Category Archives: marriage

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

Transcribed by:  Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

DeadNotDivorced

Shared Testimony **

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

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! 

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

TheDunlapsby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NeverGiveUp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hertzler_DearPastorby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MarriageHeresy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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!

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

KrauseFamilyby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

From a December 28 post by a local news service:

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

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

Per the Texas Statute, as currently enacted:

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

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

The local article continues:

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

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

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

MKrauseFB_post

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

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

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

Are there any Family Policy groups supporting you at all?

Thanks, and Godspeed! 
“standerinfamilycourt”

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

 

TX HB93_2017

Texas does indeed have a family policy council:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

PolygynyII
by Standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymology of Divorce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

NatMarriageWkby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ignatius-antioch

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

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

legalized-adultery_tchivby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

1 Timothy 3:2

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

 

Titus 1:6

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

 

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

 

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

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

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

What? The Bride of Christ Deputized as “Gods’ Coroner” ?

RumorsOfby Standerinfamilycourt

Now He was also saying to the disciples,  “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.   And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?   Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’   The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my    master is taking the management away from me?   I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.   I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’    And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’   And he said, ‘A hundred  measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’   Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred  measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’  And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own  kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.     –  Luke 16:1-9

Could Jesus have been speaking in Luke 16 about turncoat shepherds such as Dr. Tony Evans?    Let’s examine one of his articles on divorce and remarriage, and you decide….we will add comments as necessary to critique Dr. Evans’ assertions by holding them up to the true light of scripture.

Christians in Divorce Court

When it comes to the issue of Divorce and Remarriage, God has a court.   Because the question comes, “Who decides when there are or are not legitimate grounds?”

There are 3 spheres that allow one to be divorced:

• When immorality enters into a relationship —it is an allowance by God.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We respectfully disagree, since God’s word makes it abundantly plain that man’s divorce,  (and  his infidelities) dissolves nothing in “God’s courthouse”, which only issues dissolutions of covenant in the form of physical death.   Beyond that,  “God’s courthouse” is merely a divine registrar.


• When there is a non-Christian married to a Christian and the non-Christian deserts the Christian —then that is an allowance for the Christian to proceed with a divorce allowed by God…

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Again, we must respectfully disagree, for much the same reasons.   At a bare minimum, this claim is a clear and blatant rejection of Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 6:1-8, and 1 Cor. 7:10-11.    God is not the author of confusion, and His word never contradicts itself when rightly divided.  Hence there can be no “allowance” to do what His word forbids.

Removal from the fellowship of God to be excommunicated as to be under Spiritual death (1 Corinthians 5) (where there’s immorality, beating, or being a “striker,” being a violent person, for a person who’s not taking care of his family, etc.). It’s where the “supposed” Christian will not come under authority.

To sum it all up —a death must occur. For a woman is bound to her husband as long as the both shall live, as the Scriptures says. But when one dies, she is no longer bound. So a person can die physically —therefore, the Covenant has been broken. Or they can die Spiritually and therefore, the Covenant can be broken.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   It would be helpful if Dr. Evans backed up what he says here with actual scripture, especially where he makes some limited points rather validly.    Since he did so only in part, we will attempt to fill in from whence he is deriving his inferences, although we cannot vouch (with scripture) any reference to a “striker” — other than in reference to disqualifying a man from church leadership (1 Tim. 3:3, and Titus 1:7) – yet living in a state of remarriage adultery with another man’s God-joined one-flesh wife is certainly equivalent scripturally to such.    In addition to 1 Cor. 5  which is specifically about fornication between two unmarried persons (a young man and his likely widowed stepmother), he is also alluding to Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Tim. 5:8.
He’s quite right that only death breaks God’s covenants, as Paul twice confirms.    However,  since in most cases of a wounded spouse,  God’s mercy and desire to see the offender repent and recover his or her inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, our Lord does not oblige by striking the offender dead, Nabal-style.     That presents a bit of a dilemma, which Dr. Evans (like his 16th century predecessor, Martin Luther), is quite eager to resolve in sympathy for the “innocent spouse”  –  so, a heavenly “hit contract” should take care of it.   Much less wasteful than waiting for the prodigal to repent on God’s timetable is deciding that he or she is beyond repentance, so declare them spiritually dead and on that basis, allow the  one-flesh (sarx mia) partner to become hen soma with a brother or sister in the church, presuming that subsequent union to be “morally superior” to the one Paul discussed in 1 Cor. 5.

