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Biblical Divorce

A lady I work with is getting married soon. She has went to the same church for years, in which she is very active. She is marrying a man who is also a Christian. I found out that she is not getting married at the church nor is her pastor doing the service. When I asked why, I was told that the pastor refused to marry anyone who has been divorced. That he doesn't believe there is any reason that God will accept a divorced person to get remarried. She couldn't have the wedding there either because the pastor insists that all couples go through 3 months of counseling before they can use the sanctuary for a wedding. To me, both of these things seems totally ignorant.
   Lets first look at the divorce issue. There are 2 acceptable reasons for divorce given in the New Testament. In
1 Corinthians 7:12-13, 15 it says, 12: But to the rest speak I not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13: and the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 15: But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.
   So if two people are married and one gets saved and the unsaved one still wants to be with the saved one then they must stay married no matter how the unsaved one is living. But if the unsaved one says, "I'm not gonna live with some religious freak" or something like that and leaves, then the saved person is not bound to the other.
   Jesus said in
Matthew 5:32 "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." So Jesus is saying here that if your spouse commits adultery and you divorce them because of it, then you became as one who hasn't been married in his eyes. The problem is that so many of these preachers put themselves above God so that they can change things to suit their purposes.
   When a couple approaches a preacher wanting to be married then he should ask some questions. 1. Have either of you been married before? If either says yes then if the person is a Christian you ask them 2. Was this before you got saved? If it was, then that's all that needs said on that subject. For some of you preachers out there that don't understand how salvation works, let me explain. When a person gets saved, Jesus forgives you of all your sins. It doesn't matter if you were a killer, rapist, thief, whore, liar or if the worse thing you ever did was look at another persons answer on a test at school. Jesus forgives all, so why do you put yourself above God telling people that they cannot be forgiven?
   If the person said they got divorced after they got saved then you ask. Why did you get divorced? If they say "I caught my husband in bed with another woman," or "she told me I had to choose God or her so I chose God" then the scriptures say it is OK to be remarried. If the preacher will not marry them when God says its OK, then he could be responsible for them committing fornication and causing them to backslide. This preacher will be held accountable to God. Any pastor that would teach things that might cause their people to sin should be pulled out of his position and made to sit and learn under others or mark them as in Romans 16:17-20 and send them on their way.
What if it was not for one of the Biblical reasons? What then? In Matt 5 where Jesus is speaking about divorce in the case of fornication there are several other things mentioned in this same speech. This one speech covers 3 chapters and there are many things that Jesus says not to do lusting, breaking a promise, getting revenge, etc. None is given a predominate place over the others, yet every preacher I've ever heard will say God will forgive you of losing your temper and doing something you shouldn't. I bet they would even perform a marriage ceremony on them if asked, but Jesus said not too in the same sermon as the divorce was mentioned. All through the New testament Jesus tells us things that are sins but he also repeatedly tells us that he will forgive any sin. Yes, Getting a divorce for any reason other than the two mentioned is a sin but even if you get divorced to be with someone else and later realize you have sinned and ask God to forgive you with a repentant heart then he will forgive you and cast any memory of it into the sea of forgetfulness. It's his promise and if God forgives you then who do these other people think they are to condemn someone over what God has done.
  I was recently asked about being in an abusive relationship. How this figures in. A lot of people wonder why abuse isn't mentioned as a valid reason for divorce when it can be worse than the two acceptable reasons. If you are living a good Christian life, when the abuse starts you are going to spend a lot of time talking to God. You will also talk to the abusing spouse about God. Sometimes this is the reason for the abuse. If they refuse to follow God eventually God will tell you its time to go, which is covered by 1 Cor 7. If you are a Christian and you start trying to figure out things on your own or listening to others instead of turning to God for direction and advice and get a divorce then when you realize you sinned by not putting God first you have to ask for forgiveness and he will forgive you. Then you will either feel free from this person or God will have you go try to reconcile with them. If you were not a Christian at the time then it doesn't matter what you do because everything is cleared off and you get a fresh start when you get saved.
If we will do what God says and not what we think or tradition says, then we will see great things happen and harmony in our churches.

Blessings to you             
Charlie Hale

copywrited 1998 by Higher Faith Ministries. All rights reserved.

Copywritten 1996-2012 by Higher Faith Ministries Inc. Bristol TN. All rights reserved.