1 Corinthians 7:17-26 (“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him”)

[I’m splitting Part 2 posted yesterday into Part 2 and Part 3 as Part 2 dealt with two very different subjects and to better set up the posts that will follow.]

1corinthians

(1Co 7:17-20 ESV) 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.

Huh? Why is Paul suddenly talking about — of all things! — circumcision? Well, he was just addressing whether the Jewish mamzer laws apply to the church. And his point is that while there is “neither Jew nor Greek” in the church, that doesn’t mean we have to be or not be circumcised.

The church may be a continuation of Israel (Rom 11), but most of the Torah no longer applies (or it applies in a new and transformed way). Circumcision is irrelevant, neither required nor prohibited. Not everything has a governing rule!

Rather, as a rule, Christians enter the church as they are: circumcised or not, married or not.

(1Co 7:21-24 ESV) 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

Hence, even though you’ve been freed, redeemed, and saved by Jesus, if you were a slave before, you remain a slave.

This seems obvious to us, but to a Roman, when someone was adopted, he became a new person. His old debts disappeared because the person who owed that money ceased to exist. To change fathers was to become a different person with a different name.

And so it’s easy to imagine a Roman becoming a Christian and supposing that this “new creation” extended even to questions such as whether the Christian had been freed by God from earthly slavery (especially if your master was also a Christian).

Paul essentially says that Christianity frees you from a deeper, more threatening slavery — slavery to sin — and our freedom in Christ greatly outweighs any temporary enslavement on earth.

On the other hand,  our new status as freedmen of Christ — redeemed! — does mean that a Christian may not sell himself into slavery for a pagan. After all, no man can serve two masters.

(1Co 7:25-26 ESV) 25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.

“Betrothed” means engaged, except in the ancient world, a betrothal was contractual between families and so not easily broken. In Jewish law, a divorce was required even though there’d been no marriage.

The Greek is literally “virgins,” and so any never-married woman or man might be under consideration. However, Paul has already addressed the unmarried (and widows) in 7:8-9, making it likely that Paul is speaking to the engaged here.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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20 Responses to 1 Corinthians 7:17-26 (“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him”)

  1. When I read But If You Marry I thought, “Here’s someone who gets it!” Two observations:

    First, in Matthew 5 Jesus uses a compound word for divorce, a preposition, apo, meaning “from,” and a verb, luo, meaning “to loose.” In 1 Cor 7:27, Paul uses the same 2 words, but not as a compound. Now since the uncial MSS were written without spaces between words, how can we be certain that Jesus used one word for divorce and Paul used two words for “loosed from”?

    Second, in Matt 5 when Jesus said, “makes her commit adultery,” “…commit adultery” is a passive infinitive. English has no corresponding passive form of “adultery,” which is not even a verb in English. The closest English verb is “adulterate.” To keep the passive infinitive, we could translate the expression “makes her to be adulterated” or “…to be debauched.” Either of these would present the wife divorced, not for fornication, as the victim not as having been made a sinner by the action of her husband.

  2. Gary says:

    Jay, it took a generation or longer for mainstream Churches of Christ to arrive at the concensus on divorce and remarriage which you have set forth. Before my comment there has only been one other comment. That is remarkable when you think about it. If this were thirty or forty years ago you would have likely had dozens of comments by now (assuming of course the internet had existed then!). It is hard to appreciate now how much of a voice in the wilderness Gus Nichols was when he began by 1966 publicly teaching that the guilty party in a divorce may scripturally remarry.

    For almost 2,000 years the concensus of Christianity was that remarriage after a divorce was forbidden to Christians with the usual (but not unanimous) exception for adultery. There were those like Zwingli who advocated a more permissive approach but they were never enough to change the concensus until the last half of the 20th century. In 1936, I believe, the King of Great Britain gave up his throne because he chose to marry a divorced woman. The traditional position on divorce and remarriage was a remarkable concensus that was the historic position of Christianity for many centuries. Yet now it is only a memory.

    Christianity has shown an ability to adjust to social realities without compromising the core message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Slaveowners were once welcome in churches not only as members but as leaders. Today they would be shunned. Prince Charles, divorced after adultery and remarried to a woman also divorced after adultery, is set to become the King of the United Kingdom when his mother dies or relinquishes her crown. No one even suggests that Charles’ marriage disqualifies him from succeeding his mother.

