Category Archives: marriage

Valentine’s Week Testimonies….Sonny* and Sally*: A Story Close to My Heart

NeverGiveUpby Standerinfamilycourt

Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the Lord.
“Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”
– Song of Solomon 8: 6 – 7

A fan of our Facebook page, Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional,  “inboxed” us one recent evening to ask if we knew of any holy matrimony couples who had been “divorced” under man’s immoral laws and later came out of non-covenant “remarriages” with others to be reconciled to each other by the power of God.     We have been sharing true stories like this all week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and we’re not finished yet!

(* names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of SIFC’s own son’s mother and father in law, but the facts are true and real.)

One blustery late afternoon in February several years ago, our son asked a young lady to marry him after he had led her to the Lord, and she accepted.    SIFC had met this young lady on two or three previous occasions, on the first of which, she temporarily had blue hair and various body piercings.    The next occasion saw her at our home prior to attending a business dinner as our son’s escort, and I was asked to lend her a pair of tights for the evening so that the “cutting” scars on her legs would not show.    It wasn’t long after that, that an early May wedding was scheduled, and the mother-of- the-groom was heading toward the home of her parents to assist the mother-of-the-bride with her gown for the occasion, sewing basket in hand.   The family story that unfolded as we prepared for this wedding was an amazing one indeed.

Sonny, his pastor brother “Sam”, and Sally were all from Cajun country in Louisiana, and now were living and working in north central Illinois.    Sonny and Sally married young, not long after finishing high school.    Unlike the brother,  neither Sonny nor Sally are born-again believers to this very day, despite Sonny’s and Sam’s father also being a pastor.   Grandfather and uncle co-officiated at the tender wedding of our children in 2011.

A few years into Sonny and Sally’s marriage, Sally met another man and divorced Sonny.    She remarried this other man, taking two children, including our daughter-in-love, into this new “marriage”.    To the two dark-headed, olive-complected covenant children were eventually added a blonde half-sister.    God was nevertheless gracious to Sally, and after some time, He pulled her out of that unholy matrimony union.   In due time, she was back home and remarried to Sonny, who had honored his original vows and did not remarry.    (Having now met the whole family, I have to strongly suspect the unrelenting prayers of the elder pastor and his wife, Sally’s in-laws back in Louisiana.)

Though Sonny remains a polite but firm atheist, he did not hesitate to forgive his covenant wife, nor raise his little non-covenant step-daughter in such a way that you would never know she is not his own flesh and blood.    As far as SIFC is aware, the biological dad has not been part of our son’s sister-in-law’s life since the non-covenant marriage was dissolved between the parents.

This divorce and remarriage trial has left its scars scattered through the family, on several levels that reflect the unresolved need for this home to be introduced to Jesus Christ, so that He may become the center of that home.    One of the violent crimes against heaven, when satan drags off a believing spouse into a life of covenant family abandonment and legalized adultery, is that he or she is “AWOL” when a Sonny and Sally enter our lives, speaking of SIFC’s own prodigal, who would have gone out of his way to minister to Sonny a few years before falling away himself.    There is no other couple of similar age and experience to model a Christ-centered, restored marriage in front of them, nor moral authority to witness to them that no covenant marriage is beyond God’s touch to bring about ALL of His purposes for it.    Among Sonny and Sally’s children, the elder son is a practicing homosexual.     Our daughter-in-law has panic attacks, and it’s taken years to get her to wear a swimsuit, due pervasive scars from the season of cutting herself that resulted from the turmoil in her family. Though Sonny has forgiven his wife for these events,  the lack of Jesus, and of God’s design for biblical roles in their home has kept their relationship on tense and fragile terms where teamwork is present, but intimacy has never been fully restored.    Our son and their daughter have a vibrant, Christ-centered marriage, to the praise of God, and the prayers continue down in Louisiana, as well as in SIFC’s home,  for the power of God to get hold of that elder covenant marriage one more time!      For nothing will be impossible with God.

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

What if a BELIEVING Spouse Leaves?

Peaceby Standerinfamilycourt

For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.   The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
–  Romans 16:19-20

Would the Apostle Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:15 really be the same to the immorally-abandoned spouse of a backslidden believer as he gave to the abandoned spouse of an unbeliever who departs?

What is happening in the apostate church today is causing a contagion that goes a bit beyond what Paul spoke of in in his first epistle to the Corinthians.    No leader in the 1st thru 15th century church, outside of the rogue papacy of the Middle Ages who occasionally offered the indulgence of “annulment” (from the inception of that abominable heresy in the late 12th century), would have tolerated divorce and remarriage without excommunicating the guilty party and refusing to sanction any subsequent “marriage” of either partner.    We know this from the very consistent writings of the early church fathers in those centuries.  Hence, when Paul spoke of the (Greek: apistos “one who is unconvinced“) , contextually, he was speaking of the spouse of a relatively recent convert who was suffering the persecution from their one-flesh who “didn’t sign up for” a life of discipleship, and emotionally could not live under the same roof with the strong conviction that  this event invariably introduced into the home.    The purpose of allowing the unbeliever to depart while walking in our own tranquility was  (1) to allow refocus on discipleship without guilt or double-mindedness, and
(2) for God’s mercy and the supernatural power of the one-flesh bond to draw the agnostic into the kingdom of God through the built-in sanctification process in their mate.    All of the above presumed a pure, uncorrupted church body and godly leadership, such as prevailed in the 1st century church, into which Paul was speaking.

By sharp contrast, the apostate church of today is literally fueling the demand for rampant unilateral divorce and adulterous remarriage among professed believers by performing wicked, vain ceremonies over the already-married-for-life, by counseling those “married” to someone else’s God-joined spouse to remain in those adulterous unions lest they commit a “repeat sin”, by refusing to warn the adulterously-remarried that dying in that ongoing immoral state will send them to hell,  by handing pulpits over to pastors who are themselves adulterously “remarried”, and by steering people into unbiblical DivorceCare classes if satan attacks their holy matrimony union.    This has created an epidemic of “believers” departing in almost every church, with only a temporary (at best) rebuke from leadership– usually only until such time as the immoral relationship is legalized under man’s law.

Toxic Calvinism has added further fuel to the fire by claiming (often falsely) that the abandoning spouse “wasn’t born-again to begin with“,  and results in further hindering, due to the “once saved, always saved” (OSAS) heresy, the warning of hell that backslidden spouses are ethically owed by church leadership.     Who today is still publicly rebuking  Tulian Tchividjian or Kent Hovind,  as they were only a year or two ago?    Will the current furor die down in Christian alternative media when Greg Locke “marries” another man’s covenant wife and charges forward in his “ministry” as though he is not apostate before the Lord?     Does anyone even remember that John Hagee and Jim Bakker have done so for decades without rebuke?     Or that Benny Hinn and Charles Stanley, by the grace of God, both narrowly escaped falling into this apostasy?    Paul surely prophesied of an apostate latter-day church, but he left a strong prescription for cleaning out the old leaven.   Today’s wolves leave the leaven of the Pharisees undisturbed, and instead claim (temporarily, it seems) that none of these gentlemen were ever born again.    Will we allow them to say the same about our one-flesh partner, if we know differently?    Is that not damnable slander?

Do we spouses owe our deceived but born-again one-flesh mate who is running from God this warning of hell, if we know they won’t hear it anywhere else?    After all, the primary reason the unbelieving marital abandoner is going to hell is because they have never surrendered their life to Christ, not their ongoing state of legalized adultery.   They cannot possibly digest a hell message tied to holy matrimony until, and probably for some time after,  that eternally-crucial event occurs.   However, with regard to the one irreversibly indwelt with the Holy Spirt,  does such a warning constitute “striving” and “not allowing them to depart”, such as Paul envisioned?    Is such a warning to them from us failing to promote “living in peace”, in disobedience to Paul’s instructions?  Further, is challenging in court, or refusing to sign, an unconstitutional unilateral divorce petition which violates our precious 1st amendment protections also a failure to “allow the unbeliever to depart” in God’s eyes, or is it our holy witness of loving our enemy as we ourselves would want to be loved?    Is God at all offended by our earnest, eternally-motivated prayers to pull the immoral union apart for the sake of all the souls involved?

By way of illustration, in the state of Illinois the combined fault-based / “no-fault” petition in effect in 2012 (later changed by the legislature in 2015)  listed these “irreconcilable differences” assertions by the Petitioner:

  • That the spouses have lived separate and apart for a continuous period in excess of 2 years
  • Irreconcilable differences  have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
  • Good faith efforts at reconciliation have failed
  • Future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family

When no part of these four statements are true for the Christ-follower who believes in the holy will and power of God toward covenant spouses, whom His hand has personally joined and with whom He covenants until physical death,  if that Christ-follower is the “Respondent”, they had at that time only three options, only two of which would be according to their conscience:

(1) Perjure themselves by signing off their assent under oath in order to avoid a humiliating and expensive civil grounds trial

(2) Not respond  to the petition  at all, including not engaging counsel, and accept a default judgment

(3) Deny the false allegations and prepare to bring hard evidence into “family court” to attempt to disprove the allegations.

Due to lack of resources to carry off option (3), many standers would choose option (2), or worse, option (1).     “Standerinfamilycourt” chose option (3) and was blessed to have  been provided the resources necessary to do so.     Needless to say, this is not necessarily the option most evangelicals would consider the “way of peace” to which we are “called”.   But, due to the blatant slander of the character and power of God, and the sworn falsehood entailed in option (1), neither is that option necessarily the way of peace with God, even if it seems the “way of peace” with our one-flesh.    In “standerinfamilycourt’s” case, sustaining this civil trial compelled the petitioning prodigal to make numerous, disruptive transatlantic trips, further shattering the “peace”, as humiliating evidence of misdeeds and perjuries were brought forward in the courtroom.    Several requests and proposals to submit to counseling in order to cut the litigation short were offered by the Respondent and rejected by the Petitioner.

This begs the question:   what exactly is “peace” in the context Paul was using it in verse 15?

 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.

InPeaceOrToPeace

The usual rendering of this verse in most contemporary English translations ends with called us to peace”, or it adds words, by inference, that are not in the Greek manuscript texts so as to equivalently render it “called us to [live in] peace”.       The idea of most exegetes (including the brief sermon link by Pastor Stephen Wilcox of the Spirit of Hosea Fellowship behind the clickable picture above) is that the disciple of Jesus is not to strive to induce an estranged spouse to remain in the home (some, though not Pastor Wilcox, go so far as to say,  in the marriage — which is nonsensical, since only death dissolves the holy matrimony union, and immoral departure from it only violates the union without severing it, hence, God never gave anyone the “choice” about staying in their vowed state of lifelong holy matrimony, we simply ARE in it if the spouse of our youth is alive, whether we like it or not).

What if, however, Paul actually meant that our “peace” is not merely the result of our chosen actions toward our prodigal spouse or any other adversary, but is, at least in part,  the passive result of our regeneration in Christ?    Wouldn’t that mean that we are “walking in peace” if we are sincerely living to depend upon and please Him?    This would certainly be consistent with the actual untranslated, literal texts, at least.    We are called “in” peace, it literally reads, not necessarily “called to” peace (a circumstance that we might be able to influence to a certain degree, but certainly not control).

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace {G1514-eiréneuó)with all men.
– Romans 12:18

Several wise Christian leaders have truthfully asserted that the absence of conflict does not necessarily constitute the presence of peace, just as the presence of courage is not comprised of all absence of fear.    Both depend to a certain degree on our behavior responses, which reflect varying degrees of faith.   Choosing option (1) above, entailing perjury and blasphemy, does not make for peace with God’s glory.     Choosing option (3) may seem contentious on the surface, but may actually reflect a larger purpose of God as well as not only looking out for our own interests but concern for the interests of others, even if it alienates our spouse.     Of the three, which option requires the most faith and confidence in God?    Which option requires the least faith and confidence in God?

Peace-#1515-eiranay_2

According to Strong’s concordance, there are five Hebrew words which translate into the Greek eiréné (G1515) for “peace”, which is the root word for the English word “serenity”.     One of these is shalom, which means not only the absence of conflict, but the presence of overall well-being or wholeness.

Here’s a link to the other biblical Greek words for “peace”.

Hesuchazo (G2270 ) – Luke 14:4 and 23:56.
(to keep quiet, to rest, cease from labor)

  • to lead a quiet life, said of those who are not running hither and thither, but stay at home and mind their business
  • to be silent, i.e. to say nothing, hold one’s peace.

Sigao (G4601) – Luke 9:36; Luke 20:26; Acts 12:17; Acts 15:12-13;
1 Corinthians 14:28; 1 Corinthians 14:30; 1 Corinthians 14:34Romans 16:25
(to keep silence, hold one’s peace: to be kept in silence, be concealed)

Salem (G4532 Hebrews 7:2
(the ancient name of Jerusalem, where Melchizidek was king; city of peace)

Mesites (G3316Galatians 3:19-201 Timothy 2:5Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24
(mediator, arbitrator, peacekeeper)

Peacemakers; peace-lovers (G1518) are eirénopoiosMatthew 5:9 whom Jesus told us were blessed.

Hence, the idea of conflict avoidance to appease the prodigal and his/her allies, or ‘”option (1)” in the unilateral petition dilemma, seems more closely related to  sigao (conflict concealment) than eirene.   “Option (2)” might be consistent with hesuchazo in the circumstance of a lack of means to do otherwise, but there is no assurance of wholeness.   However, if we’re called to a life of discipleship in well-being or wholeness, this more closely links with the “shalom” understanding of eiréné, which appears to be passive and not at all instructional.     The “option (3)”  response does not appear to be “striving” (provided it is not motivated by seeking our own vengeance) and can morally be selected as part of a vision for God to do something bigger than ourselves, such as a constitutional legal challenge to an immoral law that is destroying society and triggering God’s judgment on the land.

And the peace (eirene) of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.   – Philippians 4: 7

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 14:27

Eirene is the most frequently-appearing form of “peace” in the New Testament.   Virtually everywhere it’s used, the context is far greater than mere conflict avoidance or conflict concealment or appeasement.   Certainly, covenant marriage standers don’t “stand” if they want to avoid conflict.   Most allies of our prodigals consider our stands “selfish”  and “divisive”, after all.    We stand because we seek the wholeness and well-being of our covenant family, and this requires far more than appeasement and conflict avoidance.

In properly understanding what the Apostle had in mind when he gave the instruction in 1 Cor. 7:15, it also doesn’t hurt to check that we have an accurate understanding of what it means to be “called”.

kletos – (G2822 ) – 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 1:2
(invited; commissioned; appointed)

kaleó  – (G2564) – 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 7:15;
1 Corinthians 7:17-18; 1 Corinthians 7:2022; 1 Corinthians 7:24; 1 Corinthians 10:27; 1 Corinthians 15:9

(Note that this verb “called” is consistent throughout 1 Corinthians 7 for our rebirth into the kingdom of God while in a pre-existing condition;  called (keklēken) while married or single; called (keklēken) while circumcised or uncircumcised; called (keklēken) while a slave or a free person.   It does not seem to be connected with a particular command or instructions other than to remain in that condition, so long as it is not an immoral state that calls for repentance.)

  1. to call
    1. to call aloud, utter in a loud voice
    2. to invite
  2. to call i.e. to name, by name
    1. to give a name to
      1. to receive the name of, receive as a name
      2. to give some name to one, call his name
    2. to be called i.e. to bear a name or title (among men)

to salute one by name

eklektos  –  (G1588)   Matthew 20:16; Matthew 22:14; Matthew 24:22; Matthew 24:24; Matthew 24:31

(picked out, chosen by God, to obtain salvation through Christ

  1. Christians are called “chosen or elect” of God
    • the Messiah in called “elect”, as appointed by God to the most exalted office conceivable
    • choice, select, i.e. the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians

1 Cor 7.15 dissected

 Picture credit:  Sharon Henry

We can make no mistake: the believing spouse who abandons their one-flesh companion to pursue and attempt to “legitimize” their adultery partner is every bit as lost as the unbelieving spouse who does so, if they never repent or make restitution, but instead die in the illicit relationship.    But the very day-to-day nature of that lostness is profoundly different.   In the latter case, the hounds of heaven pursue the unregenerated wayward spouse from outside his or her body.    In the case of the immoral believer, a grieved and quenched Holy Spirit, never comforted by man’s paper,  is forcibly, unwillingly joined time and again with a harlot or whoremonger, as Paul so vividly describes in the previous chapter.   In the unregenerated adulterer, the Holy Spirit is not forced along for the ride.   Is it not therefore at least possible that the approach to that wandering sheep was not actually addressed by Paul as specifically as in verse 15, but more generally by verses 11, and 39?     Today’s OSAS crowd would have us believe that this difference does not exist,  as they would have us believe that sarx mia (God-joined one-flesh) can be severed by other than death,  and they would have us believe that man-legalized spouses are morally interchangeable in God’s sight.

Lastly,  it should be noted that the Greek term apistos (G571) has usages other than “unbeliever”, including “faithless” or “lacking faith”.    Its usage is different, however, than in 1 Peter 3:1 where apeithousin (G544) is used for “disobedient one”, “rebel” or “disloyal one”.    It is also distinguished from moichalis (G3428) – a spiritual adulterer or idol-worshipper.   Further, apistos is distinguished from parapesontas (G3895) – meaning apostasy or one who has fallen away.    All considered, it is doubtful that Paul was talking about a backslidden believer in 1 Cor. 7:14 or 1 Cor. 7:15, in his instruction to allow the unbeliever to depart without challenge of any sort, and his encouragement that the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse.    Possibly, this is because a Tulian Tchividjian or a Kent Hovind or a Greg Locke would already have such a hardened, demon-controlled heart, bordering on apostasy, that the choices of their believing one-flesh spouse in seeking family wholeness would be unlikely to have much effect in the short run, regardless.    Perhaps in the longer run, however, such a person’s God-joined, one-flesh mate is the only other soul strong enough to wage long term spiritual warfare for their soul, possibly averting the realization of dire warning in Hebrews 6:4-6:

 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

SIFC says this in hope rather than in firm reliance on scripture, only because of the miraculous testimonies of prodigals who have indeed returned to the Lord and to their faithful, praying stander, sometimes after decades of willful apostasy (as contrasted with negligent ignorance of the truth of marriage indissolubility).     This may be due to nothing more that the mercy and special favor of the Lord for the obedient stander in these evil times.

Wrapping up,  “standerinfamilycourt” would say that any abandoned spouse who was not around for their prodigal mate’s conversion and regeneration, and did not live with them to see several years of progressive transformation thereafter, whose maturing children’s lives and attitudes show they were not “caught by”, rather than “taught”, the way of the Spirit of God by the progidgal’s example during those post-conversion years,  is probably best off assuming their spouse was a goat among the sheep, or a tare among the wheat, and applying the traditional view of 1 Cor. 7:15 (except for the false notion that the marriage bond is “broken” or never existed) – as Pastor Wilcox described it in the audio link above.  Ditto, for the case where the spouse apostasized from the exceedingly rare church that did teach the full truth about the no-excuses indissolubility of holy matrimony, with eternal consequences being frankly exegeted from the pulpit.    These last prodigals are consciously rejecting truth that they have been faithfully exposed to, and in that regard, are not unlike the man in 1 Cor. 5 whom Paul deemed it necessary to hand over to satan that his soul may be saved for the last day.

That said, a considerable number of genuinely born-again, Spirit-indwelt prodigal spouses, where the above signs were in solid evidence before they fell away,  were sold a “bill-of-goods” by the harlot church and failed to hear the truth for decades since, from leadership who may not even have known the truth about the nature of sarx mia (the inseverable one-flesh state and indissolubility) during the post-1970’s era.   These prodigals remain in great danger (if they have “remarried”), of falling under the influence of a John Piper or a Voddie Baucham or a Russell Moore or a David Servant who will tell them between 50% and 98% of the truth, but the 2% which all of these Calvinist shepherds are omitting is eternally lethal, because they all omit, misrepresent and discourage the opportunity for true repentance to someone who has the Spirit-endued capacity to absorb the unadulterated truth.    This truth should never be delivered as a cudgel or as a naggy, dripping faucet.   It should not be forced, but we should prayerfully ask God to open up to us, as their one-flesh true spouse, the rare opportunity where it is natural to share once or very, very infrequently, and we obey Him in that moment.

