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Meriam's Guy

christians and remarriage
Posted:Nov 7, 2012 4:53 am
Last Updated:Nov 8, 2012 12:20 am

* I think this is a very good article. Sometimes the translation of one word means everything. This is taken from the website divorcehope. It is worth reading. I believe the Heart Of God is found here.

Can divorced christians remarry? Yes, of course! Forbidding someone to remarry after they're divorced is bad doctrine. Marriage after being divorced is our heavenly Father's heart! (Take notice of a wrong translation of only one single word (apoluo) that p

Divorce and Remarriage

“Now the Spirit [of God] expressly says that in latter times [the days we live in now] some will DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies ...FORBIDDING TO MARRY…” (1Timothy 4:1,3).

“Forbidding [someone] to marry” after they have been divorced is a doctrine of the devil. The Bible is not saying that these people who hold to this belief are not true Christians, but that they teach out of ignorance — they don't understand God's heart in the Scriptures. Understanding God's heart only comes from the Holy Spirit revealing Him to us. Whenever we do not understand God's heart in the Scriptures, we have departed from sound doctrine.

This Scripture could not be talking about forbidding to marry in general. Nobody would listen to such nonsense preached. The desire that God put in man to have a companion and partner is too great, especially if they were married before. In order that we don’t fall into “...immorality, let EACH MAN have his own wife, and let EACH WOMAN have her own husband” (1Corinthians 7:2). “[For] IT IS NOT GOOD THAT MAN SHOULD BE ALONE…” (Genesis 2:18a).

The erroneous doctrine of forbidding one to marry after a divorce has been preached and taught in many churches. It has violated the conscience and hearts of those who’ve been divorced, driving them into a constant state of confusion and negatively impacting their lives. The only way for these people to come out of that confused state is to leave the church, and many have done just that. Not only do they leave the church to remarry, they also need to be able to make the right decision to divorce when it’s necessary in order to save themselves and their families before all is destroyed.

In order to understand that there IS marriage after divorce, we will examine the Scriptures in Matthew 19:3-12 focusing on the usage of the Greek word, apoluo. The Greek word apoluo that’s translated “divorce” or “to put away” is a general word. Its primary usage is: to “send” (apoluo) someone home when it’s getting late.11 When two people are leaving each other there is a “separation.” Apoluo is a separation in general, which does not involve the “legal” aspect of a permanent separation like a divorce. The common usage is seen in the Scripture “When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. SEND (apoluo) the multitudes away, that they may go unto the villages and buy themselves food’” (Matthew 14:15). The Greek word apoluo doesn’t have a legal aspect to it. It’s just a common word that means, “I’m going to go” or, “away from, to separate.” Because of our wrong beliefs about divorce, this key word was purposely translated (incorrectly) so it would not conflict with our beliefs.

When used concerning a marriage it means a separation and NOT a divorce. If a spouse separates intending never to return, then the next step comes into play; the spouse obtains a “certificate of divorce.” This is what the confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees (the religious lawyers of His day) was about in Matthew 19:3-12. The legal question was, “Do you just separate, OR do you separate AND give a certificate of divorce?” The Greek word used for divorce in these Scriptures means, to “send away” or separate from, NOT a finalized legal divorce.

The lawyers of God’s law tested Jesus. Their motive was to justify when they only separated from their wives and remarried without ever getting a divorce. They asked Him if God accepts a separation to get remarried without a divorce certificate for just any reason. Jesus responded that when a male and female come together in a marriage union, “...they are no longer two BUT ONE…” (Matthew 19:6a). Because the couple is still united, He doesn’t want “man” (the marriage partners) to just separate from each other and get remarried without a divorce. A SEPARATION ALONE DOES NOT BREAK THE MARRIAGE UNION. IT TAKES A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE, ALSO. So the question was NOT, “Can a spouse DIVORCE their mate for any reason,” but “Can a spouse get a SEPARATION from their mate for any reason and then remarry while just separated.”

When a husband just leaves his wife for another woman without ever giving her a certificate of divorce, this keeps the wife in limbo. She could not go back to her husband because he doesn’t want her; and she couldn’t “go and become another man’s wife” as Moses commanded because she is not legally divorced (See Deuteronomy 24:1-2). If she did remarry without a legal divorce, she and the man who married her would be committing adultery. This is why Jesus said, “...whoever separates (apoluo) from his wife, except for immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is [just] separated (apoluo) commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9 My Translation).

Because the Pharisees’ hearts were so hard “They said to Him [Jesus], ‘WHY then did Moses COMMAND to give a certificate of divorce AND to put her away [separate]?’” (Matthew 19). They agreed with the part of the law that said that you could leave your wife, but they didn’t understand that it was not right to keep their wives from getting remarried. A spouse with a hardened heart will not give the other spouse a divorce. They will want to control the person. A person who truly loves unconditionally will always give you a way out: an option not to love.

So it is with God; He always gives us the choice to not love Him. As we choose to love Him, it’s true love. At times the reason a marriage isn’t a truly unconditional loving marriage is because the partners feel that there is never a way out, if needed. If the marriage partners knew that there was a godly way to escape from a failing marriage it would give the couple the freedom to “choose to love,” even when it’s not convenient.

Jesus said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, PERMITTED you to divorce [separate from] your wives, but from the beginning IT [being separated without a divorce] WAS NOT SO” (Matthew 19:. Notice in verse seven that Moses COMMANDED them to give a certificate of divorce AND to separate (put away) their wives. But in verse eight, because their hearts were so hardened against their spouse, Moses PERMITTED them to just separate without the husband giving the wife a certificate of divorce. The reason Moses commanded that a certificate of divorce be given was to guarantee that the wife could get remarried. Simply, Moses commanded to give a certificate of divorce AND to separate. But because of the hardness of their hearts, Moses permitted them to separate only. The permission to separate and remarry without a divorce was limited to immorality. If the wife was unfaithful, the husband could leave without ever being “officially divorced” — by giving her a certificate of divorcement, and go take another woman as his wife. But if there was no immorality involved, the husband could NOT separate from his wife without getting a divorce first. If he didn’t get a divorce and went to live with another woman or got remarried, they were committing adultery.

“Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed [for selfish reasons]. Are you loosed [divorced] from a wife? [In my opinion says Paul, the Apostle] do not seek a wife. BUT EVEN IF YOU DO MARRY, YOU HAVE NOT SINNED; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned” (1Corinthians 7:26-28a). Notice that the “virgin” AND the person “loosed [divorced]” are both put in the same category — they have “not sinned” by getting married. BOTH THE PERSON WHO WAS NEVER MARRIED AND THE PERSON WHO WAS DIVORCED ARE WITHOUT SIN IF THEY MARRY.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 tells of a situation where a man married a woman and then divorced her. This woman then married another man. The Scriptures go on to state that if the second marriage ends by her husband writing “...her a certificate of divorce ...OR if the latter husband dies…” (Deuteronomy 24:3,4), she could not remarry the first man she divorced because she had already married someone else. Therefore, if our spouse dies, or if we were divorced, we can get married again. Divorce and death are equal before God. The only stipulation in this Scripture is that if this is the second marriage, we cannot go back to the first spouse and remarry them because we married someone else after we divorced them.

The Hebrew word: shalach is the equivalent of the Greek word: apoluo.

There are many critical keys in this book regarding divorce, remarriage, submission, interracial marriage and relationships
What is Love?
Posted:Feb 9, 2012 5:44 pm
Last Updated:Feb 17, 2012 6:57 am

There are many people today who seem to think that love is so easy. They do not take into full consideration what it means to hold your partners heart in their hand and protect it. This is an age where there are many deal breakers between couples. If one person does not get their own way, many times the person is ready to move on to the next person..

A concept of being a soul mate is thrown around. Some people will tell you after many attempts at love that there is no such thing. To them I would say, you need to realize that it does exist. The problem is that it is a very unselfish concept where it ceases to be all about you. Real soul mates exist in a relationship when both partners dig to learn all about each other and they both do little things that they know the other person will receive joy from. They do not do these things to get anything back, rather the joy they get in return is in knowing how much it blesses their mate. These selfless acts are what is real Love.