    The Christian concensus on divorce and remarriage changed because celibacy is not a realistic option for most people. Yes biblical interpretations changed but only after that reality sank in. In 2014 we are on the verge of gay marriage being legal nationwide. It is inevitable that in this century the concensus of the church will change to accept gay Christians who choose to marry a member of the same sex. This will not mean the end of authentic Christianity. Rather it will be a major step forward in having an inclusive church for an inclusive gospel where no one is required to live a life of celibacy contrary to God’s will that we not be alone.

  3. Gary says:

    The relevance of Prince Charles is that as Monarch he will become the head of the Church of England.

  4. Larry Cheek says:

    Gary,
    Paul consistently portrayed a message to Christians in these few accounts that Jay has given here against your “plea against an individual being directed that they can and should live a celibate life.” Paul rejects your decree. Are you a better representative of God or Christ’s directives to his children than Paul? He says that they can and should, and you say that all men have been given a helpmeet and they cannot live without the helpmeet. This is a necessary conclusion because you refer to God performing the action. God did not give Adam or Eve an opportunity to accept or reject the helpmeet union. In other words the relationship between Adam and Eve was forced upon them by God, because he did not provide them with an alternate action. You really reevaluate using that concept as your basis for the necessity of man having a helpmeet. Adam was not given a selection of more than one gender which to select a helpmeet as you have exercised. God provided the answer to the helpmeet Adam called her (female) Eve. Where in scripture can you find God supplying a male as the helpmeet for a man?

  5. Gary says:

    Larry, your position leads to one or both of two conclusions: that gay people should marry someone of the opposite sex anyway or that they should be celibate. The first is cruel sooner or later for all concerned. The second is contrary to God’s will that humankind not be alone but rather have a help or companion for life who is suitable or appropriate for them. I don’t see any escape for conservatives from one or both of those conclusions.

  6. mojohn says:

    Jay, let me apologize in advance to you and your readers for the length of this comment. I wanted to quote enough of your original post to set the stage for my observations.

    I am an attorney and a shepherd of a church of Christ in Missouri. During my adult life, including during my service as an elder for the past 14 years, I’ve at one time or another held several views of the validity (from God’s perspective) of marriages in which at least one partner was involved in a prior divorce.

    Prior to my most recent re-study of this thorny issue, I was a disciple of David Instone-Brewer’s teaching on this subject. When I discovered his writings, I was frankly relieved to find that a credentialed scholar provided a plausible foundation for me to accept the validity of divorced couple marriages.*

    * By “divorced couple marriages” I mean marriages in which one or both spouses initiated divorce based on a prior spouse’s breach of covenant.

    As I understand Instone-Brewer, “breach of covenant” occurs when a spouse: i) engages in physical sexual activity outside the marriage; ii) fails to provide food, clothing, or (sexual) love.** Thus, for example, a husband may divorce his covenant-breaking wife and he is thereafter free to marry another wife with God’s blessing.

    ** I do not have my copy of Instone-Brewer’s book handy, but my recollection is that he claims that clause i) is based on Deuteronomy 24 and Jesus’ exception clause in Matthew 19 and that clause ii) arises from Exodus 21:10-11. Exodus states that a slave wife may obtain her freedom (presumably both freedom from slavery and freedom to marry another) if her husband married another woman and deprived her of these marriage essentials, as described in Exodus 21:10-11. Instone-Brewer reasons from the lesser to the greater that if a slave wife had the right to these things, so did a free wife, and if a wife had these rights, so did a husband. I want to assure readers that if I’ve mis-characterized Instone-Brewer’s position, I did so unintentionally.

    About two years ago, I began a re-study of my understanding of Scripture on the subject of divorced couple marriages because a good friend and Christian brother was divorced by his wife – a professing Christian – for reasons that appeared to have no Biblical basis. As a result of that re-study, I have totally renounced the Instone-Brewer position. I will state my current understanding, which also differs from yours, via inter-action with portions of your posts on August 6 and August 8, 2014. My comments below are in italics within [square brackets].

