If you marry a divorced woman, you’re committing adultery!

Matthew 5:32b …and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

(See also Matthew 19:9)

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

If your wife was previously divorced, you’re in a perpetual state of adultery.

I’m not sure what to recommend to those in this situation. Please don’t attempt to divorce your wife to free yourself from this sin. We’ll show later that God hates divorce (which could be also considered a sin). This is truly being between a rock and a hard place.

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64 responses to “If you marry a divorced woman, you’re committing adultery!

  • heardofgod

    This one’s easy. Jesus was showing those who live under the Law that they were not flying under the radar. Moses gave them permission to divorce but that was not God’s intent for marriage. God wanted marriage to represent his relationship with Israel. To turn your spouse away was a bad thing to God. Jesus was preparing the Jews for righteous judgement that would take place shortly after their killing him, by saying, “You haven’t got one over on God through a technicality. You will be judged according to your heart. So fill up the measure of your sin.” Basically Jesus sprung on them that there are no loop-holes in the Law.

    But even Jesus said that marital unfaithfulness is a proper cause. In all your quote mining you have not realized that according to the law, no one who had moabite blood could enter the assembly up to the tenth generation, yet David was the grandson of a moabite woman and he was loved by God. And no one who was emasculated by tearing or cutting could enter into the assembly yet Daniel was highly regarded by God. What God desires most is for us to act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with him. Blessed is the man who’s sin is never counted against him. That’s me.

    Oh, And the adultry would not be perpetual. Mainly because it doesn’t say that.

    1Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

    Maybe that is why you have a hard time with God’s justice. You can’t see the heart, duhhh! So everything is okay now. See? Silly you.

    I know, I know. It’s not that easy.

    Love ya friend,

    Sam

  • joe

    as sensitive and difficult this subject of divorce is, you need to elaborate/explain in depth what the text says, joe

  • lou

    You are wrong wrong wrong! It is a sin for you to tell my husband that he is living in sin. He is a widower and I was divorced because my first husband left me for another woman. If you don’t believe me then get Rich Atchley’s DVD on Marriage Div and Remarriage. rhchurch.org (Richland Hills Church of Christ in Richland Hills, TX.

    Now my husband is thinking of divorcing me because you are saying that marrying a divorced woman is living in sin. You should not play God that is sinful. Divorce is not an unforgiveable sin. Jesus died for all sins period!!!
    If I were you I would repent of you having this website. Matthew 5:32 says that if a man divorces his wife, except if she commited adultery, it causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. Jesus is saying if you throw away your wife and marry another woman then you are committing adultery AND if you marry the woman that leaves her husband to get with you then you are committing adultery. Also what Jesus means when he says the “causes her to become an adulteress” does not mean that when she remarries someone then she will be committing adultery, it means that the guilty husband has caused her to break the marriage vows. Breaking the covenant is also an adulterated action. Adultery is not only a sexual sin by the way. Ask Rich Atchley and he will clear things up for you. And then if you get rid of this anti-remarriage website then it will be helping to save marriages.

    • Liz

      Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. “Jesus is saying if you throw away your wife and marry another woman then you are committing adultery AND if you marry the woman that leaves her husband to get with you then you are committing adultery.” People can twist things to their way of thinking and it can be so confusing. What clears it up is that God is love and Jesus died for our sins.

      • aaron

        You wrong read the scriptures Matthew 5:31-32 Matthew 19:7-9 Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18. Find out the meaning of fornication and adultery two different things…… because the hardness of your heart people was divorcing. That why it say if you marry someone who been divorce you committing adultery.

    • Mark

      Dear Lou,

      I would like to talk to you about your situation. I have Rick Atchley’s DVD you mentioned on MDR. My wife used to attend the Richland Hills Church of Christ. I have attended there myself several times.

      Thanks,
      Mark

    • aaron

      First look up the meaning of fornication and adultery…. You will find it two different meaning. Read Matthew 5:31-32 Matthew 19:7-9 Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18…. if anyone marry a divorce woman or man is committing adultery…. Every day they stay in that marriage they are living in sin. Don’t be deceived.

      • Tim

        Let me suggest you people need to stop and look deeper into our Savior’s reason for his sacrifice. Stop being so legalistic like the Pharisee’s were doing. They were throwing away their wives like property because they could not control their lust for women. Jesus is saying stop divorcing because when you have sex outside of your marriage or have your lustful eye on another woman then divorce your wife and marry that other woman you are committing adultery. Jesus refers back to the beginning because that’s God’s ideal. But then the fall of man screwed that up. So Jesus is saying stop being immoral and stick with your own wives, stop treating them as property. Stop covering your moral failure with your legalism.
        Jesus recognizes divorce and so does God. Divorce is divorce and marriage is marriage. I would not divorce my wife over what you people are saying about “being still married to an adulterous ex-husband in Gods eyes”! That is no where in the Bible. Jesus was against divorce not remarriage. God hates divorce. So to add to the bible that he is saying don’t ever remarry and you must abandon and divorce your wife, leave/abandon your children with a single mother , remain celibate or try to remain celibate and risk your soul with your burning lusts. Jesus said if you so much as look at a woman with lust you’re committing adultery. With Satan roaming around looking who to devour next, what makes you think a once married man can remain celibate or not lust especially in this day and time with media constantly displaying women as sex objects. I know a man who is considering divorcing his wife because she was divorced when they married. And admitted to his wife while he was out of town that he lusted for another woman on TV. Then says he will be able to control those desires with Gods help after he divorces her. If God was going to do that why didn’t God control his lust that time. Don’t fool yourself people. Satan is alive and well and loving his doctrine of demons telling people to stay single and never remarry. Telling people to divorce to repent and commit the sin of divorce which God Hates.. Divorce is hell on earth , worse than death of a spouse. Just the fact that the bible does say God hates divorce would make me research even more before I committed the sin of divorcing out of remarriage. Jesus did not say divorce your wife to get out of adulterous marriage. But God did say he hates divorce. It’s in the bible in black and white and I would not ever think about doing anything God hates and is written in His word.
        The permeance view says Paul is saying in the verse that says a woman is married to her husband as long as he’s alive. Yes that’s true. But a woman is not married to her ex-former husband as long as he is alive. Paul is talking about a married couple not a divorced couple. That’s in back and white. Divorce is divorce, and if it’s not breaking of the covenant of marriage then why did Jesus say it could be broken when he said “let not man separate/put asunder.” If marriage couldn’t be broken then why did Jesus say it. I’m not questioning Jesus. If you’re thinking of divorcing your spouse then I would stop and make a list of your new beliefs, type it up and list the words that are in the bible, words Jesus said, words God said, write down what Jesus said and did not say. Fast and pray over it. Concentrate on researching only the reasons you need to stay in the marriage. Put as much time into why you should stay with your spouse as you have put into why remarriage to a divorced person is sin. Research did Jesus die for every sin or all sins but adultery and did Jesus really mean I’m living in perpetual adultery by being married to a divorced person. Jesus did not say perpetual adultery!
        Also what boggles my mind is that permeant view says never never divorce but do divorce out of a remarriage. That doctrine of the devil doesn’t hold water to me.
        Thanks for reading and I would appreciate Godly replies. And I would appreciate knowing if I said anything that sparked some hope or possibly caused someone to rethink any life altering decisions such as desertion of their wife or husband.
        God bless.

