New Testament Law Concerning Divorce

By Wendell Tenison

DIVORCE PART 2:

Was the law of Moses in effect until the death of Christ?

Luke 16:16 "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."

The word "were"in this passage is italicized meaning that it is not found in the Greek Text. None of the editors have departed from the Greek Text except to have added the word for which they thought it would complete the sense as is the case with added words. However, in this case, the added word "were" did not complete the sense, but altered it and therefore, a strange and diverse doctrine was born. Meaning, that the law of Moses ended with the coming of John the Baptist.

Listed below are several laws of Moses of which were binding upon the Jews during the ministry of Jesus.

Mat 8:3-4 "And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed......And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

Mat 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

Mark 6:18 "For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife."

Luke 1:8-9 "And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,.....According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord."

Luke 2:21-24 "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb......And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;.....(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;).....And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

Luke 5:13-14 "And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him......And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

Luke 13:14-16 "And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day......The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?.....And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?"

Luke 14:2-6 "And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy......And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?.....And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;.....And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?.....And they could not answer him again to these things."

John 7:19-23 "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?.....The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?.....Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel......Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man......If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?"

Mat 19:17 "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

If the law of Moses was not in effect at this time as some teach, Jesus was instructing and commanding the Jews to obey a dead letter of which he would have been the master of deception.

Is Matt.5:32; 19:9, a part of the law of Moses?

Mat 5:17-19 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil......For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled......Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

Beyond any shadow of doubt, the law of Moses was in effect until Jesus died upon the cross.

Heb 9:15-21 "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance......For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator......For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth......Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood......For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,.....Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you......Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry."

Without any controversy, Jesus gave his will and testament when he lived and that means all of it. Nothing was added or deleted after the will was opened on the day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit through the apostles and continued to be read and recorded by them and other disciples until the final chapter was finished. As we all know, it is unlawful for anyone to add or delete to a will after it has been opened. Men might argue that Jesus could not have given all of his will and testament during his ministry, because it is not recorded in the four gospels.

The Holy Spirit revealed the will and testament of Christ as promised to his disciples.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

The key in this verse is that the comforter would bring to their remembrance "all things" whatsoever he had told them.

Let us play the devil's advocate:

Jesus gave the 1-exception law publicly while he lived, Matt.19:9; Jesus gave the no-exception law privately while he lived, 1Cor.7:10-11; as a result of both laws being the new testament, Jesus was the master of confusion in disguise.

No! It did not happen that way, but if it did, the no-exception law nulified the 1-exception law, because the former is found after the opening and reading of the testament and the latter is not.

Both Jesus and Moses gave their testaments while they lived (for certain men cannot after they die) and neither were in effect until after their death. Therefore, our Lord gave his testament at the same time he instructed from the law of Moses. The apostle John put it like this:

John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

Jesus did exactly the same thing that Moses did while he was giving his testament; they both instructed from another law while compiling their own testaments. Moses recorded the law to the fathers, but was 2500 years to late to be the author. Neither Matthew, Mark, Luke, nor John were testators, but merely writers who recorded the life and ministry of Jesus. There are at least eighteen laws to the patriarchs recorded in the the book of Genesis and the first half of Exodus; there is no way of knowing how many other laws were in effect. None of the books of history, prophets, or poetry were considered to be the testament of Moses until the Greek speaking Jews translated the Hebrew writings into Greek 285 B.C., in Alexandria, Egypt, commonly called the Septuagint. It wasn't until they did this that they began to call all of the Jewish writings the testament and all editors followed their lead. Therefore, the law to the fathers of which Moses taught is not the testament of Moses regardless of what it says on the cover of any bible. This is a prime example of the most sophisticated scholars being wrong.

Exo 18:15-16; 20 "And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God:.....When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws......verse 20..... And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do."

What statutes and laws of God was he talking about since they had just crossed the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments were not yet in sight? The only other laws of God were those to the fathers. Either Moses spoke the truth or he did not. Therefore, it does not take a rocket scientists to figure out that Moses taught and lived by the laws to the fathers while writing his own. Jesus did exactly the same thing; he kept, taught and commanded the law of Moses to his brethren that they should do likewise while he was writing his own. Not with pen and ink like Moses, but written in fleshly tables of the heart.

2 Cor 3:3 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."

Heb 8:7-10 "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second......For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:.....Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord......For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"

Heb 10:16-17 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;.....And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."

