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Jassy 06-09-2009 06:27 PM

Acceptable/Unacceptable Reasons for Divorce
 
There is a very interesting thread, Love & Race, that is still going on that I posted awhile back. In studying about this, I came up with some other questions.

I know that the Jewish people were given some acceptable reasons for giving a "bill of divorcement," such as a spouse that committed adultery. I don't know think that the New Testament gets into that subject.

What sayeth the Scriptures?

Ask Mr. Religion 06-09-2009 11:52 PM

I Corinthians 7 might be a good place for you to start, no?

AMR

johnlf 06-15-2009 10:34 AM

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. 37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. 38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.


1 Corinthians 7
King James Bible

Here is my interpretation, for what it is worth. In verse 10 Paul makes it clear that not he but the Lord himself commands that married believers must not divorce. And if they separate they must remain unmarried until they reconcile. Again, I believe this is referring to a case of a marriage between two believers. In the case of a believer being married to an unbeliever, the believer is not permitted to "put away" the unbeliever if they desire to stay with them. Verses 12 and 13. If however a believer is married to an unbeliever, an the unbeliever depart, they are free to marry a believer. Verse 15 and 39.

I do not believe that Old Testament law concerning marriage applies to believers today. And Christ made it clear that the exception was made because of the "hardness of their heart", but he points out that God did not intend it to be that way from the beginning because his purpose was to bring forth a Godly seed:

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? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 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.

Matthew 19
King James Bible

13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. 14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?


Malachi 2
King James Bible

George 06-15-2009 11:13 AM

Re: "Acceptable/Unacceptable Reasons for Divorce"
 
Aloha brother johnlf,

:amen: To all that you said.

I am in complete agreement with your "reading" of the Scriptures. {I couldn't have said it any better myself.}

The Bible (New Testament) is crystal clear on these matters; it's just too bad that so many of today's Christians IGNORE the Scriptural instructions concerning this issue! :eek:

It's a real pleasure to see someone "rightly divide" the Holy Scriptures, instead of CHANGING them to "MEAN" what ever they want them to "MEAN"!

Forrest 06-15-2009 11:56 AM

Greetings Brother JohnIF. I also agree with what you have written. :amen:

custer 06-15-2009 02:01 PM

Jassy and all,

I agree, too, that verses 10-11 of I Cor. 7 couldn't be any clearer...I just always had a problem with how to reconcile them to verses 27-28. So, (duh!) I asked my husband today and his thoughts were as follows:

The woman that DOES THE LEAVING in verses 10-11 is commanded not to remarry; the man that is the VICTIM OF THE LEAVING (by process of elimination) is NOT commanded not to remarry...on the contrary, he is told that if he marries AFTER HE IS LOOSED (divorced,) he has not sinned! Obviously, if he had been commanded NOT to do it and then did it, he WOULD have sinned! Maybe everybody here but me already knew this, but it was news to me, and I was tickled to have learned something new!

Another inquiry...does the rule seem to be different for a man and for a woman, since verse 39 of this chapter and Romans 7:2 both have only the woman "bound," or is she just an example?

Pam
www.custerfamilyfarm.com

Jassy 06-15-2009 10:26 PM

Thank you to everyone who posted here. The issue is more clear to me now. I am especially thankful to brother John for his long and detailed response, which clarified this issue, point by point, directly from the Scriptures.

Jassy

Buck 06-16-2009 12:06 AM

There is more to the problem
 
Are you talking about just Christian couples?
There are many, that a spouse left them. Has God contemn you to a life of loneliness, for something you could not control?
Do we sin and remarry, and then repent for our sin to have a new wife and children?
God is merciful and understanding.
What say you??

custer 06-16-2009 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buck (Post 22245)
Are you talking about just Christian couples?
There are many, that a spouse left them. Has God contemn you to a life of loneliness, for something you could not control?
Do we sin and remarry, and then repent for our sin to have a new wife and children?
God is merciful and understanding.
What say you??

My husband's insights (from my post #6) explained this for me...remarriage by the spouse who was abandoned is NOT sin! It would not be "just" to hold one person accountable for another's sin...

Pam
www.custerfamilyfarm.com

greenbear 06-16-2009 10:37 AM

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.

Notice the only justifiable cause of putting away here is fornication, not adultery. Under the law, if the bride could not be demonstrated to be a virgin on her wedding night she was stoned.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 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: 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: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 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. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 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. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 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.

