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Post D-I-V-O-R-C-E buttrfli24
Let me preface this by saying I have people in both my family and my church family who are divorced, some more than once, and I am not throwing stones. I just have a question.

So a friend of mine who was not raised in Pentecost or even evangelicalism asked me why it was that we don't seem to care about divorce but we are aggressively against other things. I tried to answer her but to be honest, I started feeling silly after a minute or two.

I kept using these little outs like, well... it depends on why they divorced. Were they a Christian at the time? Who instigated it? How many times have they been divorced? It was tedious to say the least.

So... why are we so quick to criticize or even ostracize some people who have situations but we make concessions for divorce now?

Again, I am not throwing stones. I have ministered alongside people with more than one divorce behind them and I know God was using them, anointing them, etc. I just wonder what you all think. Is it an embracing of cultural norms? Is it because so many of us are getting divorced so its not as taboo? Are we more ready to extend grace to people in bad situations? What is it?
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1/7/20 9:22 am


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Post Tough question time roughridercog
Is the Bible an exhaustive treatise on divorce or the plan of salvation? Just asking tough questions today.
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1/7/20 9:32 am


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Post Re: Tough question time UncleJD
roughridercog wrote:
Is the Bible an exhaustive treatise on divorce or the plan of salvation? Just asking tough questions today.


If its not, then we're all just wasting our time.
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1/7/20 9:38 am


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Post If the preposition is .... Mat
If the preposition is at the very beginning following the creation, it was God who instituted marriage between a man and a woman, then to people of faith it matters. It seems that Jesus referred to the Genesis account in His New Testament discourse on marriage and the reason for a divorce. In that account if was so specific even his closest disciples (apostles) suggested it was better not to marry than to violate God's Word.

Our society is consumed with romance, dating, relationships, weddings (and all that entails), being married, many like to do it over and over again. Many who get married will say God put them together, but when they divorce they will say it was God's will, and the next spouse up is the one God really wanted them to have (I think that's Paula White's story).

The Christian culture can look more like the days of Noah when it comes to marriage than the defender of the Divine plan for mankind.

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1/7/20 10:08 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
As a rule, the Scriptures are clearly against divorce and for faithfulness to marriage vows. Even Jesus, God in the flesh, and Moses and Paul, all speaking for God, gave exceptions where divorce is permissible, unfortunate as it is. Situations are compounded nowadays with the widespread availability of no-fault divorce. What is a faithful believer to do when, against their wishes, an unfaithful spouse decides to get a ‘no-fault’ divorce? Or just runs off with someone else, and refuses to be reconciled?

The old-line teaching, which allowed no exceptions at all, and taught that a divorced and remarried person was in perpetual adultery, really punished the victim in many cases.
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1/7/20 11:26 am


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Post Even God got a divorce.... Aaron Scott
In fact, He spoke of how it was (for the Jews) an ABOMINATION for a man to put away his wife, then, after she'd been with others, to remarry her.

To US, that sounds like a love story, doesn't it? It comes across as some sort of "they found they just couldn't live without each other" Hallmark show. But in the Bible it's an abomination.

Yet when God spoke of the matter (speaking of a nation that had turned away from Him), He said "Even though it is an abomination, return to Me again!" He was desperately in love.

No one in my family has ever been divorced, yet I have come to see it in shades of gray instead of black and white. When someone divorces and remarries, some churches act like they need to then divorce their current spouse and return to their former one. Yet the Bible says that is an abomination!

The woman at the well, BY JESUS' ACCOUNT, had had FIVE husbands. That is, Jesus didn't act like only the first marriage counted. He clearly was considering each marriage as somehow legitimate, even if for the wrong reasons (which we don't know the reasons).

Here's the thing: With the exception of loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves (on which hang ALL the law and the prophets), every law of the OT is based on the normal range of human behavior.

For instance, it is wrong to kill someone. Unless in self-defense. Unless it is execution for some crime. Unless in war. That is, in these unusual situations, killing is acceptable. But not otherwise.

Lying? Same thing. If the Nazis knock on your door and wonder if you are hiding Jews, that is not the normal range of human experience. You would like (I hope!) in order to prevent an even GREATER moral travesty (the death of innocents).

And that really is the key: You can break the moral code ONLY if doing so prevents an even greater moral failure. And since there are no greater moral failures than failing to love God and your neighbor, those are never to be broken. In fact, loving your neighbor as yourself might entail killing someone (say someone who was trying to kill your neighbor).

