That is an incorrect statement.

    This is what the Law states in regards to the situation that the betrothed Mary was in:

    Deuteronomy 22:13-21King James Version (KJV)

    13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,

    14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

    15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:

    16 And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;

    17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.

    18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;

    19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.

    20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

    21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

    She does not divorce…she dies. In Mary’s case, she is pregnant. That is all the evidence that is needed for a conviction of death…not a divorce. Betrothed adulterers were put to death.

    Like

  75. The article that you provided, Mr. Carlson, mentions Deuteronomy 24:1, and Deuteronomy 24:4.

    But it does not mention Deuteronomy 24:2-3 at all.

    And, to say that Jesus only allowed for divorce for betrothed fornicators only shows that this guys theology is whacked.

    And, finally, he makes tons of bible references that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic of divorce at all.

    Like

  76. Mr. Carlson, when you are posting on my blog, you are here as my guest. I do not allow spamming, which is what you did.

    Your snide comment about casting pearls is not kind.

    If you want to comment here, I expect courtesy, not badgering and rudeness.

    As far as the divorce issue, I am once again going to remove your link. I do not want it posted on my site. I don’t want any of my readers who are in harmful marriages to get the notion that they must remain with their abusive spouses.

    Like

  77. Life becomes a lot easier to live if you stop trying to put every single life choice and decision (like whether or not to divorce or remarry, for instance) through the “Bible grid,” or in worrying to yourself,

    I think it’s better to go by guiding principles, the ‘spirit’ of the law rather than the letter. The spirit of law on divorce, imo, is that people should not be abused in their marriage, they should be treated well, loved, etc. They should not be frivolously divorcing or committing adultery, because it hurts their partner.

    Like

  78. IMHO, I don’t think that there is any such thing as “frivolously” divorcing. People need to realize that divorce is not a sin. There seems to be a lot of guilt trips laid on people, all because some expert stated that it’s a sin.

    Sin can only be defined as what the Law of Moses states. There is no other way to define sin, but by the law of Moses. So, to teach that divorce/remarriage is a sin, that is a travesty. The burden of life long guilt trips of something false weighs more on a person than anything. Frivolous teaching that one can spend eternity in hell for divorcing/remarrying is an evil teaching that no one needs.

    Whatever reason that people divorce, it’s allowed. And we need to stay out of it, because it’s none of our business.

    Like

  79. I don’t think that there is any such thing as “frivolously” divorcing.

    Really? I guess I mean people who make no effort to take their marriage vows seriously, and divorce because the grass is greener or something. Not because there are serious problems that can’t or won’t be worked through.

    Whatever reason that people divorce, it’s allowed. And we need to stay out of it, because it’s none of our business.

    I don’t think Jesus was happy with the people who divorced because of the ‘hardness of mens hearts’. But it was allowed.

    I do agree with your second point and would absolutely stay out of it.

    Like

  80. “Mr. Carlson, when you are posting on my blog, you are here as my guest. I do not allow spamming, which is what you did.
    Your snide comment about casting pearls is not kind.
    If you want to comment here, I expect courtesy, not badgering and rudeness.
    As far as the divorce issue, I am once again going to remove your link. I do not want it posted on my site. I don’t want any of my readers who are in harmful marriages to get the notion that they must remain with their abusive spouses.”

    Your assertion that I am “spamming” is patently false. But again, you know this.
    A “spam” (n.) refers to an email message(s), not to personal (i.e. my personal reflections, thoughts, ideas, experiences, discoveries, or interests, etc.–And/or my sharing another’s/other’s of the same that is directly relavent to another’s post, blog, article, etc) comments posted in response to a blog, news article, or other such public forum. “Spamming” (v.) refers to the indiscriminate action of sending said email(s) to large populations of recipients (i.e. compiled email address databases, lists, or the like). Your opinion, whether you agree or disagree with the position or general content of a comment made in a public forum such as the comment section to your blog (you determine what you put in your blog…), does not make any such responses “spam” or an act of “spamming”.

    An accepted definition of a “spam”/”spamming”:
    “n.
    1. Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.
    2. A single piece of such e-mail: “receiving dozens of spams a day” (George Johnson).
    tr.v. spammed, spam·ming, spams
    1. To send unsolicited e-mail to.

