(from a presentation on “Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage,” Belen , NM , 21 March 1988 )


Question:  If “you have a woman who has been in a situation where her husband has committed adultery and he puts her away.  He’s the one that filed for divorce.  Now where does she stand?”


Ron’s Answer:  “In that case, what you have, you have to make a distinction between a scriptural putting away and an unscriptural putting away.  Because the man goes through the farce of a civil action in putting her away in a legal sense (he has done that—the civil courts will record it), but in the sight of God he has just acted out a perversion and a lie, and God doesn’t accept what he has done.  Now, it’s interesting that Mark helps you on the point you’re raising in chapter 10, verses 11 and 12.  Notice, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her.’  Notice that.  Now that describes what you were just describing.  Well, if he committed adultery against her, then she has grounds as an innocent party to put her mate away for immorality.  And, to illustrate, what you’re saying is not in any way hypothetical, my wife thinks I’m here tonight studying with you from the Word of God.  I could be in Law Vegas getting a quickie divorce.  And I could come home and tell her, ‘Guess what.’ Now does that mean—and, maybe I’ve been with prostitutes in all that time—does that mean then that God says to her, ‘Well, you don’t have any grounds here?’  I have been immoral and she has scriptural grounds on that basis to put me away from the viewpoint of what the Bible teaches.”

Question: “Well, where is your scriptural ground for separating, putting away scripturally by the wife, or spiritually-wise and legal-wise?  Where is your scriptural ground for that separation [meaning distinction]?

Ron’s Answer:  “Alright, that’s a good question, and the distinction is that God uses terms that men understand and use.  That’s necessary for communication.  He couldn’t talk to us if He didn’t and so I want you to think about the case in Mark 6:17 & 18 that says Herod married his brother’s ‘wife,’ and then she is called Herod’s ‘wife.’”

Question:  “Now in this particular case, to begin with, it was illegal for her to be married to her first husband.”

Ron’s Answer:  “Well, in any case, the only point I’m making is how God uses the terminology.  That’s the only point I’m raising.  I realize there are some other issues you could explore.  But, the point I’m making, he didn’t have a right to be married to her, did he?  On whatever basis.”

Question:  “Neither one of the men had a right to be married to her.”

Ron’s Answer:  “O. K.  Alright, now my point is, though, God says she was married and she was the wife of a man.  Now does that mean she was a wife in the same sense of Genesis 2:24, in the sense that God recognizes a union, in the sense that Jesus said Genesis 2:24 means, ‘What God joins together, let not man put asunder.’  Is she a wife in that sense?  By no means.  But yet the scriptures speak of it in that sense because in human terminology you’re describing what she has done.  She has married this man, married in the sense of Genesis 2:24?  No, but in the sense that what we call that, this joining from a human standpoint, is called a marriage and the mate is called a wife.  The point I’m trying to make is that God [expresses Himself in a context] and we can understand from a context whether He’s describing a scriptural union or one that is not scriptural. And you would use the same word, marry and wife, marry and husband, but one is a scriptural union, and one not a scriptural union, one an acceptable marriage and one not an acceptable marriage.”

Please compare Ron’s words concerning Mark 10:11-12, with Donnie Rader’s book: Divorce & Remarriage; What Does The Text Say?, Lesson 8, Mental Divorce (May Some Put Away People Remarry); pg. 85

Although Ron doesn’t use the term “accommodative language,” it is clear that what he is advocating is one and the same.  His usage of “marry and wife,” and “marry and husband,” is exposed as a misuse of scripture in my MENTAL DIVORCE Revamped and Revisited (Part 2) article under the subtitle: Accommodative Language (jhb).

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Last Updated:  Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:41 PM