Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Hypocrisy of the "Restored and Remarried"





When I first saw this title of this post I was deeply saddened for the total disrespect for marriage. I could only imagine what the author of this article was willing to tell us about one-flesh covenant marriages…and how that God would not want us to divorce… Yet, the hypocrisy to make a “remarriage” work is in line with the thought that divorce is out of the question for a remarriage…then why would divorce be out of the question for a marriage? If the Lord does not approve of divorce from a one-covenant marriage, what would His words be to those who have divorced and remarried? The Bible tells us...if we would only walk in faith to believe...
 


The hypocrisy of these posts and these ministries are beyond question. But what is most alarming being how they are widely accepted today, as if divorce and remarriage are acceptable in the Lord’s sight… So, for these ministries to “help and minister” or to think they are helping and ministering those broken by divorce and struggling in remarriage, there needs to be certain presuppositions in place.
The question is whether these presuppositions are false or not.


These are the presuppositions for ministries like Restored and Remarried, FamilyLife Blended, Focus on the Family, etc…

  • Marriage is God’s "idea" (and/or intention) as one man and one woman for life, but there are specific permissions in the Bible which allow for divorce and remarriage.


  • A civil divorce paper ends a one-flesh covenant marriage.

  • A vow to another while your spouse of covenant is still alive, is approved by the Lord.

  • A civil “remarriage” paper begins a new marriage.

  • This “remarriage” is a marriage which is God’s "idea" (and/or intention) as one man and one woman for life, but there are specific permissions which allow for divorce and remarriage.

You can see this is a cycle determined not by the word of God, but rather by the flesh of a person who believes marriage is something that can be redefined from the beginning. (Gen 2:24) If any of these presuppositions are false, then ministries like this are NOT ministries in the Lord. I believe the word of God proves that all these presuppositions are false and they misrepresent marriage, the Gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ.


For these “remarriage” ministries to be successful, one must buy into the idea of these erroneous presuppositions. Well it is very easy for the world to understand this, as those of the world live for the things of the world. This the condition of the heart; a heart that is not set on remaining faithful to the Lord and His institution of marriage. It starts with the first presupposition, and that once you have a false view of marriage, you can create a world that appeases your desires of the flesh. 


The first presupposition for ANY marriage ministry (Yes, marriage, not “remarriage”) MUST be that marriage is one man and one woman for life. There is significant scripture which supports this. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9; Ro 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:10,11,39; Eph 5:31,32) What happens is that whenever you see “remarriage” ministries like this, they will ALWAYS rely on a few ambiguous passages (In particular, Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 and 1 Cor 7:15) rather than take into account the entire word of God. 


For the sake of the length of this post, I have included a link to a past post of mine which deal with the Matthew’s account of the “exception clause” and the Pauline privilege of 1 Cor 7:15. I also included a link to the thought that a marriage can end in “spiritual death”.


 Simple Responses To Exceptions and Privileges








“My husband Gil and I have been married for fourteen years—remarried that is.” 


Brenda, based on the presupposition that marriage is one man and one woman for life, where in scripture do you find that God approves and validates “remarriages”? You will not find any. There are no scriptures that defend divorce and remarriage. None. In fact, everywhere we see a “remarriage”, or a “marriage after divorce” in scripture, “remarriage” is an adulterous union. (Mt 5:32; 19:9; Mk 10:11,12, Luke 16:18; Ro 7:2,3) 


“We were both active and involved in our churches before we met, so we never thought we would find ourselves on this side of the marriage fence.”


If “remarriage” is defined as an adulterous union (Mt 5:32; 19:9; Mk 10,11; Luke 16:18) then why do you call this union a marriage? Marriage is one man and one woman for life (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9) and it is a sin to defile a marriage. (Heb 13:4) You are not in a marriage, you are in adultery, and the fruits of repentance is to leave this adulterous union. You need to tell the truth.


“Divorce was not in our plan.”


That is correct. When you say "our", please do not assume that it is your choice to decide how your marriage can end. The Lord Jesus Christ makes it clear that divorce CANNOT end a one-flesh covenant marriage, thus your vows of remarriage, the civil papers of divorce AND remarriage, are worthless. ONLY DEATH CAN END A ONE-FLESH COVENANT MARRIAGE! (Ro 7:2,3) Scripture is quite clear in this matter.


“Yet, both of us found ourselves divorced, healing, dating again, and asking, “How do I make my remarriage work?”


