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Author Topic: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage  (Read 31154 times)

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Offline Sherman Nobles

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Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 02:35:00 »
Hello everyone,

Several years ago I came across some information that revolutionized my understanding of Jesus' statements concerning divorce.  As I researched further, I soon found many scriptural inconsistencies in the traditional doctrine of marriage, divorce, and remarriage (MDR).  Thus I wrote a book on the subject entitled, "God Is A Divorce' Too!  A Message of Hope, Healing, and Forgiveness".  Much of it can be previewed on amazon; however, I will be presenting a condensed version of it on this thread. 

I realize that this is a very controversial heated subject, but I pray that we can reason together without attacking each other.  Personal attacks typically reveal a weakness in the argument, communication skills, and/or character of the attacker.  It takes strength of character and argument to be gentle.  So please, let us do proceed with respect for each other and do our best to refrain from personal attacks. 

The doctrine of MDR is a mammoth, elephant-sized discussion, far larger than can be dealt with in an article, or even a series of articles.  And many of the things that I will present will challenge long-held beliefs and assumed meanings of phrases and interpretations of scripture.  Thus, I propose that we eat this elephant one bite at a time.  To start with, let me define what I mean by the traditional doctrine of MDR.

The traditional doctrine of MDR asserts that Jesus disagreed with Moses, and intended to repudiate (reject as invalid) the bill of divorce, making marriage indissoluble.  Some ministers amend this to say except for adultery or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (the Pauline privilege).  Marriage came to be considered a sacrament, under ecclesial authority, and indissoluble – resulting in a “No Divorce
« Last Edit: Sat Nov 17, 2007 - 08:26:26 by Sherman Nobles »

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Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 02:35:00 »

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #1 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 03:33:34 »
“Why is this topic important to me?

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #1 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 03:33:34 »

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #2 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 13:41:26 »
The Divine Ideal - The Goal,   Becoming One Flesh,

How one defines marriage is foundational to the theology of marriage.  What is marriage?  I believe it is a covenant-based relationship whereby a man and woman are legally and socially united for the purpose of establishing a new family.  It is “the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family

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« Reply #2 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 13:41:26 »

Offline Akrabbim

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #3 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 14:31:23 »
Sherman, the topic on how to treat people who are divorced, divorcing, or remarrying is a very upsetting issue to me.  I have had people try to guilt me into boycotting Christian musicians who are divorced (or have had affairs) and dissolving friendships with people who are going through marital troubles.

I just don't feel urged by the Holy Spirit to give up on my friends like that.  I just assumed that the marital troubles are between my friends and God.

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #3 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 14:31:23 »

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #4 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 15:28:53 »
Sherman, the topic on how to treat people who are divorced, divorcing, or remarrying is a very upsetting issue to me.  I have had people try to guilt me into boycotting Christian musicians who are divorced (or have had affairs) and dissolving friendships with people who are going through marital troubles.

I just don't feel urged by the Holy Spirit to give up on my friends like that.  I just assumed that the marital troubles are between my friends and God.
Akrabbim, that's a very good assumption to hold and thanks for sharing.  When it comes down to it, MDR is primarily a personal moral issue, though with limited civil oversight forbiding specifically immoral relationships and acts.  One of the most important issues that we must determine biblically is which authority structure is MDR under; is it personal, domestic (familial), ecclesial, or civil authority that governs MDR?  I'll cover that more later. 

Concerning your friends, I encourage you to continue to be there for them as a support.  Concerning Christian musicians who have or are going through divorce, the last thing they need is for everyone to boycott them.  How about let's pray for them and maybe find some way to bless them and encourage them in the Lord. Now that's a novel idea -- being loving and caring instead of judgmental and condemning!

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Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #5 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 22:49:03 »
Civil Law Designed by God

Before we look at the New Testament passages concerning MDR, it is very helpful to review the key passages in the Old Testament, especially Deut. 24.1-4. 