We remember that our Lord said, not one jot or tittle (smallest punctuation marks) would pass from the law until it should be fulfilled. No one will disagree that the following verses pertaining to gifts and altars apply to the the law of Moses. However, when we come to Matt.5:31-32, quoted later, in the same sermon on the mount regarding a putting away except for fornication, my brethren pick these out as new testament teaching. This is copying the old denominational tricks of pick and choose when you please.

Mat 5:23-24 "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;.....Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

The question is, if all of the four gospels and the sermon on the mount in particular are the new testament, why have our learned scholars kept us from having priests, gifts and an altar where we might offer sacrifice?

Mat 8:3-4 "And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed......And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

Again, where is the priest and the gift according to the law of Moses?

In his closing of the sermon on the mount, Jesus made it very clear that what he had been saying was the law and the prophets.

Mat 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

"If Jesus, in Mat.19:9, merely explained the law of Moses, His statements in the passage of contrast to the law would be meaningless."

"There is no teaching in the Old Law similar to which Jesus could be explaining. Rather, as in many passages of the four gospels, Jesus set forth New Covenant guidelines for behavior."

What Bro. Baird was saying is that if what Jesus taught is not found in the law of Moses (last half of Exodus through Deuteronomy), then it must be the new covenant. Based on this premis, the baptism of John the Baptist is not found in the law of Moses either and therefore, it must be the new covenant of Christ. God forbid! His argument is not valid.

If John's baptism was not the law of Moses, nor is it the law of Christ, then what was it? Was it from heaven or men? Who sent John to baptize? Did John have the right to command the Jews to be baptized of him? Did John as the next to the last prophet to the Jews make an addition to the law of Moses? I challenge the reader to find the answers to these questions. If they do find them, a light bulb will come on as to what Jesus the last prophet to the Jews was doing in Matt.5:31-31; 19:9.

For those who knowingly pervert the scripture on any bible subject always take solace in the fact that the majority of their listeners or readers are illiterate in the scripture and therefore, are easily deceived.

Mat 19:7-8 "They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?.....He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so."

In his writing of "Jesus' Teaching On Marriage, Divorce, And Remarriage", page 388, par. 2, Garland Elkins states: "According to Jesus in Matthew 19:7-8, divorce had never been and still was not divinely intended, and Moses had neither instituted nor commanded it, as some seemed to think."

Bro. Elkins is certainly right on the first part that "divorce had never been and still was not divinely intended." As for the second part, sometimes the most obvious things are the most difficult to understand; in verse 7 the Jews asked Jesus "why then did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement and to put her away?" The Jews understood that to be a command and so did Jesus. Bro. Elkins should go back and read verse 7 many times and perhaps the light bulb will come on.

God hated divorce then and he still hates it. This law of concession that Moses gave was weak and without substance which gave rise to a myriad of all sorts of excuses the man could trump-up against his wife. That is how men are today, tell us what we want to hear, because the truth is not popular.

There were no several doctrines the Jews taught about Moses regarding divorce, but for the "every cause" they asked Jesus about was simply whatever cause the man wanted to conceive. There were no limits to the charges brought under the heading of uncleanness. Adultery was not even considered as a part of the uncleanness seeing that the sin of adultery was punishable by death and not divorce.

Was this strict modification of Moses law to harsh for the Jews? No more than what God did when he gave them laws that they could not keep because of their rebellion and idolatry.

Ezek 20:24-25 "Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols......Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;"

Moses did not allow the woman to put away her husband, Deut.24:1-4 and neither did Jesus in Matt.5:31-32; 19:9. In fact, the teaching today is not consistent with the words of Jesus when he prohibited the woman from remarrying if she did put her husband away. Of all of God's truths that the serpent has perverted from the beginning in the garden, this one regarding women putting away their husbands ranks at the very top. To teach otherwise is to prove it. Listed below are all of the verses given by Moses and Jesus vital to this subject. There is not even a hint that Moses nor Jesus ever gave their permission.

Deu 24:1-4 "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house......And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife......And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;.....Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."

Mat 5:31-32 "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:.....But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

Mat 19:9 "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."


The absolute key to understanding verse 9 is verse 10. The King James translators made a grave error in their translation of verse 10. They arbitrarily changed verse 10 from the Greek New Testament rendition in order to promote a different doctrine than what Jesus taught. In verse 10 you will notice the word "his" is italicized in the King James. Meaning, the word is not found in the Greek New Testament. But, what is found in the Greek New Testament in place of the word "his" is the word "the" not in brackets, meaning, the word has not been added. First, we will quote the Greek New Testament for verse 10 and then the King James.

