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Author Topic: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?  (Read 6360 times)

Shirley

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What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« on: March 25, 2004, 07:38:54 AM »
If my daughter went and got married in Las Vegas in front of a magistrate and not in a Church or in front of a minister, does that still constitute a legitimate marriage? Even if 6 months later she regreted doing it?


John

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2004, 10:33:31 PM »
Shirley,

If the marriage is legal according to the laws of the government, then it is legal and binding. A Las Vegas marriage is legal and binding. Though your daughter foolishly bound herself to a man she now regrets, she is bound in marriage just the same. They are one flesh in the eyes of God until the death of her spouse.

Romans 7:2-3 For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband. So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man.

1Co 7:39  A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.



Unfortunately, today neither parents, nor school, nor pastors, nor Christians, nor society at large teach, warn, or instruct children as to the true nature of marriage according to God's law. So people marry and divorce wontedly, as if they were trading baseball cards at a swap meet, heaping sin upon themselves as well as committing adultery with a multitude of wives and husbands.

Mark 10:11-12  And He saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her: and if she herself shall put away her husband, and marry another, she committeth adultery.

The disciples understood that without divorce as an escape route, marriage becomes a very grave and weighty matter, to which they reasoned:

Mat 19:10  The disciples say unto him, If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.

Marriage is a lifelong covenant binding that requires careful and solemn attention, as opposed to the frivolous ignorance of most marriages. Yet, any legal marriage is legally binding. We know that God has established government (Col 1:16) and the government cannot undo what God has joined.

Matthew 19:5-6 And He said, "For this reason a man shall leave father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.

While any government can recognize the binding that God has done (calling it a legal marriage), no government can separate that union. A government can erroneously pass a law making divorce legal, but it is as useless as a government passing a law making marriage illegal. God establishes human government; humans do not have power over God.

So what is your daughter to do?  If she is a believer she must strive to be a good, faithful, and obedient wife. If she were an unbeliever -- I'd expect she would do whatever makes her feel good and rationalize away the sin and guilt, as this is the way of the world. Perhaps you will be able to provide wise, Biblical counsel to keep her from sin and help her understand what marriage is about?

john
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Elderone

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2004, 08:49:50 AM »
Shirley,

     I would add the following in response to your question.  From the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24, Marriage and Divorce paragraph 5b.

   In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce: (b)

     b. Matt. 5:31–32.

(31)  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
(32)  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.


         ...and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.(c)

     c. Matt. 19:9;  
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.


     c. Rom 7:2-3

(2)  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
(3)  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.


          Here is what John Hodges says in relation to The WCF chapter 24, para 5;
         
2. The divine law as to DIVORCE is, that marriage is a contract for life between one man and one woman, and that it is, ipso facto, dissolved only by death (Rom. 7:2,3); and that the only causes upon which any, civil authority can dissolve the union of those whom God has joined together are (a) adultery, (b) willful, causeless, and incurable desertion.

(1) The only causes upon which it is lawful to grant a divorce are—

(a) adultery; this is explicitly allowed by Christ (Matt. 5:31,32; 19:9); and
(b) willful, causeless, and incurable desertion. This is allowed by Paul to the Christian husband or wife deserted by their heathen partner. 1 Cor. 7:16. The reason in the case is also self–evident, since such desertion, being total and incurable, makes the marriage an empty name, void of all reality; and, being causeless, leaves the deserting party without remaining rights to be defended.


cindyw

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2004, 04:06:59 PM »
Well, the problem with the above viewpoint is that it doesn't address the state of the "left" wife of Mt. 19:9 whose husband has remarried (committed adultery).

In this very passage that many say give allowance not only for divorce, but remarriage we have a scenerio in which a husband is now guilty of adultery (remarriage), yet the wife is prohibited from remarriage without herself entering into sin (adultery).

If the truth was that God allowed remarriage in the case of adultery, what is the reason the "left" wife is prohibited from remarriage, if she is not still in fact "joined" to her husband in spite of his new "marriage"?  

