Questions That Need to be Answered

By Jeff Belknap

In regards to the post-civil-divorce divorce doctrine, where does the gospel of Christ mention anything about:

  1.  A divorce that is not really a divorce?

  2. God recognizing some unlawful divorces, but failing to acknowledge other unlawful divorces?

  3. Accommodative use of the words “marriage” and/or “divorce?”

  4. The impossibility of obtaining an unscriptural divorce against an “innocent” mate?

  5. “Marriage” and the “bond” being inextricably linked together so that whenever there is a marriage, there is a bond and vice versa?

  6. A remaining “marriage” (as opposed to solely a bond), after an unlawful divorce?

  7. The requirement for the innocent party to protest the divorce, in order to ensure their subsequent option of putting away their ex-spouse if and when he commits fornication?

  8. The ability of the innocent put away party (described in Mt.5:32b; 19:9b and Lk. 16:18b) to change themselves into the party who can “put away” for fornication (described in Mt. 5:32a; 19:9a and Lk. 16:18a)?

  9. The extension of the exception clause past a finalized divorce (repudiation)?

  10. Jesus emphasizing the exception rather than the rule in Matthew 19:6-9?

  11. The innocent put away person’s ability to scripturally remarry another while the one who put them away is still alive?

  12. Fidelity “to the marriage bond” ensuring the possibility for a put away innocent party to “put away” and “remarry,” when their estranged spouse commits fornication?

  13. Different consequences for those involved in some unlawful divorces, as opposed to those imposed on participants in other unlawful divorces (II Tim. 2:15)?

  14. A divorce being nothing more than a “farce” when perpetrated against an “innocent” mate?

The above insinuations are absolutely arbitrary, yet necessary for the doctrine of the second putting away (“mental divorce”) to stand. 

The apostle Paul teaches us to “Prove all things” and to “hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21).  If the above questions can not be answered with a book, chapter and verse, than this new-fangled doctrine of “Biblical putting away” is not “good.” 

Unfortunately, certain have troubled us with words, subverting our souls, saying things to whom the apostles gave no such authority (cf. Acts 15:24; Gal. 1:6-9). In the long ago Isaiah stated in chapter 8, verse 20, “…if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (cf. Mt. 15;14; II Jn. 9).

In I John 4:1, John says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  How do we ascertain the spirit of truth from that of error? John says, “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error (vs. 5-6).  Cp. w. II Corinthians 11:3-4

Since we are authorized to only “speak the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11), invading the silence of God to overthrow the clear and plain law of God is “sin” (I Jn. 3:4; 5:17).  To “preach” anything other than the word “once and for all delivered to the saints” makes us “accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9; Jude 3).  Moreover, we are commanded not even to “think” beyond (“exceed;” NASV) what is written (I Cor. 4:6). 

In fighting the good fight of faith, we must be “set for the defense of the gospel” (Phil. 1:7, 17; 4:9).  We are to be strong, the weapons of our warfare "are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:3-5).  Let us not fail our solemn charge (cf. Heb. 12:15). 

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