After delivering Israel from the slavery of Egypt, Moses definitely had his hands full maintaining order, and establishing religious and civil law and authority structures for the new nation of Israel, much less facilitating the radical paradigm changes required by the giving of the Law of Moses.  Law, inspired by God, was to be the foundation of man’s government, rather than man governing man in the form of a dictatorship–civil, domestic, or religious!  

Many of the teachings of Moses brought significant positive social reform in the treatment of disenfranchised segments of society, especially women, children, slaves, and aliens (as in foreigners, not extraterrestrials).  In fact, most of the laws concerning marriage, divorce, and remarriage are for the protection of women.  In Moses’ day, the legal and social standing of women was drastically lower than that of men.  Women had few rights except those given them by their closest male relative.  In most Ancient Near Eastern cultures, women were considered property and almost completely dependent upon their father’s, husband’s, or owner’s good will.  This is still prevalent today in some of the Arabic countries of the Near East.

In his book “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible,

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #5 on: Wed Sep 05, 2007 - 22:49:03 »

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #6 on: Thu Sep 06, 2007 - 22:29:03 »
Civil Law Designed by God  part B

Concerning specific guidelines for marriage, divorce, and remarriage, relatively little is mentioned in Moses’ teachings or the remainder of the Bible, especially considering the importance of the subject.  Moses forbids sexual intercourse and thus marriage with a close relative (Leviticus 18:6-17), marrying a woman and her sister (Leviticus 18:18) or a woman and her mother (Leviticus 20:14), and a priest marrying an expelled wife or prostitute (Leviticus 21:7).  A daughter in line to inherit property was not allowed to marry outside of her tribe (Numbers 36:8); and if a man took a slave girl as his wife and then married another, he was not to diminish the slave wife’s food, clothing, or conjugal rights.  If he decided to divorce her or refused to meet her needs equitably in comparison to his other wives, she was to be given her freedom at no cost (Exodus 21:10 & 11).

Concerning divorce, a man who rapes a virgin must marry her if her father demands/allows it; and that man is never allowed to divorce her (Deuteronomy 22:29).  A man may never divorce his wife whom he wrongfully accused of not being a virgin at the time of their marriage (Deuteronomy 22:19); and a man that divorces his wife may not remarry her if she has subsequently married someone else even though she is widowed or divorced by her second husband (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). 

Note the clarity and specificity with which Moses dealt with these issues.  Moses does not forbid divorce; nor does he establish guidelines for acceptable or non-acceptable reasons for divorce.   Apparently, the common practice of the guilty party in a divorce losing the dowry was sufficient and that Moses, as inspired by God, saw no need for further civil legislation.

Moses clearly does not forbid divorce or a divorcée to marry again.  In fact, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 makes provision for a divorcée to remarry legally with no fear of social or legal retribution.  Even polygamy was not outlawed; and Exodus 21:10 & 11, Leviticus 18:18, and Leviticus 20:14 all assume that polygamy would continue. 

Having briefly reviewed the Ancient Near Eastern and Old Testament biblical culture of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, let us examine closely the passage concerning divorce that Jesus is questioned about in the Gospels by the Pharisees, Deut. 24:1-4.

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.  (NKJV)

This passage is a prohibition of a man remarrying his ex-wife after she has married another man, regardless of whether her second husband dies or divorces her.  One must ask why?  Why would Moses write this law?  What problem did this law address?  These questions cannot be correctly answered without an understanding of ancient Near Eastern cultures.  Recall that one of the primary reasons something is mentioned in the Pentateuch is to highlight beliefs and practices where the Israelites were to be different than the surrounding cultures. 

In ancient Near Eastern cultures, if a man dismissed or abandoned his wife, he could reclaim her several years later though she had married another man and had children with her second husband (Dr. David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible. 28-33).  Not only was her first husband able to reclaim her, but he could also claim, as his own, any children from her second “marriage.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #7 on: Sat Sep 08, 2007 - 01:33:01 »
Just a note to share with everyone my joy in finding out this week that my book, "God Is A Divorce' Too!" is a required text for the "Family Law" class in the law school at Regent University!   As we continue with this thread you'll find out that I believe that MDR is under civil authority and that Moses', Jesus', and Paul's directives concerning divorce are best understood through the lens of the culture that they addressed, especially the civil law concerning MDR. 

