RE: What about the Mark 10 passage on divorce?

But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned. -Luke 16:17, NLT

In response to my post “What about the Mark 10 passage on divorce?” Bill wrote:

We addressed this before. You have to deal with the word “logos” (Strong’s g3056) of “porneia” (Strong’s g4202) in Matthew 5:32. It means “except for a saying or report of prostitution.” Even the Google translator says it is “reason for prostitution.” The kicker is that it is also found in the betrothal portion of Duet 22, not the marriage portion of Duet 24. The “exception” you’re trying to stand on is for “a report of prostitution during the betrothal period, prior to the covenant vows.” Joseph could have had valid reason to divorce Mary, had he received such a report (which he didn’t).

Your pastoral and theological error is believing that one passage (Matthew) is in opposition to the other 2, though all are the words of Jesus. All 3 passages, plus Paul, have to agree, or God is inconsistent. Take the easier ones first, and the more difficult must comply. One can (and probably should) separate themselves from an adulterer or an abusive spouse for protection, but divorce doesn’t dissolve a marriage. Death ends a marriage! That is all that ends a marriage! Real death, not your wish that she was dead. Not her “killing” the one flesh by her adultery. By grace she is alive and allowed the opportunity to repent. Just as you and I are allowed to repent of things that put us at odds with God. God said in Jer 3:14 that He is still married even though He was divorced.

Jer 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

David, you aren’t under the law of Moses. Nobody is. It ended at Calvary, and you weren’t born before Calvary. If you choose to pick a Mosaic law that you think justifies an adulterous remarriage, then the bible says you will be judged by the whole law, which cannot justify you in the eyes of God. You will have to abide by all the washings and the ceremonies, and it will require all the animal sacrifices and the offerings, making the death of Jesus moot. It is a rejection of the Messiah. You’re kicking against the goads.

Bill,

I WANT TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR–

This website is not a place where I will tolerate shaming faithful spouses for being remarried. Attacking myself or others by calling us adulterous for remarrying is such shaming behavior.

Ultimately, we disagree over how the applicable Bible passages are translated and applied. You continuing to state your position is not going to change my mind on these matters.

All that said, I feel it might be helpful for my readers to see how and why I disagree with what you recently wrote in a comment.

We addressed this before. You have to deal with the word “logos” (Strong’s g3056) of “porneia” (Strong’s g4202) in Matthew 5:32. It means “except for a saying or report of prostitution.” Even the Google translator says it is “reason for prostitution.”

If you actually consulted a reputable Greek lexicon, you would discover more than “prostitution” as an option to translate “porneia.” It is a broad Greek word used to signify any sexual immorality.

Now, I understand your choice is based on a move to harmonize the passages by writing off this passage are just referring to the betrothal period. However, I find the arguments for such a move weak (see my post here).

Also, I shouldn’t have to say this but…

Google translator does not settle the argument over proper translation choice.

While Google translator is helpful for conversational translations or a quick grasp of a text, I would highly discourage using it in an argument with an educated individual–like myself–on a matter.

Your pastoral and theological error is believing that one passage (Matthew) is in opposition to the other 2, though all are the words of Jesus. All 3 passages, plus Paul, have to agree, or God is inconsistent. Take the easier ones first, and the more difficult must comply.

My point in my post on Mark 10 is that I do not see the Matthew passages as in opposition to the Mark and Luke passages. Mark and Luke are simply silent where Matthew speaks on the matter of a divorce exception.

Death ends a marriage! That is all that ends a marriage! Real death, not your wish that she was dead. Not her “killing” the one flesh by her adultery. By grace she is alive and allowed the opportunity to repent. Just as you and I are allowed to repent of things that put us at odds with God.

Putting an exclamation point behind your conclusion does not make it the correct conclusion. I fully understand that is your position, and I disagree with it.

Also, I am not wishing my ex-wife is dead. My point in citing the law regarding the death penalty for adultery in Deuteronomy and Leviticus is to point out that God released faithful spouses from marriages where adultery took place in the Old Testament.

It is a principle I am illustrating from those laws–namely, God releases faithful partners from marriages where adultery has taken place. The Old Testament mechanism for such release was the death penalty whereas the New Testament merciful mechanism is divorce, IMO.

God said in Jer 3:14 that He is still married even though He was divorced.

Yes, the verse does say that. Looking more closely at this verse, you will notice that God is saying He is married to a select few from Israel–the Remnant. In other words, the divorce is very real to those Israelites who are NOT chosen to be part of that remnant.

For your argument to hold, God would have to take ALL of the Israelites back as their Husband. God does not. The “divorce” is very real. And this is consistent with New Testament teaching per the Apostle Paul in Romans 11.

