Category Archives: Spiritual Warfare

Why Following “Remarriage” Apologist Robert Waters is Apostasy As Well As Heresy

by Standerinfamilycourt

On this 16th anniversary of 9/11, a well-known promoter of serial polygamy was earnestly hoping to fly his 747 into one of the marriage permanence twin towers  – the clear teachings of Jesus, or the clear teachings of Paul.     Here’s why he deserves to fail in that mission.

A RECENT EXCHANGE ON A RIVAL FACEBOOK PAGE

RWaters……….Robert Waters This is a reply the article linked that had the ridiculous title,   Excuse Me, was I addressing You? Stop abusing 1 Cor 7:26-27

He [blogger, “standerinfamilycourt”] did not even put his name to it.  Nevertheless, but God will hold him accountable for the error.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   “Standerinfamilycourt” is often criticized for writing under a “nom-de-plume“, as though this somehow invalidates the message of the gospel, and as though what the reader reads in this blog cannot be directly compared with scripture online and with many helpful tools.   In fact, the blog installment and series that Robert Waters is so busy criticizing teaches the readers how to do just that for themselves with the utmost integrity.    That said, SIFC would like to remind readers that the reason for the pen name is because there is the precious and eternally irreplaceable soul of a one-flesh prodigal spouse at stake, and this fact constantly wars with the legitimate need to play an assigned, specific role in the marriage permanence movement.    If the pen name was not used, the blogs would not be able to write about certain hard-hitting topics without jeopardizing that spouse’s repentance by publicly exposing their identity, and sometimes their deeds, while they remain emotionally ill and held captive to do satan’s will.     SIFC will make no further apologies for doing so.   Mr. Waters needs to remember that God will hold ALL of us accountable for deliberately mistreating His word — the sword cuts both ways.   If some basic facts must be known about SIFC to hear the Spirit of God in these blogs, they are follows:

– married in the Lord for nearly 45 years
– experienced a prior knitting back together of covenant family in the 5th year following a 2 year separation, after which spouse came to saving faith and transformed life
– has been a believer for 44 years – Pentecostal background
– was trained in hermeneutics by a former pastor
– has some career-related and case-related legal training
– has a masters level education, but not formal bible training other than a 13-week Christian discipleship leader training for leadership couples
– is, however, in regular communication with seminarians and other qualified bible scholars
– has been standing, celibate in obedience to 1 Cor. 7:11 for a total of 11 years in this second instance of satan warring against our covenant union

Like Francesca Battistelli, “I don’t need my name in lights..”, and like the Apostle Paul — who considered his impressive resume “dung”  but felt compelled to present it anyway to due the criticisms coming from the enemies of the kingdom of God, SIFC does so here in the same spirit.
The resume of Mr. Waters can be found here, and the MDR portion of his blog page can be found here.    Waters says he’s been in a covenant marriage for many decades and says he was not previously married to another, but a restored stander asked him whether that was also true of his wife.   He declined to  answer that question.

RWatersThe writer asked  “Is Paul addressing the adulterously remarried and urging them to stay as they are?”

Answer: NO. He  [Paul] addresses them in other places, like Galatians 5:19 (the works of the flesh).   He [blogger SIFC] wrote: “
Paul starts to address the questions concerning the “unmarried” and widows in verse 8:  But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I.   But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Answer:   Before we note his [blogger SIFC] comment let us look at what the text says. Paul speaks of the “unmarried”. That word includes those divorced, because they are no longer married.  The writer of the articles refuses to believe what the text says because he does not believe divorced (sic) does what God says it will do.  He admits what the text INCLUDES, says you can’t believe it because it is not what I believe some other passages teach. He [blogger SIFC] wrote:  “Here the term agamois (unmarried) is different from parthenos (virgin). It certainly includes virgins, but also includes those who have been put away, who may or may not have a living, estranged spouse.  Based on Matthew 19:6, Romans 7:2 and 1 Cor. 7:39, it cannot mean that the marriage bond is dissolved if both original spouses are living.”  He [blogger SIFC] wrote: “We established earlier Matthew 19:6 as the cornerstone scripture for comparison (Part 1 of our series) before accepting a particular interpretation of any other other scripture.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   There will be a strong temptation to be resisted throughout this rebuttal,  of using biting sarcasm due to the blatant lack on Mr. Waters’ part to delve very deeply into much of anything whereof he speaks.  Jesus and Paul used sarcasm when ignorant men were seeking to corrupt God’s children in eternal matters.    They did so out of righteous indignation.    Does SIFC have that same privilege?    We shall endeavor to keep it restrained.      The readers can refer back to that linked blog – Part 1, and determine for themselves whether or not disciplined hermeneutics were applied, and whether or not Mr. Waters is countering with the same level of rigor, reflecting his formal bible education.     The concept of one-flesh as Jesus described it in that passage, and of unconditional, indissoluble covenant are certainly among the most offensive of Jesus’ teachings.
sarka_oneflesh2
Those two concepts didn’t even sit well with  His disciples at first.    As we see here, they continue to infuriate those “who would justify themselves in the sight of men”.   

Even several Calvinist theologians of late agree with the Koine Greek linguists that although there was a Greek word for “widow” (female) http://biblehub.com/greek/5503.htm  there was no corresponding word for “male widow”, so Paul used “agamois”, to match the intended symmetry in each of these sections, of first  addressing the men in the category, and then the women.   Not to have done this (much like today) would have offended the Gentile women who were relatively new converts, and who were accustomed to a much greater sense of equality than in the Jewish culture.  Either way, Paul was here addressing only those who did not have an estranged living spouse, or he would have been contradicting himself and creating confusion in the passages that follow next.      

RWatersANSWER: First, that passages (sic) does not say what he [blogger SIFC]  insists it says. It says, “LET not man put asunder.”   It does not say man cannot do it or that DIVORCE, as God defined it, does not do it. And so, he refuses to believe what clear text say because he is BENT on holding to a false idea of his “cornerstone”  text. He further said,  “(1) from the point God joins husband and wife, they cannot be unjoined as long as both live.”

