Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does the Bible Accept Divorce? Yes, It Does!

The debate whether the Bible accepts divorce or not seems eternal and with a lot of ambiguity that every breakup seems a divorce. Casey Aldridge was sleeping with Kelly Dawson when his fiancée: Jamie Lynn was pregnant . These two were living in fornication but not adultery because they were not married when they were having sex.

The word fornication (Mt 19:6) there stands for illicit sex. Thus, fornication encompasses adultery, fornication, bestiality, rape and others. The only chance that some have given for remarriage is if a spouse dies. Yet the question usually is: should two unhappy people remain together until one person dies”. Though it is unbiblical, at times one could be tempted to select divorce over desperate reactions like those of Francine Hughes and Mary Wrinkler .

Since there is no example or prescription to divorce if a marriage turns physically abusive, it is expedient to stay within the known reasons. The human law was given to protect society. Thus, one should exploit the provisions of the law, if they are abused. Perhaps physically abusive individuals could easily be converted to doves as they are made to see their evil with love rather than involving the law because they console themselves that they have already paid for their sins by serving their sentence. Furthermore, James adjures the faithful to cast their burdens unto Jesus who cares for all (I Pet 5:7).

Some have argued that the Bible approves divorce only in case of fornication (Mt 5: 32; 19:9) because If blood is the main requirement in a covenant, sex is the one in a marital relationship. When anyone commits adultery, they destroy their own soul (Prov 6:32). The havoc the sledge hammer does to the bottle cork is the same adultery and sin in general do to the soul.

In 1976, Washington Post revealed that Wayne Hays, though married at the time had hired a mistress: Elizabeth Rays to serve as his secretary. After those allegations, there was no secret that adultery had destroyed his first marriage of 38 years.

The people of ancient times to solve the problem of adultery created the Bill of Divorcement (Jer. 3:8). Ab initio divorce was not a recommendation to solve adultery, but Moses introduced it (Mk 10:4), and Jesus explains that it is due to the hardiness of the people’s hearts. God initially wanted a man and a woman to marry and live together till the end of the world (Gen 2:24). Despite this, adultery was not placed in a higher pedestal to other sins. So why can’t people forgive adultery? The reason why Jesus accepted fornication as grounds for divorce was because adultery temporarily severs the covenant (marriage) and kills the covenantee.

Abandonment is one of the reasons why a spouse is permitted to divorce (I Cor 7:14-15) because by abandoning your post you break the bond that existed via sex, and thus, you are considered dead (Rom 7:1-3). Since a covenant requires two living beings, then the one who is alive is permitted to look for another partner for a new covenant.

Marriage is a means to avoid fornication (I Cor. 7:1-2). God tells Hosea a prophet to marry Gomer (a prostitute) and then he warns him that she will be unfaithful to him (Hos 1:2). Gomer ran away but God saddled Hosea to go and redeem his adulterous wife (Hosea 3: 1-3). Note well; he does not talk here of divorce because marriage is a covenant and it is not broken as far as both covenantees are still alive.

A covenant is concomitant with the feelings of our souls. Palmer Robertson says: “a covenant is bond in blood sovereignly administered"1. If blood is the main requirement in a salvation covenant, sex is the one in a marital relationship, and a covenant requires two living beings (Rom 7: 1-3) because God is a God of the living and not of the dead (Mt 22:32). Marriage is a covenant registered before God and must be upheld unfailingly. It is that established bond that binds the two mates as soulmates despite their shortcomings.

Therefore, while we don’t disagree that the Bible is against digamy (Mt 19:4-9), however, we posit that is when the fault is on the quitter (I Cor 7: 10-11). If the other person leaves, the one who has not is no more under the covenant (I Cor 7:15). A woman is bound by her husband as long as he is alive (Rom 7: 2-3) because a covenant is for the living (Mt 22:32).

Nevertheless, when someone quits a covenant, it is synonymous to them being dead. So while we do not know who divorced who, we will either absolve all or impute righteousness on the other who remarries for benefit of doubt. But they themselves know if they are committing digamy or not. Furthermore, while digamy is a sin like just any other sin, it is not an unforgivable sin. While I adjure people from sinning, I acknowledge that God can still forgive their sins and throw those sins at the bottom of the sea (Mic 7:19).

Until then, the Bible is not point blank against divorce.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

1.Palmer Robertson. The Christ of the Covenants (New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1980) P. 4

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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