Divorce & Remarriage (1)
My chosen topic is controversial in the Church. Divorce & remarriage are issues Christians are not united, and churches interpret Biblical teachings differently. As a theologian, I decided to look into the contemporary issue of divorce & remarriage. I welcome constructive theological-based criticism of my article. One could disagree with my submission on personal homiletics or hermeneutic interpretation of Biblical verses. Before writing the series on divorce & remarriage, I used many translations for the main Bible chapters and verses for comparable and parallel studies. I adopted several methodologies: biblical hermeneutics, exegesis, sociological, and historical approaches.
Divorce rates are as high in the Church as in the world. It seems there is an epidemic of marriage destruction. Even if we know the truth and never divorce our spouse, the chances are high that we will interact with or influence the life of someone considering divorce in a difficult marriage. – Jarod Hinton, July 2007
The courts grant divorce daily for several reasons that are not attuned to the Biblical view. The questions to answer are: Is divorce permitted in the Bible for any reason? If divorce is legitimate at a point, can there be a remarriage? In other words, does the Scripture support remarriage? What are the biblical references that support divorce or remarriage? What is a conjugal (marital) bond? I delved into available materials; I could lay my hands on in the Holy Bible, fervently praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance for an expose. There are over one hundred Bible translations worldwide; so to do an in-depth exposition or what is called ‘Biblical Hermeneutics’ on divorce and remarriage and get God’s perspectives; there is the need to look into many translations of the Bible.
Adam & Eve’s sin led to the Fall of Man and caused breaches, including violation of troth, the destroyer of holy matrimony, and the acerbic of the bond. The Sin desecrates all relationships, including the sanctity of the marital bond. Therefore, it is conceivable that while the reason for divorce is sinful, the right to divorce may be divine! Divorce and Re-Marriage are issues that have different reactions in the Church today. The Church is not spared despite the apostolic doctrines. There are many divorcees as much as in society. Many eligible men and women are afraid of marriage because of the rampant dissolution of marriages. People now live in sin as common-law partners instead of tying the wedding knots for ease of separation. The person divorced for adultery who remarries may not be regarded as having committed adultery or living in an adulterous relationship. The Church may not categorically declare the remarriage as legitimate or place its imprimatur and benediction; at the same time, it cannot declare it illegitimate.
I am not sensational, sentimental, or emotional but concentrate on the eternal Word of God. Paul’s sayings in 2 Timothy 3: 16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness KJV. This article is an in-depth biblical scholarship. I aim to help the Church administer the proper disciplinary measures to those who go against God’s ‘Will’ on the issue of divorce and remarriage. My concern is about the truth, which only the Bible can reveal. Many priests/pastors have found themselves divorcing their spouses and remarrying others, not to mention many who are not priests but confessors of the Christian Faith. There are divergent views on divorce and remarriage in Christendom, but what does God say? What are the biblical teachings concerning these two issues?
Some Christians outright condemn divorce and remarriage without finding God’s perspective on the twin issues. Many Ministers of God also unleash ecclesiastical order without in-depth knowledge of scriptural perspective on the matter. God’s standard is perfect and speaks to us on all issues. In the beginning, God created us ‘Male and female,’ and it was good by the standard of God. God created the divinely instituted order of troth and love between the first couple (Adam and Eve) as an excellent indissoluble union.
Divorce is an alien, a stranger that was never contemplated in the nature and basis of the union set out by God in Genesis 2: 23, 24. Then Satan, in the guise of Serpent, tempted Eve to disobey God. Eve convinced her husband, Adam, to also disobey God. This disobedience was the root cause of all human problems. In Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English – Low Priced Edition, divorce is described as “(a case of) the official ending of a marriage, esp. as declared by a court of law.” Divorce is taken for granted in the Old Testament (OT) (Lv 21:7, 14; 22:13; Nu 30:9), it being the traditional right of the husband, as in Arabia, to ‘put away his wife’ (Gn 21:14).
For separation to become a divorce, there must be a bill of divorcement (Is 50:1, Jer 3:8), prepared on a definite, and therefore presumably before some public official, and formally given to the woman. In the New Testament (NT), divorce seems forbidden (Mk 10:11, Lk 16:8, 1 Co 7:10, 39). Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches that OT permission was a concession to a low moral standard and was opposed to the idea of marriage as an inseparable union of body and soul (Gn 2:23). Yet in Matt 19: 9, we have the exceptive clause that permits divorce.
The Scriptural teachings on this topic that I thoroughly analyzed are Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31&32; Matthew 19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:15; and Romans 7:1-3. The comparative analyses of all available translations of these biblical texts that I can lay my hand on, as well as horizontal and vertical references for the above passages, were looked into for an in-depth study to support my conclusions. There will be more Scriptural references as I go on to make one point or the other. Please take your Bible and come along with me as I interpret and teach the Word of God as it concerns divorce and remarriage. The Word of God is Life and is enough spiritual food to sustain us.
 J. Hastings, Hastings Dictionary of the Bible. U.S.A.: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2001