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30/05/2011 / Test All Things

The Problem of Divorce and Remarriage in The Congregations of Our Day

The Holy Bible clearly commands that the wife is bound by the law to her husband until death.

“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.”
(1 Corinthians 7:39)

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
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.
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.

(Romans 7:1-3)

Therefore, there is not to be divorce and remarriage under any situation ever.

There are no exceptions!

Passages such as Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 are being used currently to teach that divorce and remarriage are permissible by fornication.

However, a very close and careful study/analysis of the Holy Bible in passages such a Deuteronomy 22:13-21 and Deuteronomy 24:1-3 shows that this is not the case!

Congregations traditionally in the past have correctly understood this, but especially in recent years, this rule has been completely set aside, and the result is that divorce rates are as high within the church bodies globally as with the lost outside secular world.

Marriage is God’s holiest instutition by far.

Virtually every denomination has made provision(s) for divorce, and the result of this has been grave and severe upon society as a whole.

There are broken homes, mixed-up children, single parents, etc.

The solution is to go back to the Biblical statues and commandments of God pertaining to no divorce and remarriage, but we do not see this happening for a lack of Godly leadership in the most pulpits.

By Roy Dean

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2 Comments

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  1. Ginger Hoover / Jun 2 2011 10:05 am

    I Corn 7:15

    But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God hath called us to peace.

    • Test All Things / Jun 3 2011 3:12 pm

      “Let not the wife depart from (divorce) her husband: but and if she depart (divorce), let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband”.

      Paul says that Jesus gave two options to a woman who had to leave her husband:

      (1) Remain unmarried;
      (2) Be reconciled.

      I Corinthians 7:15 is often used to support remarriage while one’s spouse still lives. Briefly, the explanation goes, if a man deserts his wife (or vice-versa) the wife is not “bound” any longer. Then, since verse 39 shows “not bound” means free to marry, this deserted spouse is free to marry. One sad aspect of this line of thought is that it is based on the NIV translation that carelessly translates two different Greek words with the same English word. Verse 15 speaks of being in bondage (slavery), and verse 39 speaks of being bound (tied firmly). Marriage binds a man to his wife for life; but a deserted spouse is not a slave (in bondage) to the dread of guilt.

      Why this strict teaching of Scripture?

      Because marriage is a bond made by God, to be broken only by Him.

      No legal contract that can be broken by the parties at their will and whim, marriage is God’s bond (I Corinthians 7:39). Genisis 2 says, “They two shall be one flesh.”

      No man can do that.

      I Corinthians 7:15 does not teach that the desertion of a believer by his unbelieving mate dissolves the marriage and frees the believer to marry another. The notion that such is the meaning of the passage rests upon a misunderstanding (most often deliberate) of the words, “is not under bondage in such cases”.

      Men read the phrase as though it were, “is not (any longer) bound (namely, to the deserting mate) in such cases.” To be “under bondage” and to be “bound” are two different thoughts and two different words, both in English and in the Greek of the New Testament; and it is inexcusable that interpreters of Scripture confuse them.

      Paul does not say that the deserted believer is not “bound” to his former mate in such cases, as though God had now dissolved the bond that He made when He joined the two in marriage. But the apostle says that the deserted believer is not “under bondage.” This refers to the spiritual state of the believer who has been abandoned by his wife. He need feel no guilt or shame over his marital condition, such as might cause him to live in constant fear of God’s condemnation of him because he is not living with his wife, or such as might even cause him to try to get the woman back at the expense of his confession of Christ. Not being under bondage in the text is not a ground for remarrying, but a ground for letting the unbeliever depart.

      That not being under bondage describes one’s spiritual state before God is borne out by the words in the text that express the opposite of being under bondage: “but God hath called us to peace.” Peace is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the right to remarry, but the spiritual state of a believer who lives in the enjoyment of God’s favor, regardless of the most miserable circumstances of earthly life.

      If Paul taught in verse 15 that desertion is the dissolution of marriage and the granting of the right to remarry, he would have flagrantly contradicted what he would write a few verses later. For in verse 39 he stated in clearest and sharpest language that married people are “bound” (not: “under bondage”) to each other for life, and that death, and death only, gives a married woman the liberty to marry another.

      The teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith in Chapter XXIV, VI, that “nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage . . . ,” is corruption of the Biblical truth of marriage, with deadly serious consequences for those who carry it out in their practice.

      Marriage is a life-long bond. The deserted believer, although not under bondage, is very definitely still bound to the woman who has deserted him (as verse 39 establishes beyond any doubt). He is not at liberty to marry another.

      Our young people must reckon with this solemn fact when they date and marry. It is possible to marry an unbeliever in haste, only to repent in the leisure of a long, lonely life, because the unbeliever departs. But it is also possible that a believer is deserted by one who gave every evidence before marriage of being a believer, but who proves herself an unbeliever by deserting. The comfort of this believer is the Holy Spirit’s purpose in the text. It simply has nothing whatever to do with the subject of the grounds for divorce and remarriage.

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