Friday, November 17, 2017

Divorce, Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Remarriage, and New Testament teaching

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is an important passage relating to the Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage.  The text reads as follows:

1 כִּי־יִקַּח אִישׁ אִשָּׁה וּבְעָלָהּ וְהָיָה אִם־לֹא תִמְצָא־חֵן בְּעֵינָיו כִּי־מָצָא בָהּ עֶרְוַת דָּבָר וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מִבֵּיתוֹ׃
2 וְיָצְאָה מִבֵּיתוֹ וְהָלְכָה וְהָיְתָה לְאִישׁ־אַחֵר׃
3 וּשְׂנֵאָהּ הָאִישׁ הָאַחֲרוֹן וְכָתַב לָהּ סֵפֶר כְּרִיתֻת וְנָתַן בְּיָדָהּ וְשִׁלְּחָהּ מִבֵּיתוֹ אוֹ כִי יָמוּת הָאִישׁ הָאַחֲרוֹן אֲשֶׁר־לְקָחָהּ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃
4 לֹא־יוּכַל בַּעְלָהּ הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר־שִׁלְּחָהּ לָשׁוּב לְקַחְתָּהּ לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר הֻטַּמָּאָה כִּי־תוֹעֵבָה הִוא לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְלֹא תַחֲטִיא אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה׃ 

The four verses constitute one sentence in Hebrew, which could be translated as:

When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her: and he will write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house; and she will go out of his house, and she will go and be another man’s wife; and the latter husband will hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 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 you shall not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God gives you for an inheritance.

The sentence consists of a large series of clauses connected with "and."  Verse four contains the only commands:  "her former husband . . . may not take her again to be his wife," and "you shall not cause the land to sin" by this action, for it is an "abomination to the LORD" that "cause[s] the land to sin" (v. 4, cf. Eze 14:13).  Everything except these two commands in verse four is merely permissive, not commanded. The text contains no command at all to divorce, much less to remarry.

How does Deuteronomy 24:1-4 relate to the plain New Testament teaching of Jesus Christ that remarriage is adultery?  Consider Christ's commentary in Mark 10:1-12 on Deuteronomy 24:1-4:

1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. 2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. 3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

The Lord Jesus Christ teaches that God's plan from the very beginning of the Old Testament was one man for one woman for life, and that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 was allowed for the hardness of men's hearts. (See the essay on "The Bible and Divorce" here.)  Furthermore, Christ teaches that remarriage while one's first spouse is alive constitutes the wicked sin of adultery.  This is actually clear within the text of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 itself.  Note that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 clearly indicates that the remarriage has caused the woman to be "defiled."  The Old Testament text itself denies that the remarriage is acceptable to Jehovah--it is evil and defiling.  However, civil law in Israel's theocracy was different from God's perfect standard about the nature of sin.  Some things that are sin were not illegal in Israel and should not be illegal now--they are legal even though they are sinful because of the hardness of men's hearts.  Covetousness is forbidden in the Ten Commandments, but there was no civil penalty for coveting.  (Nobody would be left.)  Drunkenness is forbidden by God in many verses, but it was not illegal in Israel.  Similarly, divorce is a sin--God hates it (Malachi 2:16)--and remarriage is defiling, but both were legal in Israel.  The civil government's permission to divorce is different from the fact that divorce and remarriage are outside of the perfect moral will of God.

Clearly, then, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 does not by any means constitute a permission for divorce or for remarriage in Biblical New Testament churches.  Christ's teaching against divorce and remarriage in Mark 10:1-12 brings out the true sense of the Old Testament text from Genesis to Malachi.  In Mark 10, however, Christ does not address the question of whether the political system should make divorce or remarriage illegal. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 demonstrates that the civil government should allow divorce or remarriage to be legal (along with covetousness, drunkenness, laziness, and many other sins) because of the hardness of men's hearts.

Furthermore, Deuteronomy 24 teaches that if one has committed the sin of divorce and the further sin of remarriage, he should not sin a third time by divorcing his second spouse and returning to the first one.  Some extreme advocates of the (Biblical) no-divorce, no-remarriage position argue that one should leave a second spouse and return to the first one because one is (allegedly) engaging in repeated and continual acts of adultery when one engages in marital relations with a second spouse.  Deuteronomy 24:1-4 makes it clear that this extremist position is false and dangerous.  Divorce is a terrible sin.  Remarriage is a terrible sin, and the initial consummation of the second marriage is an act of wicked adultery.  Believers who commit an act of adultery by remarrying should repent of that horrible sin. Church members who remarry should be subject to church discipline like other adulterers. However, once one has married a second spouse and committed lifelong fidelity to him or her, going back to the first spouse is an "abomination to the LORD" (Deuteronomy 24:4) that defiles the land.  Everything in the Old Testament that is an abomination to Jehovah (versus, say, an abomination only to the Egyptians, Genesis 43:32) is a permanent moral prohibition, not something that changes by dispensation.  Consider (from the study of Deuteronomy 22:5 here, dealing with the abomination of violating gender-distinction):

Abominations to Jehovah are always moral law, always evil. These are the sins [and Deut 22:5] that Scripture says are an abomination TO THE LORD (there are other verses where the sins below are called abominations, but these are the categories):
Idolatry and false worship:
Deut. 7:25 The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. (cf. 1 Ki 14:23ffDeut 17:1)
Stealing:
Deut. 25:13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
Deut. 25:14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
Deut. 25:15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deut. 25:16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Seven sins here listed:
Prov. 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Prov. 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Prov. 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Prov. 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
The worship of a wicked man:
Prov. 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Adultery:
Deut. 24:4 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.
The occult:
Deut. 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
Deut. 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Deut. 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Deut. 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Rebellion:
Prov. 11:20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
Human sacrifice:
Deut. 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
Homosexuality:
Lev. 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Thus, the Bible clearly teaches that divorce is a grave sin, and remarriage is adultery (Mark 10) which defiles (Deuteronomy 24:4).  Likewise, rejecting a second spouse, committing a second sin of divorce, and going back to a first spouse is not godly repentance, but an "abomination."  Sometimes when a certain sin has been committed there is no going back.  Israel sinned when the nation failed to inquire of Jehovah and made vows to Gibeon (Joshua 9), but once the vows had been made, there was no going back.  In the same way, once one has made life-long vows to a second spouse and married him or her, there is no going back--to do so is an abomination to the Lord.

In summary:

1.) Do not divorce.  God hates it.
2.) Do not remarry.  It is adultery.
3.) If you remarry, do not go back to your first spouse.  It is an abomination.

Bro Kent Brandenburg's study on the Biblical way to obtain a life's partner (assuming, of course, that one has the new birth and conversion, the first and greatest prerequisite) is a great preservative against committing the terrible sins of divorce and remarriage.  One who starts out right is, by the grace of God, much more likely to continue right than someone who starts out wrongly.

An addendum: I cut and pasted the Hebrew text in at the start of the blog post, and I do not endorse the only partially pointed Tetragrammaton found in the Hebrew critical text. See footnote #1 in my essay on the history of the debate over the Hebrew vowel points here.

96 comments:

Kevin said...

Could you comment on how these moral laws apply to the Old Testament patriarchs, many of whom had multiple wives and concubines with no seeming condemnation in the Old Testament text. Were the rules different then and, if not, why did God overlook such a grave sin? It's hard for me to imagine that a man today with 8 wives and additional concubines would be considered a "man after God's own heart," as King David was. I imagine that if a man was living in such a way today, he would be labeled as "unsaved" by most Christians. Just curious on your thoughts.
Kevin

KJB1611 said...

Dear Kevin,

Thanks for the question. There are no examples of polygamous marriages in the Old Testament where the families were happy and harmonious and the children all turned out for God, and we can see in Genesis that polygamy was started by the wicked. When Christ said that Genesis set the pattern with one man for one woman, He was in accord with what is evident from a careful study of the Old Testament itself.

What we can learn from the example of godly men like David having multiple wives is the powerful influence of contemporary culture. What David did was culturally acceptable, and so he did it. May God help His people today not to assume that because something is culturally acceptable it is therefore acceptable to Him also.

KJB1611 said...

Someone who thinks that a person should break his second marriage vow and go back to a first spouse, despite the fact that Deuteronomy 24 states that this is an abomination, wrote to me and stated that I wrote the post above in pride and because I know people who are divorced and remarried, likely in my congregation. Of course, none of those accusations deal with the exegetical content of my post. Furthermore, I cannot think of anybody in our congregation who is divorced and remarried to a second living spouse.

Taking the extremist position refuted in this post is not a minor issue, for it results in advocating what God calls an abomination. Failing to refute my exegesis of Scripture and instead of making wild and false claims about my motives is not going to work when one has to stand before God and explain why one was advocating an abomination to Him.

KJB1611 said...

That should have been "and instead" not "and instead of." I think the fact that I was using dictation software may have contributed to the mistake.

Kevin said...

What would you say to someone who essentially halves the difference between the position you initially laid out and the extremist position you criticize above? Namely, that a person who has un-biblically divorced and remarried should divorce their second spouse and remain single. That way, they end the adultery of the second marriage while remaining faithful to the command in Deut 24. Of course, your answer here will hinge on whether remarriage is an "act of adultery" or a perpetual "state of adultery." I already know your position, but how would you approach such a third option scripturally? I know many divorced and remarried people who struggle with what they consider a sinful remarriage and consider a second divorce and perpetual singledom the only way to truly repent.
Thanks,
Kevin

KJB1611 said...

Dear Kevin,

Thanks for the question. Divorcing the second spouse would violate the biblical commands that indicate God hates putting away or divorce. Furthermore, if God wanted believers to divorce in that situation, one would expect that there would be a command somewhere in the Bible to that effect, when there is not. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians when the Bible says that one is to remain in what state he is, whether single, married, slave, free, etc. if it was actually required that believers divorce the second spouse and go back to the first one Paul should have said something different from what he said in that chapter. With all the messed up people in Corinth and other places that turned to Christ there would have been significant numbers of people who had second spouses, but the apostle Paul never states that they should divorce. If there were actually situations where God wanted people to divorce their spouses, Malachi 2:16 should have had an exception instead of stating categorically that God hates putting away.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...


Dear Thomas,

I guess I would come across as “the extremist” position, if you want to call the Biblical and non-confused and historical position as an “extremist” position. Its not “extremist” if its Biblical. Holding to a Biblical position, which happens to be historical including among the Baptist, is not false and dangerous! Are you saying that majority of our Baptist forefathers held to a false and dangerous position?! The only one holding to a dangerous and false view is you — seen not only in the confusion and sin you are propagating in allowing for wicked adultery, but also how you go against Gods creation of one flesh between the husband and wife (the first, not second, third, fourth, fifth, etc) which no man can put asunder. You're putting it asunder. I have seen the destruction of families in IB churches today and it's your type of confused and contradictory philosophy that is the catalyst behind it.

Although I agree with your statements on divorce and remarriage being sinful, your article is one of confusion, contradiction, misinterpretation and allowance for people to commit gross sin (adultery—divorce and remarriage), sin that the Bible says of its practitioners will not gain an inheritance in the kingdom of God (I.e. they are lost: e.g. I Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21).

I agree with your position that divorce and remarriage is sinful and wicked, and in this article agree with pretty much everything you wrote up to this point: “Furthermore, Deuteronomy 24 teaches that if one has committed the sin of divorce and the further sin of remarriage, he should not sin a third time by divorcing his second spouse and returning to the first one. Some extreme advocates of the (Biblical) no-divorce, no-remarriage position argue that one should leave a second spouse and return to the first one because one is (allegedly) engaging in repeated and continual acts of adultery when one engages in marital relations with a second spouse. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 makes it clear that this extremist position is false and dangerous. Divorce is a terrible sin. Remarriage is a terrible sin, and the initial consummation of the second marriage is an act of wicked adultery. Believers who commit an act of adultery by remarrying should repent of that horrible sin. Church members who remarry should be subject to church discipline like other adulterers. However, once one has married a second spouse and committed lifelong fidelity to him or her, going back to the first spouse is an "abomination to the LORD" (Deuteronomy 24:4) that defiles the land….”

(On a side note, please pardon my repetition of the major passages concerning this subject. I believe the importance of the subject requires some repetition).

Anonymous said...

1. First of all, you say you're against divorce and remarriage and how bad it is but then allow for the second marriage (which means divorce and remarriage had to have occurred), because of De. 24:1-4. You are contradicting yourself. And you are contradicting Gods Word, where we read that God doesn't allow for a second marriage, unless death has occurred in the first (Rom. 7:1-3). You make it appear that you believe divorce and remarriage is wrong but then attempt to harmonize De. 24:1-4 with that belief, but that doesn't work. De. 24:1-3 allows for divorce and remarriage, they just can't remarry their former spouse. Matt. 5; 19; Mk. 10; Rom. 7; and I Cor. 7 do not allow for divorce or remarriage. These passages contradict De. 24:1-3, but there is no Biblical contradiction concerning this subject since Christ addresses De. 24 in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10. God allowed for this precept of Moses at a specific point in time but it was against His will and word: "And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." (Mk. 10:4-5). That means it's a done deal. We don't apply it. You keep applying it. Paul never references De. 24 anywhere concerning this subject because it's not Gods will or command. He makes that clear in Rom. 7:1-3 and I Cor. 7:10-11, 39. Your view on De. 24:1-4 goes against Gods law of husband and wife (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39). Nor did the Lord Jesus Christ refer to it and He actually spoke directly against it.

Anonymous said...

2. Secondly, God does not recognise a second marriage unless death consummates the first. I do not know how much clearer God could have made this than what we see in Rom. 7:1-3 and I Cor. 7:10-11, 39 and Matt. 19:2-9 and Mk. 10:2-12. There is no such thing as a second spouse while the first still lives. This is where I believe you go wrong and grossly misinterpret this Scripture and bring great confusion to a simple (albeit critical) doctrine. A second or third, etc marriage is an illegitimate marriage (cf. Mk. 6:17-18). Gods law of marriage is only dissolved by death (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39). So if a man or woman "remarries", they aren't married at all according to Gods law of marriage, for that is not their actual true wife or husband for God does not make one flesh polygomously (hence, Christs response to the woman at the well in Jn. 4:16-18). She had one husband Jesus said (v. 16) and it wasn't "husband" number 5, that "thou now hast" (v. 18). Its one flesh, not two, or three, or four. Its ONLY one and its ONLY broken by death (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39). Regardless of what man in his finite and puny and deceptive mind does in making a "life-long vow to a second spouse and married him or her", that has no bearing on whether God actually recognises that marriage as legit. In fact He doesn't, made very clear in Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12; Rom. 7:1-3: I Cor. 7:10-11, 39. According to these passages the only two options to a separated party is to remain separated and alone or be reconciled; NOT remarry and then "repent" and then continue in the adultery! Reconciled to whom? Their first and only spouse (Gen. 2:24). As Christ can't be divorced from the church, nor can a man or woman be divorced from their first spouse (Eph. 4; Rom. 7:1-4). God has made them one flesh. They are under the law of marriage. So it is a blatant lie to say that "there is no going back--to do so is an abomination to the Lord." No, you are promoting an abomination, for God has said: "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." (Mk. 10:7-9). Indeed they should go back to their first spouse because that is their true and only spouse, not the subsequent ones (Jn. 4:16-18), that one with whom God has made one flesh. De. 24:1-4 has zero application to Gods law of marriage. It's null and void. Jesus said so in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10, but you are putting yourself as a higher authority than God the Son, and promoting sin. And when someone wants to do right and be reconciled to their true spouse, you sinfully and unbelievably claim that to be an abomination. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;" (Is. 5:20a).

Anonymous said...

If what you believe was actually true, then no man or woman could go back to their spouse after their committed infidelity against them. It would be a defilement, since the act of adultery defiles. "What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh." (I Cor. 6:16). Of course we know that the Bible doesn't read like that all; rather, where there is genuine repentance the innocent spouse must be willing to forgive and reconcile, although unfortunately the scars and reproach may always remain (Pr. 6:32-33). They are one flesh and only death will break that.

Your confusion is further seen in response to Kevin's questions: "Furthermore, if God wanted believers to divorce in that situation [the second, etc marriage], one would expect that there would be a command somewhere in the Bible to that effect, when there is not." Again, the reason the Bible does not say that is because the second and third marriage, etc, when they fail and supposedly "divorce", they are not divorcees at all in the eyes and law of God. They were illegitimate marriages to begin and end with. They are not marriages at all, regardless how much man makes asunder and unequally yokes two together that aren't and won't and can't be one flesh. God does not have to put this command in His Word because He has already commanded the law of marriage which overrules and supersedes all, and nothing breaks it except death. While both spouses live, there is no such thing as a second marriage! It makes no difference of the cheap and pathetic lifelong vows and fidelity that are made. They do not tickle God's ears, and His law stands firm. All they are doing is tempting God. It shouldn't be any surprise that nearly 100% of second "marriages" end up in further divorce! Of course they do because "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Heb. 13:4). You are propagating something that will come under God's judgment.

Thus it is wrong to teach that "Deuteronomy 24 teaches that if one has committed the sin of divorce and the further sin of remarriage, he should not sin a third time by divorcing his second spouse and returning to the first one." Again, you are calling good evil. You shouldn't call something sin that God honours and loves. The reconcilation between a husband and wife, the one flesh He has created. One has only one spouse not two or three.

Anonymous said...

If a man or woman wants to leave their spouse, they have two options and neither is adultery (divorce and remarriage): (1) remain unmarried, or (2) be reconciled. The law bounds one woman and one man for life. Any subsequent remarriages are not marriages at all, for the person is still bound by the law to their first spouse. Until death permanently divides them. That's why Jesus said to the woman at the well: “Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.” (Jn. 4:17-18). Jesus was saying exactly what He had said in Matt. 5 and 19. The first marriage is the one that God makes two into “one flesh”, not subsequent (adulterous) “marriages” (Gen. 2:24). There was no allowance for remarriage, like you allowing for in this article. De. 24:1-4 is void. Jesus says so in Matt. 19:7-9; Mk. 10:1-12.

3. Further, you said in response to Kevin: "Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians when the Bible says that one is to remain in what state he is, whether single, married, slave, free, etc. if it was actually required that believers divorce the second spouse and go back to the first one Paul should have said something different from what he said in that chapter."

