Pastoral Encouragement

2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

2 Timothy 4:2-5
"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; [4] and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. [5] But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

 

We can stop the breakdown of Christian Marriage.
AND
We can stop the disintegration of the "Christian" Church! 

We can stop the destruction!

AND
 We must!!

 

"FYI AND A HEADS UP
Caution 501c3 Participants"

If, as a Church Family ministry, you allow 24/7/52 lifestyle adulterers (the divorced and remarried with living divorced spouses {Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39}in your Church Family membership, leadership and ministerial  oversight while refusing the homosexual crowd, major problems concerning your 501c3 exemption is on the way.  You're not going to be allowed to continue having a "smorgasbord ministry" /  having it both ways.  Attorneys who are well versed in the English language and know their way around the Word of God are numerous in the leadership of our Federal and State governments.  Many of them are religious college and seminary graduates who understand 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

 

---------ADDED March 26, 2009---------

DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE SIMPLIFIED

Question:  Pastor Shepherd, are you a Born Again Christian?  You know that and you're sure of that?  

Yet, as a Born again Christian Pastor you are struggling with separation, divorce and or divorce & remarriage? >>>>>>>
Before exploring any farther >>>>>>>
please consider the following very few verses.  I am appealing to your Christian "common sense / conscience" and the "Holy Spirit's witness" within you:

[1] God's Word, 1 Peter 2:9, instructs us that Born Again Christians are a "Royal
      Priesthood":

"But you are a chosen race, a Royal Priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God's] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light". (Amplified Bible)

[2] Our Priesthood as the Body of Jesus Christ is patterned after the Priesthood of
      God's Children, the Nation of Israel:

Exodus 19:5-6, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. [6] And you shall be to Me a Kingdom of Priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (NKJV)

[3] The Old Testament was written for our, New Testament Believer's, knowledge,
      example and admonition, not to be discarded or ignored:

Romans 15:4, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope". (NKJV)

1 Corinthians 10:11, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come". (NKJV)

[4] Because we are a "Royal Priesthood" & "Dedicated Nation" patterned after the Old Testament Nation of Israel "Kingdom of Priests" and "Holy Nation" -- doesn't it make sense that as such we should abide by the same rules for marriage by which the normal Daily Priests, not the High Priest, were regulated?

Ezekiel 44:22,Neither shall they take for their wives a widow or a woman separated or divorced from her husband; but they shall marry maidens [who are virgins] of the offspring of the house of Israel or a widow previously married to a priest.” (Amplified Bible)

As a truly Born Again Christian, Jesus Christ of the New Testament clearly teaches us that we are Normal, Everyday -- Daily Priests: (When was the last time a Pastor taught you this truth?  We should be reminded regularly if not weekly.)

**The Normal Daily Priest was not to marry a separated or divorced woman;

            ---------- Compare the above with Romans 7:2-3 ----------

Romans 7:2-3, "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. [3] So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man." 

**The Normal Daily Priest was only to marry virgins of the Nation of Israel;
             ---------- Compare the above with 2 Corinthians 6:14 ----------

2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"

**The Normal Daily Priest could marry the widow of a Priest.
             ---------- Compare the above with 1 Corinthians 7:39 ----------

1 Corinthians 7:39, "A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." 

Brother, what separates us from false religions, the cults and the unsaved is that by our personal faith that is based upon the written Word of God and the leadership of His Holy Spirit Who lives within us, we believe:

1- that Jesus Christ is God, John 1:1.

2- As God, He never changes, Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8.

3- Because He (God / Jesus Christ) never changes, it is very safe to conclude that the same marriage parameters that God / Jesus Christ established for the every day, Daily Priests of the Nation of Israel are the same marriage parameters for us, the Household of Jesus Christ, the Bride of Christ and His dedicated nation.  This truth creates for us a "safe, sure and simple" example and pattern to follow.  It removes the questions that modern day and fallen theology has created.  Only 13 Verses of Scripture and the questions and doubts are solved.  How simple can it get?  

 


Question:  Upon what basis, foundation or criteria do we make our decisions and establish policy?   Are our decisions influenced, skewed or even dictated by: 

*popular opinion,
*majority vote,
*boards,
*committees,
*the opinions of others,
*or, we "presume" we are correct based upon all of the above opinions.

Are our decisions influenced, skewed or even dictated by:

*A denominational position, statement or edict?
*By our peers as a Pastor in an association of Churches?
*By our membership, board members etc. as an independent Pastor in an independent Church.
*By family (I have a family to feed.), financial (This is all I know to do.), community or social pressures
  and obligations?