    2. To send (a message) indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups.”

    “I merely posted an article I found compelling.
    Your long reply did not address any of it…
    With even a modicum of discernment, one can read between the lines
    and see what you are really saying.
    The truth is available for those who want it.
    Perhaps, I should not cast pearls…
    Here is the article again, for those who want to seriously consider the matter:”
    [website removed: promotes permanence of marriage which is harmful teachings (especially when abuse is involved, it could be deadly) ~ja]
    “(Will it be freely allowed for discussion, or tyrannically silenced…?)”

    “Perhaps, “I” should not cast pearls…” is referring to “my” posting a comment in response to your blog. Since It is painfully clear that you intend to have a very one-sided, opinionated blog and that you will censor those who have different views (or censor one from sharing a source that they have encountered which that personally consider as compelling), it was an accurate remark. Notice, I did not include the entire “citation”, as I did not assess if the proverbial “shoe fits”. (i.e.”before swine”.)
    Again, the Truth is available for those who want it…

    You can hide behind “not promoting” opposing views on the subject of your blog all you want to… Claiming “harmful teachings”… Calling doctrinal differences as “deadly”… But you simply want to silence opposition. I would guess that if Jesus were here today giving His sermon on the mount in the form of comments posted online (say, to your blog), you might find every time he states, “You have heard it said…, BUT I SAY TO YOU…” as requiring your intervention and censor.

    There is a way(s) that seem right to a blogger(s)…
    But the “end” could be destructive.

    If one is honest, they will include the source of their disagreement rather than claiming to address a source without including it. Or otherwise “cherry-picking” or the like… Often misrepresenting the source in the process.

    I found the work I linked (having read it in its entirety) to be compelling. I also clearly stated that I did not entirely agree with it. The difference between you and I is that I leave decisions of what others might or might not accept up to the receiver. You simply do not. Not allowing “your readers” to read (receive) the material, in its entirety, speaks volumes. There is a vast difference between qualifying a matter (i.e. stating you think a written work is “dangerous” and why you believe that and otherwise commenting on a matter), and allowing one such as myself to post a work (or a link) and then letting people make up their own minds (hopefully the mind of Christ).

    Like

  81. Yes, Lea, really. I don’t know anyone who has gotten a divorce that hasn’t worked on it already, and has come to a conclusion that their working on it is futile. Working on it isn’t solving the problem.

    But that’s not really the issue or the point. The issue is that teachers are telling people that divorce is a sin, when it isn’t.

    What defines sin?

    Romans 3:20
    for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Sin cannot be invented, modified, or changed. It’s the law.

    When you state the word, “allowed”, it must be noted that it was “the law”.

    Again, time and time again, I make note of verse 3 of Deuteronomy 24, but seems that no one is listening. No one wants to touch that one.

    If one spouse is not in love, that is reason enough. Boo-hoo for the other spouse. You can’t force anyone to love you that doesn’t, hence, hardened hearts.

    If one spouse does not love the other, is that a marriage that God wants?

    Apparently to some, it’s a “what’s love got to do with it”, huh?

    Deuteronomy 24:3
    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

    It’s the law.

    Like

  82. Mr. Carlson,

    By spamming, I am referring to how you send the same comment multiple times (just like you sent your most recent comment twice). You are now in moderation which means that all of your comments will be viewed first before released. If you don’t see it yet, it means that I have not approved it.

    Many victims of domestic violence are told that they cannot divorce their spouses. They come to my blog looking for help, answers, etc. I will not post or endorse sites that could lead oppressed and victimized women into harm’s way. Telling an abused woman that she needs to remain with her abuser could result in more harm, or even loss of life. If you want to start your own blog and endorse that article, please do. It’s not going on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Lea,

    When you state, “the spirit of the law”, are you implying that you actually believe that divorce is a sin? If you are, then do you believe that divorce is forgivable?

    If you are, that is not my position at all on either point.

    My position is that divorce is not now a sin, never has been a sin, and never will be a sin.

    It has been ingrained in people’s heads for so long that divorce is a sin, that it is hard for people to fathom anything any different.

    To me, it seems that the teachers of this doctrine have no idea what sin is, and how it is defined, that they end up inventing sin.

    Like

  84. R Carlson,

    You had said:
    “You can hide behind “not promoting” opposing views on the subject of your blog all you want to… Claiming “harmful teachings”… Calling doctrinal differences as “deadly”… ”

    Do you really think that people on this blog are ignorant of those teachings, Mr. Carlson? That teaching is why people are here. This is a place that VICTIMS can voice their concerns, and others to support them.

