I am new to this forum, and I specifically came here to see the IFB views about Divorce, Re-Marriage, Adultery and Ministry. I am an IFB and have wrestled for years about this topic, because of my desire to be in the ministry. I can say that this has been a subject of great debate since the 1st century and, knowing that God is not the author of confusion, I can only conclude that Satan has used this to divide churches and create sects that do not glorify God. One thing is clear to me; "The husband of one wife" means what it says. A one woman man, committed to the one he is married to, whatever the situation, be it death or divorce...BUT, I must continue!
First of all, I would like to say that we are not under the Law in the sense that our flesh must perform all that is written or perform sacrifices to atone for the wrong we have done, but Grace did not abolish it: on the contrary, Grace fulfilled it all in Christ. We are new creatures in Him which is a great miracle in itself. But being a new creature does not mean that anything goes in the church. Nothing in the Law itself gave the commandment "Thou shalt not Divorce". Moses allowed it only because of the hardness of men's hearts. But, the Law did say "Thou shalt not commit Adultery". Jesus went on to teach that even if you look on a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery with her in your heart. Is the issue here really Divorce, or is it Adultery? If the issue is Divorce, then I am convicted that the issue is settled. But, if the issue is Adultery, then no man has the right to be a Pastor or Deacon under Jesus' definition of Adultery. Now, there is no man in the ministry who would admit to this secret sin, and any man that would say that he has never committed adultery is a lier. But, Jesus Himself linked the two together. Adultery and Divorce go hand in hand. Not that both the husband and wife committed it, but someone in the relationship did and Divorce was the outcome. But the two are also separated in some cases. The lack of Adultery is not listed as a requirement for being a Pastor or Deacon, but Divorce is. Why? Also, to be a Pastor or Deacon one must be blameless! Who of you that fill the pulpit is blameless? The answer of course is NO ONE! So, what are we to do?
It is unfortunate that today sex is everywhere. The clothing that men and women wear in the secular world is unbelievable, to say the least. We would have to wear blindfolds to keep from looking a second time. So, I believe that for this debate, everything must be simplified because I believe Jesus made it simple. Divorce is Adultery. You just can't get around it. I have tried, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit will not allow it! ANYONE who Divorces his wife SAVE FOR THE CAUSE OF FORNICATION, causes her to commit adultery (Matt 5:32, Matt 19:9). Now, we can slice it, dice it, filet it, and beat it to death, but, Divorce is Divorce, and if you have divorced, there is NO scripture that will support a man being a Pastor or Deacon. I have tried to get around it, but have always been convicted to the contrary. I believe the following to be the reason.
First of all, there are still those men that are available for ministry that God has CALLED to be Pastors and Deacons, (although this too is waning in this present evil world). Men who are married to their first and only wife. The reason for this requirement is first, for those exact men, and second, because of the world. If we do begin to fill the offices of Pastors and Deacons with Divorced men, then it will erode marriage (more and more Pastors or their wives will be tempted to Divorce), it will diminish the offices, and it will bring controversy and contempt from the World. Remember; Rom 14:21 "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." Therefor, I will not allow myself to do a great disservice to the church or the Kingdom of Heaven by allowing myself to be ordained as a Pastor of Deacon. Can I still preach? Yes. Can I still serve in the mission field? Yes. I can do any other thing but fill these offices FORMALLY. I have been disqualified. Also, I believe that those in these offices have a responsibility to not, through action or inaction, create an environment that seemingly makes Divorce an unpardonable sin. Use those whom God has given to you to use the gifts the Spirit of God has given them. Don't be guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit in someone's life.
I also must remind the reader that if men were to regard the requirements of 1 Tim 3:2,12, and Tit 1.6, then I fear there would be no Pastors or Deacons. So, the argument could be made that our standards have become relaxed in filling these offices.
So, I exhort everyone that reads this to do the Word, preach the Word, quench not the Spirit, love the brethren, don't do anything that will cause a Brother or Sister to stumble and above all else, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your spirit. AMEN
When Jesus says the only way you can divorce your wife and it be permitted, is if she commits fornication (either before or during betrothal, I suppose), is it a situation where the woman would be married to the person she had relations with, in God’s eyes (relations=marriage?) or was it not something that had to be done, but would be permissible for other reasons?
Basically, what if the woman was truly repentant of her past actions and truly loved and wanted to be a good wife to the man. Would the man have to not be with her, to be in God’s will, because by God’s law, it would be forbidden, or is it something you can choose to do, if you decide that you can’t trust her or it was shameful in appearance or something?
Also, is a marriage only legitimate if one of them is saved? I think I’ve heard that, but wanted clarification.
I hope my question makes sense!
By Bangoo james
I am a 20 young christian electrical engineer (studying at a Polytechnic University + working in Electrical Power Systems) from Europe, and I want to ask you for some godly advice concerning marriage, more exactly arranged marriages.