 

 

**Seriously men,  "why and upon what basis do we make our decisions?"   I'm asking this for the simple reason that .... based upon the Word of God and over 50 years of observation... divorce and divorce and remarriage is totally destroying our families, our ministries and our witness to a lost and dying world without Jesus Christ.  The 21st. century church is allowing and  practicing that which is in total violation of the Word of God and the historical witness of the Christian Church throughout the ages.  I am reasonably sure that not one of us would dare to say that our divorce and remarriage situation has enhanced, promoted or made our ministry to the lost of our communities -- more convincing

It was only nine years ago that I asked the following question:

When only 40% +/- of the Christian community is divorced and remarried, why are our peers so willing to discourage, destroy and bring down the 60% +/- of our Christian community -- who are faithful to the Word of God, their wedding vows, their spouses, their families and their Church Family?

Now, just ten years later, I have to write the following:

Alarmingly, over 51% of the 21st. century church membership is divorced and over 43% of the divorced membership is  remarried and both scenarios are climbing exponentially.

MEN, YOU TELL ME WHERE THE PROBLEM IS and WHO'S TO BLAME,  pastor_k@goldenfaithbiblechurch.org  or call 704-684-5611.


A few years ago I had a delightful telephone conversation with a very wise lady.  She was asking me about a young couple that were to be married and "did I know the young man's position concerning the permanence of marriage?"  Her comment was,

"Our Church doesn't allow divorce because we don't allow a Church member to sue
   another member in a court of law.  It's against the Word of God."

I thought to myself, "Amazing.  A Church that is on track with the Lord!"

My wife turned to me and said, "be sure to make a note to include it in your web site."

The following is the note that I made to myself:

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? [2] Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?  And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? [3] Know ye not that we shall judge angels?  How much more things that pertain to this life? [4] If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. [5] I speak to your shame.  Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you?  No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? [6] But brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. [7] Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another.  Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? [8] No, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren."

I asked myself this question:

"How do Christians obtain a divorce?  Do they file an 'adversarial law suit' to obtain a divorce?  An 'adversarial law suit' in a civil court of law?"

Christians?  Pastors?  Church leaders?  What is our -- answer -- for this continuing practice among our peers and our Church membership?

The Word of God and I do have answer to this question.


**We need to to stop and reassess this.  

The following information is only a small amount of Scriptural and ex-cathedra information that we will ever need to settle this issue:

The Word of God:

John Calvin:

QUINTUS SEPTIMIUS FLORENS TERTULLIANUS (Tertullian):

"Hermas" and "The Pastor of Hermas":

Warren W. Wiersby:

Reasons our peers give:

First and primary is "what does the Word of God teach us?"

Matthew 5:32, "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."  

Matthew is writing to the Jewish community and is quoting Jesus Christ.  In the Jewish community, under the law, adulterers were to be stoned, not divorced.  This man is divorcing his wife for some other reason than adultery.  Because it was for something other than adultery and....because this woman was going to have to survive, she would marry again, causing her to commit adultery.  Today, she would be considered an innocent party because she was not guilty of adultery and frankly, all would consider her husband to be some kind of a an unreasonable man (jerk).  If she is innocent of adultery, why then is her next marriage adultery?

This is no exception clause.  This is a "cause and affect" clause.

Mark 10:11-12, "So He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. [12] And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."  

Mark is quoting Jesus Christ and is addressing the Gentile perspective of divorce and remarriage. Jesus said that whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her. If we believe that this man is the innocent party, why is his next marriage adultery?  Whom is he committing adultery against: the wife he divorced or, the second wife he married?

That this is a Gentile perspective is evident in VERSE 12, "And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." In the Jewish society the wife is considered property.  As property she had no right to divorce her husband. In the Gentile society, a wife divorcing her husband was acceptable. If we believe this woman is the innocent party, why is her  next marriage adultery?

Luke 16:18, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery."

Dr. Luke is writing to the Greek community and he is quoting our Savior, Jesus Christ when he writes that the man who divorces his wife and marries again is committing adultery.  Why?  Can we assume from the text that the wife whom he divorced is guilty of unrepentant sexual immorality because, it is stated that whoever marries her is committing adultery?  If we can assume that he is the innocent party, isn't it amazing that this innocent party is guilty of adultery and, his wife, guilty or otherwise  (she burned her husband’s coffee), is also guilty of adultery when she marries again?!  Both are guilty of adultery.  Why?

Romans 7:1-4, "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he lives? [2] For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. [3] So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. [4] Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