David, you aren’t under the law of Moses. Nobody is. It ended at Calvary, and you weren’t born before Calvary. If you choose to pick a Mosaic law that you think justifies an adulterous remarriage, then the bible says you will be judged by the whole law, which cannot justify you in the eyes of God. You will have to abide by all the washings and the ceremonies, and it will require all the animal sacrifices and the offerings, making the death of Jesus moot. It is a rejection of the Messiah. You’re kicking against the goads.

I am fully aware that I am not under the Law. When I speak and write about the Law, I write as one who believes ALL of Scripture is God-breathed and useful in understanding God’s ways (2 Timothy 3:16). God did not change from the Old Testament to the New.

What are you are pushing for is called “antinomianism.” The moral principles behind the Old Testament Law is still in effect in this age of grace. To completely write off the Old Testament Law as completely outdated and unhelpful today is commonly and historically understood as heretical (see Luke 16:17).

Finally, I am not “kicking against the goads.” I have a different interpretation of these passages than you. That is all. You see goads where I see none.

We likely will need to agree to disagree. And that is okay. Follow your convictions, and I will follow plus promote mine.

 

Sincerely,

Pastor David 

13 thoughts on “RE: What about the Mark 10 passage on divorce?”

  1. Pastor David,
    If I am reading Bill’s response correctly he is stating the my Heavenly Father is telling faithful spouses oh well deal with it?
    When I got married I never thought 3 kids later or 25 years later that I was suppose to swallow adultery AGAIN.
    I went through it after 3 years of marriage and wanted my marriage, forgave and stayed.
    Then 2 years ago was slapped in the face again. With church support, counseling, couple accountability partners etc stilled stayed until February this year when GOD revealed to me the relationship was still going on. So According to what was written I am suppose to accept that my God wants me to 1: stay in a relationship with someone who is NOT being my spiritual head, is physically and emotionally and spiritually putting me in harms way. While I deal with all of the emotional baggage of not being good enough in any way AND he doesn’t have to be honest? Or 2: I divorce and I am unable to be happy and free and IF remarriage comes my way I am an adulter and God my father is not pleased with me?
    Looking at those 2 options I don’t see Hope! I wonder if the gentlemen who wrote that really thinks about if that was him? Our Heavenly Father would sentenced the faithful spouse to damnation on either side of the fence? Wow! I am glad that although I may not be some bible scholar that I do believe in my God’s love, mercy, grace, and his wonderful comforting Holy Spirit that has gotten me through and continues to carry me.

    1. Yes, that’s my take of Bill’s comments as well. Like your objection, I find it odd when people claim we live in a time of grace then go onto lay down a law more merciless and unforgiving of adultery victims who divorce and remarry than the Old Testament. Very backwards!

      1. David, WHO spoke the words in Mark 10 that you are considering merciless and ungrace-filled?

        Antinomian – the view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law. (the moral law is not the Mosaic ceremonial laws) Everyone since the beginning of time has been under the moral law. Nobody is under the Mosaic law since Calvary, and Gentiles were never under the Mosaic law.
        An antinomian viewpoint would say grace covers intentional adultery.

        1. The same person who said it was adultery EXCEPT for cases of “porneia” (sexual immorality) in Mt 5:32 and 19:9. I have no problem with what Jesus says. He is not merciless but rather those who interpret him as such ignoring where an exception is explicitly granted.

          Actually, an antinomian would dismiss all of the law. To draw a distinction between moral and Mosaic Law you have to recognize something behind the Mosaic Law–i.e. a moral code or moral principles (“the moral law” as you suggest). Those moral principles are what I am pointing towards in my comments about Deuteronomy 22:22 and Leviticus 20:10. I am in no way advocating for the reinstatement of the death penalty for adulterous spouses but rather pointing to the moral principle behind the law regarding what God sees as just in those situations. (By the way, The Ten Commandments ARE part of the Mosaic Law, too.)

          1. The exception clause seems to hinge on the word “logos.” The correlation is with Deut 22, the betrothal chapter, NOT in Deut 24, the marriage chapter (which God renders moot in Jer 3.)

            As I wrote to you before, the Westminster Confession seems to be what we are using for our doctrine.

            V. Adultery or fornication, committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.
            (But they aren’t dead. So, is the one-flesh “joining” still in place? Is man now allowed to put asunder what God has joined?)

            VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments, unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage; yet nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage; wherein a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it, not left to their own wills and discretion in their own case.

            This seems to me where we are getting our doctrine for remarriage due to divorce for adultery or for abandonment. I don’t see scripture that supports either.

            I appreciate the chance to talk with you about it. I hope you’ll keep working through it with us.

          2. I actually do not ascribe to the WCF even though I agree with its position more or less on this point. It is a position to which I arrived apart from any knowledge of this confession and as one outside of the Reformed tradition.

