Presentation on theme: "1 THE PROPOSITION (for the Gwin-Reeves Debate, Hopkinsville, KY 07-17,18-03 ) “The Bible teaches that if a man puts away his scriptural wife for a reason."— Presentation transcript:
1 THE PROPOSITION (for the Gwin-Reeves Debate, Hopkinsville, KY 07-17,18-03 ) “The Bible teaches that if a man puts away his scriptural wife for a reason other than fornication, and then commits fornication, the original wife may not remarry.” Affirmative:Joel Gwin Negative:Bill H. Reeves
2 Questions for the opponent 230 Race to Court House 241 Race to Repudiation 248 “Refutations,” by the opponent 256 Repudiation occurs before civ. div. 260 Romans 13 262 Romans 14 & Unity in Diversity 274 Scenarios, Two Different 285 Scriptures and Com., See Apoluo 292 Silence of the Scriptures 322 Simplistic Argument, The 327 Summary charts 329 “The Scriptures Plainly Say” 341 Two Puttings-Away 347 Two Categories, (See Categories, 97) Waiting Game, The 358 Who is the Put-away Woman? 361 Who Has The Right to Marry? 365 (See Summary Charts, 330) Whose Putting-away? 431 X – 1 My Questions/His Answers 367 X – 2 His Questions/ My Answers 406 Absolutes / Lk. 16:18 3 Adultery redefined 11 Against her, (See Mk. 10:11, 173) Apoluo, Chorizo, Aphiemi 18 Arguments of the opponent 35 Background of Controversy 75 Binding, The _ Mentality 82 Categories, Two (Classif.) 97 Context, Stay with the 108 Correspondence: Joel / Bill 118 Deut. 24 133 Fellowship/Diverse Applications 137 Focus, Where does Jesus put? 141 Greek, 3_Words (See Apoluo, 18) Irrelevant Fornication 145 Lk. 16:18 (See Absolutes, 3) Marital Status 163 Mk. 10:11,12 / Mal. 2:14 –Against 170 Mental Divorce 177 Order, The _ Argument 188 Proposition, The, Why I Deny it 195 Put-away, Putting-Away 223
3 ABSOLUTES / LK. 16:18 The some brethren take Lk.16:18b in the absolute. Consider making absolutes out of these texts (by taking them out of context and then proclaiming: “That’s what it says, in black and white!”): Rom. 14:14,20, nothing is unclean of itself…all things indeed are clean. Are homosexuality and bank robbing clean?
4 1 Cor. 6:12, All things are lawful for me. Are stealing, lying and forni- cation lawful? 2 Cor. 9:13, the liberality of [your] contribution unto them and unto all. Is church benevolence for saints and non-saints alike? Lk. 16:18b, whoever marries her who is divorced (every woman who is put away in all circumstances? …
5 the put-away woman whose hus- band dies? The “unmarried” / “divorced” woman of 1 Cor. 7:11, who wants to be reconciled to her husband?) Keep the “put-away woman” of the controversy in context! If Lk. 16:18b is to be taken in the absolute, then 16:18a must also be taken thusly:
6 16:18b, whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband com- mits adultery (NKJ), “and this is absolutely so!” 16:18a, Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adul- tery (NKJ). So, if a man has a forni- cating wife, he divorces her (for for- nication) and marries another, he then commits adultery. Right? …
7 Wrong! Well, what happened to the “absolute”? (Those few, who claim that there is no authority for any remarriage, cite Lk. 16:18a! To them the passage is absolute! Are they right? No remar- riage under any circumstances at all? “Well, that’s what it says, in black and white!”) in
8 Let’s check this “black and white”: Does Luke 16:18a apply in every case in which a man puts away his wife and marries again? If yes, then he cannot put away a wife for fornication and remarry. Does Luke 16:18b apply in every case in which a man marries a wife who has been put away from a husband? If yes, why? Purely be- cause of her being the object …
9 of an ungodly spouse’s unscriptural repudiation? Since when does un- godliness on the part of the ungodly annul, obliterate, reduce to nothing, make of none effect, invalidate, ne- gate, make void, frustrate, deprive one of, a divine permission? In Lk. 16:18 there is no cause of fornication involved in the spouse’s putting away his mate! But, in the..
10 proposition, the wife has had adul- tery committed against her: “and then (the husband) commits fornica- tion.” Here the cause of fornication is in evidence! In Lk. 16:18b, adultery is committed by the second man because the wife who was put away, and the ungodly husband who put her away, are still bound to each other. This is the reason! (see 44,45)
11 ADULTERY REDEFINED Adultery, from Latin ad (to) and alter (another); i.e., sexual contact of a person with another beside the spouse to whom God joined him in marriage. A spouse joins himself to another person, making three, in- stead of the two that God joined, and who became one flesh.
12 Adultery is committed, not be- cause of one’s being a “put-away” person per se, but because of his being a person already bound to a mate in marriage, and who is now cohabiting with another person who is not his mate. Adulterate = literally, to debase, corrupt, make impure, by foreign admixture.
13 For example, a milk vender adds water to whole milk, thus adulterating the milk. -- Mt. 12:39, why was that generation called “adulterous” by Jesus? Because they were unfaithful to Jehovah by joining themselves to foreign gods. Some brethren are redefining “adultery” to mean illicit sexual rela- tions with another after becoming a
14 “put-away person,” and precisely because one is a “put-away person”! Adultery is committed, not be- cause one is a “put-away person” per se, but because one, bound to a mate in marriage (that’s two per- sons) adds another (a third person), and thus debases, corrupts, makes impure the marriage covenant with
15 that foreign admixture. The sin of adultery focuses on one’s being bound to a mate, and not on one’s being a put-away per- son. Let’s not redefine adultery! Adultery is not determined by some specific something that has previously happened to the person who commits the sin,but by the fact..
16 that the one committing the sin is a person already bound to one by the marriage bond and therefore not free to become one flesh with another person. Being one who has been healed, promoted, educated, put-away, etc., is totally irrelevant to the issue of adultery. The issue is: Is the one...
17 who is becoming one flesh with another, a person already bound to a mate by the marriage bond, or is he free from that bond to be joined to another?
18 THE THREE GREEK WORDS USED IN CONNECTION WITH PUTTING ASUNDER WHAT GOD HAS JOINED: Apoluo, Chorizo, Aphiemi The English word “divorce” (from the Latin, divertere = to divert, to turn, to go different ways) means separate, put away, disunite. e.g., “He divorced himself from that bad habit”.
19 But, Webster says that “1. In law, (it means) a legal dissolution of the bonds of matrimony, or the formal separation of husband and wife by a court”. That meaning is restricted to law! Americans usually have only this definition of “divorce” in mind in dis- cussing Bible teaching on marriage, putting away, and remarriage!
20 This particular use in LAW of the word, “divorce”, in NOT the meaning of the three Greek words that the N. T. employs in connection with the separation of husband and wife. Notice the definitions given by Thayer in his Greek-English Lexicon: (A Lexicon of one language gives mean- ings of its words in a different language).
21 THE THREE GREEK WORDS Apoluo Thayer’s definitions in blue italics: Basically To loose from, sever by loosening, undo Heb. 13:23, Timothy has been set at liberty. 1. To set free. Lk. 13:12, Woman thou art loosed from thine infirmity. (physical healing) 2. To let go, dismiss. Mat. 15:23, …
22 Send her away, for she crieth after us. (Canaanitish woman) To bid depart, send away. Mt.14:15, send the multitudes away (to buy food). 3. To let go free, to release. Lk. 23:22, I will therefore chastise him and release him. Lk. 6:37, release and ye shall be released (NKJV: forgive and you shall be forgiven).
23 4. “Used of divorce, as apoluo ten gunaika to dismiss from the house, to repudiate”. Mt. 19:9, whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry… (So, whosoever shall repudiate his wife or dismiss her from the house – bhr) 5. Middle voice, properly to send one’s self away, to depart. …
24 Acts 28:25, when they agreed not among themselves, they departed. The use of the word apoluo does not necessarily imply nor involve: Courthouses, trials, writs, war- rants, judges, lawyers, clerks, bail- iffs, juries, witnesses, legal filings, or any particular procedure. Such are not inherent in apoluo! …
25 It has no inherent connection with civil authorities or legal procedures! In every passage apoluo means the same thing: To loose from, sever by loosening, undo. There is no civil, legal, connota- tion in this Greek word! We have no reason nor right to put it there!
26 Note that the English word, divorce, is not in Thayer’s definitions (given in blue italics). THE THREE GREEK WORDS Chorizo Basically, to separate, divide, part, put asunder. Mat. 19:6, What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (or, separate--bhr).
27 Rom. 8:36, Who shall separate (or, divorce --bhr) us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or naked- ness, or peril, or sword? Heb. 7:26, For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, unde- filed, separated from sinners…. (divorced from sinners—bhr)
28 a. to leave a husband or wife: of divorce, 1 Cor. 7:10,11,15, the wife depart not from her husband, (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband) …. Yet if the unbeliev- ing departeth, let him depart. (Gr., separate one’s self--bhr). b. to depart, go away. Philem. 15, For perhaps he (Onesimus) was …
29 therefore parted [from thee] for a season, that thou shouldest have him for ever. Acts 18:1, After these things he departed from Athens… There is no civil, legal, connota- tion in this Greek word! We have no reason nor right to put it there! Note that the English word, divorce, is not in Thayer’s definitions (given in italics).
30 THE THREE GREEK WORDS - Aphiemi Basically, to send from one’s self. 1. To send away, a. to bid go away or depart. Mat. 13:36, Then Jesus left the multitude, and went into the house. (NKJV, sent the multitude away). -- (He “divorced” himself of them, but he didn’t go to a lawyer and courthouse to do it!)
31 “of a husband putting away his wife, 1 Cor. 7:11-13”, … and that the husband leave not his wife. 12 But to the rest say I, not the Lord: If any brother hath an unbelieving wife and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her. 13 And the woman that hath an unbelieving husband, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave her husband.
32 The NASV says, instead of “leave”, “send away”: the husband should not send his wife away; let him not send her away; let her not send her husband away. A spouse leaves his mate by sending him away! (NKJV says, “divorce”, vv. 12,13, but in its basic meaning of make separation).
33 b. to send forth, yield, emit. c. to let go, let alone, let be, disregard; to leave, not to discuss now. d. to let go, give up, a debt; remit, forgive. e. to give up, keep no longer. 2. to permit, allow, not to hinder. 3. to leave, go away from one.
34 There is no civil, legal, connota- tion in this Greek word! We have no reason nor right to put it there! Note that the English word, divorce, is not in Thayer’s definitions (given in italics).
35 ARGUMENTS OF THE OPPONENT 1. Rom. 13, 36 2. No “her” in Mt. 19:9, 38 5. Mt. 19:9, one putting-away,not two, 49 6. “Mental Divorce”, 51 7. “Where do you get authority for a put-away woman to put away her fornicating husband?”, 55 8. Two Puttings-away, 58 9. Where do you get “in the sight of God”? 62 10. Marital Status, 64
36 ARGUMENTS OF THE OPPONENT 1. Rom. 13:1, Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers. “If the law of the land demands legal divorce proceedings, they must be recognized and followed.” Not all civil governments demand that to live together (as husband and wife) a marriage license must be ob- tained. (Note common-law marriage).
37 Their role is simply that of register- ing the marriage for purposes of de- termining legally just who are mar- ried (for purposes of claims of pro- perty rights, benefits, legitimacy of children, etc.) It is admitted by all brethren that there can be places and times where marriage and divorce take place without any civil procedure!
38 So, civil procedure does not inhere in marrying, nor in putting away, dismissal, repudiation! 2. “No ‘her’ in Matt. 19:9, just “a divorced woman”. (No definite article in the Greek; therefore any and all divorced women).” Greek: “he who marries a put away one (feminine gender) commits adul- tery” = marries any dismissed …
39 woman of this context; i.e, any wo- man put away for any cause and against whom no fornication is com- mitted! The “civil procedure” brethren force all civilly divorced women into this context, even those unscriptur- ally divorced by a fornicator-hus- band, and against whom adultery has been committed! They deny the innocent woman the
40 right that Christ gave her to put a- way the fornicator-husband, and re- marry, just because some unbeliev- ing judge granted a civil divorce to him before she got to the court- house to civilly divorce him. They make man-legislated, civil procedure the reason why every “divorced woman” can’t remarry. This Jesus did not do! The put- away woman for any cause is still …
41 bound to her marriage vows, and what God has bound man should not put asunder (Mt. 19:6). Those who claim that the “divorc- ed woman may not remarry” at the same time admit that her husband, that legally divorced her for any cause, is still bound to her in mar- riage! They admit that he is not free to remarry!
42 So, the civil divorce proceedings did not affect their marriage bond at all in God's sight per God’s laws. How, then, can they make the civil proceedings the reason why particu- lar women may not remarry? 3. “Luke 16:18 says, whoever mar- ries a divorced woman”. They cite the versions that so read!
43 They make an absolute out of 16:18b, but not out of 16:18a! (nor out of Mk. 10:11,12). Inconsistency! Both parts, a and b, are to be understood in the context of the full subject (per Matt. 19:9, any woman put away for just any cause. The cause of fornication is not in this context). Otherwise, no remarriage is justified (a few take this position!)
44 If a woman is divorced for any cause, and then her husband dies, she would still be a “put-away wo- man,” and always will be. It’s his- tory. It happened to her! Rom. 7:3, if the husband die, she is free from the law. May she remarry? Some brethren say, Yes. So, it is obvious that the blanket statement, “it is a sin to marry a divorced wo- man”, is an over-statement.
45 Others can qualify the phrase,“put- away woman”, when the husband dies, but we can’t when the innocent one is civilly divorced and the hus- band has committed fornication! The woman of the controversy (the dismissed woman who then, be- cause of fornication by her husband, puts him away and remarries), is not in this context of Luke 16:18b!
46 4. “Order: Matt. 19:9 -- Marriage, divorce for fornication, may remarry, versus Marriage, divorce, fornication, 2 nd (post-civil-divorce) divorce, when fornication is committed AFTER the fact of divorcement = mental divorce by the one divorced, may remarry.” The above are contrived “orders”. Let me express them. They are …
47 saying that: Marriage, fornication, while still married the innocent is first to initiate and finalize the civil procedure of divorce for fornication, and may remarry, versus Jesus’ permission: innocent spouse repudiates the fornicating spouse, and remarries.
48 There is validity in the “order argu- ment”, if it is rightly and fairly stated, to represent truly the issue at hand. One bases his contrived “order” ar- gument on his injection of a different scenario into the one that Jesus treated; & so, “two” different orders! Actually, the innocent husband, and the innocent wife, do the same thing: They are both bound to each..
49 one fornicates, the other repudiates, and may remarry. Same order! 5. “There are not two puttings- away in Mt. 19:9, but only one.” Of course not, because Christ is not talking about two different sce- narios! There is only one putting- away (approved by God): that of the innocent one putting away the guil- ty! Both the man and the woman are
50 given that prerogative by Christ. No human court may nullify a God- given prerogative or right. Yes, Christians at times suffer (for Christ), but not because of any re- strictions of His, but rather because of the actions and restrictions of men!
