Divorce

What are your thoughts on this verse in Scripture?

Luke 16:18-

“If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he is guilty of adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman is also guilty of adultery.”

No holds barred. Let’s hear it.

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9 thoughts on “Divorce

    1. Mark,
      While I agree with your reference to stones and throwing, does that apply to this Scripture or do we just throw it out and disregard it?

    2. I think your friend Susan has a very good explantion. Unless you’re just searching to use the scripture for some other agenda you may want to just move on.. Forgiveness is first the dutyof the offended..

      1. I am not searching to use Scripture in any way. I am wanting to see what people who read the Bible, HAVE read the Bible, and those who have no knowledge of the subject, think about this sentence.

  1. I know that many Christians are troubled this verse and its parallels in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12), as well as Paul’s discussion of marriage and divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16. Many have been wounded in spirit by a divorce that they could not prevent. Others have divorced because of abandonment, abuse, and worse.

    Can they remarry? Is their second or third marriage adulterous? Are they now living in sin? These questions trouble people seeking to please the Lord. We’ve seen churchmen make their pronouncements. We’ve seen people tragically alienated from the church. I wish I had the wisdom to answer all the questions that arise, but our passage in Luke is not the place. It is a single sentence given only as an example of the continuing importance of the Law when rightly understood.

    But I must say that Jesus is one who calls sinners to himself, forgives them, and sends them into the world washed and cleansed (1 Corinthians 6:11). Jesus upholds the sanctity of marriage, but at the same time, he reaches out those who have sinned. Jesus puts his arms around those who have failed to keep a marriage together. He loves you and forgives you and calls you to follow him in spite of your past sin or present situation.

    Sometimes divorce and remarriage are treated as unforgivable sins. They are not. Remember Peter’s terrible three-fold denial that he even knew Jesus? Recall also Jesus’ three-fold restoration of the broken apostle: “Feed my lambs … Take care of my sheep … Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). Jesus forgives today, too, and restores you to ministry for him. R. Wilson

    I completely agree with this explanation.

    1. Susan,
      Great insight from R. Wilson. Who is he? I really like the sentence that he writes stating: “It is a single sentence given only as an example of the continuing importance of the Law when rightly understood.” Now I can dig that!

  2. Okay, you write:

    [“If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he is guilty of adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman is also guilty of adultery.”
    No holds barred. Let’s hear it.]

    There is first a deeper question to ask.

    Let me preface what I say by saying that I believe religion is very important to our species. Science is the study of how the world works. Religion is the study of how we should live our lives. One without the other is dangerous.

    But science is always growing and improving. And I believe religion is doing so also. However, science believes in growing and improving, whereas much religion takes the stand that it is perfect and always has been, and efforts to improve it are “heresy,” punishable in some cases by death, or at least banning. Jesus was killed trying to improve religion.

    Regarding divorce, we humans have a terrible time maintaining close relationships. Simple statistics shows that. (About one half of all marriages end in divorce.) Separation and divorce are accompanied by enormous stress, and therefore medical and psychiatric illness. So is unhealthy relationship. Some relationships simply are a mistake. So whether the people stay together or go their separate ways, one can expect much suffering.

    Now we know that much religion has caused much pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED). Christianity has much blood on its hands. What we are seeing is gradual globalization of our attitudes about ourselves. We have finally started talking about “human rights,” not just “citizens’ rights.” And as our species improves, so will its religions.

    Scott talked about the scriptures being a “library” rather than a “constitution.” Our Scriptures are a very poignant portrait of our species trying to understand itself and live a better life. Our gods are reflections of ourselves. The OT God was extremely narcissistic and vengeful and punitive, focused on dominance and submission. The NT God of Jesus reflects the emergence of the recognition that we can live much, much better than we do. The NT God is the God of Watershed, as reflected in our lyrics and our sermons.

    So pronouncements in the Scriptures reflect the culture of the time, with all of its imperfections and tendencies to cause PSDED. If we are to come to live a better life, we must be able to look at the Scriptures as the best effort at the time, such that one can see our species trying to become mature by revisions of ideas, hence the many well-known contradictions. We should stop being troubled by the contradictions and look to the Scriptures as a wonderful way to understand our species’ childhood (assuming one day we will be much, much more mature).

    So when people divorce, we should wish them well and hope that indeed they can find a much more ideal relationship with someone, having learned something from the mistake they have made. And we don’t need to have a religion that is always finding ways to judge people negatively and try to make them outcasts. And if we took a more benign attitude toward divorce, perhaps the tendency for many divorcing people to tear each other to shreds, including scarring their children in loyalty conflicts, would become far less. Perhaps marriage should be a contract renewable on an annual basis, with provisions in the contract for the handling of finances and children, should the contract not be renewed. Really, shouldn’t a marriage be re-evaluated annually, to see what improvements are indicated? Would not this improve marriages that were viable and help them to end if not?

    So are we who are religious able to consider change, or will we be seen rightly by the non-religious as a backward group, causing PSDED and preventing progress toward a better life? That is the deeper question.

  3. I have struggled with this question myself for quite a while. Seeing that both of my parents were divorced before they got married and had me and my sister it strikes a personal cord. Both of their spouses in their first marriges were unfaithful.

    I also have a lot of close personal friends who have dealt with this issue as well, which has led me to spend some time researching this topic.

    I have to say at this point I am still not 100% sure of my personal position. There are many people who I greatly respect that are on both sides of the interpretation of this issue from the bible.

    I believe there is a stronger case, when looking at all the verses in the bible, that the only case where remarriage is allowed is when a spouse dies. That said, here is some wise advice I was given a while back:

    “We must evaluate the weight of all truths in the bible. Some are worth dying for such as the Gospel and the diety of Christ. Some are worth fighting for while others are worth arguing about and still others worth only a good discussion.”

    Since I do not feel that I have spent enough time diving deep into this issue, I could only recommend one place that I believe gives a large amount of good biblical information on many topics; including this topic. Monergism – http://www.monergism.com/directory/search.php?action=search_links_simple&search_kind=and&phrase=Divorce&B1.x=34&B1.y=12

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