Can “Shame” be Purposeful?

SC-pastor-protests-marriage-equality-by-dressing-horse-in-a-wedding-dress-WJTV-TV-800x430by Standerinfamilycourt

For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while—  I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything  through us.  For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.   –  2 Cor. 7:8-10

Truth warriors are finding out lately that no longer is the faithful pronouncement or application of God’s word merely “legalistic” or “judgmental” in the estimation of the secular and even religious humanists.   Oh no, now we find out that truth-bearers are personally responsible for the immoral behavior choices (“acting out”) of others because we are “shaming” them!   Dare to produce the yardstick (moral absolute), and the instinctive flight from measurement is deemed in our culture to be directly due to the fact that this standard has been brought to bear at all.

However, this concept isn’t totally foreign to some compassionate, Christ-centered evangelicals, either, especially those who have spent some time as a prodigal or backslider.     The late Rev. Bob Steinkamp, for example, who founded Rejoice Marriage Ministries with his wife Charlyne, regularly urged spouses who are standing for the restoration of their covenant marriages, and for the repentance of the spouse of their youth from an adulterous union, addiction or other destructive behavior, to carefully avoid being the cause of their prodigal’s feelings of shame or guilt.    The argument, with a certain amount justification, is that these feelings hinder and delay a prodigal’s repentance.    Each and every day of hindered and resisted repentance is a day upon which that prodigal might further harden their own heart, and could eternally run out of time to repent.  Who wants to be an accomplice in such a tragic ending for someone they love and are one-flesh with?

Beyond that, people whom “standerinfamilycourt” truly admires frequently look down on “slut-shaming”, as when during last year’s U.S. presidential primary campaign, a lurid photo of our nation’s first centerfold First Lady was produced by its far-from-first adulterous Chief Executive to demonstrate how much more “attractive” his wife is than his opponent’s covenant wife.    People who responded in perfectly reasonable expressed disgust were then accused of that allegedly-thoughtless infraction of “slut-shaming”.

At the other extreme, there is a Facebook page called “Home Wreckers Exposed (She’s a Ho)” where aggrieved wives can publicly expose by name and photo their spouse-poaching nemesis who has used the nation’s immoral family courts and the culture’s growing acceptance of cohabitation to destroy a covenant home.    On a related note, there was a post recently going around on a closed support page for covenant marriage standers that showed such a wife dragging her husband’s much-younger naked girlfriend through the street by the hair after catching her in the act.  (One naturally wonders, similar to the story in John, chapter 8 where the male adulterer was at that moment).

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC Disclaimer:  this kind of shaming is never purposeful!  Jesus called it, “not leaving room for God’s wrath.”

ShesAHo

Somewhere in the middle of all this is the notion of vicarious or indirect shaming, such as SIFC’s beloved son-in-law recently rebuked (since he has an aunt who is in a longstanding lesbian relationship, and consequently he resents the idea of marriage adhering to an absolute biblical standard).   It seems that many of the posts on our own Facebook page (Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional) can be seen as the public “shaming” of practicing homosexuals, as well as of legalized adulterers.   His allegation is that such posts turn people like his aunt off to “Christianity” altogether, because the real Jesus “didn’t throw stones”.   We would suggest in the alternative that the universal requirement to put Christ first and remove idols from our lives is what actually turns most people off to following Christ, regardless of their sexual orientation.

It could reasonably be argued that any effort to resist full cooperation with a unilateral divorce petition could lead to the “public shaming” of one’s petitioning spouse, since in most cases doing so leads to a public trial that will expose the person’s deeds as a matter of public record.    Hence, some situations which our immoral “family laws” put an innocent target of such a petition in will involve some very real and painful moral trade-offs.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.
Proverbs 12:4

So, is there a biblical imperative against causing or allowing one’s wayward spouse to experience shame which is so strong that it compels a true Christ-follower to sign under oath their concurrence with the typical slate of lies in such a “dissolution” petition, some of which directly deny the power of God to redeem their holy matrimony union?    How does one balance the seemingly competing biblical imperatives not to resist an evil person with the warning in Rev. 21:8 that ALL liars will be thrown into the lake of fire?

Furthermore, if we follow the biblical instructions from Jesus in Matthew 18 for bringing church discipline on someone who is sinning against their family,

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.   But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.   If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
(verses 15-17)

…it also results in public shame (and sometimes social media shame), does it not?   Matt Chandler and his Village Church suffered backlash in 2015, finding this out the hard way when there was blowback from an attempt to discipline a church worker for having her 3-year marriage civilly annulled because her husband struggled with same-sex attraction.

Matt Walsh was recently “up to here” with the shame-blame game himself, in his own recent blog (but scout’s honor, this blog was started way back in August, long before Matt’s was ).

As only Mr. Walsh can so eloquently put it:

And for those who shame all of this shaming there’s shame shaming, which often leads to shame shaming shaming and even shame shaming shaming shaming, which gives rise to the shaming of shame shamers who shame those who shame shamers for shame shaming shaming. We’re all just ashamed all the time, it seems, but not so ashamed that we won’t post heroic pictures of ourselves doing whatever it is we claim we’re persecuted for doing. And, although society supposedly “shames” this activity, we’re sure to get 100 thousand likes and 50 thousand shares and 10 thousand laudatory comments. “

He continues:

“Contrary to what these shame fighters say, many of our societal problems are born from a cataclysmic lack of shame. We have become something like the spoiled brat who throws a tantrum because her parents got her the wrong color Ferrari for her sweet sixteen. It’s not as though this indignity is the last straw in a long series of incidents where the poor, neglected child wasn’t given exactly what she wanted. Rather, this is the first time in her life that she didn’t get exactly what she wanted.”

Is there an outright biblical prohibition on “shaming” another?    Is there proverbial wisdom against it?   Is there a proverbial description of negative consequences from publicly drawing attention to the immorality of another, or from engaging in indirect communications that allude to that immorality?    What definition of “shaming” actually triggers negative consequences for the “shamer” according to biblical wisdom?

SIFC has found that an effective biblical word study on shame and shaming requires quite an investment of time.     According to www.biblegateway.com, there are 262 Hebrew or Greek references to shame or shaming between the Old and New Testaments, and literally dozens of different Hebrew and Greek words from which the word “shame” was translated, with differing shades of meaning, especially in Hebrew.

A sampling, which is far from exhaustive:

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/954.htm    bosh
A primitive root; properly, to pale, i.e. By implication to be ashamed; also (by implication) to be disappointed or delayed — (be, make, bring to, cause, put to, with, a-)shamed(-d), be (put to) confounded(-fusion), become dry, delay, be long.

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_937.htm    buz     (laughingstock)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_8103.htm    shimtsah  (derision)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_6172.htm    ervah   (nakedness, indecency)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_4045.htm  migereth (rebuke)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_3971.htm  mum (blemished)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2781.htm     cherpah  (reproach)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_3639.htm   kelimmah (dishonor; reproach)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/955.htm  bushah (related to bosh)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7036.htm  qalon (ignominy, dishonor)

…As in, Proverbs 9:7, He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,  And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.” 

http://biblehub.com/greek/818.htm  atimazó (dishonor)

http://biblehub.com/greek/819.htm  atimia (dishonor)

http://biblehub.com/greek/2617.htm    kataischuno  (confound, put down)

http://biblehub.com/greek/150.htm   aischros (base / disgraceful)

http://biblehub.com/greek/5195.htm  hubrizó ( using unfair tactics to inflict undeserved harm)

http://biblehub.com/greek/1788.htm  entrepó  (put into a state of turning or recoiling)

http://biblehub.com/greek/1791.htm  entropé  (confusion / shame)

HELPS Word-studies

1788 entrépō (from 1722 /en, “in” and trépō, “to turn”) – properly in (a state of) turning, i.e. to turn one’s attention to in a riveted (“locked-in”) way. This term is also used of recoiling (turning away) in shame, at times of a “wholesome shame which leads a man to consideration of his condition” (Berry).

When we get to the Greek, we can start to see that shame can also have a positive purpose (entrepó), and indeed, Paul reminds us in Romans 12:20 that it is entirely possible (and desirable) to cause someone to feel shame even as a by-product of actual kind acts, especially when done in response to malicious acts done to us by the same individuals…

But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

“Standerinfamilycourt” likens the culturally-popular rhetoric around “shaming” to the popular claims that Christians are not to “judge”.    Logically, a judgment must be made before one makes a determination to “shame”, so the connection is obvious.    Carefully examined, however, the scripture says that Christians are not to judge in an unrighteous manner while being guilty of the same or similar infraction of God’s law.   That is, they must be able to withstand being measured by the same yardstick they would apply to another (Luke 6:37-38).

Furthermore, it is impossible to accuse someone of judging unless the accuser is also judging the accusee.    But, if one instead complains about the end product of applying that judgment (or any similar form of rebuke or criticism), i.e. “shaming”, this self-righteous difficulty is effectively bypassed in the (non-discerning) eyes of most people.   After all, those who object to Melania having been accurately described as an adulterous trollop can’t very well say to anybody else, “you have no right to make a moral judgment against someone posing nude and her ‘husband’ publicly boasting about it”.

A clear distinction certainly must be made between “shame” that is an unavoidable by-product of some action that carried a larger, selfless purpose, and actual shaming that is carried out vindictively or manipulatively as an end in itself.  Guilt remains unproductive if the Holy Spirit does not transform that feeling into conviction, and shame remains unproductive unless that emotion matures into godly sorrow.   This is more likely to occur with incidental, rather than targeted rebuke.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Romans 12:19

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal Unilateral Divorce!

Misusing the Movement: The “Cover” that Just Won’t Work

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by Standerinfamilycourt

Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord,
How much more the hearts of men!
Proverbs 15:11

The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9

In these latter days, the true word is getting around and rapidly taking root about what Jesus and all of the disciples’ disciples taught for the first 400 years of the Messianic Covenant — that the husband and wife of youth are God-joined into a one-flesh entity which man’s courts cannot sever with the tallest mountain of civil paper,  and a covenant bond which includes the Lord’s participation and which is, therefore, severable only by the physical death of one of the spouses.    This is coming in spite of 60 years of false teaching and immoral practice in the American church, and despite 500 years of falsehood which the Reformation brought to church doctrine / practice in this area.

“Standerinfamilycourt” has come to personally know almost a dozen men and women who, in following Christ, were shocked and appalled to learn from a deep study of God’s word that what they thought was a valid marriage in the Lord, was actually legalized adultery,  amounting to serial polygamy.  Some found out their spouse was still married to the partner of their youth.   Some found out that they were themselves still married to the partner of their own youth, and quite a few found out that the adultery was on both sides of the marriage.    Most had agonized over their own soul and over the soul of the person they had adulterously married without realizing it was adultery.    Most took at least several months, to a couple of years, to intensely study to be certain of this biblical conviction before acting to renounce and exit their sinful state.   All were motivated by a compulsion to put Jesus Christ first in their lives and to never again stumble into unwitting sin at the hands of the rogue pastors who had betrayed them.    Those who have a living covenant partner are praying fervently for the salvation or restoration to the kingdom of that partner and for restoration of their holy matrimony companionship.  Many of those who were single prior to their adulterous marriage, while they could righteously marry another never-married or widowed person, are in no hurry to do so — they want to live for the Lord first and foremost.

But, it doesn’t always happen quite that way…..

Those of us who run ministry pages are contacted by many individuals seeking help and prayer, or seeking answers to questions.     It is a tremendous privilege to help and pray for each one of them.   But it is also a sacred trust whose aim must always be to build up the kingdom of God, pointing people toward the cross and toward heaven.    When it comes to marriage, far too many big-name, well-respected ministries point people in quite the opposite direction.

A gentleman we’ll call “Bob” contacted our page.   He complained of being hammered by his church, and had been kicked off several Christian social media pages because he was contemplating a civil divorce from his wife “Carol” who had been married briefly before.   According to Bob, Carol’s earlier marriage was a drunken elopement when she was under age, and was quickly annulled after less than a week.    Bob reasons that the marriage was consummated, so it must have been valid before the Lord.     Though Bob and Carol eventually got saved together, he confessed that he never did feel as though he were one-flesh with Carol, and this must be the reason why.  (She’s not happy, either, as evidenced by the way she sits around, piling on the pounds and not caring about remaining attractive to Bob, as he relates.)

Bob had been really studying up and talking with people in the marriage permanence movement, especially since he’d caught up with “Alice”,  his old high school flame.    Alice had married “Ted” whom she had become involved with before he had divorced a covenant wife to marry her.   True to character, Ted is on the prowl again and sleeping around, but Alice has now found the Lord.   Bob kept saying that he couldn’t help still being concerned for Alice’s soul since 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5;19-21 make it pretty plain that no adulterer will inherit the kingdom of God.    “She needs to marry someone who can be all hers”, Bob declared, “and have a marriage in the Lord”.     He sheepishly asked, “since God didn’t covenant with her adultery and didn’t make her one-flesh with Ted (who was still one-flesh with his true wife, “Tina”),  Alice would be free to remarry, wouldn’t she?”    He said he was pretty sure he has convinced Alice to come out of her non-covenant marriage after pointing out his studies to her.    He believes he has mercifully snatched Alice from the hell flames.   (Curiously, Bob fails to recognize that there are several other souls at-risk in this scenario, including those souls in the trail of jettisoned spouses and their children, but while Alice’s soul is precious to him, oblivion seems to prevail everywhere else souls are on the line.)

Back to Bob’s remarriage question….was Alice also married before she pried Ted away from Tina, Bob?    “No, she was not”, Bob says.    Yes, Bob, then biblically-speaking, Alice would be free to marry a never-married or widowed man, after exiting her adulterous union, but only in the Lord.    That “only in the Lord” part  is a huge “BUT“, however.   As Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 7, it goes far beyond whether or not the new hoped-for spouse is a believer, and even beyond that person’s biblical eligibility to marry:

But if you marry [speaking to the widowed], you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.  But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.   This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
– 1 Cor. 7:29-35

This is a very similar situation to someone adulterously remarried according to Jesus’ teaching in Luke 16:18, but whose true spouse has passed away during the adulterous union.     There’s the small matter of God-joining, of creating the inseverable one-flesh entity.   No marriage is holy matrimony unless and until He performs this.    Most Christians presume this to be an automatic thing, either because they think the one-flesh state is a gradual human development (confusing sarx miaMatt. 19:5-6; Eph. 5:31,  with hen soma1 Cor. 6:16), or because they fancy that God “defaults” to it somehow if all the biblical barriers are suddenly removed, for whatever reason.    Is the Lord Most High a vending or stamping machine?    Does He not retain sovereignty to join whom He will join, to forgive whom He will forgive, and to set the conditions for doing both?    If He can judge the thoughts and motivations of the heart, can we really hope to “game” Him with our biblical technicalities?    