Deuce Johnson

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2004, 06:23:13 PM »
Well, the problem with the above viewpoint is that it doesn't address the state of the "left" wife of Mt. 19:9 whose husband has remarried (committed adultery).

In this very passage that many say give allowance not only for divorce, but remarriage we have a scenerio in which a husband is now guilty of adultery (remarriage), yet the wife is prohibited from remarriage without herself entering into sin (adultery).

If the truth was that God allowed remarriage in the case of adultery, what is the reason the "left" wife is prohibited from remarriage, if she is not still in fact "joined" to her husband in spite of his new "marriage"?  

 You make a good point Cindy. This innocent party garbage is not something found in scripture. We all should recognize that the creeds and confessions are not the word of God. Neither are the words of prominent authors. It is something invented by man to fill the void where God never said any of it.

 Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

There is only one precept I see where God allows remarriage, and that is death of the spouse.

Zack

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2004, 11:38:03 PM »
Quote
There is only one precept I see where God allows remarriage, and that is death of the spouse.

That only applies to sacramental marriages, i.e., where both the bride and the groom are baptized.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11
  • To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.
  • But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be

reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.[/list]
In the case of a marriage that is non-sacramental it appears that the Church has the authority to allow divorce in certain cases, as Paul did when speaking on his own authority as a bishop of the Church:

1 Corinthians 7:12-16
  • To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
  • And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.
  • For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
  • But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
  • How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
The real question, though, is not about divorce but about validity.  The poster, Shirley, wants to know if her daughter's marriage is valid.  If she were Catholic the answer is no.

cindyw

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2004, 11:54:51 AM »
Zach,

I don't mean to be contentious here, but where exactly in scripture does it state a marriage is only valid between those who have been baptized?    In the same passage you quote (I Cor. 7), Paul acknowledges as VALID a marriage of a new convert and her UNCONVERTED husband.   If it were NOT a valid marriage, Paul would tell them to be separate, yet that is not his counsel.

You seem to believe that membership in the RC Church is what constitutes a "real"marriage before the Lord.   In your opinion then, are those married outside the RC Church merely fornicating----in spite of vows/legal civil ceremonies?

As a protestant, I view Shirley's daughter as being validly married in the eyes of God.   It appears your views are at odds with Paul's teachings on the matter.   Blessings in Jesus, Cindy

cindyw

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2004, 12:01:23 PM »
On a side note:   I find it quite interesting that the RC Church who for the longest time did not waiver in it's stance has gone the way of many protestant churches in allowing annulments for ANY cause----even in so called "sacramental" marriages...........

It appears to me that they, like most protestant churches, have buckled to sin and put their blessings upon unions which God did not/does not bless......but we have been foretold that this end generation would greatly depart from the Lord in our desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and surround ourselves with teachers/churches that tickle the ear..........The current state of the RC church and Protestant churches is not surprising, though very sad........

Tony Warren

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2004, 12:24:42 PM »
>>>
If my daughter went and got married in Las Vegas in front of a magistrate and not in a Church or in front of a minister, does that still constitute a legitimate marriage? Even if 6 months later she regreted doing it?
<<<

The short answer is, yes! That is a legitimate marriage. Marriage is not made justified r made validated by a Minister, a document or a church, it is a "Covenant" (meaning Promise or Oath), a vow made by a man and woman before God signifying their lifelong unity and bond. When this is done, wherever it is done, it is a valid Covenant Marriage instituted "before God" (because God is witness to it).  Just as it makes no difference whether you make an oath foolishly or wisely, made it to a unbeliever or a believer, you are still "BOUND" to keep that vow or promise (Numbers 30:2; Ecclesiastes 5:5).  i.e., if I borrow money foolishly, that doesn't mean my foolishness is an excuse not to pay what I have vowed/promised to pay. That I was foolish does not change the oath or promise that I made. Likewise, that is the same principle of the binding of a marriage covenant with God as witness.

If six days later a person regrets that vow, that doesn't (cannot) change the Covenant Promise that they have taken before God to be bound or yoked together as husband and wife. They are bound together by this oath before God so long as they both shall live. It is a law of God to them that is never to be transgressed. And indeed before the arrival of this divorce apostasy in the church, most all Christians understood this.