            It does NOT hinge on “logos” as Matthew 19:9 does not have “logos” in its exception clause. Only Matthew 5:32 does. The important word is “porneia.” THAT is actually the word debated by those on both sides of this issue who are even better educated than myself, fyi.

          3. 19:9 says “only for prostitution” (harlotry). All of the Greek “porn” words infer the selling of one’s self sexually for profit. Jesus makes a clear distinction when He utilizes 2 different words in Matt 5 and 19, porneia (harlotry or whoredom) and moichao (to indicate adultery, sexual sin after marriage cohabitation). It’s a intellectually dishonest leap to lump adultery in with porneia, when Jesus expressly separates it.

    2. Hi 24. First, I want to say how proud of you I am for the honor you give your marriage, and for the effort you made to work at it. I pray you’ve come to a point where you can function. It took me a few years, but I’m a slow learner. It hurts my heart the most that I allowed someone else’s sinful decision to affect my self worth. I appreciate you standing tall.

      My best to you,

      B

      1. Thank you! I made every intent on staying in my marriage and I am divorced today and yes am functioning with God on my side. I am walking through the healing process. I couldn’t have remained in my marriage with no integrity I still do not know the full truth except for the parts that I uncovered and that God revealed. My ex-husband only acknowledges stuff once it is in his face.
        I had to go to a doctor and have all the STD checks when the only sex partner I had was my husband go figure.
        I believe in holiness, I believe in serving God I also believe that God gave me a door to escape and I don’t believe that he is looking at me saying ok since you walked out the door, you are sentenced to being alone because I was the faithful spouse! Go figure. So the sin of the spouse/adultery is laid upon the faithful spouse? I have a very difficult time believing or accepting that, to me that states that the adulterous spouse is free and clear and although I am not holding judgement upon him God must have something to say about that.

        1. Hi 24. Where do you find any indication that your adulterous spouse is free and clear of God’s judgment? Every moment he spends not providing for your needs and those of his children will testify against him. Every dollar spent on anything outside of your marriage will testify against him. Every thought and conversation he has in another relationship will testify against him. His future, outside of repentance, which includes recompensation of love withheld, is dire.

          Part of the issue we have is that we wrongly believe that our forgiveness makes them right in God’s eyes, or gives the sense that we agree with their sin, and everything is ok now.

          Why would you feel you are being punished for his adultery? You made a statement that “being alone” is a sentence. Would you be willing to share more about why you feel being alone (does that mean “without a man”) is associated with punishment?

          Here is why I choose to be remain unmarried or reconcile, as advised us by Paul, for whatever it’s worth. Knowing the words of Christ in Mark 10, if I enter into a relationship with another woman, I make her an adulterer (Rom 7, Mark 10). In addition, I make myself an adulterer,…and I’m not willing to do either. My desire will become a snare. What kind of love would that really express to a new mate? To me it says…”I love you so much I’m willing to jeopardize your eternity with God so I can feel the arousal of having a mate.” I wish I had the words to be able to say more, or maybe in a better way. I’m not willing to risk the eternity of another person, and face judgment for adultery of my own and what I caused for someone else. And I’m not willing to seek advice that counsels me otherwise.

          What did satan tell Eve? Gen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die:….”You surely won’t DIE die, right Eve? God wasn’t really That serious about a piece of fruit, was He? C’mon Eve, His grace would allow you to disobey this fruit thing. It’s just a bite of fruit.” Others may take that bait, and may even convince you, by utilizing the rejected minority texts, to take the bait too. “Grace makes allowance for your rebellion,” they will say. “You were the good one in the marriage. You surely won’t DIE, die, right 24?” The promise of the new covenant is that He will take away our hard hearts and help us find joy in keeping His statutes. So, does Grace walk us into obedience so we are in touch with our living God, or does grace make room for us to rebel?

          1. Thank you for your insight.
            I am not In the spot to debate with you. But what I hear you interpreting the scripture to say is that “I the faithful spouse after everything I have done in a 25 year marriage and now that I am divorced, if remarriage was a possibility and if it was presented I am to turn it down BECAUSE of my adulterous former spouses actions/ consequences. By remarrying I would be an Adulterer.”
            Again that means that my Heavenly Father is punishing me for the sin of another. There is no hope, grace or peace in that message. Just punishment because my adulterous spouse broke our covenant. I have to repent for my own stuff as it is I can’t imagine being on the hook for what someone else had done.
            I will continue to read the word and pray. That feels like a yoke placed on the faithful spouse. Not freedom

          2. In the past adulterers were sentenced to death, which freed the faithful spouses and allowed them to remarry. Removing the death penalty gives adulterers time to repent.
            Just because God removed the death penalty for adultery doesn’t mean that the victim of adultery is no longer freed from the covenant broken by adultery.
            God is just. Why would He show such mercy to the adulterer and then withhold it from their victim?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *