Heads Up, Alabama – Here Comes a Liberal, Anti-Family Trojan Horse!

Wedding Cake Pulverized
by Standerinfamilycourt

On January 17, 2018, Texas MassResistance (an offshoot of a Massachusetts-based pro-family organization that does aggressive battle with the comprehensive LGBT political agenda)  posted an article to their Facebook page from AL.com,

Alabama Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Marriage Licenses

with the following Facebook comments:

“It’s sad to see a state opt out of licensing marriage, but the truth is real marriage as a legal construct essentially ceased to exist with the legalization of gay marriage. It’s like removing the legal distinction between real money and play money. Real money means nothing once play money becomes legal tender– and everyone is made poorer– even counterfeiters– same story on gay marriage.

“Gays kid themselves if they think they their marriages are of the same substance as marriage prior to gay marriage. Put a drop of fine wine from a wine bottle into a bottle of sewer water and you still have a bottle of wine and a bottle of sewer water, but put a drop of sewer water into a bottle of fine wine and you have two bottles of sewer water. Things of higher value are diminished or destroyed altogether when mixed with things of lower value. Alabama’s move to eliminate marriage licenses recognizes that reality– MR-T”

With a few days’ delay, we noticed a re-post of this on the Facebook wall by a friend of our blog page who lives in Texas, and we commented to MassResistance on their page as follows:

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:
There are two conscionable alternatives to dealing with civil law that no longer coincides with God’s law in any respect:

(1) pastors opt out of participating in the civil system as an agent for the state (example: the 2014 First Things Marriage Pledge)
(2) what Alabama is seeking to do

“Although some 800+ pastors from a wide variety of denominations had signed the Marriage Pledge by two months after Obergefell, nearly 3 years later, few have had the moral courage to make good on it. We have a pretty good idea why not — wrong motives, and the sudden delayed realization of what that might do to the ability of heterosexuals to do what God forbids and get a state “dissolution” decree.
So, that leaves Option 2.

“We humbly remind that God’s definition of marriage (Matt.19:4-6) has TWO non-negotiable elements, not just one – as the tone of this post strongly implies. Those elements are: (1) complementarity, and (2) indissolubility.   Hence, the adulteration of that wine bottle started to take place 48 years ago, not in 2015, two generations later.
Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render unto God the things that are God’s”. He told us that Holy Matrimony does not happen except by God’s hand.  It’s therefore quite suspect that the Reformation humanists, Martin Luther in particular, saw fit to hand over to the state that which belonged to God in the first place. Count on God not to allow this issue to dissipate until His full definition of marriage is honored, and pastors from coast to coast repent of whining about sodomy-as-“marriage” while carefully preserving consecutive polygamy-as-holy-matrimony.

“It will be interesting to see, if this progresses to become law, how they continue to issue ‘dissolutions’. It’s probably pretty simple to substitute their affidavits for marriage certificates when it comes to finding another unilateral home invasion warrant, but how will they handle the gory details?  Option 1 would have denied them the piece of paper usable as such a “warrant” in a substantial number of cases.”

MassResistance gave a very gracious response to our comment, which we will leave the readers to reference on their own.

Of course, Alabama is the infamous state of dethroned State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from the bench in 2016 on ethics charges because he issued an administrative order to lower court judges stating, “until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect….”   citing the fundamental right of these judges to conscience protections and free religious exercise in declining to issue civil marriage licenses to homosexuals.   (Presumably, these same judges had no serious compunctions or religious conscience issues with issuing civil marriage licenses to would-be legalized adulterers in the years since 1975 enactment of Alabama’s unilateral divorce laws.   Moore is himself “married” to a civilly-“divorced” woman.)    Apparently, for all the smoke-blowing that ensued to remove Moore, his successor on the bench has not reversed the 2016 administrative order after almost two years, the lingering effect being as stated in the AL.com article:

“Under current law, Alabama probate judges are not required to issue marriage licenses and some, at least initially, declined to issue licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruling.

“Albritton’s bill would take away any discretion by probate judges. The only requirement to make a marriage official would be to submit the documents to the probate judge.”

Take away the discretion of judges….does this sound familiar?   It should indeed!    This is exactly how brutal totalitarianism came to be injected into “family court” processes and procedures to implement unilateral divorce, without raising a whimper of public protest even though the 1st and 14th amendment protections were being stripped from millions of Americans in the process.    Legislating immorality has always been a stealth process — and in the past five decades, it has come to work flawlessly…intractably.

The gay “marriages” taking place in Alabama in this long interim have  only been enabled where LGBT-sympathetic judges are willing to issue the civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples.    Several counties are reportedly not issuing them at all.

SB13’s sponsor, Greg Albritton appears to be a liberal Republican, according to a 2016 voting scorecard published by the American Conservative Union, where he scored 58%,  the lowest of all of his GOP peers, and equaling the score of the highest scoring Democrat in the Alabama Senate.    His bill passed a fast-tracked and astounding floor vote of 19-1 in mid-January, and the ACLU published their analysis stating that they do not consider it a threat to liberal interests, so they are not taking a position on it.    This is a strong, red flag that the measure is not expected to be supportive of biblical, traditional families, since it is not drawing ACLU opposition.  The full text of SB13 (about 9 pages) can be read here.

At first blush, it should seem like a dream-come-true that the state might be giving back to God the authority over the holy ordinance that He never delegated to fallible, carnal men in civil government….

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no [human] separate”…..He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
– Matthew 19:6, 8

However, there is an ominous poison-pill:   it will no longer be necessary to have vows or a public ceremony should these bills become law.

Jesus pointed back to the first wedding in the Garden for the essentials of God-joined holy matrimony….

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his FATHER and MOTHER and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

 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.

– Matthew 19:4-5;  Genesis 2:21-24

Elements present in the Garden wedding between Adam and Eve:   eligible partners without prior, estranged spouses still living, consent, vows, witnesses (Jesus and the serpent),  and God’s supernatural, instantaneous act of (Greek : sunexuezen) joining.

Elements absent in the Garden wedding civil paper and a human officiant.

We all know that the unholy 16th century transaction between church and state authority was a foul fruit of the humanistic Reformers, principally, of Martin Luther who sought access to that which God expressly forbid through Jesus Christ, namely, divorce via a man-made declaration of “dissolution”, rather than the physical death of a spouse.    What appears on the surface to be a “taking back” of authority from civil government is actually a mirage in the case of these bills.    The texts of these bills SB13 and (pending) HB162 both explicitly provide that there will be no change to the statute with regard to divorce or child “welfare” provisions.     Unless there is civil paper of some sort, no unilateral divorces nor totalitarian interference with parental rights would be possible.   Hence, a more controlled piece of paper on the front-end, is being swapped for a piece of civil paper with far fewer controls, but effecting all the same state intrusion into the sanctity of the home. The uber-liberal take on this makes for some interesting reading, as well.

In the absence of a requirement for a witnessed ceremony, documentation of consent, and vows,  the effect is that common law marriages are being given the same legal status as holy matrimony unions.    In other words, a second category of legalized, adulterous unions is being created that essentially legalizes fornication as well as adultery.     Absorbed into the longstanding moral vacuum of the contemporary church, the effect on marital stability will be devastating to family structure over time, in the same way that rampant “remarriage” has been.      To be sure, pastors will still require the traditional ceremony for the weddings they do, and will continue their evil practice of performing the same over the already married-for-life.    But equally sure is the fact that in addition to the legalized adulterers whom they now welcome into their congregations (no questions asked), they will be welcoming a new group of folks likewise not married in God’s eyes – those who have made no vows before Him.   As an added bonus, pastors will be relieved of the offense to conscience from signing civil marriage licenses that reflect an immoral civil standard.

STATUS , at this writing
Alabama Overview

The enacted result, should it come to pass:

Win for the judges who no longer have a conscience conflict with their jobs (but still should, if they call themselves Christ-followers).
–  Win for the pastors whose threat of being sued by LGBT activists is significantly reduced, with the added bonus of avoiding any “heat” from their congregations for implementing something so controversial and “judgmental” as the Marriage Pledge.
Win for the abusive Catholic dioceses that nationally grant 90% of marriage annulment petitions, the vast bulk of which claim “defective” original consent.
Win for the heinous state bar association who have always looted the system since the enactment of unilateral divorce, and have purchased increasing political power with the confiscated proceeds, but who will now up their ante from the resulting increase in social and moral chaos.
–  Win for the homosexuals who seek to adopt, traffic in, and corrupt children, while gaining government and employer benefits.
–  Win for the LGBT activists (such as Tamra Metz and Masha Gessen) who openly admit the movement’s ultimate objective to destroy the institution of holy matrimony and traditional families.
–  Win for the shallow veneer of preserving religious liberty (until we stop and consider the denied religious liberty of the non-offending, non-filing spouse whose 1st amendment rights have traditionally been ignored by the system.)

Win-win for everybody, right?    Not exactly…major loss for covenant spouses, their children and grandchildren, and for God-defined holy matrimony, as well as for the already downward-spiraling sexual morality within the church.   A church full of papered-over adulterers, including behind the pulpit, is hardly ready to resume any authority over marriage the state gives back at this time.

WeRegret

Once again, the biblical covenant family is being thrown under the bus with the blind approval of all of all the above “winning” parties, and will now actually be in worse shape than their counterparts in neighboring states (until the easy-peasy-sleazy virus spreads to those states as well).    From the 1970’s until now, marriage seems to be becoming the ever more ridiculous, rambling  “house that Jack built”.

While MassResistance’s comments show they are less than enthused with this legal innovation,  where is the voice of the churches, or of Alabama’s family policy council?     To their credit, the Alabama Policy Institute has been at least tracking and timely-reporting on the bills during January (albeit, with exceptional brevity for such an impactful change – scroll all the way to the bottom of link)….but they do not appear to be taking a position, nor publicly recognizing the serious back-door dismantling threat to the institution of marriage itself.   Would that API would have at least reported who the one dissenting Senator was, and why Sen. Phillip Williams [R], who holds an 88% lifetime score with the American Conservative Union,  dissented.     Unfortunately, neither does the press do this.   It is clear that this legislation is all about facilitating sodomous “marriages” and protecting judges, and not about what’s best for the integrity of families or (ultimately) society.

Quoting Masha Gessen (2012):

“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. … (F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there – because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

“The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out 30 years ago….”

As is fairly typical for state FPC’s and changes to marriage laws (other than those ushering in gay “marriage”), no blogs or articles have been devoted to this topic since the September, 2017 introduction of the Senate bill.   General press coverage, on the other hand, has been favorable both on the Right and Left, with no significant criticisms and only vaguely- expressed concerns (“waving the white flag on marriage”, etc.), despite the radical social impact which legally and morally equating common law and God-joined marriages will undoubtedly bring, absent any coinciding reform of unilateral divorce laws.

The better solution?   Continue to regulate marriages per existing law, while pastors with the requisite moral authority, discipleship and courage opt-out of acting as an agent for states whose marriage contract does not reflect the vows being exchanged in the sanctuary.    Take the heat for the sake of the kingdom of God, pastors and judges!

The best solution?    Remove “irreconcilable differences” (and its equivalents) as a “ground” for divorce if there is no mutual petition for marriage dissolution, and divide assets and child welfare based on proven marital fault, thereby drying up both the demand for “marriage” between homosexuals, and the perverse, lucrative financial incentives that drive the legal machine.     (We have asked MassResistance -Texas whether they plan to support the re-election of Rep. Matt Krause, and support 2019 continued repeal efforts in Texas, but they declined to respond to this question.)

Prayer warriors, we have our work cut out for us.   Please start by praying that HB162 fails in the Alabama House of Representatives.   In the ten days leading up to Valentine’s Day,  look for a series of daily posts to Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional reflecting concrete ways the church can rapidly improve her witness to the world concerning rebuilding  a “culture of marriage”.   We believe these steps would prepare the church morally for the responsibility of taking marriage back from the state and reversing the 500 year old  Lutheran curse.

The infamous Trojan Horse allowed the Greeks to get in and out of the city with their treasure.    After they were out, the whole city burned to the ground.

Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.
– Proverbs 14:34

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prager U, Laurie Higgins, Guy Benson…and Our Response

GBenson_Prager_Foxby Standerinfamilycourt

Laurie Higgins, Cultural Affairs Writer for the Illinois Family Institute, wrote in a blog on January 25:

“Prager University (PragerU) was started in 2009 by Dennis Prager as a way to circumvent the left-leaning educational universe and bring conservative ideas to the public in general but especially to young people. This week, PragerU released a deeply disappointing video featuring Guy Benson, political editor for Townhall Magazine and frequent contributor on Fox News Channel.

“Guy Benson is immensely gifted. He is a bright, thoughtful, articulate young man with a quick mind and a gracious, winsome manner. He is also telegenic, which makes him a perfect spokesperson in a culture mediated by visual media. But those very gifts and his appeal to young people will enable him to have a corrosive affect on some conservative values.

“Book-ending his five-minute PragerU video, Benson says, ‘I’m a Christian; a patriotic American, and a free market, shrink-the-government conservative who also happens to be gay.’

“The phrase ‘happens to be gay’ is an attempt to diminish the significance of his choice to affirm homosexuality as central to his identity. Please note, I did not say Benson chooses to experience same-sex attraction. Rather, he has freely chosen to place his unchosen homoerotic feelings at the center of his identity, and that is not something that just ‘happens.’  Nor is it something trivial.

“Benson goes on to say that ‘Far too often people are sorted by their gender, or their skin color, or their sexual orientation, or any other immutable characteristic that has nothing to do with ideas or values.

 

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:  After picking one’s self up off the floor at the startling realization that THE Dennis Prager had actually allowed this young man to (insupportably) claim on one of Prager U’s videos that homosexuality was an immutable characteristic, “standerinfamilycourt” participated in a dialogue on Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon’s page, where it was brought to light by one of the commenters that Mr. Prager, himself a conservative, unregenerated Jew, has a lesbian niece.    We find many who have close relatives who are homosexuals seem have considerable trouble not departing from biblical, and sometimes common-sense, views on the topic.

(Note:  according to Wikipedia, Dennis Prager is a serial polygamist with 3 wives, to-date.    Hence, his life shows that the only part of God’s Matt. 19:4-6 definition of marriage he endorses would be the complementarian element, if that.)  

Mrs. Higgins continues….

“This short sentence [bolded above] contains a number of troubling propositions.

“Like ‘progressives,’ Benson suggests that ‘gender’—and by ‘gender,’
I assume he means biological sex—and skin color are analogous to ‘sexual orientation.’  First, ‘sexual orientation’ is a Leftist rhetorical construction intended to communicate the false idea that heterosexuality and homosexuality are flipsides of the sexuality coin and morally equivalent.   In contrast, others argue that homosexuality represents a disordering of the sexual impulse.

“Second, homosexuality per se has no points of correspondence to sex or skin color. Biological sex and skin color are genetically determined and carry no behavioral implications, thereby rendering moral disapproval of them irrational.

“In contrast, homosexuality is constituted by subjective feelings, whose cause or causes are unknown, and volitional activity for which moral assessment is both rational and legitimate—no matter what the cause or causes for the feelings.

“Third, what does Benson mean when he refers to homosexuality as an “immutable characteristic”? Is he referring to the powerful, persistent, and seemingly intractable nature of his desires? If so, in his view is it morally acceptable to act on all powerful, persistent, seemingly intractable feelings? If he doesn’t believe the powerful, persistent nature of feelings confers automatic moral legitimacy on actions impelled by such feelings, how does he determine which ought not be acted on?

“And how does he respond to the brilliant Rosaria Butterfield, a former feminist English professor and lesbian who has written eloquently about her spiritual conversion and rejection of a lesbian identity?”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Amen, Laurie Higgins!   Homosexuality is a chosen behavior, every bit as much as heterosexuals choosing to ignore the crystal-clear word of God against coveting and retaining the God-joined, man-separated spouse of another living person is a chosen behavior.    But it’s true that if you dare speak out about either immorality, the latter being by far more pervasive,  you have, in effect, been deemed to have “attacked” that person.   Both can be, and in fact, must be forsaken to gain or recover any inheritance in the kingdom of God.    Forty years ago, the claim started to be that marriages Jesus repeatedly called adulterous { Matt. 5:32b; 19:9b; Luke 16:18b ] were morally equivalent to the holy matrimony of our youth, if the proper paperwork was obtained from the civil state.
(Both Laurie Higgins and Rosaria Butterfield are in God-joined, original covenant marriages, but we daresay many friends, relatives and donors are not in original covenant marriages.   It’s really no different than with Prager’s lesbian niece when it comes to adopting a mindset that is contrary to plain scripture instruction.)

Continuing….

“Fourth and most intellectually dishonest, Benson makes the remarkable claim that the affirmation of a homosexual identity ‘ has nothing to do with ideas or values.’   Does Benson really believe that his (or anyone else’s) homosexual attraction has anything to do with his ideas about and support for the legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriages?

“And does he really believe that his homosexual attraction has nothing to do with his hermeneutics (i.e., methods of biblical interpretation)?  Benson claims he is a Christian and that his Christian identity sits at the tiptop of his list of personal identifiers.   For him to identify as a homosexuality-affirming Christian, Benson must have first embraced a very late 20th Century revisionist hermeneutic that rejects the plain reading of Scripture and 2,000 years of church history, and which emerged not from newly discovered documents but from the mid-20th Century sexual revolution.”

