CAN A DIVORCED CHRISTIAN REMARRY?

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joaniemarie

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2017
3,084
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#1
This was on another thread about divorce. I've been divorced for 10yrs. now so this topic was of particular interest for me. The churches I was raised in did not teach that we could marry again. And more importantly just as the writer indicates., divorced Christians are relegated to "their place" never to be restored. I share this as a topic for discussion and one for learning about how the grace of God in Christ covers all our sins. Many Christians do not agree so this is not to argue., but to reason things out together and also see how this kind of forgiveness effects the rest of our lives.


CAN DIVORCED PEOPLE REMARRY?

Can sinners be forgiven? Can runaways come home? Can crooks get a second chance? Can the broken be made whole?


No, it’s not a tough question. It’s an easy question. Of course divorced people can remarry! These questions are only tough because religion has told us that divorced people are unforgiveable sinners. They’re lepers who blight our perfect little churches. As long as they sit quietly and help with our programs, they are welcome. But the moment they start looking for love, they’ve crossed the line. They had their shot at love and they messed up.


What a graceless thing to say! I cannot imagine anything further from the heart of Christ than telling someone they cannot experience love, that they are bound by the mistakes of their past and they have no future.


The two Pharisees


There are two sour-faced Pharisees stalking the modern church. The first one is called Against Divorce and the second is called Against Remarriage. The first one loves to quote 1 Corinthians 7:27 and the second quotes 1 Corinthians 7:11. Let’s look at each scripture in turn:


Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. (1 Cor 7:27a)


This is a healthy exhortation because divorce is destructive. God hates divorce (Mal 2:16) because it hurts his kids. Your loving Father doesn’t want to see you go through that pain.


But some have turned this exhortation into a law. “Thou shalt not get divorced!” Since the law inflames sin (Rom 7:5) this message is actually promoting divorce. Thus it hurts the church two ways; by stirring up sin and then condemning the sinner.


If you take these words as law, you must be consistent and preach the whole verse:


Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. (1 Cor 7:27b)


If the first part is a law then so is the second. If divorced people are sinning, then so are those who get married. Obviously that is not what the apostle of grace is saying. He’s saying don’t seek a divorce. He’s saying divorce is not something to look for.


The hand grenade of divorce


Divorce is something to avoid, if you can. In our marriage, Camilla and I decided years ago that we would never say the word divorce, not even in jest. (This is not a law for us, just a healthy choice. There are situations – abusive marriages, for instance – where it could be appropriate to use the word.) To say the word divorce during an argument is like pulling out a hand grenade. It escalates matters. Fear of the hand grenade will kill your marriage. How can you be open and honest about your differences when you fear your partner pulling the pin? Paul is saying keep the hand grenade out of your marriage. Don’t seek it. Look for Jesus instead.


But the fact is some people get divorced and sometimes for very legitimate reasons. What about them? Can they remarry? Enter the second Pharisee.


“Remarriage is a sin – the Bible is very clear about this. There can be no possibility of remarriage except to the original spouse.” And then they quote the verse that says a woman must not separate from her husband:


But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. (1 Cor 7:11)


Paul is preaching restoration, which is something we all hope for. If that which has been broken can be put back together, then wonderful. But what if it can’t? What if the man is a violent abuser? What if the other partner has remarried and now has 14 kids? What if there is zero chance of remarriage?


“Then it’s game over,” says the Pharisee. “If they marry another, they break the command and sin against God.”


Such a law-based message is at odds with the redemptive prospects of grace. “All things are lawful,” says Paul on two occasions, “But not everything is beneficial.” This isn’t about keeping the rules but whether your choices lead to life or death. It’s not good for anyone to be alone, but some people are not ready to get married. It’s not good to divorce, but some are literally dying in their marriages.


Divorced people are sometimes treated like second-class citizens. The message they hear is, “We will accept you for as long as you follow our rules of conduct.” Those who speak like this are far from the heart of God (see 1 John 4:8).


Religion vs reality


It boggles my mind how we treat some people in the church. A sinner gets saved and we embrace him as a brother. A pastor commits adultery and we work hard to restore him. The chief of sinners becomes an apostle and we go “Isn’t God amazing?” But apparently grace doesn’t extend to divorcees, for they must stay on probation for the rest of their lives.


“There’s a difference, Paul. The pastor and the sinner both repented and were forgiven. But the divorced person who marries another obviously didn’t repent, indeed, they are living in sin, and so they cannot be forgiven.”


So now we’re preaching conditional forgiveness? We’re telling people that Jesus won’t die for their sins unless they repent?! That’s the back to front. That’s the perverted message of DIY religion.


When Jesus went to the cross he carried the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). No person and no sin were excluded from his sacrificial work. This is why we preach unconditional forgiveness. The punchline of the gospel is not “repent to be forgiven.” It’s “God loves you – repent and believe the good news!”


God’s love is not affected by your marital status


Whatever sins you have done were carried on the cross long before you did them. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make him love you less. If there is an unforgivable sin it is not divorce. (If you’re wondering about what Jesus had to say on the subject of divorce.)


