Why Divorce Calls Children’s Existence into Question

Andrew Root, a professor at Luther Seminary, has a moving and illuminating article in Christianity Today.  A sample:

Just months before my own wedding, I sat with my mom in the living room of the home I had grown up in, as she explained that divorce was the next exit on the highway of our family’s history. It had been several weeks since she had told me that her and my father’s marriage was in serious trouble. Now, she told me more: They had gotten married way too young, noting that if she could do it all over again, she would have chosen another route for her life, someone other than my father to share life with. . . .

I existed only because my mother and father had become one, creating me out of the abundance of their covenant community. Now, standing amid the debris and shock of the collision that ended their marriage, all this felt up for grabs. If I was through their union, who could I be in their division? If I was because of their coming together, who would I be if they nullified the community that gave me life? Could I be at all? . . .

I offer all this philosophical musing to underscore why divorce—which affects about 40 percent of Americans under age 21 today—is so devastating for young people. Our society assumes in conversation about divorce that the real issues are ones of knowledge and advantage. Popular psychologists and TV talk-show doctors tell us that divorce need not be a big deal as long as children know it’s “not their fault.” Such youth just need to know that Mommy and Daddy are voiding their union for their own reasons, ones that have nothing to do with them.

Further, our university-based number counters tell us that divorce should be prevented because it quickly takes away economic and social capital, so young people need structures and programs to keep them from losing their economic advantages.

God, himself in triune relationship, spoke creation out of nothingness for the sake of relationship. In the same way, in his or her beginning, every child is meant to be welcomed into the beauty of existence through the embrace of mother and father.

I don’t wish to diminish the psychological and economic impact of divorce. But if we truly are relational beings, then divorce is centrally an issue not of psychology nor of economics but of ontology—an issue of our very being. It therefore feels a little like being erased, like losing our being in the deep divide that separates our divorcing parents.

When a young person is informed of her parents’ divorce, it might be that her deepest questions are about her being: How can I be at all now that Mom and Dad aren’t together? Now that they are two, she is unavoidably divided. She has one room at Mom’s and another at Dad’s, one schedule at Dad’s and another at Mom’s. As philosopher Martin Heidegger said, we have our being in our practical way of living, in our actions. And now post-divorce, because this young person’s action and living is divided, so too is her very being. Her parents are seeking to reverse, to go back, to be as if the two never became one. But she can’t do this because she belongs (in the very material of her person that acts with and for them) to both of them.

via Why Divorce Calls Children’s Existence into Question | Christianity Today.

Prof. Root goes on to say how the Church can minister to those who have been put through this crisis of existence.   He has written a book on the whole subject: Children of Divorce, The: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Youth, Family, and Culture)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    It appears that a very small percentage of churches practice church discipline on divorce. The bible greatly limits (if not completely prohibits) divorce and remarriage, and yet in Christian America, divorce and remarriage is pretty much done at-will.

  • Michael B.

    It appears that a very small percentage of churches practice church discipline on divorce. The bible greatly limits (if not completely prohibits) divorce and remarriage, and yet in Christian America, divorce and remarriage is pretty much done at-will.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    So, what is the serious trouble in the marriage? Well? Because if it really is serious, then the injured party deserves a bigger piece of the pie when they split it. Or are mom and dad just bored with each other and society won’t punish them for infidelity, so hey, party time?

    Mom would have married someone else in retrospect? Huh? Like she now realizes that she was such a prize back in the day that she could have had her pick of guys…? as if. She married the best guy who would have her and due to his diligence she realizes they are now rich enough to split up their assets which combined with support from their children (social security payments) she can go off and enjoy life. Prosperity => decadence. Chick should be shamed.

    If the guy is having an affair, then she deserves the bigger piece of the pie to compensate for his breach of contract.

    This is why no fault divorce rewards the unfaithful party.

    I think it is funny that New York was the last state to get no fault divorce in 2010.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    So, what is the serious trouble in the marriage? Well? Because if it really is serious, then the injured party deserves a bigger piece of the pie when they split it. Or are mom and dad just bored with each other and society won’t punish them for infidelity, so hey, party time?

    Mom would have married someone else in retrospect? Huh? Like she now realizes that she was such a prize back in the day that she could have had her pick of guys…? as if. She married the best guy who would have her and due to his diligence she realizes they are now rich enough to split up their assets which combined with support from their children (social security payments) she can go off and enjoy life. Prosperity => decadence. Chick should be shamed.

    If the guy is having an affair, then she deserves the bigger piece of the pie to compensate for his breach of contract.

    This is why no fault divorce rewards the unfaithful party.

    I think it is funny that New York was the last state to get no fault divorce in 2010.

  • Fws

    Lutherans would read both this article and the book starting with is fact:

    The ontological, soteriological, teleological, and eternal meaning of marriage and divorce, virtue and sin is….
    eternal death.

    The restoration of Life is ,alone, to be found , alone, in those who are terrified at all they can see and are able to do even in intact marriages and so hide all that, alone, inside the Mercy , alone, of the Works of Another. Come quickly Lord.

    We seek to heal, treat, and cure sin by right thinking driving right doing. This is a Godly work to bandaid suffering, but will never end it.

    A child of God will focus, in such a situation , in doing mercy for their divorcing mother, father, spouse and the children of this tragedy.

    Mercy, by definition, is to give and receive the opposite of justice. It is the opposite of receiving the just and fair consequences of our bad decisions, actions, and thinking.

    Mercy is to take upon our own selves the suffering that justice demands , lovingly shielding another from the consequences they deserve on account of sin.

    This is not to focus on the ontology of ME.
    It is to focus on deminishing even , and especially, the suffering of those whose actions inflict suffering upon us.

    So even and especially in divorce, there is an opportunity for us to do the Eternal Will of God, which is for goodness and mercy to be done among mankind.

  • Fws

    Lutherans would read both this article and the book starting with is fact:

    The ontological, soteriological, teleological, and eternal meaning of marriage and divorce, virtue and sin is….
    eternal death.

    The restoration of Life is ,alone, to be found , alone, in those who are terrified at all they can see and are able to do even in intact marriages and so hide all that, alone, inside the Mercy , alone, of the Works of Another. Come quickly Lord.

    We seek to heal, treat, and cure sin by right thinking driving right doing. This is a Godly work to bandaid suffering, but will never end it.

    A child of God will focus, in such a situation , in doing mercy for their divorcing mother, father, spouse and the children of this tragedy.

    Mercy, by definition, is to give and receive the opposite of justice. It is the opposite of receiving the just and fair consequences of our bad decisions, actions, and thinking.

    Mercy is to take upon our own selves the suffering that justice demands , lovingly shielding another from the consequences they deserve on account of sin.

    This is not to focus on the ontology of ME.
    It is to focus on deminishing even , and especially, the suffering of those whose actions inflict suffering upon us.

    So even and especially in divorce, there is an opportunity for us to do the Eternal Will of God, which is for goodness and mercy to be done among mankind.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @1

    Bravo

    When you are running a business you have to cater to your customers.

    It sure would be awesome to hear Dan Cathy slam divorce because plenty of divorced people are shaking their fists at God and telling Him to butt out of their right to hop to the next pad. Of course, we probably wouldn’t see folks lined up out the building for being called on their own sins.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @1

    Bravo

    When you are running a business you have to cater to your customers.

    It sure would be awesome to hear Dan Cathy slam divorce because plenty of divorced people are shaking their fists at God and telling Him to butt out of their right to hop to the next pad. Of course, we probably wouldn’t see folks lined up out the building for being called on their own sins.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    As somebody who watched his parents divorce in post-high school years, I can state the following with certainty:

    1.) Yes, it hurts. It hurts just as much for an adult child to see his parents divorce as it does a young child who doesn’t quite understand what’s going on. And that hurt doesn’t go away overnight.

    2.) With extremely rare exception (adultery, desertion), nobody wins in a divorce. While God’s ultimate reason for hating divorce is His own, there is certainly something to be said for opposing divorce because it devastates families in many ways, and that far too often (if we’re really honest) a good number of divorces (like that of my parents) were done for selfish and sinful reasons.

    As an aside to this, let us as Christians never fall into the trap of becoming desensitized to sins like divorce just because we are sinners. Too often, the phrase “We’re all sinful” comes across as an excuse rather than a reason. We must avoid legalism and works-righteousness, but let’s not shrug our shoulders at sin in the process.

    3.) Through this divorce, God has used the situation to make me more dependent upon Him and to remember my identity as a Christian first and foremost. THAT is what defines me, and ought to define all of us, regardless of our circumstances. It brings great comfort and joy for me to remember that God has not abandoned me through all of this, and that He sovereignly works through these situations for the good of His elect, lavishing His grace upon us (which in this case He did in a way that I would never have seen had this situation not come about). Just like with Joseph, what man intends for evil, God intends for good, especially where His people are involved.

    As much as I love my parents, they are not what ultimately define me. It is God in the work of Christ on the cross who defines me as His child. It is God in the work of the Spirit through the Word that defines me in putting to death the deeds of the flesh (albeit unsuccessfully on my part too many time) who defines me as a Christian striving for obedience out of a heart that wants to please my Heavenly Father. And it is God Who on the last day will resurrect me and all Christians through His Spirit Who will define me in the consummation of being a new creation in Christ.

    Until we take hold of our identity in Christ, we will allow ourselves to be defined by anything and everything else.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    As somebody who watched his parents divorce in post-high school years, I can state the following with certainty:

    1.) Yes, it hurts. It hurts just as much for an adult child to see his parents divorce as it does a young child who doesn’t quite understand what’s going on. And that hurt doesn’t go away overnight.

    2.) With extremely rare exception (adultery, desertion), nobody wins in a divorce. While God’s ultimate reason for hating divorce is His own, there is certainly something to be said for opposing divorce because it devastates families in many ways, and that far too often (if we’re really honest) a good number of divorces (like that of my parents) were done for selfish and sinful reasons.

    As an aside to this, let us as Christians never fall into the trap of becoming desensitized to sins like divorce just because we are sinners. Too often, the phrase “We’re all sinful” comes across as an excuse rather than a reason. We must avoid legalism and works-righteousness, but let’s not shrug our shoulders at sin in the process.

    3.) Through this divorce, God has used the situation to make me more dependent upon Him and to remember my identity as a Christian first and foremost. THAT is what defines me, and ought to define all of us, regardless of our circumstances. It brings great comfort and joy for me to remember that God has not abandoned me through all of this, and that He sovereignly works through these situations for the good of His elect, lavishing His grace upon us (which in this case He did in a way that I would never have seen had this situation not come about). Just like with Joseph, what man intends for evil, God intends for good, especially where His people are involved.

    As much as I love my parents, they are not what ultimately define me. It is God in the work of Christ on the cross who defines me as His child. It is God in the work of the Spirit through the Word that defines me in putting to death the deeds of the flesh (albeit unsuccessfully on my part too many time) who defines me as a Christian striving for obedience out of a heart that wants to please my Heavenly Father. And it is God Who on the last day will resurrect me and all Christians through His Spirit Who will define me in the consummation of being a new creation in Christ.

    Until we take hold of our identity in Christ, we will allow ourselves to be defined by anything and everything else.

  • http://drhambrick.com Drhambrick

    This article seems to equivocate the impact of divorce on children with the impact that the Father forsaking His son on the cross had on Christ. A concept that is fascinating and worth pondering.

  • http://drhambrick.com Drhambrick

    This article seems to equivocate the impact of divorce on children with the impact that the Father forsaking His son on the cross had on Christ. A concept that is fascinating and worth pondering.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Maybe we really do need a Savior.

    “Things aren’t that bad. There a lot worse than that.”

    – G. Forde

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Maybe we really do need a Savior.

    “Things aren’t that bad. There a lot worse than that.”

    – G. Forde

  • larry

    This article is excellent, it puts deeply heart felt spiritual side to the issue.