He did say something different in that chapter but you obviously turn a blind eye to it. 1 Cor. 7:10-11, 39 say, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. . . . 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." You obviously reject these clear commands and Gods law of marriage. What you teach and propagate goes against these very instructions of God penned by Paul but commanded of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

You continue: "With all the messed up people in Corinth and other places that turned to Christ there would have been significant numbers of people who had second spouses, but the apostle Paul never states that they should divorce. If there were actually situations where God wanted people to divorce their spouses, Malachi 2:16 should have had an exception instead of stating categorically that God hates putting away."

There's that eisegesis again. You interpret the Scriptures according to how you want to and read into it what you like, to support your egregious view on De. 24. There is no indication anywhere there were "significant numbers of people who had second spouses," and had there been, Paul would NOT have gone against his very own instruction in this epistle: "But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. . . . 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." (vv. 11, 39). Notice that "wife" and "husband" are both singular. No pluarity there. There is only one legitimate marriage. What Paul would have said to them is this: be reconciled to your ONLY spouse. To your actual husband or wife (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39), to the one He has made you one flesh with and no man can put asunder (Matt. 19; Mk. 10). He wouldn't have had to tell them to "divorce" their second spouse, because it's an illegitimate marriage to begin with! Its not "divorce" if its not legit (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39). There is ONLY one marriage! I'm not sure why you can't see this. It's so very plain. Paul would have told them to leave their illegitimate marriage and stop committing adultery. Its these "adulterers" he would have been referencing in I Cor. 6:9-10 that wouldn't enter the kingdom of heaven because they were living in adultery. Those that would have left their adulterous marriages through their conversion, were referenced in the passage that follows: "such were some of you" (v. 11). That "wicked person" living in an adulterous marriage in I Cor. 5 was not one of them. The remarried party is certainly living in adultery, for "Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." (Mk. 10:11-12). All the passages penned by Paul say the same. "For the woman which hath an husband [thats one husband not more than one] 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 [that would be to someone that is not her husband], 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." (Rom. 7:2-3).

Anonymous said...

Paul doesn't contradict himself like you do. In 1 Cor. 7 he says exactly the same again: "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." (v. 39). So if "she" here in I Cor. 7 and Rom. 7 and "they" in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10 are committing adultery one against another, what would cause the stop of the adultery? Repentance? i.e. confession of the sin but not forsaking the sin; rather continuing in the sin? Apparently that is repentance to you. (More on that in a bit). Is that what God is teaching here or anywhere else for that matter? Absolutely not! Repentance results in forsaking the sin, so that the man no more is an adulterer and the woman no more the adulteress. God does not recognise the second marriage, so He would never want such "people to divorce their spouses," because they aren't their spouses to begin with. They ONLY have ONE spouse, which Gods law of marriage makes abundantly clear.

4. Your summary shows your serious contradiction and confusion. “In summary: 1.) Do not divorce. God hates it. 2.) Do not remarry. It is adultery. 3.) If you remarry, do not go back to your first spouse. It is an abomination.”

So let's get this straight. Don’t divorce and remarry. God hates it and its adultery. Its terribly sinful and wicked. (Which I all agree with, to that point). BUT if and when you DO divorce and remarry, even though God hates adultery and makes no allowance for it and all adulterers will have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone, then don’t go back to your first spouse, that very spouse of whom God made one flesh with you (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matt. 19:6). Brother, the only abomination here is your confusion and contradiction and the propagation of something that is against Gods will and specific command.

Anonymous said...

You are eisegetically focusing on the word “abomination” in De. 24:4 and not rightly dividing the word of truth. God allowed for De. 24:1-3 because of the hardness of their hearts and thus added the abomination clause to it (v. 4). He allowed for divorce and remarriage but He was absolutely against it and hated it and makes it clear that all adulterers will have their part in the lake of fire. Therefore, if these lost Jews wanted it so bad because of their hardened (lost) hearts, (Moses wrote the precept because of them) then He would make it an abomination to these lost hypocrites if they changed their mind and wanted to go back and defile their actual true spouse (Gen. 2:24). If God had meant that to eternally stand, He would have clearly said so, and Gen. 2:24 would violate that passage. And so would all the other passages in the NT (e.g. Matt. 5; 19; Mk. 10; Rom. 7; I Cor. 7) and even other passages in the OT (e.g. Mal. 2). All these passages say that De. 24 does not stand. It is not Gods law at all. God allowed for it but it wasn’t His command or will at all, and Jesus makes that abundantly clear in Matt. 19 & Mk. 10. So, as long as De. 24:1-3 was applicable, verse 4 was applicable. Now that Jesus has made it clear that De. 24:1-3 is not applicable because its against His will and command and its adultery for man and woman to divorce and remarry, verse 4 is no longer applicable as well. I think that would be common sense. If verses 1 through 3 don't apply (and they don't -- Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12), verse 4 wouldn't apply either, as they go together. I do not disagree with you that those things that God has made an abomination will continue to be an abomination; unless, of course He has stated othewise. And He has stated otherwise (De. 24:1-3 cf. Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12). Therefore De. 24:1-3 is null and void. Mk. 10:5-8, "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. . . . And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." Thomas, God is not the author of confusion. Rightly divide the word of truth and stop interpreting the Scriptures privately.

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord (not for the adultery but for the example that shows your type of error) we actually see an example of this very thing, in lost people no less, which also tells us (and is clear throughout the Scriptures) that marriage is honourable in ALL but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Mk. 6:17-18 reads: “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.”

Herod had his brother Phillips wife. He “married” her. She “defiled” her husband Philip (De. 24:1-3). But she was STILL Philips wife. Herodias was “married” to Herod but she wasn't actually his wife. John the Baptist makes that very plain here. It wasn’t a true marriage in the sight of God because she was still Philips wife. “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.” Why not? Because Philip was still alive (Rom. 7:1-3). Gods law of marriage stands and it very clearly overrules De. 24:1-3, which goes against Gods law of marriage and the one flesh. Herodias’ would be Philips wife until death separated them. ”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." (Rom. 7:1-3). The people that are living in a second (or third, etc) marriage are adulterers and adulteresses. They continue to be such, like Herod, until they remove themselves from that unlawful marriage. The law of the first husband and wife (Gen. 2:24) stands and only death breaks it. It supersedes De. 24:1-3, because this precept of Moses was not Gods command for marriage and His forbidding of divorce and remarriage (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19). De. 24:1-3 goes against Rom. 7:1-3 and all the others like it. It wasn’t God’s will. God does not go against His own Word. In your philosophy where De. 24:1-4 is apparently still applicable but John the Baptist missed it somehow, Herodias would not be called Philips wife anymore and Herod would be okay to have her and keep her. As long of course as she "repented", which in the act of adultery (according to you) has no apparent meaning because you can just keep committing adultery. I think was John the Baptist alive today you would be rebuking him, like you no doubt will be doing of me since my view is no different than his and entirely against De. 24:1-4 (even like Jesus' was as well). You should stop interpreting Scripture that is not clear and clearly not Gods command, against those that are clear and Gods commands. De. 24:1-3 is one passage of Scripture that contradicts a dozen. We see why it contradicts the dozen in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10. You even quoted Mk. 10, which goes against what you are advocating for in this article. But strangely you can't see it. Gen. 2:24; Matt. 5:31-32; 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39 all supersede and overrule De. 24:1-4. You would do very well to get that straight.

Anonymous said...

God makes one flesh between husband and wife. The only marriage that is true to God is the first marriage (Gen. 2:24), unless death occurs. God does not go against His own Word. Man does not leave his father and mother and cleave to his second wife (unless the first has died). Nothing breaks the first marriage except death. Remarriage is always wrong and the very act itself is continual adultery unless it is dissolved. This is not hidden in the Scriptures, for they are clear on the matter.

5. On the egregious repentance you are teaching in this article.

You wrote: "Divorce is a terrible sin. Remarriage is a terrible sin, and the initial consummation of the second marriage is an act of wicked adultery. Believers who commit an act of adultery by remarrying should repent of that horrible sin. Church members who remarry should be subject to church discipline like other adulterers."

And: "Likewise, rejecting a second spouse, committing a second sin of divorce, and going back to a first spouse is not godly repentance, but an "abomination." Sometimes when a certain sin has been committed there is no going back. Israel sinned when the nation failed to inquire of Jehovah and made vows to Gibeon (Joshua 9), but once the vows had been made, there was no going back."

You claim divorce and remarriage is wrong and adulterous but then allow for it after some sort of pseudo repentance and church discipline, where there is apparent repentance but then continuation in the sin, all in the name of De. 24:1-4. This is a very strange view of repentance. So the thief that repents but then continues to steal or the murderer that drops his knife just long enough to pray a prayer of repentance but then picks up his knife and continues to kill, these both have apparently repented. If you speak against that, then why do you allow for it when it comes to adultery?! What has an adulterer repented of, when he thereafter continues to commit adultery? Nothing is right. It's the remarriage, the unlawful spouse, that is adulterous and causing adultery. So he apparently repents of the adultery, which is admitting that it's adultery, but then continues to commit the act of adultery as the adulterous remarriage continues! Man, what confusion you have wrought! Is this what John the Baptist said to Herod? To repent and then continue in your unlawful marriage?! He said it was unlawful because the Bible says all divorce and remarriage is unlawful. He wasn't teaching anything different than the Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12). You say the adulterer and adulteress should continue in their adultery because it's an abomination for them to go back to their lawful spouse with whom the Lord has made one flesh. Paul says just the opposite (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39). You are very confused and create massive confusion in this view you are propagating. Worse, you are propagating sin.

Anonymous said...

The repentance you are propagating in this article and in defence of divorce and remarriage is seriously contrary to what Gods Word says repentance is. You even hypocritically claim that “the initial consummation of the second marriage is an act of wicked adultery.” Indeed it is, but yet its still okay because the adulterous remarriage has to continue! As long of course there is some sort of "repentance". You obviously don't understand repentance or you choose to ignore it in the case of adultery. Yes I have read your article on repentance, which I agree with, but that goes completely against your pseudo repentance illustrated here. As we concur, repentance is always a change of mind that leads to a change of action. But the repentance of adultery you are advocating here is one of an apparent change of mind without any change of action and change of life. Private interpretation of Scripture will bring such confusion.

Repentance not only confesses sin but forsakes it as well (e.g. Pr. 28:13). This isn't some sort of king Saul “repentance” but true Biblical repentance such as seen in II Cor. 7:9-11. Your philosophy here coupled with an unscriptural repentance and church discipline would be akin to the man committing adultery in I Cor. 5 now marrying into that sin but going under church discIpline followed by some sort of "repentance" (lip service) and then being permitted to stay in His adulterous sin. And his father thereafter is not allowed to have his wife apparently back, because of De. 24:1-3. This passage in I Cor. 5 actually never says those committing adultery hadn't gotten married. He had his fathers wife; which could definitely be referring to that. And it was wicked adultery. When he truly repented, he would have left that adulterous relationship. It would have been the fruit of repentance (Matt. 3:1-10; II Cor. 7:11).

Divorce and remarriage IS and continues to be adultery as long as the act ("marriage") continues (this should be simply common sense, and I feel stupid for having to even write this). We don't “repent” and then continue on in the sin. That's ridiculous. It's not enough to say that divorce and remarriage "is a grievous terrible sin" and "wicked adultery" but then allow for it. That's a clear contradiction and even hypocrisy. And then worse, claim that they can't go back to their first spouse, that very spouse that God has made one of flesh between them. Thats bad, very bad.

Anonymous said...

6. You wrote: “The sentence [De. 24:1-4] consists of a large series of clauses connected with "and." Verse four contains the only commands "her former husband . . . may not take her again to be his wife," and "you shall not cause the land to sin" by this action, for it is an "abomination to the LORD." Everything except these two commands in verse four is merely permissive, not commanded. The text contains no command at all to divorce, much less to remarry.”

This is a straw man. No one is saying this is a command to divorce and remarry but its obviously implied and allowed for, clearly evident by the actual words used in the passage, and also because of the consequence when it does take place (i.e. not to go back to the former wife, for that is an abomination), and further because of what Jesus said in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10. God is certainly not commanding divorce and remarriage, but He is also not speaking against it here. In fact He allowed for it through Moses. He made a clause for it because of the hardness of their hearts. Therefore it was permitted. Just like Jesus said in Matt. 19 to the Pharisees, when they asked Him about it, and He is referring back to this passage. “They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 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. 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.” (Matt. 19:7-9). Jesus is very clearly and specifically speaking against the allowance of divorce and remarriage in De. 24:1-4. He says God allowed the letter of divorcement (through the precept of Moses) but its against God. God makes one flesh, not between husband or wife number 2 or 3 or 4, etc, but the first marriage (Gen. 2:24). Only death breaks it. Those that remarry, before salvation or after, are living in adultery. Period. “Marriage is honourable in ALL, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13:4). The lost should know that when they repent for salvation.

Anonymous said...

7. You claim: “Furthermore, Christ teaches that remarriage while one's first spouse is alive constitutes the wicked sin of adultery. This is actually clear within the text of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 itself.” The sin of adultery is wicked indeed, which is why De. 24:1-3 is unlawful, but its NOT clearly within the text of De. 24:1-4 itself. You are reading that into it, esiegetically. Again. The text speaks nothing against adultery (remarrying another person), just the opposite in fact, even though it refers to the letter of divorcement, but it does speak against remarrying the former spouse.

8. What I have written here has been historical theology, including that of our Baptist forefathers, over the past few millennia. What you are advocating for would have always been considered heresy by the vast majority over those years. Sadly, since divorce and remarriage came into the churches as a flood about a hundred years back, your same philosophy became the norm rather than the exception. That doesn't change Gods Word one bit nor my stance on it. The Bible is clear on this matter. Very clear.

My background is that of the anabaptists and can trace my lineage five hundred years back. There is not one recorded divorce and remarriage over hundreds of thousands of people. Not one. Even today. Yes you read that right. You know why? Because it's adulterous and as long as the remarriage continues, the adultery continues. I have never even one time seen a remarriage being fruitful. Not one. They are destructive and it's not because of baggage from the previous marriage either. No, it's because God hates it and does not approve of it and thus it is not blessed. Churches are being destroyed left, right and centre, and taking aside the false gospel as the major reason for that, this would likely be the next reason in line. I think they go together, for typically where you have a false gospel you will also have adulterous "marriages" in the congregation. A previous church we attended in another land used to hold to my Biblical view here. They were very fruitful and incredibly blessed. True fruit and faithfulness. Sound doctrine was there and taught and propagated. But when they allowed members that were divorced and remarried, the spiral of apostasy started immediately and it hasn't stopped.

Anonymous said...

9. In conclusion, you are wresting De. 24:1-4 to your own destruction. God hates divorce and remarriage and makes NO allowance for it. Period. You seem to teach that position, such as in your paper on The Bible on Divorce, but then hold to the opposite teaching that God permits it because of De. 24:1-3, even if it contradicts what He has said everywhere else. And by your opposing positions, you contradict what God has said and commanded, and you contradict yourself. You fail to rightly divide the word of truth and are privately interpreting De. 24. And you're actually going against the one flesh that God makes between male and female, when a man cleaves to his one wife (Gen. 2:24), the one flesh that no man can put asunder (Matt. 5; 19; Mk. 10). You oppose the one marriage for life, which only death can break apart. I'm not sure how much clearer God could make it then in Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39; Matt. 5:32; 19:9-12; Mk. 10:2-12. These are all very important passages on this subject and they nullify the precept of Moses in De. 24:1-4. Jesus directly and clearly states this in His dialogue with the Jewish religionists in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10. “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives [in De. 24:1-4]: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matt. 19:8). In Marks account Jesus said it was a precept written not by God but by Moses. God permitted for it, but it wasn't His will and Jesus makes that abundantly clear. So no, “Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is” NOT “an important passage relating to the Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage.” God the Son specifically says that it wasn’t God’s will or word. It also goes against all the other passages, which don’t allow for divorce and remarriage. It goes against the one flesh that God makes of the first husband and wife. Jesus made these things clear, as did Paul. Therefore De. 24 must be interpreted in light of all the other much clearer and obvious teachings of Scripture. But you are using it as a proof text for something God forbids.

The sort of contradiction and confusion I see in your stance on De. 24:1-4 I don't find surprising considering I have seen it before in your writings: e.g. on Jam. 4 and Rom. 10:9-10, and also in your practice: e.g. writing a thesis against Keswick theology, which is excellent and extremely helpful by the way, but then continuing to teach in a thoroughly Keswick/higher life college, namely Baptist College of Ministry, one that not only teaches a false gospel and false sanctification but also harbours false believers – in a previous church, there was three young people that attended BCM but they were all clearly lost. Considering the false gospel there, that is probably the norm rather than the exception. Some of its faculty and evangelists, including ones that aren't there anymore, are very likely unconverted as well (e.g. John Van Gelderen and Phil Prettyman).

Go ahead and dissect everything I have said and come up with further straw man arguments to support your error. Gods Word is very clear on this subject. But you reject the clear commands of God's Word and continue to promote something that was never Gods will. You are propagating sin and that is very serious. To this end, I would quote pastor Brandenburg (from some previous article): “The only right response to this is . . . First, listen to what you've done wrong. Second, admit you're wrong. Third, get it right. On the other hand, don't go into full court justification of false teaching. Not getting it right is bad enough. Don't make it worse by rabidly defending it when you're wrong.”

Reuben

p.s. It is this very subject that actually brought me to conversion. Had I obeyed and followed your sort of reasoning at that point in time of my life thirteen years ago (which I heard on many a occasion), I would still be lost as a goose. This is a gospel issue and your philosophy will keep people from actually being truly converted through repentance and faith (Mk. 1:15; Ac. 20:21).

KJB1611 said...

Dear Reuben,

Could you please quote the specific Baptist confessions that clearly say that at times God loves divorce and that someone should go back to a first spouse after marrying a second one, since (you claim) that your position is the historic Baptist one? After all, if, as you say, the "majority of our Baptist forefathers held" to your position, this should be easy to do. It would have been more helpful than heaping insults on me. I would be very interested in seeing the widely accepted Baptist documents arguing that people will go to hell as adulterers if they refuse to divorce.

