Below, I have pasted some excellent tract quotes regarding mental divorce. If you know of any similar sound quotes from tracts regarding this issue, I would appreciate it if you would share them with me. – Jeff
Excerpts from Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage Tracts:
Preparation For Marriage (p. 2)
By Irven Lee (Deceased)
“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32.) That seems simple. Why, then, do we so often hear of a supposed Christian putting his wife away, or marrying one who is put away?”
Divorce & Remarriage (pp. 9-10)
By Jay Bowman
“It is the belief of this writer that a divorce is the official act of renouncing one’s companion. It may or may not involve legal action and notice, depending on the laws of the country in which it takes place. The divorce should comply with the requirements of the civil authorities, and usually that implies legal procedures.
On the other hand, there is that person who would grant himself immunity from guilt by looking back on a situation and mentally “divorcing” his companion long after the civil decision has been handed down for a trivial reason and accepted by both parties. This is wrong. I believe it must be a timely, decisive and well understood declaration that one is divorcing his/her companion for the reason of fornication. This makes it right with God. Then the Christian should take whatever steps are required by the civil authorities.
It is very difficult to resist inserting the exception in the wrong place. Almost invariably we want to make it read, ‘He who marries a divorced woman, ‘except’ one who has divorced her husband for fornication, commits adultery.’ The exception does not belong there” (emp. his).
Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
By Woodrow Plyler (Deceased)
“One false doctrine advanced from Matt. 19:9 is set forth in the following letter written by bro. Ward Hogland of Greenville, Texas to bro. Barney Stanton of Saratoga, Arkansas.
‘In regard to Matt. 19:9, it has always been my understanding that the ‘he’ or ‘whosoever’ the subject of the sentence is modified by TWO verbs not one. That is whosoever ‘puts away’ and ‘marries another’ commits adultery. I feel that the two, not one, things constitutes adultery. The phrase ‘Except it be (because of) for fornication’ limits the verb. Since they are joined by the copulative conjunction ‘and’ they cannot be separated. Brother Stanton, the Lord did not say the fornication had to be committed before the separation or divorce. He says a man commits adultery unless the ‘putting away and marriage’ was for fornication. If he did I have failed to see it in the text. I would like for someone to point it out. The grammar will not allow it because the two verbs are joined, just like we show the Baptist people on Mk. 16:16. ‘He that believeth AND IS baptized shall be saved.’ They cannot be separated.’
‘Brother Stanton, let us say a couple separates because they can’t get along. Let us say they stayed separated for a year, are they still married in the eyes of the Lord? I believe you would say yes! Let us say they stayed separated for ten years and even got a divorce, are they still married in the eyes of the Lord? I believe we would both say yes! BROTHER STANTON, IF THEY ARE STILL MARRIED IN THE EYES OF GOD WHY WOULDN’T GOD’S LAW OF MATT. 19 APPLY? AS LONG AS THEY ARE MARRIED IN THE EYES OF THE LORD ONE OR BOTH COULD COMMIT FORNICATION! Why would his law of marriage continue to apply but not his law of fornication?’
‘Matt. 19 does not say fornication has to be committed while they are living together or under the same roof. This would be an addition to the Scriptures.’
Perhaps this position is about as clear as mud to some of you. However, many accept this position. There is only one thing wrong with it. There is no truth in it! Actually, it is the old ‘divorce and waiting game.’ That is, divorce for any cause and wait until the divorced marries again and then claim fornication. This is an error that many have fallen into. Of course Matt. 19 nor any other passage teaches it.
Brother Hogland has made some grave blunders in taking the position he has taken. First, he says, ‘The Lord did not say fornication had to be committed before the separation or divorce.’ Evidently Ward did not read carefully what the Lord did say. Let us notice, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife except it be for fornication, and shall marry another.’ Matt. 19:9. This shows clearly that the divorce must be for the cause of fornication. For it to be because of fornication it would have to take place before the divorce. What language could the Lord use to make it any clearer and more positive? Notice, ‘except it be for fornication.’ The word ‘for’ is translated from the Greek word ‘epi’ which means, ‘The reason or motive underlying words or deeds, is equiv. to for, on account of, Matt. 19:9.’ (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon) If fornication is the reason or motive underlying the act of divorce, being the reason for divorce, and the divorce is on the account of fornication, how can Ward say, ‘The Lord did not say the fornication had to be committed before the divorce?’ He would have the Lord saying, ‘Whosoever puts away his wife and marries another, except it be for fornication, commits adultery.’ But the Lord did not say that. He said, ‘Whosoever puts away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another committeth adultery.’ Even if the Lord did say what Ward would have him to say, Fornication would still be the underlying reason for such action.
Ward’s parallel is as phony as a three dollar bill, therefore, no parallel at all. Let us notice the two statements. ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.’ Mk. 16:16. ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another committeth adultery.’ Matt. 19:9. Who shall be saved? Everyone who believes and is baptized. Who commits adultery? Not every one who puts away his wife and marries another, but those who do so unless the divorce is brought about and is because of fornication. If Ward’s parallel were true Matt. 19:9 would have to read, ‘Whosoever puts away his wife and marries another committeth adultery.’ Then no one could be divorced and remarried without committing adultery .This just does not harmonize with Ward’s position.
Brother Hogland makes another grave blunder in his application of God’s law in Matt. 19:9. He says he believes that a couple can separate, for any cause, and stay separated, and even get a divorce, for one or ten years that they are still married in God’s eyes. Then he concludes that the law of fornication would still apply as the law of marriage. This is where the waiting game comes in. The waiting game goes like this. After the divorce is granted by civil law, each party goes its own way. After a while, one day or twenty years, one will remarry, thus committing adultery while the other party is made free to marry as a result of the first party marrying again, claiming freedom to marry again because of adultery on the part of the other party. This is a serious error. It is serious because it is not what God teaches. As we have already shown, God’s law is that the divorce must be as a result of fornication. This is the only cause for divorce which allows remarriage. If a couple gets a divorce today for just any cause, how could they get another one ten years later for fornication? For either to be free to marry again the divorce must be for the reason of fornication. How could one divorce the other for fornication when they had already been divorced, one day or fifty years before? For this to be the case they would have had to remarry each other after the first divorce. In this case Matt. 19:9 would still apply. The divorce would have to be because of fornication. It seems that one of Ward’s problems is that he does not know what the Lord said, or, he does not believe what he said. After all the twisting and perverting of Matt. 19:9 it still reads ‘except it be for fornication.’
Another point that needs to be considered at this point is what the Lord said concerning the one that has been divorced. Let us read the verse in its fullness. ‘And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’ Matt. 19:9. ‘That whoso ever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.’ Matt. 5:32” (emp. his).
Norris Book Company
Divorce and Remarriage (p. 18)
By James D. Willeford
“But there is one other idea on Matthew 19:9 that needs some attention. It is the view of some people that when two people are divorced, the first one to remarry commits adultery, and that this adultery gives the other person a scriptural right to remarry. This view resolves the matter into a game of waiting, and the one who is most patient and determined wins the game. Jesus says the one who puts away his companion, except for fornication, and marries again commits adultery, but He also says, he that marrieth her that is put away committeth adultery. Jesus denies both parties to a divorce the right to remarry, unless the divorce was obtained because of fornication, and then only the innocent party is given that right. We believe this conclusion is inevitable as long as we stay with the revealed will of Christ.”