Category Archives: Divorce

Wives Adrift: A “High View” of Marriage Includes WHAT??

by Standerinfamilycourt

Who could ever forget the young Iranian-American pastor’s wife who traveled the country and courageously spent so much time in front of the powerful in her devoted effort to win her husband’s release from a cruel foreign prison as his health hung perilously in the balance?   Naghmeh has shed her covenant surname in the past year in response to her freed husband’s divorce petition.    As Pastor Saeed approached his sudden early-2016 release, tragic new allegations started to pour out of his wife, of abusive treatment by him toward her that dated back,  she says, to shortly after their wedding, of his addiction to pornography that began prior to his arrest and continued during the imprisonment, of adultery committed on the eve of his arrest in Iran,  and of restraining orders and legal separation papers filed in their home state, seemingly before the plane carrying him home to the U.S. had even touched down.    How did a man manage to continue as a pastor when his wife was filing for protective orders against him even several years ago?

By her own Facebook declaration, Naghmeh had fallen under the influence of an unbiblical “abuse” ministry which calls itself A Cry for Justice.  The purpose of this “ministry” seems to be to persuade wives who suffer any sort of actual or imagined abuse to file a unilateral divorce petition (which Naghmeh did not actually do, but instead she provocatively filed for a legal separation as her husband was enroute home)–and to feel no biblical remorse or concern for the soul of their spouse in doing so.  Further, if their church leadership disagrees with this course of action for any reason, they are to be deemed “misogynistic” and dismissed from any further authority or influence in the “victim’s” life.    {Core message:  this is too hard for our all-powerful God to handle in the time frame we desire, so by all means, make eternity-altering decisions based solely on your emotions, and take “justice” into your own hands.  (Love,  satan.) }

So appalled was “standerinfamilycourt” after viewing this group’s media pages, that a blog post was started, revised, torn up, started again — but alas, the timing didn’t seem quite right to expose the evil proselytizing of ACFJ while the raw emotions were carrying the day for this pair, without coming off as insensitive to the tragedy unfolding in the Abedini family.   The preservation of individual covenant families will always be far more important than anything “7 Times Around the Jericho Wall” will ever have to say on any topic.

Eighteen months later, we see this from a very wounded wife whose husband has effectively been biblically-disqualified for now, by satan’s schemes, from carrying on in his calling:

NaghmehPost
The article to which Naghmeh refers in her post appears on a blog page called Gentle Reformation (describing itself as “a cooperative effort by friends in the R&P faith-Reformed and Presbyterian-to speak the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in its many applications through the media of the internet“).    Written as an interview with Rebecca and William VanDoodewaard: she an author and he a seminary professor, it was entitled:   A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce“.     It was gratifying to see several members of the covenant marriage standers’ community gently correcting the fallacies in Naghmeh’s post, and correctly pointing out that only death, not divorce, will ever dissolve her holy matrimony covenant.   This is especially encouraging in light of Naghmeh’s page-following which currently stands at 81,611 souls.

Notwithstanding the fact that both of these denominations, Reformed and Presbyterian, labor under the exegetical falsehoods of the marriage clauses of the Westminster Confession, it seemed interesting to dissect this blog to see how it is that they figure something which Jesus declared man-made, and which He personally abrogated from the law of the  Old Testament, was somehow deemed “necessary”  to a “high view” of the holy ordinance which God defined, with indissolubility being one of the two essential attributes (Matthew 19:6) from the beginning.     Perhaps even more interesting is to investigate exactly what else these folks deem a “high view” of marriage to entail.

This exchange begins:

“God hates divorce, doesn’t He? Absolutely.  Isn’t the gospel about forgiveness and love? Yes, it is. And pastors and elders can use these two truths in isolation from the rest of Scripture and biblical principles to deny people divorce for biblical grounds. “But marriage is a precious thing,” one pastor told a woman whose husband was in prison for pedophilia. “It would be a wonderful picture of God’s grace to move on from this and focus on your marriage,” another one told the husband of an adulteress. “We’re working with him; he’s really struggling, and so you need to forgive him,” a session tells a woman whose husband has been using pornography for years.

“Evangelical and confessional churches are striving to maintain a high view of marriage in a culture that is ripping the institution to shreds. So extra-biblical barriers to divorce can be well-meant. They try to protect marriage by doing everything possible to avoid divorce. In doing so, they not only fail to keep a high view of marriage. They also spread lies about the gospel, divorce, the value of people, the character of God, and the nature of sexual sin.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We can’t say it often enough:  Marriage heresy is born out of  (and actually gets its oxygen from)  the failure to grasp the crucial concepts of one-flesh and unconditional covenant that Jesus was describing in Matthew 19:6.    Any attempt to defend marriage permanence on any other basis falls flat against the emotionally-charged  arguments that are the very calling card of satan’s serial polygamy surrogates.    The aim, of course, is to loudly distract from the clarity of actual scriptural instruction, God-breathed and divinely given for a particular situation, because of a culturally distasteful (or doctrine-discrediting) element therein.    Both principles, one-flesh and unconditional covenant, are mutually exclusive of the man-made doctrine of “biblical grounds” for marriage dissolution–unless the divorce in question is a repenting divorce from a man-joined unlawful union with somebody else’s God-joined spouse.   It then becomes unnecessarily debatable who exactly it is “spreading lies” about the gospel, divorce, the value of people, the character of God, and the nature of sexual sin.

Evangelical and “confessional” churches (we suppose that’s those who follow the morally corrupt WC)  are actually maintaining the lowest possible view of marriage, perhaps the lowest since the days that Jesus and His cousin sharply rebuked Pharasaical  Israel over the same issues.     Evangelical churches fell into this apostasy about 50 years ago, and “confessional” churches have been practicing it since their mid-17th century inception.

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That said, let’s get into the “meat” of the VanDoodewaards’ argument, which is organized as four “lies” they endeavor to debunk.   The problem is that their own perceptions of each “lie” entail many more lies of their own when faithfully tested against scripture:

The first lie is that forgiveness means that the offended party is bound to continue living with the guilty party once there’s an apology.

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  SIFC:   While it’s entirely possible that pastors and church counselors who are either ignorant of the supernatural dynamic of one-flesh principles, or who erroneously define them, or who outright reject them as inconsistent with their “pastoral” dogma, may indeed give erroneous advice of this nature, but that does not mean that Jesus or Paul or Peter taught that an abused or at-risk party is bound to continue living with an abuser, as has been charged here  of those who are calling out this militant disobedience to scripture.   The additional problem is that the VanDoodewaards are here speaking merely of an offended party having a “right” to haul their one-flesh into a pagan courtroom for a “dissolution” certificate, and they are  implying that it’s acceptable in the sight of God to uproot one’s family just because one feels “offended” by their spouse.    Here we’re straying off into the subjective realm of “emotional abuse” (the fruit of self-focus; the idolatry of self-worship) where offense is purely in the eye of the beholder — which is very dangerous and unjust territory indeed.     Just because a person is “offended” does not mean their own heart attitude is at all acceptable to God.   Hard-heartedness (especially toward our one-flesh spouse) will cause a person to also harden their heart toward God — Who is also a holy Member of their unconditional marriage covenant.   (Yes, we unapologetically call it unconditional).

Hear what the Apostle (and the Holy Spirit) actually had to say on this point:

 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband  (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
– 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

The poison-pill in this scripture, and deemed to be “misogyny” and “injustice”  by these “ministries”, is the remain celibate or else be reconciled commandment to which man has been trying for centuries to insert exceptions that the Holy Spirit apparently “omitted”.     It was likewise the “unbearable” poison-pill as perceived by the Reformation humanists, including John Milton, Martin Luther, John Calvin and Erasmus Desiderius.      This is not to say that there’s any evidence that Naghmeh is currently pursuing an illicit relationship, but her promotion of heretical “ministries” is surely coming as a stumbling block to many desperate, estranged spouses.    It is not compassionate, nor is it “merciful” to encourage anyone to saw chunks off the literal cross that we are called and allotted to carry as individual disciples, for this runs the tragic risk that our lightened and abbreviated cross will some day become too short to span the fiery gap over the perdition of self-worship (idolatry) into the kingdom of God.   


Wives in particular are told that God requires that they forgive a repentant spouse, which is true, and that this means that they need to stay in the marriage, which is not true.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Scripture tells us that the option to “choose” whether or not to “stay in the marriage” is not actually ours to make, be we a husband or a wife.   We ARE in the marriage, like it or not, until the physical death of one of the marriage partners, if we are indeed married in God’s sight.   The VanDoodewards are here conflating the biblically-allowed practice of a reconciliation-purposed season of separation, as God’s best for both spouses, with the purely man-made (and forbidden) practice of dragging a one-flesh spouse into a pagan courtroom to extract from them their property and God-assigned parental rights, based purely on our own allegations, where we know in advance that no evidence of those allegations will ever be required of us under our nation’s immoral “family laws”.    

It’s like saying to parents who discover that the babysitter molested their children: “Oh, but the sitter said sorry. It would be unloving to not ask them to watch the kids again. You need to demonstrate your forgiveness.” The argument is that Jesus forgave you and took you in: why can’t you do the same for a spouse? Because I am not God: I am human, too, and can’t atone for my spouse’s sin in a way that can restore an earthly marriage.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We here encounter satan’s other timeless calling card:  the classic and spuriously-chosen false analogy.   Our relationship with the babysitter is not a supernatural and inseverable one-flesh relationship, nor an unconditional covenant relationship.   Therefore, forgiving and continuing to employ the babysitter can indeed be separate considerations, for they are not supernaturally joined to us for life, nor are they morally-bound to carry out an essential gender-specific role in the emotional wellbeing of our shared progeny, perhaps for generations to come.

It is godless to simply wash our hands of the soul of either person, whether they are our spouse or the babysitter.   The crucial difference is that living in permanent state of irreconciliation with the babysitter is unlikely to threaten his or her soul, while living in a permanent state of irreconciliation and estrangement with our one-flesh, joined-for-life, covenant partner is highly likely to damage or destroy that person’s soul along with the souls of our children and grandchildren — the very reason God hates the treachery and violence of man’s divorce of the spouse of our youth.        