      • Mark

        Jesus said remarriage to a divorced woman is adultery. If it’s not perpetual adultery, then tell me when does it stop being adultery? After the wedding ceremony, after the honeymoon, 1 year after the wedding, when? If you could answer that question for me, then I might consider your whole argument as being valid, i.e. the one time sin of adultery can be forgiven and the remarried couple can remain together. If it’s a perpetual sin, then like any other perpetual sin you know you are committing, you need to confess it, and then forsake it. How do you think God will bless a union he calls ADULTERY? Why didn’t John the Baptist just tell Herod to stay with Herodius, since they were “married” and God would forgive them? No, he told Herod the marriage he was in was unlawful and that was hard to accept, just like this whole controversy of divorce and remarriage is hard to accept today. And John lost his life for presenting Herod with the hard truth. I realize the celibacy issue is a difficult consequence of all this, expecting a man to live celibate for the rest of his life. But I also know that we have the gift of the Holy Spirit if we are a Christian and the power of the Holy Spirit is much greater than anything Satan can throw at us. God said He would not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, but will always offer a way of escape. You keep saying God hates divorce. He does hate the divorce when it occurs with a first time covenant spouse. It never ceases to amaze me how people will encourage people to stay in an adulterous remarriage because they made a vow with that person, but forget about the vow they made to their first spouse which they broke. Which vow carries more weight in God’s eyes, the first or the second? I think the answer to that is obvious. Malachi said the Jews were dealing treacherously with the wife of their youth in divorcing them and remarrying younger pagan wives. He wanted them to produce Godly offspring with their covenant spouse. He said He hates divorce, a statement you keep repeating. But the divorce He hates is the one against his covenant spouse. 1 Corinthian 7:10,11 gives a woman who divorces her husband two options, either remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. Anything beyond that is violation of God’s command. And you say she is only bound to her husband as long as they are legally married. Well, Paul said she was “unmarried”, but he still called her “ex-husband” her “husband”. How do you explain that? God still recognizes a marriage bond to exist even after a legal divorce. Yes, man can divorce his wife, putting asunder what God has joined together, but God still recognizes a covenant bond even after a legal divorce. Otherwise He would not call a remarriage after the legal divorce adultery.

      • Tim

        Mark you said: “Jesus said remarriage to a divorced woman is adultery. If it’s not perpetual adultery, then tell me when does it stop being adultery? After the wedding ceremony, after the honeymoon, 1 year after the wedding, when? If you could answer that question for me, then I might consider your whole argument as being valid, i.e. the one time sin of adultery can be forgiven and the remarried couple can remain together”.
        According to Jesus, the one and the only legitimate ground for divorce is physical marital unfaithfulness, that is, any sort of physical sexual immorality, including but not restricted to adultery (Matt. 5:32).
        According to Jesus, for a man to divorce his wife for any reason other than sexual immorality (for example, incompatibility, falling out of love”) makes her an adulteress and her new husband an adulterer (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). The assumption behind these words is that the divorced wife will remarry and have sexual relations with her new husband.
        Some people have argued that Paul declares any remarriage after divorce to be adultery, and therefore wrong, citing Romans 7:3a as proof: “So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.” This is a misinterpretation of this text. To establish the pivot point for his analogy about Christians’ relation to the law (Rom. 7:4ff.), Paul states that women in Jewish society were bound by law to remain married to their husbands, for women in this society had no legal right to divorce (Rom. 7:2). The only way out of a marriage for a woman in Jewish society was through the death of her husband (Rom. 7:2, 3b). Thus when Paul says: “If she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress” (Rom. 7:3a) he does not imply that a divorce has taken place, since the wife could not divorce her husband. He is simply saying that if a married Jewish wife marries another man while her undivorced husband is alive, she is committing adultery because she still is married to her first husband.
        Conversely, he says if you are “loosed” (Gk. luo), that is, divorced, don’t seek to be married. But “shouldest thou marry, thou hast not sinned.” In other words, if you choose not to follow his suggestions, you have not sinned. The “thou” in this verse (vs. 28) clearly refers to divorced people. Paul is saying divorced people can remarry, presumably if they meet the biblical requirements for having a legitimate divorce (see above).
        http://www.rbvincent.com/BibleStudies/divorcejhughes.htm

        You said: “You keep saying God hates divorce. He does hate the divorce when it occurs with a first time covenant spouse.”
        Where in God’s holy word does God say he only hates the divorce when it occurs with a first time covenant spouse? Be careful not to put words in a Gods mouth.

        You said: “It never ceases to amaze me how people will encourage people to stay in an adulterous remarriage because they made a vow with that person, but forget about the vow they made to their first spouse which they broke. Which vow carries more weight in God’s eyes, the first or the second?” Both carry weight in God’s opinion (mind). God allows divorce and remarriage if a spouse has committed sexual immorality with another person other than their spouse. The adulterous ex-spouse is the one that severed the covenant. People that don’t hold on to the fact that sex outside marriage is not legitament grounds for divorce and remarriage have apparently become desensitized to sex everywhere and /or to what it feels like when the one flesh covenant has been broken. Imagine your spouse (if you have one) having sexual intercourse or any type of sex sins with someone else.
        It’s devastating to say the least. No wonder God said screwing or sexual relations of any kind with another is grounds for divorce and remarriage. If you deny Jesus said this then you are rejecting what Jesus when he said “except for sexual immorality” in Matthew 19:9. What do you believe Jesus meant when he said that to the Pharisees? Because Jesus said it and I will not leave out any word Jesus said. Will you? Do you dare?

      • Mark

        First of all, you’re making the assumption that many have made that the Matthew 19:9 exception clause includes adultery when the word Jesus used as an exception was “fornication”, the Greek word “porneia”. The Greek word Jesus used for adultery in the very same verse was “mocheia”. If he meant adultery as an exception why did he not use the Greek word for it in this verse? In various places, such as Matthew 15:19, the two words fornication and adultery are used side by side in a list of sins to be avoided, That would seem to indicate they probably have different meanings. Rarely, if ever can I think of a scripture in the New Testament where fornication is used specifically to mean adultery. It usually refers to either premarital sex, such as with prostitutes (1 Corinthians 6 and 7), or incest (1 Corinthians 5). I realize many will say, including some Greek lexicons, that fornication is a broad term for any sexual sin, including adultery. But you really have to look at the context in any verse to determine exactly which sexual sin is being referred to. In my mind anyway, I don’t believe you can necessarily conclude that the fornication in Matthew 19:9 is sexual sin within a consummated marriage. It could be referring to premarital sex committed by a bride who held herself out to be a virgin before she was married. (Refer to Deuteronomy 22:13-21), or as many who hold to the “betrothal view” for the exception clause, illicit sex by a prospective bride during the Jewish betrothal period.
        The Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 exception clauses have been the source of great debate for centuries. So I cannot say with 100% certainty exactly what Jesus was referring to when he said “except for fornication”. You probably are aware that nowhere else in NT scripture is the exception clause mentioned. Mark, Luke nor Paul mention it in their texts on divorce and remarriage. You also assume in 1 Corinthians 7:27 that the man who is “loosed” from a wife includes a divorced man, and furthermore you say in verse 28 where Paul says he does not sin if he marries, that this allows a divorced person to remarry. Could not the “loosed” in verse 27 include a never married man or a widower? If Paul is giving permission for any divorced person to remarry, he not only appears to be contradicting himself in the same chapter (refer to verses 10 and 11) but also contradicting Jesus, who said when a divorced person marries another, they commit adultery, a sin. Let’s assume you’re right, that a man can put away a wife and marry another if she commits adultery in a marriage. Can a wife also put away an adulterous husband and remarry without sin? Luke 16:18 says if a husband divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Answer me this…. If adultery is grounds for a wife whose husband has committed adultery, to remarry without sin, why is the put away wife charged with adultery if she marries another man? She could be completely innocent, did not want her husband to divorce her. But Jesus said at least 3 times (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, Luke 16:18), the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Maybe you don’t realize it, but the early church fathers in the first few centuries after Christ all agreed, almost without exception, a divorced woman whose ex-husband was still living, could never remarry. Hermas, one of the early church fathers, allowed a man to divorce his wife because of her adultery, but required that the man remain single in hopes of his wife’s future repentance, and if she did repent and want to return to her husband, he was to forgive her and take her back. This whole idea of divorcing an adulterous spouse and remarrying is a relatively recent idea. It became prominent during the Protestant Reformation around 1500 when Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther, both Catholic priests, in their desire to break off from the Catholic Church and many of its beliefs, decided to interpret the Matthew 19:9 exception clause as justification for divorce and remarriage for the “innocent” party. Go to the following Sermonaudio.com link to Richard Caldwell, Jr.’s understanding of the exception clause: http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=1200312549. He gives a good explanation of problems with the Erasmian view, you are holding to, that of divorce and remarriage being allowed for the innocent spouse in instances of adultery. I must point out however, I’m not in agreement with the last 2 minutes of the sermon where Caldwell states even if your in a divorce/remarriage situation to remain in that situation relying on the grace of God to forgive. This is the predominant view of most Baptists, including the popular evangelist John Piper. I discussed this in my previous comment, where I indicated my understanding of repentance is that it requires confessing a sin and then forsaking it, not relying on God’s grace to continually forgive you of a sin you know you are committing. In the book of Romans, Paul said, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Certainly not!”