To understand those conditions whereby God exclusively covenants with a union and supernaturally, instantaneously creates a one-flesh entity between a man and his wife, we must do as Jesus did, and look closely at the Genesis 2:21-24 account of the first wedding in the bible to discern what Jesus taught were the essential elements of “two becoming one.”

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.   The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.   The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Essential elements that were present at that first-ever wedding:

(1)  Consent to live for life as one-flesh :    “This is now bone of my bones,  And flesh of my flesh.”

(2)  Witnesses:   this included Jesus, and (apparently), the serpent, satan.

(3)  Vows: She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

(4)  God’s hand as the officiant:  “The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.”

(5)   No prior living spouses:  He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.   Jesus and Paul repeatedly echo this last point throughout the gospels and the epistles.

Conspicuously-missing nonessential elements at that first wedding:

(1) A human officiant (also true of ancient Hebrew wedding tradition)
(2) A religious test
(3)  Civil permission or regulation
(4)  An age test  (Eve was a “newborn”, after all)

Let’s leave Alice and Ted to the side, since it only takes an adulterous condition on one side of an immoral union to render it so for both partners  –  it is obvious that Jesus would not hesitate to call Alice and Ted’s civil marriage adultery.   So, by this standard, is there good reason for Bob to err on the side of accepting that he is in a God-joined, one-flesh holy matrimony union, such that God would regard divorce out of it to be treachery and violence?    At least to the extent of requiring Bob to take extreme care, time and prayer before he concludes that his vows to Carol are false and dissoluble?

Was there Carol’s / her first husband’s mutual consent to live as one-flesh for life in that impulsive, drunken and brief elopement which was civilly annulled?    Was there consent to live as one-flesh for life in the sober justice-of-the peace wedding between Bob and Carol, given that they’ve done so for 15 years and borne three children?    (Apparently, there were vows and witnesses in both instances, but in which situation did God actually create sarx mia ?)

Given the answers above, in which situation was God the Officiant?
Just how probable is it that Bob is indeed one-flesh with Carol despite his doubts?   Is the misuse of God’s word to emphasize technicalities creating a form of legalism that would not normally be there in discerning the situation between these struggling, intertwined couples?

And is Alice truly snatched from the hell flames at this point, as Bob fancies, or is it too early to judge?     Does one technically go to hell because they die in a state of adultery,  or is this ongoing sinful state something that leads to greater heart-hardening and idolatry in the form of self-worship?    Will she live on in unforgiveness toward Ted for his lifelong pattern of adultery, or will she continue to pray for his salvation?    Who will be her first love as she goes forward with her life apart from Ted?    Will she be motivated to encourage the reconciliation between Ted and Tina, his actual one-flesh?    Will Alice look for ways to make godly restitution to Tina?   If she succumbs to Bob’s already-contemplated advances, what then?

Before we close this post, let’s reflect for a moment on the famous 1970 cover for MAD magazine.    This was exactly one year after Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the legislation in California creating the first-ever unenforceable-while-legally-valid contract in in the United States, and the only one such as we’ve seen since.   September 1970 was still a few years before most Protestant denominations “updated” their doctrine and practice around marriage and divorce to make it more “culturally-relevant” and “empathetic”.    Is this magazine cover not very telling of how far our society and the church has fallen, when a pagan periodical was drawing such shock value in a heathen society for behavior that today makes us yawn, shrug and produce voluminous “blended family” advice within our churches?     Contrast that with the September 2015 spectacle of CNN and MSNBC reporters shaking their Gideon motel bibles at Mrs. Kim Bailey Wallace  Davis McIntyre Davis, the elected issuer of Rowan County adultery licenses who was jailed for saying she would “lose her soul” for issuing Rowan County sodomy licenses.

If repenting prodigal spouses (and the movement as a whole) are constantly under unjust fire from the hypocritical harlot church, then carelessly or wrongly- motivated application of marriage permanence principles — most especially where there’s an apparent rebound relationship following in short order thereafter — simply undermines the credibility of the many who are indeed doing the right thing for the right, unselfish reason.   Meanwhile, within the marriage permanence community, while unified that all remarriage wherever there is a living, God-joined spouse is always adultery, there is significant (and sometimes fiery) debate about the Gen. 2:21-24 point where that inseverable joining occurs.    We still need to keep in mind that what the apostate church and the pagan world sees when Jesus isn’t really our first love in these situations (even if biblically-permissible)…is spouse-swapping!

For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself;  for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s….
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Romans 14:7-8,13-14

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!  

 

Will They Do It? Another State Attempts to Repeal Unilateral Divorce

KrauseFamilyby Standerinfamilycourt

It appears that the first major effort since 2006 by a state legislator to roll back so-called “no fault” (unilateral divorce) has been underway since the last session of Texas legislature, sponsored by Rep. Matt Krause, recently re-elected to a third term.

Rep Krause is the son of a Baptist pastor who attended Liberty University School of Law and is a constitutional attorney who opened up a branch of the Christian legal defense firm Liberty Counsel in Fort Worth, TX.  The  Krauses have four young children and are in their mid-thirties.

From a December 28 post by a local news service:

A one-page bill, filed by Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, will make it harder for couples to separate, by ending [the “ground” of]  “insupportability”

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC: (“insupportability” is functionally equivalent to the civil charge of  “irreconcilable differences” in most other states.  Liberal bias in the press coverage often deceitfully implies mutuality in the assessment, by paraphrasing in terms like  “the couple can no longer stand” to live with each other.)

Per the Texas Statute, as currently enacted:

Sec. 6.001.  INSUPPORTABILITY.  On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.   Enacted, 1997

At some point between the original 1970 enactment of unilateral divorce in Texas and 1997, there was a re-write of the statute which Judy Parejko described in her 2001 book, “Stolen Vows”,  where the provision for mutuality in the petition was surrepetitiously  taken out of the enacted language.    From Day 1, the members of the Texas Bar refused to implement the law on that enacted basis, until they finally succeeded in changing it, just prior to the time that attorney Ed Truncellito brought his failed constitutional challenge of the false language in a 2000 case.    FB profile 7xtjw

The local article continues:

Krause says ending no-fault divorces would keep the family together as well as add protection to the spouse who might not want to split up.

“There needs to be some type of due process. There needs to be some kind of mechanism to where that other spouse has a defense,” said Rep. Krause, who filed the same bill last session.   He hopes lawmakers will pick up the issue earlier in the 2017 Legislative session.

He also filed a bill to extend the waiting period for a divorce from 60 days to 180 days.

MKrauseFB_post

What would a successful effort by Rep. Krause mean to the community of covenant marriage standers, also to repenting prodigals, in the highly unlikely event that this attempt to repeal “no-fault” (unilateral, non-consenting) divorce succeeds in Texas?  As is all too typical in the liberal press, this local article was written in such a way as to misinform the public on both sides of the issue.
Success is actually highly unlikely, especially without ardent support from the churches of Texas, who are more likely to ignore the bill, or give it only tepid support.   We attempted to contact Rep. Krause through his Facebook page, to ask him if he at least had the support of his state family policy council, but he did not respond:

We would like to follow the progress of your bill, Rep. Krause. What is the bill #, if we may ask ?

Another question: are you familiar with what author Judy Parejko wrote in her 2001 book, “Stolen Vows” about the original statute language in Texas,and the contrary way it was implemented?

Are there any Family Policy groups supporting you at all?

Thanks, and Godspeed! 
“standerinfamilycourt”

We must nevertheless keep praying for the coast-to-coast repeal of unilateral divorce.    The bill before the Texas legislature, introduced by Rep. Krause is HB93, whose progress can be followed here.    It is telling that its sponsor would like this bill to come up for a vote “earlier in the 2017 session.”    That’s because he had to re-introduce it, since it failed to be brought to a vote in the prior session.

 

TX HB93_2017

Texas does indeed have a family policy council:

Texas
Texas Values
Jonathan Saenz, President
900 Congress, Ste. 220
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-478-2220
info@txvalues.org
txvalues.org

The 85th Texas Legislature is dominated by Republicans in both the House and the Senate, so grass-roots citizen efforts to support this bill would appear to be fairly effective, notwithstanding the stiff, well-financed opposition that is likely to come from the Texas Bar Association and the ABA.    We would strongly encourage our page followers living in Texas to take several practical steps to give this bill a chance for enactment:

–  go to your pastor and make sure he is aware of this bill.   It seems to be getting some publicity, but mostly biased and unfair publicity.   Ask him to contact Texas Values and state legislators in support of it.   Make sure your pastor understands the connection between unilateral divorce and gay marriage / threats to religious liberty, and that “Respondents” to a unilateral divorce petition were the very first Christians to lose their religious liberty on the altars of the Sexual Revolution.

contact Texas Values yourself, and ask them to support the bill with publicity spend and legislator contacts.  To their extreme credit, their page does call out unilateral divorce as an issue.    To their discredit, a perusal of their page shows that they’ve not done a blog piece on the bill from the time it was filed in November, 2016 to-date.   (You may also need to point out the religious liberty issue to them, and remind them of what was documented in the early constitutional challenge cases by actual Texas judges in the 1970’s.

– do the obvious and keep pressure on your state legislators to support the bill.   The other side will most certainly be doing so.

re-share this post, and ecourage everyone you know to do the same.

maintain supportive contact with Rep. Krause through the link to his page that we provided above.   Pray for him, and let him know it.

For now, we just make a few practical point-outs:

(1) If this succeeds, it’s a necessary matter for full repentence as a nation (and more importantly as a CHURCH) to help stay God’s hand of judgment on this nation at its true root.

(2) The last state to make this sort of attempt was Michigan in 2006. Despite the lonely backing of the Family Research Council, the effort was defeated by heavy, well-funded opposition from the Michigan Bar who argued that people would simply cross state lines to get their “blameless” divorce, saddling the state later on with administering it. (Ironically, most of the fee revenue to attorneys comes for years after the divorce if there are children involved — so this argument, while true in its first point was spurious and dishonest in its totality – just like this article.)

(3) Make no mistake, unless there is an option preserved for MUTUALLY ending a civil-only marriage by agreed peitition with agreed terms (only), this will make it infinitely more costly to repent of an adulterous or sodomus union entered into with someone else’s spouse. Imagine going into family court with a formal charge of adultery saying “I’m the adulterer, and she is as well, because only death dissolves her original covenant marriage, not the State of Texas, Your Honor.” (No 20th-21st century judge has ever cared that the bible makes it clear that remarriage is an ongoing state of adultery, as Jesus repeated in the same words at least 3 recorded times, and that dying in this state is a matter of heaven-or-hell, as Paul stated at least twice.)   There was a time when our judges did know this, and when they ruled accordingly.

(4) Repenting prodigals under Texas jurisdiction will need to be prepared to live apart from their noncovenant, counterfeit mate immediately, and for 3 years thereafter if the forced unilateral clause is removed without replacing it with a true mutual “no fault” petition — which (contrary to the bias of the local article), NO state has ever had.
(**Except for Texas, as noted above, but only on the statute books, not in practice or interpretation).
Hopefully, repenting prodigals will realize that man’s law is inferior to God’s law and that the latter is all that is required to live morally and righteously with their true, God-joined spouse. — Expect legal hiccups for the covenant family and fiery censure from the apostate church in the meantime! Here’s where the voice of true Christ-followers in the marriage permanence community is going to need to be more grounded and resolute than ever.

(5) No state is likely to gain any traction on this issue until the neighboring states do. And that’s unlikely until the church stops performing adulterous weddings or signing civil marriage licenses, thereby boycotting the culture of serial polygamy and all of its entrenched instruments including state “jurisdiction”.

Currently, fault-based divorces in Texas must fall into one of six categories: adultery, cruelty, abandonment and a felony conviction, living apart for at least three years or confinement to a mental hospital.    Rep. Krause was also quoted on January 8 by Maria Anglin of the San Antonio Express-News as saying he’d like for the three years to be reduced to one year if the petition alleges abandonment – in our opinion, not an improvement since most experts say that the average length of an extramarital infatuation is two years.   Texas is one of the few major states that still offers fault-based divorce, with Illinois repealing all fault-based grounds in 2015 in a profoundly immoral overhaul of its “family laws”.

We will do our best to establish contact with Rep. Krause and with Texas Values, so that we can keep you informed of progress.

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |   Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

Moses-worship, Polygyny and “Paperwork” : Beware of Today’s Judaizers

PolygynyII
by Standerinfamilycourt.com

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;  for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,  although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh.
(
PHILIPPIANS 3:1-4)

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’  you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.   Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’   He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.
(DEUTERONOMY 17:14-17)

There are those so deeply wounded by the disintegration of morality, culture and society that they don’t join the rest of us in believing that the arrival of the Messianic Covenant through Christ’s baptism, ministry, death and resurrection is such a good thing.   Perhaps they didn’t get the memo that the Mosaic Covenant was only conditional (with Israel and Judah both flunking the test) and was established on a temporary basis, to be fully replaced by a far superior unconditional covenant that cannot be broken by God, no matter how many times we humans fail to keep up our end.    You cannot tell these people this, however — and we’ve exhaustively tried, Lord knows!   If they accept the idea of the Messianic Covenant completely replacing the Mosaic Covenant at all, they insist that it wasn’t in effect until after Christ’s resurrection, therefore He couldn’t possibly have been abrogating any part of the law of Moses, especially  the part where Jesus flatly stated that it is not possible for men to dissolve holy matrimony, nor has it ever been possible for men to do so.  (Matthew 19:6,8)

These folks are easy enough to spot.   They read the Sermon on the Mount as though Matt. 5:17 is the only verse contained therein.   They piously call El Elyon, “YAH”, and behave as though it’s an unspeakable abomination for the rest of us uncircumcised Philistines to do otherwise.   Whereas, Jesus ben Joseph repeatedly told the assembled crowd on the hill, “it is written….BUT I SAY UNTO YOU…” on everything from taking one’s own revenge, to adultery and divorce, to character assassination and swearing oaths,  their synthesized  “Yashua” couldn’t possibly have contradicted Moses, nor have countermanded that rock-striker with any higher authority which abrogated one jot or tittle of Mosaic regulations.    They are all things Jewish at all times, except when it comes to kiddushin tradition and the ketubah (curiously enough).