    We are opposed to your so-called “opposing views”. Your views are not sound by any means, nor is any of it compelling. And, that article is not even in lock step with all the other “divorce is a sin” doctrines, for which there are many of them.

    So, how can it even come close to being compelling? Don’t answer that, that was a rhetorical question, because the answer is: It’s not compelling at all.

    If you are not a victim, or, you are not in support of the victims, then leave your doctrines at your church, and leave people here alone, because you sound like a person that re-victimizes victims, kicking them when they are down, not uplifting anyone.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  85. Where an always-right and self-important but thin-skinned “husband” has a heightened sense of entitlement, the formation of a true marital bond is impossible. Any “marriage” to such a man would be in name only. In such a case what we call a husband-wife relationship is actually a master-slave relationship. A woman who is imprisoned in such a relationship may seek what we call a divorce, but which would more aptly be called a proclamation of emancipation.

    My thanks to R Carlson for having provided the inspiration for this comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. R Carlson,
    You want to have a discussion on “doctrinal differences”, but that is not what this blog is for. This is not an abstract concept. You are posting views that can get people killed if followed. That discussion may be fine in some contexts, but not on a blog where victims in grave danger might come and read it.

    I think the problem here is that you genuinely don’t understand that a woman sticking it out with an abusive man can (and does) get her killed.

    Liked by 3 people

  87. Actually I do understand your position. But, that is not the point. “Remarriage” while a spouse lives is the issue. And, the definition of “divorce” is the issue. One can be simultaneously “married” AND “divorced”… For ONLY the actual death of a spouse “dissolves” a marriage. 1 Cor. 7:10-11 clearly indicates that a wife will at times (allowed/anticipated?) divorce from her husband. Truly, that physical abuse is in view here seems likely. Then, she either remains so divorced or, as her husband (still) lives, she may be reconciled to her husband. God is a God of reconciliation. We are, in Christ, given the ministry of reconciliation and the Word of reconciliation. Surely, Almighty God can “take” anyone out of this world at anytime (i.e. Anias and Safira, for lying about real estate proceeds!). Jesus abrogated the law a number of times. And this is one important place. Unless, “BUT I SAY TO YOU” has no meaning to your ears. Either you believe The God of the Universe was standing there in Christ Jesus, speaking, or you do not.

    Like

  88. When you state, “the spirit of the law”, are you implying that you actually believe that divorce is a sin?

    I do not believe divorce is a sin. I think you have misread me.

    I think the people in a marriage are more important, and loving others is important, and all law (whatever the law may be) should be read through that prism. It hurts when someone cheats, it is a betrayal. Abuse is a betrayal. Those are the sins.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. R Carlson said,

    I merely posted an article I found compelling.
    Your long reply did not address any it…

    I’m not sure if that was addressed to me or JA? (JA’s reply was short, not long.)

    If that post was meant for me, I don’t care what a Christian theologian says in a paper about the permanence view of marriage.

    As I said in my last 2 posts in this thread, I’m an adult who can make her own choices in life – regardless of what other Christians, the Bible, or God thinks or says about it.

    I also pointed out that I think it’s largely fruitless and pointless for a person to slavishly follow the Bible for every choice in life, since so many Christians misinterpret it on every topic under the sun and cannot agree with each other about what it says on various issues.

    I’ll guess that about 90% of gender complementarian Christians teach the permanence view of marriage, including guys like John Piper…

    So while I can, to a degree, appreciate that R.Carlson may feel frustrated that Julie Anne won’t allow his permanence view of marriage link appear on the blog, all someone has to do is Google around and one can, I am sure, find plenty of editorials by John Piper type of guys arguing why they think there is never, ever any reason for anyone to ever divorce.

    I have said it before and will probably say it again, but there are most definitely advantages and a sense of relief to having one of one’s feet outside the conservative, Christian world.

    One advantage of which is you are freed from worrying all the time if this choice or that one will offend or hurt God’s feelings, or miff off other Christians.

    It makes life much more simple to just mull over in your own mind what you feel will work best FOR YOU in any given situation, whether than worry if your choice is “biblical” or not.

    I wish Christians who object so much to divorce could point me to even one instance, in real life, of the Judeo-Christian God having struck someone dead in the United States for having gotten a divorce, or point any of us to the one Bible verse that conclusively says that getting a divorce will result in loss of salvation.
    ^(Not that I need any of that, but it would be interesting to see them try to come up with that evidence.)