51 6. “’Mental divorce’, a put-away woman simply in her mind thinks: ‘I divorce you’”. A prejudicial term, and misrepre- sentation! Joseph was minded to put Mary away (Mt.1:19). Thought precedes action. Is there anything mental (mind in- volved) in civil divorce? If so, is it “mental divorce”?
52 Should we refer to “non-mental brethren”? Is their divorce or repu- diation totally “mindless”? Some inject civil procedure into “put away”, and then claim that the put-away can’t put away. But, yes he can! Both can repudiate! What they mean is: the civilly di- vorced can’t civilly divorce. That’s right. A civilly divorced …
53 person, as well as the one who filed for civil divorce, are now registered by the law as two divorced persons, both of them! One can’t then turn around and ask for a second registering. That would be meaningless. But biblical “putting away” IS NOT civil procedure! So, a put-away per- son can also do the same thing: put away!
54 Our civil-procedure-brethren act as though when a spouse civilly divorces his mate that the mate is the only one who is divorced! But, BOTH are now civilly divorced! Now, if an innocent spouse civilly divorces his mate for fornication, may he remarry? Yes, we all say. But wait, since he got a divorce, he is now a divorced person, and a …
55 divorced person may not remarry, we are told by the civil-procedure- brethren. Let no one say that he isn’t a di- vorced person; the law says that both of them are! 7. “Where do you get authority for a put-away woman to put away her fornicating husband?” Actually in Mt. 19:9a! So, where do
56 you get authority for “an innocent, undivorced, wife to put away a forn- fornicating husband and remarry?” You can’t read that particular phraseology in Mt. 19:9 nor in Mk. 10:12. But both questions, as phrased, find their answers in what is implied in those passages. God is not a respecter of persons; so, the principle taught implies the above conclusions drawn.
57 But note: They don’t frame the question like this: “Where do you get authority for a civilly divorced woman to civilly divorce her forni- cating husband?” They know that such is impossible, and that no one is advocating that! But, if putting-away means civil procedure, why shouldn’t they phrase their question as it is above?
58 Some brethren use “put away” when it suits them, and “divorce” (i.e., civil procedure) when it suits them. They are playing word games! 8. “You advocate two puttings- away. The Bible doesn’t speak of a second putting-away.” Do you advocate “two baptisms” (as in the case of one who was bap- tized by a Baptist preacher, and then
59 who learned the truth and was bap- tized into Christ)? Cp. Acts 19:3-5. The Scriptures don’t call this a “second baptism”. They were “baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus”. False baptisms are accommodat- ingly called baptisms, but there is really only one baptism. False worship is called worship (Matt. 15:9), but it is not homage …
60 to God (true worship). In the same way there can be a marriage but not in the sight of God, and a divorce that is not in the sight of God ( = approved by God). There is only ONE putting away on the part of the innocent one. The guilty’s action does not negate the innocent’s right to act.
61 A legally divorced woman can’t repudiate him? Well, just let him come around for meals and sex and he will find out! Leaving a spouse is repudiation (1Cor.7:10,11), with or without civil procedure. We all agree that in the “waiting game” there are two puttings-away: each spouse agrees to the divorce.
62 The divorce is by mutual consent. Each repudiates the other. There can be any number of put- tings-away, but there is only one putting-away that God approves, and that is the one exercised by the inno- cent spouse who repudiates his fornicator-mate. 9. “Where do you get ‘in the sight of God’? God may not approve of it..
63 but it still is a marriage / divorce (e.g., Mk. 6:17).” Deut. 13:18, to do that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah thy God. Two persons may be divorced and married to others, but in the eyes of God still be bound by the marriage bond to each other. Herodius was still Philip’s wife (v.16), altho’ Herod had married her.
64 It was not lawful (v.18) = not in the eyes of God. 10. “God does tell us that the only lawful divorce is that which is for the cause of fornication. On this we agree. BUT, God specifies the mari- tal status needed to exercise such a privilege (they must be married, not put-away)”. Where do you read that:. “Whoso- ever shall put away his wife, except..
65 for fornication (and provided that he is not a put-away person, is still liv- ing with his wife, and is the first one to initiate the divorce),and shall mar- ry another committeth adultery”? Brethren continue to put a different scenario into Mat. 19:9. The man who legally divorces his wife (a process that takes time--till it is finalized) has already repudiated his wife and left her, as far as living..
66 living with her is concerned. So, he is not a married (living with a wife) man at the time that he gets a final- ized, legal divorce! Or, does she continue to be “married” to him (sleeping with him, cooking and washing clothes for him, going about together with him as if nothing happened, etc.) till the day he gets his divorce decree?
67 Your divorcing man is not married either! Which passage states that God “specifies the marital status needed to exercise such a privilege (they must be married, not put-away)”? Not Mat. 19:9a! Jesus was not asked about a put-away mate, and so did not address such a scenario. He was asked about a married man putting away his wife for any cause!
68 Jesus did not say, nor intimate: “Now what I say goes only for a mar- ried person, not for one who is put- away”. The husband who puts away his wife, or even civilly divorces her, for any cause, is just as bound to her afterward as he was before! His marital status in God’s law is still the same. They both are still …
69 bound to each other. Neither the re- pudiation nor the civil procedure changed a thing in God’s sight. Neither has the right to remarry, because no fornication is involved. Once the cause of fornication is in evidence, Christ’s law permits the innocent one to repudiate and to remarry.
70 But note: The “marital status” of the mate, who initializes (and final- izes) the civil divorce, is not married at the time of filing for divorce! The usual scenario: He repudiates his mate and later begins the civil procedures. (The living together, marriage, ceases and the proce- dures later begin; & the finalizing is yet later!)
71 If she, upon hearing his repudia- tion, packs up and leaves, or runs him out of the house, the poor guy is not then “married” (living together), and so doesn’t have the correct “ma- rital status” (per the civil-procedure- brethren) to file for divorce. “God considers the marriage sta- tus and the marriage bond to be different …
72 Let’s not confuse what God ap- proves with what God allows.” The issue is: Does God “allow” with approval? Of course God’s Word records some things that man does, or can do, such as putting away and remar- rying. Is that what you mean by “allowing”? The Bible records some sins of man; does that mean that “God allows man to sin”? …
73 To “allow” can imply permission. Some civil-procedure-brethren make their so-called “marital status” a constituent part of God’s law con- cerning the innocent spouse’s repu- diating a fornicating mate and then remarrying. Man certainly can do what he wants to do, but God, who has re- corded in the Bible some such ….
74 things, teaches that he authorizes only the innocent spouse to put away a fornicating mate and remar- ry, if he so desires. Human courts cannot authorize otherwise.
75 BACKGROUND OF THE CONTROVERSY Faithful brethren, disagreeing with Homer Hailey’s false doctrine (aliens not amenable to the law of Christ, therefore may marry / divorce any number of times before conversion, but then are answerable to Christ’s law on marriage, putting away, and remarriage), but fellowshipping him.
76 Some other faithful brethren began to ask: “How can we criticize them when we also differ on this other subject, yet fellowship each other?” Some brethren accuse other faith- ful brethren of “mental divorce,” which they claim, as they define the term, leads to adultery, and so, they can’t fellowship them!
77 “Mental divorce”= Misrepresentation of many brethren! All sane action preceded by thought (“mental”). Note Acts 26:9,10 (I thought …. I did). Many do not commonly speak of “mental repudiation” nor of “mental putting away”. Why not? Because such phrases do not denote civil procedure (courthouse action)!
78 But there is more to putting away than a mere thought! They consistently use the phrase, “mental divorce”, rather than “men- tal putting away” or “mental repu- diation”, for effect. Repeatedly they reply in every case: “The man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery”.
79 But Jesus in context is speaking of whoever marries a woman put-away for any cause and where no cause of fornication is in evidence (any and everyone of such women!) They are forcing a woman of an- other context (that in which adultery has been committed against her) into the text! “We are dealing with what hap- pens after the divorce has already..
80 occurred with no fornication invol- ved in the original divorce proceed- ings”. These brethren insist upon this proposition, because they want to use texts that deal with repudiation for any cause (excepting fornica- tion), and then apply, in the abso- lute, the phrase: “whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery”. In doing this they confuse two dif- ferent scenarios.
82 THE “BINDING” MENTALITY In any cycle of apostasy, there will be brethren who, in their effort to combat liberalism, will take up the “binding” mentality. They are so op- posed to liberalism that they think that they find solution, in part, by stipulating man-made restrictions or requisites.
83 Note some parallels of this “binding” mentality: 1. Latin-Americans are largely of a Catholic background. Converts are strongly opposed to Catholicism. So some bind on others the prohibition against the “Christmas tree” be- cause to them it represents Catholic- ism! I’m against Catholicism as much as they, but I may use the …
84 “Christmas tree” in a way totally divorced from Catholicism. 2. Most brethren are strongly op- posed to immodesty. So, some bind on women the prohibition against wearing pants, or blue jeans, some claiming that “pants are a man’s garment and that dresses and skirts are a woman’s garment.” I’m against immodesty as much as they, but I’ll defend a woman’s right..
85 to wear a modest pant. (Some dress- es and skirts are very immodest!) I will not proscribe any certain type of garment! I will simply advocate modesty in any style of clothing. 3. Brethren are strongly opposed to idolatry. Any non-meat-eater of Rom. 14, whose opposition to eating meat sacrificed to idols (1 Cor. 8:4ff) is based on his opposition to ido- latry, proscribes the eating of such..
86 meat and condemns the brother who does eat it (although not as to an idol because he knows that “no idol is anything in the world” -- 8:4). I am against idolatry as much as they, but I will defend the right to eat meat as meat, even though it has been involved in a dedicatory ser- vice to idols (1 Tim. 4:4,5). 4. “We are against adultery and..
87 therefore cannot fellowship anyone who condones adultery.” I am against adultery as much as they, but I will defend the innocent spouse’s God-given right to repudi- ate a fornicator-husband, and to remarry. 5. “You have … brethren encourag- ing fellowship with those who prac- tice and teach that one who is put away can later remarry while their..
88 ex-spouse is living. Jesus identifies it as adultery, but brethren are iden- tifying it as ‘agreeing in principle but differing in application’.” “… defend the position that would allow one who has been put away to later put away”. “…. examination of the truth on the post-civil-divorce putting away …. a teaching that will permit adulterous marriages.”
89 This is misrepresentation! I do NOT believe that “one who is put away can later remarry while their ex- spouse is living”, unless the inno- cent spouse puts away the guilty one for fornication, and then remar- ries! Jesus does NOT call adultery that which results from an innocent spouse’s putting away a mate who..
90 is guilty of fornication and from her then remarrying. The Scriptures give the innocent mate the right to put away and re- marry,but do not insist that he do so. Whether one has been unscript- urally divorced by a civil court, or not, if his mate is guilty of fornica- tion, God gives the innocent one the right to put away and remarry.
91 Man’s legislations and actions do not nullify God-given permissions! “post-civil-divorce putting away” is a creation of thinking that injects an- other scenario into the issue that Jesus confronted and attended. The opponent misapplies Jesus’ words in Mt. 19:9, etc., to an entirely differ- ent scenario, and then jumps to his conclusions!
92 “… the post-civil-divorce putting away …. a teaching that will permit adulterous marriages …” Look what this quote shows: 1. The civil-procedure-brethren see only legal action in what Jesus calls “putting away”, by saying, “post- civil-divorce”. 2. Why didn’t our brother say, “the post-civil-putting away putting away”?
93 Why “divorce” in the first phrase, and “putting away” in the second? Because he doesn’t want the divor- ced person able to divorce! He dis- tinguishes between divorce and put away. A put-away person may also put away! Both spouses can do so! Obviously a civilly divorced per- son cannot turn around and civilly..
94 divorce the person who civilly divor- ced him! The legal registration of the civil divorce has already taken place and cannot be duplicated,for such would serve no purpose whatsoever! But, “put away”, as the Scriptures use the phrase, does not mean civil procedure! Anyone may put away (with or without God’s approval). Yes, a …
95 civilly divorced person may put a- way a spouse. It happens every day in this world. Just ask anyone who has done it! A person who puts away, divorces (in the primary sense of the word, which is “separate”). He does not civilly divorce (in the legal sense of the word), but he divorces! (sepa- rates himself from another, or dis- misses the person).
96 Our civil-procedure-brethren can’t see anything but a courthouse in the word “divorce” and then they apply that sense of the divorce to the “put- ting away” of which Jesus speaks! Jesus wasn’t talking about courthouse action!
97 TWO CATEGORIES OF PERSONS Jesus did not label anyone simply as being a “put-away person,” any more than he labeled anyone simply as being a “putting-away person.” He did not employ nomenclature! He did not call somebody a some- thing. He stated the consequence of someone DOING a certain thing (put away for every cause, except …
98 fornication) and remarrying, and of someone else DOING a certain thing (marrying one who is put away for every cause, except fornication). Jesus does not contrast a category of people as “putting-away persons” with a different category called “put- away persons.” This is man’s con- coction. What Jesus states is the conse- …
99 quence for both husband and wife when an unscriptural repudiation takes place: both commit adultery upon remarrying because neither one has been loosed from the mar- riage bond by God. Jesus did not talk about catego- ries or classifications of persons. Jesus taught the consequences for two people bound by God in …
100 marriage, upon remarriage by either one, when no cause of fornication has been in evidence. He also taught the consequence of a third person marrying one who is still bound to a mate in marriage. Jesus did not say that, “Whosoev- er, being a ‘putting-away person,’ puts away for fornication may remar- ry without committing adultery,” as..
101 if he would also say, that “Whoso- ever, being a ‘put-away person,’ may not put away for fornication and re- marry without committing adultery.” Jesus did not classify spouses as being either a “putting-away” spouse, or a “put-away” spouse, a “putting-awayer,” or a “put-awayer.” Such categorizing is a contrivance of man. Jesus said: Whosoever, and he!
102 What Jesus did say is,“whosoever” puts away for fornication may remar- ry without committing adultery, and thereby he teaches that any spouse who has that CAUSE for putting a- way and remarrying, may exercise the divine right to do so! No ungod- ly action of an ungodly mate can de- prive the innocent spouse of that di- vine right!
103 Pure repetition of a contrived state- ment (“where do the Scriptures speak of a ‘put-away person’ putting away?”) in time comes to be accep- ted by those who don’t analyze. To whom did Jesus address him- self in Mt. 19:9b ? He did not address himself to “those who are put away;” he ad- dressed himself to the “he” who …
104 marries one whom an ungodly spouse put away not for the cause of fornication! He did not say that “a put-away person” may or may not do a parti- cular thing; he said that “HE that marrieth her when she is put away COMMITTETH ADULTERY”! That’s what he said. Stay with the context! Jesus did NOT categorize persons,
105 saying that “put-away” persons are not permitted to do so and so. He said (Mt. 19:9b) that he who marries such a person (put away for every cause except fornication) is going to commit adultery! Jesus gives the innocent spouse the right to put away for fornication and to remarry. Jesus also said that (in this scenario where no cause of..