Paul is writing to Christian Churches.  The first question that I have to ask is, "why is He writing  about adultery to a Christian Church?  Contextually, beginning with Romans 1:16 through Romans 12:2, it would seem that the Holy Spirit is addressing a multitude of sins that are not only in the world but sins that have also crept into the Churches of  Rome.   Paul, having never visited the Churches in Rome  wouldn't have first hand knowledge of particular sins, unless his relatives, Andronicus, Junias and Herodain (Rom. 16:7, 11) or Aquila (Rom. 18:2), a personal friend of Paul, out of concern for the members and the ministry wrote and told him.   Contextually it is also very  apparent that, though Paul is addressing both Jew and Greek, the Church is predominately Jewish.  The Holy Spirit is using Paul to address the sin of adultery (most likely members of the Churches) because of their knowledge of the Law and the necessity of death to the Law and all other Jewish laws for salvation in Christ Jesus.  Because of the predominately Jewish membership the Church at Rome clearly understood the Mosaic law and they understood the principles of salvation. They understood that to be married to Jesus Christ, they had to DIE to the Mosaic law, and all the Judaic laws that they trusted in for their righteousness (unlike today, turning to Christ from Judaism had grave personal and social consequences). The Jew understood that they could not simply divorce the law because divorce has no power over God.  The fact that death of a spouse before marriage to another was necessary, would resolve any issues prevalent in that day, pertaining to marriage; i.e., divorce and remarriage, polygamy, bigamy or digamy (a woman with more than one husband).

1 Corinthians 7:39, "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."   It can not be stated any clearer than this.

Consider what instructions the Holy Spirit gave to the Church at Corinth, using the Apostle Paul as His instrument for their instruction 1 Corinthians 5:1-12, "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. [2] And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. [3] For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, [4] In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, [5] to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  [6] Your glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: [8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

[9] I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: [10] Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. [11] But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. [12] For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?"

We know the story.  A man was living with or, married to his father's wife and they were sexually intimate.  The first problem was, what they were doing, was sin.  The second problem, what they were doing, was common knowledge not just Church knowledge.  Just like today. The third problem, it was acceptable (verse:2, "and ye are puffed up") even though it violated the Word of God .... just like today.   

Years ago, I would hear messages concerning this short phrase "and ye are puffed up" from our older and wiser expositors.  It was a common understanding that this phrase meant the members of the Churches in Corinth were glorying in Christ's mercy and grace.  I heard it explained many times by many men of God that what the Christians in Corinth were actually saying was, "Christ's forgiveness, His mercy and grace is sufficient, even in this situation."  (This is precisely what is being said today.)  I suppose their glorying was to be expected, after all, the Holy Spirit characterized the maturity of  the Church as, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:1). The fourth problem was that the adulterous lifestyle was influencing (leavening) the membership of the Church at Corinth as well as their witness to the unsaved citizens of the city of Corinth.

The solution to the problem was three fold:

(1) Turn him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his soul might be spared eternal 
     judgment....God's righteous discipline; 

(2) Remove him from the Church membership....Church corporate discipline

(3) Have no fellowship with him in or out of the Church....Christian family and social discipline.

This was an INDIVIDUAL FAMILY SIN PROBLEM that, for what ever reason, was not resolved by the family.  Therefore they, the Church, was to tell the man to stop sinning immediately.  If they were living together without marriage it obviously meant that someone had to move out.  If they were, in fact, married.... it meant dissolving the marriage (divorce, Ezra Chapter 10) and, once again, someone had to move out.  The Holy Spirit summarized much of His admonitions to the Church at Corinth with these words, "Now all these things happened unto them [a summarization of the happenings of the nation of Israel] for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11).

As interim Pastor years ago, I had a similar situation.  A woman of the Church had divorced her husband and left him with their three children.  She began dating a man from a neighboring Church family yet maintaining her membership and Church position of "Secretary/Treasurer".  The Lord had led me to minister His Word concerning the sanctity and permanence of Marriage at a time when she had attended, long before I was aware of this sinful situation. One Sunday morning, a Lord's Table Sunday, she came with her man friend and sat near the rear of the sanctuary fully intending to participate in the Lord's Supper. On the other side of the sanctuary sat her divorced husband with their three children. I was led of the Lord to minister the very familiar passage of 1 Corinthians 11:23-33.  Before serving Communion it is my custom to give opportunity to all present to privately confess any and all sins to the Lord where the sin(s) is, indeed, private.  I also give opportunity to all to publicly confess and repent of any and all sins where the sin(s) is, indeed, public knowledge.  The lady never moved. I stepped down from behind the pulpit, addressed this lady with her friend and asked them to please leave the service so we could continue (1 Corinthians 5:11-13).  Men, leaven is a horrible thing - when it is the leaven of sinfulness (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).  It totally destroys!!  And, you and I are held personally accountable Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 5:22 and Hebrews 13:17-18.

Please consider the facts.  The Church at Rome was told that marriage to another person while the spouse was still living was adultery.  The Church at Corinth was told that adulterers were not allowed to remain in the fellowship of the Christian Church or the Christian community.  Then the Holy Spirit tells the Church at Corinth 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10]  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God".  Why was this written to a Christian Church?  After all, only "Born Again Believers" who have publicly confessed their personal salvation in Jesus Christ for salvation and have been Scripturally Baptized as believers are supposed to be members of the local Church. (John 3:3-7, Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; 1 Corinthians 1:13-16)  This is written to a Church that has membership giving strong evidence that they are only "wanna-be" Christians.  The evidence was that the Church had some members that were not saved.  Note that the Holy Spirit did not pen, "because you are living sinful lifestyles you have lost your salvation i.e. are not going to inherit the Kingdom of God". The Holy Spirit did pen "because you are living sinful lifestyles, it is evident that you are not saved i.e., you are not going to inherit the Kingdom of God".