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.

So, whoever puts his wife away causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries her commits adultery, also. Jesus is saying that there is no justification for divorce.

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.

The husband putting away for any cause other than fornication (not adultery) also commits adultery if he remarries.

As Johnlf (my husband) pointed out, we are not under the law. There are no exceptions for us who walk after the spirit:

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? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 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.

custer 06-16-2009 01:41 PM

Yes, I see your (and your husband's) point...so (sincere question) how do we reconcile all that with I Cor. 7:27-28? Thanks...

Pam
www.custerfamilyfarm.com

Jassy 06-16-2009 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greenbear (Post 22270)
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.

Notice the only justifiable cause of putting away here is fornication, not adultery. Under the law, if the bride could not be demonstrated to be a virgin on her wedding night she was stoned.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 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: 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: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; 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. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; 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. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 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.

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.

So, whoever puts his wife away causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries her commits adultery, also. Jesus is saying that there is no justification for divorce.

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.

The husband putting away for any cause other than fornication (not adultery) also commits adultery if he remarries.

As Johnlf (my husband) pointed out, we are not under the law. There are no exceptions for us who walk after the spirit:

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? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 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.

Sis, you just gave me more confusion. I thought I understood, after your husband's post - but now I am, again, unsure.

Jassy

greenbear 06-16-2009 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by custer (Post 22274)
Yes, I see your (and your husband's) point...so (sincere question) how do we reconcile all that with I Cor. 7:27-28? Thanks...

Pam
www.custerfamilyfarm.com

No problem, Pam. Please keep in mind that I didn't understand either until I read what John wrote. I just explained to you in my last post what my new found understanding was.

In order to understand what Paul means by 1 Cor 7:27-28, I think you have to look at the context. By reading the entire section we see that Paul's message is that when we are saved our focus shouldn't be on changing our worldly circumstances but rather on furthering the gospel because the time is short.

Verse 28 doesn't contradict the other verses that describe when believers are free to remarry or when remarriage would be adultery. Rather, it should be seen as a general statement that believers are free to choose celibacy or marriage regardless of Paul's personal judgement. Paul's concern is "this present distress" in verse 26 which is the persecution of the church in his time. I think he emphasizes the christians work as being the furtherance of the gospel to the lost more than being fruitful and multiplying (the Jewish emphasis on raising a godly seed).

1 Corinthians 7:17-35 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the

Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.
And so ordain I in all churches.

Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is

any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is

nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the

commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he

was called.
Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou

mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a

servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is

Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. Now

concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my

judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I

suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is

good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be

loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry,

thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.

Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But

this I say, brethren, the time is short:
it remaineth, that both they that have

wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they

wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that

buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not

abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
But I would have you

without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong

to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for

the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is

difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for

the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but

she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please

her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a

snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon

the Lord without distraction.

Forrest 06-16-2009 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jassy (Post 22287)
Sis, you just gave me more confusion. I thought I understood, after your husband's post - but now I am, again, unsure.

Jassy

Here’s something to chew on. Why the word fornication as grounds for “putting away” and not adultery?
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.

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.
And remember Joseph and his desire?
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Why would Joseph need to “put away” Mary when they were only espoused? And why was Joseph called her “husband” when they were only espoused? For the Jew/Israelite/Hebrew the espousal was binding, but in the case of fornication, it could be broken with a formal writing of divorce.

This is why the Pharisees accused Jesus of being born in fornication. They did not believe as true Christians do that He was born of a virgin.
John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

greenbear 06-16-2009 05:49 PM

Sis Jassy,

Let me get a few things done then I will settle in to find out what the source of confusion is. :)

Jen

greenbear 06-16-2009 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jassy (Post 22287)
Sis, you just gave me more confusion. I thought I understood, after your husband's post - but now I am, again, unsure.

Jassy

The point is just that not even adultery is grounds for divorce for the Christian. However, if a believer is married to an unbeliever and the unbeliever leaves the believer, then the believer is free to remarry to a believer.

In Israel, the adulterous woman and her lover were to be stoned.

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 the husband of the adulterous wife would be free to remarry after his wife was stoned to death. I don't know if an adulterous husband was stoned to death and his lover. I'll find out even though no one probably cares except for me!

Fortunately, we are not under the law but under grace. The adulterous spouse doesn't get stoned to death (even though the injured spouse may like the idea at first). :) No where that I can find do the scriptures say that adultery is grounds for divorce.