Really? Matthew 19:6, was teaching that took place during the Mosaic dispensation. The Law of Moses, which was the law of God. Clearly Deut. 24:1,2 spoke of divorce and it allowed the woman to  “go and be another man’s wife”.   The man didn’t need divorce to marry another because he could have multiple wives.  Also, God confirmed that the divorce law was from him by using it himself (Jer. 3:8). And the icing on the cake is the clear teaching that Jesus married God ‘s divorced wife (Romans 7:1, 4).  

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Let’s address Mr. Waters’ last assertion first…. Jesus married God’s divorced wife (Romans 7:1, 4).”   Did Mr. Waters REALLY just accuse Jesus of doing what the man in 1 Cor. 5 was doing?    Committing both adultery and incest ?    That most certainly would be “the icing on the cake“, wouldn’t it?    It should be noted that we covered the Most High’s alleged “marital history” in Part 6  of our “Stop Abusing Scripture” series.   As far as we know, there has been some attempt to claim that His Son had a marital history, but it was later proven to be a forgery of evidence.    As far as anyone has been able to conclusively prove, Jesus remained celibate throughout His life — as represented.

Next, let’s examine this assertion from Mr. Waters:  “Matthew 19:6, was teaching that took place during the Mosaic dispensation.”    The very first thing to note is that Mr. Waters does not offer any biblical evidence of when one covenant age ceased and the other commenced.    He simply states his bias for universal consumption, as if he were stating “the sky is blue”.    Based on prophecy and biblical history, SIFC contends that the Mosaic covenant ceased and the Messianic covenant began when Jesus emerged, baptized, from the Jordan River.      John the Baptizer was the “Elijah” prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6, the closing verses of the Old Testament.     John the Baptizer was surely passing the torch when he immersed Jesus, and the dove of Lord descended on Him.    The onset of the Messianic covenant age is why Jesus was able to gather food and heal on the Sabbath long before He went to the cross.   From there He proceeded to His sermon on the mount, where He abrogated quite a bit of Mosaic regulation, and proclaimed (in effect), “from now on, this is a new day morally.”

The other thing to note is that Jesus never endorsed Moses’ “permission”, but in fact He corrected it in Matthew 19:8, making the very important point that hard-heartedness is not an acceptable attribute of a Christ-follower.  In fact, this is echoed as a soul-imperiling attribute throughout the book of Hebrews.   By contrast, Mr. Waters would have us believe that an “allowance” was made by God for hard-heartedness, and that would “prove” that He instituted man’s divorce.    Completely ignored are the actual words of Jesus:  “from the beginning, it was NOT SO.”     Hard-heartedness, as we learn in Hebrews is the beginning of total apostasy.

RWatersDear reader, the writer of the article with the silly title claims to use good hermeneutics, but  he [blogger SIFC]  does not. He wrote: “Scripture must always be interpreted in light of all other scripture on the same topic, and accomplished in such a way that there is no contradiction. “
RW: This is true. It is an important aspect of hermeneutics. But we have seen that the write (sic) has settled on a false foundation that Jesus said MAN CANNOT DIVORCE. That cannot be true because it is not what he [apparently Jesus] said and it would have resulted in sin, had he said it, sin that would have got him immediately stoned. And did he not promise that nothing would change before all is fulfilled”  (Matt. 5:17-19).

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:  As noted in a couple of earlier blogs, distorters of the sermon on the mount (who often are the purveyors of serial polygamy snake oil)  often choose to read it as if  Matt. 5:17-19 were the only verses therein.    In doing so, they miss the whole central message, including the new requirement for all men to obey Jesus from the heart.    Mr. Waters is flat-out ignoring an enormous amount of context in reducing Matthew 5 down to three cherry-picked verses.     

RWatersThus, the man [blogger SIFC]  has Jesus doing something he said he would not do right before talking about the “putting away” issue, which is NOT divorce at all.

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:   Apparently, like the Pharisees were, Mr. Waters is upset that the Son of the Most High, would deign to  “change the rules”,  as it were. (“But He promised!”)   We’ve already demonstrated  Mr. Waters’ distorted understanding of the message of the sermon on the mount.    The accurate way to view this assertion of his is that GOD set the rules from the beginning, and it was carnal men, not Jesus, who attempted to change the rules.     Jesus came to re-establish the rules, even the ones Mr. Waters isn’t fond of, and that, dear readers, is the correct context of Matt. 5:17-19.   The very fact that Jesus repeatedly raised the bar on a whole range of moral issues by saying,  “It is written / You have heard it said… BUT I SAY UNTO YOU”,   should lay to rest any and all attempts to wish Moses was still the sheriff in these here parts, instead of Jesus.   In the very next verse after this over-emphasized passage, we read,

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

RWatersThe truth I’m trying to get across (sic) you many of you does not (sic) have contradictions, which is why I gave up trying to defend the error that benefits only the devil as it breaks up marriages, imposes celibacy on people who need marriage, splits churches and results in precious time being wasted arguing the matter.

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:   “Standerinfamilycourt” never ceases to be amazed at the terror in the voices of the enemies of God’s kingdom, as they ascribe to us these amazing super-powers we never realized we had.

Breaks up marriages?”   How?   By quoting scripture?   Oh, that we could convict consciences that readily, why, it would be a scene straight out of the book of Ezra!    However, we point out that Jesus’ definition of “marriage” is as follows:

And He answered and said, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ˜For this reason a man shall leave his FATHER AND MOTHER and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?   –  Matt. 19:4-5

He did not say “… leave his God-joined one-flesh wife and be joined to another woman.”     On FIVE different occasions, He distinctly called such an arrangement  ongoing adultery and not once did He ever call it “marriage” without also calling it ongoing adultery.

” imposes celibacy on people who need marriage”?     We can assure that we have no present plans or budget to go around locking people up in chastity belts any time soon, so we think this particular superpower is also a bit overstated.   (Chill, Robert!)    Our understanding according to scripture is that these are people who already have marriage (however inconvenient that is to them), and it is  Divine Law that imposes the chastity.     We don’t make the laws, we just deliver the message about them.     We also remind that others have “needs”, too.   Our children need to learn godly morality, forgiveness, faith  and endurance from the example we set.  They need to unlearn “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth”.   The estranged covenant partner of the married-for-life person we are lusting after needs to have no impediment to the full repentance of their one-flesh spouse nor to  the rebuilding of their covenant family.    At the end of the day, the only biblical way divorcees are going to obtain “marriage” is to obey the Lord and be open to reconciliation with their own actual spouse.  Our nation needs to turn back the much-advanced hand of God’s judgment on the land these past 50 years.