As usual, Laurie Higgins has the cultural idiocy nailed, when it comes to homosexual immorality and its effect on our culture.    That said, she is characteristically myopic when, in her ten years as the Cultural Writer for a major state’s very effective Christian family policy organization, she still fails to note where all of this is actually coming from.     In this  last paragraph above, she has surely crossed over into the myopic plane of vision.     Faulty hermeneutics and the Sexual Revolution had everything in the world to do with why 40% to 60% of our fellow pew-sitters (heterosexuals) are adulterously “married” to another living person’s God-joined spouse.   Mr. Benson could very well be a child of that national abomination.    From here, Laurie Higgins also joins the January 22 conversation that occurred on Dr. Gagnon’s Facebook wall:

“Arguably the preeminent theologian writing on the Bible and homosexuality, Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon, writes this in response to Benson’s PragerU video:

“Marriage is the single most significant structure in society. Radically redefining it at its very foundation so as to make gender differentiation irrelevant is a decisively non-conservative political stance, not to mention an unfaithful anti-Christian position that tacitly rejects the God of Abraham and Moses as well as the lordship of Jesus Christ. There can be no negotiation on this point without upending the rug on which the conservative table is set. It takes more courage to hold the line here than on any other position. Conservatives should be known for courage, not cowardice; clarity, not confusion….”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Everything stated above by Dr. G about homosexual practice can equally be said of the practice of “marrying” a divorced person.   For that matter, all that Laurie Higgins states immediately above (our bolding) can be said for the behavior of the evangelical community in embracing remarriage adultery over the past 50 years.    The professor recognizes the widespread adoption of consecutive polygamy inside and outside the church, and has debated the likes of Dr. David Instone-Brewer on the topic.     He is not a myopic man, but a clear-sighted one who struggles for a way to avert the mass-exit repentance of people from admittedly-adulterous unions.     In this, he rationalizes that only the prohibition of homosexuality (but not marital indissolubility) is “foundational” to God’s design for sexual ethics.   He further argues that there is adultery, and there is a “lesser class” of adultery for remarriage while estranged from a God-joined spouse.    He is unable to support this with scripture, and sometimes says he “could be wrong.”      We would say to our friend, Dr. Gagnon that it takes twenty times the courage to hold the line on the indissolubility of holy matrimony than it does to hold the line on the immorality of homosexuality.     We would agree with him that disciples of Jesus Christ should be known more for courage than cowardice, and known more for clarity than confusion.    Were it only so!

Laurie Higgins concludes:

“The talented Guy Benson and others like him pose a threat to conservatism and Christianity. Widespread cultural approval of the homosexuality-affirming ideology threatens the foundation of any society. And if the church affirms heresy, we put at risk the eternal lives of people like Guy Benson.

“Since Dennis Prager is committed to the free exchange of ideas, perhaps he’ll invite someone to appear on another video to debate the ideas expressed by Guy Benson, whose embrace of a “gay”  identity suggests that homosexuality—not Christianity—sits at the tiptop of his identity list.”

…. To which we respond that Guy Benson is not a disease but merely a symptom of a much more widespread disease that has already undermined both conservatism and Christianity, and formed an ideology of its own some 500 years ago, adopted in this country about 50 years ago.     Indeed, the fact that economic conservatism has proven increasingly elusive in the U.S. over these past 50 years can be accounted for by the studies on the high transferred social costs of institutionalized adultery, amounting to at least $112 billion dollars a year when last measured in 2008.     There is no such thing as economic or fiscal conservatism without social and moral conservatism, and President Trump’s recent tax cuts are more likely to swell the deficit than “lift all boats”, if history is any indication.     One cannot “shrink the government” while indulging a morality,  heterosexual or homosexual, that is offensive to God and toxic to families, as the bible defines families.

How well we already know what happens when the church affirms heresy — we have put at risk the eternals lives of millions, not just people like Guy Benson.    We submit that heterosexual autonomy – not Christianity – sits at the tiptop of most evangelicals’ identity lists, and that’s why we have the droning thunder of pastoral knees knocking these past few decades, as false converts call the shots at their churches.

“Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation  giving no cause for offense [against God] in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited,  but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,  in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger,  in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,  in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left…”    –  2 Corinthians 6:3-7

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

Put Your Wedding Ring Back On and Get a Job, Greg Locke!

GLocke_PutUrWeddingRingBackOn
by Standerinfamilycourt

 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.   He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),  and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.   And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.   –  1 Timothy 3:2-7

J D Hall of Pulpit and Pen broke a tragic revelation* last week, which the rest of the media quickly grabbed up in their own headlines.   Satan had brought down yet another high-profile evangelical pastor, using  head-slander against his own one-flesh wife and the allure of another man’s wife.     Satan had successfully attacked not just one, but two covenant families– and a church congregation in the process.
(*Small silver lining:   J D Hall “gets it” when it comes to the perverse relationship between “family courts” and the evangelical churches, and doesn’t mind using his microphone to enlighten his evangelical listeners.   Don’t miss the excellent listening between 8:38 and 10:08 minutes into the linked Pulpit & Pen podcast, January 12, 2018 about the dissipated moral authority of the church which prefaces the description of Hall’s phone conversations with Locke.)

The social media report last week was, that outspoken (some would say, angry-spirited)  neo-conservative Pastor Greg Locke had accused his wife of 20 years of being mentally-ill,  had filed for divorce and had sent her away on a bus without their two natural and two adopted children, who will be in the joint custody of himself and his mother.     Further, he had recently installed his wife Melissa’s “best friend” as an administrative assistant at  Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee (suburb of populous and affluent Nashville) which Locke founded in 2006, and Locke was allegedly dating this woman who had also filed a recent divorce petition against her own husband.

(from the church website staff page, 1/17/2018)
GLockeOW 1.17.18

If this scenario is beginning to sound like deja vu to the readers, there’s good reason it does.   The Locke cult-following (some even within the circle of covenant marriage standers) were indignant, unable to believe it could possibly be true, and were chiding the re-posted reports as “shameful gossip”.    Meanwhile, many standers who have been down this infidelity road with their own spouse were finding it hard to overlook all of the telltale signs in this sorry story, and the familiar narcissism in Locke’s video statement from January 11, (which Locke has apparently had the common sense to take down in the days since he posted it).    Evidently, the podcast link in the first paragraph above is the only place to get back to at least the Pen & Pulpit  audio of the video that was taken down this week from Locke’s public figure facebook page, the relevant portion starting at approx. 17:30 minutes.

Locke, of course, fancied that “damage-control” was possible (and probably necessary) with his 1 million+ facebook following,  so he posted this  now-removed video to his  wall late last Thursday, implying that his wife (not he) had filed the divorce, while giving various conflicting time frames for her departure.    He blamed his “haters” and in a tearful plea, insisted “I’m not an adulterer.”   Not even in his heart, apparently.   He said his church was “fully aware” of his relationship with the other woman (we suppose so, since they had “agreed” to put her on staff), and said the church was “walking beside him” in his “brokenness” (as opposed to taking the biblical step of asking Locke to step away from ministry for the season needed to attend to his family).     According to the podcast audio recounting Hall’s very  recent phone interview with Locke,  Pulpit & Pen challenged Locke’s  statement that the divorce was final, as Locke strongly implied in the video.    It is very disturbing indeed that Locke tearfully concluded the now-removed video as follows (approximately 26:30):

“I told them [his GVBC congregation], ‘I’ve gotta move forward with MY kids, and with MY life’….and people are, like, are you going to reconcile, are you going to work on it?   Do you understand if you’ve ever been divorced, that divorce is the finality of what you’ve been working on.  It’s not the beginning  and the cause of it.”   – Locke, January 11, 2018

He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.   – Matthew 19:8

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
– 1 Cor. 7:39

Approximately 23:25 into the Pulpit & Pen podcast, there is discussion of the counsel Greg Locke said (to J D Hall and Locke’s facebook audience) that he had sought from Charles Stanley’s ministry in Atlanta, GA.    Stanley’s wife Anna (deceased since 2014) obtained a civil divorce from Charles in 2000 after 42 years of marriage, and about seven years of legal separation.    Unlike Greg Locke, Stanley is accountable to a church board, and Stanley’s church board voted that he not step down so long as Stanley remain unmarried (per the biblical instruction in 1 Cor. 7:11).   To-date, there has been no evidence at all that Stanley has not done so.   Presumably, he has also honored the Lord by remaining celibate.

In other words, unlike Greg Locke, Charles Stanley is a covenant marriage “stander”, and unlike Greg Locke, Charles Stanley is now eligible to remarry if the Lord should so lead. “Standerinfamilycourt” takes exception, in this age of unilateral divorce, to the notion that a celibate, standing pastor whose children are grown and gone, raised orderly, should step down.    (SIFC has full respect for those who reasonably disagree on the basis that such a pastor failed to properly care for his wife according to Ephesian 5.)   In our humble opinion, at any rate, the board of First Baptist Church in Atlanta seems to have handled Mrs. Stanley’s prodigal departure in a way the Apostle Paul would have approved.

By contrast,  Locke’s Global Vision Bible Church is independent, and similar to the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) denominational background Locke first pastored in before founding his present church, there appears to be no church board to be accountable to, according to our search of the church’s website.     Any comparison Locke makes of himself with Charles Stanley is totally spurious, therefore.   According to accounts that various church members gave to J D Hall,  Locke issued an ultimatum one autumn 2017 Sunday to his congregation (last 15 minutes of the link) after Melissa’s departure, and he has no intention of stepping back or stepping down, despite the fact that his young family is not well-governed as the qualification scripture for pastors (1 Timothy 3:2-7) requires.   If he “marries”  the adulteress Tai McGee to keep his position, he will no longer be “the husband of one wife”.      All of the above is the classic scenario of how so many legalized adulterers come to replace chaste, biblically-qualified pastors behind our evangelical pulpits in the harlot church.     Is there any wonder why God’s judgment is falling so heavily on His church?

Another pastor,  Stephen Anderson, of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ  (another Independent Fundamental Baptist church, denominational membership, about 8 million)  is a marriage permanence pastor who has done videos criticizing fallen, high-profile pastors who refuse to repent from their adultery and also refuse to step down from ministry,  most notably Kent Hovind, whose adulterous remarriage in early 2016 to divorcee Mary Trocco is already in divorce proceedings (mercifully).  In this video, Anderson echoes what Hall said about pastor qualifications, and the need for Locke to step down.

SAnderson_reLocke

Anderson had been critical of Locke in an early 2016 video for a reason we don’t concur with,  namely Locke’s backing away from the extreme Calvinist doctrine, “once saved, always saved” in Global Vision’s doctrine statement.   Our position on the nature of justification and sanctification can be read here, and also here.    Anderson goes so far as to question whether Locke has had a genuine born-again experience, due to this theology difference and Locke’s public persona,  which we probably should not be judging until Mr. Locke has had an opportunity to “finish the race”, though we know the evangelical church in general is full of false converts.   The theological criticism and Anderson’s questioning  of the social media / political route Locke took to gather his following all arose before there were indications of marriage problems between the Lockes.     Although we disagree with that aspect of Anderson’s criticism,  his biblical observations about putting away Melissa, taking up with another man’s wife, and the condition of Locke’s family calling for him to step away from ministry at this time are all spot-on, echoing J D Hall.

In looking at accounts of Locke’s upbringingdivorce and adulterous remarriage is an unresolved generational issue in his family, and the trademark angry spirit with which Locke tears into liberals and the gay community, he apparently came by as a result of the divorce and remarriage-related family strife in his young years.   Locke’s mother “divorced” his father after her true husband was sent to prison, and “married” another man when Locke was only five years old.   Understandably, this usurper and his “step-son” did not get along. Before his conversion experience outside the family, Locke had various brushes with the law.   But nobody ever went back and taught Locke that his mother’s soul was endangered because she was living in ongoing adultery, or that this “stepfather” was an immoral fixture in his childhood home.   Perhaps if this had occurred, it would have helped dissipate some of the anger and self-focus that it’s clear he carried over into his “ministry”.   The wicked example of unrebuked remarriage adultery is almost always self-perpetuating in the next generation.    Whatever “standing” Locke felt like he had done for his own allegedly difficult marriage,

“divorce is the finality of what you’ve been working on.  It’s not the beginning  and the cause of it.”

…before looking around to replace his wife and “move forward” with “HIS” kids and “HIS” life, is likely to have been done out of a legalistic spirit, if the holy concepts of supernatural inseverable one-flesh (sarx mia) and unconditional covenant have never been biblically explained to him.    This kind of an upbringing which normalizes Christ-defined immorality even in church also tends to lead to narcissism, feeling “owed” by God,  out of the sharp sense of deprivation that years spent in an immoral home can foster in the heart of a kid who wasn’t properly discipled after coming to faith.   Somebody in that family needs to draw the kingdom line with the devil!

A visit to the website of Global Vision Bible Church describe an element of the church’s “DNA” as “Loud where God is loud and silent where God is silent.”   What an ironic statement for the (reputed) LGBT(xyz) community’s “worst nightmare”!   Jesus didn’t feel the need to say much of anything for that which was no threat to the Jews or Gentiles of the 1st century, but repeatedly forbid and warned against precisely what Locke is in the process of doing now, and for which he is apparently receiving no discipline, or even rebuke, at all from the other leadership of that church.

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.   You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.   In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,  I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, SO THAT HIS SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?  Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.  Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;   I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.   But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—NOT TO EVEN EAT WITH SUCH A ONE.   For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church?  But those who are outside, God judges.  Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
– 1 Corinthians 5

Who remembers the Ashley Madison scandal from 2015 that rocked more than 400 U.S. evangelical pastors exposed in that scandal– for who they are, when they think no one is watching?  From the mouth of one who’s so “important” that he doesn’t feel it matters who is watching:

GLockeAMadison video

SIFC (1/30/2018) –  Sorry folks, it seems Locke has taken this video down as well since publication of this blog post.   It was priceless, as one can just imagine.

Even if Locke is not yet sleeping with this woman until he can obtain the sham civil and church paperwork (doubtful, since his judgment is already so clouded), are there any obvious and recorded signs of this man being a reviler?  Or covetous?    As King David was sent a prophet named Nathan a year or more after his illicit wedding to Bathsheba, to tell him “you are the man!” he was not allowed by God to use his empire and an unlawful “marriage” to cover up his sin, neither will Greg Locke.

Since Locke independently established his non-denominational church, it is likely he personally wrote the Statement of Beliefs for that church, with only limited input or external ratification.   These are brief, and they read as follows:

“WHAT WE BELIEVE (GLOBAL VISION BIBLE CHURCH):

  1. We believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God. It is without error from beginning to end. The Bible is our sole Authority for faith and practice. (2 Tim 3:13-17)
  2. We believe that salvation is provided by Jesus Christ and Him alone. It is through his death, burial and resurrection that men are saved from sin. It is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. Works and religion cannot save in anyway. The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation. Furthermore, we believe that Christ died for all men and upon the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the REPENTANCE OF THE HEART and the confession of the mouth men are Born-Again of God’s Spirit. (Rom 1:16, 1 Cor 15:1-4, Eph 2:8-9)
  3. We believe in the eternal salvation of all believers. Once a person trusts in Christ, they are forever kept by the power of God and CAN NEVER BE LOST.   Salvation is truly everlasting life. However, those who have trusted Christ are His and will obey Him and His Word. We do not believe a person can live any way they so desire and be saved. The Bible DOGMATICALLY DECLARES that a person will be a new creature in Christ. (2 Cor 5:17, Jn 10:27-30)
  4. We believe in the Bible doctrine of the Trinity. We believe in one God, co-existing in three persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is the father who planned our salvation, his Son Jesus who provided our forgiveness and the Spirit of God who SEALS OUR STATE before God. Furthermore, at the moment of SALVATION we receive all of God’s Spirit. We do not get more of God, rather we must surrender more of ourselves to him on a daily basis. (1 Jn 5:7)
  5. We believe that the local New Testament Church is God’s ordained institution. It is through individual bodies of believers that the Great Commission is carried on throughout the world. (Acts 2:41-47, Matt 28:18-20)”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Standerinfamilycourt” has highlighted some phrases in three of these GVBC tenets that could be contributing to Greg Locke’s spiritual confusion, and therefore, could be specifically leading him down the wrong path.   The joke, in places like Tennessee, is that if you’re an evangelical, you’re going to be a Baptist (therefore, a Calvinist) — it’s just a matter of which of the 57 varieties of Baptist (Southern, Freewill, Regular, Fundamental, etc., etc.) one chooses.  Hence, we have an Independent Fundamental Baptist taking to YouTube to rebuke an nondemoninational independent Baptist over the degree of toxic Calvinism practiced (i.e. who has the worst “salvation by works” doctrine in the other’s eyes).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (1) “Repentance of the heart” is not repentance at all unless the feet are doing a physical U-turn at the same time.    People in this mindset confuse “salvation” with either sanctification or justification, and dismissively label obedience to Christ’s commandments “salvation by works” or “legalism”.     New Testament scripture makes it clear that we can fall away, even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, if we persistently and habitually choose not to obey the commandments of Christ.    We are warned in the book of Hebrews that this process hardens a believer’s heart, and that there is a point of no-return once the Holy Spirit becomes so grieved and quenched that He cannot do His convicting work in us any longer.    Toxic Calvinists will claim that this constitutes, “not being born again to begin with” (as Anderson does toward Locke).    Anderson may legitimately do so only if he can conclusively demonstrate that the wandering soul in question was never indwelt with the Holy Spirit.    This is a tall order for we humans who lack omniscience.    If we know a person well and we are Spirit-filled, we only know the point at which the Holy Spirit did indwell someone else, from the degree of transformation in their life and consistent heart attitudes thereafter for a long season.    We have no way of knowing  conclusively that He did not indwell someone specific at some point, unless perhaps it’s one of our functional gifts.   Unfortunately, the first person someone with the spirit of adultery (a self-worshipper) lies to is himself or herself, and equally unfortunately, “repentance in the heart” can be premediated in Calvinist environments because of the “once-saved, always saved” (OSAS) heresy.   This is mocking God, which Paul repeatedly warns cannot be done without eternal consequences if not genuinely (and physically) repented.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (2) “Dogmatically declares”  (that a person will be a new creation in Christ) pretends that our free will “goes away” and will no longer be exercised.    God has endless ways to persuade us from our free will before it destroys our eternity, but unfortunately, He doesn’t ever override it.   We indeed are a new creation in Christ from the moment we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, but it’s an error to claim we will never backslide.    We should know this instinctively from the experience of the believers who surround us.     The fact that we are no longer able to be controlled by sin does not mean for a moment that we are prevented from willfully resubmitting ourselves to that control at a later point.    Someone deceived with a spirit of adultery who genuinely believes he and his intended adultery partner are born again very commonly reasons that,“since I am doing this, and God is ‘blessing’ it, it must be His will, otherwise the Holy Spirit (Who is, in reality, both grieved and quenched) would not allow it.   I must have not been doing God’s will in my marriage, since that wasn’t so blessed.”One  can just imagine how tempting this reasoning is if Greg’s characterization of Melissa being mentally ill is true.   If there’s a way to lay down one’s cross that men will allow other men to get away with, it becomes very hard to resist.   The IBF denomination Locke formerly belonged to teaches strongly against divorce and remarriage, but does so legalistically, with the Calvinistic spectre of “not being born again to begin with” hanging over a prodigal’s head.     Contrast this legalistic obedience with what the Church Father, Origen said:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               “If we love this neighbor, we are fulfilling the entire law and all the commandments by his love.
    “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe.
    ” It is absolutely impossible for one who loves Christ with his whole heart and with all his inner being to do anything displeasing to Christ.
    “For the one who loves him not only does not commit murder, which is prohibited by the law, but he does not become angry with his brother because he whom he loves takes delight in this.
    “And not only does he not commit adultery, but he does not look at a woman in order to desire her. But instead he says to him, “My soul desires and faints for the living God.
    ”When would one who loves Christ, who has even abandoned everything he owns to follow Christ, think about stealing [someone else’s one-flesh]?
    On what occasion does the one who loves Christ bear false testimony, when he knows that the one he loves was betrayed by false testimony? 
    “He who loves Christ inevitably loves his neighbor [including his one-flesh] as well. For a disciple is marked as belonging to Christ by this proof alone, if he loves his neighbors. For it is certain that he who does not love his neighbor does not know Christ.
    –Origen, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.
    640px-Origen
    Someone who believes that “salvation” cannot be lost, regardless of whether they make choices that evade their ongoing sanctification (obtaining the wedding garments and the oiled lamp needed for admission to the future marriage supper),  can easily rationalize that  God will “grade them on a curve”, come Judgment Day, and in fact, they will only have their “rewards” reduced (1 Cor 3:11-15).    Hence, for the same reason, they don’t feel it’s necessary to exclude legalized adulterers from their pews and church coffers, they feel “their right to be happy” in this life is worth the gamble they’ve taken with the Most High.                                                                                                                                                                                                  (3)  The Spirit of God “Seals our state” and Holy Spirit indwells upon “salvation“.      Examined closely, these two statements are mutually exclusive due to timing factors.   The Holy Spirit indwells, as a deposit (not a guarantee, as one unfortunate translation renders it)  upon our justification.    Our salvation is not complete and conferred until we arrive and are admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb.    See How Good is the Pledge of Being Sealed?  for the detailed hermeneutic support for this doctrine correction.     The effect of this error on a Greg Locke-style prodigal is a combination of the two deceits discussed in (1) and (2).    The reference in (2) that “We do not believe a person can live any way they so desire and be saved” (limited to drinking, smoking, dipping, chewing, dancing, fist-fighting, sodomizing, tongues-speaking, cussing, sleeping with someone else’s wife without the proper paperwork) most likely refers to someone who “was never saved to begin with”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Greg Locke has a searchable sermon file, as many Baptist pastors do, 
    on SermonAudio.    Using the search terms, “marriage” “divorce”,  or “remarriage”,  SIFC was unable to bring up any sermons at all on those topics, despite GVBC having been in existence for ten years.    This could be because M D R (marriage, divorce and remarriage)  is a deliberately silent topic in his church, which is not at all unusual.   Nor is that necessarily a bad thing if the pastor does not believe in the no-excuses indissolubility of God-joined holy matrimony.    Greg Locke is no Stephen Anderson.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Before wrapping up, a quick look at Tennessee divorce law indicates that, based on the longest of the many conflicting time frames Locke mentioned in the now-deleted facebook video,  the very  soonest this “dissolution” can be final is July, 2018, based on a combination of no-fault and 1 year desertion grounds, unless there is a mutual petition, in which case, the parents must still attend a parenting class before anything can be finalized, since there are minors in the home.  Other grounds require a trial and evidence, if contested, and that can take considerable time to get docketed.   Divorce petitions are public records, so the filing date is searchable in their county, and the petitioner can be known.   Locke insisted in the video that he didn’t file, and perhaps that’s true, but it’s also a matter of public record.   Melissa could have filed on either no-fault or adultery or banning from the home grounds, if it’s true that Greg didn’t file.   He stated that Melissa was sent, and is living out of state, so any divorce proceeding will entail delays and continuances, especially where children are involved.   The timing, therefore could not have been sufficient for a finalized decree, as Locke implied to the contrary, and Hall astutely disputed last week.    We all know that there are no “ex” wives in the kingdom of  God, only ex-adultery partners, so Locke was lying to himself and to God by deliberately calling Melissa his “ex” wife.   There is still time for the compassionate to pray for this family.