Jennifer

greenbear 06-17-2009 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Forrest (Post 22290)
Here’s something to chew on. Why the word fornication as grounds for “putting away” and not adultery?
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.

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.
And remember Joseph and his desire?
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Why would Joseph need to “put away” Mary when they were only espoused? And why was Joseph called her “husband” when they were only espoused? For the Jew/Israelite/Hebrew the espousal was binding, but in the case of fornication, it could be broken with a formal writing of divorce.

This is why the Pharisees accused Jesus of being born in fornication. They did not believe as true Christians do that He was born of a virgin.
John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Forrest,

Your reference to Mary and Joseph reminds me of something I was wondering on the Love and Race thread (that changed topic to marriage between believer and unbeliever).

Do you think the virgins Paul refers to in 1 Cor chapter 7 are or include betrothed virgins?

If the virgins do include betrothed virgins, then there were probably instances where one of the betrothed parties became a believer and the other didn't. It seems reasonable to think that the situation arose where the believer would have to make a decision whether to put away or be put away rather than marry their unbelieving betrothed. If Paul is referring to this, and that's a big if, then would this be a circumstance where marriage between believer and unbeliever would not be frowned upon by God?

Would I be correct in assuming that a woman who had been put away could not marry anybody else and neither could the man who put her away?

The verses in bold I thought might apply to this scenario.

If you, or George, or anyone else have any comments I would appreciate reading them.

Jennifer


1 Corinthians 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

1 Corinthians 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

1 Corinthians 7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

1 Corinthians 7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

Forrest 06-17-2009 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greenbear (Post 22305)
Forrest,

Your reference to Mary and Joseph reminds me of something I was wondering on the Love and Race thread (that changed topic to marriage between believer and unbeliever).

Do you think the virgins Paul refers to in 1 Cor chapter 7 are or include betrothed virgins?

If the virgins do include betrothed virgins, then there were probably instances where one of the betrothed parties became a believer and the other didn't. It seems reasonable to think that the situation arose where the believer would have to make a decision whether to put away or be put away rather than marry their unbelieving betrothed. If Paul is referring to this, and that's a big if, then would this be a circumstance where marriage between believer and unbeliever would not be frowned upon by God?

Would I be correct in assuming that a woman who had been put away could not marry anybody else and neither could the man who put her away?

The verses in bold I thought might apply to this scenario.

If you, or George, or anyone else have any comments I would appreciate reading them.

Jennifer


1 Corinthians 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

1 Corinthians 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

1 Corinthians 7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

1 Corinthians 7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

:sorry: I have absolutely no idea.

custer 06-17-2009 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greenbear (Post 22289)
No problem, Pam. Please keep in mind that I didn't understand either until I read what John wrote. I just explained to you in my last post what my new found understanding was.

In order to understand what Paul means by 1 Cor 7:27-28, I think you have to look at the context. By reading the entire section we see that Paul's message is that when we are saved our focus shouldn't be on changing our worldly circumstances but rather on furthering the gospel because the time is short.

Verse 28 doesn't contradict the other verses that describe when believers are free to remarry or when remarriage would be adultery. Rather, it should be seen as a general statement that believers are free to choose celibacy or marriage regardless of Paul's personal judgement. Paul's concern is "this present distress" in verse 26 which is the persecution of the church in his time. I think he emphasizes the christians work as being the furtherance of the gospel to the lost more than being fruitful and multiplying (the Jewish emphasis on raising a godly seed).

1 Corinthians 7:17-35 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the

Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.
And so ordain I in all churches.

Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is

any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is

nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the

commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he

was called.
Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou

mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a

servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is

Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. Now

concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my

judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I

suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is

good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be

loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry,

thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.

Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But

this I say, brethren, the time is short:
it remaineth, that both they that have

wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they

wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that

buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not

abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
But I would have you

without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong

to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for

the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is

difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for

the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but

she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please

her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a

snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon

the Lord without distraction.

No "contention" here, but I must point out that the verses (27-28) STILL SAY "...seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned."

Pam
www.custerfamilyfarm.com

Amanda S. 07-16-2009 11:01 AM

Quote:

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned;
and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
If I read the thread correctly I am gathering that some interpret this passage to mean only if an unbelieving departs it is permissible to remarry? Is it a sin to remarry even if you've divorced over adultery?

