This exchange transpired following one of my Website Update notices which included one of my articles – [Life & Death; Marriage & Divorce]. There were several brethren who were recipients of this exchange, however, I removed their e-mail addresses to maintain their privacy. - Jeff
Regarding the article Life & Death: Marriage & Divorce by Jeff Belknap which he
sent under the Subject line Website Update, he asked some questions in search of
scriptural precedent for a put away one to put away.
According to MT.19:9, a putting away for other than fornication is an
unscriptural putting away. It is man putting asunder what God has joined
(v.6). The results are not scriptural since adultery is committed upon
Rolf L. Miller
Dear brother Rolf,
I appreciate your taking the time to read and respond to my post. Nevertheless, I would like to clarify a few points that I believe you are misunderstanding, and ask you to look at them a little closer.
In Matthew 19:9, when a man unscripturally puts away his wife, Jesus said she is “put away.” Since this is the case, she is in the category of “and he who marries her who is put away commits adultery.” She is not the one in the first half of the verse who can scripturally put away (for she is already put away), regardless of what actions her husband takes after the divorce.
Where in Matthew 19:6, 9 or anywhere else in scripture can you point to, to prove that Jesus gave a put away person (who He says commits adultery upon remarriage to another) the right to later scripturally “put away” the mate who already made them an unscripturally put away person? This is the precedent I am seeking. Please prove your contention. Just asserting it doesn't prove anything.
Please note the following quote by Maurice W. Lusk, which describes the position you espouse as the “game of semantical gymnastics”:
“It is the contention of this writer that it is a flagrant violation of language and reasoning to argue that a person is divorced and yet married to the person from whom he/she is divorced. A person may be divorced unscripturally, but he/she is yet divorced; and a person divorced from another person is not married to that person. This business of insisting that one may be divorced ‘in the eyes of men’ and not divorced ‘in the eyes of God’ is nonsense. God may not approve of a given action (divorce or whatever), but that does not mean that the action does not occur because God does not approve of it. A divorce without scriptural grounds is yet a divorce and renders the person divorced ‘unmarried.’ The argument being advanced here is that: ‘All actions not approved of by God become non-actions or actions which do not occur.’ If this is the case, then is it legitimate in any sense to speak of an action as having occurred when in actuality it did not occur? It is far better to take the language of a given text as meaning what it says (i. e. married means married, divorced means divorced), than to play this game of semantical gymnastics wherein words do not mean what they mean.” [Maurice W. Lusk, III, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Teachings of Jesus and Paul (Atlanta: Guild of Scribes, 1982), pp. 44, 45].
Also, your premise that “it goes without saying that a child of God may always do that which is scriptural” is flawed. Remember, Jesus gave the exception clause to those who put away (sunder the marriage), not to those who are put away. Hence this exception clause is scriptural only for the one who puts away, but not for the one who is put away. The put away cannot do what has already been done.
In chapter 4 of brother Rader’s book (p. 31), Matthew 19:9 (Part 2), under section I. The Exception Phrase (pp. 31-33), Donnie wrote the following:
“The exception phrase cannot grammatically modify both the first and last parts of Matt. 19:9. As it modifies the first clause it is an adverbial phrase (qualifying ‘shall put away’). Yet, if it modified the second clause it would be an adjectival phrase (qualifying ‘is put away’). This cannot be done grammatically! I wrote to Bruce M. Metzger asking him, ‘Does the exception clause (‘except it be for fornication’) modify the phrase ‘and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery’?’’ His answer was ‘no, it qualifies the preceding clause.’”
Professor of Classic Languages
“In my opinion, the phrase, ‘except it be for fornication,’ applies to the first clause but not to the last.”
Dr. Harry Sturz
La Mirada, California
“The modifying clause (except it be for fornication) applies only to the first person mentioned, in the first half of the sentence. It does not apply, grammatically or syntactically, to the person (‘whoso marrieth her who is put away’) in the second half of the sentence.”
Donald A. Drury, M.A.
Long Beach City College
There is no evidence from the English, Greek, this text or any other that demands that this exception modify the last clause.”
I hope this helps in your study. If there is anything I can do to help further, please let me know.
Dear Brother Jeff,
Maybe I’ve missed something here, but where is it written that one who is unscripturally put away cannot act scripturally and put away an adulterer?