(Tennessee Code – Volume 6A, Title 36, Sections 36-4-101 and 36-4-103)

No-Fault:
(1) irreconcilable differences if: [a] there has been no denial of this ground; [b] the spouses submit a properly signed marital dissolution agreement (see below under Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures); or [c] this grounds for divorce is combined with a general fault-based grounds or (2) living separate and apart without cohabitation for 2 years when there are no minor children.                                                                                                                                                                                           Fault:
(1) impotence;                                                                                                                   (2) adultery;                                                                                                                        (3) conviction of a felony and imprisonment;                                                  (4) alcoholism and/or drug addiction;                                                                  (5) wife is pregnant by another at the time of marriage without husband’s knowledge;                                                                                                              (6) willful desertion for 1 year;                                                                                 (7) bigamy;                                                                                                                               (8) endangering the life of the spouse;                                                                (9) conviction of an infamous crime;                                                                  (10) refusing to move to Tennessee with a spouse and willfully absenting oneself from a new residence for 2 years;                                              (11) cruel and inhuman treatment or unsafe and improper marital conduct;                                                                                                                              (12) indignities that make the spouse’s life intolerable; and               (13) abandonment, neglect, or banning the spouse from the home.
If the court feels as though there is a possible chance of reconciliation, it will postpone any trial or hearing date and request the parties to attend mediation or counseling. In cases involving minor children, the court requires the parents to attend a parenting education class prior to the divorce being finalized.

Pastor Locke, you have the Other Woman’s children and four of your own, plus your entire congregation watching you turn your back on the Lord’s commandment.    The word of God says that we are a “kingdom of priests”, and God does not continue in fellowship with treacherous and violent priests.

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.  Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.
– Malachi 2:13-15

UPDATE 1/21/2018:  Pulpit & Pen continues to be contacted by members of Locke’s church and by family members of the parties involved,  so they have continued to report on the situation.    They pulled the public record of the divorce filing, dated November 13, 2017,  Melissa as Plaintiff.    They also reportedly  located Melissa living in a women’s protective shelter.    The earliest an uncontested divorce can be final in the eyes of the State of Tennessee based on the filing date is mid-February, so Locke was clearly being untruthful in his January 11 video where he claimed to the public to be already “divorced”.      In the eyes of God, Greg and Melissa Locke,  and this Tai McGee and her rightful husband, will be married until one of each couple passes out of this life, and hence, it would have been so much better for everyone concerned if Melissa had taken her complaint to Criminal Court, instead of “family court”.    

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

The Gospel According to David Servant (versus We of the “Divine Divorce Doctrine”) – Part 3B

FakeJesusby Standerinfamilycourt

I’m Living in an Ongoing State of Legalized Adultery with Somebody Else’s Spouse.   Can I Get Away With It?
We have been responding to the 3-part blog series by David Servant called, “I’m Divorced and Remarried.   Am I Living in Adultery?”    This appears to be the final installment.

The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.   – Proverbs 18:17

We responded to  Points 1 through 6 of remarriage apologist David Servant’s very comprehensive scripture-denial-and-obfuscation campaign in Part 3A, our earlier blog post, and with his Parts 1 and 2, in our corresponding Part 1 and Part 2.    We noted that Points 1 through 5  in his Part 3 were items of repackaged redundancy that did not raise any substantive new arguments that we had not previously discredited in our two earlier responses.     However, Points 6, 7 and 8 do raise some new arguments that we will focus on in this post.

#6 of 8 –  David Servant’s Rebuke of The Prophet Ezra for “Breaking Up Families”

In the Old Testament book of Ezra, there is a story in chapters 9 and 10 about 113 Jewish men who had married foreign wives, a transgression of the Mosaic Law. Under either conviction or ecclesiastical pressure, those men divorced their foreign wives. This shows that the proper response to a marriage that is displeasing to God is to divorce. Thus, all those who are divorced and remarried should also divorce, as their adulterous marriages are displeasing to God.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Ah yes, the wizard of manipulative semantics is back at it again….“either under conviction or ‘ecclesiastical pressure’ “……”the proper response to a ‘marriage’ that is ‘displeasing’ to God is to ‘divorce’ “.   (At least he got the last part right.)     We have been pointing out throughout our response to David Servant’s misguid(ing) blog series why God does not participate in all (civilly-legal) “marriages”,  nor does He consider them morally-interchangeable, nor does He operate on the ridiculous idea that current possession is nine-tenths of the law.   If the 7th and 8th commandments aren’t evidence enough of this, then there probably is no persuading David Servant, sad to say.     God defines the marriages He participates in through the mouth of Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6,  and vividly describes His supernatural role at each wedding for a biblically-lawful marriage:

 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his FATHER and MOTHER and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer [by the verb tense, “never again” ] two, but one flesh.  What therefore GOD has JOINED TOGETHER, let NO  [HUMAN] separate.”

By this passage, we explicitly know that two types of civilly-legal “marriages” in our western culture are non-marriages (and not merely that they are “displeasing”) in God’s eyes:

(1)  Where a living spouse has been left, instead of one’s father and mother

(2) Where the genders are the same

By this passage, we explicitly know why these are non-marriages, either ongoing (1) adultery, or (2) sodomy:

(1)  God has declined to do the joining, AND
(2)  The parties remain two throughout their sodomous or adulterous papered-over union, sometimes “one-body”, but never one-flesh,  AND
(3)  The prior one-flesh entity remains intact regardless, AND
(4)  Man has no power or authority to sever the prior, biblically-lawful union, because Jesus tells us God never delegated this to men, reserving that power only to Himself.

In part 3A, we explained at length that the God-yoking Jesus described was called sunexuezen in the Greek.   This is a supernatural instantaneous event that creates an inseverable one-flesh entity for as long as both spouses remain alive.    That is, man can neither create nor sever it, even if physical separation takes place under man’s law, or lawless abandonment occurs.    Jesus goes on to say in verse 8 that God never delegated that power or authority to any man (including Moses), and it is consequentially illegitimate for any civil government to usurp such authority from God.     Where there is no sunexuezen, there is no holy matrimony, and the relationship is consequentially an illicit cohabiting conjugal relationship.    It is, as Jesus repeatedly stated, ongoing immorality, be it homosexual or heterosexual.   In the case of the 113 immoral households purged under Ezra’s prophetic leadership, the adultery of taking a foreign wife was first against God who forbid it and did not create sunexuezen between the “spouses”.   In some cases there was an additional layer of adultery — against the God-joined Jewish wife of the husband’s youth who was still living.  To call these immoral households “families” is a slap in God’s face.

Vocabulary of Holy Matrimony

Bringing this concept back to the contemporary unlawful marriages,  it is far more material in the eyes of God that the sinful relations immediately cease, physical separation takes place, that reconciliation occurs with the rightful covenant family members,  and somewhat less material that one’s legal life be cleaned up from a civil system (so-called “family courts”) to which God never delegated any authority in the first place to create or dissolve holy matrimony.  Hence, “divorce” isn’t really the central issue in authentic repentance which restores one’s forfeited inheritance in the kingdom of God, despite Servant’s sarcastic characterization.    The central issue is as follows:

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
– 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,  namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
– 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

 

This separation naturally entails providing morally and financially for any non-covenant children of the union, regardless of the legal status, and we can also see this element playing out in the Ezra account, chapter 10:

Now therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”  Then all the assembly replied with a loud voice, “That’s right! As you have said, so it is our duty to do.  But there are many people; it is the rainy season and we are not able to stand in the open. Nor can the task be done in one or two days, for we have transgressed greatly in this matter.   Let our leaders represent the whole assembly and let all those in our cities who have married foreign wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each city, until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us.”

The marriages with foreign wives were non-marriages for the same core metaphysical reason that legalized adultery and sodomy-as-“marriage” are non-marriages.    God did not participate to create an inseverable one-flesh entity (sarx mia), so there was no holy matrimony, only immoral cohabitation that had been legalized in the eyes of men only.   It should be noted from history (without opening a new, spurious “silence of scripture” claim, since history and rabbinical accounts both attest to this) that many of these foreign wives were concubines under an entrenched system of concurrent polygamy in Hebrew society under Mosaic law.    In those cases, the sarx mia /sunexuezen  union was only with the original lawful Jewish wife, and the carnal-only hen soma union was with all others, as is the case today with the biblically-lawful covenant wife, and however many rivals her one-flesh husband may attempt to legalize.   We also know from the book of Malachi that sequential polygamy was also present in Israel at the time, where God-joined wives were being “put away” to “marry” a foreign wife.

Was this purge done under conviction, or was it done under “ecclesiastical pressure” as Servant fancies ?     Verses 1 – 4 of the text make it pretty clear that the conviction was certainly there.    We don’t even see the prophet of God making a speech, but we see the conviction falling more or less spontaneously on the people as a result of Ezra’s concerted time of prayer and vicarious confession.    We see that they came of their own volition from a distance to where Ezra was (verse 10:1) when the conviction fell.   (We see David Servant writing a 3-part blog series to show them the error of following an obvious cult leader. )   We see no dissent until much later in the process of carrying the command of the Lord out, but only on the part of two men, which all by itself is utterly amazing, considering the nature of the command of the Lord.    This can hardly be described as “ecclesiastical pressure”,  nor can it be reasonably described as anything but a supernaturally-orchestrated event.    As with some of our western countries today, it was also an event on which the future rule of the nation depended, before God’s harsher judgment was to land there.    We have to look to historical accounts for what happened next, since the Holy Spirit provided no Ezra, chapter 11 to explicitly tell us.

Servant:
“While there is no doubt that 113 Jewish men transgressed the Mosaic Law by marrying foreign wives, there is no place in the book of Ezra where it is recorded that God instructed or expected them to divorce their foreign wives….Again, nothing in the book of Ezra indicates that God initiated or approved of the proposal.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Servant is perhaps emboldened to make this next ridiculous “argument from silence” because we aren’t told in the book of Ezra what happened afterward, but we are told in historical accounts that this purging was necessary before the Lord would clear the way for pure, clean hands to rebuild the temple.   We’re told earlier in scripture that God had reached a tipping point with the complicity of church leadership in institutionalizing their immorality with which they had not only become complicit, but the priesthood had themselves become partakers.   Some of that scriptural documentation comes in other books, such as Malachi and Nehemiah near the conclusion of the 70 years exile, and in the major prophets ahead of Nebuchadnezzar’s raid.  These two post-exile prophets were both contemporaries of Ezra the prophet, and twenty years later,  Malachi’s message remarkably echoed Ezra’s, as these Jews slid from their purged concurrent polygamy practices into the sequential polygamy that Jesus eventually confronted 400 years after the Lord sent Israel no more prophets until John the Baptist.

We should also pay attention to the fact that Ezra had the Lord’s anointing to lead the second group of released exiles back from Babylon to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the temple.
For Servant to suggest (without evidence) that Ezra cooked up some sort of “cult action” apart from the Lord’s instruction, then argue for that unsupported speculation out of alleged scripture silence, as if just anyone can be canonized in scripture as an authorized prophet of the Lord, seems just a bit over the top.   If anything, Malachi’s parallel message gives divine confirmation to Ezra’s authority and Spirit-led intercession, nay, his vicarious confession on behalf of the people he was leading spiritually.     As for “nothing” within Ezra indicating that God initiated or approved of the repentance from forbidden and immoral-but-legalized relationships, how’s “…let all those in our cities who have married foreign wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each city, until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us” ?   

At the point of participation in institutionalized immorality, His shepherds had traded away all of their moral authority required to carry out their ecclesiastical responsibilities prior to the exile.   At the earlier point where they had become merely complicit, they lost the supernatural involvement of God in carrying out their ecclesiastical responsibilities.    Precisely the same thing happens to denominations and individual churches whose doctrine is changed to accommodate institutionalized serial (or concurrent) polygamy: the Holy Spirit departs the sanctuary, and is quenched and grieved in the individuals occupying the defiled sanctuary.    The temple rebuilders of our day will be the literal husband of one wife, and not “one at a time”.

Servant:
Additionally, there is good reason to think that, even though the 113 Jewish men had transgressed the Mosaic Law by marrying foreign wives, God did not expect those men to then divorce them.

Why? Because God expected the people of Israel to keep their covenant vows, even when those vows went against His revealed will. A case in point is Israel’s covenant with the people of Gibeon, wicked Amorites whom God wanted Israel to annihilate during the conquest of Canaan led by Joshua….And so we have to wonder why God would not want 113 men in Israel who made vows to foreign women to keep their vows, even though it was not his will for them to make those vows in the first place.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  This vow business is an inference, but in this particular instance, not actually a valid one.   This is due to the intrinsic violation of the prior inseverable one-flesh entity created between the true spouses (in at least some of the concurrently polygamous cases involved in the Ezra purge) and due, in all cases, to the inviolable prior covenant of all believers to have no other gods before the Lord.

Rather strangely, in Servant’s estimation, the vows made before God with the spouse of our youth (by which He says in Malachi 2:13-14, He stands as a witness–to the point of withdrawing fellowship with the violator when they are repudiated)…are  only a “sexual contract” which Servant then claims is annullable  with a piece of man’s paper.  Yet the conflicting subsequent vow to forever repudiate the divinely-favored vow at the very cost of hell,  must be “kept to his own (eternal) hurt“.    It’s akin to the silly claim that only covenant eggs can be “unscrambled”, but not adulterous “eggs”.    The Divine joke is on Servant (and his fellow serial polygamy apologists) that the hand of the Lord who is the lover of our souls, Whose love is big enough to unscramble those rancid, adulterated non-covenant eggs does it all the time, and puts true one-flesh partners back together, after sometimes decades of man’s “divorce”, — often on both sides of the illicit union.     That’s because, not only was it not His will for them to make those second vows,  it was the destruction of their souls to make them.     “Do not be deceived, no adulterer has any inheritance in the kingdom of God.”     The Gibeonite analogy is false here, because there were no God-joined one-flesh relationships repudiated in that vow with the pagans.

Servant:
The servant of God, guided by his integrity, “swears to his own hurt and does not change” (Ps 15:4). And did not God hold those 113 men accountable for the suffering they caused the women whom they divorced, as well as their common children “to whom the kingdom belongs” (something which Jesus incidentally proclaimed within seconds of one His Four D&R Statements; see Matt. 19:14).

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   If the servant of God is indeed guided by his integrity, that integrity will lead him back to his one-flesh mate and their covenant generations.    Otherwise, he is not a servant of God at all, but only a dime-a-dozen hypocrite, a tare among the wheat.    If he “swore to his own hurt”, then why do not his original vows preclude and take precedence over any subsequent vows?

Did God hold those 113 men accountable for the suffering they caused the women whom they wrongfully “married” and the resulting children?    Perhaps, so, at least until they offered the required atonement sacrifice at the temple altar that afternoon.   Even so, God would have held those men far more accountable had they dug in their heels and refused to repent of those immoral relationships, continuing on in them.     He would have held them far more accountable for the whoredom and idolatry they were clinging to, which competed with their holiness and with their worship of the living God with their bodies.

