Category Archives: Church Discipline

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!

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! 

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

CMS_Shannonby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

–  1 Cor. 12: 8 -10

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

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

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

A few nuggets from various chapters in the book:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Some parting thoughts:   Is it more appropriate for the church or for the state to have jurisdiction over marriage?   Is it ever appropriate for the church to assume authority over divorce –  either prior to believers taking their case to court  or in lieu of ?    Is the  contemporary church in so much moral decay that they’ve forfeited any “competence” they may have once had ?     Jesus said, render unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and render unto God the things that belong to God.     God created marriage, and man created the “dissolution” of marriage.   As such, Caesar never had any legitimate jurisdiction over what should have been kept in the church with the exits securely bolted.    The Protestant Reformers were eager to hand over to the civil state that which church leaders no longer wanted authority over.    The only actual reason to do so was an intrinsic rebellion against God’s law that man has no authority to  dissolve holy matrimony.    None of this happened because believers were obeying God in the middle ages,  but because they wanted an avenue for disobedience that would appear as legitimized.     Taking marriage back into the church (with exit doors bolted) and boycotting the civil system altogether will seem as “dominionist” to some in the marriage permanence movement.    The Roman Catholic fringe of the movement is having a very vigorous debate over this “competence” issue right now, while many of the Protestants in the movement question the legitimacy of any large centralized church organization as biblically-supported.    We need to determine whether the goal is for the church to have a role in meaningfully reforming civil family laws, in which case, size and centralized resources would be an advantage, or if the goal is to simply entice people away from the immoral civil system and back toward God’s law, then smaller, decentralized local church bodies with impeccable moral and disciplinary standards will do.  True revival and repentance may help define the heart of God on this.    SIFC proposes that it would not be out of the question for both approaches to coexist for a time and to leverage off each other.

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

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

 

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

 

www.standerinfamilycourt. com

 

 

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!

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!

 

Dear Moody Radio Share 2017

by Standerinfamiycourt

——————————————–
On Wed, 3/22/17, Moody Radio, Share 2017 <moodyradio@moodycommunications.org> wrote:Subject: There’s Still Time to Give!
To: [standerinfamilycourt]
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 9:52 AMWe are so close, but we still need your help!{ SIFC noteabout 8% short of goal on the day after their recent 3-day funding campaign ended, about the same as in the four prior years.]
If you haven’t already given during Share 2017, will you help Moody Radio reach our national goal?
So many of you have already given, but we are still short of our total need. If you have considered giving, it is not too late.
Remember, when you give to Share, you are sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in your community and across the globe.
Please prayerfully consider a generous gift today and Share the Word with others!

——————————————–

On Sun, 3/26/17,  <“standerinfamilycourt”> wrote:

Subject: Re: There’s Still Time to Give!
To: “Moody Radio” <moodyradio@moodycommunications.org>
Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017, 1:13 PM

Dear Moody Radio Management,

Perhaps this shortfall Moody keeps experiencing over the past few years is the Lord’s chastening, and not the economy.   Many of us certainly love Up for Debate and most other Moody programs, but can offer no money for Moody Radio until all programs that regularly sanction legalized adultery are ceased and apologized for.  If there’s a need for a “blended family pastor” ( just because he appears to be a “successful” legalized adulterer), it’s not surprising at all.  People living in defiance of God’s clear word, rightly-divided, have homes absolutely rife with dysfunction – how can it be otherwise with the coveting and wrongful retention of another’s God-joined, covenant spouse (Matt. 19:6; Mal.2:14) ?  It is the wicked desire to cling to this soul-destructive ongoing state of sin that fuels the demand for the likes of “Pastor” Ron Deal, as well as wicked books written by a host of adulterers and adulteresses (James 4:4).

Moody has on occasion shamelessly even offered these books as a donation-spurring mechanism, tickling the ears of people who desperately need to instead repent.  Programs such as Focus on the Family, Family Life, and Building Relationships are three among many on Moody which are an affront to the kingdom of God for this reason, encouraging millions to live for self instead of taking up their cross of forgiveness and obedience to the harder commandments of Christ.
.

ὃς                    ἐὰν         ἀπολελυμένην                      γαμήσῃ          μοιχᾶται
whoever          if             her having been divorced     shall marry   commits [ present-indicative verb tense – Matt. 532b; Matt 19:9b-KJV, Luke 16:18 adultery  

What IS surprising is Moody’s unabashed embrace of something that’s pointing the audience to hell instead of away from hell.  R A Torrey would have been appalled, since Jesus stated on 3 different occasions that EVERYONE who marries a divorced person is committing ongoing adultery.

Torrey, in “How to Pray” (1900):  “The prevailing immorality is found everywhere.  Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce.  Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted in good society; and women do likewise.   There are thousands of supposedly respectable men in America living with other men’s wives, and thousands of supposedly respectable women living with other women’s husbands.”

RATorrey2

It is on this same basis Paul stated twice to the body of believers that no unrepentant adulterer has any inheritance in the kingdom of God, and also stated twice that only death, not any act of men, dissolves God-joined holy matrimony or severs the God-created,. supernatural one-flesh entity (sarx mia) which Jesus described in Matt. 19:6.

History has shown that no society can stand for more than 2-3 generations after enacting unilateral divorce if church leadership also accommodates it rather than remaining salty in resistance – witness ancient Israel who had to undertake the purging repentance from unlawful marriages described in Ezra, chapters 9 and 10, to recover their nation.   Witness the late Roman Empire which was vanquished two generations after enacting the equivalent of today’s unilateral divorce — but Christ’s church survived and thrived because early church fathers were nearly unanimous in the faithful teaching that only death ends holy matrimony, and in disciplining its adulterers in the fashion Paul instructed in 1 Cor. 5.   Failure to repent always leads to an insufficient number of well-adjusted citizens to overcome the rising numbers of wounded, deranged, demented and dysphoric citizens produced when both church and state institutionalize what Jesus consistently called adultery.

Blended

Two states with rare, godly legislators (Texas and Oklahoma) are currently working to repeal this immoral and unconstitutional civil law that has cost much of the church its very integrity over the past 5 decades — why do we hear nothing of this on Moody?   Where is the call to prayer and fasting for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven?   Could it be the snare of the fear of man is greater than the fear of God?

Respectfully, There’s Still Time to REPENT !

[“standerinfamilycourt”]

 
 
 www.standerfamilycourt.com
 7 Times Around the Jericho Wall |   Let’s Repeal No-Fault 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!

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

NatMarriageWkby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ignatius-antioch

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

jp_jtbby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

Piper writes:

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

Piper responds:

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

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

Here come the highly imaginative arguments:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

by Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

p_schlamp

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

p_schlamp2

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

p_schlamp3

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

P_Schlamp4

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sermon 5 (11/13/2016) – Ezra 9-10

P_Schlamp5

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC’s Observations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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