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Hello Marvin,
I am requesting prayers for the salvation of my marriage.  My husband of 8 years is going to divorce me because he says we are in an "adulterous marriage" or ďadulterous relationshipĒ.  He is unsure what Jesus meant in Matthew 5:31,32 "Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality (fornication)[e] causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery; this last part is the clincher.  What does it mean? Who is Jesus talking about?  It looks like the innocent wife is an adulteress and her new husband is also committing adultery.  
My husband says fornication does not mean adultery included. He says if Jesus meant adultery why didnít he say adultery? In considering the last part of the verse, my husband says if the traditional view is correct in regard to MDR then why does the innocent party by implication commit adultery when she remarries.
He was a widower when we married and my first husband was unfaithful. We are both church of Christ. My current husband believed the "exception clause" when he said his vows to marry me but now after 5 years of studying online he is sure we are living in sin. He says, according to Luke 16:18b and the man who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. He says we are in perpetual adultery and will both go to hell if we stay together. He does not want to divorce. He does not want to live alone and celibate the rest of his life but he says he must be obedient to God in this manner.  He disregards that God hates divorce. He says that God only hates the first divorce not the second divorce.  I say where does it say these things in the Bible.  He says I am still married "in God's eyes" to my first husband who is now married to the woman he was committing adultery with over 20 years ago.
I donít think anything but Jesus himself telling him he is wrong and will be committing the sin of divorce will change his mind. But I am still praying and hoping.  
I just donít believe that God meant for any man or woman to live alone and celibate the rest of their lives.
I don't believe out of all the bad things satan puts us through that remarriage is perpetual unforgiving sin. And I don't believe that it is the only sin out there that is a constant suffering to require the divorced people to be celibate and alone the rest if their lives. Did Jesus die for every sin ( if it is a sin) but divorce and remarriage ?
I donít believe divorce to repent is the correct option.  Committing a sin to erase a sin is just not what Jesus would say to do.  I canít even make myself believe the same way he does. Any input you could give me I will appreciate.
Please explain "and the man that marries the divorced woman commits adultery".  Why would Jesus/God put something in the Bible that would cause such controversy for hundreds of years? I say that if Jesus did not say to divorce then it is a sin to divorce. Their are too many verses that are direct in what we should do. Like, if you can't control your sexual desires then marry. And husbands do not divorce your wives. Also, God hates divorce! That's in black and white, clear!  And also Jesus told the Pharisees that "because of the hardening of your hearts Moses allowed you to div your wives. I would say hardening of your heart is pretty bad.
Besides would Jesus want a father to abandon his children if he married a divorced woman and later changed his belief?  
Thank you


I apologize this took so long. I just found it in my mail box when I was searching for a message from a travel agent. I am packing to go on a permanent mission trip to the Philippines, and mat need to quit AllExperts. Please pray for me in this endeavor, and I will do the same. Now, let me try to answer your question.

What made Adam and Eve husband and wife? Was there a man to marry them? Did they have a marriage license or certificate? What made Isaac and Rebekah husband and wife in Genesis 24:67? Was there a ceremony in Sarah's sleeping tent?

In this situation, because no one cheated on her, could not put him away. He was not put away before she cheated on him. At that point, HE put HER away, regardless of what man had to say about it. The innocent party is allowed to marry. It is similar to the plan of salvation. God never gave it all in one location. To say the innocent party cannot marry is akin to saying baptism is not necessary because Ephesians 2:8 says we are saved by grace though faith.

Yes, we are to comply with the laws of man as far as we can without breaking God's Law according to Romans 13 and others. But, when God's Law says she could not put him away, we cannot call God a liar and say he was. Only the innocent party is granted the right to initiate a divorce and to marry again.

With that said, what would it take to make the two of you be married? Will it take God's definition of marriage to make you one flesh? Or will it take a paper signed by man? What makes a man and woman be one flesh?

1st Corinthians_6:16, "What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he (Quoting Genesis 2:24, MRH), shall be one flesh."

Being "one flesh," that is being married (Genesis 2:24 et. al.), is simply having sexual relations. Having a license is nothing more than man making acknowledgement of what has already happened, or trying to give his permission for something to happen when he has no authority to give such permission. The same is true with a writing of divorce. The writing was not the divorce. The writing acknowledged the divorce happened. It allowed her to operate once again as a single lady in public.

But, you must also consider this passage:

James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

If YOU believe something is sin, and do it anyway, it is sin to YOU; even if it is okay with God. If YOU believe it is wrong to take him as a husband now (before divorce is granted by man or before a marriage license), then to you it is sin. If HE believes that then it is sin to HIM. If it is sin to either of you, then you must stop the union (repent) until such time as you know you can be married.

In any case, because she cheated on him, and not vice versa, he is free to marry and she is not. That much is fact. As far as what makes marriage, that is supported by scripture, and thus is fact, even though most people disagree with it. The reason for disagreement has its root in catholicism that believes man has the right to authorize marriage for others as he sees fit.

So, Julie, I will conclude this way. Based on my understanding of Scripture, You are free to marry, and are already in fact married while awaiting government paperwork to mirror the current situation. However, if such is not your conclusion, or it is not his conclusion, then you must go with your conclusion. If after study you or he determines you are not allowed to marry, then you cannot marry. If you or he conclude you are not already married, even if you are free to marry because of her infidelity, and that it is sin for you to act married, then you must quit until you recognize your current marriage.

I realize the majority will disagree with me on most of this (some to the right and some to the left). I cannot teach people who do not wish to have their delusions shattered by facts. All I can do is show you what I see, and ask you to give it prayerful consideration and study before reaching any conclusions.

I understand your difficulties, and will keep you in my prayers. I am now a widower and find myself in an unconventional situation, so I ask for your prayers, as well. You see, I really do understand and share your concern, and have been recently studying the situation.

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Marvin Howard


I consider myself to be a "doctrine specialist" if there is such a thing. I offer scripture to support or refute (as needed) any doctrine practiced within what is commonly termed "Christianity" today. I am willing to try questions on prophecy and history, though they are weak points. I have learned a little, however. Also, as I am disabled, I have time to research many things. For example, I can find a congregation of the church within twenty miles of your ZIP Code if one exists. If traveling, I can locate a congregation for your visit. I am accountable in this ministry to a group of Christians. I will share my answers with them for review. If a question is private, I will redact the names for privacy.


I became a Christian on April 7, 1969. I have been a substitute, spur-of-the-moment preacher for thirty years. My last pulpit was with the congregation in Braswell, GA. My sermons have always contained at least fifty percent scripture. On occasion, I have preached in seven states, and four foreign nations. This is beside my online ministry. I am now, officially retired.

I hope to never mislead anyone saying I'm a member of one group, when I'm really in another as one here does. By his own admission, he isn't a member of the church, but of the "Christian Church" (sic) denomination. If I can be honest, I don't know why others would want to lie.

Having already acquired significant Bible education from self-study, I attended 1.5 years of Bible college through the church at Dyersburg, TN (before my health waned) in an attempt to get paper to say I know what I know.

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