Matt.19:10: "His disciples say to him, if thus is the case of the man with the wife, it is not profitable to marry."

Mat 19:10 "His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry."

Now it is quite clear that "the wife" has reference to any woman who was considered for marriage, such as when a man looks for a wife. His disciples were saying, if it be the case that a woman had committed fornication, it would be better not to marry her.

Mark 10:11-12 "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her......And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

Luke 16:18 "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery."

1 Cor 7:10-11 "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."

Paul states that this command was not from him "but the Lord." Jesus gave a command under the law of Moses and one under his new law; there is as much difference in the two as daylight and dark. The formula for a successful marriage is given in Eph.5:22-29. Because of hardness of heart the mentality of many church members today is that we can prove and test God just like the Jews did and get away with it. The bottom line is that the church today in so many places does not have a clue of what biblical Christianity is all about. To prove that is to look at the hate, strife, division, causing weak members to fall by the wayside and the list goes on and on. Satan has gained a great advantage among many churches of Christ. Jesus said, he that is not with me is against me.

Mat 12:30 "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

God is not mocked:

Gal 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

The major problem that lies within verse 11 is not from Christ, but the translators. The Greek New Testament word for "depart" in verse 10 is "separate" of which there is no harm done by the translation. However, in verse 11, the Greek New Testament word for "put away" is "leave." Now the problem sticks out like a sore thumb; "put away" carries with it the same meaning as Matt.5:32; 19:9, or divorce which are correctly translated in those passages from the Greek. We will never know why the translators perverted verse 11 so as to carry the idea of divorce. There is a vast difference in "leave" and "put away." Under no circumstance does either verses 10-11 even hint of divorce provided the translation is not tampered with. Without any contradiction the spouse has only two options if one leaves the other. First, to remain unmarried; second, or be reconciled to each other.

In 1 Cor.7:11, the Lord said, for the wife to remain unmarried or be reconciled unto her husband. In order for a wife to get married again, she had to obtain permission from the government in order to get a divorce. This was Roman law, but all the husband had to do was kick her out of the house and he could remarry. In other words, our Lord was saying to the wife, do not get a divorce, because she must remain unmarried.
  • Divorce between A Christian and a non Christian:

What about divorce between a Christian and a non-Christian: i.e., a believer and a non-believer married to each other. As already discussed this includes marriages where a Christian has married out of the Lord. There is no doubt, Christians married out of the Lord in Paul's day just as they do now. However, this does not authorize Christians to marry out of the Lord, but in the event they do, this also applies to them.

1 Corinthians 7:14-15 "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy......But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace."

Some do not believe "bondage" in verse 15 refers to the marriage bond, but rather duty owed by husband and wives to each other. The reason given is typically that in other verses referring to wives being bound to husbands, a different Greek word is used.

In 1 Cor. 7:15, "bondage" is from the Greek douloo (Strong's #1402). It refers to the condition of one who is in bondage to another. The one who is in bondage is the Greek doulos (Strong's #1401). This is often used to refer to bondservants of human masters. Also, it refers to our relation as bondservants of Christ. It also is used to refer to one who is a servant of sin, or who is in bondage to sin. In 1 Cor. 7:15, Thayer defines douloo as "to be under bondage, held by constraint of law or necessity."

Romans 7:1 "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?"

In Rom. 7:1, Paul refers to the law having dominion over a man as long as he lives. Here, law is a general term, since he immediately begins discussing the law of marriage, or a woman being bound by the law of her husband. From this, it appears that "bondage" in 1 Cor. 7:15 refers to that constraint of the law of marriage which binds husband and wife.

Romans 7:2-3 "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. [3] 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."

1 Corinthians 7:27 "Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife."

1 Corinthians 7:39 "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."

The three passages just quoted clearly refer to the marriage bond. All refer to the husband or wife being "bound" to the other, which is the Greek deo (Strong's #1210). This word means tied together, tied up, or chained. It is most often used of prisoners being bound with chains. Christ used it to refer to the ass and colt that were tied together.

Matt. 21:2 "Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me."

It is also used of the man with the legion of devils who broke loose from his chains. This word does not necessarily imply a condition of servitude, but rather of being held by some powerful force which is difficult to overcome. In other words, it does appear to be the ideal word to describe "that which God hath joined together" as man and wife. So, how does this condition relate to the "bondage" of 1 Cor. 7:15?