    What is widely accepted as “the church” but is in reality the pious antichrist today is grossly ill prepared to handle issues like divorce, remarriage and such. When I say “church” here I mean in reality that which prances around claiming the title “church” and “christian” but is not in truth and reality. It shouldn’t be but is due by in large part this under current, for a lack of a better or other way of putting it, pietism (not necessarily specifically “Lutheran historic pietism” but more broadly pietism). The “churches” grasp, by far and large, is so superficial on these matters so as to be practically non-existent. This is why it looks back at the OT and its polygamy and scratches its head. It thinks the answer is in a black and white simple don’t get divorced and if you do don’t remarry. In short the so called “church” makes clean legal breaks of everything and thinks it has done a service to people. It doesn’t see the connection of OT polygamy and today’s divorce/remarry/multiple unions correctly. What would it do, for example, if a polygamous Mormon converted? Would it in 99% of cases allow the marriages to stand for the love of neighbor after the fact of the polygamous marriages occurring? Would it even recognize that the children produced from these polygamous unions need more than just the financial support of a divorced now Christian father, but an in fact father? Probably not and in order to prevent a pietistic melt down it would command/pressure/imply/silently psychologically shame (six one way, half a dozen another) the man to divorce 9 out of 10 of his wives with some asinine financial support solution (ice cold consolation) toward all the children as the fruit of those other 9 unions (it is not unlike what is done with out of wedlock pregnancies). Otherwise the pietistic elephant would be in the room would it not, “can a man be a Christian and retain in the present tense until his death these he married prior to conversion, could he be officially recognized by the church”? Why that might open the door, goes the legal mind and it’s in reality lawyer church. If it did allow this the door would be swung opened wide (i.e. people started thinking it ok). But if that was the case and that did happen then such a churches real shame would be revealed and proved i.e. what the reality is in such a “church”. That all you’ve really been doing all this time, preaching, teaching and confessing is just to suppress sin with religious legal pressure no different than heathen religions rather than let the Gospel work on the hearts of men. After all if you really believe the Gospel begins the new movements of the heart there should be no fear of opening the barn doors to a polygamy convert and letting them continue to love their neighbors in these marriages and recognize them. The church could not rightly say, “Here, here is the Gospel now divorce 9 out of 10 of your wives and give financial support (devil’s love) to the children of those other 9 mothers you fathered, but love as a father the 1’s children you retain”.

    The real Gospel and real church gets down in the foul mud, garbage and crap of life and doesn’t mind nor is not ashamed that a prostitute openly walks in their doors to receive forgiveness continually. That which parades itself around as the “church” sucks the air out of the room in pious indignation and wants to look more like 1950s Beaver Cleaver’s house/household somewhere in suburbia Utah.

  • larry

    This article is excellent, it puts deeply heart felt spiritual side to the issue.

    What is widely accepted as “the church” but is in reality the pious antichrist today is grossly ill prepared to handle issues like divorce, remarriage and such. When I say “church” here I mean in reality that which prances around claiming the title “church” and “christian” but is not in truth and reality. It shouldn’t be but is due by in large part this under current, for a lack of a better or other way of putting it, pietism (not necessarily specifically “Lutheran historic pietism” but more broadly pietism). The “churches” grasp, by far and large, is so superficial on these matters so as to be practically non-existent. This is why it looks back at the OT and its polygamy and scratches its head. It thinks the answer is in a black and white simple don’t get divorced and if you do don’t remarry. In short the so called “church” makes clean legal breaks of everything and thinks it has done a service to people. It doesn’t see the connection of OT polygamy and today’s divorce/remarry/multiple unions correctly. What would it do, for example, if a polygamous Mormon converted? Would it in 99% of cases allow the marriages to stand for the love of neighbor after the fact of the polygamous marriages occurring? Would it even recognize that the children produced from these polygamous unions need more than just the financial support of a divorced now Christian father, but an in fact father? Probably not and in order to prevent a pietistic melt down it would command/pressure/imply/silently psychologically shame (six one way, half a dozen another) the man to divorce 9 out of 10 of his wives with some asinine financial support solution (ice cold consolation) toward all the children as the fruit of those other 9 unions (it is not unlike what is done with out of wedlock pregnancies). Otherwise the pietistic elephant would be in the room would it not, “can a man be a Christian and retain in the present tense until his death these he married prior to conversion, could he be officially recognized by the church”? Why that might open the door, goes the legal mind and it’s in reality lawyer church. If it did allow this the door would be swung opened wide (i.e. people started thinking it ok). But if that was the case and that did happen then such a churches real shame would be revealed and proved i.e. what the reality is in such a “church”. That all you’ve really been doing all this time, preaching, teaching and confessing is just to suppress sin with religious legal pressure no different than heathen religions rather than let the Gospel work on the hearts of men. After all if you really believe the Gospel begins the new movements of the heart there should be no fear of opening the barn doors to a polygamy convert and letting them continue to love their neighbors in these marriages and recognize them. The church could not rightly say, “Here, here is the Gospel now divorce 9 out of 10 of your wives and give financial support (devil’s love) to the children of those other 9 mothers you fathered, but love as a father the 1’s children you retain”.

    The real Gospel and real church gets down in the foul mud, garbage and crap of life and doesn’t mind nor is not ashamed that a prostitute openly walks in their doors to receive forgiveness continually. That which parades itself around as the “church” sucks the air out of the room in pious indignation and wants to look more like 1950s Beaver Cleaver’s house/household somewhere in suburbia Utah.

  • larry

    GREAT quote Steve!

  • larry

    GREAT quote Steve!

  • Fws

    Larry +1

    Use more paragraph breaks! ;)

  • Fws

    Larry +1

    Use more paragraph breaks! ;)

  • Fws

    Sg@2

    “party time”

    We dont do the law . The law does us. Luke 18 and the antinomian judge.

    Bad decisions will always result in pain and suffering as a corrective.

    Parents need to do the mercy of teaching their children to choose to do mercy to others rather than have God drive them to do it through pain and suffering. Instead parents model an “its all about me and my ontology” by their actions and words.

    Sometimes the pain and suffering spans generations. So much depends on parenting.

  • Fws

    Sg@2

    “party time”

    We dont do the law . The law does us. Luke 18 and the antinomian judge.

    Bad decisions will always result in pain and suffering as a corrective.

    Parents need to do the mercy of teaching their children to choose to do mercy to others rather than have God drive them to do it through pain and suffering. Instead parents model an “its all about me and my ontology” by their actions and words.

    Sometimes the pain and suffering spans generations. So much depends on parenting.

  • larry

    “paragraph breaks” understood:-) Definitely not my strong point and needs mucho work!

  • larry

    “paragraph breaks” understood:-) Definitely not my strong point and needs mucho work!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Instead parents model an “its all about me and my ontology” by their actions and words.”

    Often very true. Marriage is fundamentally about duty to family. It is not primarily an avenue for self fulfillment. It is about obligating yourself to the service of others. It is not about obligating them to serve you.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Instead parents model an “its all about me and my ontology” by their actions and words.”

    Often very true. Marriage is fundamentally about duty to family. It is not primarily an avenue for self fulfillment. It is about obligating yourself to the service of others. It is not about obligating them to serve you.

  • helen

    sg @ 2
    She married the best guy who would have her and due to his diligence she realizes they are now rich enough to split up their assets which combined with support from their children (social security payments) she can go off and enjoy life. Prosperity => decadence. Chick should be shamed.

    Aren’t you mixing the article and the movie?
    I don’t see anywhere that the “Mom” said the divorce was her idea. More likely, she’s regretting the whole thing because she’s being dumped for a flashier model and in retrospect sees that she was deceived from the beginning.

    “No fault”rewards the guilty party, because he gets the best divorce lawyer and plans how to get the most assets out, while the wife is still believing “No divorce, ever.” (And he’s the one who has the next bed already made.)

    larry @ 8
    Not “the Church” but the Bible says, “If divorced, don’t remarry.”
    What the church should say is “Be a lot more careful who you marry.” It should say it starting in classes at high school age. But it does very little about marriage, and then offers “divorce counseling”. Maybe.

  • helen

    sg @ 2
    She married the best guy who would have her and due to his diligence she realizes they are now rich enough to split up their assets which combined with support from their children (social security payments) she can go off and enjoy life. Prosperity => decadence. Chick should be shamed.

    Aren’t you mixing the article and the movie?
    I don’t see anywhere that the “Mom” said the divorce was her idea. More likely, she’s regretting the whole thing because she’s being dumped for a flashier model and in retrospect sees that she was deceived from the beginning.

    “No fault”rewards the guilty party, because he gets the best divorce lawyer and plans how to get the most assets out, while the wife is still believing “No divorce, ever.” (And he’s the one who has the next bed already made.)

    larry @ 8
    Not “the Church” but the Bible says, “If divorced, don’t remarry.”
    What the church should say is “Be a lot more careful who you marry.” It should say it starting in classes at high school age. But it does very little about marriage, and then offers “divorce counseling”. Maybe.

  • MarkB

    J. Dean @ 5
    “2.) With extremely rare exception (adultery, desertion), nobody wins in a divorce. While God’s ultimate reason for hating divorce is His own, there is certainly something to be said for opposing divorce because it devastates families in many ways, and that far too often (if we’re really honest) a good number of divorces (like that of my parents) were done for selfish and sinful reasons. ”

    Nobody wins at any time in a divorce. Not even the agrieved party in a case of desertion or infidelity. I know this for a fact since my marraige ended this way. There is so much pain involved with divorce for the participants, the children, the relatives and anyone connected to the divorce in anyway at all. So to me it is not conceivable to me to divorce and gain from it.

    That is not to say that God won’t bring someone else into your life to make you whole again. He has for me and my life is very good right now, but there is still a hole in my heart from the failure of my marraige.

    And I have seen some very strong comments on here before about divorce and remarraige that have torn my heart. I would hope that those who have never gone through divorce would have the mercy and kindness not to beat up on those who are divorced. We too need our Savior and His mercy. We have felt the Law by the action of divorce.

    One other note, even though I was divorced for scriptural reasons that does not make me perfect, nor was I perfect in my marraige. One of the best things that happened for me right after my divorce was when I went to talk to my pastor about what was happening and he pronounced absolution on me for any sins that I had committed in my marraige. Could I have been a better husband, yes. Could I have been a better father, yes. I think we all, who are or were married can say those words and feel chastened by our lack of love for our spouses and children, because we are such sinful human beings and are only worthy of heaven by the grace of God.

  • MarkB

    J. Dean @ 5
    “2.) With extremely rare exception (adultery, desertion), nobody wins in a divorce. While God’s ultimate reason for hating divorce is His own, there is certainly something to be said for opposing divorce because it devastates families in many ways, and that far too often (if we’re really honest) a good number of divorces (like that of my parents) were done for selfish and sinful reasons. ”

    Nobody wins at any time in a divorce. Not even the agrieved party in a case of desertion or infidelity. I know this for a fact since my marraige ended this way. There is so much pain involved with divorce for the participants, the children, the relatives and anyone connected to the divorce in anyway at all. So to me it is not conceivable to me to divorce and gain from it.

    That is not to say that God won’t bring someone else into your life to make you whole again. He has for me and my life is very good right now, but there is still a hole in my heart from the failure of my marraige.

    And I have seen some very strong comments on here before about divorce and remarraige that have torn my heart. I would hope that those who have never gone through divorce would have the mercy and kindness not to beat up on those who are divorced. We too need our Savior and His mercy. We have felt the Law by the action of divorce.

    One other note, even though I was divorced for scriptural reasons that does not make me perfect, nor was I perfect in my marraige. One of the best things that happened for me right after my divorce was when I went to talk to my pastor about what was happening and he pronounced absolution on me for any sins that I had committed in my marraige. Could I have been a better husband, yes. Could I have been a better father, yes. I think we all, who are or were married can say those words and feel chastened by our lack of love for our spouses and children, because we are such sinful human beings and are only worthy of heaven by the grace of God.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#1 I don’t give this as an excuse, but a statement of fact. Attempting church discipline on a member who is divorcing usually only results in never seeing them again, because they will go some place else.

    A deeper change in overall culture is needed for a congregation to be able to exercise any church discipline.

    Concerning the article, when did the idea that God created the universe for the sake of relationship ever come about? I thought the why was always left unanswered.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#1 I don’t give this as an excuse, but a statement of fact. Attempting church discipline on a member who is divorcing usually only results in never seeing them again, because they will go some place else.

    A deeper change in overall culture is needed for a congregation to be able to exercise any church discipline.

    Concerning the article, when did the idea that God created the universe for the sake of relationship ever come about? I thought the why was always left unanswered.

  • kerner

    Dr.Lit21stC: you said:

    “@#1 I don’t give this as an excuse, but a statement of fact. Attempting church discipline on a member who is divorcing usually only results in never seeing them again, because they will go some place else.”

    Which is probably true, but can’t that maxim be applied to any recurring sin? Co-habitation? homosexual behavior? Drug use? Gossip? Frankly, I’m not sure what “Church discipline” is supposed to look like anymore.