First of all, before I say something about this, I want to ask if God has picked a spouse for everyone. The idea for me is that there is no specific Bible verse or passage that speaks of God picking specific persons for us to marry. There are four examples, Adam, Isaac, Hosea and Joseph, concerning God arranging marriages but all of these were special circumstances and I don't see how can we build a doctrine on special interventios of God to stipulate that He arranges marriages. The Bible speaks of finding wife but it also says that a good spouse is a gift from God. Apostle Paul says if someone decides freely in his heart then to marry his duaghter and in the following verse he also says that if someone single decides the same then he also should get married. Moreover, God through the Holy Spirit advised us to choose not to marry, saying that he who marries does god but he who not does better because he is concerned with God's work and not with pleasing a spouse. He also wants to spare us from the hardship of marriage and life. He recommends us virginity and celibacy and seeking the Kingdom but also encourages us to marry due to immorality. I for one don't have this gift and I know for sure that I can't stand to be single in celibacy so I will get married. Moreover, Bible talks about Abraham taking a wife, Judah taking a wife etc. Proverbs 31 was written for helping young men find a good godly wife. I agree that God guides us through the Holy Spirit and gives us wisdom to seek and find a wife. The Bible says that we should inform God of our plans and intentions and He will bring things to pass. But it is one thing to say that God guides us and something else to say that He is picking spouses for everyone. It is certain for me that the story of soul mates is mythical and originates from movies, romantic novels and from Plato's philosophy. There are some logical problems I find with this issue. If God picks someone for everybody what happens if the person dies? Isn't the story of soul mates wrong? Because Bible encourages remarrying after the spouse's death. But what if one chooses the life of celibacy even if he is not gifted with this? What will happen than? What's the point of love then if God arranges everything? Who is to blame because so many young men and women are not yet married and is not sure that they will ever be? And moreover the Bible says that love is a choice and not a sentiment based on feelings. It involves feelings but basicaly is not this. It is strange because if we carefully put into action the biblical pattern for love and marriage roles described by Paul then we could get married with anyone and have the most happiest marriage from all times. And if we're honest, I think that in the end everybody chooses freely to marry with someone not because God said them to do so. There are examples of people that are saying that their marriaged was arranged by God and I don't know what to say than just affirm that there is no biblical support that God promised or sweared to us that He will arrange our marriages. Better is to say that God is guiding them through the Holy Spirit and helping in the process of finding someone to marry. In the end, if God arranges marriages shouldn't be them perfect? Why is that that these are not? I am saying all these to you because as I've said I am on the point of having an arranged marriage and I am very concerned to do God's will in my life. It was not our parents idea of arranged marriage, but ours: we at some point in life (each one individually) told our parents to look for a spouse for us and from this particular point things evolved until her parents found me and my parents found her. It is not a forced marriage neither from me nor from her. We have freely decided to marry each other and there is no pressure from our parents to act this way so we are not forced into marriage. I want to kindly ask for some godly advice concerning this idea that God has specific persons in His mind for us. It would be against God's will if we would have an arranged marriage? From what Scripture says I think not and more than that there is good biblical suport that God will bless our marriage giving the fact that we will be marrying in the Lord. Thank you for your attention and I hope that we will be in touch very soon. I am looking forward for your answer. Yours sincerely, Stephen
By Jordan Kurecki
Many point to this passage to teach divorce and marriage in the case of adultery:
Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
similar wording is also found in Matthew 5
I believe the exception clause refers to
1. Incestuous marriages (See Leviticus 18) (I also believe all sodomite "marriages" and sad that I have to say in our time and age but beastiality "marriages" would also be invalid as well, though I realize our passage in question relates to husband putting away a wife)
2. Betrothal unfaithfulness
Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her,saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil
Some other things to consider:
1. The NT teaching for Husbands
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
If Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, how can we justify someone putting his wife away for adultery? Does Jesus divorce us and end his relationship with us when we are unfaithful to him?
2. Suffering for righteousness
1 Peter 2:20-21 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
3. God hates divorce
2:14-16 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
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.
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.
Matthew 19:4-8 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
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.
4. Other NT Passages
1 Corinthians 7:10-11 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.
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.
5. When you make a vow that "Till death do us part" I do not believe adultery gives you the right to break that covenant and promise you made to your spouse to love them and care for them "Till death do us part".
6. If you were committing adultery, would you want your spouse to divorce you? or would you want her to love you and pray for you until you came to a place of repentance? We are to do to others as we would have done unto ourselves.
Just some final notes, I do not see how the verse in Corinthians that says "is not under bondage" can mean they are free to remarry, in my opinion that is something read into the passage. Also I realize that under the Law of Moses God allowed remarriage, however, it is said that was for the hardness of their hearts, I do not think God ever was happy with any kind of divorce, God clearly hates divorce, and New Testament Christians should go far beyond the letter of the law of the Moses because we have the Spirit of God indwelling us.
Please pray for my family, brothers and sisters in Christ. I was an abusive, drug addict, drinking, adulterous husband in the past. My wife left me three years ago because of it. She was also adulterous. I have since been saved, am completely regenerate in Christ, but my wife is not. We have since started dating for 2 months, still living separate. She is now pregnant, praise God, but I am afraid she might be considering an abortion. Please pray for us. I don't think you need our names, God knows who we are and He will know that you are praying for our situation.
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