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In a letter to an early Christian church, Jesus Christ supernaturally instructed the Apostle John to write:

"I have a complaint against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her a chance to repent of her fornication, but she refused. Listen, I am going to throw her and all those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of their actions. I will kill her children, so that all the churches will know that they cannot hide anything from me. I mean it; I am going to reward every one of you according to your works"  (Revelation 2:20-23).

Divorce and Remarriage

Churches that are afraid of losing members by being too strict in matters pertaining to sex, just turn a blind eye to the fact that their young people are PAGE27sleeping around.  But it is not so easy to turn a blind eye to those who divorce one spouse and then openly marry another in contravention of Christ's teaching on the subject. Most couples even ask the church to publicly bless the new marriage. A refusal usually results in the couple taking their offerings elsewhere.

So the churches have had to hire their best lawyers to argue technicalities and loopholes in order to justify divorce and remarriage.
Visit almost any "Christian" bookshop and you will find books justifying divorce and remarriage. Jezebel and her children have a strong hold in the churches today; there are few who would risk being ostracised by trying to kick her out. (And yet church bookshops refuse to carry this booklet because of our stand!)

If you want a divorce, you just shed a few tears and you will find a lot of sympathetic shoulders amongst the modern clergy.  And when you get lonely, the same clergy will say that it is unfair to expect you to remain single for the rest of your life; so they will begin the arguments to justify your remarriage.

The most popular argument has to do with the "innocent" party being free to remarry.  In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:32) Jesus says that it is wrong to divorce an innocent wife, because doing so may push her into remarrying. He says that if the divorced wife remarries, she is guilty of committing adultery. It is clear from this passage that even the "innocent" wife is not free to remarry. It is wrong of the husband to divorce her, but it is also wrong of her to remarry. And if remarriage is wrong even for a faithful wife, it is reasonable to assume that it is also wrong for a faithful husband.PAGE28

In Matthew 19:9 Jesus says the husband is not free to remarry either. But in this verse the phrase "except it be for fornication" has been hailed as a much sought after loophole. The verse could be read as saying that the husband is only forbidden to remarry if his wife has not committed adultery. If that is true, then Christ is applying a different standard to the husband than the one he applied to the innocent wife in the previous passage. But the same phrase also appears in Matthew 5:32:

"Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery.

If we read the underlined phrase as applying to remarriage as well as divorce, then it says that divorcing your wife causes her to commit adultery by remarrying unless she was the guilty party, i.e. if she is the guilty party, then she is free to remarry. But that is exactly the opposite of what the Jezebel teachers argue. They say that divorcing your wife causes her to commit adultery unless she is the innocent party.

Obviously, the "unless" bit only applies to divorce, i.e. you may not divorce your spouse unless he/she was unfaithful. But remarriage is not on, regardless of "innocence". Mark and Luke did not even think the clause about unfaithfulness was worth mentioning (see below).

"Whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman puts away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mark 10:11-12).
The real subject is divorce, and particularly divorcing someone who is "innocent". If you have not been unfaithful, and your partner has not been unfaithful (but you divorce anyway), then according to the Jezebel doctrine, you are both "innocent" and therefore free to remarry. Such a ruling makes the injunction against divorce meaningless.

The Apostle Paul joins the debate: "Unto the married I command no, not I, but the Lord himself: Let not the wife depart from her husband. But if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife" (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).

"Whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery. And whoever marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18).

PAGE31ACommon sense tells us that if our spouse is openly living with someone else, then there are physical limitations to how far we can go toward maintaining a valid marriage relationship with that person. And the nature of unfaithfulness is such that a very sacred trust has been destroyed. So God allows us to divorce a husband or wife who has been unfaithful.

But God doesn't command us to divorce. Ideally we would forgive the guilty party and patch up the marriage. God's desire is always toward reconciliation. He repeatedly talks of his relationship with his people in similar terms:

"Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, says the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, says the Lord, for I am married unto you" (Jeremiah 3:20, 14) .

PAGE31BRemarriage, however, destroys all hope of reconciliation. And that is why God does not allow it even when the other partner has been unfaithful. Divorce is an option if you find yourself in an impossible situation. But it is not a license to start all over again with someone else. The choice is simple: Stay with the person you committed your life to, or stay single. This rule allows both parties plenty of time to cool off and re-consider forgiveness.

Do two "wrongs" make one "right"?

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