    Quotes from your post on August 6, 2014:

    (1 Cor 7:15-16 ESV) But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved [or bound]. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

    Again, legal separation in the Western sense was unheard of to Paul. “Separates” means divorces. [I agree with you so far.] And the Christian spouse is free to remarry.

    As Instone-Brewer notes, “Jewish marriage was based on a concept of bondage — both husband and wife were bound to keep the obligations outlined in their marriage contract, and divorce required a certificate of freedom for the wife.” Not bound here refers to freedom to remarry. Instone-Brewer explains: “The only freedom that makes any sense in this context is the freedom to remarry … [A]ll Jewish divorce certificates and most Greco-Roman ones contained the words ‘you are free to marry any man you wish,’ or something very similar.”

    [I disagree with your assertion that the Christian spouse is free to marry another person (of the other sex) following divorce. My rationale follows.

    I’m not a Greek scholar, but the tools available to me state that the Greek word translated as “bound” in 1 Corinthians 7:15 is different than the word typically used to describe the marriage bond. According to The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary New Testament (CWDNT), the Greek word translated “under bondage” in the NASB (my preferred translation) in verse 15 is duoloo (Strong’s # 1402). Duoloo means not “subjugated, subdued.” It is used elsewhere to describe a master-slave relationship. The Greek word translated “bound” in verse 39 is deo (Strong’s # 1210) and this is the word usually used to describe the marriage bond. It means “bound together.”

    It is beyond question that the Jews recognized the “get” (the divorce certificate contemplated in Deuteronomy 24) as permission for a divorced woman to marry again without committing sexual sin. Yet, it was this very teaching/understanding that Jesus condemned in Matthew 5 and 19, Mark 10, and Luke 16. In those passages, Jesus stated that a wife (or husband, per Mark 10) who had been sent away would commit adultery if she married again and any man she married would also commit adultery.

    At the risk of infringing too much on everyone’s patience, perhaps we should state for the record what adultery means. According to CWDNT, the Greek word moichao (Strong’s # 3429) is translated “adultery” and “committing sexual acts with someone other than his or her own spouse. The same Greek word can also mean covenant-breaker, see James 4:4. Because moichao can have both literal and figurative meaning, how do we know which to ascribe to “adultery” as used by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke?

    Presumably we all agree that as we read or hear communication, our default “programming” is to understand the communication literally, unless the context mandates that we should take it figuratively. Dr. D.R. Dungan incorporates this teaching as Rule 1 in Section 51 (page 195) of his book Hermeneutics. Thus, outside some of the prophetic writings and the verse in James, when one encounters the word “adultery” one should assume it has its normal, literal meaning.*** Accordingly, when we encounter Jesus’ teaching that a divorced woman and the man she marries commit adultery following a subsequent marriage, we should assume he means plain old garden variety sexual activity between at least two persons, at least one of whom is married to someone not involved in the liaison.

    *** The only exception to this general rule of which I’m aware is Jesus’ teaching that if a man imagines engaging in sexual activity with a woman he commits adultery in his heart, Matthew 5:28.

    For avoidance of doubt, I hold that Jesus teaches that a man commits literal adultery when he has sexual contact with a woman – even one to whom the law recognizes as his wife – if his first wife is still alive (see comments following the next paragraph). Thus, the inescapable conclusion is that God still considers the divorced spouse to be married to the first spouse.]

    If marriage is a triangle — with God at the apex and the husband and wife at the base — a three-party contract, why isn’t a Christian bound in this case? Why is the Christian spouse free to remarry when divorced by a pagan spouse? And why is the rule stricter when a Christian leaves? Why should that make a difference?

    [I’ve heard the “marriage triangle” position put forward in the past, and I don’t accept it as an accurate description of marriage. I have found no Biblical support for the position that God is a “party” to any marriage, although God does join a man and a woman in marriage (Matthew 19:6) and they are thereafter bound to each other until death parts them (Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39).

    Regarding your use of the word “contract” to describe marriage in the previous paragraph and in other places, I’m convinced that’s not the most accurate English word to describe the relationship. God himself calls marriage a covenant (Malachi 2:14). As I understand covenants in the ancient Near East, a party was bound to perform his treaty obligations even if the other party defaulted. Only the death of a covenant party could terminate the covenant. We see this played out in the Prophetic books where it is recorded that God divorced his faithless wives Israel and Judah for their spiritual adultery (Ezekiel 23; Jeremiah 3:6-10), but, he did not get new wives. Instead, he restored the house of Jacob (Jeremiah 33) following repentance in Babylon.