You said: "You make it appear that you believe divorce and remarriage is wrong but then attempt to harmonize De. 24:1-4 with that belief, but that doesn't work." You say that Deut 24:1-4 is "not God's will or command." So the two actual imperative (command) forms in Deut 24:1-4--if they are not God's commands, whose are they? Are they what you are making them, Satan's command? Is Deut 24:1-4 inspired? What are you saying about the Bible here?

The woman at the will was living in fornication with someone who she never even bothered getting married to. Sorry, you are misinterpreting that passage.

You also misinterpret other passages that you employ to read your position into the text. For example, the fact that Paul says not to divorce and not to remarry allegedly proves your position, when it is exactly what I would tell anyone--don't divorce, and don't remarry.

You take a relationship that is a form of incest (Herod & Philip's wife) and claim that this proves your position. Sorry, one can take the Biblical position I advocate and continue to oppose incest.

You argue that there is no such thing as a second spouse, and you can't believe that I can't see it. One reason I can't see it is that you can't get your position from looking at the texts in the Bible where the verb "marry" is found. For example, marriages outside of God's will are still marriages in both the OT and NT:

2Chr. 13:21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.

Matt. 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.

Did you think that looking at the actual texts where the verb "marry" is found would be a good idea before saying that there is no such thing as a second marriage?

Did you read the post carefully? Did you notice that there are no commands in Deut 24:1-3?

Are there any other texts beside Deut 24:1-4 where something that is an abomination to God is not really an abomination to God, but something that He loves?

You are arguing that if someone refuses to do what God says is an abomination to Him in Deut 24:4, he will go to hell as an adulterer. Are there any other texts where people go to hell because they refuse to do what God says is an abomination?

By the way, just as you misinterpret the Bible, you don't appear to know my history very well. I have not taught at BCM for years, and BCM forbids their people from reading my dissertation. Perhaps exegeting the text of Scripture more carefully and getting your facts straight would be better than throwing many insults in my direction.

Reuben, you are advocating what God calls an abomination to Him, and insulting me does not help your case.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Reuben,

Some final questions--why does going back to the first spouse defile the land, 24:4, cf. Ezekiel 14:13? Also, are there any other places where God commands people not to do something because it is an abomination to Him that causes the land to sin, but unless someone does what God says not to do, what He says is an abomination to Him that causes the land to sin, a person will go to hell? Where else must a person disobey an imperative command by God and commit what He calls an abomination that causes the land to sin in order to be saved?

Anonymous said...

Dear Thomas,

1. You falsely claim that I believe "that at times God loves divorce" when I never said anything even remotely close to that. A spouse leaving an unlawful and adulterous "marriage" is not divorcing. Divorce can only occur if there is an actual recognized marriage, which is the first and only marriage (except after one spouse dies) where God makes ONE flesh between husband and wife (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:14-15; Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-9).

I also never said "that people will go to hell as adulterers if they refuse to divorce." First of all, its not divorce when a man or woman leaves their second "marriage". It was never a marriage to begin with, which is clear in God's Word (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:14-16; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39; Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12), so divorce doesn't even apply. Divorce, aka. putting away, only applies to a true marriage, and that God hates. Remarriage is adultery. All adulterers will have their part in the lake of fire, unless they truly repent and get saved. The only true marriage is the first marriage (except of death), mentioned in Mal. 2 as well, the man married to "the wife of thy youth, . . . thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant." (Mal. 2:14). Do you read that Thomas? "The wife of thy covenant". And what breaks that covenant? Right, only death (Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:39). We read further in v. 15, "And did not he make one?" That is "one" flesh. "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." (Mal. 2:15). No wonder "the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:" (Mal. 2:16). Its an abomination. And how much worse is remarriage! Notice that remarriage doesn't even come into the picture here. And that is because its exceedingly wicked adultery and continues to be unless its stopped. Secondly, the adulterer has most likely never been converted and that is why he is going to hell. Read I Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21.

Concerning Baptist confessions, why don't we do this rather. Find me where they take the same position as you do on De. 24 and I will reconsider my view on that. As I mentioned, I come from 500 years of anabaptist background, I.e. from a baptist background. Never anywhere in our lineage of Baptist churches has that view been taught and practiced. Nowhere. Divorce and remarriage was illegal (by church and secular law) and the grounds of immediate church dismissal. Everyone knows that. You read a lot. You should know that. I also read a lot and I have never come across any allowance of divorce and remarriage anywhere or the use of De. 24 to justify such.

Anonymous said...


3. Concerning the woman at the well, you are reading "fornication" into the passage. Eisegsis. The passage says nothing of the sort.

I don't misinterpret any passages but you my friend are completely misinterpreting all the passages concerning divorce and remarriage, using De. 24. You would apparently, using Paul's passages, "tell anyone--don't divorce, and don't remarry" while encourging those that are divorced and remarried to remain in their adulterous marriages. Thats hypocritical, for they are divorced and remarried. Paul spoke against De 24:1-3, just like Jesus did. You use Pauls passages but only as long as they work for you. When they don't, you use De. 24:1-4.

4. John the Baptist's rebuke of Herod and Philip's wife opposes your position with De. 24:1-4. Using De. 24:1-4, they could have stayed in their adulterous "marriage".

5. Of course there were "marriages" with more than one wife. We read of that likewise with king David. I am not denying that. You are failing to understand what I was saying. According to the Lord there is ONE FLESH in ONE marriage (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:14-15; Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-9). Notice that its always singular. Examples. Gen. 2:24, "Therefore shall A man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto HIS WIFE: and THEY shall be ONE FLESH." Mal. 2:14-15, "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 [NOT 'are they'] thy companion, and THE WIFE of thy covenant. 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." The other passages say the same thing. A man in the OT dispensation under the Mosaic Law might have had many wives, but ONLY ONE was the one that God made one flesh and thus truly married. Gen. 2:24 very clearly says that. The NT teaching brings that out even much clearer.

According to your line of thinking, because the word "marry" is used in something that God forbids, it becomes permissible. Its apparently ok to divorce and remarriage because the word "marry" is used there and have many wives because the word "marry" is used in such examples. Apparently you can't rightly divide the word of truth, seen already with De. 24. Just because the word "marry" is used here does not mean that God was okay with that and that it was actually a true God sanctioned marriage. God does not make one flesh between one husband and 14 wives. Its one and one, TWAIN, into ONE!

Anonymous said...


6. I wasn't insulting you at all. If anything, what you wrote about allowing divorce and remarriage because of De. 24 is a terrible insult and offence. Its against God's Word and thats offensive, at least to the Lord.

Concerning BCM, in 2013 you put your resume online stating you were presently working at BCM, since 2007. If that is no longer the case then you should update that. In 2015 when we were emailing about BCM, you made no indication at any point that you weren't teaching there anymore. Thats good that you don't work there anymore, but until 2015 you were defending thorough Keswick heretics like Rick Flanders, an annual preacher and teacher at BCM (and multiple times at your church) and one who completely rejects Biblical repentance (read his articles on the subject and you will see it, plus I have heard that with my own ears from his mouth) and holds to much of the heretical keswick theology. Double-standards. According to how things fit for Thomas.

No Thomas, you are advocating for wicked adultery, a most vile of sins. It has destroyed millions of homes in this world, and its your very type of compromised philosophy that is the culprit behind it. Instead of having "godly seed" (Mal. 2:14-16) we see ungodly seed everywhere. Churches are full of lost young people, which again is primarily linked to a false gospel, but is also directly connected to the hypocrisy of so many broken homes of adulterous marriages. What terrible hypocrisy! A hundred years ago when this wicked teaching started coming into the churches, it was De. 24 (along with "fornication" in Matt. 5:32 and 19:9) that was used, and to this day it continues by the hosts of churches, from the apostate to the IB's. Its wicked and its so very wrong. Rest assured, God will hold you accountable to it.

As I wrote and quoted in the previous response: “The only right response to this is . . . First, listen to what you've done wrong. Second, admit you're wrong. Third, get it right. On the other hand, don't go into full court justification of false teaching. Not getting it right is bad enough. Don't make it worse by rabidly defending it when you're wrong.”

Reuben

Kevin said...

Reuben,
I have to agree with Thomas that your position seems pretty extreme but clearly your are very passionate about it. If divorce and unrepentant remarriage disqualified one from salvation, as you have suggested, how would you deal with the Old Testament patriarchs and kings? Many of them had multiple wives and concubines, so unless you accept polygamy for the time, each additional spouse they added was an ongoing state of adultery. They is no record in scripture that they repented of polygamy or left their additional spouses at any point. You believe Abraham is in hell? And David, Jacob and Solomon? I could go on, but you get the point. If remaining in a state of remarriage is such a great sin, then surely these patriarchs and kings sinned to a far greater degree with their polygamy. How do you square your position with the status of these patriarch, whom the Bible clearly says are in heaven?
Kevin

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin,

I am convinced it only comes across as extreme because of how this teaching has been corrupted since around the early 20th century. Before that it would have been just normal. In fact, among the anabaptists it's still normal even to this day. That's why the families are the way they are. Full of love and harmonious even though at least half of them are religious and non-converted. No surprise, many of those children today are getting converted. I'm one of them. Out of a family of nine children, half of them are converted. And that was in spite of the hypocrisy that comes with religion. They don't grow up in broken homes, which is a major catalyst to evil for children. When I'm door knocking, it doesn't typically take me very long to determine what kind of home my listener grew up in. I'm not intentionally reading into it, it just comes to mind when I speak to people. Divorce and remarriage is an evil of almost unsurmountable magnitude. There is a very important reason why the Lord said: "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." (Mal. 2:15). God can't seek a godly seed in such cases. The consequence is an ungodly seed. I Cor. 7:14 speaks of it as well, in the case of saved people: "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." God separates the children of a marriage where even just one partner is saved and the marriage continues. Now don't get me wrong. Someone that grows up in a broken home can most definitely be saved. I know brethren as such. But I think the difficulty increases huge-fold. Statistics are very bad today on divorce and remarriage; it would be interesting to see what they are like concerning the childhood homes of the truly converted people.

I'am indeed very passionate about it because my Lord is VERY passionate about it. Seen not only in the passage above (Mal. 2:14-16) but also in the many other passages, and also because of the detrimental consequences of this extremely sinful act. It's a worse type of sin because its a sin that destroys the soul of the person (Pr. 6:32, which we see even in the children of such homes) and against our body, the temple of the Holy Ghost (I Cor. 6:13-20). Furthermore, the only comparison the Lord makes with Christ and the church is the husband and wife (Eph. 4). That also shows the importance of the subject. Can Christ be divorced from the church and remarried to something (someone) else? That would be spiritual adultery and just won't happen. Jam. 4:4 says that spiritual adulterers with the world are lost. They are the enemies of God.

Concerning the polygamous marriages in the OT, God allowed it and it was a cultural norm. It wasn't His will but He allowed for it. The same for divorce and remarriage, seen in De. 24:1-4. It's different now, seen in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10, and it's quite very interesting that among the Jews there are no polygamous marriages anymore. Consider also that Abraham, David, Jacob and Solomon never actually left or removed their first wives. They did have multiple wives but they also had their first wife with whom God had made one flesh. Many also didn't practice this, such as Moses. Those that had multiple wives often suffered diverse consequences because of it.

All adulterers are lost according to I Cor. 6:9-10 and Gal. 5:19-21, so those who are truly converted will not wilfully live in this sin. "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (I Cor. 6:11). Those that continue in this sin (II Cor. 12:21) should examine themselves whether they are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5).

Reuben

Kevin said...

Reuben,
You just said all adulterers are lost while also saying that the Old Testament polygamists, who were by definition, unrepentant adulterers, were allowed for because it was the cultural norm. That is incoherent logic. Either Gods’s morality is eternal or it isn’t. If he had different rules for polygamists in the OT, his morality isn’t eternal. Or, which makes more sense biblically, he extended grace to the sin of polygamy just as he extends grace to the divorced and remarried today. He didn’t require polygamists to leave all their wives and he doesn’t require the remarried to divorce their second spouses to remain in right relationship with him.
Kevin

Anonymous said...

Kevin,

There is no incoherent logic here. God allowed things at that time that He doesn't allow anymore. Polygamy and De. 24:1-4 are two of those. I think that is pretty clear. If you disagree, then you should have as many wives as you want and divorce and remarry as often as you want. Liberty right.

They weren't unrepentant adulterers. The patriarchs didn't commit divorce and remarriage as they never left or removed their first wives. It's against the initial spouse, the one of one flesh (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:14-15; Matt. 19:2-6; Mk. 10:6-9), that adultery occurs. All those passages, including Rom. 7:1-3 and I Cor. 7:10-11, 39 make that clear. They weren't committing adultery against the wife of their youth, their one flesh. She was with him and not removed. I think that's pretty clear.

Read those passages carefully referenced above and hopefully you can see it.

Of course God extends grace to those that are living in adultery, but it's not grace to continue to sin! He will extend grace to those that are repentant (and the giving of repentance is an act of Gods grace), that is, turn from their sin which would be dissolving the adulterous marriage. That's where grace comes in. Grace changes a person, not give liberty to continue in ones sins. Let's not label something evil as good and good as evil. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:1-2).

Those that compromise with this doctrine will always find straw man arguments and excuses to allow for adultery. When and where does it end? Jesus says it was never supposed to begin (Matt. 19; Mk. 10; Gen. 2).

Reuben

Kevin said...

Reuben,
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, but let me try one more time. Let's take one specific example from the Old Testament, King David. He had 8 wives and an unknown number of concubines. Let me ask a very simple question . . . were his marriages 2-8 legitimate or not? If you say yes, then you are contradicting the point you have been making this entire thread, i.e. only the first marriage is legitimate. If you say no, then David lived as an unrepentant adulterer during his adult life. There are no other options. You said all adulterers are lost, but we know from scripture that King David went to heaven, so this clearly could not be true.

I am not sure you understand the meaning of adultery. You can commit adultery while remaining married to your first wife. You don't have to leave your wife for it to qualify as adultery. You said the patriarchs were not committing adultery because they never left the wife of their youth. If they were having sexual relations with others than their first wives, they were committing adultery whether they remained with their first wives or not! That's what adultery is!

You said that God allowed things at the time he no longer allows. I don't see how any Christian can hold this position. One of the basic tenants Christian theology is that God's moral law is rooted in his nature. His nature is eternal and is, therefore, unchangeable. Lying is wrong, not because God merely says it is, but because it is against his nature. Adultery is wrong because it is against his nature. Because his nature does not change, his moral law cannot change. For you to argue that polygamy, which has to be classified as a form of adultery, was once permissible, turns Christian theology on it's head. Christianity does not subscribe to some simple version of Divine Command Theory, i.e. thing are wrong merely because God says so and are therefore changeable. Sin is wrong because it is against God's nature and is therefore unchangeable. If polygamy is wrong now, it was wrong during the Old Testament period as well. Therefore, many of the patriarchs and kings were adulterers, yet we know from scripture they are in heaven. God's grace has them covered. The divorced and remarried are covered under his grace as well. No one is arguing this gives Christians a license to sin, but because we all will remain sinners until we die, God's grace has to cover all of our sin from the mundane to the great sins, otherwise how could anyone be saved?
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
Kevin

KJB1611 said...

Dear Reuben,

1.) You had stated that the "majority of our Baptist forefathers" held to your position that one must divorce a second spouse and return to a first one, despite the fact that Deut 24:1-4 says that this is an abomination to God. When I asked you to prove this, you gave not a scintilla of proof, but instead stated: "I also read a lot and I have never come across any allowance of divorce and remarriage anywhere or the use of De. 24 to justify such." Of course, I don't allow divorce or remarriage, so I don't need to prove that, even though you repeatedly accuse me of allowing for them, as if the only alternative is to allow divorce and remarriage or take your position where you call on people to commit an abomination to God.

Finding people who take my position on Deut 24 is very easy, for example, John Gil on Deut 24:4:

Her former husband which sent her away may not take her again
to be his wife

Though ever so desirous of it, and having heartily repented that he had put her away: this is the punishment of his fickleness and inconstancy, and was ordered to make men cautious how they put away their wives; since when they had so done, and they had been married to another, they could not enjoy them again even on the death of the second husband; . . .

for that [is] abomination before the Lord;
for a man to take his wife again, after she had been divorced by him, and married to another man

so if you have never come across any Baptist anywhere, as you say, who takes the Scriptural position that it is an abomination to divorce a second spouse and return to a first one, now you have.

Are you going to retract: "Never anywhere in our lineage of Baptist churches has that view been taught and practiced. Nowhere."

John Gill lived well over 100 years ago, so are you going to retract your claim that

"A hundred years ago when this wicked teaching started coming into the churches"?

I'm waiting.

KJB1611 said...

2.) You claim that a second marriage is not a marriage and therefore it is not a divorce to divorce a second spouse:


" Divorce, aka. putting away, only applies to a true marriage."

I gave examples where the verb "marry" is used in the Bible in a way you say it is never used, and you gave not a scintilla of evidence from the verb "marry" for your position. You also provided not a scintilla of evidence for your position from the Bible for your uses of the word "divorce" or "putting away." Nor did you explain how your claim that leaving a second marriage is not really a divorce is consistent with the plain language of Deut 24:4:

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.

Why are we supposed to believe your position when it cannot be supported by an actual exegesis of the Biblical phrases "marry" and "put away"? We are going to need something really strong here before we conclude we need to do something God says is an abomination in Deut 24:4. We need something better than lots of insults.

3.) Since the Bible employs "put away" and "marry" in accordance with my position, not yours, it is a good and necessary consequence of your position that God (allegedly) sometimes loves divorce--He (allegedly) loves it so much, and hates it when people don't divorce when you want them to so much, that He sends people to hell who don't divorce in the situation you want them to. You will need to show that "put away" and "marry" are not used in the way I am using them, and Scripture uses them, or this is a necessary consequence of your position.

4.) You stated:

"God allowed things at that time that He doesn't allow anymore. Polygamy and De. 24:1-4 are two of those."

Where is your argument from Genesis 2:24 here? In order to excuse what God calls an abomination to Him in Deut 24:4, are you now saying that polygamy was allowed as well? So it really wasn't Genesis 2:24 that was the pattern?

Also, where does God "allow" for divorce? He never commands divorce in Deut 24:1-4; there, He says that a divorce and remarriage defile. Are you lowering the standard in Genesis 2 and Deut 24 in order to hold your position?