But the whole point of an unconditional covenant of God is precisely that God always keeps His end of it even when the human participants do not!    Dr. Evans speaks of “excommunication”, a decidedly Roman Catholic concept which implies loss of salvation due to the sacraments being withheld (an erroneous concept, most Protestants would agree).   It is one thing to administer biblical church discipline, dis-fellowshipping the serious backslider who is toxic to the whole of the body of Christ, removing the support and protection of the church.   It is another to declare a state of permanent apostasy that may or may not turn around with the chastisement of the grieved and quenched Holy Spirit within.

CWs_Martin Luther_TEvans

“…Since now death alone dissolves marriages and releases from obligation, an adulterer is already divorced, not by man but by God himself, and not only cut loose from his spouse, but from this life…because now God here divorces, the other party is fully released, so that he or she is not bound to keep the spouse that has proved unfaithful, however he or she may desire it.”    – Martin Luther, circa 1522

“…If they are alive and you go marry another, then you’re still married.  If they are dead, then you’re free to marry another.  And one of the reasons I want to stay married has nothing to do with me but with the generations after me….unless God the Coroner pronounces death.”
–  Dr. Tony Evans, May 2012

Continuing….

So the question is: WHO determines (the legitimate grounds), and HOW is it determined —who decides? After discussing this whole issue of “removing people” from the fellowship in 1 Corinthians 5, it then continues in chapter 6 to explain HOW it’s to be done. (So chapter 6 is the continuation of chapter 5.)

God has set you up to judge the “whole world.” Judgment is a part of the role of the people of God. They render decisions on behalf of God Himself. Kingdom decisions are to be rendered by Kingdom People, because only Kingdom People obligate themselves to Kingdom rules. The Church was never intended to be a “2-hour building” that you went to for services once a week. It was intended to be an “expression of the Kingdom intentions” of the King. That’s why when Jesus prayed He said, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.“

So like it or not, judgment is a part of the role of the people of God.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Dr. Evans takes some considerable liberties here!   Yes, chapter 6 is a continuation of chapter 5, specifically with respect to the church’s responsibility to discipline sexual immorality among its members , including adultery and divorce filings undertaken to cover up or to legalize an adulterous relationship, and that is likely to result in dis-fellowshipping if the prodigal refuses to repent (or refuses to even meet, as will typically be the case).    That said, Dr. Evans ignores the fact that a 2-ton elephant is now standing in the room as a direct result of 1 Cor. 6:1-8.    A brother or sister in the Lord is not to take another brother or sister before a pagan judge – but rather be defrauded.   We presume this would apply to the sole person to whom God has joined them as one-flesh.  We know of no way to obtain a civil divorce without doing so, since the day that Martin Luther handed over to Caesar the regulation of holy matrimony which God says belongs exclusively to Him.   Dr. Evans appears to be saying that it’s OK to violate 1 Cor. 6:1-8 for deemed “biblical grounds”.     (We’re going to go out on a limb and say that the only truly biblical grounds for man’s divorce is to repent of a “marriage” that Jesus repeatedly called adulterous, so that both partners can seek reconciliation with their true spouse, and even then, to protect the witness of the church and obey God under man’s immoral laws, such cases should only be by agreed mutual petition.)