You both, and many, many others like you decided to ignore the word of God and ignore the Holy Spirit to appease your own flesh and follow the teachings of men rather than live in the spirit and follow the Lord. You are both commanded by the Lord to remain in covenant…to remain single and separated the rest of your lives, or reconcile the marriage. (1 Cor 7:10,11) These are your ONLY options. Instead you are both committing adultery against your spouses of covenant before the eyes of the Lord. 


“God can lovingly heal the harmful effects of divorce as He continues His work of restoration in your remarriage.”


God can lovingly restore the marriage when the sin which is threatening the marriage is settled through proper church discipline (Mt 18:15-17), repentance of sin, forgiveness of sin, reconciliation, and the restoration of the marriage. Your ministry redefines marriage! You will do all you can in your power to save “adulterous unions”, by telling us these are marriages “in the Lord”. That is a lie, and hypocrisy.


“A huge ripple effect was created by “the great train wreck,” our divorces. These non-welcoming, painful ripples have been felt by our kids, other family members, and friends.”


It started with the lies that a divorce can end a one-flesh covenant marriage and the presupposition that marriage is NOT one man and one woman for life. This is due to the traditions of men through false exegete of the scriptures through the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Holy Spirit will always convict you that a marriage is bound in Heaven and no man can put this covenant asunder. You are teaching your children lies. You want to give the same advice to “remarriages” as you would to marriages, and even go as far to say that “divorce” is never an option for “remarriage”. You hypocrites! Wake up! You need to repent of your lies and repent from all the people you deceived. 

I beg you in the mercy and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to repent of this false teaching! You have no authority to defend marriage when you are living in a state of adultery, and then telling others to do the same. God have mercy on you.



“But God can lovingly heal the harmful effects of divorce as He continues His work of restoration in your remarriage.”


The Holy Spirit calls you to repent from your lies and hypocrisy. Considering the divorce never ended your marriage, you must leave your adulterous union and reconcile to your spouse of covenant. Unfortunately, they too may have gone off and did the same thing you did..believing the same lies. Thus, the consequences of your choices will be hard to bare unless you remain in Christ and speak the truth to those you deceived…your readers, your followers, your children, and your church.

I have long since wrote a post on what it takes to make things right. I pray the Lord leads you to the truth of marriage - Dear Convicted Remarried Believer,

In conclusion, I pray that ministries like “Restored and Remarried” and Ron Deal’s “FamilyLifeBlended” would repent and speak life back into those you have deceived. Please know that I would support you 100% and there are many like me who stand on the truth of marriage as one man and one woman for life. No excuses, no exceptions! Because marriage by definition will always and forever be a representation of the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ’s love for His Church. (Eph 5:31,32)

In Christ’s love,

Neil


Monday, July 3, 2017

Testimony of a "Marriage in the Lord"



What would you do?



That is the question I have heard a thousand times for those who have filed for divorce... those who believe divorce is the answer, and those who do not believe it is adultery to remain in a "remarriage". They believe the reasons are all valid …infidelity, sexual addiction, physical and emotional abuse, substance abuse, money problems, incompatibility, abandonment…the list goes on and on. There is no shortage of those who have divorced to leave their spouse of covenant. There is this thought that everyone would do the same if they were in their shoes. Then when you ask those who divorced about the steps of accountability they initiated for their “guilty” spouse, you get all kind of excuses, as if the Lord was on the guilty party’s side.



But if you open the pages of the Bible, both the LORD and Paul have much to say on marriage and the accountability of those who sin against us. There is no thought of divorce ending the covenant marriage, or even the thought that civil authorities have jurisdiction over marriage.(Mt 22:21; Mk 12:17) We read that marriage is as it was in the beginning (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9), and that it is adultery to divorce from a covenant and speak vows of “remarriage” to another while the covenant spouse is still living. (Mt 5:32; 19:9; Mk 10:11,12; Luke 16:18; Ro 7:2,3; 1 Cor 10:11,12;39; Heb 13:4) We read that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us ( Proverb 19:11; Mt 5:38-48; Luke 6:27,28; Ro 12:17-21), and love others even as Christ loved us.(John 13:34)




So, when people ask me what I would do, I am reminded of those who did love and forgive despite the suffer, pain, and even death. The Lord suffered and died on the cross so that we may live. On the way to the cross He asked that the Father forgive those who were about to divide his garments and nail Him to the cross. (Luke 23:34) Stephan asked that the Lord forgive those who stoned him. (Acts 7:60) Hosea remained faithful to the Lord and paid the price to take back his adulterous wife. The Lord remains faithful to the idolatry of the nation of Israel. The love of this kind can only be possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.


