What did you just call me? (part two)

Yesterday I was talking about the difficulty I had with the concept of Divorce Care in terms of my own situation.  Today I want to talk about something I learned a couple of weeks ago.

We were in session six called “What Does the Owner’s Manual Say?”.  The idea was to explore what he bible says about divorce.  I was pretty sure I knew where this was going.  Once again we would watch a video and then we were told the pastor was going to come a say a few words.  I was doing my best to keep my inside voice inside.  I agreed with the scriptures but it was kind of like preaching to the choir.  I got it, but then we got to Matthew5:32.  “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adultress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”  Say what?  I’m a what?  He walks and I’m a whore? I refused to accept this as God’s truth.

I listened to the entire video and heard them soft shoe around the subject stressing whether you were the guilty party or not and that maybe it didn’t really matter if you tried not to divorce etc. I could also remarry if it was a devoted Christian man.  No.  They didn’t have verses backing that up.  I know pop psychology when I hear it and I was simmering.  Now really I’m not a hot tempered person.  I make baskets, rugs, and bake apples crisps.  I’m actually quite calm but being labelled as an adultress was not something I could let

stand or excuse away.  What was the scripture really saying and was I going to be seen as tainted as long as I was in the church?

The other thing the verse said was that if anyone married me they would be an adulterer.  Let me understand this.  I can only remarry a devoted Christian man but if he does this then he is an adulterer. I do not know of any sincere Christian man who’d sign up for that title.  Talk about your double whammy.

By the end of the video the pastor started to talk. Before he got two paragraphs in I couldn’t stay silent.  I said I couldn’t get past this verse and told him I didn’t know how to read it as I did not believe God would label me with a sin I didn’t commit.  What was the truth? Was I condemned to stay single?  If so tell me straight out. Whether I liked the answer or not I needed the truth.  I didn’t want my ears tickled.  I wanted to know what God was really saying.

You have never seen a more uncomfortable looking person in your life. Then he spoke and everything changed. Tomorrow I’ll post what he said.

What are your ideas on this verse?

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5 Comments

  1. cindyrsandifer said,

    03/11/2011 at 1:50 pm

    hi! thanks for your post.
    i believe that we must take this verse, just like every verse in the Bible, in context. that means we need to think about who Jesus was talking to and what do the verses before and after this say. these verses are only 2 verses out of the sermon on the mount, which goes from matthew 5:1-the end of chapter 7. please read this entire sermon as one unit.
    in this sermon, Jesus was talking to a crowd of people and his disciples.
    in 5:17, he says, “don’t misunderstand why i have come. i did not come to abolish the law of moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I CAME TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR PURPOSE. in 5:20, he says,but i warn you-unless your righteousness is better than that of the teachers of religious law and the pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. then he goes on in versed 20 to say, “you have heard that ancestors were told” and in verse 27, he says,’you have heard the commandment that says, verse 31, “you have heard the law that says”, verse 33, “you have also heard that our ancestors were told” and et cetera in verses 38, 43. so, my point is, he is saying to the people, these are the laws that the RELIGIOUS leaders hold over you. i came to fulfill these laws.
    NO ONE can follow the law and never sin!!!! and Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. so that means for the law to be fulfilled, a death had to take place. IT DID. it was Jesus’ death. that is how He fulfilled the law and we are no longer beholden to the law because he fulfilled it! if we trust in HIm, that He took our punishement for us, then His death is credited to us as righteousness. Romans 6: 23 ends by saying, “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    so, these people who are teaching you this “lesson” are taking those verses out of context. not to mention that when Jesus said that (5:32), he was specifically referring to the pharisees and religious leaders who would “marry” women they wanted to have sexual relations with and then hand them a divorce document when they grew tired of them. hence, they were satisfying their own lust by creating manmade legal regulations to aid them in disobeying the law that outwardly appeared to follow. THEY WERE HYPOCRITES! Jesus knew this and He was exposing their hypocrisy before all the people. this is ONE of the reasons the Pharisees and religious leaders hated him so much. you see, those people who do not understand grace, will always preach religion to you. DON’T ACCEPT IT!
    READ THE BOOK OF ROMANS AND YOU WILL SEE HOW GOD, THE FATHER, GOD, THE SON, AND GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT LOVE YOU UNCONDITIONALLY because you believe in the Son.
    Godspeed on you jouney of healing. i am praying for you. relieve yourself of the guilt these people are trying to impose on you. Your Savior died for you to be free.
    your sister in Christ,
    cindy sandifer
    p.s. i would be happy to discuss this with you further if you would like! 🙂

    • 03/11/2011 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Cindy,
      Don’t worry my sister there is a part three coming tomorrow. I love the book of Romans. It’s like a great Law and Order courtroom argument in presenting the case to the jury.
      One of the things about me is that I’m not afraid to ask questions. I don’t walk away from the things that might be confusing or frightening because I know that the truth is in there even if I don’t see it right at the beginning.
      I couldn’t just let the verse be quoted and then have it glossed over and jump to something else. I needed to wrestle with it right there before I could move on. Thanks so much for your words. D.

  2. 03/11/2011 at 2:26 pm

    But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adultress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

    Howww, may I ask, does somewhat commit adultery if they are NOT married? Adultery occurs when a married person has an affair with someone else, I do believe the definition says! So how would a single, upright Christian man be sinning by marrying a divorced woman? And just becomes a woman is divorced by her husband does not make HER an adultress either, because if she is no longer married she can associate with whomever she pleases (adultress here is not the correct word either; and calling her a wh*re because she might–might!-get with someone post-marriage is just simply wrong too.)

    So, I guess I rather disagree with this verse.

    • 03/11/2011 at 3:51 pm

      I completely agree with what you are saying so I knew that I didn’t have the full handle on this verse. It just didn’t add up to common sense and what I believed I knew about the character of Jesus. I knew there had to be more to it even if on the face of it it looked pretty damning. Jesus was always the one defending women against the puffed up religious dictators of his time. Tomorrow I’ll post what was explained. Thanks so much for writing. D.

  3. caracarn3 said,

    04/11/2011 at 6:03 am

    There are also related verses (I can’t remember what they are right now), that talk about an if an unbeliever chooses to leave that is also an acceptable reason for divorce. Not sure if that situation applies, but it was a key discussion in our group as not every marriage dissolves because of adultery. I agree with the other replies about taking this in context and that it can be very confusing if you do not do that. I am certainly very curious to see what the pastor replied. You certainly did a good job is framing this for tomorrow, and it appears that his reply was less than helpful, but I guess I will see tommorrow! Keep questioning to fully understand.


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