To date, we’ve discovered that these neo-Judaizers come in two varieties, both of which stand in utter rebellion to Christ’s authority to change the morals of marriage (more accurately, to enforce what was from the beginning, from the Garden, but was distorted over the centuries following Moses’ death by the same sort of Pharisees.)

The Paperwork Crowd
The first group insists that Jesus was not re-establishing the absolute, no-excuses prohibition on divorce and remarriage that the Pharisees had ignored from Malachi’s mouth.    Citing Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Jeremiah 3:8 and Isaiah 50:1, they claim that’s it’s simply a matter of not “neglecting the paperwork”,  whereby they claim (without scriptural support) that the holy matrimony bond is “dissolved” by  said paper.     We’ll take a closer look at that theory in a moment.    This group rejects outright what Jesus said in Matthew 19:6, 8 and Paul echoed in Romans 7:2-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39 about the holy matrimony not being severable by any act of men other than physical death.   They are, in effect,  creating a state of serial polygamy based on Torah, while not necessarily embracing the practice of concurrent polygamy.

The Polygyny Crowd
The second group says it is not necessary to disobey God and divorce the wife of your youth in order to take another because there’s supposedly no prohibition against men who are not clergy taking more than one wife in concurrent polygamy.    They, of course point to Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah, David and Solomon, and make a couple of unsupported claims about Old Testament saints, including the prophets Ezra and Hosea.  This group mostly accepts that holy matrimony bonds are indissoluble by men, but  they refuse to accept Christ’s description in Matthew 19:6 and Paul’s echoing description in Ephesians 5:31 that the one-flesh state is supernatural and instantaneous (instead of gradual and physical), created only by God, and exists only with one living partner at a time, one’s first (or covenant) partner, until death.

( FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC: Our “hat-tip” to Jan, a commenter on one of our previous blog posts for this example link.  Whenever we link to heretical pieces like this, we do so with much fear and trembling,  but we believe most readers are readily able to see that in five tedious installments, this ear-tickling blogger utterly failed to prove that polygyny is “biblical” with actual scripture, as opposed to mere narrative examples, in a way that overcomes all that Jesus and Paul taught to the contrary.   He makes several unsupported historical statements as well.)

Normally, when we have debunked the appeals to Old Testament polygamy in the past, it was in response to conventional Christians seeking to rationalize remarriage adultery, a la David and Bathsheba.    They personally have no intent to engage in concurrent polygamy themselves.   They much prefer the serial variety of polygamy as their way of avoiding taking up the cross of Christ and carrying it, when the secular dissolution machine purports to “dissolve” their covenant marriage, or when they wish that machine really had the power to do so, due to some actual or perceived deficiency in the spouse of their youth.   Obviously, most of the same scriptural principles apply, regardless of the motives for appealing to Old Testament polygamy practices, except that in the conventional group they infer that the “permission” or “grace” is on a unisex basis, when in fact, it’s Christ’s absolute prohibition that is on a unisex basis.   (But those are volatile “fighting words” to the randy Judaizer who is the actual subject of this post, who insists that the rules of morality remain looser for men than for women, since it’s hard to deny that they were so under Moses.)

So, to what type of person are these cultish Torah-based twin  theories more attractive than the gospel and commandments of Jesus Christ?    We have a pretty good feel for this, because so many of them have trolled our pages from their earliest days, challenging our message.   Most of them are young males whose covenant wife has unilaterally divorced them for another man.   They feel humiliated (one even referred to himself as “cuckolded”) and feel the only way to rectify that humiliation is to enter into an adulterous relationship in retaliation.   Only, that offends their spirituality, so they shop for a system that accommodates their lust “scripturally”.   When you inform them that their covenant marriage tie is only severed by death, not their wife’s court papers, you hear, “that’s OK, she divorced me, I didn’t divorce her.   I now have a second wife by common law, and my bible says it’s OK since she (#2) has never been another man’s wife.”    They point out that because women were made by God for men, and not the other way around, men have more liberty to replace their wife than women have to replace their husband.   They insist that adultery by men has always been defined according to Deuteronomy, as marrying  another man’s estranged wife, while adultery for women is defined as remarrying at all (since Jesus didn’t specifically say “whoever marries a divorced man commits adultery.”)

The polygyny heresy also appeals to a handful of wounded women.   Typically they are young women standing for their covenant marriage which is intact but hanging by a thread, whose husband won’t live with them (or has threatened to abandon them) unless they tolerate his ongoing adultery with this second “wife” with whom he’s cohabiting.    These women are being literally blackmailed emotionally, and they so lack in a real relationship with the Bridegroom that their lecherous husband remains their idol.   Finding false comfort in “Torah” seems less demanding than persevering in the spiritual battle of prayer and fasting necessary to wrestle their husband out of his lascivious self-worship.
In an even  stranger twist, we recently encountered an adult child raised in a remarriage adultery home whose parent is now under conviction to divorce out of that immoral union, and remain unmarried or be reconciled to their covenant spouse.    This child is resentful of the repenting divorce, and since the genders fit, is insisting that the second “marriage” isn’t adulterous because Jesus “never condemned polygyny.”    With more false teachers cutting heretic videos and posting them to youtube (such as this one – who needs to publicly apologize for his recent “public apology”),  and as the numbers of repenting prodigals continues to grow, the emotional upheaval experienced by their young adult children is likely to cause us to see even more deceived Torah observers.

A closer look at the “paperwork” heresy….
Adherents to this theory claim that with what Matthew quoted Jesus as saying in chapters 5 and 19, He was only condemning the “putting away” of the wife of one’s youth if she was not given a certificate of divorce so that she would be legally and morally able to remarry.   According to them, Jesus was counting it “cruel” not to leave the rejected wife in a position to have another husband.   They base this theory on what they claim is a difference in word usage, i.e. that the Hebrew “shalach” / Greek “apoluo” is immoral abandonment or enslavement to polygyny which exploits the wife, but the Hebrew “kerithuth” / Greek “apostasion” is the “compassionate divorce” of which Jesus “approves.”    They are fond of claiming that Jesus only used the term “shalach” when condemning divorce and calling subsequent remarriage adultery, since the Greek translated word is “apoluo” in the passages of the three gospels that recorded His teaching on this.

It should be readily apparent what is wrong with this heresy without going too deeply into the word study, but we’ll do so anyway.

Here is an inventory of all the Hebrew and Greek words for “divorce” or “putting away” used in either the Old or New Testaments, along with their bible dictionary meanings.

Etymology of Divorce

If according to Paul Simon, there’s “50 ways to leave your lover”, Sharon Henry points out that there’s a good 65 ways the Greeks divorced….
65 Greek Ways to Divorce

Sharon further points out that in Graeco-Roman society, a document was not strictly necessary for civil dissolution.    This information might reasonably be seen as supporting the theory that Jesus was rebuking this practice, but here are the top ten reasons it’s more clear that this was NOT Christ’s intended message:

10.  Jesus was speaking in either Aramaic or Hebrew when He delivered this message, not Greek, to which His words were later translated.  We do not have the Hebrew manuscript, only the Greek translation, but even so….

9.   As noted by the asterisks (*) in the chart above, Jesus apparently used the Hebrew equivalents of BOTH terms in each of the Matthew passages, as well as the Mark 10 passage, based on the same logic as 10.  and the translated Greek words that appear there….

8.  Which would make perfect sense, inasmuchas  “shalach” is the verb or action,  and  “kerithuth” is (properly speaking) the instrument by which the “shalach” is carried out in Hebrew culture.

7.  The entire context of Matthew 5:31-32 is being shamelessly ignored by this “putting away” theory:

“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’;  BUT I SAY TO YOU that EVERYONE who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

(Notice that Jesus did not say, “whoever marries a divorced woman who lacks a writ of divorcement commits adultery.”   Also notice that no marriage can possibly be half-adulterous.   If it’s adulterous for the gander, it’s equally adulterous for the (adequately-papered) goose and vice-versa.   “BUT I SAY TO  YOU” should speak for itself coming from the mouth of Jesus Christ.)

6.  Ditto for the entire context of  Matthew 19:8-9, which we’ll have to look at in the King James Version due to bible translation fraud in all the contemporary English versions….

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but FROM THE BEGINNING IT WAS NOT [ever] SO.   And I SAY UNTO YOU, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

5.  Matthew makes it clear to the unbiased reader that Jesus was neither agreeing with Rabbi Hillel nor with Rabbi Shammai, per the disciples’ astounded reaction in verse 10,  yet this heresy would actually be confirming both erring Pharisees.

The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”

4.  That said, women were never empowered under Hebrew law to issue a “get” or a writ of divorcement, but that doesn’t stop the neo-Judaizers from insisting that this heresy applies equally to both genders.

3.  One of the professed justifications of this paperwork theory is that Jesus purportedly agreed with Moses that it was “inhumane” to prevent a repudiated, discarded wife from finding another husband.  This is in direct conflict with Matthew 19:12.

For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.

(The T.O.’s would naturally argue here that with the proper paperwork, there’s still a loophole for those who are unable to “accept this”. )

2.  While it’s clear the only verse in Matthew 5 the T.O.’s are “feeling” is verse 17, this heresy denies the entire context of Christ’s abrogation of less-than-moral, less-than-holy Mosaic regulations of every type, and His intrinsic authority to change the rules.

…and finally, the Number 1 reason Jesus never said people could “paper over” their covenant-breaking…

1.  The paperwork heresy directly conflicts with the Creational truth Jesus called us back to in Matthew 19:6, bypassing Moses altogether:

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.

Man’s paper never severs the one-flesh state.   Only death does that.

 

…And, a  closer look at the polygyny heresy:
Today’s neo-Judaizers are indeed correct about one thing, at least:   Centuries of Hebrew natural law permitted polygyny while forbidding polyandry.   Bloodlines and inheritance were important issues in Hebrew society, as was the importance of male heirs to continue the family line.    It does not follow from this, however, that Jesus agreed with Moses,  nor does it follow that He did not radically change the sexual morality necessary to claim an inheritance in the kingdom of God.    It was He, after all,  who bluntly stated:

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:20)

 

As pointed out in an earlier post,  according to Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Yehuda,  “as the civilization of the people reached a higher plateau and, especially under the teaching of the prophets, the Jewish people’s moral and religious consciousness developed, the polygamous marriage system gradually declined. This is noticeable in Israel after the return from the Exile.”

None of this stops those who push the serial polygamy of legalized adultery from appealing to the concurrent polygyny system of ancient Hebrew society, while being so bold as to seek to justify adulterous remarriage  equally for both genders while their covenant spouses still live!

We should understand that as morally repugnant as concurrent polygamy is,  it is legalized adultery without the additional immoralities of economic abandonment and ongoing unforgiveness that is intrinsic to serial polygamy.

For some time, we’ve been following the case of the Mormon polygamous family featured on the reality show “Sister Wives” because, emboldened by the immoral state and Federal court rulings that installed sodomous “marriage” as a protected legal status,  they brought a religious discrimination lawsuit seeking to change the bigamy laws of the state where they reside.    This case appeared to have much stronger constitutional merit than the gay cases, but just this past week the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the appeal from a lower court who tossed the case because they said that Kody Brown was in no danger of being arrested due to general non-enforcement of the relevant laws in that state.     Had it gone the other way, the Mormons and the Muslims would soon lead the way for the final destruction of U.S. society as we’ve known it.    The legalized adulterers who glibly appeal to this system to justify their own sinful state will have received far more than they bargained for, were it not for God’s extreme mercy to the nation this week.

It actually turns out that the #1 slap-down of the polygyny heresy is the same as that for the “paperwork” heresy discussed above.    When confronted by the divorce-and-remarriage-happy Pharisees who were also hoping to inflame the adulterous King Herod against Him,  Jesus was asked to choose whether He would side with the liberal followers of Rabbi Hillel, or with the conservative followers of Rabbi Shammai — both of whom were wrong for presuming that anything but death dissolves a one-flesh, God-joined state of holy matrimony, and were appealing to Moses’ attempts to regulate the various deviancies that surfaced (concubinage, polygyny, etc.)
Jesus would have none of it, including the appeal to Mosaic law.   It was as if the Pharisees weren’t listening to a thing He had earlier said when He delivered the Sermon on the Mount.    He had already declared a new order,  which God ordained would replace the Mosaic Covenant entirely with the Messianic Covenant which His ministry had ushered in, beginning with His cousin, John-the-Baptizer who had recently called out Herod’s remarriage adultery on this same basis and authority.

Jesus, as we know, refused to couch the conversation in anything Moses had to say at all about regulating marriage, since most of it was irrelevant to the new Messianic order in which He had come to restore things back to the way they were before the fall of man in the Garden.     Hence, He declared both Hillel and Shammai  wrong, and referred back instead to Moses’ account of the first wedding in Genesis 2:21-24.

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.   The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Jesus echoed Moses in His response to those He called the “blind guides” (whom the Judaizers insist we should still be following)…

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.

