Category Archives: Discipleship

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! 

NDOP 2017 Is In The Books (Yawn!)

NDOP_EOby Standerinfamilycourt

The word of God is a seamless garment, and men who deny its law deny its eschatology also, and are deprived of God’s power.   It is not surprising, therefore, that this is an era of impotence in the church.   That impotence will no more be cured by frantic and earnest prayer meetings than was the problem of Baal’s prophets by their shouts, “O Baal, hear us (1 Kings 18:26).   True faith mean law-obedience, and obedience spells power and blessing.   Deuteronomy 28 tells us precisely, and for all time, how prayers are answered and a people blessed.   –  Rousas John Rushdoony (2002), as quoted by Jack Shannon, author of Contra Mundum Swagger (2017), pages 136-7.

Shannon goes on to say, “Rushdoony is absolutely justified in taking a swipe at prayer meetings.   He’s exactly right.  You can pray for reformation and revival as earnestly and frantically as you want, but as long as you continue to disobey the law of Christ….and disregard all call to repent of your adulterous marriages, the Church will continue to be powerless.”

From Malachi, chapter 2, just ahead of the far more famous passage dealing with the sanctity and indissolubility of holy matrimony is this description of unlawful marriage which causes God to reject the false worship offered in any and all attempts to appease Him, short of actually repenting…..

For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts. “So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction

10 “Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the Lord of hosts.

And while U.S. Christendom prayed Thursday, the National-Symbol-for-Violence-and-Treachery -Toward-One’s-Own-Family held a Rose Garden Ceremony, complete with persecuted nuns,  to sign an Executive Order promising to uphold the religious freedom of those who voted for him.      Incredibly, the Chief of the Executive Branch ordered his troops not to enforce a Federal statute (which several successors of Eisenhower and LBJ had never enforced anyway, even  Obama) which forbids tax-exempt religious organizations from engaging in political activity.     Common conservative consensus on this one is that Trump tossed his supplicants a religious freedom bone, but one outspoken seminarian quipped that Trump-daughter Ivanka stripped every particle of meat residue off before she would allow Daddy to toss it out there.    (The ACLU concurred, announcing the same day that they wouldn’t bother to sue.)

That morning, Christian radio stations across the land conducted their usual interviews with twangy-voiced female guests who served as the organizational spokespersons of the year to tell us all about this year’s theme (“For Your Great Name’s Sake”), merchandizing,  and where to go pray that Roe and Obergefell would be overturned (but not unilateral divorce nor Amoris Laetitia), that Obamacare would be repealed, that boys would return to being content to use the boy’s room and if they remain confused about how God made them, that coercive governments would stop interfering with truth therapy.   Later in the day, Joyce Meyer came on in their station time slots as usual, as did Ron Deal, the “blended family” guru.     There was no evangelical  thanksgiving to be heard over the fact that God’s hand was moving, after 50 long years, behind two states who are actively  in the process of seeking repeal of the immoral “family” laws that are the root cause of these existential threats to the survival of our nation.   Prayers went up for revival to break out across the land,  from folks who would be the last people to recognize it as such if God did so move.

How life-giving would have been the public recognition by church leadership  that in 2017, God Most-High was giving off many signs to the pure-hearted watchful ones that indeed repentance and revival is truly what He wants for our nation, rather than the far more probable destruction that is the alternative ?

We heard, as usual, about the rich history in the U.S. of national calls to prayer on the eves of other great national threats, and how God indeed heard and delivered.    We heard about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and even Ulysses S. Grant — all men who were lifelong faithful to their less-than-perfect covenant wives.    We heard about their rightful humility on behalf of the nation before the throne of the Almighty, but left unmentioned Thursday, was the very significant fact that they didn’t have to leave their offering at the altar first and go be reconciled with covenant wives and children, flesh-of-their-flesh and bone-of-their-bones – nor the fact that many of the national spokes-folk would have been far better served by doing so.    Our forefathers didn’t need a slick marketing campaign to engage people nor to substitute emotional ginning-up for actual integrity.