  • kerner

    Dr.Lit21stC: you said:

    “@#1 I don’t give this as an excuse, but a statement of fact. Attempting church discipline on a member who is divorcing usually only results in never seeing them again, because they will go some place else.”

    Which is probably true, but can’t that maxim be applied to any recurring sin? Co-habitation? homosexual behavior? Drug use? Gossip? Frankly, I’m not sure what “Church discipline” is supposed to look like anymore.

  • fws

    sg @ 4

    +1

    Dang gal. You just keep getting better and better to read.
    kudos!

  • fws

    sg @ 4

    +1

    Dang gal. You just keep getting better and better to read.
    kudos!

  • fws

    Kerner @ 17

    The Law does us . We don’t do it.
    The Law is grinding down churches working contrition on the subject of church discipline.
    The church needs to repent of what they were doing. And they were confusing the two kjngdoms. That is, they were confusing God’s rule using Law wjth God’s rule using Grace.

    You should know what church discipline looks like. It looks like a police action. It is not for the church to separate wheat from chaff or declare someone out of the Church. That is alone for Christ to do And Baptism includes ALL in the Church. It is not for us to exclude anyone baptized.

    Church discipline exactly like the ushers removing someone who is being distractive of the Divine Service. Nothing more.

    We want sinners, even unrepentant ones, to keep coming to church. Where else would they receive the end of their sins? FC art II for more on this!

    We exclude manifestly unrepentant sinners.
    And we exclude them from what? The christian congregation. Not from the Holy Catholic Church. Especially not from the Communion of Saints. And yes this action is God’s action. So is it God’s action when civil courts or the police render a similar judgement and action. Cf the Small and Large Catechisms on this.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 17

    The Law does us . We don’t do it.
    The Law is grinding down churches working contrition on the subject of church discipline.
    The church needs to repent of what they were doing. And they were confusing the two kjngdoms. That is, they were confusing God’s rule using Law wjth God’s rule using Grace.

    You should know what church discipline looks like. It looks like a police action. It is not for the church to separate wheat from chaff or declare someone out of the Church. That is alone for Christ to do And Baptism includes ALL in the Church. It is not for us to exclude anyone baptized.

    Church discipline exactly like the ushers removing someone who is being distractive of the Divine Service. Nothing more.

    We want sinners, even unrepentant ones, to keep coming to church. Where else would they receive the end of their sins? FC art II for more on this!

    We exclude manifestly unrepentant sinners.
    And we exclude them from what? The christian congregation. Not from the Holy Catholic Church. Especially not from the Communion of Saints. And yes this action is God’s action. So is it God’s action when civil courts or the police render a similar judgement and action. Cf the Small and Large Catechisms on this.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 17

    And that word “manifestly” does not mean what is visually obvious such as fat/gluttonny, dressed nicely/greed, gay-boyfriend-live-in-girlfriend-brought-to-church/sexually unrepentant.
    We are to mind our own business.
    We are to be modest in our inquiries of others.

    So “manifest” means, I would suggest, disruptive to good order. Distracting of the Divine Service being done. We WANT those people to keep coming. We simply would ask that those people do nothing to actively distract from the distribution of the Forgiveness of Sins to other sinners.
    This reading of that word “manifestly” is obvious from a reading of any part of the Confessions that deal with repentence, free will,faith and good works.

    If we had to be perfectly penetent, then there would be salvation for none of us. God’s Word alone can work that repentence that leads us to be terrified at all we are able to do and hide all that in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 17

    And that word “manifestly” does not mean what is visually obvious such as fat/gluttonny, dressed nicely/greed, gay-boyfriend-live-in-girlfriend-brought-to-church/sexually unrepentant.
    We are to mind our own business.
    We are to be modest in our inquiries of others.

    So “manifest” means, I would suggest, disruptive to good order. Distracting of the Divine Service being done. We WANT those people to keep coming. We simply would ask that those people do nothing to actively distract from the distribution of the Forgiveness of Sins to other sinners.
    This reading of that word “manifestly” is obvious from a reading of any part of the Confessions that deal with repentence, free will,faith and good works.

    If we had to be perfectly penetent, then there would be salvation for none of us. God’s Word alone can work that repentence that leads us to be terrified at all we are able to do and hide all that in the Works of Another.

  • #4 Kitty

    “My parents got a divorce; therefore I do not exist.”
    I’m not sure I get what he’s saying. I mean shouldn’t he feel the same existential angst when one of them dies as well?

  • #4 Kitty

    “My parents got a divorce; therefore I do not exist.”
    I’m not sure I get what he’s saying. I mean shouldn’t he feel the same existential angst when one of them dies as well?

  • Grace

    J. Dean @ 5

    You have given one of the most thoughtful comments so far.

    YOU WROTE: “As an aside to this, let us as Christians never fall into the trap of becoming desensitized to sins like divorce just because we are sinners. Too often, the phrase “We’re all sinful” comes across as an excuse rather than a reason. We must avoid legalism and works-righteousness, but let’s not shrug our shoulders at sin in the process.

    3.) Through this divorce, God has used the situation to make me more dependent upon Him and to remember my identity as a Christian first and foremost. THAT is what defines me, and ought to define all of us, regardless of our circumstances. It brings great comfort and joy for me to remember that God has not abandoned me through all of this, and that He sovereignly works through these situations for the good of His elect, lavishing His grace upon us (which in this case He did in a way that I would never have seen had this situation not come about). Just like with Joseph, what man intends for evil, God intends for good, especially where His people are involved.”

    J. Dean, I hope you share and write more – you are gifted. God has certainly given you the grace to go through a very difficult time.

    Blessings

  • Grace

    J. Dean @ 5

    You have given one of the most thoughtful comments so far.

    YOU WROTE: “As an aside to this, let us as Christians never fall into the trap of becoming desensitized to sins like divorce just because we are sinners. Too often, the phrase “We’re all sinful” comes across as an excuse rather than a reason. We must avoid legalism and works-righteousness, but let’s not shrug our shoulders at sin in the process.

    3.) Through this divorce, God has used the situation to make me more dependent upon Him and to remember my identity as a Christian first and foremost. THAT is what defines me, and ought to define all of us, regardless of our circumstances. It brings great comfort and joy for me to remember that God has not abandoned me through all of this, and that He sovereignly works through these situations for the good of His elect, lavishing His grace upon us (which in this case He did in a way that I would never have seen had this situation not come about). Just like with Joseph, what man intends for evil, God intends for good, especially where His people are involved.”

    J. Dean, I hope you share and write more – you are gifted. God has certainly given you the grace to go through a very difficult time.

    Blessings

  • Morgan

    “Now, she told me more: They had gotten married way too young, noting that if she could do it all over again, she would have chosen another route for her life, someone other than my father to share life with. . . .”

    Speaking as a dad, what a terrible, terrible thing to say to your child. How much injury did that meathead do to her own child just to get that little gem off her chest?

    I’ve got a similar-sounding mom with the same gift of “sharing” too much, but she’s (thankfully?) too poor and too chicken to divorce 40 years into the marriage. I hope.

    The older I get, the more I understand that some things, even true things, should never, ever, ever be said. Sheesh.

  • Morgan

    “Now, she told me more: They had gotten married way too young, noting that if she could do it all over again, she would have chosen another route for her life, someone other than my father to share life with. . . .”

    Speaking as a dad, what a terrible, terrible thing to say to your child. How much injury did that meathead do to her own child just to get that little gem off her chest?

    I’ve got a similar-sounding mom with the same gift of “sharing” too much, but she’s (thankfully?) too poor and too chicken to divorce 40 years into the marriage. I hope.

    The older I get, the more I understand that some things, even true things, should never, ever, ever be said. Sheesh.

  • WebMonk

    Morgan, may I suggest that in the vein of “The older I get, the more I understand that some things, even true things, should never, ever, ever be said. Sheesh.”

    That your description of your mom as “too poor and too chicken to divorce 40 years into the marriage”, is probably one of those things that should never, ever be said. At least not in public.

    As you have said you are learning better as you get older what things should and shouldn’t be said, take this post as another pointer to something that shouldn’t be said to a bunch of strangers, even though you may not understand why not.

  • WebMonk

    Morgan, may I suggest that in the vein of “The older I get, the more I understand that some things, even true things, should never, ever, ever be said. Sheesh.”

    That your description of your mom as “too poor and too chicken to divorce 40 years into the marriage”, is probably one of those things that should never, ever be said. At least not in public.

    As you have said you are learning better as you get older what things should and shouldn’t be said, take this post as another pointer to something that shouldn’t be said to a bunch of strangers, even though you may not understand why not.

  • Grace

    Webmonk, your advice is sound and thoughtful.

  • Grace

    Webmonk, your advice is sound and thoughtful.

  • larry

    Actually, Helen, the Bible does not say that, it gives the cases of marital infidelity (Matt.) as an exception to divorce whereby one is not themselves, who didn’t commit that, an adulterer. Paul also state Cor. concerning the unbelieving spouse leaving them that the believing spouse is not bound. To become an adulterer reaches all the way back to the OT where such was put to death, because only through death is the covenant broken. In the NT we don’t stone people to death. But what is noted in the OT and NT is that whether the authorities did put them to death, OT, or not in the NT era, it is God Who in both cases, His eyes, for such has put him or her to death even though they in the NT are not on earth put to death as in the OT. The adulterer, which presupposes the marriage in order to be an adulterer, has done what he/she ought not have done and as such is dead in the eyes of God (exhibited in the earthly in the OT, not exhibited in the earthly in the NT times), and thus the covenant is broken and the other is freed from its obligations. The real point is not the adultery as superficially seen but the covenantal death. That’s why this article is getting deeply to the issue and simultaneously what I mean when the so called “church” is impotent by far and large with few exceptions to handle the situation today with their Simple Simon formulations.

    No doubt the great honorable estate of marriage is looked down upon today. Marriage is a great honor and is given the honor of being in the first commandment of the second table, and a mystery signifying similar to Christ and His bride the church. Similarly adultry is paired with idolatry which puts weight on doctrine. But the “church” is more concerned with table two issues and sweeps under the rug, largely, table one issues which are far greater. Then the “church” wonders, “where did all my authority go to exercise church discipline”. The answer is, “Well “church” you largely commit idolatry and hardly consider the issue a ‘big deal’ today sinning against the first table and you have the audacity to wonder why the people within commit adultry as easily as you commit idolatry.” Such ‘do as I say, not as I do’ theology gets what it deserves.

  • larry

    Actually, Helen, the Bible does not say that, it gives the cases of marital infidelity (Matt.) as an exception to divorce whereby one is not themselves, who didn’t commit that, an adulterer. Paul also state Cor. concerning the unbelieving spouse leaving them that the believing spouse is not bound. To become an adulterer reaches all the way back to the OT where such was put to death, because only through death is the covenant broken. In the NT we don’t stone people to death. But what is noted in the OT and NT is that whether the authorities did put them to death, OT, or not in the NT era, it is God Who in both cases, His eyes, for such has put him or her to death even though they in the NT are not on earth put to death as in the OT. The adulterer, which presupposes the marriage in order to be an adulterer, has done what he/she ought not have done and as such is dead in the eyes of God (exhibited in the earthly in the OT, not exhibited in the earthly in the NT times), and thus the covenant is broken and the other is freed from its obligations. The real point is not the adultery as superficially seen but the covenantal death. That’s why this article is getting deeply to the issue and simultaneously what I mean when the so called “church” is impotent by far and large with few exceptions to handle the situation today with their Simple Simon formulations.

    No doubt the great honorable estate of marriage is looked down upon today. Marriage is a great honor and is given the honor of being in the first commandment of the second table, and a mystery signifying similar to Christ and His bride the church. Similarly adultry is paired with idolatry which puts weight on doctrine. But the “church” is more concerned with table two issues and sweeps under the rug, largely, table one issues which are far greater. Then the “church” wonders, “where did all my authority go to exercise church discipline”. The answer is, “Well “church” you largely commit idolatry and hardly consider the issue a ‘big deal’ today sinning against the first table and you have the audacity to wonder why the people within commit adultry as easily as you commit idolatry.” Such ‘do as I say, not as I do’ theology gets what it deserves.

  • Grace

    Sexual sin is the only sin which allows for a Biblical divorce, none other. For that reason, it is obvious that the LORD considers sexual sin one of the most offensive –

    There is only one way one may obtain a divorce and that is if a spouse commits adultery. They then have a Biblical divorce, which entitles the one who has been the victim to marry again.