Sacrificing a person to save a relationship is not the gospel. The gospel is that Someone was sacrificed to free us from sin and bring us to God. We cannot always bear the relational punishment for someone else’s sin.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   The first premise that needs to be closely scrutinized here is, what is meant by “sacrificing a person”?   What is exactly being “sacrificed” here?    Their feelings and emotions?   Their self-actualization?   Their self-esteem?   The ease and comfort of their life on this earth?     All of these things are purely humanistic,  and if they are derived from disobeying God’s commandments, instead of being found complete in Christ, they are God-substitutes.   In other words, the are idolatry.    Idolaters, we are are told twice by the Apostle, have no inheritance in the kingdom God.    Paul sternly warns us:  “Do not be deceived.”     Jesus, in fact, did bear the relational punishment for us.   How dare we mock His blood by claiming it’s not necessary or possible (under His supernatural enabling) to do the same for our one-flesh?     It’s not as if this undertaking was of our own accord, rather than divinely-commanded!  (See 1 Corinthians 7:11 above.)
The sacrifice we ought to be focused on is the sacrifice  of eternal souls, not the sacrifice of temporal comforts.   That’s the gospel!

As a matter of fact, the supernatural one-flesh entity is of itself a spiritual weapon deliberately designed by God, as is the three-way unconditional covenant to which GOD HIMSELF remains a party, even if both spouses choose to bail out.    That’s the primary reason why Paul can make the truly remarkable statement in 1 Corinthians 7:14:

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 

Instead of self-actualization, the primary purpose of holy matrimony is for both spouses to help each other, and the generations of their progeny, to achieve their inheritance in the kingdom of God against the vast list of wicked desires along the way that would cause them to be deceived into forfeiting the same.    This divine purpose of true holy matrimony is to stand firm for a lifetime against satan and all of his wicked mouthpieces who would be so brazen as to suggest otherwise.
 

We can forgive them, and will if we are a Christian….Forgiveness is always the Christian thing to do, and it simply means that the guilty party is forgiven, not absolved from all earthly consequences.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Here comes satan’s third unmistakable calling card:  the mixture of a small nugget of truth with a massive pack of lies.   Read on….(by the way, we are never called to deliberately inflict those consequences on the offender by our own self-serving choices and actions that directly disobey Christ’s very clear commandments.)

…but that doesn’t mean we have to live with them.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Very true…see 1 Corinthians 7:11.   In fact, married disciples with a prodigal spouses may be called to a very long season of standing celibate and being a lighthouse for others, including their children and grandchildren.

You can forgive someone and divorce them.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Very untrue.   What did Jesus say?

He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart MOSES permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning IT HAS NOT (ever) BEEN THIS WAY.
– Matthew 19:8

Jesus had just taken the divorce-happy Pharisees, with their similar network of wicked, man-manufactured laws, not back to the law of Moses’ wickedness-management found in Deuteronomy, but back instead to the other famous writing of the same Moses — Genesis 2:21-24.   

Scripture commands forgiveness where there is repentance

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Very untrue.   What did Jesus actually say?

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
– Mark 11:25

Scripture actually commands of mortal men and women unconditional forgiveness, while leaving room for God to impose any consequences on them.     Forgiveness hinging on repentance is a prerogative  reserved for the Most High alone.   

…but it never requires that a relationship be continued in the way that it was before covenant was shattered.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  An unconditional covenant to which the Lord of Hosts, the God of Angel Armies is a direct party cannot possibly be “shattered” — it can be violated and badly-bruised, but according to the word of God, the only thing that actually breaks such a covenant is physical death.    These authors show profound misunderstanding of  the nature of God’s covenants, as well as the integrity of His character in His acting within them.    

This lie of “forgiveness” places the burden on the innocent party. The sinner gets counsel, support, help, and prayer, while the sinned-against gets pressure, guilt, and a crushing future.  Acceptance is often labelled the “Christian” thing to do.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   The only reason this appears to be true is directly due to the disobedience and carnality of the contemporary churches who should be faithfully obeying the commandment to apply church discipline, according the instruction in Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 5.    Their failure to do this does not create a license for us to willfully disobey Christ’s clear commandments to us as individuals.    What’s being overlooked here is that God’s justice doesn’t always occur within the time limits we arrogantly set for Him.    What’s being overlooked is the bounds of  our job versus the power and remit of the Holy Spirit to change hearts, ours and our spouse’s.

As for this burden on the innocent party,  what did Jesus say?

 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:29-30

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.    The “burden” that is alleged here to be wrongfully transferred to the victim is actually transferred to the holy and all-powerful Third Participant in the unconditional covenant of holy matrimony,  making this a false charge, and essentially calling God a liar.


Since Christ gave divorce as an option in some circumstances, divorce can be the Christian thing to do, too.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  There are no circumstances where Christ gave divorce as an “option”.    There are, however, circumstances where Christ gave man’s divorce as a commandment:   to  repent of an adulterous civil-only union with somebody else’s God-joined, estranged spouse.   This is the sole instance where man’s divorce is the “Christian thing to do”, because several souls are in danger of hell otherwise, including one’s own.

The second lie is implied: God hates divorce more than He hates abuse and sexual sin. To put the lie a different way, God loves marriage more than He loves the women in it.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFCWe assure the readers: this implication is exclusively that of these authors, and does not necessary represent the opinion of the Most High.     After a long season of depravity, a penitent Solomon found out what really “yanks God’s chain”, to-wit:

There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.
– Proverbs 6:16-19

(We would humbly suggest that both the “Reformed” authors, and all those who harken after them, have committed some of these abominations just in the course of this article, not the least of which are:  misrepresenting the word of God, and coming between one-flesh covenant partners with their heresy.)

While God created marriage, loves marriage, and says that it is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church, Jesus didn’t die to save marriage. He died to save people. He sacrificed His life to protect His sons and daughters, and hates when they are abused, violated, and humiliated, particularly in a relationship that is supposed to picture Christ and the church.

This fact is especially true for women, who suffer at the hands of men whose actions mock servant leadership and so blaspheme the name of the Christ whom they are called to represent.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Pssst…The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!  For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Who, therefore, said retribution was to be left in our own hands?  Certainly not Jesus!

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.   Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
– Matthew 5:10-12

Do any of us dare to re-manufacture Jesus Christ to our own specifications?

Denying a woman legitimate divorce allows an unrepentant man to continue in this abuse and blasphemy.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Biblically speaking, this would only be true of a woman who is in a remarriage which Jesus repeatedly called adulterous, and the man-part is true of her adultery partner to whom God’s hand has never joined her at all.   This is the only woman “entitled” to a legitimate divorce (and only because this never was a “marriage” in God’s eyes to begin with).   This man is the true mocker and blasphemer so piously referenced above.   

If we want to value and treat marriage rightly, we need to think about Jesus!

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  No arguments here, provided the “Jesus” in question is the real Jesus of the bible.   This would be the Jesus who proclaimed man’s divorce not only immoral but actually impossible with regard to God-joined holy matrimony unions.

His care for His Church is not an abstract idea. We see it lived out in the gospels every day in purity, tender care for widows, and intolerance of the Pharisees who thought they could be right with God while checking out beautiful women at the market. Christ’s love for His church found very concrete expression on the cross—willingness to die to save His beloved people. Yes, God hates divorce. And there are some things that He hates even more.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC: Repeating a false premise does not render it true …As already discussed above.

The third lie is that divorce is an unclean thing

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SIFC:  Man’s divorce is of no effect at all, clean or unclean, with regard to God-joined holy matrimony.    It is a clean thing indeed (repentance) with regard to legally terminating non-marriages, that is with regard to disentangling from legalized sodomy, from legalized adultery, and from whatever legalized abominations lie ahead as further foul fruits of the Protestant “Reformers” heinous acts redefining of marriage back in the 16th century.

…often the fault of the innocent party.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  The innocent party remains accountable to obey God’s laws regardless of the degree of abuse or suffering that has gone before, or that which results as a consequence of obeying Christ.   The purported efforts to “dissolve” holy matrimony are always satan’s fault, but he’s limited to working through disobedient and / or deceived human instruments.   

This is a misunderstanding of divorce. Divorce is not the innocent party ending a marriage. Divorce is the innocent party obtaining legal recognition that the guilty party has destroyed the marriage.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Well and good, but nothing is actually dissolved in that event.   God word couldn’t possibly be clearer that only death “destroys” holy matrimony, regardless of what man’s paper says.

So often, we see the divorcing person as the one who ends the marriage—they are not! Where there has been sexual unfaithfulness, abuse, or abandonment, it is the guilty party who ended it by breaking covenant.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC : 
  See above.   Who misunderstands man’s divorce?

While legitimate divorce is not mandatory, it is a biblical option, on moral par with maintaining the marriage.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  On the contrary, the only legitimate use of man’s divorce is not, in fact, “optional”.   It IS mandatory.    Jesus and Paul both made very clear that everyone who dies in the immoral state of being legally “married” to the God-joined spouse of another living person (that is, adulterersMatt. 5:32b; 19:9b and Luke 16:18b)  will wake up in hell.

The 1992 report by the PCA study committee on divorce and remarriage comments:

It is also interesting to recall in this connection Jeremiah 3:8, where Yahweh is said to divorce Israel for her spiritual adultery (idolatry):―“I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.” If God himself can properly divorce his bride because of adultery, then, given Christ’s unqualified adherence to the authority of the Old Testament, it seems difficult to conclude that Jesus would not have had similar words on his own lips. (218)


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SIFC:  
The biblical illiteracy of the above statement is truly breath-taking!  It reflects not only (a probably feigned) ignorance of Israel’s culture and history, but also an arrogant presumption that most of us won’t open our own bibles and keep reading past verse 8 to verse 14 where the same Lord tells Israel, “Return to me, for I am your husband.”     God did NOT drag Israel into a courtroom to economically and morally abandon her!    He temporarily severed the kiddushin betrothal that existed between them until she repented.   Both modern history and the totality of prophecy clearly shows that God did not “divorce” Israel.  To say otherwise is crass Replacement Theology, which is one of the many wicked heresies of mainstream denominations.    Furthermore, we have no need whatsoever to speculate what Jesus might have said because we know precisely what He DID say (repeatedly) .

