Several Conflicting Positions on this subject...
By Nick Law
The Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage issue is difficult to resolve due to the human will not recognizing God's will. Due to the fact that human emotions and a desire to justify one's decision already made based on that human will (void of God's instruction on the matter), will never allow some to resolve their sinful condition. Man is not free to design marriage laws. One who will not adhere to God's ways and recognize His ways are higher than man's ways will give account of his deeds! Isaiah 55: 8, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." The word of God is the only standard that is right. It may seem unfair and hard to men, but God knows what is right and best for us.
Controversy should test a Christian's love for the truth and honesty. Jesus says, (John 8:32) "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." We should believe, that if we lay aside prejudices, love for the world, love for family more than love for God and have genuine love for truth that will cause us to study (work our minds), we can come to know the truth.
1. Death is the only cause for remarriage. Romans 7:1-4 is used to the exclusion of Matthew 19:9; 5:32 that teach no divorce "except for fornication". Divorce and remarriage is not the subject of Romans 7, but rather the general rule of marriage is used to illustrate how that one can't be married to Christ until he is dead to the Old Law. We must take all the bible says on a subject before drawing conclusions.
2. Divorce for any cause. This position offers what appears to be an easy solution to spouses that stops loving each other. Titus 2:3 says that aged women should admonish the younger women to love their husbands. Love is not something we are born with, rather is something to be taught and learned. God hates divorce (Mal. 2:13-16). Divorce for any cause is prohibited by Jesus as He is asked the question, "is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" Jesus' answer to this question in Matthew 19:4-9 is NO!
3. The believer that is abandoned or divorced by the unbelieving mate is free to remarry. This view is that a Christian married to a non-Christian is not bound to his or her mate. 1 Corinthians 7:10-15 is not allowing for a divorce for any cause, but states in verse 11 that there must be a reconciliation to the spouse or remain unmarried. Much of the controversy is over the misunderstanding of verse 15, " the brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases."
4. The alien sinner is not subject to the law of God. This position states that non-Christians are not subject to the law of God found in Matthew 19:9. This view conflicts the plain teaching of the authority of Christ. Matthew 28:18 "...All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." All men will die and there will be a judgment. That judgment we are told by John 12:48 "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." If alien sinners are not subject to God's laws on marriage then we would have to conclude they are not even married. Just because men are not submissive does not mean they are not accountable to the law of God!
5. Mental divorce. This position states that some put away people can remarry. They view the put away person as the innocent person (free of fornication) who has been put away without God's or his/her approval and against whom adultery has been committed may remarry. They may wait for the other spouse to remarry an then accuse them of adultery and then conclude that they may now remarry. Luke 16:18 states, "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." Certainly we should see that the putting away was unscriptural in the first place and that it doesn't allow for anything but reconciliation or remaining unmarried if that is not possible.
6. Adulterous marriages are washed away at baptism. This position states the person is an alien and not subject to God's law prior to becoming a Christian, thus was not an adulterer or the alien is not subject to Gods law and now that his sins of adultery are washed away they may continue in the marriage. This view fails to recognize that forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon repentance (Acts 2:38; 17:30-31). Giving up that spouse that does not belong to them. Adhering to all that God requires. All of the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19 "Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.") must cease.
7. Divorce and remarriage is scriptural for the innocent party who has put away his/her mate for fornication. This is the teaching of our Lord in 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." This is the place that all divorces should stand, if they expect to be acceptable to God's judgment.
It is essential to our spiritual well being that each of us understand God's law on marriage, divorce and remarriage. We must teach our children the permanence of marriage and the error taught by positions 1-6 above.
(For a more detailed and study of the above subject, I recommend DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE- What does the text say? by Donnie V. Rader. It is published by Religious Supply, Inc. 4001 Preston Highway, Louisville, KY 40213. Phone # 1-800-626-5348.)
[Editor's Note: Thanks to Nick Law for the article! He can be reached at nlaw@Traveller.com 16335 Miller Street, Athens, AL. 35611]
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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