And what of Dr. Evans’ alleged “exception” for abandonment by an unbelieving spouse?   Or adultery by an unbelieving spouse?    Judgment may indeed be the role of the people of God, but 1 Cor. 5 specifically says the church is not to judge outsiders, contrary to the stretch Dr. Evans suggests here.    Once we’re done mangling (but not specifically naming) 1 Cor. 7:15, it begs the question, how can a church declare someone “spiritually dead” who hasn’t been born into that realm to begin with?    Didn’t  Jesus highly commend John the Baptist’s fierce defense of Herod’s and Herodias’ (respective) covenant marriages even though both abandoned their true spouses?    Didn’t  John tell Herod, “it is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife’  ?

A couple that decides that they want a divorce for “irreconcilable differences” (which there’s no such divorce for) needs to realize that everybody is irreconcilable to everybody else. You are very different than your mate. You’re supposed to be. God intentionally made you different. The issue is not the differences —we’re to turn them into “complements rather than conflicts.” But His point is, that you don’t go to the unrighteous, who have no Kingdom view of marriage, and don’t understand that God is the author of marriage. They’ll simply grant you (because you agree on your own terms) a no-fault divorce.

He’s not putting down judges, because you must have Civil Government. But when it comes to matters of the Kingdom, they’re to be decided within the Kingdom, and then they can be confirmed in the government.

In verse 7 (of 1 Corinthians 6), he says if you go to a Secular Law Court —you’ve already lost. You’ve lost for 2 reasons: number 1 you’ve destroyed your testimony, and number 2, God is against your process.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    We all know this is not the way it happens in practice, but the other way around.    Furthermore, Dr. Evans would point his remarks above not exclusively to the covenant couple, but to those whose civil-only unions Jesus repeatedly called ongoing, continuous adultery, who need to actually flee their counterfeit union, both for the witness of the church and to avoid the consequences described in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21, forfeiture of their participation in the kingdom of God.     Being “married” to someone else’s God-joined one-flesh mate is about as irreconcilable a difference as anyone could have, especially in terms of reconciliation with God’s kingdom.   God is all for the process of a repenting divorce to sever an adulterous union, provided a slanderous grounds trial is not involved, nor theft of assets, nor parental alienation so common these days to “family court”.

It seems to us that any pastor who is halfway serious about wanting church jurisdiction over marriage and divorce should at the very least stop signing civil marriage licenses when performing weddings, and should cease performing any wedding they’d be embarrassed to do with Jesus co-officiating.    We note that Dr. Evans is not among the 800+ pastors who have signed the First Things Marriage Pledge which began circulating in 2014..

 

And so he raises the point here that the church is to act as God’s judging agency. Now this ought to solve a very important issue that many Christians are very confused about whenever you hear a person say, “Well, you’re not supposed to judge.” They are wrong! You are supposed to judge. The Bible tells us to judge. It tells us in 1 Corinthians 6 “to render a judgment in the Church.”

Christians are supposed to judge. In fact, Christians who are right related to God, are the best judges because they’re going to judge predicated on a righteous standard. And the righteous standard is God Himself, manifested in and through His word! Because Christians have access to Truth, we can render judgment.

In Matthew 7 (verse 1), people misinterpret the passage where it says Do not judge, lest you’ll be judged.” Is that because you aren’t to judge? No, in verse 2 it says, “for in the same way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” He’s not saying, “don’t judge” but, BE CAREFUL, WHEN YOU JUDGE. Because the same judgment you use against another will be the very same judgment God uses against you. So think twice before you jump out there judgmentally. In other words, he’s saying, “judge carefully ” —not don’t judge at all!

How do you judge carefully? (Look at Matthew 7:3). Don’t judge folks who have something wrong with them “speck-sized” when you’ve got a tree-trunk hanging out of your eyeballs!

The problem today is, we have people judging other people when they’re as “messed up” as the folks they’re judging. Don’t condemn somebody else for something you’re doing and can’t get a handle on. (This can be further illustrated in John 8 with the woman who’s condemned for committing adultery.)