Consider as well, the truths and parallelisms of today found in 2 Peter 2:9-22, "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: [10 ]  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. [11]  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. [12]  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; [13]  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the daytime.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you; [14]  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: [15]  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; [16]  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. [17]  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. [18]  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. [19]  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. [20]  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. [21]  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. [22]  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

Consider the ex-cathedra evidence:

(1) John Calvin, "Commentaries on the Book of Romans";

Volume XIX;
Acts 14-28 Romans 1-16
Chapter 1-2; Pages 245-246
"DIRECTLY COPYING HIS MANUSCRIPT"

Romans 7:1-4
Calvin reasons, (direct quote) "The woman is bound to her living husband by the law, so that she can not be the wife of another; but after the death of her husband she is loosed from the bond of this law, so that she is free to marry whom she pleases." 

(2) John Calvin, ; "Commentaries on I & II Corinthians"

Volume XX;
Chapter 7; Pages 253-254
"DIRECTLY COPYING HIS MANUSCRIPT"

1 Corinthians 7:39
CHAP. VII. 39. FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS; Pg. # 269

Vs: 39. The wife is bound. He had previously spoken indiscriminately of husbands and wives, but as wives, on account of the modesty of their sex, might seem to have less liberty, he has thought it necessary to give in addition some special directions in reference to them.  He now, therefore, teaches that women are not less at liberty than men to marry a second time, on their becoming widows.2 We have already mentioned above that those who desired a second marriage were branded with the reproach of intemperance, and that, with the view of putting some kind of sight upon them, those who had been contented with being once married, were wont to be presented with the "chaplet of chastity".  Nay more, this first opinion had, in course of time, become prevalent among Christians; for second marriages had no blessing pronounced upon them, and some Councils prohibited the clergy from being present on such occasions.

1 "Pour subuenir à nostre infirmite; "To help our infirmity."
2
"Apres auoir perdu leurs premiers maris;" - "After having lost their first husbands."
3 See p.255
*[Color emphasis added]

**Calvin’s conclusion is that only widows may marry again and, as a point of emphasis, he recalls \
    the historical prohibition of Pastoral/Clergy involvement or attendance in such a wedding.

(3) Introduction to QUINTUS SEPTIMIUS FLORENS TERTULLIANUS (Tertullian)

"DIRECTLY COPYING THIS TRANSLATED MANUSCRIPT"
Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company;
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1951
"The ANTE-NICENE FATHERS";
Volume III; Pages 5, 6

QUINTUS SEPTIMIUS FLORENS TERTULLIANUS, as our author is called in the MSS of his works, is thus noticed by Jerome in his Catalogus Scnptorum Ecciesiasticorum:  Tertullian, a presbyter, the first Latin writer after Victor and Apollonius, was a native of the province of Africa and city of Cartage, the son of a proconsular centurion: he was a man of a sharp and vehement temper, flourished under Severus and Antoninus Caracalla, and wrote numerous works, which (as they are generally known) I think it unnecessary to particularize.  I saw at Concordia, in Italy, an old man named Paulus.  He said that when young he had met at Rome with an aged amanuensis of the blessed Cyprian, who told him that Cyprian never passed a day without reading some portion of Tertullian's works, and used frequently to say, Give me my master, meaning Tertullian.  After remaining a presbyter of the church until he had attained the middle age of life, Tertullian was, by the envy and contumelious treatment of the Roman clergy,…..after Tertullian seceded from the church, he left and returned to Carthage.  Jerome does not inform us whether Tertullian was born of Christian parents, or was converted to Christianity.  There are passages in his writings' which seem to imply that he had been a Gentile; yet he may perhaps mean to describe, not his own condition, but that of Gentiles in general, before their conversion.  Allix and the majority of commentators understand them literally, as well as some other passages in which he speaks of his own infirmities and sinfulness.  His writings show that he flourished at the period specified by Jerome-that is, during the reigns of Severus and Antoninus Caracalla, or between the years A.D. 193 and 216; but they supply no precise information respecting the date of his birth, or any of the principal occurrences of his life.  Allix places his birth about 145 or 150; his conversion to Christianity about A.D. 185; his marriage about 186; his admission to the priesthood3 about 192; his adoption of the opinions of Montanus about 199; and his death about A.D. 220.  But these dates, it must be understood, rest entirely on conjecture."4

"Tertullian’s Apologia on Monogamy";
Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company;
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1951
"The ANTE-NICENE FATHERS";
Translations of Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D
Volume iv; Page 66

So far as regards the non-destruction of the will of God, and the restruction of the law of  "the beginning."  But another reason, too conspires; nay, not another, but (one) which imposed the law of  "the beginning," and moved the will of God to prohibit divorce: the fact that (he) who shall have dismissed his wife, except on the ground of adultery, makes her commit adultery; and (he) who shall have married a (woman) dismissed by her husband, of course commits adultery.3 A divorced woman cannot even marry legitimately; and if she commit any such act without the name of marriage, does it not fall under the category of adultery, in that adultery is crime in the way of marriage?   Such is God's verdict, within straiter limits than men's, that universally, whether through marriage or promiscuously, the admission of a second man (to intercourse) is pronounced adultery by Him.  For let us see what marriage is in the eye of God; and thus we shall learn what adultery equally is.  Marriage is (this): when God joins "two into one flesh;" or else, finding (them already) joined in the same flesh, has given His seal to the conjunction.  Adultery is (this): when, the two having been - in whatsoever way - disjoined, other - nay, rather alien - flesh is mingled (with either): flesh concerning which it cannot be affirmed, "This is flesh out of my flesh, and this bone out of my bones."For this, once for all done and pronounced, as from the beginning, so now too, cannot apply to "other" flesh.  Accordingly, it will be without cause that you will say that God wills not a divorced woman to be joined to another man.  (underlining and color emphasis added)

1 See Matt. xix. 3-8, where, however, TertuIlian’s order reversed. Comp. with this chapter, C. V.
   above.
2 See Matt. x. 29. comp. de Ex. Cast., c. i. ad fin..
3 See Matt. v.32.

Matthew 5:32, "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

4 Gen. ii. 23, in reversed order again.
Genesis 2:23, "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

(4) The ANTE-NICENE FATHERS; "Hermas" and "The Pastor of Hermas"

Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company;
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1951
Volume I; Pages 6, 7 [Introduction Note] & 21 [The Pastor]
DIRECTLY COPYING THIS TRANSLATED MANUSCRIPT; Introduction Note:

The Pastor of  Hermas was one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and fourth centuries.  It occupied a position analogous in some respects to that of Bunyan’s Pilgrim's Progress in modem times; and critics have frequently compared the two works.

In ancient times two opinions prevailed in regard to the authorship.   The most widely spread was, that the Pastor of  Hermas was the production of the Hermas mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans.  Origen3 states this opinion distinctly, and it is repeated by Eusebius4 and Jerome.5

Those who believed the apostolic Hermas to be the author, necessarily esteemed the book very highly; and there was much discussion as to whether it was inspired or not. The early writers are of opinion that it was really inspired.  Irenaeus quotes it as Scripture.6 Clemens Alexandrinus speaks of it as making its statements "divinely;"7 and Origen, though a few of his expressions are regarded by some as implying doubt, unquestionably gives it as his opinion that it is "divinely inspired."8

Eusebius mentions that difference of opinion prevailed in his day as to the inspiration of the book, some opposing its claims, and others maintaining its divine origin, especially because it formed an admirable introduction to the Christian faith.  For this latter reason it was read publicly, he tells us, in the churches.

The only voice of antiquity decidedly opposed to the claim is that of Tertullian.  He designates it apocryphal,1 and rejects it with scorn, as favoring anti-Montanistic opinions. Even his words,  however, show that it was regarded in many churches as Scripture.

THE PASTOR
BOOK SECOND. – COMMANDMENTS; [Pages 21-22]

COMMANDMENT FOURTH.
ON PUTTING ONE'S WIFE AWAY FOR ADULTERY.

CHAP. I.

"I charge you," said he, "to guard your chastity, and let no thought enter your heart of another man’s Wife, or of fornication, or of similar iniquities; for by doing this you commit a great sin.  But if you always remember your own Wife, you will never sin.  For if this thought 7 enter your heart, then you will sin; and if; in like manner, you think other wicked thoughts, you commit sin.   For this thought is great sin in a servant of God.  But if any one commit this wicked deed, he works death for himself.  Attend, therefore, and refrain from this thought; for where purity dwells, there iniquity ought not enter the heart of a righteous man."  I said to him, "Sir, permit me to ask you a few questions."8 "Say on," said he.  And I said to him, "Sir, if any one has a wife who trusts in the Lord, and if he detect her in adultery, does the man sin if he continue to live with her?"   And he said to me, "As long as he remains ignorant of her sin the husband commits no transgression in living with her.  But if the husband know that his wife has gone astray, and if the woman does not repent, but persists in her fornication and yet the husband continues to live with her, he also is guilty of her crime, and a sharer in her adultery."  And I said to him, "What then, sir, is the husband to do, if his wife continue in her vicious practices?" And He said, "The husband should put her away, and remain himself.  But if he put his wife away and marry another he also commits adultery ."….

**THE CONCLUSION OF The early Church Fathers and believers: When adultery existed, divorce was permitted.  Any remarriage while the divorced spouse was still living was adultery.  Their basis of belief was the Word of God; the lives, life styles and indoctrination of the Apostles and other men and women of God.  I call to your attention that these men and their writings are within 150 years of our Savior’s life on this earth.