We treat our constitutional freedom of religious expression as something God both gave us and actually owes us.    We call it an “inalienable right” .     But is it, actually?   Are Christ-followers actually owed anything in this life by the Creator of All Heaven and Earth?     Quoting  Contra Mundum Swagger again, page 136:

“Much of the evangelical world simply makes no connection between personal and cultural destruction, and the sin in their lives and in their churches.    They just think they are righteous like Job, and are experiencing similar loss, when in reality they are not blameless servants.   They are guilty as Ham, Achan and Ahab were.   When men are obedient to the law of God, blessings are manifest.  When men are disobedient to the law, curses are. “

We bible-toting, church-attending evangelicals cannot believe how long God is taking to deliver us from Islam and homofacism, and we’re still deeply concerned that Donald Trump might not.   Ham was too cowardly to confront obvious sin in his father so he left it to his brothers.    Achan was greedy and covetous, proving that he loved baubles and trappings far more than he loved God.    Ahab was a lifelong idolator.    All three of them paid for misappropriating God-given privilege and blessing to their own self-indulgence with the cutting off of their generations of progeny — just as we are collectively doing as a nation!    How many pastors, how many religious freedom champions  do we know who are all of these things and worse?     Were we not bestowed our religious freedom for a strong kingdom purpose that transcends our own personal interest?    What happens when we not only violate that purpose but institutionalize an immoral way of life in our churches and choose leaders whose lives epitomize that immorality?

In the natural, it appears for all the world that God answered the fervent prayers of 2017 that very day.    After all, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare that day, along with its coerced mandate for abortifacients and its financial penalties for noncompliance.   Will that event result in the recovery of our nation’s integrity, since the fervent and effectual prayers of the righteous avail much (James 5:16)?  What if, instead of another twangy-voiced spokeswoman who prospers temporally from being “married” to another  woman’s God-joined covenant husband, the national spokesman for NDOP 2018 is the prophet Ezra ?

But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; and I said,

“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.   Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day.   But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

“Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,  which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.   So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.’ After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this,  shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?   O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this.”   —  Ezra, Chapter 9

Instead, when it comes to restoring our 1st Amendment privileges, we may wind up with the “prophet” Hanson in how we sound to the One to Whom we are appealing:

 

HansonNDOP  (MMMBop by  pop group, Hanson, 1997)

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

A Marriage Permanence Teaching That Actually Goes A Bit Too Far?

Hertzler_DearPastorby Standerinfamilycourt

Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?    –  Acts 15:10

This week SIFC  was reminded that the surprises never end when it comes to the battleground around the biblical truth and the indissolubility of holy matrimony.    That’s why what we believe must be based on the very same anchor that Jesus Himself dropped when He was challenged by those who didn’t take kindly the change from the Law of Moses that managed sin in lieu of eradicating it from the heart.    When Jesus asked what Moses commanded, and was given the Pharasaic response, He bypassed the regulation found in the book of Deuteronomy, and reminded His hearers that not only did Moses capture the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20),  but he penned the account of the first wedding (Genesis 2:21-24), including the taking of Adam’s rib to form Eve to be “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh”.   Jesus should have known whereof He spoke:   He was actually part of the “Let Us” of the creation;  He was there.
Jesus Himself testified that Adam parted with a single rib for a very good reason, namely #1M1W4L.

Roger Hertzler is a lay elder or pastor in an Anabaptist-affiliated fellowship, possibly Brethren or Mennonite.   An accountant by education and trade., Mr. Hertzler has written an extensive set of sermons on www.sermonindex.net called “Dear Pastor“.    He may have a part time congregation,  since lay pastors are especially common in Brethren churches.   Views toward, and acceptance of, adulterous remarriages vary widely in these Brethren / Mennonite / Anabaptist churches in practice, but there is a formal body of doctrine that reinforces that marriage is one man and one woman for life.    Some of the Anabaptist teachings we have featured on our Facebook page, Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional are quite sound and enlightened, according to scripture.     This particular piece, however, argues that someone exiting an adulterous remarriage in repentance (and who was not previously married or was widowed) is prohibited by the Lord from remarrying, as is the person they so divorced.