In the scriptures, when God established His courts, they carried authority with them. Deuteronomy 17, (starting with verse eight) shows that God’s court systems were to be taken seriously. And how powerful they were! (Numbers 5, starting with verse 12 illustrates this.) 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “these things were written for our example.“

The Old Testament, you can use it —NOT for it’s REGULATIONS, but for it’s REVELATIONS. That is, the principles still applies even though the specific way of carrying it out —God may not use that anymore. And the principle is —that God wants his people to render judgment, on God’s behalf, related to any kind of litigation issues. And we’re constantly dealing with them. Do you go and sue them downtown? God’s clear —you take it to the church.

Whats the process? It’s in Matthew 18 (starting with verse 15). So the first thing you do is, you handle it personally. If your brother has hurt you (or your mate has hurt you) the very first thing that you do is try to fix it privately. YOU NEVER CARRY A PROBLEM BEYOND ITS NEED, TO BE KNOWN. What makes it a need to be known? Matthew 18:16 —if he doesn’t listen to you. He’s not open for correction. He is not repentant. But it’s a legitimate thing. He says, by then, with 2 or 3 witnesses, every fact is confirmed. Two or 3 witnesses would mean that there would be a legality attached to the process now. It became official… it had witnesses.

So you take 2 or 3 witnesses to confirm that you tried and they won’t —that you are trying to fix this marriage, but they won’t —that you’re trying to heal this relationship, but they won’t. This is so that it’s not your word against their word, that you can VALIDATE that there is a sin and that that mate is not willing to correct it.

What happens then? In Matthew 18:17 it says, “tell it to the church.” Why do you tell it to the church? Because that’s the extended family —that’s the environment where God’s decisions are rendered.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Up to this point, we have no major dispute, but a couple of really important caveats:
(1) due to the corruption of most English language bible translations for the past 150 years, courtesy of Universalists / occultist / New World Order “scholars” Westcott & Hort in the 1880’s (about the time the masses were becoming literate enough to realize that the Westminster Confession of Faith was heretical with respect to divorce and remarriage),  before applying “scripture” to any matter involving marriage,  the judges in the church need to go back to the original texts, and preferably the Antioch texts.   This is the reason the King James version, while not perfect, contains far fewer apparent “contradications” than any of the more contemporary translations — this was by design.   The NIV, in particular, becomes more liberal and less scriptural with each new edition!    Online tools make the original texts and related tools readily accessible at no cost.

(2) focusing in on the issue of the log and the splinter, many of the pastoral “judges” will indeed be in a state of ongoing adultery themselves by Jesus’ (Luke 16:18) definition of adultery, due to the widespread marriage heresies that prevail in the contemporary church, including the blatant violation of 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6. Such men lack the moral authority to render judgment.   In some churches there is a further violation in that those offices are unscripturally held by women!

“And if he will not listen to the church, LET HIM BE TO YOU, AS A GENTILE and TAX-GATHERER.” In other words, HE IS TO BE VIEWED AS SPIRITUALLY DEAD! He is rendered a gentile, or a tax collector. Not only were tax collectors sinners… they were also ostracized because of their occupation. Jews didn’t have fellowship with tax collectors. In other words, they are spiritually dead. They, may be a Christian… but you can now relate to them… as though they are spiritually dead.

Why? Verse 18. God gives the church the ability to act as His earthly court, rendering His heavenly decisions. “Whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven, whatever you bind on earth, will be bound in heaven.” The church’s job is to bind and loose. That simply means to “exercise authority on behalf of God.” AND IF YOU WANT TO BE BLESSED, THAT’S THE COURT YOU GO TO.