It is not “flawed” to say that a child of God may always do what is scriptural. What is flawed is thinking that the effect of an unscriptural putting away is the same as a scriptural putting away.
I understand the reasoning which argues that what is already put asunder cannot
be sundered. But an unscriptural putting away does not sunder the bond. This
is not just an assertion. The proof is that, unlike a scriptural putting away,
an unscriptural putting away does not release to remarrying without committing
Does what you do a thing for make a difference in what is done?
Since a release is not the product of an unscriptural putting away, must the so put away child of God remain bound to an adulterer? God forbid! 1 COR. 6:15 & 2 COR.6:14-18.
Rolf L. Miller
Dear brother Rolf,
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will answer your points to the best of my ability.
First of all, you ask: “Maybe I've missed something here, but where is it written that one who is unscripturally put away cannot act scripturally and put away an adulterer?”
Answer: It is not written anywhere, but if you are a member of the Lord’s church, surely you would not argue that silence is permissive, would you? My question is, where is it taught that it is “scriptural” for an unscripturally put away person to put away?
The whole reason why we divided from what is now the Christian church and the institutional brethren is because they acted without authority, viewing silence as permissive, rather than prohibitive, as we recognize it to be (cf. Col. 3:17; I Pet. 4:11).
The only thing scripture says about those who are put away are in the second clauses of Mt.5:32; 19:9, 12 and Lk. 16:18, (where the Lord taught that those who marry a put away person commit fornication), and I Corinthians 7:10-11, 15. However, none of these verses authorize one who is “put away” to “put away,” nor to remarry another (while their bound spouse lives).
These texts mention nothing of the bond as it pertains to the put away, though it is apparent that the Lord acknowledged that there would be puttings away for both scriptural and unscriptural reasons. All put away people are prohibited from lawful marriage to another (as long as their bound spouse lives) by the Lord himself, not me. If you acknowledge that an unscripturally put away person is put away (and thus, among those who commit adultery upon remarriage to another), then their ex-spouse’s fornication does not magically make them “un-put away.” Neither does it authorize a “scriptural divorce” or sanction a remarriage (by the put away person) that Jesus taught would be adulterous.
Your reasoning is akin to the Jew’s justification of the practice of corban. God’s command to care for one’s needy relatives was clear. Nevertheless, the Jews came up with some unauthorized, creative practice (such as is the unrevealed post-unscriptural-divorce, “scriptural divorce”) to circumvent their obligation to follow Jesus’ command.
Corban was not an authorized exception to the rule of caring for one’s needy relatives. Likewise, there is no biblically authorized way for a put away person (whom Jesus plainly taught commits adultery when they remarry another) to become the one who is authorized to put away for the cause of fornication and remarry another. If there is scriptural authorization for an unscripturally put away person to scripturally put away, please show me the passage.
You wrote: “It is not “flawed” to say that a child of God may always do what is scriptural. What is flawed is thinking that the effect of an unscriptural putting away is the same as a scriptural putting away.
I understand the reasoning which argues that what is already put asunder cannot be sundered. But an unscriptural putting away does not sunder the bond. This is not just an assertion. The proof is that, unlike a scriptural putting away, an unscriptural putting away does not release to remarrying without committing adultery.”
Brother Rolf, I have never said that an unscriptural putting away is the same as a scriptural putting away. However, Jesus did not distinguish between those whom He acknowledged are put away unscripturally and those who are put away for scriptural cause. He simply taught that put away people commit adultery when they remarry another. We cannot add to that or take away from it. Like the command to care for one’s needy relatives, this is very clear, though some seek to complicate the simple truth with unrevealed exceptions and procedures to circumvent God’s will.
The flaw in your argument that “a child of God may always do what is scriptural” is that certain commands are specific to certain people. In the Old Testament, it was scriptural for the Levites to offer certain sacrifices to the Lord, but it was sin for others to do so. Please note 2 Chronicles 26:18, “And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.”
We find the same in the New Testament. Though it is scriptural (yea, commanded) for a man “to rule his own house,” that scriptural command is only for the husband; not the wife of the family. Though it is scriptural to preach and to teach others, women are prohibited from teaching over the man (I Tim. 2:11-12).
One issue that precipitated our division from the institutional church was over “who” was to do “what” (i.e. who was authorized to relieve the needy - the individual or the church). It was never “written” that one “cannot” use the Lord’s money to “scripturally” relieve non-saints, nor to have widow’s or orphan’s homes that are maintained by the Lord’s treasury. However, we clearly recognized that it was unlawful to do so, because while the practice of giving to needy non-saints (and saints whose family members were capable of providing for them) was authorized, the church was not authorized to do what the individual was commanded to do (I Tim. 5:16).