 

As a repentant Solomon once exposited, late in life:
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.   For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Having done what the Lord requires of us,  we then should plead before the throne of heaven for the Lord to stir up the grieved and quenched Holy Spirit in our born-again prodigal to cause what was shared to be recalled by Him frequently to their disturbed remembrance, also  to hedge them off from the offices (and YouTube channels) of the evangelical wolves,  and grant them an overwhelming burden for their own soul and that of their faux spouse.   Once we have done that, and we have obeyed in forgiving and restoring them when and if they repent, we will then not have to endure God’s future rebuke that what we failed to do for the least of these, we failed to do for Him.

The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
– 1 Peter 3:10-12

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

Heads Up, Alabama – Here Comes a Liberal, Anti-Family Trojan Horse!

Wedding Cake Pulverized
by Standerinfamilycourt

On January 17, 2018, Texas MassResistance (an offshoot of a Massachusetts-based pro-family organization that does aggressive battle with the comprehensive LGBT political agenda)  posted an article to their Facebook page from AL.com,

Alabama Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Marriage Licenses

with the following Facebook comments:

“It’s sad to see a state opt out of licensing marriage, but the truth is real marriage as a legal construct essentially ceased to exist with the legalization of gay marriage. It’s like removing the legal distinction between real money and play money. Real money means nothing once play money becomes legal tender– and everyone is made poorer– even counterfeiters– same story on gay marriage.

“Gays kid themselves if they think they their marriages are of the same substance as marriage prior to gay marriage. Put a drop of fine wine from a wine bottle into a bottle of sewer water and you still have a bottle of wine and a bottle of sewer water, but put a drop of sewer water into a bottle of fine wine and you have two bottles of sewer water. Things of higher value are diminished or destroyed altogether when mixed with things of lower value. Alabama’s move to eliminate marriage licenses recognizes that reality– MR-T”

With a few days’ delay, we noticed a re-post of this on the Facebook wall by a friend of our blog page who lives in Texas, and we commented to MassResistance on their page as follows:

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:
There are two conscionable alternatives to dealing with civil law that no longer coincides with God’s law in any respect:

(1) pastors opt out of participating in the civil system as an agent for the state (example: the 2014 First Things Marriage Pledge)
(2) what Alabama is seeking to do

“Although some 800+ pastors from a wide variety of denominations had signed the Marriage Pledge by two months after Obergefell, nearly 3 years later, few have had the moral courage to make good on it. We have a pretty good idea why not — wrong motives, and the sudden delayed realization of what that might do to the ability of heterosexuals to do what God forbids and get a state “dissolution” decree.
So, that leaves Option 2.

“We humbly remind that God’s definition of marriage (Matt.19:4-6) has TWO non-negotiable elements, not just one – as the tone of this post strongly implies. Those elements are: (1) complementarity, and (2) indissolubility.   Hence, the adulteration of that wine bottle started to take place 48 years ago, not in 2015, two generations later.
Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render unto God the things that are God’s”. He told us that Holy Matrimony does not happen except by God’s hand.  It’s therefore quite suspect that the Reformation humanists, Martin Luther in particular, saw fit to hand over to the state that which belonged to God in the first place. Count on God not to allow this issue to dissipate until His full definition of marriage is honored, and pastors from coast to coast repent of whining about sodomy-as-“marriage” while carefully preserving consecutive polygamy-as-holy-matrimony.

“It will be interesting to see, if this progresses to become law, how they continue to issue ‘dissolutions’. It’s probably pretty simple to substitute their affidavits for marriage certificates when it comes to finding another unilateral home invasion warrant, but how will they handle the gory details?  Option 1 would have denied them the piece of paper usable as such a “warrant” in a substantial number of cases.”

MassResistance gave a very gracious response to our comment, which we will leave the readers to reference on their own.

Of course, Alabama is the infamous state of dethroned State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from the bench in 2016 on ethics charges because he issued an administrative order to lower court judges stating, “until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect….”   citing the fundamental right of these judges to conscience protections and free religious exercise in declining to issue civil marriage licenses to homosexuals.   (Presumably, these same judges had no serious compunctions or religious conscience issues with issuing civil marriage licenses to would-be legalized adulterers in the years since 1975 enactment of Alabama’s unilateral divorce laws.   Moore is himself “married” to a civilly-“divorced” woman.)    Apparently, for all the smoke-blowing that ensued to remove Moore, his successor on the bench has not reversed the 2016 administrative order after almost two years, the lingering effect being as stated in the AL.com article:

“Under current law, Alabama probate judges are not required to issue marriage licenses and some, at least initially, declined to issue licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruling.

“Albritton’s bill would take away any discretion by probate judges. The only requirement to make a marriage official would be to submit the documents to the probate judge.”

Take away the discretion of judges….does this sound familiar?   It should indeed!    This is exactly how brutal totalitarianism came to be injected into “family court” processes and procedures to implement unilateral divorce, without raising a whimper of public protest even though the 1st and 14th amendment protections were being stripped from millions of Americans in the process.    Legislating immorality has always been a stealth process — and in the past five decades, it has come to work flawlessly…intractably.

The gay “marriages” taking place in Alabama in this long interim have  only been enabled where LGBT-sympathetic judges are willing to issue the civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples.    Several counties are reportedly not issuing them at all.

SB13’s sponsor, Greg Albritton appears to be a liberal Republican, according to a 2016 voting scorecard published by the American Conservative Union, where he scored 58%,  the lowest of all of his GOP peers, and equaling the score of the highest scoring Democrat in the Alabama Senate.    His bill passed a fast-tracked and astounding floor vote of 19-1 in mid-January, and the ACLU published their analysis stating that they do not consider it a threat to liberal interests, so they are not taking a position on it.    This is a strong, red flag that the measure is not expected to be supportive of biblical, traditional families, since it is not drawing ACLU opposition.  The full text of SB13 (about 9 pages) can be read here.

At first blush, it should seem like a dream-come-true that the state might be giving back to God the authority over the holy ordinance that He never delegated to fallible, carnal men in civil government….

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no [human] 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.
– Matthew 19:6, 8

However, there is an ominous poison-pill:   it will no longer be necessary to have vows or a public ceremony should these bills become law.

Jesus pointed back to the first wedding in the Garden for the essentials of God-joined holy matrimony….

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his FATHER and MOTHER and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

 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.

– Matthew 19:4-5;  Genesis 2:21-24

Elements present in the Garden wedding between Adam and Eve:   eligible partners without prior, estranged spouses still living, consent, vows, witnesses (Jesus and the serpent),  and God’s supernatural, instantaneous act of (Greek : sunexuezen) joining.

Elements absent in the Garden wedding civil paper and a human officiant.

We all know that the unholy 16th century transaction between church and state authority was a foul fruit of the humanistic Reformers, principally, of Martin Luther who sought access to that which God expressly forbid through Jesus Christ, namely, divorce via a man-made declaration of “dissolution”, rather than the physical death of a spouse.    What appears on the surface to be a “taking back” of authority from civil government is actually a mirage in the case of these bills.    The texts of these bills SB13 and (pending) HB162 both explicitly provide that there will be no change to the statute with regard to divorce or child “welfare” provisions.     Unless there is civil paper of some sort, no unilateral divorces nor totalitarian interference with parental rights would be possible.   Hence, a more controlled piece of paper on the front-end, is being swapped for a piece of civil paper with far fewer controls, but effecting all the same state intrusion into the sanctity of the home. The uber-liberal take on this makes for some interesting reading, as well.

In the absence of a requirement for a witnessed ceremony, documentation of consent, and vows,  the effect is that common law marriages are being given the same legal status as holy matrimony unions.    In other words, a second category of legalized, adulterous unions is being created that essentially legalizes fornication as well as adultery.     Absorbed into the longstanding moral vacuum of the contemporary church, the effect on marital stability will be devastating to family structure over time, in the same way that rampant “remarriage” has been.      To be sure, pastors will still require the traditional ceremony for the weddings they do, and will continue their evil practice of performing the same over the already married-for-life.    But equally sure is the fact that in addition to the legalized adulterers whom they now welcome into their congregations (no questions asked), they will be welcoming a new group of folks likewise not married in God’s eyes – those who have made no vows before Him.   As an added bonus, pastors will be relieved of the offense to conscience from signing civil marriage licenses that reflect an immoral civil standard.

STATUS , at this writing
Alabama Overview

The enacted result, should it come to pass:

Win for the judges who no longer have a conscience conflict with their jobs (but still should, if they call themselves Christ-followers).
–  Win for the pastors whose threat of being sued by LGBT activists is significantly reduced, with the added bonus of avoiding any “heat” from their congregations for implementing something so controversial and “judgmental” as the Marriage Pledge.
Win for the abusive Catholic dioceses that nationally grant 90% of marriage annulment petitions, the vast bulk of which claim “defective” original consent.
Win for the heinous state bar association who have always looted the system since the enactment of unilateral divorce, and have purchased increasing political power with the confiscated proceeds, but who will now up their ante from the resulting increase in social and moral chaos.
–  Win for the homosexuals who seek to adopt, traffic in, and corrupt children, while gaining government and employer benefits.
–  Win for the LGBT activists (such as Tamra Metz and Masha Gessen) who openly admit the movement’s ultimate objective to destroy the institution of holy matrimony and traditional families.
–  Win for the shallow veneer of preserving religious liberty (until we stop and consider the denied religious liberty of the non-offending, non-filing spouse whose 1st amendment rights have traditionally been ignored by the system.)

Win-win for everybody, right?    Not exactly…major loss for covenant spouses, their children and grandchildren, and for God-defined holy matrimony, as well as for the already downward-spiraling sexual morality within the church.   A church full of papered-over adulterers, including behind the pulpit, is hardly ready to resume any authority over marriage the state gives back at this time.

WeRegret

Once again, the biblical covenant family is being thrown under the bus with the blind approval of all of all the above “winning” parties, and will now actually be in worse shape than their counterparts in neighboring states (until the easy-peasy-sleazy virus spreads to those states as well).    From the 1970’s until now, marriage seems to be becoming the ever more ridiculous, rambling  “house that Jack built”.

While MassResistance’s comments show they are less than enthused with this legal innovation,  where is the voice of the churches, or of Alabama’s family policy council?     To their credit, the Alabama Policy Institute has been at least tracking and timely-reporting on the bills during January (albeit, with exceptional brevity for such an impactful change – scroll all the way to the bottom of link)….but they do not appear to be taking a position, nor publicly recognizing the serious back-door dismantling threat to the institution of marriage itself.   Would that API would have at least reported who the one dissenting Senator was, and why Sen. Phillip Williams [R], who holds an 88% lifetime score with the American Conservative Union,  dissented.     Unfortunately, neither does the press do this.   It is clear that this legislation is all about facilitating sodomous “marriages” and protecting judges, and not about what’s best for the integrity of families or (ultimately) society.

Quoting Masha Gessen (2012):

“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. … (F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there – because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.

“The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out 30 years ago….”

As is fairly typical for state FPC’s and changes to marriage laws (other than those ushering in gay “marriage”), no blogs or articles have been devoted to this topic since the September, 2017 introduction of the Senate bill.   General press coverage, on the other hand, has been favorable both on the Right and Left, with no significant criticisms and only vaguely- expressed concerns (“waving the white flag on marriage”, etc.), despite the radical social impact which legally and morally equating common law and God-joined marriages will undoubtedly bring, absent any coinciding reform of unilateral divorce laws.

The better solution?   Continue to regulate marriages per existing law, while pastors with the requisite moral authority, discipleship and courage opt-out of acting as an agent for states whose marriage contract does not reflect the vows being exchanged in the sanctuary.    Take the heat for the sake of the kingdom of God, pastors and judges!

The best solution?    Remove “irreconcilable differences” (and its equivalents) as a “ground” for divorce if there is no mutual petition for marriage dissolution, and divide assets and child welfare based on proven marital fault, thereby drying up both the demand for “marriage” between homosexuals, and the perverse, lucrative financial incentives that drive the legal machine.     (We have asked MassResistance -Texas whether they plan to support the re-election of Rep. Matt Krause, and support 2019 continued repeal efforts in Texas, but they declined to respond to this question.)

Prayer warriors, we have our work cut out for us.   Please start by praying that HB162 fails in the Alabama House of Representatives.   In the ten days leading up to Valentine’s Day,  look for a series of daily posts to Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional reflecting concrete ways the church can rapidly improve her witness to the world concerning rebuilding  a “culture of marriage”.   We believe these steps would prepare the church morally for the responsibility of taking marriage back from the state and reversing the 500 year old  Lutheran curse.

The infamous Trojan Horse allowed the Greeks to get in and out of the city with their treasure.    After they were out, the whole city burned to the ground.

Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.
– Proverbs 14:34

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gospel According to David Servant (versus We of the “Divine Divorce Doctrine”) – Part 3A

FakeJesusby Standerinfamilycourt

I’m Living in an Ongoing State of Legalized Adultery with Somebody Else’s Spouse.   Can I Get Away With It?
We have been responding to the 3-part blog series by David Servant called, “I’m Divorced and Remarried.   Am I Living in Adultery?”    This appears to be the final installment.

The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.   – Proverbs 18:17

It seems that Part 3 continues David Servant’s parade of slander and emotion, conflation of issues, convenient redefinition of terms, and paucity of consistent hermeneutic principles, while making a very shallow pretense at the latter for the sake of appearances.   And then there’s the ad-hominem again, a telltale sign of a leaking and empty truth bucket.  All reliable writings, books and blogs, going back to at least 1957 on this topic rigorously apply hermeneutical principles in a comprehensive and disciplined way that accounts for all five minimum elements:   Content, Context, Culture, Comparison and Consultation.    See our blog series,  “Stop Abusing Scripture:  Debunk Series” for a fuller discussion and application of these principles to the most commonly abused scriptures in the MDR Christian culture wars.

Heretical arguments invariably fail in at least two of these five principles, most commonly: some combination of Context, Comparison and Consultation.   When these highly critical pieces of examination are omitted, it’s usually because the author either doesn’t know what he or she is doing, or because the author knows that  doing so will immediately expose their theory as insupportable.  We pointed out in our Part 2 rebuttal that David Servant even went so far as to deride the rigorous application of the Context principle, complaining about those who would take care to rightly-divide the verb tenses Jesus used in some of His more controversial teachings, and he went even further, to claim that it’s “unnecessary” to validate the translation of the Greek words in a given passage.   Pardon us!

For those who have read Part 1 and Part 2 of our rebuttals to David Servant’s earlier installments,  this response will seem pretty repetitive due to Servant’s redundant and circular claims.    Points 1 through 5 raise no new substantive issues, and we will mostly be referring back to the earlier rebuttal points, while hoping to  have the luxury of being a bit briefer in addressing these repackaged “points”.   (How well satan knows that if a lie is repeated frequently enough, there are some who will begin to accept it as “true”.)  
We defer Servant’s Points 6,  7 and 8 to our Part 3B rebuttal, to follow,  because we cannot effectively address these in this same blog post without the length becoming more than most readers will be attentive to.   These last three points we’ll deal with next time do raise some arguments that he did not raise in his Parts 1 and 2.

The Part 3 blog links to a Mennonite lady’s testimony, where Servant inaccurately charges that she was influenced by a slick  “cult” to abandon her adulterous remarriage, while she clearly testifies that she was led by the Holy Spirit over a course of four years after her regeneration, and she came to conviction purely as a result of deeply studying a book that is ALIVE .   Servant’s ploy, as usual, is emotionalism without examining the facts, including what came out of this lady’s own mouth.    Oh the emotional punch of the melodrama of appealing to a vivid Hollywood kidnapping scene!    Did Servant bother to contact and interview her before he publicly slandered her?
(Yes, this repenter’s Mennonite church probably was of some influence in her decision to exit the legalized adultery she was living in.   Some churches actually do still succeed in discipling their members, believe it or not.   However, such people don’t tend to make these radical repentance decisions impulsively, and they usually do not make them primarily under anyone else’s influence.)   Repenting prodigals with watching family members  study to show themselves approved, as we are all commanded to do,   but apparently this is unlike Mr. Servant’s practices, judging from the shallowness and redundancy of the eight arguments he offers below, and the canned liberal bible commentary that he passes off as more “authoritative” than the straightforward words that actually crossed the lips of Jesus and of Paul on a repeated basis.    The perennial serpent’s question has always been, “Did God REALLY say?”

Servant charges:
“Those people [SIFC: those of us who believe that God-joined covenant holy matrimony is always indissoluble except by death] are not your friends, as you will soon discover if you tell them you have changed your mind about Divine Divorce. They will ostracize you, as all cults do as a means of controlling their members. They will also tell you that you are going to hell. But God is for you. Your life, and perhaps even your marriage, can be restored to what He intended, because His mercy and grace are more than sufficient to restore all that Satan, through Divine Divorce Doctrine, has stolen from you. God is good, and His mercies are new every morning.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  The usual understanding of what constitutes a “cult” necessarily hinges on who Jesus is to the “cult members” and how closely they adhere to His authority.    If the authentic Jesus is your cult leader, then that’s a good thing, and Servant’s cheap slur becomes quite the compliment.     Below, in contrast, we will see David Servant’s “Jesus” painted as some sort of Mosaic rubber-stamper who is so schizophrenic that He then turned right around and delivered the sermon on the mount.

God is “for us”, indeed, but not for our immoral relationships that will keep us out of the kingdom of God.     Both “mercy” and “grace” are effectively the opposite if they are only based on temporal comforts, instead of eternal destinies.

Servant has an extremely poor conception of how a person comes to conviction and repentance from a life of coveting, stealing and committing adultery with the God-joined spouse of another living person.   We “cultists” seem to be given tremendous credit that is solely owed to the indwelling Holy Spirit, and we simply cannot accept what’s not due us!   We’re there to answer the hard questions, sure, and point them in the direction of the necessary scholarship, and to pray for them.    We “control” nobody during any phase of the process.    Most such repentance occurs long before such a person seeks to join our support community, in the majority of cases.   The concept David Servant seems to be consistently tone-deaf on is that the real Jesus expects obedience to come from each disciple’s heart, not from any external factors.  On the flip side, those who are unilaterally “divorced” by a prodigal spouse and choose to stand celibate until God removes the satan-dispatched rival (1 Cor. 7:11), do tend to join the support communities early in the process, and often (speaking of “control” and “ostracism”), because that no-brainer decision to obey to God’s clear, explicit instruction causes them to be treated like pariahs in their own church, by the threatened who are living immoral lives, and in too many tragic cases, doing so from behind the pulpit.

All that said, there’s no doubt the man Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 5 felt pretty “ostracized” and “controlled” when he was put out of the church, and turned over to satan in the hopes that his soul might be ultimately saved.    What a controlling thing to say, that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”!    Some “friend” Paul was!    He was so “cultish” that he urged the whole church “not to even eat with such”.     After all, what this man was doing was most likely legal under Greek civil law.     Yet Paul knew that the “mercies that are new every morning”  never extended to continuing, unrepented sin under the higher kingdom of God standards, or there would have been no need to turn the man over to satan through excommunication, as he did.