There are also a special people who have the spirit of Hosea and the spirit of Ezra. They are those who were divorced by man’s laws and yet remain true and faithful to the covenant vow. They are those who have remained true to covenant, waiting on the Lord and watching as He restored the prodigal, and eventually the marriage.They are those who have left the adulterous “remarriages” to be reconciled, Lord willing to the spouse of their youth. And still there are those who have left the adulterous unlawful “remarriage” to release both parties from the sin of adultery, knowing that it is adultery to be with a person who already has a living spouse of covenant.



Cheryl- “The husband of my youth and I have 3 adult daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 3 grandchildren. We were married in 1983 and are each other's first spouse (so this past April was our 34th Anniversary). However, we've been divorced since 2009. I became very deceived and left my husband in 2007 and entered an adulterous remarriage at the end of 2009. But the Lord was constantly working on me in so many ways and in 2012, I was finally overcome with Godly sorrow that led to my repentance from adultery and the Lord made a way for the legal ties of that relationship to be severed effortlessly in 2013. I have been living faithfully to the Lord and to my covenant husband and have been trusting God to restore our marriage ever since.


Ashley -“Me and my husband were married to each other, both our first time own 2008. He divorced on 01 16. He was having an affair when he left and he has since had two children and married the mistress.”




Sarah- “I've been divorced from my covenant husband in society's eyes for 10 years. It was a first marriage for both of us. In God's eyes I now know we are married until death do us part despite what a piece of paper says. I'm standing and praying for restoration. I'm praying for his salvation. He's an unbeliever. I've never been remarried.”


Kevin -“My COVENANT WIFE divorced me about a year ago. I was planning on finding another woman to marry. I was reading what the bible said about marriage and remarriage and discovered everything that I was taught in church was A BIG FAT LIE. SO I have to reconcile with my wife of 30 years or remain single. BOO HOO! I was divorced for lust that the AG church said was a BIBLICAL divorce, I believe so she could have the right to remarry. She was my high school sweet heart and have 5 children, what a blessing from God. I guess that's about it. I am a open book for any questions for anyone.”



Karen -“married 1983 - ? (court d. 2013) .. married for life and one day to be reconciled to my husband. I contested the 'd" My husband and I met in college '79. We commuted together last year of college. Engaged in 1981, married 1983. This is a first/covenant marriage for both of us. He filed papers first in 2009, served in 2009. I did not seek counsel. We worked on our marriage unsuccessfully. He left in 2011 leaving me no choice but to seek counsel. The process took another 2 years essentially, my husband had to 'divorce' me twice! Our marriage ended by the court against my will 2013. We are married now by God for 34 years and counting. We are parents to 3 sons.” 


Martha- “ Married my covenant one flesh mate 1990,separated may 2006 and divorced 2007 not by choice. We were married 16 years and my H said he wanted divorce because he no longer loved me and maybe never had, I told him I did not want a divorce but he did not care. He left in May 2006 and did not follow through right away and our Divorce went through in Aug 2007. We have one son who will soon be 26. He has tried to be married but is not and I have never tried to find anyone else”


Nicole - “My husband divorced me although he was the adulterer. We have one son. We're married 24 years. I am praying and standing since my divorce. Was final 2016, married at age 20 and 21. High School Sweethearts”


 Jason -“Standing for my covenant marriage of 16 years everyday has its challenges can't wait to see what waits in eternity. Married in 2001, separated in 2010 and she pursued a divorce in 2015 and has been dating a guy since 3 weeks from the divorce.”


Mark -“I believe in the permanence of the marriage covenant. I was married for 30 years. It was my first and only marriage. Beth divorced me almost 4 years ago. I haven't dated nor will I. I believe that God is faithful to his children and to his word. I will continue to stand.”

















These are just a few of the testimonies of those who stand for the truth of marriage as one man and one woman for life. (Still other are found here)The common bond that all these testimonies share is a deep faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate them from His love, faithfulness, grace, mercy, and truth. He is a Rock, a Mighty Fortress, and a Light which shines in their hearts. He is their ALL and ALL, and will never leave or forsake them. These are those who wait on the Lord and remain true to the vow of Him who hears all, and sees all.

I ask you to consider the words of the Lord and put on the love of Christ. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can endure the suffering and trials of this fallen world, and fully know that our only hope is in the Messiah. Please join me in praying that the Holy Spirit would quicken the hearts of those who have be betrayed by their spouse of covenant so that they would stand in love as a witness to Christ's love for His church. Also pray for the prodigals to fall in humility with contrite hearts so that they too can join in the goodness of the Lord...for His glory!

God bless you!

In Christ's love,

Neil