(5) Warren W. Wiersby, a contemporary Church leader that I greatly admire:
"EXPOSITORY OUTLINES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT"; PAGE 201
"DIRECTLY COPYING HIS MANUSCRIPT"

Romans 7:1-6

I. TWO HUSBANDS - 7:1-6
He uses the marriage relationship to illustrate our relationship to the law.  (Keep in mind that when Paul speaks of "the law" he means, not only the OT law of Moses, but any kind of legislation that the believer uses to curb sin or attain holiness.) The two husbands are the law and the Lord Jesus Christ.  When a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man until he dies.   Then she is free to marry again.  [color emphasis added].

Before we met Christ, we were bound by the law and condemned by it.  The law, however, did not "die" when we were saved; instead, WE DIED IN CHRIST!  We are no longer "married" to a system of regulations; we are "married" to Jesus Christ, and the law has no control over us!  Read 7:4 again and again and absorb its wonderful message.  Our old "husband" has no control over us: we are in a wonderful new relationship through Christ.  When we were lost, the law triggered the "arousings of sin" in our old nature, and this produced death (vs.5).   But now we are delivered from the law and serve in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (vs.6).

Vs. 6 does not suggest that Christians have no obligations to obey God.  Actually, our obligations are now greater since we know Christ and belong to God's family.  The NT demands are far more severe than the OT Law, for the NT (the Sermon on the Mount, for example) deals with inward attitudes, and not outward actions only.  But vs.6 teaches that our motivation in obeying is different: we are not simply mechanically obeying a set of rules; we are lovingly, from the heart, obeying the Spirit of God Who fulfills the righteousness of the Law in us (8:4).   A beginning pianist can play a number "letter perfect" and still not capture the inner spirit of the song the way an accomplished musician can.  Our obedience to God is not that of a slave fearing a master, but a bride lovingly trying to please her Bridegroom.

**Dr. Warren W. Wiersby concludes that only a widow may marry again.

"AGAIN, DIRECTLY COPYING HIS MANUSCRIPT"
1 Corinthians 7:39-40
Do not be in a hurry, for marriage is for life (39-40)The marriage cannot be broken because of some whim or fancy; for only death severs the bonds.  (Of course Christ taught that sexual sins gave the right for divorce).  Too many people (including some Christians) have the idea, "If our marriage doesn’t work out, we can always get a divorce."  Not so, says Paul!   When you marry, be sure it is "in the Lord" - that is, be sure you marry a Christian and that your mate is the one God has chosen for you.  How tragic to see young lives ruined by hasty marriages.

**Dr. Warren W. Wiersby concludes that only death severs the bonds of marriage.

Over the years I have heard the following comments from Pastor after Pastor from Michigan to Florida; from Florida to Arizona; and from Arizona to Washington State.

The following quotes are not hearsay but are quotes from personal conversations I have had with Senior Pastors and Assistant Pastors.  The following comments certainly
reveal deeply  buried... spiritual fault  lines
:

**A number of years ago I had a very serious injury due to an industrial accident.  A Pastor in a neighboring city thought it would be very helpful if my wife and I became members of his ministry and gave him a helping hand.  Before joining his ministry I gave him my "Philosophy of Ministry" manuscript that gives great detail about our convictions concerning divorce and divorce / remarriage.  After several months of helping the ministry by teaching a singles and married couples class, one of the deacons called and asked to meet with me at a restaurant that was convenient to both of us so we could talk.  He started the conversation by telling me that he was divorced and remarried and "he was very sure that my wife and I were not aware of his situation."  He also wanted us to know that at the next annual business meeting, of the five men to be considered for the "Office of Deacon," three were divorced men whose divorced wives were still living and that two of those men would certainly be elected.  The majority of the Deacon's Board would... then be ...divorced and remarried men whose divorced wives were still living.

When I confronted their Pastor, this is what I was told:
"Brother.  When I graduated from Seminary I didn't believe in divorce and remarriage while a divorced spouse was still alive.  In my very first ministry I was confronted with the issue and I had to make a decision.   Because I believed that the Lord had called me to preach and ... because I had a family to feed, I made the decision to preach and feed my family". 



 

Over the past 40 years, many Pastors have said "to me" ... the following:

**"Brother, if I preached Romans 7:2-4, "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. [3] So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. [4] Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God." And 1 Corinthians 7:39, "A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord,"  as a hard and fast interpretation, I wouldn't have a church left."

**"When I graduated from Seminary I didn't agree with divorce and remarriage while a divorced spouse was still alive..."but"  the Church that called me had those folks as members."

Personal note I was called and installed in my very first ministry (I was 37 years old, married with three sons in school) by a 100% vote of acceptance.  I had no idea that over 90% of the membership and visitors were divorced and remarried.  I was Pastor for over 6-months when the Lord gave me a message concerning the sanctity and permanence of marriage and when I TEARFULLY AND FEARFULLY said to Him, "Lord, if I preach that message 90% of the members and visitors will not return for the evening service -- HE REMAINED --SILENT (it was His Church, not mine).  Guess what men, I was correct and after He and I found fundamental Church (upper case "C") families for the faithful, we closed that church (lower case "c") several months later.  I had three sons in school and no income, I never asked anyone for financial help, not our home church and not even my home missionary board -- and the mail box began filling up with letters containing checks from folks I had never met in my life.  We never missed a single meal, paid all of our responsibilities in full and on time from that day to this.  Our God doesn't fail His servants!!  When our God calls -- He empowers!  When He empowers -- He picks up the pieces and pays the bills!!!  I'm 65 years old, men!

**"When I graduated from Seminary I didn't agree with divorce and remarriage while a divorced spouse was still alive..."but" all of the other men in my area [conference, denomination, association etc.] are doing it."

**"When I graduated from Seminary I didn't agree with divorce/remarriage while a divorced spouse was still alive..."but" the members of my congregation told me over and over again that Dr. Herb Vanderlugt, Radio Bible Class, Dr. Charles Swindoll and Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family all teach that God's mercy and grace covers this."

It's time for the 21st. century Church to affirm what Apostles and early church fathers practiced.  Divorce and remarriage with a divorced spouse still alive requires more than a cursory...surface...confession.   It  requires a     1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  We must agree with the Lord that the "Marriage" is sin.

I John 1: 9, "confess"/homologeo, Greek 3670, Strong’s.  homologeo, hom-ol-og-eh'-o; from a compound of the base of Greek 3674 acknowledge :- con- (pro-) fess, confession is made, give thanks,  promise.

Why is this particular marriage a sin?

First, because God said so (Romans 7:3; Matthew 5:32; Mark 10:7-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:39)

Second, this sin is a "ONE FLESH" issue.  There is no decree, divorce agreement or disavowal of a vow on this earth with the authority to separate the "one flesh union" that our Creator God has ordained.   Only death can separate the Creator God ordained one flesh relationship.

Think about it.  What does Deuteronomy 24:4 teach us?   "Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and you shall not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God gives thee for an inheritance."

She's a divorced woman twice around.  Obviously it isn't for adultery or she would have been stoned. She can not remarry her first husband because she is "Defiled."  She is one flesh with her first divorced and living husband.  And, she is one flesh with her second divorced and living husband!  Think about this relationship, men.  She was given a writ of divorcement from her first husband (yet she is one flesh with him).  She is discovered by husband number two, he marries her and they become one flesh when they CONSUMMATE her new marriage.

Question.  What is really happening when this divorced/remarried woman is having sexual relations with her number two husband while she is still one flesh with her number one husband?  To gain greater insight let's walk the Old Testament truth on the New Testament sidewalks of 1 Corinthians 6:16, "What?  know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body?  for two, said He, shall be one flesh."

Consider 1 Corinthians 6:18, "Flee fornication.  Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body."

The Old and New Testament sin picture is called "defilement of the one flesh union."  What are Siamese Twins.  Babies that are physically attached by "One Flesh."   What verbal or written decree, agreement or disavowal of a vow on this earth has the authority to separate the Siamese, one flesh union that our Creator God created at the time of their conception and birth?  Only death can separate  the dilemma of the one flesh relationship that Siamese Twins face.  In many instances it means sacrificing one child for another.  A heart breaking, gut wrenching decision is made.  One child lives and one child must die.  Today many Siamese twins are spared dying by surgically separating the children.  It requires the death of the tissues, blood vessels and flesh that joined them together.  Their separation requires death.  This isn't a perfect picture but a picture sufficient to get this truth across to most.

Remember the question, "What is happening when this woman is having sexual relations with her number two husband while she is still one flesh with her number one husband?"  If the Old Testament and the New Testament is correct, #1 husband is vicariously having sexual relations with #2 husband because they are both one flesh with the same woman at the same time.  This is the Old Testament truth called "Defilement and Abomination."   

That sin relationship is still true today?

Malachi 3:6, "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

Is there a solution?  Yes, there is.  Read Ezra Chapter 10All of it.  And try to remember that it is our Merciful and Gracious God Who required Israel's national obedience and the obedience of their leadership, the Priests and the sons of the Priests.  Also, it might be well to remember that there is no such thing as "Easy Believism" or "Painless Repentance."  The picture of the surgical separation of the Siamese twins is an adequate picture.  The price for sin is still the same Romans 6:23a, "For the wages of sin is death" and the Lord still requires repentance Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted (change you mind and direction, added), that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" for forgiveness and cleansing".  