    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.
    Matthew 19:9

  • Grace

    Sexual sin is the only sin which allows for a Biblical divorce, none other. For that reason, it is obvious that the LORD considers sexual sin one of the most offensive –

    There is only one way one may obtain a divorce and that is if a spouse commits adultery. They then have a Biblical divorce, which entitles the one who has been the victim to marry again.

    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.
    Matthew 19:9

  • larry

    And I rest my case.

  • larry

    And I rest my case.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    MarkB, you have my sympathies and prayers, brother.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    MarkB, you have my sympathies and prayers, brother.

  • Grace

    J. Dean,

    I went back and read MarkB’s post – I too pray. You are both thoughtful, kind, and gifted when writing about your lives.

  • Grace

    J. Dean,

    I went back and read MarkB’s post – I too pray. You are both thoughtful, kind, and gifted when writing about your lives.

  • fws

    larry and helen and grace

    What Christ said was very unconventional and jarring to Jewish ears. Why?

    Only women were ever accused of adultery. Men would simply get another wife if they were so inclined. and could easily divorce.
    Jesus saying that men were committing adultery was simply unheard of.

  • fws

    larry and helen and grace

    What Christ said was very unconventional and jarring to Jewish ears. Why?

    Only women were ever accused of adultery. Men would simply get another wife if they were so inclined. and could easily divorce.
    Jesus saying that men were committing adultery was simply unheard of.

  • Grace

    This might come as a shock to some, but one of The Ten Commandents clearly states:

    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Exodus 20:14

    It does not single out women or men.

    When Jesus stooped down to write in the sand, after the woman was caught in adultery – what do you think HE wrote? Perhaps the names of the men who were about to stone her, making them realize they were adulterers as well?

  • Grace

    This might come as a shock to some, but one of The Ten Commandents clearly states:

    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Exodus 20:14

    It does not single out women or men.

    When Jesus stooped down to write in the sand, after the woman was caught in adultery – what do you think HE wrote? Perhaps the names of the men who were about to stone her, making them realize they were adulterers as well?

  • fws

    grace @ 32

    I could agree with all you say.
    I am not saying that the Jews were correct.
    I am stating how things were viewed back then.
    what Jesus said would have been jarring to them.
    new news.

    and yes. I agree with what you say about the 10 c0mmandments.
    women were considered property. they were bought and sold in that culture.
    was that right? of course not.

  • fws

    grace @ 32

    I could agree with all you say.
    I am not saying that the Jews were correct.
    I am stating how things were viewed back then.
    what Jesus said would have been jarring to them.
    new news.

    and yes. I agree with what you say about the 10 c0mmandments.
    women were considered property. they were bought and sold in that culture.
    was that right? of course not.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You made this comment: “What Christ said was very unconventional and jarring to Jewish ears.”

    No, I don’t agree with you – when the men were about to stone the woman caught in adultery, they were not aware that Jesus Christ was God the Son, and knew their hearts. They hadn’t given that any thought. They knew that adultery, both for the male and female, if consensual was sin for both of them.

    When Christ stooped down and wrote in the sand, they walked away, they knew very well they were guilty, just as the woman they were going to stone.

    Here is the passage from John 8

    3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

    4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

    5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

    6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

    7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

    8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

    9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

    10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

    11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
    John 8

    Now lets look at Deuteronomy 22

    22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

    23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

    24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

    25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

    26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
    Deuteronomy 22

    You see, there was justice for women who were raped/molested, according to Deuteronomy 22:25

  • Grace

    fws,

    You made this comment: “What Christ said was very unconventional and jarring to Jewish ears.”

    No, I don’t agree with you – when the men were about to stone the woman caught in adultery, they were not aware that Jesus Christ was God the Son, and knew their hearts. They hadn’t given that any thought. They knew that adultery, both for the male and female, if consensual was sin for both of them.

    When Christ stooped down and wrote in the sand, they walked away, they knew very well they were guilty, just as the woman they were going to stone.

    Here is the passage from John 8

    3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

    4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

    5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

    6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

    7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

    8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

    9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

    10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

    11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
    John 8

    Now lets look at Deuteronomy 22

    22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

    23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;

    24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

    25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

    26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
    Deuteronomy 22

    You see, there was justice for women who were raped/molested, according to Deuteronomy 22:25

  • Grace

    fws,

    In the future, if you want to ask me questions, it would be good to ask, and then allow me to answer. If you are going to ask, and answer, you assume I agree with you, which often is not the case. There is much more to the answer then you understand, or consider.

  • Grace

    fws,

    In the future, if you want to ask me questions, it would be good to ask, and then allow me to answer. If you are going to ask, and answer, you assume I agree with you, which often is not the case. There is much more to the answer then you understand, or consider.

  • fws

    grace

    learn to read.
    where did I say that you agree with me anywhere?
    my point is this, which you ignored:

    Jews practiced polygamy and did not consider it adultery.
    If a male Jew wanted sex with a second or third woman he could just marry her and because of that, adultery was rare among the Jews. It was a dfifferent matter with women who could not do so. There was not exact parity in such a situation between men and women.

    You disagree. Fine.
    There is nuance to this that you miss.
    You would not recognize nuance if it slapped you in the face.

  • fws

    grace

    learn to read.
    where did I say that you agree with me anywhere?
    my point is this, which you ignored:

    Jews practiced polygamy and did not consider it adultery.
    If a male Jew wanted sex with a second or third woman he could just marry her and because of that, adultery was rare among the Jews. It was a dfifferent matter with women who could not do so. There was not exact parity in such a situation between men and women.

    You disagree. Fine.
    There is nuance to this that you miss.
    You would not recognize nuance if it slapped you in the face.

  • larry

    Frank,

    That’s precisely on point. That’s the point “the church” (quotations meaning the church largely still under Babylonian captivity today) do not get and are largely unequipped to handle the issue. Until they get past their inbred pietism they will largely continue to fumble the ball as the facts betray. The emphasis and bell rings on marriage not on what is a “Biblical divorce” a complete contradiction if there ever was one. The legal mind is always looking for the oky doky loophole. From there, then, the pietistic focus goes onto sex…etc… as if that’s really the issue. The great irony is that OT Jews who practiced polygamy, which is not being argued for here but to show the point, had an infinitely higher view of marriage than does the modern “church” who is largely officially monogamous and focuses on the sex part and at that the “loop hole”. Jesus words on the issue emphasis the binding covenant of marriage. In short its not “sex” per say that’s the great sin in adultery, it’s the covenant breaker and that resounds in ALL of scripture. This is why it would be a greater sin, if for example, a polygamous convert were instructed, coerced or by any means looked down upon by the church for remaining in all of his marriages. For scripturally, his intimacy relations with his “5” wives is not the issue, his fidelity to the covenant of marriage to them (and all of the support, love of the neighbor that packs into that) is of highest concern and why divorce/adultery is an issue. The problem in this country, then, is not rampant sex in and of itself, but the non-marriages and breaking of marriages.
    It’s the breaking of the covenant which relates to death, not sex per se, that is the real issue. The only way a covenant is broken (which is the imagery in the OT of cutting animals in half and passing through them, also captured in traditional marriage ceremonies with the bride’s family on one side and the grooms on the other where the couple pass through together POST marriage vows, two flesh having become one now if broken is a death in that binding – “let it be done unto me as is done unto these animals if I break the covenant”)
    That’s ‘the what’ Jesus is shocking the Jews with in Matt. 5 and 19. He’s not shocking them with sex related to adultery, but saying you are covenant breakers if you do these things, that’s what was “in their face”. That’s why polygamy occurred, i.e. it was better to make covenants and NOT break them, than to break any single covenant by way of adultery (sex) or divorcing – for reasons other than the covenant having ALREADY been broken and the death occurred by the other spouse’s sexual interlude with another not married – like the man not liking the way his wife cooked his dinner or some such. The slap in the face wake call to the Jews was not first or even foremost “sex” but “you are a covenant breaker”. That was the greater shame to the Jew, we hardly blush at it. In fact if someone were to accuse, let us say falsely, anyone here of being sexually immoral, righteous indignation would rebutted immediately. But if the same were accused of “being a covenant breaker” (not necessarily marriage but in general a covenant breaker) they would likely snicker at it at best but the reaction would hardly rise to the level of indignation. That’s how ass backwards the parading around as if “the church” has communicated the issue.
    Luther well answers the is there no reason for which there may be separation and divorce between man and wife? “Christ states here (Matt. v. 31-32) and in Matthew xix. 9, only this one, which is called adultery, and he quotes it from the law of Moses, which punishes adultery with death. Since now death alone dis¬solves marriages (i.e. covenants – clarification larry) and releases from the obligation, an adulterer is already divorced not by man but by God himself, and not only cut loose from his spouse, but from this life. For by adultery he has di¬vorced himself from his wife, and has dissolved the marriage, which he has no right to do; and he has thereby made himself worthy of death, in such a way that he is already dead before God, although the judge does not take his life (in NT times we don’t stone for this – clarification larry). Because now God here divorces, the other party is fully released, so that he or she is not bound to keep the spouse that has proved unfaithful, however much he or she may desire it.

    This is why this article is so very insightful and that word, insightful, is far too sterile to express the weight of what Prof. Root is getting at here concerning what the child/children of such divorces are not “just feeling” but truly experiencing. The children of a marriage are the fruit of the covenant itself, the very “new life” of the two parts that have covenanted together and consummated it. They are the fruit of the faithfulness of the covenant. If the covenant/marriage is broken the symbolism of the severed fleshes is occurring and thus the very fruited life created, the children “feel this” whether they know how to express it as clearly as Prof. Root or not. The reason children today are such basket cases is the wholesale combination of children begotten outside of covenant/marriage and divorces. The spiritual aspect of this is real and is not just some nebulous feeling, the soul is really sheared here, that’s what the children feel no matter how young or old they are when this happens (I’ve heard MANY adults whose parents divorced well into their own adulthood express the same thing, this feeling of questioning their very existence).

    No covenanting should be taken lightly because the breaking of it has real tangible affects. To think it does not, just because the child doesn’t dissipate into time and space when divorce occurs, is really a form of Gnostic philosophy. Faith sees the reality that eyes don’t, our eyes tend to engender Gnosticism this way. The modern American religionist focuses almost purely on the “sex” of the issue and misses the real issue of which the sex is in a sense only tangential. All this is pure Law keep in mind and no Gospel whatsoever. Jesus is doing pure 200 proof Law to the Jews in this. When the Pharisees caught the woman in the act and wished to stone them they did not say as an American emphasis would have, “We caught this woman in the act of SEX outside of marriage.” (Air evacuates room). They say, “adultery”. The American reads and “hears” that as (= sex problem). But what the Jew was saying and hearing was (= covenant breaker). Then Jesus throws the Law at them and they heard, “He who is without breaking covenant, cast the first death blow”. This they walked away heads hanging down, they Jews where just called by God covenant breakers and that was the worse thing you could call them or identify them as, this is what separated them from Gentiles. Then Jesus, to the woman, delivers the Gospel, she knows she’s a covenant breaker, and original sinner, “I God, the real covenant keeper, absolve you.”