    I am an unmarried woman. I’ve not even married yet.

    I do know that if I do ever marry, and the husband turns out to be verbally or physically abusive, or a pervert, or is self-absorbed (like my ex fiance’ was), consistently does not meet my emotional needs, or he has some other grave short coming that makes me utterly miserable, I will most definitely divorce his sorry butt. And I won’t consult other Christians first (or after the fact) to see if that choice is “biblical” or not.

    Like

  90. R. Carlson believes in the permanence view of marriage, which is the second best understanding of a few verses taken out of context and so flawed.

    Marriage is a covenant and a covenant in Scripture can be declared terminated for the cause of breaking a vow or vows of the covenant by the other party. God never broke any of God’s vows in God’s covenants, but still divorced Israel for cause as stated in the prophets.

    Like

  91. R Carlson said (to Jeff S.?)

    Unless, “BUT I SAY TO YOU” has no meaning to your ears. Either you believe The God of the Universe was standing there in Christ Jesus, speaking, or you do not.

    You want people to agree with your interpretation of Christ’s views and comments.

    Other Christians have looked at the same text, and even studied the history of Christ’s day and ancient Jewish culture and their views on divorce, and have arrived at a different conclusion from you.

    And this is why, again, I think every adult needs to make up her own mind what to do about this.

    If you are a person who divorced your spouse, and you’d like to remarry, then go ahead and remarry.

    Even if Jesus considers remarriage a sin, he will forgive you for it. There is not a single verse in the whole Bible that says that remarriage is the only unpardonable sin, or that remarrying will send you to Hell.

    You only get one life to live. Live it in a way that makes you content, happy, and satisfied, and not what some sour puss, condemning theologian or garden variety Christian says about remarriage or divorce.

    Somewhere in the world this week, someone sexually assaulted a child and murdered a human being (those ISIS guys in Iraq rape and torture people daily). In the grand scheme of things, I hardly think getting remarried is as evil or bad.

    Like

  92. So while I can, to a degree, appreciate that R.Carlson may feel frustrated that Julie Anne won’t allow his permanence view of marriage link appear on the blog, all someone has to do is Google around and one can, I am sure, find plenty of editorials by John Piper type of guys arguing why they think there is never, ever any reason for anyone to ever divorce.

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure we know the gist of their argument and its not going to change anything at all about the real world consequences of that view…

    Like

  93. The woman in this interviewed was married to some guy in her 20s, had 2 kids with him. He was verbally abusive to her, started making threats of physical violence, and had an affair with their nanny.

    She eventually divorced him, and I think she said she remarried (to some other guy) later.

    _Abuse Victim Prays for The Impossible_

    “He came into the kitchen and he said, ‘We need to talk,’ Susan Call remembers the conversation she had one day with her husband. “He went on to say that he had been having an affair with a woman who had previously been a nanny. And he said, ‘If you try to leave, or if you try to take the kids, I’ll kill you.’ I remember standing in the kitchen and feeling like I was looking at pure evil.”

    Susan no longer recognized the man she met in college she thought was her prince charming. “I met my first husband I’ll call Joe. He was quick with compliments,” Susan says. “When I met him, I was just sort of swept away by his charisma.”

    But shortly after the two married, he became jealous and started watching her every move. “He really kept close reins on where I was, who I was with,” she says. “If the phone rang, he wanted to answer it so that he knew who was on the other end.”

    Susan and Joe had two children. Joe eventually began drinking heavily and became verbally abusive. “He would regularly tell me that I was useless, that I was an awful mother, to regularly break me down or to make me doubt myself or to feel as though no one else would care about me.”

    …Joe then revealed his affair with the nanny, and threatened Susan’s life.

    ….With her newfound faith to help guide her, Susan prayed for wisdom about her next step. “It took me 6 months of planning, 6 months of tucking money away, tucking some clothes away, an emergency bag in case we needed to run quickly,” she says.

    She also met with a team of volunteers who help domestic abuse victims. One morning when Joe went out of town, they arrived and loaded her and her children in a moving van and she drove to a location 14 hours away.

    [She later divorced Joe]

    …Susan later remarried, and today she speaks to women on faith and domestic abuse. “My purpose really is to share my story and encourage others, she says.