Jesus only revealed one putting away - whether unscriptural or scriptural, in which there was one who did the putting away, and one who was put away. The Lord gave the clause, “except for the cause of fornication” specifically to the person who puts away (in this one and only putting away that Jesus spoke of; remember silence is prohibitive). For the person who is put away in this putting away, the Lord simply teaches that he / she becomes an adulterer if he / she remarries another.
You ask, “Does what you do a thing for make a difference in what is done?”
Answer: Of course it does. I have always taught what the Bible says about scriptural cause for one to divorce. But of equal importance is the consideration of WHO God authorizes to do “a thing.”
I have never said that an unscriptural putting away is the same as a scriptural putting away
Forgive me: I certainly do not mean to represent what you say. I concluded this from your quote of Maurice W. Lusk where he said, among other things, “A divorce without scriptural grounds is yet a divorce and renders the person divorced ‘unmarried.’”
No response to this is necessary. I appreciate the study and I shall respond to you latest following digesting it.
Dear brother Jeff,
First, in establishing Bible authority I believe we must not think above that which is written (1 COR. 4:6). So, regarding my question as to where is it written that one who is unscripturally put away cannot act scripturally and put away an adulterer, I apologize if my wording is unclear. When I say “act scripturally,” I mean “act according to scripture.” Likewise, in my statement that a child of God may always do what is scriptural, I mean “may always act according to scripture.”
Now, of course, I believe my previous two responses, which are based on MT. 19:6, 9, have provided where it is written that one who is unscripturally put away can act scripturally and put away an adulterer. But, clearly, you do not see it that way.
Your disbelief is understandable, for as long as you think that “Jesus only revealed one putting away - whether unscriptural or scriptural,” you cannot accept the idea that one put away unscripturally has the right to scripturally put away. What is not understandable is that you also said you “have never said that an unscriptural putting away is the same as a scriptural putting away.” You further affirmed that what a thing is done for makes a difference in what is done.
Kindly, Jeff, truth is consistent (1 JN. 2:21). Jesus plainly taught two
separate and distinct acts: a putting away for less than the cause of
fornication, and a putting away for fornication. The difference between the two
is completely opposite, as the putting away without the cause of fornication
does not release to remarrying without committing adultery, whereas the putting
away for fornication does release to remarrying without committing adultery.
Now, as I acknowledged previously, I recognize that you cannot put away what is already sundered. Thus, the term “whosoever” in this text is limited to those who are bound. This includes the unscripturally put away because they are still bound.
Therefore, because the unscripturally put away are still bound, they are authorized by the “whosoever” to put away their ungodly spouses for their subsequent fornication.
Rolf L. Miller
Dear brother Rolf,
I am glad to read that you reaffirm the teaching in I Cor. 4:6. From that standpoint, let’s consider the following:
Here is all that “is written” about the remarriage-ability status of the put away:
“...and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Mt. 5:32
“...and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Mt. 19:9
“...and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Lk.6:18
This one, basic written rule for the put away may be modified or clarified by the following inspired writings:
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” Rom. 7:2-3
“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” I Cor. 7:10-11
Brother Rolf, sticking with what is written above, where did Jesus mention or necessarily imply that the bond must have been severed at the time “she is put away from her husband” if His rule regarding the put away is to apply?
Is not the one who is what Jesus called “put away” (in the context of both lawful and unlawful divorces, Mt. 5:32; 19:9; Lk. 16:18) prohibited from lawful remarriage to another while her bound spouse lives (cf. Rom. 7:2-3), according to what is written?
When the Bible clearly teaches that one who is put away commits adultery upon remarriage to another (which implies the status of the bond), we must find a specific, revealed exception to that rule, if we are to change our understanding of it.
Forgive my observation, but your reasoning appears to be a bit circular. Your proof for your contention that post-divorce, “scriptural divorce” is approved for people who are unlawfully “put away” (and thus precluded by the Lord from lawful remarriage) is that it is an “act according to scripture.” Yet you have not proven the point, only asserted it.