The church needs to be clear about this: legitimate divorce is holy and biblical if God Himself can speak of initiating it.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   This is shameful direct slander of God, because Jesus made it more than abundantly clear that only man initiated divorce, not God.    Matthew 19:8.

 

Divorce does not end a covenant.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Correct!   Only death dissolves an unconditional covenant in which God is a participant.


It protects the spouse whose covenant has been violated—a picture of covenant protection in the face of human unfaithfulness.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Correct again!  The only biblically lawful form of man’s divorce legally disentangles a covenant spouse from an immoral but legally-sanctioned relationship with someone other than their true spouse so that the violated rights and wholeness of the covenant family can be restored in this life.   Happens all the time, actually.

Always discouraging divorce, always making it a last, desperate option that really fails to show gospel power, implies that we know more about marriage than God does and value it more highly. If there are legitimate reasons for divorce, then making divorce look like a lesser option is wrong. God allows it: who are we to discourage people from choosing a biblical option?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   The only legitimate reasons for man’s divorce have already been discussed above.

The fourth lie usually involved in this discussion is about pornography. It is often classified as not technically adultery, so spouses are denied the biblical right to divorce. This is mind boggling.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Moot point.   Covenant spouses are divinely denied the “biblical” right to divorce for ANY reason, because only death, not adultery nor pornography, dissolves the covenant.    Aside from that, Jesus said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’;  but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
– Matthew 5:27-28

So, Jesus also equated head-lust with adultery, as the authors correctly do, but this still does not create any biblical right to man-made divorce as a remedy for pornography addiction any more than adultery does.

(The rest of this section goes on to elaborate how heinous and destructive porn addiction is, and nobody would disagree, so we will skip all that, except to mention the dishonesty of the authors in  implying that not to obtain man’s  divorce from such a person is somehow “countenancing” the addiction and is “reflecting poorly” on the gospel.   The two matters are not objectively related, and one of them isn’t even a reality in the kingdom of God.)

Do you see how these lies, sometimes borne out of a desire to protect marriage, actually bring about a low view of marriage? By granting, supporting, and even facilitating a biblical divorce, we take a stand to say that we can forgive without being forced to live with people who have shattered us.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   This is dishonest and conflates terms again.  It is not necessary to obtain a false court statement purporting to “dissolve” what God’s word repeatedly tells us only physical death can dissolve, in order to enter into a protective separation where safety and peace compels it.    No paper ever protected anyone from anything, ever.    There is no such thing as a “biblical divorce” unless it’s repenting of a biblically-unlawful union, one that violates any aspect of Matthew 19:4-6.

This protects marriage by allowing the innocent party to leave a relationship that has been broken. By backing biblical divorce, we protect women whom God loves, showing Christ’s love when spouses have not. This protects marriage by refusing to allow sinners to abuse the institution with impunity.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Contorted reasoning, not too unlike what was recently offered up by a Catholic author in his ridiculously untenable effort to morally  justify the abomination of church-granted  “annulment” (the arrogant practice of retroactively issuing an ecclesiastical  paper which presumes to inform God whom He did and did not supernaturally join as one-flesh).
This Catholic deacon wrote:

“Annulments Serve the Truth of Indissolubility
It’s going to sound counterintuitive, but the Church’s annulment process exists to preserve the truth of the indissolubility of marriage. This sacred truth is so important that an explicit process to determine whether marital consent should be declared `null’ is absolutely necessary. Why? To maintain the other side of that coin—those occasions when marital consent cannot be declared null.”
Deacon Jim Russell, Archdiocese of St. Louis,  Crisis Magazine, July 5, 2017.

If “annulments”  are so “necessary” to uphold the indissolubility of holy matrimony, why is there no mention of this practice in the New Testament nor in the historical accounts of the 1st through 4th century church?    Similarly, why is there no sanctioned or approved mention of the practice of obtaining a government-issued “dissolution” paper in scripture in order to uphold the “honor” of holy matrimony, especially in light of the clear commandment which Paul gave in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 ?   

I’m sure there’s a formal label for this fallacious form of debate, because it insults the reader’s intelligence, but SIFC is not intelligent enough today to recall what this maneuver is called.    The general outline of this fallacy of logic goes like this:

“It is a valuable service we do, to mint counterfeit $20 bills, otherwise you’d have no way to verify that your authentic $20 bill is authentic. “


By publicly stating that sexual sin and abuse, not wounded spouses, ends marriages, we hold the marriage bed in honor. This protects marriage by creating a holy fear of violating it.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  By publicly stating that sexual sin and abuse, not wounded spouses, “ends” marriages you are denying the biblical truth that only physical death ends marriages.      By promoting serial polygamy, you are pretending to hold the marriage bed in honor, but you are actually desecrating it.    Such things are heart issues, and by encouraging people to do what Jesus Christ clearly forbade, taking our own vengeance, you flatter yourself that you are “creating a deterrent”, but what you are actually doing is interfering with true discipleship while causing real souls to hang in the balance.

By offering biblical divorce, the church affirms that pornography is depravity, and will not be countenanced by Christ’s church. Naming and disciplining sexual sin as the evil it is and offering divorce to the innocent party makes the value of marriage clear as we refuse to see it damaged, abused, or treated lightly.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  Sorry, but man’s divorce is certainly not the remedy prescribed by Christ nor by the apostles.   This is:

 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.   If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
– Matthew 18:15-17

 “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 swindle not even to 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 5:9-13

Because of the inserverability except by death, of the one-flesh entity created by the hand of God, and because of the indissolubility of the three-way covenant in which God remains holy Participant even if both spouses abandon it,  man’s divorce is of no effect in the kingdom of God, but EXCOMMUNICATION is of very real effect,  for both Jesus and Paul would not have explicitly prescribed it.  Wives were never called to take their own revenge or rise up legally against the worst of husbands.   Proper resorting to the criminal justice system where necessary, submitting to biblical church discipline (if offered — which we know cannot be assumed)  and protective separation while caring for the soul of that prodigal spouse is what godly wives are called to do.

Yes, some of the godless rage against the evangelical church coming from militant feminist / humanist theologians like the carnal VanDoodewaards and from groups like “A Cry for Justice”  certainly seems justified in a sense, but make no mistake,  the remedy they demand for it is of satan.   Where was the leadership of Saeed’s home church in Boise years before her husband went to Iran, when his desolate wife was finding it necessary to file a domestic violence restraining order (a public record) ?    What was their excuse for leaving him in the position of a pastor under those circumstances, with apparently no church discipline invoked at that time?


Developing and maintaining a high view of marriage does a lot. It protects women and children, often the people most hurt by sexual sin. It keeps us from falling into sin ourselves: the higher our view of marriage, the less likely we will be to dabble in something so devastating. And a high view of marriage honors the One who created it for our good and His glory—the One who promises to judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Agreed, which is why we reject carnal, humanistic solutions and follow only God’s written instructions.    There is no such thing as a “high view of marriage” without submitting to its no-excuses attribute of indissolubility, because every kind of adultery sends people to hell.   Yes, God promises to judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral, but the objective should be to promote the offender’s repentance so that they don’t die in that state and so that they escape that eternal judgment in favor of the loss of lesser crowns.    At the same time, all biblical care needs to be taken to avoid turning the innocent spouse into just as vile an adulterer.

Please pray for all members of the Abedini family, keeping in mind that the real enemy is satan, his demons and his “mouthpieces”.    Pray, too, that the Lord would remove all unsavory, unwholesome  company from the lives of both spouses ( 1 Corinthians 15:33) and that Holy Spirit conviction also would fall on all those Naghmeh is influencing during this season in which she herself has fallen under the demonic power of her wicked influencers.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men [ and women] as these.   For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the  knowledge of the truth.
– 2 Timothy 3:1-7

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

Our Response to “Don’t Divorce…” (Dr. Diane Medved) as Reviewed by Mike McManus – Part 2

DontDivorcePt2by Standerinfamilycourt

OUR RESPONSE TO PART 2

It seems, to the seasoned covenant marriage stander community, that Dr. Medved’s book is one casting about for an audience that probably doesn’t exist, despite its wholesome message.   This seems to be attributable to the mythical premise of the “low conflict” struggling marriage, which those of us who have “been there” know probably doesn’t exist, as we commented in our response to Part 1. Many excellent points were made in McManus’ review with which we cannot argue at all, so our approach will be to touch on the handful with which we cannot completely agree:

RE: Some church members seem almost determined to divorce. They are unhappy and think that if they end their marriage, they can find a better mate. What should a pastor say to them? Or what should he say to a spouse whose partner wants out?

OUR SUGGESTION: Ask a very vital question: whether either partner has a prior estranged living spouse.

If the answer is yes, resolve not to stand in the way of separation and repentance from this adulterous union, and give them a copy of Have You Not Read?” by Ohio pastor Casey Whittaker.    Explain that pastoral accountability before the Lord (and theirs as disciples) is to encourage reconciliation of the original covenant union, and full chastity until such time as the Lord enables it.

If the answer is no, share Matthew 19:6, 8 with them and explain that man’s divorce is never God’s dissolution. Explain that if either of them remarries, they are at high risk of going to hell, since Jesus defined the state of ongoing adultery in terms of marrying a divorced person whose spouse is still living.   Explain the process of church discipline according to Matt. 18:15-18, and explain that it will be carried out if there occurs an adulterous violation of the marriage covenant. The church member who is determined to divorce is, more often than not, already in an adulterous relationship.    At that point, Satan is in control and spiritual warfare, plus effective church discipline is going to be needed.   Most churches will not willingly carry out this non-optional pastoral responsibility, and when they do, it’s typically in defense of the adulterous remarriage rather than the God-joined covenant union which may have occurred before a person’s conversion.   When they do carry it out, it’s all too easy for the offenders to simply go down the street where few or no questions will be asked and where the true word of God is unlikely to confront them.    In the rarity that the church member is determined to divorce because they want their covenant family back, and they realize from God’s word, rightly divided, that their soul is hanging in the balance so long as they remain in their adulterous faux “marriage”, they are likely to be met with the misappropriation of Malachi 2:16, and undeserved censure.