As for telling people they are going to hell, let’s please make that, “if they do not repent.”    Thanks to the blood of Jesus, nobody goes to hell for the act of legalizing an immoral relationship.   They go to hell for continuing in it until they die.    That’s because a jealous God will allow no idols to compete with Him for worship.    Found a mere nine verses below Luke 16:18 is this cry from the pit of hell as described by the mouth of Jesus:

 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.   –  Luke 16:27-28

If Jesus didn’t think it was a “stretch” to link His no-excuses prohibition against taking another spouse (while being inseverably joined in the state of sarx mia to an estranged covenant partner who has not died) to HIs own vivid description of what happens to all who live as if this world is all there is,  why are supposedly God-fearing evangelicals surprised or offended to hear 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21 and Hebrews 13:4 linked to Luke 16:18 ?    For that matter, why is Servant offended at this?    Why are they not instead grateful for the existential warning?   The carnal and spiritually-immature soul will claim that this, too, is “controlling” behavior.     As we saw, Paul did not hesitate to warn of hell as a consequence of violating the holy matrimony covenant, but as we also saw, he did not preclude the possibility of physical repentance in the form of terminating the relationship, as the escape from hell.   If one is going to be part of a  “cult”, let our “cult” be the  “Christ-followers” after our Cult Leader, and not the “Erasmeans” or the “Lutherites”, or the “Moseans”  — all of whom carnally reject Christ’s moral absolutes .    The original 1st century saints were all judged to be “cult members” for unanimously obeying Him in their own time, so it is a badge of honor to have that charge levelled at the covenant marriage indissolubility community by a self-proven church wolf.

A final reminder before we dive into a detailed examination of all eight of Servant’s objections to obeying the straightforward commandment of Christ:  all civil divorce is man-contrived (Matthew 19:8), and cannot, therefore, be called “divine” in any sense of the word.   God’s “divorce” is always spelled D-E-A-T-H.     He does not dabble in man’s moral fictions, not even on a part-time basis.    (If we must have a label in our support of those disciples who are forsaking immoral relationships, go ahead and call us “fundamentalists”, David.)

 

#1 of 8   Servant’s Arguments Against No-Excuses Indissolubitly of God-joined Holy Matrimony

They confuse God’s original ideal—a world without divorce and remarriage—with reality, which is a world that is full of both.”

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:  Our sovereign God is not some feckless wimp who has only “ideals”, “designs”, “bests”, “intentions” and so forth.    This milquetoast platitude has always been a figment of a liberal bible commentator’s imagination.   He is the Creator, Ruler and Judge of all the Universe, and He deals in COMMANDMENTS.   He requires holiness, without which He says none of us will see Him.   His accommodation to the frailty of mankind was Jesus.   He need make no further accommodation or allowances for those who find their excuses not to obey Jesus, including all those like David Servant, who stare wistfully back at Moses, and long for the glory days of concurrent and serial polygamy for the far more reasonable price of a daily ritual animal sacrifice.     To them, sacrifice is better than obedience, but unfortunately for them, that’s an option which is no longer the Divine Offer.

RevAllWet7

Refraining from murdering, raping, stealing, bearing false witness and coveting thy neighbor’s wife can all be said to be “ideals”, too.     But they’re also COMMANDMENTS.    Just because these things are a “reality” doesn’t make it right for immoral governments to sanction them, and even worse, for God’s shepherds to appease and defend those immoral laws.    We surely don’t say, with regard to legal abortion or gay marriage or assisted suicide, that the church is confusing “God’s original ideal“, a world without abortion and gay marriage, with “reality, which is a world full of both“.   No, we take a holy stand based on the higher authority of God word!

God has repeatedly, in fact, shown that He is deadly-jealous of His sacred symbols, and arguably, the state of holy matrimony is the very first such symbol, one that weaves through virtually every book of the bible.   If men died instantly just for touching the Ark of the Covenant, how much more is His wrath over nations and societies who have so little fear of Him that they misrepresent the Bridegroom as a serial polygamist, and who substitute illicit legalized relationships for fellowship with Him?     Is it any wonder, then that our western nations where church leadership are complicit with sequential polygamy are all overrun with the Assyria of rabid homofascism, and Persia of militant Islamism?

Servant:
To them, there have been no actual divorces, only fantasy divorces. And since there have been no actual divorces, neither have there been any actual remarriages either, but only fantasy remarriages. To a large degree, wedding ceremonies, vows, marriage certificates, witnesses, court records, name changes, and long-standing human relationships and interaction don’t exist in this alternate reality. Millions of people are not actually married to people whom they think they are married to, people whom they live with and interact with every day as a husband or wife, often for decades and until death. Conversely, millions of people are actually married to people whom they think they are not married to, people whom they sometimes haven’t seen for decades and who live hundreds of miles away. On top of this, millions of people have children whom they think are legitimate, but who are actually illegitimate children, the offspring of adultery.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  To true citizens of the kingdom of God, the actual “alternate reality” is the one painted by the 16th century Reformers on a wave of “Christianized” humanism.    Humanism and discipleship have never been compatible with one another, because to take up one’s cross and follow Him is the very antithesis of the self-worship on which humanism is founded.   These “Reformers” were just hypocritical enough to also look wistfully back at Moses, the more lenient “sheriff” when it came to sexual license, while illegitimately claiming the “grace” of the New Covenant, as if they could have it both ways.   It was Luther who, frustrated with the lack of access to sanctioned divorce through the church, took what belonged exclusively to God and handed it over to Caesar.    The same character flaw in Luther also manifested itself in his penchant for anti-Semitism and Replacement Theology.     Luther’s  “Jesus” replaces His bride if she doesn’t toe the mark!  (He’d rather have stoned her, but “defective” governments tend to frown on this.)

Among the choicer of Luther’s recorded remarks:

“You may ask: What is to become of the other [the guilty party] if he too is perhaps unable to lead a chaste life? Answer: It was for this reason that God commanded in the law [Deut. 22:22–24] that adulterers be stoned, that they might not have to face this question. The temporal sword and government should therefore still put adulterers to death, for whoever commits adultery has in fact himself already departed and is considered as one dead. Therefore, the other [the innocent party] may remarry just as though his spouse had died, if it is his intention to insist on his rights and not show mercy to the guilty party. Where the government is negligent and lax, however, and fails to inflict the death penalty, the adulterer may betake himself to a far country and there remarry if he is unable to remain continent. But it would be better to put him to death, lest a bad example be set.  Some may find fault with this solution and contend that thereby license and opportunity is afforded all wicked husbands and wives to desert their spouses and remarry in a foreign country. Answer: Can I help it? The blame rests with the government. Why do they not put adulterers to death? Then I would not need to give such advice. Between two evils one is always the lesser, in this case allowing the adulterer to remarry in a distant land in order to avoid fornication. And I think he would be safer also in the sight of God, because he has been allowed to live and yet is unable to remain continent. If others also, however, following this example desert their spouses, let them go. They have no excuse such as the adulterer has, for they are neither driven nor compelled. God and their own conscience will catch up to them in due time. Who can prevent all wickedness?” Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther’s Works, Vol. 45 : The Christian in Society II. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1962 (Luther’s Works 45), S. 45:III33

The kingdom of God has always been an “alternative reality” to those preferring to dwell outside of that Kingdom.     They choose to dwell outside because a kingdom is a place where the King is OBEYED.

THY kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
– Matthew 6:10

Servant parrots the humanism of Luther, not the holiness of Jesus.   The two are not even remotely compatible.   Humanism argues that all humans are entitled to a sexual relationship at all times because this is the only way (externally) to manage the flesh.    Following Christ demands that the flesh be crucified from within and that obedience come from an idol-free heart, and if obedience incurs suffering and character development, we are in the midst of a great cloud of witnesses.   (For a fairly comprehensive collection the profoundly unscriptural quotes of the “Reformers” on divorce and remarriage, see pages 21-25 of the scholarly paper by Daniel R. Jennings, “The History Of Christian Thought Upon Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage”.)

Anyone who purports to fear God should take Matthew 19:6 and 8 as explicitly denying men any authority whatsoever to create, regulate or “dissolve” an unconditional covenant in which He tells us He remains a participant, in fact, one of the parties thereto.   It is appalling, really, that Servant does not grasp this.    (More about God’s unconditional covenants is below, when Servant gets to that point in his arguments. )    For now, let’s just note that in verse 6, when Jesus said “let no man separate“, the Greek texts reveal that He did not use the words andra” nor “aner” here, as He could have if He were merely counseling a man, or the husband of what he “shouldn’t” do.    He instead used the word anthrópos,   in effect saying,  “let no HUMAN put distance between [ chōrizetō] ” what God has supernaturally joined.    (Let no human, including Moses who was, after all, a human, have any jurisdiction over what I claim as belonging to ME exclusively.)

Servant:
That smiling Christian couple driving with their four children on their way to “that other church”…they aren’t what they seem to be. They think they are going to heaven because they believe in Jesus and live their faith every day, but actually they are going to hell because they haven’t divorced each other.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC: That smiling Christian couple does not “believe in Jesus“, no matter how full is their evangelical mini-van, unless they practice studying His word, which couldn’t be more plain, even with the pervasive bible translation fraud that has been taking place over the past several decades, that their household is unlawfully-founded.    They will see quite clearly that man’s law cannot override God’s law, as these “smiling Christian families” are all very quick to see is the case with homosexuals.  Even the most perverse and heathen CNN reporter saw this from just one night of reading the Gideon bible in the Kentucky hotel drawer when serial polygamist Kim Davis went to jail.

Sad to say, it’s been consistently shown through reputable polling surveys that said couple rarely reads their bible for themselves, much less studies it deeply, nor toils to resolve any apparent conflicts which inevitably result from contemporary translation-tampering.    Instead, they rely on  the “priestly class” to feed them (and preferably, to feed their flesh), as though they were themselves illiterate.   Servant glibly terms it as “going to hell because they haven’t ‘divorced‘ ”    If they read their bibles, they would plainly see that only death dissolves holy matrimony, and therefore, they are headed to hell with someone else’s spouse unless they cease and desist from breaking the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th commandments on a daily basis.   Servant derides the biblical form of repentance from this (or any other sin) in his sarcasm, and treats them as though God’s messengers are their “judges”.

Servant:
May I first submit that something is indissoluble if it cannot be “dissolved, loosened, or disconnected.” The phrase “one flesh” carries no connotation of indissolubility. In fact, just the opposite is true. Husbands and wives are only “one flesh” during sexual intercourse. Only for a small part of their married lives are they “one flesh.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Servant is here conflating physical separation. that is, immoral abandonment (the chōrizetō that Jesus forbid by any human authority,  the rebellion of which is certainly possible, as Servant points out) — with dissolution of an unconditional covenant to which God Himself is and remains a party.   This man cannot do, for as long as God is God.   The priest in Malachi 2 made the same false assumption that Servant makes here — and he found himself cut off from fellowship with God as a direct consequence of it.    In rebuking this priest who had “divorced” the woman God joined him to, declaring that covenant “dissolved” to “marry” another — without that God-joining (synezeuxen), God tells him : “she IS (not “was”) the wife of your marriage covenant.”     Man says it’s legal, but God calls it an abomination that separates such people from Him until such time as there is repentance and restitution.   Servant also confuses “sarx mia” with “hen soma” with his claim that that one-flesh relationship is only present during sexual intercourse.    We dealt in detail with this fallacy in Part 1, and we do so again immediately below.

Servant:
God’s statement regarding husbands and wives becoming one flesh speaks of divinely-intended exclusivity of sex within marriage, not the indissolubility of marriage itself. Paul wrote that the man who joins himself to a prostitute, something forbidden by God, becomes “one flesh” with her (1 Cor. 6:16). Obviously, there is nothing indissoluble about the relationship of a man and a prostitute. In fact, all such relationships should be dissolved immediately.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   We have above established the untruth of this first sentence statement of Servant’s.    As in Part 1, we have shown conclusively that the supernaturally-created sarx mia  one-flesh state differs from the hen soma (one body) man-joined counterfeit described by Paul in 1 Cor. 6:16, which he also contrasts with sarx mia at the end of that verse, before Paul goes on to speak only of sarx mia in Ephesians 5:31.     Where there is no synezeuxen, there can be no sarx mia.    By process of elimination, where there is no  sarx mia, the joining is merely hen soma.   There certainly is nothing indissoluble about hen soma, the relationship of a man with a prostitute, or for that matter, with anyone other than the God-joined living spouse of his youth.   As Servant himself correctly states, “In fact, all such relationships should be dissolved immediately.”     We couldn’t agree more, and this has been our point all along.    People are often surprised to find out that both Jesus and Paul used an entirely different vocabulary set for indissoluble holy matrimony, and another set of term for all other forms of illicit sexual union.   With regard to joining, the main difference again is verb tense — but it is a vey important difference because it describes duration, continuity, durability and the like.

Vocabulary of Holy Matrimony

For Servant to neglect making this distinction, and thus to use unlike terms interchangeably, is either ill-informed or willful.    We won’t presume to judge which, but will say here that Servant violates the hermeneutical principle of Content on its most basic level.

Properly understood, the above makes hen soma a sub-element of sarx mia, but the converse is never true.    The latter exists as soon as valid, eligible vows are exchanged in front of witnesses, and synezeuxen occurs exclusively by God’s hand.   In the case of holy matrimony, hen soma occurs , depending on whether or not there was fornication between the (biblically-eligible) pair ahead of the wedding, but at the latest, it becomes an element of the created sarx mia on the wedding night.   Some recent science paints a graphic, practical picture of what hen soma (one body) looks like in isolation.   Research has found that the DNA from a man’s sperm stays in a woman’s body indefinitely, even if it was a one-night stand or a rape.   The spiritual DNA that God puts there in a separate process also remains with the woman and the man until one of them physically dies.

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.   –  1 Cor. 6:18  

Servant:
And just because Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no man separate,” that does not prove that separation is impossible. Rather, it proves that separation is possible, otherwise there would be no need for a warning against it.

God also said, “Do not commit adultery.” That certainly does not prove that adultery is impossible. Rather, the prohibition against adultery proves it is possible, albeit inappropriate.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:  This is a purely semantic (and entirely irrelevant) point.   Jesus was not just stating a metaphysical fact, nor an assumedly unattainable “ideal”, He was issuing a COMMANDMENT,  by which all men will be eternally judged.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter…Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’   And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Hence, making a flippant statement like “adultery is proven possible [by Jesus forbidding the civil legalization of it] , abeit ‘inappropriate’ ” comes off before the throne of heaven, and the intellect of the reader, as disrespectful of God’s word, and incredibly off-topic.

Servant:
“Divorced people are not married people, and this could not be more clear from God’s words in Deut. 24:1-4. There it speaks of a married woman whose husband divorced her, giving her a certificate of divorce. She was then unmarried. But she remarried, gaining a new husband, to whom she was a wife. But he subsequently divorced her. She was again unmarried. She was forbidden by law to remarry her first husband. But as a divorced, unmarried woman, she was free to remarry anyone else.

“Obviously, Jesus, the author of the Law of Moses, did not believe that divorced people are still married in God’s eyes to their former spouses.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Could we please allow Jesus to speak for Himself concerning what He thinks (since He actually did- repeatedly)?
[ Civilly] “Divorced” people are not “married” people, according to Servant, on account of an obscure Mosaic regulation which narrowly dealt with non-capital reasons to break a Hebrew betrothal contract (consanguinity, bleeding disease, leprosy, captive war concubine, etc.).  What Servant claims here is “true”  only if one is wistfully looking back to Moses out of utter contempt for the new “sheriff”,  Jesus.    We really like what Brother Elliot Nesch  had to say about this in the weekly stander’s conference call recording as he applied Romans 7:4 to this nutty heresy of neo-Judaism or Hebrew Roots or Torah Observance (take your pick):

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Brother Nesch quipped:  “this widowed bride is diminishing her new Husband while slaving to please a dead husband”.

We also like what Brother Paul had to say about it:  Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.   And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the WHOLE Law.   – Galatians 5:2-3

Those who want to go back to the lawless pretense that man can dissolve God-joined holy matrimony, under Moses’ system of sin-management, and to forbid inseverable one-flesh partners to reconcile even though willful, ongoing unforgiveness also robs people of their inheritance in the kingdom of God (Matthew 18:23-35),  might need to consider offering up a ram on the altar every day (as if that remained possible), or at the very least, stoning their disobedient children to death.    

Since nobody in the body of Christ can ever again be impacted by a human ketubah, there is no part of Deuteronomy 24 that has any relevance or application today in the body of Christ.   There is some understandable confusion about this due to the post-Moses, pre-Jesus expansion by rabbinical tradition to cover capital offenses, against which the instructions given in Deuteronomy 22 could no longer be carried out due to foreign occupiers, including Persia and Rome, both imposing a legal ban on stoning.   We’ll get into that a bit deeper below.

We dealt at length in Part 1 with the false assertions of  serial and concurrent polygamy apologists which are based on elevating Torah Observance over the New Covenant.   Here we will ask Mr. Servant for New Testament evidence that God ever delegated to humans any authority to create, regulate or “dissolve” holy matrimony.   After all, we have presented the direct evidence from the mouth of Jesus that He did not….”from the beginning.”   All Servant can cite is Mosaic regulation that Christ explicitly abrogated at the start of His public ministry…  “you have heard it said / it is written……BUT I SAY UNTO YOU….”

Nowhere does scripture tell us that Jesus was the “author of the law of Moses”, nor does it tell us that Jesus had no authority to abrogate the law of Moses with a higher law as He saw fit, and as in fact, the sermon on the mount shows several instances where the Mosaic standard was not good enough for the standards of the kingdom of God, where He did just that.    

#2 of 8 –  Servant’s Attack On The Plain Meaning of Romans 7:2-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39
(Pseudo-hermeneutics profusely in evidence here.)

So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress’ (Rom. 7:2-3).

Servant:
(Sarcastically) So clearly, only death can end the marriage relationship, and anyone who marries another person while his former spouse is still alive is living in an adulterous relationship, just as Paul taught.”

Answer: Only if we ignore content and context could we come to such a conclusion.

First, the content: Note that the example Paul uses is that of a “married woman” (Greek: hupandros gunenot a divorced woman. Of course, if a married woman is “joined to another man,” she would be an adulteress.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    First of all, we would vigorously argue with the characterization, “former” spouse who is still alive.   There’s no such thing as an “ex” in the kingdom of God, unless it’s an ex-adultery partner (legalized or otherwise).   The correct statement is “…anyone who marries another person while his (or her) estranged covenant spouse is still alive is living in an adulterous relationship.”

Secondly, there’s a semantic #fail on Servant’s “content” claim.    Yes, we are speaking of a “married” woman – she’s married for life, and in God’s eyes, it is only to the one He joined her to, not the counterfeit replacement on a piece of overreaching paper.   The only sense in which she is  therefore “divorced” is the man-fabricated civil sense.    Untwisting Servant’s contorted logic here,  as a consequence of getting back to the correct, biblical  definition of terms, the “adulteress” argument is not because she’s joined to some random man, but because she has joined in pseudo-marriage / civil-only union to somebody who is only her “spouse” on paper, since the one-flesh entity is still intact with her true husband, because God declines to participate in #2.

Servant:
A divorced woman, however, is not a married woman, but an unmarried woman. Paul, a former Pharisee who was well-versed in the Law of Moses and who appealed to the Law in this very passage in order to make his point (7:1), knew that a divorced woman was not “married to her former husband in God’s eyes” under the Law of Moses. In fact, Paul knew that the Mosaic Law forbade her to remarry her former husband if her second husband divorced her or died (Deut. 24:1-4). So there is absolutely no way he could have thought God viewed the divorced and remarried woman as still married to her original husband.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Term-twisting again.   A civilly-divorced woman is still a married woman in God’s eyes so long as the husband of her youth remains alive.    While it may be very true that Paul was aware of the Mosaic view of this, scripture tells us that he hung out with Jesus for three years in the Arabian wilderness following his conversion (Galatians 1:16-17).     He knew that the Mosaic era was now passe and the higher standards of the Messianic age were now in full effect.     He for sure knew that the kingdom of God is a place where the King is OBEYED.    He was not about to be staring wistfully back at Moses, as if he were in rebellion against Christ.   Servant’s theory, which is (shamelessly) based on elevating Moses over Jesus, simply doesn’t hang together.    Jesus said what He said, and He straightforwardly meant what He said.    Paul always aligned with Jesus and not with Moses.    

(Now let’s see if Servant myopically misses the part of the scripture below that severs us from the law of Moses in Rom. 7:4….note: the bold font below is his emphasis.)

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:1-5).