  • larry

    Frank,

    That’s precisely on point. That’s the point “the church” (quotations meaning the church largely still under Babylonian captivity today) do not get and are largely unequipped to handle the issue. Until they get past their inbred pietism they will largely continue to fumble the ball as the facts betray. The emphasis and bell rings on marriage not on what is a “Biblical divorce” a complete contradiction if there ever was one. The legal mind is always looking for the oky doky loophole. From there, then, the pietistic focus goes onto sex…etc… as if that’s really the issue. The great irony is that OT Jews who practiced polygamy, which is not being argued for here but to show the point, had an infinitely higher view of marriage than does the modern “church” who is largely officially monogamous and focuses on the sex part and at that the “loop hole”. Jesus words on the issue emphasis the binding covenant of marriage. In short its not “sex” per say that’s the great sin in adultery, it’s the covenant breaker and that resounds in ALL of scripture. This is why it would be a greater sin, if for example, a polygamous convert were instructed, coerced or by any means looked down upon by the church for remaining in all of his marriages. For scripturally, his intimacy relations with his “5” wives is not the issue, his fidelity to the covenant of marriage to them (and all of the support, love of the neighbor that packs into that) is of highest concern and why divorce/adultery is an issue. The problem in this country, then, is not rampant sex in and of itself, but the non-marriages and breaking of marriages.
    It’s the breaking of the covenant which relates to death, not sex per se, that is the real issue. The only way a covenant is broken (which is the imagery in the OT of cutting animals in half and passing through them, also captured in traditional marriage ceremonies with the bride’s family on one side and the grooms on the other where the couple pass through together POST marriage vows, two flesh having become one now if broken is a death in that binding – “let it be done unto me as is done unto these animals if I break the covenant”)
    That’s ‘the what’ Jesus is shocking the Jews with in Matt. 5 and 19. He’s not shocking them with sex related to adultery, but saying you are covenant breakers if you do these things, that’s what was “in their face”. That’s why polygamy occurred, i.e. it was better to make covenants and NOT break them, than to break any single covenant by way of adultery (sex) or divorcing – for reasons other than the covenant having ALREADY been broken and the death occurred by the other spouse’s sexual interlude with another not married – like the man not liking the way his wife cooked his dinner or some such. The slap in the face wake call to the Jews was not first or even foremost “sex” but “you are a covenant breaker”. That was the greater shame to the Jew, we hardly blush at it. In fact if someone were to accuse, let us say falsely, anyone here of being sexually immoral, righteous indignation would rebutted immediately. But if the same were accused of “being a covenant breaker” (not necessarily marriage but in general a covenant breaker) they would likely snicker at it at best but the reaction would hardly rise to the level of indignation. That’s how ass backwards the parading around as if “the church” has communicated the issue.
    Luther well answers the is there no reason for which there may be separation and divorce between man and wife? “Christ states here (Matt. v. 31-32) and in Matthew xix. 9, only this one, which is called adultery, and he quotes it from the law of Moses, which punishes adultery with death. Since now death alone dis¬solves marriages (i.e. covenants – clarification larry) and releases from the obligation, an adulterer is already divorced not by man but by God himself, and not only cut loose from his spouse, but from this life. For by adultery he has di¬vorced himself from his wife, and has dissolved the marriage, which he has no right to do; and he has thereby made himself worthy of death, in such a way that he is already dead before God, although the judge does not take his life (in NT times we don’t stone for this – clarification larry). Because now God here divorces, the other party is fully released, so that he or she is not bound to keep the spouse that has proved unfaithful, however much he or she may desire it.

    This is why this article is so very insightful and that word, insightful, is far too sterile to express the weight of what Prof. Root is getting at here concerning what the child/children of such divorces are not “just feeling” but truly experiencing. The children of a marriage are the fruit of the covenant itself, the very “new life” of the two parts that have covenanted together and consummated it. They are the fruit of the faithfulness of the covenant. If the covenant/marriage is broken the symbolism of the severed fleshes is occurring and thus the very fruited life created, the children “feel this” whether they know how to express it as clearly as Prof. Root or not. The reason children today are such basket cases is the wholesale combination of children begotten outside of covenant/marriage and divorces. The spiritual aspect of this is real and is not just some nebulous feeling, the soul is really sheared here, that’s what the children feel no matter how young or old they are when this happens (I’ve heard MANY adults whose parents divorced well into their own adulthood express the same thing, this feeling of questioning their very existence).

    No covenanting should be taken lightly because the breaking of it has real tangible affects. To think it does not, just because the child doesn’t dissipate into time and space when divorce occurs, is really a form of Gnostic philosophy. Faith sees the reality that eyes don’t, our eyes tend to engender Gnosticism this way. The modern American religionist focuses almost purely on the “sex” of the issue and misses the real issue of which the sex is in a sense only tangential. All this is pure Law keep in mind and no Gospel whatsoever. Jesus is doing pure 200 proof Law to the Jews in this. When the Pharisees caught the woman in the act and wished to stone them they did not say as an American emphasis would have, “We caught this woman in the act of SEX outside of marriage.” (Air evacuates room). They say, “adultery”. The American reads and “hears” that as (= sex problem). But what the Jew was saying and hearing was (= covenant breaker). Then Jesus throws the Law at them and they heard, “He who is without breaking covenant, cast the first death blow”. This they walked away heads hanging down, they Jews where just called by God covenant breakers and that was the worse thing you could call them or identify them as, this is what separated them from Gentiles. Then Jesus, to the woman, delivers the Gospel, she knows she’s a covenant breaker, and original sinner, “I God, the real covenant keeper, absolve you.”

  • kerner

    fws:

    I understand your point, but I had some questions for awhile about how you are making it, and I wonder about some of what you say.

    I don’t have all the passages at hand, but the NT indicates that prostitution was not unknown in 1st century palestine. And I’m not sure that polygamy was being practiced in the 1st century either. So, while adultery may have been rare among the pharisitical Jews (who were such sticklers for the law, or what they thought was the law), I’m not sure that adultery was generally as rare as we might think.

    Second, you often say that women were considered “property” in Biblical times. Why do you keep saying that? Their rights and obligations may have been different from now, but Property? How do you figure?

  • kerner

    fws:

    I understand your point, but I had some questions for awhile about how you are making it, and I wonder about some of what you say.

    I don’t have all the passages at hand, but the NT indicates that prostitution was not unknown in 1st century palestine. And I’m not sure that polygamy was being practiced in the 1st century either. So, while adultery may have been rare among the pharisitical Jews (who were such sticklers for the law, or what they thought was the law), I’m not sure that adultery was generally as rare as we might think.

    Second, you often say that women were considered “property” in Biblical times. Why do you keep saying that? Their rights and obligations may have been different from now, but Property? How do you figure?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@38), I’m not necessarily supporting FWS’s thesis — I don’t know, I haven’t really considered it fully, nor read with an eye towards confirming the thesis or not; that’s generally not why I read the Bible — but Genesis 29 does tell us that Rachel was awarded to Jacob as his “wages”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@38), I’m not necessarily supporting FWS’s thesis — I don’t know, I haven’t really considered it fully, nor read with an eye towards confirming the thesis or not; that’s generally not why I read the Bible — but Genesis 29 does tell us that Rachel was awarded to Jacob as his “wages”.

  • fws

    kerner @38

    KERNER I understand your point,

    FRANK: My point was that Christ was driving home what it is that is sin beyond the legalistic letter-of-the-law that the Jews thought was to fully comply with the Law. That is my ONLY point. There is no other agenda in what I am driving at. None. Zip. Nada.

    KERNER: I don’t have all the passages at hand, but the NT indicates that prostitution was not unknown in 1st century palestine.

    FRANK: Jesus was addressing whom? the immoral? no. he was addressing the religious who were under the “veil of Mose”, which, according to our Confessions , ap IV, is the opinion that the Law can be kept by doing, as we would civil law, whether one’s heart is really in it or not. most Probably those religious would have agreed that prostitution was immoral. Especially temple prostitution.

    KERNER: And I’m not sure that polygamy was being practiced in the 1st century either.

    FRANK: It was. Bishops were to be the husband of one wife. That could mean either a polygamous man could not be a pastor , or, maybe it means that if his wife dies he could not remarry under the temporary rules st Paul set up as a ruler of the church back then. Google on jewish polygamy in the 1st century. I trust that you will find this to be a neutral and relevant article my dear Legal Eagle:
    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Relationships/Spouses_and_Partners/About_Marriage/Ancient_Jewish_Marriage.shtml

    KERNER: So, while adultery may have been rare among the pharisitical Jews (who were such sticklers for the law, or what they thought was the law), I’m not sure that adultery was generally as rare as we might think.

    FRANK: Suggestion from FC V Law and Gospel: WHENEVER Jesus takes the Law into his own hands, it is to remove the “veil of Moses” and drive the Law from an outward keeping of reason in our thoughts, words and deeds, to show us that in our hearts we really hate the Law and God according to our flesh. He aims to strike at hearts and terrify them, precisely by removing the Veil of Moses. Jesus always has this agenda when he is teaching the Law. He is driving it to being UNdoable, without faith in the Works of Another, Whom , of course, is He Himself!

    KERNER: Second, you often say that women were considered “property” in Biblical times. Why do you keep saying that? Their rights and obligations may have been different from now, but Property? How do you figure?

    FRANK: Let’s review the facts: The family of the son would select a bride, usually around 13-16 years old, and purchase her with a dowry. Or an older man would select on his own volition. The woman had no choice. Legally the women and children of the man were property in the same sense his slaves were. Rape was considered a property violation. The remedy was for the rapist to marry the woman. “you break it you bought it!” This was probably merciful back then, since the womans prospects at being given a home if she was not a virgin was nil .

    why does this matter theologically: Christ as Bridegroom and Church as bride. the bride has NO choice in the marriage. She is bought and paid for. This metaphor can’t be understood without understanding that context Kerner. So it matters.

    I am not driving towards any other thing about marriage, as to it’s definition and how it is protected (ie chastity/adultery).
    This thread is only tangentally about that.
    I have no private opinions on those matters. I would direct you rather to our Confessions on such matters.
    The Lutheran definition of Marriage is found in the Large Catechism 6th commandment where it is described as one of 3 governments God has sanctioned on earth.
    The Only biblically sanctioned means of sexual self control , fully ruling out celebacy short of a miracle, is defined in the large catechism 4th commandment and also in the Augustana and apology article XXIII. This closely follows st paul in 1 cor 7.

  • fws

    kerner @38

    KERNER I understand your point,

    FRANK: My point was that Christ was driving home what it is that is sin beyond the legalistic letter-of-the-law that the Jews thought was to fully comply with the Law. That is my ONLY point. There is no other agenda in what I am driving at. None. Zip. Nada.

    KERNER: I don’t have all the passages at hand, but the NT indicates that prostitution was not unknown in 1st century palestine.

    FRANK: Jesus was addressing whom? the immoral? no. he was addressing the religious who were under the “veil of Mose”, which, according to our Confessions , ap IV, is the opinion that the Law can be kept by doing, as we would civil law, whether one’s heart is really in it or not. most Probably those religious would have agreed that prostitution was immoral. Especially temple prostitution.

    KERNER: And I’m not sure that polygamy was being practiced in the 1st century either.

    FRANK: It was. Bishops were to be the husband of one wife. That could mean either a polygamous man could not be a pastor , or, maybe it means that if his wife dies he could not remarry under the temporary rules st Paul set up as a ruler of the church back then. Google on jewish polygamy in the 1st century. I trust that you will find this to be a neutral and relevant article my dear Legal Eagle:
    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Relationships/Spouses_and_Partners/About_Marriage/Ancient_Jewish_Marriage.shtml

    KERNER: So, while adultery may have been rare among the pharisitical Jews (who were such sticklers for the law, or what they thought was the law), I’m not sure that adultery was generally as rare as we might think.

    FRANK: Suggestion from FC V Law and Gospel: WHENEVER Jesus takes the Law into his own hands, it is to remove the “veil of Moses” and drive the Law from an outward keeping of reason in our thoughts, words and deeds, to show us that in our hearts we really hate the Law and God according to our flesh. He aims to strike at hearts and terrify them, precisely by removing the Veil of Moses. Jesus always has this agenda when he is teaching the Law. He is driving it to being UNdoable, without faith in the Works of Another, Whom , of course, is He Himself!

    KERNER: Second, you often say that women were considered “property” in Biblical times. Why do you keep saying that? Their rights and obligations may have been different from now, but Property? How do you figure?

    FRANK: Let’s review the facts: The family of the son would select a bride, usually around 13-16 years old, and purchase her with a dowry. Or an older man would select on his own volition. The woman had no choice. Legally the women and children of the man were property in the same sense his slaves were. Rape was considered a property violation. The remedy was for the rapist to marry the woman. “you break it you bought it!” This was probably merciful back then, since the womans prospects at being given a home if she was not a virgin was nil .

    why does this matter theologically: Christ as Bridegroom and Church as bride. the bride has NO choice in the marriage. She is bought and paid for. This metaphor can’t be understood without understanding that context Kerner. So it matters.

    I am not driving towards any other thing about marriage, as to it’s definition and how it is protected (ie chastity/adultery).
    This thread is only tangentally about that.
    I have no private opinions on those matters. I would direct you rather to our Confessions on such matters.
    The Lutheran definition of Marriage is found in the Large Catechism 6th commandment where it is described as one of 3 governments God has sanctioned on earth.
    The Only biblically sanctioned means of sexual self control , fully ruling out celebacy short of a miracle, is defined in the large catechism 4th commandment and also in the Augustana and apology article XXIII. This closely follows st paul in 1 cor 7.