      • Mark

        Interesting article by Joe Norman, a Church of Christ member. I am also a Church of Christ member. Joe is asked about a couple who wanted to be baptized, but previous to their baptism, one or both of them had been divorced and remarried. The question is, do they now have to divorce from what would be considered an “unscriptural marriage” in order to be right with God? This issue has been debated for years within the Church of Christ. Joe supports his view of allowing this couple to remain married by arguments in a book written by Pat Harrell called “Divorce and Remarriage in the Early Church”. Pat Harrell was a Church of Christ preacher and Biblical scholar. The seeming silence of the early church fathers, who lived in the first 400 years after Christ, on denying baptism to a divorced person, and even possible allowance according to some sources, is used by many, including Joe, to allow this couple to remain in their marriage. First of all, though their interpretations of scripture and application in our lives may be worthwhile to understand and important for us to consider, the early church fathers were not inspired and their views, though important, should not be considered infallible. The Bible itself should always be used as our main source and standard for Christian living. However, if you are interested in the views of the early church on the matter of divorce and remarriage I would like to refer you to David Bercot. David has done extensive research on the Biblical interpretations of the early church fathers, including those on divorce and remarriage. My understanding is virtually all current day Biblical scholars believe the early church fathers to have interpreted scripture to deny remarriage after a divorce. Remarriage was considered adultery and was forbidden for a divorced woman by virtually all of the early church fathers, and forbidden for a divorced man by most of the early church fathers. I’m not as familiar with what the early church fathers believed about baptizing previously divorced individuals and this is something I would really like to consult David Bercot on. I just recently purchased one of David’s CDs on the early church’s views on divorce and remarriage and found it very enlightening. If you are interested, here is a link where you can purchase the CD. It only cost about $4.00 and you can download it directly. You don’t have to wait to get it by snail mail:

        http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/product839.html?__utma=1.61292163.1347993072.1375987231.1376227751.27&__utmb=1&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1375987231.26.9.utmccn%3D(referral)%7Cutmcsr%3Dgoogle.com%7Cutmcct%3D%2F%7Cutmcmd%3Dreferral&__utmv=-&__utmk=218892058

      • jeffhildebrand

        Look up early church and the word digamy. Most of the early church believed marriage prior to conversion was sin and therefore and divorce prior to conversion was just as sinful and the marriage didn’t exsist in Gods sight. Of course, the permanance people will only quote what is needful to support their argument. if Brett Favre said remarriage was adultery, you probably would hear the permanence camp drop his name.

      • Mark

        Jeff,
        As I implied in my previous post, I believe caution should be used when using the early church father’s interpretations as Biblically accurate on all theological issues. I really haven’t researched their documents enough to know all of their beliefs on any Biblical doctrine. I have had to rely mostly on what other Biblical scholars have said they believed, although I have read a number of their documents where they are stating their interpretations related to divorce and remarriage. From what I have read, and take it for what it’s worth, remarriage after the death of a spouse or “digamy” was frowned upon by some of the early church fathers, and I’m not sure if this was a strict prohibition, or a suggestion so the person could dedicate themselves more fully to the Lord’s work. Because it is clear in the Bible (1 Corinthians 7:39) death ends the marriage bond, allowing the surviving spouse to remarry. You stated that marriage prior to conversion was considered a sin. I had never heard that before. These are the kind of questions I would like to address to David Bercot. I really believe he is probably one of the most knowledgeable men on the writings of the early church fathers. I gave a previous link to one of his CDs. Here is another link to a lecture he gave at Harvard University:

      • jeffhildebrand

        Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, if we did something prior to conversion it still can affect us today. If I get drunk and run one over and go to prison, I still have to complete my term and have to deal with the ramifications of the event even after I am saved. Likewise, marriage is apparently a covenant that I made with God ( even though I got married at a courthouse at lunch and his name was never invoked) and my spouse for life. So, God in his wisdom has attached me to a whore who divorced me 20 years ago and remarried and is expecting me to intercede for the break up and return of the wayward spouse and the assimilation of her bastard children into my family.
        Now remember, God put us together ( whatever God puts together let no man put asunder) and I am left with lifetime of celibacy and loneliness. My sin was so heinous( but remember God joined us together) that I am stuck with consequences until I die or she passes. This is spoken of when we say ” his burden is light” and when we talk about mercy and grace and a so called ” abundant life” . Its a wonderful and happy idea knowing that I must remain alone and its my fault for picking the wrong spouse ( but secretly, God put us together).
        Every night I sit inside my dank apartment and think how great this is….and my trips to the local psyche ward also confirm of the Majesty of the permenance of marriage.
        I have almost decided to abandon my faith over this issue. If God can forgive Paul who was a murderer and who did no jail time or was not punished according to the LAW but given a ministry, how come I don’t get a freaking break?

      • Sarah

        Mark you said: because it is clear in the Bible (1 Corinthians 7:39) death ends the marriage bond, allowing the surviving spouse to remarry. Yes that’s true for a wife who is still married to her husband.
        But Paul is not saying a woman is bound by law as long as her former husband lives…allowing the the surviving ex spouse to remarry. Why do people tend to think Paul is also referring to people that are divorced? It’s clear in black and white that the word former is NOT in 1 Corinthians 7:39.
        And yes the bible does use that word “former husband” and it means ex spouse for example Deut 24:4 … “then her FORMER husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife “….
        Paul is clearly referring to people that are still married in 1 Corinthians 7:39.
        Do you know if this the verse the permanence viewers use to
        argue their case? If so don’t you think it’s adding to the Bible?
        Certificate of divorce is the termination/dissolving of the marriage. Jesus even said “give her a certificate of divorce” if you put her away. Please don’t say .. but in God’s eyes…. Because that is also adding to the Bible to argue a case. Those are “man’s terms”. Scary.
        Thanks for considering what I’m saying.

        1 Corinthians 7:39
        A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

  • michelle

    Satan’s Website here! Get behind me satan!!

    • Sarah

      Amen! This teaching is the doctrine of demons spoken of in the NT.
      Jesus never said remarriage is perpetual adultery. Read your bible people. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Study that. And stop condeming God blessed marriages which are covenants with God.

      • Mark

        How is it NOT perpetual adultery? In 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11 Paul gave the woman who divorced her husband two options: 1) remain unmarried, 2) be reconciled to her husband. If she remarries someone else she commits a sin because she has broken this command of Paul the Apostle, a sin Jesus called adultery.

        In Leviticus 18, the Jews were commanded not to have sexual relations with close relatives, one of which would include marrying your brother’s wife. In Mark 6, John the Baptist lost his head for telling Herod that it was “not lawful” for Herod to have his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. Why didn’t he say to Herod, “Well you committed a sin by marrying your brother’s wife, but the Lord would rather you keep your covenant with your new wife and pray for forgiveness of your sin.”? This is basically what John Piper and other Baptist ministers are telling divorced and remarried couples to do. Is this consistent with what John the Baptist told Herod?

        I do not claim to have the correct Biblical answers on this controversial subject of Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage (MDR) and am still searching myself for the truth here. But what I see being taught by many church leaders today does not seem to be consistent with what I read in the Bible. It’s a difficult topic and I am open to any interpretation of Scripture anyone else might have on the subject. Maybe I’m wrong here and I admit that possibility. So I’m open to any other interpretations out there.

        One of the biggest sources of debate on MDR is the interpretation of the Matthew 19:9 exception clause. How is the clause, “except for fornication”, to be interpreted? Does “fornication” include “adultery” or does it refer only to premarital sexual relations? I’m confused myself on this one.

      • Sarah

        Mark, I’m thinking the reason John the Baptist said that was because Herodias and Herod’s brother were not divorced when Herod married her. I don’t see any other explanation in Mark 6. I can see that as unlawful but if they were divorced, how was it unlawful? I mean in this day and age if a man marries his former sister-in-law after she and his brother have divorced, then it is not illegal since they are not blood related. A divorce has to have occurred though. Was it different then?
        I will reply to your other questions and statements soon. I just thought I would quickly reply to one at a time.