Servant:
“Obviously, Paul was not teaching about the sole lawful means of dissolving a marriage. That was not his topic. Rather, he was simply using an illustration from marriage to teach how Jewish believers in Christ are no longer bound to the Law of Moses since they have died in Christ.

To claim that Paul’s words in Romans 7:1-5 are teaching about the sole means of dissolving a marriage would be like claiming that his quotation of the old covenant law, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing” in 1 Cor. 9:9 and 1 Tim. 5:18 was written to teach the Corinthians and Timothy about animal husbandry.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Mr. Servant is here trying to have it both ways.    Yes, Paul was using the marriage / widowhood analogy to demonstrate to us that Jews and Gentiles alike are not bound to the Law of Moses.    But he’d have us believe that the analogy Paul used was not a valid one, if he’s then going to claim that death isn’t in fact the only way that an unconditional covenant in which God Himself is one of the participants can be dissolved.    The whole point of both contexts is that death is the only way the Mosaic Covenant dissolved, and death is the only way the covenant of holy matrimony dissolves — due to God’s direct participation in both.    Speaking of “animal husbandry” and scripture context,  Matthew 5:32 is clearly about an INNOCENT woman not being turned into an adulteress by the heinous action of her husband, not about allowing a man to divorce his wife for adultery.    See Part 3B for further clarity on this.

Servant:
“A similar passage that is twisted by Divine Divorce proponents to prove that marriage can only be dissolved by death is 1 Cor. 7:39: “A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” Honest interpreters, however, will admit that one sentence is not the sum total of all that Paul, or the Bible, teaches in regard to the subject of marriage or its dissolution.”

Clearly, Paul was not saying that only death dissolves a marriage, as seconds earlier he made it clear that a believer married to an unbeliever who wants to divorce is “not under bondage” in such cases and should let the unbeliever leave (1 Cor. 7:15). It would seem odd to claim that, in such cases, the deserted believer is still married to the deserter until death.     

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  Honest interpretation, on the contrary, would point out that Paul’s instruction and testimony on the immorality and invalidity of remarriage while the spouse of our youth is alive is consistent throughout the Apostle’s writings, and more importantly, consistent with Christ’s view, while departing from Moses’ view, throughout.   Servant is fabricating confusion out of his own cognitive dissonance.  His argument is the classic redefinition of terms engaged in by liberal commentators for decades.    His pseudo-hermeneutics come into play here as he misuses the term “under bondage” found in verse 15.   We covered that at length in Part 1,  and separately in our 2015 “Stop Abusing Scripture” series.   What Servant humanistically paints as “odd” is precisely what Jesus was directly speaking of in Matthew 19:12, that is, becoming a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of God — one (but far from the only one) of those places in life where His disciples are called to take up their cross and follow Him instead of their flesh.    As Paul goes on to state in verses 11 and 16, we are to leave open the possibility of return and reconciliation with our one-flesh who is at this point not only prodigal to us, but prodigal to God Himself, and who therefore remains in danger of hell if he does not make a U-turn in the road.   The very worst thing a true spouse can possibly do is join the prodigal in their own leaky boat by replicating his or her adulterous sin in their own life.   Carnal Christian society will “buy” the cheap, legalized veneer these days, but Jehovah Berith never will.

Servant:
Moreover, Paul also allowed for those “released from a wife” to remarry (1 Cor. 7:27-28), which indicates again that Paul believed divorce dissolves marriage. On top of that, as I have already said, Jesus’ statement that “Whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Mat. 5:32) indicates that whoever divorces his wife for immorality and remarries does not commit adultery. Clearly, Jesus believed that legitimate divorce annuls a marriage, thus again proving that death alone is not the only thing that can annul a marriage.

At most, 1 Cor. 7:39 is a simple instruction for married women to remain faithful to their vows and to help widows understand that they are free to remarry.

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:   It should be abundantly clear by now that Paul “believed” no such thing!    In the Corinthian church, which did include some converted Jews, there were two ways a man could be “released from a wife“,  neither of which encompassed those who immorally abandoned their one-flesh living wife under pretext of a legal system that violated God’s law.    An unmarried man could possibly be released from a ketubah betrothal contract, which was an agreement where under Jewish law and tradition, the betrothed woman had all of the legal standing of a consummated wife, and was referred to as such.

The other sort man of man “released from a wife” in the Corinthian church was a widower.    It is inconsistent with the vast body of conflicting scripture for Servant to make the outrageous claim that a one-flesh, legally estranged husband is “released from” a still-living wife.     Furthermore, Servant’s denial of  the plain, straightforward meaning of verse 39 has no reasonable basis, for the same reason that his denial of the plain meaning of Romans 7:2-3 has no supportable basis: circular reasoning.    This is discussed in greater detail in our “Stop Abusing Scripture” series, this particular installment dealing with the evangelical rape of 1 Corinthians 7, and another installment with the rape of Matthew 19:9 and 5:32 to attempt to “justify” what Christ unambiguously and repeatedly forbid.    We all individually choose to obey Him or we find excuses not to,  but in Servant’s case, he is deceiving others into holding onto those excuses (while forfeiting their inheritance in the kingdom of God), in a manner that shows unusual contempt for the authority of Christ and His word.    

 

#3 of 8 –  Servant’s Off-Base Denial That Legalized Sequential Polygamy Is Equivalently Immoral to Legalized Sodomy As “Marriage”

Servant:
If a married homosexual couple became believers in Jesus, we would tell them to “divorce,” even if they shared adopted or surrogate children, because theirs is a sexually immoral relationship. So likewise, we should tell couples in adulterous marriages that they, too, should divorce, even if they have children, as theirs is a sexually immoral relationship.

Answer: This is an invalid comparison, because all homosexuality is always wrong whereas, indisputably, not all marriage is wrong.

FB profile 7xtjw   SIFC:   What makes this a directly valid comparison is the absence of unconditional covenant (along with the corresponding absence God’s participation in it), the complete absence of God’s act of creating synezeuxen, supernatural God-yoking between them, hence no sarx mia.    This participation of God in either type of union is, by definition and by His holy character,  impossible.   The one type of illicit union left their one-flesh partner instead of their father and mother, and the other type is male and male, or female and female, not male and female.  Neither type qualifies under God’s unchanging definition of holy matrimony, even if an apostate “pastor” participates.   Such a “shepherd” is misusing the holy name of the Lord to perform a vain act — breaking the 3rd and 9th commandments himself.    Both types of unions are explicitly listed twice by Paul, who pointedly says, “do not be deceived”, as costing the unrepentant participants in these unions their inheritance in the kingdom of God.  (Note also the slick substitution of terms by Servant:  referring to “marriage” instead of non-widowed “remarriage” as if the two were morally equivalent.)

Servant:
Jesus did not say that he who divorces and remarries “lives in an adulterous marriage,” or “lives in a continual state of adultery,” or “commits adultery every time he/she has sex,” or “is still married to his/her former spouse in God’s eyes,” and it is obvious, as I explained in my previous two articles, that Jesus did not intend for His words to be so interpreted. Moreover, none of the New Testament authors interpreted His words in any of those ways.

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Servant will continue to preposterously claim that Jesus didn’t straightforwardly say what He indeed said:

“…and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

“…and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

“…and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

 ” And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.   And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

(Scriptures are:  Matthew 5:32b; Matthew 19:9b; Luke 16:18b and Mark 10:11-12)

Servant first rejects the notion that Greek verb tenses are crucial to rightly dividing what Jesus was saying, i.e. that this is an ongoing state of sin, and not a one-time act as he would prefer.    When that utterly fails, as we shall see below, he hypothesizes based on one “conservative scholar’s” pure speculation about what it would mean “if” Jesus used a different verb tense, despite the fact that none of the scholars provide any evidence that He actually used that alternative verb tense, and they unanimously provide abundant evidence that He very consistently used the present-indicative verb tense.    This way Servant appears to be conversant in hermeneutics, pretentiously so, but is deliberately blathering to distract from the inconvenient truth, while parroting someone who is admittedly not a linguistic scholar, and appears to be more liberal than “conservative” — but, all things are relative to their reference point, in this case, Christ.   It is very common to prefer to compare men with men, instead of with Christ.

Here’s what we authoritatively cited (as do all credible scholars) in the Part 2 rebuttal:

Without exception, every time Jesus says that “marrying” another person while our God-joined one-flesh partner lives is entering into a state of ongoing adultery,  He used the present-indicative verb tense / mood,   According to the source ntgreek.org,

“The present tense usually denotes continuous kind of action. It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’ When used in the indicative mood, the present tense denotes action taking place or going on in the present time. “

The very fact that Servant is forced into this discussion of Greek verb tense should alone prove that none of the rest of his theory claiming holy matrimony is dissoluble by acts of men is supportable, when both Jesus and Paul plainly and repeatedly stated that it was not, as did Mark, Peter’s scribe.

Servant:
Just from a purely legal aspect, to claim that a marriage covenant is still binding after an act of adultery is like claiming that any other mutual promise is still in force after one party fails to keep their part of the contract.

And if I enter a mutual covenant with a member of the opposite sex that includes, among other things, exclusive sexual relations for life, and I later have sex with someone other than my spouse, I have no right to expect my spouse to honor her side of the covenant. She did not say in her vows, “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in sexual faithfulness and adultery…”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   Servant confuses contract with unconditional covenant here, while he himself describes a conditional covenant, which holy matrimony clearly is not.   It’s a good thing for Servant that Jehovah Berith does not confuse these!    The Bridegroom in his salvation covenant with us holds Himself to it for as long as we live.   Only when we fail to show up at the Marriage Supper, because we preferred the world system (including its evangelical chapter), does the covenant break, and only because we physically died in our own rebellion.     By getting all legal about it, David Servant is showing himself to be a legalist, rather than appreciating the glory and unimpeachable character of the Bridegroom.

As for appealing to the wedding vows,  we all know that the groom vows unconditionally and the bride vows unconditionally, so long as they both shall live, not “I’ll do X only if you do Y,  and if you don’t do Y the deal is ‘effectively’ dissolved“.     What part of “for better or worse” does sexual infidelity not fit into, since Mr.  Servant brought the matter up?

Servant:
Divine Divorce proponents sometimes appeal to Greek verb tenses to make the claim that Jesus’ words, “commits adultery” indicate He was referring to continual acts of adultery every time the remarried couple has sex. Again, above and in my previous articles, I showed why such a view cannot possibly be correct…..J. Carl Laney…’it is also possible that the present tense, “commits adultery,” may be used in an aoristic sense expressing the idea of a present fact without reference to progress. The aoristic present sets forth an event as now occurring. So interpreted, the adultery would involve one punctiliar action at the time of remarriage.’

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:   This was dealt with in Part 2 and above, where Servant obstinately denies that Jesus said what he said (also denies that Jesus meant what He said).   Bottom line:  Laney’s assertion is mere speculation and in any event, he has provided no credible evidence that Jesus was using the aorist tense for the word “commits” to counter the unanimous evidence of other scholars that He was using the present-indicative tense, according to all the reliable Greek interlinear text tools, including scripture4all.org and biblehub.com.  There is zero evidence that this is a “punctiliar action” and a mountain of evidence, not the least of which is context and scriptural consistency, that it is an ongoing state of sin.     Once again, the very fact that Servant finds himself in the unenviable position of trying to find a defense for the obvious wrongness of adulterous nuptials –as he is intrinsically admitting–using Greek verb tense hypotheticals (to establish a suggestion that this admitted sin – presumably including theft, coveting and false witness – “only” occurs on the wedding night) indicates there is a YUGE problem with his theory – pun fully intended.

Servant:
“What grace means is that a divorced and remarried couple need not break up. Although entering their marriage wrongfully, they should remain in that marital state in which they find themselves (1 Cor 7:17-24).

FB profile 7xtjw SIFC:    No, sir, that’s hypergrace.   What grace means is that, so long as the legalized adulterers draw breath, they have an opportunity to sever their unlawful union, make restitution to their real spouse(s) and famil(ies), and receive cleansing forgiveness.    If they truly are regenerated, and not a false convert who came to Jesus on conditional terms or false representation of what saving faith entails, grace is the Holy Spirit who indwells them and leads them to purity by inward conviction.     As stated earlier, everybody to entered into holy matrimony with the spouse of their youth is “called” as married-for-life to that person, even if they are simultaneously in a legalized illicit relationship, whether heterosexual or homosexual, childless or otherwise.    Only the biblically-lawful estranged relationship survives regeneration.     We previously pointed out Servant’s invalid-context usage of this (1 Cor 7:17-24).scripture he abuses to claim otherwise.

#4 of 8 –  David Servant’s Rejection Of Our Intellectual Rebuke: Arguing From Silence

Servant:
You point out that there are no instructions—by either Jesus or the apostles who authored the New Testament epistles—for those who have been divorced and remarried to divorce again, nor are there any examples of anyone doing such a thing. But that is an argument from silence. Conversely, neither are there any instructions—by either Jesus or the apostles who authored the New Testament epistles—for those who have been divorced and remarried to remain married. So the opposite of your view can also be made from an argument of silence.

“The burden of proof lies with Divine Divorce proponents, as it is quite reasonable to think that, if God requires all divorced and remarried people to divorce again as a requirement to “escape an adulterous marriage” and thus “escape hell” (as Divine Divorce proponents claim), there would be lots of information about that in the New Testament, as it would be a matter of great concern to both God and humanity….And if God does not require divorced and remarried people to divorce again as a requirement for salvation”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:     The plain fact is that the justification purchased for us with the price of His blood is a betrothal of sorts.   We were not good enough for this Bridegroom, yet He bound Himself to us in a ketubah contract.   He paid our bride-price for us with His blood.   We promised to show up at the future Marriage Supper, wearing our wedding garments, and having our lamps filled with oil (our ongoing sanctification) so that our salvation can be consummated there.    We promised to keep ourselves pure of other gods, which will invariably lead us to walk in the opposite direction of that holy venue.    That ketubah He left in our hands is unconditionally binding on our Bridegroom, but we remain free to break it by choosing those other gods over Him, by not showing up at the heavenly banquet hall because we preferred the comforts of our temporal abode, because this life appeared more attractive to us than what we were promised in eternal life.

It doesn’t matter one bit what the “majority of Christianity” believes…it only matters what GOD SAYS.     People who have stood celibate for their God-joined covenant spouse and authentic holy matrimony union will not be faced with any divine “burden of proof” on this topic whatsoever.   Neither will anyone who stood on conviction and God’s word to terminate a covetous and immoral relationship with the spouse of another living person, while praying for that person to reconcile and forgive their own one-flesh, have to bear any “burden of proof.”    They are the obedient ones who said “Lord, Lord” and did what He said.

Instead, it will be the ones standing before the Great White Throne who are being asked, “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord…  but refused to do what I commanded?” who will bear the burden of proof.    Perhaps they will try to hide behind their pastoral wolf who said it was OK.     They will then be asked whether they could read, and how many bibles and computers were in their illicit homes.   The “burden of proof” is going to be on the false shepherds, as well. who misused the name of the Lord to perform the vain act of “joining” the already-joined to an adulterous partner, and then who hindered them from repenting by twisting His word to avoid the mass scandal that such  a wave of repentance represents to their “ministry”.

In Part 1, we said this about the “argument from silence” (…that legalized adulterers are not “told” to leave their ongoing state of sin), after we listed and linked several dozen OT and NT scriptures, in contrast to the four that Servant claims we “exclusively” rely on, which support the no-excuses, no-exceptions indissolubility of covenant holy matrimony:

“The second reason the exhaustive list of related scriptures is important is to dispute the typical false claims of ‘scripture silence’ such as David Servant (and many others) have alleged….David Servant makes much of claiming that neither Jesus, nor any of the Apostles ever told anyone to divorce a “second” time who was living in sin with someone else’s God-joined spouse.    This is not entirely true.    John the Baptist called out Herod and Herodias, both of whom had divorced their God-joined spouses to “marry” each other, saying to Herod, “it is not lawful for you to have your brother Phillip’s wife.”  (Mark 6; Matthew 14)….Then there’s the episode of church discipline being applied in 1 Corinthians 5 at Paul’s command to the man who had taken his father wife (probably his stepmother, following either the divorce or death of the father).    The scripture does not state that he “married” her, but there are three immoral possibilities:  (1) the father was dead and they were cohabiting in fornication, or (2) the father had civilly divorced her and the son had civilly married her, or (3) the father had separated or divorced her, and they were cohabiting in adultery.   Since the man was still in the church body whom Paul had to rebuke, (1) and (3) seem less likely than (2).    What we do know is that Paul felt strongly enough that the son’s soul was on the line unless the church excommunicated him (“turned him over to satan that his soul may be saved”).
Please read the full section in Part 1 for further details.

We also dealt much earlier with other enemies of covenant restoration per Luke 16:18 and 1 Cor. 7:11 who claim “scripture silence”, in our blog What About That Samaritan Woman?.

Some courses of action connected with repentance are contextual, and the window of context matters greatly in that regard.  With regard to repentance from remarriage adultery, the window of context is really the entire bible.   There was no explicit command to the tax-collector Zaccheus to return four-fold what he had extorted from the citizenry in his covetousness, which he carried out lawfully (according to some historical accounts of the Roman law and practice), but he did as the Holy Spirit led him to do, and Jesus responded to this “salvation-by-works”:  “Today salvation has come to this house.”    The bible makes clear that repentance entails far more than “confession” while remaining in a state of sin.    It is heart-change that results in abhorrence, repudiation and cessation of the sin.    There seems to be more than plenty to fill the claimed “silence” to “he who has ears to hear“.

#5 of 8 –  Servant’s Denial of the Unanimity and Relevance of Early Church Father’s Teaching Which Was in Agreement with Christ and the Apostles

Argument None of the church fathers who wrote after the apostolic age agree with [ David Servant, and others who deny that holy matrimony is indissoluble until death.]

Answer: It is certainly true that the church fathers wrote at times about the subject of divorce and remarriage, and they of course quoted Jesus’ words about illegitimate divorce and remarriage being adultery. I have never claimed that they did not. Some forbade remarriage under any circumstances, erring on the side of caution in my humble opinion. But to date, no one has been able to show me where any early church father instructed divorced and remarried people to divorce again, or for that matter instructed anyone to divorce period, prior to something Jerome wrote in 394 AD counseling one remarried woman. So is someone who lived 360 years after Christ the ultimate authority? Jerome also defended the idea that Mary remained a virgin perpetually. Is that biblical?

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:    We’ve seen ample evidence so far that Mr. Servant’s opinion is just about as “humble” as it is informed.    We’ve already discredited his arguments from silence at length.    Servant is owed no evidence that these ante-Nicene leaders expected adulterous couples to separate and true spouses to reconcile.   It matters not a whit to the Great White Throne what he personally chooses or declines to believe.   He will be held accountable for his actions corrupting (true, not “blended”) families.

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 mere human families 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.
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Epistle To The Ephesians, 105 A.D.

We do concede that some of the bishops and martyrs of the early churches differed slightly on whether “divorce / putting away” (whatever form that actually took, which may not necessarily have  been civil proceedings, and depending on the actual Greek term used in the original writings) was permissible, but all were unanimous that “divorce / putting away” dissolved nothing, and hence they were unanimous that non-widowed remarriage was indeed adultery, which they unanimously did not consider to be a “punctiliar one-time act.”    (And, true to form, Mr. Servant can’t seem to restrain himself from ad hominem when the fact-bearers interfere with his carnal humanism, in this case, even besmirching the long-dead saints and martyrs who lived nearest the apostolic age. )

The indisputable historical fact is that the early church was so unanimous in their practice of this conviction of indissolubility that they accomplished in just a few centuries (arguably, only four) a culture-change so sweeping and durable for fifteen centuries following, that the world has never again seen the likes of until unilateral divorce was enacted in the United States in the 1970’s.   Even the most heretical elements of the Reformation only rocked it on a delayed basis until after this apostate modern development which the church failed to morally or politically resist.