In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus went a step further in abolishing even the gender-based aspects of the morally-bankrupt Mosaic system, when He declared lifelong indissoluble, monogamous holy matrimony henceforth to be a unisex proposition:

And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her;  and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

Paul, who tells us in Galatians 1:11-15, that he spent 3 years with the resurrected Jesus in the Arabian desert, echoed Jesus (Galatians 3:28)  in eliminating the gender-based differences in sexual morality:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


How then can any form of polygamy fit with what Christ and Paul both said concerning the one-flesh aspect of the holy matrimony of our youth, that being a supernatural bond which is not replicated in subsequent unions for as long as our covenant spouse is alive?     Jesus told us this was “from the beginning”, hence it is not compatible with the practice of any form of polygamy.   Indeed, the supernatural, God-joined one-flesh state, which is severable only by death, is what gives rise to all subsequent unions constituting serial polygamy.   In the case of the bible’s concurrent polygynists such as Jacob, David, Solomon, Elkanah, etc. , they were only made one-flesh with their original wife, and each lived in carnality with all of the others, from the beginning.

We should say before wrapping up, that Messianic congregations which celebrate the rich Hebrew heritage and which stick to their very valid mission of drawing Jewish people to true Christian discipleship add so much to our modern walk.    Even though most follow Rabbi Shammai instead of Jesus Christ when it comes to man’s divorce and attempts at “remarriage”, they are not who we’re talking about in this post.    The sins of those Messianic congregations are remarkably similar to the Baptists or Pentecostals in that regard, and we’ve blogged extensively on such., Whereas neo-Judaizers tend to be churchless altogether, some even vainly imagining that their website is a “church”,  because they not only will not submit to Christ’s authority, they will not submit to any human authority.    

Both varieties of neo-Judaizers reject Christ’s message from the Sermon on the Mount, but they hide behind Matthew 5:17  as a mechanism for denying that this is what they are actually doing.  Those who hold to Torah Observance  (a.k.a the “Hebrew Roots Movement”) for the purpose of justifying these lustful practices cannot truthfully claim to be following Christ at all – the One Who said,

 
If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
   If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
(Matthew 5:29-30)

Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire.  If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.
(Matthew 18:7-10, repeated, Mark 9:42-47 in the same context)

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.  Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.

I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
(Luke 12:1-5)

They are, in fact, thoroughly denying and rebelling against His authority in these matters.    So how exactly did Jesus Christ fulfill the law in a way that sharply contrasts with the heresy of the neo-Judaizers who worship their distorted view of Moses?   We leave the reader with these words of Jesus:

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together.  One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,   “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 

 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’   This is the great and foremost commandment.   The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’   On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
(Matthew 22: 34-41)

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  We humbly submit that a significant portion of loving our neighbor as ourselves includes an overriding concern for where they will spend their eternity,  for snatching them from the hell flames, far above any concern for their temporal “happiness” or emotions.   Isn’t that what we would ultimately want for ourselves?

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall   |  Let’s Repeal Unilateral Divorce!

Let’s Take an AUTHENTIC Stand for Marriage, Christian Right

NatMarriageWkby Standerinfamilycourt

February 7 – 14 is National Marriage Week.
During this week, there will be much going on that is vital and valuable to our nation, but there will be no getting away from the fact that in the corrupted culture of contemporary evangelicaldom, it will be “finders keepers”, and millions in faux “marriages” which are not holy matrimony, will be encouraged to stay there at the peril of their very souls.  The excellent organization, Breakpoint.org promotes it in this audio link dated January 5, 2017.

Talking about marriage “permanence” is politically acceptable to this crowd, but it will not resolve the nation’s problems because it will not touch the root issue.   Rather, the message needs to be around the far more relevant and offensive topic of holy matrimony indissolubility, according to Matt.19:6,8 and Luke 16:18. This needs to be in the heaven-or-hell terms that Jesus and Paul unflinchingly cast it.

Some crucial topics not likely to be on this year’s agenda:

– When will pastors stop performing weddings that Jesus repeatedly called adulterous (and tell the congregation why) ?

– When will pastors stop signing civil marriage licenses that reflect the only unenforceable contract in American history, and which since 1970, in no way corresponds to Christ’s Matt. 19:4-6 definition of marriage?

– When will pastors stop smearing and stigmatizing the growing stream of true disciples of Jesus Christ who are coming out of adulterous civil unions to in order to recover their inheritance in the kingdom of God? [1 Cor. 6:9-10; Mal. 5:19-21-KJV)

– When will repealing unilateral divorce in all 50 states become as high a moral priority as outlawing the slave trade, or repealing Row. v. Wade, or ending sodomous “marriages” ?

Given what Jesus and Paul both had to say about remarriage adultery (repeatedly by each), true revival when it arrives, is going to look horrifying to the organizers of National Marriage Week, but it will be pleasing to God.   The horror will not be due to the repenting prodigals, but due to five decades of false, hireling shepherds not doing the job the Owner of the fold gave them to safeguard souls first, and then covenant families.

ignatius-antioch

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

Does Defending Remarriage Adultery Justify Matthew 14:4 Murkiness, Dr. Piper?

jp_jtbby Standerinfamilycourt

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus,  and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.   For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”   Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.   But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,  so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.  Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”    Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests.  He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.   And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.   His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.   – Matthew 14: 1-12

This is not the first time it’s seemed necessary to rebut a John Piper blog due to its wrong premises, “creative” scripture interpretation  and erroneous conclusions.    This is unfortunate, because Dr. Piper is one of the few who is adamant that divorce is never justified and that remarriage after divorce is adultery in all cases.    The problem is,  he deems all marriages to be morally equivalent and interchangeable once they do occur, hence he deems it to be a “repeated sin” for a repenting prodigal spouse to divorce out of an adulterous union and reconcile with their true spouse.    This time we find a very interesting Piper theory concerning Matthw 14:4 in his blog post dated January 3, 2017:

Piper writes:

We get a lot of emails on relationships, everything from dating, engagement, marriage, and of course divorce and remarriage. This genre of email dominates all the other questions we get. And we get a lot of good push back emails and follow-up questions in search of greater clarity, like this one from a listener named Matthew: “Pastor John, I have a follow-up to you on episode 920 on divorce. Didn’t John the Baptists want Herod to ditch his wife? Because John had been saying to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her’ (present tense). See Matthew 14:4. He did not say, ‘It is not lawful for you to have taken her’ (past tense). And we all know how important tense is interpreting the Bible. She is called his wife. So how do you reconcile this seemingly clear call for a married couple to divorce?”

Piper responds:

 There are at least three things in this passage that are unknown to us and that keep me from using the passage to justify divorce. I admit that sometimes divorce for a faithful believer is inevitable, because Paul says so in 1 Corinthians 7:15 when an unbeliever insists on leaving a believer who does everything he or she can to make the marriage work. You can’t stop an unbeliever from doing that and, therefore, divorce as they carry it through may be inevitable. Remarriage in that situation is another issue. We are not talking about that.

(We don’t disagree! — although, all concerned should bear in mind that all divorce is man-made and dissolves precisely nothing, unless the marriage was adulterous to begin with.)

Here come the highly imaginative arguments:

 John the Baptist may have been telling Herod “Get out of the relationship,” not “Get out of the marriage.”

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  Fair enough – the relationship is immoral, and the civil-only purported  “marriage” does not exist in God’s eyes.   We do disagree with the premise of the question, So how do you reconcile this seemingly clear call for a married couple to divorce?”   The objection, of course, is to the loose usage of the term “married couple” for an adulterous union that God didn’t participate in and will never recognize as a marriage.   To claim otherwise accuses a holy God of breaking covenant with the undissolved true marriage, and covenanting with that which His Son repeatedly called adultery.   Both are completely foreign to the holy character of God.
 

 So, let’s go back to this text. The text says, “For Herod had seized John” — John the Baptist — “and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been saying to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her’” (Matthew 14:3–4). That is a good translation, by the way. “It is not lawful for you to have her.”

 1. The first thing that is unknown to me is when Herod married his brother’s wife — or if he actually married her.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  We recommend reading the account of the historian, Josephus (Antiquities 18.5.1 109-115), who informs us that Herod divorced his covenant wife to legalize his adultery with Herodias, and Herodias divorced Philip, if you’re at all curious about this.    Why would the king of Judea bother to divorce his true wife if there wasn’t a pressing need to keep up the appearance of “respectability” by legalizing his adultery?


When John says “it is not lawful for you to have her,” is he definitively saying that they are married? Or only that they are sleeping together or living in some kind of common law situation — kind of a situation that looks like marriage just to avoid legal issues? Most commentators document that they were married, but nobody seems to actually put a date on it in relationship to this event. If they weren’t married, then John is saying: Get out of the relationship. Stop sleeping together. Not, get out of a marriage. I don’t know.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  Although most commentators are not entirely trustworthy these days, especially with passages that deal with sexual ethics, or that so much as hint at the sanctity of marriage, in this instance however they are clearly not pulling a speculation out of the air, due to the historical records.    It is you, Dr. Piper, who is doing the unnecessary speculating.   And adulterous remarriage is not actually “marriage”.

 

 2. The second thing that is uncertain is this: let’s just suppose they were married. The second thing that is uncertain is whether John is actually saying that the marriage should end. He is saying: It is unlawful for you to have her. You sinned in marrying her, if he married her. But it may also be unlawful to throw her out after she had been married to another man and therefore make her destitute on Jewish principle since she can’t go back to that first husband. It is not crystal clear from this text that John is saying ditch her.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  The man didn’t lose his head for saying, “that’s OK, we’ll work it out somehow.   Why don’t you just repent in your heart?  It will be fine, don’t worry.”   Nor did he risk his head for something trivial that wasn’t a heaven-or-hell issue.    John the Baptist, we know from scripture, was filled with the Holy Spirit while still in the womb.   Surely he would have known that Jesus would be abrogating the limited-application Mosaic regulation that prohibited some Jewish husbands from taking some Jewish wives back.   Even if he didn’t, there’s strong evidence that post-marital adultery was never in the scope of this rule under Moses.

 

 3. But now, let us suppose that John was actually saying: end the marriage. And let’s suppose they were married. So, two uncertainties — we will just assume both of them are true.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  We must respectfully disagree that either of the two items referenced are “uncertainties”, so it’s good that you are assuming they are both true !

The third thing that is uncertain is whether he is saying this because the unlawfulness of the marriage is owing to the fact that she was married before or at the same time or that she was the wife of his brother which, according to Old Testament law, would make the second marriage incestuous, like marrying your sister or your sister-in-law or your daughter. So, Leviticus 18:16 says, “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.” Or Leviticus 20:21, “If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.”

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  Now here’s where it makes sense to presume that both assumptions are true because they both actually are true, and both clearly create unlawful conditions.   At the same time, incest is not a reason specifically cited by Paul as costing one’s inheritance in the kingdom of God, though most surely it does.   But Jesus defined adultery three different times as marrying someone else’s God-joined spouse, while both 1 Corinthian 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21 tell us explicitly that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God.   How can John reasonably be seen as NOT telling them to terminate this immoral relationship?

 

 Piper: “I don’t think Matthew 14:4 can be used in any ordinary situation to justify divorce.”

 Frankly — and this kind of boils down to the practical reality — I have never in all my pastoral life been confronted with a situation in which a man had married his sister or sister-in-law. It is difficult to know what I would say about the ongoing reality and propriety of that marriage. My inclination, not having faced it and not having thought more than a little about it, is that I probably would say the marriage should end, the way I would if the man was found to have married his own daughter. But those are such extraordinary cases that I would be very hesitant to build a case in favor of divorce in general upon them.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  Red herring (and nice deflection)!   See above.   (And Lord, for the sake of the very souls of our prodigal spouses, on the day they are moving toward genuine repentance, please, in Jesus’ name, keep them out of Dr. Piper’s counseling seat.   You, Lord, have clearly stated that no ongoing adulterer will have any inheritance in the kingdom of God.) 

 

 So, in view of those three uncertainties at least, I don’t think Matthew 14:4 can be used in any ordinary situation to justify divorce.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  It should be clear that there are no actual uncertainties here, and certainly none that aren’t completely moot.   Man’s divorce is meaningless when there is no holy matrimony  in God’s eyes to actually dissolve.   Rather, it’s repentance, which restores full fellowship with God.  To obfuscate the clear meaning of this passage is irresponsible and cowardly, Dr. Piper.   It shows zero regard for the eternities of the souls involved, unlike the other John who laid down his very life to try to rescue those souls!

It’s understandable that men like Piper fear, and do everything they can to forestall the mass-repentance that will one day explode in this area when true revival reaches the shores of America (and other divorce-happy nations) where the church as been an active accomplice in driving up demand for marriage dissolution by rewarding its foul fruit.   That inevitable day will reflect badly on pastors and denominational leadership who created this complex mess, just like it did on the priests in the book of Ezra when they were forced to confront the negative impact of unlawful marriages and purge them.

Dr. Piper’s rhetorical question is the equivalent of asking whether we can use Exodus 20, verses 15 and 17 to justify the return of stolen goods!

Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.  For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.   –  Matthew 11:11-13

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |  Let’s Repeal Unilateral Divorce!

Yes, the Tide Indeed Turns in God’s House: Even More Pastoral Courage

by Standerinfamilycourt

Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to Me, and have neither remembered Me nor taken this to heart?   Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear Me?
– Isaiah 57:11

The Lord is not being silent any longer on the abomination of serial polygamy, nor legalized adultery in the church.    Just about this time last year, we were delighted to highlight an unusually courageous pastor in Florida, and run his entire 10-week sermon series with only one significant disclaimer.    We became aware of another similarly courageous pastor of a small church in Ohio around the same time, and we corresponded with both these gentlemen on behalf of the marriage permanence community, which is international and growing.    At the time, we thought debunking all the excuses for marrying another person while having a living, estranged spouse, calling it what Jesus called it – adultery, saying there are no “biblical” exceptions, and urging people to sever those false marriages as a matter of heaven or hell, was about as courageous as it gets.

That is, until we caught up with Pastor Phil Schlamp, of Maranatha Evangelical Church in Alberta, Canada.    We believe Pastor Schlamp is the first to go beyond the uncompromised truth on this matter, as addressed to the individuals, to actually take strong exception to  the condoning behavior of Christians who surround remarriage adulterers, including their church family and their extended family who call themselves by the name of Christ.  Indeed, Paul had some rather pointed instructions for these folks, too, which is substantially ignored today.

We are just delighted to bring you Pastor Schlamp’s 5-part sermon series “Divorce: Meet Goliath“, with just a bit of commentary on each installment.