      • Mark

        Sarah,
        I have done a little more research on this and there may be some uncertainty as to why Herod’s marriage to Herodius was “unlawful”. Based on various sources I consulted here are the interpretations:

        1) The one I gave in my original reply of a Jew not being permitted to have relations with his brother’s wife.
        2) Jewish woman were not permitted to divorce their Jewish husbands. The husband was the only one allowed that privilege of divorcing.
        3) Kings were not allowed to marry another man’s wife, which would indicate a case of adultery by Herod.

        In any event, it was considered by man as a “marriage”, albeit an “unlawful” one in the eyes of God. You seem to imply in your reply that as long as someone is divorced under man’s law, the marriage is over and the parties free to remarry others no matter what the reason for the divorce. That’s the whole basis of Jesus’ response to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:1-12.The Pharisees were divorcing their wives, thinking they were righteous in their compliance with the Law. Jesus told them by doing so, they were actually committing the sin of adultery.

      • Sarah

        Mark,
        The exception clause has to mean adultery included because the Pharisees were asking about divorcing their own wives (a Bible scholar told me that). The word Fornication definition is two people not married to each other having sexual relations. If Jesus only said adultery instead of fornication in that part of the sentence it would be redundant.
        Referring to what you said, Why would Jesus add that phrase to his response when they weren’t even inquiring about the betrothed, which was probably in the minority compared to these men who were throwing away their wives to be able to marry another woman that they had their eye on or they had already committed adultery (sex) with. I believe that betrothed idea is totally incorrect.
        In my opinion, Jesus wouldn’t add to his reply something totally off base just for the heck of it.

      • Mark

        Sarah,
        The exception clause in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 is, and has been, a source of debate among Biblical scholars for decades. You make a valid point about the context of Matt. 19:9 not being about Jewish betrothals. However, in my mind, that would still not completely rule it out. Some think it may refer to the husband not finding his wife to have been a virgin on their wedding night as referenced in Deuteronomy 22:13-21. Just about every interpretation I have seen used for the “except for fornication” clause in Matthew has potential problems. So I will have to say I am still unclear on the correct interpretation. But in my mind, and this is just my opinion, I question whether the exception is referring to adultery when it says “fornication”, to where the innocent spouse can divorce the adulterous spouse and be free to remarry another person. To me, that interpretation seems be in conflict with other Scripture. I will not go any further with that discussion because it’s just too complicated. There are many who believe as you mentioned in your reply that the exception clause refers to adultery. I’m not going to say whether that interpretation is right or wrong, just that I have some problems with it, more specifically with the case of a wife divorcing an adulterous husband.

      • Sarah

        Mark, there’s no way of knowing if John the Baptist said anything else after what he said to Herod about his unlawful marriage to Herodias. But I do know that everything that was said back then was NOT able to be recorded. It was too much. Some had to be paraphrased etc.
        For certain we are told not to add to the bible. And nowhere does Jesus or God condone divorce nor divorcing after marrying a divorced person. I believe I heard it referred to as “divorce to repent”, which is basically saying “commit a sin to repent of a sin”. Certainly that is a doctrine of demons. That hogwash coming from some person is this: A person that is divorced is still married to that spouse that divorced them for as long as that ex-spouse is still alive. They say also, do not ever divorce in the first place, it’s a covenant with God. (I do agree with that part). But if you remarry a divorced person you must get a divorce. Sorry but that is so hypocritical.
        No matter how many kids you have, no matter if you are deserting a disabled person, no matter what age, and so on. No matter the cost, no matter if it puts a person in dire straights and no matter how much pain you would cause.
        Jesus always said he wanted us to have peace. Well guess what, divorce is not peaceful, divorce is pure hell.
        Do you seriously believe that is what Jesus would tell you to do? We are to strive to be like Jesus Christ. Doing something that God hates is not what Jesus would recommend and counsel a person to do. I know Jesus better than that.
        I pray that people don’t listen to other people that tell them to divorce out of remarriage to repent. That is not anywhere at all in the bible. If Jesus didn’t say it then I’m not doing it!
        There are so many sins committed in divorce. First, divorce itself is sin, taking a believer to court is sin, causing another person to sin, causing children pain which Jesus said not to do is a sin, plus a person is planning to commit sin, planning to file for divorce and then getting a lawyer in advance to help commit the sin of divorce and deserting the person who you made a covenant with before God. By the way, when I say “you” I’m referring to anyone not you in particular because I don’t know your story.

        Jesus died for every and all sins. No such thing in the bible that says it is perpetual sin or adultery either. That’s man’s belief. The doctrine of demons, in my opinion.
        God bless.

      • Mark

        Sarah,
        I understand what you’re saying. You see I’m one of those you mentioned who are considering “divorce to repent” because I married a divorced woman. So any judgment I give, it is for myself, not a self-righteous judgment directed at someone else. I want to go to heaven and to do that I know I need to do the Will of God, which means following His Word and what he commands in it. I have been aggressively researching the issue of Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage (MDR) now for a couple of years, basically reviewing everything I can get my hands on over the Internet. Just this week, I have been reading an MDR blog and am still not finished reading it. There are so many interpretations of scripture on this topic, so many situations that people get themselves into, many times in complete ignorance of what the Bible says about their situation. My wife and I do not agree on this MDR issue. She basically sees it as you do. I believe I have at least convinced her that the scriptural validity of our marriage may be in question based on my interpretation of divorce and remarriage scripture. However, she believes as you do that “two wrongs don’t make a right” or as you have put it, “commit a sin to repent of a sin”. I guess the way I am seeing it now anyway, is that I’m just repenting of a sin and the divorce is an act of that repentance. The more I study MDR, the more questions and confusion I have on certain aspects of it. You are correct that we really have no direct examples in the New Testament of Jesus or Paul either one telling anyone they need to divorce out of a remarriage to repent. The only example I can think of right now in the New Testament is the one I previously gave with John the Baptist and Herod. We do have an example in the Old Testament where Ezra commanded the Jews who had married pagan women to divorce them because they were told not to intermarry with pagans and they violated that command. We are told this was extremely difficult especially because of the children involved. You see Sarah sometimes the Christian life can be difficult to follow. God’s ways are not always what we might consider just or fair. Many times the innocent must pay the price of the sins of the guilty. I believe this may be the case in the matter of divorce and remarriage. For example, a man divorces his wife, he takes up with a younger woman, leaving children behind. He marries this other woman. God calls this adultery. Why is it we always look at the second marriage and seem to put more emphasis on the covenant the man made with the second wife than we do the covenant he made with his first wife. That first wife seems to get forgotten. I know there are many different “what if” scenarios out there when it comes to marriage relationships. There’s adultery, abuse, addiction, desertion all kinds of things that would seem to make divorce justifiable. But what I’m trying to do is put the emotion aside and go directly to the Word of God for the truth of what I need to do in my particular marriage. All I can say at this point is I’m still searching and praying the Lord directs me to His Will for me. I don’t know you’re particular circumstance and why you are interested in this blog, but I assume you must have a reason for doing so. I also hope the Lord directs you in the way He wants you to go.
        God bless….