The second part is basically true, with the truly biblical exception of reconciliation with the God-joined one-flesh spouse of their youth, to whom in God’s eyes they never ceased to be wed.     However,  Bro. Hertzler insists that both must remain celibate for the remainder of their lives following the severance of the adulterous union.

Here’s a quick summary of Bro. Hertzler’s arguments advocating for the ongoing celibacy of all divorced parties who have living spouses, either covenant or non-covenant, and why each of these arguments are each either extra-biblical or unbiblical:

(1)  Hertzler:  Remarriage after divorce (church-sanctified adultery) is not just a sin against God, it’s a sin against the non-covenant spouse whom the repenter felt compelled to dissolve the unlawful union to.

[“The raw nature of adultery is that despite all the arguments that we could present, a remarriage has the potential to feel like adultery to the offended party, even when the first marriage was not valid. If a man would, for the sake of purity, leave an adulterous marriage and then remain single, it could be seen as both understandable and honorable to the wife (and children) who are left behind. But for her to see him to get married again while she must remain single would be like a perpetual sword being plunged into her heart. Does it not seem reasonable that Jesus was thinking of this very scenario when gave the “against her” statement in Mark 10:11? “]

(2)  HertzlerThe one repenting of remarriage adultery is still bound to keep their second vows even if they should not have been made, hence remaining celibate is the remaining way to do that while honoring Christ’s commandments.

[“Perhaps we could argue, “Since the second set of vows should never have been made, God didn’t hear those vows, and therefore they can’t be violated.” This argument is dubious since Scripture seems to affirm that God hears even those vows that should not have been made. But whether or not this is true, this argument only takes into account the potential sin against God and ignores the potential sin against man.”]

(3) Hertzler:   Allowing a divorced person who was never legitimately married in God’s eyes to subsequently marry a widow or never-married person creates a “man-made exception” to both Mark 10:11 an d 1 Cor. 7:11, which is presumptuous at best and creates confusion / bad witness.

[“To allow for this exception adds a murkiness to the issue at a time when clarity is needed. It makes the question of my standing with God rest on the actions of other people, people who for the most part are outside of my control.   To make this exception would force us to drastically complicate the methods of dealing with divorcees who are seeking repentance. Rather than simply asking, “Do you have a former spouse that is still living?” we would need to examine each of the former spouses to see if they had been married before. Then, if they had been, we would need to examine the marital situation of each of their former spouses, and so on.”]

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   if Bro. Hertzler indeed does have a congregation, in addition to his accountancy practice,  it is easy to see how his theories would appeal to him and seem like the only acceptable truth.   In a way, his dilemma (and his interest), in the ugly face of the mess made by many unfaithful shepherds of the flock over the last five decades, is not too unlike what other evangelical pastors of strong conscience but misguided application (for example: John Piper) .   They don’t want to sort through complicated facts and circumstances in determining when to perform a second, third or fourth wedding.    They don’t want the gossip in the church that they know is sure to result if there is covenant reconciliation after an intervening adulterous union (perhaps on both sides), especially where there are non-covenant children.     Counseling everyone to remain celibate seems like the best solution.    However, it is not.

Before getting into the incompleteness of the picture Bro. Hertzler has painted, it is good to get grounded in the core truth about the indissolubility of holy matrimony as Jesus related it.    Armed with this foundation, marriage heresies become much easier to spot.   This process is akin to holding a counterfeit $20 bill up against the real thing.   Many of the truths that rebut Bro. Hertzler’s theories are the same ones that apply to John Piper’s theory that disciples should stay in their adulterous remarriages rather than rebuild their covenant families, or build a first-time covenant family.   