    I cannot believe there are people in this world who would say this woman was in “sin” for divorcing the loser in the first place, or for remarrying.

    Telling a woman like this she cannot remarry (if she chooses to, and meets a decent guy later in life) is to penalize her for something that was never her fault: her husband was abusive.

    She shouldn’t have to live out the remainder of her life alone all because her husband terrorized her.

    Like

  94. ““Remarriage” while a spouse lives is the issue.”

    Incorrect. The safety of abuse victims is the issue.

    I don’t really want to debate you on what does or doesn’t dissolve a marriage. You are busy trying to answer a theological question without respect to the well-being of the people involved. You simply cannot do that.

    If your theological conclusion leads to an answer that harms people, then your conclusion is wrong. Because God is VERY clear that the point of the law is love. And that love is the highest command. You cannot harm innocent people and fulfill the law. If your theological conclusion gets you there, you took a wrong turn. Time to start over.

    “Truly, that physical abuse is in view here seems likely. Then, she either remains so divorced or, as her husband (still) lives, she may be reconciled to her husband. God is a God of reconciliation.”

    And there you have it. Theology that gets people murdered. You really don’t understand this. Telling a woman that if she divorces she cannot remarry is leaving her without hope, especially if there are children and financial obligations. Our world is not set up in favor of single parents. Saying “divorce but stay single” is encouraging women to stick it out with their abusive husbands. Who often murder them. Encouraging a vulnerable woman who is in pain, in need of resources, to reconcile means many will reconcile. And often reconcile unto murder.

    “Either you believe The God of the Universe was standing there in Christ Jesus, speaking, or you do not.”

    I absolutely do believe the God of the Universe was standing there speaking, and I believe that he wasn’t talking about abused women in danger of being murdered. Dear heavens, how could you even begin to think that was the context of the discussion? What kind of person do you have to be to think that Jesus, who preached love, compassion, and kindness would send innocent victims into potential deadly situations just because they are guilty of being victims?

    What kind of Jesus do you worship? It isn’t the Jesus of the New Testament if you believe he would do such a thing.

    Like

  95. R Carlson, you are really showing your ignorance of scripture as it pertains to divorce/remarriage.

    Did you not get it that in order for divorce or remarriage to be a sin, it must be so stated in the law of Moses? Divorce/remarriage is not a sin to begin with, so how can you advocate that it is a sin now?

    And, if any sexual sin happened in that law of Moses, then, as you say, the marriage is terminated by death.

    Now, in regards to 1 Cor 7:10-11…Let not…but if she…let her

    Don’t let her go, but if she leaves, divorce her or reconcile with her. (She can leave your sorry butt!). 1 Cor 7:10-11 is to BELIEVERS. Both remain a Christian even if she leaves.

    That’s all that means. But like I already said, you and the Catholics think that it states that she can never marry again.

    The law of Moses differs from your interpretation of 1 Cor 7.

    Divorce/remarriage is not a sin in the law of Moses, and neither is it in 1 Cor 7.

    You wish to interpret 1 Cor 7 as a commandment that if violated will send your wife to hell.

    And that is what this is all about with you. So, you FORBID wives from divorce, threatening them with hell if they leave. Forcing them to stay, when they don’t want to, and that, sir, is what makes your doctrines dangerous. Threats and intimidating women as to their spiritual destiny if they leave you. That is what makes YOU dangerous, Mr. Carlson.

    Like

  96. Mr. Carlson,

    You had said:
    ” For ONLY the actual death of a spouse “dissolves” a marriage.”

    No, a certificate of divorcement dissolves a marriage, OR DEATH.

    Deuteronomy 24:3 so states. It’s an either or, not an ONLY. It’s the law.

    PUT AWAY without a certificate of divorcement is what does not dissolve a marriage.

    Like

  97. Mr Carlson,

    Again, you had said:
    “For ONLY the actual death of a spouse “dissolves” a marriage.”

    I am assuming that the reference you are referring to is:

    1 Cor 7:39
    The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth;

    Do you see the words, “THE LAW” in that? What law? The Law of Moses, of course.

    Can you site me the Law of Moses that states what you state?

    Again, Romans 7:2-3
    2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

    3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    Again, if you look at Romans 7:1 it states,
    (For I speak to them that know the law,)

    So, Paul is taking you BACK to the Law of Moses.

    Where might that law be?

    Deuteronomy 24:3 is the place.
    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;

    Note the word, “OR”.

    Like

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