Noncovenant children are not the only children involved in a good many of these pseudo-marriages.    Also watching the adulterous charade, and being forced sometimes to witness the blasphemous “wedding” ceremonies by a “pastor” they thought they could trust, are the covenant children and grandchildren of the true holy matrimony union(s).    It is only the latter about whom God directed these rebuking words through the mouth of the prophet Malachi:

Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife OF YOUR YOUTH, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she IS [not, “was”] 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? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife OF YOUR YOUTH.
–  Malachi 2:14-15

When mass-immorality is normalized both in civil law and in the church, and that immorality is a clear heaven-or-hell matter, it gives rise to an emulation risk in the next generations until society either repents en masse, or entirely collapses within three or four generations.   God is concerned with the evil ongoing practices of the larger society, not just the individual cases.    We need to beware, lest the rise of militant Islamism become our “Persia” and rabid homofascism become our “Assyria” in chastening for our sequential polygamy practices.

Servant referenced the milder of two passages carrying the same warning:

“But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
– Matthew 19:14

Another passage in Matthew which Servant is by inference alluding to goes like this:

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“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!”   –  Matthew 18:4-7

Servant’s hands are far from clean with regard to the duty he owes as a former pastor and as a current teacher, to both the covenant and the noncovenant children, yet he is pointing his accusing finger at the repenting prodigal parents seeking to obey the Lord.   Remember, it takes pure, clean hands to rebuild the temple.  He may stop his braying against “divorce” of adulterous unions the moment he ceases to perform or attend adulterous “weddings”, which directly drive the evangelical demand for more “divorce”.    If pastors obeyed the Lord and refused to solemnize these abominations in the holy fear of God, as they consistently did only 60 years ago, Servant would have very little to publicly squirm about, and his personal taxes would be a lot lower, as a bonus.     Financing the Sexual Revolution is very, very costly.

A child from an adulterous civil-only union is by far better off having a repenting parent sit down with them and show them in the word of God that what they (the parent) have done will cost souls in that family, and warn those children not to emulate what they’ve (unfortunately) witnessed, drawing the line that the sin needs to stop in the parents’ generation.     In many cases, the covenant spouse is rises to the occasion upon reconciliation to absorb the non-covenant child into the covenant household, and in other cases, the children watch the sole repented parent walk out the word of God celibately for the rest of their lives while praying for the soul of lost parent if the latter is in an adulterous subsequent union.    This is far better than pretending that societally-normalized sin isn’t sending millions to hell, contrary to the clear word of God that it is doing so.

Servant:
Beyond those things, the fundamental reason why God forbade the Israelite men from marrying foreign wives, namely, the great risk posed by those pagan women of turning the hearts of their Israelite husbands from devotion to the Lord, has absolutely no application to modern Christians married to Christians, even when one of them at one time was previously married and divorced.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Everyone should realize by now that Servant’s last assertion is outrageously untrue in the ending thought.   All  willful, unrepented sin turns and hardens a man’s heart from serving God.    Not all idolatry is directed toward a stick of wood.    Indeed, the apostle James calls the friends of the world system “adulterers and adulteresses” (figuratively and literally – verse 4:4 – Antioch manuscripts),  and says that this creates enmity with God.  Under the New Covenant, obedience is to flow from the heart, and not from external regulations.    The bulk of evangelicals today take this to mean that obedience need not flow at all.    What they don’t realize is that if obedience is not flowing, or there’s a cordoned-off area,  it means the heart is hardened because the inward “god” is one’s self.   This applies to Christians married to Christians, and it equally applies to Christians married to pagans, Jews, Muslims, etc.   But we must defined “married” the Matthew 19:4-6 way, with no politically-correct terms substituted to include non-marriages.    If someone remains in a non-marriage after having the false teaching they grew up with authoritatively corrected by the word of God, they have a hardened heart and are involved in idolatry no less than were the guilty under Ezra’s leadership.      There’s even more bad news about hardened hearts, according to the book of Hebrews:   they cause born-again people to fall away eventually.

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.   But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, 15 while it is said,

Today if you hear His voice,
Do not HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, as when they provoked Me.”
– Hebrews 3:12-14

Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter BECAUSE OF DISOBEDIENCE,  He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,

Today if you hear His voice,
Do not HARDEN YOUR HEARTS

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that NO ONE WILL FALL THROUGH FOLLOWING THE SAME EXAMPLE OF DISOBEDIENCE.   For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
– Hebrews 4: 6, 7, 11-13

 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.   See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled..
– Hebrews 12:14-15

Non-forgivers and those who insist on an imaginary “exception clause” to disobey the Lord and take their own ongoing revenge against the exclusive “bone-of-their-bones and flesh-of-their-flesh” (Genesis 2:23) are at the very highest risk of hell, because their illicit action is irrefutable evidence of a hard heart from the beginning,
a heart which has no intention of forgiving unless God changes that heart.   Jesus bluntly stated that all such people are headed for hell unless they repent.   Their own considerable sins will not be forgiven.

MarriageHeresy

Mr. Servant may claim that the purge of idolatrous, unlawful “marriages” described in the book of Ezra, “has absolutely no application to modern Christians ‘married’ to Christians, even when one of them at one time was previously married and divorced….”  when he can demonstrate that Jesus had multiple churches as His bride, and that God removed a slab of ribs from Adam’s side in case he’d need one or more reserve brides.     Both events, had they occurred, would have proven these husbands as idolatrous self-worshippers who had the Lord’s “approval” for that heart condition.

Servant:
Paul’s prohibition for Christians to divorce unbelieving spouses, we have to question how anyone could advocate that some Christians should divorce their Christian (or non-Christian) spouses because of a story of 113 Israelite men divorcing pagan spouses.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   This is false logic.   It does not follow that a  commandment not to do “x” invalidates a separate commandment not to live on in a state of “y” .    We also have to watch the definition here of “spouse”, since according to Jesus, the spouse is the one immorally-but-legally abandoned, and their counterfeit replacement is an ongoing adultery partner for as long as the spouse lives.    There is quite a difference, obviously, between civilly-legal and biblically lawful.

#7 of 8 – Servant’s Attempt to Recharacterize The Herod Incident

“John the Baptist reprimanded Herod Antipas for his marriage to his half-brother’s wife, Herodias, calling him to divorce her. This serves as an example for all the Christians who are in adulterous marriages, who also should divorce.

Answer: This claim is built on several assumptions, one of which is the assumption, again, that Christian couples in which one or both were previously married are considered by God to be in “adulterous marriages” or “still married to their original spouses in God’s eyes,” which I have already shown is not the case if we consider all of Scripture.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Servant has “shown” nothing of the kind.   Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said in Matthew 19:6 and 8, and in Matthew 5:32b, as well as Matthew 19:9b-KJV and finally, Luke 16:18b.   It’s that simple.

Servant:
But let’s consider the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias. First, it’s worth noting that Herodias was named after her grandfather, Herod the Great, who also happened to be Herod Antipas’ father. That not only explains why their names are so similar, but also tells us they were related. Herodias was Herod Antipas’ niece. Theirs was an incestuous marriage.

Both had previously been married, Herod Antipas to a woman named Phasaelis, daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea, and Herodias to Herod Antipas’ half-brother, Philip. But when Herod Antipas was once visiting Rome and staying with Philip, he and Herodias fell in love, or perhaps it might be better said that they fell in lust. They agreed to marry once Herod Antipas had divorced Phasaelis. When Phasaelis learned of their plans, she journeyed back home to her father, King Aretas IV, who subsequently declared war against Herod. Herod lost that war. But the main point is, in order to marry each other, Herodias divorced Philip and Herod Antipas divorced Phasaelis. It was a classic case of obvious adultery under the guise of marriage.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Indeed it was a classic case of adultery under the guise of “marriage”,  blood ties notwithstanding.     Servant is owed great credit here for finally venturing into the history books to pull out what scripture is silent about, for example, the facts about Herod’s one-flesh covenant wife whom he “divorced”  (or so he thought).   Contrast this attention to factual detail with Dr. John Piper’s lazy coyness in a blog he wrote last year with the same purpose in mind.  Piper was just full of speculations, including questioning whether Herod had actually “married” Herodias, or maybe JTB was merely rebuking him for messing around with her.    Servant does a good job here  — until he gets lazy, too…

Servant:
And did John actually call on Herod and Herodias to divorce as a remedy for their sin? If he did, Scripture doesn’t say, and so we should not make that assumption. We could just as rightly claim that John was calling for Herod and Herodias to be stoned, as that is what the Law of Moses prescribed for adulterers, and clearly, that is what they were guilty of.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Pray tell, how was a jailed prophet ever going to hope to get a king stoned for adultery?    History tells us the Romans had banned stoning since about 6 B.C.   That’s why “divorce” was such a big, hairy deal to the Pharisees in the first place.    John was willing to put his life on the line precisely because he knew that neither Herod nor Herodias were ready to meet their Maker in their current unregenerated state.   Why in the world would he be hoping for their stoning?    He had no reason to speak just to condemn them, despite what guilty parties always seem to think.    He was seeking their repentance.   And, of course, when one has no authoritative support for one’s point, there’s always the trusty “argument from silence”, which we see whipped back out by Servant.     Indeed, according to Servant’s normal argument (apparently now abandoned), he suddenly holds that Herod and Herodias, now “married”, were still guilty of adultery.    (Apparently, it’s only after Jesus went to the cross that adultery by legalized adulterers was “over with” on the wedding night and thereafter).

Servant:
But let us imagine that John was actually calling them to divorce. If he was holding them to the standards of the Mosaic Law regarding divorce and remarriage, neither would be permitted to return to their former spouse (according to Deut. 24:1-4). But both would be free to remarry anyone else, with the exception that Herodias would not be permitted to marry a priest (fairly unlikely). So what, exactly, would be the point of Herod Antipas and Herodias divorcing? Why would John call them to divorce if they could not return to their former spouses but could marry just about anyone else? What would be the point? And are we to imagine that John was calling Herod and Herodias to divorce and remain celibate until their original spouses died, the alleged new law of Christ?….no warrant to claim that John’s condemnation of Herod and Herodias’ marriage has any application to us other than the fact that it has always been wrong for anyone to divorce their spouse in order to marry someone else.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Another invalid assumption of Servant’s is that Deut. 24:1-4 “prevented” the respective reconciliations, Herodias with Phillip, and Herod with Phasaelis.    We’ve shown where Deut. 24:1-4 most likely did not address actual or alleged capital infidelities until Moses’ bones had returned to the dust.    Instead, this narrow regulation dealt with defiling conditions that prevented marriage which were of a non-capital nature and were discovered during the betrothal period.   These things made a betrothed wife unsuitable for the consummation of the marriage both before the ketubah was agreed, and after termination of the ketubah.    Furthermore, the Mosaic age had ceased, and the Messianic age had commenced with the start of John’s ministry in the wilderness,

Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,  “Repent, for THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.”   For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!’
– Matthew 3:1-3

At that point, Herod and Herodias were no more under that old Mosaic regulation than any contemporary person is today hindered from putting their covenant family back together and keeping their violated, but unsevered holy matrimony vows.     Furthermore, both covenant marriages remained fully intact, or John would have had no basis for his rebuke.   He did not say to Herod, “it is unlawful for you to have your brother’s ‘ex’ wife”.   He said, “it is unlawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

 

#8  of 8 –   Servant’s Overboard Attempt to Make the Relevance of Hebrew Betrothal Custom Just Go Away

The “exception clauses” in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 should not be interpreted as allowing for divorce if a man discovers that his wife has committed adultery. Rather, Jesus was speaking of the discovery, during the betrothal phase, of illicit sex during or before the betrothal phase. And for that offense it was lawful to break off one’s engagement. And this is the same thing Paul was writing about in 1 Cor. 7:27-28, another scripture that is mistakenly applied to married persons when it actually only applies to betrothed persons. So your claim that God allows divorce under certain circumstances, which thus makes allowance for remarriage in some cases, is wrong. Only death can dissolve a marriage. Thus there is no divorced person who is legitimately divorced, and there is no remarried person who is legitimately remarried. So all remarried people should divorce their current spouse to either return to their original spouse or live celibate lives until their original spouse is dead.

Answer: If one holds to the supposition that marriage is dissoluble only by death and not by legitimate divorce, then the “exception clauses” in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 (“except for immorality”), as well as Paul’s allowance for divorced people to remarry in 1 Cor. 7:27-28, are problematic. So we should not be surprised that Divine Divorce proponents and their conservative counterparts have come up with explanations that attempt to harmonize those problematic passages with their views. I addressed the “Betrothal View” in two footnotes in my first article, as it seems so obviously far-fetched that it isn’t worthy of actual discussion. However, the Betrothal View seems to be a cardinal doctrine of Divine Divorce proponents, so I will address it.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Servant’s treatment of this aspect of humanist ideology versus the unchanging truth of God is nothing short of moronic, not to even mention anti-Christ.   But we’ve already been there — at length.    However, since he’s willing to “indulge” the disciples….

Servant:
To put it bluntly, the Betrothal View makes Jesus look stupid.

Note that, in Jesus’ conversation with the Pharisees recorded in Matthew 19:3-12, the Pharisee’s initial and follow-up questions, Jesus’ initial and second reply, as well as the scriptures referenced in their conversation (Gen. 2:24, Deut. 24:1-4), all refer only to married people and the lawfulness of divorce between them. The topic remains consistent throughout the conversation. But then, according to the Betrothal View, Jesus allegedly ends the conversation with a statement about lawful divorce that has absolutely no application to married people, but only to engaged people! And that makes Jesus look stupid. It also makes those who make Jesus look stupid look desperate to defend their doctrine. They are forcing a meaning that reflects their bias into a passage of Scripture.

 

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    We literally seem to see Servant’s mind doing backflips here (that “alternate reality” again, evidently) and hoping the rest of us will join him in his mental gymnastics.     Some of us just can’t keep up (a mercy) and prefer the straightforward, spinless word of God as it appears in the literal language and original texts.    There is no “legitimate divorce” except for the civil exit from a hellbound union with someone else’s God-joined spouse.

There is no objective and conclusive evidence that Deuteronomy 24 applies exclusively (or even at all) to consummated marriages, except possibly for the phrase that is rendered “sends her out of his house” (which could have occurred right after the wedding night).  The passage appears almost like an afterthought of Moses, given the comprehensive coverage of Mosaic marriage regulation in Deuteronomy 22.  We just don’t know.   What we do conclusively know, however, is that the standard of Deuteronomy 24 does not meet the standards of morality necessary to enter the kingdom of God, any more than Deuteronomy 22 does. We know that when the Pharisees confronted Jesus about divorce, He bypassed any discussion of those regulations quite deliberately and took us back to the Garden to make this point:  He has ushered in a New Kingdom where the one-flesh, God-joined entity (sarx mia) will no longer be allowed to be dishonored by the contrivances of men, just as the baton has passed from Moses to Joshua (whose name is a precursor of Jesus) to Jesus, where it forever rests.     We also know that the unequivocal statement that Jesus made about man’s divorce is that God was having none of it.  Moses allowed (and that’s not a compliment, by the way)...BUT I SAY UNTO YOU…”

It is well-established in scripture and history that once a ketubah contract was agreed and accepted, the betrothed bride had all the legal rights of a consummated bride, and hence she was called a “wife” for typically a year before she became his one-flesh.     It took a legal act to dissolve (set aside) the ketubah for due cause.    This was called “cutting off”  כִּרי ֻתת  (kerithuth) in the Hebrew, and because their culture doesn’t directly translate into ours, the bible translators called this “divorce”.     It is true that when stoning was banned, post-Moses, by the Babylonian and then the Roman conquerors of Israel, rabbinic practice expanded the interpretation of the law to cover the loss of marriage termination by death permitted by Moses in Deuteronomy 22, and it was this situation that Jesus, in a practical sense, was speaking into when He was challenged by the Pharisees.    Jesus could have taken them on a long and rambling history lesson with all these legalistic twists and turns,  but He was a concise communicator who focused like a laser on the heart-condition.    There was no point in affirming Mosaic regulation that He had come for the express purpose of abrogating in order to establish the higher rule of the kingdom of God.    Deuteronomy 22 and 24 were both as moot at the time of that conversation with King Jesus as was prohibiting consumption of pork and shellfish, or stoning our disobedient children.

Genesis 2:21-24 (key verses 21 though 23 not being particularly tasteful to Pharisee Servant, it seems) and Exodus 20: 3 through 17 were all that remained of Mosaic law, boiled down into just two commandments:  “you shall love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength,”  and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”     All that said, today’s Pharisees, the legalized adultery proponents, would do well to take the Hebrew betrothal model very seriously, even though its New Testament application to holy matrimony has become moot:   kiddushin is God’s model for the truthful middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism.    It is the model for our justification, sanctification, and ultimate future consummation as a citizen of the kingdom of God.

Servant:
In the other instance where we find the “exception clause,” in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Betrothal View makes Jesus look equally, if not more, stupid.

In that instance, Jesus first references the Pharisees’ twisted teaching, which they derived from Deut. 24:1-4, saying: “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give a certificate of divorce’” (Matt. 5:31). So the topic is “married men divorcing their wives.” But in the next sentence that completes everything Jesus has to say on the subject, Betrothal View proponents have Him strangely correcting the Pharisaic viewpoint with a declaration that has no application at all to married men, but only to betrothed men. They have Jesus saying, “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give a certificate of divorce.’ But I say, whoever breaks off his betrothal, except for immorality, makes his former fiancée commit adultery, and whoever marries her commits adultery.” Jesus appears to be an idiot.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Servant makes an astute observation that the Pharisees’ teaching was “twisted”,  but we have no lack of contemporary Pharisees in the evangelical church who share the same carnal mindset.    These Pharisees flatly refuse to see the obvious:  Jesus was agreeing with neither Hillel nor Shammai,  because God’s holy ordinance has always, since the Garden, been inseverable and indissoluble, endued with God’s participation and bound by the holy attributes of His character.    As God’s symbol for the relationship of Christ with His church, also for the handing down of the Ten Commandments to His people, and for the Godhead itself, how could God’s chosen symbol be severable or dissoluble?    Blasphemy!