PaulB 07-17-2009 04:16 PM

I agree Amanda
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Amanda S. (Post 24123)
If I read the thread correctly I am gathering that some interpret this passage to mean only if an unbelieving departs it is permissible to remarry? Is it a sin to remarry even if you've divorced over adultery?

I agree Amanda – Whether a person is a believer or an unbeliever they are joined together by God until death and not until their life or circumstances change. If a marriage is only valid in God’s eyes between believers then how could unbelievers be guilty of adultery?
The fact that Joseph kept clear of his master’s wife just goes to show that God recognises the sanctity of marriage regardless of their profession of faith (e.g. Herod –Herodias).

One of the things that I find is a growing trend today is where a married person joins a church and convinces themself that their marriage is not really a valid thing in God’s eyes because they don’t recognise God’s stamp of approval over their life before His intervention.

Some even argue that their “new slate” is like a new form of singleness and the fact that they are a new creation sort of annuls their previous connections to free them for a more suitable partner.

Thus they convince themselves that if one of them believes and the other doesn’t (in their existing marriage), then they can free themselves from their unequal yoke and find someone who is spiritually compatible. This exactly what Paul was speaking against in 1 Corinthians 7 in his attempt to protect the sanctity of marriage.

I have had different people come to me in the past and “profess” – yes “profess” their adultery in a way that suggests that God has lead them into their newly found relationship!
Normally, what they tend to do is – fall for someone – go missing for a while – split up from their spouse – move in with their new partner and once their adultery is established they want to come back into the church and convince everyone that they have repented.

My question is – where is the repentance? – that to me, is like robbing a bank, saying I’m sorry and keeping the money. When we start shoe horning exceptions into the clear words of Scripture we can justify anything. I don’t accept that time brushes sin under the carpet and makes everything alright again – but how shocking it is that the real criminal is the one who would dare to speak out against the sin of adultery.

God bless

PaulB

greenbear 07-18-2009 01:02 AM

What I don't understand is- when a divorced couple enter into adulterous relationships (remarriage) is it the Lord's will for them to leave those relationships and either remarry (or remain separated) to/from their "original" spouse? It's disturbing to think about the what happens to the children from this adulterous relationship.

Or does God forgive and sanctify (in the case of believers) the second "marriage"?

John 4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Christ seems to recognize five husbands. (I'm assuming she wasn't widowed 5 times.)

Amanda S. 07-18-2009 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greenbear (Post 24273)
What I don't understand is- when a divorced couple enter into adulterous relationships (remarriage) is it the Lord's will for them to leave those relationships and either remarry (or remain separated) to/from their "original" spouse?

Deuteronomy 24 says:

Quote:

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.
5  When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
Two wrongs do not make a right...

Amanda S. 07-18-2009 09:40 AM

Bro. Paul I wasn't exactly agreeing, but rather trying to understand the position.

My position on this topic is found in I Corinthians 7:27-28:

Quote:

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
Paul advises it is best to stay single if you are loosED (past tense, divorced). Then he states that in the event you do remarry thou hast not sinned. Nevertheless he then warns that they will have trouble in the flesh...
Pretty clear to me.

PaulB 07-18-2009 10:20 AM

Amanda
 
Hi Amanda – I’m so sorry, I misread your sentence!
Instead of reading “Is it a sin to remarry even if you've divorced over adultery?” – I read – It is a sin to remarry even if you've divorced over adultery!”

Concerning your response to my post - I think that Paul is referring back to the unmarried rather than the loosed in V28 (as the overall context does seem to imply that it is better to remain single rather than to marry) as such will have trouble – as the single are free to serve only one master.

I don’t believe that he is endorsing re-marriage but rather urging people to remain as they are – (i.e. if single, then stay like that – if married then stay like that). But if a person decides to go head and get married he/she has not sinned (as they probably would have thought that they were going against what he was teaching as an apostle). He wasn’t speaking against marriage as some of the may have been thinking but rather encouraging them to remain in their present state.

This fits perfectly in the context of what our Lord Himself taught on the same subject:

Mt.5:31 “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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.”

Hope this helps

God bless

PaulB

greenbear 07-18-2009 01:21 PM

Except for the cause of fornication, a husband who puts away his wife causes both her and the man she marries to commit adultery against him.

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 if that man remarries he commits adultery against her.