Romans 7:1-3
  • "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
  • For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
  • So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."

Apostasy makes something that is perfectly clear, somehow seem unclear. The growing problem in our day is that no one wants to take "responsibility for their actions" anymore. We're living in a law-less society, a world of easy-fixes for everything, be it by failure, divorce, abortion, or bankruptcy. Today it seems that mistakes don't have to be paid for, and that includes criminal conduct--because people want to place the blame for their lot in life on everyone but themselves. And they have a myriad of enablers in the church allowing them to get away with it. But society's changing ethics, morals and sensibilities does not change God's laws.

The Biblical fact is, we "ARE" responsible for our actions, and when we do something foolish we have to suffer the consequences. It is a case of cause and effect. That's why it's so imperative that parents instill in their children at an early age how very "important and permanent" the marriage covenant is. Unfortunately, today's church has lost her way and is counseling on this issue through emotion, feelings, sentimentality and by what seems right in their own eyes, rather than by what is written in the law or Word of God. Divorce is deemed good, and those who speak against it deemed cruel and evil. Because it's no longer what God's word says, but about what seems right to us. However, it's not something that is new among God's people.

Isaiah 5:20-21
  • "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
  • Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!"

Regardless of what "seems" right in our jaded eyes, any Covenanted/Promised Marriage is a legitimate one. It is bound by the oath of the two taken before God as witness, and when it is instituted it cannot be broken or pulled asunder by mankind. No matter what his or her rationalization is.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Tony Warren

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2004, 12:35:08 PM »
>>>
Shirley,
    I would add the following in response to your question.  From the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24, Marriage and Divorce paragraph 5b.

   In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce:
<<<

The word of God (His Law) doesn't make mention of a "innocent party" in a marriage Covenant, nor does it ever anywhere state that anyone can sue out of marriage. Thus, this is clearly a man made or private interpretation and not the divine doctrine of marriage that was handed down to the church. We should be aware of the difference and understand that the Westminster Confession is not the word of God, and thus cannot be used as His authority for justifying Christian divorce. Indeed, the very reason why so many people quote the tradition of the Westminster confession written by men is precisely because they cannot quote such things from God's word.   ...Selah!


Quote
>>>
 b. Matt. 5:31-32.
(31)  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
(32)  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

...and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.
<<<

"And after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead?"

You see what I mean. The quote above is found nowhere in the Bible. I'm sorry, but this is the utter nonsense of men twisting God's words to suit their own purposes. It's an opinion or private interpretation of what God actually said.  The word of men cannot substitute for God's word, no matter how respected or vaunted the writing is deemed to be by men. There is absolutely nothing in scripture that teaches that we can treat our living husbands or wives "As If" they were dead, and marry another. Not for any reason, or at any time. That is clearly adulterating what God says about keeping the marriage bond until or unless your partner is dead. It is in effect practicing spiritual fornication by mixture of what God says with man's private opinion of it. My advise to faithful Christians would be to remain steadfast and beware of private interpretations that lead you astray.

2nd Peter 3:16-17
  • "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
  • Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."

Note that the first part of your quote listed is the actual Word of God, and can be read unadulterated within God's word by anyone, word for word. But the part in green is the private opinion or interpretations of men, and is found nowhere within God's word. Claiming we are justified in doing something "..after the divorce," As If Matthew 5 says one single solitary word about anyone righteously divorcing, is not in accordance with the actual text. Someone may make the unrighteous claim that it "implies" divorce, but to write as if it explicitly teaches that is wrong. On the contrary, what it says is that the Jews had understood in the law (of Moses) that men could put away their wives with a writing of divorcement, but Christ was teaching actually such action causes her to commit adultery, and He continues that anyone marrying the divorced woman is also committing adultery. See the difference?