The easy part is the intimacy. It is easy to hold hands, kiss, caress the one that you are attracted to. These are the most personal of outward actions involving two people that have declared their love for one another, or even in just dating. The emotional part of their relationship that is expressed. The interesting dynamic that comes into play is how each person feels. You can not treat your partner poorly and inconsiderately and expect them to feel good about being around you, talking with you if you do not treat them with respect and are attentive to their feelings.

The bible states that Love is patient, it is kind, it is long suffering and does not seek itself. There have never been a truer statement made. This is how you should discern your attitude towards your mate and how they can view your actions as well. Do not do this to use it against them, only to reason about what goes on in your life on a daily basis. As we should evaluate ourselves and our actions, it is also wise to look at the relationship to try and keep it in a healthy way.

There is an old saying that marriage is not like hot rice that you spit out of your mouth. It means that just because something gets very difficult, you do not just give up. This is so true. We will all have disagreements. That is normal. It is important to not go into disagreements as if you do not get your way, then it is all over. Maturity is when you go into each disagreement with the approach of a decision to be made that helps the relationship in a mutual way. In Christianity we are taught to die to ourselves and embrace Christ. It is similar in a marriage. Be less of yourself and realize you are declared in marriage to be one flesh, united; yet two people. So we should nurture that one flesh that God has put together. That is what Love is.

~I wrote this for a different purpose than this note, but in the end something else was used so I am putting it here...Dennis~
One Nature
Posted:Feb 9, 2012 1:40 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

One Nature
By: Dan Stone

There's a deep rut in the Christian faith, as most believers experience it. It's like a ditch that you run your car into and can't get out of. Unless God tows a believer out of the rut, he or she will never fully live out of their union with Christ.

The rut is this: most of us believe that in the depths of our being we are both good and bad. Or, to put it in theological terms, we are both righteous and sinful. Using a common illustration, we believe that we have within us both a white and a black dog, a good nature and a bad nature, that are fighting for control.

But that is not true. It is vital that we know it's not true, because if we believe that we are both righteous and sinful, it will be impossible to live out of our union with Christ and to rest, trusting that He lives through us moment by moment. Instead, we will be focused on ourselves, on getting our act together, on winning the war that supposedly rages within us, trying to suppress the bad part of us so that the good part will reflect the character of Christ. This endless self-effort is the complete opposite of what Paul wrote:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the of God... (Galatians 2:20)

The only way out of this dilemma, of believing that we are both good and bad, is to understand that the realm of the spirit, above the line, is singular. It is one. The realm of appearances, below the line, is a duality. It is two.

In the realm of appearances, there is constant evidence of good and evil, both outside and inside us. If we judge by appearances, we arrive at the logical conclusion that we are both good and bad. That looks entirely valid. Christians have believed this for centuries. Except for a small minority who have come to know their true identity in Christ, the whole Christian world accepts the lie. Unfortunately, although something may not be true above the line, if below the line we think it is true, it still controls us. We must choose to live out of what is singular, rather than what is dual.

The realm of the spirit, the singular realm, is eternal reality. That is where our spirit being lives, and where our true identity is settled forever. The realm of appearance, although we must live in it in the here and now, is false as far as our identity goes. All of life depends on which realm is ultimate reality to you: the realm of spirit or the realm of appearances. That's going to determine what you believe and how you live.

Choosing to believe that you are not both good and evil can be difficult. All of the external proof, all of the apparent evidence, all of the sight, supports the opposite: that you have two natures. "You are good, yes, a little good, but boy, you are still wicked; you are still evil." Only the Holy Spirit can reveal to you that you only have one nature, not two. In the core of your being you are not both righteous and sinful; you are only righteous.

From: Stone, Dan, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out. Dallas: One Press. 2000. pgs. 89,90.
1 comment
A Candidate can redeem us...............
Posted:Feb 2, 2012 9:08 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2012 1:52 pm

Mitt Romney took his state from 50th in unemployment to 11th. He cut 341 social programs to balance a 3 billion dollar deficit in the budget. That is downsizing Government. He is against cap and trade, states there is no way to even measure man’s input to climate change. He is for drilling in the united states and building more refineries.

He has always been against federal mandates and believes things should be dealt with on a state to state approach. He was the first to present the idea of waivers against Obama Care until it can be repealed. Immigration? He defunded sanctuary cities while Governor. He is against Amnesty. Take time to look at his 844 vetoes. They are all on the conservative side of every issue. He is pro life and he governed that way. Health Care? They had a 484 Million dollar Heath Care deficit that was greatly affecting the sustainability of the states hospitals. What do you do ignore it? The concept came from the Conservative Heritage Foundations think tank. Once it was presented the Democrats made many additions to it.

Mitt Romney vetoed 8 things in it that he knew would be problematic. He was vetoed back by a veto proof legislature. There is nothing any Governor could do, if the legislature has the majority which it did.. In the state it was, when he had to sign it in. It added no new taxes. Was 1% of the state budget. It was created for the 8% of the people in the state that caused the debts. It did not try and do away with private health care. There are good things and bad. He vetoed the bad things. By due process of American Government, he was required to sign the Bill in that present form. Any Governor would have to.

He is a fighter. 844 vetoes, was vetoed back 700 times. What more do you want?

He has a 169 page plan for you to read on fixing the economy
He has so far come up with cutting 500 Billion out of the existing Budget
He wants to have a law where it is illegal for the Government to Deficit spend
10 reasons why I believe the bible is the word of God
Posted:Jan 19, 2012 12:56 am
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

by R. A. Torrey


I was brought up to believe that the Bible was the Word of God. In early life I accepted it as such upon the authority of my parents, and never gave the question any serious thought. But later in life my faith in the Bible was utterly shattered through the influence of the writings of a very celebrated, scholarly and brilliant septic. I found myself face to face with the question, Why do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

I had no satisfactory answer. I determined to go to the bottom of this question. If satisfactory proof could not be found that the Bible was God's Word I would give the whole thing up, cost what it might. If satisfactory proof could be found that the Bible was God's Word I would take my stand upon it, cost what it might. I doubtless had many friends who could have answered the question satisfactorily, but I was unwilling to confide to them the struggle that was going on in my own heart; so I sought help from God and from books, and after much painful study and thought came out of the darkness of skepticism into the broad daylight of faith and certainty that the Bible from beginning to end is God's Word. The following pages are largely the outcome of that experience of conflict and final victory. I will give Ten Reasons why I believe the Bible is the Word of God.

FIRST, on the ground of the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Many people accept the authority of Christ who do not accept that of the Bible as a whole. We all must accept His authority. He is accredited to us by five Divine testimonies: by the testimony of the Divine life He lived; by the testimony of the Divine words He spoke; by the testimony of the Divine works He wrought; by the Divine attestation of the resurrection from the dead; and by the testimony of His Divine influence upon the history of mankind. But if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept the authority of the Bible as a whole. He testifies definitely and specifically to the Divine authorship of the whole Bible.

We find His testimony as to the Old Testament in Mark 7:13. Here He calls the law of Moses the "Word of God." That, of course, covers only the first five books of the Old Testament, but in Luke 24:27 we read, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself," and in the forty-fourth verse He said, "All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and the Psalms." The Jews, divided the Old Testament into three parts-the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms-and Christ takes up each of these parts and sets the stamp of His authority upon it. In John 10:35 Christ says, "The Scripture cannot be broken," thereby teaching the absolute accuracy and inviolability of the Old Testament. More specifically still, it possible, in Matthew 5:18, Jesus says, "One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled." A jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet-less than half the size of any other letter, and a tittle is the merest point of a consonant-less than the cross we put on a "t,"-and Christ here declares that the Scripture is absolutely true, down to the smallest letter or point of a letter. So if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept the Divine authority of the entire Old Testament.

Now, as to the New Testament. We find Christ's endorsement of it in John 14:26, "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Here we see that not only was the teaching of the Apostles to be fully inspired, but also their recollection of what Christ Himself taught. We are sometimes asked how we know that the Apostles correctly reported what Jesus said-"may they not have forgotten?" True, they might forget, but Christ Himself tells us that in the Gospels we have, not the Apostles' recollection of what He said, but the Holy Ghost's recollection, and the Spirit of God never forgets. In John 16:13, 14, Christ said that the Holy Ghost should guide the Apostles into "all the truth," therefore in the New Testament teaching we have the whole sphere of God's truth. The teaching of the Apostles is more complete than that of Jesus Himself, for He says in John 16:12, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth." While His own teaching had been partial, because of their weakness, the teaching of the Apostles, under the promised Spirit, was to take in the whole sphere of God's truth.