Sermon 1  (10/9/2016) –  Based on Deut. 24:1-4 and Matt. 19: 1-9

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FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

(+)  Refers to the worthy book by Dr. E.S. Williams, The Great Divorce Controversy on relevant church history around sanctity of marriage.

(+)  Is straightforward in pointing out that divorce and remarriage is a sin that sends many to hell.  

(+)  Points out that “allowing” any “exceptions” to the absolute indissolubility of holy matrimony opens the door wide to endless exceptions.

(+) Accurate and concise integration of kiddushin (Hebrew betrothal), whereas most theologians ignore or are dishonestly biased against its relevance to God’s marriage commandments.

(+) Points out accurately from Deut. 22 that even in the Mosaic system (at least while Moses governed)  that consummated holy matrimony cannot be dissolved – in a metaphysical sense as well as a moral sense.

(+) Addresses the contentious issue of whether Moses’ limited divorce allowance was inspired or not, in a way that is compatible with other scripture.

(+) Acknowledges the rampant scripture revision in all of the contemporary English translations, including the mistranslation of “porneia”.

(+) Makes the truthful point that separation is not biblically equivalent to marriage dissolution, in correctly rendering1 Cor. 7.

(+) Emphasizes the crucial hermeneutic principle that unclear scriptures must yield to the clear scriptures, not the other way around.

(+) Accurately refutes the false claim that remarriage is only a one-time act of adultery rather than an ongoing state of sin.

( – )  Failed to consider other types of “some uncleanness” (ervat dabar) in Deut. 24 that would have also led to legal cancellation of the betrothal contract –  for example, consanguinity, or a contacting a disease of uncleanness (leprosy, bleeding disorder, etc. ) that would have been a non-capital reason to have a different law outside Deut. 22 — a minor point.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC Pointout:   Pastor Schlamp begins to point out at approximately  42 minutes what it is “to meet Goliath” on this journey.

 

 

Sermon 2 (10/16/2016) – Based on Matthew 14:1-12

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FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

(+) Points out that both the conservative and the liberal views of a matter may each fail to reflect the true biblical view.

(+) Explains permissive theology on divorce and remarriage as humanistic,  and contrasts that with theism, the faithful approach which is God-centered.

(+) Accommodations and exceptions allowing divorce eventually have led to unilateral divorce.

(+) Rabbi Hillel was considered “kind” and “compassionate” – he was liberal on divorce and was a humanist.    Points out (correctly) that both Hillel and Shammai were wrong.

(+) Suggests that divorce and remarriage led to the great decline of Judaism.

(+) Gives important church history from the 1st century to the Reformation and its relevance to the apostasy of allowing remarriage in the contemporary evangelical church.

(+) Warns of the corrosive effect Pope Francis is having on the sexual morality of the Roman Catholic Church.

(+) Explains why marriage should not be owned by the civil state, and why the Reformers were wrong to claim that holy matrimony is not a sacrament.

(+) Explains why the Reformation didn’t change the mass practice in the church until the 1950’s.

(+) Accurately connects the high rate of cohabitation with unilateral divorce- on-demand, and with the church’s failure to defend the sanctity of holy matrimony.

( – ) Appears to accept without close examination the view of E.S. Williams that there was a significant time difference between the U.S. and the UK in adopting legalized adultery as a matter of public policy and church doctrine.

 


Sermon 3 (10/30/2016) – Based on Malachi 2:1-16

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FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

(+) Reviews hermeneutics and relevance to rightly dividing God’s word on this topic

(+) Points out the immense contrast between the 1st century church vs. Judaism, which held until 1500 A.D. and the rise of Protestantism.

(+) Re-emphasizes that remarriage after divorce is a state of continual, ongoing adultery.

(+)  Sociological fallout – destruction of  family,  church, culture and finally the country.   High crime against children, the church and the state.

(+)  Younger adults now afraid of marriage as a result of non-binding marriage.  Troubled, drifting and under-achieving.

(+)  How does the bible deal with “blended families”?   Repent!

(+)  Divorce and remarriage literally invites Satan into the church.   Relates the purging of unlawful marriages in the book of Ezra.

(+) Did God reject Israel because of divorce and remarriage?   Malachi 2.

(+)  Last 500 years has put U.S. and western countries back where apostate Israel was in Malachi’s day.   God’s curse is here and now.

(+) Connects modern barbarism with current political quagmire in the U.S. and Canada.   Even animals don’t normally destroy their young.

(+) “Donald Trump wants to make America great again, but doesn’t want to go back to what made America great.”

(+) Correctly diagnoses divorce and remarriage as the root cause of the rise of homosexualism, and blames the Protestant church.

(+) Israel and Rome both fell due to rampant legalized adultery – per Edward Gibbon who was not a Christian.   Britain is in decline along with the U.S. for the same reason.

 

Sermon 4 (11/06/2016) – based on 1 Corinthians 5

P_Schlamp4

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

(+) Explains the connection between legalized adultery and idolatry  – failure to tear down the “high places”.

(+) Admits that conquering “Goliath” will only come through personal suffering.

(+)  Carrying out our responsibility to do something about abominations will rouse “Goliath” against us.

(+)  Renounces civil state authority over marriage – which belongs exclusively to God.

(+/ – )  Deals biblically with the need for the adulterously-“married” to separate from the non-covenant relationship…then proposes that the invalidity of it eliminates the need to get a second divorce, but the relationship itself must be terminated.

(+ / – ) Similarly, reconciling with one’s God-joined spouse does not necessitate civil remarriage because the original joining has never been dissolved.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s additional observation:  Pastor Schlamp is technically correct, according to scripture, in the above two points.    However, we are to look out for our witness and not cause others to stumble, including the covenant and non-covenant children impacted by the reconciliation.  We are also to obey the civil authorities to the extent that doing so does not disobey God.    If unilateral divorce is repealed according the current prayers of the saints, there could be some instances where it may not be possible to obtain a civil divorce from a partner Jesus says is adulterous, and from whom the repenting prodigal has permanently separated in the fear of God.   That partner may well argue, “God hates divorce” without understanding that He said this through Malachi only of the original husband or wife of our youth.   They may be unwilling to enter into a mutually-agreed petition, and may be falsely advised by their pastor that the union is not adultery.    In such cases,  brother Phil’s advice on these points will become very pertinent.    Similarly, in reconciling with the true spouse of our youth, such a pastor is likely to be unwilling to perform a recommitment ceremony, which is, in our opinion, very important for public witness of the righteous reconciliation, not necessarily a “re-joining” of what was never actually severed.     Such a pastor may be unwilling to issue a church certificate without a state license.   State marriage licenses are a bad idea in today’s so-called “no-fault” environment because they become de-facto warrants for state intrusion into the home.   They would be more acceptable under repeal of unilateral divorce, but they would still cede false authority to the state over what belongs exclusively to God.      Where a pastor will not agree to solemnize a recommitment ceremony over the original God-joined holy matrimony vows, we recommend public witnesses, and possibly a house church pastor (although the latter is not strictly necessary).

(+)  Affirms the sure doom and judgment of a nation that refuses to kill “Goliath.”

(+) Affirms that if a repenting spouse’s true husband or wife has civilly remarried, it does not change the imperative to sever their own adultery and remain single or reconcile with the true spouse .

(+)  1 Cor. 7:14 – so powerful is the covenant marriage bond that the laws of holiness and contamination are reversed when one of the partners is in Christ.

(+)  When discipling  new believers who are divorced and remarried, they should not be taken into the church as a couple.  They should be instructed that their marriage is not valid in God’s sight.

(+)  Only reason to divorce is to be civilly eligible to commit adultery through remarriage.

(+) Low morality in the church is almost exclusively due to unwillingness to excommunicate people who violate their covenant marriage.

(+) When church discipline leaves a church, Christ departs with it.

(+)  Family members are not exempt from the instructions in 1 Cor. 5 not to even eat or associate with remarried adulterers, whether the church does so or not.   (This is meeting Goliath).

(+)  Treats as fallacy those who claim that it’s necessary not to shun / separate friends and family members living in sin on the excuse of “winning them back” to Christ.   Freedom to talk about it only diminishes in the absence of shunning — it constitutes the de facto “acceptance” they seek.

(+) Don’t take on Goliath unless you are very sure that what you believe aligns with what God demands.   Be prepared for cursing, slander and rage, and possible wrongful excommunication.

“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. ”   – 1 Samuel 17


Sermon 5 (11/13/2016) – Ezra 9-10

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FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

In this final installment, we learn what “happening” in Phil’s church triggered this sermon series.   It wasn’t at all what you might think!

(+) Reiterates the need for strong hermeneutics to avoid delusion  — unclear passages must give way to clear passages.

(+) False teachers are gathered by the adulterous to deflect from clear biblical prohibition of excuses and exceptions to marry another after man’s divorce. (“Silence the whistle of our conscience.”)

(+)  Evangelists from D.L. Moody to Ray Comfort won’t address the issue of remarriage being adultery, and this is a fatal flaw in contemporary evangelism.

(+) Hardest sin to remove from the church of any other.   Disdain and contempt for the obedient in separating from these adulterers by the fangs of Goliath.

(+) We no longer tremble at the word of God as Ezra and the priests did.
Action would then follow.   Non-widowed remarriage is today’s unlawful marriage per the commandment of Christ.

(+) Pointed out that the sin was repeated in Nehemiah’s day, only twenty-five years later, then seventy-five years after that in Malachi’s time.   God sent no more prophets for the next 400 years until John the Baptist.

(+) Relates personal extended family circumstances, accused of “inflicting pain” on his family (adulterous siblings).   “Each one of my siblings could change their sinful state in a moment, while I can’t change it no matter how much I want so.  Yet I’m at fault [for the division in the family]?”
(Matthew 10:34-37)

(+) Goliath is a master of emotional manipulation and gas-lighting, once someone crosses the line to take a real stand that costs something.

( – )  Does not suggest some other practical steps that the church could and should take beyond severing fellowship, corporately or as individuals, with remarriage adulterers, such as:  (1) not performing such weddings and (2) not signing civil marriage licenses, with a view toward influencing the repeal of unilateral divorce by boycott.   Pastor Schlamp  probably does not officiate over weddings that Jesus would call adulterous.    However, since the law tends to drive culture “for better or worse”, we would prefer to see pastors also taking an active role in driving repeal of immoral laws beyond abortion and sodomous “marriage”. 

Triggering incident account at 33:50 minutes:   A 16-year old  young  lady from brother Phil’s Canadian church visited an American family whom she had met during an earlier trip to Israel.   Two ladies were taking her to Branson to a retreat, when conversation came up about their American pastor’s brave stand against homosexuality, preaching against it, when the young lady asked what stand the pastor took on divorce and remarriage.   The response was that their pastor hadn’t studied or preached on it, and the revelation came that one of these ladies was divorced and remarried.   When asked what her church thinks about it, she had to say, “we believe it’s wrong”.
Church lady #1 : “That’s between Mrs. ___ and the Lord.”
Church lady #2:  “Well, I’m the one who’s going to have to stand before the Lord’s judgment for that sin.”   (conscious of the sin, but not at all concerned about the clear biblical consequences of it).    Quick change of subject ensued, and attempts to ignore that the exchange had occurred.   They were giving the girl an opportunity to also ignore it and thereby not take a stand….
The young lady asked to stop the car and not continue on [consistent with 1 Cor. 5]…and the backlash from Church lady #1 followed for “judging” Church lady #2 in the face of God’s “forgiveness” (of ongoing sin).   Listen in for the rest of the story….

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s additional observation:  How refreshing to hear that the triggering incident for this sermon series was not some tawdry episode in the Canadian home church, say, the clamor for an adulterous wedding ceremony — along with backlash for refusing,  but one of a young lady’s polite and firm saltiness abroad!

On top of this being by far the most integrity-filled treatment of this topic by any preacher SIFC has ever heard, this young lady’s ability in a high pressure situation to handle it with TRUE mercy speaks incredibly well of how the biblical truth is handled in this Canadian congregation on a consistent ongoing basis.   Such is “caught” more than it is “taught” when it comes to teenagers.

Our last observation is probably the most encouraging of all:  these courageous pastors seem to be emerging in a wide variety of denominations and geographic regions as the Lord anoints them.    In Jesus’ name, may the trend continue to build.    We have yet another gutsy pastor to highlight in a future post…stay tuned.

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall  |   Let’s Repeal Unilateral Divorce!

 

 

Tithing Mint, Dill and Cumin…the Hollow Censure of Billy Graham’s Grandson

legalized-adultery_tchivby Standerinfamilycourt

And now this commandment is for you, O priests.  If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,” says the Lord of hosts, “then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart.  Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it….For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.  But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have [m]corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts.  So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction

“Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?  Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god.  As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the Lord of hosts.

This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.   Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she IS your companion and your wife by covenant.  But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring?
 – Malachi, chapter 2

 

Billy Graham’s grandson got “married” last month – to another man’s wife, while forsaking the companion and children of his own marriage covenant.   Reportedly, Tullian is not the first pastoral violator of Luke 16:18 in the Tchividjian / Graham families, only the most famous.    What God had to say in Malachi 2 about generational sin rings true once again.

There was a widely-reported attempt at what currently passes for “church discipline” in contemporary evangelicaldom, in an effort to reconcile the covenant Tchividjian family, which we know  fell short.    A few days ago, several pastors involved in that failed disciplinary effort signed and released a letter of rebuke addressed to Tchividjian following further witness accounts of the abuse of Tchividjian’s senior pastorate at megachurch Coral Ridge Presbyterian.   Amazingly, that letter appeared to be a pastoral admission that sanctity (if not exceptionless indissolubility) of God-joined holy matrimony is indeed a heaven-or-hell matter,

“For the sake of his eternal soul, we implore Tullian Tchividjian to repent of his wickedness and demonstrate his repentance by submitting himself to the leadership of his church of membership, pursuing forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation with those whom he has sinned against.”

Certainly, what constitutes “pursuing forgiveness, healing and reconciliation” may not necessarily align with the rightly-divided word of God, but it’s a glimmer of hope that such pastors merely admit that one can indeed walk away from the faith.    Once saved, guard your heart!

