The Reformers do not rely on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God in defining marriage, they rely on their own traditions and faulty doctrine . This is evident of the Westminster Confession (WC) . It is most evident that marriage to the Reformers is a "civil" matter and it is hypocrisy to tell us that marriage is from above. They are hypocrites telling us the same-sex crowd has no power to redefine marriage, when they have long ago redefined marriage as other than one man and one woman for life.
Westminster Confession...Of Marriage and Divorce.
I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time.
This is not accurate because some very pertinent words are missing. This should read: “Marriage is a one-flesh covenant between one man and one woman in the presence of the Lord: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time." (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Roman 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:10,11,39; Eph 5:31,32)
II. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry who are able with judgment to give their consent. Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord. And, therefore, such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, Papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.
I agree with this to a degree. My only question would be how could one know if they married an idolater if their “reformed religion”: says “once saved, always saved”? This premise takes the definition of marriage out of the hands of the Lord and puts it into the hands of the reformer. What if a “reformed person” shows fruits of “reformed religion” but after the marriage he or she believes damnable heresies?
Genesis 2:24 says that marriage is between a man and a woman for life. The first premise contradicts the second premise for this very reason. Yes, a believer is to only marry in the Lord, but sometimes this does not happen. Is the marriage any less valid? No, it is not. (1 Cor 7:12-15)
III. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden in the Word; nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together, as man and wife. The man may not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the woman of her husband's kindred nearer in blood than of her own.
IV. 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.
Here is where the Reformers are in serious error and this is a result of them not accurately handling the first premise. The first sentence allows for “divorce” when a betrothed spouse commits fornication. In our culture it would be the same as a man who found his “fiancé” committed fornication during their period of engagement. This man has the “right” to not consummate the marriage as it is proven that she committed fornication. Yet, he may consummate the marriage if she repents of her fornication. I would agree with this, as this is in line completely with what the Lord would say in regards to the exception clause of Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.
The second part is the problem. In the case of adultery after the marriage is consummated the Lord says that a man is not to divorce his wife, and a wife, if divorced, is to remain unmarried or reconcile the marriage. (1 Cor 7:10,11) The Reformers would have us believe that an “adultery” ends the one-flesh covenant marriage, yet this contradicts their first premise if it is agreed that a one-flesh marriage can only end in death. It appears they have covered their bases on this…”appears”.
“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.”
Most “Reformers” will tell you, “If an adulterous spouse repents of the sin of adultery, it is best to reconcile the marriage and not divorce.” This would be in line with the Gospel. However, the language they use is that it is lawful to divorce and marry another. Now which is it? This double-mindedness contradicts premise one. But they thought it was fitting to add “as if the offending party were dead” to cover their tracks…or does it?
This “as if the offending party were dead” statement reads like this to me. "A divorce “murders” an adulterous spouse and frees the “innocent” spouse to marry another." This premise must take into account that an adulterous spouse will never repent and that they are forever dead. Is this a representation of the Gospel? What happens if the “dead” spouse repents of adultery and is saved by the blood of Christ? Is he or she still dead? Can the “Reformers” that penned this WC on marriage know that an adulterous spouse will never repent? No they cannot!
If Reformers can know who will be saved or who will not be saved, why then preach the Gospel? It seems that the Reformers do not have to ever believe that marriage is an example of the Gospel as they believe a divorce can end a marriage. But if the adulterous spouse repents and finds his or her wife “remarried”, would not the “innocent” spouse who divorced and remarried be an adulterer now? A one-flesh covenant cannot end in “as if they were dead”. There is considerable holes in the theological doctrine of the Westminster Confession and many of these are evident in how they handle the covenant of marriage.
V. 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.
"Although the corruption of man"…The only “corruption” these premises show is the Reformers believing that a one-flesh can end in any way other than death. Where in scripture does divorce and remarriage, as defined in this WC, line up with a new creation in Christ? Also, where does it say in scripture that marriage is a “civil thing” ?
What the WC shows is the willingness of the Reformers to hand over marriage to civil authorities and treat marriage as something other than a witness to the Gospel. Until the Reformers take the log out of their own eyes, they have no leg to stand on when it comes to defending marriage. They have done more to undermine God’s holy convent then any one before or after them. In fact, divorce and remarriage is so prevalent in the Reformers circle that many pastors and preachers are themselves in serial polygamy. There is no shortage of books and publications supporting divorce and remarriage, yet all of these contradict a life in Christ.
I believe that the enemy overplays his hand because when he crept in and held the pens of the Reformers in writing these premises, he had in mind to deceive if it were possible, the very elect. So far he has succeeded on many levels, but his recent barrage of acceptance of same-sex among liberal churches (Who have long ago accepted divorce and remarriage) has only made people open the word of God and seeing the truth of marriage.
The time is now for the Reformers to repent of the Westminster Confession writings on marriage. If the world wants to see the power of the Gospel, they will see it in pastors, men, women, and families who repent of remarriage adultery. The world will see a people who hate divorce. They will see a people who are witnesses of the Gospel because of what they believe of marriage…one man and own woman for life, no excuses, no exceptions. The world needs a Savior, and the power of the Gospel is for times like this. Will you repent of ever believing a marriage can end in any other way than death? I love you enough to implore you to repent, for the time is short.
In Christ’s love,