KJB1611 said...

5.) I would still like clear answers to the following questions:

You said: "You make it appear that you believe divorce and remarriage is wrong but then attempt to harmonize De. 24:1-4 with that belief, but that doesn't work." You say that Deut 24:1-4 is "not God's will or command." So the two actual imperative (command) forms in Deut 24:1-4--if they are not God's commands, whose are they? Are they what you are making them, Satan's command? Is Deut 24:1-4 inspired? What are you saying about the Bible here?

Which is the truth?

The commands in Deut 24:4 are God's commands in the Bible.

___ Yes

___ No


The commands in Deut 24:4 are Satan's commands. Obeying Deut 24:4 is Satanic.

___ Yes

___ No

6.) I asked:

Are there any other texts beside Deut 24:1-4 where something that is an abomination to God is not really an abomination to God, but something that He loves?

I am still waiting for a response, other than claiming I am wrong without giving any evidence.

Which is the truth?

There are no examples in the Bible where something that is said to be an abomination to God is not really something that is an abomination to God, but something that He loves.

___ Yes

___ No

Deuteronomy 24:4 is an example where something is said to be an abomination to God, but it really is something that He loves, not an abomination to Him.

___ Yes

___ No

7.) You claim that people are engaging in lifelong adultery if they do not divorce a second spouse and return to a first one. 1 Cor 6:9-11 says that people who engage in persistent adultery will be in hell. So which is the truth:

People must put away a second spouse and return to a first one or they are engaging in persistent adultery and will go to hell. They must do this despite the fact that Deut 24:4 says it is an abomination to God--they must commit an abomination to God or they will go to hell if they refuse to commit an abomination to God.


___ Yes

___ No


8.) Why does going back to the first spouse defile the land, 24:4, cf. Ezekiel 14:13? Also, are there any other places where God commands people not to do something because it is an abomination to Him that causes the land to sin, but unless someone does what God says not to do, what He says is an abomination to Him that causes the land to sin, a person will go to hell? Where else must a person disobey an imperative command by God and commit what He calls an abomination that causes the land to sin in order to be saved?

People today must do what God commanded them not to do in Deut 24:4 because it is an abomination to Him that defiles the land:


___ Yes

___ No


9.) One final question. I have no idea what your past has been like, but this issue apparently was very significant to you 13 years ago, based on something you said in this comment thread. Could it be that while you say, over and over, that I am taking my position because of all kinds of compromise and sin that I want to excuse, it is really you that are taking your position because you have skin in the game here? Could that be why you need to keep defending what God calls an abomination that defiles the land?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thomas,

I very briefly skimmed over your response. Making some kind of wicked insult doesn’t give credence to your abominable argument. I have no intentions on responding to your kindergarten style questions. And I have addressed them already. Reread my previous comments. John Gill proves nothing. You’re only example? Up until around a hundred years ago, divorce and remarriage was virtually unheard of among believers. Divorce and remarriage was adultery and it didn’t stop (common sense) until the adulterous marriage stopped. People believed that one flesh was one flesh and nothing could put that asunder. You would do well to rightly divide the word of truth and actually believe the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, like our forefathers did (for example in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10). You would also do well to believe apostolic doctrine, as laid out in Rom. 7:1-4 and I Cor. 7:10-11, 39. And you should stop privately interpreting the Scripture. Arguing using red herrings and straw men doesn’t help your cause. De. 24:1-4 is still not applicable. You believe what your heart wants to believe but I will believe the Word of God.

“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them , the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19-20).

Reuben

Anonymous said...

One last thing. From what I have read of pastor Brandenburgs writings on What God hath put together on Divorce and Remarriage on Jackhammer (https://jackhammer.wordpress.com/2007/05/08/what-god-hath-put-together-the-bible-on-divorce-and-remarriage-part-one/) my view corresponds with his. I haven’t read anything contrary there. No divorce and no remarriage. Period. Gen. 2:24 overrules De. 24. Nothing breaks the first marriage between a husband and wife except God. I thoroughly enjoyed that series and your are not standing alone in those waters brother Kent. I would also say, what Thomas believes on De. 24 runs definitely contrary to what you believe brother Kent believes (if you still believe what he wrote back then) about no divorce and no remarriage. Thomas is certainly not no divorce and no remarriage, unless of course it comes to marriage number 2, 3, 4, 5, etc, whichever one he happens to find the couple in and they have “repented” which means just the opposite in this case then his article on Repentance. The position of Thomas is one of serious confusion and we know that God is not the author of confusion. Thomas argument is no different than that of the Pharisees in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10, which Jesus clearly debunks.

Reuben

KJB1611 said...

Dear Reuben,


Certainly if you will not even bother to read what I wrote, there is no point on going on. It is certainly convenient if you cannot answer my questions.

I warn you, however, that you need to obey these commands: "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath . . . receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1).

You can be stubborn and refuse to admit you are taking Scripture out of context if you like, but that will not help you when God holds you accountable for encouraging people to commit what He calls an abomination that defiles the land.

Kevin said...

Reuben,
Not only are you refusing to answer Thomas' questions, but you have refused to answer my very simple question about King David. Logically, following your viewpoint to its end, King David is in hell, along with Abraham, Jacob and others. It doesn't do to just brush such questions aside with "things were different then" nonsense. God is eternal and his morality is eternal. Please explain how can you hold the view that you do without concluding that the patriarchs are in hell for their polygamy and adultery with multiple wives and concubines?
Kevin

Anonymous said...

Thomas,

No stubbornness here. I won’t repeat the same thing over and over in the hope that you’ll get it. You obviously don’t want to get it. I did actually “briefly skim over your response” as I had stated and as mentioned already, I have already addressed your questions in previous posts.

Thomas, do you think that God the Father will hold His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, “accountable for encouraging people to commit what He calls an abomination that defiles the land”? I have only been reiterating here what God the Son clearly said in Matt. 19 & Mk. 10. He refuted De. 24 when the Pharisees asked Him about it, and He said Gen. 2:24 stands, not De. 24. If God the Son, the very author of De. 24, said it was not an abomination to nullify De. 24, then I will say likewise. Jesus refuted the Pharisees De. 24 argument, just like He does your’s. It’s no different. You’re not going against me but the Word of God.

Kevin,

No, logically my viewpoint does not put King David or any other polygamous OT saint in hell. Things were different back then. I think that should be pretty plain and even common Biblical sense for any saint that studies the Bible. For example, the Holy Spirit didn’t indwell saints like He does today and thus they weren’t members of Christ like we are today. Is that a big deal? Absolutely it is for a number of reasons, especially if we consider that adultery is sinning against our own body wherein the Holy Spirit dwells, which sets fornication/adultery apart today from all other sins as believers (hence why Gods standard of Gen. 2:24 overrules all other permitted standards concerning marriage, i.e. De. 24:1-4): “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Cor. 6:15-20). Thus, all that live in an adulterous marriage are continuously sinning against their own body, wherein dwells the Spirit of God. That is another reason why Matt. 5 and 19 and Mk. 10 and Rom. 7:1-4 and I Cor. 7:10-11, 39 are so clear and adamant about NO divorce and NO remarriage. There is zero allowance for it and De. 24:1-4 goes against Gods expressed will and command (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12). It would be allowing for sinning against ones own temple of the Holy Ghost.

God allowed polygamy back then and thus it wouldn’t have been adultery unless the man divorced his first wife, with whom God made one flesh (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2; Matt. 19; Mk. 10; Rom. 7; I Cor. 7). Ezk. 16:32, for example, shows this principle.

There are many other things that have changed concerning morality. Consider an example on this very subject, of how adultery was to be handled in the OT: by death (Lev. 20:10). Read Jn. 8:1-11 and tell me if God the Son, the very author of Lev. 20:10, called for the death of the “woman caught in adultery”? Does that mean there was a change? While you are in the business of contrasting Gods moral laws, check out Lev. 20:11 and then read I Cor. 5 and tell me if Paul the apostle called for the mans death. More moral law change?

Reuben

Kevin said...

Reuben,
So you believe based on the above statement that it is okay to have sex with your father's wife now? Of course not. The moral law has not changed- sex with your father's wife was and is wrong; it is the penalty for transgressing that law has changed, not the moral law. We don't stone homosexuals either, but homosexuality is still a sin. Again, poor logic.

If you want to argue that an eternal God's moral law changes, that is your prerogative, but it goes against what scripture and 2000 years of Christian theology have taught. I have been in the church my entire life and have never heard any Christian, of any denomination, hold that position. Maybe tomorrow God will give a new revelation that homosexuality is now okay. It's possible given your theology.

What it boils down to is that your divorce/remarriage position is not only not scripturally supported, it would rip families apart. Children born to divorced and remarried parents would have their world upended if they took your position seriously. Thankfully most Christians can see through your error to the grace of God and do not take it to this extreme. I hope for their sakes that you are not in any position of authority in any church.
Take care

Kent Brandenburg said...

Reuben,

I haven't participated in the discussion in general here, and I wanted to give Thomas an opportunity to explain his position. I didn't want to get involved because I can't get in every one of these discussions. I don't think I should use my time that way. I wanted Thomas to carry the burden of his post. You mentioned my name in defense of you, like you and I have the same position. I have actually never heard of your position, never heard it proclaimed by anyone ever. Maybe it's out there somewhere taken by someone, but I had never heard it until you presented it here.

I also didn't want to get involved, because I do think you are well meaning and in general wanting to do right, to believe right. I think you should listen to what Thomas is saying on this. Just because he and I have some differences in beliefs that you have made note of, have caught and brought to attention, our church does not see these as separating issues, because he takes perhaps more conservative positions than what we do on make-up and the sinner's prayer. There are a few other slight differences in matters of application, where we may be more conservative. He and I are in fellowship though.

I have given a full explanation of Deuteronomy 24 in our church and in preaching. I'm not sure I have ever written on it. I agree with Thomas's explanation, and he knows what I believe on this enough, that he knows I agree too. I don't know how you can explain that he is supporting or pushing for divorce. You seem to be the one that is pushing for divorce as I see it, and that's with me not wanting to disagree with you.

A lot of OT law deals with preexisting situations. These are called judgments. When you are a leader, you have to deal with lives that are already messed up and make judgments to tell them what they should do. It's one of the most difficult aspects of leadership. The OT takes messed up situations and gives them guidance. That's what Dt 24 is doing. Some people had divorced and remarried a second spouse. God came down upon that preexisting situation, as Jesus later teaches, not to approve of divorce. With the preexisting situation of remarriage, which the Bible does not condone and Dt 24 is not condoning it, like it doesn't with a lot of other preexisting conditions in the OT, just because it makes judgments on them, one should not divorce after that. That's God's ruling on the matter. You seem to be saying, disregard what God teaches on it, and go ahead and divorce and go back to the initial spouse. That would be to violate Dt 24 just to make a point of being against the first divorce and remarriage.

Dt 24 is given to oppose your exact reasoning. It doesn't help the first divorce and remarriage to have a second divorce and remarriage. Stop divorce and remarriage. Stay married. Don't divorce. And then don't remarry. That's the point of Dt 24:1-4. It's not teaching, divorce is permissible, because you are taught to stay with the second spouse. That's not what it is teaching at all, and Jesus comes along later to reinforce that.

I don't get where you are coming from on this, Reuben. I love you, so please understand that. You are not taking the right position on this, and you are a very diligent person, so you won't be disrespected for changing. I would have a lot of respect for it.

Anonymous said...

Kent,

Thanks for tuning in. I’m glad you did. I meant to reply earlier but been extremely busy. I’m sorry to tell you brother, but I am certainly not wrong in my position on this. I once believed what you did but the Bible clearly speaks against it. My position is not a new position either, even though you make it seem so, but a historical position and very evidently the Biblical view. A careful study of marriage in the Scriptures refutes your new position on De. 24 (new as in different from what you wrote in your divorce series on Jackhammer). And historical theology up to the 21st century held to my view, especially among the Baptists. There was absolutely no excepting of second marriages. No one would be given membership in a true Baptist Bible believing church that was divorced and remarried. No one. It was seen as adultery. It was absolutely unheard of. But today this is different, and it’s no surprise that “In the last days . . . men shall be . . . without natural affection” (II Tim 3:1-3), for most are growing up in unnatural broken homes.

To use De. 24 as saying that divorce and remarriage is okay in second and subsequent marriages, and to go back to former spouse is an abomination, is to call Jesus a liar. He said De. 24:1-3, the precept of Moses, does not stand anymore. It’s void. It opposes and is contrary to the one flesh God makes between first husband and wife. The Lord said that any divorce and remarriage is adultery against their true spouse of one flesh. Just like you said in your divorce series, there is no such thing as a second marriage. Therefore De. 24:4, the abomination of returning to their first spouse (vv. 1-3), does not stand anymore either. That should be very plain. That’s exactly what Jesus said in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10. “They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 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. 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.” (Matt. 19:7-9). Moses wrote this precept and it was because of the hardness of the lost Jewish hearts. The last part of v. 9 here goes completely contrary to De. 24:1-3, where it wasn’t adultery to marry her that was put away. And it’s contrary because De. 24:1-3 was not Gods precept but Moses. God added the caveat to this, v. 4, which stood as long as vv. 1-3 stood. Well, it doesn’t stand anymore brother, Jesus couldn’t be any clearer on the matter. To use De. 24 as an argument for a second or third, etc, remarriage is “tempting [Christ]” like the Pharisees did (Matt. 19:2).

I would like to be clear here from the get go that I didn’t reference you so I could have backup, as I would have then done that before already, but rather because your series goes against Thomas philosophy on De. 24. It seems to be a bit strange that you don’t see the differences.

You say you’re against divorce and remarriage. That is good. But you can’t believe that and claim that De. 24 still stands, which totally permits divorce and remarriage, as long as her husband finds some “uncleanness in her” (v. 1) or if her “latter husband hate her” (v. 3); as long as they don’t return to their previous spouse. You can’t hold to both no divorce/ remarriage and De. 24, for De. 24 does indeed allow for divorce and remarriage. That’s a serious contradiction. But God’s Word is not contradictory and Jesus makes that clear in Matt. 19 and Mk. 10, opposing this very same argument you are making that was being made by the Pharisees (Mk. 10:2-5; Matt. 19).

Anonymous said...

Let me share with you as briefly as I can where I am coming from on this. I’m completely against divorce and remarriage. Zero of it. None. Nil. That’s been my whole point here and I think that should be pretty evident. Iam actually truly against it, but those that hold to De. 24:1-4 are actually for it. They allow for the supposed second or third, etc, marriage because for the man (or woman) to leave that fake marriage and return to their true one flesh spouse that God says is unbreakable except through death, is apparently committing adultery against his second (fake) wife, whom he is allowed to put away if he finds uncleaness in her or hates her. But that is not even his true wife. His wife is the one that God made him one flesh with. A man that has divorced and remarried, is committing adultery against his true wife (Matt. 5:32; 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2–12). He is in an unlawful marriage. He needs to be either reconciled to his true wife or remain unmarried (I Cor. 7:39). His supposed second marriage is not a marriage at all because he still has one wife with whom God had made him one flesh with. The first marriage has never been terminated by God. Nothing breaks that except death. If he is not with his wife of one flesh but with another woman, he is committing adultery against his true (first) wife of one flesh. De. 24:1-4 says just the opposite of that. It says, don’t go to back to your wife of one flesh, your true (first) wife with whom God has made one flesh with. If you do that you are defiling the land. But that was Moses precept (Matt. 19:7-8; Mk. 10:3-5). Not God’s. Jesus, God the Son, said that. God said one flesh, one husband and one wife; and more than one spouse equals adultery. Why? Because it’s an unlawful marriage. It’s against God’s law of marriage (Rom. 7:1-4; I Cor. 7:39). It is committing adultery against the true spouse.

Anonymous said...

Let me say this in another way. There is one flesh between husband and wife (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19; Mk. 10). Man leaves his parents and cleaves to his wife. God makes them one flesh. No man breaks that asunder. Only God can end it, through death. You say that as well. Gen. 2:24 says that a (singular) man cleaves to his (singular) wife. There is no plurality in marriage. God permitted it in the OT but no more. The marriage is with the wife of the mans youth (Mal. 2). One wife. One husband. It is to produce godly seed. Divorce produces ungodly seed. God hates it. He doesn’t allow for it. Then they remarry. That is adultery (Matt. 5; 19; Mk. 10). The remarried person is committing adultery against their spouse of one flesh, the spouse of their youth. Why? Because God had made one flesh with their husband/wife and this is not their husband/wife. Gods law of marriage tell us that the one flesh still remains between husband and wife (Rom. 7:1-4; I Cor. 7:39). Only God breaks it, through death. You say these things as well, as I will quote below. Divorce and remarriage is adultery. It doesn’t stop being adultery until the adultery stops. The remarried spouse is committing adultery against their true spouse of one flesh (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mk. 10:11-12). “And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.” (Mk. 10:11). What would stop the adultery? Well it’s no different than any other sin: by stopping the sin. By stopping the adultery. By not being married to “another” anymore! Staying in that adultery doesn’t help anyone, including the unfortunate children of such adultery. And it’s continual sin indeed. Leaving that unlawful marriage and returning to their lawful marriage, their true spouse of one flesh, which would be what true repentance would like and exactly what God expects to stop the adultery (or remain unmarried – I Cor. 7:10-11, 39) is not an abomination that defiles the land (De. 24:1-4) because that was not Gods precept (it was Moses) which God allowed because of the hardness of the lost Jewish hearts. His law is against that, which is what I have just written above, one flesh between one husband and one wife which is unbreakable (Matt. 19:2-6; Mk. 10:7-8). Repentance is true not only when there is confession of sin but also a forsaking of sin. A change of action. Being sorry for adultery but then continuing on in adultery is not repentance and it doesn’t rectify the one flesh that God has made which is unbreakable except by God.

Anonymous said...

Here are some statements you made in that series, just to refresh your memory and prove what I stated in my last post and reflect what I have written above:

Part 1: “Jesus does not recognize divorce as terminating marriage in God’s sight. The reason a second marriage is called adultery is because the first one is considered still to be valid.”

That’s exactly right and my very point. Nothing terminates the marriage. The second marriage is indeed adultery because the first one is indeed still valid.