So if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept that of the whole Bible, but we must, as already seen, accept Christ's authority.

SECOND, on the ground of its fulfilled prophecies.

There are two classes of prophecies in the Bible-first, the explicit, verbal prophecies, second, those of the types.

In the first we have the definite prophecies concerning the Jews, the heathen nations and the Messiah. Taking the prophecies, regarding the Messiah as an illustration, look at Isaiah 53, Mic. 5:2, Dan. 9:25-27. Many others might be mentioned, but these will serve as illustrations. In these prophecies, written hundreds of years before the Messiah came, we have the most explicit statements as to the manner and place of His birth, the manner of His reception by men, how His life would end, His resurrection and His victory succeeding His death. When made, these prophecies were exceedingly improbable, and seemingly impossible of fulfillment; but they were fulfilled to the very minutest detail of manner and place and time. How are we to account for it? Man could not have foreseen these improbable events-they lay hundreds of years ahead-but God could, and it is God who speaks through these men.

But the prophecies of the types are more remarkable still. Everything in the Old Testament-history, institutions, ceremonies-is prophetical. The high priesthood, the ordinary priesthood, the Levites, the prophets, priests and kings, are all prophecies. The tabernacle, the brazen altar, the laver, the golden candlestick, the table of shew bread, the veil, the altar of incense, the ark of the covenant, the very coverings of the tabernacle, are prophecies. In all these things, as we study them minutely and soberly in the light of the history of Jesus Christ and the church, we see, wrapped up in the ancient institutions ordained of God to meet an immediate purpose, prophecies of the death, atonement, and resurrection of Christ, the day of Pentecost, and the entire history of the church. We see the profoundest Christian doctrines of the New Testament clearly foreshadowed in these institutions of the Old Testament. The only way in which you can appreciate this is to get into the Book itself and study all about the sacrifices and feasts, etc., till you see the truths of the New Testament shining out in the Old. If, in studying some elementary form of life, I find a rudimentary organ, useless now, but by the process of development to become of use in that animal's descendant, I say, back of this rudimentary organ is God, who, in the earlier animal, is preparing for the life and necessities of the animal that is to come. So, going back to these preparations in the Bible for the truth that is to be clearly taught at a later day, there is only one scientific way to account for them, namely, He who knows and prepares for the end from the beginning is the author of that Book.

THIRD, on the ground of the unity of the book.

This is an old argument, but a very satisfactory one. The Bible consists of sixty-six books, written by more than thirty different men, extending in the period of its composition over more than fifteen hundred years; written in three different languages, in many different countries, and by men on every plane of social life, from the herd man and fisherman and cheap politician up to the king upon his throne; written under all sorts of circumstances; yet in all this wonderful conglomeration we find an absolute unity of thought.

A wonderful thing about it is that this unity does not lie on the surface. On the surface there is oftentimes apparent contradiction, and the unity only comes out after deep and protracted study.

More wonderful yet is the organic character of this unity, beginning in the first book and growing till you come to its culmination in the last book of the Bible. We have first the seed, then the plant, then the bud, then the blossom, then the ripened fruit.

Suppose a vast building were to be erected, the stones for which were brought from the quarries in Rutland, Vermont; Berea, Ohio; Kasota, Minnesota, and Middletown, Connecticut. Each stone was hewn into final shape in the quarry from which it was brought. These stones were of all varieties of shape and size, cubical, rectangular, cylindrical, etc., but when they were brought together every stone fitted into its place, and when put together there rose before you a temple absolutely perfect in every outline, with its domes, sidewalls, buttresses, arches, transepts-not a gap or a flaw anywhere. How would you account for it? You would say:

"Back of these individual workers in the quarries was the master-mind of the architect who planned it all, and gave to each individual worker his specifications for the work."

So in this marvelous temple of God's truth which we call the Bible, whose stones have been quarried at periods of time and in places so remote from one another, but where every smallest part fits each other part, we are forced to say that back of the human hands that wrought was the Master-mind that thought.

FOURTH, on the ground of the immeasurable superiority of the teachings of the Bible to those of any other and all other books.

It is quite fashionable in some quarters to compare the teachings of the Bible with the teachings of Zoroaster, and Buddha, and Confucius, and Epictetus, and Socrates, and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and a number of other heathen authors. The difference between the teachings of the Bible and those of these men is found in three points-

First, the Bible has in it nothing but truth, while all the others have truth mixed with error. It is true Socrates taught how a philosopher ought to die; he also taught how a woman of the town ought to conduct her business. Jewels there are in the teachings of these men, but (as Joseph Cook once said) they are "jewels picked out of the mud."

Second, the Bible contains all truth. There is not a truth to be found anywhere on moral or spiritual subjects that you cannot find in substance within the covers of that old Book. I have often, when speaking upon this subject, asked anyone to bring me a single truth on moral or spiritual subjects, which, upon reflection, I could not find within the covers of this book, and no one has ever been able to do it. I have taken pains to compare some of the better teachings of infidels with those of the Bible. They indeed have jewels of thought, but they are, whether they knew it or not, stolen jewels, and stolen from the very book they ridicule.

The third point of superiority is this: the Bible contains more truth than all other books together. Get together from all literature of ancient and modern times all the beautiful thoughts you can; put away all the rubbish; put all these truths that you have culled from the literature of all ages into one book, and as the result, even then you will not have a book that will take the place of this one book.

This is not a large book. I hold in my hand a copy that I carry in my vest pocket and yet in this one little book there is more of truth than in all the books which man has produced in all the ages of his history. How will you account for it? There is only one rational way. This is not man's book, but God's book.

FIFTH, on the ground of the history of the book, its victory over attack.

This book has always been hated. No sooner was it given to the world than it met the hatred of men, and they tried to stamp it out. Celsus tried it by the brilliancy of his genius, Porphyry by the depth of his philosophy; but they failed, Lucian directed against it the shafts of his ridicule, Diocletian the power of the Roman empire; but they failed. Edicts backed by all the power of the empire were issued that every Bible should be burned, and that everyone who had a Bible should be put to death. For eighteen centuries every engine of destruction that human science, philosophy, wit, reasoning or brutality could bring to bear against a book has been brought to bear against that book to stamp it out of the world, but it has a mightier hold on the world to-day than ever before.

If that were man's book it would have been annihilated and forgotten hundreds of years ago, but because there is in it "the hiding of God's power," though at times all the great men of the world have been against it, and only an obscure remnant for it, still it has fulfilled wonderfully the words of Christ, though not in the sense of the original prophecy, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away."

SIXTH, on the ground of the character of those who accept and of those who reject the book.

Two things speak for the divinity of the Bible-the character of those who accept it, and, equally, the character of those who reject it. I do not mean by this that every man who professes to believe the book is better than every man that does not, but show me a man living an unselfish, devoted life, one who without reservation has surrendered himself to do the will of God, and I will show you a man who believes the Bible to be God's Word. On the other hand, show me a man who rejects the Divine authority of that book, and I will show you a man living a life of greed, or lust, or spiritual pride, or self will.

Suppose you have a book purporting to be by a certain author, and the people best acquainted with that author say it is his, and the people least acquainted with him say it is not; which will you believe? Now, the people best acquainted with God say the Bible is His book; those who are least acquainted with God say it is not. Which will you believe?

Furthermore, as men grow better they are more likely to accept the Bible, and as they grow worse they are more likely to reject it. We have all known men who were both sinful and unbelieving, who by forsaking their sin lost their unbelief. Did any of us ever know a man who was sinful and believing, who by forsaking his sin lost his faith? The nearer men live to God the more confident they are that the Bible is God's Word; the farther they get away from Him the more confident they are that it is not.