You cite Mt. 19:6, 9 as the basis of your response. Yet, I cannot find anything written in those verses that excuse a put away person from the fate that Jesus prescribed for her in that passage, outside of Rom. 7:2-3 (i.e. marriage to another). I see no reference (or inference) to a 2nd divorce action, which you contend is an “act according to scripture” anywhere in scripture. I only see a written reference to one putting away for each bound couple in which one puts away (whether lawfully or not) and one is put away.
If you find a written reference to a post-divorce, “scriptural putting away,” please cite the book, chapter, and verse.
Contrary to your assertion, the “WHOSOEVER” spoken of in Mt. 19:9a does not include the very person whom Jesus precluded from lawful divorce and remarriage in the 2nd half of the same verse, for the word WHOSOEVER is not always all - inclusive (i.e. synecdoche). WHOSOEVER is often used in a specific context.
Let me illustrate. Obviously, in an unauthorized divorce, when God says “...and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Lk.6:18), that WHOSOEVER does not include the spouse who had unscripturally put them away. As the matter of fact, to rectify his sin, a mate should seek reconciliation with his bound spouse whom he put away (I Cor. 7). We can have faith in this exception to “WHOSOEVER” because it is written.
Likewise, a reference to “WHOSOEVER” in the first clause of Mt. 19:9 does not authorize what the second clause of God’s written word clearly precludes. This is both scripture and common sense. If a chief of security tells his rent-a-cops, “whoever carries a gun except for while they’re on duty, they will be arrested,” are we then to understand that it is lawful for ordinary citizens to carry firearms when they go on duty in their respective workplaces? No, that statement did not pertain to everyone, everywhere; only to those whom he was addressing.
We have no trouble understanding these common sense principles in everyday life, but when divorce and remarriage is involved, somehow things seem to suddenly get cloudy. Again, brother, it all comes down to proving WHO the exception clause was given to.
Remember that the “WHOSOEVER” in Mt. 19:9a was given to the one who puts away, NOT to the one who is put away. This is part of rightly dividing the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15). Please note the simplicity articulated in brother Donnie Rader's sermon outline excerpt, below.
B. On remarriage
1. Jesus makes a distinction in one who puts away his mate and one who is put away.
2. The one who puts away his mate:
3. The one who is put away:
“Until Death Do Us Part,” posted at: http://www.truthmagazine.com/Untildeath_Rader.PDF
P.S. To agree with the statement that “A divorce without scriptural grounds is yet a divorce and renders the person divorced ‘unmarried’” does not mean that one believes a scriptural and an unscriptural divorce are the same. In I Cor. 7:10-11, the wife’s departing was unscriptural [she was commanded not to depart, but and if she did, she was to remain “unmarried or be reconciled” (not a requirement for those who divorce for scriptural cause)]. Yet inspiration calls her “unmarried” after the unscriptural divorce. Moreover, in Matt. 5:32; 19:9; and Lk. 16:18, Jesus calls the unscripturally and scripturally divorced, “divorced” or “put away.”
I do agree that the spiritual bond is severed upon a scriptural (approved) divorce and that it is not severed upon an unscriptural (unapproved) divorce. Also, a scriptural divorce is one that is right in the sight of God, whereas, although an unscriptural divorce is real, it is not right. Therefore they are not the same. Nevertheless, scripture reveals that both result in people who are “divorced,” “put away” and “unmarried.” Moreover, for the person who is put away from his lawfully-bound partner, Jesus’ spoken and written word bases remarriage prohibition (to another while one’s bound spouse lives) solely upon her status as a “put away” or “divorced” person, not exclusively upon the status of the bond.
Dear brother Jeff,
I appreciate the P.S. clarifications you wrote. Based on the agreement that the spiritual bond is severed upon a scriptural putting away (for fornication) and that it is not severed upon an unscriptural putting away (not for fornication), I see the following scenario.
A man puts away his wife not for fornication. Thus, the spiritual bond is not broken. The man subsequently commits adultery. Since the spiritual bond is not broken, the wife is now spiritual bound to a fornicator. 1 COR. 6:15 & 2 COR. 6:14-17, among others, requires children of God to sever ungodly bonds. So, the wife is thereby authorized to sever that bond. Since a scriptural putting severs the bond, the wife is thus authorized to put that man away for fornication.
Now, when I asked where is it written that one who is unscripturally put away cannot act scripturally and put away an adulterer, you answered, “It is not written anywhere,” then asked, “where is it taught that it is ‘scriptural’ for an unscripturally put away person to put away?”