Since Servant is struggling so to understand Matthew 5:27-32, we will break it down for him:

Jesus was speaking of an innocent betrothed or consummated wife (in this context, the distinction is moot since the wife is hypothetically innocent in either case)  who is innocent of (Hebrew: zanah, Greek: porneia).   Both words, along with “fornication” connote commercial prostitution,  which by culture was a premarital offense to the Hebrews, literally “playing  the whore”.    (We defy Mr. Servant to produce a pre-1900 concordance that renders these terms as the generic “sexual immorality” which we see today in the liberalized concordance editions and liberal translations.)    Jesus kept this sin distinct from His reference to adultery at the end of the verse because it is clearly not the same sin.

“…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.”

Jesus was here saying to his Jewish  male audience that if a man sends away (literally, “from-looses”) his contracted or his consummated bride who was not guilty of selling her wares, then if she commits the adultery of marrying someone else while he lives (because sarx mia is inseverable and the unconditional holy matrimony covenant is indissoluble), her damnation for it is on his head as well as hers.   If she is guilty of selling her wares, then her damnation for marrying another while he lives is only on her head because she engaged in the sin of adulterating their indissoluble covenant on her own volition.     We know the covenant is indissoluble because any man who marries her also commits ongoing adultery, according to Jesus.   Sometimes Pharisees need a picture drawn for them,  and the one below seems to do nicely for that purpose, starting at 5 minutes in.   Bottom line:  Jesus was not discussing any “exception clause” at all in Matthew 5:32, much less one that allows a spouse to take their own revenge for adultery (or for any other offense).

We also need to note here that nobody asked Jesus a question in this first instance of discussion of the no-excuses indissolubility of God-joined holy matrimony.    He broached this topic Himself and introduced His divine view as He was introducing the kingdom of God, and as part of a longer declaration of the points in the Mosaic law He was hereby abrogating: raising the moral standard on, to include the heart motivation.     As we soon see, this triggers all of the subsequent challenges from the Pharisees–which still continue to this day by those who stubbornly refuse to accept the moral absolute or its eternal consequences for disobeying.

Servant:
But it gets worse. Betrothal View proponents always point out that the “exception clauses” found in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 include two Greek words, porneia and moicheo, respectively translated “fornication” and “adultery” in the King James Version. Matthew 19:9 reads, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for porneia, and marries another woman commits moicheo.” Betrothal View proponents claim that, because Jesus used two different words, He was making a distinction between the sexual sin committed by the immoral woman and the sexual sin committed by the man who divorces and marries another. The immoral woman did not commit moicheo, but rather porneia, so her sin was not adultery, but fornication, a sin that can only be committed by an unmarried person. Thus Jesus must have been speaking of pre-marital illicit sex discovered during the betrothal phase.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We demonstrated above that Servant is inferring an “exception” in  Matthew 5:32 that simply doesn’t exist.    We know this, both straightforwardly, and because Jesus conclusively eliminated ALL possible “exceptions” when He said rather concisely,

whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Where does one draw the line on “exceptions”?    Any reading of Luther’s writings  or of the Westminster Confession of Faith makes it pretty clear that carnal humans have a very hard time of drawing this line anywhere on exceptions when it comes to sexual autonomy.   Jesus was far too wise not to slam the door shut on all exceptions.     In Matthew 19:6 and 8, He made indissolubility about divine metaphysics to which there can be no exception.    Far from Servant’s blasphemous claim that Jesus was “endorsing” man’s contrived “dissolution” of holy matrimony,  what actually came out of Jesus’ mouth repeatedly is precisely the opposite of an endorsement.     But there’s more bad news for Mr. Servant:  Jesus repeated at least twice more that everyone who married a divorced person is entering into an ongoing state of adultery, including at the end of Matthew 19:9 (suppressed by liberal bible translators in most contemporary English translations).    Servant’s only response to this is to dishonestly pervert the verb tense Jesus is well-documented as using, in a silly and unsupportable attempt to claim this is a “one-time act” on the adulterous wedding night.

It’s not just us wild-eyed “cultists” who hold to the view that porneia and moicheia used in the same passage mean that the broader context must be used to define porneia, it is the view of many respected scholars who agree.    As did 100% of the writers and editors of concordances published prior to 1850.

We need to concede here that not all “DDD-er’s” (Servant’s label for what he sees as our “cult”)  agree on every aspect of the betrothal view.    Some fail to understand that although contemporary engagement can indeed be broken without a subsequent marriage being adultery in God’s eyes,  the similarity with the now-defunct Hebrew tradition of kiddushin ends right there.    Some have a false foot in the Hebrew Roots camp, and would mistakenly carry Deuteronomy 24 into our Messianic times.   Some are (rightly) appalled at the idea that a bride today could be “divorced” the day after her wedding night, because she did not disclose her non-virgin status to her contemporary husband before the wedding, so they (or rather, satan) use this to discredit the highly supportable betrothal understanding altogether.    Some wrongly buy the establishment “churchianity” view that Deuteronomy 24 is dealing with sexual sin, rather than a non-capital cause for breaking a ketubah contract with a perfectly chaste bride. a nonsexual defilement such as consanguinity or ceremonial uncleanness that could not be remedied, in that day, after marriage.   All of these distorted views, in SIFC’s educated opinion, spring from the common failure of Christ-followers to check Torah Observance at the door of Matthew 5:1, and the accompanying failure to discard the claim ticket thereto.   It is appropriate to be knowledgeable about the Hebrew heritage in New Testament hermeneutics, but it is inappropriate to overlay a disciple’s life with it in Messianic times, as Paul exhaustively pointed out in his epistles.

Servant accuses the truth-tellers of “making Jesus look stupid”.   More accurately, this “biblical exception” theory of the remarriage apologists makes Jesus look schizophrenic, while Servant’s sloppy hermeneutics, circular reasoning, and denial of the plan meaning of God’s word throughout his three redundant screeds make himself look intellectually and spiritually dishonest.

Servant:
Finally, the Betrothal View makes Jesus contradict the Law of Moses….

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Yes indeed, He does.   Not only that, but even the most casual reading of all of Matthew 5 makes it clear that this is exactly what He announced that He was doing, and He was making NO apologies for it.    No apologies are owed by the Son of God, even for changing the rules, whether they be the original Mosaic core or the extensive rabbinic expansions and extensions that He spent much of His ministry denouncing.   Servant would make Moses his idol instead of Jesus his Lord.

Servant:
….which allowed for a man to divorce his wife for sexual immorality regardless of when the immorality was committed or discovered. As I have already pointed out, the “indecency” of Deut. 24:1-4 is discovered by a man regarding a woman to whom he was married, which results in him divorcing her. The Mosaic Law also speaks of a man who, upon taking a wife and consummating his marriage, discovers that she is not a virgin as she had represented herself (Deut. 22:13-21). The penalty for her “playing the harlot in her father’s house” was death by stoning. There can be no denial that the “betrothal view” makes Jesus contradict the Mosaic Law, as the “betrothal view” makes no allowance for divorce after marriage, but only for breaking off an engagement. Again, Jesus would never contradict Himself, and thus He would never contradict the Law of Moses.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Correct initial facts that are no longer relevant to following Christ.    Incorrect conclusion, as we’ve amply shown.

Servant:
Betrothal View proponents similarly grasp at straws regarding Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 7:27-28:

Are you bound to a wife? [That is, are you married?] Do not seek to be released. [That is, don’t pursue a divorce, just as I have previously told you above in 7:10-13.] Are you released from a wife? [That is, are you divorced (or possibly widowed)?]. Do not seek a wife [That is, don’t seek to be remarried.] But if you marry, you have not sinned; [That is, if you remarry, you are not sinning, regardless of whether you are divorced or widowed] and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. [That is, the same is true for virgin women, and this special instruction addressed to virgin women confirms that the previous statement, “But if you marry, you have not sinned” does indeed apply to men who have been previously married and divorced.] Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you (1 Cor. 7:27-28).

Betrothal View proponents claim this passage is applicable only to currently- or previously-betrothed virgins, rather than currently- or previously-married people, claiming that context supports such a view because Paul addresses virgins beginning in 7:25. Here is how they interpret 1 Cor. 7:27-28…

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   “Betrothal view proponents” are far from the only folks to rightly divide which audience Paul is addressing in each of the sections of 1 Cor. 7.   Even Calvinist pastors are capable of this, as well as many authoritative scholars.    A third grader could do it, so we’re puzzled that Servant continues to struggle with who Paul is speaking to.    It appears that the only one “grasping at straws” is Mr. Servant, and only because he insists on redefining terms like “wife”, and “married” and “loosed” to suit his personal bias, and to disparage Christ’s viewpoint.

Servant:
This re-write by itself should be enough for any honest person to reject it.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   What “rewrite”?   Any honest person takes Christ at His own word in the first place.

Servant:
It raises so many questions that expose its dubiousness, including:

(1) How many engaged men could there possibly have been in the Corinthian church who needed to be advised to not “seek to be released” from their engagement because that is something they were actually considering?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   There surely were young Hebrew men in the Corinthian church, and in the larger society outside the church, including the the local synagogue.   Some were surely under a ketubah contract when converted, or the church leaders would not have asked Paul about this, and he would have had no need to address the “virgins” in these terms.     The number of them is irrelevant except as a rhetorical swipe.

Servant:
(2) And where is mention of the fact that if they were to break their engagement for any reason besides the discovery of their fiancée’s immorality and ultimately marry another, they would be guilty of adultery, as is claimed by the Betrothal View interpretation of Matt. 5:32 and 19:9?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   The Servant trademark “argument from silence” again.

We have shown that ketubah betrothal contracts were terminated for any number of reasons, not just unchastity, and that the promised bride was routinely called a “wife” up to the time of termination (not unlike an adulteress who “marries” the spouse of another living woman), by color of man’s law.   Someone following Christ, and therefore obeying the spirit of what Paul had to say in the whole of 1 Corinthians 7,  should have no confusion about the instructions for estranged true spouses.    Servant’s confusion lies in his faulty premise that man’s divorce was deemed “legitimate” or effectual.   This is circular reasoning.

Servant:
(3) How many previously-engaged men who had been “released” from an engagement could there possibly have been in the Corinthian church, and how many of those would have needed to be advised to not seek to be re-engaged again because that was something they were considering?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    How “troubling” indeed!   See above.

Servant:
(4) And again, where is the warning that, if they broke off their previous engagement for any reason besides the discovery of their fiancée’s immorality, they would be committing adultery should they ever remarry any other woman, as is claimed by the Betrothal View interpretation of Matt. 5:32 and 19:9?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Faulty premise, self-created confusion.     All terminated ketubah contracts, for whatever reason, left all parties free to marry someone else because there was not yet an inseverable one-flesh entity created by the hand of God. 

(5) Why did Paul tell these previously-engaged men they would not be sinning if they were to marry when in fact Jesus said they could well have been sinning, committing adultery, if the previous engagement breakup was illegitimate, as is claimed by the Betrothal View interpretation of Matt. 5:32 and 19:9?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Faulty premise, self-created confusion.   There was never any “illegitimate” reason to terminate a ketubah contract.    All terminated ketubah contracts, for whatever reason, left all parties free to marry someone else because there was not yet an inseverable one-flesh entity created by the hand of God.

Wrapping this up, we don’t expect to convert any of Servant’s hellbound followers over to Christ’s view.    The Holy Spirit must do that in all cases.    People who are in illicit sexual relationships have no judgment or discernment until the Lord makes them sufficiently miserable.   Hopefully, Servant’s writings look so ridiculous on the surface,  from accusing  a prophet of God of “breaking up families” to to his outright denial that Jesus said what everyone can see He plainly did say, that no standers or repented prodigals who live for Christ will be attracted to Servant’s siren song for legalized adultery.  May the merciful Lord keep all unrepented prodigals who are still in the Far Country,  who are one-flesh with celibate standing spouses, far, far away from this wolf who would chain them in the pigpen of legalized adultery  or would take a role in landing them there.      Ideally, David Servant will some day surrender to the authority and  lordship of Jesus Christ, and publicly repent of his rebellion and many blasphemies, escaping the millstone already around his neck and recovering his own inheritance in the kingdom of God.    Servant claims on the banner of his web page to be “Discipling the Body of Christ”, but it’s clear that he’s doing the opposite with the adulterously remarried and their “spouses”.

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.   –  James 3:1

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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


 

 

Christian Culture Wars: Why is the MESSENGER Seen as “Judge”?

angry-judgeby Standerinfamilycourt

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.    For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”   –  Matthew 10:34-36

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.   –  Luke 6:26

Some of us have a bad habit of mirroring our self-image after the perceptions and expressed feelings of others.     Hopefully this unhealthy tendency diminishes under the power and control of the Holy Spirit as we acquire the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  But keeping our self-concept firmly rooted in Christ doesn’t happen automatically.    We have to take a deep breath and be intentional about it.    “Standerinfamilycourt”  has some dear longtime church friends who happen to be legalized adulterers, by Christ’s definition.  Well over 30 years ago, the wife civilly divorced her God-joined, one-flesh husband for some infraction, and probably a very serious one.    Already a mother of young covenant children, this lady “married” a more faithful gentlemen, and at some point thereafter, they got saved together.     They are the perfect argument for the evangelical crowd which cites  2 Corinthians 5:17, the “proof-text” that none of what Jesus repeatedly said about marrying another while the spouse of one’s youth is still alive  “should apply” to them because it all happened before they were born-again.     This couple is gracious, generous, hospitable in every way, and they both serve the church until they drop from exhaustion.   They were among the first to make us feel welcome in our new Assembly of God church after we moved from a distant state almost 20 years ago due job relocation.     When SIFC’s spouse (who was also very close to them) later went prodigal, they were the couple that made sure there was at least a birthday lunch that didn’t pass in lonely isolation.

In those earlier days, SIFC was aware that their “marriage” was adultery, biblically-speaking,  but was sincerely wrestling with a couple of issues that delayed any warning to them:

(1) whether those who die in legalized adultery always forfeit their inheritance in the kingdom of God (that is, go to hell despite all their goodness otherwise).

(2) whether an infinite God deals with such anomalies on an individual, case-by-case basis, knowing the hearts involved, and being more lenient with those whose pastors, under whom they were in submission, have innocently misled them.

Issue #1 was definitively resolved through some events that occurred within the past 3 years, after this couple had moved away.   Face it, would we not all behave very differently if we knew that not missing heaven due to clinging to a biblically-illicit relationship, (the opposite certainty) was even a possibility?      We might not remarry ourselves, out of a continued desire to love and obey Jesus, but we would at least have the relief that our prodigal spouse and our dear friends would not be risking hell if we didn’t do our best to speak up,  I believe.     There would be no compelling reason to offend  them with this (admittedly) harsh truth under those circumstances.     We could “live and let live”, and people would have a much-improved opinion of us.    We could then afford to be much gentler in our modes of influence.     We could attend a retreat and let heresy and misinformation float through the room while we “chill”.

Indeed, if millions of people weren’t actually going to hell for dying in the ongoing state of legalized adultery, if there really were no justifiable scriptural connection between #LukeSixteenEighteen  and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,  then the constitutional offense which unilateral divorce represents to Christ-followers would be much lighter (at least with regard to the violation of our right to free religious exercise), and we could conscionably “chill” with regard to working for full repeal, in order to go along with the many who are trying to mitigate the 14th amendment violations of property and parental rights by working for various tweaks to the existing laws, which they see as more “doable” than full repeal.    (But, I digress.)

The timely, definitive resolution of Issue #1 in SIFC’s personal experience made Issue #2 absolutely moot in one fell swoop.    SIFC’s very public  “ministry” was launched as a result, though it was not originally planned that way.   Issue #2  became even more moot as awareness grew of the free online deep bible study resources available to any sincere Christ-follower wanting the truth and wanting to obey, also with the growth in vocality of the Marriage Permanence movement leaders and members, including several solid pastors with very well-done online sermons.    As deplorably difficult as this matter is, it’s becoming increasingly impossible for anyone in the church to honestly claim they’ve not been warned, unless they live under a rock.    This trend is quite likely to continue, orchestrated by God.

One day the wife of this couple (a facebook friend) broke into an online  conversation SIFC was having with another gentleman on the topic of the need for adulterously “married” partners to sever those unions.      She gave a very emotional plea around all that she had experienced in suffering under her true marriage with the unsaved husband of her youth, then the Lord “bringing her” a godly husband who got saved alongside her.    A very dicey exchange followed, along the lines of SIFC’s then-recent discoveries described above, also how our denomination had officially moved from a biblical to an unholy and unbiblical MDR doctrine in 1973 (another recent discovery).     My dear friend was told that the pain of this is entirely the fault of the evangelical pastors who decided they knew more than Jesus and Paul about what was right in God’s sight, and that I came to be conclusively convinced with the confirmation of reliable authorities of its heaven-or-hell nature.    My friend’s Catholic upbringing, which she felt redeemed out of,  did not help the conversation much, suffice it to say.

At the end of the conversation, we “agreed to disagree”, and I was amazed that she did not “unfriend” me.   Nor did she “unfollow” me, apparently.     Some time passed, during which I was also exposed to my own relatives, among whom there are also a fair number of the adulterously “married”,  and at some point last year, this lady started occasionally posting these nondescript “swipes” on her wall, addressed to who-knows, similar to this:

“If becoming ‘religious’ has made you more judgmental, rude, harsh, a backbiter, you need to check if you are worshipping God or your ego.”

 Obviously, there is no way to deliver a message that half or more of the “marriages” in the church are no more than papered-over adultery,  according to Jesus that would not come off as harsh to most people.    John the Baptist certainly found this out in no uncertain terms.     I decided to just let the snipes and swipes go by without a response of any sort, but did notice they tended to come after a particularly outspoken day with others on repenting from legalized adultery.     On two of these occasions, there had been a reference to 1 Corinthians 5 in the hours that preceded, and the instruction “not to even eat with such” (in hopes that they will repent and the souls will be rescued, as Paul hoped in the situation he was addressing.)     Yup, that would probably do it!     I realized that the combination of this sister continuing to follow “standerinfamilycourt”  while avoiding any further direct confrontation beyond that first long ago challenge on my wall probably had at least a small element of conviction in it (and probably no small amount of frustration that SIFC was not “healing” out of the “cult” phase — with past-due apologies tendered).     I began to ask myself if, the core message having been dutifully delivered to her, it might be best at this time to quietly “unfriend” her to spare her the emotional turmoil of my very public ministry until the Holy Spirit could finish the job of convicting.   Before doing this,  I sought the advice of fellow standers in a non-public forum.      Some suggested tweaks to privacy settings I wasn’t aware of, and others pointed to the conviction that is likely building  insider her.   One particularly insightful comment went like this:

” I think what most of these friends think … is that “we” are the ones sending them to hell for remarriage.. when we know that power is not within us but God…”

Now this is some food for thought:   how might they think what they think about this?     Do they want us to just “shut up” ?   I’m sure they do!   Do we speak such a thing as consignment to hell “into being”, in their estimation or fears, as the Lord does?    Do they think we “pray them” into hell (or that we would even remotely want to)?    How could the judgment of hell (or its prospect, at least) be coming from anywhere but the One with divine authority to do it?