MarriageHeresy

The first problem with Hertzler’s argument #1 where the non-covenant spouse who was in legalized adultery while having a living covenant spouse is aggrieved by a covenant remarriage of their faux spouse, is that the Lord expects that previously married non-covenant to acknowledge their unique, exclusive one-flesh status with that first spouse, plead for their soul, and seek or be open to reconciliation with that original spouse.    Otherwise, there is a violation at the very least of the second “bullet” in the graphic above.    The second problem is that Hertzler’s position wrongly assumes that a supernatural one-flesh God-joining occurred in the unlawful union, and it can’t be both ways.   Hence there is also a violation of the first “bullet”, as well, entailed in this theory.   God cannot join a spouse to two living spouses at the same time.   He only took one rib from Adam.    Jesus blew the whistle on Old Testament polygamy, both serial and concurrent, when He took us back to the creation.   Covenant and non-covenant marriages are not morally equivalent at all, because neither are they metaphysically equivalent.

We respond to Bro. Hertzler’s  point #2 the identical way we responded to Dr. Piper’s similar claim that unlawful vows are still binding on both illicit partners, but in this case we can go a bit deeper.   Imagine standing before the Lord of Hosts, the God of Angel Armies, the God portrayed in Mal. 2 as rebuking the violence and treachery of discarding the woman He said IS (not was) “the companion of your marriage covenant”.    Did He say this of wife number two with whom the priest also made vows?  No, He spoke of effects on the generations of offspring.   Just imagine standing before a holy God who tells us (2:14) He was the witness to your first and only covenant vows, and having the audacity to state  this vow:

“I solemnly promise to spend every remaining day of my life violating the binding vows I made to the person You made me exclusively one-flesh with in my youth, the one who still lives.” 

Would a Sovereign who expects forgiveness, reconciliation and restitution hear or hold binding such a vow, any more than He would hear and hold binding a vow that goes, “I vow to commit murder (hatred), and unforgiveness toward my one-flesh, all the days of my life…”  ?   Few of us understand what it means for God Himself to be a party to covenant, according to His character.    Holding either non-covenant spouse to a vain, unlawful vow in which God’s holiness would never allow Him to participate is to hinder at least one of the spouses from setting the right example before covenant and non-covenant offspring alike.

Bro. Hertzler’s point #3 is the only one that comes even close to having some biblical merit, at least with respect to the spouse who was never in a biblically lawful marriage before entering the non-covenant one.   Indeed, for many years pre-1973, the Assemblies of God had a firm rule against performing a wedding over anyone with a living spouse, and against giving credentials as a pastor to anyone who had a spouse with a prior living spouse, or if they did themselves — very simple, no further questions asked.   As it happens, SIFC also knows many never-married men and women who have come out of legalized adultery unions who have no desire to marry another (widowed or never-married), even though they are free to do so because they would not be violating a one-flesh covenant.    Most of them have children from those non-covenant unions.  All of them earnestly pray for their non-covenant former partner to be reconciled with their true one-flesh.   Most of them are driven by purpose to right this eternally-deadly immorality in church and society, and to serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Nevertheless, there was a joyous wedding this past week in the global marriage permanence fellowship.    A long-suffering widow whose restored-prodigal husband died a short time after he forsook an adulterous remarriage and returned to his covenant home, has been joined by God to a man who came out of two non-covenant unions, the first as an unsaved person, and the second as a convicted, repenting follower of Christ.   Like his covenant bride, this man endured years of hardship and sacrifice  in order to meet his godly obligations to the members of that non-covenant home while exiting the sin, an act that was misunderstood by everyone around him.   His testimony, written near the start of that journey, can be read here ( DWalker testimony).     The wedding was proudly solemnized by a stander-pastor who has ministered for many years to the members of the marriage permanence community who might otherwise be cut off from any fellowship with the body of Christ due to their unpopular stand for the no-excuses indissolubility of holy matrimony.