Look carefully, circumspectly, at Matthew chapter 5. All through the context of Matthew 5 God is illustrating how they could not keep the law even though they had thought that they could be righteous by doing so. It illustrated the law of Moses and how the Jews had perceived that it related to them versus how it "actually" pertained to them. It revealed that they could never keep it, and pointed to the Christ who would fulfill it. He showed for example how they thought the law that "thy shalt not murder" meant they were in accordance to it by never having physically murdered anyone, Christ revealed that by simply being angry with their brother without a cause meant they had already violated that law in God's definition of it. They thought that the law of not committing adultery meant they were in accordance with it if they never physically committed the act, but Christ revealed to them how when they are simply looking at a woman with lust, that meant they were already in violation of that law in God's eyes. Likewise, they thought that the law of Moses for divorce meant that they could divorce for fornication or some other uncleanness, but Christ showed that from the beginning it was not so, and God always intended for it to be a lifelong "One Flesh" bone of my bone, lifetime bond that cannot be separated. That is the point there.

The whole chapter is an illustration of the law, and how it cannot be kept, except by the righteousness of Christ. The New Testament reveals the concealed truth of the Old Testament. The Marriage Covenant is an unbreakable bond, and points to Christ and His relationship to His bride the church. Christ says man cannot put/pull asunder hat which God has joined together. ..and that cannot be re-translated by post modern theology to mean, "man can pull it asunder because it's not inseparable."


Quote
>>>
 Here is what John Hodges says in relation to The WCF chapter 24, para 5;
         
2. The divine law as to DIVORCE is, that marriage is a contract for life between one man and one woman, and that it is, ipso facto, dissolved only by death (Rom. 7:2,3); and that the only causes upon which any, civil authority can dissolve the union of those whom God has joined together are (a) adultery, (b) willful, causeless, and incurable desertion.
<<<

Again, not only no creed nor confession, but no author, whether John Hodge or John Calvin, is "The Authority" of the church anymore than you or I are. The unadulterated word of God is the sole ultimate authority of the church. In a phrase, "Sola Scriptura!" What John Hodge says is immaterial if it is not in accordance to (a witness of) what the word of God actually declares. And it is self evident that if the word of God had actually said that "civil authority can dissolve the union of those whom God has joined together when there is adultery or willful, causeless, and incurable desertion," then you would be quoting it instead of John Hodge and the Westminster Confession. Selah.   

Obviously nowhere does the word of God declare that desertion is grounds for a woman to divorce her husband, or a husband to divorce his wife. That is "wishful thinking" or at best humanistic reasoning rather than The Witness of the word. It is man feeling sorry for someone who has been deserted, not man abiding by what is written in the Holy canon of God.


Quote
>>>
(b) willful, causeless, and incurable desertion. This is allowed by Paul to the Christian husband or wife deserted by their heathen partner. 1 Cor. 7:16.
<<<

First of all Paul has/had no ability to allow anything. God is the author of Paul's testimony here. And nowhere in the testimony here is what you wrote stated.

Second, 1st Corinthians 7:16 (God's word) does not say one solitary word about willful, causeless and incurable desertions. Again, Obviously this is a opinion of man, what we call a private interpretation of 1st Corinthians 7:16 by those who are predisposed to finding an excuse for disobedience to what 1st Corinthians 7:16 actually says. Let's read the "unadulterated" version of what God's word really says:

1st Corinthians 7:16
  • "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"

So you tell me, what part of that verse (or any verse) says or allows for divorce because of willful, causeless, and incurable desertion? I guess as opposed to non-willful, causeless or incurable desertion. To use that verse as some sort of proof text for such unlawful actions, as if it were axiomatic, is at best a dubious use of the Holy Canon.


Quote
>>>
 The reason in the case is also self-evident, since such desertion, being total and incurable, makes the marriage an empty name, void of all reality; and, being causeless, leaves the deserting party without remaining rights to be defended.
<<<

Self evident to who? To one seasoned in the art of rationalizing and humanizing what should be Godly actions and faithful obedience even in the face of trial and testing? Yes, it is "foolishness" to the humanist to stay married when their spouse has been cavorting around doing who knows what with who knows who. But what is foolish with man and secular humanism, is considered wisdom with God. Understanding of such faithfulness to the authority of the word is found only in those with the Spirit of obedience. Unfortunately, the spirit of disobedience is alive and well and living in the church in the rationalizations of men seated there "as if" they were God. But these truths are spiritually discerned and understood.