106 fornication is involved), the conse- quence for him that marries one so put-away commits adultery. “Only one person is given the right to divorce and to remarry another with God’s approval – that is the in- nocent party who puts away his or her mate for the cause of fornicat- ion (Matthew 5:32; 19:9)” That is correct! That is what I also affirm. My opponent won’t leave it …
107 there, as Jesus taught it. He must add his proviso to it: “that is the innocent party, provided he has not previously been put away by his fornicator-mate, ……” Jesus says: Whosoever does something (puts away for fornica- tion) … Some brethren say: Only the put- ting-awayer may do something (put away for fornication).
108 STAY WITH THE CONTEXT Some are ignoring, or perverting, the context. “The present controversy is, in reality, over the presupposition that there is authority for a person who has been put away to employ a sub- sequent “putting away” and remar- riage for post-divorce fornication.” Not so; note: 1. The present contro- versy is, in reality, over the…
109 presupposition” that some one’s being the object of another’s un- godly action (being put-away un- scripturally by a mate who then com- mits fornication) is the determinant in the God-given right to repudiate and remarry. Jesus put no one in a particular “category” and then declared that any of that category could never ….
110 remarry. He put the cause of fornica- tion as the sole right for any inno- cent spouse to repudiate the guilty mate and to remarry. 2. There is authority, Mt. 19:9a, for an innocent spouse to put away a mate guilty of fornication and to re- marry. 3. The “put-away person” to whom Jesus refers is one put-away for any cause except fornication!
111 The “put-away person” of the pre- sent controversy is one against whom fornication has been commit- ted. Stay with the context! Brethren take the “put-away per- son” of Jesus’ discussion, and in- ject him into a scenario such as the one covered by our brother’s propo- sition that says: “and then commits fornication.”
112 4. Jesus put no time-limit on the commission of the fornication that becomes the sole cause for repudia- tion and remarriage; he did not say “pre” nor “post” anything! Such is a proviso of human origin, not divine! Whether one is a putting-away per- son, or a put-away person, has noth- ing to do with the right to repudiate and remarry; that is determined by..
113 the cause of fornication. The issue has to do with fornica- tion. What an ungodly spouse does, or what an innocent spouse has done to him, doesn't affect the mar- riage bond or covenant in the least. God controls that, and bases any changes to that bond or cove- nant on the cause of fornication. Some are not content to leave it there, staying with the issue.
114 Whoever marries a “putting-away” man (who puts away not for fornica- tion) commits adultery. (Mt.19:9a) Whoever marries a “put-away” wo- man (who is put away not for forni- cation) commits adultery. (Mt. 19:9b) Why is this? Because the man is a “putting-away” man? Because the woman is a “put-away” woman? No! It’s because there was no fornication
115 in evidence to be the cause for the putting away, and the being put away, and because both spouses therefore are still bound by the marriage bond to each other. In all the passages (Mt., Mk. Lk.) the one putting away committed adultery upon remarrying! Nothing concerning remarriage is directed to the one who is put away. Yet, my opponent makes it everything!
116 Jesus hinges the case on fornica- tion! Others want to hinge the case on the fact that the woman is the ob- ject of an ungodly husband’s actions in putting her away! If the husband and wife of Mt. 19:9, after the unscriptural putting-away, are reconciled to each other, and then the wife commits adultery against him, may the putting-away..
117 husband put her away and remarry? If no, is it because he is a “putting- away” man? If yes, is not a “putting- away” man remarrying and thus committing adultery? (After all, Lk. 16:18a, taken in the absolute, says: “Everyone that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery”!)
118 CORRESPONDENCE My proposed affirmative: “The Scriptures teach that when fornica- tion occurs, the innocent spouse, one bound by the marriage bond, is given the right to repudiate the forni- cating mate to whom he has been bound by God, and to remarry.” Bro. Gwin: “I would be willing to sign this proposition and defend it myself!”
119 I wrote: “You do NOT believe this proposition that admits of no excep- tion(s). (If you would affirm this pro- position in debate, I would moderate for you in that debate!)” “You put a condition to that propo- sition. You will affirm it, ONLY if it is worded like this: “The Scriptures teach that when fornication occurs, the innocent spouse, one bound by the marriage..
120 bond, is given the right to put away the fornicating mate to whom he has been bound by God, PROVIDED THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN PREVIOUSLY DIVORCED BY HIS UNGODLY MATE (or words to that effect),and to remarry.” “Now, THIS is what you believe! You do not believe my proposition as worded, because as it is worded it admits of no conditions or excep- tions.”
121 Bro. Gwin: “I cannot deny your pro- position as worded. If you will add the ‘CAPS’ portion added below, I will deny your proposition.” "The Scriptures teach that when fornication occurs, the innocent spouse ( EVEN IF HE HAS BEEN PRE- VIOUSLY DIVORCED BY HIS UNGODLY MATE ), one bound by the marriage bond, is given the right to..
122 put away the fornicating mate to whom he has been bound by God, and to remarry." Bro. Gwin: “Since you will not write your affirmative in a manner that ad- dresses the issues of our differen- ces, I will accept your original offer to be in the affirmative for both even- ings.”
123 The two propositions side by side: “The Scriptures teach that when fornica- tion occurs, the innocent spouse, one bound by the marriage bond, is given the right to repudiate the fornicating mate to whom he has been bound by God, and to remarry.” “The Bible teaches that if a man puts away his scriptural wife for a reason other than fornication and then commits fornication, the original wife may not re- marry.”
124 One-man debate! My brother gets up and affirms my proposition for 30 minutes—he says he believes it. (I’ll be his moderator!) Then he gets up and denies it for 30 minutes (because it allows the innocent spouse, without his proviso attached -- EVEN IF HE HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY DIVORCED BY HIS UNGODLY MATE --, to repudiate the fornicator-mate and to remarry).
125 Jesus’ words imply that whoso- ever puts away his wife for fornica- tion and remarries does not commit adultery – Mt. 19:9a. My opponent’s words imply that whosoever puts away his wife for fornication, provided that he was not previously put away, and remarries does not commit adultery. If one denies this human proviso, some are ready to disfellowship him!
126 My proposition as worded is what I believe and practice. This is where I take my stand. “The Scriptures teach that when fornication occurs, the innocent spouse, one bound by the marriage bond, is given the right to repudiate the fornicating mate to whom he has been bound by God, and to re- marry.”
127 This is the principle given by Jesus in Mt. 19:9a. This is what I have taught since 1943. Here is where I take my stand. Herein is where we should all unite. I wrote: “You need to understand, my brother, that the position I hold does not draw lines of fellowship. I am perfectly willing for you to hold your scruple against the innocent’s repudiating and remarrying when …
128 fornication is committed against him by a mate who has already put him away. Such an innocent one does not sin in not putting away and re- marrying. But when you bind your scruple on others, and disfellowship those who disagree with your scru- ple (as you have already done), ob- viously I cannot fellowship that.”
129 A reader’s response (taken from a web site): “I am surprised that Bill Reeves takes that position. I wish he was man enough to meet a seasoned preacher rather than insisting on a boy just starting meet him. This seems evidence to me that he knows the weakness of his position.” 05-11-03
130 (01-27-03) Dear Joel: Inasmuch as you have withdrawn your proposal for you and me to debate at Suwa- nee, consider the matter closed. Brotherly, Bill H. Reeves “If you are insistent on making res- trictive conditions for this debate, then I need to know what they are. Please respond with your terms…. Sincerely, Joel”
131 “ You are the one who proposed a debate with the terms that you and I do the debating at Suwanee. I didn’t make any conditions at all,restrictive or otherwise, ‘for this debate’ that you proposed; I simply agreed to your proposal …. You know good and well that I had no “terms” re- garding what you proposed. I didn't “insist" on a single thing; I simply agreed to what you proposed.” B.R.
132 “I am totally (100%) willing to debate the issue on the terms that you originally agreed to … Sincerely Joel Gwin.” Now, what purpose is served in the web master’s publicizing of this evil surmising? Nothing but defamation of char- acter! (But, “with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of man’s judgment”– 1 Cor. 4:3)
133 Deut. 24:1-3 (NASV) When a man takes a wife and mar- ries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of di- vorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, ….
134 and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certifi- cate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be
135 his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord. The original text simply says, using the subjunctive mood, “should this and that and the other happen”, then the first husband may not take her again to be his wife. The text (v. 2) does not say: “she may go and be another man’s wife”..
136 (as if saying that she has divine per- mission to remarry). Such is an in- correct translation. The text says: “should she go away and become another man’s wife.” Remember: when she marries the second man, she then is defiled! (v. 4).
137 FELLOWSHIP / DIVERSE APPLICATIONS The civil-procedure-brethren, and the race-to-repudiation brethren, are making this issue one of fellowship. They claim that the so-called mental-divorce-brethren approve of adultery by allowing the innocent wife to remarry after repudiating her husband who committed fornication
138 after divorcing her for any cause. So, they can’t fellowship us who differ with them on the application of what Jesus taught in Mat. 19:9. BUT, they have disagreements among themselves, yet they fellow- ship each other! Note some of these disagreements: 1. Some take the race-to-the-court- house position (some among them say, No)
139 2. Some require that the cause (for- nication) be stated on the court doc- ument (some among them say, No) 3. Some allow a counter suit by the innocent to reverse the effects of the guilty’s legal victory (some among them say, No) 4. If the innocent spouse got a di- vorce notice on Sat., but had intend- ed the following Mon. to sue for di- vorce, she may remarry.
140 5. Some permit a divorced spouse to remarry (be reconciled to) his for- mer mate;some among them say, No Brethren, we need not divide over such matters. We agree that only the innocent may repudiate the guil- ty fornicator-mate, and remarry, and we can hold other considerations as personal scruples without any divi- sion necessary. Let us be at peace!
141 WHERE DOES EACH PUT THE FOCUS? Jesus puts the focus on: The effect that fornication, regardless of when committed, has on the marriage bond. Some erring brethren put the focus on: The effect that civil proce- dure, or simple repudiation, as exer- cised by an ungodly mate, has on the marriage relationship.
142 Jesus said nothing about a time- table for the fornication; he simply stated it as the cause. He stated no provisos, involving actions by an ungodly mate, or by human courts; he simply stated forn- ication as the cause for repudiation and remarriage on the part of the innocent spouse.
143 Jesus didn’t say, “divorce is accep- table to God in the event of fornica- tion provided that the innocent hus- band himself was not previously put away by his ungodly wife who went to a human court and got a legal di- vorce for just any cause.” Some brethren have a different or- der: “no previous civil divorce ob- tained by an ungodly spouse against
144 the innocent mate, fornication by the guilty spouse, civil divorce initiated and completed by the innocent mate, before the guilty spouse can do so (= race to the courthouse), and then remarriage by the innocent mate. Jesus said nothing about a requir- ed absence of any prior courthouse action before the fornication was committed.
145 IRRELEVANT FORNICATION Why is fornication entirely relevant to the marriage bond before civil procedure, but virtually irrelevant to the marriage bond after civil proce- dure? For those whose argument implies such a difference, what Bible pas- sage or principle can be cited to demonstrate that difference?
146 After divorce proceedings (not for fornication), are husband and wife still bound by the law to each other? (see Rom. 7:2-3) If yes, does fornication affect the marriage bond in any manner when committed by the sundering party after such a divorce (like it does before the divorce)?
147 If not, what Bible passage or prin- ciple can be cited to show that it doesn’t? In what sense is the wife still bound by the law to her husband while he lives in fornication? Must she cook for him? Wash his clothes? Be a wife to him (engage in sexual relations)? What is it about the action of the fornicator leaving his innocent …
148 mate that nullifies that innocent mate’s right to disavow or repudiate him? After that divorce, is the wife obli- gated by the Scripture to sleep with her husband if he is living in fornica- tion? 1 Cor. 7:4,5. If it is true that the put-away inno- cent person has no repudiation rights, then what keeps the fornica- tor from requiring of his innocent …
149 wife on-going sexual relations? If the divorced wife is obligated to continue to fulfill those sexual rela- tions to her fornicating mate, then do the Scriptures approve of her being one flesh with a fornicator? (see 1 Cor. 6:15-18) If not, we concede that the inno- cent put-away wife has permission to renounce her marital obligations..
150 to her fornicating husband! If one denies that the put-away in- nocent spouse has this repudiation right, then upon what basis is she loosed from her duty? Will one argue that the fornicator’s actions, or the fornication itself, au- tomatically releases one from the marriage bond? (Only God can do that!)
151 If so, what prevents that innocent mate (now not bound) from marrying another with God’s approval? Someone needs to explain the dif- ference between the two “kinds” of fornication: the one committed BE- FORE the divorce and the one com- mitted AFTER the divorce! What about the man who “departs” (chorizo) from, or “repudiates” …
152 (apoluo) his innocent mate in order to commit fornication? Is the innocent mate “hung?” No. (See Mt. 19:9a) Someone needs to explain exactly WHY fornication after divorce (sepa- ration) is irrelevant to the marriage bond, yet fornication committed before a divorce is relevant.
153 Why is “post-civil-divorce fornica- tion” the wrong kind of fornication to qualify according to Mt. 5:32; 19:9? A wife is separated from her hus- band (chorizo,1Cor.7:10 –same thing as apoluo or aphiemi) for 6 months, but could be reconciled (v.11). If at that time she commits fornica- tion, may her innocent husband re- pudiate her and marry another?
154 If her fornication is irrelevant to the marriage bond, explain why. Must a separated woman whose “bound spouse” is a fornicator be in subjection to him (Eph. 5:22)? He’s left her and the children to fend for themselves. If he tells her she cannot work outside the home to make a living, should she obey him?
155 Should the children obey him instead of their mother? My opponent’s Mt.19:9: “Whosoev- er puts away his wife, except for for- nication (that was not a “post-civil- divorce fornication”), and marries another, committeth adultery.” Jesus predicated permission to put away and to remarry on the cause of fornication. My opponent predicates
156 it on whether or not the fornication is pre-civil-divorce or post-civil- divorce, or pre-putting-away or post- putting-away. All is hinged on either a race to the courthouse, or a race to repudiation! This Jesus did not do! Yet some brethren are dividing the brother- hood over it. How sad!
157 Is the innocent put-away woman bound to her husband after being unscripturally put-away? Still bound after he goes and marries again? Until she dies? Does God free her from this bond at any time in her life subsequent to her being put away?
158 If so, how and when? If not, being bound to him, is she obligated to be a wife to him anytime he requests it? When does the bond cease, or does it? Scripture gives her the option of repudiating him, and God would then release her from that bond (whether she remarries or not), or..
159 of continuing bound to him with all that the bond requires of her. How will the opponent answer these questions, since he does not allow her to repudiate after she is put away (for that would be a "se- cond putting away")? Is he willing to say that she is still bound to her fornicating husband..