Meanwhile, within that marriage permanence community, Bro. Hertzler’s blog has unfortunately caused great (if unintended) damage because of the distortion it has caused for some in applying 1 Cor. 7:11.   It seems some carnal believers would like to apply Paul’s counsel to “remain unmarried or be reconciled” as a free choice between two equally moral and acceptable options, rather than the way he actually intended: “prefer reconciliation, but in the meantime remain unmarried“.    Some see this distortion as a way to justify estrangement from an unwanted spouse who is not a threat to their safety or wellbeing or their walk with the Lord, and merely to get around the first part of Paul’s command that a wife should not leave her husband (1 Cor. 7:10).   Once again, the heresy becomes easy to spot through the filter suggested in this post.

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

Moody Radio Responds to “Standerinfamilycourt” (Sort Of)

MBIby Standerinfamilycourt

On March 26, SIFC sent a letter in response to the Moody Bible Institute’s pleas to donate to meet an 8% shortfall in their semi-annual fundraising goals.   SIFC pointed out that it was unconscionable for a growing number of us to fund a considerable portion of their programming because it encourages people to remain in, rather than repent of, their sin of “marrying” someone else’s covenant spouse under the nation’s immoral divorce laws.  The hope was that they would seriously consider the eternal consequences of this policy and practice, that the Holy Spirit would convict somehow.   They were kind enough to respond,  and not to send a canned form letter, but the content of that response was better left unsaid.    I share it with our readers now:

April 3, 2017

Dear [“Standerinfamilycourt”],

Thank you for listening to Moody Radio, for your past financial and prayer support, and for taking time to write expressing your concerns about Family Life Ministries feature FamilyLife Blended with Ron Deal.  

I can understand your concern for any programming content that would “sanction legalized adultery”.   I will be standing right beside you on that.  However I fail to see where the content in the programs you listed are sanctioning adultery.

May I take your thoughts a little further on the topic, beyond the thought that divorce led to the creation of a blended family?   Ron Deal at FamilyLife could give you more specific information, but we are learning that many people who come to Christ ater in life are from broken homes.  We receive emails nearly every week, mainly from Christian women, that their spouse has divorced / left them, some recently.   We also know of Christians who are widows or widowers who remarry.   In fact, several years after my grandfather died, my 82 year old grandmother remarried a wonderful widower.

Most churches do not address the unique issues that are present in these Blended Families.  We believe that the feature and FamilyLife Ministries is helping these marriages and families not only to survive but possibly thrive by providing helpful information not available anywhere else.

[“Standerinfamilycourt”],  I’m sorry that I don’t have the audio to send you, but here is the script of one of the first FamilyLife Blended features.

What would you do if your fiancé told you she was pregnant and it wasn’t your child?   I heard about one man that found himself in that very situation.   He was distraught, he was hurt, and he chose to walk away.   I mean, after all, the responsibilities were not his.  But then the Spirit of God let Joseph know that there was something bigger going on.   And Joseph chose love.  This Christmas as you remember our dear Savior’s birth, let’s also remember and encourage the step-parents and adoptive parents who, like Joseph, didn’t have responsibility or obligation, but they chose to love anyway.

I hope this information may shed a little more light on the reasons that we broadcast the FamilyLife Blended feature on Moody Radio.

Again, we appreciate you listening to Moody Radio, and appreciated your financial and prayer support through the years.   If you feel the Lord directing you to support another ministry, we understand and pray that He will multiply the impact of your gifts to that organization.   We do hope you will continue to pray for us as we seek to minister to as many people as possible and help them take their next step in their relationship with Jesus.

Blessings!

Dan Craig
Manager of Programming


SIFC had to go back to the original March 26  letter / blog to make sure we remembered to  mention that Moody Radio was leading millions of people toward hell as adulterers with this programming, but then again, Mr. Craig admitted that he didn’t  “see how the programming content was sanctioning adultery”.

[translation:  we don’t consider remarriage following civil dissolution of a consummated marriage to be adultery, even though Jesus repeatedly said it was, as did Paul.  But just in case, we’re going to obfuscate the issue by jumping topics to widowhood and betrothal].

A zinger of a rebuttal could certainly be had, if only it were profitable to the kingdom of God to do so:

Dear Mr. Craig,

A sincere thank you for responding, and doing so with your personal thoughts.