So to the married, I say this: do not seek a divorce and don’t treat grace as a license to sin. Only a fool would exchange heavenly treasure (marriage) for earthly junk (illicit intimacy).

And to the divorced, I say this: You are not an unforgiven sinner! God is for marriage and against divorce, but more than that he is for you. God justifies you, so don’t let the Pharisee condemn you (Rom 8:33-34). You are precious to your Father. He loves you and is pleased with you. Your marital status does not affect his great love for you one little bit.


Can you remarry? By the grace of God you can. Should you remarry? That depends. Ask your Father. He knows you better than you know yourself and he will lead you in the path of life. Maybe you will remarry, maybe you won’t. But with God on your side, you cannot lose (Rom 8:28).

Taken from Bible commentary and posts about Divorce by Paul Ellis. One man's opinion on the subject. There are many other Christians who have remarried and been restored.








 
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OneFaith

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
1,854
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#2
In order to re-marry, you’d have to marry again the one whom you’ve divorced (which the Bible says not to do). To marry someone else is another marriage, and is not connected to the first marriage in order to use the word ‘re’.

But to answer your question, someone who has been divorced can never marry again with God’s blessing. He will never accept the marriage as valid because the only reason God allows divorce is because of adultery. The person who was divorced sexually cheated on their spouse, and has been stripped of the right to ever marry another, and have the new marriage validated by God.

The innocent person who did the divorcing is free to marry another, just as a widow or widower is free to marry another. But it must be someone belonging to the household of faith.

When Jesus says the divorced must not marry another, it means the one who was divorced, not the divorcer. The punishment is for the one who sinned, not for the divorcer.

The sin may be forgiven, but the consequence on earth still stands.



 
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Jul 23, 2017
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#3
yes sister OneFaith said it all.
thanks. God bless u
 

wolfwint

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2014
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#4
I would say: Divorce yes remarry no
 

Marcelo

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2016
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#5
In my denomination it is possible to marry again provided s/he got divorced before baptism, or if s/he was baptized in a church that is considered to be a sect. My denomination regards baptism in "heretical" (guided by men who don't have the Holy Ghost) churches as invalid, so it is as if the person had never been baptized at all.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
11,376
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#6
A better question might be can the "Christian" church forgive and receive into fellowship those who have divorced and remarried?

Who am I to judge what another Christian has been through and what sufferings they have experienced. A lot of things that go on in a persons life are not ideal. I would have reservations if a person is re-marrying for the third or fourth time but with Christian counseling good marriages can be second marriages for those who will trust the Lord.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,508
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#7
God wants us to have life and to have it more abundantly. I would say that the answer is yes. Ten years alone is a long time. God did say that it's not good to be alone. That's in the bible somewhere.
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
4,897
412
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#8
It seems we have some letter of the law people here. So if that's how you want to play, let's look at that letter.

Apparently divorce is just fine with this group IF the spouse you want to divorce has committed adultery. Some on CC don't even want to give the offended spouse the opportunity to forgive the spouse that cheated even if they ask for forgiveness and repent. Ahhh.... you want out of a marriage and your spouse has just given you a free pass to split and marry someone else.

But we know Jesus has said that to look on someone, even for a split-second, with lust IS THE SAME THING as committing adultery. So that little glance he/she just gave some very attractive person is Biblical reason enough to divorce and remarry.

Ridiculous you say? Hey... that's not me saying that glance is adultery, that's Jesus our Savior!

Letter of the law is just legalism in a fig leaf skirt.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus, NOT the law. He has given us Grace. Remarry if He is putting it on your heart, and glorify Him in all things.
 

joaniemarie

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2017
3,084
155
63
#9
I believe we can re marry because divorce is not an unforgivable sin with life time consequences of being single the rest of your life. This would mean that God is forcing upon us a consequence of a sin already forgiven. We will already be dealing with many natural consequences in our lives because of a divorce. The family is a mess., our relationships were destroyed and only Jesus can heal and restore such relationships. But they are not God's judgment on us. God told us long before that He hates divorce because He knows how much it will hurt us and our families. But should a person have gone this route in their lives., God forgives and seeks restoration in all areas. Jesus has made provision for all.

This has nothing to do with a sexual predator who asks forgiveness and seeks to be restored to his previous position in the church (or in the world) as a children's Sunday school teacher or public school teacher. That has natural consequences of not being allowed near children. That person can be forgiven but cannot be reinstated and entrusted with little kids again. If that person has been forgiven., he can find other work to do that doesn't involve children.

This is not so with divorce. (Although some would have it so) Restoration to a previous situation is not always a wise thing to do. And in the case of a predator I would say it would be fool hearty and irresponsible. Not so with remarriage as God makes no such condition on forgiveness or restoration. Divorced people are not criminals. And Jesus paid the price for all our sin and it's consequences. But there are natural consequences for our sin that will always come into play. But they are not God's judgment upon us so we would have to pay for our sins. Jesus has paid for all of them 100%.
 

joaniemarie

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2017
3,084
155
63
#10
It seems we have some letter of the law people here. So if that's how you want to play, let's look at that letter.

