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Dear Mr Ferguson,
I am requesting prayers for my marriage to be saved.  My husband of 8 years is going to divorce me because he says we are in an "adulterous marriage" or “adulterous relationship”.  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 didn’t 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 the only sin out there that is a constant suffering to require the divorced people to be celibate the rest if our lives. Did Jesus die for every sin ( if it is a sin) but divorce and remarriage ?
I don’t 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 can’t 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 and that my husbands new "permanence view" is doctrine of demons.
Thank you
Julie

Answer
Julie
I am truly sorry for your marital situation. I have many times met people who have been effected by a relationship headed for divorce. Your in my prayers, you and your family. I myself have gone through a divorce and know the utter devastation that divorce causes. I know the loss of the right to tuck my child into bed at night because I do not live in the same home with my child. Marriage is an institution designed by God where a man and woman can live together without committing fornication, 1 Cor. 7:2 "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." God wants and commands that a couple that are going to live together to have a marriage. From the very beginning of creation God created the bonds of matrimony. And inside of this bond a man and a woman can have and undefiled relationship, Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." This marriage is the only way a man and woman can have a bed that is honorable to God.

I understand that your husband has made a heartfelt study of the marriage subject on his own, I believe you said a five year study. That is a long time to learn from men that will only talk about Matt. 5:31 and 19:9. These are some of the few verse that the MDR teacher will give when they are ask about the subject of divorce. I believe if they are honest they would want all of God's truth concerning the subject of marriage and divorce. But I hope your husband will after a long study keep an open mind and consider a few more points on the subject from the Bible.

First I want to say I do not claim to be inspired and I am a man that has a fleshly mind. Only the Bible has the truth on anything relevent to our salvation. And I only want you or your husband to consider what the Bible says. Also I want you to look at a couple of websites that contain a lot of information about the topic of MDR. arrggg.... I hate that word, MDR. There is not such thing as a "remarriage"! That makes all men and women who have a marriage sound cheep. Like we have been through a recycling center and now were some kind of second class container that cannot hold the pure knowledge of God's Truth. Here is a good website, and as always, only believe what you can read in the Bible. (totalhealth) dot.. (bz). Robert Waters is the owner of this site and has also written a book on the subject. And another site is (divorce and marriage cults) just type that into your search and you should find the page. This is a lady so she comes with a different perspective. But she is "no holds bared" and she is also wrong as I understand the Bible to teach. But she has some great bases to start conversations. I just don't agree with all of her conclusions. But there is some invaluable information on her site and she has been through some very hard fought battles with the false teachers of MDR. And she has left them scratching their heads. I think it wise to read all you can and then educate your husband with what you will learn the Bible to teach about marriage and divorce, no such thing as "remarriage". Start with Robert Waters site, he is a Christian and has a strong foundation and a good understanding of the Bible.

Okay, now to your question. I will be brief and straight to the point because I believe you will find a lot of what I believe to be explained at the sites I gave to you. Of course you know that, "adulterous marriage" or “adulterous relationship” are terms that have been made up by men who can not find a way to explain their doctrine reading the Bible, thats because their doctrine is not found in the Bible. They have to invent words and phrases to draw men into their way of thinking. If they only used terms found in scripture their doctrine would be too cloudy to understand.

1) Matt 5:31 is the only time the translators of the KJV Bible translates the word "Apolupo" to say divorce. I hate to talk about the "Greek" and I will not except to show that out of 68 times that the word "Apoluo" is used in the entire NT Here, only did they translate it to say, "divorce"! Every other time the translators used the correct word "put away" Now if your using one of these NIV or "Modern Day" Bibles you will not only have a time trying to understand this topic but there are many, too many errors to mention here. But you can have a complete different conversation about these New Modern Day translations! But the word here is to be understood as "put away" not divorced. By the way that is the title of Robert Waters book. And that is what Jesus was telling the Jews when they ask this very question. Look at what Jesus said and when you come to the end of verse 32 use the right word put away and do not use DIVORCE. No where else is this word translated divorce! And the two other times in these same verses the word is translated "Put Away"  biblehub dot com /greek/630 dot htm *630* is the Greek reference number for the word apoluo. And like I said, Every time this word is used, 68 times! it is translated 'Put Away" but only this one time was it translated divorce.