“splits churches”?   Again, we are not aware of any signs of this attributed super-power of ours.     What “standerinfamilycourt” has personally observed following an unlawful wedding being performed in the house of the Lord, is that a church split did occur when an adulterously remarried couple rose up against the pastor’s authority on an unrelated matter shortly thereafter.   God always disciplines His children as legitimate children, we’re told in  Hebrews 12.       

 Do not err, my brethren. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And if those that corrupt mere human families are condemned to death, how much more shall those suffer everlasting punishment who endeavor to corrupt the Church of Christ, for which the Lord Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, endured the cross, and submitted to death! Whosoever, ‘being waxen fat,’ and ‘become gross,’ sets at nought His doctrine, shall go into Hell. In like manner, every one that has received from God the power of distinguishing, and yet follows an unskillful shepherd, and receives a false opinion for the truth, shall be punished.”
St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, “Epistle To The Ephesians,” c. 105 A.D.
SIFC leaves the readers with a link to some important and highly-relevant listening, courtesy of Pastor Stephen Wilcox of Canada.   Mr.  Waters accuses this blog of misrepresenting the teachings of Christ and Paul concerning the validity of remarriage after divorce.   If that were so, then it stands to reason that the men who led the church in the 1st through 4th centuries after Jesus went to the cross would agree with Mr. Waters and not with us.    We are talking about some men here who were directly discipled by the likes of the Apostle John, for example.     We are also talking about an historical record that has only become available through excavations and technology in the last couple of decades,  at least some 20 years after the enactment of unilateral divorce (and revised church doctrine to match) in most of the U.S., Canada and other western countries.   The last several minutes deal with particular eloquence with Mr. Waters’ emotional plea about the “need” of the already-married to “remarry” another while their covenant spouse is alive and estranged.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhhGSHJAef4

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Purity For Thee, But Not For We: A Stander’s Response To The Nashville Statement

by Standerinfamilycourt

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?   Or how can you say to your brother,  “Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye”, when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.  – Luke 6:41-42

The commentary on this verse in one of SIFC’s study bibles is quite interesting:  “Even a speck in the eye is very uncomfortable, making it hard to use that eye.   An eye with a plank would be useless, totally blind, so in effect, Jesus is repeating the question, ‘can a blind man guide?’   On the other hand, a plank is so large that one can grab it and remove it without sight.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of blind teachers who don’t think they are, and they do untold damage to their students.”
– Dr. Wilbur Pickering,  The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken (2013)

What a perfect analogy for the major shortcoming of the Nashville Statement and its sponsors!    This document uses a catchall preamble and Articles 1 through 3 to set context and give brief mention to a few other sexual ethics issues, but from there it gets right down to the business of taking dead aim, with the remaining 11 articles, at all of the ever-cascading horrors of homosexualism which seem to worsen with each dizzying new year.   Meanwhile,  Article 1 is the last mention of any other dimension of the full definition of marriage that Jesus gave in Matthew 19:4-6 / Mark 10:5-9, including any implications from the fact that holy matrimony is not only complementarian, but also that it is indissoluble by any acts of men other than death.    To its credit, Article 1 states that the marriage covenant is “lifelong”.    Since most remarriage adulterers at least hope for that, this bland statement does not unduly offend that camp, so long as it is not elaborated upon too closely.

Hence, the Nashville Statement declares war on homosexual practice while leaving the far more pervasive abomination of remarriage adultery / consecutive polygamy essentially ungrazed.    This comes to a head, in particular, in Article 10, where it quite rightly declares that giving approval to homosexual practice constitutes an “essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness”, and that this is a matter in which there is no room for “moral indifference” or to “agree to disagree”.   Notably, this manifesto quite wrongly omits from Article 10 the abomination Jesus spent an enormous portion of His time condemning:   the use of man’s courts and immoral laws to secure a purported “dissolution”, and mocking God-joined holy matrimony by “remarrying” while having a living, estranged spouse.    Jesus may have addressed homosexual practice in similar terms as He explicitly addressed consecutive polygamy, but there is no canonized record of it, where the record on legalized adultery is repetitive and irrefutable.    Naturally, the obvious resulting hypocrisy is not sitting well with several constituencies on both the Left and the Right.    

As noted in the blog post a couple of days ago, not many members of the covenant marriage stander community have engaged much in responses to this latest conservative evangelical manifesto on sexual ethics released this past week seeking signers and supporters.    However, the activity between various church, parachurch and family policy organizations has been all-consuming on social media even with the backdrop of the flood recovery still underway in Texas.     Opposition from Leftist clergy has also been brisk, as one might expect.     Judging by the volume of rebuttal, there does seem to be a fair amount of concern from opponents that cultural traction might be gained this time, where several other very similar initiatives got the flurry of initial press, then fizzled out, such as the Manhattan Declaration (2009) and The Marriage Pledge (2014). The social media response to the Nashville Statement  is reminiscent of the 40 Questions blog on homosexuality put out by The Gospel Coalition in 2015.   Predictably, everybody and their dog is busy drafting their own version of the fourteen Affirm / Deny statements to get their particular “spin” in.

Here is the background on the sponsoring organization, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which states their mission as…”to set forth the teachings of the Bible about the complementary differences between men and women, created equally in the image of God, because these teachings are essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church. ”     According to the group’s website, CBMW has been in operation since 1987, when a meeting in Dallas, Texas, brought together a number of evangelical leaders and scholars, including John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Wayne House, Dorothy Patterson, James Borland, Susan Foh, and Ken Sarles.    They have partnered with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention for this particular initiative.

Currently on the board of CBMW:

Dr. Daniel L. Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, who also has a pastoral background.

Dr. Jason Duesing, Provost of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.