      • Sarah

        Mark, thank you for opening up in reference to your situation. I will pray that you come to a decision that leads to and is God’s will for you and your wife. I believe the way to know for sure when I’m searching for answers in my life is to ask God to give me peace regarding it. Do you have peace as of yet? I’m thinking you probably don’t since you said you were still searching and praying.
        You said “why is it that we always look at the second marriage and seem to put more emphasis on that covenant…” I’m thinking the reason that keeps coming up in your search is because that is one of the main topics in what you are reading and searching for.
        Is your wife one of those wives that got forgotten? You said you married a divorced woman so I was just curious. Did you two make a covenant/vows to each other?
        In my last post I listed several sins that result from divorce. I just now remembered in Matthew 5:33 where Jesus is saying do not break your oaths, but fulfill to The Lord the vows you have made. Let your yes be yes and your no be no anything beyond this comes from the evil one. That’s a very clear statement and coming from Jesus. Notice that Jesus said this right after Matthew 5:32. This proves to me that Jesus’ is saying marriage is sacred, do not divorce! Seems like people today make the focus mainly on remarriage. Remember God HATES divorce. And Jesus is God so Jesus HATES divorce too.
        I would encourage you to read this commentary. I don’t have a direct link but follow this to get there: go to bible gateway.com. Navigate to Resources, then Commentaries, then IVP New Testament Commentary, next Matthew, next the Ethics of God’s Kingdom, then Jesus Applies Principles in God, then read: Do Not Betray Your Spouse by Divorce.
        I pray God will speak to you as you read this.
        Let me know if you found it.
        God bless you

      • Mark

        Sarah,

        Thank you for that link. I did find it and read it. It is very thought provoking. Much of the article referenced sources from Luck, Keener, Davies and Allison, authors who I have seen referenced many times in MDR discussions I have consulted. I am probably most familiar with Luck’s views on MDR as bible.org has much of his material on their website. However, I cannot agree with many of his conclusions on MDR as Biblical, at least the way I see them. I’ve tried to be as open minded as I possibly can on this MDR issue and consult as many sources as I can. It never ceases to amaze me how many varied interpretations there are out there. Just when I think I’ve heard them all, I’m surprised to hear a different view that’s new to me. This is what makes it so confusing. You really bring up a very valid point when you note that we have no record of either Jesus or Paul breaking up second marriages in order to divorce to repent. With the frequency of divorces and remarriages that were occurring both in the Jewish culture of Jesus’ time and the Gentile culture of the Corinthian church Paul addressed, one would think something would have been said by Paul, for example in 1 Corinthians 7 about breaking up second marriages and returning to the original spouse. Although I have no Biblical precedent for it, I kind of have my own theory on this. Jesus lived under the Old Testament, and under Moses, marriage and divorce was permitted. When Paul converted Christians in the first century, probably all those he was addressing in 1 Corinthians 7 were alive during Jesus ministry and therefore had been married and divorced prior to Jesus teaching on divorce and remarriage in Matthew19:9, or before He was crucified at which time His Kingdom began on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 1 and 2.So I believe there was the possibility, just my opinion, those divorced and remarried were “grandfathered in ” you might say. They were not told to break up marriages because when their remarriages occurred, they lived in a time when it was permitted as per Deuteronomy 24:1-4, although not necessarily what God really wanted as the ideal. Another point to keep in mind, is even though we do not have record of second marriages being broken up, does not mean it did not occur. We do know that repentance was preached as a condition of salvation before baptism. And 1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us that some of the Corinthian converts had been adulterers and fornicators, among other things but were now sanctified through Christ. I just remembered. There is an example in 1 Corinthians 5 that could qualify in a similar manner as “divorce to repent”. A man was having sexual relations with his father’s wife which was a type of fornication forbidden in the Old law. The church there was allowing this to occur without any type of condemnation. Paul told the church this was not right for them to allow this behavior to go on in the church and commanded the church to remove fellowship from him as a source of discipline so that he would come to his senses and repent of his sin. Sarah, I appreciate your concern for my situation. I have expressed my interpretations here on MDR as I currently understand them after much prayer and thoughtful study. I know you may not agree with my views and I respect that. May the Lord continue to guide you in the way He would have you go. God bless.

      • Sarah

        1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife (KJV) . I’m sorry Mark but I do not see this as a divorce to repent example. However I do see it as an example of fornication meaning “adultery included” in reference to the exception clause. His fathers wife, his stepmom is married. Fornication is sexual sin committed by two people not married to each other. So they both could be married to other people, unmarried, or one married to someone else.
        The “grandfathered in” phrase I have some thoughts on that too. One thing is I don’t believe God intended for his word to be so complicated. So complicated and technical that we would have to reach so deep to get the text to make sense to what we want it to say and what we think it is saying. Sounds like you aren’t going to budge on this. Do you feel peace?You’ve made up your mind?
        I must add that this belief of yours will not help increase God’s Kingdom. This belief will discourage people from coming to Christ. I’m sorry to be so blunt.
        God bless…

      • Mark

        Sarah,

        You’re probably right on the 1 Corinthians 5 matter with respect to its comparison to “divorce to repent”. Not a good example to use, since the man was probably not married to his stepmother. So I apologize for that. And don’t feel bad for being “blunt”. This MDR issue is something, as I have mentioned before, there are many opinions on and I certainly do not claim to have all the answers, and more importantly, am not enforcing my beliefs on anyone as the ultimate truth on the matter. Everyone has to do what they feel is right according to scripture and wise Godly counsel. The fact that Godly men have different opinions on this shows there is some obscurity in the matter and I believe this is where the grace of God comes in. I am certainly not condemning anyone if they have a view on this different than mine as long as they have searched the Word of God and have prayed about it and believe and trust the Lord will guide them to the Truth in the matter. Take care and God bless.

      • Sarah

        Hello Mark

        Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to reply to your comments.
        But I was listening to several sermons online at http://www.sermonaudio.com
        and I thought I would share these with you and anyone on this site. I think it would be worth your time considering your present issue and in seeking Gods will.
        The minister is speaking on a series about
        God, Church, and Family. I’ve listed them below. It helped me to listen to them in order by date starting with Sunday June 6, 2010 then next June 13, then July 4th. June 20th also.
        I would be interested in knowing if you were able to.
        Hopefully you will see this from me since it’s been awhile.

        SermonAudio.Com
        31 Divorce and Adultery
        Tim Conway | God, Church, Family
        Grace Community Church
        SUN 06/06/2010

        30 What about Divorce and Remarriage?
        Tim Conway
        God, Church, Family Grace Community Church
        SUN 06/13/2010

        28 Remain As You Are (Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage?)
        Tim Conway | God, Church, Family
        Grace Community Church
        SUN 07/04/2010

        The 29th one is good too. Prayerfully anyone that reads this topic on unholy bible. com will be blessed.
        God hates divorce. If it was an abomination in the OT I can’t
        See our God changing his mind, especially after he gave his only Son as a sacrifice for the sins of all time.
        It was the fall of man that messed up God’s will for marriage.
        Sin brought divorce in the picture.
        Jesus’ life and sacrifice is the reason marrying a divorced woman is not perpetual adultery. The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise all sins are forgiven. I believe that you are not living in sin. Plus like I said before I would definitely not do anything another human being recommended or told me to do. If Jesus or Paul did not say to divorce to repent of being married to a divorced person, I would not do it. However God did say he hates divorce. It’s in black and white and that clearly says divorce is a sin. And Paul did clearly say “husbands do not divorce your wives”. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her.” If it were me I would study in depth how my marriage is a real marriage and how my formerly divorced spouse is my real lawful spouse. I mean there is a covenant there with vows that were made before God himself. How would God not be present on the day you married? Was God just hanging out or not listening to those vows? Not recognizing it as a real marriage? I’m not sure what you’re thoughts are on this but most divorce to repent people believe their spouse is somehow ridiculously still married to the former spouse, “in God’s eyes”. I mean that phrase is not even in the Bible?
        Sorry I’ll stop now. I hope you will listen to those sermons.

        God’s ideal for marriage was messed up by Adam and Eve. God recognizes divorce or he would not have said “let no man put asunder/separate.” That means it is possible to put marriage asunder.

        God bless you
        Sarah

      • joanne

        Sarah, the only sins that are forgiven are the ones that have been repented of. A murderer can ask for forgiveness a million times but if he continues to murder people his request for forgiveness is in vain. An adulterer/adulteress can ask forgiveness as much as they want, however if they keep living in adultery there is no forgiveness for them.

        God hates divorce … so in order for you to be consistent you (and God) will have to honor the homosexual marriage too.

        Your doctrine allows everyone (except those who blaspheme the holy ghost) to be forgiven even if they keep on sinning.

        Jesus’ command was very clear: Whoever marries her that is divorced is committing adultery. It only gets complicated when one tries to explain why it does not really mean what it says. Have faith and believe Christ.