Of course, before my book was published I asked pastors, ministers, and theologians from a wide range of denominations, including the CoC, to review the manuscript and endorse it.  I was gratified and affirmed when almost all did so, and the couple that did not endorse it did not do so based on personal reasons, not because they found any errant interpretations or non-substantiated information.  It's my prayer that my book will bring great freedom to the church.  Jesus said, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."   

Blessings,
Sherman

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #8 on: Sat Sep 08, 2007 - 01:39:37 »
Is Marriage a Sacrament?

Marriage is the legal and social union of a man and woman in an interdependent familial relationship established by the contractual exchange of relational vows—a marriage covenant.  But is marriage a sacrament?

A sacrament is “a formal religious act that is sacred as a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality; especially one believed to have been instituted or recognized by Jesus Christ.

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
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Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #9 on: Sun Sep 09, 2007 - 12:58:22 »
The Covenant of Marriage

If the other dimensions of marriage are slats in a wooden barrel, the Marriage Covenant is the set of steel rings that holds them together.  It is the fundamental element that defines a relationship as a marriage.   Sexual intercourse does not constitute a marriage.  Having children together does not constitute a marriage; nor does just living together.  To marry someone is “to join as husband and wife according to law or custom.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #10 on: Tue Sep 18, 2007 - 17:59:32 »
Introduction to Jesus on Divorce

As an introduction to a detailed discussion of what Jesus said concerning divorce, I would like to briefly look at Paul’s quote of Jesus on this subject in 1 Cor. 7:10-11 for I believe these two verses summarize well Jesus directives concerning divorce.  A detailed discussion of 1 Cor. 7 will be covered later in this thread; but for now let’s take a brief look at Jesus’ words. 

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart (χωρισθaναι  chorizo) from her husband.  But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce (aφιέναι  aphiemi) his wife.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #11 on: Fri Sep 21, 2007 - 08:26:07 »
The “Plain

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #12 on: Fri Sep 21, 2007 - 09:00:51 »
Do you actually type all this stuff, or are you just copying it from someplace?

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #13 on: Fri Sep 21, 2007 - 09:59:48 »
Do you actually type all this stuff, or are you just copying it from someplace?
Much of it comes from my book which I typed, but I adapt it and condense it for this forum.  I also continue to study the subject as I interact with others and they raise questions, concerns, or information that I haven't previously considered.  I'm always looking to learn more. 

Blessings,
Sherman

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #14 on: Fri Sep 21, 2007 - 10:06:19 »
Do you actually type all this stuff, or are you just copying it from someplace?
Much of it comes from my book which I typed, but I adapt it and condense it for this forum.  I also continue to study the subject as I interact with others and they raise questions, concerns, or information that I haven't previously considered.  I'm always looking to learn more. 

Blessings,
Sherman

To be completely honest, I just skimmed your posts. But from what I've seen they look very sound and biblical. When I have more time, I'll devote more reading here. I'm sure I will enjoy your perspective from whats I've already seen.

Thank you for taking the time to share your work with us, especially on this difficult topic.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #15 on: Fri Sep 21, 2007 - 10:55:35 »
To be completely honest, I just skimmed your posts. But from what I've seen they look very sound and biblical. When I have more time, I'll devote more reading here. I'm sure I will enjoy your perspective from whats I've already seen.