  • fws

    i have the content of the 4th and 6th commandments in the Large Catechism reversed in my last post.

    4th sanctions marriage as a government of the household.
    6th tells us how God protects marriage by marriage itself and tells us that marriage is the only feasible biblical means of sexual self control, short of a true miracle and Devine Intervention.

    This is what those who claim to be Confessional Lutherans are conscience bound to believe, teach and confess on such matters.

  • fws

    i have the content of the 4th and 6th commandments in the Large Catechism reversed in my last post.

    4th sanctions marriage as a government of the household.
    6th tells us how God protects marriage by marriage itself and tells us that marriage is the only feasible biblical means of sexual self control, short of a true miracle and Devine Intervention.

    This is what those who claim to be Confessional Lutherans are conscience bound to believe, teach and confess on such matters.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You twisted my comment @35, it’s just that simple –

    You constantly refer those you are posting to – to your Lutheran books. Why are you unable to prove with Scripture from the Bible the points you wish to make. The Bible is the source, after all, it is the inerrant Word of God, not your books, written by men 1500 years after Christ had preached and taught – and then spent 40 days with them alone teaching them, (see Act 1)

    There is no possibility that your books trump the Bible.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You twisted my comment @35, it’s just that simple –

    You constantly refer those you are posting to – to your Lutheran books. Why are you unable to prove with Scripture from the Bible the points you wish to make. The Bible is the source, after all, it is the inerrant Word of God, not your books, written by men 1500 years after Christ had preached and taught – and then spent 40 days with them alone teaching them, (see Act 1)

    There is no possibility that your books trump the Bible.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    I haven’t considered it fully either. Which is why I am challenging the statement. There is no question that OT life was paternalistic, by which I mean that the man of the house historically had great power over those living in it, including his daughters. There also seems to be recorded the historical custom of needing a father’s consent to marry a daughter, and that plenty of fathers were willing to require payment for that consent. But that is not the same as considering the daughter property, although there is a clear economic aspect to it.

    Look at the account of Abraham’s servant finding a wife for Isaac:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis24&version=NIV

    Sure, the servant gives gifts to Rebekah’s family, but he also gives gifts to Rebekah herself, and her family asks her if she wants to go with the servant. This strikes me more like buying out the contract of an athlete than buying the person herself. She has an obligation to her family; and if another family wants her, they have to buy out her existing family to satisfy the obligation.

    Also, this seems to be the custom of the time rather than a directive from God. I have looked through the OT law looking for some directive as to how an Israelite was supposed to get married, and I could find surprisingly little. What you mostly find is prohibitions against certain acts, and penalties. But you don’t really see much about courting rituals.

    Another thing you see is an underlying assumption that marriage, even marriage to a bad man, is good for a woman.

    Like you, I’m still thinking about all this.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    I haven’t considered it fully either. Which is why I am challenging the statement. There is no question that OT life was paternalistic, by which I mean that the man of the house historically had great power over those living in it, including his daughters. There also seems to be recorded the historical custom of needing a father’s consent to marry a daughter, and that plenty of fathers were willing to require payment for that consent. But that is not the same as considering the daughter property, although there is a clear economic aspect to it.

    Look at the account of Abraham’s servant finding a wife for Isaac:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis24&version=NIV

    Sure, the servant gives gifts to Rebekah’s family, but he also gives gifts to Rebekah herself, and her family asks her if she wants to go with the servant. This strikes me more like buying out the contract of an athlete than buying the person herself. She has an obligation to her family; and if another family wants her, they have to buy out her existing family to satisfy the obligation.

    Also, this seems to be the custom of the time rather than a directive from God. I have looked through the OT law looking for some directive as to how an Israelite was supposed to get married, and I could find surprisingly little. What you mostly find is prohibitions against certain acts, and penalties. But you don’t really see much about courting rituals.

    Another thing you see is an underlying assumption that marriage, even marriage to a bad man, is good for a woman.

    Like you, I’m still thinking about all this.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Just because the head of the family had authority over the other family members does not mean they were his “property” or were thought of that way. More likely, families and clans were thought of more like the way we think of countries with kings. I may have to submit to the authority of an emperor, if I live in an empire, but that doesn’t mean the emperor means he owns me outright.

    And a monetary penalty does not necessarily imply a property crime. Imprisonment as a penalty is a recent historical innovation. Most old legal codes had only two kinds of penalties. Death, and fines.

    And as you point out, the rapist having to marry the victim was seen as a benefit to the woman (she gets a home and support for life) and a punishment for the man (he has to support a woman he doesn’t care for for life). And I suppose that the man might come around and learn to love the woman he took without her permission or that of her family, which I suppose might be the ancient equivalent of rehabilitation.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Just because the head of the family had authority over the other family members does not mean they were his “property” or were thought of that way. More likely, families and clans were thought of more like the way we think of countries with kings. I may have to submit to the authority of an emperor, if I live in an empire, but that doesn’t mean the emperor means he owns me outright.

    And a monetary penalty does not necessarily imply a property crime. Imprisonment as a penalty is a recent historical innovation. Most old legal codes had only two kinds of penalties. Death, and fines.

    And as you point out, the rapist having to marry the victim was seen as a benefit to the woman (she gets a home and support for life) and a punishment for the man (he has to support a woman he doesn’t care for for life). And I suppose that the man might come around and learn to love the woman he took without her permission or that of her family, which I suppose might be the ancient equivalent of rehabilitation.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    You should be an accountant rather than an attorney. step back from the trees and focus first on the forrest.

    read the definition of marriage in the 4th commandment of the large catechism. It defines marriage as one of 3 God sanctioned governments. It is the government of the household.
    the other two are the church and society.
    In the 6th commandment marriage is described as the ONLY biblical and feasible practice of sexual self control.

    Ditch the sacramental stuff . That is Roman Catholic stuff being reintroduced back into Lutheranism. Probably as a misguided counter argument to the gay “marriage” thangy.
    Marriage is pure Law. And the Law always accuses and is about our mortification.

    To drive what I just said about ditching marriage as sacrament:
    The eternal consequence of all that we can see and do in marriage is, existentially, soteriogically, teleologically etc, is death. Romans 8 tells us that. There are only two categories: flesh and Spirit. Flesh will perish. Marriage belongs in the first category. Alone faith in Christ and to have our carnal righeousness hidden in His Works is spirit that will never perish.

    The Formula of Concord in art V Law and Gospel states that the Gospel is often used to illustrate the Law. Such is the case with the metaphor of Christ/bride/groom/church.

    Then, after you have that framework down, you can go to this jewish site to see what they say about jewish marriage practices.

    http://www.myjewishlearning.com

    see under life, then relationships then spouses and partners…

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    You should be an accountant rather than an attorney. step back from the trees and focus first on the forrest.

    read the definition of marriage in the 4th commandment of the large catechism. It defines marriage as one of 3 God sanctioned governments. It is the government of the household.
    the other two are the church and society.
    In the 6th commandment marriage is described as the ONLY biblical and feasible practice of sexual self control.

    Ditch the sacramental stuff . That is Roman Catholic stuff being reintroduced back into Lutheranism. Probably as a misguided counter argument to the gay “marriage” thangy.
    Marriage is pure Law. And the Law always accuses and is about our mortification.

    To drive what I just said about ditching marriage as sacrament:
    The eternal consequence of all that we can see and do in marriage is, existentially, soteriogically, teleologically etc, is death. Romans 8 tells us that. There are only two categories: flesh and Spirit. Flesh will perish. Marriage belongs in the first category. Alone faith in Christ and to have our carnal righeousness hidden in His Works is spirit that will never perish.

    The Formula of Concord in art V Law and Gospel states that the Gospel is often used to illustrate the Law. Such is the case with the metaphor of Christ/bride/groom/church.

    Then, after you have that framework down, you can go to this jewish site to see what they say about jewish marriage practices.

    http://www.myjewishlearning.com

    see under life, then relationships then spouses and partners…

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    I would suggest that NT and OT marriage practices were very similar to what we find today in more rural and conservative muslim areas.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    I would suggest that NT and OT marriage practices were very similar to what we find today in more rural and conservative muslim areas.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    Here is the best article I found on this from a Jewish website:

    Betrothal

    Until late in the Middle Ages, marriage consisted of two ceremonies which were marked by celebrations at two separate times, with an interval between. First came the betrothal [erusin]; and later, the wedding [nissuin]. At the betrothal the woman was legally married, although she still remained in her father’s house. She could not belong to another man unless she was divorced from her betrothed. The wedding meant only that the betrothed woman, accompanied by a colorful procession, was brought from her father’s house to the house of her groom, and the legal tie with him was consummated.

    This division of marriage into two separate events originated in very ancient times when marriage was a purchase, both in its outward form and in its inner meaning. Woman was not recognized as a person but was bought in marriage, like chattel.

    Marriage, as with any type of purchase, consisted of two acts. First the price was paid and an agreement reached on the conditions of sale. Sometime later the purchaser took possession of the object. In marriage, the mohar was paid and a detailed agreement reached between the families of the bride and groom. This betrothal was followed by the wedding, when the bride was brought into the home of the groom, who took actual possession of her.

    In those days the betrothal was the more important of these two events and maintained its importance as long as marriage was actually based upon a purchase. But as women assumed more importance as individuals, and marriage ceased to be a purchase, attaining moral significance, the actual wedding became more important than the betrothal. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Relationships/Spouses_and_Partners.shtml

    Interestingly, the Jews parallel what Luther says in the large catechism on the 6th commandment in the point of marriage being the biblical definition of sexual self control:

    For men, marriage provided a legitimate sexual outlet that could prevent sexual yearnings from interfering with proper conduct.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    Here is the best article I found on this from a Jewish website:

    Betrothal

    Until late in the Middle Ages, marriage consisted of two ceremonies which were marked by celebrations at two separate times, with an interval between. First came the betrothal [erusin]; and later, the wedding [nissuin]. At the betrothal the woman was legally married, although she still remained in her father’s house. She could not belong to another man unless she was divorced from her betrothed. The wedding meant only that the betrothed woman, accompanied by a colorful procession, was brought from her father’s house to the house of her groom, and the legal tie with him was consummated.

    This division of marriage into two separate events originated in very ancient times when marriage was a purchase, both in its outward form and in its inner meaning. Woman was not recognized as a person but was bought in marriage, like chattel.

    Marriage, as with any type of purchase, consisted of two acts. First the price was paid and an agreement reached on the conditions of sale. Sometime later the purchaser took possession of the object. In marriage, the mohar was paid and a detailed agreement reached between the families of the bride and groom. This betrothal was followed by the wedding, when the bride was brought into the home of the groom, who took actual possession of her.

    In those days the betrothal was the more important of these two events and maintained its importance as long as marriage was actually based upon a purchase. But as women assumed more importance as individuals, and marriage ceased to be a purchase, attaining moral significance, the actual wedding became more important than the betrothal. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Relationships/Spouses_and_Partners.shtml

    Interestingly, the Jews parallel what Luther says in the large catechism on the 6th commandment in the point of marriage being the biblical definition of sexual self control:

    For men, marriage provided a legitimate sexual outlet that could prevent sexual yearnings from interfering with proper conduct.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    Follow what the Confessions say about marriage Kerner and think of it as being, in its very essence, a carnal earthly government, like the church, with NO eternal, soteriological, teleological or other significance.
    It is God’s sanctioned rulership of husband and wife over the household.

    Whatever then you would say about good or bad government, when it would be right to disband or disobey that government if it rules over you, would all apply in exactly the same way and sense to the government called marriage and also the visible church.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    Follow what the Confessions say about marriage Kerner and think of it as being, in its very essence, a carnal earthly government, like the church, with NO eternal, soteriological, teleological or other significance.
    It is God’s sanctioned rulership of husband and wife over the household.