In verse 19, He says whenever you gather together to render decisions, “I’ll be in the midst of you.“ “When you gather together to make judgments using My word, applying them to the situations of life —that’s when the rubber meets the road.” The church is God’s extended family court. And just like you don’t want your children taking your family business out to the street, God doesn’t want His children carrying out kingdom business in the street to people who don’t have a Kingdom mentality.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Just because Martin Luther declared “spiritual death” doesn’t make it so!   (Luther also declared “replacement theology” without it making that so, after all.)   Shall a man of God follow another man, or shall he instead follow Christ?    Cutting off the fellowship of he body of Christ does not remove the Holy Spirit from inside the wayward born-again prodigal (thanks be to God!).    We’ve already raised a strong caveat about which version of the Word to apply in making those judgments, since various translation manipulations have retrofitted the sacred word of God to match Luther’s heresies, as can readily be seen by contrasting them with the original Greek and Hebrew texts with literal translations, also with the unanimous teachings for 400-some years of all those discipled by those who walked directly with Jesus, and those whom the disciples discipled, all the way until the corrupting time of Constantine.

 

But here’s why people don’t want to come to the church. They don’t want to come to the church because they don’t want to subject themselves to God. They want to go to somebody who will agree with them. They don’t want to be rendered a “righteous decision,” they only want to be rendered THEIR decision.

So, how does this relate to marriage and divorce? 1 Corinthians 7:39. As long as the mate is alive… either physically or covenantally… then you are bound to that person and the most you can do (1 Corinthians 7:10), is separate and remain unmarried or be reconciled. You don’t have grounds for a divorce as long as they’re alive.

If they are dead, they must be dead by God’s coroner. And God’s coroner is the church. Once they’re declared dead, then a declaration of death is always a freedom to remarry —because a woman is only bound to her husband, as long as he lives. So once he either dies, or is declared to be such (as a tax gatherer or a sinner) or as 1 Corinthians 5:5 says, “put him in the realm of Satan.” At that point, the party is free to remarry. Why? It’s because God has canceled out the previous marriage.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    Not so fast, Dr. Evans!   That log seems to be creeping back into that eye again!    During the Kim Davis fracas  in September, 2015 it seemed every liberal journalist in the country was grabbing their Gideon bible out of the motel dresser drawer and noting, quite accurately that Mrs. [Bailey Wallace Davis McIntyre ]”Davis” had been living in serial adultery, and that after she was born again, she didn’t repent of that relationship.    They pointed out to the world that often the safest place for serial polygamist to hide out is the front pew of many an evangelical church.    And, Dr. Evans, if a person continues to draw breath, their opportunity to repent remains undiminished…and not subject to any man’s judgment.  If that person happens to be born again, the continuing presence of the cajoling Holy Spirit within them is proof enough,  as if God’s holy character in covenant isn’t, that there is no such thing as being “covenentally” dead, unless perhaps one attributes God’s miracles to Satan, i.e. blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  (It should be duly noted that some of God’s shepherds come perilously close to this when one of the sheep is seeking a repenting divorce in order to reconcile with the only person on the face of the earth with whom God’s hand joined tem in sarx mia, and these pastors  attribute this repentance to “violating”  Deut. 24:4. )

 

God hates divorce. He never demands divorce. He only permits it. But He does allow it, when death occurs in order to preserve and protect the innocent.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   What God hates is the “putting / sending away” of any one-llesh covenant spouse, but Mal. 2 advocates only for that spouse, and against the counterfeit that Dr. Evans would shield and attempt to justify.  Jesus made it plain in Matt. 19:6, 8 that not only does God not “permit” anyone to divorce the spouse of their youth, there is actually no act of men that makes it even possible.   That’s why Jesus repeatedly declared any marriage between even an innocent person and a divorced person ongoing, continuous adultery.    Man cannot sever God-joined sarx mia, nor remove God from HIS OWN covenant, only death does that.   It seems obvious that if actual death has occurred,, the only type that God acknowledges, the whole remarriage conversation is moot,

There are 3 options the Christian has (and by the way, the reason God says to be married “only in the Lord” is because GOD DOESN’T WANT IT TO BE HEAVEN and HELL EXPERIENCE TO BE MARRIED, if they can help it), a person whose mate commits covenantal death has 3 choices:

• To restore them to the relationship based on restitution. In fact, that always ought to be the 1st option, to see if we can fix what got broke. What if your mate does something that causes covenantal death, but they’re sincerely repentant? And how do you know they’re sincerely repentant? The Bible says “let them bring forth fruits of repentance.” There must be a demonstration or restitution that pays back the offended party, that lets them know they’re serious in their heart about what they just verbalized with their mouth as demonstrated by their actions.