    Based on what history teaches us about covenants, reinforced by Paul’s unambiguous statements in Romans 7 and 1 Corinthians 7, I’m convinced that the marriage relationship continues until one of the parties dies, even if the laws of the land view a marriage as terminated when a judge says so. Thus, I do not believe that a woman deserted by a Christian or pagan husband is permitted to marry with God’s blessing until the faithless husband dies.]

    Obviously, Paul reads Jesus differently from how we read Jesus. As a result, many Church of Christ commentators have refused to accept the conclusion that the Christian spouse may remarry, but Paul’s words are very clear. “Not enslaved” or “not bound” means “no longer bound by her commitment to her former husband.”

    As the NET Bible translators comment,

    The argument for this view is the conceptual parallel with vv. 1Co 7:39-40, where a wife is said to be “bound” (a different word in Greek, but the same concept) as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is “free” to marry as she wishes, only in the Lord. If the parallel holds, then not bound in v. 1Co 7:15 also means “free to marry another.”

    [I don’t see Paul understanding Jesus any differently than what I’ve written above. To me, it’s not clear at all that a deserted spouse of a non-believer is free of the marriage bond. In fact, I’d argue the opposite: It’s clear from the context of 1 Corinthians 7, Romans 7, and Jesus’ teachings in the gospels that divorced couple marriages are not valid in God’s sight. What the abandoned spouse is free from is her obligation to perform marital duties for the abandoner.]

    More importantly, in Roman law, the wife could not prevent her husband from divorcing her. She could not insist on the marriage. She did not need to consent to the divorce. And so, if she is “not bound,” the only thing binding her was the marriage that has now been dissolved. She is no longer married, and therefore she is no longer bound to honor a non-existent marriage.

    [To restate my position, God created marriage before the fall for the benefit of all humanity. As such, life-long marriage is the rule whether the parties are in covenant relationship with God or not. Thus, regardless of what Roman law permitted, God says the wife in your prior paragraph cannot marry until her husband dies if she wishes that marriage to be God-sanctioned.]

    Quotes from your August 8, 2014 entry:

    (1Co 7:10-11 ESV) 10To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11(but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

    Paul seems to plainly prohibit a second marriage here, but the logic of that conclusion is plainly inconsistent with Paul’s allowing a woman married to a pagan to remarry if he divorces her. Marriage is either a triangle or it’s not.

    [As stated above, the “marriage triangle” perspective is non- and perhaps even anti-Biblical. The teaching that only death breaks the marriage bond is supported by Paul’s writings in Romans 7 and in 1 Corinthians 7:39 as well as an understanding that ancient Near East covenants were unbreakable as long as all covenant parties were alive. Thus, I see no consistency problem recognizing that Paul does clearly prohibit a second marriage following a “garden variety” divorce and that he doesn’t sanction a second marriage in the case of an abandoned spouse.]

    And it’s not. If we think of marriage as a type of contract, then the conclusion becomes obvious. If I promise to pay you $20 to cut my grass, and you agree to cut my grass for $20, we have a binding contract. If we’re both Christians, in a sense, God is a party to that contract because he’ll hold us both to it. Christians must keep their word.

    But if we agree to cancel the contract, God doesn’t continue to hold us to it. And if you refuse to cut my grass, I’m not bound to pay you the $20 anyway.

    God’s a party to the contract, but that doesn’t mean that one party has to honor the contract when the other party does not.

    [For the reasons stated above, contract law isn’t the most accurate lens through which to view Biblical marriage. Covenant is the most accurate paradigm. As the creator of marriage, God gets to define the terms of the relationship and those terms are that the relationship continues until one spouse dies.]

    Just so, if a pagan breaks a marriage, it’s broken and the spouses are no longer married, and there’s nothing binding the other spouse to the marriage — because the marriage has ended.

    And so the “Pauline exception” really is simply an application of common sense to marriage. And 1 Corinthians 7:27 follows the identical logic. It’s not sin to violate a marriage that no longer exists.