    Whatever then you would say about good or bad government, when it would be right to disband or disobey that government if it rules over you, would all apply in exactly the same way and sense to the government called marriage and also the visible church.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    “More likely, families and clans were thought of more like the way we think of countries with kings. I may have to submit to the authority of an emperor, if I live in an empire, but that doesn’t mean the emperor means he owns me outright.”

    actually, the idea of a sovreign is precisely that the citizens are the property of the state. like socialism. that IS the idea Kerner. The American Experiment is only about 300 years old. It is the exception to this rule.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    “More likely, families and clans were thought of more like the way we think of countries with kings. I may have to submit to the authority of an emperor, if I live in an empire, but that doesn’t mean the emperor means he owns me outright.”

    actually, the idea of a sovreign is precisely that the citizens are the property of the state. like socialism. that IS the idea Kerner. The American Experiment is only about 300 years old. It is the exception to this rule.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    I am seeing that here in Brasil Kerner. the country was founded as a monarchy. So even today, to open a business or do anything, one must get permission from the government. Europe is much the same. so the constitution enumerates the rights granted to the citizens. By inferrence all other rights are reserved for the sovreign, be it a monarch or the state.

    the american idea that the government is owned by the people and the constitution’s raison ‘d etre is to define and limit the governments power is quite foreign to anything before it.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44

    I am seeing that here in Brasil Kerner. the country was founded as a monarchy. So even today, to open a business or do anything, one must get permission from the government. Europe is much the same. so the constitution enumerates the rights granted to the citizens. By inferrence all other rights are reserved for the sovreign, be it a monarch or the state.

    the american idea that the government is owned by the people and the constitution’s raison ‘d etre is to define and limit the governments power is quite foreign to anything before it.

  • kerner

    fws:
    I agree with you that marriage is pure law. No sacrament about it. Not the gospel either. When you say that marriage is a form of government, I agree whole heartedly with Scripture, the confessions, and you.

    You said:
    “To drive what I just said about ditching marriage as sacrament:
    The eternal consequence of all that we can see and do in marriage is, existentially, soteriogically, teleologically etc, is death. Romans 8 tells us that. There are only two categories: flesh and Spirit. Flesh will perish. Marriage belongs in the first category. Alone faith in Christ and to have our carnal righeousness hidden in His Works is spirit that will never perish. ”

    Amen. Again, I whole heartedly agree.

    And you suggest that OT and even NT marriage practices were similar to Muslum marriage practices even today. Wow. Again we agree. We are batting 1000 amigo. Have you ever wondered about Mary and Joseph being “married”, but not really quite “married” as we understand the term during Mary’s pregnancy? It turns out that Arabs still have a similar practice oversees. They have a marriage contract that precedes the ceremony, and the parties are considered married because the contract is binding, but they aren’t supposed to consumate the marriage till after the ceremony.

    The only reason I was questioning this is because saying “women were property” Strikes me as factually wrong. Take Malachi 2:15-16:

    “So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
    16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife, ” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[e] says the Lord Almighty.”

    This implies that wives have a right to expect to be supported and protected under the customs of that day. Property has no expectations, and certainly no rights, vis a vis its owner. The owner can do anything he wants.

    I don’t mean to nit-pick, but starting with a false premise can cause a false conclusion down the road.

  • kerner

    fws:
    I agree with you that marriage is pure law. No sacrament about it. Not the gospel either. When you say that marriage is a form of government, I agree whole heartedly with Scripture, the confessions, and you.

    You said:
    “To drive what I just said about ditching marriage as sacrament:
    The eternal consequence of all that we can see and do in marriage is, existentially, soteriogically, teleologically etc, is death. Romans 8 tells us that. There are only two categories: flesh and Spirit. Flesh will perish. Marriage belongs in the first category. Alone faith in Christ and to have our carnal righeousness hidden in His Works is spirit that will never perish. ”

    Amen. Again, I whole heartedly agree.

    And you suggest that OT and even NT marriage practices were similar to Muslum marriage practices even today. Wow. Again we agree. We are batting 1000 amigo. Have you ever wondered about Mary and Joseph being “married”, but not really quite “married” as we understand the term during Mary’s pregnancy? It turns out that Arabs still have a similar practice oversees. They have a marriage contract that precedes the ceremony, and the parties are considered married because the contract is binding, but they aren’t supposed to consumate the marriage till after the ceremony.

    The only reason I was questioning this is because saying “women were property” Strikes me as factually wrong. Take Malachi 2:15-16:

    “So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
    16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife, ” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[e] says the Lord Almighty.”

    This implies that wives have a right to expect to be supported and protected under the customs of that day. Property has no expectations, and certainly no rights, vis a vis its owner. The owner can do anything he wants.

    I don’t mean to nit-pick, but starting with a false premise can cause a false conclusion down the road.

  • kerner

    fws” you said:
    “actually, the idea of a sovreign is precisely that the citizens are the property of the state. like socialism. that IS the idea Kerner. The American Experiment is only about 300 years old. It is the exception to this rule.”

    See here I disagree. Very few governments were totally absolutist in practice, even if they seemed to be in theory. Almost all included some concept of “rights” of the goverened, even if they were weak and few. Even the feudal serf had the right to expect protection from his lord, and the feudal nobility took this obligation seriously. The lord also held court and was expected to dispense justice, also in theory (how “just” the lord actually was tended to vary, but the concept was definitely there). I grant you that this primitive left-hand kingdom law is simply a form of government. Nothing sacramental about it.

  • kerner

    fws” you said:
    “actually, the idea of a sovreign is precisely that the citizens are the property of the state. like socialism. that IS the idea Kerner. The American Experiment is only about 300 years old. It is the exception to this rule.”

    See here I disagree. Very few governments were totally absolutist in practice, even if they seemed to be in theory. Almost all included some concept of “rights” of the goverened, even if they were weak and few. Even the feudal serf had the right to expect protection from his lord, and the feudal nobility took this obligation seriously. The lord also held court and was expected to dispense justice, also in theory (how “just” the lord actually was tended to vary, but the concept was definitely there). I grant you that this primitive left-hand kingdom law is simply a form of government. Nothing sacramental about it.

  • kerner

    fws:
    Effectively you are saying that authority = ownership.

    I guess I believe they may be similar but are not equal. The most authoritarian society usually distinguishes between people and property.

  • kerner

    fws:
    Effectively you are saying that authority = ownership.

    I guess I believe they may be similar but are not equal. The most authoritarian society usually distinguishes between people and property.

  • kerner

    @47:

    OK I now see where you are getting this, but I still disagree. The statements you are quoting seem to me to be modern people trying to explain the ancient outlook without setting aside their modern prejudices.

    Maybe a modern jewish feminist would think of an ancient marriage and call it a “purchase of property”, but I don’t think that is a fair characterization of what was going on in the minds of the people involved.

  • kerner

    @47:

    OK I now see where you are getting this, but I still disagree. The statements you are quoting seem to me to be modern people trying to explain the ancient outlook without setting aside their modern prejudices.

    Maybe a modern jewish feminist would think of an ancient marriage and call it a “purchase of property”, but I don’t think that is a fair characterization of what was going on in the minds of the people involved.

  • fws

    kerner @ 53

    no. I am not saying that authority=ownership.
    That would be a gloss and assumption.

    And I am therefore not saying that government, whether it be the household/marriage, church or society are about ownership.

    You are taking an aside I made and making it THE point perhaps.

    As recently as the 1840′s Massachusetts courts assigned to women and children the same status as the slaves of a slave owner. Whether the reasoning of that court was correct or not, it indicates that that line of thinking was not uncommon.
    I would note here that slaves in the NT were not like slaves based upon race here in the usa. they had some definite rights in society and they could buy their freedom and actually become part of the nobility even. Women in Jewish culture were exceptional in that they could own property. That fact alone means that they were something more than chattel doesn’t it?

    But still, the fact remains that the legal and societal structure looked very much similar to what you would see in a rural conservative muslim area like afghanistan.

    Kerner. You smell that I have an agenda. I DO have one. But it’s probably not even close to what you think it is. It is Law and Gospel as presented in our Confessions.

    I think you are right about that Jewish site. Everyone has some axe to grind, and “social progress” is often that axe. But the site mentions source documents in such a way and nuance things so that I don’t think that is the case here.

  • fws

    kerner @ 53

    no. I am not saying that authority=ownership.
    That would be a gloss and assumption.

    And I am therefore not saying that government, whether it be the household/marriage, church or society are about ownership.

    You are taking an aside I made and making it THE point perhaps.

    As recently as the 1840′s Massachusetts courts assigned to women and children the same status as the slaves of a slave owner. Whether the reasoning of that court was correct or not, it indicates that that line of thinking was not uncommon.
    I would note here that slaves in the NT were not like slaves based upon race here in the usa. they had some definite rights in society and they could buy their freedom and actually become part of the nobility even. Women in Jewish culture were exceptional in that they could own property. That fact alone means that they were something more than chattel doesn’t it?

    But still, the fact remains that the legal and societal structure looked very much similar to what you would see in a rural conservative muslim area like afghanistan.

    Kerner. You smell that I have an agenda. I DO have one. But it’s probably not even close to what you think it is. It is Law and Gospel as presented in our Confessions.

    I think you are right about that Jewish site. Everyone has some axe to grind, and “social progress” is often that axe. But the site mentions source documents in such a way and nuance things so that I don’t think that is the case here.

  • kerner

    fws:

    “You smell that I have an agenda. I DO have one. But it’s probably not even close to what you think it is. It is Law and Gospel as presented in our Confessions.”

    Actually, Frank, I do think that the “Law and Gospel as presented in our Confessions” is your agenda. You convinced me of that long ago.

    Just because we have gone head to head sometimes doesn’t mean that I am blind to that.

    And I was pretty sure that the women = property remarks were “asides”, which is why I never brought them up much before now. But they always bothered me so I finally said something. I’m sorry if I have distracted from your main points, with which I do agree.

  • kerner

    fws:

    “You smell that I have an agenda. I DO have one. But it’s probably not even close to what you think it is. It is Law and Gospel as presented in our Confessions.”

    Actually, Frank, I do think that the “Law and Gospel as presented in our Confessions” is your agenda. You convinced me of that long ago.

    Just because we have gone head to head sometimes doesn’t mean that I am blind to that.

    And I was pretty sure that the women = property remarks were “asides”, which is why I never brought them up much before now. But they always bothered me so I finally said something. I’m sorry if I have distracted from your main points, with which I do agree.

  • fws

    kerner @ 51

    ready. fire. aim.

    that was me.
    we do agree on everything.
    I agree that for women to own property means that they are more than property. Bingo.

    Luther in his amazing commentary on Genesis states that before the fall, women were coequal to men.
    He says that it is the curses in gen 3 that changed that.
    Now we have thistles and thorns, the pain in having and raising children, and women under the thumb of men. That line about women… “your desire shall be for your husband” is… eerily, paralleled in the story of cain….4:7 ” [sin's]…desire is for you”.
    So we can know God’s original intent for marriage, male vs female roles, etc.
    We also can know that we live in not only a fallen world, but also a world that has the curses of Gen 3 upon it.

    My point in saying this is that God doesnt desire sacrifice or obedience. He desires that Goodness and Mercy be done among men. And the sad state of affairs in the OT with polygamy and purchase of brides etc shows just how far sin has sunk all of us from our original state. It should cause us to take a good look at each of our own selves and repent for the sad state that we are all in and contribute to daily.

    We need to see that, as awful as we think some of those things are, like making the rapist marry his victim, the alternatives were even worse or non existent. it would be to literally send some woman and her children out to the desert to die of exposure or worse.
    And so God allowed for divorce. Why? It gave protections to the woman and her children. That’s why. Goodness and Mercy. And this is all to make us realize just how far we have fallen from that fear , love and trust in God that was that faith in the Works of Another that was the Robe of Righteousness of Adam even before the fall, after the fall and will be our Robe of Righteousness into eternity. Justification was by faith alone before the fall, after the fall and will be forever. Salvation in Christ Alone is not dispensational.

  • fws

    kerner @ 51

    ready. fire. aim.

    that was me.
    we do agree on everything.
    I agree that for women to own property means that they are more than property. Bingo.

    Luther in his amazing commentary on Genesis states that before the fall, women were coequal to men.
    He says that it is the curses in gen 3 that changed that.
    Now we have thistles and thorns, the pain in having and raising children, and women under the thumb of men. That line about women… “your desire shall be for your husband” is… eerily, paralleled in the story of cain….4:7 ” [sin's]…desire is for you”.
    So we can know God’s original intent for marriage, male vs female roles, etc.
    We also can know that we live in not only a fallen world, but also a world that has the curses of Gen 3 upon it.

    My point in saying this is that God doesnt desire sacrifice or obedience. He desires that Goodness and Mercy be done among men. And the sad state of affairs in the OT with polygamy and purchase of brides etc shows just how far sin has sunk all of us from our original state. It should cause us to take a good look at each of our own selves and repent for the sad state that we are all in and contribute to daily.