Dr. Denny Burk is the current President of CMBW. He also serves as a Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He blogs at DennyBurk.com.

To summarize, all of these board members hail from either Baptist / Calvinist or Reformed backgrounds which adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith, whose marriage provisions contain the extrabiblical heresy that divorce and remarriage is permissible for the “biblical grounds” of adultery and abandonment.  It would stand to reason that there would be a blind spot, additionally, due to the biblically-unsupported belief that disobeying Christ’s prohibition against marrying a second, third, fourth, etc. spouse while one has a living, estranged original spouse will not actually result in possibly dying in that state and, (as a consequence) going to hell as an unrepented adulterer as 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Gal. 5:19-21 state.    Most theologians of this persuasion teach that the worst that can happen is “loss of rewards”, and this does not merit refusing to perform a wedding over the already-married-for-life,  nor the “breaking up of another marriage” (selectively applied to heterosexuals, of course).    We can likely expect each of these leaders to be firmly of the “repent in your heart” persuasion if there are adulterous remarriages that somehow fall outside the man-made liberal allowances of the WCOF.     In other words, all heterosexual “marriages” can be deemed to be “sanctified” even if Jesus did declare them to be continuously adulterous on numerous occasions reflected in scripture.

By contrast, the earlier Manhattan Declaration was a project of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian World View, and a reaction to early legalization of homosexual “marriage” in Iowa and California, as well as the stacking of the Federal courts across the country by former POTUS Barack Obama with LGBT-sympathetic judges.    It had the broad strength of some godly input from a Catholic law professor,  Dr. Robert George, and hence, a much stronger statement about the permanence of heterosexual marriage.   It eventually garnered over half a million signers, but perhaps due to Chuck Colson’s untimely death, and perhaps due to failure to raise significant donations, that initiative faded after a handful of years, during which time, significant political and ecclesiastical ground was lost.   The Marriage Pledge was an Anglican effort five years later that garnered about 800 signatures of ecumenical clergy who pledged to cease acting as an agent of the civil state to sign marriage licenses, many of those Pledge signatures coming after the Obergefell U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual “marriage” in June, 2015.     Sadly, what  could have been a wonderful opportunity to bolster heterosexual marriage by effectively taking it back into the church (undoing the colossal damage inflicted by Luther and other Reformers) was missed, as this very worthy initiative also sputtered out shortly thereafter.   It wound up playing out as a brief ecclesiastical temper tantrum, as sodomous weddings were indeed legalized in every state, but the appetite for actually implementing the Marriage Pledge waned, probably because the purifying implications for heterosexual weddings finally dawned on its promoters.    At the present time, the website for the Nashville Statement isn’t disclosing the overall tally of signers, so uptake isn’t able to be monitored.

Because of all of the above, “standerinfamilycourt” reflected for several days before finally deciding to sign, at the same time personally resolving that there would be no money donated until and unless Article 10 is amended to include remarriage after divorce.     Despite the apparent futility of such a request in this particular circle of promoters, a letter to this effect will be written to this board, praising what they got right, and explaining the consequences of the portion they’ve gotten wrong.    At this time, they are surely hearing from seminarians and activists in the liberal wing of the church.   When this initiative fails as the weakest of the three, and as all the prior efforts have failed,  it would be a real shame for these liberal-ish seminarians to falsely conclude that their document was not liberal enough!   As the grip of homofascism  tightens ever harder on the throat of the church, it never hurts to have planted such a truth-seed, and built such a bridge for when the breaking point finally comes.    The Lord began the process several years ago of doing whatever it takes to get the attention of His wayward shepherds before exacting final judgment on the land.    (A suggested letter text is offered at the end of this blog post for anyone who would like to do join SIFC in the correspondence effort.)

Denny Burk’s August 29 blog concerning Article 10 reads a bit myopically:   “Readers who perceive Article 10 as a line in the sand have rightly perceived what this declaration is about. Anyone who persistently rejects God’s revelation about sexual holiness and virtue is rejecting Christianity altogether, even if they claim otherwise.”    ( In that case, Dr. Burk, why doesn’t Article 10 also condemn what Christ called ongoing adultery, not once, but five times?    Do not both sins send people to hell equally? )    These gentlemen would mostly say “no” to this, because Christ apparently died for our premeditated future sins.

Why the Nashville Statement now, and what about article 10?

As a practical matter, Article 10 will only be an effective “line in the sand” if the organization can raise the funds to make it so, by paying for media, conferences, political sponsorship, legal defense and the like.   Signatures don’t necessarily translate into wherewithal, as the Manhattan Declaration demonstrated.   Massive amounts of money pour into the coffers of the LGBT advocacy organizations that the conservative groups have never been able to match.    Indeed, in 2009, Dr. George established a political fund-raising organization, American Principles Project, based on that important lesson-learned.    At this point, SIFC does not recommend that the marriage permanence community donate to this organization, either, because they currently are hyperfocused on issues like homosexualism and its religious liberty fallout,  while remaining completely insensitive to the much more longsuffering, numerous and original religious liberty victims of the Sexual Revolution:  “Respondents” to civil unilateral divorce petitions.   This organization is an additional one that SIFC would recommend corresponding with and building a similar bridge for the appointed time.

SIFC is not a fan of cut-and-paste advocacy letters, and doesn’t really know the first thing about whether or not they actually work in practice.     That said, a “template” can be very helpful as a starting point from which to lay out basic facts then add thoughts from the individual heart.     It is in this spirit that I share my intended correspondence with these two groups.



 EXAMPLE LETTER TO CMBW :

Dr. Denny Burk & Directors


CBMW Executive Office
2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40280

For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
– Luke 14:28

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

 

 

Hey, Here’s a Novel Idea, Let’s Have Everybody Sign a Manifesto on Sexual Ethics

FrMartinDrGby Standerinfamilycourt

In general, the covenant marriage stander community hasn’t paid too much notice to the Nashville Statement that came out this week.  That might actually be pretty healthy, but in the interest of not allowing a good culture-influence opportunity to go by, “standerinfamilycourt” would like to offer up what is hoped will be an amusing introduction, in similar spirit to the one offered by Rev. Doug Wilson in his Blog and MaBlog  post this week, “Brief Statement on Any Future Statements About the Statement“.    (Admittedly, readers will find the Reverend’s humor to be superior to SIFC’s. )

After some prayerful reflection, “standerinfamilycourt” did finally sign the document at the end of the week, with some reservations and suggestions which will be shared in the next blog post.   In the meantime, just imagine if in August, 1969, this statement by a man-of-the (RCC)-cloth, appeared in The Washington Post:

I AFFIRM:  That God loves all [legalized adulterers] .
I DENY: That Jesus wants to insult, judge or further marginalize [serial polygamists].