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

Apparently you have changed your mind about that. De. 24:1-3 does allow for divorce and Jesus said it did in Matt. 19 & Mk. 10. But that wasn’t Gods command. Only death breaks the bond of what God hath joined together. That is exactly my point. Nothing ends a marriage except death of one of the spouses. There is no such thing as a second marriage, unless the partner(s) of the first died. Therefore De. 24 doesn’t stand.

You wrote: “Even when we commit spiritual adultery against Him (James 4:4), the Son will never divorce Himself from us.”

Although Jam. 4:4 is not referring to true believers, I certainly agree that the Son will indeed never divorce Himself from us. Just like you said, a husband and wife that are supposedly divorced are not divorced at all. Only death breaks it.

You wrote: “In Luke, it is not only the divorcing man who is guilty of adultery when he remarries, but also any man who marries a divorced woman. Jesus rejects the common cultural conception of divorce as including the right of remmarriage.”

That’s exactly right, and why De. 24 does not stand, just like Jesus said.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: “The Pharisees justified divorce with their interpretations of Deuteronomy 24:1. The Lord Jesus rejected their intepretations in both Mark 10:2-9 and Matthew 19:3-8 by reasserting the purpose of God in creation, that no human being separate what God has joined together. In Matthew and Mark, the Pharisees come to Jesus and test him by asking whether it is lawful to divorce his wife, having in mind the passage in Deuteronomy 24:1, which simply describes divorce as a fact, without giving any legislation in favor of it. They wonder how Jesus could possibly take a position on the passage, but Jesus’ answer is, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives” (Matthew 19:8). Moses wrote Deuteronomy 24, but he also wrote Genesis 1:27 and 2:24. Instead of looking at case law which dealt with pre-existent sinning, the Lord’s will was to observe the very beginning of the creation (Mark 10:5). From those two passages in Genesis, Jesus concludes: no divorce whatsoever. The Lord rejects the Pharisees use of Deuteronomy 24:1 and exposes God’s original intention in creation.”

Amen! That right there brother proves my very point. De. 24:1-4 allows for divorce but the Lord rejects it because it wasn’t Gods precept but Moses. That is very clear. “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. 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.” (Matt. 19:8-9). Gods command was Gen. 1 & 2, not De. 24. That was Moses precept, but allowed for by God. But it wasn’t supposed to be like that and it isn’t like that anymore. This also applies to second or third etc marriages. There is one flesh (Gen. 1 & 2) and that is with their first spouse.

I very much appreciate your writings and still love you brother. It would be humble to admit you’re wrong in your new position (or if you don’t think it’s new, your position).

Reuben

KJB1611 said...

Dear Reuben, and especially at all else who might be reading this comment section,

Please be aware that neither Pastor Brandenburg nor I have ever taken Reuben's position justifying the abomination of divorce in second marriages. After Reuben's statement:

I very briefly skimmed over your response. ... I have no intentions on responding to your kindergarten style questions.

it was clear that there was no point saying more to him, but for everybody else who might be reading this, please be aware that just as he claims that my essay on divorce and remarriage took his position when it never did, and just as he claims that Baptist history universally took his position but gave no evidence for this and was not willing to back down when I proved that it was not true, he likewise is claiming the Pastor Brandenburg took his position and changed when he has never taken that position. Regrettably, just as Scripture is being misrepresented to justify Reuben's position, so are Baptist history and both my writings and Pastor Brandenburg's writings.

KJB1611 said...

Please pardon a few typos there from dictation software.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting discussion.


Thomas Ross emphasized a salvation concern about adultery in the OT for the patriarchs, if adultery is considered as a fundamental transgression. Let's look at the OT definition of adultery: Leviticus 20:10(KJV)

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.

Adultery is only applicable for when a man consorts with a married wife who belonged to another man. When King David or King Solomon took more than one wife, the women had to be single or a widow according to the laws, not another man's wife. Nathan called Bathsheba Uriah's lamb, Uriah's own possession., his wife. Concubines, virgins, and widows do not belong to a husband. This is why King David attempted to hide his adultery with another man's wife by murder. David repented, a

As long as the other women were not married, then it was not a heaven or hell issue in the OT to take concubines and inferior wives. Only the first betrothed wife was the primary wife with inheritance rights for her and her children. This is one of a number of considerations in the discussion that should be revisited.

Sharon

KJB1611 said...

Dear Sharon,

Thanks for the comment.

In both the Old and New Testaments justification is by repentant faith alone; see the study here:

http://faithsaves.net/just-faith/

not by doing certain works. My point was that Reuben's position requires that everyone must (allegedly) do what Deut 24:4 says is an abomination to the Lord that defiles the land, or must be cursed according to 1 Cor 6:9-11.

I believe your comment also overlooks the difference between God's perfect standard--one man for one woman for life--and what He required in Israel's civil law, which did not place civil penalties upon everything that was contrary to His will. Something like having a concubine was indubitably contrary to God's perfect standard set in Genesis 2, just like lust is contrary to His perfect standard (e. g., Matthew 5:27-28 & the Tenth Commandment with the Seventh in Exodus 20), but lust was not punished as a civil crime in Israel. Divorce was allowed by the civil government even though it defiled and was contrary to God's perfect standard (Deut 24:1-4).

I hope you clearly understand that in both the Old and New Testaments people are declared righteous at the moment of genuine repentance and faith in the Messiah, and that once one is justified, his salvation cannot be lost. If you either deny or are not clear on this (and I do not know enough about you to be able to say one way or the other), please check out the resources here:

http://faithsaves.net/once-saved-always-saved/

Thanks again.

Sharon said...


Yes, I do hold that at the moment of genuine repentance and faith in Christ we are justified by His finished work. When there is a question about salvation, we are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. King David upon Nathan's rebuke examined himself, confessed, and repented of his two sins of adultery and murder. He was a man after God's own heart. He did not continue in adultery, as he married the widow, Bathsheba. David did not marry a living man's wife, nor did he continue in his past egregious sin. He forsook his sin. HIs heart was tender, which is a mark of a true child of God. I think you would agree, that a true saved child of God will not continue in sin since you referred to 1 Cor. 6 "9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." I believe that King David was justified before he chose sin for a span of several months, not a lifetime of years and years of a sin. I often hear pastors take a different position than Nathan, and condone the sin of remarital adultery in those they counsel, thus removing the opportunity of examination, repentance, and forsaking adultery.

Sharon

Sharon said...

Thomas, I only responded to the issue of salvation, but I remembered that I did not respond to your two important remarks, "My point was that Reuben's position requires that everyone must (allegedly) do what Deut 24:4 says is an abomination to the Lord that defiles the land, or must be cursed according to 1 Cor 6:9-11."
and the second:
"I believe your comment also overlooks the difference between God's perfect standard--one man for one woman for life--"

Taking the second point, first, true, King David did overlook Genesis 2:24, "one man for one woman for life" by having more than one woman. Michal was his one covenant wife, the wife of his youth, his companion for life.

An article by Dr Jones and Dr. Tarwater shows that covenants in which God participates are not dissolvable, except by death.

After David returned to Jerusalem, he fetched his covenant wife, Michal, from her second husband, who followed after her weeping. Some say that she was never divorced, but King Saul, the ruler and judge over Israel, would certainly make it all legal for his daughter. King David was never accused by Nathan or by any prophet of an abomination of taking back his covenant wife, the wife of his youth, purchased by David, as his betrothed bride, His one flesh wife.

Since King David was a man after God's own heart, he is a good example I believe, except for the matter of Uriah. Do you believe that the two, David and Michal, were made one-flesh by God's supernatural creative power? It appears to me that it is not an abomination to return to a one-flesh covenant wife after an intervening marriage.


The Link on the Theology of Marriage Covenants. It is excellent and well-researched showing that marriage covenants cannot be dissolved, but by death of one of the parties. I hope you will read their work. http://thirdmill.org/magazine/article.asp/link/http:%5E%5Ethirdmill.org%5Earticles%5Edav_jones%5Eth.tarwater.jones.covenants.html/at/Are%20Biblical%20Covenants%20Dissoluble

Steven Avery said...

Greetings. Thomas, I really appreciate your writings and speaking on Bible issues, including the Hebrew Bible vowel points, Jehovah, Psalm 12, inspiration and preservation, canonicity and more. There are places where I would appreciate your input, such as the solecisms that mar the CT (Corruption Text) on some key variants.

On this issue, I think you (with Kent supporting) are offering a highly unusual "rock and hard place" analysis. The remarriage is looked upon as a terrible mistake, in fact I believe you would agree that it is adultery. At least the initial act, but why should the adultery sin continue?

However, you say, the remarriage should be countenanced because ending the adultery, and standing for the restoration of the real marriage, would be an abomination, you believe, based on Deuteronomy 24. That is, if the true original covenant marriage would be restored, it would be an abomination. (We are putting aside the very difficult "you have to stay single unless the spouse dies" third way.)

The problem in this dichotomy is quite simple. The Deuteronomy precedent for the New Covenant marriage teaching is not substantive. There is no way for it to extrapolate and override the New Testament teachings and the words of the Lord Jesus.

For one, the woman was put away for uncleanness. Now I grant that this might be subject to interpretative discussion, but it may well be that this uncleanness continues, and creates the abomination, e.g. as in the incest situation. Thus, a return to uncleanness would be an abomination.

Yet more simply, the woman was defiled (in terms of returning to her original husband. In the meantime, she actually had a true Mosaic ordinance sanctioned and allowed remarriage. This superseded her one-flesh covenant. All this can not happen today, if the gentleman is alive. This true and new remarriage changed the whole dynamic. In such a way that God considered the one-flesh original covenant attempt to be "gone-covenant", replaced by the remarriage. Thus the earlier relationship is dissolved, and God is saying, essentially, that returning is like a dog to vomit, and a defilement of the land.

The bottom line. Deuteronomy 24 cannot be used against those standing for the restoration of their New Covenant one-flesh wonderful marriage that is in hiatus. Patience unto restoration, or until the passing of the spouse. Salvanoot.

Granted, our churches are so independent, unsupportive and loosey-goosey, so that a woman can be put in a difficult situation, and be very tempted to simply forsake her covenant and move into an adulterous relationship. After all, many churches are filled with adulterers, so why take a stance? Here we need strong teaching, preaching and community and church direction. This is why there was traditionally a stronger understanding on these teaches against remarriage among those oriented more towards community, like the Anabaptists and Mennonites.

Yours in Jesus name,
Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY

KJB1611 said...

Dear Steven,

Thanks for the kind words.

I do not see why Bro Brandenburg and my position, namely, "no matter who you are or what sins you committed in the past, don't divorce now and don't remarry" is a "rock and hard place" position. On the contrary, it is the teaching of Scripture.

You state, "Why should the adultery sin continue?"

Who is saying that a sin of adultery should continue? I am certainly not. Only if one assumes Reuben's unbiblical position does this question make any sense.

The "some uncleanness in her" means something like "a transgression of a matter" (Targum on Deut 24:4) or "indecency, improper behavior" (BDB). She showed she was a sinner, very possibly in a serious way, but God still does not command a divorce in Deut 24, and He says that her remarriage was defiling.

What you call "standing for the restoration of the real marriage" is actually committing another sin of divorce and another sin of remarriage and is an abomination to God that defiles the land, Deut 24:1-4.

KJB1611 said...

You wrote:

"The Deuteronomy precedent for the New Covenant marriage teaching is not substantive. There is no way for it to extrapolate and override the New Testament teachings and the words of the Lord Jesus."

However, there is nothing to override--the texts do not contradict in any way. Deut 24:1-4 itself shows that the remarriage is a sin that causes defilement (v. 4), something also taught in Mark 10, Genesis 2, etc. Nevertheless, Deut 24 says not to divorce and go back to the first spouse, and Mark 10, etc. never says to do this either. There is no contradiction, nothing to override, but a consistent revelation from a God who cannot lie.

Deut 24 is not about incest or something like that. If that were the case, there would be a command to separate. There are no imperatives to divorce in Deut 24--the only imperative is not to go back, and this imperative is true for anyone who divorces, not only for those who were engaging in incest or something like that. Do you really think that when people heard Moses give Deut 24:1-4 shortly before entering the land of Canaan they thought, "oh, that is only true if people are committing incest"?

I do not understand what you mean when you say she was "defiled (in terms of returning to her original husband." The text simply teaches that remarriage defiles.

You state that there is a "Mosaic ordinance [that] sanctioned and allowed remarriage." Where is it? There is no sanctioned and allowed remarriage in Deut 24--no imperative to divorce is found in the text, and the text teaches that the remarriage defiles. Deut 24 teaches that the civil government should allow the sin of divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts--divorce should be legal, just like covetousness and lust--not that God accepts the sin of divorce.

So, unfortunately, what you are calling "taking a stand" is standing for what God calls an abomination to Himself. Nobody should "take a stand" for such a thing.

I have no idea how many Mennonites, etc. have ever taken Reuben (and, it appears, your) extremist position, but I do know that Mennonites overwhelmingly think pouring instead of immersion is "baptism" and teach that salvation can be lost and so are confused on the gospel itself, so just perhaps if they can't even get the gospel right we shouldn't look to them to find out what to believe on divorce and remarriage.

Thank you for not making the extravagantly false claim of Reuben that all Baptists took his position but instead saying that some Mennonites and Anabaptists have taken it (which is, of course, true, as some have taken many other positions from rejection of the Trinity to rejection of eternal security, etc., that are also abominations to God.)

Steven, is Deut 24:4 the only abomination to God that is now acceptable in the New Covenant? Are there any other ones that have been done away, such as human sacrifice, or the occult, or sodomy? Do you see that you have a very, very high bar to pass to prove that what God says is an abomination to Him that defiles the land is now acceptable, indeed, required?

KJB1611 said...


Dear Sharon,

Thanks for the link. Perhaps I missed it, but I did not see the part where they say one must have a second divorce and go back to a first spouse, and, even if they did, I do not see any proof for this assertion.

If you are arguing that David's example of taking Michal back was positive because David was good in everything except in the matter of Uriah you have to say that his polygamy was OK as well, and so was his numbering the people which God punished with a plague that killed thousands, his failure to discipline his children properly but instead raise ones like Amon and Absalom, etc. Furthermore, his taking Michal back is very plainly viewed as negative in the narrative of Samuel. (For that matter, he should never have married her in the first place--she was not godly, did not appreciate David's sincere worship before the Lord but thought it unseemly, had idols around which she could hide in David's bed, lied about David and refused to go with him when he fled, etc.; she was David's first political marriage, a sin which Solomon took to a further extreme--David would never have married her if she had not been the ungodly Saul's daughter.)

Even if the negative portrayal in the narrative of David taking Michal back was not present (which it is), to argue from an absence ("it isn't recorded that Samuel came and specifically said, 'David, this is an abomination, don't take Michal back'") in a narrative that a specific positive precept commanded for all time ("abomination to the LORD," Deut 24:4), or even on the extremist position commanded for the Mosaic dispensation, can be set aside is highly problematic hermeneutics. This kind of hermeneutic could justify anything, and should not be employed to justify an abomination to God which defiles the land.

Thanks.

Sharon said...

Thomas,
Thank you for reading the link on the Theology of Marriage.

Dr. David Jones and Dr. John Tarwater (2005) “surveyed every example of berith (COVENANT) in the Old Testament (267 examples), as well as of diatheke and suntheke in the New Testament (34 examples), and were unable to discover a single example of a dissolved covenant in which God participated" (Vol. 7, no. 38). Man “cannot disannul” God’s covenants (Galatians 3:15-18).

What I was hoping that you would recognize is that a marriage covenant cannot be dissolved by God, nor man, but only by the death of one of the parties to the covenant, either the man or his wife. A life-long covenant cannot be dissolved by divorce nor by adultery, nor abandonment, nor abuse, nor the 1001 other reasons man uses to separate (put asunder) what God has joined. Dr. Jones and Dr. Tarwater were unable to discover a single example of a dissolved covenant in which God participated. Do you believe that the marriage covenant is the one exception to the rule?

Thank you for your kind responses.

Best regards,

Sharon

Steven Avery said...

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the counterpoint. Let's try to follow this closer.
Here are the two questions I would like you to consider and address:

================

Question #1:

Deut 24:2
And when she is departed out of his house,
she may go and be another man's wife.

Is there anything wrong with the remarriage?
Is the woman defiled at this point?
Is her 2nd husband defiled?

And, under the New Covenant, following the words of Jesus, would you sanction such a remarriage today after a civil divorce?
** a key question **

All this was in fact under the Mosaic economy.

And if her second husband died, and the woman then married anew, are you asserting that the third husband would be defiled and there would be an abomination?

Then why does the scripture only relate this to returning to the original now-divorced hubby?

If not, your claim:

Note that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 clearly indicates that the remarriage has caused the woman to be "defiled."

misses that the context of the defilement was solely in returning to a now-dissolved "uncleanness" bond. A bond that the Mosaic economy replaced with a 2nd husband.

================

Question #2 - New Testament teaching today

Thomas:
"Who is saying that a sin of adultery should continue?"

Here my question is simple. A man and woman with a covenant marriage are divorced. The woman (perhaps she considers herself faultless in the matter) waits a while, nothing much changes, and marries hubby #2.

Is this adultery?

And if it is adultery:

When and how does the adultery end?

Is the adultery only the first night?
Or is it an ongoing adultery?

================

Steven, is Deut 24:4 the only abomination to God that is now acceptable in the New Covenant?

No, the remarriage itself is not acceptable,in God's eyes. Do you agree? So there is no analogy. That was simply a Mosaic allowance. Under the New Covenant that 2nd marriage of the woman would have another name

... "adultery."

=================

However, Christians tend to see Mosaic strictures as having been changed:

Deut 14
3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof,

Thomas, if you had a BLT sandwich today, then you consider that lunch an "abomination to God that is now acceptable in the New Covenant."

=================

Steven

KJB1611 said...

Dear Steven,

Question #1: The Hebrew indicates that the "she may go" of the KJV is not "God thinks this is fine" but "this is a possible thing she may do--she may do this, but it defiles her, v. 4." Note the rather hyper-literal translation I provided at the beginning of the post.

Is there anything wrong with the remarriage? Yes.

Is the woman defiled at this point? Yes.

