Another reason for divorce?

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With the recent attention to the last post on divorce, The truth about divorce, several people brought up 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 saying that it gives another reason for divorce. Here are the verses from the King James Version:

1 Corinthians 7:10-16:

10 ¶ And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 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.
15 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.
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

It has often been said that we fail to understand key text in the Bible because we think it was written and said for our culture. It wasn’t. This verse was written to a Jewish culture. So, in order to understand what was said here, we need to see what was actually written; time to explore the Greek.

Throughout the New Testament, any time divorce is mentioned, they use the word “apoluo” which literally means “to free fully or (specifically) divorce”. It is a word that is used to describe liberty and the sending away of someone. In the above verses, however, the word “apoluo” is never used. The word used for these verses is “aphiemi” for “leave” and “put away” and “chorizo” for “depart”.

In verse 15, it says that if the unbeliever departs (chorizo), then “a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases”. Now, people say that this means that you can get a divorce. But, this was not the message.

In Jewish culture, if you wanted a divorce, you would have to give a bill of divorce to your wife, otherwise known as a get. If a get was not given, then the wife could not remarry. Now, this meant that if the husband went missing or was killed but they could not find the body, then the wife could not remarry because if her husband ever showed back up, then it would be an adulterous relationship. To combat this, Jewish men sometimes gave their wife a conditional get before going to war. That way, if they were never found, their wife could finish the divorce and get remarried.

Now, if a man left his wife and never gave her a get, she was considered “agunah” which literally means “anchored”. She could not get married without committing adultery and deeming her children as illegitimate. Agunah is a strong, strong word that is meant to very clearly illustrate the point of bondage to the wife and her kids if the husband should disappear or leave without giving a get. In verse 15, when Paul mentions “bondage”, we have a similarly strong word.

“Douloo” is a Greek word with the meaning of “enslave, be under bondage”. It comes from the Greek word for slave, “doulos”. If “agunah” had a Greek version, it would basically be this.

So, after all that above information, what are these verses saying?

Well, these verses are talking about if an unbeliever leaves their spouse without giving a divorce. No get. Just leaves or disappears. Paul’s response to this is to tell the spouse that they are not under bondage, or “agunah”. They can remarry.

So, when it all comes down to it, if you are married to an unbeliever (the word for unbeliever in this verse means someone who actively does not believe and does not claim to be saved), and they leave or disappear without giving any way for you to divorce, then the spouse is free from the marriage and can remarry. This is not divorce. This is releasing the spouse from a life of not being married if their spouse leaves forever or disappears.This might not seem like something all that important that Paul would have devote part of Scripture to it, but, in the people and times it was written, this was a very relevant issue.

In today’s American culture, if your spouse up and abandoned you without divorcing you, you would have to make reasonable measures to try and reach your spouse and if you couldn’t, then you would be able to divorce them without their say in the matter. So, in this case, with American culture, this verse does say that if your unbelieving (“unbelieving” being a keyword) spouse abandons you then you can get a divorce from them so that you can remarry. You are not under bondage in this case.

Wolves among sheep

Jesus made it pretty clear: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”

There are wolves and sheep. If you are not a sheep, you are a wolf. Period. Something that really confuses and stirs a righteous anger within me, is when churches invite wolves onto the pulpit of their church. I have worked with someone in the past who says they are a Christian but none of their works show it, in fact, they show quite the opposite. But, when he wants to go speak at a church, they will have him come right up onto the pulpit and talk. In fact, not too long ago, I heard how the church had invited him and dozens of non-Christian kids to the church to hear him speak.

Since when do shepherds open the gates to hordes of wolves?

Churches, pastors, fellow brothers and sisters, we need to stop this. We need to stop welcoming wolves among the sheep! Especially letting them lead the sheep! A wolf only leads one way: back to its pack. Whether that person has “good” intentions or not, they will follow their fallen human nature and bring destruction.

We need to have strict restrictions on who is allowed to teach in our churches. The places where Christians look to be fed the Truth of God. Instead, we are bringing people up who will only preach destruction into the congregation! This needs to stop. Stop letting the wolves lead!

No, Satan is not cowering from you

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I saw a post on FaceBook the other day that said something like this:

When you carry the Bible . . . the devil gets a headache.

When you open it . . . he collapses.

When he sees you reading it . . . he faints.

When he sees you living it . . . he flees.

And just when you’re about to re-post this by hitting “Share” he will try to discourage you.

I just defeated him. “Share” this if you’re in God’s Army.

First off, this post is not seeking to spread the Word, it is what is called an “engagement post”. It is a way to rank higher in FaceBook standing because it encourages people to share it even though it does not have any real value. This post is simply made to drive traffic, not spread any kind of truth. That is relevant when you look at what is being said.

Here is the thing, the devil is not omnipresent. He cannot be everywhere at once. In fact, he cannot even be two places at once. Therefore, if he can only put his attention to one person who is fighting for God in this world, you are going to have to do a lot more than open your Bible, read it and share a post. The devil has bigger things to worry about. If you are the focus of the devil’s energy then you are doing something right, but it takes a lot to get his focus. You know, you basically have to be Job, or Adam, or Paul. You have to be seriously threatening him to get him to focus on you.

Now, if you wanted to switch the word “devil” for “demons” in this post, that would be more accurate but really only at the point of “when he sees you living it . . . he flees.” That is when it really matters. You could read the Bible, carry the Bible and open the Bible all day long but that won’t mean anything until you start living it.

I think we way underestimate who our enemy is. We think of Satan and his demons as characters in an animated movie. We see them as cartoons. Little creatures with red, pointy tails and pitchforks. This is so wrong. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 that Satan is a “roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour.” A roaring lion is nothing like the image we have for Satan in our minds.

In the end, stop thinking shares on a lukewarm post on FaceBook is going to advance the kingdom of God. Teach people the truth. Live the Word of God. Get Satan’s attention. You will know when you get it.

The truth about divorce

In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. He did not create any other humans. If Adam were to divorce Eve, there would be no one for him to marry. He would be alone. The same obviously would go for Eve. Divorce was not even an option that God gave His first children.

The Hebrew word for “divorce” is “ker-ee-thooth” and it pretty much means “divorce”. Fairly simple. The first time it appears is in Deuteronomy 24:1.

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.

The word uncleanness here is a fairly broad term. There are several things you could tie this to but the most obvious one would be sexual immorality. The Son of God Himself in Matthew 5:31 and 19:3-9 gave us some more insight on divorce. The main one being 19:8:

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.

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.

Even Jesus said that from the beginning divorce was not an option. It wasn’t even a “thing”. There was no such thing as divorce. The word “suffer” here means to allow but it does not mean to approve. God may “suffer” you to divorce, but He does not approve of it. In fact, Jesus stated there is only one reason that a divorce is allowed, without committing adultery, and that is if your spouse has committed a sexual sin. Although many divorces can fall within this category, it is not the cause of every divorce.

Notice that in the beginning with just Adam and Eve, there was no way for either one to commit adultery. It is the only one of the Ten Commandments that Adam and Eve could not break. There was no one else. Just Adam and Eve.

In the end, divorce is always something that God does not approve of. He will allow it for one reason, and that reason is adultery. Any other reason to divorce just leads to more sin.