Where is the stronghold of the Bible? In the pure, unselfish, happy home. Where is the stronghold of infidelity? The gambling hell, the drinking saloon and the brothel. If a man should walk into a saloon and lay a Bible down upon the bar, and order a drink, we should think there was a strange incongruity in his actions, but if he should lay any infidel writing upon the bar, and order a drink, we would not feel that there was any incongruity.

SEVENTH, on the ground of the influence of the book.

There is more power in that little book to save men, and purify, gladden and beautify their lives, than in all other literature put together-more power to lift men up to God. A stream never rises higher than its source, and a book that has a power to lift men up to God that no other book has, must have come down from God in a way that no other book was.

I have in mind as I write a man who was the most complete victim of strong drink I ever knew; a man of marvelous intellectual gifts, but who had been stupefied and brutalized and demonized by the power of sin, and he was an infidel. At last the light of God shone into his darkened heart, and by the power of that book he has been transformed into one of the humblest, sweetest, noblest men I know to-day.

What other book would have done that? What other book has the power to elevate not only individuals but communities and nations that this book has?

EIGHTH, on the ground of the inexhaustible depth of the book.

Nothing has been added to it in eighteen hundred years, yet a man like Bunsen, or Neander, cannot exhaust it by the study of a lifetime. George Müller read it through more than one hundred times, and said it was fresher every time he read it. Could that be true of any other book?

But more wonderful than this-not only individual men but generations of men for eighteen hundred years have dug into it and given to the world thousands of volumes devoted to its exposition, and they have not reached the bottom of the quarry yet. A book that man produces man can exhaust, but all men together have not been able to get to the bottom of this book. How are you going to account for it? Only in this way-that in this book are hidden the infinite and inexhaustible treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

A brilliant Unitarian writer, in trying to disprove the inspiration of the Bible, says: "How irreligious to charge an infinite God with having written His whole Word in so small a book." He does not see how his argument can be turned against himself. What a testimony it is to the divinity of this book that such infinite wisdom is stored away in so small a compass.

NINTH, on the ground of the fact that as we grow in knowledge and holiness we grow toward the Bible.

Every thoughtful person when he starts out to study the Bible finds many things with which he does not agree, but as he goes on studying and growing in likeness to God, the nearer he gets to God the nearer he gets to the Bible. The nearer and nearer we get to God's standpoint the less and less becomes the disagreement between us and the Bible. What is the inevitable mathematical conclusion? When we get where God is, we and the Bible will meet. In other words, the Bible was written from God's standpoint.

Suppose you are traveling through a forest under the conduct of an experienced and highly recommended guide. You come to a place where two roads diverge. The guide says the road to the left is the one to take, but your own judgment passing upon the facts before it sees clear evidence that the road to the right is the one to take. You turn and say to the guide,

"I know you have had large experience in this forest, and you have come to me highly recommended, but my own judgment tells me clearly that the road to the right is the one we should take, and I must follow my own judgment. I know my reason is not infallible, but it is the best guide I have."

But after you have followed that path for some distance you are obliged to stop, turn around and go back and take the path which the guide said was the right one.

After a while you come to another place where two roads diverge. Now the guide says the road to the right is the one to take, but your judgment clearly says the one to the left is the one to take, and again you follow your own judgment with the same result as before.

After you had this experience forty or fifty times, and found yourself wrong every time, I think you would have sense enough the next time to follow the guide.

That is just my experience with the Bible. I received it at first on the authority of others. Like almost all other young men, my confidence became shaken, and I came to the fork in the road more than forty times, and I followed, my own reason, and in the outcome found myself wrong and the Bible right every time, and I trust that from this time on I shall have sense enough to follow the teachings of the Bible whatever my own judgment may say.

TENTH, on the ground of the direct testimony of the Holy Spirit.

We began with God and shall end with God. We began with the testimony of the second person of the Trinity, and shall close with that of the third person of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit sets His seal in the soul of every believer to the Divine authority of the Bible. It is possible to get to a place where we need no argument to prove that the Bible is God's Word. Christ says, "My sheep know my voice," and God's know His voice, and I know that the voice that speaks to me from the pages of that Book is the voice of my Father. You will sometimes meet a pious old lady, who tells you that she knows that the Bible is God's Word, and when you ask her for a reason for believing that it is God's Word she can give you none, She simply says:

"I know it is God's Word."

You say: "That is mere superstition."

Not at all. She is one of Christ's sheep, and recognizes her Shepherd's voice from every other voice. She is one of God's , and knows the voice which speaks to her from the Bible is the voice of God. She is above argument.

Everyone can have that testimony. John 7:17 (R.V.) tells you how to get it. "If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God." Just surrender your will to the will of God, no matter where it carries you, and you will put yourself in such an attitude toward God that when you read this book you will recognize that the voice that speaks to you from it is the voice of the God to whom you have surrendered your will.

Some time ago, when I was speaking to our students upon how to deal with septics, there was in the audience a graduate of a British University who had fallen into utter scepticism. At the close of the lecture he came to me and said:

"I don't wish to be discourteous, sir, but my experience contradicts everything you have said."

I asked him if he had followed the course of action that I had suggested and not found light. He said that he had. Stepping into another room I had a pledge written out running somewhat as follows:

"I believe there is an absolute difference between right and wrong, and I hereby take my stand upon the right, to follow it wherever it carries me. I promise earnestly to endeavor to find out what the truth is, and if I ever find that Jesus Christ is the of God, I promise to accept Him as my Savior and confess Him before the world."

I handed the paper to the gentleman and asked him if he was willing to sign it. He answered, "Certainly," and did sign it. I said to him:

"You don't know there is not a God, and you don't know that God doesn't answer prayer. I know He does, but my knowledge cannot avail for you, but here is a possible clew to knowledge. Now you have promised to search earnestly for the truth, so you will follow this possible clue. I want you to offer a prayer like this: 'Oh, God, if there be any God, and thou dost answer prayer, show me whether Jesus Christ is thy , and if you show me He is, I will accept Him as my Savior and confess Him before the world.'"

This he agreed to do. I further requested that he would take the Gospel of John and read in it every day, reading only a few verses at a time slowly and thoughtfully, every time before he read asking God to give him light. This he also agreed to do, but he finished by saying, "There is nothing in it." However, at the end of a short time, I met him again, and he said to me, "There is something in that." I replied, "I knew that." Then he went on to say it seemed just as if he had been caught up by the Niagara river and had been carried along, and that before long he would be a shouting Methodist.

A short time ago I met this gentleman again, and he said to me that he could not understand how he had been so blind, how he had ever listened to the reasoning which he had; that it seemed to him utterly foolish now. I replied that the Bible would explain this to him, that the "natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God," but that now he had put himself into the right attitude towards God and His truth, everything had been made plain. That man, who assured me that he was "a very peculiar man," and that methods that influenced others would not influence him, by putting himself into the right attitude towards God, got to a place where he received the direct testimony of the Holy Ghost that this Bible is God's Word; and, any one else can do the same
Bible Facts About Divorce
Posted:Jan 18, 2012 3:45 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

There are specific Biblical and spiritual facts that govern marriage, divorce and remarriage. Some of these facts identified in this book are:

Divorce itself is not wrong or sin unless it is used for selfish pleasure!
God loves the individuals who make up the marriage more than He loves the marriage institution!
God did not say, "I hate divorce" to ALL divorces; some He calls for, others are needed!
The Bible tells that "widows" are women who have been divorced or deserted, as well as those whose husbands are dead. Widows should be cared for by the Church!
God hates a divorce when His approval is on the marriage . When God disapproves of the marriage, His approval is on the divorce!
A Biblical remarriage was always God's heart!
God revokes the right to divorce in certain situations. Meaning, the right to divorce has always been there.

by Divorce Hope
Marriage Covenants Are Conditional (NOT Unconditional)
Posted:Jan 18, 2012 3:42 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

A Marriage Covenant, Marriage Vows, a Marriage Agreement and a Covenant Marriage are all conditional. There is no such thing as an "unconditional" marriage covenant. The very terms: marriage agreement, marriage vows and marriage covenant all mean they are conditional. That is what a vow, covenant or an agreement is: a union based upon conditions.

By: Stephen Gola

What is a Covenant?