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:  Once civilly legalized, it seems consecutive polygamists became the least marginalized societally-corrosive population of all time, while their spiritually-and-financially-abandoned covenant families became the most marginalized, by both church and state.

 

I AFFIRM:  That all of us are in need of conversion.
I DENY:  That [people “married” to someone else’s s spouse] should be in any way singled out as the chief or only sinners.

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:   Indeed these folks are not singled out as the chief or only sinners, thanks to the various evangelical manifestos over the years that have all hyperfocused on the symptomatic rise of homosexualism.    Legalized adulterers are simply the most numerous and economically powerful underminers of biblical family.

 

I AFFIRM:  That when Jesus encountered people on the margins, he led with welcome, not condemnation.
I DENY:  That Jesus wants any more judging.

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:  There’s a valid difference between “leading” in the encounter or relationship,  and “discipling / sustaining”   Both are needed.   Both require biblical integrity.  Stating biblical principles as unchanging, unconditional and non-optional is hardly “judging”.    All ideologies have a measurement standard, be they toxic or beneficial ideologies to the health of society.   Jesus also had a measuring standard, and because He will be applying it in the age to come, He spent a lot of time educating “people on the margins” about it,  after welcoming them.     

 

I AFFIRM:   That [legalized adulterers] are, by virtue of [infant] baptism, full members of the church.
I DENY:  That God wants them to feel that they don’t belong.

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:  Not going there concerning the effect of baptism without scriptural authority, except to say that just perhaps the extrabiblical notion of infant baptism is precisely what makes any sexually deviant person (or pair) feel as though they  (unjustly, in their view) “don’t belong” to the church.

 

I AFFIRM:  That [people who “marry” someone else while having an estranged true spouse still living] have been made to feel like dirt by many churches.
I DENY:  That Jesus wants us to add to their immense suffering.

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:   Famously, this was also the position of Dr. David Instone-Brewer and of Erasmus Desiderius (what’s with these Anglican / Catholic humanists?)   What about the far greater multi-generational suffering of the covenant famil(ies) they’ve abandoned or defrauded, while many churches overtly affirm the abandoners and defrauders in doing so?   Nobody “makes” anybody “feel” anything: permission always needs to be inwardly granted, and responsibility for our feelings needs to be self-owned.  Jesus would prefer that people not suffer far more immensely and eternally in hell, and has already given several warnings to that effect [Matt. 5:29-32; Luke 16:18-31, for example]. 

 

I AFFIRM:  That [legalized adulterers] are some of the holiest people I know.
I DENY:  That Jesus wants us to judge others, when he clearly forbade it.

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:  Oh, dear.  We truly need to pray for you, if people living, Herod-like, with the poached and absconded spouses of others are indeed the “holiest” people you know.  We are who we hang out with, according to 1 Cor. 15:33.  As for the alleged “judging”, please kindly see above.

 

I AFFIRM:  That the Father loves [consecutive polygamists], the Son calls them, and the Holy Spirit guides them.
I DENY: Nothing about God’s love for them.

FB profile 7xtjw  NUGGET OF SANITY:  We need to have a much longer perspective on our definition of “love” that extends beyond this temporal life, as the Father actually does.   See again, Luke 16:18-31.   We also need to understand that God’s love is administered separately for each of them as individuals, who are not actually the one-flesh entity Jesus described in Matt. 19:4-6.

 

From Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon’s response to Fr. Martin (8/31/2017)

Jesus clearly based his view of marital monogamy and longevity on God’s creation of two and only two complementary sexes, “male and female”, as established in Gen 1:27; reiterated in Gen 2:24 as the foundation for marital joining of two halves into a single sexual whole (Mark 10:5-9; Matt 19:4-6). This is a “judgment” made by our own Lord: an inviolate standard that the Church must hold at all costs. Our Lord’s words on divorce and remarriage are predicated on the even more essential two-sexes foundation for all sexual ethics, where the creation of two (and only two) complementary sexes implies a limitation of two persons to a sexual union.

(FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC: from here, we make a few substitutions into Dr. Gagnon’s rebuttal, as we did with Fr. Martin’s rebuttal of the manifesto itself.   Advance apologies to those who rightly conform to the words of Jesus,  “Call no man ‘Father’ ).

“Like many who seek to promote [consecutive polygamy as holy matrimony, liberal and evangelical churches, feminist groups, and the like] want to make the “don’t judge” statement a canon within the canon, falsely treating it as an absolute injunction while applying it selectively.

“Contrary to Martin’s contention, Jesus did graciously challenge and warn persons who were engaged in egregious sin, not just in his group teachings but also in individual encounters. When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery he did tell her to “no longer be sinning” with the inference that otherwise something worse would happen to her, not merely a capital sentence in this life but loss of eternal life (compare John 8:11 with 5:14).

“Yes, all of us are in need of conversion, but Martin [and these liberal secular and ecclesiastical groups do not] want to convert people out of a [life that Jesus repeatedly said was adulterous in the ongong sense].   [They want] the Church to affirm the sin or at least to [continue not taking] a stand against it.

“Martin complains about the Nashville Statement singling out ‘LGBT people.’  Yet the issue here is the attempt in the broader culture and in sectors of the church from [far too many denominations as well as the Roman Catholic Church of late] to single out [legalized adulterers] for exemption from the commands of God.  [These churches are] not truly welcoming the sinner but rather affirming the sin.  [They want] the lost son to remain lost in the deepest sense, for one is ‘found’ only when one returns in repentance (Luke 15:24).