Thank you for taking the time to share your work with us, especially on this difficult topic.
You're more than welcome, and thanks for your openness and honesty.  I realize the posts are long and thus far a monologue, but I hope they are a blessing.  And I hope they will instigate more discussion in the future.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Matthew 19:1-3
« Reply #16 on: Mon Sep 24, 2007 - 16:33:40 »
As mentioned before, the doctrine of marriage, divorce, and remarriage is a mammoth, elephant-sized discussion.  Of course, the critical issue, the crux of the matter concerning the doctrine of marriage, divorce, and remarriage concerns the meaning of Jesus’ difficult statements in Matthew 5:31-32, 19:8-9, Mark 10:10-12, and Luke 16:18.  I call them Jesus’ difficult statements because without understanding their cultural, historical, literary, and authorial context they are difficult, if not impossible, to interpret and correctly convey the meaning of the author.

You’ve likely heard before, “A text without a context is a pretext.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Mt.19.4-6 Jesus' desire for us - heaven on earth
« Reply #17 on: Wed Sep 26, 2007 - 14:23:52 »
So, the Pharisees, hoping to trap Jesus in his words, ask him concerning the lawfulness of the Hillelite No-Fault (Any-Matter) divorce legislation. 

Mt.19.4-6
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

There are a few things concerning these verses that are helpful and important to note in our quest to understand Jesus’ directives concerning divorce.  Let me ask you, how do you hear Jesus’ reply?  What is the tone of His voice?  He knows the Pharisees are trying to trap him; how has he handled other such traps? 

Matthew and Mark record this confrontation.  Luke briefly mentions the difficult passage on divorce.  But John doesn’t mention either the confrontation or the difficult verse; instead he tells the story of the woman caught in adultery.  This too was a trap for Jesus.  In that story, Jesus responded by drawing on the ground, telling the one without sin to throw the first stone, and then telling the woman to go and stop sinning.  Jesus knew the Pharisees were not interested in justice or righteousness, but in self-advancement and maintaining their control over the people.  So what was Jesus’ tone? 

Unfortunately, many people hear Jesus’ reply as harsh, even angry, pointing his audience to a Standard, that standard being the relationship between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  However, rather than speaking in a harsh, strict, unyielding, uncompassionate, arbitrary, judgmental tone setting a “STANDARD

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #18 on: Wed Sep 26, 2007 - 15:50:29 »
Mt.19:4-6 Marriage - Indissoluble or Breakable

One of the foundational elements of the traditional doctrine of MDR is the belief that marriage is "indissoluble", unbreakable.  However, Jesus’ own words directly imply that marriage is breakable—not indissoluble!  Unfortunately, many times when sharing this concept, people “assume

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Mt.19.7-9 The Pharisees' 2nd Question & Jesus' Reply
« Reply #19 on: Wed Oct 10, 2007 - 16:37:55 »
Well, we finally come to the crux of the matter, the seed of much division in the Church for centuries concerning MDR -- the difficult statement of Jesus in the Mt. 19 passage.  Please pardon the length of this post, I shortened it as much as I could and still explain why I understand and thus interpret this passage differently than how it is traditionally interpreted. 

Based upon the historical and cultural context, we’ve established that the Pharisees’ trap “likely

Offline kamakaz

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #20 on: Thu Oct 11, 2007 - 11:02:20 »
ok this is a lot of reading and thinking. I admit I hold to the traditional and hard beleive of the plain text. Once you are married that is it, except for adultry or abandonmnt, but am open to concider other interpretations. This will take some time to research and i am going out of town for a couple days, but wanted to reply that i have read some of what you wrote and agree and not quite agree with some of it.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #21 on: Thu Oct 11, 2007 - 11:07:22 »
Kamakaz,

Great, I look forward to hearing more.  And I appreciate your gracious reply.

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #22 on: Thu Oct 11, 2007 - 22:54:25 »
Here is why it is so important to me...

When I got saved, and dedicated my life to the LORD, I was married, my mother had just died, and I had children.

My husband actually did look me right in the face and say... "I do not want to be married to a Christian"... and promptly left us to fend for ourselves.