160 in spite of what Jesus said about fornication? His proposition teaches that a put- away (repudiated) woman cannot repudiate her husband even though he is a fornicator; so, she cannot “release” him (apoluo, Thayer, defi- nition # 3). Picture a husband, with a woman or two on his arm, and his wife..
161 singing to him, “Let me release you and let you go.” Then he replies: “You can’t release me, Darling, because I released you first.” She is still bound (“deo”) to the law of her husband. She is fully obli- gated to him as his wife by her mar- riage covenant (Mal. 2:14) with him.
162 Therefore, the Scriptures require her to continue to be one flesh with her fornicator-husband (1 Cor. 6:18, “flee fornication") any time he wish- es to sleep with her. Is anyone willing to accept a doc- trine that demands that conse- quence?
163 MARITAL STATUS “God does tell us that the only lawful divorce is that which is for the cause of fornication. On this we a- gree. BUT, God specifies the marital status needed to exercise such a privilege (they must be married, not put-away)”. Where do you read that? Maybe in the version that says: …
164 “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another, committeth adultery, except he does so for fornication (and provided that he is not a put-away person, is still living with his wife, and is the first one to initiate the divorce).” The opponent continues to put a different scenario into Mat. 19:9.
165 Which passage states that God “specifies the marital status needed to exercise such a privilege (they must be married, not put-away)”? Not Mat.19:9a! Jesus was not asked about a put-away mate, and so did not address such a scenario. He was asked about a married man putting away his wife for any cause! Stay with the context!
166 Jesus did not say, nor intimate: “Now what I say goes only for a married person, not for an unlawfully put-away person”. “God considers the marriage sta- tus and the marriage bond to be different … Let’s not confuse what God approves with what God al- lows.”
167 The brother knows that the mar- riage bond is still intact when an un- godly spouse unlawfully divorces his innocent mate. But, by “marital status” he means that the two are married at the time that one commits fornication. Which two? In the scenario treated by Jesus, as questioned by the Phari- sees (Mt.19:3), obviously the man..
168 was married at the time. In a different scenario, one pre- sented by certain brethren, the in- nocent spouse is not married at the time of the adultery being commit- ted against her (Mk. 10:11). But Jesus says that “whosoever puts away his spouse for fornication does not commit adultery,” and that is …
169 precisely what the innocent wife (of this second scenario) does! She does what Jesus says she is permit- ted to do: put away a spouse guilty of fornication, and remarry. Jesus focused on the one cause for doing so: fornication. Some bre- thren ignore that and focus on their prefabricated “marital status.”
170 MARK 10:11,12 “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adul- tery against her, and if she herself shall put away her husband, and marry another, she committeth adul- tery.” (ASV) 1. He put her away, married anoth- er, and is currently committing adul- tery against her! Why? Still bound!
171 2. She now has the cause (fornica- tion) for repudiation and remarriage. This Jesus declares in Mt. 19:9a (w/o provisos!) 3. There is no sequence of events in Mt. 19:9. Mk. 10:11,12 is a com- mentary on Mt. 19:9! Jesus is stat- ing the consequence of his or her’s putting away not for fornication: adultery is committed!
172 MAL. 2:14 – Adultery “Against” Her Some have argued that the adul- tery of Mark 10:11 is committed with the new mate rather than against the bound mate. “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt …
173 treacherously: yet is she thy com-- panion, and the wife of thy covenant” (Mal. 2:14). In both Mark 10:11 & Malachi 2:14, the unfaithfulness is AGAINST the bound mate! The “original wife” of the proposi- tion, like the wife of Mk. 10:11, has had adultery committed against her. She now has the cause that Jesus..
174 stipulated for repudiation and re- marriage. The wife of the proposition is found in Mt. 19:9a. She is the innocent spouse to whom Jesus gives the right to put away and to remarry because adultery was committed against her. Jesus stipulated the cause; she has that cause!
175 Mt. 19:9a, man puts away his wife; no cause of fornication in evidence. Both still bound; neither free to re- marry. He that marries this divorced woman commits adultery,says Jesus The wife of my opponent’s proposi- tion has the cause of adultery that has been committed against her (Mk. 10:11). Jesus permits such a one to put away the fornicator-mate and to remarry (Mt. 19:9a). Don’t confuse the two different scenarios!
176 “But in Mk. 10:12 the NKJV says, ‘And if a woman divorces her hus- band, and marries another, she com- mits adultery.’ It doesn’t say, ‘If she herself’ (i.e., the original wife). The Greek text does not say, “wo- man;” it employs the pronoun, “she” and so other versions (ASV, NASV, NIV, etc.) accurately state the mat- ter. Obviously she is a woman, but the text says, “she” (the man’s wife).
177 “Mental divorce”, a put-away wo- man simply in her mind thinks: “I divorce you”. A prejudicial term, and misrepre- sentation of me and many other bre- thren! We reject: “simply thinks”! Joseph was minded to put Mary away (Mt.1:19). Thought precedes action. Is the mind involved in civil divorce? If so,is it “mental divorce”?
178 Should we refer to “non-mental brethren”? Is their divorce (civil pro- cedure) totally “mindless”? They inject civil procedure into “put away”, and then claim that the put-away can’t put away. But, yes he can! Both can repudiate! What they mean is: the civilly di- vorced can’t civilly divorce. That’s right. A civilly divorced …
179 person, as well as the one who filed for civil divorce, are now registered by the law as two divorced persons, both of them! One can’t then turn around and ask for a second registering. That would be meaningless. But biblical “putting away” IS NOT civil procedure! So, a put-away per- son can also do the same thing: put away!
180 Our civil-procedure-brethren act as though when a spouse civilly divorces his mate that the mate is the only one who is divorced! But, BOTH are now civilly divorced! Now, if an innocent spouse civilly divorces his mate for fornication, may he remarry? Yes, we all say. But wait, since he got a divorce, he is now a divorced person, and “a …
181 divorced person may not remarry,” we are told by the civil-procedure- brethren, and others. Let no one say that that person is not a divorced person; the law says that both of them are! Repudiation = reject, renounce, re- fuse, decline, disavow. It is action taken, and not mere thought pro- cess (the so-called “mental divorce”)
182 Note how the the civil-procedure brethren and others depict us: “If anyone divorces his wife and mar- ries another, he commits adultery; and then, his wife can mentally di- vorce (repudiate) her former hus- band, who is in fact, still her hus- band, and marry another” Lk. 16:18, NMDV (New Mental Divorce Version)
183 The person doesn’t live who claims that Lk.16:18 reads like that! What’s the name of the brother who be- lieves that statement? I certainly don’t believe it! Repudiate (put away, dismiss) is not merely mental, a thought! It is action! But Jesus did not specify what action or words comprise the act of repudiation. He specified the act!
184 There’s action in Thayer’s defini- tions of apoluo: to dismiss from the house, sever by loosening, repu- diate, to set free. Such is not merely thought, but action! But, it is not civil action! To the civil procedure brother, if one doesn’t go through legal action he doesn’t repudiate or put away. All he sees is civil procedure!
185 That is why he chooses to express himself, saying: “mental divorce”, to suggest a specific meaning of the English word, “divorce”, which is the legal one, that of courthouse ac- tion! He means “legal registration of the act”, and not simply separation, the basic meaning of “divorce.” The putting away, or repudiation, occurs before the civil procedure.
186 The spouse that puts away, or re- pudiates, his mate looses him, or severs him, from acceptance in mar- riage. This is the meaning of Apoluo. He explicitly declares to the mate that he no longer wills to live in mar- riage with the mate. He releases him; he declares him repudiated. That’s not merely mental / thought process; that’s action!
187 Civil procedure is a process that follows this and that often takes much time to complete. In the mean- time, the two spouses are separated (unmarried--not living together).
188 Order: Matt. 19:9 -- Marriage, divorce for fornication, may remarry, versus Marriage, divorce, fornication, 2 nd (post-civil-divorce) divorce, when fornication is committed AFTER the fact of divorcement = mental divorce by the one divorced, may remarry. The above are contrived “orders”. Let me express them. They are …
189 saying that: Marriage, fornication, while still married the innocent is first to initiate and finalize the civil procedure of divorce for fornication, and then may remarry, versus Jesus’ permission: innocent spouse repudiates the fornicating spouse, and remarries.
190 There is validity in the “order argu- ment”, if it is rightly and fairly stated, to represent truly the issue at hand. One bases his contrived “order” ar- gument on his injection of a different scenario into the one that Jesus treated; thus, “two” different orders! Actually, the innocent husband, and the innocent wife, do the same thing: They are both bound to each..
191 other; one fornicates, the other repudiates, and may remarry. Same order! ---------------------------------------------------- True order argument: Truth: B + B = S Baptist: B = S + B (Same elements, only moved) Truth: M - F - Innocent P A - Remarry Error: M - Guilty P A - F - “2 nd P-A” - Remarry. (Different elements; they have been changed) So, not an issue of order, but of changed scenario!
192 Jesus didn’t say, “divorce is accep- table to God in the event of fornica- tion provided that the innocent hus- band himself was not previously put away by his ungodly wife who went to a human court and got a legal di- vorce for just any cause.” Some brethren have a different or- der: no previous civil divorce obtain- ed by an ungodly spouse against …
193 the innocent mate, fornication by the guilty spouse, civil divorce initiated and completed by the innocent mate, before the guilty spouse can do so (= race to the courthouse), and then remarriage by the innocent mate. Jesus said nothing about a requir- ed absence of any prior courthouse action before the fornication was committed.
194 In order to get a different order of events, my opponent throws togeth- er two different scenarios: the one presented to Jesus by the Pharisees (Mt. 19:3), and the one of the pre- sent-day controversy raised by the civil-procedure-brethren, and the race-to-repudiation brethren. This is the only way that they can get their so-called “second putting away.”
195 I DENY THE PROPOSITION “ The Bible teaches that if a man puts away his scriptural wife for a reason other than fornication, and then commits fornication, the original wife may not remarry.” BECAUSE: 1. Jesus never said the above. What he said was: If a man puts away his wife for a reason other than fornica- tion, whoever marries that wife com- mits adultery.
196 2. Jesus was not asked about the scenario of the proposition. Fornica- tion was no part of the question put to Jesus by the Pharisees (Mt. 19:3). He was not asked if it is lawful for a wife to remarry who has been put a- way by her mate who, after the putt- ing-away, committed fornication! 3. What Jesus said in Mt.19:9a gives the innocent one, against whom …
197 adultery has been committed (Mk. 10:11), the right to repudiate for for- nication and to remarry. The propo- sition denies this. So I deny the pro- position! 4. Jesus put no time-limit on when the fornication has to be committed. Therefore it matters not when it is committed—before or after anything! Jesus was asked about the cause, and that is what he addressed.
198 5. To go beyond what Jesus said, in the context in which he said it, is to misrepresent the teaching of Jesus and to bind human legislation. 6. It makes the divine permission to hinge upon what an ungodly spouse does. It lets what an ungodly per- son does cancel what God permits! 7. It deprives the innocent spouse the right to do what Jesus gave him..
199 the right to do. 8. It confuses the scenario that Jesus treated with an entirely differ- ent one which he did not treat. 9. It attributes to the Bible a man- made scruple. Where in the Bible can one read that, because a mate did an ungodly act (putting away for just any cause), the innocent spouse may not do what God gave him the right to do?
200 10. The Lord did not say that an in- nocent mate may put away a fornica- ting mate unless the fornicator first unscripturally had put the mate away and then committed fornication. 11. The proposition denies what Jesus teaches in Mk. 10:11. When the man commits fornication, he does it “against” his “original wife.”
201 12. The order of occurrence in Mt. 19:9a is still the same for the woman in the proposition above--scriptural marriage, mate commits fornication, she puts him away for it. 13. The husband's actions do not negate the marriage covenant. By putting away his scriptural wife with- out the cause of fornication, the man breaks only the physical marriage..
202 relationship. He remains bound to his wife. Mt. 19:9a teaches that an innocent spouse may put away his bound mate on the grounds of forn- ication and marry another. 14. Fornication is still "against" a bound mate even if that fornication is committed after one leaves the bound mate (Mk. 10:11). 15. Fornication is not rendered irrelevant just because it is …
203 committed after leaving the innocent mate. 16. The expression, "whoever mar- ries a divorced woman commits adultery" is no more of an absolute statement than is the expression, "whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery" (Lk. 16:18a). The presence of fornication alters the consequences
204 of the one just as it does the other. 17. The "put-away" woman of Mt. 19:9 is the victim of a particular cir- cumstance and scenario presented to Jesus in Mt. 19:3. No cause of fornication is in evidence. She’s still bound; no one may marry her. 18. Being "put-away" is not a clas- sification; it is the consequence of another person's actions. Jesus..
205 nowhere cancelled the repudiation rights of the “put-away woman” of his remarks. 19. No one may marry the "put- away" woman of Mt. 19:9, not on the basis of her marital "status," but on the basis of the absence of cause of fornication on the part of her hus- band upon putting her away.
206 20. Absolutely nothing in Mt., Mk. and Lk. is directed to what a put- away woman (wife) may or may not do (as does the proposition!). Jesus directs his remarks to the conse- quences of what a husband might do, and then to what another man might do. Let’s stay with the text! 21. The proposition denies that Mt. 19:9a and Mk. 10:11 are parallel …
207 even though these two texts deal with the same occasion, same people, same question asked, and answered, same reference to what Moses did, same teaching that forni- cation is against the innocent party, and therefore, same clear implica- tion that the innocent party is per- mitted to repudiate the guilty party and to remarry.
208 22. Mt. 19:9 is Matthew’s account of Jesus’ teaching implying the put- ting away of a wife who fornicates before any divorce has occurred, and Mk. 10:11 is Mark’s account of Jesus’ teaching that after the unlaw- ful divorce, if the husband remarries, he is committing adultery against his wife. These statements contain the same teaching because whenever …
209 fornication is committed, it is against the innocent spouse and that one is free to remarry. Mt. 19:9 and Mk. 10:11 are parallel and show the falsity of the propo- sition. When the cause of fornica- tion is in evidence, the spouse has the divine right to repudiate the guilty mate and to remarry. Jesus put no provisos to it!
210 23. If the proposition is the truth, then the innocent wife of Mk. 10:11 is still bound by law to her husband while he lives (Rom. 7:2,3), even though he continues to commit adul- tery against her! Being bound to him means that she must still be a wife to him when- ever he chooses (cook for him, sleep with him, bear and rear his …
211 children) even though he is living in fornication (Col. 3:5,7). The word “bound” of Rom. 7:2,3; 1 Cor. 7:27,39 can have no other meaning.
212 24. It assumes that God gave the putting-away right to the person who acted first, not necessarily to the one whose mate commits fornication 25. It assumes that there is only one putting away allowed per marriage contract, but the right is given to an innocent spouse, not to a contract. 26. It assumes that only one person, per marriage, may put away his mate, but either spouse may put...