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
– Matthew 10:28

There is the fateful scene in the book of Acts, with Ananias and Sapphira, where Peter says: Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.”
(The pair had sold land and misrepresented the proceeds from it which they had pledged to the community of believers.)    Those speaking out the truth in marriage permanence are speaking scripture, but aren’t coming even close to taking this kind of authority in Jesus’ name as Peter did.    It will never be deemed “loving” in most people’s eyes to tell someone that their “marriage” is adultery and their soul is on the line.    But it is even more unloving not to tell them, even if in today’s warped culture,  pointing out immoral behavior is deemed a “worse” sin than committing the immorality in the first place.     This is because the guilty conscience cannot be rational, and cannot see that a godly rebuke, though it’s coming out of the mouth of a human, is ultimately from God.    David saw this, for example, did not protest to Nathan that the prophet’s ego was talking and that he was a backbiter.    How could he when the moral rebuke of murdering a covenant husband in order to legalize and conceal his own adultery was to his face?     In the instance of an offended, furtive follower of a public ministry that rebukes the culture of the harlot church and the anti-Christ actions of its leaders (usually by name), it’s most accurately the taking of offense just because “the shoe fits”.      There’s another word for this:  fruitless conviction.

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.      –  Proverbs 28:1

If anything constitutes “backbiting”, it’s putting a “corrective” message on one’s wall that has no “To” line.    This friend is not normally a wicked person, and her predicament is largely due to the faithlessness of the shepherds she followed in subconscious preference to following what’s actually in her bible.    Even for “standerinfamilycourt” who loves both of these legalized adulterers of 30+ years deeply and personally,  it going to be the saddest of days when conviction does finally and properly land, and they realize they must separate in order to see each other in heaven.     They spent those decades doing what they sincerely thought was godly and right, in devotion to both Him and each other.   If any unlawful couple caused SIFC to wrestle with the Lord about #LukeSixteenEighteen,  it’s this couple.

We tend to make an assumption in the contemporary church that Jesus, Paul and the apostles were consistently meek when addressing all issues, and that they only got “rough” with the Pharisees.     This leads to the belief that anger or directness is never appropriate or “godly” in dealing with a deadly spiritual cancer — one, in fact, that is infested with demons.     A recent article,  Read The Gospels To Discover The Jesus Nobody Likes To Talk About by Glen T. Stanton in the Federalist states it this way:

“Two truths about Jesus seem to be at odds with the modern Christian understanding and presentation of God’s son. First, the God-man, unbound by time, held a decidedly ancient and unenlightened view of the world by contemporary standards. Second, he did hurt others’ feelings and didn’t apologize for it—and not just those of the religious fat cats of the day.   Along with the tender Lamb of God, we find a lion as well. We must admit to and accept all of this if we want to know the whole divine person of Christ.”

Very typically, the other person like this in many of our lives is our own prodigal spouse, someone who does not need any enticement to think and speak negatively about their true one-flesh covenant mate in order to self-justify keeping the counterfeit.     If that person was ever born-again, the Holy Spirit is pursuing them relentlessly, day by day, hour by hour, and doing so from within.    It’s easy for the blame for that to fall on the praying covenant marriage stander who has not taken off their wedding ring even though their spouse may have put on a false one.   If the covenant spouse also takes an unrelenting public stand against institutionalized adultery, meaning to change both law and culture, it escalates from there.   Prodigals are half-right about the blame for their discomfort.    We are instruments or agents of what they dread, but we are not the Divine Orchestrator.

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 Corinthians 7:10

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

The Gospel According to David Servant (versus We of the “Divine Divorce Doctrine”) – Part 3A

FakeJesusby Standerinfamilycourt

I’m Living in an Ongoing State of Legalized Adultery with Somebody Else’s Spouse.   Can I Get Away With It?
We have been responding to the 3-part blog series by David Servant called, “I’m Divorced and Remarried.   Am I Living in Adultery?”    This appears to be the final installment.

The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.   – Proverbs 18:17

It seems that Part 3 continues David Servant’s parade of slander and emotion, conflation of issues, convenient redefinition of terms, and paucity of consistent hermeneutic principles, while making a very shallow pretense at the latter for the sake of appearances.   And then there’s the ad-hominem again, a telltale sign of a leaking and empty truth bucket.  All reliable writings, books and blogs, going back to at least 1957 on this topic rigorously apply hermeneutical principles in a comprehensive and disciplined way that accounts for all five minimum elements:   Content, Context, Culture, Comparison and Consultation.    See our blog series,  “Stop Abusing Scripture:  Debunk Series” for a fuller discussion and application of these principles to the most commonly abused scriptures in the MDR Christian culture wars.

Heretical arguments invariably fail in at least two of these five principles, most commonly: some combination of Context, Comparison and Consultation.   When these highly critical pieces of examination are omitted, it’s usually because the author either doesn’t know what he or she is doing, or because the author knows that  doing so will immediately expose their theory as insupportable.  We pointed out in our Part 2 rebuttal that David Servant even went so far as to deride the rigorous application of the Context principle, complaining about those who would take care to rightly-divide the verb tenses Jesus used in some of His more controversial teachings, and he went even further, to claim that it’s “unnecessary” to validate the translation of the Greek words in a given passage.   Pardon us!

For those who have read Part 1 and Part 2 of our rebuttals to David Servant’s earlier installments,  this response will seem pretty repetitive due to Servant’s redundant and circular claims.    Points 1 through 5 raise no new substantive issues, and we will mostly be referring back to the earlier rebuttal points, while hoping to  have the luxury of being a bit briefer in addressing these repackaged “points”.   (How well satan knows that if a lie is repeated frequently enough, there are some who will begin to accept it as “true”.)  
We defer Servant’s Points 6,  7 and 8 to our Part 3B rebuttal, to follow,  because we cannot effectively address these in this same blog post without the length becoming more than most readers will be attentive to.   These last three points we’ll deal with next time do raise some arguments that he did not raise in his Parts 1 and 2.

The Part 3 blog links to a Mennonite lady’s testimony, where Servant inaccurately charges that she was influenced by a slick  “cult” to abandon her adulterous remarriage, while she clearly testifies that she was led by the Holy Spirit over a course of four years after her regeneration, and she came to conviction purely as a result of deeply studying a book that is ALIVE .   Servant’s ploy, as usual, is emotionalism without examining the facts, including what came out of this lady’s own mouth.    Oh the emotional punch of the melodrama of appealing to a vivid Hollywood kidnapping scene!    Did Servant bother to contact and interview her before he publicly slandered her?
(Yes, this repenter’s Mennonite church probably was of some influence in her decision to exit the legalized adultery she was living in.   Some churches actually do still succeed in discipling their members, believe it or not.   However, such people don’t tend to make these radical repentance decisions impulsively, and they usually do not make them primarily under anyone else’s influence.)   Repenting prodigals with watching family members  study to show themselves approved, as we are all commanded to do,   but apparently this is unlike Mr. Servant’s practices, judging from the shallowness and redundancy of the eight arguments he offers below, and the canned liberal bible commentary that he passes off as more “authoritative” than the straightforward words that actually crossed the lips of Jesus and of Paul on a repeated basis.    The perennial serpent’s question has always been, “Did God REALLY say?”

Servant charges:
“Those people [SIFC: those of us who believe that God-joined covenant holy matrimony is always indissoluble except by death] are not your friends, as you will soon discover if you tell them you have changed your mind about Divine Divorce. They will ostracize you, as all cults do as a means of controlling their members. They will also tell you that you are going to hell. But God is for you. Your life, and perhaps even your marriage, can be restored to what He intended, because His mercy and grace are more than sufficient to restore all that Satan, through Divine Divorce Doctrine, has stolen from you. God is good, and His mercies are new every morning.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  The usual understanding of what constitutes a “cult” necessarily hinges on who Jesus is to the “cult members” and how closely they adhere to His authority.    If the authentic Jesus is your cult leader, then that’s a good thing, and Servant’s cheap slur becomes quite the compliment.     Below, in contrast, we will see David Servant’s “Jesus” painted as some sort of Mosaic rubber-stamper who is so schizophrenic that He then turned right around and delivered the sermon on the mount.

God is “for us”, indeed, but not for our immoral relationships that will keep us out of the kingdom of God.     Both “mercy” and “grace” are effectively the opposite if they are only based on temporal comforts, instead of eternal destinies.

Servant has an extremely poor conception of how a person comes to conviction and repentance from a life of coveting, stealing and committing adultery with the God-joined spouse of another living person.   We “cultists” seem to be given tremendous credit that is solely owed to the indwelling Holy Spirit, and we simply cannot accept what’s not due us!   We’re there to answer the hard questions, sure, and point them in the direction of the necessary scholarship, and to pray for them.    We “control” nobody during any phase of the process.    Most such repentance occurs long before such a person seeks to join our support community, in the majority of cases.   The concept David Servant seems to be consistently tone-deaf on is that the real Jesus expects obedience to come from each disciple’s heart, not from any external factors.  On the flip side, those who are unilaterally “divorced” by a prodigal spouse and choose to stand celibate until God removes the satan-dispatched rival (1 Cor. 7:11), do tend to join the support communities early in the process, and often (speaking of “control” and “ostracism”), because that no-brainer decision to obey to God’s clear, explicit instruction causes them to be treated like pariahs in their own church, by the threatened who are living immoral lives, and in too many tragic cases, doing so from behind the pulpit.

All that said, there’s no doubt the man Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 5 felt pretty “ostracized” and “controlled” when he was put out of the church, and turned over to satan in the hopes that his soul might be ultimately saved.    What a controlling thing to say, that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”!    Some “friend” Paul was!    He was so “cultish” that he urged the whole church “not to even eat with such”.     After all, what this man was doing was most likely legal under Greek civil law.     Yet Paul knew that the “mercies that are new every morning”  never extended to continuing, unrepented sin under the higher kingdom of God standards, or there would have been no need to turn the man over to satan through excommunication, as he did.

As for telling people they are going to hell, let’s please make that, “if they do not repent.”    Thanks to the blood of Jesus, nobody goes to hell for the act of legalizing an immoral relationship.   They go to hell for continuing in it until they die.    That’s because a jealous God will allow no idols to compete with Him for worship.    Found a mere nine verses below Luke 16:18 is this cry from the pit of hell as described by the mouth of Jesus:

 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.   –  Luke 16:27-28

If Jesus didn’t think it was a “stretch” to link His no-excuses prohibition against taking another spouse (while being inseverably joined in the state of sarx mia to an estranged covenant partner who has not died) to HIs own vivid description of what happens to all who live as if this world is all there is,  why are supposedly God-fearing evangelicals surprised or offended to hear 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21 and Hebrews 13:4 linked to Luke 16:18 ?    For that matter, why is Servant offended at this?    Why are they not instead grateful for the existential warning?   The carnal and spiritually-immature soul will claim that this, too, is “controlling” behavior.     As we saw, Paul did not hesitate to warn of hell as a consequence of violating the holy matrimony covenant, but as we also saw, he did not preclude the possibility of physical repentance in the form of terminating the relationship, as the escape from hell.   If one is going to be part of a  “cult”, let our “cult” be the  “Christ-followers” after our Cult Leader, and not the “Erasmeans” or the “Lutherites”, or the “Moseans”  — all of whom carnally reject Christ’s moral absolutes .    The original 1st century saints were all judged to be “cult members” for unanimously obeying Him in their own time, so it is a badge of honor to have that charge levelled at the covenant marriage indissolubility community by a self-proven church wolf.

A final reminder before we dive into a detailed examination of all eight of Servant’s objections to obeying the straightforward commandment of Christ:  all civil divorce is man-contrived (Matthew 19:8), and cannot, therefore, be called “divine” in any sense of the word.   God’s “divorce” is always spelled D-E-A-T-H.     He does not dabble in man’s moral fictions, not even on a part-time basis.    (If we must have a label in our support of those disciples who are forsaking immoral relationships, go ahead and call us “fundamentalists”, David.)

 

#1 of 8   Servant’s Arguments Against No-Excuses Indissolubitly of God-joined Holy Matrimony

They confuse God’s original ideal—a world without divorce and remarriage—with reality, which is a world that is full of both.”

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:  Our sovereign God is not some feckless wimp who has only “ideals”, “designs”, “bests”, “intentions” and so forth.    This milquetoast platitude has always been a figment of a liberal bible commentator’s imagination.   He is the Creator, Ruler and Judge of all the Universe, and He deals in COMMANDMENTS.   He requires holiness, without which He says none of us will see Him.   His accommodation to the frailty of mankind was Jesus.   He need make no further accommodation or allowances for those who find their excuses not to obey Jesus, including all those like David Servant, who stare wistfully back at Moses, and long for the glory days of concurrent and serial polygamy for the far more reasonable price of a daily ritual animal sacrifice.     To them, sacrifice is better than obedience, but unfortunately for them, that’s an option which is no longer the Divine Offer.

RevAllWet7

Refraining from murdering, raping, stealing, bearing false witness and coveting thy neighbor’s wife can all be said to be “ideals”, too.     But they’re also COMMANDMENTS.    Just because these things are a “reality” doesn’t make it right for immoral governments to sanction them, and even worse, for God’s shepherds to appease and defend those immoral laws.    We surely don’t say, with regard to legal abortion or gay marriage or assisted suicide, that the church is confusing “God’s original ideal“, a world without abortion and gay marriage, with “reality, which is a world full of both“.   No, we take a holy stand based on the higher authority of God word!

God has repeatedly, in fact, shown that He is deadly-jealous of His sacred symbols, and arguably, the state of holy matrimony is the very first such symbol, one that weaves through virtually every book of the bible.   If men died instantly just for touching the Ark of the Covenant, how much more is His wrath over nations and societies who have so little fear of Him that they misrepresent the Bridegroom as a serial polygamist, and who substitute illicit legalized relationships for fellowship with Him?     Is it any wonder, then that our western nations where church leadership are complicit with sequential polygamy are all overrun with the Assyria of rabid homofascism, and Persia of militant Islamism?

Servant:
To them, there have been no actual divorces, only fantasy divorces. And since there have been no actual divorces, neither have there been any actual remarriages either, but only fantasy remarriages. To a large degree, wedding ceremonies, vows, marriage certificates, witnesses, court records, name changes, and long-standing human relationships and interaction don’t exist in this alternate reality. Millions of people are not actually married to people whom they think they are married to, people whom they live with and interact with every day as a husband or wife, often for decades and until death. Conversely, millions of people are actually married to people whom they think they are not married to, people whom they sometimes haven’t seen for decades and who live hundreds of miles away. On top of this, millions of people have children whom they think are legitimate, but who are actually illegitimate children, the offspring of adultery.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  To true citizens of the kingdom of God, the actual “alternate reality” is the one painted by the 16th century Reformers on a wave of “Christianized” humanism.    Humanism and discipleship have never been compatible with one another, because to take up one’s cross and follow Him is the very antithesis of the self-worship on which humanism is founded.   These “Reformers” were just hypocritical enough to also look wistfully back at Moses, the more lenient “sheriff” when it came to sexual license, while illegitimately claiming the “grace” of the New Covenant, as if they could have it both ways.   It was Luther who, frustrated with the lack of access to sanctioned divorce through the church, took what belonged exclusively to God and handed it over to Caesar.    The same character flaw in Luther also manifested itself in his penchant for anti-Semitism and Replacement Theology.     Luther’s  “Jesus” replaces His bride if she doesn’t toe the mark!  (He’d rather have stoned her, but “defective” governments tend to frown on this.)

Among the choicer of Luther’s recorded remarks:

“You may ask: What is to become of the other [the guilty party] if he too is perhaps unable to lead a chaste life? Answer: It was for this reason that God commanded in the law [Deut. 22:22–24] that adulterers be stoned, that they might not have to face this question. The temporal sword and government should therefore still put adulterers to death, for whoever commits adultery has in fact himself already departed and is considered as one dead. Therefore, the other [the innocent party] may remarry just as though his spouse had died, if it is his intention to insist on his rights and not show mercy to the guilty party. Where the government is negligent and lax, however, and fails to inflict the death penalty, the adulterer may betake himself to a far country and there remarry if he is unable to remain continent. But it would be better to put him to death, lest a bad example be set.  Some may find fault with this solution and contend that thereby license and opportunity is afforded all wicked husbands and wives to desert their spouses and remarry in a foreign country. Answer: Can I help it? The blame rests with the government. Why do they not put adulterers to death? Then I would not need to give such advice. Between two evils one is always the lesser, in this case allowing the adulterer to remarry in a distant land in order to avoid fornication. And I think he would be safer also in the sight of God, because he has been allowed to live and yet is unable to remain continent. If others also, however, following this example desert their spouses, let them go. They have no excuse such as the adulterer has, for they are neither driven nor compelled. God and their own conscience will catch up to them in due time. Who can prevent all wickedness?” Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther’s Works, Vol. 45 : The Christian in Society II. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1962 (Luther’s Works 45), S. 45:III33

The kingdom of God has always been an “alternative reality” to those preferring to dwell outside of that Kingdom.     They choose to dwell outside because a kingdom is a place where the King is OBEYED.

THY kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
– Matthew 6:10

Servant parrots the humanism of Luther, not the holiness of Jesus.   The two are not even remotely compatible.   Humanism argues that all humans are entitled to a sexual relationship at all times because this is the only way (externally) to manage the flesh.    Following Christ demands that the flesh be crucified from within and that obedience come from an idol-free heart, and if obedience incurs suffering and character development, we are in the midst of a great cloud of witnesses.   (For a fairly comprehensive collection the profoundly unscriptural quotes of the “Reformers” on divorce and remarriage, see pages 21-25 of the scholarly paper by Daniel R. Jennings, “The History Of Christian Thought Upon Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage”.)

Anyone who purports to fear God should take Matthew 19:6 and 8 as explicitly denying men any authority whatsoever to create, regulate or “dissolve” an unconditional covenant in which He tells us He remains a participant, in fact, one of the parties thereto.   It is appalling, really, that Servant does not grasp this.    (More about God’s unconditional covenants is below, when Servant gets to that point in his arguments. )    For now, let’s just note that in verse 6, when Jesus said “let no man separate“, the Greek texts reveal that He did not use the words andra” nor “aner” here, as He could have if He were merely counseling a man, or the husband of what he “shouldn’t” do.    He instead used the word anthrópos,   in effect saying,  “let no HUMAN put distance between [ chōrizetō] ” what God has supernaturally joined.    (Let no human, including Moses who was, after all, a human, have any jurisdiction over what I claim as belonging to ME exclusively.)