My church, was my only family. No car, no monies, nothing but a church family who said to me... "Come, though your sins be as Scarlet, they can be white as snow"... and lived it. They gave me rides, they checked on me, they gave us food, they rented me the parsonage.. they fed me spiritually, and they loved us... this same church is where my husband met Jesus.  And then, he asked me to marry him. He thought when we met that I was an only child... that is how alone I was with my children. I rode the Church bus every Sunday just to get there to hear that WORD... It was my life source.

I have NINE brothers and sisters.  Nine... and it was my church who stepped up and took me and my kids under their wing.  That is where the rubber meets the road. And when we got married, I went to my pastors and sought truth about marriage and remarriage.

My sisters in the LORD bought me a wedding dress, and one made my bouquet.  Another kept our kids while we eloped. My husband adopted my children, and today... 23 years and 7 kids together... No one is telling me there is no grace for the divorced and the remarried.

I've even heard the preaching that if you are divorced and didn't stay single, you must divorce and go back or be single.. FAT CHANCE getting me to dirty up this marriage bed that way.  Either grace at the cross is grace, or it isn't. I'm remarried, and I am staying that way. God Bless!  ::tippinghat::

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #23 on: Fri Oct 12, 2007 - 06:46:33 »
kensington, thanks for sharing.  Most Christians except the most hardline on this issue would probably agree you had a classic I Cor. 7:15 situation.

Not to minimize your situation in any way, but, try being the "guilty party" in a divorce situation (or marrying one).  See how they treat you then.  Been there, done that.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #24 on: Fri Oct 12, 2007 - 09:01:38 »
Kensington, thanks for sharing.  I'm very glad that your church treated you so well. That is awesome.  Sadly, that is not the norm in most denominations or non-denominations. 

Blessings,
Sherman

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #25 on: Fri Oct 12, 2007 - 09:11:34 »
Quinn, thank you too for sharing.  I'm very sorry for the negative treatment you've received.  Sadlyl, among most denominations, there is little if any forgiveness for those who were the cause of their divorce, though they are repentive for their actions.  It's very sad.  I find it amazing that John does not mention the difficult passages on divorce; rather, he tells the story of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus did not condemn her, but did encourage her to repent and live in righteousness knowing the acceptance and forgiveness of God.  It's also very possible that the woman caught in adultery was in that situation because her husband had expelled her but had not given her a bill of divorce.  Thus she was almost resigned to a life of adultery, living with another man not her husband. 

Anyhow, I pray that you'll be filled with God's love for you and yours.

Blessings,
Sherman

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #26 on: Fri Oct 12, 2007 - 09:20:29 »
Quinn, thank you too for sharing.  I'm very sorry for the negative treatment you've received.  Sadlyl, among most denominations, there is little if any forgiveness for those who were the cause of their divorce, though they are repentive for their actions.  It's very sad.  I find it amazing that John does not mention the difficult passages on divorce; rather, he tells the story of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus did not condemn her, but did encourage her to repent and live in righteousness knowing the acceptance and forgiveness of God.  It's also very possible that the woman caught in adultery was in that situation because her husband had expelled her but had not given her a bill of divorce.  Thus she was almost resigned to a life of adultery, living with another man not her husband. 

Anyhow, I pray that you'll be filled with God's love for you and yours.

Blessings,
Sherman

another interesting thing on that a very interesting story, one of the best I think.

Who was she committing adultry with? Where was the other party of that party? The penalty was for both, but appearently they had a double standard going on. And what if it was one of the pharasees who did the act with her so that they could activate their plan, which had nothing at all to do with this woman, but rather everything to do with trying Jesus and see if they could catch him off guard.

What is most interesting is what was Jesus writing in the sand? Scripture? or maybe He wrote out peoples names that were their, and then also their sins. I always wondered why no one claimed to be without sin, the pharisees could have easily claimed that (and possibly/probably believe it) so why did none of them step up? I think Jesus exposed their hidden sins to everyone there. just a theory though. Who says the bible does not have mystery and suspense! Just try and imagine that scene as it unfolded. The woman was probably dragged out naked screaming and fighting and trying to cover herself as all these men where looking on and asking to stone her. and Jesus probably all so calmly sat down and started writing in the sand, must have blown the minds of everyone there.