213 away, and God gives the right only to the innocent spouse. 27. It assumes that God refuses to allow and approve a putting-away, on the basis that it takes place after a previous unapproved putting- away. 28. It assumes that once a putting- away has occurred (in a given case), there exists no other right to put a- way. Who’s permitting, God or man?
214 My opponent puts the control in the hands of the ungodly; Jesus puts the control in the hands of the innocent spouse! The way that my opponent attempts to defend his proposition is to take what Jesus did say, add to it his own provisos taken from a different sce- nario, and then conclude what his proposition says.
215 In Mt. 19:9 Jesus did not say, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall mar- ry another, committeth adultery: and then afterward he that comes along and marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.” Mt. 19:9 states a principle, not a sequence of events, as Mk. 10:11,12 plainly shows.
216 #1- A man puts away his wife for any cause except fornication. No one may marry the put-away wife, nor may he remarry. No cause of fornication here! Agreed? #2- A man puts away his wife for fornication. He may remarry. The cause of fornication here! Agreed? So we have to agree that the put- away wife of case #1 is not the wife..
217 of case #2. Case #1, no fornicator; Case #2, a fornicator. Where fornication is involved, the innocent husband or wife (as in the proposition) is divinely permitted to put away the fornicator-mate, and to remarry. This is the teaching of the statement in Mt. 19:9a, and we are agreed. Let’s leave it there and have no division!
218 Husband 1. Puts away his wife for any cause 2. She, not consenting to it, is now a put-away woman (Mk.5:32; Matt.19:9; Lk.16:18) No fornication, neither can remarry, still bound to each other 3. He remarries, commits adultery against his wife to whom he is still bound (Mk.10:11) 5. She now has the cause, fornication, for repudiation (Matt.19:9) Man no longer her husband, the woman no longer his wife 4. She is still his wife, innocent of fornication 6. She being innocent repudiates him, God releases her from the bond 7. He had no cause, so, no right to remarry 8. She has a right to remarry Wife
219 HUSBAND -------WIFE Puts away/any causeShe put-away No forn.–still bound–neither remarry Remarries (Mk.10:11)She innocent AdulteryShe now has “cause” against her She repudiates him God releases her from the bond He no longer husband---she not wife He had no cause, soShe has right no remarriage to remarry
220 The proposition is my brother’s opinion, to which he is welcome. But brethren need to abandon the band- wagon of disfellowship, and quit talking about dividing the church over an opinion. Let all denounce the absurd insis- tence of some on pushing this issue to the dividing of the church. With so much against the proposition, at best it can be only an opinion.
221 Those pushing to divide the church over this can’t agree among them- selves. Some say that if the fornica- ting husband beats his wife to the court house, it’s too bad, she has had it and don’t whine about it. Or some say, No, she can counter- sue. Others say that she doesn’t have to do even that, just let it be known, etc.
222 They are arguing among them- selves about how to justify this put- away woman remarrying, and yet they want to divide the church over it. They themselves give clear proof of the fact that at best they are deal- ing with opinion!
223 “Put-Away” or “Putting-Away” What’s The Difference? Some will cite Mt. 5:32; 19:9 and Lk. 16:18, as proof that a person is forbidden remarriage on the mere basis of his being a “put-away” person. They argue that the innocent per- son’s right to marry another de- pends upon two things:…
224 (1) His mate’s fornication and (2) His own success in “divorcing” that for- nicating mate before the fornicator “divorces” him. Conspicuously absent from their argument is any consideration at all of the marital rights of the putting- away party! Mt. 19:9; Mk. 10:11,12 and Lk. 16:18 also prohibit the putting-away party from marrying another!
225 Two of the passages that prohibit remarriage for the “put-away” per- son also prohibit remarriage for the putting-away person! If Mt. 19:9, and Lk. 16:18 prohibit remarriage for the put-away party on the mere basis that he is the “put- away” party, then they also prohibit remarriage for the putting-away party on the mere …
226 basis that he is the “putting-away” party! But it is the mate’s FORNICATION that establishes the right of remar- riage for the innocent party – not the speed with which either one acts in repudiation or in legal divorce!
227 In order to get a different order of events, my opponent throws togeth- er two different scenarios: the one presented to Jesus by the Pharisees (Mt. 19:3), and the one of the pre- sent-day controversy raised by the civil-procedure-brethren, and the race-to-repudiation brethren. This is the only way that they can get their so-called “second putting away.”
228 “There are not two puttings-away in Matt. 19:9, but only one.” Of course not, because Christ is not talking about two different sce- narios! There is only one putting-away (approved by God): that of the inno- cent one’s putting away the guilty! Both the man and the woman are given that prerogative by Christ. …
229 No human court, nor the action of an ungodly spouse, may nullify a God-given prerogative or right.
230 QUESTIONS FOR THE OPPONENT: 1. May the guilty party and the inno- cent one be reconciled after a civil divorce for fornication? Some say, Yes (reconciliation is always open). Some say, No (marriage to a put- away woman means adultery). But, “whosoever” (Mt. 5:32b) is a third person in the picture.
231 2. If the innocent, civilly put-away, mate dies before the fornicating spouse marries again, may he remarry? (Remember, the court di- vorced HIM also! It divorced BOTH spouses). 3. Is it imperative for the innocent to counter-sue when the guilty initiates the suit? (They differ on their answers!)
232 Should one group (of the civil-pro- cedure-brethren) disfellowship an- other group because of such differ- ences of judgment between them? 4. May a homosexual, who has been legally married to another man, but was divorced by him, then marry a woman?
233 “When a repentant homosexual ‘puts-away’ his male spouse, he is free to lawfully marry a woman be- cause he is not bound to anyone”. But, he now has a divorced man remarrying! His absolute law forbids this! 5. May a legally married person, who divorced because he had no God-given right to the other, now remarry?
234 If my opponent says, Yes, he now has a divorced person remarrying! His absolute law forbids this! 6. If a spouse for any reason di- vorces his mate, and then the spouse dies, is the innocent, divor- ced mate free to remarry? “Romans 7:2,3 clearly teaches that the marriage bond is broken at the death of the spouse. The reason …
235 remarriage is lawful is that there is no marriage or bond where one spouse has passed away. This avoids the issue where both spouses are ALIVE”. But, he now has a divorced person remarrying! His absolute law forbids this! Is he “avoiding” his own issue of the prohibition against all divorced people remarrying?
236 May he make an exception to his law, but I am held to it? If an innocent spouse may not repudiate and remarry simply be- cause he was unscripturally put away, and divorced by civil law, and therefore is “a divorced person”, does not his same law apply to his person divorced by civil law? Is his law absolute if it has excep- tions?
237 8. Is one a “(civilly) divorced per- son” just because he was not the one in the marriage to initiate the civil divorce proceedings? Only one of the two spouses in a marriage, of course, initiates the civil divorce proceedings, but the effect of the proceedings is that finally both parties are then divorced per- sons, and not only the one who …
238 did not initiate the proceedings! Both become “(civilly) divorced persons”. Therefore, when talking about a “divorced person”, both spouses are included, regardless of which one initiated the civil divorce proceed- ings! If a man civilly divorces his wife, she becomes a "divorced woman“..
239 But, by the same procedure he be- comes a divorced man! Does not the law now register them as divorced persons (“single”)? Does the law distinguish between the marital status of the two? Is one divorced but the other is not, or is something different? So, according to the civil-procedure doctrine, nei- ther can remarry because both are divorced persons!
240 If Lk. 16:18 applies to her, it equal- ly applies to him: both are divorced! Now, even if he divorced her for for- nication, he cannot remarry because he is now a “divorced person”! Or, if when he divorced her, only she became a divorced person? If so, what is his marital status? On his income-tax report, for “marital status”, will he check a different box than she?
241 RACE TO THE COURTHOUSE Note the steps: 1. “Put away” is made to mean civil procedure, commonly called “divorce”. 2. The husband fornicates. The wife tries to get him to repent so that she can forgive him, and save the mar- riage. This occupies time.
242 3. He, wanting to be free to marry another woman, files for divorce in the court. Once the divorce is granted (the judge’s gavel comes down!), he has “put her away.” As such, she is a “divorced’’ woman and can’t ever re- marry (Lk. 16:18 is cited). 4. Had she forgotten about saving him and the marriage (usually in- volving children), she might have …
243 beat him to the courthouse and filed first! (Some say, at least counter- sue). 5. The race is determined by the judge’s gavel! To the one to whom the suit was first granted! 6. She has a right to remarry, only if a human judge rules in her favor first. He is the determinant in the case.
244 7. Her God-given right is subject to an unbeliever’s decision, believe it who can! Human legal steps are made crucial and definitive in overruling God’s authority to give the right of remar- riage to the innocent spouse. The disagreement concerns whe- ther or not biblical putting-away is synonymous with civil divorce in one’s respective society.
245 In no Greek-English lexicon do the three Greek words translated put away (dismiss, repudiate), leave, depart, mean civil procedure in legal divorce! What Jesus meant by “put away” applies to all time and to all cultures. There may be, in a given society, other things to do in legal action, but human laws by godless legislatures..
246 do not infringe upon God-given liberties. Jesus said, put away (repudiate). Civil jurisprudence doesn’t define that act. The issue is not over “loosing where God has not loosed” (as claimed by the opponent) but over “binding (civil procedure, etc.) where God has not bound”. Mt.16:19;18:18.
247 God does not grant putting-away rights to fornicators. He does grant putting-away rights to innocent peo- ple whose mates have committed fornication. Furthermore, the inno- cent person is the one who makes the decision of putting away. The fornicator's race to the judge has no impact upon that innocent person's decision.
248 RACE TO REPUDIATION In the present controversy over the marital rights of the innocent put- away party, the question has been raised about a “second putting- away.” Some are disturbed by the notion that a wrongly put-away, innocent, person may rightly put away his fornicating mate.
249 They judge this as wrong on the ba- sis that it allows a "second" putting- away. Actually, two married people may repudiate each other. Nothing in Scripture nullifies one's ability to re- pudiate a mate merely upon the basis that he was already repudia- ted. There is no "race-to-repudia- tion" that one must fear "losing!"
250 One's ability to repudiate a mate is not conditioned upon whether or not he was "beaten to" repudiation. Of course, in cases where two people do repudiate each other, they cannot both be right in their actions. At least one of them is wrong. In cases where no fornication has been committed, and both parties consent to the sundering of the …
251 marriage, neither party has the right to marry another. Using biblical language, one can say there are as many "puttings- away" as there are people doing that putting away! Hence, if a thousand people repudiated their mates for a thousand different reasons, whether those reasons were approved by God or not, there would be a ….
252 thousand puttings-away. Jesus is not concerned about how many repudiations there might be, or who was the first to repudiate his mate. He is concerned about the rea- son why a person repudiates his mate! Sadly, this concern is, for the most part, ignored by those who constantly emphasize the putting- away procedure.
253 Jesus extended a putting-away privilege to an innocent person whose mate has committed fornica- tion against him (Mk. 10:11) This God-given privilege is extend- ed to the innocent on the basis of his own innocence, and his mate's sexual immorality. It is not extended on the basis of whether or not the in- nocent party acts quickly enough to beat the guilty to repudiation.
254 The guilty party can repudiate his innocent mate until he is blue in the face, even beating the innocent party to the courthouse. He may have been the first to initiate the civil pro- cedure, and he may even have won the civil divorce case. However, none of this makes any difference at all. The innocent party is the one who possesses the right to act.
255 Though the fornicating mate may have already broken his marital vows and commitments to his inno- cent mate, and though he may have already walked out on that innocent mate, God has given the right of ap- proved repudiation to that innocent party.
256 “REFUTATIONS” BY THE OPPONENT 1. “By saying that this issue is not addressed in the Bible, proponents of the “mental divorce” position seek to neutralize the teachings of Christ, especially in Lk. 16:18.” The scenario of a wife who was un- scripturally divorced by civil proce- dure, and who then repudiated her husband because he, after the di- vorce, remarried or committed..
257 fornication, and who herself then re- marries, is not the scenario that Jesus deals with in Mt. 19. Lk. 16:18 does not touch this scenario. If she is put away “for any cause”, her innocence is implied! She’s not guilty of fornication! If she is guilty of fornication, his innocence is implied in the divine
258 permission to put her away and remarry. This scenario is covered by the principle set forth in the scenario of Mt. 19; that is, that the innocent spouse, when the mate commits for- nication, has the right to repudiate and remarry. I am not neutralizing anything! I am applying to this different scena- rio the principle set forth by …
259 Jesus in Mt. 19. But my opponent is injecting into the scenario of Mt. 19 (the one that Jesus deals with, where no cause of fornication is involved) an entirely different scenario (where fornication has been committed by a spouse).
260 REPUDIATION OCCURS BEFORE CIVIL DIVORCE The putting away, or repudiation, occurs before the civil procedure. The spouse that puts away, or re- pudiates, his mate looses him, or severs him, from acceptance in mar- riage. This is the meaning of Apoluo. He explicitly declares to the mate that he no longer wills to live in mar- riage with him. He releases him; …
261 he declares him repudiated. Civil procedure is a process that follows this and which often takes much time to complete. In the mean- time, the two spouses are separated (unmarried--not living together).
262 ROMANS 13 “Roman 13 – Obeying civil law is an integral part of the right to di- vorce and remarry”. Love thy neighbor as thyself (Rom. 13:9). Honor all men, honor the king (1 Pet. 2:17). Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath (Eph. 6:4). But, what do these command- ments have to do with the innocent’s …
263 right to put away a spouse and remarry? All of God’s commandments are to be obeyed, but they are not determi- nants of his law on marriage, putting away, and remarriage! "God's will is for us to obey 'the higher powers' even though they may nullify our God-given 'liberties‘.. In truth, Jesus indirectly 'specified’..
264 the divorce 'procedure,' for every given culture, by endowing its rulers with the power to decide what con- stitutes that procedure.” Proof, please! This is only an “ipse dixit” ( = he himself says it). Jesus did not give a procedure for APOLUO! and human laws do not supercede God’s, not even in mat- ters of permission.
265 “Rom. 13:1, ‘Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers’. If the law of the land demands legal divorce proceedings, they must be recognized and followed”. What the law demands, for pur- poses of legitimate claims, is regis- tration of marriages and divorces, but not for purposes of living togeth- er or cessation of living together. It is not unlawful to “shack up” nor to
266 “split”. Homosexuality now is lawful! “Governments can nullify God- given liberties, but not God-given commands”. Proof, please? Human courts can- not over-ride anything that God has willed! God did not give to human governments the role of determining marital rights. Furthermore, human governments don’t make that claim.
267 Only our erring brethren’s law is broken when the innocent put-away spouse of the proposition repudiates the fornicating mate and remarries. “Marriage is a right, not a com- mand. If a government forbids mar- riage, the Christian must obey the government”. If so, then the Christian disobeys God and obeys a doctrine of de- mons! 1 Tim. 4:1-3.