      • Sarah

        Joanne,
        I know you mean well however you are promoting doctrine of demons as mentioned in the New Testament.
        Jesus never said that anyone that marries a divorced woman will never get to heaven. He Did NOT say “and you better divorce to repent”. You are telling men to do something God or Jesus never said. There’s nothing like it in th Bible! You are putting God in a little box. You do not understand the sacrifice that God made to allow his only son to be crucified for our sins.
        How can one sin delete another what you call sin or any sin?
        By the way that homosexuality statement was totally out of context. I wouldn’t compare marriage of man and woman anywhere near same sex marriage. That’s really off the wall.

        How can a divorced man who is now divorced because he married a divorced woman ever believe his life is forever sinless? Have you considered how a normal healthy man can forever be without sex of any kind? You are telling men to divorce their wives, of whom they still love, and never ever have a sexual thought about her or any woman again? Satan will still be ready to devour and tempt, specially in this day and age where sex is promoted in every form of media. Don’t tell me a healthy man who is married one day and not married the next will be able to magically resist satan and become a priest or eunuch. Gods original plan was for man to not be alone. Every Marriage is sacred and a covenant.
        And to encourage celibacy for the next 30 40 or 50 years or more is ludicrous! God put us here for reasons. What do you expect the divorced man to do, commit the sin of adultery (as lust in his heart which Jesus said is adultery) every day and get down on his knees every night and ask for forgiveness for the same self gratifying sexual sin? (I think you know what I mean without spelling it out.) That is setting someone up to be committing perpetual sin right there. Not to mention the guilt he will have for doing it plus the guilt for leaving his wife and even leaving his children possibly.
        Your interpretation is a set up for failure.
        I recommend you listen to those sermons I suggested in my last comment. And then tell me what you think.
        By the way are you a woman whose husband divorced because you were a divorcee? If not then stop speaking for satan and encouraging God’s design to be put asunder. That’s sinful in itself.
        Jesus said “except for sexual immorality” and if you will listen to that sermon on Div and Remarriage you will see that the betrothal view is absolutely incorrect. I assume that’s why you don’t believe in the exception. Correct me if I’m wrong and what your interpretation is.

      • joanne

        Sarah – you asked ‘how can one “sin” delete another?’ Because in this case there is not actually a legitimate marriage; it is adultery and YES, it will keep you out of heaven just like homosexuality will. See 1 Cor 6:9-10 and Gal. 5:19-21.

        Contrary to what you are saying, it is NOT a sin to get out of adultery and the people were not actually married in the eyes of God.

        God says the two (of the covenant marriage) are ONE flesh and MAN cannot separate them; in fact, the bible says that death is the only thing that can separate a covenant marriage … which makes sense because death is the only thing that can separate you from your flesh. They may have gotten a divorce by MAN’s laws and then gotten remarried to someone else by MAN’s laws, however God sees them as one flesh with their covenant/original spouse – and that is why it is adultery.

        You said: “Jesus never said that anyone that marries a divorced woman will never get to heaven. He Did NOT say “and you better divorce to repent”. You are telling men to do something God or Jesus never said. There’s nothing like it in th Bible!”

        There are a lot of things Jesus did not specifically say. Using that argument all sorts of things can be justified.

        As for telling men to do something God or Jesus never said and there not being anything like it in the bible, I suggest you read the bible a little better. God was very clear in Ezra 10 about separating from strange wives AND children.

        You said: “How can a divorced man who is now divorced because he married a divorced woman ever believe his life is forever sinless?”

        Easy – he was never really married in GOD’s eye’s, therefore he is free to have a legitimate marriage. GOD saw him in adultery with someone other man’s wife (“whoever marries her that is divorced is committing adultery). Once he repents of that adulterous relationship, he is free to have a legitimate marriage.

        You said: “You are telling men to divorce their wives, of whom they still love, and never ever have a sexual thought about her or any woman again? ”

        No, God is telling him that – and it is NOT his wife because she belongs to another man – that is why Jesus calls it adultery. If he really loves her, he will have a pure relationship with her and encourage her to reconcile with her husband. He is capable of not giving in to temptation and committing sin – Christ gave him that power.

        You said: “Every Marriage is sacred and a covenant.”

        Once again, read the bible. This statement of yours is simply not true.

        You said: “By the way are you a woman whose husband divorced because you were a divorcee? If not then stop speaking for satan and encouraging God’s design to be put asunder. That’s sinful in itself.”

        I grew up atheist. I was around hypocritical professing Christians my whole life while growing up and I wanted nothing to do with their religion. I was not stupid – I could see that they were no different than anyone else. Fornication, lying, lusting, pride, wealth, murder, hate, and so on. Yet they said they were saved? Ridiculous. Through a series of events, about ten years ago I decided to actually read the gospels and see what Jesus said. I realized quickly that what he said and what professing christians actually did were two different things. This was VERY eye-opening for me. I saw it was not GOD’s fault but MAN’s fault.

        I also saw what Jesus said, “Whoever marries her that is divorced is committing adultery.” That cut me right to the heart because I was divorced and remarried to a wonderful man. “Whoever” means “whoever”. I took the bible to my second husband and said to please read that passage and asked him what he thought. He said “It looks like according to Jesus we are living in adultery.” He asked me what I thought and I agreed. He told me to keep reading, maybe I was missing something. So I did, but I was not missing anything. Jesus repeated those same words again 3 more times in the gospels and then it came up again in Romans 7 and 1 Cor 7.

        Now I had to make a choice. I wrestled with it for about 3 years, knowing what Jesus said and knowing I had to choose: was I going to follow him or was I going to keep doing my own thing? I believed what he said so I had to follow him. My second husband was a blessing through it all. It has been over 5 years now since I got out of adultery and started following the Lord.

        You said: “Jesus said “except for sexual immorality” and if you will listen to that sermon on Div and Remarriage you will see that the betrothal view is absolutely incorrect. I assume that’s why you don’t believe in the exception. Correct me if I’m wrong and what your interpretation is.”

        I am not sure I believe the betrothal view or not, but it does not matter. Look at the passage; Jesus never said ANYONE could remarry [assuming they have a legitimate spouse that is alive] and later on in the NT it is clear that death separates and a widow is free to marry again.

      • Sarah

        Joanne
        One thing at a time or a few things at a time. Where does it say in the Bible “he was never really married in God’s eyes”? I want scripture. AND he is free to have a “legitament marriage”? And let’s say he does not want to ever remarry, why does he have to divorce if he is not really married “in God’s eyes” as you say? Because isn’t that what a certificate of divorce is for? Plus, it’s very clear God hates divorce and Paul did say literally “husbands DO NOT divorce your wives”. If he doesn’t divorce and just separates, that should be better because it doesn’t say God hates separation. Clearly divorce is a sin but being apart is not. You will never convince me divorce of any kind is not an abomination to God and Jesus.
        I would be scared to death to commit divorce if God HATES it. Anything else God hates as well! Scarey.
        Plus that OT example you gave those were pagan wives. Read your bible in more depth before you start attempting to change peoples lives.
        That’s got to be why this website is called “unholy bible”, yeah it definitely is unholy. Demonic website.
        Also just as important, Jesus, God or anyone else did not say there are two types of divorces, civil and in your words “God’s eyes”.
        And what religion is this? Sounds like the legalistic hard hearted Pharisees to me.

        It’s a sin to add to and take away from the Bible. See that’s why sinning to repent is wrong because you can never NOT or be totally without sin. I mean if Grace and Jesus’ blood doesn’t cover it then if you are overweight in the least isn’t that a sin? What if you died thinking bad thoughts about someone or cursing when you had a wreck and died? Are you going to heaven or hell? I mean that’s why Jesus gave up his life. We don’t live under the sacrificing of animals anymore. Don’t you know that’s why God gave his only Son once and for ALL?

        And … why don’t you believe Matthew 19:9 where Jesus clearly says “except for sexual immorality” (NKJV)?