 

RE: If your partner wants to leave, ask some questions: “What can I or we do to make our marriage more satisfying to you? Are you attracted to someone else? What can I improve about my habits or behavior that would show you I value you?”

This is sound advice only if this is a God-joined covenant union, and not its remarriage counterfeit, following a prior divorce on either side. Such an approach, however, in the event that it fails may make the actual biblical prescription – the exercise of church discipline, more difficult for the prodigal spouse to endure later without bitterness. If there is another person involved (which is the case far more often than not), don’t expect to be told the truth even if the prodigal spouse had previously been a very truthful person.

In the case of a remarriage, there is no way such questions can or should overcome either the Holy Spirit-inspired restlessness that could be pushing a person who is somebody else’s spouse toward repentance, nor the innate character flaw that creates serial infidelity in an unregenerated person, which is a heart issue that only God can change, and when He does, it will be for the benefit of the true spouse.   It is normal for 60-70% of serially-polygamous unions to break apart, and if they did not, many more people would perish in hell.

RE: Dr. Medved’s further advice….”take small incremental changes, and ask your partner if he/she sees improvements. Increase the number of favorable emotions, gestures and interchanges. Increase the percentage of your time together that is close and supportive.   For example, have a weekly date – doing something you both enjoy.”

Many Christian couples were doing all of these things habitually, yet one spouse still was pulled toward an adulterous relationship outside the marriage.   Certainly, these things should be elements of any marriage, but the societal and legal incentives toward literal spouse-poaching are such that by the time it’s noticeable that something is amiss, it’s often too late for the onset of these suggestions to make any difference. In fact, even getting sufficient time with a prodigal spouse to accomplish any of these will be such a challenge that it will create a contentious situation in and of itself.   What we see playing out these days is exactly as Jesus described would be happening during the wicked last days:

“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.  Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew 24:11-13

The danger comes when the suggested efforts are rebuffed, and the spouse who is committed to the marriage is then tempted to believe they’ve done everything they possibly can to save the marriage if man’s divorce occurs despite their efforts.    The following is an except from the author’s  introduction to the book, which illustrates our point well:

There’s a pattern here: One person’s not happy or sees an opportunity with someone else. The other one is rejected, with no recourse except for “mopping up” therapy and the consolation of friends.

I’m thinking of Jacquie, who thought she had a secure, happy marriage to Kevin. She taught part-time at a preschool, securing reduced tuition for their daughter and son, and was taking college classes for her teaching credential. She was the mom who brought decorated cupcakes for holidays; she was the teacher who decorated the classroom with kids’ photos and her own drawings of book characters. And she was the wife who arranged her schedule to be home to greet her husband when he arrived.

Until the afternoon he told her about his other relationship and started to pack, blindsiding Jacquie and blasting apart her world. She had no clue. He’d been emailing, texting, and ultimately hooking up with a client, and she’d missed it all, blithely trusting him, immersed in the sweet innocence of her child-centered world.

“Isn’t there anything I can do?” she pleaded when he told her. “You’re just going to leave our family and go off?” That was exactly the plan. I call it “chop and run,” a common and cruel tactic, very effective because the chopper can escape discussion, tears, and negotiation. He was out, and his blameless, loving wife, who’d done nothing but provide a wholesome, happy home, was suddenly thrust into single parenthood. Kevin paid the bills and gave Jacquie the house and tore her heart out every time he came to the door with the kids—especially when she could see his new love interest waiting in the car. That divorce served no purpose other than fulfilling Kevin’s selfish quest for excitement.

All their friends treated the split matter-of-factly. “Kevin dumped you for a girlfriend? Gosh, Jacquie, that’s awful. What a turd. You need anything? Maybe our kids can get together next week.” Yep, that was as much as they could do. In our no-fault culture, fulfilling one’s desires is legitimate. Just go for it; this is your only life. Outsiders didn’t want to get involved in Jacquie’s and Kevin’s “personal business.” Maybe Jacquie didn’t give Kevin what he needed.

Except that she did. He’d never complained or asked her to behave differently. Their disagreements were few and quickly resolved, mainly because Jacquie willingly adjusted to please him. Kevin wasn’t looking for someone new, but when the opportunity arose, he just responded to the advances made. And while he loved his kids, his need to be there for them didn’t seem as urgent as grabbing the brass ring dangling in front of him. They’d be all right. After all, Jacquie was such a great mom.

This “great mom” was devastated. She’d been living in a fantasy world and didn’t even know it. She was rejected because of Kevin’s narcissism and desire for fresh sex and adoration, but also because he knew he could take off to pursue excitement and nobody would censure him. Everybody would be an “adult.” The lawyers would meet, they’d sign the papers, and that would be it. As long as he acceded to Jacquie’s demand for custody and financial support, he could move on and see his kids on Saturdays—he could “have it all.”

Again, in the case of a true covenant marriage, it may be unavoidably necessary to stand celibate for a number of years, understanding that the concept of divorce is entirely man-made and dissolves nothing, and that God Himself has covenanted with the sacred union (Malachi 2:13-14) so He will defend it in the spiritual realm toward restoration.   The reason is exactly as described in Ephesians 6, we fight not against flesh and blood but powers, principalities and dark forces in the heavenly realms.   Contrary to the heretical belief rampant in the contemporary church, no amount of man’s paper ever converts adultery to holy matrimony.   One glaring area of omission and naivete by both Medved and McManus is their apparent lack of awareness that it’s not at all unusual for an adulterous estrangement with abandonment to go on for several years before a divorce petition is filed by the offending spouse, if the non-offending spouse is obeying God and not dragging their one-flesh partner into a pagan courtroom under any circumstances.

 

RE: If there are no children, divorce simply entails a division of assets. If children are involved, there is also a division of time and money far into the future. Holidays, birthdays and family celebrations require planning.

This analysis is a bit too simplistic.   If there are no children, there may still be adult children, and the very same issues will ensue for the next generation, plus a few more.   If, on the other hand, the marriage was actually childless, the divorce still entails elements far more priceless and irreplaceable than merely dividing physical assets.   For Christ-followers, it entails the burden of the battle for the very soul of our one-flesh life partner, that entails all-out spiritual warfare which is exhausting on a daily basis, and often goes on for many years.

If there are either minor children or minor grandchildren, there is the additional issue of dangerous, immoral exposure to an adulterous relationship and the imperative need to tell the children why the relationship is immoral, rather than giving in to the extreme societal pressure to treat it as the “new normal”.   Children need to be told this in an age-appropriate way, such as telling the story from the bible of the beheading of John the Baptist for rebuking the adulterous “marriage” of Herod and Herodias.   Brace for the wicked, howling censure of society after doing so, but it is far better to fear and obey God, rather comply with the sinful mores of men.   Children need to learn that adultery cannot be legalized in God’s eyes, that it will lead to an eternity in hell if it is not ultimately repented of by termination of the relationship, and this is why mom or dad or grandma or grandpa is never going to remarry while their original marriage partner is still living.

RE: In her landmark book, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, Judith Wallerstein interviewed 131 children from 60 divorced families over 25 years, with intensive interviews every five years. She was surprised to discover that repercussions of divorce hit hardest when children became adults.

Very true, and no different than we are warned of in the bible concerning generational sin, so the content of Judith Wallerstein’s book should come as no surprise.   No doubt the Old Testament scourge of concurrent polygamy had similar effects, as we see played out in the lives of Jacob’s and of David’s children. A more recent book, Primal Loss, by Leila Miller explores the emotional turmoil of 70 interviewed adult children of divorce in depth of detail and in their own words.

The primary value in books like Medved’s will be with non-adulterous families.   By that we mean, the rare troubled marriage where there is no extramarital activity going on, and the marriage itself is not a remarriage where there is an estranged prior spouse who is the true one-flesh companion of one of the remarried partners.    Unfortunately, that is not the situation that predominates today in a society so immoral that leader-sanctioned adultery predominates both inside and outside most churches.      Where there is a threat from an extramarital relationship, or the assumed “marriage” was adulterous from its inception due to an undissolved true holy matrimony covenant, God’s accurate word must be brought to bear instead, before there can be a positive impact.   It will be interesting to see in the book whether Medved is aware of the fact that 80% of divorces granted today are forced divorces where one partner objected, as McManus correctly pointed out in his review.   That automatically makes Medved’s audience only 20% of the pool, and as we pointed out, the remarried portion of that 20% segment should not be discouraged from moving toward a repenting divorce, and the rebuilding of their true family.

The primary danger in books like Medved’s is that the victims are being blamed rather than the system being adequately reformed.
It will not do to tweak an unconstitutional law in a way that benefits only a small segment of society while leaving the 1st and 14th Amendment violations on the books for everyone else, and which does nothing to reform the corruption in the churches that arose as as a result of illicit doctrinal efforts to accommodate the immoral law .

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

 

 

Our Response to “Don’t Divorce…” (Dr. Diane Medved) as Reviewed by Mike McManus – Part 1

DontDivorcePt1by Standerinfamilycourt

Our friends at the Illinois Family Institute recently posted an endorsing review penned by marriage advocate Michael McManus founder of the organization called Marriage Savers, of the new book, “Don’t Divorce: Powerful Arguments for Saving and Revitalizing Your Marriage”  by Dr. Diane Medved.     Michael is a journalist who has for several years travelled the country and lectured in churches with various strategies for reducing the overall divorce rate among families with minor children.   Diane is a PhD clinical psychologist and the wife of cultural media critic Michael Medved.     Both of them are certainly knowledgeable about the toxic effects of unilateral divorce on the lives of children long after they reach adulthood,  and on society as a whole.    However, both of them treat unilateral divorce as a “given”, an immoveable mountain that must be appeased and “managed” rather than picked up and thrown into the sea.    Both became interested in the topic due to forces external to their respective marriages, and (significantly), neither has ever experienced any serious threat or disruption so far to their long, happy marriages.    Hence, both the book and the review column are written based solely on vicarious experiences.   The world looks substantially different when you are bearing the heart-crushing burden of soul concern for your one-flesh, however, according to the biblical warnings.     (As I understand it, the Medveds are Jewish, and Mr. McManus is an evangelical, and possibly a Calvinist one.)