Apparently divorce is just fine with this group IF the spouse you want to divorce has committed adultery. Some on CC don't even want to give the offended spouse the opportunity to forgive the spouse that cheated even if they ask for forgiveness and repent. Ahhh.... you want out of a marriage and your spouse has just given you a free pass to split and marry someone else.

But we know Jesus has said that to look on someone, even for a split-second, with lust IS THE SAME THING as committing adultery. So that little glance he/she just gave some very attractive person is Biblical reason enough to divorce and remarry.

Ridiculous you say? Hey... that's not me saying that glance is adultery, that's Jesus our Savior!

Letter of the law is just legalism in a fig leaf skirt.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus, NOT the law. He has given us Grace. Remarry if He is putting it on your heart, and glorify Him in all things.


​Very well written post. I wholeheartedly agree.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,508
1,137
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#11
A better question might be can the "Christian" church forgive and receive into fellowship those who have divorced and remarried?

Who am I to judge what another Christian has been through and what sufferings they have experienced. A lot of things that go on in a persons life are not ideal. I would have reservations if a person is re-marrying for the third or fourth time but with Christian counseling good marriages can be second marriages for those who will trust the Lord.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
What would a Christian church be forgiving of someone who was divorced? What sin did the divorce person commit against a church? Just because you're spouse divorced you does not mean that you committed some kind of sin.
 

Marcelo

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2016
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#13
Keep your eyes focused on Jesus, NOT the law. He has given us Grace. Remarry if He is putting it on your heart, and glorify Him in all things.
It's nice to remember that, while on earth, Jesus preached salvation by the Law and after the cross He (through Paul) preached salvation by grace.
 

OneFaith

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
1,854
126
63
#14
It seems we have some letter of the law people here. So if that's how you want to play, let's look at that letter.

Apparently divorce is just fine with this group IF the spouse you want to divorce has committed adultery. Some on CC don't even want to give the offended spouse the opportunity to forgive the spouse that cheated even if they ask for forgiveness and repent. Ahhh.... you want out of a marriage and your spouse has just given you a free pass to split and marry someone else.

But we know Jesus has said that to look on someone, even for a split-second, with lust IS THE SAME THING as committing adultery. So that little glance he/she just gave some very attractive person is Biblical reason enough to divorce and remarry.

Ridiculous you say? Hey... that's not me saying that glance is adultery, that's Jesus our Savior!

Letter of the law is just legalism in a fig leaf skirt.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus, NOT the law. He has given us Grace. Remarry if He is putting it on your heart, and glorify Him in all things.
Certainly if your spouse cheats on you, you are not forced to divorce them, and you can’t hold it over their head as a card to pull out later when it’s convenient. But, having said that, the one who does divorce a cheating spouse is not sinning- their spouse is sinning.

Yes, looking upon someone in order to lust after them is a sin, and forgivable according to the covenant with God (if you remain in that covenant) which is spiritual. But marriage is a physical covenant- so one would have to physically cheat in order to go against that covenant. And because it’s a physical covenant, God allows divorce because of STDs and other diseases.
 

FrankLee

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2016
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#15
My wife was divorced. She divorced her husband for the cause of adultery. We have been fruitfully and happily married for over 50 years. After her divorce God told her "I didn't put you here and just give you one chance".
 

Marcelo

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2016
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#16
Yes, looking upon someone in order to lust after them is a sin, and forgivable according to the covenant with God (if you remain in that covenant) which is spiritual. But marriage is a physical covenant- so one would have to physically cheat in order to go against that covenant.
Many Christians don't see any difference between looking upon someone and the physical act of adultery. Checking out someone other than your spouse is indeed a sin, but I don't think it's the same as having physical contact.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
11,376
395
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#17
What would a Christian church be forgiving of someone who was divorced? What sin did the divorce person commit against a church? Just because you're spouse divorced you does not mean that you committed some kind of sin.
They have only offended their Victorian sensibilities.

I am saying we must show forth love for them as people as Christ would have us to do.

1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 
Feb 7, 2015
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#18
According to what I am hearing some of you say, God must have stated there are TWO unpardonable "sins." And you have decided divorce is the second one.
 
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Limey410v2

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2017
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#19
The irony in those that vilify all divorcees in the name of God, is that God required divorce in some circumstances.

If a slave was set free and His spouse wished to stay they must divorce. And allowed divorcees to marry again, even to marry Levitical Priests (except for the High Priest). So if God required divorce and allowed remarriage even in the priesthood, how can one say never remarry.
 

joaniemarie

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2017
3,084
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#20
According to what I am hearing most of you say, God must have stated there are TWO unpardonable "sins." And you have decided divorce is the second one.


Christians don't use the term "unpardonable sin" for divorce but your right, some might as well. Before getting a divorce I believed it was a horror against God and Jesus and everyone else. And never thought "I" would be one of those fallen divorced people. Things change when we have to deal with such things ourselves.

There is no sin God has not forgiven in Christ on our behalf. To even say that all sin is forgiven was at one time a shock to my senses really. It just seemed like toooo much forgiveness. Did God reeeallly mean that? YES!

But to the human heart it just seems tooo giving... too gracious. As if people were trying to make something more of forgiveness than Jesus meant. But that is exactly where He wants our minds to go.... to the impossible!