MY PERSONAL CONVICTIONS
who are advocating that a civil divorce is not
necessarily a real divorce (as well as those who merely advocate that we
should fellowship their
“application”), have attempted to pigeonhole those who will not agree to
fellowship their doctrine. The
allegations have been inaccurate and in many cases, absurd.
Such misrepresentations only cloud the issue and divert attention from
the real matter of concern. So that
you may know where I really stand on this issue, I offer my personal
does not matter who initiates the
civil proceedings! (Scripture
does not say “whoever initiates divorce against his wife…,” or
“whoever files for divorce…,” but “whoever divorces his wife…”).
Those who accuse me (and others who have spoken out against this
doctrine) of believing in “the race to the courthouse” confuse the
"filing" with the
final putting away. However,
one may file, have a change of heart and never go through with their initial
intention. In any lawsuit, the
civil authorities finalize their decision after weighing the case. It is only at this point, that one becomes put away or
innocent party may counter sue (if
not, why not?). The law has
given her this right in many states, and since filing
is not equivalent to obtaining
a divorce, the innocent mate (as one not yet put away), would have the
right to petition the civil authorities in the matter.
Again, the civil authorities make the decision after hearing both
do not believe that in a scriptural divorce, “the cause” has to be written (stipulated) on the court documents!
The question is, was fornication the factor that motivated the
innocent party to go to the civil authorities for the divorce?
God knows (cf. II Cor. 8:12)!
issue of controversy is simply this:
When a civil proceeding is over
and a divorce is finalized, may a
put away (divorced; repudiated) person someday later “divorce” their
ex-spouse, if and when the person who secured the civil divorce commits
fornication? Does the remaining
presence of the spiritual bond
after an unscriptural civil divorce extend the innocent (already) put away person’s right to take some kind of action (procedure)
which would allow them to “scripturally” remarry?
Doesn’t the Bible teach that it is possible for an innocent mate to
be “put away” without their consent (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Lk. 16;18)?
If it does, whatever procedure one argues to be what the Lord meant
by “put asunder,” “put away,” “divorce,” [Greek: “apoluo,”
“aphiemi,” and “chorizo”] would already have been done by the
ungodly mate against the innocent mate.
Hence, any way you look at it, the innocent is still “put away,”
and therefore has no hope to scripturally remarry another while their
ex-mate lives (Rom. 7:2-3; I Cor. 7:39).
(II Pet. 2:18) are being given to justify and encourage fellowship with this
doctrine. However, unfortunate illustrations and distressing scenarios have
always been employed when a book, chapter and verse is lacking (I Pet. 4:11;
Col. 3:17). How many times have we
heard those involved in various “Christian” religions argue, “What about
the man who dies on the way to be baptized?” “Would God condemn him to Hell,
when he wasn’t able to be baptized?” “Is
he just out of luck?”
people continue to perpetrate all sorts of injustices upon the faithful, making
their lives difficult. However, as
Christians, it is pleasing to God when we patiently accept mistreatment for
doing what is right. Respecting the
civil authorities as God commands (Rom. 13:1-7), may indeed cause suffering on
the part of the innocent. However,
Christ has left us an example of righteousness through undeserved suffering (I
Pet. 2:19-21; Heb. 5:8-9). I
Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will not allow us to be tempted above that
which we are able to bear. Not all
the “eunuchs” in Matthew 19:12 that made themselves “eunuchs for the
kingdom of heaven's sake” were put away fornicators.
Some were simply the unfortunate victims of an ungodly spouse and unjust
rulers (cf. Mt. 5:32; I Cor. 7:10-11, 15), yet the Master stated, “He that is
able to receive it, let
him receive it” (emp. jhb).