The word "covenant" is defined as "a compact" which is an agreement between two or more parties. In our case, we mean a marriage covenant. Within the very meaning of the name "covenant" lies the essential fact that there are conditions to a covenant. A "covenant" is made up of conditions (terms of agreement) which each party has agreed to uphold, otherwise, there is no covenant. Covenants are legal documents or verbal agreements whereby oaths of faithfulness are expressed between two or more parties. A covenant carries legal authority in which all parties are constrained (obligated) by the conditions of the covenant. It is always conditional upon each of the parties involved to fulfill their part of the covenant. There is no such thing as an "unconditional" covenant. "Unconditional" means no conditions or that anything goes. This in itself would negate the very use of the word covenant. However, there is such a thing as a conditional covenant becoming a "permanent" covenant after all of the conditions of the covenant have been fulfilled.

Establishing a covenant is different than fulfilling a covenant. Establishing a covenant is the successful agreement of the parties involved regarding the terms and conditions of the covenant. Fulfilling the covenant is the actual carrying-out of that agreement.

Because a covenant depends upon each party fulfilling their agreed-upon part, it carries the legal authority that conditions must be met by all parties or the covenant is broken.When a covenant is broken without seeking remedy for reconciliation and restitution or both, the covenant obligations cease and the agreement is terminated. In the case of the marriage covenant when there is a divorce, there is actually an additional covenant which comes into play resulting from the who are born within the marriage covenant. This additional covenant (the covenant between the and the parents), continues despite the ended marriage covenant.

God Makes Conditional Covenants

Unconditional marriage covenants did not start with God, but with man by His church teaching (tradition) that a marriage covenant is indissolvable. Even when God first created man in the Garden of Eden, He made a conditional covenant with them. To enable the man and woman to prove their love to Him, God put a tree in the midst of the Garden called: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God's only command to them was for them not to eat of this specific tree. Everything else in the world was theirs; otherwise, they would start dying both spiritually and physically. This was their proof of loyalty and love to God because of the awesome responsibility and authority He had given them over the entire universe. You cannot have true love unless you have the option not to love.

Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." The keeping of the commandments (the conditions) of the covenant is the way we show God that we love Him. Without the keeping of the commandments of the covenant, there is NO display of commitment (love) to God. We have broken covenant! His justice requires us to e ither make restitution and/or reconciliation or else we break our relationship totally with God.

God only operates upon truth. Therefore, if it appears that God is not doing His part in our life it is because WE are not fulfilling our part of the covenant. Covenants are conditional.

One of the conditional covenants that God made is one that almost everyone in the world is familiar with, the covenant with the condition of circumcision. In Genesis 17:10, 14 the Lord said to Abraham, "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised."Then in verse 14 the Lord gave Abraham the penalty for not fulfilling the condition of the covenant: "And the uncircumcised male , WHO IS NOT CIRCUMCISED in the flesh of his foreskin, that person SHALL BE CUT OFF from his people; HE HAS BROKEN MY COVENANT."

Another example of God's covenants is the one He made with Israel: "Now therefore, IF you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine" (Exodus 19:5). When a covenant has to do with man, a covenant is always conditional if it is to be a covenant. God does not make unconditional or unbreakable covenants with fallible sinful man. However, He does turn a conditional covenant into a permanent covenant when all of the conditions of the covenant have been met. This can be seen in the case of the covenant God made with Abraham. The covenant was actually made with Abraham's Seed to come, Jesus. After Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the covenant (which included living a sinless life, taking the penalty for man's sins upon Himself in hell, and being rightfully raised from the dead forever incorruptible), God turned it into a permanent covenant. (See Galatians 3:16 and Hebrews 1:8-9).

Because God knows our sinfulness, He does not make unconditional or unbreakable covenants with man. Therefore, who are we as sinful man, to even consider that the covenants we make with each other (in this case, marriage), are indissolvable or unbreakable because of unsurpassing violations by the other party? Covenants are conditional; that is why they are called "covenants" because they contain provisions to protect the party of the agreement who do not violate the covenant.

Marriage Covenants

Unconditional, Defined

The very word "unconditional" means without conditions. In other words, it does not matter how many violations of the marriage covenant that a partner makes, the covenant is still intact. The word "unconditional" is a contradiction of the word "covenant." If a marriage covenant did not have conditions it would be like saying that one partner can abuse the other, or a spouse can have sex or play around with anyone outside of the marriage and always feel welcomed back into a safe, secure and happy relationship. This is too ridicules to even consider! Nevertheless, this is exactly what has been taught by the church in saying that a marriage is indissolvable! Because it has been taught as truth that "God hates divorce," it is implied that marriage covenants are unconditional and unbreakable and that NO violations of the terms of agreement will affect the covenant because there are NO conditions! To imply that a marriage covenant has no conditions is a corruption of the marriage institution itself! Whenever the conditions of the covenant have been violated, broken or not met, there is a breech of contractand the covenant agreement was not fulfilled as agreed upon. Therefore, restitution, reconciliation and/or dissolving of the marriage covenant is sought. Covenants always stand upon the foundation of justice, truth and love rooted in morality.

Marriage covenants Sacred? YES! Permanent? No!

Only in two places in Scripture is marriagedefined aspermanent and indissolvable. They are in Deuteronomy 22:13-30 where God has actually REMOVED the right to divorce; not allowing the violating spouseto dissolve the marriage covenant. This means that when needed, the right to divorce (the dissolving of the marriage covenant) has always been there. In these cases that right was abused, so God revoked it for the sake of the woman.

The first instance was when the husband claimed that his new wife was not a virgin, when in fact, she was proved to be so. Because the husband brought a bad name upon her, "...He cannot divorce her all his days" (Deuteronomy 22:19). The other case was when a man had sex with a virgin single woman. He must pay support money (the dowry of a bride) to her family, and by having sex with her he has taken her as his wife and "...[Was not] permitted to divorce her all his days" (Deuteronomy 22:29). But "if her father utterly refuses to give her to him [the marriage would be cancelled and father and would keep the dowry]" (Exodus 22:16).

These are the only two cases where the covenant of marriage was NOT allowed to be dissolved. God removed the man's rights to dissolve the marriage in this case because he violated the woman without marrying her which was a greater violation. God forbad it to protect the woman so she would always be supported during her life. However, the wife still had the right to divorce her husband even though her husband could not divorce his wife. The right to divorce has always existed in the case of a marriage covenant being violated; however, in these cases, that right was lost. Thus, God recognizes that covenants are conditional.

Vows: Conditions of the Marriage Covenant

The vows of a marriage are the conditions of the covenant set forth before the marriage takes place. The marriage ceremony is the "place of agreement" where each partner takes a solemn oath to uphold the terms and conditions of the marriage covenant to which both parties have agreed. The "living together in a marriage union" is the environment in which the agreed-upon conditions of the covenant is carried out by both parties. Marriage IS a lifetime commitment; however, it is not a lifetime commitment without conditions. The ability to keep one’s promise to “love” (keeping the marriage vows) is rooted in godly character. (See articles on The Extreme Significance of The Fruit of The Spirit and God's ("Unconditional") Love: It's Moral Its Conditional.

Because the marriage covenant has been taught to be unconditional and unbreakable, it is powerfully inferred that there is no violation that can qualify for the covenant to be dissolved except in several far-reaching cases. Vows have come to mean nothing.

Let me give an example of an unconditional one-sided covenant agreement. It is your wedding day and you exchange vows with your beloved. The man says, "I take my wife, to have as I wish and to abuse if she does not listen, to meet all my needs, to hurt her as often as I desire because she is now my wife and cannot escape. I own her. I can have sex with anyone I desire and do as I please in complete disregard to her feelings." The wife says, "I take my dear husband to have and to hold, to cherish and to love, in sickness and disease, for better and for worse, always seeking ways to strengthen and grow our relationship till death do us part." NOBODY would ever consider such a vow; however, this is exactly what is taking place when the conditions of the marriage covenant are taught as being unconditional.

Covenant is Relationship

Covenant is relationship! "Relationship" in its very definition carries the fact that there is mutual caring andmoral obligations between each party, and the fulfilling of needs within each other.Simply because there is a relationship, they are in covenant.