Quoting bible historian Kenneth E. Kirk, and author Milton T. Wells:

“What is more astounding than the mere fact that the early Church taught and practiced the complete indissolubility of marriage for so long, is the fact that the Church chose to take its stand against the strong contemporary lax social and legal attitudes toward divorce which prevailed so universally all about them. The Church, today, feels that it is on the horns of a dilemma, because so many divorcees are coming to her for help and encouragement. Shall she accommodate the Scriptures to the apparent need of the unfortunate divorcees, or shall she uphold the Biblical standard of the indissolubility of marriage for any cause while faithfully discharging her duty to such distressed individuals?  Every church of today which considers the lowering of its divorce standards should remember that the early Church stood true to the Biblical doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage in a world that was pagan and strongly opposed to the moral and marriage standards of the New Testament.
Not only did the Church maintain her stand on the indissolubility in the early centuries, she changed the attitude and standards of the whole world toward it. Even today the whole Church of Christ and the entire western world is still reaping the rich benefits of that heritage.   Shall the Christian Church of today
[mid-20th century] be less courageous and faithful than the Church of the early centuries of the Christian era?  Does she not under God have the same spiritual resources?

“There were other grievous social evils in the early Christian centuries. Slavery enveloped the Roman Empire of that age, yet the Christians did not set themselves to change the thinking of the masses against it, but they did set themselves to change the thinking of the masses toward marriage and divorce. Why did they not attack slavery with the same vehemence? The reason was that the Apostles had not received a “thus saith the Lord” from Christ respecting it. They had, however, received such in the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage. No sect or school of philosophy is known to have influenced the early Church in this teaching. From whence, then, did she get the teaching? Certainly she received it from the teaching of the Gospels and from the teaching of the Apostles, who had earlier conveyed the same orally (as well as in writing) to the leaders of the early Church who succeeded them.”

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  “Standerinfamilycourt” also has a “humble” opinion, and that is that this massive social change which introduced and sustained lifelong monogamy for the first time in history could not have been accomplished by ante-Nicene pastors who refused to excommunicate their adulterers, but instead performed faux nuptials over them.    Nor was it accomplished by 1st to 4th century shepherds who filled their pews with adulterers by not requiring them to sever those illicit unions, or by allowing them to continue in immoral abandonment of their true families based  on the deceitful rationalization that their pre-conversion covenant commitments (things that were clearly not “sin”) were “washed clean” along with their actual fully-repented sin.    The astounding societal result shows these leaders were mindful of Christ’s words in Matthew 5,

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Near the end of our Part 2 response, we quickly listed a sampling of key quotes of the ante-Nicene church fathers concerning the lifelong indissolubility of holy matrimony, without the citations.  Given the length of our Part 3 response, we now link the readers to an excellent recording where, starting at about 13 minutes in, Pastor Stephen Wilcox cites these with full literary references.

Servant:
One of the most amusing things is to hear people quote certain church fathers in order to support their particular theological beliefs, and then listen to their response when I ask them if there is anything those same church fathers wrote with which they disagree…

FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC:  One does not need to be an expert on all exhaustive positions of every church father to reliably quote them, provided they know and honestly convey the context of the quote they are relying on.   Nor did these early leaders have to be perfectly on target on every issue, as long as they align with what Jesus and the Apostles said on the topic at-hand.    Peter was rebuked in scripture by Paul — do we therefore discount everything Peter wrote?    Paul rejected one of the Apostles who wrote a gospel – do we therefore summarily discount all of what Paul wrote?   Moses was also shown to be fallible on numerous occasions, yet Mr. Servant is utterly livid that even one word from Moses be abrogated by Jesus Christ.

This concludes our discussion of David Servant’s points 1 through 5 of Part 3 of his article series, “I’m Divorced and Remarried.   Am I Living in Adultery?”    As promised, we will wrap up with his points 6 through 8 in the next blog post.   Here, however we’ll address head-on David Servant’s greatest fear:  that today’s trickle of repenting Emilys will become an embarrassing flood.    He has good reason to fear this because of the widespread apostasy of the evangelical church in creating a mass class of improperly-discipled people whom the Lord loves and does not want in hell.   If this is a move of God, and we strongly suspect that it is, Servant can write his questionable articles until Jesus comes back, but he cannot stop the move of the Holy Spirit in orchestrating this flood, however bad it looks to the carnally-minded.    Ditto for Piper, MacArthur and anyone else on the long list of Christian celebrities who got that way by pandering to legalized adulterers and hindering authentic repentance from this sin.  This holy wave will be clearly distinguishable from increased last days evil, due to the celibacy and reconciliation that will accompany it.  Blaming and demonizing  the truth-tellers is pointless as well, because we only lay out the facts and encourage people toward sound avenues of self-study, leaving the rest up to the Holy Spirit.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  –  Ephesians 5:11

www.standerinfamilycourt.com

7 Times Around the Jericho Wall |  Lets Repeal Unilateral Divorce!   

 

 


 


 

 

 

The Gospel According to David Servant (versus We of the “Divine Divorce Doctrine”) – Part 2

DServant2by Standerinfamilycourt

“…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.   For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,  and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
– 2 Timothy 4:2-4

I’m Living in an Ongoing State of Legalized Adultery with Somebody Else’s Spouse.   Can I Get Away With It?

We continue with our response to Part 2 of a three-part blog series  written by David Servant which denies that all non-widowed remarriage is, as Jesus repeatedly stated it was, an ongoing state of adultery which needs to be renounced to gain or recover one’s inheritance in the kingdom of God.     Our response to Part 1 of this series can be read on this link.     We find ourselves rejoicing that this post is only about half the length of installment 1, especially when we see that the first couple of paragraphs amount to nothing but demonizing ad hominem and substanceless sarcasm.

Our serial polygamy apologist makes this statement, after crowing for bit about how many folks have lined up to be told what their itching ears long to hear,

“There is, of course, a diversity of opinion within the body of Christ regarding divorce and remarriage, but Divine Divorce Proponents (or the “Marriage Permanence Community” as they refer to themselves) are definitely on the fringes.”

Indeed,  due to the carnality of so-called “Christians” and the torrent of false conversions in the body of Christ, there is quite a diversity of opinion,  but there remains only one redeemed path to the kingdom of God.    I defy Mr. Servant to name one Old or New Testament saint who wasn’t “on the fringes”, as indicated by their jailings, beatings, beheadings, crucifixions, etc.     There should not be this “diversity of opinion” nor any pridefulness  in it.   Servant’s boasting is not good.  Pastors should encourage Christ-following, not self-worship.    Jesus said, once the salt has lost its savor, it is good for nothing except to be trampled under foot.     

The Comforter of the Covetous continues,

“The narrow way is apparently much narrower than most of us have ever imagined. And hundreds of thousands of professing Christian married couples are going to be very surprised when God casts them into hell for keeping their marriage vows…”

David, you’re not paying attention!   The reason there’s an issue in the first place is that at least one of those “maligned” parties isn’t keeping their marriage vows to their true spouse, and in a lot of cases, its both of them.   It doesn’t matter what they “profess” if they ignore God’s word and mock the blood of Jesus with the conduct their very lives.   And yes, because only a faithful handful of the saints are telling them the truth (and those don’t tend to run multi-million dollar mega media ministries), these people are going to be VERY surprised when they find themselves in hell as Paul warns (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 13:4), and as Jesus warns (Matt. 5:27-32 and Luke 16:18-31).    Hellbound, unless they repent, for that matter, are their false shepherds who knew what God’s word plainly says, but still discounted it, and who made humanistic excuses while they went right on misusing the Lord’s name to perform vain acts,  namely, solemnizing adulterous weddings.   And yes, Jesus made it very clear that the teeming millions would be on the broad path leading to destruction, while only a few would find (or even be attracted to) the narrow path.    Following  blind guides almost guarantees this, unless here and there, the Holy Spirit convicts a person to listen to the dissenting minority voice long enough to be persuaded to do their own research.   The narrow way has at no time in history been any narrower than God’s word, and specifically no narrower than the words of Christ and Paul explicitly state.

As before, it’s necessary to cut through a whole bunch of myopic, self-serving Servant rhetoric.    Which isn’t difficult at all….

During conversations with Divine Divorce Proponents, I’ve actually wondered if I’m on Candid Camera. The conversations seem unreal. I can hardly believe I’m having a discussion with professing Christians who advocate that hundreds of thousands of Christian couples should divorce. Here is what one of them recently wrote in response to my claim that God hates divorce (as God Himself said in Mal. 2:16):

‘God does not hate the divorce that is a repentance of adultery. God loves repentance. The angels rejoice. By not being on the right side, you are labelling what God loves (repentance), as what God hates, you make yourself an enemy of the cross. Christianity calls for self denial and loving the truth even when it hurts. There are many who have a ticket to hell because they have remarried into adultery. Their destiny will only change if the adultery by remarriage comes to an end. Abandoning such adultery is an act of repentance, which God loves, not hates.’

“So, they claim, God sometimes loves it when Christians divorce and families are divided. In fact, the angels rejoice when Christians—who have been previously divorced—divorce again. Those who don’t agree with this view are “enemies of the cross.” One zealous Divine Divorce Proponent believes that great revival would come to America if all the Christians who have been previously married and divorced would divorce again.

“Divine Divorce Proponents actually believe that a person could be a believing, born-again, self-sacrificing, devoted, fruitful, unashamed follower of Jesus in every sense, even one who spends decades as a missionary to a remote region in an impoverished nation, but if that person dies in the state of being married a second time while his or her original spouse is still alive, that person will be cast into hell. Stranger still, if their original spouse dies one second before they die, they will go to heaven, as the death of their former spouse will release them from their “adulterous marriage.” If you are a divorced and remarried Christian, you not only need Jesus’ death to inherit eternal life. You also need the death of your original spouse at least one second before you die.”

As discussed in the previous blog, Servant rejects the authority and most especially, the application, of what Jesus stated in Matthew 19:6 and 8:

“So they are no longer [never again – by the present-indicative verb tense] 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 [ever – by the perfect indicative verb tense] been this way.”

We shouldn’t take Christ’s words so literally, Servant says.   After all, He said a thing or two that were clearly hyperbolic,  that He didn’t actually mean to be applied, especially to our own lives.  That reduces what sounds like a commandment to any reasonable person, to merely a “design”, an “ideal”, a “purpose”, or “God’s best”  – a target that it’s OK to miss, in other words.    It’s easy to see how someone who denies that Jesus meant that a one-flesh (sarx mia, as contrasted with the hen soma referred to in 1 Cor. 6:16) entity, never again to be seen by God as two,  is supernaturally created by God’s hand as an essential element of holy matrimony….would therefore find it that much easier to also deny the three separate times Jesus flatly stated that any third party “marrying” the God-joined spouse of another living person under immoral civil laws, was REALLY entering into a state of ongoing adultery.      It would explain why Servant  would presume to think that God can be removed from that original unconditional covenant, and not only that, but why a holy God would turn right around and participate in a second purported covenant that by its very nature repudiates the first one.

Our guess is that David Servant rails against other non-marriages that are civilly legal, but does not cry in his (root) beer when those purported “spouses” legally and physically sever when coming to Christ, and as a consequence of repentence, those “families” are broken up.    You see, there’s repentance and there’s repentance.     Socially acceptable “Christian” sin isn’t supposed to be covered under 1 Cor. 6: 9-10, we hear.   We must make a distinction between adultery and adultery-lite, the purported “one-time act”, Servant tells us.   Heck, most contemporary English bible translations these days don’t even list adultery in Galatians 5:19-21 (even though the original manuscripts did), so the legalized variety “can’t” be all that soul-destroying.    “Christian” sin is different from unchurched sin, apparently, especially when legalized adulterers volunteer on every church project they can, and they give profusely out of their gratitude for the “grace” they’ve received.    Our guess is that a lesbian pair, if admitted as such to a grace-filled church, would give and serve even more than the heterosexuals, and the children of that “family” would suffer just as much initial emotional pain if their parents repented of the illicit union it is built upon.

We pointed out last time that divorce is an entirely manmade construct that is not only immoral, but equally impossible.…unless you reject outright what Christ said in Matthew 19:5-6, and 8 (the straightforward meaning of which Servant has stated in this blog series that he does indeed reject).   Servant insists that divorce is a provision from God for “hard-heartedness”, and claims that Jesus endorsed it for “sexual immorality”.    The preponderance of hard, objective biblical and historical evidence shows otherwise.

Hence, contrary to the emotional appeal above, the God-joined couple is only “divorced” in men’s eyes, and the subsequent faux couple is only “married” in men’s eyes.    Jesus would have no other basis for stating on three separate occasions, “EVERYONE who marries one who has been put away enters into an ongoing state of adultery.”     Paul would have no other basis for stating at least twice in his epistles, “So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.”  On the testimony of two witnesses, a fact is established.     Servant’s alibis cannot hold together based on scripture, so he has no choice but to twist scripture and appeal to emotions.     He behaves just like the legalized sodomy advocates in the harlot church do.

We demonstrated in the last rebuttal that the context of Malachi 2 is such that the cherry-picked verse 2:16, “God hates divorce” cannot be applied to the same sort of adulterous remarriage it is actually rebuking.   It would have been better if the spokesperson for marriage indissolubility whom he is taking to task had taken the time to point this out (and perhaps they did, but this part wasn’t quoted), nonetheless, it seems that anyone who runs a ministry, writes books, does recordings, and presumes to teach others, would at least do an honest enough reading of Malachi 2 to discern this for himself.   It’s not that hard.

“One zealous Divine Divorce Proponent believes that great revival would come to America if all the Christians who have been previously married and divorced would divorce again.”       This assertion sounds a bit misquoted.   Rather than mass repentance bringing on true revival, the enormous fear of today’s false shepherds is that the evangelical excesses of the past 50 years will be exposed and undone as a result of true revival, and the present trickle of repenting prodigals severing themselves from their adulterous unions will become a flood.    God’s mercy is such that it would have to be this way, but one who does not believe that this sin is sending millions to hell would never see it that way.    That fear, we would argue, is the core motivation behind this blog series we are rebutting.    The fact is, that no matter how many blogs are written on either side of the issue,  revival is in God’s hands, and no human force will stop what Servant fears.   A man whose record is clean (or repented) and whose confidence is in the Lord does not fear such purifying moves of God.

“Divine Divorce Proponents actually believe that a person could be a believing, born-again, self-sacrificing, devoted, fruitful, unashamed follower of Jesus in every sense, even one who spends decades as a missionary to a remote region in an impoverished nation, but if that person dies in the state of being married a second time while his or her original spouse is still alive, that person will be cast into hell.”

On the contrary, we scurrilous “DDD-ers” actually believe that such a person (“believing, born-again, self-sacrificing, devoted, fruitful, unashamed follower of Jesus in every sense”), when confronted with God’s true and plain word on this for the spin-less first time, has a heart to study it deeply for themselves, and has a heart for the eternal souls of everyone around them, including the faux spouse and watching family members.   We also point out that some people who spend decades on the mission field are not necessarily disciples of Christ.  Some words of Jesus quickly come to mind here (probably “hyperbole” which can therefore be safely ignored):

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?   Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:   he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.   But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
(Matthew 7:21-23;  Luke 6:46-50)

The kingdom of God is a place where the King is OBEYED.

SERVANT:  “If you are a divorced and remarried Christian, you not only need Jesus’ death to inherit eternal life. You also need the death of your original spouse at least one second before you die.”

This little sarcastic dart almost does not merit acknowledgment because it shows so little fear of God.    However, there is a substantive misconception to be addressed for the benefit of the readers.     People occasionally contact our pages saying their original covenant spouse has died while they were in their remarriage.    They still don’t have peace, and they want to be right with God.    We always ask them if they’ve fully confessed their remarriage as being the  ongoing state of sin that it is, and a misrepresentation of Christ’s role as the Bridegroom before a watching world.   Quite often, they have even more to confess, even as church-goers, such as adulterous cohabitation before they legalized.  This confession must come from a chastened heart, which is not possible if they have believed a false shepherd who tells them the things that Servant tells them, especially the prevalent falsehood that Christ’s blood “covers” unrepented, ongoing sin.     It is the Holy Spirit who leads them to our pages if they are indeed born again, and they will say something like, “well, I’m seeing that it was wrong, but no, I haven’t been on my face before God.”    It’s important to understand that only sin confessed as sin, and then repudiated and ceased is forgiven.    Furthermore,  they are only coming to realize at that point that entering into a marriage Jesus called adulterous represents a decision to live in permanent unforgiveness and irreconciliation toward their sole and exclusive one-flesh.     Jesus made it plain that living in a state of ongoing unforgiveness sends a person to hell just as surely as living in a state of papered-over legalized adultery.     This, too, must be confessed and renounced even if it only comes after the death of that one-flesh, whom their own sinful attitude and example may have caused to die in legalized adultery.   Jesus said that the man who divorces his wife after consummation of the marriage (that is, all Gentile believers who do not practice kiddushin, Jewish betrothal) and marries another causes her to commit adultery.   Furthermore, they are not sarx mia with their current legal spouse until God makes them so, but only hen soma until then.   We advise that this requires new vows, and perhaps even a short separation for the sake of the watching children, as the previous (second) vow to repudiate the prior covenant vow with God and their true spouse was never valid in God’s sight.     One cannot validly vow to enter into and remain in a state of sin that will send them and others to hell if fulfilled.    Servant is here shamefully trivializing the process of repentance and restitution, and the facetious little anecdote he offered up next, suggesting murder as the perfect solution, couldn’t possibly indict him more as a mocker of God.   Woe to him if he does not repent on his face!

“Naturally, the churches and denominations that embrace Divine Divorce Doctrine do not admit into their membership anyone who has been previously divorced and remarried. Such folks who do seek membership are told that they must separate/divorce until their original spouse is dead. Obviously understanding what an awkward and dangerous thing it is to demand that people divorce to qualify for membership, it is interesting to read the attempts by Divine Divorce Churches to soften their official doctrinal positions. For example, the doctrinal positon of the Southeastern Mennonite Conference reads, “While the final decision to separate from an adulterous relationship [marriage] would be voluntary, God requires it for reconciliation to Him.” Translation: “Although it may seem that we require divorced and remarried people to separate in order to join us, in order to avoid lawsuits from people whom our new members divorce, here is our disclaimer: We don’t force anyone to separate; we only inform them that they will go to hell if they don’t.”

Given the full discussion above, it should be amply obvious why it is sinful for any church to take an adulterously-wed couple in as a couple, and just as sinful to perform such weddings to the desecration of their sanctuary and egregious breach of the third commandment.   Kudos to the handful of churches  who love the Lord more than they love the filthy lucre that causes most churches to throw souls under the bus   Whited sepulchers, Jesus called them, full of dead men’s bones!    What does Mr. Servant do when Adam and Steve show up on his doorstep flashing their wedding rings?   Do they do as one church in the Nashville area does, and onboard the mortal sin right along with the sinners?   Or does he deem the homosexual souls more precious and worthy of being told the truth than the heterosexual souls?   The latter would be our guess, based on what he’s professed in this debate.   While reasonable precautions should be taken against lawsuits that would lead to bad stewardship of resources, at the end of the day, ministries of God must not cower in fear of man’s lawsuits where eternal souls are on the line!    It is our hope that these Mennonite churches are not taking in legalized adulterers or legalized sodomites until they have fully repented.   Upholding the no-excuses sanctity of authentic holy matrimony typically isn’t a denomination thing.    There are liberal and conservative wings to denominations like the Mennonites and the Church of Christ.    There are individual Baptist, Congregational, Word of God churches and individual churches in other denominations, a small but growing number, whose God-fearing pastor  “goes rogue” in the eyes of the Pharasaical denominational establishment to be fully loyal to Spirit of God in this matter, taking the flak as necessary.   We’d love to have a comprehensive directory of them to hand out to longsuffering covenant marriage standers and repenting prodigals who find themselves without a church due to their courageous walks.    By contrast, we have megachurches bursting at the seams with people who were persuaded by the hucksters that they could come to Christ on their own terms.