I want to take you to the same occurrence in the New Testament but a different writer, Mark. Mk. 10:12 look at what Jesus says here. "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." Don't miss my point, look closely at who Jesus said here did the putting away. The WOMAN! What? The woman was NEVER able to divorce her Jewish husband! So Jesus was not talking about "divorce" Jesus was talking about the act the Jews where doing to their wives. putting them away without giving them a writing of divorce! This was the sin Jesus was condemning in the Jews. The Jewish man would "put away" his wife, and of course the man could have another wife even without the divorce paper. But the Jewish woman could not have another marriage until she received the writing of divorce from her husband. And ONLY the Jewish man could give the writing of divorce. Never could the Jewish woman give a Jewish man a divorce. And Jesus knew this was a matter of fact (Law!) Deuteronomy 24 is where you can read the Law that God gave the Jews on how to preform a divorce. And this Law had to be followed or the woman was not FREE to be another man's wife. "1When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.a, b 2And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife."
Now back to the point where Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. These Jews where not interested in the Law and if they freed the woman or not. They wanted to see what Jesus said about how they had circumvented the divorce Law God gave to Moses! They wanted to try and trick Him because they had found, what they thought was a crack in the Law some sort of a caveat. They wanted to see what Jesus would say when they "put away" these Jewish women without a writing of divorce. The men again could marry, still being married to the woman. But the woman chained to this wicked man that would not follow the Law of Moses and give her a writing of DIVORCE!. Back to what Jesus said in Mk. 10:12. These so called MDR teachers can not answer the fact Jesus said the WOMAN was not to "put away" her husband and marry another. And if she did she would commit adultery because the man was only "put away" he was not divorced because the woman could not divorce her husband. And the samr was true for the Jewish man. When He "put away" his wife he was not divorced he was what we call SEPARATED. And this is what Jesus condemned, not divorce. Jesus did not condemn divorce that was done the right way. The divorce Law was part of the Law Jesus lived under and Never Broke. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:" you can read that in the same book, right before Jesus spoke about the Jews "putting away" their wives without the writing of divorce. Matt. 5:17.... Today men say Jesus taught a different Law right after Jesus said anyone who taught something different was a heretic! But what about what Jesus said, except it be for fornication? Could a man "put away" his wife without a writing of divorce for fornication? Yes, the man did not need to give his wife a writing of divorce if the marriage was fornicated. If the marriage is a fornicated no divorce is needed. The man only needs to "put away" the woman. The same is true today. If a man marries his sister then the courts do not ask for a divorce papers! The judge will order the man to "put away" that woman. She is your sister, are you crazy? The same was true when John the immerser told Herod to "put away" that woman, your bother Philip's wife! The MDR teachers try to use this verse to show that Herod was not allowed another marriage. Herod could have as many wives as he could support under Jewish Law and John the immerser knew what the Law of Moses said. But John did not condemn Herod for being married a second time. John the immerser condemned Herod for marrying his sister-n-law! The same today, if we marry close kin that is incest. And we do not need a divorce to stop sinning we need to repent and "put away" that woman or man. So this was the clause in what Jesus was teaching. And it is like this, whoever puts away (separates) their wife without giving the woman the divorce papers she needs to have another marriage, unless this marriage is fornicated will be committing adultery if they marry anyone else because they did not obey the divorce Law as given by Moses to the Jew.

I could continue for hours and hours on this subject and not exhaust all that is to be said on this Bible subject. But have have said enough if someone is searching for the truth. Again I don't have all the answers and will be happy to answer any followup questions you have. I know God gave a Law to the Jews and Jesus never broke that Law or did He teach another man or woman to do so while He still was on earth before the cross. God not only gave the Jews the law but God showed the Jews how to use that Law of divorce. If you read Jeremiah 3:8 "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce;" You can see here perfectly how God followed the Law by "putting away" and then giving her a bill of divorce. This Law was to be followed perfectly by the Jews. But they had thought they could be smart by only separating from their wives and not giving the paper as the Law required. These same Jews do it today in Israel. You can read about these Jewish women being slaves to their Jewish husbands after the wicked men put them away and go have another marriage while these women are a slave to the same man. Read, "Jewish Women in Chains" by Norma Baumel Joseph. This is what Jesus condemns, not the divorce Law that God gave to Moses.

A couple more studies and the lesson is yours. Men say God hates divorce. But again if you look that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says God hates the "Putting away" Again this is what the Jews were doing in the time of Moses in the time of Jesus and even today. God hates the sin that causes divorce. But the Law of divorce is divine and does exactly what God meant for it to do, it puts asunder the marriage between a man and a woman. Only God can join a man and woman and only God can separate them. Marriage joins them just as God intended. And divorce puts them asuned as God designed it to do. Whatsoever God joins together let not man put asunder. And to put away without a writing of divorce is man's way. But the Law of God is perfect. God used it to divorce Israel and if we end a marriage today we have to use the same Law God used. Lastly, men today say Ezra 10 proves God dose not allow strange wives, as they say a second wife. But that is not what Ezra 10 teaches. Ezra teaches the Jews were not to take wives from the heathen peoples. And when they did this was the same as a fornicated marriage and God does not allow fornicated marriages. So the Jews had to "put away" not divorce these women, look at what the Bible says. But one thing that men today will not tell us. The Bible said "put away" these Strange women. But the Bible did not say the men could not marry wives from their own Nation. And the reason why God always allows marriage is because to forbid marriage is a doctrine of demons. And men who are not able to abstain from women. Set themselves up for a fall when they condemn themselves and other to a life of celibacy. And I did not even get into the false part of MDR concerning their teaching that God punishes the innocent with a life of celibacy if their wife or husband leaves them for what they consider "except for fornication". But I hope I have explained what the Bible says about a fornicated marriage. But I have said too much again. I pray I have only one good and no harm. God Bless you and your husband and all of God's family! Look up Foy E. Wallace on  you..tube. There you will find some good sermons by some gone but not forgotten warriors of God. Please follow up if you need to and again God Bless.
Dale  

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Dale Ferguson

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I will answer any questions about MDR, church history, approved worship, church organization, baptism or any other Bible question relating to Christian living or worship.

Experience

I have studied these Bible subjects with many other men in the pulpits and with long hours of personal study. Most of the men I studied with are of the older schools of preachers. And my answers tend more to be from Bible scripture rather than Bible schools.

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I do not belong to any earthly organizations. I am a member of the Body of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I am a Christian only.

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As everyone, I believe the truth is to be found in the Bible and not in a man made institution. A mans ability to teach the God's truth does not belong exclusively to man's institutions of higher learning.

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