In fairness to Dr. Medved, “Standerinfamilycourt” has read only a few reviews of the book and watched a couple of interviews, but has not actually read the book.    This response is solely based on the content of McManus’ recent review in his column, Ethics and Religion  in Parts 1 and 2.

OUR RESPONSE TO PART 1

The advice in this article to repair one’s marriage at all costs is excellent — provided that the “marriage” in question doesn’t fit the description of ongoing adultery that Jesus repeated without “exceptions” on three different occasions, in Matt.5:32b; Matt.19:9b, and Luke 16:18b where He says that EVERYONE who marries a divorced person enters into this state of sin. For this very reason, some 50-60 years ago, most pastors and all but the most liberal denominations would never have permitted such a wedding.
Unfortunately, given the statistics cited within, and the relativistic outright moral collapse of the church in this realm, Jesus’ description fits at least 40% of today’s “marriages” where warm bottoms are occupying church pews and bolstering the offering plates.  But far more unfortunately, Paul warns at least twice that those who die unrepentant in this state of sin will forfeit their inheritance in the kingdom of God. You’ll never hear this from behind a pulpit, but Jesus Himself gives what amounts to the same warning at least twice, and in far more blunt fashion. (See Matt. 5:29-30 and ignore the man-inserted headings intended to chop up what Jesus was saying, as though this was a separate thought from His “next” topic, divorce. Ditto when you read Luke16:18-31 – about as graphic as Jesus could possibly have been on the matter, both making Paul’s twin admonitions in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Gal.5:19-21 seem pretty bland in comparison.)

A good rule of thumb is to never give a divorced-and-remarried couple (where there is at least one living, civilly-estranged true spouse) any family advice that wouldn’t also be perfectly suitable for all of the souls involved in a homosexual “marriage”. It is never good for the children to see what Jesus plainly called adultery normalized in the day-to-day life of their parents, especially in the name of Jesus, and it’s not good for society as a whole. Far better for the mother of children, who misguidedly “married” another woman’s God-joined husband, to exit that illicit union and marry an eligible widower or never-married man, (if she herself is not estranged from the true husband of her youth).   A growing number of men and women we counsel with are coming to the truth of what they’ve done, and are terminating their adulterous unions, some of which involve non-covenant children born thereto. We always strongly advise them never to do this unilaterally (as the immoral civil law permits), but to heed Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 6:1-8 to stay out of pagan “family court” by separating under a responsible financial plan, then being patient until they are able to arrive at a mutually-filed petition with terms and ongoing responsibilities mutually agreed, even if their church is not supportive. Though many such men and women could righteously go on to marry a never-married or widowed person, the vast majority are reluctant to even have the appearance of remarriage adultery on them ever again.

McManus and his Marriage Savers organization, with whom we’ve previously corresponded, has for years advocated a tweaking of the unilateral divorce laws to restrict so-called “no-fault” grounds to households where there are no minor children. That may seem like a good, humanistic quick-fix, but Christ-followers should have some major issues with that approach, including:

(1) the ridiculous implication that covenant grandparent marriages are less valuable to a profoundly broken and crumbling society than parent marriages and therefore less deserving of the 1st and 14th amendment protections that ALL marriages should be enjoying.

(2) this approach seems less likely to encourage a biblical solution to the homes where there is documentable abuse or unfaithfulness, that is, separating (rather than divorcing — since only death actually “dissolves” a true marriage) remaining unmarried or being reconciled (1 Cor. 7:11) and relying on the biblical process of church discipline (Matt. 18:15-18).   In the absence of availability of “no-fault” grounds due to the presence of children, this will increase the focus on fault-based cases with the objective of adulterous remarriage. Churches should be materially caring for these families as necessary to keep them out of adulterous remarriages, and should be encouraging more criminal enforcements in such cases.

(3) By the statistics cited within, there are some 800,000 U.S. marriages a year that have suffered the impairment of precious 1st amendment freedom of conscience and free exercise of faith protections, as well as child and property confiscation where there is no objective fault, in violation of the 14th amendment protections which invariably result from forced “dissolution”.   McManus’ proposal might shave off as many as half of these on a postponed basis, but might also discourage natural or adoptive parenthood under the law of unintended consequences, just as today the unilateral dissolution laws are discouraging young marriage altogether, and instead encouraging cohabitation–as many studies are now showing.

(4) The very concept of “low conflict marriage” is for all practical purposes bogus if one spouse is serious about wanting out.
God Himself called all attempts at covenant marriage dissolution treacherous and violent! If there is either adultery or financial covetousness stealing away the marriage, as is typically the case, this is actually a high-conflict situation, but even high conflict doesn’t invalidate the married-for-life indissolubility of that union, as McManus’ concept seems to imply.   Often such profound conflict, especially in an environment of ready, unilateral access to man’s “dissolution” papers, is neither loud nor outwardly violent in the conventional sense.

If churches truly came to grips with the biblical fact that our nation’s profoundly immoral civil “family” laws (and their own inexcusable complicity with those laws) has literally sent millions of unwitting souls to hell over the past 5 decades who thought they were “saved”, would we really be talking about merely “tweaking” these laws? Would we not instead be packing the church buses with people and signs, as we did a mere 3 or 4 years ago in an attempt to stave off the state sanction of sodomy, sending them to march relentlessly under the rotundas of our state capitol buildings and outside the state supreme / appellate courts until every one of these wicked laws was repealed?  Sadly, we seem to have had our answer this past 2017 legislative session, when courageous young lawmakers in two states both managed to get their repeal bills past a pair of hostile committees, only to die on the floors of both GOP-dominated legislatures for want of a floor vote.   Meanwhile, the idolatrous silence of the churches in both states was deafening, while the family policy groups allowed the deluge of vicious and false press opposition to go completely unanswered, even on their own webpages and blogs – “crickets” there, too.   Given the still-perishing souls that will result, how will they ever answer to God for this massive sin of omission recently committed?

If we realized the cumulative impact (compounded by borrowing costs over nearly 50 years) that these immoral laws have had on state and federal budget deficits, as social costs are passed from the moral offender straight to the backs of the taxpayers – a combined total of a quarter of a trillion dollars per year, according to a 2008 study by the Institute for American Values (http://www.americanvalues.org/search/item.php?id=52), would our priorities as responsible conservative political groups still be on the symptom issues such as bathrooms and marijuana, or would they be at least partially redirected to eradicating the underlying cancer?   We will be writing to Mr. McManus again. Yes, it may be admirable and tempting to take “practical” steps to cut the fiscal damage in half, but what will a man give for his soul?

Next post:  Our response to Part 2

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

The Proverbs 31 Woman Marches into “Family Court”

proverbs_31_vintage_photo_woman_bible_card-r4d00404003574c2da63a9bd64bb7b5ee_xvuat_8byvr_324by Standerinfamilycourt

Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?   Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?   So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life,  do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?   I say this to your shame.   Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,  but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?

Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?   On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren   1 Corinthians 6:1-8

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”  And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”   But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”   ( – lawyer’s query of Jesus, Luke 10:27-29)

There’s no question in the minds of most people that a divorce petition, whether fault-based or unilateral, constitutes a civil lawsuit that unavoidably pits spouses against each other for property and parental advantage.    This is an abomination in God’s sight,  if He sees the parties involved as inseverably one-flesh until death by His own hand, as Jesus indicated in Matthew 19:6.    No piece of man’s paper has ever overridden this, “from the beginning” (verse 8) and no piece of man’s paper, other than a death certificate, ever will.

It’s also clear that no follower of Christ ever needs the intervention of a pagan court to live a life of reverent obedience to Him, whether or not there has been violation of the  marriage covenant, or of the civil-only non-covenant “contract”, as the case may be.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
– 2 Peter 1:2-3

We know this because Paul agreed that covenant spouses may separate for a season in the hopes of reconciliation in such cases, and the historical writings of the 1st-4th century church leaders overwhelmingly bear this out.    We also know this because Jesus made clear that man’s divorce is not something God created at all, but a man-made contrivance born of hard-heartedness, greed and lust.    This is not stated for any purpose to  “condemn” or “throw stones” at any contemporary ministry leader so styling her ministry.  This Proverbs 31 Woman has been deeply wounded by the conduct of her husband, and is merely following the Churchianity culture of  “reformed” Christendom.  She may never have had the unpalatable, undiluted biblical truth faithfully presented to her.    Certainly, there’s no shortage out there of famous charlatan “ministries” who fallaciously claim that God either “allowed” or “provided” for the dissolution of holy matrimony in order to “accommodate hard-heartedness”.    In her vocation, it’s quite likely that our contemporary Proverbs 31 woman may know a few of these media ministry wolves personally.

Nevertheless, having spent much of last weekend being pelted by indignant Ministers of Churchianity  over our post of the breaking news story,  SIFC is bracing for the onslaught, while praying for healing of this precious family.

Who was the Proverbs 31 woman in the bible?

Though many a woman of God  fervently hope the gal described in Proverbs 31:10-31 is a composite (and merely an “ideal”) rather than an historical woman, she’s actually described as the mother of a King Lemuel, who is otherwise not mentioned elsewhere in the bible.    Since many or most of the Proverbs are ascribed to King Solomon, and the name “Lemuel” literally means, “belonging to God”, it is widely assumed that this biblical queen was actually Bathsheba.

Lemuel's mom

 

The Reality : What does a trip to “family court” provide?

It’s amazing that so many people who call themselves Christians can tout the bible while saying with a straight face, “God provides for divorce in these situations” or “sometimes divorce is the only solution.”    It’s hard to see how the first widely-believed presumption squares with the words of Jesus Christ:

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

If something “has not been so” from the creation of the world, it seems pretty clear that God had a different provision for whatever is driving His children into the pagan courtrooms.    Which leaves us with the other presumption, i.e. that man’s divorce accomplishes something of enduring value, or at least that it lessens human suffering.   It should be obvious to all that no piece of paper protects from perceived abuse or actual violence.   No piece of paper coming out of today’s “family courts” adequately protects children from the ravages of their parents’ adultery, prevents financial abuse entailed with adultery or accomplishes much of anything virtuous that a biblical separation (1 Cor. 7:11) would not accomplish.