Covenants are protected by the covenant partners. This results in a covenant that has conditions and can be violated. The covenant partners are to protect their covenant from those outside the covenant, namely, those who have not been invited to be a part of their relationship. In the case of marriage, it would be any person outside the marriage because that person does not have exclusive rights to sharing the depths of each others emotions, bodily contact and sexual enjoyment.

How the Devil Used the Errors of the Marriage Covenant Being "Unconditional"

The devil was able to spin a web of lies and deceit which drove couples away from the original marriage covenant because of the errors taught by God's church. Of course the church did not decide to teach error; rather, the truth has been lost through time.

Let me explain. I believe that because the truths of marriage, divorce, remarriage, submission and covenant have been lost through time, it gave the devil a powerful opportunity to actually use the errors that are being taught as truth within the church to enslave many of God's people in bad marriages. His church, the very people of God, who have been given the awesome responsibility to uphold these truths have become the very taskmasters enslaving God's people by ignorantly upholding the devil's agenda.

Somewhere down through history well-intended translators of the Bible have adopted these errors as truth. I believe some were done purposely to fit their desires, but most were probably through ignorance. Because the famous Scripture of Malachi 2:16 has been translated and taught as "God hates divorce" instead of its real meaning of "God hates a separation (to marry another person without getting divorced first)," the devil was able to convince us that marriage covenants are unconditional. If he could get the church to believe that marriage covenants are unconditional, he could use the church itself as a prison camp to enslave God's people thereby disabling them from fulfilling the calling of God on their lives because of fear, guilt and shame. Sadly, He has accomplished his mission, to a great extent.

The devil was also able to tie together the wrong translation and teachings of "God hates divorce" to the church teaching that there are no valid claims in which one can divorce (because marriage is taught to be an unconditional covenant). This has propagated the message that the marriage vows (the conditions of the marriage covenant), are useless and invalid, thus binding the victim of the violation into an indissolvable relationship. (See For Better or For Worse.)

As sin and lukewarmness have been escalating within society and particularly the church, more and more people have been making wrong decisions regarding which mate they choose, many times resulting in going off into very bad marriages and sin. Because of the great marital problems this has created, it has caused marriage to be viewed as a failing institution.

Thus, the devil has in many ways been successful in presenting God's institution of marriage to be a failure. Not only is it a failure but the devil makes it into a prison where a person is united in an unconditional, indissolvable covenant relationship with another person who can abuse them at will and they have no way out while the church leadership is ignorantly poised as the devil’s prison wardens. Because marriage is being now presented more like a prison than as a loving relationship, many have disregarded the original marriage structure, not because they wanted to, but because they were forced to safeguard their hearts in case of relationship violations. In other words, they have enacted their own covenant-relationship safeguards because the church has taken theirs away through ignorance and deception. The church can recapture the institution of marriage and again elevate it to its proper place and thereby pulling many from the fire; however, the restoration of these lost truths by God's leadership must come first. The church must acknowledge its failure in the teaching the errors regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage. In behalf of God's leadership, I ask you for forgiveness. Please pray for us! Stephen Gola.
Divorce and the Church
Posted:Jan 18, 2012 3:37 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

Ministers, Pastors and Leadership Who Abuse the Divorced.

Abuse in the church is a very serious matter. However, because the church in general does not acknowledge that divorce is NOT a sin in itself, the leadership of the church unwittingly go right on abusing God's who are divorced as if they are doing God's handiwork — "keeping the church clean." We will teach and train anyone in leadership the truth about divorce who asks.

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Divorce and the Church:

Ministers, Pastors and Leadership Who Abuse the Divorced.

Introduction and closing by: Stephen Gola
Letter by: Renate Vinje

Many of those in leadership in the local church are unwittingly abusing, traumatizing and betraying God’s who come for help. We know that in general the leadership in God’s church knows little to nothing about divorce and remarriage as God sees it. We also know that these truths have been lost through time; nevertheless, the abuse continues and God’s suffer.

We at DivorceHope will offer to help anyone who is in a leadership or counseling position to truly understand God’s heart on divorce, remarriage, relationship love and marriage covenants.

Therefore by permission, I present an actual letter of a real situation that has occurred as an example of the common abuse that is rampant in the church. (The names in the letter have been removed.) I wish I could say that this is an isolated case. However, we at DivorceHope see this tragic scenario played-out over and over again in Christian’s lives. Only their names and faces are different.

Renate Vinje wrote this letter to the church leadership in defense of her friend whom they abused and shamed for being divorced. We know that many of you who were abused will find healing in this letter; and, we are trusting God that many of you in leadership who have unwittingly abused God’s will find the truth.

Here’s Renate:

I just recently joined your organization for Bible study. After I visited with my friend last week, I learned that it was her church and your "fellowship" that added more pain to her already broken spirit when she was divorced many years ago. Although she has forgiven you and her church, she is still suffering from her past, unable to heal, as she was shamed and deeply wounded, and churches reinforce her shame over and over again.

She was married to a monster who terribly abused her and her for 9 years, fearing for her life. She finally had the courage to leave him. Rather than have the church stand with her, struggling to survive with her , helping her to overcome and heal, they did nothing to support her and actually added more pain by telling her she could no longer sing in the choir. Besides her personhood being destroyed, feeling like garbage, feeling rejected by her church, she could not use her wonderful gift of music anymore.

In addition she was told by your organization that she could not be a women's leader, causing more shame and belittlement, as they are to set the example. I ask myself what example they were by treating her this way, and what sin she committed besides being a victim? But she was still good enough to care for , to disappear in the back room, even pressured to do so. Amazing, how they would allow a person not good enough to set standards to lead women, yet good enough to lead easily influenced . Hmm?

At least she had enough sense to leave. How terrible though to be abused by her spouse, and then spiritually abused by her church and your group as well. Thank God she had family. If that would have happened to me I would have been all alone as I am from Europe and have no other family. God knows what I would have done.

Therefore, I contacted my group leader to inquire if the organization still had the same policy towards or more correctly against divorced leaders, no matter the reason for divorce. Since they have not changed, I told her I would no longer be able to attend. Although she tried to persuade me to stay, it would be hypocritical for me not to stand with my friend who was abused and terrorized by her husband, and then spiritually abused by her church and your fellowship.

God hates divorce, but Himself divorced and remarried.
It seems that even God is not good enough to sing at her church and lead in your organization, as even He who hates divorce, went ahead and divorced Israel because of her evil ways, and married another, the gentiles. Even God has enough sense to reject evil. Not until God raptures His church, and Israel repents at our Lord's second coming will God take her back, and marry her again, and then only those who repent. Jeremiah 3; Zechariah 12-14. My friend forgave this evil man for years, pouring out her Spirit of Grace, and was ready to forgive again and again, but he would not repent. I guess you expected her to have more power than God and do more than God could or would do.

Christ says "Depart from me you evil doer!"
While Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, and He woos us to Him by His grace, it does not benefit us until we repent to enter into Covenant with God. Marital love is Covenant love, requiring both parties to submit to one another. Unconditional love implies that no matter how your spouse treats you, abuses you, or corrupts you and your family, whether by legal or illegal means, you are to "love" them. Essentially, we have been taught that "unconditional" love is a love without moral boundaries. While Jesus loved us and allowed himself to be abused and terrorized for our sin, He did so before we married Him, but only those who repent, and respond in deep regret, love and gratitude to Him are accepted and benefit in a marriage relationship with Him forever. Others who claim to know Him are warned and told He never knew them. To know Him means intimate love, marital love, and for the evil doer to depart from Him. Jesus is indeed our bridegroom and we are His bride. But even Jesus will divorce many forever and send them to hell, because they never committed to Him in the first place. --Sorry Jesus, according to my friend's church and your organization, "You" are not qualified to lead your church either. Matthew 7. How sad that the church has not learned that divorce in and of itself is not sin, and under certain circumstances is a righteous act, as God did so Himself, and Christ Himself will do so when He separates the goat from the sheep.

What "God" has joined together let no man separate.
Mark 10: 6-9. Although I have never been divorced nor abused by my husband and have no personal stake for my views, outside of the fact that I understand abuse due to my childhood and have a heart for God and people, I believe that not all marriages performed by our legal system nor churches are necessarily marriages approved or joined by "God", as we can see by legalizing homosexual marriages. Furthermore God detested marriages between Israel and ungodly pagan nations in the Old Testament, which typifies the believer joined with the unbeliever.