    We need to see that, as awful as we think some of those things are, like making the rapist marry his victim, the alternatives were even worse or non existent. it would be to literally send some woman and her children out to the desert to die of exposure or worse.
    And so God allowed for divorce. Why? It gave protections to the woman and her children. That’s why. Goodness and Mercy. And this is all to make us realize just how far we have fallen from that fear , love and trust in God that was that faith in the Works of Another that was the Robe of Righteousness of Adam even before the fall, after the fall and will be our Robe of Righteousness into eternity. Justification was by faith alone before the fall, after the fall and will be forever. Salvation in Christ Alone is not dispensational.

  • fws

    kerner @ 56
    :)

    Thanks for that kind comment my dear Legal Eagle.

  • fws

    kerner @ 56
    :)

    Thanks for that kind comment my dear Legal Eagle.

  • fws

    kerner @ 52

    A good friend of mine pointed out that even a dictatorship can’t govern all that long without the tacit consent of the governed.
    “Absolute” monarchs and roman emperors were occasionally deposed.
    Imagine that.
    God rules all. He brings down the proud in their conceit and lifts up the lowly.
    Saul learned that. So did cain, esau, etc etc.

  • fws

    kerner @ 52

    A good friend of mine pointed out that even a dictatorship can’t govern all that long without the tacit consent of the governed.
    “Absolute” monarchs and roman emperors were occasionally deposed.
    Imagine that.
    God rules all. He brings down the proud in their conceit and lifts up the lowly.
    Saul learned that. So did cain, esau, etc etc.

  • helen

    1 Michael B. August 2, 2012 at 7:46 am
    It appears that a very small percentage of churches practice church discipline on divorce. The bible greatly limits (if not completely prohibits) divorce and remarriage, and yet in Christian America, divorce and remarriage is pretty much done at-will.

    larry August 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm
    Actually, Helen, the Bible does not say that, it gives the cases of marital infidelity (Matt.) as an exception to divorce whereby one is not themselves, who didn’t commit that, an adulterer. Paul also state Cor. concerning the unbelieving spouse leaving them that the believing spouse is not bound

    Actually, larry, the Bible isn’t quite that definite, especially on who is “innocent”. Luther made some concessions, even to a bigamist (for political reasons and because he was going to do it anyway).
    So we talk a lot about “the innocent party” but how many “party’s” to a divorce are totally innocent?
    With “no fault” a man can walk away from his wife because he doesn’t like the way she combs her hair, and she can’t do a thing about it; (her hair is not really the issue).
    We’re about where the Jews were, when prominent Rabbis could opine that a wife could be divorced for burning breakfast one morning, or only because her husband had seen something on the street that he liked better!

    In two of the three Gospels, there is no exception for adultery and in Matthew, I’ve read that it has been mis translated, so that the text should read ‘[not even] f9r fornication.
    Paul in Corinthians says that if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave, let him/her. But that separation doesn’t mean approval for another marriage.

    [I've been re reading portions of a 350 page Master's Thesis on this subject, done at St Catherine's (Lutheran seminary) but unfortunately not on line, so far as I have been able to determine.]

  • helen

    1 Michael B. August 2, 2012 at 7:46 am
    It appears that a very small percentage of churches practice church discipline on divorce. The bible greatly limits (if not completely prohibits) divorce and remarriage, and yet in Christian America, divorce and remarriage is pretty much done at-will.

    larry August 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm
    Actually, Helen, the Bible does not say that, it gives the cases of marital infidelity (Matt.) as an exception to divorce whereby one is not themselves, who didn’t commit that, an adulterer. Paul also state Cor. concerning the unbelieving spouse leaving them that the believing spouse is not bound

    Actually, larry, the Bible isn’t quite that definite, especially on who is “innocent”. Luther made some concessions, even to a bigamist (for political reasons and because he was going to do it anyway).
    So we talk a lot about “the innocent party” but how many “party’s” to a divorce are totally innocent?
    With “no fault” a man can walk away from his wife because he doesn’t like the way she combs her hair, and she can’t do a thing about it; (her hair is not really the issue).
    We’re about where the Jews were, when prominent Rabbis could opine that a wife could be divorced for burning breakfast one morning, or only because her husband had seen something on the street that he liked better!

    In two of the three Gospels, there is no exception for adultery and in Matthew, I’ve read that it has been mis translated, so that the text should read ‘[not even] f9r fornication.
    Paul in Corinthians says that if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave, let him/her. But that separation doesn’t mean approval for another marriage.

    [I've been re reading portions of a 350 page Master's Thesis on this subject, done at St Catherine's (Lutheran seminary) but unfortunately not on line, so far as I have been able to determine.]

  • fws

    helen @ 60

    I think you are…
    1)right , as is that master’s thesis, as to what the text says.
    2)wrong as to what Luther and Melancthon thought as to Philip of Hesse (have you read the letter Helen?)
    3) wrong again as to Law and Gospel distinction as to what the significance of (1) being true is.,

    Have you thought Helen , that if what you say is true and is to be applied rigorously today in churches, that divorced persons would be required to make the same sacrifice that we now require of gays, and they would be turned out of churches if they remarried, or… would be told to put away the second person they married as a condition for being allowed into the church?

  • fws

    helen @ 60

    I think you are…
    1)right , as is that master’s thesis, as to what the text says.
    2)wrong as to what Luther and Melancthon thought as to Philip of Hesse (have you read the letter Helen?)
    3) wrong again as to Law and Gospel distinction as to what the significance of (1) being true is.,

    Have you thought Helen , that if what you say is true and is to be applied rigorously today in churches, that divorced persons would be required to make the same sacrifice that we now require of gays, and they would be turned out of churches if they remarried, or… would be told to put away the second person they married as a condition for being allowed into the church?

  • fws

    Helen @ 60

    Have you ever considered what church discipline really is all about? Yes of course you have. We would find that in the Catechisms on the Ministry of the Keys wouldn’t we? And we would find it in art VII of the Apology. And in art II of the Formula of Concord.

    What is it that those Confessional texts say that excommunication is? Is it to determine who is inside our outside of the Holy Catholic Church? is it to separate wheat from chaff, goats from sheep and do fruit inspection or soil analysis?

    What is it Helen?

  • fws

    Helen @ 60

    Have you ever considered what church discipline really is all about? Yes of course you have. We would find that in the Catechisms on the Ministry of the Keys wouldn’t we? And we would find it in art VII of the Apology. And in art II of the Formula of Concord.

    What is it that those Confessional texts say that excommunication is? Is it to determine who is inside our outside of the Holy Catholic Church? is it to separate wheat from chaff, goats from sheep and do fruit inspection or soil analysis?

    What is it Helen?

  • Grace

    As a pastors daughter, I can speak regarding divorce and remarriage. I know for a fact, within strong Bible believing churches, that no one in the pulpet, leadership are allowed to be divorced and continue. Even when it’s a Biblical divorce.

    A Biblical divorce is allowed if the other spouse has committed adultery. The one who was the victim, can remarry. That is not a point to be argued, it’s plain. However if the husband is the victim, he is not to be in the position of pastor. He is to be the husband of ‘one wife only. If his wife dies, it might be a different story.

    I’ve not witnessed many divorces within the church (strong Bible churches) where a couple gets a divorce because they couldn’t stand each other any more, remarried, and then continued membership.

    There are a number of liberal denominations/churches that would allow remarrage, under almost any situation, they are not to be confused with those who believe that adultery is the only reason for divorce and remarriage.

  • Grace

    As a pastors daughter, I can speak regarding divorce and remarriage. I know for a fact, within strong Bible believing churches, that no one in the pulpet, leadership are allowed to be divorced and continue. Even when it’s a Biblical divorce.

    A Biblical divorce is allowed if the other spouse has committed adultery. The one who was the victim, can remarry. That is not a point to be argued, it’s plain. However if the husband is the victim, he is not to be in the position of pastor. He is to be the husband of ‘one wife only. If his wife dies, it might be a different story.

    I’ve not witnessed many divorces within the church (strong Bible churches) where a couple gets a divorce because they couldn’t stand each other any more, remarried, and then continued membership.

    There are a number of liberal denominations/churches that would allow remarrage, under almost any situation, they are not to be confused with those who believe that adultery is the only reason for divorce and remarriage.

  • helen

    As I recall, Luther thought he was giving advice in confidence, and was not too pleased to hear himself quoted as “approving” the bigamy. It has been some time since I read the relevant material.

    I have thought of it; so has the author. His conclusions are not the prevailing view, even in Missouri Synod. He doesn’t expect them to be adopted any time soon. However, as he preaches Sunday by Sunday, “God forgives the sins of the penitent, whatever those sins might be.”

    As I said in another forum, it might save a lot of grief if churches (and parents) were more proactive about “marriage counseling”, long before the first serious relationship begins. ["Do as I say, not as I did" is often all that's offered.]

  • helen

    As I recall, Luther thought he was giving advice in confidence, and was not too pleased to hear himself quoted as “approving” the bigamy. It has been some time since I read the relevant material.

    I have thought of it; so has the author. His conclusions are not the prevailing view, even in Missouri Synod. He doesn’t expect them to be adopted any time soon. However, as he preaches Sunday by Sunday, “God forgives the sins of the penitent, whatever those sins might be.”

    As I said in another forum, it might save a lot of grief if churches (and parents) were more proactive about “marriage counseling”, long before the first serious relationship begins. ["Do as I say, not as I did" is often all that's offered.]

  • fws

    Helen @ 64

    So would that same pastor welcome a divorced and remarried couple into his church? or would he have the couple first separate to demonstrate true repentance? What about a gay couple that showed up in church? Would the two situations be treated differently? How so and why?

    A) My position by the way is what the Formula of Concord says in the SD in art I and II. In both those articles, they speak about what the believer is able to do as to his relationship with God.

    This is one thing only : Show up in Church and not despise preaching and the Word. Period.
    There is nothing else man can do, of his own free will and power, even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to keep in the faith. But he can do that. So can fake christians. That is a good thing eh? God’[s Word , alone, can turn the fake christians into the real deal.

    B) As to what man can do in his relationship with others in the family, church and society?

    “… Nothing can be demanded beyond Aristotle’s “Ethics”.” (apology III)

    Luther tells us that the right dividing of Law and Gospel is to separate A) from B) “…as far as the earth is from the furthest star”.
    We are to recognize that ALL we can see and do has nothing at all to do with our coming to faith, staying in it, or becoming more filled with the Spirit. It is alone exposure to the Word of God that is powerful to do that.

    And not just the Word of God, as though every Word of God in the Bible has equal importance.

    It is alone, the Gospel that is the Power of God unto salvation.

    In art V of the Formula, we are told Helen that Christ in the Cross is the most horrifying preachment of the Law. We are also told this same thing about the Blessed Sacrament in Luther’s Christian Questions and Answers in the Small Catechism.

    How is it Helen that these two terrifying and horrifying preachments of the Law become sweet and comforting Gospel? What has to happen for these words to become Gospel Helen?

  • fws

    Helen @ 64

    So would that same pastor welcome a divorced and remarried couple into his church? or would he have the couple first separate to demonstrate true repentance? What about a gay couple that showed up in church? Would the two situations be treated differently? How so and why?

    A) My position by the way is what the Formula of Concord says in the SD in art I and II. In both those articles, they speak about what the believer is able to do as to his relationship with God.

    This is one thing only : Show up in Church and not despise preaching and the Word. Period.
    There is nothing else man can do, of his own free will and power, even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to keep in the faith. But he can do that. So can fake christians. That is a good thing eh? God’[s Word , alone, can turn the fake christians into the real deal.

    B) As to what man can do in his relationship with others in the family, church and society?

    “… Nothing can be demanded beyond Aristotle’s “Ethics”.” (apology III)

    Luther tells us that the right dividing of Law and Gospel is to separate A) from B) “…as far as the earth is from the furthest star”.
    We are to recognize that ALL we can see and do has nothing at all to do with our coming to faith, staying in it, or becoming more filled with the Spirit. It is alone exposure to the Word of God that is powerful to do that.

    And not just the Word of God, as though every Word of God in the Bible has equal importance.

    It is alone, the Gospel that is the Power of God unto salvation.

    In art V of the Formula, we are told Helen that Christ in the Cross is the most horrifying preachment of the Law. We are also told this same thing about the Blessed Sacrament in Luther’s Christian Questions and Answers in the Small Catechism.

    How is it Helen that these two terrifying and horrifying preachments of the Law become sweet and comforting Gospel? What has to happen for these words to become Gospel Helen?

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