      • Sarah

        Hi Mark. Just curious if you listened to any of the audio sermons I told you about awhile back? I thought the one with the betrothal view reference was very helpful. It really cleared up that view for me.
        God bless,
        Sarah

      • Mark

        Hi Sarah. I did listen to the sermons by Tim Conway. I have heard his arguments before. I still am unclear as to how to interpret the exception clause. It says,”except for fornication”, not “except for ADULTERY”. Luke 16:18 says if a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he commits adultery. And then if his wife whom he divorced marries another man, she commits adultery. It would seem if adultery is scriptural grounds for a woman to divorce and remarry another man, her husband’s adulterous remarriage would give her scriptural grounds to remarry another man. But Luke said she commits adultery when she remarries just like her husband did when he divorced her and remarried. So, to my understanding anyway, this seems to present ambiguity with the Matthew 19:9 exception clause if “fornication” is interpreted to mean “adultery”, at least when it comes to a woman divorcing an adulterous husband. I have seen the Matthew 19:9 exception clause to be interpreted as applying to a man divorcing an adulterous wife and being permitted to remarry, but not so with a woman divorcing an adulterous husband, because the exception clause is never stated in any verses where a woman divorces her husband.

        The other thing that many pastors say is that even if you are in a remarriage after a divorce that was not for adultery, you should stay in that marriage. I just cannot accept that view. It appears to me to be an abuse of the doctrine of grace. If you are in sin, the proper way to handle it is to repent of the sin which means to forsake it.

        As I have stated in my previous comments, these are my views and interpretations and I am not trying to enforce them on anyone else, because there is some room for different interpretation and application of the exception clause and valid arguments can be made for those interpretations as well as mine.

        Thanks you for your interest and may God bless you.

      • aaron

        If someone living in sin they are doing just that…. never said in the scriptures it ok to remarry …. But it do make it very clear if anybody marry someone who been divorce you committing adultery. Understand what fornication and adultery mean….. Matthew 5:31-32 Matthew 19:7-9 Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18.

      • Timothy

        Please Go to audio sermon.com
        To listen to an audio on this topic
        It will be worth your time. Listen with an open mind, as if
        it is the first time to read the words of Jesus.
        Search for this ID# 92312201431
        To confirm the speaker etc… is:
        Adam Kuehner
        Title is: Adultery, Divorce & Remarriage
        Date:Sun September 23, 2012

      • jeff hildebrand

        Thanks…I have obviously totally lost it. Everyone forgive me for my hostile language and use of explicit words. Jeff be crazy

      • Mark

        Jeff,

        I don’t know the details of your particular situation whether you are divorced and remarried or considering such, or perhaps have a family member who is in a divorce/remarriage situation. However, I am struggling with this issue of divorce/remarriage myself and have been for several years, having myself married a divorced woman. I sense your frustration and I know personally how this divorce/remarriage issue can cause such frustration. Whether you want or need my forgiveness or not, you are forgiven by me. Please keep in mind when you use that type of language on a religious website, that it basically invalidates everything you say and, more importantly, the point you may be trying to make to add value to the discussion. May God bless you in your search for His truth.

      • jeff hildebrand

        Mark,
        Shoot me an email @
        jhildafunk@gmail.com
        I would like to hear about your struggle. I was about to be engaged to divorced lady last year when I started reading scripture. I won’t judge you and I won’t be difficult or anything. Just need to talk.
        Jeff

      • Timothy

        Please Go to audio sermon.com
        To listen to an audio on this topic
        It will be worth your time. Listen with an open mind, as if
        it is the first time to read the words of Jesus.
        Search for this ID# 92312201431
        To confirm the speaker etc… is:
        Adam Kuehner
        Title is: Adultery, Divorce & Remarriage
        Date: Sun September 23, 2012

      • Sarah

        Mark you said: because it is clear in the Bible (1 Corinthians 7:39) death ends the marriage bond, allowing the surviving spouse to remarry. Yes that’s true for a wife who is still married to her husband.
        But Paul is not saying a woman is bound by law as long as her former husband lives…allowing the the surviving ex spouse to remarry. Why do people tend to think Paul is also referring to people that are divorced? It’s clear in black and white that the word former is NOT in 1 Corinthians 7:39.
        And yes the bible does use that word “former husband” and it means ex spouse for example Deut 24:4 … “then her FORMER husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife “….
        Paul is clearly referring to people that are still married in 1 Corinthians 7:39.
        Do you know if this the verse the permanence viewers use to
        argue their case? If so don’t you think it’s adding to the Bible?
        Certificate of divorce is the termination/dissolving of the marriage. Jesus even said “give her a certificate of divorce” if you put her away. Please don’t say .. but in God’s eyes…. Because that is also adding to the Bible to argue a case. Those are “man’s terms”. Scary.
        Thanks for considering what I’m saying.
        1 Corinthians 7:39
        A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

      • Mark

        Sarah,
        Are you in a divorce/remarriage situation yourself or do you have a close friend or family member who is in that situation? I don’t mind giving my opinion on divorce and remarriage according to Scripture, but I believe I have already answered in previous posts the questions you are asking. If you are personally involved in a divorce/remarriage situation, believe me I can sympathize with you having struggled for years now to find a “loophole” in Scripture where I can stay in my marriage to a divorced woman with a living covenant husband. But the more I pray and study about it, the more convinced I am of my current interpretation and understanding of Scripture on the divorce/remarriage issue. I’m glad to help. If you would like to correspond privately through email, I would be glad to do that too, Please let me know.

        God bless,
        Mark

  • Billie

    I agree, marriage is for life. That’s why the men whom were asking questions about divorce to Jesus said then it’s better never to marry. If you give up on your spouse then it’s like your giving up on God, too. Men are supposed to love their wives like Christ loves the church. We are supposed to be flawless when Christ returns and how could one be flawless if they hate their ex husband/wife.

  • Chad

    First of all, no matter what view one takes on the issue of divorce, it is important to remember Malachi 2:16: “I hate divorce, says the LORD God of Israel.” According to the Bible, marriage is a lifetime commitment. “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). God realizes, though, that since marriages involve two sinful human beings, divorces are going to occur. In the Old Testament, He laid down some laws in order to protect the rights of divorcees, especially women (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Jesus pointed out that these laws were given because of the hardness of people’s hearts, not because they were God’s desire (Matthew 19:8).

    The controversy over whether divorce and remarriage is allowed according to the Bible revolves primarily around Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. The phrase “except for marital unfaithfulness” is the only thing in Scripture that possibly gives God’s permission for divorce and remarriage. Many interpreters understand this “exception clause” as referring to “marital unfaithfulness” during the “betrothal” period. In Jewish custom, a man and a woman were considered married even while they were still engaged or “betrothed.” According to this view, immorality during this “betrothal” period would then be the only valid reason for a divorce.

    However, the Greek word translated “marital unfaithfulness” is a word which can mean any form of sexual immorality. It can mean fornication, prostitution, adultery, etc. Jesus is possibly saying that divorce is permissible if sexual immorality is committed. Sexual relations are an integral part of the marital bond: “the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31). Therefore, any breaking of that bond by sexual relations outside of marriage might be a permissible reason for divorce. If so, Jesus also has remarriage in mind in this passage. The phrase “and marries another” (Matthew 19:9) indicates that divorce and remarriage are allowed in an instance of the exception clause, whatever it is interpreted to be. It is important to note that only the innocent party is allowed to remarry. Although it is not stated in the text, the allowance for remarriage after a divorce is God’s mercy for the one who was sinned against, not for the one who committed the sexual immorality. There may be instances where the “guilty party” is allowed to remarry, but it is not taught in this text.

    Some understand 1 Corinthians 7:15 as another “exception,” allowing remarriage if an unbelieving spouse divorces a believer. However, the context does not mention remarriage, but only says a believer is not bound to continue a marriage if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave. Others claim that abuse (spousal or child) is a valid reason for divorce even though it is not listed as such in the Bible. While this may very well be the case, it is never wise to presume upon the Word of God.

    Sometimes lost in the debate over the exception clause is the fact that whatever “marital unfaithfulness” means, it is an allowance for divorce, not a requirement for it. Even when adultery is committed, a couple can, through God’s grace, learn to forgive and begin rebuilding their marriage. God has forgiven us of so much more. Surely we can follow His example and even forgive the sin of adultery (Ephesians 4:32). However, in many instances, a spouse is unrepentant and continues in sexual immorality. That is where Matthew 19:9 can possibly be applied. Many also look to quickly remarry after a divorce when God might desire them to remain single. God sometimes calls people to be single so that their attention is not divided (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Remarriage after a divorce may be an option in some circumstances, but that does not mean it is the only option.