The midwives in Egypt LIED to Pharaoh...AND GOD BLESSED THEM! They understood that the life or death of an infant was the stakes they were playing for, and they did whatever was necessary to prevent this ultimate act of evil against someone.

BACK TO DIVORCE....

The range of divorce-worthy behavior is typically cheating. Typically. But what about a man who beats his wife severely? Or refuses to support her? Or abandons her and the family? Or what if he is drug addict that endangers the kids by driving will under the influence and/or taking them to dangerous places, etc.? And what if, doing these things, he NEVER actually messes around with another woman?

Well, some will tell you that the woman has no reason to divorce him. But these are extreme situations that I believe allow for divorce AND remarriage (divorce is not the sin; remarriage is the key issue).

Consider this simple mental exercise: Which is best: For the women to KILL her husband...or to divorce him? Well, some churches would forgive the murder more readily than divorce. Something is clearly wrong with that.

And, do we suppose that a girl who married at 18, has two kids, and is "forced" to divorce a husband that is violent toward her and her kids, must now live the rest of her life without married companionship to be pleasing to God? Must she and her children struggle financially because she is not permitted to remarry in good faith?

I simply don't buy that. Why? First, because she is having to pay for the sins of her ex-husband--i.e., SHE is the one who supposedly can't remarry if she does what some say she should do, while the husband, already a low-life, could care less what the Bible or the Church says about matters.

Second, I think that the situation is an extreme event, not like the typical range of human behavior in marriages, and so qualifies for an exemption as shown above.

It's not necessarily easy to articulate, is it? Yet don't we find those extreme pacifists (e.g., the ones who don't believe even in defending their families with violence) who have such an easy way of explaining their moral position (e.g., "We don't believe in ANY sort of violence") to come far short of what we believe true morality demands?

No, I don't believe getting a divorce/remarrying is OK just because you have trouble getting along (although I would hasten to add that those who have divorced for these sorts of frivolous reasons can still be forgiven by God--after all, He'd forgive if they KILLED their spouse!). But in extreme situations, I have to believe that a person's life--or the welfare of children--comes before other things. Just as an ox in the ditch allows for breaking of the Sabbath, so, too, are there things that justify the "breaking" of other principles.
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1/7/20 3:28 pm


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Post Re: Even God got a divorce.... Cojak
Aaron Scott wrote:
In fact, He spoke of how it was (for the Jews) an ABOMINATION for a man to put away his wife, then, after she'd been with others, to remarry her.

To US, that sounds like a love story, doesn't it? ...

No, I don't believe getting a divorce/remarrying is OK just because you have trouble getting along (although I would hasten to add that those who have divorced for these sorts of frivolous reasons can still be forgiven by God--after all, He'd forgive if they KILLED their spouse!). But in extreme situations, I have to believe that a person's life--or the welfare of children--comes before other things. Just as an ox in the ditch allows for breaking of the Sabbath, so, too, are there things that justify the "breaking" of other principles.

Good comment, even makes sense, But... but.. It says..... Confused Shocked

Many things are not cut and dried in this world of ours, and divorce hurts many people, But the one thing we must remember God is Love and God Forgives....... Thank God Cool
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1/7/20 3:41 pm


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Post Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject roughridercog
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it. God's grace seems to get much bigger then.

There
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Post Re: Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject Cojak
roughridercog wrote:
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it. God's grace seems to get much bigger then.

There
Said it and I'm glad. Laughing

This is a true statement.

One of our Florida pastors, a wonderful young man. His wife was very uncomfortable (did not like) being a pastor's wife. Gave him the choice quit or I leave. He would not quit. She went to the state overseer and explained to him there was no other reason the divorce was going to happen other than she COULD NOT BE A PASTOR'S WIFE and stay sane.
The church understood stood by their pastor, I am not sure, but he may still pastor that church. He did remarry.
Side note, long after I gave up my credentials, my wife told me, "I was never comfortable as a pastor's wife, but I could have never left you."

Marriage, divorce and remarriage very complicated in today's society and church. Confused Confused Confused
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1/8/20 9:43 am


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Post Re: Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject Dave Dorsey
roughridercog wrote:
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it. God's grace seems to get much bigger then.

There
Said it and I'm glad. Laughing

This isn't always a bad thing. In some cases "relative theology" leads people to compromise. In others -- like this one, IMO -- it causes people to confront rigid views that are not properly rooted in Scripture.
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1/8/20 10:02 am


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Post Re: Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject Link
Dave Dorsey wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it. God's grace seems to get much bigger then.