    [In conclusion, I don’t accept that there is a “Pauline exception” that permits an abandoned spouse to marry another person. The ability to marry again after abandonment is contingent on the death of the abandoning spouse.

    Because God has spoken – clearly from my perspective – I am convinced that we walk on thin ice when we come to a conclusion based on common sense and our conclusion has the effect of loosing where God hasn’t loosed.

    As a footnote, I want to mention that for the first few centuries after the end of the apostolic age, the “early church fathers” were nearly unanimous in their understanding that divorce was permitted for the sole reason of a spouse’s sexual infidelity. But, regardless of the reason for the divorce, subsequent marriage was prohibited. See “Jesus and Divorce,” where the authors, Heth and Wenham, quote from the writings of early church fathers, many of whom spoke Greek and lived in a Greek culture. Thus, there is little likelihood that they misunderstood the NT wording or the culture in which those words were written.

    While I freely acknowledge that the writings of the early church fathers are not inspired by God in the 2 Timothy 3:16 sense, we should be careful not to disregard their understandings, especially to the extent they are consistent with Scripture. And I personally am convinced that their understanding is consistent with Scripture as described above.

    Thanks for making it to the end of this long comment! I await your responses.]

  7. Alabama John says:

    To be scripturally correct and able to get forgiveness and remarry it would require the spouse to kill their spouse as a dead spouse allows the other to marry.
    Also praying for forgiveness can cause forgiveness to be given so all will be OK.
    This twisting is how many reason.

  8. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    mojohn,

    I’ve responded to your comment regarding the early church fathers in a post that will appear tomorrow. For a more thorough discussion, check out https://bible.org/article/divorce-teachings-early-church which responds to Heth and Wenham. I think you’ll find that there’s a very substantial likelihood that many of the ECF’s misunderstood the scriptures re MDR.

    The balance will come later.

  9. Larry Cheek says:

    Gary,
    As you should have easily noticed in the text of my other comment. I was attempting to show how Paul had directly denied your conclusion that there were no directives in scripture for any of mankind to remain celibate. You can also easily notice that he did not offer a time duration for the celibate to last, yet he did give a reason why it would be good, because of the present distress.
    Which could change shortly or could endure for an undetermined amount of time in which the directive would still be valid. Paul did not hold your opinion that it is contrary to God’s will, for man not to have a help or companion for life, especially as you attempt to imply that no man not have a sexual playmate. Even Christ made comments concerning those who have made themselves to be eunuchs. Notice, they mastered their bodies (for the kingdom of heaven’s sake) there is not an indication that they had been void of desire.
    (Mat 19:12 KJV) For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    I noticed that you did not attempt to address God’s lack of providing Adam with a same sex partner as his helpmeet. Beyond that you will never find an example in scripture of God offering a male to a male as a helpmeet. The term helpmeet in scripture was always applied to a female being a help to a male. God has never applied the phrase that you have stated, “companion for life who is suitable or appropriate for them”, to any union except a male with a female. Check it out, I know that you have the ability, show us the message.
    Would you be brave enough to post messages from God in scripture that apply to male to male sexual attractions or female to female sexual attractions, to explain to us that we misunderstand God’s message concerning them.

  10. Gary says:

    Larry, I take Paul at his word in 1 Corinthians 7:9 that it is better to marry than to burn. You advocate the opposite that for gays it is better to burn than to marry. You also seem to implicitly be advocating that either gays should enter into mixed gay-straight marriages or that God has provided no potentially suitable or appropriate helpers or life companions for millions of gay people today. I reject both possibilities. As for God ever providing a man as a suitable helper/life companion for another man he has done it for me. You may not believe that but I experience my husband as a blessing from God every day. Before I fervently wanted to die but now I want to live. That’s plenty of confirmation from God for me.

  11. Eric says:

    Great post! I learned a lot here. My personal feelings on marriage because I and my wife are Christians goes back to the image we represent. I feel like as a husband representing Christ, I should look to Gods grace and steadfast commitment to His Church and more closely myself as the standard. I should say that my wife makes this easy unlike what Christ puts up with so maybe I’m nieve. I would never dream of holding nonchristians to any of these principles. I don’t know much about the traditional CoC stance just hints here and there. Paul has a great teaching here for all the different situations one could find themselves in coming to Christ. Thanks for making it more understanding.