    It is distressing that the divorce rate among professing Christians is nearly as high as that of the unbelieving world. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and that reconciliation and forgiveness should be the marks of a believer’s life (Luke 11:4; Ephesians 4:32). However, God recognizes that divorce will occur, even among His children. A divorced and/or remarried believer should not feel any less loved by God, even if the divorce and/or remarriage is not covered under the possible exception clause of Matthew 19:9. God often uses even the sinful disobedience of Christians to accomplish great good.

    • aaron

      Read Luke 16:18 very clear… pleases quote from the King James bible…. except for fornication…. look up the meaning of fornication…. so people don’t be confused it say if you marry someone who been divorce you committing adultery… because you are still tide spiritual to that person even though you separated. You can committed adultery in your heart.

      • jeff hildebrand

        “Its very clear”……fuck you…… while its correct, someone taught it to you……you didn’t just read the bible one day and discover the no remarriage view all by yourself you self-righteous prick. Don’t sit there and act like you read it all by yourself and didn’t get any outside help douchebag.

  • Luke

    No one can say that they are free after a divorce because Jesus charges them with adultery AFTER they obtain a divorce. Jesus said we can still commit adultery after a divorce–but the divorce papers say–we are no longer married—-those divorce papers are lying to us. God does NOT recognize divorce as ending a first marriage. This is proven in Scripture.

    Jesus said you will be committing adultery while on a honeymoon with a “new person” after a divorce and a remarriage ceremony. If you are committing adultery AFTER a divorce and remarriage ceremony your divorce did NOT work (it did not end your marriage). Most people refuse to accept the TRUTH.

    A marriage covenant lasts until the death of one of the spouses according to God. People would never even go to the courthouse to obtain a divorce certificate if they knew the truth. Those divorce papers do not end their marriage. The papers say the “State of Colorado” has dissolved the marriage–NOT GOD! God says, “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

    Jesus said if you get a divorce and then remarry you will be committing adultery with this new person AFTER you marry them. AFTER you marry them! If you can commit adultery AFTER a divorce—the divorce failed to do something…it failed to DISSOLVE YOUR MARRIAGE! Divorce papers do not dissolve the marriage in Gods sight if He is charging you with adultery AFTER you obtained your divorce. Those papers did not make you single again. Remarried people are committing adultery with each other…Jesus said that!

    A REAL husband and wife cannot commit adultery with each other. That is why this is NOT your spouse. Jesus was saying you are not free AFTER a divorce because you can still commit adultery. To commit adultery you need a spouse–so the divorce did not free you from your spouse–you are not eligible for remarriage because you are still married according to God. There is just no way around it. The church today is afraid to tell people what Jesus said.

    Jesus calls remarried sex–ADULTERY. Why would anyone believe that new person is “their spouse in God’s eyes” if they are committing adultery with them? Jesus said they are committing adultery AFTER they had their remarriage ceremony so how could that person possibly be their spouse? They were remarried by “the state” not by God.

    No one reads their Bible–they listen to pastors tell them God forgives them and they do not have to give up their adultery partner, their so called “new spouse.” If Jesus says you are committing adultery with this “new spouse” how can you claim that this is your lawful spouse in the eyes of God?

    We need to stop listening to everyone around us and listen to Jesus. He really meant what He said. Divorced people have no right to remarriage. Their divorce did not make them single.

    The ONLY people in the Bible who commit adultery when they marry are divorced people, not single people, not widowed people, ONLY divorced people! Why is that? They are NOT FREE to marry. Their divorce did not make them FREE if they can commit adultery AFTER a divorce, like Jesus said.

    Most people won’t flee this kind of adultery because they have been deceived by Satan to stay in it even though God’s Word is clear. They are living in Adultery. Remarriage is the greatest DECEPTION of our time.

    http://www.cadz.net/mdr.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch
    v=kCPcCIqMOn4&feature=related

    • aaron

      I’m so excited to read this….. I been trying to explained this to so many people but they don’t want to listen to the truth…. People don’t understand once you married you are spiritual connected until death.

      • jeff hildebrand

        Why are you excited asshole? So you can cast the first stone at them dirty remarriers? What a Pharisee… what a dick.

  • Luke

    Jesus Christ Taught the Indissolubility of the Marriage Covenant.

    Our civil laws may permit divorce and remarriage, but God’s Word condemns it. Marriage was established by God and not by man. In-as-much as marriage was ordained by God, His Word is the final authority in matters concerning it.

    God’s Word has not left us in the dark concerning marriage and divorce.

    Jesus made it clear that divorce does not end the marriage covenant. If remarriage was legitimate, Jesus would have never called remarriage “adultery.”

    The marriage covenant cannot be dissolved by civil law. When a man and woman unite in marriage and become ”one flesh,” no power on earth, but death can dissolve that union.

    In the divorce trial of Powers vs. Powers in the state of New York, Judge William J. Gaylord, instructed the jury as follows, he told the jurors;

    “If you decide for divorce in this case, remember you may only cut the knot tied about the parties by the state’s civil law, you absolutely cannot touch the covenant bond which states that these persons are married “till death do us part.”

    I charge you gentlemen, that so far as concerns a covenant bond existing between these two people, we have nothing whatsoever to do with that. If these people are bound by a covenant, you and I are not seeking to sever that obligation.

    When we are through with this case that obligation is left untouched.

    We do nothing whatsoever to it. They are just as much bound by it after we get through with them, as they were before. We do not sever it, we do not break it, and that is something that it seems to me is very often misunderstood. Civil law cannot end a covenant made before God.”

    If people realized the truth of Judge Gaylord’s statements we would not be confronted with our divorce problem.

    When a person goes to the courthouse and divorces his mate according to the law of the land, he only breaks the civil connection. He doesn’t break, “the one flesh” that was joined by God on his wedding day.

    That day a covenant was entered into, through God’s Divine Law and civil law cannot touch that covenant. That covenant is valid unto death.

    “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

    As the judge states, a civil court has nothing whatsoever to do with a covenant made before God and a civil court cannot dissolve a covenant that is bound by God.

    http://www.cadz.net/mdr.html

    • jeff hildebrand

      The people at cadz and Myron are a bunch of self righteous fucks. Don’t you ever preach to a remarried person unless you yourself have gone through the process of breaking up an adulterous relationship yourself. Clanging cymbals without love….your a bunch of self righteous assholes.

      • aaron

        What serious person going to listen to you with the choice of words you used… Sound like Satan enter into your heart.

  • joannesfamilyblog

    Yes, God hates divorce, but it’s not really divorce if the person you are leaving is married to someone else. Marriage is till death parts. Any relationship outside of the covenant marriage is adultery. No adulterer will enter into heaven.

    Listen to or read: What Therefore God Hath Joined Together …
    http://www.earlychurchtruth.com/englishsermon/whatgodjoins.html

    • jeff

      So, you subscribe to the early church fathers? Most of them had screwed up views on EVERYTHING! But your not ever quick to bring thier other teachings out to idolize are you?

  • Lynn

    No more than someone who is a murderer. You do not live in a perpetual state murder. God will forgive but will also judge.

    • Lynn

      You can’t read one verse and try to break it down. You have to take into all parables and all verses. The intent is divorce is a sin. Regardless of who is at fault. Remarriage is a sin on both parts. No matter who is innocent. You both have to repent and live your life better than ever. God will judge the muderers and adulterers. God forgives all sins.

      • jeff hildebrand

        Fucking remarriage trolls like Joanne and you …what the hell do you care about the remarried ..why don’t you just just go bash fags or over eaters. “Look at me…I tithe a tenth of my mint and rue and I tell remarriers how wrong the are lord by going from internet site to internet site…. fuck off.

  • jeff hildebrand

    What the fuck do you care dickhead……you never extend love…show how to break up adulterous families and what to do with then children. Your just a fucking asshole who knows remarriage is adultery. Why don’t you get off of iyour fucking happy internet ass and actually get involved in the lives of the remarried assmunch.

  • Joedamme

    what is y’alls view on this scripture! i’ve always had questions in this area myself

    Jeremiah 3:1
    “If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers— would you now return to me?” declares the Lord.

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