There
Said it and I'm glad. Laughing

This isn't always a bad thing. In some cases "relative theology" leads people to compromise. In others -- like this one, IMO -- it causes people to confront rigid views that are not properly rooted in Scripture.


I do have relatives who are divorced, and some who are divorced and remarried.

But I also see that much of the church in the US has abandoned the teachings of Jesus and the apostles on divorce and remarriage. I wonder about this about myself, too, but maybe we should be 'getting into people's' lives in a loving way giving them advice and instruction while they are married or if they divorce. I suspect in a lot of cases of divorces for emotional reasons, for 'no fault' reasons the relationships could be reconciled. Maybe some of the couples would have stayed together if the couples had learned, either one-on-one, or in a public setting, how to repent when confronted by a spouse and reconcile differences.

Also, those who divorce for no Biblical grounds at all could be counselled to reconcile or remain celibate. The Roman Catholics sort of have their own system of law apart from the state when it comes to marriage. If you get divorced in the secular realm, but not according to church doctrine, then the church doesn't recognize it. While I'm not Roman Catholic, I think they are realize that the state sanctioning something does not necessarily make it right.

I Corinthians 6 corrects believers for going to law against one another before an unbeliever and implies we should have our own judges, but our people will marry in church and go before secular judges for a divorce.

If the state issues a certificate of divorce, many Evangelicals and Protestants accept that, and think it is okay to remarry-- no matter whether Christ or the apostles taught that divorce and remarriage was allowed in such a case. Why would we accept that if we do not accept a certificate from the state that two men are married to each other? If the state issued a decree that every heterosexual marriage was cancelled and gave all married people divorce certificates, would we accept that? (It's a bizarre and unrealistic but we would have said the same about the gay marriage thing being legislated by the courts 30 years ago.)

I also notice that in two of the gospels, Jesus flat out calls a man divorcing his wife and marrying another man adultery. In two Gospels, He says that he that marries her that is divorced commits adultery. In Matthew, there is the exception clause. I read an argument a while back that in the Greek it means that Jesus was setting aside the topic if discussion fornication. The quotes from early Christians I have read on the subject have an extremely restrictive view of divorce. Things loosened up a bit after Protestantism, but have really unraveled over the past 100 years.

I have also lived overseas where divorce is rare. Out of my wife's extended family, I can think of four divorced and remarried couples, and I might see 500 people at a wedding there, though I've probably met more than that. (A collectivist culture with large families.) There are also a few of them I know who had second wives or adulterous husbands or other issues like that.

In Charismatic and evangelical churches over there outside of relatives, I can think of two Indonesians who were divorced and not remarried. I cannot think of any couples I know to be divorced and remarried. The teachings of the Bible on this topic seem to be taken a bit more seriously, probably like they were in the US in the recent living memory of some of our older posters. I was born in the '70's, so I can't say that about my own lifetime.
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1/8/20 10:22 am


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Post Re: Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject Link
roughridercog wrote:
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it.


I have noticed the same thing with people approving of same-sex relationships.
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1/8/20 10:24 am


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Post Re: Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject roughridercog
Link wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it.


I have noticed the same thing with people approving of same-sex relationships.


That's a hoss on a different track in a different race.

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Post Re: Relative theology seems to kick in on this subject roughridercog
Link wrote:
roughridercog wrote:
People often have this ironclad belief regarding divorce and remarriage...until one of their close "relatives" go through it.


I have noticed the same thing with people approving of same-sex relationships.


That's a hoss on a different track in a different race.

Strutters. Laughing
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Post Dave Dorsey
Link, I think you paint a picture of much of the American evangelical church that is accurate. Many do take biblical teaching about the sanctity and significance of marriage very lightly.

On the other hand, I don't think the comment I made -- that a more rigid approach to this issue is also out of step with Scripture (for example, disallowing divorce/remarriage for abused spouses in marriages in which the abuser does not commit adultery) -- means I am advocating for the things you have rightly challenged. (And I'm not saying you are suggesting it does -- just pointing out that it's not one side or the other.)

There are ditches on both sides of this road, IMO.
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1/8/20 10:59 am


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Post Cojak
Dave Dorsey wrote:
......
There are ditches on both sides of this road, IMO.