Servant:
That smiling Christian couple driving with their four children on their way to “that other church”…they aren’t what they seem to be. They think they are going to heaven because they believe in Jesus and live their faith every day, but actually they are going to hell because they haven’t divorced each other.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC: That smiling Christian couple does not “believe in Jesus“, no matter how full is their evangelical mini-van, unless they practice studying His word, which couldn’t be more plain, even with the pervasive bible translation fraud that has been taking place over the past several decades, that their household is unlawfully-founded.    They will see quite clearly that man’s law cannot override God’s law, as these “smiling Christian families” are all very quick to see is the case with homosexuals.  Even the most perverse and heathen CNN reporter saw this from just one night of reading the Gideon bible in the Kentucky hotel drawer when serial polygamist Kim Davis went to jail.

Sad to say, it’s been consistently shown through reputable polling surveys that said couple rarely reads their bible for themselves, much less studies it deeply, nor toils to resolve any apparent conflicts which inevitably result from contemporary translation-tampering.    Instead, they rely on  the “priestly class” to feed them (and preferably, to feed their flesh), as though they were themselves illiterate.   Servant glibly terms it as “going to hell because they haven’t ‘divorced‘ ”    If they read their bibles, they would plainly see that only death dissolves holy matrimony, and therefore, they are headed to hell with someone else’s spouse unless they cease and desist from breaking the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th commandments on a daily basis.   Servant derides the biblical form of repentance from this (or any other sin) in his sarcasm, and treats them as though God’s messengers are their “judges”.

Servant:
May I first submit that something is indissoluble if it cannot be “dissolved, loosened, or disconnected.” The phrase “one flesh” carries no connotation of indissolubility. In fact, just the opposite is true. Husbands and wives are only “one flesh” during sexual intercourse. Only for a small part of their married lives are they “one flesh.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Servant is here conflating physical separation. that is, immoral abandonment (the chōrizetō that Jesus forbid by any human authority,  the rebellion of which is certainly possible, as Servant points out) — with dissolution of an unconditional covenant to which God Himself is and remains a party.   This man cannot do, for as long as God is God.   The priest in Malachi 2 made the same false assumption that Servant makes here — and he found himself cut off from fellowship with God as a direct consequence of it.    In rebuking this priest who had “divorced” the woman God joined him to, declaring that covenant “dissolved” to “marry” another — without that God-joining (synezeuxen), God tells him : “she IS (not “was”) the wife of your marriage covenant.”     Man says it’s legal, but God calls it an abomination that separates such people from Him until such time as there is repentance and restitution.   Servant also confuses “sarx mia” with “hen soma” with his claim that that one-flesh relationship is only present during sexual intercourse.    We dealt in detail with this fallacy in Part 1, and we do so again immediately below.

Servant:
God’s statement regarding husbands and wives becoming one flesh speaks of divinely-intended exclusivity of sex within marriage, not the indissolubility of marriage itself. Paul wrote that the man who joins himself to a prostitute, something forbidden by God, becomes “one flesh” with her (1 Cor. 6:16). Obviously, there is nothing indissoluble about the relationship of a man and a prostitute. In fact, all such relationships should be dissolved immediately.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We have above established the untruth of this first sentence statement of Servant’s.    As in Part 1, we have shown conclusively that the supernaturally-created sarx mia  one-flesh state differs from the hen soma (one body) man-joined counterfeit described by Paul in 1 Cor. 6:16, which he also contrasts with sarx mia at the end of that verse, before Paul goes on to speak only of sarx mia in Ephesians 5:31.     Where there is no synezeuxen, there can be no sarx mia.    By process of elimination, where there is no  sarx mia, the joining is merely hen soma.   There certainly is nothing indissoluble about hen soma, the relationship of a man with a prostitute, or for that matter, with anyone other than the God-joined living spouse of his youth.   As Servant himself correctly states, “In fact, all such relationships should be dissolved immediately.”     We couldn’t agree more, and this has been our point all along.    People are often surprised to find out that both Jesus and Paul used an entirely different vocabulary set for indissoluble holy matrimony, and another set of term for all other forms of illicit sexual union.   With regard to joining, the main difference again is verb tense — but it is a vey important difference because it describes duration, continuity, durability and the like.

Vocabulary of Holy Matrimony

For Servant to neglect making this distinction, and thus to use unlike terms interchangeably, is either ill-informed or willful.    We won’t presume to judge which, but will say here that Servant violates the hermeneutical principle of Content on its most basic level.

Properly understood, the above makes hen soma a sub-element of sarx mia, but the converse is never true.    The latter exists as soon as valid, eligible vows are exchanged in front of witnesses, and synezeuxen occurs exclusively by God’s hand.   In the case of holy matrimony, hen soma occurs , depending on whether or not there was fornication between the (biblically-eligible) pair ahead of the wedding, but at the latest, it becomes an element of the created sarx mia on the wedding night.   Some recent science paints a graphic, practical picture of what hen soma (one body) looks like in isolation.   Research has found that the DNA from a man’s sperm stays in a woman’s body indefinitely, even if it was a one-night stand or a rape.   The spiritual DNA that God puts there in a separate process also remains with the woman and the man until one of them physically dies.

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.   –  1 Cor. 6:18  

Servant:
And just because Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no man separate,” that does not prove that separation is impossible. Rather, it proves that separation is possible, otherwise there would be no need for a warning against it.

God also said, “Do not commit adultery.” That certainly does not prove that adultery is impossible. Rather, the prohibition against adultery proves it is possible, albeit inappropriate.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  This is a purely semantic (and entirely irrelevant) point.   Jesus was not just stating a metaphysical fact, nor an assumedly unattainable “ideal”, He was issuing a COMMANDMENT,  by which all men will be eternally judged.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter…Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’   And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Hence, making a flippant statement like “adultery is proven possible [by Jesus forbidding the civil legalization of it] , abeit ‘inappropriate’ ” comes off before the throne of heaven, and the intellect of the reader, as disrespectful of God’s word, and incredibly off-topic.

Servant:
“Divorced people are not married people, and this could not be more clear from God’s words in Deut. 24:1-4. There it speaks of a married woman whose husband divorced her, giving her a certificate of divorce. She was then unmarried. But she remarried, gaining a new husband, to whom she was a wife. But he subsequently divorced her. She was again unmarried. She was forbidden by law to remarry her first husband. But as a divorced, unmarried woman, she was free to remarry anyone else.

“Obviously, Jesus, the author of the Law of Moses, did not believe that divorced people are still married in God’s eyes to their former spouses.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Could we please allow Jesus to speak for Himself concerning what He thinks (since He actually did- repeatedly)?
[ Civilly] “Divorced” people are not “married” people, according to Servant, on account of an obscure Mosaic regulation which narrowly dealt with non-capital reasons to break a Hebrew betrothal contract (consanguinity, bleeding disease, leprosy, captive war concubine, etc.).  What Servant claims here is “true”  only if one is wistfully looking back to Moses out of utter contempt for the new “sheriff”,  Jesus.    We really like what Brother Elliot Nesch  had to say about this in the weekly stander’s conference call recording as he applied Romans 7:4 to this nutty heresy of neo-Judaism or Hebrew Roots or Torah Observance (take your pick):

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Brother Nesch quipped:  “this widowed bride is diminishing her new Husband while slaving to please a dead husband”.

We also like what Brother Paul had to say about it:  Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.   And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the WHOLE Law.   – Galatians 5:2-3

Those who want to go back to the lawless pretense that man can dissolve God-joined holy matrimony, under Moses’ system of sin-management, and to forbid inseverable one-flesh partners to reconcile even though willful, ongoing unforgiveness also robs people of their inheritance in the kingdom of God (Matthew 18:23-35),  might need to consider offering up a ram on the altar every day (as if that remained possible), or at the very least, stoning their disobedient children to death.    

Since nobody in the body of Christ can ever again be impacted by a human ketubah, there is no part of Deuteronomy 24 that has any relevance or application today in the body of Christ.   There is some understandable confusion about this due to the post-Moses, pre-Jesus expansion by rabbinical tradition to cover capital offenses, against which the instructions given in Deuteronomy 22 could no longer be carried out due to foreign occupiers, including Persia and Rome, both imposing a legal ban on stoning.   We’ll get into that a bit deeper below.

We dealt at length in Part 1 with the false assertions of  serial and concurrent polygamy apologists which are based on elevating Torah Observance over the New Covenant.   Here we will ask Mr. Servant for New Testament evidence that God ever delegated to humans any authority to create, regulate or “dissolve” holy matrimony.   After all, we have presented the direct evidence from the mouth of Jesus that He did not….”from the beginning.”   All Servant can cite is Mosaic regulation that Christ explicitly abrogated at the start of His public ministry…  “you have heard it said / it is written……BUT I SAY UNTO YOU….”

Nowhere does scripture tell us that Jesus was the “author of the law of Moses”, nor does it tell us that Jesus had no authority to abrogate the law of Moses with a higher law as He saw fit, and as in fact, the sermon on the mount shows several instances where the Mosaic standard was not good enough for the standards of the kingdom of God, where He did just that.    

#2 of 8 –  Servant’s Attack On The Plain Meaning of Romans 7:2-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39
(Pseudo-hermeneutics profusely in evidence here.)

So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress’ (Rom. 7:2-3).

Servant:
(Sarcastically) So clearly, only death can end the marriage relationship, and anyone who marries another person while his former spouse is still alive is living in an adulterous relationship, just as Paul taught.”

Answer: Only if we ignore content and context could we come to such a conclusion.

First, the content: Note that the example Paul uses is that of a “married woman” (Greek: hupandros gunenot a divorced woman. Of course, if a married woman is “joined to another man,” she would be an adulteress.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    First of all, we would vigorously argue with the characterization, “former” spouse who is still alive.   There’s no such thing as an “ex” in the kingdom of God, unless it’s an ex-adultery partner (legalized or otherwise).   The correct statement is “…anyone who marries another person while his (or her) estranged covenant spouse is still alive is living in an adulterous relationship.”

Secondly, there’s a semantic #fail on Servant’s “content” claim.    Yes, we are speaking of a “married” woman – she’s married for life, and in God’s eyes, it is only to the one He joined her to, not the counterfeit replacement on a piece of overreaching paper.   The only sense in which she is  therefore “divorced” is the man-fabricated civil sense.    Untwisting Servant’s contorted logic here,  as a consequence of getting back to the correct, biblical  definition of terms, the “adulteress” argument is not because she’s joined to some random man, but because she has joined in pseudo-marriage / civil-only union to somebody who is only her “spouse” on paper, since the one-flesh entity is still intact with her true husband, because God declines to participate in #2.

Servant:
A divorced woman, however, is not a married woman, but an unmarried woman. Paul, a former Pharisee who was well-versed in the Law of Moses and who appealed to the Law in this very passage in order to make his point (7:1), knew that a divorced woman was not “married to her former husband in God’s eyes” under the Law of Moses. In fact, Paul knew that the Mosaic Law forbade her to remarry her former husband if her second husband divorced her or died (Deut. 24:1-4). So there is absolutely no way he could have thought God viewed the divorced and remarried woman as still married to her original husband.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Term-twisting again.   A civilly-divorced woman is still a married woman in God’s eyes so long as the husband of her youth remains alive.    While it may be very true that Paul was aware of the Mosaic view of this, scripture tells us that he hung out with Jesus for three years in the Arabian wilderness following his conversion (Galatians 1:16-17).     He knew that the Mosaic era was now passe and the higher standards of the Messianic age were now in full effect.     He for sure knew that the kingdom of God is a place where the King is OBEYED.    He was not about to be staring wistfully back at Moses, as if he were in rebellion against Christ.   Servant’s theory, which is (shamelessly) based on elevating Moses over Jesus, simply doesn’t hang together.    Jesus said what He said, and He straightforwardly meant what He said.    Paul always aligned with Jesus and not with Moses.    

(Now let’s see if Servant myopically misses the part of the scripture below that severs us from the law of Moses in Rom. 7:4….note: the bold font below is his emphasis.)

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:1-5).

Servant:
“Obviously, Paul was not teaching about the sole lawful means of dissolving a marriage. That was not his topic. Rather, he was simply using an illustration from marriage to teach how Jewish believers in Christ are no longer bound to the Law of Moses since they have died in Christ.

To claim that Paul’s words in Romans 7:1-5 are teaching about the sole means of dissolving a marriage would be like claiming that his quotation of the old covenant law, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing” in 1 Cor. 9:9 and 1 Tim. 5:18 was written to teach the Corinthians and Timothy about animal husbandry.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Mr. Servant is here trying to have it both ways.    Yes, Paul was using the marriage / widowhood analogy to demonstrate to us that Jews and Gentiles alike are not bound to the Law of Moses.    But he’d have us believe that the analogy Paul used was not a valid one, if he’s then going to claim that death isn’t in fact the only way that an unconditional covenant in which God Himself is one of the participants can be dissolved.    The whole point of both contexts is that death is the only way the Mosaic Covenant dissolved, and death is the only way the covenant of holy matrimony dissolves — due to God’s direct participation in both.    Speaking of “animal husbandry” and scripture context,  Matthew 5:32 is clearly about an INNOCENT woman not being turned into an adulteress by the heinous action of her husband, not about allowing a man to divorce his wife for adultery.    See Part 3B for further clarity on this.

Servant:
“A similar passage that is twisted by Divine Divorce proponents to prove that marriage can only be dissolved by death is 1 Cor. 7:39: “A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” Honest interpreters, however, will admit that one sentence is not the sum total of all that Paul, or the Bible, teaches in regard to the subject of marriage or its dissolution.”

Clearly, Paul was not saying that only death dissolves a marriage, as seconds earlier he made it clear that a believer married to an unbeliever who wants to divorce is “not under bondage” in such cases and should let the unbeliever leave (1 Cor. 7:15). It would seem odd to claim that, in such cases, the deserted believer is still married to the deserter until death.     

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Honest interpretation, on the contrary, would point out that Paul’s instruction and testimony on the immorality and invalidity of remarriage while the spouse of our youth is alive is consistent throughout the Apostle’s writings, and more importantly, consistent with Christ’s view, while departing from Moses’ view, throughout.   Servant is fabricating confusion out of his own cognitive dissonance.  His argument is the classic redefinition of terms engaged in by liberal commentators for decades.    His pseudo-hermeneutics come into play here as he misuses the term “under bondage” found in verse 15.   We covered that at length in Part 1,  and separately in our 2015 “Stop Abusing Scripture” series.   What Servant humanistically paints as “odd” is precisely what Jesus was directly speaking of in Matthew 19:12, that is, becoming a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of God — one (but far from the only one) of those places in life where His disciples are called to take up their cross and follow Him instead of their flesh.    As Paul goes on to state in verses 11 and 16, we are to leave open the possibility of return and reconciliation with our one-flesh who is at this point not only prodigal to us, but prodigal to God Himself, and who therefore remains in danger of hell if he does not make a U-turn in the road.   The very worst thing a true spouse can possibly do is join the prodigal in their own leaky boat by replicating his or her adulterous sin in their own life.   Carnal Christian society will “buy” the cheap, legalized veneer these days, but Jehovah Berith never will.

Servant:
Moreover, Paul also allowed for those “released from a wife” to remarry (1 Cor. 7:27-28), which indicates again that Paul believed divorce dissolves marriage. On top of that, as I have already said, Jesus’ statement that “Whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Mat. 5:32) indicates that whoever divorces his wife for immorality and remarries does not commit adultery. Clearly, Jesus believed that legitimate divorce annuls a marriage, thus again proving that death alone is not the only thing that can annul a marriage.

At most, 1 Cor. 7:39 is a simple instruction for married women to remain faithful to their vows and to help widows understand that they are free to remarry.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   It should be abundantly clear by now that Paul “believed” no such thing!    In the Corinthian church, which did include some converted Jews, there were two ways a man could be “released from a wife“,  neither of which encompassed those who immorally abandoned their one-flesh living wife under pretext of a legal system that violated God’s law.    An unmarried man could possibly be released from a ketubah betrothal contract, which was an agreement where under Jewish law and tradition, the betrothed woman had all of the legal standing of a consummated wife, and was referred to as such.

The other sort man of man “released from a wife” in the Corinthian church was a widower.    It is inconsistent with the vast body of conflicting scripture for Servant to make the outrageous claim that a one-flesh, legally estranged husband is “released from” a still-living wife.     Furthermore, Servant’s denial of  the plain, straightforward meaning of verse 39 has no reasonable basis, for the same reason that his denial of the plain meaning of Romans 7:2-3 has no supportable basis: circular reasoning.    This is discussed in greater detail in our “Stop Abusing Scripture” series, this particular installment dealing with the evangelical rape of 1 Corinthians 7, and another installment with the rape of Matthew 19:9 and 5:32 to attempt to “justify” what Christ unambiguously and repeatedly forbid.    We all individually choose to obey Him or we find excuses not to,  but in Servant’s case, he is deceiving others into holding onto those excuses (while forfeiting their inheritance in the kingdom of God), in a manner that shows unusual contempt for the authority of Christ and His word.    

 

#3 of 8 –  Servant’s Off-Base Denial That Legalized Sequential Polygamy Is Equivalently Immoral to Legalized Sodomy As “Marriage”

Servant:
If a married homosexual couple became believers in Jesus, we would tell them to “divorce,” even if they shared adopted or surrogate children, because theirs is a sexually immoral relationship. So likewise, we should tell couples in adulterous marriages that they, too, should divorce, even if they have children, as theirs is a sexually immoral relationship.

Answer: This is an invalid comparison, because all homosexuality is always wrong whereas, indisputably, not all marriage is wrong.

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:   What makes this a directly valid comparison is the absence of unconditional covenant (along with the corresponding absence God’s participation in it), the complete absence of God’s act of creating synezeuxen, supernatural God-yoking between them, hence no sarx mia.    This participation of God in either type of union is, by definition and by His holy character,  impossible.   The one type of illicit union left their one-flesh partner instead of their father and mother, and the other type is male and male, or female and female, not male and female.  Neither type qualifies under God’s unchanging definition of holy matrimony, even if an apostate “pastor” participates.   Such a “shepherd” is misusing the holy name of the Lord to perform a vain act — breaking the 3rd and 9th commandments himself.    Both types of unions are explicitly listed twice by Paul, who pointedly says, “do not be deceived”, as costing the unrepentant participants in these unions their inheritance in the kingdom of God.  (Note also the slick substitution of terms by Servant:  referring to “marriage” instead of non-widowed “remarriage” as if the two were morally equivalent.)