Is the second husband defiled? Yes.

Such a second marriage was neither sanctioned by God under the Old Covenant (Genesis 2; Deut 24:4) nor under the New Covenant (Mark 10), but it was allowed by the civil government because of the hardness of men's hearts. If you are consistent here and you think divorce and remarriage used to be OK but now is not, you have to say, if you disagree, that either 1.) Adultery was acceptable in the OT (yet see the 7th Commandment, Exodus 20), or that 2.) As soon as Christ spoke the words of Mark 10, what was before not adultery now became adultery, so adultery is not always adultery.

I am not sure where you are going with the following question about returning to the now-divorced hubby. It is an abomination because God says it is an abomination. You can't commit this particular abomination unless you have been remarried.

Deut 24 never says that the first marriage was a "now-dissolved 'uncleanness' bond," whatever in the world that is. That would be saying (if In understand your claim correctly) that the first marriage itself was defiling, which the text simply never states nor implies. It also does not say that the marriage itself was unclean, but that the man did not like something "in her," that is, the wife had done something sinful, so that she no longer had "favor in his eyes." Your statement simply is not what the grammar of the passage affirms.

KJB1611 said...

Section #2:

Yes, when a remarriage happens, both parties commit adultery on the first night and the associates of adultery by not having the spouse remain committed to the person to whom he or she had originally pledged lifelong faithfulness.

No, it is not ongoing adultery.

I don't understand your response to my question. Are you saying adultery was allowable in the OT, a "Mosaic allowance"? "No analogy"? The text states, plain and simple, that going back to the first husband is an abomination to Jehovah. Eating bacon is not going to be a good counterexample, because that was an abomination to Israel, not to Jehovah. God cast out the heathen from Canaan because of their abominations to Him that defiled the land, not because they ate bacon. We are not talking about abominations to the Egyptians (Gen 43:32) or abominations to OT Israel (Deut 14), but about an "abomination before the LORD." Jehovah is the One who finds the returning to the first husband abominable. Had the text of Deut 24:4 said "this is an abomination TO YOU" or something like that, you might have a case if you were able to explain away other features of the text, but it does not say it is an abomination to Israel, or even just an abomination (with the party unstated), but that it is "an abomination before the LORD" that "cause[s] the land to sin."

So, Steven, where are the examples where something is an abomination to Jehovah / to God and the thing mentioned changes based on dispensation? If there are none, is that the end of your case for going back to the first spouse and breaking a second set of life-long vows?

Steven Avery said...

Hi Thomas,

For right now, can we just look at this theory or definition:

"Yes, when a remarriage happens, both parties commit adultery on the first night and the associates of adultery by not having the spouse remain committed to the person to whom he or she had originally pledged lifelong faithfulness. No, it is not ongoing adultery."

Is this your general theory of adultery? Let us take the common situation. Joe is a family man, married to Cynthia. Not all that happy, he goes to a bar or even some innocuous event and takes up with Alice, and starts meeting her almost every day, perhaps he moves in, and they get involved the wrong way.

The adultery was only the first night?
Or the first hour?)
Or the first wayward act?

After that, there is no adultery?
Even the next day, at noon, they do it again, but it is not adultery?

Is this your perspective on adultery?
Or does it have qualifications?

Thanks!

Steven

KJB1611 said...

Dear Steven,

Of course in your hypothetical it is continuing adultery, a violation of the lifelong vow made to Cynthia. Taking a marriage vow is a very serious thing.

Now that we have dealt with the hypothetical, let's deal with exegesis. Where are the examples where something is an abomination to Jehovah / to God that defiles the land and the thing mentioned changes based on dispensation? If there are none, is that the end of your case for going back to the first spouse and breaking a second set of life-long vows?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Thomas,

Firstly, I was happy to read Sharon’s comments (and Stevens as well), and she mentioned some points I hadn’t either remembered or considered previous. King David is indeed a wonderful example of this. He would’ve never married Bathsheba, had her husband not been dead (and also the reason why he wanted him dead). In fact, as far as I know and according to my studies of the OT, there is not one example of any OT saint marrying someone that had a living spouse. Yes indeed God has made a covenant between the first marriage, and we know this to be the clear case since He makes one flesh between them and nothing can break that except for death (Gen. 1 & 2). Jesus affirms this truth in the Gospels and Paul further affirms this truth in his epistles.

Secondly, moving now onto to the comments made by Thomas. You are not being honest in saying you have never justified divorce and remarriage. By allowing for a second or third or fourth marriage, you justify the previous divorce and remarriage. Is that not just common sense? I’m not trying to be insulting, but I am scratching my head here (and not because of lice either or itching ears). Divorce and remarriage HAD to take place before any second or further marriages come into play, if, as De. 24 reads, the spouse is still alive. It’s very important to understand that De. 24 is not Gods will or command, and not allowed for by God anymore. God the Son makes that abundantly clear (Matt. 19 & Mk. 10). It was never His will or command. But He did allow it and it was for a very specific group of people: lost Jews. Jesus said that in speaking to the lost religious Jews: for the hardness of your (Jewish) hearts. Well we know that such lingual is only ever applied to lost people and we know that Jesus is referring specifically to De. 24. But even with that, it was not His will because marriage is honourable in all, whether saved or lost, it makes no difference.

Let me repeat here as succinctly and plainly as I can. I'll use Mark 10. In Mk. 10:11-12 Jesus said: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

a) If a man “put[s] away his wife” and “marr[ies] another” woman, he “committeth adultery against [his wife]” (v. 11).

b) If a woman “put[s] away her husband” and “marr[ies] another” man, “she committeth adultery” against her husband (v. 12).

c) That’s very plain, very succinct, very clear language. There is no mistaking that. And it’s no different than what Jesus said in Matt. 5 or 19, and Paul said in Rom. 7 or I Cor. 7, and the Lord said in Gen. 1 & 2 or Mal. 2.

d) The wife and the husband remains the wife and husband until death separates them (Rom. 7:1-4; I Cor. 7:39). NOTHING else separates that one flesh that God has made between husband one and wife one (Gen. 1 & 2; Matt. 19; Mk. 10), except death (Rom. 7; I Cor. 7). They are “one flesh: so they are no more twain, but one flesh.” (Mk. 10:7-9). If they want to separate, they have two choices and remarriage is NOT one of them. Remain separated or be reconciled. That’s it.

Anonymous said...

(cont.)
e) De. 24 is no longer in the picture. (1) "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him." (v. 2) They are referring to De. 24. They are tempting Christ. (2) "And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?" (v. 3). Jesus is referring to De. 24. (3) "And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away." (v. 4) They are referring to De. 24. (4) "And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." (v. 5). Jesus is referring to De. 24. It was the precept of Moses, not God's will. It was not God's law. It was allowed for, because of lost Jews. (5) "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." (vv. 6-9). Jesus is referring to Gen. 1 & 2. This passage overrides De. 24, because it was never part of why God created man. He says man cannot divide and separate what God has put together, like De. 24 does, because He has made one flesh between them. They aren't two beings anymore. Only one. Only death can separate that. Just like only death separates the church from Christ, only death separates the husband and wife (Eph. 5). "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph. 5:28-32). (6) Therefore, Jesus explains, divorce and remarriage is adultery against the husband or wife of the one flesh (vv. 11-12). Its adultery that continues, becase only God can break the marriage covenant of one flesh. And He does that at the death of one spouse. "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." (Rom. 7:2-3). Thats the law of marriage. "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?" (Rom. 7:1). Nothing breaks God's law of marriage, the covenant of husband and wife, except death. Not even De. 24.

f) You are overriding the very words of God the Son and the very plain teachings of Paul the Apostle (which holds just as much weight - II Tim. 3:16) in advocating for divorce and remarriage, by your insistent use of De. 24. You are essentially doing exactly what the Pharisees were doing here (Mk. 10:2-5); they were tempting Christ.

Anonymous said...

So yes, a man that is "married" to another woman needs to either be reconciled to his actual wife of one flesh or remain separated (and vice versa with the woman). That is not an abomination because De. 24 is neither God's will or command. In having married someone else, he is committing adultery against his covenant wife of one flesh (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mk. 10:12). He needs to leave the adulterous relationship and be reconciled to his true wife of one flesh. That is very good and stops the continuation of sin and hypocrisy, and its also what John the Baptist preached (Mk. 6:17-20). You apparently are against God’s clear command and will because of your misapplication of De. 24.

Thomas, you claim I’m advocating for an abomination but the only abomination here is your advocating for adultery and nullification of the one flesh that God has made between the first husband and first wife of a marriage covenant, something of which God the Son said: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:6). You say, LET man put asunder, but God says “LET NOT man put asunder”.

As I said already, find me even one example in a Bible believing Baptist church prior to the 1900’s that allowed for divorce and remarriage or allowed a couple to become members that were divorced and remarried. I come from a anabaptist background and Steven is right, they do understand this subject way way better than the vast majority. And they don’t compromise over it either (for the most part anyway). The truth is, there are hardly any writings on it because it was NOT allowed. It was an abomination. It wasn’t even necessary to discuss it. People knew that it was unacceptable in Scripture. They knew that marriage was “till death do us part.” Tho that professed to be a Christian anyway.

Your position is one of serious confusion. Although I sincerely appreciate your apparent stand that divorce and remarriage is sinful and adulterous and an abomination (these things are certainly true); it doesn’t help you to hold to a hypocritical position in allowing for a second or third marriage, which means you do allow for divorce and remarriage after all, since that had to have occurred in order to reach a second or third marriage. For some strange reason you are not able to comprehend this. And rather, you justify your position with misusing De. 24, a passage that Jesus said does not stand anymore.

Worse, your position is one of hypocrisy. If you want to be faithful to De. 24:1-4, you should always allow for all divorce and remarriage. Not pick and choose. That’s double standards. And there can't be any limit on how many marriages either (De. 24:1-3). And you shouldn’t be writing articles against divorce and remarriage, because De. 24:1-4 is not against divorce and remarriage. And you should stop using the words of Jesus in Matt. 5 & 19 & Mk. 10, for they run contrary (like those of the Pharisees) to the words of De. 24.

Thomas, i know that you are very sincere in what you are advocating here and your interpretation of De. 24, but you are sincerely wrong. I would repeat what I said in the very beginning, the words of pastor Brandenburg: “The only right response to missing what a passage does teach is repentance. First, listen to what you've done wrong. Second, admit you're wrong. Third, get it right. On the other hand, don't go into full court justification of false teaching. Not getting it right is bad enough. Don't make it worse by rabidly defending it when you're wrong.”

Reuben

KJB1611 said...

Dear Reuben,

When you only "very briefly ski[m] over [my] response," call it an "abominable argument," and say: "I have no intentions on responding to your kindergarten style questions," do you really think I will continue to respond when you won't even value my time highly enough to even read what I wrote, much less seriously interact with it?

Steven Avery said...

Thomas
"Of course in your hypothetical it is continuing adultery,"

Thanks. Ok, so you agree in the concept of continuous adultery. Yet you also have a concept of adultery only being one night, or one experience, and then after that the adultery is over and the couple is bonded together and the previous marriage is "gone-marriage".

"Yes, when a remarriage happens, both parties commit adultery on the first night."

Can you specify the dividing line? How do you separate continuing adultery from one night, or one hour, or one experience, adultery? Is it an "I love you". A trip to the Las Vegas chapel for a state-approved marriage? Is it an intention of divorce?, Or any statement of divorce?

If a divorce is put through the state, then all adultery only becomes one night adultery? Or do you actually accept that a state-registered divorce actually dissolves the bond even under the New Covenant?

This is such a fundamental distinction, that I really want to understand your logic. In "one experience" adultery, you are claiming that the new liason couple is supposed to stay together. In continuous adultery the new liason couple should separate.

So where is the exact dividing line?

Thanks!

============

We disagree on Deuteronomy 24, and I believe this unusual concept of fluctuating adultery that you have is at the base of the disagreement.

Remember, I do not see scripture accusing the husband and wife of the second marriage of Deut 24, as you do. I do not see scripture accusing either one of adultery.

So let's pin down first your fluctuating adultery doctrine before repeating and perhaps refining our disagreement on Deut. 24.

Steven

KJB1611 said...

Dear Steven,

While hypotheticals are not wrong, when we are trying to deal with hypotheticals of what happens if one goes to Los Vegas, etc. before we carefully exegete Scripture, we are coming at things the wrong way. We need to know what Scripture teaches first before we worry about hypotheticals, not let our hypotheticals influence or drive our interpretation of Scripture. Thus, we cannot ask hypotheticals and set aside for later dealing exegetically with what Deut 24 teaches. Thus, we need to deal with the arguments I made from this text, which, if they stand, require that your view is necessarily wrong, regardless of whatever we can imagine happened or did not happen in Los Vegas with Joe and Alice and Cynthia. I could imagine hypotheticals about someone who is struck by lightning in between saying "I and "do," but he has thought both the words but not said the second one yet although the air flow is on its way, then becomes brain dead for a while, and then comes back again, and, meanwhile, his spouse or spouse to be marries someone else, but this person had a heart attack and went into a coma, etc. but while I may find such things interesting they would not influence my exegesis of Scripture.

Scripture teaches a number of things about adultery. The physical act outside of the marriage bond is adultery whenever it is committed and however many times this repeated act takes place. In a spiritual sense one can commit adultery even by a lustful thought, and so Christ taught in Matthew 5 that one can commit spiritual adultery even if he is unmarried, although the physical act by unmarried persons would be fornication, not adultery. Christ taught (and Deut 24 likewise supports, in accordance with Genesis 2) that one who makes a second marriage vow commits adultery by entering into that vow and consummating that second marriage. However, Scripture likewise teaches that one who makes a second marriage vow should not divorce his second spouse and go back to the first one, and by teaching this indicates that the repeated act of marriage in a second marriage is not repeated adultery.

I believe you are intelligent enough to be able to use that grid of Scriptural teaching to answer whatever hypothetical you wish to come up with.

Now that I have dealt with more hypotheticals, lets get back to exegesis. Where are the examples where something is an abomination to Jehovah / to God that defiles the land and the thing mentioned changes based on dispensation? If there are none, is that the end of your case for going back to the first spouse and breaking a second set of life-long vows?

KJB1611 said...

A few other exegetical points from before that we will need to explain if we are going to take your position that one must go back to a first spouse, despite Deut 24:4's plain statement that to do so is an abomination to Jehovah:

The Hebrew indicates that the "she may go" of the KJV in Deut 24 is not "God thinks this is fine" but "this is a possible thing she may do--she may do this, but it defiles her, v. 4." Note the rather hyper-literal translation I provided at the beginning of the post.

The "some uncleanness in her" means something like "a transgression of a matter" (Targum on Deut 24:4) or "indecency, improper behavior" (BDB). She showed she was a sinner, very possibly in a serious way, but God still does not command a divorce in Deut 24, and He says that her remarriage was defiling.

Deut 24:1-4 itself shows that the remarriage is a sin that causes defilement (v. 4), something also taught in Mark 10, Genesis 2, etc. Nevertheless, Deut 24 says not to divorce and go back to the first spouse, and Mark 10, etc. never says to do this either. There is no contradiction, nothing to override, but a consistent revelation from a God who cannot lie.

Deut 24 is not about incest or something like that. If that were the case, there would be a command to separate. There are no imperatives to divorce in Deut 24--the only imperative is not to go back, and this imperative is true for anyone who divorces, not only for those who were engaging in incest or something like that. Do you really think that when people heard Moses give Deut 24:1-4 shortly before entering the land of Canaan they thought, "oh, that is only true if people are committing incest"?

You state that there is a "Mosaic ordinance [that] sanctioned and allowed remarriage." Where is it? There is no sanctioned and allowed remarriage in Deut 24--no imperative to divorce is found in the text, and the text teaches that the remarriage defiles. Deut 24 teaches that the civil government should allow the sin of divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts--divorce should be legal, just like covetousness and lust--not that God accepts the sin of divorce.

KJB1611 said...

Deut 24 never says that the first marriage was a "now-dissolved 'uncleanness' bond," whatever in the world that is. That would be saying (if In understand your claim correctly) that the first marriage itself was defiling, which the text simply never states nor implies. It also does not say that the marriage itself was unclean, but that the man did not like something "in her," that is, the wife had done something sinful, so that she no longer had "favor in his eyes." Your statement simply is not what the grammar of the passage affirms.

A second marriage was neither sanctioned by God under the Old Covenant (Genesis 2; Deut 24:4) nor under the New Covenant (Mark 10), but it was allowed by the civil government because of the hardness of men's hearts. If you are consistent here and you think divorce and remarriage used to be OK but now is not, you have to say, if you disagree, that either 1.) Adultery was acceptable in the OT (yet see the 7th Commandment, Exodus 20), or that 2.) As soon as Christ spoke the words of Mark 10, what was before not adultery now became adultery, so adultery is not always adultery. (By the way, isn't either option a "fluctuating adultery" position?)

God's Word states, plain and simple, that going back to the first husband is an abomination to Jehovah. Eating bacon is not going to be a good counterexample, because that was an abomination to Israel, not to Jehovah. God cast out the heathen from Canaan because of their abominations to Him that defiled the land, not because they ate bacon. We are not talking about abominations to the Egyptians (Gen 43:32) or abominations to OT Israel (Deut 14), but about an "abomination before the LORD." Jehovah is the One who finds the returning to the first husband abominable. Had the text of Deut 24:4 said "this is an abomination TO YOU" or something like that, you might have a case if you were able to explain away other features of the text, but it does not say it is an abomination to Israel, or even just an abomination (with the party unstated), but that it is "an abomination before the LORD" that "cause[s] the land to sin."

So, Steven, where are the examples where something is an abomination to Jehovah / to God and the thing mentioned changes based on dispensation? If there are none, is that the end of your case for going back to the first spouse and breaking a second set of life-long vows?

Steven Avery said...

And I would like to add one closely related question that cuts to the chase of the theory of the one-night, one-hour, one-experience adultery concept.

What is the need and nature of repentance that would allow cleansing from that abominable sin of the one-night adultery? There is clearly need for repentance and cleansing by the blood of Jesus.

When and how does it occur?
Is it a momentary tear, a prayer, a thought? Followed by a pastor's nod.