Revelation 13:18
  • "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

The number of the beast is the number of "man," NOT "a man" as mayt have been mistranslated in your Bible. It is the number of man-kind in his secular humanity. The article "a" is not in the inspired text of scripture. The carnal/fleshly humanistic reasoning is that which has separated man from God from the very beginning, and is alive and well and living in the church of our day. Rationalization started long ago when the spirit of the serpent beguiled Eve in asking, "...hath God said?"

Eye should have answered, Yes, God has said! Instead, in the lust of her eyes she disobeyed God's law in favor of that which is carnal. When will we ever learn.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Tony Warren

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2004, 12:43:34 PM »
>>>
There is only one precept I see where God allows remarriage, and that is death of the spouse.

That only applies to sacramental marriages, i.e., where both the bride and the groom are baptized.
<<<

Thus says the Roman Catholic Church. However, we don't follow these traditions because so we understand precepts in the "light" of the unadulterated word of God. Water baptism has nothing to do with a physical covenant marriage. You see, both believers and non-believers alike are married before God. Using the flawed logic/rationale of the Roman Catholic Church, no unbeliever is ever really married.

Genesis 19:14
  • "And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law."

Lot's sons (unsaved) were married before God, and we see that the fact that they were not true children of God had no bearing on them being married. So to claim water baptism as a sign of "real" marriage is, well,  ridiculous considering Scripture.


Quote
>>>
In the case of a marriage that is non-sacramental it appears that the Church has the authority to allow divorce in certain cases,
<<<

But we must ask, it appears to who? It certainly doesn't appear that way to me. And of course as we all know, appearances can be deceiving, so better to stick to the word of God alone as ultimate authority in deciding this issue. Sola Scriptura! The fact is, water baptism is one thing but the marriage covenant/oath between a man and woman is another. One doesn't have to be baptized in order to be married. This is another sterling example of Roman Catholic Traditions which is an addition to scripture.

Matthew 15:3
  • "But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"

..why indeed!


Quote
>>>
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
<<<

1st Corinthians 7:15
  • "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace."

The Greek word that is so erroneously translated "bound" in your book, is of course not the word bound at all. So that is another self-serving quote. This word is [douloo], meaning a slave/bond servant, or someone under bondage, not bound (completely different word) as in tied together in marriage. This is a typically distorted passage by those who are predisposed to find loopholes in scripture allowing them to do whatever they want.

By Contrast when God talks about the unbreakable marriage bond, He uses the REAL Word BOUND [deo], meaning TIED TOGETHER. It's a totally different word with a totally different meaning. A bondservant or slave is very different from being bound or tied together. Ergo:

Romans 7:2
  • "For the woman which hath an husband is Bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband."

Bound, or inextricably tied together with her husband by "the Law" as long as he lives. Just as Christ explicitly said in the book of Matthew.  "what God has "joined together" let not man put asunder." ie., they are BOUND inextricably together until one of them dies. Come, let us reason together in accepting what God's word actually said, rather than the rationalizations that so characterize this marriage/Divorce issue.

The word used in Corinthians is not about a binding together of man and woman, it is about servitude/bondage/subservience. That verse simply says if the unbeliever depart, we are to let them depart rather than forcibly keep them in subservience. The Believer is not a bondservant/slave that they must follow them. It says nothing about breaking the bond of marriage, or of divorce, or of remarriage. If the believer cannot prevent the unbeliever from leaving, they are to submit to that departure peaceably, and bear it as a Christian. They are not under bondage/subservience to the unbeliever.

To suppose that this verse would mean that they would be free to marry again, would be to do damage to the rest of scripture, and be contrary to the context of the argument of the Apostle that the two are married and bound together as long as they live.

The sense of the expression is that the one that is left is not under bondage by the marriage tie to compel the spouse to live with them. They are at liberty to let them leave and live separate, and should not regard it as an unbiblical thing to do. No more than that is declared here in this verse. It is just opinion to read into these scriptures more than is actually there. And clearly, there is nothing written there about liberty to marry while the spouse is still alive, nothing about about divorce, and nothing about remarriage. All these things are the thoughts of men that are "read into" such passages. Because the heart of man is desperately wicked and is always looking for avenues of rationalization.