Servant staggers off next into the very typical “look who agrees with me” argument.    He cites a 1990 book, Divorce and Remarriage: Four Christian Views.     Did Jesus have four different views on this (or any) topic?   Believe it or not, there are still Spirit-led seminarians and scholars who publicly remind us of the uncompromised biblical view, even if it sometimes costs them their job.    Dr. Gordon Wenham, the late Dr. Leslie McFall, Dr. Wibur Pickering, Drs. John K Tarwater and David W. Jones, Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon, to name just a few.   Come Judgment Day, the only valid question is, “who agrees with Jesus?”   The surest way to detect a counterfeit anything is to hold it up to the genuine article.

Servant trudges on:   “As you might imagine, Divine Divorce Doctrine is attractive to professing Christians who want out of their current, subsequent marriages. If they’ve been previously married and divorced, Divine Divorce Doctrine gives them the justification they need to, once again, break their marriage vows. Obviously, breaking one’s marriage vows makes one a liar, and one would think that Divine Divorce Proponents would be just as concerned that Scripture warns that all liars will end up in “the lake that burns with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:6) as they are that Scripture warns that no adulterer will inherit God’s kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

“Obviously, if after a “divine divorce,” a Divine Divorce Proponent were to remarry yet another time prior to the death of his original spouse, that would indicate that he no longer believes his doctrine (or perhaps really didn’t believe it in the first place, but only utilized it to escape his previous marriage).

As we clarified in the first rebuttal, the only “divine divorce” (a purifying severance and sending away, rather than a trip through “family court”) is recorded in Ezra, chapters 9 and 10.    Believers are expressly forbidden by 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 from availing themselves of family court to “dissolve” a covenant marriage, which union actually constitutes a mini-church, whether or not there’s an unsaved spouse.   All divorce is manmade and cannot be termed as “divine” under any circumstances.   However, if immoral manmade laws got us into sin, it may be practical to use immoral manmade laws to get us out of sin, provided we are not availing ourselves of the unconstitutional aspects of those laws by forcing a petition on a counterfeit spouse we should not have “married”, rather than prayerful mutual consent and agreed petition, with permanent separation in the meantime.

There might be some limited, occasional truth to this charge of Servant’s that some might abuse the one-flesh and covenant principles to terminate an adulterous “marriage” on false pretenses, but the freedom thereby obtained comes at a very steep price — celibacy, or reconciliation with their true spouse, which may be many years in the future.   Even so, it’s far better for both souls that they are out of it, and God can always bring the motives into alignment later, in the rare instance where that’s needed.  While not personally in this repented-prodigal situation, “standerinfamilycourt” has met dozens of saints who have divorced out of adulterous unions in obedience to Christ.    To date, and to the best of our knowledge, all but one or two have remained celibate for many years or decades, and even the ones who would be in a position to remarry with no fault biblically, because they have never been part of a one-flesh (sarx mia) entity, are still in no hurry to do so.   These saints abhor the thought of even the appearance of immorality and the example it would seem to set.  One such lady (and probably the one quoted above by Servant), after publishing her testimony, has lived for several years in near-poverty while devoting her life to the sort of high quality scholarship needed to be an effective conscience to the pastors and seminarians who are beginning to come to conviction on this matter.    To the best of our knowledge, even the few repenters who have married righteously for the first time have only married a never-married person or a widowed one.

We have already addressed the sticky topic of “breaking wedding vows”,  and would reiterate that an adulterer’s wedding vows are no more valid than a sodomite’s, which if fulfilled, will constitute a ticket to hell.    One the other hand, God has this to say to the one who would repudiate valid, eligible vows, civil laws notwithstanding:

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

Empty, false vows yank God’s chain, and repudiated first vows are wholly unacceptable in His sight.

Anyone who is already breaking the 1st, 7th, 8th and 10th commandments (self-worshipping idolatry, adultery, theft and coveting) is surely breaking the 9th (false witness) by representing that the God-joined one-flesh spouse of another living person is their own.   This is precisely why a mere 60 years ago, no God-fearing shepherd would have performed such a wedding, and why Paul states twice that nobody in this sinful state is fit for a pulpit or for church leadership, in addition to forfeiting their inheritance in the kingdom of God.

Servant:
“Interestingly, I was introduced to Divine Divorce Doctrine through a Facebook debate regarding a formerly-faithful Divine Divorce Proponent who recently remarried and is now being shunned by the faithful. I suspect their ranks are full of defectors who come to terms with the post-divorce discovery that God has not given them a gift of celibacy and that Paul’s words, “it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Cor. 7:9) contain some relevancy.”

So, this last remark indicates that Servant has only heard of our community within the last three months, and is shooting from the hip without much worthy study, which requires some considerable time and digging due to the suppression of unfavorable early church history, translation fraud and fraudulent commentary in most contemporary English bible versions, failure of pastors to teach their congregations the sound principles of hermeneutics, and other severe moral compromises in both the evangelical and Roman Catholic churches.    Someone who comes out of remarriage adultery based on the conviction of its immorality and eternal destination typically takes at least a year to study the topic before taking life-altering action, which is only prudent and God-honoring.

“Standerinfamilycourt” has firsthand knowledge of the prodigal and apostate to whom Servant is referring in this remark about a defector “coming to terms” with his presumed right to sexual autonomy despite the fact that he is not widowed or eligible to “marry” the wife of another man who is still living .    The covenant marriage community is grieved that satan persuaded him to sell off his inheritance in the kingdom of God for his bowl of pottage, crushing the faith of his bewildered adolescent children.  He is a relatively young man whose covenant wife (whom he now appears to be slandering as “unsaved”, rather than backslidden) unilaterally divorced him to adulterously remarry.    He did not divorce from her willingly, and as I understand it, he stood for about four years before caving to the flesh and very recently “marrying” another man’s estranged wife.  He found his excuse in the deceitful rationalization that God does not join pagan and mixed-faith marriages, despite numerous OT and NT instances to the contrary, even though he has falsified the underlying facts about the soul-condition of his true one-flesh (unless she actually got saved first).   There are some other things to be observed over a period of time about this man.    He continues to be a highly legalistic person, chastising the saints for things that are clearly not heaven-or-hell matters, like celebrating Christmas and (the women) for not wearing a head covering, which can’t be a very beckoning-home thing for his true prodigal wife.    While he was for a season a very articulate spokesman for the indissolubility of covenant holy matrimony, and had thousands of followers, he still never seemed to express any public anguish for the soul of his one-flesh wife or for her eternal destination, which should be the main motivation for standing celibate for one’s covenant marriage for as long as restoration requires.    Such a brittle faith was sure to crumble under pressure, especially in a relatively recent convert.    This kind of thing will happen from time to time, and naturally, the godless finger points there instead of toward the dozens of others for each individual falling away, who have stood celibate for decades under the right heart motives.    Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth.

Celibacy is never an innate “gift” to someone who remains part of an inseverable one-flesh entity, wrongfully estranged.    That said, God equips us to our kingdom assignment if our heart remains right.    But inasmuch as Servant is again bastardizing scripture to prop up the false Lutheran claim to sexual entitlement, it’s time to shine the floodlight once more on Servant’s sloppy hermeneutics in citing 1 Corinthians 7:9 as justification for the unwidowed “divorced” (that is, the physically and legally estranged) to be controlled by their flesh instead of walking in compassion for their true one-flesh estranged spouse, in obedience to Christ.

Any responsible reading of 1 Corinthians 7 takes note of the fact that Paul runs through a sequence of instructions for various marital status groups in the church.    Irresponsible readings hijack the instructions intended for one group and try to suture it onto a group whom Paul was not addressing at that point.    Responsible bible scholars point out that there is a symmetry that holds throughout 1 Corinthians 7 where Paul rhythmically addresses the male and then the female in each group, as follows:

All parties:  verses 1-2.  The reference to “own” is crucial here,
Intact holy matrimony according to Matthew 19:4-6:  verses 3-6
– Widowers and widows – verses 7 – 9.  
Note that “unmarried” does not refer to anyone legally estranged here.  There was no Greek word for widowed male, so the word “unmarried” (here appearing in  plural male form) was the closest word of translation to English for “widower”.    Paul clearly did not believe that man’s divorce dissolved holy matrimony, but only death does.   It is unconscionable that most contemporary commentators omit mention of this fact, nevertheless, many clergy have discerned it.
Distressed, intact holy matrimony, especially due to unequal yoking (but not limited to that distress) verses 10 and 11
– Estranged holy matrimony
(which would include today’s “divorced” but not the illicitly “remarried”) verses 12-16
– Betrothed, never-marrieds,
referring to the Jewish custom of kiddushin, contracted betrothal where a bride-price has been paid and legal status of wife already conferred on the unconsummated bride – verses 25 – 28

Note that there are no verses addressing anyone as though they have a permanently severed marriage, other than widowed people.    Paul regarded the “divorced” as still married, translation issues notwithstanding.    Even when he refers to the estranged wife “remaining unmarried”, he uses the term agamois, which literally means “without a wedding” in the Greek.   Since fornication was also banned, the best translation is “remain celibate or be reconciled to her husband.”       

The rhythm pauses here for verses 17-24 while Paul addresses all, but discusses vocations and religious trappings applying to all groups in the same contexts as cited in the verses above.   For example, a married (intact or estranged) or widowed slave or Jew are called to remain in the state they are called, but this does not mean that they are to remain in an immoral state that prevailed when they were called.   A prostitute, pimp or pornographer is not to remain in that state just because they were called while in it.   Neither is a serial polygamist (unforgiver and covetous person), nor a “married” sodomite to remain in those states.     Note that the only two instances where Paul is giving explicit permission to remarry  is to widows and widowers, and to marry for the first time to (and among) the virgins (never married), not the civilly-divorced whose true marriages are undissolved by death.    In particular, verse 15 refers to being free to follow Christ – dedoulotai (root word: douloo),  a condition that existed both before and after any estrangement from the departure of a one-flesh spouse, not “free to remarry” (not at all mentioned) presumed just because the marriage bond dedotai (root word: deo) is imagined to be severed before death.    Servant would interpret verse 7:8-9 in a way that distorts both content and context, and in a way that is inconsistent with other clear scripture on the same topic, and finally he would interpret this verse in a manner that conflicts with the unanimous practice and teaching of the early church fathers.   Sloppy, biased hermeneutics here.

Servant next reiterates his highly inaccurate claims about the foundations of the biblical marriage “doctrine” (God’s word rightly divided).    Sound hermeneutics rest on Comparison and Consultation as two of the five essential principles of rightly dividing God’s word.    Hence, Servant’s  narrow list of just four purported scriptures he claims this “doctrine” is “proof-texted”,  and by his NIV-regurgitated commentary on them (whose publisher Zondervan is also the proud publisher of the Queen James Bible, we note, a firm which sees fit to keep the NIV “culturally relevant” every few years), Servant gives the truth of God a very short shrift.  This was covered in detail in Part 1 of our rebuttal.   Sound hermeneutics relate OT scriptures to their NT counterparts, also to culture and historical events that give scripture its context, to Pauline epistles, and prophetic illustrations that relate back to what Jesus said.  Observations and analysis are made on word usage patterns, comparing where words were and were not used, and analyzing on that basis whether contemporary translations are as accurate as they should be.   In general, we find they are not, and we would argue that the only reasonably reliable contemporary English NT translation on the market today is The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken,  by Dr. Wilbur Pickering, first released in 2013.    The rest of Servant’s commentary flows from his rejection of the clear statements of Jesus and Paul that original holy matrimony is indissoluble by any act of men other than death, and that everyone who purports to “marry” a civilly-divorced person enters into an ongoing state of adultery.     There is no reasonable response to this emotional manipulation except to say, “bunk”, and he’d better pay attention to the warned eternal outcomes of his theories.

Next, Servant claims that Moses set a standard that Jesus “endorsed”.   This is a clear distortion of the sermon on the mount.   Mosaic law was fine so long as animal sacrifices could be offered up on a daily basis as the means of atonement, and obedience to God’s commandments could be deferred on that basis, rather than coming from a heart of obedience.    Clearly, this was not a moral standard worthy of the kingdom of God in several matters we see illustrated in Matthew 5 and 6.   Under the New Covenant where every truly regenerated person is indwelt with the Holy Spirit, a Person who is God, it should be clear that we’re done with Moses as our likeable, lenient “sheriff”.     I do not intend to get into a major debate here over the additional misguided tomes that Servant has written on this Moses topic – Proverbs 10:19.    We either obey God from the heart under the power of the Holy Spirit, or we hide behind Moses as our excuse not to.   This should eliminate any speculation over some sort of New Covenant “allowance” being made for the hardness of our hearts.    All hard hearts fall outside the kingdom of God, including those that would take their own revenge instead of forgiving.   It’s pretty clear where Servant is coming down.     All the true Christ-follower needs to know here, is that when Jesus was challenged on the indissolubility of holy matrimony, He chose to talk about the best part of Moses’ authorship, Genesis 2:21-24.    He purposefully elected to contrast a higher moral law that was “from the beginning” to Deuteronomy 24:1-4  the obscure regulation that had been so often hijacked and misapplied by the unrighteous–to the destruction of many souls, and this hijacking wickedness continues today.   Once again, a key principle of biblical worksmanship is to interpret unclear scripture passages in a way that shows consistency with the clearest ones, and most especially those straight from the mouth of Jesus.   We don’t know for sure what the “indecency” of Deuteronomy 24 was, but we have several strong clues that point away from post-marital issues,  and toward a condition that existed  both before and after the nuptials.   Therefore it is invalid to use Deuteronomy 24 as an excuse not to forgive and reconcile with our true one-flesh, and release the counterfeit spouse to do the same.     As stated in Romans 7: 1-3, we died to that Old Covenant (our “ex”, now deceased),  and we are to please and obey our new Bridegroom now.

In case anyone missed the importance of rightly dividing the usage of verb tenses,  we have this case-in-point:

“Thus, if the adultery that Jesus said is committed by some divorce and remarriage is to be understood as literal, physical adultery, it can only occur a single time when the second marriage is consummated.”

Without exception, every time Jesus says that “marrying” another person while our God-joined one-flesh partner lives is entering into a state of ongoing adultery,  He used the present-indicative verb tense / mood,   According to the source ntgreek.org,

“The present tense usually denotes continuous kind of action. It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’ When used in the indicative mood, the present tense denotes action taking place or going on in the present time. “

There is no scholarly support whatsoever for the popular evangelical notion that this is a “one-time act”, since in not one single instance of His discussion is the word “commits” captured by the apostle-author in the aortist verb tense.    In fact, logically, if this were the case, Jesus was blathering and wasting His holy breath on the thrice-repeated warning, was He not?   If there was no eternal consequence for this sin of “marrying” someone else’s spouse, as Servant and many other contemporary cowards suggest without supportable basis, why would Jesus imply that there was?   Why even talk about an infraction that is past, futile and not actionable?

Servant appears to foresee this scholarly shortcoming:

“Once we’ve arrived at a harmonious, coherent interpretation of how our unchanging, gracious and loving God views and has always viewed divorce and remarriage, there is much less of a need to engage in hair-splitting debates over Greek nuances, historical suppositions, technical analyses of similar texts, and strained theories about the indissolubility of marriage.”

In other words, “Bah, hermeneutics, schmermeneutics!  Let’s revert back to humanistic reasoning and emotions.”     This is a man who knows that his work has no integrity, rather than a man with limited knowledge of the principles.

Servant goes on to conclude this installment by making the usual hypergrace claims that “it’s all good”,  and that this scripture warning from the book of Hebrews (like the ones on hard-heartedness which leads to falling away) has no application:

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.   Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.   How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?   For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’   And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”   It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Hebrews 10:26-29

Christian political commentator David French recently wrote an article asking Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?   He’s recognizing that due to the flood of false converts who populate, and even lead, many of our churches, much of the problem actually warms the pews with their posteriors every week.   Far from following the model of church discipline Paul outlined in 1 Corinthians 5, people were allowed to think they can come to Christ on their own terms:  “Come as you are, stay as you came”, and shepherds grew fat, Ezekiel 34-style as a result.    As French observes:

“Some would argue that American Christian culture is being replaced by a separate, feel-good faith called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism — a vague belief that while God exists, he’s not particularly involved in human affairs and mainly wants people to be nice and happy. It’s a common moral code that applies to the conduct of one’s personal affairs; it is utterly inadequate, however, when it comes to addressing real human conflict and substantial cultural clashes. It provides no systematic moral worldview, and it ultimately leaves judgment of right and wrong to the individual conscience. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of Millennial culture is that the failure to be “nice” is often met with the most brutal of reprisals. It’s okay — mandatory, even — to be cruel to the cruel and intolerant of the intolerant.”    

Servant has been shown to be a blasphemer of  God (and has also been shown to come very close to blaspheming even the Holy Spirit, calling the inspired, straightforward, spinless word of God a “doctrine of demons”) in his zeal to keep adulterous unions together and have true spouses remain unreconciled and unforgiving  – a goal that satan himself shares with Servant.    This has a major heaven-or-hell consequence for many that this wolf is denying.   He has shown himself to be an exceedingly sloppy workman with God’s word in several instances, and at the end even claims that concern for this lack of integrity with God’s word is of no consequence.    Woe to anyone addicted to his ear-tickling!

Servant suggests in one of his three videos that the idea of holy matrimony being unconditionally indissoluble, and violations of this moral absolute being a hell-bound offense if not repented, is “entirely new doctrine” and was “never practiced before in the church”.    He then points to the Mennonites  (discussed above) who have always practiced it.   Until 1973, the Assemblies of God operated by by-laws adopted at the denomination’s inception that forbid its pastors from performing any marriage where either party had a living, estranged spouse, and forbid its associated churches from employing a remarried pastor, or one who had married a divorced woman.    Even the Anglican Church refused to perform weddings involving divorced people until 2002, notwithstanding the heretical, humanistic elements of the Westminster Confession that would have allowed it.   Servant links us to a “friend” of his who apparently runs a website on early church history, then makes the hollow claim that this friend knows of no instance where marriage indissolubility was practiced in the early church discipline.      This “friend” has apparently missed all of these writings from letters and commentaries by bishops of 1st through 4th century churches, while not providing a single example of a church father who recognized remarriage as holy matrimony:

Justin Martyr (151 AD) “Whosoever marries a woman who has been divorced from another husband commits adultery. According to our Teacher, they are sinners who contract a second marriage.”

Tertullian (200 AD) “Again He [Jesus] said, ‘They shall be two in one flesh’. . . not three or four.”

Origen (248 AD) “Just as a woman is an adulteress, even though she seems to be married to a man, while a former husband yet lives, so also the man who seems to marry who has been divorced does not marry her, but, according to the declaration of our Savior, he commits adultery with her.”

Basil the Great (375 AD) “A man who marries another man’s wife who has been taken away from him will be charged with adultery.“

Jerome (390 AD) “If she left him on account of his crimes, he is still her husband and she may not take another. . . . a second may not be taken while the first one lives.”

St Augustine (419 AD) “A woman begins to be the wife of no later husband unless she has ceased to be the wife of a former one. She will cease to be the wife of a former one, however, if that husband should die, not if he commits adultery.”

We mention this very briefly here in anticipation that Servant’s third blog (not yet published) might make this false claim, since it’s in the second video.    If so, we will provide more thorough links, sources and examples of these important facts of early church history in that rebuttal.

For every mocker is an abomination to the Lord, and his communication is with the simple.   – Proverbs 3:32


www.standerinfamilycourt.com

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

Does Abolishing “No-Fault” Have Parallels to Abolishing the Slave Trade?

Amazing-Grace-movie-posterby Standerinfamilycourt

Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
For the Lord will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.
– Proverbs 22:22-23

Do not err, my brethren. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And if those that corrupt mere human families are condemned to death, how much more shall those suffer everlasting punishment who endeavor to corrupt the Church of Christ, for which the Lord Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, endured the cross, and submitted to death! Whosoever, ‘being waxen fat,’ and ‘become gross,’ sets at nought His doctrine, shall go into Hell. In like manner, every one that has received from God the power of distinguishing, and yet follows an unskillful shepherd, and receives a false opinion for the truth, shall be punished.”
–  St. Ignatius of Antioch, “Epistle To The Ephesians,” c. 105 A.D.