The piece of paper does, however, create a fiction from the perspective of the kingdom of God, that the parties are “free” to marry another while their true spouse is still living — it provides a false patina of cultural “morality”, but is nevertheless profoundly immoral.   Man’s divorce does dissolve man’s adulterous pretense called “remarriage”, but only because such was never holy matrimony to begin with.   The piece of paper does sometimes seize and transfer assets and parental rights for the benefit of the Petitioner,  but we must ask ourselves, how does God look on that?

Is this a biblically-defined covenant marriage per Matt. 19:4-6?

The biblical fact is that Bathsheba did not fit Jesus’ definition of a biblical covenant wife  such that she was ever one-flesh with anyone other than her original covenant husband, Uriah the Hittite.    David, after all, did not leave father and mother to be joined to Bathsheba.   In fact, the only one that is true of is Michal.    God even justified David’s recovery of Michal as his one-flesh after she was given in non-covenant marriage to another man, Paltiel.   Though the death of Uriah severed the one-flesh union that God originally joined by Jesus’ description, there is no evidence that Michal was deceased when David took any of his many his inferior wives and concubines.    Bathsheba was most probably a non-covenant wife under the system of concurrent polygamy that God tolerated in that day.   Today’s counterpart, which is most decidedly not tolerated by God, but repeatedly called ongoing adultery by Jesus  is consecutive or serial polygamy – non-covenant unions following man’s divorce which, without exception, violate Luke 16:18 and Matthew 19:6 so long as there is a living, estranged spouse on either side.

A covenant marriage is one where a never-married partner or widowed person marries another never-married partner or a widowed person of the opposite sex.    In the first instance, there has never been a one-flesh joining by God’s hand with another spouse, and in the other, the one-flesh bond has been broken by the death of one of the spouses, hence can be re-formed by God’s hand with a subsequent spouse.   That said, in our complex society where unilateral-divorce-on-demand has been the law of the land for decades, the other circumstantial possibility for a covenant marriage, according the definition Jesus gave in Matthew 19,  is between someone who has divorced out of a non-covenant marriage and somebody who is widowed or never-married.    In this latter case, the person was never one-flesh due to the inseverable one-flesh state of the person they married.   The union was civil-only and no more a marriage in God’s eyes than a “gay marriage”.

It has proven exceptionally difficult to discern the facts in the Terkeurst case from publicly-available records or from Lysa’s many blog writings.    At one point, while reading one of her books it seemed that she mentioned being a second wife, but this is not conclusively borne out in the public records.    A stander from their state provided us with these details about the Terkeursts,  who appear to have an inseverable,   one-flesh God-joined union as best we can tell:

Arthur Dudley Terkeurst III married Lysa Michele King on Dec 5, 1992. She was 23 and he was 26.   I searched through the newspapers and records. Could not find another marriage prior to this one.   Her mother divorced and remarried.”

However, one of the background searches linked Lysa’s estranged husband, Art with a Sharon L. Terkeurst of Grand Rapids, MI, who is now Sharon L. Porritt,  and who is four years older than Art.   There is nothing conclusive which is publicly available about how Sharon is connected to Art.    All of this sounds rather gossipy, but there is a biblical point of distinction here.    If Lysa is indeed the wife of Art’s youth and companion of his marriage covenant, Lysa’s trip through “family court” will dissolve precisely nothing.   She will be just as married the day after the ink is dry on the decree as she was when she went to bed on December 5, 1992.   While there’s no denying how admirable it has been that she has done much to try and preserve her marriage up to this point, the state of holy matrimony has never been about permission or allowance to “dissolve”, regardless of any crimes of the spouse.   Instead, she should have separated from him without a divorce petition, but only if there was physical danger involved in their home, and remained open to reconciliation should he repent.

If on the other hand, Lysa is a second wife whose predecessor is still living, she and Art are not actually married today to begin with, their five children notwithstanding.   Her trip into family court will clean up her civil legal status, but the same can be accomplished with a mutually-agreed petition, hopefully arrived at out of court.   Even if Art later repents of his alleged alcoholism and extramarital relationships, she should still never reconcile with him as long as his original one-flesh wife is alive, but encourage him to seek reconciliation instead with the wife of his youth.   Perhaps one of our readers who follows Lysa’s blogs or ministry more closely will be able to update us on which situation actually applies, based on something she’s shared in the past.

Was the historical Proverbs 31 woman in such a marriage, and what does this mean for the future of that ministry?

It’s a strange schizophrenia of the harlot church of today which considers the act of pursuing civil marriage dissolution a worse sin than the consecutive polygamy (ongoing adultery, as Jesus stated at least 5 times) that typically results from the split.    In the days of King David, there may have been “a bill of divorcement” that Jesus and the prophets denounced, but the more typical situation which “legalized” adultery was a man-made system of concurrent polygyny, with greater and lesser wives and concubines.     Even so, from the beginning, no man or woman has ever been joined as a one-flesh partner, in the supernatural sense, to more than one living spouse at a time.    Hence, the probable original Proverbs 31 woman was actually a lesser wife in that system, though she became the king’s mother.   The original Proverbs 31 Woman was not in a Matt. 19:4-6 covenant marriage, most likely.

It should not therefore matter what Lysa’s status in leading this ministry actually is, so long as she stays focused on seeking first the kingdom of God.    However, so often today, such prominent women (Joyce Meyer, Dena Johnson, etc.)   turn to teaching the unbiblical marriage heresies of the harlot church in their “ministries” because that’s how to stay published in what’s become an industry within the evangelical establishment, and that’s how to retain the largest following and financial security.     Go to any dozen “marriage permanence” web pages, and what you’ll invariably see is that the ten pages that admit people who are “standing” for their most recent marriage  have tens of thousands more followers than the two that only admit those standing for their true covenant union as defined by Jesus.      Right now it’s interesting to watch the duel between those who are slamming her for seeking a civil divorce, and those who assert the fabricated, but widely-believed “biblical exceptions”.   That said, carnal Christianity is carnal Christianity, and as the non-covenant Hovinds counted on only a handful of months ago, the furor in evangelicaldom will soon enough die down.   If Lysa goes on to find another husband (or find the husband of another), they will all return to one accord, singing the chorus of “biblical exceptions”.     Temporally, all of this should tend to boost Lysa’s following, regardless of the moral choices she makes going forward, because her followers cannot see whether the inseverable bond ever existed in the first place, nor whether it continues to exist, because the very idea of a marriage bond that no act of men can sever (Matt. 19:6,8; Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39)  is profoundly offensive to most of them.

Going back to the beginning, when Eve decided it would be delicious to be like God in the knowledge of good and evil, when she decided “her God” was surely not a “legalist” — and her husband failed to correct her, both were given curses that extended to their genderkind, respectively, until Jesus came to provide the way to reverse the curse (obeying Him from the heart – Matthew, chapters 5, 6 and 7).    Unfortunately, the curse for womankind was “your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”     This is how we wound up with humanistic rebellion against lifelong monogamy, both in the rebellion of women against the unconditional authority and headship of their husbands under Christ’s headship.  and in the rebellion of their husbands against the seventh commandment in its various forms including: polygyny, concubinage, prostitution, pornography and abandonment.    Humanistic cures, including man’s divorce, will never have any effect on these curses because they intrinsically reject the authority of Jesus Christ.   Only no-excuses obedience to His commandments will bring relief and restoration from that curse.   Of the two biblical “bad girls” that found their way into the blood lineage of Jesus Christ (Rahab the harlot, and Bathsheba the adulteress), both discovered the way to harken to the voice of God in their unions.  There is considerable evidence that Bathsheba and David righteously separated toward the end of David’s life, perhaps in repentance, and God orchestrated events such that her son, Solomon, became the king, among all of his non-covenant sons.

In that spirit, we pray that Lysa reconsiders her civil lawsuit against her husband, but and if she does depart, she will remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband, if he is her covenant husband.    If he has a prior estranged wife, we pray that Lysa will accept a season of being a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of God, until she has the Lord’s direction for the future of her family.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the
future.  – Proverbs 31:25

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

SIFC Weighs in on Contra Mundum Swagger: Following Christ in a Divorce Culture

CMS_Shannonby Standerinfamilycourt

Our politics, culture and churches are falling apart , and the root cause of this decay is divorce and remarriage….I want to demonstrate that our obedience on this issue is a fundamental reason for the havoc we are witnessing in our culture and that our obedience to Christ on this issue will also be a fundamental reason for the victory and restoration of our families, churches, culture and politics.    –   Author,  Jack Shannon

This is a blunt book about God’s displeasure with the altars to Baal and with the Asherah poles that have been built up in our contemporary evangelical churches during the last four decades, and which are now under rapid construction in the last few years even in the Roman Catholic church under the “guidance” of Amoris Laetitia.   (The mere fact that schism over this idolatrous altar-renovation work remains a threat to the RCC is, in SIFC’s view, a profound credit to the faithful discipleship of a remnant few in that church).

Written by the millennial son of a man who demonstrated what it was to stand for a difficult marriage and see it turned around,  this book will also be a satisfying read for those who are shaking their heads at the hype over the tuck-tail Benedict Option (by Catholic convert, Rod Dreher).    Equally commendable to his “stander”-father’s strong, unselfish discipleship is the fact that Jack came through both military service and a Reformed seminary with godly convictions fully intact, and in fact, gave a compelling, bold  defense of the no-excuses indissolubility of holy matrimony in this 2016 presentation to a gathering of graduate students  and faculty of St. Andrews College.   Jack remains a never-married man, but has been engaged in the past.   Contra Mundum Swagger appears largely  based on that 2016 thesis but has evolved a bit in the year since he presented it.

For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;  to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,  and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

–  1 Cor. 12: 8 -10

It is evident which of the functional gifts of the Spirit is in operation in this book, given that the author prepares his audience for the “tone” of the book (page xv of the Introduction).   Most to whom this particular gift is distributed wish they could send it back and choose another that will get them in less trouble.  