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The real question, though, is not about divorce but about validity.  The poster, Shirley, wants to know if her daughter's marriage is valid.  If she were Catholic the answer is no.
<<<

We can all thank God that she is not. Therefore we can reasonably expect that her "authority" is the word of God, and not church or man's tradition. We can pray for this person's daughter, and the many more who are just like her, that they might put away their worldly ideas of marriage and do the right thing in accordance with God's word, rather than the advice of men or the counsel of unfaithful churches. We can humbly pray that she will not walk according to the course of this world, and the philosophies of men, but according to the Spirit of God in obedience to His word over social and cultural rationalizations. In doing so, her temporal existence may be with tribulation and trial, but her eternal existence is secure in heavenly places, strengthened by the fact that she is a new creation. Not doing things as the world (and indeed, worldly churches) do them, but as the Spirit leads in the Grace of Christ.

Ephesians 2:2-5
  • "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
  • Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
  • But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
  • Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
  • And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"

It's "SO" easy to rationalize and do things as the world does them, but it takes humility and the faith of Christ to do things decently and in order. It is the poor in spirit, and the meek who shall inherit the earth. That is, those who seek to do things God's way! Yes, with men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Wanda

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2004, 02:21:12 PM »
Shirley,
   I think that from all I can read in the bible, and having talked with many biblical minded christians of late, that any couple who takes a vow of marriage, in any way, in any state, in any country, or by any means, is in God's eyes married to each other.

It has to be that way, because I don'rt see any other way God would call these people who who are unsaved in his eyes married, if they weren't really married. Or that they were taking wives, if they weren't really their wives.

I think people are just making things too complicated. You don't have to go in front of a judge to be married or have a minister do it. That will not stand the test of scripture. That's how I see it. A marriage is any vow.




Shirley

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2004, 08:57:01 AM »
Shirley,

If the marriage is legal according to the laws of the government, then it is legal and binding. A Las Vegas marriage is legal and binding.


Thank you for your answer accrding to scripture John. I do have a question. If Marriage is a lifelong covenant binding that requires careful and solemn attention, as opposed to the frivolous ignorance of most marriages (your words), then why was the old testament saints allowed to divorce and it was biblical for them to do it?


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If she is a believer she must strive to be a good, faithful, and obedient wife.

john


Even if the marriage is abusive and the wife does not feel safe?


cindyw

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2004, 09:18:37 AM »
Shirley,

In I Cor. 7:10-11 says:  7:10
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.  
7:11
But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.  

In this passage Paul gives admonishment NOT to depart.   However, He says that IF she does (which implies there may be need to depart) she is to remain unmarried.   In other words, if a wife cannot stay with her husband due to unrepentant sexual infidelity, physical abuse, etc-----she leave, but she is NOT to be married to another.   In God's eyes she is bound to her husband for life and he is to be her only marriage partner (Rom. 7:2-3, I Cor. 7:39).

I know some people think that unrepentant infidelity is the only reason to separate in a marriage, but if a husband is physically abusive, I would also believe the Lord would allow for such.    Many think it is THAT reason (physical abuse) that Moses "allowed" divorces in the OT period.    He did not want the husband's to abuse their wives, but instead allowed them to divorce........Blessings Shirley.   This sounds like a very tough, hurtful situation.   :(   In Jesus, Cindy

Jeff

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Re: What Constitutes a Marriage Covenant Before God?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2004, 07:42:31 AM »

Even if the marriage is abusive and the wife does not feel safe?


Yes, the wife is to remain married, but not necessarily stay with the man. If the wife depart let her depart, God hath called her to peace. But she is not to remarry. She is to remain married until the husband dies, or be reconciled to the husband.

 1Co 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

You see God still expects that maybe there will be reconciliation by the unsaved seeing God in the life of the saved one and they become saved also and turn from their works of the devil.


 


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