Since most churches do not address the unique issues that are present in LGBT families, would you therefore recommend that Moody promote programming by a comparable sodomy “pastor”?

….Most churches do not address the unique issues that are present in these Gay Families.  We believe that the feature and GayFamilyLife Ministries is helping these homosexual marriages and LGBT families not only to survive but possibly thrive by providing helpful information not available anywhere else.    (Right!)

And then there’s the emotional bit about Mary’s Joseph….with the acute dissimilarities swept conveniently under the rug.    Taking the analogy a bit further, had Joseph indeed put Mary away privily, being a just man, would it have been adultery for another man, for whom the “responsibilities were not his”,  who (correctly) perceived from the Spirit of God let that “there was something bigger going on” had come along and married this forsaken unwed mother, would that have been holy matrimony in God’s eyes?    Yes, but not for the reasons fancied by Mr. Craig.    Mary was not yet made irrevocably one-flesh with Joseph, unlike the sort of “bride” that Ron Deal has the unbiblical audacity compare her to.

Taking Ron  Deal’s analogy even further, Mary would be “divorced” (that is she would have been given a Hebrew get, a bill of divorcement), but that’s not the kind of “divorce” Jesus was referring to on all three instances / occasions where Matthew (in Hebrew text) , then Luke (in Greek text) quoted Him as saying,

“whosoever marries one who has been put away from a husband commits [enters into the ongoing state of]  adultery. “

Had another man married Mary and raised Jesus, it would not have been adultery according to the laws of the kingdom of God, because she would not have been impeded by an unsevered, undissolved one-flesh bond with Joseph whether or not there was any of man’s paper involved.    Jesus was referring to exactly the sort of otherwise-godly, unsullied and innocent third party man (and still calling him an adulterer) that Mr. Deal would like us to believe is exempt from the clear, repetitive commandment of Christ, so long as he’s doing it out of apparent compassion.    But let’s not forget the  five-ton elephant in the room — that it’s not strictly necessary for a man to marry an unwed mother (even if the one Mr. Deal has in mind isn’t exactly unwed) to show her the love of Christ or meet her essential life needs for a season.   Boaz, after all, married a widowTrue love always considers its impact on everyone’s eternal destination who is involved in the picture.

Yours truly,

“Standerinfamilycourt”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC is pondering at this moment whether another attempt to enlighten Mr. Craig by return response is likely to be fruitful or merely be casting pearls before swine.    Who knows whether he is among the 40-50% of the contemporary evangelical church who is living in this sin himself, or among the even larger percentage who has a loved one who is perishing in this immoral state.    It seems likely to further offend him personally to tell him that adulterous homes are not supposed to “survive and (possibly) thrive”,  but are to instead repent the same way one repents of any hellbound sin, by severance and forsaking and (possibly) reconciliation with the covenant spouse(s).      After all, he saw fit to ignore the most forceful points in the first letter and pretend that he didn’t see them.   He never responded at all to our serious inquiry about why Moody is not at least covering the unilateral divorce repeal efforts in Texas and Oklahoma.   Lastly, longtime listeners to Moody know that the MBI of today is steeped in Calvinism, where you hear at least implied umpteen times a day that Jesus died for regenerated persons’  past, present and future sins.   The corrosive, lethal mix of Calvinism and legalized adultery have stripped the church of nearly all of its supernatural power in the last five decades.    Between Luther / Calvin and the stroke of Ronald Reagan’s pen in 1969, most of the Spirit-led Protestant  church didn’t succumb to it, even though it’s been out there since the 16th century Reformation.

It would be good to at least let him know that those of us in the biblical marriage permanence movement are indeed praying for Moody Bible Institute and Moody Radio.

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

Can “Shame” be Purposeful?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ShesAHo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As only Mr. Walsh can so eloquently put it:

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

He continues:

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

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

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

A sampling, which is far from exhaustive:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HELPS Word-studies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

PolygynyII
by Standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymology of Divorce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

NatMarriageWkby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ignatius-antioch

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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