“Infant baptism does not inoculate an individual against the judgment of God for failing to lead a transformed life. There is no sin transfer to Christ without self-transfer; no living without dying to self and denying oneself (Mark 8:34-37). Paul’s warning regarding the Corinthian community’s tolerance of an adult-consensual union between a man and his stepmother is a case in point.  “Is it not those inside the church that you are to judge?”  (1 Cor 5:12), Paul asked rhetorically. The answer to that question is not ‘no’ (as Martin seems to think) but ‘yes.’

“The Nashville Statement does not claim that persons who engage in homosexual practice can never act in a holy manner [but, nor does it bother with the far more relevant question of whether consecutive polygamists can or should repent of ongoing sexual immorality, ongoing unforgiveness of their true spouse and the idolatry of self-worship, none of which are redemptive or holy.   In fact, the glaring, intentional omission of church-“sanctified” heterosexual sin from Article 10** of the Nashville Statement is quite likely to undermine all credibility in this document because this reflects a substantial lack of integrity or self-examination, signed as it has been by many shepherds who routinely perform weddings that Jesus unequivocally and repeatedly called adulterous].  We all compartmentalize our lives. But the areas we are good in do not validate the areas we are bad in.   From the standpoint of Jesus and the writers of Scripture, engaging in behavior abhorrent to God contests any claim to holiness.

[FB profile 7xtjw**Article 10,  as drafted, reads as follows: “… that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness.”]

“The bottom line is this: [many of the signers of the Nashville Statement are] using, or even abusing, [their] offices to undermine what for Jesus was a foundational standard for sexual ethics…..”

[FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   As noted in earlier blogs, Dr. Gagnon is, on balance, a solid supporter of marriage permanence, but not necessarily of the principle of absolute indissolubility by acts of men.  In this regard, he has frequently written that he does not consider marital monogamy  to be a foundational element of the Creation account, Gen. 2:21-24, to the degree and extent that gender complementarity is, and has even more frequently written that homosexual practice is, in his estimation therefore, a greater sin than is the practice of legalized adultery.  Nevertheless, he has written in the past that remarriage by the “innocent spouse” following man’s divorce is not scripturally supported.
Dr. Gagnon has recently departed from his tenured post at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (we note, run by the very liberal PCUSA), and he covets the prayers of the saints for his next assignment.  Let’s all pray that he will land in a place that allows him greater freedom to continue training future pastors with full biblical integrity while speaking to all of the grievous excesses of the Sexual Revolution.  For nothing will be impossible with God.
]

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

CW_JohnMilton

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.

FB profile 7xtjw
  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

FB profile 7xtjw 
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)


FB profile 7xtjw 
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! 

Annulments: A CONcession to Human Weakness?

Shakingby Standerinfamilycourt

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.   See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
– Hebrews 12:12-16

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
– Matthew 5:8

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
– Matthew 5:48

SIFC’s admired friend and comrade, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, paid the fine compliment this week of tagging us on Facebook to her post of an article in Crisis Magazine by Deacon Jim Russell of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Roman Catholic Church.   Anyone who has followed this blog for very long knows that we give “equal time” to offending evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics alike, if their allegiance is with the extrabiblical doctrines of the established leadership of either church.    They also know that “standerinfamilycourt” is a Protestant (not that the leadership of most of those denominations would “claim” this blogger.)    It is always a delight to connect the community of those standing in faith for the God-restored wholeness of the covenant marriages of their youth, and those who have righteously exited an adulterous, civil-only union (entered into with somebody else’s spouse), with the larger faith community of stakeholders in the marriage permanence movement. In fact, SIFC believes this exact role of bringing different groups of stakeholders together around the word of God is the specific one entrusted to this ministry by the Lord, while many others in the movement perform a variety of other very effective and indispensable roles under their own specific anointing.  

Here are Dr. Morse’s comments, as she shared this piece:

“My friend Deacon Jim Russell on the Catholic annulment process:
“Some well-meaning Catholics wrongly say the decision NOT to pursue an annulment is “pathological” when in fact it’s heroic and virtuous…. Think about it. If I really believe I meant what I said about marrying for life, for better or worse, until death do us part, even if I’m abandoned by my spouse, it doesn’t automatically mean that I “need” an annulment.”

We wholeheartedly agree.   In fact, allowing for  SIFC’s (admittedly) limited understanding of Catholic doctrine and practice, but based on God’s explicit word, the only “marriage” where an “annulment” would be automatically needed is for a marriage least likely to take place under the blessing and consecration of the RCC, namely the nuptials where one or both of the parties is divorced from a living, estranged spouse.   However, such weddings that Jesus routinely called adulterous do indeed happen increasingly today under the Roman Catholic roof, where the aforesaid piece of man’s paper has been obtained “invalidating” that which God joined,  yet He still recognizes, and He still defends as indissoluble holy matrimony,.

Several points in Deacon Russell’s piece seem troubling.   He begins with a fairly accurate statement:

Scripture tells us that “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16), and it doesn’t sound like Jesus was too thrilled with how Moses handled it, since “it was not so” in the beginning. But, what about annulments?

Our response:   Anyone who could quote Jesus’ definitive words of Matthew 19:8, and then in the very next breath ask, “What about annulments?”  has strong myopia in our view, and needs to go back to Matthew 5 to meditate on the Sermon on the Mount.    There, Jesus pointedly and provocatively said,

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

Deacon Russell is darn right that Jesus was less than pleased that Moses chose to “manage” the sin of those he was called to lead, rather than having the moral courage that Jesus and John the Baptist had to seek to eradicate it.   The full quote from Christ’s lips in Matthew 19:8:

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.

In other words, it was Moses, not Jesus, making the concessions to human weakness.    Was the Sermon on the Mount that launched and defined Jesus’ ministry not all about raising the moral bar back to what existed before the bite of the apple?    How then does it logically follow that Jesus would go on condoning “concessions to human weakness” ?

Today, would He not be saying to Roman Catholics, Because of human weakness, Innocent III permitted you to claim your marriage was invalid, but from the beginning it was not so… ” ?

Of course, SIFC would be completely remiss in not mentioning the evangelical Protestant equivalent of this false doctrine of “accommodating human weakness”,  the equally spurious notion that hard hearts must be “allowed for”, therefore Jesus “made provision for divorce and remarriage.”