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #27 on: Fri Oct 12, 2007 - 09:38:15 »
Or it's possible that he shielded and covered her, and knelling beside her writing in the sand - Pride, Self-righteousness, Hypocricy, Lust, etc., with Fire in His Eyes, ANGRILY and Forcefully said, "He who is sinless throw the first stone!" All the while, kneeling beside the woman caring for her!  Maybe he was writing in the sand because he was so angry, that if he spoke he might just blow them away and he just took the time to count to 10 and control his anger!!!!!

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Mark 10:1-12
« Reply #28 on: Mon Oct 22, 2007 - 19:33:11 »
Hello again, and thank you for taking of your time to review this and possibly discuss it.  If you haven’t read the previous post on Matthew 19:1-9, please do so; some of the things that I share in this post will make more sense based on information shared there. 

First let’s note that the Mark 10 passage is significantly different than Matthew 19, though very likely telling the same story.  These differences are very important and help us understand both passages and how to interpret and apply them to our lives, family, and society. 

In order to come to a clear understanding of what Mark meant, it’s important to recognize his target audience.  Most biblical scholars agree that Mark wrote to a Roman audience.  This is evidenced by several things, but especially by the lack of information and phrases in Mark that would have meant much to Jews, but little if anything to Romans.  For example, the “any matter

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Doesn't God Hate Divorce?
« Reply #29 on: Wed Oct 24, 2007 - 16:32:49 »
For a change of pace, let's look at the following.

A scripture often quoted in discussions about divorce is Malachi 2:16; “For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Luke 16.18 Divorce in the Context of the Parental Love of God
« Reply #30 on: Sun Oct 28, 2007 - 23:03:31 »
Luke 16.18  Divorce in the Context of the Parental Love of God

In Chapter 16, Luke briefly mentions Jesus’ words concerning “putting away.

Offline Howie26

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #31 on: Mon Oct 29, 2007 - 10:54:31 »
Sherman,

I would like to know your thoughts on what I would call a simpler interpretation of Jesus' words about this.  It is the idea that Jesus was not being literal.  He was teaching with hyperbole (an intentional exaggeration to make a point).  I think especially about Matthew 5:32, "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery." (NIV)

I wonder if this is hyperbole, because what sense does it make that a woman is divorced by her husband, presumably against her will, and she gets tagged as an adulteress?

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #32 on: Mon Oct 29, 2007 - 14:38:46 »
Actually, the Puritans believed these difficult statements concerning divorce were hyperbole, as you suggest.  And it is possible.  However, there is significant evidence, biblical and extra-biblical that suggests that there were actually two problems Jesus was addressing:

1) Men expelling their wives and not giving them a bill of divorce.  This left them in a sad state of affairs, no family, no support, and not able to legally marry another man.  If she did marry, she and the man that married her were committing adultery, and were not legally married.

2) Marriages ending because of hardness of heart, and spouses divorcing so that they could marry another.

But either hyperbole or the cultural understanding that I present result in the same basic principles:

a) Marriage is breakable and should be treated with care.
b) There are moral and immoral reasons for divorce, but divorce breaks the marriage union regardless of the reason.
c) Remarriage is not contingent in any way upon the reasons (moral or immoral) for the previous divorce(s).
d) God recognizes marriages that do not fit the divine ideal, and will bless people in their current marriages if they but trust and follow his lead.

Offline WileyClarkson

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #33 on: Mon Oct 29, 2007 - 22:21:58 »
Hey Sherman,

On this subject we are in agreement   ::clappingoverhead::

Offline Sherman Nobles

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Re: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
« Reply #34 on: Mon Oct 29, 2007 - 22:33:47 »
Hey Sherman,

On this subject we are in agreement   ::clappingoverhead::
Praise the Lord!  See miracles do still happen!   ::noworries::