Separately, it turns out that Tullian’s uncle and brother are both board members for a pastoral counseling organization, “Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE)”  aimed at preventing sexual abuse in pastoral counseling settings,  as several counselees of Tullian Tchividjian in the 2014-2015 time frame came forward with lurid details of attempted seduction.   From the Christian Post article covering this development:

“The GRACE board is deeply disturbed about the revelations of sexual misconduct by Tullian Tchividjian. As an organization that deals with the abuse of God’s lambs and the damage silence causes we feel compelled to speak,” the GRACE board said, in part.

Tullian Tchividjian lost his job at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as his marriage to his now ex-wife, Kim, in the summer of 2015 after the church discovered an adulterous affair between him and a parishioner on the church’s server.

“We were caught by the IT department of CRPC on the second week of June (2015). Tullian received a phone call from a staff member at the church saying that the contents of his phone could be read on the church’s public server. Tullian asked the staff member to delete everything,” according to a recent confessional by the [married] parishioner who gave her name only as Rachel.

Standerinfamilycourt  left this commentary response to the Christian Post article on their Facebook page:

Firstly, according to scripture (Matt. 19:6 and 8; Rom. 7:2-3 and 1 Cor.7:39), there is no such thing as an “ex” covenant wife, in reference to Kim Tchividjian,  whom Tullian  “divorced” in utter disobedience to #LukeSixteenEighteen..  Nor is there any such thing as a legitimate “wife” in remarriage following man’s divorce.   Jesus repeatedly stated with zero exceptions and zero ambiguity that EVERYONE who “marries” a divorced person enters into an ongoing state of adultery.

 

How many of those clergy signing onto the (deserved) censures of Tullian Tchividjian nevertheless turn right around and contribute to the perverse incentives by routinely performing weddings that Jesus called adulterous?   Or by tolerating remarriage adulterers in their pastoral ranks?   Or by preferring an adulterously “married” clergyman to run a church over an involuntarily “divorced” shepherd who is now celibate in obedience to Christ (Matt. 19:12)?

 

Jesus, in a sense, rebuked Moses (Matt. 19:8) for choosing the cowardly path of regulating and “managing” marital desecration in the desert wilderness, instead of rooting it out and removing its perverse incentives, in order to remain faithful to the 7th through 10th commandments. Here we see the GRACE organization attempting to do the same thing in doubling down on standard, coventional counseling ethics rather than the sort of much-earlier biblical screening Paul described and insisted upon in the first place:

 

1 Timothy 3:2

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach….

 

Titus 1:6

namely, if any man is above reproach, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.

 

In the decades since the church opted to get in (literal) bed with the Sexual Revolution, we now popularly “understand” that phrase to mean “faithful to my current serial polygamy partner” – despite the one-way trip to hell that Paul repeatedly warned about for one dying in that ongoing sinful state.

 

What does this have to do with Tchividjian who committed his pastoral crimes while literally the husband of the God-joined wife of his youth?    Simple: his calculus looked at the Kent Hovinds, Shane Idelmans, Jim Bakkers and Israel Houghtons among his ministry peers, and he reached the perfectly rational conclusion that his career would suffer no meaningful long term damage from forsaking his covenant family and indulging his lusts.

By all means, take the common-sense secondary precautions described within to protect the lambs in the counseling office, but don’t expect these things to be the ultimate solution, if the same rotten pastoral foundation is left undisturbed.
As Jesus Himself stated to a group of earlier Pharisees,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
– Matt. 23:23

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall | Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce! 

What? The Bride of Christ Deputized as “Gods’ Coroner” ?

RumorsOfby Standerinfamilycourt

Now He was also saying to the disciples,  “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.   And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?   Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’   The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my    master is taking the management away from me?   I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.   I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’    And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’   And he said, ‘A hundred  measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’   Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred  measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’  And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own  kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.     –  Luke 16:1-9

Could Jesus have been speaking in Luke 16 about turncoat shepherds such as Dr. Tony Evans?    Let’s examine one of his articles on divorce and remarriage, and you decide….we will add comments as necessary to critique Dr. Evans’ assertions by holding them up to the true light of scripture.

Christians in Divorce Court

When it comes to the issue of Divorce and Remarriage, God has a court.   Because the question comes, “Who decides when there are or are not legitimate grounds?”

There are 3 spheres that allow one to be divorced:

• When immorality enters into a relationship —it is an allowance by God.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We respectfully disagree, since God’s word makes it abundantly plain that man’s divorce,  (and  his infidelities) dissolves nothing in “God’s courthouse”, which only issues dissolutions of covenant in the form of physical death.   Beyond that,  “God’s courthouse” is merely a divine registrar.


• When there is a non-Christian married to a Christian and the non-Christian deserts the Christian —then that is an allowance for the Christian to proceed with a divorce allowed by God…

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Again, we must respectfully disagree, for much the same reasons.   At a bare minimum, this claim is a clear and blatant rejection of Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 6:1-8, and 1 Cor. 7:10-11.    God is not the author of confusion, and His word never contradicts itself when rightly divided.  Hence there can be no “allowance” to do what His word forbids.

Removal from the fellowship of God to be excommunicated as to be under Spiritual death (1 Corinthians 5) (where there’s immorality, beating, or being a “striker,” being a violent person, for a person who’s not taking care of his family, etc.). It’s where the “supposed” Christian will not come under authority.

To sum it all up —a death must occur. For a woman is bound to her husband as long as the both shall live, as the Scriptures says. But when one dies, she is no longer bound. So a person can die physically —therefore, the Covenant has been broken. Or they can die Spiritually and therefore, the Covenant can be broken.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   It would be helpful if Dr. Evans backed up what he says here with actual scripture, especially where he makes some limited points rather validly.    Since he did so only in part, we will attempt to fill in from whence he is deriving his inferences, although we cannot vouch (with scripture) any reference to a “striker” — other than in reference to disqualifying a man from church leadership (1 Tim. 3:3, and Titus 1:7) – yet living in a state of remarriage adultery with another man’s God-joined one-flesh wife is certainly equivalent scripturally to such.    In addition to 1 Cor. 5  which is specifically about fornication between two unmarried persons (a young man and his likely widowed stepmother), he is also alluding to Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Tim. 5:8.
He’s quite right that only death breaks God’s covenants, as Paul twice confirms.    However,  since in most cases of a wounded spouse,  God’s mercy and desire to see the offender repent and recover his or her inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, our Lord does not oblige by striking the offender dead, Nabal-style.     That presents a bit of a dilemma, which Dr. Evans (like his 16th century predecessor, Martin Luther), is quite eager to resolve in sympathy for the “innocent spouse”  –  so, a heavenly “hit contract” should take care of it.   Much less wasteful than waiting for the prodigal to repent on God’s timetable is deciding that he or she is beyond repentance, so declare them spiritually dead and on that basis, allow the  one-flesh (sarx mia) partner to become hen soma with a brother or sister in the church, presuming that subsequent union to be “morally superior” to the one Paul discussed in 1 Cor. 5.

But the whole point of an unconditional covenant of God is precisely that God always keeps His end of it even when the human participants do not!    Dr. Evans speaks of “excommunication”, a decidedly Roman Catholic concept which implies loss of salvation due to the sacraments being withheld (an erroneous concept, most Protestants would agree).   It is one thing to administer biblical church discipline, dis-fellowshipping the serious backslider who is toxic to the whole of the body of Christ, removing the support and protection of the church.   It is another to declare a state of permanent apostasy that may or may not turn around with the chastisement of the grieved and quenched Holy Spirit within.

CWs_Martin Luther_TEvans

“…Since now death alone dissolves marriages and releases from obligation, an adulterer is already divorced, not by man but by God himself, and not only cut loose from his spouse, but from this life…because now God here divorces, the other party is fully released, so that he or she is not bound to keep the spouse that has proved unfaithful, however he or she may desire it.”    – Martin Luther, circa 1522

“…If they are alive and you go marry another, then you’re still married.  If they are dead, then you’re free to marry another.  And one of the reasons I want to stay married has nothing to do with me but with the generations after me….unless God the Coroner pronounces death.”
–  Dr. Tony Evans, May 2012

Continuing….

So the question is: WHO determines (the legitimate grounds), and HOW is it determined —who decides? After discussing this whole issue of “removing people” from the fellowship in 1 Corinthians 5, it then continues in chapter 6 to explain HOW it’s to be done. (So chapter 6 is the continuation of chapter 5.)

God has set you up to judge the “whole world.” Judgment is a part of the role of the people of God. They render decisions on behalf of God Himself. Kingdom decisions are to be rendered by Kingdom People, because only Kingdom People obligate themselves to Kingdom rules. The Church was never intended to be a “2-hour building” that you went to for services once a week. It was intended to be an “expression of the Kingdom intentions” of the King. That’s why when Jesus prayed He said, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.“

So like it or not, judgment is a part of the role of the people of God.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Dr. Evans takes some considerable liberties here!   Yes, chapter 6 is a continuation of chapter 5, specifically with respect to the church’s responsibility to discipline sexual immorality among its members , including adultery and divorce filings undertaken to cover up or to legalize an adulterous relationship, and that is likely result in dis-fellowshipping if the prodigal refuses to repent (or refuses to even meet, as will typically be the case).    That said, Dr. Evans ignores the fact that a 2-ton elephant is now standing in the room as a direct result of 1 Cor. 6:1-8.    A brother or sister in the Lord is not to take another brother or sister before a pagan judge – but rather be defrauded.   We presume this would apply to the sole person to whom God has joined them as one-flesh.  We know of no way to obtain a civil divorce without doing so, since the day that Martin Luther handed over to Caesar the regulation of holy matrimony which God says belongs exclusively to Him.   Dr. Evans appears to be saying that it’s OK to violate 1 Cor. 6:1-8 for deemed “biblical grounds”.     (We’re going to go out on a limb and say that the only truly biblical grounds for man’s divorce is to repent of a “marriage” that Jesus repeatedly called adulterous, so that both partners can seek reconciliation with their true spouse, and even then, to protect the witness of the church and obey God under man’s immoral laws, such cases should only be by agreed mutual petition.)

And what of Dr. Evans’ alleged “exception” for abandonment by an unbelieving spouse?   Or adultery by an unbelieving spouse?    Judgment may indeed be the role of the people of God, but 1 Cor. 5 specifically says the church is not to judge outsiders, contrary to the stretch Dr. Evans suggests here.    Once we’re done mangling (but not specifically naming) 1 Cor. 7:15, it begs the question, how can a church declare someone “spiritually dead” who hasn’t been born into that realm to begin with?    Didn’t  Jesus highly commend John the Baptist’s fierce defense of Herod’s and Herodias’ (respective) covenant marriages even though both abandoned their true spouses?    Didn’t  John tell Herod, “it is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife’  ?

A couple that decides that they want a divorce for “irreconcilable differences” (which there’s no such divorce for) needs to realize that everybody is irreconcilable to everybody else. You are very different than your mate. You’re supposed to be. God intentionally made you different. The issue is not the differences —we’re to turn them into “complements rather than conflicts.” But His point is, that you don’t go to the unrighteous, who have no Kingdom view of marriage, and don’t understand that God is the author of marriage. They’ll simply grant you (because you agree on your own terms) a no-fault divorce.

He’s not putting down judges, because you must have Civil Government. But when it comes to matters of the Kingdom, they’re to be decided within the Kingdom, and then they can be confirmed in the government.

In verse 7 (of 1 Corinthians 6), he says if you go to a Secular Law Court —you’ve already lost. You’ve lost for 2 reasons: number 1 you’ve destroyed your testimony, and number 2, God is against your process.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    We all know this is not the way it happens in practice, but the other way around.    Furthermore, Dr. Evans would point his remarks above not exclusively to the covenant couple, but to those whose civil-only unions Jesus repeatedly called ongoing, continuous adultery, who need to actually flee their counterfeit union, both for the witness of the church and to avoid the consequences described in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21, forfeiture of their participation in the kingdom of God.     Being “married” to someone else’s God-joined one-flesh mate is about as irreconcilable a difference as anyone could have, especially in terms of reconciliation with God’s kingdom.   God is all for the process of a repenting divorce to sever an adulterous union, provided a slanderous grounds trial is not involved, nor theft of assets, nor parental alienation so common these days to “family court”.

It seems to us that any pastor who is halfway serious about wanting church jurisdiction over marriage and divorce should at the very least stop signing civil marriage licenses when performing weddings, and should cease performing any wedding they’d be embarrassed to do with Jesus co-officiating.    We note that Dr. Evans is not among the 800+ pastors who have signed the First Things Marriage Pledge which began circulating in 2014..

 

And so he raises the point here that the church is to act as God’s judging agency. Now this ought to solve a very important issue that many Christians are very confused about whenever you hear a person say, “Well, you’re not supposed to judge.” They are wrong! You are supposed to judge. The Bible tells us to judge. It tells us in 1 Corinthians 6 “to render a judgment in the Church.”

Christians are supposed to judge. In fact, Christians who are right related to God, are the best judges because they’re going to judge predicated on a righteous standard. And the righteous standard is God Himself, manifested in and through His word! Because Christians have access to Truth, we can render judgment.

In Matthew 7 (verse 1), people misinterpret the passage where it says Do not judge, lest you’ll be judged.” Is that because you aren’t to judge? No, in verse 2 it says, “for in the same way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” He’s not saying, “don’t judge” but, BE CAREFUL, WHEN YOU JUDGE. Because the same judgment you use against another will be the very same judgment God uses against you. So think twice before you jump out there judgmentally. In other words, he’s saying, “judge carefully ” —not don’t judge at all!

How do you judge carefully? (Look at Matthew 7:3). Don’t judge folks who have something wrong with them “speck-sized” when you’ve got a tree-trunk hanging out of your eyeballs!

The problem today is, we have people judging other people when they’re as “messed up” as the folks they’re judging. Don’t condemn somebody else for something you’re doing and can’t get a handle on. (This can be further illustrated in John 8 with the woman who’s condemned for committing adultery.)

