1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Scriptures which pertain to divorce.
Lev. 21:7,14 - (priests) "shall
not take a woman divorced from her husband"
Deut. 22:19,29 - "if a man falsely
accuses wife...or rapes a woman...she shall be his wife and he
divorce her all his days."
Deut. 24:1,3 - "if wife does not
find favor in his eyes because of some indecency, he writes her
of divorce and sends her out from his house."
Isa. 50:1 - (God asks) "Where is
the certificate of divorce?"
Jere. 3:1 - "If a husband divorces
his wife, and she goes from him, and belongs to another man,
return to her?"
Ezek. 44:22 - (priests) "shall not
marry a divorced woman"
Mal. 2:16 - "I hate divorce,"
says the Lord."
Matt. 5:31,32 - Quotes Deut. 24 - "But
I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except
cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries
Matt. 19:3,7,8,9 - (Pharisees) "Is
it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?
"Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the
beginning it has not been
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality,
and marries another
Mark 10:2,4,11,12 - (parallel to Matt.
Luke 16:18 - "Everyone who divorces
his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who
one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery."
I Cor. 7:10-16 - "the wife should
not leave her husband..the husband should not send his wife
unbelieving one leaves, the brother or the sister is not under
bondage in such cases."
II. God's intent for marriage relationship.
A. Stick like glue to mate. Gen. 2:24
B. "What God has joined together,
let no man separate" - Matt. 19:6
C. Intimacy of marriage oneness is utmost
picture of oneness of believer and Jesus Christ - Eph.
III. Varying attitudes toward divorce and remarriage among
A. No divorce and no remarriage.
hates divorce" - Mal. 2:16
the church will not allow. Roman Catholicism, Fundamentalism
B. Divorce allowed, but no remarriage.
allowed in case of adultery.
constitutes adulterous situation.
C. Divorce and remarriage allowed for
adultery and desertion.
Adultery - Matt. 5:32; 19:9
Desertion - I Cor. 7:15
based on same allowable exceptions - Matt. 19:9
D. Divorce and remarriage allowed in
variety of circumstances.
legalism and judgmentalism.
necessity to accommodate and respond to such with compassion.
IV. Questions for consideration
A. Since Deut. 24:1-3 is quoted in
New Testament, does the interpretation of these verses provide
for interpreting Jesus' comments on divorce?
permitted, but not commanded.
the permission of divorce for the protection of women?
the permission of divorce part of the Law which was to reveal
the inability of man apart
B. Is adultery an act or a state of being?
C. If the violation of oneness has already
taken place in adultery, then is remarriage still to be
as an act of adultery?
D. Is divorce allowable in cases of spousal
abuse? physical? emotional?
E. Is divorce an unforgivable sin?
F. Is God's grace sufficient for divorce?
G. Is remarriage allowable if the divorce
occured prior to conversion? II Cor. 5:17
H. Should divorced persons be regarded
as "second-class citizens" in the Church?
I. Should divorced persons be allowed
in church leadership? I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6
J. Should divorced persons continue to
engage in Christian ministry? Above reproach? I Tim. 3:2.
K. Is the real issue whether Christ is
our righteousness (Matt. 5:20; I Cor. 1:30), rather than
of adultery or divorce?
L. If a marital divorce serves to keep
one from being "diverted" from God's purposes in their
to "divert" one from a course of self- sufficiency,
can it then be regarded as serving a
in one's life? Rom. 8:28.