And how is repentance discerned since that one night, one experience, adultery was the stepping-stone for what you view as having become a Godly-sanctioned remarriage, not to be dissolved. Never to be looked back upon.

Can the tryst change overnight from adultery (since there is only one night of adultery) into a second marriage? It all comes out fine if there is some sort of solemn undertone, and the partner and the pastor gives it a wink and a nod.

============

The fundamental question remains .. where is the dividing line? When does continuous adultery change back into one-night adultery, fixing the past.

This question of the impossible repentance (how can a person repent of a tryst that becomes a marriage and dissolves the original one-flesh marriage?) Maybe there should be a solemn holy time where they publicly confess having been adulterers?

All this is simply to show the difficulties inherent in trying to morph adultery into a God and church sanctioned remarriage.

Thanks!

Steven

KJB1611 said...

I'm sorry, Steven, the fundamental question is not your hypotheticals, any more than it is on your fluctuating adultery position at what moment one passed from remarriage (allegedly) being OK to it not being OK in a new dispensation (should I get some hypotheticals going)?. It is what Scripture teaches and what careful examination of the text affirms.

Steven Avery said...

Yes, Thomas. You could use hyptheticals.

You have taken what look to be two contradictory positions.

1) A tryst is a continuous adultery,

2) What was at first a continuous adultery relationship can become legitimate, and then the adultery is reduced to just having been the first night. And now the couple should maintain their "marriage".

Yes, Thomas, you are welcome to use whatever hypotheticals you would like in order to explain how you discern when adultery passes backwards from having been continuous to having only been one night, or one experience.

Thanks!

Steven

KJB1611 said...

Dear Stephen,

When unmarried people engage in sexual sin, it is adultery each time.

People married to each other don't commit adultery with each other.

No contradiction.

Now that we have done more and more hypotheticals, let's do exegesis. If you want to do more hypotheticals, I'm not probably going to have time for it. You can have them to yourself and draw your doctrine from them.

Thanks.

KJB1611 said...

Entering into a new marriage is an act of adultery. Once in a marriage, however entered into, it is not adultery. Thanks.

Steven Avery said...

Hi Thomas,

Now, I really am trying to understand your marriage philosophy, so let us review.

Thomas(now):
"Once in a marriage, however entered into, it is not adultery."

Earlier you said the second marriage was in fact a terrible sin leading to adultery, right through the ceremony and up until the "initial consummation" was completed.

Thomas (before):
"Remarriage is a terrible sin, and the initial consummation of the second marriage is an act of adultery."

Which position is really yours?

==========

Note that you did not cover the common case where the "initial consummation" occurred ** before ** the re-"marriage".

In such a case, where does the continuous adultery end? Do new marriage vows simply end all the former ongoing and continuous adultery?

Zap. Adultery be gone!

=====================

Does the "terrible sin" remarriage function as a type of repentance?
And how and why does one repent of the adulteries that have now ended?

** Since there is no more adultery, no more sin, how and where did the repentance occur? **

=======================

"When unmarried people engage in sexual sin, it is adultery each time".

Nope. That is fornication, not adultery. By definition, adultery involves one or both persons being married. (I think you are aware of this, and just slipped.)

=======================

Thanks for working with these questions. Looking forward to trying to understand your position, to see if it can have consistency.

========================

These are not just theoretical questions. Anybody who entered a "terrible sin" remarriage (their own or their spouse or both) would need to know how it is viewed by the Lord Jesus, and how repentance occurs. If the pastor who ran the ceremony and the new spouse are all gung-ho for the remarriage, how does one effect repentance before the Lord Jesus?

Surely, terrible sin requires repentance.

Steven

Kent Brandenburg said...

Steven,

I haven't followed this debate word-for-word, and I've never been on the other side of this kind of discussion with you. I'm hoping your goal is to know and believe the truth, what God says. From at least this post, it seems to me like you are trying to win a debate and catching Thomas in some contradiction or inconsistency. I don't think this is that difficult. I do get though how that, especially on an issue such as this, which can be very personal and relate to us personally, how that changing would be huge for someone.

I'm going to summarize what I see the passage (Dt 24:1-4) is saying and, therefore, what my position is, which I think is identical to Thomas.

God instituted marriage as permanent, no divorce, in Genesis 2. In Moses' day, because of the hardness of their hearts, some had divorced and remarried. It was allowed, even though it wasn't God's moral will. There were other preexisting conditions like that throughout the OT law, that were not God's will, and then God made judgments on them, essentially gave instruction for people who had already messed things up. This was not, I repeat, not, to change God's teaching on the subject. It was dealing with a preexisting condition, a sinful condition, as seen in a conditional sentence.

The question is, should those divorced and remarried go back to the original spouse? The answer from God is, no. Stay with who you are with, which is to take a preexisting condition and say the same thing about it as what God said about their original situation. Don't get divorced again. You've already messed it up, so keep it like it is. This is not to teach that it is permissible to divorce and remarry -- that is clear.

In Jesus' day, the Pharisees had perverted what Deut 24:1-4 were about, taking it like it was in fact allowing or even teaching divorce and remarriage. Jesus said, no, explaining again that it was Moses permitting it, not instituting something new, changing the old.

Steven, in one or two paragraphs, could you state what your position is, especially telling us what Dt 24:1-4 is actually saying, that is, telling us what your position is? Don't critique what I just wrote yet. Just tell me your position.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Stephen,

The statements you reposted are not contradictory.

I am done ignoring Scripture, which is mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, to deal with hypotheticals like:

Note that you did not cover the common case where the "initial consummation" occurred ** before ** the re-"marriage".

If you think that you are getting somewhere by ignoring the actual text and actual exegesis to ask obvious questions like if people committing adultery / fornication was something I did not deal with, you are wrong.

By the way, here's a hypothetical for you. People are committing fornication. They get married. Zap--fornication be gone! Obviously there has to be something wrong with that, right? It can't be that simple.

By the way, I hope you are not seriously arguing that "only" one act of adultery is a small thing, nothing that is a big deal. If you are, you need to consider what a low view of sin your position is driving you to.

Yes, of course I understand that adultery and fornication are different.


I am not going to give you a complete Biblical theology of repentance. You don't need that in order to understand the simple statement of Deut 24:4 that to go back to the first spouse is an abomination to Jehovah that defiles the land. I think you understand the force of that statement very well, which is why you are ignoring it to bring out more and more hypotheticals.

If you are really trying to understand my position, here it is:

1.) Don't divorce

2.) Don't remarry

3.) Don't divorce a second spouse and go back to a first one

Is that too hard to understand?

If you are still not sure what statements (#1-3) above mean, please use all the effort you are putting into the hypotheticals to understand what Deut 24 says, because that is my position. So you will need to actually deal with the text there.

KJB1611 said...

It seems to me like there is a several-ton elephant in the room—the plain command of God, “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 you shall not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God gives you for an inheritance,” and you are dancing around the room trying to prove the elephant is not there by asking questions about whether the floor could hold up an elephant, how the elephant could eat enough, how the elephant got in the room, what size its shadow should be, and so on, while the elephant is right there in the room, trumpeting every few minutes or so.

For the sake of argument, I will concede that you have hypotheticals that are even better than the ones the Sadducees used to try to prove that there was no resurrection. (Did anyone else in Biblical narrative try to overturn plain teachings of the Bible through using hypotheticals?) Even though I think statements like "you did not cover the case where the 'initial consummation' occurred before the remarriage," are exceedingly poor, I will, for the sake of argument, concede that they are amazing, powerful, and incredible. I will concede, for the sake of argument, that you have shown that I cannot explain myself in a non-contradictory way (although someone smarter than me might well be able to do it--hypothetically, no?). I will concede (for the sake of argument) that I shake in terror just thinking of the next hypothetical that is going to be coming.

If I concede all of the above (for the sake of argument), your position is still wrong, because God has said that what you are advocating iis an abomination to Himself that defiles the land, Deut 24:4. All your hypotheticals fall flat because God says: "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 you shall not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God gives you for an inheritance.”

Here is what you actually need to deal with if you want to prove your position is true. If, as you affirm, you really want to understand my position, then you will really want to deal carefully with Deut 24's statements.

Where are the examples where something is an abomination to Jehovah / to God that defiles the land and the thing mentioned changes based on dispensation? If there are none, is that the end of your case for going back to the first spouse and breaking a second set of life-long vows?

KJB1611 said...

A few other exegetical points from before that we will need to explain if we are going to take your position that one must go back to a first spouse, despite Deut 24:4's plain statement that to do so is an abomination to Jehovah:

The Hebrew indicates that the "she may go" of the KJV in Deut 24 is not "God thinks this is fine" but "this is a possible thing she may do--she may do this, but it defiles her, v. 4." Note the rather hyper-literal translation I provided at the beginning of the post.

The "some uncleanness in her" means something like "a transgression of a matter" (Targum on Deut 24:4) or "indecency, improper behavior" (BDB). She showed she was a sinner, very possibly in a serious way, but God still does not command a divorce in Deut 24, and He says that her remarriage was defiling.

Deut 24:1-4 itself shows that the remarriage is a sin that causes defilement (v. 4), something also taught in Mark 10, Genesis 2, etc. Nevertheless, Deut 24 says not to divorce and go back to the first spouse, and Mark 10, etc. never says to do this either. There is no contradiction, nothing to override, but a consistent revelation from a God who cannot lie.

Deut 24 is not about incest or something like that. If that were the case, there would be a command to separate. There are no imperatives to divorce in Deut 24--the only imperative is not to go back, and this imperative is true for anyone who divorces, not only for those who were engaging in incest or something like that. Do you really think that when people heard Moses give Deut 24:1-4 shortly before entering the land of Canaan they thought, "oh, that is only true if people are committing incest"?

You state that there is a "Mosaic ordinance [that] sanctioned and allowed remarriage." Where is it? There is no sanctioned and allowed remarriage in Deut 24--no imperative to divorce is found in the text, and the text teaches that the remarriage defiles. Deut 24 teaches that the civil government should allow the sin of divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts--divorce should be legal, just like covetousness and lust--not that God accepts the sin of divorce.

Deut 24 never says that the first marriage was a "now-dissolved 'uncleanness' bond," whatever in the world that is. That would be saying (if In understand your claim correctly) that the first marriage itself was defiling, which the text simply never states nor implies. It also does not say that the marriage itself was unclean, but that the man did not like something "in her," that is, the wife had done something sinful, so that she no longer had "favor in his eyes." Your statement simply is not what the grammar of the passage affirms.

KJB1611 said...

A second marriage was neither sanctioned by God under the Old Covenant (Genesis 2; Deut 24:4) nor under the New Covenant (Mark 10), but it was allowed by the civil government because of the hardness of men's hearts. If you are consistent here and you think divorce and remarriage used to be OK but now is not, you have to say, if you disagree, that either 1.) Adultery was acceptable in the OT (yet see the 7th Commandment, Exodus 20), or that 2.) As soon as Christ spoke the words of Mark 10, what was before not adultery now became adultery, so adultery is not always adultery. (By the way, isn't either option a "fluctuating adultery" position?)

God's Word states, plain and simple, that going back to the first husband is an abomination to Jehovah. Eating bacon is not going to be a good counterexample, because that was an abomination to Israel, not to Jehovah. God cast out the heathen from Canaan because of their abominations to Him that defiled the land, not because they ate bacon. We are not talking about abominations to the Egyptians (Gen 43:32) or abominations to OT Israel (Deut 14), but about an "abomination before the LORD." Jehovah is the One who finds the returning to the first husband abominable. Had the text of Deut 24:4 said "this is an abomination TO YOU" or something like that, you might have a case if you were able to explain away other features of the text, but it does not say it is an abomination to Israel, or even just an abomination (with the party unstated), but that it is "an abomination before the LORD" that "cause[s] the land to sin."

So, Steven, where are the examples where something is an abomination to Jehovah / to God and the thing mentioned changes based on dispensation? If there are none, is that the end of your case for going back to the first spouse and breaking a second set of life-long vows? Is it not time to stop claiming that God loves and commands that someone get a divorce to return to a first spouse, what Deut 24:4 plainly says this is an abomination to Him?

Steven Avery said...

Hi Kent and Thomas,

Thanks for our responses. With some pipes busted (now fixed, still have some rehab going on) and some biz stuff, I have been a little behind. And I do plan a full response, respecting Kent's order of discussion (Deut 24 explained, early and more fully than before) shortly. With a little caveat below.

And you are right, Kent, that we never discussed this before. In fact, I have only been writing on this question in the last months. Our previous conversations were Psalm 12 and other pure Bible related discussions.

=================

And I will say, before beginning, that Kent is wrong, even a bit unfair, about trying to win a debate (I would not mind one whit being wrong in this discussion, if it was by Holy Spirit scriptural wisdom and understanding.)

Substantive, major, contradictions unresolved often get right to the heart of an issue. It is "hard case" discussion, iron sharpeneth. If we simply sluff off the hard cases and the needed explanations, or try to turn it into awkward caustic comedy, speaking facetiously, then we are likely defending a paper-thin position.

================

There is one definitional issue that arises. Even in response to what I wrote, Thomas said the same basic words as before:

"When unmarried people engage in sexual sin, it is adultery each time."

This historic definition of the words fornication and adultery do not agree with this statement. For the word adultery to apply, one or both individuals have to be married.

Any sexual sin between two single people is not adultery.

Perhaps Thomas means:

"when unmarried (to each other, yet one or both is married to another) people.."

Fair enough, if that is the meaning. Thomas was trying to say that the adultery is continuous. Right up to the day that there is some sort of "marriage" recognized in some way (e.g. the Las Vegas chapel). Then adultery has ceased because they are not married to one another.

However, the simple, definitional point is clear and important, and should not be fudged. Two unmarried people, people who are not in marriages, do not commit adultery by any acts at all.

Adultery is an offense, before God, against a married spouse. And for there to be adultery, at least one of the individuals has to be in a marriage (and both are committing the offense, not just the one in the marriage.) If our statements fudge this, then they should be changed.

If you disagree with what I am sharing as the historic definition, then please say so. Say that you do believe single people can commit adultery. So at least I will not repeat it a third time and we will have a clearer understanding of our differences.

If you agree with what I am sharing, and want to say that you were writing shorthand, with that understood, then agree. And please avoid the shorthand vagueness in the future. And we can have the definitional agreement.

==============

Thanks!

Looking forward to going over Deuteronomy 24, more excellently!

Steven

KJB1611 said...

Dear Steven,

Yes, if two people are unmarried, they commit fornication, not adultery. My apologies for the lack of clarity. Unmarried people can commit adultery in their hearts, Matthew 5, but it is fornication in the physical act of sin.

Sorry to hear your pipes broke--that can be a very big mess.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Thomas,

Firstly, I was happy to read Sharon’s comments (and Stevens as well), and she mentioned some points I hadn’t either remembered or considered previous. King David is indeed a wonderful example of this. He would’ve never married Bathsheba, had her husband not been dead (and also the reason why he wanted him dead). In fact, as far as I know and according to my studies of the OT, there is not one example of any OT saint marrying someone that had a living spouse. Yes indeed God has made a covenant between the first marriage, and we know this to be the clear case since He makes one flesh between them and nothing can break that except for death (Gen. 1 & 2). Jesus affirms this truth in the Gospels and Paul further affirms this truth in his epistles.

Secondly, moving now onto the comments made by Thomas. You are not being honest in saying you have never justified divorce and remarriage. By allowing for a second or third or fourth marriage, you justify the previous divorce and remarriage. Is that not just common sense? I’m not trying to be insulting, but I am scratching my head here (and not because of lice either or itching ears). Divorce and remarriage HAD to take place before any second or further marriages come into play, if, as De. 24 reads, the spouse is still alive. It’s very important to understand that De. 24 is not Gods will or command, and not allowed for by God anymore. God the Son makes that abundantly clear (Matt. 19 & Mk. 10). It was never His will or command. But He did allow it and it was for a very specific group of people: lost Jews. Jesus said that in speaking to the lost religious Jews: for the hardness of your (Jewish) hearts. Well we know that such lingual is only ever applied to lost people and we know that Jesus is referring specifically to De. 24. But even with that, it was not His will because marriage is honourable in all, whether saved or lost, it makes no difference.

There is a serious hypocrisy of positions here, as Sean has already pointed out. Let me say very plainly here, you CANNOT claim you are against all divorce and remarriage and hold to a the De. 24:1-4 position of both Thomas and Kent. It’s a hypocritical position.

Let me repeat here as succinctly and plainly as I can, the very clear and plain truth of Scripture. Let me briefly digress. This is not rocket science. It’s so very simple, which is why I’am perplexed that this conversation is even taking place. Both Thomas and Kent are very wise in the Bible, but not taking a Biblical position on divorce and remarriage. Why not? You’re not alone, many others take similar views. This is NOT a thing hard to be understood. Okay, let me use Mark 10. In Mk. 10:11-12 Jesus said: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

a) If a man “put[s] away his wife” and “marr[ies] another” woman, he “committeth adultery against [his wife]” (v. 11).

b) If a woman “put[s] away her husband” and “marr[ies] another” man, “she committeth adultery” against her husband (v. 12).

c) That’s very plain, very succinct, very clear language. There is no mistaking that. And it’s no different than what the Lord Jesus said in Matt. 5 or 19 & Lk. 16 and Paul said in Rom. 7 or I Cor. 7, and the Lord said in Gen. 1 & 2 or Mal. 2. NO second or third or fourth marriages. They are not marriages at all. They are adultery. There is only ONE marriage, until death nullifies it.