In the case of my friend, deceived to marry a controlling and abusive spouse who never committed to the marriage "under God", was never joined by God. I dare say it was detested and hated by God, as marriage is a covenant, a "conditional" covenant. Therefore God does not approve of all marriages, therefore not all divorce is sin, - that is unless, - you want to call God and Jesus Christ a sinner.

This man was evil, deceptive, and merely used her for sex as he would a live - in and convenience as he would a maid. Secondly one can hardly call such a man a Christian, as one cannot ignore the Holy Sprit and His constant knocking to repent of sin, in this case of spousal destruction and satanic mind control. It is evil to pressure a woman into staying with an abusive unrepentant mate, and making the victim feel responsible, shaming and degrading her even more. We must consider him an unbeliever and let him leave, as he never meant to stay in the first place. 1Corinthians 7. While restoration is always Gods desire and first priority, it is impossible without repentance. By the way, Titus taught the husband of one wife. This does in no way speak of one spouse in your lifetime, or never divorced and remarried, but rather of marriage to one wife at a time, rather than many wives. If that were the case a widower could not remarry either.

Thirdly an abused spouse is in bondage and cannot make Jesus Lord over her life as the abuser lords over her heart and mind, leaving the person unable to think correctly, living in constant fear rather than loving submission to God and each other. It is a known fact that spousal abuse causes damage to mind, soul, and spirit that is often irreversible. Never mind what it does to . It is a miracle that my friend is who she is, not because of your help, but by the grace of God and her unswerving faith. Amazingly she still desires to go to church. I hope and pray she has not learned to go back for more abuse.

Who is good enough?
Since you seem to be so concerned to only use "proper" people who have never divorced, to set the example, I wonder how you feel about using ex murderers, homosexuals, or adulterers, liars, and thieves? If you ask me I would rather be taught and trust a person who is divorced, that is if I did not believe in the power of a changed life through Christ. I also wonder why you are not concerned about using "proper" material. Why is it that you don’t rip up the biggest part of the New Testament written by Paul, a multi-murderer, the apostle to the gentiles, founder of many churches and great leader? We certainly would not want to follow anything he would have to say, would we? How about the Psalms written in large by King David, an adulterer and murderer, a "man after God's own heart?" I could go on and on but I am sure you get the point.

Love rather than fear and shame:
When in doubt try love. The wounded person must be embraced, loved, and helped to seek godly counsel. Anyone knows that abuse causes people to have little or no worth, and a wounded soul and spirit in turn most often chooses unwisely, and almost always less than they think they are worth. Therefore, my friend remarried a person with many issues because she has never learned her worth, and how could she, when she has been taught over and over again by churches and Christian organizations that she is "not good enough." They have been married 20 years now. When I asked her "why", she said "At least he does not beat me." Therefore she has stuck it out because he is kind, and thank God he is now finally seeking help, and we pray for his ability to trust the Lord for healing, strength and renewal. However in all those years no help ever came from her new church. Although she attends faithfully, and is active, not one man nor the pastor ever called and said to her new husband "Come and join me for a cup of coffee", etc. etc. I dare say that if she would have divorced again, the church would have been there quickly to judge, maybe even condemn her.

It is with sadness and utter disgust that I find once again that the church of Jesus Christ preaches forgiveness, righteousness and restoration in Christ but does not practice it. (Galatians 6:1.) May God forgive you for adding pain and shame to the hurting, abandoning the wounded and lonely, in the name of looking proper. If I recall correctly Jesus called such white washed tombs.

Although my friend has forgiven her church and your organization years ago, forgiveness does not equate healing. It would benefit my friend much in her healing, if you indeed would apologize to her for the pain you caused, but that would mean you would have to reexamine and oppose your policy, and consider the possibility that it is wrong. Although much of the Bible study material is good and deserves to be recognized, the policies pertaining to church leadership are in my firm belief in great error, spiritually abusive, and do not reflect a healthy balance of scripture, never mind the heart of God and Jesus Christ.

In His service,

Renate Vinje

Sadly, this letter is a typical scenario of the abuse the leadership of local churches is unwittingly inflicting upon Christians regarding divorce and remarriage. Nevertheless, there must be forgiveness to God’s leadership for simply not knowing. God’s MUST be aware that a title, position or office such as minister, pastor, prophet, reverend, etc. does not automatically grant them full understanding of the truth on any Biblical subject. No, they must learn like everyone else and/or get it from those who have it. Again, we at DivorceHope will offer to help anyone in a leadership or counseling position to truly understand God’s heart on divorce, remarriage, relationship love and marriage covenants.

Stephen Gola
Christians, Sex and the Bible
Posted:Jan 18, 2012 3:33 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

(What does the Bible say about a Christian and sex? Is there "Biblical and non-Biblical sex"? Are there "sex limitations"? Yes!)

By: Joe Beam

As God made every animal, He created a partner of the opposite gender. The partner provided companionship and assistance. The two of them also made the perfect team for raising offspring.

Sex and the Bible

Why did God give us the gift of sex?
God blessed the human animal above the other animals by placing within them a different sexual need and a different sexual fulfillment. Most other creatures participate in sex simply for procreation. When the female enters a period of fertility she accepts the sexual advances of a chosen male.

In the human animal, sexual desire and activity continually exist-not just in periods of female fertility. For us He made sex to be more than just the joining of two bodies for procreation. He made it so that when we join another person in sexual union, a spiritual union of sorts takes place at the same time.

The apostle Paul used that argument to dissuade Christians in the city of Corinth from hiring prostitutes from heathen temples to satisfy their sexual needs. He argues that joining oneself sexually with a makes a person one body or one flesh with her. He then says that the person shouldn't do that because he is already one with God-the Spirit lives in him. The implication is that the union of a Spirit-filled body with another human somehow carries spiritual dimensions. Therefore, the body bought by Christ should not participate in such behavior.

1Corinthians 6:15-20, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a ? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

For human beings, sex isn't just to make babies. It is to join two humans in the most intimate union possible. I believe that sexual love freely shared in marriage is the most beautiful way God gave us to say, "I love you."

Strong sexual needs exist in BOTH husband and wife
Sex in marriage is wonderful! But like all blessings, there can be an accompanying curse. Unfulfilled sexual needs sometimes lead to illicit relationships.

God addressed this strong sexual desire and need in humans through the writings of Paul in 1Corinthians 7:2-5.

"But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

What does God teach about sex?
If you wish a wonderful picture of the positives about sex, read carefully the Bible book sometimes called the Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon. The love story there is extremely sexual and very graphic. You may not see that with a casual reading since so much of it is written in the idiom of their day. From time to time in our question/answer section, we will refer to that book and, hopefully, make clear some of the explicit sexual references. In this section, we take a slightly different approach to learning God's view of sex.

A great deal of what the Bible teaches about sex comes in the form of prohibitions. Don't let that make you think God is against sex. He made it! But He made it to be enjoyed in His design-not in any human aberration of that design. Let's examine some of those prohibitions. By knowing what God prohibits, we can deduce what God designed to be fulfilling in sexual union.

The Ten Prohibitions

1) Incest
God strongly condemned sexual relations with a "close relative." Relatives listed include:

Mother (Leviticus 18) Father's wife-stepmother (Lev. 18:8-under penalty of death, Lev. 20:11)Sister, half-sister, or stepsister (Lev. 18:9, 11-penalized by being cut off from the people, Lev. 20:17) Grandchild (Lev. 18:10) Aunt (Lev. 18:12, 13, 14-penalized by dying childless, Lev. 20:19) -in-law (Lev. 18:15) Sister-in-law (Lev. 18:16)
or granddaughter of woman one had sex with (Lev. 18:17-penalized by death, Lev. 20:14)

2) Homosexuality
God strongly condemns sexual relations with a person of the same gender in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:22-penalized by death, Lev. 20:13). He condemns it just as strongly in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-28-penalized by spiritual death, Rom. 1:27, 6:23)

The Old Testament law definitely favored the male. If a man a married or engaged woman, he was to be executed while the woman was held to be innocent and worthy of no punishment. If the woman could have summoned help but didn't, she was also to be executed (Deuteronomy. 22:23-27).