In the scriptures, when God established His courts, they carried authority with them. Deuteronomy 17, (starting with verse eight) shows that God’s court systems were to be taken seriously. And how powerful they were! (Numbers 5, starting with verse 12 illustrates this.) 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “these things were written for our example.“

The Old Testament, you can use it —NOT for it’s REGULATIONS, but for it’s REVELATIONS. That is, the principles still applies even though the specific way of carrying it out —God may not use that anymore. And the principle is —that God wants his people to render judgment, on God’s behalf, related to any kind of litigation issues. And we’re constantly dealing with them. Do you go and sue them downtown? God’s clear —you take it to the church.

Whats the process? It’s in Matthew 18 (starting with verse 15). So the first thing you do is, you handle it personally. If your brother has hurt you (or your mate has hurt you) the very first thing that you do is try to fix it privately. YOU NEVER CARRY A PROBLEM BEYOND ITS NEED, TO BE KNOWN. What makes it a need to be known? Matthew 18:16 —if he doesn’t listen to you. He’s not open for correction. He is not repentant. But it’s a legitimate thing. He says, by then, with 2 or 3 witnesses, every fact is confirmed. Two or 3 witnesses would mean that there would be a legality attached to the process now. It became official… it had witnesses.

So you take 2 or 3 witnesses to confirm that you tried and they won’t —that you are trying to fix this marriage, but they won’t —that you’re trying to heal this relationship, but they won’t. This is so that it’s not your word against their word, that you can VALIDATE that there is a sin and that that mate is not willing to correct it.

What happens then? In Matthew 18:17 it says, “tell it to the church.” Why do you tell it to the church? Because that’s the extended family —that’s the environment where God’s decisions are rendered.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Up to this point, we have no major dispute, but a couple of really important caveats:
(1) due to the corruption of most English language bible translations for the past 150 years, courtesy of Universalists / occultist / New World Order “scholars” Westcott & Hort in the 1880’s (about the time the masses were becoming literate enough to realize that the Westminster Confession of Faith was heretical with respect to divorce and remarriage),  before applying “scripture” to any matter involving marriage,  the judges in the church need to go back to the original texts, and preferably the Antioch texts.   This is the reason the King James version, while not perfect, contains far fewer apparent “contradications” than any of the more contemporary translations — this was by design.   The NIV, in particular, becomes more liberal and less scriptural with each new edition!    Online tools make the original texts and related tools readily accessible at no cost.

(2) focusing in on the issue of the log and the splinter, many of the pastoral “judges” will indeed be in a state of ongoing adultery themselves by Jesus’ (Luke 16:18) definition of adultery, due to the widespread marriage heresies that prevail in the contemporary church, including the blatant violation of 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6. Such men lack the moral authority to render judgment.   In some churches there is a further violation in that those offices are unscripturally held by women!

“And if he will not listen to the church, LET HIM BE TO YOU, AS A GENTILE and TAX-GATHERER.” In other words, HE IS TO BE VIEWED AS SPIRITUALLY DEAD! He is rendered a gentile, or a tax collector. Not only were tax collectors sinners… they were also ostracized because of their occupation. Jews didn’t have fellowship with tax collectors. In other words, they are spiritually dead. They, may be a Christian… but you can now relate to them… as though they are spiritually dead.

Why? Verse 18. God gives the church the ability to act as His earthly court, rendering His heavenly decisions. “Whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven, whatever you bind on earth, will be bound in heaven.” The church’s job is to bind and loose. That simply means to “exercise authority on behalf of God.” AND IF YOU WANT TO BE BLESSED, THAT’S THE COURT YOU GO TO.

In verse 19, He says whenever you gather together to render decisions, “I’ll be in the midst of you.“ “When you gather together to make judgments using My word, applying them to the situations of life —that’s when the rubber meets the road.” The church is God’s extended family court. And just like you don’t want your children taking your family business out to the street, God doesn’t want His children carrying out kingdom business in the street to people who don’t have a Kingdom mentality.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Just because Martin Luther declared “spiritual death” doesn’t make it so!   (Luther also declared “replacement theology” without it making that so, after all.)   Shall a man of God follow another man, or shall he instead follow Christ?    Cutting off the fellowship of he body of Christ does not remove the Holy Spirit from inside the wayward born-again prodigal (thanks be to God!).    We’ve already raised a strong caveat about which version of the Word to apply in making those judgments, since various translation manipulations have retrofitted the sacred word of God to match Luther’s heresies, as can readily be seen by contrasting them with the original Greek and Hebrew texts with literal translations, also with the unanimous teachings for 400-some years of all those discipled by those who walked directly with Jesus, and those whom the disciples discipled, all the way until the corrupting time of Constantine.

 

But here’s why people don’t want to come to the church. They don’t want to come to the church because they don’t want to subject themselves to God. They want to go to somebody who will agree with them. They don’t want to be rendered a “righteous decision,” they only want to be rendered THEIR decision.

So, how does this relate to marriage and divorce? 1 Corinthians 7:39. As long as the mate is alive… either physically or covenantally… then you are bound to that person and the most you can do (1 Corinthians 7:10), is separate and remain unmarried or be reconciled. You don’t have grounds for a divorce as long as they’re alive.

If they are dead, they must be dead by God’s coroner. And God’s coroner is the church. Once they’re declared dead, then a declaration of death is always a freedom to remarry —because a woman is only bound to her husband, as long as he lives. So once he either dies, or is declared to be such (as a tax gatherer or a sinner) or as 1 Corinthians 5:5 says, “put him in the realm of Satan.” At that point, the party is free to remarry. Why? It’s because God has canceled out the previous marriage.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Not so fast, Dr. Evans!   That log seems to be creeping back into that eye again!    During the Kim Davis fracas  in September, 2015 it seemed every liberal journalist in the country was grabbing their Gideon bible out of the motel dresser drawer and noting, quite accurately that Mrs. [Bailey Wallace Davis McIntyre ]”Davis” had been living in serial adultery, and that after she was born again, she didn’t repent of that relationship.    They pointed out to the world that often the safest place for serial polygamist to hide out is the front pew of many an evangelical church.    And, Dr. Evans, if a person continues to draw breath, their opportunity to repent remains undiminished…and not subject to any man’s judgment.  If that person happens to be born again, the continuing presence of the cajoling Holy Spirit within them is proof enough,  as if God’s holy character in covenant isn’t, that there is no such thing as being “covenentally” dead, unless perhaps one attributes God’s miracles to Satan, i.e. blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  (It should be duly noted that some of God’s shepherds come perilously close to this when one of the sheep is seeking a repenting divorce in order to reconcile with the only person on the face of the earth with whom God’s hand joined tem in sarx mia, and these pastors  attribute this repentance to “violating”  Deut. 24:4. )

 

God hates divorce. He never demands divorce. He only permits it. But He does allow it, when death occurs in order to preserve and protect the innocent.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   What God hates is the “putting / sending away” of any one-llesh covenant spouse, but Mal. 2 advocates only for that spouse, and against the counterfeit that Dr. Evans would shield and attempt to justify.  Jesus made it plain in Matt. 19:6, 8 that not only does God not “permit” anyone to divorce the spouse of their youth, there is actually no act of men that makes it even possible.   That’s why Jesus repeatedly declared any marriage between even an innocent person and a divorced person ongoing, continuous adultery.    Man cannot sever God-joined sarx mia, nor remove God from HIS OWN covenant, only death does that.   It seems obvious that if actual death has occurred,, the only type that God acknowledges, the whole remarriage conversation is moot,

There are 3 options the Christian has (and by the way, the reason God says to be married “only in the Lord” is because GOD DOESN’T WANT IT TO BE HEAVEN and HELL EXPERIENCE TO BE MARRIED, if they can help it), a person whose mate commits covenantal death has 3 choices:

• To restore them to the relationship based on restitution. In fact, that always ought to be the 1st option, to see if we can fix what got broke. What if your mate does something that causes covenantal death, but they’re sincerely repentant? And how do you know they’re sincerely repentant? The Bible says “let them bring forth fruits of repentance.” There must be a demonstration or restitution that pays back the offended party, that lets them know they’re serious in their heart about what they just verbalized with their mouth as demonstrated by their actions.

They must be restored based on “their fruits of repentance.” And if they’re sincerely repentant, then the goal should be, if at all possible, to seek to restore them. (And that’s the reason why God accepted the marriage of David to Bathsheba. God took restitution out on David. He lost four of his sons as David had declared that the man who did this crime should be punished four-fold. So he lost four of his sons as payment back to God. He set him free to marry only after he had received restitution.) So if you’ve offended your mate, you need to pay them back.

• To divorce —when your mate has become covenantally dead, that is, to have them declared so by the church, which frees you up. (This was the option Joseph was going to take with Mary. He decided to put her away privately, when he thought the mother of Jesus had been immoral.)

• You can choose to live continually with your covenantally dead spouse —even though they’ve committed an act and even though they’re unrepentant for their sin. (1 Corinthian 7:13-15) Here he sets the scenario, that the covenantally dead person or the unbeliever (he’s either an unbeliever, or he’s functioning as an unbeliever), wants to stay in the marriage relationship. If he’s willing to function, as her husband, and she’s willing to function as his wife —He says don’t leave.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   No mate “commits covenantal death” before their actual physical death, Dr. Evans, though a great many commit covenantal violations, including the violation of someone else’s holy matrimony covenant.    Departing from a covenant union does nothing to actually dissolve it in God’s courthouse, no matter how much civil paper is gathered!     That effectively reduces the options to two:  1 Cor. 7:12-13 or 1 Cor. 7:11.     Incidentally, God only accepted the “marriage” of David and Bathsheba because she was a widow (albeit at David’s hand), and because both concurrent and serial polygamy were atoned for on a daily basis with bloody animal sacrifices, a plan that is no longer on offer with the coming of Christ.    Even so, just as God took only one rib from Adam at creation who became “bone-of-his-bones and flesh-of-his flesh, God only made David one-flesh (sarx mia) with MIchal — all the other sundry wives and concubines were only hen soma partners, only legally and carnally joined in the same fashion as noncovenant spouses today.   Even a casual reading of Matthew 5 or the book of Hebrews ought to make a man shudder at suggesting Christ’s disciples deliberately emulate David and Bathsheba!

You need to LOOK AT IT AS AN EVANGELISTIC OPPORTUNITY. He’s not saying you’re staying there and he’s beating on you. He’s not saying you’re staying there, and he won’t work. He’s talking about his willingness to stay there under the covenant of the family. Even if you have grounds (for divorce), if they’re willing to function properly, even though they’re not spiritually on track, then you “sanctify them.” If you love them and care about them, but they’re not on track, you may want to stay, pray, and watch God work through you to bring about a change —to bring that person back.

What do you do if you’re already coventally dead? GOOD NEWS —God has the ability to raise people from the dead!

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Even better news — God-joined one-flesh covenant spouses sanctify the other by prayer, fasting and the recognition that the one-flesh entity is a God-given, God-protected spiritual weapon that only exists in the ongoing state of  indissoluble holy matrimony if God’s word is being obeyed in full, and it requires no physical presence, nor state sanction to operate in full.    This reformed prodigal is so grateful that Jesus did not treat me the way Dr. Evans and Martin Luther fantasized about in order to whitewash serial polygamy.   Given that it’s GOD, not humans who decides and clearly communicates the heaven-or-hell consequences thereof, it makes no sense at all to play these games with the Most High.    Instead there should be a holy fear of God, and an overriding concern for the souls involved.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.    – 2 Peter 3:9

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7 Times Around the Jericho Wall |  Let’s Repeal No-Fault Divorce!

Dr. Piper’s Divorce, Remarriage, and Doing WHAT??

JPiperBlog2by Standerinfamilycourt

FEAR OF GOD:
(Ezra, Chapter 9) …the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites.  For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy  race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.”   When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled.   Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until the evening offering.  But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my ands to the Lord my God;  and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.”

FEAR OF MEN:
(John Piper, 8/16/2016)  “So, this is a question then for almost every Christian.   If the marriage that you are in was entered wrongfully, you shouldn’t have entered it. Should you stay in it?   That is the question.   And my answer is: Yes.   Repent honestly before God to each other and to him. Admit it should not have happened. Ask for forgiveness from each other and from God, perhaps from former spouses. And then keep your promises that you made to each other when you made your vows, rather than a second time breaking your word. And Lisa’s question is: Are there texts for that opinion? I mean, you are just saying that, Piper. What about the Bible?  And I want to say here: I could be wrong about this. I could be drawing inferences from texts illegitimately. But there do seem to me to be three or four or more pointers in this direction in the Bible, and I will give them to Lisa now.”       [ emphasis is SIFC’s]

We do admire John Piper’s courage in calling out remarriage adultery with unusual scriptural accuracy in this evil age.    Prior writings of his have been so bold as to agree with both Jesus and Paul that the “innocent party” in adultery, abuse, abandonment, etc. may not remarry while the spouse of their youth lives, no matter how humanistically unfair that seems.    We also admire his humility shown above in admitting, in response to a woman who wrote and challenged him,  that there are really no scriptural texts counseling people to remain in a non-covenant marriage sinfully entered while having a living, estranged spouse.    What we don’t admire is his ignoring several more relevant passages that make it abundantly clear that exiting those unions in repentance is precisely what disciples of Jesus Christ should and must do.