Anonymous said...

d) The wife and the husband remains the wife and husband until death separates them (Rom. 7:1-4; I Cor. 7:39). NOTHING else separates that one flesh that God has made between husband one and wife one (Gen. 1 & 2; Matt. 19; Mk. 10), except death (Rom. 7; I Cor. 7). They are “one flesh: so they are no more twain, but one flesh.” (Mk. 10:7-9). If they want to separate, they have two choices and remarriage is NOT one of them. Remain separated or be reconciled. That’s it.

e) De. 24 is no longer in the picture. At all. It allows for divorce and remarriage. (1) "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him." (v. 2) They are referring to De. 24. They are tempting Christ. (2) "And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?" (v. 3). Jesus is referring to De. 24. (3) "And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away." (v. 4) They are referring to De. 24. (4) "And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." (v. 5). Jesus is referring to De. 24. It was the precept of Moses, not God's will. It was not God's law. It was allowed for, because of lost Jews. (5) "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." (vv. 6-9). Jesus is referring to Gen. 1 & 2. This passage overrides De. 24, because it was never part of why God created man. He says man cannot divide and separate what God has put together, like De. 24 does, because He has made one flesh between them. They aren't two beings anymore. Only one. Only death can separate that. Just like only death separates the church from Christ, only death separates the husband and wife (Eph. 5). "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph. 5:28-32). (6) Therefore, Jesus explains, divorce and remarriage is adultery against the husband or wife of the one flesh (vv. 11-12). Its adultery that continues, becase only God can break the marriage covenant of one flesh. And He does that at the death of one spouse. "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." (Rom. 7:2-3). Thats the law of marriage. "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?" (Rom. 7:1). Nothing breaks God's law of marriage, the covenant of husband and wife, except death. Not even De. 24.

f) You are overriding the very words of God the Son and the very plain teachings of Paul the Apostle (which holds just as much weight - II Tim. 3:16) in advocating for divorce and remarriage, by your insistent use of De. 24. You are essentially doing exactly what the Pharisees were doing here (Mk. 10:2-5), they were tempting Christ.

Anonymous said...

So yes, a man that is "married" to another woman needs to either be reconciled to his actual wife of one flesh or remain separated (and vice versa with the woman). That is not an abomination because De. 24 is neither God's will or command. In having married someone else, he is committing adultery against his covenant wife of one flesh (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mk. 10:12). He needs to leave the adulterous relationship and be reconciled to his true wife of one flesh. That is very good and stops the continuation of sin and hypocrisy, and its also what John the Baptist preached (Mk. 6:17-20). You apparently are against God’s clear command and will because of your misapplication of De. 24.

Thomas, you claim I’m advocating for an abomination but the only abomination here is your advocating for adultery and nullification of the one flesh that God has made between the first husband and first wife of a marriage covenant, something of which God the Son said: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matt. 19:6). You say, LET man put asunder, but God says “LET NOT man put asunder”.

As I said already, find me even one example in a Bible believing Baptist church prior to the 1900’s that allowed for divorce and remarriage or allowed a couple to become members that were divorced and remarried. I come from a anabaptist background and Steven is right, they do understand this subject way way better than the vast majority. And they don’t compromise over it either (for the most part anyway). The truth is, there are hardly any writings on it because it was NOT allowed. It was an abomination. It wasn’t even necessary to discuss it. People knew that it was unacceptable in Scripture. They knew that marriage was “till death do us part.” Tho that professed to be a Christian anyway. 

Your position is one of serious confusion. Although I sincerely appreciate your apparent stand that divorce and remarriage is sinful and adulterous and an abomination (these things are certainly true); it doesn’t help you to hold to a hypocritical position in allowing for a second or third marriage, which means you do allow for divorce and remarriage after all, since that had to have occurred in order to reach a second or third marriage. For some strange reason you are not able to comprehend this. And rather, you justify your position with misusing De. 24, a passage that Jesus said does not stand anymore.

Worse, your position is one of hypocrisy. If you want to be faithful to De. 24:1-4, you should always allow for all divorce and remarriage. Not pick and choose. That’s double standards. And there can't be any limit on how many marriages either (De. 24:1-3). And you shouldn’t be writing articles against divorce and remarriage, because De. 24:1-4 is not against divorce and remarriage. And you should stop using the words of Jesus in Matt. 5 & 19 & Mk. 10, for they run contrary (like those of the Pharisees) to the words of De. 24.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, i know that you are very sincere in what you are advocating here and your interpretation of De. 24, but you are sincerely wrong. I would repeat what I said in the very beginning, the words of pastor Brandenburg: “The only right response to missing what a passage does teach is repentance. First, listen to what you've done wrong. Second, admit you're wrong. Third, get it right. On the other hand, don't go into full court justification of false teaching. Not getting it right is bad enough. Don't make it worse by rabidly defending it when you're wrong.”

Reuben

p.s. Kent, my family and I watched your daughters wedding. It was wonderful and a excellent sermon you preached. We pray that they bring much glory to the Lord Jesus Christ as one flesh. You also confirmed what I have been saying here all along, that no man can asunder a marriage and live in adultery, which would include those lost men in De. 24:1-3. God doesn’t contradict Himself and He nullifies (repents) of things He has allowed, even when He added a caveat of abomination to it (e.g. De. 24:4).

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi,

I haven't commented here much, because I haven't read the comments. I've skimmed very few. It's why I wanted Steve to give his position in a paragraph. I don't want to read all of this. Thomas is reading it and answering, so despite the personal attacks, which are ridiculous, I'm not going to answer right now. I might come back to this in the future, but I'm not motivated by being called a hypocrite, a supporter of adultery, and things like that. I know they aren't true. I would like the opposite position stated in one or two paragraphs, which hasn't been done yet. I would want it with the basic information, not with speculation and hypotheticals.

We are a no divorce and remarriage church and everyone in our church knows that. Everyone who knows me, knows that. What people are saying in opposition here, I think, is that we in fact do believe in divorce and remarriage if we don't discipline out of our church, members who won't leave a remarriage, even if they were saved after the remarriage. We have to encourage them to be divorced, it seems, tell them they aren't really married but are instead just continuously practicing adultery. I'm not sure actually, but that's what I think is being said from skimming a few of the comments. If someone could tell me if that's right or wrong.

I'm not going to repent of a right, biblical position.

Anonymous said...

I would hope this 11 point “Story” (and the link to the table for comparison) would help both sides clarify and biblically defend their positions for the benefit of all the readers in a more direct, less emotional manner:

“The story of Jack & Jill and a visual comparison of two biblical interpretations of marriage, divorce, fornication and adultery.”

Point 1: Jack meets Jill. They have sexual relations before marriage.
Point 2: Jack & Jill decide to marry.
Point 3: Jack cheats on his wife Jill with Ginger (who is not married)
Point 4: Jack cheats on his wife Jill with Suzy (who is married to Alex)
Point 5: Jill decides to divorce cheating Jack.
Point 6: Jack has sexual relations with Pam who has never been married.
Point 7: Jack and Pam get married.
Point 8: Jack cheats on Pam.
Point 9: Pam divorces cheating Jack.
Point 10: Jack and Jill decide to remarry.
Point 11: Jill dies.

Link to PDF file:
http://www.filedropper.com/astoryofjackandjillandtwobiblicalinterpretations

KJB1611 said...

For anyone who has followed this entire comment thread:

1.) Please note that Steven has not been able to defend his position from Deuteronomy 24.

2.) Please also note that Reuben might not be scratching his head and wondering why Pastor Brandenburg and I take our no divorce, no remarriage position instead of his required divorce and remarriage position if he would spend the time to seriously consider the questions I asked him, instead of ignoring them but spending many, many, many lines repeating invalid arguments while only "very briefly ski[mming] over [my] response" and saying: "I have no intentions on responding to your kindergarten style questions."

I have many pressing matters to deal with which may make it impossible for me to continue to interact on this comment thread, but I believe that it has been instructive to readers who care about Scripture. Others can continue to comment if they like, but they may not get a response from me.

Thanks.

Larry said...

Question for Reuben: If only the first marriage is recognized, then why did Jesus say the Samaritan woman had had five husbands? By your idea, she could have only had one. Was Jesus lying when he said she had five husbands? Or are you incorrect?

Anonymous said...

Larry,

No Jesus wasn't lying. He can't lie. That is why He said what He did. Just because He acknowledged, "For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly" (Jn 4:18) doesn't mean He recognized all those five husbands as genuine marriages. The plain fact is Jesus didn't recognize any of those husbands except the first, because He is God and just like He does't lie, He also doesn't contradict Himself: "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." (Mk. 10:6-9). That pretty plain. Notice the singularity of the nouns ("a man" and "his wife"). And its no different than what God taught Adam and Eve at the first marriage (Gen. 1 & 2). Let God be true and every man a liar.

So was Jesus teaching polygamy? If Jesus actually recognized all five of those marriages as genuine, which He didn't (you are eisgetically reading that into this passage) then it would make no difference whether she was married to each one individually, or all five at the same time. He did say, "Thou hast had five husbands". So it would make no difference, for there is no difference made.

Larry, God doesn't make one flesh between one person and five people. Its always one and one. Thats the pattern throughout Scripture. He even says that above in the Mark 10 reference, and all the other references. There is so much Scripture that speaks of this, even when its not speaking to it (e.g. Jesus and the church, husband and wife-- Eph. 5). Its the marriage covenant, which is likened to the covenant between Christ and His church (and vice versa). Its one flesh between one husband and one wife, and only death breaks that apart. Paul makes that abundantly clear (see Rom. 7:1-4; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39). God said only He can break apart the marriage covenant. He says He does that at death of one of the spouses. Are you trying to tell me that God the Son went against His own Word and recognized the "put[ting] asunder" x 5 with the Samaritan woman? I don't think that conversation was as rosy as you think it was. God drove the dagger of His Word (Heb. 4:12) into her heart, just like He did with the woman caught in adultery (Jn. 8), and it appears both repented (turned from their sin, including their adultery) and were converted. When He had converted the woman in Jn. 8, Jesus said "go, and sin no more." (v. 11). I'm pretty sure that would've also meant, don't continue in your adultery. Unfortunately, today many are continuing in their adultery and its in large part due to the perversion of these passages by pastors and teachers.

I don't think its very wise to overthrow the clear words of Christ in Matt. 19:2-9 and Mk.10:2-12 and Lk. 16:18, with a passage that is not referencing marriage, divorce and remarriage. When the disciples wanted further clarification (Mk. 10:10) of what Jesus had said to the Pharisees about no divorce and no remarriage because of the "one flesh" that God makes between husband one and wife one (Mk. 10:2-10), "he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." (Mk. 10:11-12). He made it very plain for them, as if it wasn't already.

I hope that helps.

Reuben

Larry said...

Actually that doesn't help me at all. In my Bible, Jesus called those men "husbands" which means they were married, unless husband has a new meaning. You seem to agree he calls them husbands but then says he really didn't mean that.

It seems odd to me that he would call them husbands if they weren't husbands, and then say that the man she was now with wasn't her husband. If you were correct, all six would not have been husbands and there would have been no need to distinguish between the five and the one. Yet Jesus does. And you seem to wave it away by saying that Jesus called them husbands but they weren't actually husbands. It seems to me that either they were actually husbands or Jesus said something that wasn't true. The only other option I can see is that "husbands" doesn't mean what it has always meant.

It is possible to be "one flesh" with more than one person (which is why adultery is so devastating). That's the point of 1 Cor 6 and being joined to a prostitute.

Being divorced and remarried is not polygamous because divorce actually ends a marriage.

Lastly, God didn't say that only He can break apart the marriage covenant. The command of Matthew 19 is not to break it apart, a command that makes no sense if they couldn't break it apart to begin with.

In the end, the Bible teaches that divorce happens and is sometimes allowed, and subsequent remarriage is an actual marriage. These are questions that are easily answered by Scripture. What to do after a remarriage is a more difficult question for those who want to be faithful to the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

You demonstrate a lot of confusion over a perspicuous doctrine. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Cor. 14:33). I would probably be confused too if I enjoyed reading John Piper.

It is NOT possible to be "one flesh" with more than one person. You read that into Scripture whereas Scripture says the very opposite: “Therefore shall A MAN leave HIS father and HIS mother, and shall cleave unto HIS WIFE: and THEY shall be ONE FLESH.” All very singular. Jesus repeats it in Matt. 19 & Mk. 10. One flesh means ONE flesh NOT two or three or four, etc. “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Pr. 30:6).

Divorce does NOT end a marriage. Rom. 7:1-3 and I Cor. 7:10-11, 39 (and the passages in Matt. 19 & Mk. 10 & Lk. 16 quoted by Jesus) makes that quite clear indeed: “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.” (Rom. 7:1-3). “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 Cor. 7:39).

That’s all very plain English. Those passages also make it clear that ONLY God breaks the law of marriage through death. You seem to imply that God does not control the death of man. Of course man can break it asunder as we see plentiful today and likely in your circles as well, since you accept it and all, but that doesn’t mean it’s broken apart by God, which is precisely what Jesus was referring to in Matt. 19 & Mk. 10. Man may break it apart, but it’s not apart in Gods law of marriage (covenant). One flesh until death separates it. When someone is married to someone other than their spouse while yet alive, they are living in adultery and who ever marries the divorced spouse is committing adultery (Matt. 19: 2-9; Mk. 10:2-12; Lk. 16:18). “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” (Lk 16:18).

“What to do after a remarriage” is stopping the adultery by fleeing from the adulterous marriage and either “remain[ing] unmarried, or be[ing] reconciled to“ their spouse (I Cor. 7:10-11). Thats it. "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Pr. 30:6).

Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 14:37, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” One of those “commandments of the Lord” written by Paul was NO divorce and NO remarriage (1 Cor. 7:10-11,39).

Believing that divorce and remarriage is permitted, requires rejection of these commandments of the Lord. Paul followed the above passage from I Cor. 14 with: “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (I Cor. 14:38). That seems to be the issue here. Wilful ignorance, along with trumping Spiritual truth with experience, and creating straw men arguments to defend something that is unBiblical.

Anonymous said...

(cont.)

The word behind “husband” in your Bible does indeed have multiple meanings. Jesus might not even have been referring to a “husband” at all, in the traditional sense of the word. The Greek word “aner” does not mean a husband but “a man”, and when defined properly, it’s referring to as an individual male, and can mean anything from fellow, husband, man, to sir. By far it is translated as "man" and "men". So the argument that she was actually married at one time to five different “husbands” in the married sense, might not even be the case. They could’ve been five extra-marital relationships. We don’t know if she was "married" to all five. Nevertheless, whatever Jesus was referring to, we know for sure that He did not say something that went against what He said and commanded in other places (I.e. Gen. 1 & 2; Matt. 19; Mk. 10; Lk. 16). But you are implying that He would have because for you experience and straw men trump plain truth of Scripture. Instead of interpreting the less clear passages of Scripture (Jn. 4:16-18) by the very clear and plain passages of Scripture (e.g. Matt. 19:2-9; Mk. 10:2-12; Lk. 16:18; Rom. 7:1-4; I Cor. 7:10-11, 39), you reverse it. God is not the author of confusion.

This is NOT a subject hard to be understood. It’s very plain, very simple and very perspicuous. It’s all of that beyond probably any other one doctrine in Scripture. Even the lost understand it. That’s because God has made it clear that “Marriage is honourable in ALL, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13:4). You claim "These are questions that are easily answered by Scripture" but you don’t answer anything from Scripture. Using a passage of Scripture that isn’t teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage (e.g. Jn. 4) isn’t rightly dividing the word of truth. It’s what “they that are unlearned and unstable” do (II Pet. 3:16). Justifying wicked sin through wresting the Scriptures won’t help you before God. The only argument anyone has on your side of the fence is De. 24, which doesn’t hold any weight at all.

God is not the author of confusion.

Reuben

Anonymous said...

As one who has seriously tried to know the truth and live it, i have adopted most of the views here at one point or another.
My latest after 2 yrs searching and debating, settled on the "divorce from remarriage, return to first wife, or live celibate if reconciliation not possible".
However I just could never settle how "divorced woman Math 5" could be "caused to commit adultery" if there was not some sort of grace offered by Christ to do so?
Let me clarify, If remarriage be ongoing adultery and must then lead to hell? why didnt Christ just say it, instead of it being a given that she remarry? He has already said " better to lose a body part
than go to hell" Why not say "whoever divorces, except for adultery," forces her to remain single, even perhaps at the cost of her life if no one suppport her fianancially?
I concluded that Jesus was only discussing who would be held accountable at the judgement, therefore the woman is forced to remarry which is by necessity, adultery (watering down/polluting of the one flesh) yet she is not guilty in the judgement.

By the way, if guilty party repents they be forgiven, wether than can right the wrong or not. Except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

I also could never reconcile why it be abomination for woman in Duet 24, to return to first husband, yet according to anti remarriage teaching, in the NT it was commanded?
I totally agree the OT saints did not have the grace we now enjoy, but as rightly pointed out, how can something be abomination because it causes the land (all the people) to sin in OT,but now it doesn`t?

Let me further explain my interest or investment in this debate.

As an unbeliever i married a divorced woman and raised another mans child for 7 yrs, but the marriage ended due to infidelity on both sides,(me first). 6 mths later I was led to Jesus and wonderfully saved. However i could not settle on what I should do, knowing God hates divorce, but having nothing in me that could love her as Christ, yet Paul saying I could be her catylist to salvation.
4 yrs later of trying to "do Gods will" and getting conflicting and weak answers from different pastors, I just gave up and divorced as my wife wanted, i did not have peace afterwards as i acted not in faith, but frustration.

It was 20 yrs later i first came across the no remarriage teaching. I was incredulous that i found only one man in the whole of my country taught this. But it seemed to make sense like a lightbulb of all my experience and feelings. Even before my marriage i wanted to back out but felt unable, and so married in hindsight,under a cloud of
depression. AS a young christian i could not also go to any remarriages of either unbelievers or believers, yet i did not know why.

But now IF it is abomination to go back to first wife/husband? then i should not have divorced my unbelieving previously divorced wife, but should have believed for reconciliation unless and untill it became impossible by her remarrying.

Full circle, i am now leaning towards "all divorce is hardness of heart, but once we see our sin, repent , receive forgiveness, and under no circumstances divorce again. Disclaimer: for safety and sanity it may be wise to separate, yet reconciliation is the eventual goal under Gods guidance.

Larry said...

Reuben,

I agree that God is not the author of confusion. I am not confused at all by Scripture. I am confused by you, however. In John 4, Jesus said she had five husbands and the one she had now was not her husband. What meaning other than "husband" can that have and make sense? "Man" won't do will it? Was Christ saying she had had five men and the one she had now was not a a man? Of course not. Extra-marital relationships suffers from the same problem. It makes no sense at all in the text itself. The question for you is whether or not the text is authoritative or not.

The issue is still settled by exegesis of all passages, not just the ones that fit your view.

You claim divorce is a sin, but then you recommend it. Again, that a confusing position. It makes no sense to me. Scripture, however, does make sense.