Mark 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Marriage for born again believers isn't a carry over from the Law given to Israel but it was given to man and woman from the beginning.

Mark 10:5-9 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

I believe the institution of marriage can only be perfectly honored by born again believers, it is for us a type of Christ and His body the church. I believe Jesus tells us there are no grounds for christians to divorce. Paul makes clear that if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believer then the believer is free to remarry in the Lord.

Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Many unbelievers pass from death unto life well into adulthood after a lifetime of sin, including multiple marriages. My understanding is that Paul is telling us that all of our sins are forgiven when we become new creatures in Christ. No matter if we're married to our umpteenth spouse when we're saved, that is our present circumstance and we should not seek to put away that spouse. I'm not sure if a person comes to the Lord as a divorced person that is not remarried that he/she is free to remarry. It seems to me Paul is saying that.

1 Corinthians 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
1 Corinthians 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

My husband and I came to Christ before we met, well into adulthood, and neither of us had been married before only by the grace of God. But there are many, many brothers and sisters that have divorced and remarried before and even after becoming believers. In either case, the question is: are they living under a continual curse, are their children bastards, or is there forgiveness and provision made by God for the hardness of our hearts?

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

These are very real issues for a lot of christians. I don't know the answer because God hasn't revealed it to me.

Amanda S. 07-18-2009 02:12 PM

Greenbear :)
I am sorry if it appeared I was disagreeing with you.

Except for the cause of fornication, a husband who puts away his wife causes both her and the man she marries to commit adultery against him.

Quote:

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 if that man remarries he commits adultery against her.

Mark 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
Agreed.

As well as death (obviously) and desertion.

Quote:

1Co 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Quote:

Many unbelievers pass from death unto life well into adulthood after a lifetime of sin, including multiple marriages. My understanding is that Paul is telling us that all of our sins are forgiven when we become new creatures in Christ. No matter if we're married to our umpteenth spouse when we're saved, that is our present circumstance and we should not seek to put away that spouse. I'm not sure if a person comes to the Lord as a divorced person that is not remarried that he/she is free to remarry. It seems to me Paul is saying that.

1 Corinthians 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
1 Corinthians 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
I believe your understanding to be correct Scripturally. :)

Quote:

But there are many, many brothers and sisters that have divorced and remarried before and even after becoming believers. In either case, the question is: are they living under a continual curse, are their children bastards, or is there forgiveness and provision made by God for the hardness of our hearts?
While it is not a bad idea to make restitution for the wrongs you've done, there are times when that is not possible. If you can, great. Zacchaeus certainly was a fine example. But if you can't, your sins and mistakes still are forgiven and under the blood.

Consider this Scripture:

Quote:

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Quote:

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Quote:

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

greenbear 07-18-2009 05:22 PM

Quote:

Greenbear
I am sorry if it appeared I was disagreeing with you.
Not at all! I didn't consider Deut 24 and was glad you brought it out. It helped answer my question. I'm still undecided as to whether people who become believers as divorced people should remarry according to I Cor 7. Also unclear about believers who divorce and remarry while believers. Is there forgiveness and provision for sin, is the adulterous marriage sanctified? Etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Amanda S. 07-18-2009 05:47 PM

Quote:

I'm still undecided as to whether people who become believers as divorced people should remarry according to I Cor 7. Also unclear about believers who divorce and remarry while believers. Is there forgiveness and provision for sin, is the adulterous marriage sanctified? Etc, etc, ad nauseum.
Greenbear, consider this article written by one of my husband's mentors.

http://www.learnthebible.org/remarriage.html

greenbear 07-18-2009 06:37 PM

Amanda, that's good. I agree with his comparison to murder; divorce is not something that can always be "taken back". It can be permanent loss like murder. They are sins, but they are not a 'state of sin" in which you continue after you are forgiven (when are we not?). Like PaulB brought out, many christians don't even recognize it as sin and apparently never acknowledge their transgression to God or to their brethren. Paul says we will have trouble in the flesh. I believe there are usually or always? consequences to our sin although there is no condemnation. Thank you for sharing that.

Amanda S. 07-19-2009 08:33 PM

Greenbear :)

So happy to have helped a little bit :)

PaulB 07-20-2009 02:46 PM

Hi again Amanda - you have certainly entered the forum with all guns blazing (I love your posts!) And now you have got me thinking haven't you!
What would I say to a new convert (a muslim convert) who has come to Christ in repentance and tears, wants to serve Him with all of his heart, but he has seven wives?
I am not playing the devil's advocat - but I am curious as to how we would deal with such a case as Christians (especially if he has had a child with every one of them!