What’s wrong with the “support” Dr. Piper gives to argue for remaining in the ongoing state of serial polygamy, in light of the repeated warnings that no unrepented adulterer has any inheritance in the kingdom of God?     Let’s take a look:

Piper:
1) In Joshua 9 there is the story of the Gibeonites who, you may remember, hear about Joshua and the Israelites destroying cities, and they don’t want to be destroyed. So, they know they are going to be next on the list of destruction, so they pretend to be from a far away country, they lie to Joshua, and they get him to promise that he will not kill them, because they are not in his territory. And Joshua makes a vow and swears to them before God that he won’t kill them. And then he finds out that they were lying to him. And it says in Joshua 9:19, “All the leaders said to all the congregation, ‘We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them.’”     There are two reasons why they shouldn’t have entered this vow. One is because the Gibeonites were lying to them and, two, is because it says explicitly that they did not consult God — and God explicitly intended for the Gibeonites to be destroyed (see Joshua 9:14, 24). And now they are keeping the vow they never should have made under horrible circumstances, thus, elevating the importance of promise-keeping or vow-keeping even when it was entered into wrongfully. And I am saying that perhaps suggests — I think it does suggest — that a vow you make to a person to be their husband or their wife till death do you part is not something to be taken lightly.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   From the beginning, Dr. Piper’s inference with regard to the binding nature of vows starts from a biblically-invalid presumption:  that man’s divorce unjoins the one-flesh entity (“sarx mia“) which God’s hand instantaneously and supernaturally creates upon the exchange of valid vows.    Dr. Piper presumes that an act of man rather than the death of one of the spouses breaks the prior covenant.   God’s word does not say that.   God’s word says that only God can unjoin what He has joined, “what therefore God has joined, let NO MAN separate.” – Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:8-9.   God’s word says that God covenants with that entity, unconditionally and irrevocably.   – Mal. 2:14; Num. 23:19.   God’s word says twice that only death releases the partners from their marriage bond. – Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39.

When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.  Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands?   –  Ecclesiastes 5:4-6

That being the case, if a prior vow to God, with which He still covenants, cannot be fulfilled due a subsequent vow which a party had no capacity to make without condemning himself or herself to hell in fulfilling it, is it not a false vow?

Another reason that Dr. Piper’s “possession is 9/10ths of the law” human logic fails is that a Barna Group survey in 1990 determined that some ninety percent of the divorces with remarriage occurring in the U.S. church occurred after the parties professed Christ.   Hence, they had every opportunity to know what God’s word says about remarriage after divorce but they proceeded anyway, with Barna Group also measuring and  reporting the serial repeat rate.   Is this not mocking God by putting Him to the test?    Moses, too, stumbled when he tried to “manage” sin instead of eradicating it, and he was therefore rebuked by Jesus….”but I say unto you…from the beginning IT WAS NOT SO!” –  Matt.19:8

PreachRom7_3

Getting back to the Gibeonites,  suppose another pagan group also deceived or bribed the descendants of Joshua and company into subsequently vowing to kill the Gibeonites,  but they later discovered a scroll with the original vow.    Would that subsequent vow be binding on them, simply because it was spoken?  

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”  So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah).  Thus David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make atonement that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?”   –  2 Samuel 21:1-3

 

Piper:
2) Jesus talked to the woman at the well in terms that suggest pretty strongly that he believed she had five genuine husbands and one non-genuine live-in. He put it like this: “Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true’” (John 4:16–18).

Now, think about that. What does that imply?

It is true that the Greek — that includes this text here — does not have a different word for husband and man or husband and male. So, it could be translated: You have had five men and the man you now have is not your man. But even if you translate it that way, it doesn’t make sense unless you distinguish this sixth man from those other five in some way, because he says: This is not your man. Those were your men. This is not your man. This is not your husband. Those were your husbands. What was the difference? Well, the only thing I know to suggest is that they had somehow formalized the relationship in a ceremony in which they took some promises to create the relationship that was known as marriage — or husband and wife. So, it seems Jesus put some stock in calling those five men real husbands different from five live-in boyfriends that she never married.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   Oooh, just let me at this one!    What does that imply, Dr. Piper?    It implies that she was shacking up after the unilateral divorce system entrenched in Mosaic law up to that point  (which Jesus was poised to abrogate on many topics, including the sanctity of marriage) tossed this woman around like last week’s garbage.
We have previously blogged on What about That Samaritan Woman?”    First of all, kudos to Dr. Piper for being honest enough to admit that the meaning of the Greek “andra / andros ”   is fluid enough to range from God-joined one-flesh husband to her “old man” (shack-up partner), one of several other points we make in our blog.    Many a theologian we’ve read aren’t anywhere near as transparent when it comes to the various partners of this chick and how the language could have applied to each.    We’ve already shown where Jesus has rebuked and slammed as adultery various situations (for example, among the Pharisees) where the serial polygamists “somehow formalized the relationship in a ceremony in which they took some promises to create the relationship that was known as marriage”.

Okay, then, suppose Jesus walked in today on Justice Ginsburg or Vice President Joe Biden or  Rev. T.D. Jakes presiding over a legal civil wedding between two men.   Are they not repeating vows?   Are they not repeating vows that if fulfilled, “til death do us part”,  will cost them their souls and their inheritance in the kingdom of God?    Does God’s hand create sarx mia at that particular ceremony?   Are those vows to continue in a lifelong state of sodomy, therefore. “binding”?

 

3) Here is the third one. Interestingly enough, I was talking this over with all the team of the Together for the Gospel guys, and I won’t say who said it, but one of them, I thought, very provocatively pointed this out: Jesus does use the verb marry for what they should not do and do when he is forbidding them from doing it. Let me show you what I mean. “Whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32).

PiperBlogPic

He doesn’t say whoever presumably marries or tries to marry. He says marries. He doesn’t say presumes to marry or tries to marry — as if, yes, this is a real marriage being created. It should not be created and it is like committing adultery when you enter it. He says a similar kind of thing in Mark 10:11–12. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

So, if Jesus is willing to call wrongfully entered relationships marriages, then it seems to me that we should hold people to the expectations of holiness and permanence implied in the word marriage, till death do us part. I take the warning that remarriage involves adultery, “whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery,” not to mean that sexual relations in a wrongfully entered relationship can never be sanctified through repentance and forgiveness, but rather that an unholy relationship involves unholy sex until that relationship is newly consecrated to God through repentance and forgiveness. That relationship remains tainted at every level.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   We’ve already dealt with the supernatural difference between God-joined covenant unions and all other types of unions legal under man’s amoral laws, but illegitimate under God’s law.   The other kind of joining is discussed by Paul in 1 Cor. 6:16, where it is contrasted with sarx mia.   It is called hen soma (one body), the carnal joining by the devices of man and only the inflicted, unwillful presence of God.   It is not only severable by men, it must be severed for the sake of holiness without which no man will see God.   It is not something God’s holy nature would ever covenant with (even on a “time-evolved” or “grandfathered” basis), because that means forsaking the prior covenant.    As Basil the Great said in A.D. 375,  “The man who has deserted his wife and goes to another is himself an adulterer because he makes her commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress because she has caused another woman’s husband to come over to her…the woman who lives with an adulterer is an adulteress the whole time.”   – Amphilochius 199 (a)

 

[‘….as if, yes, this is a real marriage being created. It should not be created and it is like committing adultery when you enter it. “]

Dr. Piper, surely you know that Jesus never said entering an unlawful marriage was “like” committing adultery!   Jesus very forcefully stated on three separate occasions, each recorded by two different authors using the same present indicative verb tense in the Greek,  that marrying someone who has a living prior spouse is entering into an ongoing state of adultery.   Once again, to your credit, Dr. Piper, you stop short of resorting to the intellectual dishonesty of claiming this is a one-time act, as so many of your peers consistently do, but in light of all the points made above, we must still take strong biblical exception to your next statement….

I take the warning that remarriage involves adultery, “whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery,” not to mean that sexual relations in a wrongfully entered relationship can never be sanctified through repentance and forgiveness, but rather that an unholy relationship involves unholy sex until that relationship is newly consecrated to God through repentance and forgiveness.

May we ask what other soul-forfeiting, ongoing state of sin mentioned in Paul’s two “lists” – 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21, may be forgiven and continued?    Will the unholy sex between the two civilly married “husbands” be “consecrated to God” through agreeing with God that it was wrong and repenting in their hearts (but not severing the relationship)?    That one shares the lists but isn’t mentioned as early in the lineup, or talked about nearly so much by  both Jesus and Paul as the heterosexual counterfeit for holy matrimony.    From this last point, may we then simply infer, as the gay apologists would like, that just because Jesus didn’t say “whoever ‘marries’ ,  ‘presumably marries’  or ‘tries to marry’ someone of the same sex enters an ongoing state of sodomy…”   that the partners may remain in that relationship and hope to “sanctify” it contrary to Paul’s repeated warnings?   How is either abomination “honoring God”?

May we ask, what does God’s word actually say about the modern day idol of sexual autonomy?

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.   – Hebrews 10:26-28

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?   For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,“I will dwell in them and walk among themAnd I will be their God, and they shall be My people  “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.  – 2 Cor. 6:15-17

We love what faithful shepherd and marriage warrior, Dr. Joseph Webb of Christian Principles Restored Ministries says, “no sin ever yet died of old age.”

4) One last thought. If this seems strange that a prohibited relationship can become a consecrated and holy one, consider the example — and there are several in the Bible — of the kingship of Israel. The people came to Samuel in 1 Samuel 8:6–7 and said, “‘Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.’ But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said, ‘Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.’” And yet, in spite of this evil origin of this new relationship of king and people and God, God made the kingship an integral part of his plan for Jesus to come as the King of kings and Lord of lords and as the Son of David.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   Now we’re really grasping, and it’s a really good thing this piece is wrapping up, at least from the defense of “sanctified” serial polygamy side!   An old Sesame Street thinking exercise (and tune) seems really apropos here.   “One these things is not like the others.  One of these things just doesn’t belong.   If you guessed this thing  is not like the others, you’re absolutely right!”    Without the imperative recognition of God’s role in creating and covenanting with an inseverable one-flesh entity, there’s no way to detect that holy matrimony is not like the others.   It is distinct from everything else and cannot be replicated by men, ever.

That said, we can now get to the more obvious flaw in Dr. Piper’s reasoning:  in the clamor for a king over Israel and its resigned fulfillment by the Most High, there certainly was a relationship of evil origin, but there was no new vow, (at least not until the time of David)!   

Among the overlooked biblical examples that are, in our view,  a much more reliable biblical basis for discussing this topic of penitently departing an unlawful civil-only marriage, that do not support Dr. Piper’s position:

(1) Ezra, chapters 9 and 10.   Israel and Judah were ending their 70-year exile from the sacking of Jerusalem after both nations turned away from God, became idolatrous and greedy and made a polygamous mockery of holy matrimony.    God had given unmerited favor in the restoration of circumstances that had allowed the rebuilding of the temple and the wall, but had one more requirement before He would restore their sovereignty as a nation.    Beginning with the disobedient priests, they must purge their nation of unlawful marriages, even where there were children.    Concurrent polygamy still prevailed in Israel, so in many cases the foreign wives were not the covenant wife, hence there was no one-flesh entity.   These dependents were provided for and the relationships were severed.   There was no “repenting in their hearts” that was going to appease God or “consecrate” those unions that His hand never joined.

Although many try to misuse this passage as their proof-text that God allows Christians to drag their unsaved spouses into a pagan court (1 Cor. 6:1-8 and 1 Cor. 7:12-14 notwithstanding) in order to financially and spiritually abandon them with society’s and the church’s approval so as not to be “unequally yoked”,  the correct analogy is to the inherent unlawfulness of any subsequent union under God’s clearly-stated law while the true spouse remains alive.   (Obvious analogies can also be drawn to the current state of society and threat of foreign invasion in many western countries today where the indissolubility of holy matrimony has been steadily undermined since the Reformation, and most acutely in the U.S. in the last 50 years.)

(2) Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29.    The parallel accounts in two gospels of the beheading of John the Baptist for calling out the unlawful “marriage” of King Herod and his brother Philip’s wife Herodias after both had divorced their God-joined one-flesh (pagan) spouses and legalized their adultery under Mosaic law.    There’s a bit of irony in the fact that remarriage apologists dive for cover while miscasting the sin John was calling out as “incest”, for that acknowledges the unsevered (indeed, inseverable) one-flesh entity between Herodias and Philip, does it not?   John, clearly articulated that it was unlawful for Herod to have his brother’s wife.   This is after all the same civil paper was gathered to hide behind that we gather today.    In Matthew 11, Jesus forseeing John’s death, spoke the same words over John. as echoed in Luke 16, just before He said for the third time, “everyone who marries a divorced person is committing ongoing adultery.”   Jesus said of John:

“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.  For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.  And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  (v. 11-15)

Luke 16:14-31.   This  sobering “truth sandwich” from Jesus, which the 16th chapter of Luke comprises, starts with a warning about preparing for hell if we are going to be in love with the world system and its unrighteous mammon.   In the middle is the commendation of John discussed above, then there was the scoffing by the Pharisees (who had become world-class serial polygamists now that Ezra had done away with concurrent polygamy), to whom Jesus responded:

“You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” (v 15)

Jesus then echoes His remarks about His cousin, John and the violence suffered in taking the kingdom of God by force, after which He makes HIs enigmatic and exceptionless statement about marrying another after divorcing from a covenant spouse creating an ongoing state of adultery, and immediately following this, He spends the next dozen verses graphically depicting hell.   Coincidence?
(Yes, Dr. Piper, we’d did just imply that if people in unlawful marriages don’t repent by exiting those unions while they still draw breath, they will perish in hell.  We think it’s reasonable to conclude that’s precisely what Jesus was saying here.)

Which brings us to a natural segue in considering the impact of Dr. Piper’s Calvinist background on his willingness to even consider the prospect of hell for a disobedient-to-apostate believer as they make fateful choices about marital holiness.   If you believe “once saved, always saved”,  and if you believe the “finished work of the cross” means Jesus died for all “past, present and future sins”, even a learned seminarian might be tempted toward the view of legalistically staying in a non-covenant union rather than go through the disruption, grief-giving and reputational damage of severing it to keep one’s true, undissolved covenant vow of holy matrimony.   If you don’t believe that remarriage adultery tends to take even believers to hell in pairs, why not counsel illicit couples to stay in their state of serial polygamy?    Why fight the civil laws that foster it, and why not sign immoral and intrusive civil marriage licenses as an agent of the state?

God keep our repenting prodigals away from the John Pipers of this world who are 99% correct in their theology, but the 1% they err in is the very difference between heaven and hell!   May the Holy Spirit speak louder than he.    Dr. Piper, outcome-wise, is just as dangerous as the thoroughly-heretical Dr. MacArthur to a prodigal trying to return to the Lord and trying to repent of his civilly-sanctioned  immorality.

 

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