268 God’s law for avoiding fornication is marriage (1 Cor. 7:2), which is to be had in honor among all (Heb. 13:4). Many civil governments do not demand that to live together a mar- riage license must be obtained. (Consider: common-law marriage). Their role is simply that of register- ing the marriage for purposes of de- termining legally just who are …
269 are married (for purposes of claims, benefits, legitimacy of children, etc.) It is admitted by all brethren that there can be places and times where marriage and divorce take place without any civil procedure! So, civil procedure does not inhere in marrying, or putting away, dismis- sal, repudiation!
270 Civil law does not say that a put- away woman may not remarry! Civil law doesn't care if she remarries, whom she might remarry, why she might remarry, nor even if she might not remarry at all! Civil law is not annulling, nor negating, divine rights or permissions. Civil law doesn't even know what divine permission (per Mt. 19:9) …
271 is given to an innocent spouse whose mate commits fornication! How can civil law annul something of which it has no knowledge, and even cares less? The ones who are trying to annul a divine right are certain brethren, who are saying that because of what civil law did (in granting the ungodly husband an unscriptural divorce) she may not remarry (if adultery…
272 is committed against her). For authority in their taking away this divine right, they appeal to Lk. 16:18b, etc., and take a statement out of context in which no cause for fornication is in evidence, a context in which neither spouse has a right to remarry. Repeatedly they respond: "Who- ever marries a put-away woman commits adultery".
273 So, they are “putting the monkey on the back” of civil law, but in real- ity THEY are the ones annulling divine permission. They are doing it by misusing Lk. 16:18b, etc.
274 ROMANS 14 Treats of matters of indifference, solely of scruples, opinions, person- al judgments! Bro. Ed Harrell, and others, advo- cate that matters of considerable moral and doctrinal import can be fitted into Rom. 14. That is not so! The “civil-proce- dure” brethren also know that it is not so.
275 But, since they accuse the so- called “mental divorce” brethren of condoning adultery (by allowing a certain innocent, put-away woman to put away a fornicating spouse and remarry, which thing to them means committing adultery), they accuse their brethren of taking the “unity in diversity” position that Bro. Ed Harrell takes.
276 They accuse them of putting adul- tery into Rom. 14 and of fellowship- ping those who so commit adultery. They claim that this they cannot do! But, they commit the same error as the non-meat-eater of Rom. 14, that Paul condemned for judging. Consider the parallel:
277 The non-meat eater: “To me to eat that meat (dedicated to an idol) is idolatry. So, any brother who eats that meat is an idolater and I will condemn him and not fellowship him!” The civil-procedure brother: “To me, for that civilly, put-away woman to “mentally divorce” and remarry, is adultery. So, any brother who …
278 condones such is condoning adul- tery, and I will condemn him and not fellowship him!” Meat is meat and may be eaten (1 Tim. 4:3, forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that be- lieve and know the truth). Paul calls “good” and “clean” …
279 (Rom. 14:16,20) the eating of such meat offered to idols, because meat is meat and is not eaten “as of a thing sacrificed to an idol” (1 Cor. 8:7). So the non-meat eater was condemning another according to his own conscience. The civil-procedure brother cannot conscientiously remarry if he has been civilly divorced by his spouse..
280 for just any cause. So, he judges (condemns) by his own conscience the so-called men- tal-divorce brother who condones the right of the innocent, put-away wife, who has the cause of fornica- tion, to repudiate and remarry. Jesus gave the right of remarriage to the spouse who, being innocent of fornication, repudiates the …
281 fornicating mate and then remarries. To condone what Jesus permits is not adultery! The civil-divorce brethren add to what Jesus permits and then accuse of adultery those who do not submit to their additions. Rom.14, that treats of matters of indifference, does not condemn the non-meat eater (v. 6), and neither do the so-called mental-divorce …
282 brethren condemn the civil-proce- dure brethren who refuse to remarry if civilly divorced for any cause. Rom. 14 condemns the brother who, based on his own conscience, condemns the brother who practices what God permits. The civil-procedure brethren, based on their own conscience, con- demn the brother who practices what God permits.
283 By unjustly condemning their con- servative brethren, they become di- visive in their labors, and hinder the joint-fight that all conservative bre- thren have been making against those who advocate the right of the fornicator to remarry. The “civil procedure” brethren agree that the innocent spouse may repudiate and remarry, but they …
284 insist on adding to that their own conditions of “race to the court house, race to repudiation, civil pro- cedure, marital status,” etc.
285 TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS 1.The woman of Mt.19:9b; Lk.16:18b = a woman dismissed for any cause (no cause of fornication here) and whom another has married. 2. The woman who is dismissed for any cause, has not remarried, but whose husband has now committed fornication; she then dismisses her husband for fornication, and marries again.
286 The civil-procedure brethren switch scenarios! They put the woman of the second scenario into the first scenario. They apply in the absolute to the second scenario a phrase which is stated in the first scenario. But, in the second one fornication is involved! Their argument is flawed! The same brethren take Lk.16:18b in the absolute. Consider making..
287 absolutes out of these texts (by tak- ing them out of context, and then proclaiming: “That’s what it says!”): Rom. 14:14,20, nothing is unclean of itself, all things indeed are clean. Are homosexuality and bank robbing clean? 1 Cor. 6:12, All things are lawful for me. Are stealing, lying and fornica- tion lawful?
288 2 Cor. 9:13, the liberality of [your] contribution unto them and unto all. Is church benevolence for saints and non-saints alike? Lk. 16:18b, whoever marries her that is divorced (every woman who is put away under any/all circum- stances? the put-away woman whose husband dies? The unmar- ried / “divorced” woman of 1 Cor. 7:11 who wants to be reconciled to..
289 her husband?) Keep the “put-away woman” of the controversy in context! If Lk. 16:18b is to be taken in the absolute, then 16:18a must also be taken thusly:
290 16:18b, “whoever marries her who is divorced” (NKJ). Whoever marries a divorced woman, and this is absolutely so! 16:18a, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adul- tery” (NKJ). So, if a man has a forni- cating wife, he divorces her (for for- nication) and marries another, he then commits adultery. Right? …
291 Wrong! Well, what happened to the “absolute”? (Those few brethren, who claim that there is no authority for any re- marriage, cite Lk. 16:18a To them the passage is absolute! – no remar- riage under any circumstance! At least they are consistent, but my race-to-repudiation-brethren aren’t!)
292 SCRIPTURES Mat. 5:32, but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and who- soever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery. Putting her away for any cause ex- cept fornication exposes her to re- marriage, which would be …
293 committing adultery for her and the second husband (since she is still bound to the first husband). God did not loose her. What if a husband puts away his wife for any cause, and she does not go and marry another man. Is she an adulteress? No. Did he make her an adulteress by simply putting her away? No
294 If she never marries again, is she made an adulteress anyway? No A divorce, legal or otherwise, does not per se change the marriage bond of the couple in God’s sight, be- cause only God can loose an inno- cent spouse from a fornicating mate. Admittedly they are not now mar- ried, in the basic sense of “enter into an intimate union”.
295 Mat. 19:3-9, And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and say- ing, Is it lawful [for a man] to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made [them] from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father..
296 and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? 6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put [her] away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of..
297 heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery. Note the context: put away for every cause! No fornication here.
298 Stay with the context! Jesus is here answering the Phari- sees’ question. His answer: No! The husband puts away, repudi- ates, his wife for any cause. Two points made: 1. He then marries another woman = he commits adultery (being still bound to his wife). 2. And, if he puts her away and “he” (whatever other man) marries her, …
299 this second man commits adultery (because she is still bound to her husband who put her away, and not because she is a put-away person). One exception: for the cause of fornication. In the case of fornication having been committed, the innocent spouse does not commit adultery
300 if he or she puts away the guilty one and then marries another. The innocent one has a right to re- marriage – God looses the innocent person from the bond/vows. This divine permission is not nulli- fied by any decree of human legisla- tion. Christ stays with the issue: the cause! Many brethren inject procedure (civil, at that!).
301 Their additional cause: “provided one has not been put-away.” Mathew 19 considers what is "lawful" and what is the "cause" for which one may put away a mate and remarry. Jesus' answer to the question in v. 3, NO. My answer to question in v. 3, NO. Sole "Cause" that I teach for one to divorce, remarry: “for fornication.”
302 Let anyone show any other pro- visos in this passage that Jesus stipulated! The Pharisees did NOT ask: Is it lawful for a wife to remarry after she has been put away by her husband for just any cause, and who himself afterwards remarries? The context deals with the law- fulness of a spouse’s putting away for every cause.
303 Jesus teaches that such is not law- ful. What is lawful is that only if fornication occurs the innocent spouse may repudiate the guilty one and remarry, because God will loose the innocent one from his marriage vows and commitments. Jesus put no provisos to this permission!
304 Mark 10:11,12, And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her: 12 and if she herself shall put away her husband, and marry an- other, she committeth adultery. Same context (parallel passage) as Mt. 19. The adultery committed is against the put-away wife (and with the se- cond woman).
305 Jesus authorizes the wife also to put away. (Under Moses the woman could not put away) Mt. 19 and Mk. 10 are commenta- ries on each other. Each adds sev- eral details. Mt. 19:9 does not represent “se- quential action” (i.e., a man puts away his wife for any cause except fornication, marries again, …
306 committing adultery, then after- wards she marries and commits adultery). Mk. 10:11,12 makes this clear: each spouse, upon putting away (as ques- tioned by the Pharisees) and remar- rying, commits adultery. If HE does it … and if SHE does it, both commit adultery! So, let nei- ther spouse put away for just any cause.
307 Luke 16:18, Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth one that is put away from a husband committeth adultery. This is inserted here as an illustra- tion of the violation of God’s law by the Pharisees (vv. 14-17). (So, Jesus here does not expand upon the sub- ject of marriage, putting away, and..
308 remarriage. That is why he doesn’t add the exception clause). Neither part “a” nor part “b” is to be taken in the absolute! (But, some brethren do this on part “b”, but not on part “a”! And a few brethren do it on both! These last ones, at least, are consistent).
309 Rom. 7:2,3, For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3 So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the hus- band die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though..
310 she be joined to another man. Bound = marriage bond (based on the vows made). God alone does the joining (Mt. 19:6), and loosing (19:9). Adultery involves a married per- son. Though joined (“married’’ – literally, “becomes to”) to another man, she is still bound (by the mar- riage bond) to her husband. God …
311 did not loose her. Someone says: “She is not married to the first husband; Paul says that she is married to another man”. It is true that she is not married ( = living with, as one flesh) to him, but she is bound to him by the marriage bond. She is joined (not the Gr. word for “married”) to the second man. This is what the text says.
312 The customary, “Till death do you part”, based upon this passage.
313 If a husband puts away his wife for just any cause, and neither remarry, if he dies, is she free to remarry? Must not some say, No, because she is a “put-away” woman, and a put-away woman may never remarry? Once put away, she’s always a “put-away” woman. It’s history!
314 Some say, Yes, because at death the woman is released by God from the marriage bond that had bound her to the husband while he lived. Among these are brethren who claim that a “put-away woman” may not remarry! And they fellowship each other!
315 1 Cor. 7:10,11, That the wife depart not from her husband 11 (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her hus- band); and that the husband leave not his wife. No legal action (civil procedure) at all in this scenario, just simple putting-away. Marriage is cleaving to each other,..
316 one flesh, being joined together by God (Mt. 19:5,6). Spanish: house = casa; marry = casar (form a house). “Husband”, German = house band. Separated, they are no longer mar- ried (although bound by the mar- riage bond). The Greek word for marry (gameo) is from the root, “gam” = to bind, unite. ( 2 cells unite = gamete )
317 Not married, they are “divorced” (from Latin, diversus = diverse, dis- united, separated, as when we say, “He divorced himself from that bad habit”). That is, he separated himself from it. But “civil procedure” is no part of the passage. “Civil procedure” is not the only thought in the English word, divorce!
318 Herein lies much of the confusion today! When the wife departs from the husband, she puts him away! They are now unmarried. She has no option to remarry. She is to remain unmarried or else be re- conciled to her husband (to whom she is still bound). If she is reconciled to him, she “marries” him (becomes one flesh)..
319 again. She marries a man who was put away! But such a point is irrelevant. They were always bound to each other; God had not loosed either one!
320 Mk. 6:17,18, For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; for he had married her. 18 For John said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. “God recognized that … Herod had actually married her” – Yes (because they were living together), but she was actually still Philip’s wife!
321 Heb. 13:4, Let marriage (Gr., gameo = bind, unite) be had in honor…and the bed be undefiled. Marriage / bed = intimate living!
322 SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES “Where do the Scriptures say that a put-away woman may remarry?” Of which put-away woman are you speaking? Any and everyone in the absolute? Or, the one in Mt. 19:9b? The one in Mt. 19:9b is still bound to her husband, because she was put away not for fornication. She can’t remarry.
323 I do not affirm that “a put-away woman” may remarry. I affirm that an innocent spouse is given the right to repudiate a fornicator-mate and to remarry! Where in the Scriptures does Jesus say that a put-away woman, because she is a put-away woman, may or may not do anything?
324 I ask: “Where do the Scriptures say that an innocent wife, not divorced, may put away her husband for forni- cation?” Nowhere, explicitly, but it is implied in Mt. 19:9a. I am asked: “Where do the Scrip- tures say that an innocent, put-away wife, after her husband commits adultery, may remarry?
325 Nowhere, explicitly, but it is implied in Mt. 19:9a, that gives the innocent spouse the right to repudiate a forni- cator-mate and to remarry. She is an innocent spouse, her mate has committed adultery against her in remarrying (Mk. 10:11), and the cause of fornication gives her the right to repudiate him and to remarry.
326 Jesus predicated permission to put away on the cause of fornication. Some of my brethren predicate It on whether or not the fornication is a pre-civil-divorce fornication or a post-civil-divorce fornication! Now, who is adding to the Scrip- tures?
327 The Simplistic Argument “Whoever marries a put-away wo- man commits adultery!” 2 Cor. 9:13, the liberal preacher says: “Paul said, Your contribution unto them and unto all. All means, All! So, to saints and to non-saints. That’s what the Bible says! There it is in black and white!”
328 Try the “simplistic argument” on Lk. 16:18a “Everyone that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, commit- teth adultery.” “That’s what it says, so, no one may marry another under any circumstances, even if he di- vorced his mate for fornication. There it is in black and white!” Brethren, is this true?
329 SUMMARIES Question #1: “May one innocent of fornication put away his spouse for fornication if the one innocent of fornication has already been put away by divorce (civil or other- wise)?” This particular scenario is not men- tioned in the Scriptures, but these biblical principles answer this question:
330 1. A husband and wife are still bound by God to each other after a divorce, not for fornication (1Cor. 7:10,11). Death (Rom. 7:2-3) and fornication (Matt. 19:9a) are the only two circumstances in which God will release one from the marriage bond. “In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus simply gives the one who puts away an exception to the general rule.”