Jesus gets blamed for much in carnal, humanistic Christendom, does He not?      Anyone who labors under the delusion that nursing and coddling either “human weakness” or “hard hearts” is consistent in any way with following Christ needs to spend some significant time in the book of Hebrews….(verses 3:8, 3:15, 4:7)

Russell:    “First, let’s be clear that divorce and annulment are utterly different. One erroneously says an indissoluble marriage covenant can be ended before death (divorce), and the other truthfully says that sometimes an attempt at marital consent doesn’t really ‘make marriage’ because of some defect…”

Actually, Deacon Russell, there isn’t a fly’s whisker of difference between the two in their immoral effect.   Both are fabrications of mere men, whereas Jesus tells us, “from the beginning it was not so!”  They both contradict the clear word of God on two counts.   Both falsely claim to remove God from His covenant with a one-flesh entity He supernaturally created with His own hand,  and both claim that something besides physical death can sever that entity.    Nobody vainly “attempts” consent, especially before the altar of the Lord.    Nobody should be allowed to retroactively disavow consent if they don’t want to answer some day to the Most High.

You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.   Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.   But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.    – Matthew 5:33-37

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

Russell:  “If we were not weak and wounded creatures, we simply wouldn’t need the annulment process. But we are, so we do.”

Apparently, the Ten Commandments (such as the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th)  do not apply to anyone who believes themselves to be, (or can persuade their bishop that they are) a “weak and wounded creature”, according to Deacon Russell.     See Matthew 5:48 above.   

Russell:  “…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.

Is that so?   Wouldn’t the better way be to excommunicate the unrepentant adulterer and those who seek to abandon their God-joined spouse and children?     That seems to be what Paul was advocating in 1 Cor. 5, not because he had it in for divorced people, but because Jesus made it quite clear that souls were on the line with unrepented  immoral relationships.   Why is “judging consent” necessary?    Did God delegate that authority to men?     Not according to Jesus Christ:   therefore what God has joined, let NO MAN put asunder.”

Russell:  In saying this, the Holy Father [ referring to John Paul II]  is not impugning the process that faithfully renders authentic declarations of nullity—he’s just placing that process in the appropriate pastoral context that is always to favor every attempted marriage that is still capable of being convalidated rather than abandoned, no matter what stage of divorce or the annulment process the man and woman may find themselves…”

Beware any high-falutin’ word that either begins or ends with “CON”.      “Convalidation”  (CONvolution / CONcession)

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.- Proverbs 10:19

This is still denying both the power and the will of God.    SIFC, not being Roman Catholic, had to do a bit of research on this one.     This human contrivance seeks to claim that God sometimes uses defective “glue” in joining that one-flesh entity, therefore the human subjects can deign to “re-glue” themselves with a “new act of consent”.    But according to this particular article, it doesn’t stop there.   Apparently, an adulterously “married” couple can also “CONvalidate” :
“….but more often, it is because one or both of the spouses was not free to marry in the Catholic Church because of a previous marriage or because they were awaiting an annulment.”     Guess what?     Such a couple can “CONvalidate” until the cows come home.    It still won’t CONvert legalized adultery into holy matrimony under any church roof.

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

Pardon us for declining to play….reshared testimony about “blended” families

Transcribed by:  Standerinfamilycourt

(h/t to Jamie H.  Rivera, a  member of the community of covenant marriage standers, but is not the unknown author)

Every now and then we get an opportunity to give a voice to those whom our society (and, sadly, the corrupted church) does its level best to silence – the wounded adult children of legalized, institutionalized, papered-over adultery.    Please share this short, impactful blog with someone who is entrapped in hell-bound remarriage adultery, while praying they will come to their senses and escape Satan’s trap.  Since Jesus made it clear that remarriage adultery is an ongoing state of sin until fully repented, escaping this trap always entails legally exiting the immoral. civil-only union and making restitution to the covenant family members, and to the body of Christ.
(Please pray also for this young family because the stresses involved in living with this situation while fulfilling their own parental duty to protect innocent grandchildren from immoral exposure can become unbearable and can sometimes take a toll on the marriages of the next generation.)

DeadNotDivorced

Shared Testimony **

Our parents are mad because we will no longer play along with their imaginary game of house, by continuing to pretend that they and their remarriage adultery partners are actual legitimate couples. They are also angry over our refusal to allow history to repeat itself with our own daughters through the brainwashing and programming we received as children. We will not condition our girls to embrace their twisted fantasies and deception. Our children will not call our parents’ pseudo spouses by pet titles reserved for actual God given grandparents. Does this mean we are deliberately and maliciously endeavoring to hurt anyone?  Of course they think so, but truly we hope and pray for the salvation of all involved.

We didn’t ask for our caretakers to uproot our family tree, and put it in artificial soil and an artificial environment (in an environment that’s not even viable for sustaining life nonetheless…in darkness and a sterile environment which is hostile to it’s wellbeing and void of the essential elements necessary to actually keep it alive).   After they put this uprooted tree in artificial soil and in an artificial environment, they continued their toil by attaching artificial limbs to what was left of the real tree–as if to graft those fake tree limbs into it.

Some of them might have regularly watered this tree with a substance they chose to believe was equivalent to water (alcohol) as if to chemically induce merriment and simultaneously convince themselves and those with whom they naturally shared the parts of the real tree, that they truly did love and care for it and want to nurture it, and that it was alive and well.

Some fertilized the tree with candy, toys, money, and other materialistic goods…some even used drugs…some used flattery.

Some took no care at all and left it in that near-desolate environment to continue perishing, and got mad when it wasn’t adapting and flourishing. The majority went above and beyond in their vain endeavors by ceaselessly covering it with artificial decor to hide the rot and decay that was underneath the pretentious facade.   All along, as they went through these elaborate efforts, they kept working to convince us that this new tree was not only real but was also superior. They put more work into their attempts to make a dead tree alive and a fake tree real, and [into] convincing themselves and everyone else of these foolish ideas, than they put into caring for their own real tree.