I believe MT. 19:9 allows for this subsequent putting away as authorized by 1 COR. 6:15 & 2 COR. 6:14-17 because the term “whosoever” means “any person that,” and the phrase “shall put away” necessarily infers the existence of a bond. Thus, “whosoever shall put away” includes any person that is bound. The wife in this case is a person that is bound.
I further believe that when this wife follows these scriptures and thereby severs the spiritual bond, she ceases to be a put away one and becomes the one putting away. After all, what we are changes with what we do, especially in the spiritual realm (1 COR. 6:9-11). And as that text shows, the spiritual realm always reflects the current situation. Also, as a putting away not for fornication illustrates, the spiritual reality is not necessarily reflected by the physical. And what is under consideration here is the spiritual reality.
The bottom line to all of this is that truth is consistent. Scripture demands children of God to sever ungodly bonds. It is, therefore, inconsistent to teach that the unscripturally put away cannot subsequently put away for fornication because it argues that a child of God must remain bound to a fornicator.
Rolf L. Miller
I appreciate that you are willing to write and I have been trying to respond to your points. However, I would appreciate it if you would also respond specifically to my scriptural points. Otherwise, our correspondence is an unprofitable use of our time. Please note that I have responded, with scripture, to each of your points. I would appreciate the same courtesy.
You stated, “Based on the agreement that the spiritual bond is severed upon a scriptural putting away (for fornication) and that it is not severed upon an unscriptural putting away (not for fornication), I see the following scenario.” (I will comment on the scenario below.) Rolf, you never responded to my point that, for the put away, preclusion from lawful remarriage is based upon one written thing: being “put away.” Jesus stated that whoever marries a person who “is put away” commits adultery in the context of both scriptural (for fornication) and unscriptural (not for fornication) divorces.
You stated, “I believe MT. 19:9 allows for this subsequent putting away as authorized by 1 COR. 6:15 & 2 COR. 6:14-17 because the term “whosoever” means “any person that” and the phrase “shall put away” necessarily infers the existence of a bond. Thus, “whosoever shall put away” includes any person that is bound. The wife in this case is a person that is bound.”
First of all, since Mt. 19:6 teaches that God is the one who binds marriage partners (only when they engage themselves in an authorized marriage, i.e. both are scripturally eligible), He is the only one who can loose that bond, not man. Nowhere does scripture say that man has the ability to loose the bond that God joined. Man can put asunder the marriage (Mt. 19:6; I Cor. 7:10-11), NOT the bond. What Mt. 5, 19, Mk. 10 and Lk. 16 teach, is that it is within man’s realm to simply “put away” (whether authorized or not).
Scripture assures us that when a couple marries according to what is authorized, God will bind them together. We can also be assured that when a spouse divorces (scripture only references one putting away for each couple) his mate for fornication, God will loose that bond, allowing the spouse who put away the privilege of marriage to another. Nowhere does scripture teach or imply that God gives the ability to bind or loose to those in earthen vessels. HE binds upon man’s approved marriage, therefore HE looses upon man’s approved divorce.
Contrariwise, we learn that it is possible to put asunder what God joined together, contrary to His will (Mt. 19:6), but v. 9 clearly shows that God will not loose the bond that HE has put in place unless one puts away (again, note that scripture only refers to one putting away, silence prohibits any more than what is revealed) for the authorized cause. All other divorces result in both mates being prohibited from remarriage.
Regarding your use of I Cor. 6:15 and II Cor. 6:14-17 to prove that Mt. 19 authorizes one who is put away unscripturally to employ a 2nd putting away and marry another: II Corinthians 6:14-17 speaks of unbelievers, not fornicators. Please note that I Corinthians 7:13-17 commands a wife to remain with her unbelieving husband, not to come out and be separate from unbelievers, as II Cor. 6 requires. [Don’t get me wrong, I believe that it is supremely unwise for a Christian to marry an unbeliever, and I strongly discourage it. However, we cannot use II Corinthians 6 to prove that marriage to an unbeliever is sin (cf. I Pet. 3:1-6), for then the Christian would be required to divorce to come out and be separate, something that God clearly prohibits, unless it is for fornication.] Hence, we can know that Paul was not speaking about marriage or divorce in II Cor. 6, and thus, such cannot modify Mt. 19, which deals with marriage.
