Churches Of Christ/Divorce and death
I suppose this is a typical question, but as I understand it, a divorce does not end a marriage. The parties are not free to remarry, but what if after a divorce one of the ex spouses dies? Is the surviving ex free to remarry?
I know I may have worded that confusingly, maybe I can give an example.
Jane and John marry. They divorce. John passes away. Is Jane then free to seek a new marriage?
I am unsure why you believe a divorce does not end a marriage. I see only see evidence that divorce does end marriage every time...even when done for bad or stupid reasons. Please show me any scripture that supports your belief that divorce doesn't end a marriage. I am very well aware of every scripture that speaks on marriage and divorce and remarriage and have not found ONE that says what you state you understand about divorce not ending a marriage.
If there was a divorce, both parties are free to marry someone new every time. I am not saying nor am I encouraging anyone that they are free to divorce and marry someone new as often as they want to and it doesn't matter why you divorce there are no consequences. I know some might think I teach that but I do not teach or believe such a thing.
In your example you state Jane and John marry. They divorce. John passes away. Is Jane then free to seek a new marriage? I answer. Yes and she was free to do so before he passed away as well. The divorce ended their marriage.
If you are pointing to or focusing on the words of Jesus on marriage, divorce, and remarriage...you are in error already because everything Jesus stated on this topic was to JEWS and was correcting Pharisee error regarding Deut.24:1-4. When you wish to look to what was directed to Christians, you look from Acts to Revelation. Please do not attempt to cling to just one or two passages from Paul like Romans 7:1,2 because Paul's focus was in comparing similarities to a marriage between a man and a woman and the committed relationship of a Christian with Jesus. Divorce was not a topic of that passage and it would be wrong to attempt to bind those two verses on everyone and claim that divorce is not possible. The people who cling to once saved always saved point to those two verses as well and try to convince everyone that this relationship is unbreakable by anything but death. But you and I know better and understand that it is possible to destroy our relationship with God. We can fall away. It is just as possible for one person in a marriage to destroy and end that marriage as well.
Look at what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7. In the first 5 verses we see that even married couples are not to withhold sex from each other unless mutually agreed upon to focus on prayer...but Paul makes it clear that even then the time apart should not be long to prevent temptation to enter in and cause one or both to fornicate.
Then in verses 6-9 we see Paul encouraging everyone to be celibate just like Paul was but we learn that the only reason Paul encourages this is because the church was being persecuted at that time. He makes it clear as well that few have the kind of self control that Paul had and so he says that if anyone lacks self control, it is better for them to marry than to burn with passion. Obviously this is true for most of us.
Verses 10,11 do NOT speak of divorce but they cover separation. Do not look to these verses either to support your false belief that divorce doesn't end a marriage. Paul wants the woman who abandons her husband to remain alone or return and reconcile "to her HUSBAND". If they are already divorced, there is no way to "reconcile". The only option would be to choose to get married all over again. The man who was abandoned by his wife should not divorce her because there is hope she will decided to return and reconcile once she calms down and thinks things through.
Christians should never want or even consider divorce. Their goal should always be to marry one time and make it what it should be in God's eyes....love each other and become one flesh for life. Sadly it only takes one to destroy this fragile relationship. But if both are really trying to be Christians daily, there will never be any problem that the two of them cannot overcome together. I firmly believe that is true.
A divorced person can get married to someone new in every case...even when the person is guilty of adultery or any other serious sin like spousal abuse or other forms of fornication. Are they wrong for divorcing if they were the ones who sinned? YES. They should choose to repent of the sins and do all they can to fix the marriage. Is the second marriage sin? No I don't believe marriage in itself is a sin ever. Marriage is never listed as a sin anywhere. Divorce isn't listed as a sin either but "covenant breaking" is listed as a sin. We know that covenant breaking can occur in many ways. My point though is that the sins were prior to the new marriage. What should that person do that divorced and was guilty of major sins like adultery in the first marriage? Should that person never have a marriage again and live celibate the rest of his/her life? I don't see anyone ever being told to do that by anyone in the New Testament. I already pointed out that few could endure a celibate life without fornicating...few had the self control that Paul had.
Obviously this means no one can be forced to live celibate and I do not believe God requires this from anyone. That person who sinned (maybe even was guilty of adultery)...even if that person is in a new marriage...he/she should go forward at their local church and confess their sins to God before the congregation. They should repent of their sins...which would be adultery and could also be other serious forms of fornication or abuse of spouse, etc...but that person is vowing to God that from that point forward they will turn from these sins. So in the new marriage, they will be faithful and will do all they can to make the new marriage what the first one should have been.
Repentance never looks backward. It always looks forward. I do hope that I have helped you understand God's Word better.
In Christian Love, Joe Norman