I just read this to my wife, I like that statement, I don't think I ever read that before. But it is sure a 'make you think' statement. Cool
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1/8/20 11:21 am


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Post Bro Bob
observation #1:
God himself is all over the place on the rules of coupling throughout recorded history. Four of the twelves tribes of Israel came from servants in Jacob's household, not from his TWO wives. That's right, TWO. Someone remind me, when did that allowance go away again?
Even what David did with Bathsheba (adultery and multiple murders to cover it) did not eliminate the two of them from not only remaining together, but producing offspring that would be in the lineage of Christ.

I can come up with dozens more of these.

observation #2:
The culture, not the Laws, at the time of Christ had already made great changes in all that had gone before. Hence, the grilling of Christ on the issue of "WHAT DO YOU SAY about divorce?"

observation #3:
The woman at the well was given an instruction: "Go and sin no more." This is a clear indication that her life as she had lived it, though sinfully unacceptable, was still redeemable.

observation #4: (which I hate)
In the next life, (in Heaven if you will), she won't be anyone's wife, for there is no marriage there.

****************

I am a single man once again. Something I never planned for and hate.
There was no divorce, God took her. I am allowed in scripture to do many things now I could never have done either scripturally or culturally a year ago. Casual dating any number of single women would be ok. (That didn't work in the 4th grade, and it won't work today.)

Scripture would allow this Boaz to get himself a Ruth. This culture will not allow it and for good reason, it is a horrible deal for them both.

Culture has always come to bear on the written and unwritten rules more than scripture.

I know. I resolved nothing with this post.

The thing about a rule is this: How many ways can we find around it? How many excuses can we make? Can we just do it anyway and ask forgiveness?

I saw Gina's death coming a little late and it preoccupied my thinking away from Bob's quickly approaching future. But before she died, hearing all sorts of tales from divorced women about what even "Christian" men expected from them after dinner at Red Lobster, my mind returned to the best advice anyone ever gave me. My dear Church of Christ friend, Arthur Brown told me one time: "Bob, DO what you KNOW to do, and DON"T DO what you KNOW NOT to do."

That's my only plan.

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1/8/20 1:16 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
Bro Bob... for what it's worth, your extremely transparent posts about the trial you have lived since your wife's passing are convicting, inspiring, and consistently cause my thoughts to focus on our Savior.

I am so sorry this has happened. I hate that you are hurting so much. I pray for you whenever I see your posts. But I am grateful for your willingness to be so transparent on this forum. The perspective you share is sobering but the faith and trust you demonstrate are beyond inspiring.

You are and will remain in my prayers.
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1/8/20 1:54 pm


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Post Link
Dave Dorsey wrote:
Bro Bob... for what it's worth, your extremely transparent posts about the trial you have lived since your wife's passing are convicting, inspiring, and consistently cause my thoughts to focus on our Savior.

I am so sorry this has happened. I hate that you are hurting so much. I pray for you whenever I see your posts. But I am grateful for your willingness to be so transparent on this forum. The perspective you share is sobering but the faith and trust you demonstrate are beyond inspiring.

You are and will remain in my prayers.


How would the words of Christ allow for remarriage if a wife divorced her husband for abuse (or being a bank robber, drunks, drug addict, etc.) Paul says if a wife departs, 'let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.' Surely there were some husbands who were abusive (drunks, robbers, etc.) when Christ and the apostles were teaching about such things, and they did not make an exception for such things.
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Post Dave Dorsey
Link wrote:
How would the words of Christ allow for remarriage if a wife divorced her husband for abuse (or being a bank robber, drunks, drug addict, etc.) Paul says if a wife departs, 'let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.' Surely there were some husbands who were abusive (drunks, robbers, etc.) when Christ and the apostles were teaching about such things, and they did not make an exception for such things.

Well, that's my point. Relative theology -- walking with a loved one who endured chronic abuse from someone who professed to be a believer and refused to leave his wife but fully denied Christ with his actions -- would probably result in (what is IMO) a more nuanced, whole-Scripture approach to this question. Smile

I don't think an abusive spouse professing to be a believer subjects the wife to 1 Cor 7:10-11 and denies her the liberation of 1 Cor 7:12-15. It seems crystal clear to me that if a man is abusing his spouse, he is not a believer and is not consenting to live with her, and she is therefore not enslaved to endure his abuse or never know the joy of marriage.

I realize there is disagreement on this subject, but I think this is an issue where the mainline church could stand to be a whole lot more rigid and the conservative church could stand to have a little more grace. And with respect, I will leave things there.
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1/8/20 2:48 pm


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