Thursday, January 10, 2013

RAD is bad part 4


This is series of articles designed to help professing Christians to turn from their wicked ways and get back to following New Testament ethics.  Compromise is increasing in the church.  Popular opinion among churchgoers is often in stark contrast to the very words of Jesus on many issues.  Christians need to know the word of God and get back to using it as a reference book when they are faced with important decisions.

RAD is my acronym for remarriage after divorce This is the fourth article in a sub-series on this topic.  In review I wrote:

1. RAD is sin.  It is the moral equivalent of adultery.
2. There is only one exception given in the Bible.  A divorced man can remarry without sinning only if the reason for the divorce was his wife’s fornication (i.e. it must be a sin of a sexual nature--the NIV incorrectly translates that word as “marital unfaithfulness”). 

These are the scriptures which form the basis for this teaching:

Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:12, Luke 16:18, Romans 7:2-3 and I Corinthians 7:10-11, 39.

As I mentioned before, there are many legitimate grounds for divorce such as physical abuse, alcoholism, and abandonment.  But this fact does not mean that it is morally acceptable remarry afterwards.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some gray areas on this topic or that the scriptures can’t be legalistically interpreted.  Here are some examples:

1.  What if the (only) ex-spouse of a divorced man or woman dies?  Would it then be acceptable for this divorcee to remarry?  Romans 7:2-3 seems to lean toward saying yes to this, at least in the case of a divorced woman.  But the passages in the gospels and I Corinthians 7:10-11 seem to lean the other way.  It is possible that in this case, the man or woman is classified as a widow or widower and not really a divorcee.  I am not sure about this.

2.  What if a man divorces his wife because he believes that his wife committed fornication, but finds out later that it didn’t really happen?  Would it then be OK for the man to marry another woman anyway?  Where does the burden of proof lie when a man is to claim the exception of Matthew 19:9?  Should the church determine the fact in these cases?  These are hard questions.  I know of a case where, for spite, a woman told her husband that she was having affair with someone but it was a lie.  After the divorce, he found out that it was not true. 

3.  I have deleted this example because I no longer agree with it.

Click here for the next article in this series.

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