It seems they will spend their entire lives perpetuating their fanciful yet deluded illusion.  We were children when all of this began, and had no choice in our parents’ decision to edit our God-given family via cut-and-paste tactics.  We were forced to go along with their deranged fantasies and accept these contrived fairytales as reality, all while we were unknowingly being alienated from our own true parents. The adults who spent decades playing these charades refuse to see the difference between an iLLogical family tree they themselves MANufactured versus a bioLOGICAL tree that was created by God.

 

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.   – Luke 14:26

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law…”    –  Matthew 10:34-35

 

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!  

For Those Who Like Their Truth En Flambe, We Give You… Pastor Gino Jennings

by Standerinfamilycourt

Two favorite things “standerinfamilycourt” dearly loves to share with you, dear audience, are miraculous restoration testimonies of a God-joined, one-flesh relationship after decades of man’s divorce, and pastors’ sermon series from the small but growing number of faithful shepherds who preach the whole counsel of God concerning the sinful state of dying “married” to the spouse of another… no excuses, no exceptions.    Previously, we shared the bold and truthful series by Brother Sproul, a Florida pastor in the Church of Christ, and Brother Phil Schlamp, a Canadian pastor of an Evangelical Church. We left you with a teaser to stay tuned, because we had our eye on yet another pastor whose sermon series (and plain-spoken boldness for the kingdom of God)  is well worth the listen.

SIFC is not African American but has great admiration for the fire and passion of several wonderful black pastors, unfortunately not all of whom preach an uncompromisingly biblical view of marriage indissolubility, though the one just cited  did teach a faithful view until his own daughter “married” another woman’s estranged husband in 2001.   By way of contrast,  Pastor Jennings, of the First Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Philadelphia,  is a sterling (if slightly brash) example of faithfulness to the hard teachings of Jesus Christ in this matter.   We apologize that most of these recordings end pretty abruptly, but we guarantee that not a single one will put you to sleep.

PastorGinoJ

From a 2001 sermon on divorced remarriage:
Part 1  Summary:  After dealing with false salvation, Pastor Jennings begins to deal at 6 minutes in with remarriage after divorce, based on Romans 7:1-3.
Part 2:   Continues…”if the husband be….what?”  Pastor Jennings continues on, to Matthew 19 and wealthy adulterers running the church, and taking on the homosexualists in the church, as well as the legalized adulterers who try to use the existence of concurrent polygamy in the Old Testament and some current faiths to justify serial polygamy: marrying another while estranged from a God-joined spouse.
Part 3:   Continues in Matthew 19…”who commits fornication?” and underscores it with Matthew 1:18.   “You can go to church tomorrow and shout all you want with that second wife….”    Pastor Jennings goes on to deal with physical abuse in marriage based on 1 Cor. 7:10-11.
Part 4:    Continues in 1 Cor. 7:11…”Most of the preaching in Delaware is different from this …because the preachers there gonna pick a second wife for ya!…Some of you may marry a man who already got a wife…you can’t say that’s your husband….you got another woman’s husband!!”
Based on Hebrews 13:4, he rebukes pastors who justify and even participate in serial polygamy, based on spiritual condition at the time of marriage, as false prophets.   

Ten years later in 2011, the quality of the recording is much-improved, but there is no improving on the guidance in  1 Cor. 7:10-11, as Pastor Jennings’ application of this timeless word is made to a letter inquiry from Jamaica asking about marital abandonment…putting the listener in God’s shoes when Israel left Him…based on Jeremiah 3:8-14.   “Come back, come back…I got lot of backsliders watching me now….God is calling for you, backslider!”  

A second letter addressed in that 2011 broadcast service asks about a 65 year old “coworker” who has both a God-joined and a counterfeit wife, having spent the longer period with his legalized adulteress….Romans 7:1-3, “listen at the bible, never mind Pastor Jennings…listen at the bible!”    In this one, he calls out “religious spoiled brats!”   He calls out a woman who marries an already-married pastor for “playing the whore” based on Sirach 23, and continuing…   “A man that breaketh wedlock saying thus in his heart, ‘Who seest me?  I am compassed about with darkness…the walls cover me…nobody seest me, what need I to fear?  The Lord will not remember my sins!”  

“….Any preacher…(and I know you’re watching, hypocrite!)…(11:45) ..because you Apostolic churches now have changed and now you promote divorce!…You got a preacher that justifies divorce…
[ FB profile 7xtjw SIFC: we would have said “that justifies remarriage“], “you’re following a false prophet, you’re following a liar.  And if you stay under him, you gonna go to hell with him!”

Circa 100 A.D., the martyred bishop of Antioch said something very similar:    “Do not be in error my brethren.  Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God.   If, then, those who do this as respects have suffered death, how much more will this be the case with anyone who corrupts by wicked doctrine the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified!   Such a one becoming defiled in this way shall go away into everlasting fire and so shall everyone that harkens unto him.”

For a lot of people, connecting  remarriage with a journey toward hell is about as incendiary as preaching can get, unless like another faithful shepherd we recently covered, you rebuke a remarriage adulterer’s church and birth family for not shunning him or her according to the instructions to the church in 1 Cor 5, in an effort to salvage their soul by forcing actual repentance.   Yet, didn’t John the Baptist preach the same thing?    Was Jesus not preaching exactly the same thing in the sermon on the mount?

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.   If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body,   than for your whole body to go into  hell.   It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’;  but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a  divorced woman commits adultery.

If the risk of hell from the random but easily-repentable act of adultery with the spouse of another (without the civil-only fiction of subsequent “marriage” to that person) was so high that Jesus earnestly advised physically removing the temptation at the first sign that it was going to be a problem,  how can anyone behind the pulpit possibly entertain the delusion that forsaking one’s covenant family and one-flesh, God-joined partner to establish a faux “blended” family with someone else’s one-flesh is going to be OK with God to the point where that adulterous state can continue until death?   What kind of contemporary fool mocks God to His face by actually becoming a “blended family pastor” ?  No wonder the liberal theologians have all dismissed these words of the Lord as “hyperbole” in their commentaries !    How could we possibly fantasize that the One Who said we would give an account before God for every useless word we utter would engage in “hyperbole” while speaking to us of hell?

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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