331 This is the very point I am making: the innocent of fornication puts a- way the guilty mate and may re- marry! In marriage, each one, the man and the woman, makes his own vows. In repudiation, each one does his own repudiating. But only the (innocent) one who repudiates for fornication is permitted to remarry, according to..
332 Jesus. If death nor fornication has oc- curred, neither spouse may remarry, even if a (civil) divorce has taken place. 2. The spouse innocent of fornica- tion in this scenario is exercising his God-given right to put away a mate for committing fornication, and to marry another, and that without committing adultery. (The put-away..
333 spouse in Matt. 19:9b did not have this right because no cause of for- nication was in evidence). 3. The spouse innocent of fornica- tion in this scenario is not playing “the waiting game.” (Or, is it that others are playing God and impugn- ing motives?) 4. The spouse innocent of fornica- tion in this scenario is not the …
334 “put-away” mentioned in Mt. 5:32b; 19:9b; and Lk.16:18b. In these texts, a man is forbidden to marry that put- away wife because there was no cause of fornication present for the putting-away. Both spouses are still bound to each other. In the scenario in question, fornica- tion is present (Mar.10:11, Whoso-..
335 ever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her). Question #2: When May One Not Put Away "For Fornication“? 1. When one, guilty of fornication, seeks to put away his spouse who is also guilty of fornication (the right of Mt.19:9 is given only to the party in- nocent of fornication).
336 2. When spouses agree to put away for some cause other than fornication, wait for fornication to be committed, and then one “puts away for fornication” (Mt. 5:32 violated). Question #3: Who Has the God- Given Right to Marry? 1. One who has never been in a God-joined marriage (Gen. 2:24; Mt. 19:6; 1Cor. 7:2).
337 2. One who is innocent of fornica- tion and puts away his spouse for the cause of fornication (Mt. 19:9). 3. One whose spouse has died (Rom. 7:2-3; 1Cor. 7:39). 4. One who leaves, or departs from his spouse, may be reconciled to his mate (1Cor. 7:10,11). Question #4: Who Does Not Have a God-Given Right to Marry?
338 1. One who is put away for some cause other than fornication, and against whom no fornication has been committed. Such a one, upon remarrying, commits adultery (Mt. 5:32), being still bound to his mate. 2. One who puts away his spouse for some cause other than fornica- tion. Such a one, upon remarrying another, commits adultery (Mt. 19:9;
339 Mk. 10:11,12; Lk. 16:18). Also, this same one is guilty of causing his mate to commit adultery upon his mate’s remarriage, even if he himself does not remarry (Matt. 5:32). 3. One who marries another who has been put away by his spouse not for fornication. Such a one com- mits adultery (Mt. 5:32b; Mt. 19:9b; Lk. 16:18b).
340 4. One who is bound in marriage (free of fornication) to a spouse still living. Such a one, upon remarrying another, commits adultery (Rom. 7:3; Mk. 6:17-18). 5. One who is put away for commit- ting fornication. Such a one may not remarry. There is no Bible passage authorizing the one guilty of fornica- tion to marry another.
341 “THE SCRIPTURES PLAINLY SAY” We are told: “The Scriptures plainly say that whoever marries a divorced (a put-away) woman commits adul- tery!” Well, the Scriptures plainly say that whoever puts away a wife and mar- ries another commits adultery (Lk. 16:18a). So, no “put-away” woman may ever remarry?Then, no ….
342 “putting-away” man may ever re- marry? What about a putting-away man who does so because his wife com- mits fornication, and he then marries again? He’s a “putting-away” man! And, what about a put-away woman who has adultery committed against her (Mk. 10:11), and so with this scriptural cause she repudiates him and remarries?
343 If Lk. 16:18b is an absolute, why is 16:18a not an absolute? The truth is that: Whoever puts away his wife for every cause and marries another commits adultery because there was not the Scriptural cause, fornication, for which to do it! Whoever marries such a put-away woman commits adultery because..
344 there was not the Scriptural cause, fornication, for which to put her away. She is still bound to her hus- band. No one else has a right to her. In marriage two make vows. One can’t make vows for the other; he can’t make them for both! Vows are made independently by each party. In a putting-away, one disavows. He cannot disavow for the other..
345 one. He disavows for himself. Disavowals are made independently by each party. The affirmation that says: “A put- away person can’t put away,” is an ipse dixit (Latin, “he himself says it”). It is simply an assertion without proof. Which did Jesus say? The CAUSE for one to repudiate and remarry …
346 is fornication? or, the CAUSE for one to remarry is not be a “put-away person”?
347 “TWO PUTTINGS-AWAY” Some brethren charge that others are advocating two puttings-away “when Jesus in Mt. 19:9 speaks of only one!” They throw together two different scenarios: the one presented to Jesus by the Pharisees (Mt.19:3),and the one of the present-day contro- versy raised by the civil-procedure..
348 brethren, and others. This is the only way that they can get their so-called “second putting away.” That the ungodly spouse put away his innocent mate without scriptural cause, even legalizing the divorce in a human court, has nothing to do with, nor any control over, the God- given right for the innocent mate to repudiate that spouse who, upon re- marrying, committed adultery …
349 against the innocent mate (Mk. 10:11). She may now remarry. The guilty’s actions are no part of an “order” that Jesus is said to spe- cify once fornication occurs. Jesus gives the innocent one the right to put away and to remarry, without the provisos of pre or post anything. It is as simple as that!
350 This is not a “second putting away;” it is the first and only putting-away on the part of the innocent one in reference to the guilty one. If we want to consider two different scenarios at the same time, yes, there would be two puttings-away, because two different persons did their own puttings-away: 2 persons, 2 puttings-away! (Mk. 10:11,12)
351 But Jesus dealt with only one putting-away: that one done by the innocent spouse. That’s what I believe and preach: one putting-away on the part of the innocent spouse, and for the cause of fornication committed by the guilty spouse. The so-called “two puttings-away” is a concoction of the civil-proce- dure brethren and of those who …
352 argue a “race to repudiation.” ( = the first spouse to repudiate) There is only one putting-away (approved by God): that of the inno- cent one’s putting away the guilty! Both the man and the woman are given that prerogative by Christ. No human court, nor the action of an ungodly spouse, can nullify a God- given prerogative or right.
353 Some are disturbed by the notion that a wrongly put-away innocent person may rightly put away his fornicating mate. They judge this as wrong on the basis that it allows a "second" put- ting-away. Actually, two married people may repudiate each other. Nothing in Scripture nullifies one's ability …
354 to repudiate a mate merely upon the basis that he was already repudiat- ed. There is no "race-to-repudiation" that one must fear “losing!” One's ability to repudiate a mate is not conditioned upon whether or not he was "beaten to" repudiation. There are as many "puttings-away" as there are people putting away!
355 Jesus is not concerned about how many repudiations there might be, or who was the first to repudiate his mate. He is concerned about the rea- son why a person repudiates his mate! Sadly, this concern is, for the most part, ignored by those who constant- ly emphasize the putting-away pro- cedure.
356 Jesus extended a putting-away privilege to an innocent person whose mate has committed fornica- tion against him (Mk. 10:11). This God-given privilege is extend- ed to the innocent on the basis of his own innocence, and his mate's sexual immorality. It is not extended on the basis of whether or not the innocent party..
357 acts quickly enough to beat the guil- ty to repudiation. In Mt. 19:9 there is only one put- ting-away because Jesus was asked about only one person’s putting away: the husband’s. The innocent spouse is exercising only one putting-away when he puts away the fornicator-mate.
358 THE “WAITING GAME” A spouse divorces his mate not for fornication. How does one know (for sure!) that the mate is waiting for the spouse to commit fornication? Why is the mate not waiting for the spouse to repent? Mt. 5:32 condemns the “waiting game.” When a spouse puts away an innocent mate, he exposes him to …
359 adultery. If two spouses mutually agree to divorce (consensual divorce), they both violate Mt. 5:32. Neither one can later, after fornication is commit- ted by one of them, “put away for fornication,” because each one al- ready put away without the scriptu- ral cause, fornication. Their options: remain unmarried, or be reconciled.
360 It is a misrepresentation and a ma- ligning of motives to accuse the “ori- ginal wife” of the proposition to be engaging in the “waiting game.” She is still bound to her husband who put her away not for fornication, and she is released from that bond only when she repudiates him for the adultery committed against her when he remarries (Mk. 10:11).
361 WHO IS THE PUT-AWAY WOMAN? The “put-away person” of whom Jesus speaks is one put-away for any cause except fornication! (no cause of fornication involved). The “put-away person” of the pre- sent controversy is one against whom fornication has been commit- ted, (Mk. 10:11). Stay with the con- text!
362 Brethren take the “put-away per- son” of Jesus’ discussion (where there’s no cause of fornication), and injects him into a scenario such as the one covered by the proposition where it is said of the husband: “and then commits fornication.” The put-away wife of Jesus’ scena- rio is not put away for fornication …
363 and so, is still bound to her hus- band. This is why the man, who mar- ries her, commits adultery (as of course she does too). The put-away wife of the proposi- tion does not commit adultery upon remarriage, because she now has the stipulated cause for repudiation and remarriage: the cause of fornica- tion (Mt. 19:9a)! Her husband ….
364 committed adultery against her (Mk. 10:11)!
365 WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO MARRY? 1. One who has never been in a God-joined marriage (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:6; 1Cor. 7:2). 2. One who is innocent of fornica- tion and puts away his spouse for the cause of fornication (Mt. 19:9a). 3. One whose spouse has died (Rom. 7:2-3; 1Cor. 7:39).
366 4. A spouse, being “unmarried,” who leaves, or departs from his mate, may be reconciled to his mate (1Cor. 7:10,11).
367 MY QUESTIONS / HIS ANSWERS (My comments on his answers) 1. After an ungodly spouse puts away his mate for just any cause, excepting fornication, are they both still bound by the marriage bond? Yes. So, the unscriptural putting-away did not affect the marriage bond in the least, and it doesn’t. God does not release a mate from the marriage bond unless (1) there is death on …
368 the part of the other, or unless (2) the other commits fornication. So, when fornication is committed, whe- ther before or after an unscriptural divorce, is of no significance. Jesus made it none! The unscriptural divorce does not affect the marriage bond; fornication does!
369 2. Is the phrase “put away,” as used in your proposition, synonymous with civil, or legal, divorce? In my proposition, the phrase "put away," simply refers to whatever (in any given culture or society) results in the dissolution of a marriage. He evaded the question that merit- ed a Yes or No. Had he said, Yes, he (like others) would be affirming that one can’t put away without court- house action.
370 Had he said, No, the question would follow: Do you disfellowship those who make “putting away” synonymous with civil divorce (i.e., courthouse action)? He must define “dissolution of a marriage”, since it is not a Bible phrase. (He means, simply spatial separation. He has already said that the marriage bond is still intact!)
371 3. When you use the phrase, “mental divorce,” as in the advertisement that you prepared for the public, do you mean a mere thought process, or some overt action taking place? When I use the phrase "mental divorce" I do so only as a means of identifying the position that various brethren have espoused, such as Weldon Warnock in this quote: …
372 "But someone asks: 'What about a woman who is put away (divorced) by a man simply because the man no longer wanted to be married. For- nication is not involved and the wo- man repeatedly tried to prevent the divorce, but to no avail. After a cou- ple of years the man marries another woman. She certainly is, if she puts away her husband for fornication...
373 She would have to do this before God in purpose of heart since the di- vorce has already taken place, legal- ly speaking. She could not go through the process of having a le- gal document charging her husband with 'adultery,' but God would know..." - Weldon Warnock (Searching The Scriptures, 11/85)
374 Ron Halbrook also espoused the position I am identifying as "mental divorce" when he wrote: "... But if he commits adultery (be- fore or after his action in the courts of man), there is something else to be said by divine law - by the moral and spiritual law of the court of God. She now may put away, reject, or divorce him as a moral and spiritual act.” Ron Halbrook (1986)
375 He evades the question! I asked: “Do you mean… (definition).” He replied, “I do so only as a means” … (method). He plays with words! These quotes do not define what is being called “mental divorce”. He e- vades my question by citing writings of other men. (One does not answer a man’s question by citing phrases from the writings of others. …
376 Is he debating me or them?) Repudiation or disavowal is as much the becoming unmarried as the taking of the vows were the be- coming married. Whatever obliga- tions and commitments were vowed to become married are now repud- iated or disavowed in the act of becoming unmarried.
377 It’s action on both sides; it is not only thought-process on either side! If he means “mere thought pro- cess,” he misrepresents me in insinuating that I believe in such. I categorically deny that putting away is a mere thought process! If he means “some overt action,” then the phrase, “mental divorce” is misleading to the public!
378 I categorically deny that putting away is a mere thought process! 4. Do you believe that any and every put-away woman, by simple virtue of being a “put-away woman”, commits adultery upon remarrying? I believe that a "put away" woman who is still bound by the law of God concerning her previous marriage commits adultery upon remarrying another man (obviously, …....
379 reconciliation to the original mate is authorized in 1 Cor. 7:10,11). (Throughout his charts the reason given for the adultery committed by the put-away woman upon remarry- ing, is that she is a put-away woman. This is his absolute rule. But he then, anticipating 1 Cor. 7:10,11, makes an exception to his hard and fast rule: the woman who “puts …
380 asunder” (departs from, chorizo) her husband, may remarry the put-away man!) (His answer continues…..) She does not commit adultery "by simple virtue of being a put-away woman", but because she is still bound by the law of God (Romans 7:2,3). (Emp. mine--bhr) Apply this “because” (this reason) to his proposition!
381 This answer contradicts his propo- sition, and his charts are full of “the put-away woman.” This answer con- flicts with his next answer. Compare them. He has an innocent spouse bound to her fornicator-mate until the day of her death. Jesus says, “except for fornication;” Bro. Gwin’s position says, No, fornication is now totally irrelevant; the whole issue is that …
382 now she is a put-away woman! Had he said, Yes, then any and every putting-away man commits adultery by simple virtue of being a “putting-away man.” Such makes an absolute out of Lk. 16:18a. So it will have to be admitted that an innocent husband, never divorc- ed, cannot put away a fornicating wife, and remarry.
383 Had he said, No, then he would have had to tell us exactly why she commits adultery upon remarriage! He gives the reason: “because she is still bound by the law of God (Romans 7:2,3). Yes, and because she was not put away for fornication! She and her wicked husband are still bound to each other) See Mk.6:17,18.
384 “A put-away woman may never re- marry,” we’re told. Why? “Because she’s a put-away woman.” Well, then a putting-away man can never remarry (Lk. 16:18a). Why? Because he’s a “putting-away man”? Same type of flawed reasoning! Real reason: no cause of fornication!
385 5. Does Jesus teach in Matt. 19:9 that a wife may put away her hus- band who fornicates, and that she may then remarry? Matthew 19:9 is written from the man's point of view, but I believe that it is a generic teaching that would be applicable for a woman as well. However, the woman …
386 would not be able to "put away her husband who fornicates" if he had already made her a put away per- son. In such a case, the marriage is already dissolved. His first sentence is well stated; he sees that Bible principles can apply to scenarios not specifically ad- dressed. But I am not permitted to so apply them! He plays by two sets of rules; one for him, one for me!