If a man a single, unengaged woman, he was not put to death. The penalty was to marry her with no possibility of divorce, ever. (Deut. 22:28-29)

4) Consensual sex with one other than your mate
If a man slept with a woman who consensually engaged in sex with him, his penalty was to marry her (if her father wished) with no possibility of divorce (Exodus 22:16-17).

The New Testament made it clear that God expected sex to take place only in the boundaries of marriage. (1Corinthians 7:2-5) Anyone guilty of sexual sin-called fornication in some versions and sexual immorality in others-would suffer spiritual death unless he or she finds God's forgiveness. (Galatians 5:19-21)

5) Adultery
In the Old Testament adultery only occurred if a married woman was involved. A man who slept with a single woman (see above) didn't commit adultery since men could, by law, have more than one wife. Since women couldn't, by law, have more than one husband, any sexual encounter with another man-married or single-was adultery. God vehemently condemns it (Lev. 20:10) and listed the punishment as death (Deut. 22:22).

In the New Testament anyone married to one person but sleeping with another committed adultery. "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4).

6) Lust
In the Old Testament God phrased it this way, "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife." (Exodus 20:17) In the New Testament Jesus said it like this, "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-2.

God stated He detests . (Deut. 23:17-1 In the New Testament He said through Paul, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a ? Never!" (1Corinthians 6:15)

Any person, male or female, who participated in sexual activity with any animal was to be put to death under the Old Testament law (Lev. 20:15, 16).

9) Sex during menstrual period
A basic principle of Scripture is "the life of a creature is in the blood." (Lev. 17:11) Therefore, blood is always treated as holy--even in the New Testament (Acts 15:29).

Understanding that principle helps us understand God's law listed in the Old Testament about sexual relations during the wife's menstrual period. He said that it shouldn't happen (Lev. 15:24, 18:19) and listed the penalty as being "cut off" from the people. (Lev. 20:1 Many today believe that particular part of the "blood" law was given primarily for health reasons-the people of the Old Testament not having access to our modern hygiene or medicines-and that particular law has no application to Christians. Others feel that it lists God view of the sanctity of blood and should still be observed by Christians who respect God's feelings.

10) Harm the body
While this isn't specifically mentioned as I will describe it, the principle applies to anything that affects a person's body. Remember, the context in which this passage is found is one that discusses sexual activity. In 1Corinthians 6:19, 20 Paul wrote for us, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body." While our spirits belong to God, so does our body. We are not to do anything that desecrates that temple of God that our body is. Sexual activity that harms the body should not occur.

What are the basic principles?

Positive Points
Based on all we've studied in this section, it seems to me that we may infer these basic principles about God's view of sex.

God intends for sex to be enjoyed by people married to each other-sex isn't just for procreation as with the other animals.
God endorses our enjoyment of every part of our spouse's body.
God wants each person in the marriage to conscientiously fulfill his or her mates sexual needs and desires.

Prohibitive Points
Based on our study, I believe that the following limitations must exist for sex to be everything that God intended.

Sex must only take place in the confines of marriage.
Sex may never involve:
1. Another person besides your mate.
2. Any animal.
3. Anything that causes harm to either person's body.

That means that anything not prohibited by these principles is acceptable to God! So many things that some avoid for fear of offending God shouldn't be avoided at all. At least not avoided for religious reasons. They are just as valid and good as kissing, hugging, or any other expression of love between two who have committed themselves to each other. For more specifics, please read our weekly question/answer column about biblical principles of sexuality.

What does this mean to your marriage?

Priority One
First, pay attention to your sexual life. While it is true that every part of your life affects every other part, you must make every effort to keep your sexual life healthy. Never forget God's warning about Satan's attack that He gave you in 1Corinthians 7. Sexually unfulfilled people can be tempted through their lack of self-control. Remove that avenue of attack from Satan's forces by keeping your mate thoroughly sexually satisfied!

Priority Two
Second, keep the bedroom special. Never argue in that room. Never discipline the there. Never, ever, pay bills in that room. The bedroom should be for sleeping and love-making-nothing else! Don't let that room be associated with any negative thing in your mind or emotions. Make it the most special room in your house.

Teach your to respect the privacy of that room. Train them from infancy that when that door is shut, parents are spending special time with each other that is not to be violated. If you fear that they may figure out what you're doing in there, what better way to teach them healthy attitudes about sex? They learn to associate sex--although, of course, they shouldn't see or hear anything inappropriate--with love and marriage.

Priority Three
Third, if either of you wants sexual activity that the other finds uncomfortable--or perhaps even repulsive--each should submit to the other. That means that the initiator must not manipulate, cajole, pressure, or punish the reticent mate. But it also means that the reticent mate should prayerfully and purposefully work toward doing what the initiator requests--as long as it fits the principles outlined in this chapter.

For example, the reticent one should not allow another person to be involved in the couples sexual life if the initiator was to request such a thing. But if the initiator requests something outside the current comfort zone of the reticent mate that isn't wrong in the eyes of God, the reticent person should start making progress toward fulfilling that request.

With time and patience, each mate will get what he or she desires--a loving relationship that doesn't get stale, doesn't frustrate, and does fulfill each with great satisfaction.

Joe Beam
Help a Friend Through a Divorce.
Posted:Jan 18, 2012 3:26 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 2:28 pm

Being a friend to a friend going through a divorce is crucial during this time in their life. There are some very practical things that a friend can do to help a friend through a divorce. Divorce can be one of the most difficult things a person can encounter. Many times well meaning friends do not know what to do when their loved one need help; instead of helping, they actually make things worse. Below are some practical guidelines to Help a Friend Going Through a Divorce:

How Do I Be a Friend To Someone Who is Going Through a Divorce or Their Spouse Has Walked Out? (More of these apply to the wife than to the husband because of the greater needs.)

1. The most important thing that you could do for a friend is NOT to promise anything that you will not fully keep to its fullest extent. Even with the greatest intentions, if you do not keep your promises, you will do greater damage and the effects may last for years. It is better if your friend knows that you will NOT be there for them. At least they can count on that.

2. Of course, being a good listener is the first priority of business. Don't have all the answers, but rather, always be praying and seeking the Lord's heart on how to pull them through. Give them hope, not in the marriage necessarily, but in God's ability to walk them through. Always fill their heart with the Word of God and encourage them to do the same.

3. They will need help with the : encouraging them, sitting them and walking them through the pain of their hearts. Basically, being a friend, and not by inconvenience.

4. Financially: She will need ongoing money; otherwise she may end up out on the streets. Rally others in the church and friends to help. It must be ongoing (perhaps for years) because she and her are alive every day.

5. Help with working through the alimony and support process and encourage her not to be cut short. Make a reasonable budget and go after that. Both spouses have got to live.

6. Find her good mediator (rather than a lawyer) if at all possible who will be efficient and fair. Then help her pay for them. Otherwise, she will not have the money and end up victimized.

7. Emotional support: They will need to call any hour of the day or night---and expect it at the most inconvenient hours. You will be their bright light in their dark hour. Do not offer anything if you will not do it.

8. Divorce support: They will need a good support team who will be there for them. A support team will be of most value so they will not be a heavy burden on a single person or family. It is easier to carry something heavy when a number of people are involved. You can get a hold of Naomi Ford at 1-800-489-7778 at or visit their website to find a church support group in your area.

9. Let them know it is not the end of their world or the marriage as of yet. They cannot focus on everything being over even though their emotions will want to. Do not go there with them. Always pray with them and seek God’s heart in everything. God wants to work things out within their heart. They must be brought to understand this and what are the driving issues involved in the breakup. Most likely, they are unresolved heart issues or just plain ignorance of the dynamics of a relationship. They must evaluate what the real issues are with your help or a counselor.

10. We have found that most marriages fail because of selfishness and ignorance. Teach them and get the materials on how to save their marriage.

Bless your friend who is going through a divorce by following these ten guidelines above and you will end up with a relationship greater than ever. If you don't follow these guidelines, we may all end up losing a brother or sister to the enemy.

Stephen Gola

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