Fortunately, truth-telling, outspoken prophets like Hosea, Malachi, Ezekiel, etc. didn’t face a bunch of denominational scrutiny which some today are tempted to argue should therefore discredit the entire message.  It’s OK to  respectfully disagree with some of the critics, while also disagreeing with the denominational bias and eschatology first mentioned in the last few pages of the last chapter.  But such is the author’s privilege, since what we believe about the latter is hardly a heaven-or-hell matter (as contrasted with the core central truth of this book). The marriage permanence  community seems to abound with church-wounded people who will insist (without conclusive  scriptural  support, we’ll add) that pastor-led congregations are not a valid model for the New Testament Church. Once again, what we believe about this is not a heaven-or-hell matter, therefore objections  that the organized church cannot or should not be an important part of the solution are in our view deceitful, counter-productive, and emotionally biased.

On the contrary, most of us read this book as a stern warning that the Lord is returning as prophesied, regardless of our morals, readiness or level of respect. It’s a clear message that God does reach a tipping point,  time is running out and it’s either genuine worship and revival or it’s destruction.

A few nuggets from various chapters in the book:

(Concerning the abuse of grace, individually and as a national body of believers – page 40) :

When people refuse to repent their sins or willingly decide to worship in an unlawful way after being illuminated by the truth, they are bringing severer judgments on themselves for violating the Spirit of grace than if they were merely violating the Law of Moses.  Notice that the punishment for unrepentant sin is harsher in the New Covenant.   Let me say that again: punishments are harsher in the New Covenant.

(When true Christ-followers are accused of “obsessing” over the immorality of remarriage adultery  while “ignoring” other forms of sin –  page 43):

Other sins like lying and stealing may be happening in the church, but they are not defended or condoned by church leadership.   We don’t get together and have ceremonies celebrating masturbation, lust, theft, murder or bearing false witness.  But we do when it comes to the adultery of divorce and remarriage.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC Observation:  Lust, theft and bearing false witness are all intrinsic to the adultery of divorce and remarriage, the last time we checked.

(Concerning the “sanctified” nihilism and defeatism that settles in at the church over abortion and gay marriage which directly results from failing to recognize or, even worse, remaining unwilling to remove the log in our own eye – page 82:)

But as it is, we point to things that aren’t really the main sins or are not as egregious as the adultery we affirm in divorce and remarriage.  Instead we say we need to think more covenantally or be louder with our condemnation of abortion or homosexuality, or we formulate things like the Benedict Option where we learn how to give up our dominion mandate.   We tell ourselves that this isn’t really our home and that maybe if persecution came, we’d be the better for it.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC Note:  Dr. Michael Brown is a key example of an influential church leader who has publicly admitted many times that the “log” is there, but he doggedly refuses to believe that it actually needs to be removed.

(Concerning evangelical cluelessness about why believers are coming under persecution rather than prevailing over the Sexual Revolution – page 136:)

Much of the evangelical world simply makes no connection between personal and cultural destruction and the sin in their lives and in their churches.   They just think they are righteous, like Job, and are experiencing similar loss, when in reality they are not blameless servants.   They are guilty as Ham, Achan and Ahab were.  

From our perspective, the only thing we would have preferred to see more scholarly clarity around, is whether the “traditional view”  of marriage (as attributed to the Early Church Fathers; that is, the idea that several of them seemed to hold, that one may civilly divorce due to adultery, so long as they don’t remarry while their “ex” spouse is still living) is really supported by honest original language translations of the original texts of their writings, as these Church Fathers are paraphrasing Jesus, who used the term “apoluo” – literally “from-loosing” – in both Mattl 5:32 and Matt.19:9, and “porneia”  (“unchastity / prostitution” sometimes misconstrued as generic “adultery”), but we don’t really know if the various Church Fathers made the same word choices as Jesus.   If they did,
I don’t think what Jesus said in Matt. 19:6,8 (referring to Gen. 2:21-24) actually supports this “traditional view” at all, and the quoted accounts of several ante-Nicene leaders have them appear to be contradicting Jesus in this,  if the language translation of the koine Greek to contemporary English  is as accurate as it is widely presumed to be.    If we took an honest look at the original texts of these ante-Nicene writings (much the way we are actually compelled to do with scripture texts),  is it not possible that “putting away” (apoluo) did not necessarily anticipate civil action but rather reflected what Paul was prescribing in 1 Cor. 7:10-11, especially given what he had just said in 1 Cor. 6:1-8 ?

The seemingly weak exegesis on page 26 of  Deuteronomy 24:1-4 also contributes to the lack of clarity about “the traditional view”, and about whether the author is promoting it as being biblically supported.   It seems at least as likely that the defilement of the dismissed wife was a condition that defiled her both before and after her first marriage (such as consanguinity, a long term disease of ceremonial uncleanness, pagan citizenship, etc.) as that it would be a sexual defilement which, if occurring in the first union – betrothal or post-consummation, was more accurately  the topic of Deuteronomy 22, and was therefore a capital offense rather than a divorceable one — at least while Moses lived.   It would hardly make sense for Jesus to forbid living in a state of lifelong unforgiveness and irreconciliation toward our one-flesh or anyone else under the New Covenant,  while retaining some “defilement”-based prohibition of that reconciliation.    As it stands, this book can legitimately be construed as promoting a “traditional view” that may not accurately reflect the majority of Church Fathers at all, because the book didn’t do the needed deep dive into those assumptions, despite devoting a chapter to those quotes.   That said, we still doubt that the author’s intent was to promote the “traditional view”,  but merely to describe it.

By contrast, it seems to this blogger that Jesus was not only saying that civil divorce of an original covenant pair was immoral, He was actually saying that marriage “dissolution” by any act of men was impossible.  Since several of the ante-Nicene church leaders developed culturally-biased views over time, including ascetiscm, it seems that relying on what they said more than relying on what Christ said can lead to considerable confusion.  Paul, on the other hand, strictly forbids believers to bring each other before a pagan judge (1 Cor. 6:1-8). This would be consistent with the findings of scholars Jones and Tarwater (2005) as they exhaustively concluded that there is not a biblical instance where God ever abandoned or invalidated an unconditional covenant to which He was a party.  And God never “divorced” Israel, but suspended a conditional covenant while awaiting her repentance.  Absent this small bit of clarity about the shortcomings of the “traditional view”, SIFC’s rating would have been five stars instead of four.

Even so, this book accomplishes all that we would expect from a truly outstanding book on this topic:

  • Recognizing the difference between a root and its fowl fruit; correctly diagnosing the vain imagination that God-joined holy matrimony is  “dissoluble” as the root to cultural decay of every other type.
  • Calling out church leadership and false doctrine for their massive role in creating the mess and demanding that they repent, as did the prophets of old; notably, Ezra.
  • Accurately likening the corrupt system of institutionalized adultery in the church to the crass idolatry that certainly  it is.
  • Frankly acknowledging the financial dimensions of this idolatry.
  • Getting the historical context and the hermeneutics right.
  •  Not shying away from the biblical warning that to die in any ongoing state of sin will result in the lake of fire, no matter the civil legality of it.
  • Denouncing the abusive annulment of holy matrimony.
  • Setting a biblically-correct definition of “mercy”, “grace” and “love” that considers eternity, not just feelings and emotions.
  • Calling upon anyone who is “married” to the estranged spouse of a living person to exit those unions regardless of the years of entanglement and regardless of children born into the unlawful union.
  • Denouncing any believer who goes along with this immorality among friends and family members and who acquiesce to  it without strongly warning the sinners of the hellbound consequences.
  • Astutely diagnosing the troubled “psychology” within the contemporary church:  loss of the mind of Christ.
  • Accurately warning that true revival, when it arrives, is going to look scandalous to most, as repentance is going to cause the divorce rate in the church to literally skyrocket.
  • Very appropriately weaving in a strong theology of covenant, which in fact is woven throughout the bible, which both begins and ends with a wedding.
  • Recognizing that changing the laws and the political system isn’t impossible, but it’s highly unlikely until the church deeply repents, regains moral authority, and becomes actively involved in the process.

 

Some parting thoughts:   Is it more appropriate for the church or for the state to have jurisdiction over marriage?   Is it ever appropriate for the church to assume authority over divorce –  either prior to believers taking their case to court  or in lieu of ?    Is the  contemporary church in so much moral decay that they’ve forfeited any “competence” they may have once had ?     Jesus said, render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and render unto God the things that belong to God.     God created marriage, and man created the “dissolution” of marriage.   As such, Caesar never had any legitimate jurisdiction over what should have been kept in the church with the exits securely bolted.    The Protestant Reformers were eager to hand over to the civil state that which church leaders no longer wanted authority over.    The only actual reason to do so was an intrinsic rebellion against God’s law that man has no authority to  dissolve holy matrimony.    None of this happened because believers were obeying God in the middle ages,  but because they wanted an avenue for disobedience that would appear as legitimized.     Taking marriage back into the church (with exit doors bolted) and boycotting the civil system altogether will seem as “dominionist” to some in the marriage permanence movement.

The Roman Catholic fringe of the movement is having a very vigorous debate over this “competence” issue right now, while many of the Protestants in the movement question the legitimacy of any large centralized church organization as biblically-supported.    We need to determine whether the goal is for the church to have a role in meaningfully reforming civil family laws, in which case, size and centralized resources would be an advantage, or if the goal is to simply entice people away from the immoral civil system and back toward God’s law, then smaller, decentralized local church bodies with impeccable moral and disciplinary standards will do.  True revival and repentance may help define the heart of God on this.    SIFC proposes that it would not be out of the question for both approaches to coexist for a time and to leverage off each other.

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.    –  Proverbs 16:7

May the Lord orchestrate the wide distribution of this book, and may He multiply its kingdom impact, in Jesus’ name.

 

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

 

www.standerinfamilycourt. com

 

 

Knickers (and Facts) in A Twist over Repeal of Texlahoma “No-Fault”

TheDunlapsby Standerinfamilycourt

It has been an exciting spring legislative session in the southwest this year, as young lawmakers in Texas and Oklahoma have introduced common-sense bills curbing non-consenting unilateral divorce, and as both bills have recently made it out of their committees fairly intact.    The liberal press has been shrieking and howling its disapproval, especially in Oklahoma, where the measure also ends the perverse economic incentives from unilateral divorce by restoring stiff marital fault penalties to property division.