To apply the teaching in I Cor. 6:15 to Mt. 19 (which concerns marriage), would demand a Christian to put away a mate who has committed fornication. However, no such command or inference is ever stated in scripture, though authorization is given to put away for that cause. There is a big difference in what is simply authorized, and what is required. To use I Cor. 6:15 to prove that a put away person is authorized to employ a 2nd putting away (of which the Lord speaks nothing) against the spouse who already made them a put away person, is a misuse of scripture. I Cor. 6:15 is not talking about something that is simply authorized (like putting away for fornication), but it is something that is REQUIRED of God. It is condemning a joining which is SIN (I Cor. 6:18), not simply giving authorization to be loosed from a joining, if you so desire to take the prerequisite action (Mt. 19:9).
The immediate context of I Cor. 6:15 is the following: “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Obviously, when we consider this context, Paul uses the word “joined” in condemnation of the sinful physical joining of two fleshly bodies in the sin of fornication. He is not speaking of the spiritual bond that God enjoins upon those in a scriptural marriage, which entails no sin.
Since these passages obviously do not apply to marriage and divorce, you have still failed to show where it is written (via command, apostolic example, statement of fact, or necessary inference) that an already put away person (whose remarriage to another is adulterous, while their bound spouse lives, Mt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2) may “put away,” for fornication committed after the divorce has already put asunder, thereby gaining approval to marry another.
You did not respond to my scriptural points regarding WHOSOEVER not being all inclusive at all times. Please consider what I wrote previously on this subject.
You stated, “Based on the agreement that the spiritual bond is severed upon a scriptural putting away (for fornication) and that it is not severed upon an unscriptural putting away (not for fornication), I see the following scenario. A man puts away his wife not for fornication. Thus, the spiritual bond is not broken. The man subsequently commits adultery. Since the spiritual bond is not broken, the wife is now spiritual bound to a fornicator. 1COR.6:15 & 2COR.6:14-17, among others, requires children of God to sever ungodly bonds. So, the wife is thereby authorized to sever that bond. Since a scriptural putting severs the bond, the wife is thus authorized to put that man away for fornication.”
Brother, I respectfully suggest that you are “seeing” a scenario that is not there. It is not there in Mt. 19:9, and it is not there in I Cor. 6:15, and it is not there in II Cor. 6:14-17. Neither the husband or the wife are authorized (nor “required”) to “sever that bond.” Either a person is authorized to put away or they are not, but God controls the bond. You must show where a 2nd putting away is authorized, if you insist that it is an authorized practice (which you contend can also be followed by an authorized remarriage to another, by the one who Jesus precluded from it).
You state, “I further believe that when this wife follows these scriptures and thereby severs the spiritual bond, she ceases to be a put away one and becomes the one putting away. After all, what we are changes with what we do, especially in the spiritual realm (1 COR .6:9-11). And as that text shows, the spiritual realm always reflects the current situation. Also, as a putting away not for fornication illustrates, the spiritual reality is not necessarily reflected by the physical. And what is under consideration here is the spiritual reality.”
But, faith (what you “believe”) comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Where is the scripture? Indeed, “what we are changes with what we do,” but what “we do” when we employ a divorce that is unauthorized and then engage in a subsequent unauthorized marriage to another, is still what Jesus called, “adultery” (Mt. 5:32b; 19:9b; Lk. 16:18b; cf. Rom. 7:3). In that same passage that you quote, I Cor. 6:9-10 teaches that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God. God doesn’t wash away the adulterous aspect of unlawful marriages upon baptism, and He doesn’t wash away the remarriagability status of a put away person when they employ what He never authorized (a 2nd “putting away” for post-divorce fornication).
Lastly, you stated, “The bottom line to all of this is that truth is consistent. Scripture demands children of God to sever ungodly bonds. It is, therefore, inconsistent to teach that the unscripturally put away cannot subsequently put away for fornication because it argues that a child of God must remain bound to a fornicator.”
Kindly, Jeff, just because you disagree with my responses doesn’t mean I didn’t respond, and just because you don’t see how a passage applies does not constitute an absence of scriptures.
As I continued to consider your words, it became apparent why you disagree: you don’t see verses which deal with fornication, joining, one flesh, and unlawful bonds in general as applying to marriage and divorce. Consequently, I agree with you that it is not profitable to continue this discussion.
So with this, I thank you for the study. I appreciate the time involved, both
yours as well as the others reading this.