This blogger can still recall reading  Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin many years ago, while absolutely sobbing at the scene where two slave families were about to be cruelly pulled apart in a commercial transaction and sent to different plantations, with absolutely no respect for the God-joined holy one-flesh bond of matrimony between the two covenant husband and wife entities, and their God-ordained bond with their covenant children.

” ‘Mas’r aint to blame, Chloe, and he’ll take care of you and the poor’ … Here he turned to the rough trundle bed full of little woolly heads, and broke fairly down.  He leaned over the back of the chair, and covered his face with his large hands.   Sobs, heavy, hoarse and loud, shook the chair, and great tears fell through his fingers on the floor: just such tears, sir, as you dropped into the coffin where lay your first-born son;  such tears, woman, as you shed when you heard the cries of your dying babe.   For, sir, he was a man, and you are but another man.   And, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, you are but a woman, and, in life’s great straits and mighty griefs, ye feel but one sorrow!

” ‘And now, ‘ said Eliza, as she stood the door, ‘I saw my husband only this afternoon, and I little knew then what was to come.  They have pushed him to the very last standing place, and he told me, to-day, that he was going to run away.  Do try, if you can, to get word to him.  Tell him how I went, and why I went; and tell him I’m going to try and find Canada.  You must give my love to him, and tell him, if I never see him again,’ — she turned away, and stood with her back to them for a moment, and then added, in a husky voice, ‘tell him to be as good as he can, and try and meet me in the kingdom of heaven.’  “

Centuries of this cruelty not only offended God, but had severe consequences on the nations involved, such that the regime eventually confronted God’s hand of long-awaited justice in abolishing that offense against humanity.   More importantly, because of a small band of godly saints who were faithful and long-suffering to carry out their Holy Spirit assignments, retaining their resolve and their trust in Him in the face of overwhelming opposition, God’s more severe judgment on at least one nation (and probably two nations) was averted.

“Christian” accommodation of so-called “no-fault” unilateral divorce has taken Christ’s church in the western world into the deep pit of serial polygamy in just two generations.   And what, exactly, do we mean by “serial polygamy” in this comparison?     Quite simply, it is using man’s immoral civil laws to reject the spouse God joined us to, in order to “marry” another while the rejected spouse lives  – something that Jesus called ongoing adultery at least five separate times in canonized scripture.     There are many excuses offered up for this, and there are even more luminary “men of God” who will tell you it’s okay under “God’s grace” based on some man-contrived excuse.      However,  God repeatedly said, in Old Testament and in New Testament times. it is not okay, nor is it without horrible consequences for families, church and nation.

Those harsh, inevitable generational consequences don’t “sift” through the humanistic web of excuses in order to selectively apply themselves according to the Westminster Confession-sanctioned “exceptions”.   Those consequences ultimately come from the hand of God, as thistles and thorns in the Garden; from the One who entertains none of the human excuses.    He is the One whose hand individually creates each one-flesh union as an inseverable entity, Who then covenants unconditionally with that individual entity, then declares that they will never be two again in this life.    This universal indissolubility of holy matrimony is why Jesus called all non-widowed remarriage adultery — the original parties are still married in God’s eyes, and anyone else subsequently posing as “married to” either of the two original covenant spouses are bearing false witness to the world while they are  defiling their vessels.   Pastors who perform “weddings” where there is an estranged, living spouse on either side are therefore violating the Third Commandment by misusing the name of the Lord to attribute to Him a vain act.

Though only one spouse wants out of the  holy matrimony covenant of their youth, a scene similar to the slave sale in Uncle Tom’s Cabin is played out in “family courts” across the land on a daily basis, forcibly pulling covenant spouses from each other, and  children from one of their parents (and it’s usually the most responsible and moral of the two, due to the perverse incentives involved), while attempting also to tear and sever the God-joined one-flesh entity created by His hand.   Both spouses and their children are literally reduced to being treated as the chattel property of the prevailing legal regime, with an inexcusable motive to illicitly profit  various parties who are external to the victimized families.

Near the start of SIFC’s post-decree journey through a constitutional appeals case,  amidst outreach efforts to others in the marriage permanence movement,  the establishment of social media pages to advocate for the full repeal of unilateral divorce and to urge profound moral reform in the church, there was also the very influential opportunity to read another book, Amazing Grace by author Eric Metaxas.   This is the story of British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, who became an unusually strong, spirit-led Christ-follower in the days shortly after being elected to the House of Commons.     Thanks to the author’s vivid capture of the details of Wilberforce’s spiritual awakening, we see the arduous journey which followed to build a movement, in the name of the Lord, that ran counter to both the entrenched church and equally-entrenched legal system interests,  and like today,  this threatened some extremely powerful, wealthy economic interests in both institutions.

Metaxas makes it possible to see the strong parallels of the story of this journey to abolish the slave trade with the struggle we are currently in, to abolish all the church and legal system trappings, along with the special economic interests that are adverse to the kingdom of God, and adverse to the God-established “kingdom” and constitutional rights of covenant families.    This book not only deeply inspired this blogger, but in a very real sense, it provided strong insight into the nature of the battle that lay ahead.   This book is a really good read for everyone in the marriage permanence movement, and our blog post about it will hopefully be an interesting, thought-provoking introduction.

( FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC note:   At the present time, author Eric Metaxas adheres to his Eastern Orthodox upbringing which teaches that holy matrimony is dissoluble under some circumstances including adultery.    He aligned strongly with Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and with the political forces of social conservatives who consider unilateral divorce to be an undesirable thing, but not necessarily the central moral issue of the day, nor an intrinsic religious freedom violation.    He most likely would be surprised to read of his contribution to the marriage permanence movement through the book he has written.   He is in a covenant marriage himself, by true biblical standards. )

There were many prevailing obstacles to justice in America and England in the late 18th century that are remarkably similar to roadblocks the “stander” community, and others who advocate the abolition of the vile practice of serial polygamy, must successfully confront today, and must skillfully navigate through.    As with Wilberforce and the broad coalition he helped to form,  skill wasn’t everything, because he “battled not against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities and dark forces in the spiritual realm“,   just as the apostle Paul warned in Ephesians 6.    God’s hand, and awaiting God’s timing were also necessary, so this abomination was very much “prayed down” and “fasted down”,  while the visible events were unfolding by God’s hand in the circumstantial realm over a long period of time.    The encouragement that SIFC would like to leave with readers is the historical evidence that evil, seemingly impossible “mountains” are indeed picked up and thrown into the sea by the hand of God, in response to the faithful prayers, and advocacy efforts of His saints; efforts taking many forms but working together in key ways orchestrated by Him.

So, what all was going on back then to misappropriate the word of God so as to prop up the immoral slave trade?  How did it resemble the backdrop to today’s moral slide of the church and society so that it broadly institutionalized the sin of marrying another while having a living, estranged true spouse, following man’s divorce (that which Jesus clearly and consistently called ongoing adultery)?     Let’s take a look:

  1. Entrenched religious beliefs prevailed that had no true scriptural basis.   England had been a mix of Druid and Catholic rituals for centuries before the Reformation, with Catholicism gaining the upper hand by medieval times.    By the time Wilberforce came of age, it had been about 250 years since Henry VIII had established the Church of England, which retained many characteristics of the Roman Catholic church, despite key doctrinal differences, coming to be known as “High Church” because elaborate liturgy was retained from Roman Catholic liturgy, where the congregation was able to continue worshiping  rather passively rather than pursue true discipleship.    One of the key doctrinal differences between the Church of England and the Rome Church, of course, was the profound disagreement over marriage, both its indissolubility as a sacrament (or not) and the propriety of civil jurisdiction rather than church jurisdiction over it.     Born, as the new Protestant doctrine was, out of a mix of the lusts of Henry and the humanism of Erasmus,  in this particular instance, rightly-divided scripture was still on the side of the Catholics.    However, it was the Anglicans who happened to be and remain in power by 1648 and beyond.   

That said, adherence to Catholicism was still strong in Britain, including belief that priests can absolve sin without the actual cessation of that sin.   Salvation is believed to be imparted by repeated communion rather than a taking up of one’s cross to follow Christ.   Because of the belief that only nuptials between two baptized partners are to be considered “sacramental”, and hence indissoluble,  it is likely that slave marriages were considered dissoluble as best benefitted the trade.

Meanwhile the Westminster Confession of Faith was drafted and ratified in the British Parliament in 1648 just a little more than 100 years after Henry formed the Church of England.   Many aspects of the WCOF were an extrabiblical overreaction to various heresies of Roman Catholicism, while other aspects were appropriate responses to genuine errors in RCC doctrine or to abusive practices that arose in the 300 years just prior, resulting in biblically-supported truth mixed with biblically-unsupported heresy in the total doctrines of the WCOF.

For example, Chapter 3 affirms the Reformed doctrine of predestination: that God foreordained who would be among the elect (and therefore saved), while he passed by those who would be damned for their sins. The confession states that from eternity God did “freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass”.
By God’s decree, “some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.”
As with the Catholics, this doctrine did not promote much soul-care for the Negro slaves, and is biblically unsupported, since there is a distinction between God’s fore-knowledge and fore-ordination.

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

Chapter 17 presents the doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints”, which holds that it is impossible for those effectually called to “fall away” from the state of grace or, in other words, lose their salvation.  This doctrine, in effect, allowed for the powerful to oppress the helpless, without concern that God would ever hold them accountable, since Jesus  was claimed to have died for their future sins.    As has become the case today, it is popular “wisdom” to claim that people have no hope of living a holy life, so the purpose of grace is to attribute Christ’s righteousness to a passive worshiper who may continue on in their transgressions.     In proper context, the term “perseverance of the saints” (referred to several times in the book of Revelation),  actually means quite the opposite of what is declared in the WCOF.    Scripture repeatedly shows that this perseverance means bearing up under persecution without becoming apostate in response.    Just as the WCOF has the effect of deadening the conscience to proclaiming Christ’s standards for lifelong marital faithfulness as being “too high” to realistically attain in the 21st century,  the Confession had the effect of deadening the conscience of those involved in the slave trade to the sanctity of all human families.

Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.  Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, SO THAT THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE AND BE SAVED.   Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root;  THEY BELIEVE FOR A LITTLE WHILE, AND IN TIME OF TEMPTATION THEY FALL AWAY.   The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.   But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with  perseverance.”    –  Luke 8:11-15

Finally, the pivotal Chapter 24 covers Reformed teaching on marriage and divorce. Marriage is to be heterosexual and monogamous (if consecutively so). The purpose of marriage is to provide for the mutual help of husband and wife, the birth of legitimate children, the growth of the church, and preventing “uncleanness”,  according to the confession.   The confession discourages interfaith marriage with non-Christians, Roman Catholics, or “other idolaters”.   In addition, godly persons should not be “unequally yoked” in marriage to “notoriously wicked” persons.  Incestuous marriage, defined according to biblical guidelines, is also prohibited.  (Heretical parts V and VI hold that the only grounds for divorce are “adultery or willful abandonment by a spouse.” )     Jesus and the prophet Malachi, however, held that men are delegated NO authority to dissolve an unconditional covenant to which God remains a party, nor to sever the one-flesh entity God’s hand created.   Only physical death does that, according to the apostle, Paul.   Hence, any discussion about “grounds” in the WCOF becomes utterly moot before the unchanging marriage  law of God, and Henry, self-proclaimed as the first Head of the Church of England, is exposed as the wicked serial polygamist he actually was all along when measured against the biblical standard.

While great atrocities were involved in capturing slaves and transporting them across the ocean, after which they were often cruelly warehoused and their diseases masked until sold, it is clear that slave traders who forced apart one-flesh spouses, and “family court” judges who do so have much in common.  This is true both morally, and in the consequences to society, as well as to the eventual fate of the whole nation due to the resulting corruption of the progeny of those impacted.

The 2007 film version of Amazing Grace  opens with a narrative graphic which reads, “by the late 18th century over eleven million African men, women and children had been taken from Africa to be used as slaves in the West Indies and American colonies …   The slave trade was considered acceptable by all but a few.     Of these, even fewer were brave enough to speak against it.”

By comparison, between 1970 and 2015 (roughly one-tenth of the elapsed time since the commencement of that trade up to Wilberforce’s day), more than three times as many U.S. families had been forcibly “dissolved” in the “family courts” of the 50 states.   Likewise, all but a few of the Christian citizens of these states considered this practice morally acceptable (and fully effectual in God’s eyes despite much scripture to the contrary).    A small but increasing number of these few began to  develop the courage of conviction to suffer the immense social and economic costs of speaking against it.   

2.  The church was profoundly corrupt and slowly dying.    A church that is founded on heresy, expressly in order to facilitate (and propagate forward) sexual sin, as the Church of England indeed was, is doomed and dying from the outset, unless true revival comes along to rescue it.     So is today’s “mega-church” established for much the same purpose, to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those living in open defiance of God’s laws which they disagree with, while having a cover of what in those days was called piety, and in our day would be called “evangelicalism”.   In far too many of these mega-churches, “church discipline” is called out on the wrong party, such as the repenting prodigal who would leave an adulterous, legalized union to return to his or her covenant family,  and far too many churches are led by men and women who are themselves living in legalized adultery with someone else’s God-joined, one-flesh partner rather than with their own.    The scriptures forbidding even this are re-interpreted to “permit” the abomination of consecutive polygamy in the clergy, rendering any protest against LGBTQ(xyz) excesses, instantly hypocritical.    Hence, the literal “husband of one [living] wife”, understood perfectly and consistently practiced by “less-sophisticated” saints for centuries,  of late becomes “one-woman man” (until tomorrow, at least)  in our contemporary bibles.   God’s amazing sense of humor used adultery matchmaker Ashley Madison to debunk that notion a couple of years ago.   How many of those “one woman man” pastors were removed as a result?

But  as it turns out, revival did come and rescue the corrupt Church of England during Wilberforce’s life, and as it happened, God through various circumstances brought several key people into his life while he was still a boy.    Though he was born and raised in the northern province of York, family hardship brought him to live by the age of ten with a wealthy, aristocratic aunt and uncle in Wimbledon, near London, who were close to George Whitefield and other figures of the first Great Awakening.    Author Metaxas describes the conditions in the English church of Wilberforce’s young manhood thusly:

“One’s ‘spirituality’ was confined to one’s rented pew.    One attended one’s church and one stood and one kneeled and one sat at the proper times and did what was required of one, but to scratch beneath this highly lacquered surface was to venture well beyond the pale and invite stares and whispers and certain banishment.   Wilberforce was from the beginning as serious as he was charming and fun-loving, and his sensitive and intellectual nature was now, at Wimbledon, for the first time fed something far more satisfying than the niceties – the thin gruel and weak tea of High Church Anglicanism.”

So then, what historical forces reduced Christ’s English bride to such a debased state, some 200 years after the Reformation?    Unfortunately, the sad answer seems to be — the Reformation itself.    We’ve already visited the  heretical elements of this church’s creed adopted in that same Parliament 100 years earlier than Wilberforce’s day, which formed a rotten foundation upon which those “rented pews” actually sat.

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.  For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say,  “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man,  “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?   Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?   But you have dishonored the poor man.  Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?   Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?
–  James 2:1-7

While today’s spiritual deadness is clearly driven by the pursuit of sexual immorality that has gained the near-universal complicity of contemporary church leadership,  the spiritual deadness of that day was driven by the bloody, mutual, church leader-led violence between Protestants and Catholics which had given Jesus a truly bad name, and had turned people off to religion altogether, creating this ritualistic veneer that was not allowed to go too deep.     The violence, in turn, was driven by the clergy’s thirst for retaining (or gaining) power over the population, causing religious opponents on both sides to be martyred, and causing a series of wars between the “saints”.      (In “standerinfamilycourt’s”  happier days with evangelical friends and intact covenant family, the oft-played board game “Risk” was jokingly dubbed “Evangel” due to the conflict between Christ’s way of building the kingdom of God versus the counterfeit that had taken hold as an evil fruit of the Reformation where Protestants returned Catholic violence and persecution in-kind. )     Of course, all sinful departure from Christ’s methods, be it sexual or be it violent power-grabs “in the name of Jesus”, leads to a hardening of hearts, we are warned, and this leads to falling away (apostasy), notwithstanding Chapter 17 of the WCOF.    Certainly, Christian-on-Christian violence must have had a devastating and dehumanizing effect on British society in Wilberforce’s day.     Are there not “rented pews” today in the evangelical church?    Is a fee not paid today by the legalized adulterers in the post-unilateral divorce world to occupy seats as an illicit pair or “blended family” that faithful 1 Corinthians 5 church governance would have otherwise denied them unless they severed those faux ties?   Paul, after all, said “do not even eat with such….I have decided to turn [him / them] over to satan, that [his / their] soul(s) may be saved in the day of the Lord.”

Britain formally sat under a false state religion, as she still does today.   By failing to maintain her sexual purity, hence her sovereign biblical family structure,  America and other western nations today also sit under a state religion that is not formally acknowledged but is nevertheless very real in asserting its antichrist power over all of society.    That state religion is secular humanism.    And secular humanism just loves to play “dress up” these days in Baptist, Pentecostal and mainline “Christian” garb–and even Catholic frocks, of late, in the form of Chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia.

3.  A tiny (deemed) “cult” slowly became instrumental in moving the culture.    The evangelical aunt and uncle who took Wilberforce in as a boy was (providentially) childless, which made the young man the sole heir to their homes and fortune when they “graduated to heaven”.    This put great financial assets into his hands, as well as influential and powerful friends of godly character into his life.  He was best friends from university days with William Pitt, his agnostic contemporary who eventually became Prime Minister.      Wilberforce came to faith, and received Spirit-led discipleship as a young MP  under the direct influence of Whitefield, the Wesleys, and ex-slave trader, the Rev. John Newton.    All true disciples of Jesus come to understand that every scrap of time, treasure and talent that God pours into a life ultimately belongs to Him, loaned, as it were, for the purpose of building up the kingdom of God.    As did the three biblical slaves with the varying number of “talents” given by their master, we will one day give an account for our stewardship of these resources.   Instead of suppressing truth to those under our care for ill-gotten gain, and appeasing the ungodly resource-holders to build our own vast empire (without the slightest regard for these souls), we are expected to invest what we already have been given into helping deliver as many souls as possible safely into the doors of the great banquet hall where the wedding supper of the Lamb is to be held.    Wilberforce understood this, as did the other Spirit-led instigators of the First Great Awakening and the abolition movement.

It wasn’t long before Wilberforce felt led to sell his inherited properties and use the proceeds to establish a highly visible home church community, known as the Clapham fellowship,  on his friends’ adjoining properties, where true discipleship under the ministry of a community chaplain was fostered in the suburbs of London.    It also wasn’t long before the entrenched interests were derisively labeling the community of believers Wilberforce led, a “cult”.    Why was Wiberforce’s  physical community of believers so influential ?    “Standerinfamilycourt” believes it is because he established a very visible spiritual organism within that compound-based community, much like the 1st – 4th century church, where everyone could see the Christ-centered life walked out again.    Some 300 years before the internet could make the same sort of thing visible online, and draw like-minded but geographically dispersed people together for conferences,  this visibility from such a community was very important to influencing culture, by example.

(FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC note:The tiny Spirit-led wing of the body of Christ in that day was dubbed “Methodism”, which was an ecclesiastical slur.    We all know what eventually happened to “Methodism” in our day, following the Second Great Awakening,  and what in our day has even happened to Pentecostalism, as it followed “Methodism” in becoming the “Church of Thyratira” in the late 20th century, who today labels the interfaith community of covenant marriage standers–which is largely virtual due to the commonplace shunning of outspoken members by conventional church bodies, having its own pastors and lay leaders therefore, a “cult”.)