As is so typical of liberal grandstanding and industry lobbying, we’re hearing not of the millions of fathers whose fundamental right to protect and raise their children is being severed though they’ve done nothing objectively wrong,  nor of the adulterers sailing off with the unconscionable award of the innocent spouse’s retirement funds after a decades-long union which is suddenly deemed “irretrievable” by the court.   Instead we are hearing about the classic “abused poor woman” who will now find it harder to get a divorce because she might now have to actually prove the abuse with (gasp) evidence thereof.    As one of the expert witnesses giving testimony in Texas accurately pointed out to committee members on March 8, lawmakers cannot legislate to the extreme case (13:00),  as the liberals would like, but must do what’s best for society as a whole.

Rep. Travis Dunlap is a young lawmaker from Bartlesville, OK who was elected to the state house from his trade as a piano tuner.    Though he does not have the constitutional law background that his Texas counterpart has, he probably drafted the more effective of the two pieces of legislation in actually rolling back the abusive “no-fault” regime.    According to media accounts,  the original HB1277 drafted by Dunlap made it impossible for a court in Oklahoma to grant a divorce for “incompatibility” (the equivalent of “irreconcilable differences”) if the couple met one of three criteria:

– married for more than 10 years, or
– had a living child under age 18, or
–  a partner involved objects to the divorce.

A committee modification allows petitioners who fall into one of those categories to have a divorce granted by the court for “incompatibility”, but they must first go through an educational program about the impact of divorce.   Previously, petitioners only had to do that if they had a child under age 18, and the educational program was focused on the impact of divorce on children.    While this does not seem a particularly helpful modification from the standpoint of constitutional protections,  this bill has a very important strength that the Texas bill lacks:  it restores marital fault to the property settlement that results, as follows,

  “However, where the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that one spouse caused the dissolution of marriage by committing at least one of the grounds for divorce, other than incompatibility, listed in Section 101 of this title, the court shall award only one-quarter (1/4) of the marital property to that spouse and the other spouse shall retain the remaining three-quarters (3/4) of the marital property…….

“Upon granting a decree of dissolution of marriage, annulmentof a marriage, or legal separation, where the court finds by apreponderance of the evidence that one spouse caused thedissolution, annulment or separation by committing at least one of the grounds for divorce, other than incompatibility, listed in Section 101 of this title, the court shall order that party to paythe other party’s expenses, including attorney fees.”

Perverse and unjust economic incentives play such an enormous role in the abusiveness of existing family laws,  and so drives the egregious behavior of the divorce industry “professionals” who have far more interest in shredding families than defending them, that no reform is likely to be sustainable without addressing this, as the Oklahoma bill has nicely done.    As a direct consequence, Rep. Dunlap has predictably drawn the venom of the state Bar and the unrelenting scorn of Oklahoma’s leftists in the press.    The committee vote was 7-5 on February 27, to refer the bill on for a floor vote which must occur by the May 26 end of the Oklahoma 56th legislative session.   The Senate sponsor of the bill is Sen. Josh Brecheen of Coalgate, Oklahoma.   Unlike Texas, Oklahoma does not have a strong family policy council any longer,  and videos of the committee testimony do not seem to be available.      One recent article says this, “Dunlap, who represents District 10, said he now does not expect the bill to see a vote in the House but is interested in continuing his efforts. ”     We hope and pray that Rep. Dunlap  does just that.

Rep. Matt Krause’s Texas bill was the subject of an earlier blog post.   That bill, which simply eliminates no-fault grounds where there is not a mutual-consent petition has been favorably referred by a 4-3 committee vote on April 12, and must somehow achieve a floor vote by the May 29 end of the legislative session.     This bill does not address several onerous provisions that would remain unchanged in the Texas Statute which could effectively still result in a contested dissolution being granted to an offending spouse over the moral objections of the non-offending spouse, including this provision:

Sec. 6.006. LIVING APART. The court may grant a divorce in favor of either spouse if the spouses have lived apart without cohabitation for at least three years.

Often, the innocent original spouse who does not believe in marriage dissolution because of scriptures such as Matthew 19:6 and 8, Romans 7:2-3 and 1 Cor. 7:10-11 and 39,  has non-cohabitation forced on them by the offending spouse, and has little or no control over this circumstance, especially if the offending spouse is in an adulterous relationship or has a history of physical abuse of household members.    This should therefore not be left under the sole control of the offending party if unilateral divorce is to be eradicated, and constitutional protections balanced.    We should also  note that the [unchanged] “cruelty” ground  contains this phrase which still refers to “insupportability” but does not objectively or measurably define “cruel treatment” :

The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable 

(Apparently, rogue  attorneys and “abused poor women” can restore “insupportability” simply by alleging cruel treatment under sec. 6.005, which this bill still does not, for all purposes, make them actually prove under its ongoing vague definition — how novel!)

In the unlikely event that Texas HB93  achieves a floor vote by the end of the session, there’s no question that there will be some back doors left wide open to unilateral divorce, but the period of time required will be lengthened.    If it dies  in the 85th session  without being voted on, we hope it will be re-introduced next session with some of these issues further addressed.

We covered a list of practical actions Texas and Oklahoma citizens can take to support these bills in the last blog on this topic, but let’s run through a few briefly again:

(1) Call the state capitol and ask for a floor vote:
Joe Straus
Speaker of the House (Texas)
(512) 463-1000
(512) 463-0675 Fax

Charles McCall
Speaker of the House (Oklahoma)
(405) 557-7412

(2) Engage your church and pastor – ask for a few minutes to talk to the congregation about the religious freedom and due process issues with the so-called “no-fault” system and how it has led to every other kind of  immorality, from same-sex attraction to the high abortion and suicide rates.    Explain that citizen engagement is needed at the grass roots to counter the overwhelming divorce industry lobby and liberal press.   If they sent busloads of the faithful to the state capitol 2 or 3 years ago to combat gay “marriage”,  challenge them on why this isn’t every bit as weighty a matter to the church’s families.

(3) Call Texas Values and ask what they are doing to support HB93. (Unfortunately, we’re not aware of a functioning family policy council in Oklahoma at this time).

(4) Sign a petition if you get a chance.   The Ruth Institute has one for Texas that can be found here.

(5) No matter which state you call home, please take time to call and write to encourage Reps. Krause and Dunlap.     Pray for them, and let them know it.

NeverGiveUp

Divorce Reform, Repenting Prodigals and Covenant Marriage “Standers”
While there is broad agreement in the marriage permanence community that repealing unilateral divorce is best for the future of our nation, many of us have either already been unjustly divorced and seen our spouse remarry adulterously  (by biblical standards, that is – since we, their true spouse in God’s eyes, are still alive), or others of us have come to biblical conviction that we had wrongfully “married” someone else’s divorced spouse, and needed to exit that union to be right with God.    So, though meaningful reform of the unilateral family-shredding machine remains a long shot with plenty of deep-pocketed, well-connected opposition,  we should look at where such reforms leave our wandering spouses who need to exit those immoral, civil-only  unions and rebuild their covenant families.    The subsequent divorce rate is significantly higher for legalized adultery resulting from the divorce culture, and it escalates with each round of serial polygamy under easy divorce laws.    Just how hard will divorce reform make repentance from remarriage adultery under the two bills being considered ?    Here’s an analysis for each:

Oklahoma, under HB1277:   Mutual-consent petitions continue to permit no-fault grounds, but if the adulterous union produced a minor child or has lasted at least 10 years, an education class must be attended before dissolution can be granted.     It is likely that a repenting prodigal exiting the adulterous remarriage will leave 75% of the marital assets with their ex-spouse unless that spouse has committed a serious, provable offense against the marriage.     Assets can be replaced, but souls certainly cannot.    Even so, assets brought in from the “dissolved” covenant marriage (very importantly including retirement accounts) are not considered part of the marital assets of the subsequent faux marriage and would not be forfeited by decree, however the repenting spouse would also likely have to absorb all the legal costs of getting free of their legalized adultery.     Waiting period:  180 days.

Texas, under HB93:  Mutual-consent petitions permit insupportability grounds but if the subsequent spouse does not consent and the repenting prodigal separates in order to end the practice of adultery (as he / she must do regardless), then after one year the now-abandoned spouse may file a fault-based petition which will be granted upon evidence, or they may agree to a mutual-consent petition sooner, and if HB65 also passes, the waiting period will be 180 days.   Alternatively, the if the repenting spouse moves back in with their covenant spouse,  grounds of adultery are then available to the now-abandoned subsequent spouse.  If the non-covenant still declines to file a grounds-based petition, the repenting prodigal may file after 3 years of continuous separation on the basis of non-cohabitation.    Assets would be divided on the same basis as current law but this  would not include any assets brought from the prior covenant marriage.

“Standerinfamilycourt” always encourages mutual petitions rather than dragging anyone into a pagan court (1 Cor. 6:1-8)  in the process of repenting of an adulterous remarriage, as a growing number are doing these days upon learning the biblical truth on the matter.     If prayer doesn’t produce a consenting, mutual petition, repenting prodigals can always take comfort in the biblical fact that no state has dissolved the marriage of their youth in God’s eyes, nor was the subsequent “remarriage” ever considered valid in His courtroom.    They are free to resume their union without the state’s blessing and are not actually in sin if they do so.   The Lord will then sort out the legal matters in His own way.

‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man 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.     Matt. 19:6, 8

And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”   Matt. 12:17

(SIFC:  Would like to give a shout-out and thanks to Bai MacFarlane of Mary’s Advocates, who has established contact with Rep. Krause’s office and has provided some of the not-yet-posted details needed to complete this post.)

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

madmagazinespoof_zpsff375f8d
by Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conspicuously-missing nonessential elements at that first wedding:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

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

KrauseFamilyby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

From a December 28 post by a local news service:

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

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

Per the Texas Statute, as currently enacted:

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

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

The local article continues:

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

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

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

MKrauseFB_post

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

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

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

Are there any Family Policy groups supporting you at all?

Thanks, and Godspeed! 
“standerinfamilycourt”

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

 

TX HB93_2017

Texas does indeed have a family policy council:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

NatMarriageWkby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ignatius-antioch

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

legalized-adultery_tchivby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

1 Timothy 3:2

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

 

Titus 1:6

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

 

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

 

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

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

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