I am certainly open to thoughts on this one as it is a very real possibility in the multicultural world that we live in!

God bless

PaulB

greenbear 07-20-2009 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulB (Post 24464)
Hi again Amanda - you have certainly entered the forum with all guns blazing (I love your posts!) And now you have got me thinking haven't you!
What would I say to a new convert (a muslim convert) who has come to Christ in repentance and tears, wants to serve Him with all of his heart, but he has seven wives?
I am not playing the devil's advocat - but I am curious as to how we would deal with such a case as Christians (especially if he has had a child with every one of them!

I am certainly open to thoughts on this one as it is a very real possibility in the multicultural world that we live in!

God bless

PaulB

PaulB,

No one asked me but I never let that stop me. :) Here's my answer:

1 Corinthians 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

The man continues to fulfill his husbandly obligations to his seven wives and fatherly obligation to his children. It would be a toss up whether he would encounter more persecution remaining in the muslim world as a christian or emmigrating to a christian culture as a polygamist.

Amanda S. 07-20-2009 03:29 PM

Greetings Bro. Paul :)


Quote:

I am not playing the devil's advocate
Hmmmm...sure your not. :spy: LoL

Quote:

What would I say to a new convert (a muslim convert) who has come to Christ in repentance and tears, wants to serve Him with all of his heart, but he has seven wives?
Well, I will have to go think a bit on that one...but I can say that he couldn't be a pastor :D

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

PaulB 07-20-2009 04:28 PM

How do you see the following?
 
Hello again Amanda – It is just that your posts do tend to get my mind ticking over and over and before I know it I want to know more (I suppose that is what forums are supposed to be all about!)

When I look at the marriage/divorce issue I try and look at it from the heaven to earth type of a way, because when I try and examine it the opposite way it blows fuses in my mind. When an ever-changing world brings new demands upon the church of Jesus Christ, we are often put into a difficult place by the pieces that we have to pick up.

I know that the law said that divorce was permissible because of the hardness of the hearts of the people whom were under the law. Then Jesus takes this further by saying “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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.

I recognise that divorce is not something that God wants for us and that (by His grace) there are occasions where it is permitted. I have no doubts that there are really tender issues involved in every divorce case that couples go through especially when there are children in the middle of it (like Greenbear rightly points out).

But when I approach this from the “heaven-earth” way of thinking I see every marriage (whether Christian or heathen) as a “God-joined” “one-flesh” relationship that only death can bring to an end.
So when our Lord Jesus said what He said concerning marriage “But I say unto you…” the standards are raised rather than slackened concerning divorce.

I recognise that a person under the circumstances that Christ mentioned are permitted to divorce but I am not all that sure about any suggestion about re-marriage (as, is this what God has joined together?)

Now, with the Muslim scenario it is not only the man that is in an awkward position – can any of his wives re-marry? (As I don’t see all of them as genuine wives because God would not have joined all of them to that man as “One flesh”). But like I said in a previous post, a heathen marriage is just as valid as a Christian one (although less likely to reflect what it is supposed to) as it would be impossible for them to commit adultery otherwise.

One thing that I would like to bring into the mix (which is why I said that heaven-earth) perspective into it is the following passages:

Era.10:9-19 “Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain. And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do. But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing. Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us. Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month. And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah. And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.”

I recognise that this is Old covenant, but the situation stands in history that there would have been children and in-laws involved in all of the break ups here. The reason that I put this forward is that it was seen as culturally acceptable for such a compromise (because of the spiritual state of Israel at that time). But when they saw it from God’s point of view they acted without question.

Are we asking the questions that we are asking on the basis of the culture that surrounds us dictates or are we asking them because of what the word says? This is the real issue when we all stand before Him on that great day!

God bless

PaulB

greenbear 07-20-2009 07:05 PM

Quote:

(As I don’t see all of them as genuine wives because God would not have joined all of them to that man as “One flesh”). But like I said in a previous post, a heathen marriage is just as valid as a Christian one
Jacob had a number of wives among others, like DAVID. If the Bible shows where that practice ended, other than with the church, I am not aware. What is your scripture reference to prove that God would not have joined all of them to that man as "one flesh"? I have never studied this topic, but I have read the Bible a number of times and I don't know where that verse is.