In Rom. 7:2, "loosed" is katargeo (Strong's #2673). In Rom. 7:3, "free" is eleutheros (Strong's #1658). In 1 Cor. 7:27, "loosed" appears twice, first as luo (Strong's #3089) and then as lusis (Strong's #3080). In 1 Cor. 7:39, "at liberty" is also eleutheros. The really significant one is eleutheros, which appears both in Rom. 7:3 and 1 Cor. 7:39, where it refers to condition of one whose marriage bond is severed by death. This word is the exact opposite of "bondage" in 1 Cor. 7:15. It refers to the freeing of one who is in bondage, such as a slave. To say that one is no longer under bondage to another (1 Cor. 7:15) is identical to saying that he has been freed from that which formerly bound him to another (Rom. 7:3; 1 Cor. 7:39). It becomes even clearer when you look at 1 Cor. 7:21. There, Paul contrasted one who is "free" (eleutheros) from one who is a servant (doulos).

So, there can be no doubt that "bondage" in 1 Cor. 7:15 refers to the same marriage bond referred to as "bound" in the other passages. What is the greatest danger to a man or woman who is married to an unbeliever? The real answer is the believer will depart from the faith. However, on the other hand, the unbeliever may be happily married to the believer, verses the unbeliever who wants to depart. In the first case, the danger of the believer departing from the faith is greatly reduced by the mutual respect each party has for the other as husband and wife. But, in the other case, where the relationship is sour, the danger increases exponentially. There, the believer is tempted to depart from the faith to appease the unbeliever and make the marriage work. The exception is as an extension of God's grace to one who may be tempted beyond what he or she can bear. Whether a believer or not, the husband is the head of the wife, per the law of God from the beginning. However, all too often the unbelieving husband fails to realize the same God who gave him this authority is also the father of his Christian wife.

Some will say, what God has joined together, let not man put asunder. But, if God makes the provision for putting asunder, then how can it be construed that man has anything to do with it?

As used in 1 Cor. 7:27, Thayer, p. 384, defines "loosed" as "A loosing of any bond, as that of marriage; hence once in the N. T. of divorce, 1 Cor. 7:27." According to some, divorce and remarriage without limitation is permissible per this definition. When one looses their mate, their mate is dead, at least that is how we have always referred to it. No one ever refers to the loss of their mate to death as divorce, and neither did the apostle Paul have reference to divorce. Thayer is wrong.

  • Because of hardness of heart Moses granted divorce; divorce, hardness of heart and an unforgiving heart cannot be separated. If the offending spouse genuinely wants to return to her husband, the believer is under no obligation to take her back, seeing that God has separated the two as one flesh. However, if the believer wants to take her back he is free to do that. If that be the case, God would make them one flesh again. God does not condone divorce among members of the body of Christ. If so, he would be endorsing hardhearted members of the church.

James 2:13 "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

Mat 18:35 "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

Divorce closes the door of repentance to the one who would beg for mercy and this is not an unpardonable sin for which there is no forgiveness.

Last of all:

  • Members of the church of Christ have thumbed their noses at 1Cor.6:1-6, but it is still there.

1 Cor 6:1-11 "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?.....Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?.....Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?.....If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church......I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?.....But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers......Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?.....Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren......Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,.....Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God......And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

This has to do with any member who has a dispute against another and that includes marital differences. Paul says, I speak this to your shame to go before the unjust. Members do just the opposite of what Paul commanded; they go before the unjust in the matter of obtaining a divorce.

  • Prov 16:25 "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

The divorce rate in most states is 50%; however, the State of Oklahoma boasts 75% and climbing. The acceptance of this popular worldly trend is received with open arms by most churches of Christ.

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man" that efforts to convert others should not be restrained by the fact that three out of four who are divorced might reject the truth of the new testament when properly taught. Therefore, in order to keep the pews filled and the bank account in the black, error takes precedence over truth.

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man" that baptism for the remission of sins transforms an adulterous marriage between two from an unholy union into that which is pure in God's sight. After baptism the marriage still continues to be adulterous and God recognizes and allows the thing which he hates. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mal 2:16 "For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously."

Eph 4:28 "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

After his cleansing the thief is commanded to steal no more. The same is required of an adulterer; after his cleansing he is commanded to discontinue his adultery which God condemned from the beginning. The adulterer, thief, murderer, etc., can no longer continue in his previous lifestyle with the blessings of God.

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man", whereby, members of the church of Christ have decided that Jesus the Christ is no longer the monarch of the church, but now, the church has become a democracy whereby, the majority rules. In other words, the majority has decided that divorce and the acceptance of denominational baptism should be added to the growing list of "Sacred Cows of Church Dogma."

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© 2003 by Wendell Tenison