4.  The oppressed victims of the system were utterly dehumanized.   In the book, pages 96-100 detailed the inhumane conditions in which hundreds of captured slaves were chained together and packed into the lower airless holds of a slave ship with inadequate sanitary provisions, little food and no potable water.    These conditions culminated in the deplorable tale of the insurance fraud that was carried out on the high sea in 1781 aboard a Jamaica-bound slave ship named the Zong.   It was routine for any human dying aboard a ship to be buried in the ocean, whether a slave or not.  However, in this instance so many slaves were becoming ill that more than 100 live slaves were thrown overboard in order that insurance proceeds would replace the lost revenue from the slaves that had expired due to inhumane conditions.    The public exposure from the foiling of that fraud in English court the next year turned out to be a small amount of good out of a massively tragic crime against humanity.     A Cambridge protégé of Wilberforce’s, a young man named Thomas Clarkson, served as the “cub reporter” in documenting facts and evidence against the slave trade:

“He climbed aboard slave ships and measured the spaces allotted for the slaves; he purchased the ghastliest instruments of restraint and torture, from manacles and shackles to thumbscrews and branding irons.  There was a device to pry open the mouths of slaves who refused to eat. ”
(Page 116).

AG_Metaxas_Photo2.jpeg

It is unfortunate that the opportunities to expose in great detail the atrocities that routinely go on in “family courts” across the land are few and extremely costly.    Nevertheless, there are a few of us with either  the financial means or  time and pro se determination to resist the system,  allowing our case to go to trial for that very purpose.     Most county courthouses will not allow non-lawyers to take cell phones past a security checkpoint, yet in trial we will use the time (sometimes days) sitting in court to take notes on other cases we may observe, and some of us will go to the expense of obtaining the electronic transcript from our own case.     In the book, “Stolen Vows” by Judy Parejko (2001),  the author chronicles the abuses she observed as a court-appointed mediator.    Other authors such as Stephen Baskerville have written powerful books and articles exposing details of the corruption under which families are legally shredded.   In two blog pieces we shared in 2014 from The Public Discourse, a mother relates how she was stripped of her children for the noxious purpose of awarding custody to her homosexual husband and his same-sex partner.     Similarly, another article in the publication tracked the commonly-occurring instances of children being stripped from a blameless father who didn’t want the divorce and custody given to the mother whose live-in boyfriend committed violence and molestation of the children, in a cruel mockery of their “best interest”.    The dehumanization is well-captured in this crass excerpt from an appellate opinion handed down in an early constitutional challenge of the “no-fault” law:

“The state’s inherent sovereign power includes the so called ‘police power’ right to interfere with vested property rights whenever reasonably necessary to the protection of the health, safety, morals, and general well being of the people.  The constitutional question, on principle, therefore, would seem to be, not whether a vested right is impaired by a marital law change, but whether such a change reasonably could be believed to be sufficiently necessary to the public welfare as to justify the impairment.”
Walton v Walton, California (1970-1972)  28 Cal. App.3d 108

5. Massive economic interests were also deeply entrenched.    Although King George III was a devout Christian and had genuine concerns about the slave trade, the Crown had substantial revenue interests in the sugar plantations of the British West Indies, as did the Church of England herself.      Powerful members of Parliament had personal revenue interests either in the plantations or in profits from the slave trade or related maritime industries.   Port towns like Liverpool and Bristol were heavily dependent on the trade, much like some of the state capitol cities that would suffer economically today from a likely much-smaller government complex that would result from ceasing the societally-corrosive practice of forcing families apart without provable just cause.     In addition to this, it should sound quite familiar that the atrocities, as soon as documentation of horrifying details began to be publicly exposed, would be propped up (as an argument against doing the right thing and abolishing them) by playing one jurisdiction off against a neighboring jurisdiction.   It was argued that abolishing the slave trade in Britain would be a boon to the slave trade in France.    Ignored was the fact that a powerful moral example would be advanced (with accompanying publicity) by repeal in one or two states to start, and that societal,  as well as fiscal benefits– in the contemporary instance, would be reaped by the repenting jurisdiction(s).    The difficult but successful solution for Wilberforce’s allies was to relentlessly work the issue in both Britain and France.

Similarly,  the unilateral divorce industry amounts to more than $100 billion a year, directly benefitting members of the Bar, and a vast army of court mediators, social workers, mental health professionals, book-sellers, and even ministries.    This financial boon for a few, at the expense of society as a whole, comes at a cost of $200+ billion a year in transferred social costs to all taxpayers,  state and Federal.  These well-heeled political interests virtually own the press and have the means to  easily flood the media with emotional pleas for “abuse victims” whom, they moan, will be “trapped in abusive marriages”  if they should ever be forced to prove with tangible evidence that their marriage is abusive.     These misleading articles largely go unrebutted, due to entrenched interests even within the “faith, family and freedom” ministries and family policy councils in various states across the land.  The vast majority of these ministries decline to become involved in the repeal of unilateral divorce or the defense of its religious free exercise victims, either in prioritization of funding or in their public media output, even when there is a repeal bill active in their state legislature.    For example,  the family policy group, Texas Values (affiliated with James Dobson’s organization, Family Policy Alliance)  sent their president to testify before a 2017 legislative committee that they supported repeal, but not one written word was publicly released to refute the barrage of negative press against HB93 in that state.    All of the financial resources instead went toward battling issues like transgender bathroom bills, remarkably seen as more of a threat than the laws that directly order the literal shredding of families.     Although this reluctance to publicly advocate for the repeal of unilateral divorce laws may have varying factors based on the political climate and carefully-built political relationships in each state, the common issue seems to be a fear that large donors could be offended by marriage permanence efforts meaningfully impacting heterosexual family policy, as well as the false belief that there is likely not enough funding available through millions of small, passionate donors to offset such feared losses–despite the million or so new families decimated each year by forced divorce who would love to donate regularly to an organization showing true commitment to engaging their cause in a meaningful way.

Just imagine if the abolitionist movement had consisted of donation-based provincial councils tasked primarily with all the issues of managing the evil fallouts of the slave trade on society, who deemed abolition too unreachable a goal, so that they busied themselves with promoting legislation to increase the size of the slave berths aboard the ships, install more porta-potties, only allow slave traders to take people who didn’t have minor children in the hut,  et cetera– and doing so while reporting in to a Church of England board (who at the end of the day was financially-invested in preserving the trade).    If one can imagine this, our description seems quite analogous to the apparent relationship between some of these state FPC’s and Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization.

(FB profile 7xtjw  SIFC note:  As of the date of this writing, “standerinfamilycourt” has met two of the executive directors of state family policy councils face-to-face, and has hopes of meeting several more in the coming months and years to learn as much as possible about their constraints, to be of service where mutually beneficial, and to encourage them to diversify their donor base to include those in our movement, so that they can act more boldly in the marriage permanence realm.)

6.  God put together quite a colorful and diversely-tasked team.
When the Most High hears the cry of the afflicted and establishes His timeline for deliverance, everyone involved can count on divine appointments taking place.    He started assembling the abolition team when its most visible “champion” was just a small boy.   He began by tapping famous figures of the first Great Awakening in Britain, leading some slave traders to repentance and restitution, and surrounding those with born-again relatives in Wilberforce’s extended family.   To these, He added Christian attorneys, writers, artisans, poets, former slaves and doctors.  Wives of aristocrats opened their homes to bring these co-laborers together and make strategic introductions across an overseas network and even across social classes.  Each of these called individuals providentially contributed their gifts to the overall effort,  some prominently and some in the background.    Much like some in the marriage permanence movement who today create striking memes that drive home a point in social media, even the famous potter Josiah Wedgwood was tapped into service to create the iconic badge-like image “Am I Not A Man and a Brother?”  that found its way onto all sorts of popular items that were sold at the time.

In a very similar way,  the Lord has been bringing together 21st century artists, writers, bible scholars, linguists, in-place and displaced pastors, seminary professors, legal students, researchers, meeting organizers, videographers, conservative thought leaders and lecturers, courthouse monitors, conference hosts, legislators, constitutional attorneys and family policy directors to carry out a diverse range of divine assignments,  coordinated by the hand of God to one day topple the “Jericho Wall” of unilateral divorce.    Many of these groups of the like-minded would not interact with or even be aware of other groups if He also didn’t divinely provide individuals to form a bridge between them, yet He’s using some individuals to facilitate that very necessary function as well.    Instead of stately mansions where figures are invited and introductions are made, He is using technology and alternative media platforms to bring diverse co-laborers together.

7.  Reeking, shameless hypocrisy was the order of the day in the established church.     We have already described above, the profound moral decay in the Church of England, and the reasons behind it.    Here we will focus on some of what it took to break through that in the famous scene from the movie that was based on the book.    The majority of the power holders in the British Parliament were at least nominal members of the Church of England, while the handful of actual Christ followers who were influenced by the leadership of John Newton, the Wesley brothers, and George Whitefield formed house churches  such as the community at Clapham, which also had some wealthy and influential members in addition to Wilberforce.    They lived by godly example,  using large amounts of their wealth for the public good,  and maintaining sexual purity in their relationships, which really stood out in society, while they maintained warm friendships with the “lukewarm”, those who derisively called them “Methodists” and accused them of being a “cult”.     At an opportune time, Wilberforce and his Clapham peers arranged the famous boat tour of the harbor, complete with stringed quartet, wine and appetizers and full ballroom regalia.    This grand party was soon assaulted with the pungency of that which they would have much preferred to remain insulated from, as the party barge Reliant suddenly pulled up beside a slave ship called the Madagascar that evening.    No longer could the British ruling class and their consorts feign ignorance of the dehumanization and shipboard death that was taking place, literally under their noses.     This event, occurring in the middle of the 20-year abolition battle, required the development of quite a few well-networked allies of the cause in high and low rank in order to pull such a scene off.

Two events occurred in 2017 that could prove significant, and might be somewhat analogous to that unsavory boat party.     Repeal bills to redefine “no-fault” divorce back to its originally-intended (or at least, publicly-advertised) contours were introduced in two southwest states.    Partial repeal attempts had occurred in Michigan in 2006 and Iowa in 2013 but without much publicity that wasn’t rabidly oppositional.     What made the 2017 effort a bit different is that instead of a family policy ministry sponsoring the bills, one was introduced by an actual constitutional attorney-turned-legislator, and he brought a parade of constitutional attorneys to the committee podium who testified to the constitutional violations that riddle current law, which suitably-framed the testimony of the family victims of unilateral divorce who also testified.    This time, the hours of this testimony have been captured and posted to you-tube, through the efforts of local marriage permanence activists.     This is a bit remarkable because the family-shredding industry has been accustomed to a thick shroud of darkness whenever their empire is threatened.     Also remarkable is that every one of the churches in both states were so occupied with “rebuilding a culture of marriage” in their congregations, that none of them saw any worthwhile involvement in seeing that either bill to end the forced divorces of their members might come to an embarrassing Republican-dominated floor vote, letting them both die for this session.

Then in August, the Southern Baptist-allied Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood introduced The Nashville Statement, a manifesto taking dead aim at all the incarnations of homosexual practice, while odiferously looking the other way at prevalence of clergy-condoned (and clergy-practiced) serial polygamy that has destroyed the family structure in the evangelical church, hiding the destruction behind an adulterous thin veneer through which mass shootings, child-trafficking and transsexualism is all-too-prone to puncture.    There have been earlier manifesto campaigns in recent years, but this one was quite ill-timed, driven primarily by visceral reaction to the bathroom bills, but while unresolved memories were still fresh before the American public of the infamous serial polygamist, Kim Davis’ tone-deaf declaration in 2015 that she would “lose her soul” if she dared insult the holiness of God by issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals.   That had been an event which had suddenly reduced  the Leftist press to quoting scripture on major network newscasts.   Though the Who’s Who of the evangelical and Catholic worlds vigorously endorsed and signed the 2017 manifesto (which brazenly declared condoning homosexual practice as profoundly inconsistent with following Christ),  the CBMW has received scathing and voluminous public criticism as well as negative press coverage from both the scornful Left and the God-fearing Right.     (From this blogger, “standerinfamilycourt”, the celebrated and learned seminarians on the board of CBMW received a book called One Flesh” by Joe Fogel, and a frank, admonishing letter.)

Meanwhile, in the Roman Catholic Church, which has been so historically important to all moral reform of family laws, the release of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia was causing deep despair and bewilderment among Christ-following Catholics over the Pope’s bid to liberalize clergy practices toward remarriage adulterers in those congregations, by liberalizing even further the vile practice of “annulment” and to allow those civilly “married” to the covenant spouses of others to take communion — a direct affront to Paul’s admonition about receiving the body and blood of Christ in an unworthy manner,  and of his further admonition that no unrepentant adulterer will inherit the kingdom of God.    The hypocrisy involved with Amoris was the preposterous chorus of Vatican “assurance” that changing church “practice” was not tantamount to changing church “doctrine”.      Since the only ministry with a national voice to publicly support the two unilateral divorce repeal bills was the Catholic-founded Ruth Institute,  we can only hope that this unfortunate and significant turn of events cements the desire for close alliance with our like-minded “cult” of evangelicals in the marriage permanence movement.

8.  Prayer and fasting was just as important as activism, if not more so.  The great John Wesley wrote Wilberforce twice, the first time near the start of his abolition journey, and also a few days before Wesley passed away.    Wesley wanted to be certain that Wilberforce understood that he battled not against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities; dark forces in the heavenly realm.     He put Wilberforce on prophetic notice that there will be demonic opposition at every turn, but urged him to persevere.    Much of the reason that abolition took as long as it did once the organized campaign was underway can be attributed to intervening events and demonic distractions, but still the battle was the Lord’s.

The current battle seems to boil down to an unrelenting conflict between the choice to surgically-excise the disease itself or manage the symptoms to reduce human suffering and impacts on society.    There is a widespread assumption that the disease itself is inoperable, and an almost irresistable temptation to hold to a form of godliness but deny His power.    These are strongholds which  the Lord will use the fasters and the faithful prayers in our movement to pull down supernaturally.

9.  Bringing (and keeping) a diverse coalition together was a key role that Wilberforce played as a leader in the movement.    As described earlier, God Himself started the process of bringing the abolitionist movement figures together two or three decades ahead of Wilberforce signing on, but He appointed key individuals (including Wilberforce) to build it to “critical mass” and keep it together over the arduous period of time needed to sustain a successful effort.     He seemed to provide a clear focal point to the various constituencies (which included Quakers, Anglicans, “Methodists”, just to use the diverse religious interests as an example) to what God wanted, and this took a lot of integrity, often very unpopular integrity.     At the end of the day, Wilberforce had the humility to overcome his own discouragement at setbacks to pull it off without backing down.    He had a thick skin, which is a quality almost as rare as focus and integrity, but indispensable because of the need to also manage the criticism or reluctance of insiders.

At the present time, if there is a Wilberforce-like individual to galvanize the factions and constituencies in the movement, it’s likely that this person is still developing and emerging.   Those who presently have the insight to visualize how the like-minded groups can and should be working together are obscure and seem not well-placed at this time.    There are bridges to build between the traditional Catholic leaders, who have a national voice but presently insufficient political power, and the small body of enlightened evangelicals in the movement who part company with the “reformed” evangelicals on the moral validity of non-widowed remarriage.   There are traditional differences to manage over side issues like the authority of the Pope and the validity or morality of “annulment” versus the evangelical principle of sola scriptura where scripture plainly forbids both doctrines.   Many of the national voices for divorce reform would prefer to focus on households with minor children, while setting aside the issue of ongoing 1st and 14th amendment violations against grandparent marriages which full repeal would rectify, and they have differences with those in the movement who consider divorce-remarriages immoral (as Jesus plainly did) due to valid, temporal concern for the children born of legalized adultery.

State legislators are emerging with a courageous vision for repeal, but perhaps are not yet well-enough connected with those who can lend them effective support, especially in the area of getting churches onboard with outright repeal efforts.    Far too few churches of any type are involved on the state level, and a great many erroneously believe that God “instituted” or “provided for” divorce.    The majority of “standers” and those who have repented of adulterous “marriages” are estranged from their churches, either by their own choice not to sit under deceived leadership, or because they’ve been formally or informally shunned for being perceived as a
“sower of disunity”.   In response, many such individuals in the movement do not consider contemporary church structure (what they derisively call the “pulpit / pew hireling model”) to be biblically or morally valid.

Many in the movement also do not think political activity of any type is of God.    State family policy groups tend to be underfunded and perhaps in need of diversifying their support.    The politically-connected national voices are sympathetic to repeal, but constantly get distracted by the symptoms of the disease, particularly each new emerging horror from rabid, militant homosexualism.    Other allied groups are the Parents’ Rights groups who want legal relief from these onerous laws, but aren’t necessarily in the repeal camp, and the divorced-and-remarried activists sympathetic to repeal efforts who are somehow finding the grace to work with the celibate “standers” who do not consider those subsequent civil-only unions biblically valid.   We each need to faithfully keep doing our perceived, assigned roles and keep praying to God for the break-through that pulls all of it together effectively.     Even a celibate, faithful stander who is not engaged in any other activity at all, except to serve others, makes a very loud statement to this culture, if they are consistent and are doing it out of a godly motivation.   

10.  It took decades of unrelenting effort and dedication to prevail.   As witnessed by a quote from the book,

“The line between courageous faith and foolish idealism is, almost by definition, on angstrom wide.    Wilberforce was quite right that a flame had been kindled and would not go out until it had done its work, but he had no idea that it would be twenty torturous years in the burning before its work was done.   And if the ‘work’ in question was not the abolition of the slave trade but the abolition of slavery itself, the flame would continue burning for another forty-five years.”
(Page 122)

…abolition of such a profoundly immoral institution was carried out on many battlefronts and required decades to bring about.    

By comparison, the dastardly and covert political events that stripped U.S. families of their most basic fundamental rights to liberty, property, free religious exercise, free association, right to jury trial when civilly accused, both procedural and substantive due process, and equal protection under the law, occurred less than 50 years ago.    The hope is that technology and God’s hand will accelerate the formidable process of overthrowing the regime, and that incremental reform efforts will fall by the wayside as time-wasters.    In the past ten years, there have been full or partial repeal efforts in at least four states, including Michigan, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma.   The early efforts were abandoned, but hopefully the latter efforts will persist and gain support as various groups gain insight in how best to work together.    Only God could pull off the task of full repeal in all 50 states, but that’s no excuse not to work toward it in faith, with our eyes firmly fixed on the Almighty.   If a few states repeal, momentum can certainly be gained, but opposition can be expected to grow more fiercely as well.    As with ending the slave trade, the renewed moral authority of a chastened and repented collective church is going to be crucial, and there are many tactical steps the organized church could take to hasten the political process.    (This last topic will be covered in a future post.)

Recalling the wicked false analogy drawn by the LGBT movement to justify their immoral, totalitarian political aims by (invalidly)  comparing their vision to the U.S. civil rights movement, “standerinfamilycourt” has made these parallels with much fear and trembling before the Lord, trusting that this particular analogy is utterly valid, and is actually like-for-like.    May God’s will be done for our covenant families and for our morally-ravaged nation.

Your kingdom [must] come.   Your will [must] be done on earth as it is in heaven.   – Matthew 6:10

(FB profile 7xtjw SIFC: translation of this famous portion of the Lord’s Prayer is from Dr. Wilbur Pickering’s  The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken (2013), which is the only contemporary English language translation on the market today that is not based on the relatively incomplete Alexandrian manuscripts,  sexually-licentious 1880’s transcription work of Westcott and Hort [the “Standard” bibles], and tainted subsequent bible translation committees, often staffed with universalists and homosexuals.)

 

 

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

by Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Currently on the board of CBMW:

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 EXAMPLE LETTER TO CMBW :

Dr. Denny Burk & Directors


CBMW Executive Office
2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40280

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

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

FrMartinDrGby Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DontDivorcePt2by Standerinfamilycourt

OUR RESPONSE TO PART 2

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Transcribed by:  Standerinfamilycourt

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

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

DeadNotDivorced

Shared Testimony **

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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