Amanda S. 07-20-2009 07:49 PM

Bro. Paul

After talking with my husband and lightly studying it out I cannot come down hard on either position. I am not sure how one would/could decide which one he would stay married to?

It certainly isn't brought up in Scripture specifically so therefore some would say that it's ok. There's not a verse that reads "thou shalt not"...Although any reference to marriage in the New Testament is between 1 man and 1 woman.

I am sure I am not getting the bigger picture, but these are my ever so scattered thoughts.

PaulB 07-21-2009 10:59 AM

Greenbear
 
Hello again Greenbear,

Thank you for responding to my post I find your thoughts interesting.
The question still arises in my heart (in the fleshly sense!) if Jacob could marry a number of women and Muslims can then why am I disqualified? (Not that I would truly want another, as one can be hard enough to live with!)

1 Corinthians 7:24 “Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”

Personally Greenbear I don’t see this as a way of authorising a number of wives to be joined together by God as “one flesh”. Yes, there are occasions in the OT were things happened that are contrary to the norm, but the historical recording of them isn’t the spiritual endorsement of them.

Mk.10: 5-9 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

There may have been acts recorded in the OT that tell us what happened throughout God’s plan of redemption up until Christ restored the direct connection between God & man. But when you say “where is my Scripture reference to prove that something stopped happening?” (as in more than one wife is being a genuine reflection of biblical marriage). The reverse can also be applied – Where is the scripture reference to prove that God has ordained more than one wife to be a genuine reflection of biblical marriage?

Th above passage is what I see as being joined together as one and the words of Jesus are spoken to restore the correct concept of marriage from all of its previous and present deviations. Because when you look at it – even the Pharisees were finding excuses to put away their wives in order to marry another – otherwise what would be the point, why not just add a new wife to existing ones?

Secondly, your reference concerning the provision of a man over his household:

1 Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

This is not speaking about a man with many wives – but is addressing the basic responsibilities of those who name the name of Christ and were in danger of denying the faith by avoiding them. Now having said that, I do believe (regarding the man with 7 wives scenario) that he is responsible to feed, clothe and provide for those whom he has under his roof, but I don’t see any justification that he is to sleep with them all, as he did before. The future of those women is a difficult one but only one of them can truly be his wife in the intimate sense – in effect he will not be divorcing the others as they are not all truly married to him.

I have heard of a Muslim in the UK who has a few wives but tells everyone that they are his sisters because he knows that his lifestyle is not permitted by the law system over here. Now if the law has that power how much more authority does Christ’s words on marriage?

Well, lets put it this way, would you apply the same passage to a homosexual couple that claim to be validly married (i.e. 1 Corinthians 7:24 “Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”). Not at all! (but what about their wedding album and all of those intimate memories, what if they have adopted children who have only known them as mom and dad?)
Does this mean that they must remain “one flesh” (as they were called?). somehow I don’t think so!

What about a western man who has two wives as an outright act of polygamy (and has children with both). Let’s say that neither wife knows of the existence of the other or of the children and then he gets saved! Does this man remain wherein he is called?

I once had a minister publicly rebuke me because I refused to baptise a woman who was living with an unsaved man as though they were a married couple. As I see it I would have been authorising something that Scripture gives me no grounds to do so and that is how I look at the scenarios above. Once leeway is granted then where do you draw the line before it gets ridiculous?
Was I unreasonable because I expected that woman to get married or move out before she got baptised or would it have been the Christian thing to do by just pleasing the crowd?

When I say all of this, please believe me that there s no malice in any of my words or thoughts towards you. All that I hold is a conviction to uphold the word with the motive of interacting with other believers on deep, sensitive and practical issues. Because these are scenarios that churches are now facing and pastors are seeking answers to them.

If things like these are raised it gives all of us the opportunity to think in depth about how we can address them.

God bless Greenbear

PaulB

Amanda S. 07-21-2009 11:27 AM

Greenbear,

Quote:

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

The man continues to fulfill his husbandly obligations to his seven wives and fatherly obligation to his children.
As I am told rather often it seems, let's keep this verse in the context. This passage is not refering to having multiple wives it is talking about the care of widows. If this were the case then one could have as many wives as he pleases as long as he could pay for them.

Amanda S. 07-21-2009 11:28 AM

Bro. Paul,

I am following your line of reasoning and I agree.


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