They must be restored based on “their fruits of repentance.” And if they’re sincerely repentant, then the goal should be, if at all possible, to seek to restore them. (And that’s the reason why God accepted the marriage of David to Bathsheba. God took restitution out on David. He lost four of his sons as David had declared that the man who did this crime should be punished four-fold. So he lost four of his sons as payment back to God. He set him free to marry only after he had received restitution.) So if you’ve offended your mate, you need to pay them back.

• To divorce —when your mate has become covenantally dead, that is, to have them declared so by the church, which frees you up. (This was the option Joseph was going to take with Mary. He decided to put her away privately, when he thought the mother of Jesus had been immoral.)

• You can choose to live continually with your covenantally dead spouse —even though they’ve committed an act and even though they’re unrepentant for their sin. (1 Corinthian 7:13-15) Here he sets the scenario, that the covenantally dead person or the unbeliever (he’s either an unbeliever, or he’s functioning as an unbeliever), wants to stay in the marriage relationship. If he’s willing to function, as her husband, and she’s willing to function as his wife —He says don’t leave.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   No mate “commits covenantal death” before their actual physical death, Dr. Evans, though a great many commit covenantal violations, including the violation of someone else’s holy matrimony covenant.    Departing from a covenant union does nothing to actually dissolve it in God’s courthouse, no matter how much civil paper is gathered!     That effectively reduces the options to two:  1 Cor. 7:12-13 or 1 Cor. 7:11.     Incidentally, God only accepted the “marriage” of David and Bathsheba because she was a widow (albeit at David’s hand), and because both concurrent and serial polygamy were atoned for on a daily basis with bloody animal sacrifices, a plan that is no longer on offer with the coming of Christ.    Even so, just as God took only one rib from Adam at creation who became “bone-of-his-bones and flesh-of-his flesh, God only made David one-flesh (sarx mia) with MIchal — all the other sundry wives and concubines were only hen soma partners, only legally and carnally joined in the same fashion as noncovenant spouses today.   Even a casual reading of Matthew 5 or the book of Hebrews ought to make a man shudder at suggesting Christ’s disciples deliberately emulate David and Bathsheba!

You need to LOOK AT IT AS AN EVANGELISTIC OPPORTUNITY. He’s not saying you’re staying there and he’s beating on you. He’s not saying you’re staying there, and he won’t work. He’s talking about his willingness to stay there under the covenant of the family. Even if you have grounds (for divorce), if they’re willing to function properly, even though they’re not spiritually on track, then you “sanctify them.” If you love them and care about them, but they’re not on track, you may want to stay, pray, and watch God work through you to bring about a change —to bring that person back.

What do you do if you’re already coventally dead? GOOD NEWS —God has the ability to raise people from the dead!

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Even better news — God-joined one-flesh covenant spouses sanctify the other by prayer, fasting and the recognition that the one-flesh entity is a God-given, God-protected spiritual weapon that only exists in the ongoing state of  indissoluble holy matrimony if God’s word is being obeyed in full, and it requires no physical presence, nor state sanction to operate in full.    This reformed prodigal is so grateful that Jesus did not treat me the way Dr. Evans and Martin Luther fantasized about in order to whitewash serial polygamy.   Given that it’s GOD, not humans who decides and clearly communicates the heaven-or-hell consequences thereof, it makes no sense at all to play these games with the Most High.    Instead there should be a holy fear of God, and an overriding concern for the souls involved.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.    – 2 Peter 3:9

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