Servant:
Jesus did not say that he who divorces and remarries “lives in an adulterous marriage,” or “lives in a continual state of adultery,” or “commits adultery every time he/she has sex,” or “is still married to his/her former spouse in God’s eyes,” and it is obvious, as I explained in my previous two articles, that Jesus did not intend for His words to be so interpreted. Moreover, none of the New Testament authors interpreted His words in any of those ways.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Servant will continue to preposterously claim that Jesus didn’t straightforwardly say what He indeed said:

“…and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

“…and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

“…and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

 ” And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.   And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

(Scriptures are:  Matthew 5:32b; Matthew 19:9b; Luke 16:18b and Mark 10:11-12)

Servant first rejects the notion that Greek verb tenses are crucial to rightly dividing what Jesus was saying, i.e. that this is an ongoing state of sin, and not a one-time act as he would prefer.    When that utterly fails, as we shall see below, he hypothesizes based on one “conservative scholar’s” pure speculation about what it would mean “if” Jesus used a different verb tense, despite the fact that none of the scholars provide any evidence that He actually used that alternative verb tense, and they unanimously provide abundant evidence that He very consistently used the present-indicative verb tense.    This way Servant appears to be conversant in hermeneutics, pretentiously so, but is deliberately blathering to distract from the inconvenient truth, while parroting someone who is admittedly not a linguistic scholar, and appears to be more liberal than “conservative” — but, all things are relative to their reference point, in this case, Christ.   It is very common to prefer to compare men with men, instead of with Christ.

Here’s what we authoritatively cited (as do all credible scholars) in the Part 2 rebuttal:

Without exception, every time Jesus says that “marrying” another person while our God-joined one-flesh partner lives is entering into a state of ongoing adultery,  He used the present-indicative verb tense / mood,   According to the source ntgreek.org,

“The present tense usually denotes continuous kind of action. It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’ When used in the indicative mood, the present tense denotes action taking place or going on in the present time. “

The very fact that Servant is forced into this discussion of Greek verb tense should alone prove that none of the rest of his theory claiming holy matrimony is dissoluble by acts of men is supportable, when both Jesus and Paul plainly and repeatedly stated that it was not, as did Mark, Peter’s scribe.

Servant:
Just from a purely legal aspect, to claim that a marriage covenant is still binding after an act of adultery is like claiming that any other mutual promise is still in force after one party fails to keep their part of the contract.

And if I enter a mutual covenant with a member of the opposite sex that includes, among other things, exclusive sexual relations for life, and I later have sex with someone other than my spouse, I have no right to expect my spouse to honor her side of the covenant. She did not say in her vows, “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in sexual faithfulness and adultery…”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Servant confuses contract with unconditional covenant here, while he himself describes a conditional covenant, which holy matrimony clearly is not.   It’s a good thing for Servant that Jehovah Berith does not confuse these!    The Bridegroom in his salvation covenant with us holds Himself to it for as long as we live.   Only when we fail to show up at the Marriage Supper, because we preferred the world system (including its evangelical chapter), does the covenant break, and only because we physically died in our own rebellion.     By getting all legal about it, David Servant is showing himself to be a legalist, rather than appreciating the glory and unimpeachable character of the Bridegroom.

As for appealing to the wedding vows,  we all know that the groom vows unconditionally and the bride vows unconditionally, so long as they both shall live, not “I’ll do X only if you do Y,  and if you don’t do Y the deal is ‘effectively’ dissolved“.     What part of “for better or worse” does sexual infidelity not fit into, since Mr.  Servant brought the matter up?

Servant:
Divine Divorce proponents sometimes appeal to Greek verb tenses to make the claim that Jesus’ words, “commits adultery” indicate He was referring to continual acts of adultery every time the remarried couple has sex. Again, above and in my previous articles, I showed why such a view cannot possibly be correct…..J. Carl Laney…’it is also possible that the present tense, “commits adultery,” may be used in an aoristic sense expressing the idea of a present fact without reference to progress. The aoristic present sets forth an event as now occurring. So interpreted, the adultery would involve one punctiliar action at the time of remarriage.’

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   This was dealt with in Part 2 and above, where Servant obstinately denies that Jesus said what he said (also denies that Jesus meant what He said).   Bottom line:  Laney’s assertion is mere speculation and in any event, he has provided no credible evidence that Jesus was using the aorist tense for the word “commits” to counter the unanimous evidence of other scholars that He was using the present-indicative tense, according to all the reliable Greek interlinear text tools, including scripture4all.org and biblehub.com.  There is zero evidence that this is a “punctiliar action” and a mountain of evidence, not the least of which is context and scriptural consistency, that it is an ongoing state of sin.     Once again, the very fact that Servant finds himself in the unenviable position of trying to find a defense for the obvious wrongness of adulterous nuptials –as he is intrinsically admitting–using Greek verb tense hypotheticals (to establish a suggestion that this admitted sin – presumably including theft, coveting and false witness – “only” occurs on the wedding night) indicates there is a YUGE problem with his theory – pun fully intended.

Servant:
“What grace means is that a divorced and remarried couple need not break up. Although entering their marriage wrongfully, they should remain in that marital state in which they find themselves (1 Cor 7:17-24).

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:    No, sir, that’s hypergrace.   What grace means is that, so long as the legalized adulterers draw breath, they have an opportunity to sever their unlawful union, make restitution to their real spouse(s) and famil(ies), and receive cleansing forgiveness.    If they truly are regenerated, and not a false convert who came to Jesus on conditional terms or false representation of what saving faith entails, grace is the Holy Spirit who indwells them and leads them to purity by inward conviction.     As stated earlier, everybody to entered into holy matrimony with the spouse of their youth is “called” as married-for-life to that person, even if they are simultaneously in a legalized illicit relationship, whether heterosexual or homosexual, childless or otherwise.    Only the biblically-lawful estranged relationship survives regeneration.     We previously pointed out Servant’s invalid-context usage of this (1 Cor 7:17-24).scripture he abuses to claim otherwise.

#4 of 8 –  David Servant’s Rejection Of Our Intellectual Rebuke: Arguing From Silence

Servant:
You point out that there are no instructions—by either Jesus or the apostles who authored the New Testament epistles—for those who have been divorced and remarried to divorce again, nor are there any examples of anyone doing such a thing. But that is an argument from silence. Conversely, neither are there any instructions—by either Jesus or the apostles who authored the New Testament epistles—for those who have been divorced and remarried to remain married. So the opposite of your view can also be made from an argument of silence.

“The burden of proof lies with Divine Divorce proponents, as it is quite reasonable to think that, if God requires all divorced and remarried people to divorce again as a requirement to “escape an adulterous marriage” and thus “escape hell” (as Divine Divorce proponents claim), there would be lots of information about that in the New Testament, as it would be a matter of great concern to both God and humanity….And if God does not require divorced and remarried people to divorce again as a requirement for salvation”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:     The plain fact is that the justification purchased for us with the price of His blood is a betrothal of sorts.   We were not good enough for this Bridegroom, yet He bound Himself to us in a ketubah contract.   He paid our bride-price for us with His blood.   We promised to show up at the future Marriage Supper, wearing our wedding garments, and having our lamps filled with oil (our ongoing sanctification) so that our salvation can be consummated there.    We promised to keep ourselves pure of other gods, which will invariably lead us to walk in the opposite direction of that holy venue.    That ketubah He left in our hands is unconditionally binding on our Bridegroom, but we remain free to break it by choosing those other gods over Him, by not showing up at the heavenly banquet hall because we preferred the comforts of our temporal abode, because this life appeared more attractive to us than what we were promised in eternal life.

It doesn’t matter one bit what the “majority of Christianity” believes…it only matters what GOD SAYS.     People who have stood celibate for their God-joined covenant spouse and authentic holy matrimony union will not be faced with any divine “burden of proof” on this topic whatsoever.   Neither will anyone who stood on conviction and God’s word to terminate a covetous and immoral relationship with the spouse of another living person, while praying for that person to reconcile and forgive their own one-flesh, have to bear any “burden of proof.”    They are the obedient ones who said “Lord, Lord” and did what He said.

Instead, it will be the ones standing before the Great White Throne who are being asked, “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord…  but refused to do what I commanded?” who will bear the burden of proof.    Perhaps they will try to hide behind their pastoral wolf who said it was OK.     They will then be asked whether they could read, and how many bibles and computers were in their illicit homes.   The “burden of proof” is going to be on the false shepherds, as well. who misused the name of the Lord to perform the vain act of “joining” the already-joined to an adulterous partner, and then who hindered them from repenting by twisting His word to avoid the mass scandal that such  a wave of repentance represents to their “ministry”.

In Part 1, we said this about the “argument from silence” (…that legalized adulterers are not “told” to leave their ongoing state of sin), after we listed and linked several dozen OT and NT scriptures, in contrast to the four that Servant claims we “exclusively” rely on, which support the no-excuses, no-exceptions indissolubility of covenant holy matrimony:

“The second reason the exhaustive list of related scriptures is important is to dispute the typical false claims of ‘scripture silence’ such as David Servant (and many others) have alleged….David Servant makes much of claiming that neither Jesus, nor any of the Apostles ever told anyone to divorce a “second” time who was living in sin with someone else’s God-joined spouse.    This is not entirely true.    John the Baptist called out Herod and Herodias, both of whom had divorced their God-joined spouses to “marry” each other, saying to Herod, “it is not lawful for you to have your brother Phillip’s wife.”  (Mark 6; Matthew 14)….Then there’s the episode of church discipline being applied in 1 Corinthians 5 at Paul’s command to the man who had taken his father wife (probably his stepmother, following either the divorce or death of the father).    The scripture does not state that he “married” her, but there are three immoral possibilities:  (1) the father was dead and they were cohabiting in fornication, or (2) the father had civilly divorced her and the son had civilly married her, or (3) the father had separated or divorced her, and they were cohabiting in adultery.   Since the man was still in the church body whom Paul had to rebuke, (1) and (3) seem less likely than (2).    What we do know is that Paul felt strongly enough that the son’s soul was on the line unless the church excommunicated him (“turned him over to satan that his soul may be saved”).
Please read the full section in Part 1 for further details.

We also dealt much earlier with other enemies of covenant restoration per Luke 16:18 and 1 Cor. 7:11 who claim “scripture silence”, in our blog What About That Samaritan Woman?.

Some courses of action connected with repentance are contextual, and the window of context matters greatly in that regard.  With regard to repentance from remarriage adultery, the window of context is really the entire bible.   There was no explicit command to the tax-collector Zaccheus to return four-fold what he had extorted from the citizenry in his covetousness, which he carried out lawfully (according to some historical accounts of the Roman law and practice), but he did as the Holy Spirit led him to do, and Jesus responded to this “salvation-by-works”:  “Today salvation has come to this house.”    The bible makes clear that repentance entails far more than “confession” while remaining in a state of sin.    It is heart-change that results in abhorrence, repudiation and cessation of the sin.    There seems to be more than plenty to fill the claimed “silence” to “he who has ears to hear“.

#5 of 8 –  Servant’s Denial of the Unanimity and Relevance of Early Church Father’s Teaching Which Was in Agreement with Christ and the Apostles

Argument None of the church fathers who wrote after the apostolic age agree with [ David Servant, and others who deny that holy matrimony is indissoluble until death.]

Answer: It is certainly true that the church fathers wrote at times about the subject of divorce and remarriage, and they of course quoted Jesus’ words about illegitimate divorce and remarriage being adultery. I have never claimed that they did not. Some forbade remarriage under any circumstances, erring on the side of caution in my humble opinion. But to date, no one has been able to show me where any early church father instructed divorced and remarried people to divorce again, or for that matter instructed anyone to divorce period, prior to something Jerome wrote in 394 AD counseling one remarried woman. So is someone who lived 360 years after Christ the ultimate authority? Jerome also defended the idea that Mary remained a virgin perpetually. Is that biblical?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    We’ve seen ample evidence so far that Mr. Servant’s opinion is just about as “humble” as it is informed.    We’ve already discredited his arguments from silence at length.    Servant is owed no evidence that these ante-Nicene leaders expected adulterous couples to separate and true spouses to reconcile.   It matters not a whit to the Great White Throne what he personally chooses or declines to believe.   He will be held accountable for his actions corrupting (true, not “blended”) families.

Do not be in error my brethren.  Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this as respects mere human families have suffered death, how much more will this be the case with anyone who corrupts by wicked doctrine the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified!  Such a one becoming defiled in this way shall go away into everlasting fire and so shall everyone that harkens unto him.
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Epistle To The Ephesians, 105 A.D.

We do concede that some of the bishops and martyrs of the early churches differed slightly on whether “divorce / putting away” (whatever form that actually took, which may not necessarily have  been civil proceedings, and depending on the actual Greek term used in the original writings) was permissible, but all were unanimous that “divorce / putting away” dissolved nothing, and hence they were unanimous that non-widowed remarriage was indeed adultery, which they unanimously did not consider to be a “punctiliar one-time act.”    (And, true to form, Mr. Servant can’t seem to restrain himself from ad hominem when the fact-bearers interfere with his carnal humanism, in this case, even besmirching the long-dead saints and martyrs who lived nearest the apostolic age. )

The indisputable historical fact is that the early church was so unanimous in their practice of this conviction of indissolubility that they accomplished in just a few centuries (arguably, only four) a culture-change so sweeping and durable for fifteen centuries following, that the world has never again seen the likes of until unilateral divorce was enacted in the United States in the 1970’s.   Even the most heretical elements of the Reformation only rocked it on a delayed basis until after this apostate modern development which the church failed to morally or politically resist.

Quoting bible historian Kenneth E. Kirk, and author Milton T. Wells:

“What is more astounding than the mere fact that the early Church taught and practiced the complete indissolubility of marriage for so long, is the fact that the Church chose to take its stand against the strong contemporary lax social and legal attitudes toward divorce which prevailed so universally all about them. The Church, today, feels that it is on the horns of a dilemma, because so many divorcees are coming to her for help and encouragement. Shall she accommodate the Scriptures to the apparent need of the unfortunate divorcees, or shall she uphold the Biblical standard of the indissolubility of marriage for any cause while faithfully discharging her duty to such distressed individuals?  Every church of today which considers the lowering of its divorce standards should remember that the early Church stood true to the Biblical doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage in a world that was pagan and strongly opposed to the moral and marriage standards of the New Testament.
Not only did the Church maintain her stand on the indissolubility in the early centuries, she changed the attitude and standards of the whole world toward it. Even today the whole Church of Christ and the entire western world is still reaping the rich benefits of that heritage.   Shall the Christian Church of today
[mid-20th century] be less courageous and faithful than the Church of the early centuries of the Christian era?  Does she not under God have the same spiritual resources?

“There were other grievous social evils in the early Christian centuries. Slavery enveloped the Roman Empire of that age, yet the Christians did not set themselves to change the thinking of the masses against it, but they did set themselves to change the thinking of the masses toward marriage and divorce. Why did they not attack slavery with the same vehemence? The reason was that the Apostles had not received a “thus saith the Lord” from Christ respecting it. They had, however, received such in the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage. No sect or school of philosophy is known to have influenced the early Church in this teaching. From whence, then, did she get the teaching? Certainly she received it from the teaching of the Gospels and from the teaching of the Apostles, who had earlier conveyed the same orally (as well as in writing) to the leaders of the early Church who succeeded them.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  “Standerinfamilycourt” also has a “humble” opinion, and that is that this massive social change which introduced and sustained lifelong monogamy for the first time in history could not have been accomplished by ante-Nicene pastors who refused to excommunicate their adulterers, but instead performed faux nuptials over them.    Nor was it accomplished by 1st to 4th century shepherds who filled their pews with adulterers by not requiring them to sever those illicit unions, or by allowing them to continue in immoral abandonment of their true families based  on the deceitful rationalization that their pre-conversion covenant commitments (things that were clearly not “sin”) were “washed clean” along with their actual fully-repented sin.    The astounding societal result shows these leaders were mindful of Christ’s words in Matthew 5,

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Near the end of our Part 2 response, we quickly listed a sampling of key quotes of the ante-Nicene church fathers concerning the lifelong indissolubility of holy matrimony, without the citations.  Given the length of our Part 3 response, we now link the readers to an excellent recording where, starting at about 13 minutes in, Pastor Stephen Wilcox cites these with full literary references.

Servant:
One of the most amusing things is to hear people quote certain church fathers in order to support their particular theological beliefs, and then listen to their response when I ask them if there is anything those same church fathers wrote with which they disagree…

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  One does not need to be an expert on all exhaustive positions of every church father to reliably quote them, provided they know and honestly convey the context of the quote they are relying on.   Nor did these early leaders have to be perfectly on target on every issue, as long as they align with what Jesus and the Apostles said on the topic at-hand.    Peter was rebuked in scripture by Paul — do we therefore discount everything Peter wrote?    Paul rejected one of the Apostles who wrote a gospel – do we therefore summarily discount all of what Paul wrote?   Moses was also shown to be fallible on numerous occasions, yet Mr. Servant is utterly livid that even one word from Moses be abrogated by Jesus Christ.

This concludes our discussion of David Servant’s points 1 through 5 of Part 3 of his article series, “I’m Divorced and Remarried.   Am I Living in Adultery?”    As promised, we will wrap up with his points 6 through 8 in the next blog post.   Here, however we’ll address head-on David Servant’s greatest fear:  that today’s trickle of repenting Emilys will become an embarrassing flood.    He has good reason to fear this because of the widespread apostasy of the evangelical church in creating a mass class of improperly-discipled people whom the Lord loves and does not want in hell.   If this is a move of God, and we strongly suspect that it is, Servant can write his questionable articles until Jesus comes back, but he cannot stop the move of the Holy Spirit in orchestrating this flood, however bad it looks to the carnally-minded.    Ditto for Piper, MacArthur and anyone else on the long list of Christian celebrities who got that way by pandering to legalized adulterers and hindering authentic repentance from this sin.  This holy wave will be clearly distinguishable from increased last days evil, due to the celibacy and reconciliation that will accompany it.  Blaming and demonizing  the truth-tellers is pointless as well, because we only lay out the facts and encourage people toward sound avenues of self-study, leaving the rest up to the Holy Spirit.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  –  Ephesians 5:11

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