  12. Gary suggests, “The Christian concensus (sic) on divorce and remarriage changed because celibacy is not a realistic option for most people.” Sure it did. For the previous 1900 years, celibacy was much more popular and sexual continence far easier to accomplish. Only in the last century did human beings really start wanting to have spouses so much. And sex. We pretty much popularized that.

  13. To look at a divorced person and suggest that this person is still bound by his marriage vows is to deny the existence of the divorce. Divorce, by definition, ends a marriage. That is what divorce is. When the marriage has ended, marital obligations under that marriage cease to exist. When Jesus adjures us that “what God has joined together, let not man put asunder”, this demonstrates the unfortunate fact that we can -and do- end marriages, even when God does not approve. Doing what God does not approve is just sin. Like any other sin. Divorce is of no different nature. This elaborate rationalization denying the reality of divorce is inconsistent with the evidence before us. God does not hate divorce because it does not really occur, but because it does.

  14. Gary says:

    Actually, Charles, what did change in the USA was our divorce rate. It climbed in the 20th century and especially after WW2. It hit all-time highs in the 1970’s and 1980’s, about the same time the traditional CoC position on mdr began to be seriously questioned. It was easy to condemn divorced persons to a life of celibacy when we didn’t have anyone in our families who was divorced. I’m pretty knowledgeable about my genealogy in many different family lines for the last several centuries.I’m not aware of a single divorce among my ancestry until the 1960’s. It’s a whole different situation when divorce hits close to home. In the same way it’s easy to condemn gays to a life of celibacy when you don’t have any in your family- at least any who have come out. But it will be a whole different situation as more and more gay men and women come out and refuse to be treated as second class citizens or as second class Christians. In a decade I think the traditional Evangelical and CoC position on homosexuality will be seriously under attack even among conservatives.

  15. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    mojohn,

    I’ve now posted a series of replies to your arguments. I greatly appreciate your comment because it’s pushed me to study several questions much more deeply — and I always enjoy learning more about the Bible and God’s will. The posts will appear over the next several days.

  16. Larry Cheek says:

    Gary,
    It is very clear from your communications which god you are serving, your lust and desires are at the top of the list, then secondarily promoting your perversion of God’s Word. When challenged to provide God’s directives that support your lifestyle, you failed, and only produced your testimony as to how your life is fulfilled. Men who are only looking to serve themselves, have even produced their income by becomming a pimp ruling over a group of women who sell their services and the whole organization praises God for providing their profits. Even offering prayers in advance asking for great profits. These men and women also feel fulfilled.
    Would any student of God’s Word agree that they are serving The Lord God?

    Gary, have you admitted that God’s Word does not really support your lifestyle?

  17. Gary says:

    Larry, no.

  18. mojohn says:

    Jay, I’ve scanned your most recent post and will seek to really digest it tomorrow and post additional comments and questions for consideration.

    Thanks!

  19. Dwight says:

    In the OT divorce/putting away broke the bonds of marriage allowing for both parties to remarry, but there had to be a reason for sexual immorality also. It wasn’t until later that divorce for other causes was reasoned by the Rabbis and came into being in the Jewish schools of thought, which is why the Pharisees challenged Jesus on that in Matthew. Jesus goes back to the OT law, where divorce for any reason was not really divorce and did not break the bond. This is reflected in scripture where God says that Israel in comitting adulturey was in judgment of being divorced, but God hates divorce and loved, usually, Israel and did not even though it was within His right.

  20. Eric says:

    These are great post and I’ve learned much. My personal thoughts on marriage come from the relationship between Christ and the Church me included. I feel I should show my wife the same grace and long suffering God has shown me, the Church and Isreal. This is not the standard I hold others to, but I feel it’s the right way to be. Anyone who knows my wife also knows I have it easy, but all the same if she were unfaithful I’ll be waiting if she repents. Nonchristians can’t be held to this standard. They have no reason to be. No God no standard. Also if someone were to overlook what God has called sexually immoral in the Old and New Testament I can see why they may fall into thinking its okay to develope immoral relationships. It’s always best to pattern your life according to Gods word rather than attempt to make it say what our iching ears want to hear. Many doctrines and false teachings are the result of just that type of exercise.

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