387 He can apply “generic teaching” but I may not. How considerate of my brother! But now he is going to deny the principle, unless it contains his man- made proviso! He has a box full of put-away people, and conveniently tosses the “original wife” of the proposition into the heap! Answering question #4, he says:
388 “She does not commit adultery ‘by simple virtue of being a put-away woman’,” And now in answer to #5 he says that she may not “put away her husband who fornicates and then remarry” because she is a “put- away person”. Which is it, Bro. Gwin?
389 He had answered, Yes, (and she may!) then the “original wife” of his proposition may remarry. But since he answers with a conditional Yes, — provided that she was not previously put away — he is adding his proviso to Jesus’ teach- ing. Jesus adds no provisos, but the false teacher does!
390 Jesus used three words: “except for fornication.” My opponent adds seven more: “and provided she was not previously divorced.” Had he answered, No, then he would have condemned every inno- cent spouse who puts away a fornicator-mate and remarries.
391 6. Do the passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke, that imply that the put- away person commits adultery upon remarriage, have to do with cases in which the spouse put away the per- son when he had no cause of forni- cation with which to do it? The remarriage of the put away per- son is not mentioned in Mark 10:11,12. However, the passages in...
392 Matthew (5:32, 19:9) and Luke (16:18) include cases in which the woman was put away both FOR and NOT FOR fornication. I did not say, “mention;” I said, “imply.” I did not say, “woman,” I said, “person.” None of the pas- sages mention the remarriage of any put-away person. But since the one marrying a put-away person com- mits adultery, by implication …..
393 so does the put-away one when he remarries. Where did he read in those pas- sages that it says, “whosoever, or, everyone that, shall put away his wife for fornication”? What version is he using? He knows good and well that Jesus is answering the Pharisees question (Mt. 19:3), and so is saying that who- soever shall put away his wife, when he has no cause of fornication ….
394 with which to do it, commits adul- tery, and that that is the reason why he commits adultery. He wants the reason to be that she is a put-away woman. Jesus makes the reason to be the lack of the one cause for which one is permitted to put away and to remarry: fornication!
395 7. Does Luke 16:18b apply in every case in which a man marries a wife who has been put away from a hus- band? No, but it specifically applies in the case of our proposition, in which a man puts away his wife, and then subsequently commits fornication. His answer is, No, but on one of his charts he says, “Luke 16:18b …
396 Absolute? YES.” He treats the “b” part of Lk. 16:18 as an absolute: whoever marries a put-away woman commits adultery— period! This is done throughout his charts. So, here he equivocates. This passage applies where no cause of fornication is in evidence! But the proposition has fornication committed! Keep this in mind.
397 8. Was the cause of fornication involved in the putting-away of the “put-away woman” of Mt. 19:9b? It includes that, but is not limited to that. Our brother knows full well that Jesus was answering the Pharisees’ question, giving the exception clause. So, the cause of fornication was not involved in her being put away. The cause was just for any …
398 reason. Jesus based the subsequent adultery, that would be committed, on the fact that the putting-away was not for fornication. Our brother wants it based on the simple and sole fact of the woman’s being a “put-away woman”!
399 9. Does Jesus call adultery that which results from an innocent spouse’s putting away a fornicator- mate and remarrying? No, in speaking to married people, Jesus said that the innocent spouse may put away a fornicator-mate and remarry without committing adul- tery. In answering, No, our brother has just surrendered the debate! His …
400 “original wife” has had fornication committed against her, so she may put away the fornicator-mate and re- marry! This is what Jesus teaches and what I affirm. The proposition that I was not al- lowed to affirm stated that when fornication occurs, (well, here it has occurred!) the innocent spouse may put away the guilty mate and remar- ry.
401 But notice that he qualifies his an- swer: “in speaking to married people,” he adds. Yes, the scenario presented to Jesus involved a husband’s putting away his wife (Mt. 19:3). But my op- ponent’s proposition represents an entirely different scenario that was not treated by Jesus. But he forces a detail from Jesus’ scenario into his scenario, and tries to make a point!..
402 He hopes that we won’t catch that. That is sophistry! 10. Does Jesus, in his teachings, as recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, address his remarks to whoever puts away a wife, and to any other man who might marry the wife that is unlawfully put away, or does he address his remarks to men who are to be categorized as ….
403 “putting-away-men” and to wives who are to be categorized as “put- away wives? Jesus, in his teachings, as record- ed in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, ad- dresses his remarks to whoever puts away a wife, and to any other man who might marry the wife that is un- lawfully or lawfully put away, and to “putting-away-men” and to “put- away-wives” and others.
404 The question is an “either / or”, but his answer amounts to an “all the above and others!” He sees the force of the question and avoids a direct answer. He knows that Jesus directed his re- marks to the husband and to the man who marries the wife unjustly put away by the husband. But his argumentation has Jesus directing his remarks, as it were, to what a …
405 put-away woman may or may not do! Such are the machinations of false teachers. People with the truth don’t employ such subtleties and evas- ions.
406 HIS QUESTIONS / MY ANSWERS (My additional comments) 1. If a man “puts away” his scriptu- ral wife when neither he nor his wife has committed fornication, and he does not subsequently commit forni- cation, is the wife really biblically “put away?” If you mean by "biblically ‘put away’," approved by the Bible, No, the Bible does not approve of the putting-away. If you mean, does …
407 the Bible really consider her repud- iated by her husband, Yes she is really put away. Note: The fact that the Bible uses the term “put away” does not mean necessarily that God approves of a particular putting-away. It speaks of a “different gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4), but such is not the gospel of Christ. It speaks of “vain worship” (Mt. 15:9), but it is not authorized worship.
408 2. If a man “puts away” his wife FOR fornication, at what point does she actually become a “put away” per- son? when he makes the decision in his mind to "put her away" when he takes some action that is recognizable and verifiable by other people
409 She is put away at the point of his conveying to her that he repudiates, rejects, dismisses her. Note: His actions will certainly in time convey to other people that he broke his vows to her, but the putting-away occurred when he repudiated her (broke his vows to her, disowned her as his wife, refused to be a husband to her).
410 3. At what point do a scripturally eli- gible man and a scripturally eligible woman become married? when they make the decision in their minds to be married when they take some action that is recognizable and verifiable by other people
411 The answer to this question de- pends upon whether or not one is talking about a "civil" marriage, or the marriage covenant. The Bible teaches that God witnes- ses the formation of a marriage cov- enant when an eligible man and an eligible woman leave their parents and promise to each other to fulfill the duties of a marriage contract, or covenant.
412 A man and woman, whether eligible or not, become legally married when they meet civil requirements and are recognized by the state as"married." The state recognizes people as eligible for marriage even if God has them "bound" to someone else. Note: Marriage as ordained by God involves leaving, cleaving and be- coming one flesh, Gen. 2:24. ….
413 Legal marriage, in societies where it is available and customary, is an expedient for reasons of property- rights, custody of children, and the like, but it is not a determinant of marriage. Common-law-marriage illustrates this.)
414 4. In Luke 16:18, the first part of the verse mentions a wife that her hus- band “putteth away.” Is THAT wo- man – the woman of the first part of the verse – included among those described by the second part of the verse as “her that is put away from her husband?” Yes No
415 The woman of Lk. 16:18a is a wife put away by her husband without the cause of fornication in evidence, and the woman of 16:18b is such a wife as is referenced in 16:18a. Note: The woman of Joel’s propo- sition is not in Lk. 16:18! Joel’s wo- man has had adultery committed against her! The woman of Lk. 16:18 has not!
416 5. You teach that an innocent wo- man who was “put away” by her husband, could then “put away” her husband if he committed fornication. How would she do this? (Please describe in detail.) She does it by doing what he did: they both repudiate, reject, dis- avow. Jesus did not describe in de- tail how precisely this is to be done..
417 and so I am not going to set down specific, detailed, rules as to how to do it. Jesus simply states the verbs of action, to denote the fact of such being done, and I leave it there. Note: Both took vows earlier, and now both can break them, disavow. One can’t make vows for both and one can’t break vows for both. Each does his own vowing and …
418 disavowing. The phrase, “put away,” translates a Greek word that means more than simply putting physical space between one and another! A husband can leave his wife to go to work, but that is not “putting her away.”
419 6. If a woman intentionally drove her husband to put her away (by being a “biscuit burner”, bad housekeeper, etc.) and he did, in fact, put her away without fornication in evidence, could she remarry if he later commit- ted fornication? Burning biscuits and being a bad housekeeper are faults of a wife that need correcting, but they do not …
420 drive a husband to put her away not for fornication! She has her faults but he (who per- haps doesn’t carry out the garbage nor puts the cap back on the tooth paste) sins in putting-away not for fornication. Jesus says, Mt. 5:32, that he who puts away his wife, sav- ing for the cause of fornication (which thing your “husband” did!),..
421 causes her to commit adultery (if and when she remarries). Now you have sequence in your scenario: “he later committed forni- cation.” When a spouse of whom Jesus spoke by implication in Matt. 19:9a has the cause of fornication, that spouse may put away the forni- cator-mate and remarry. This is the divine permission.
422 If your biscuit-burner and bad housekeeper is an innocent spouse, such a one of whom Jesus spoke, and her husband, to whom you agree she is still bound by the marriage bond, has committed forni- cation, yes, she may repudiate him and remarry.
423 7. If a man’s wife commits fornica- tion, and he decides to put her away for this cause, do you believe that, as a citizen of Kentucky, he must follow any specific procedure in or- der to accomplish the putting away? Well, do you mean that if he has not been previously put away by his wife (you can’t have two puttings- aways, you know!)? No matter …
424 which state in which the man lives, if he wants a legal, civil, divorce he will have to follow the specific procedure of that place in order to accomplish the civil divorce. The word divorce has the basic meaning of separation (check this out in any unabridged dictionary!). He will separate from his wife the day he divorces, or puts her away.
425 When he files for civil divorce (a le- gal dissolution of marriage, per the dictionary), he will accomplish that the day that the courts declare him legally divorced. 8. What breaks the bond in mar- riage: Divorce for fornication Fornication alone (please explain)
426 Neither of these two options are acceptable. God controls the mar- riage bond (Mt. 19:6). He alone joins, and he alone looses from the bond. (The phrase, “break the bond,” does not denote a biblical concept. The opposite of join is loose). The cause of fornication is the only cause that God has given that per- mits an innocent spouse to put …
427 away a guilty mate and to remarry. When the innocent mate exercises that divine right, God looses him from the bond. 9. Is “put away” in Luke 16:18 refer- ring to the: Putting away (breaking up) of the marriage Putting away (untying) of the bond
428 The putting-away is man’s part; the “untying” or loosening of the marriage bond is God’s part. The putting-away of Lk. 16:18 re- fers to the dismissal, rejection or repudiation of one’s mate. This breaks only the physical marriage relationship.
429 10. If a man puts away his wife for a reason other than fornication (Luke 16:18), are they still married, or are they divorced? They are now unmarried as is the woman of 1 Cor. 7:11 because he, upon putting away his wife, broke the physical marriage relationship, or the one-flesh relationship. They are now divorced in the basic, dic- tionary sense of separation.
430 Of course they are physically sepa- rated. They are not now living to- gether.
431 WHOSE “PUTTING AWAY”? “I have always believed and taught that fornication must be a prior act to putting away, not something that occurs after a sundering of a mar- riage has already taken place.” After reading the first part, I im- mediately asked myself: Whose putting-away? Yes, Jesus gives to the innocent spouse the cause of fornication as the basis for the ….
432 right to put away (and to remarry), Mt. 19:9a. Fornication must be “a prior act to” the innocent’s act of putting-away. No spouse may scripturally put away who has not had adultery committed against him (Mk. 10:11). But, once that heinous act has been committed, the innocent spouse is given the divine right to repudiate the fornicator-mate and to remarry.
433 This is precisely what I believe, along with a host of brethren, for this is what Jesus teaches. Is that what the brother, who au- thored the statement above, has in mind? No, he has in mind that a spouse has already put away an innocent mate, thus sundering the marriage relationship, and that he then goes and commits fornication.
434 Therefore the fornication was not committed before the ungodly spouse’s putting-away! If language means anything at all, he is saying that fornication must occur before the putting-away by the ungodly spouse, before his sunder- ing of the marriage relationship! Now, where in the Scriptures does one go to read that?
435 Jesus gives, on the grounds of for- nication, the right to put away to the innocent spouse. The ungodly spouse’s putting-away, or sundering of the marriage relationship, is no part of what Jesus authorizes! So, what about a case of fornica- tion committed by a spouse after he has unjustly put away his mate? Did Jesus put a time-limit on when
436 the fornication had to be committed in order for it to be a factor in his divine right to repudiate and to remarry? Did he specify that the fornication must be prior to something and not after it? No, he did not. Well, then, where did all of this come from? Solely and simply from the scruples of men!
437 The author is committing the com- mon fallacy of many brethren today; namely, the confusing of two scenarios. The first part of the quoted state- ment above addresses the scenario put to Jesus. By implication Jesus says (Mt. 19:9a) that if a husband puts away his wife for fornication, he does not commit adultery upon re- marriage.
438 So, fornication must occur prior to the putting away on the part of the innocent spouse. That is all that Jesus teaches. He puts no provisos to it! He does not say that “if a husband puts away his wife for fornication, he does not commit adultery upon remarriage, unless he has previously been put away by his ungodly wife for just any cause.”
439 Such is adding to God’s word! The second part of the quoted statement introduces an entirely dif- ferent scenario; namely, one not put to Jesus. In this second scenario an ungodly spouse has unlawfully put away his mate, and then later goes and commits adultery or fornication. It is then affirmed that the fornica- tion, committed after the ungodly …
440 spouse put away, does not count at all as the cause for the innocent mate to take any action. Now the fornication is totally irre- levant and inconsequential! It was a terrible sin before the ungodly did an ungodly deed in putting away for just any cause, but now it is nothing! Forget about it; don’t even mention it. Too late! Too bad!
441 The innocent, put-away mate can’t do a thing about it because God’s divine permission has been annulled by the ungodly act of an ungodly spouse! What a doctrine! The first part of the author’s state- ment is true if the putting-away is done for fornication by the innocent spouse. This is what Jesus teaches; this is what he authorizes.
442 But the author of the statement be- lieves it only conditionally; that is, provided that the innocent spouse has not previously been put away for an unlawful reason. The author of the statement does NOT have in mind the putting-away by the innocent spouse, but that done by the ungodly spouse who puts away unlawfully! This fact is covered up by the ….
443 wording of the ambiguous statement because whose putting away is not clearly set forth! The author says, “putting away,” but what he means is that of the un- godly spouse who puts away unlaw- fully! Jesus meant the putting-away of the innocent spouse! Discerning people can see the difference.
444 Just ask the question: whose putting away is being considered in the wording? the innocent’s one, or that of the spouse who unlawfully puts away?