 


Please go to the Divorce and Remarriage page of this web page -- http://goldenfaithbiblechurch.org/divorce_remarriage.htm --, Section V- "The - Born Again divorced and remarried couple:"  These folks have potential for a tremendous "God Ordained ministry" that only they will be able to do with genuine empathy and enthusiasm 2 Corinthians 1:2-4; Philippians 4:13 & 19. for more information concerning this issue and the New Testament, Age of Grace application.  Those who will obey the Word of God and take the necessary steps to reconcile themselves with their divorced spouse, their present spouse and children, family, friends and their local Church family can certainly enjoy most of the benefits of the Local Church ministry. 

Can you imagine what affect their new commitment to the Word of God and demonstration of obedience will have on their own  Pastor (and other Pastors)!  Their Church Their family!  And, their community!

It's my conviction that there aren't enough books, libraries or web pages, world wide, to enumerate all of the potentials of their future ministries!!!!  The first ministry that they will experience will be their own personal ministry to themselves:  "The ministry of a pure conscience and renewed fellowship and power with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ"!!  The second greatest ministry they will experience will be the ministry of an "obedience by example" to their own children and grandchildren by being their spiritual hero!!  

We are experiencing the last portion of Deuteronomy 24:4?  This is what our Savior said then and now, "and you shall not cause the land to sin."  Sin is contagious!  The New Testament teaches us that this sin of adultery is contagious  1 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?  [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven (from your assembly, added), that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: [8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."  We know this from observation and statistics.   Many of us know this from personal experience.  Just a few years ago, in my lifetime of 65 years, there were no divorced and remarried families in the Church, on the membership rolls or in leadership. What are we experiencing with today's enlightened theology?   "What are we going to do about it?"

Can we begin with the simple words of encouragement and admonition that the Apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say to the Church Elders/Pastors of Ephesus Acts 20:28-32, "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood. [29] I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; [30] and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. [31] Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.  [32]  And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified?"

I grew up in a farming community and herded cattle and shepherded sheep.  I learned very quickly that I had to be in charge.  All of my decisions were based upon the instructions that I received from my boss, the owner of the farm and the sheep.  I, alone, answered to the owner, in everything.  Carry what we know is true in life and walk it in Scripture.  All of us have taught, ministered from the pulpit or instructed conversationally that every person that has ever lived will give a personal, one-on-one account of our lives and ministry to Jesus Christ.   We know this to be true because of our instructions from our owner/boss: 

Romans 14:11-12, "For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. [12] So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."

How many of us have ever taught that there will be anyone else at our side defending us before Jesus Christ at the Bemis Seat Judgment?  Will there be a friend, a professor, a spouse, a referee etc. saying to the Lord, " 'He's right, Lord.  That's just what I told him to teach and say?'  Or, 'That's just what I told him to do.  Don't blame him, Lord.  I'm to blame!."

Have we taught personal accountability to others while overlooking the truth of our personal accountability to our Savior, Jesus Christ?  Do you and I....really....believe that you and I and you and I alone are going to stand before the Lord and give an account of our ministry?  And., there will be no one else present to share in my victories, my failures or take the blame for my presumptions?

Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that .... must .... give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made .... you .... overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.

James 3:1, "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that .... we .... shall receive the greater condemnation."

You and I are given the responsibility of "Shepherding" a local, geographically located Church by God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood."

Our local, geographically located Church was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ and, we do not Shepherd the local Church by:

*popular opinion,
*majority vote,
*boards,
*committees,
*the opinions of others,
*a denominational position, statement or edict,
*by our peers as a Pastor in an association of Churches,
*by our membership, board members etc. as an independent Pastor in an independent Church,
*by family, financial, community or social needs and obligations or,
*By family (I have a family to feed.), financial (This is all I know to do.), community or social pressures and
  obligations?

It was the Holy Spirit that gave you and me that vote of confidence and installed us into our geographically located Church body as Pastor/Shepherd.  Not the Church body membership!  You and I are there, charged by God Himself, to correct their thinking and understanding, not visa versa.

The only question that you and I are ever going to hear from our Savior is, "What did 'I' say to you?"  As President Roosevelt said, "The buck stops at my desk."

Have we lost sight of Paul's warning to Pastor Timothy,

1 Timothy 5:22, "Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins
of others; keep yourself free from sin."

Throughout our lives and especially -- throughout our ministries -- we are called upon the make decisions and give directions that, humanly speaking, have disaster written all over them.  For you and me it's a case of "letting it all hang out with no possible end route.  We tell our wife and family, it's all on the line!  We may be on the street, tomorrow!"  I'm going to be blunt, if you and I do not have the courage of conviction in our Ministries with our Creator, Awesome, All Knowing  and All Powerful God hanging onto and leading us by our hand, how on earth do you even dare to leave your home and drive on the highways with today's mentality of drivers?!  I drive the highways of New Jersey, New York and the streets of Manhattan and I can tell you that my God given Angels for my protection are overworked!!  

Can I encourage each of us as Pastors to reevaluate our personal position as a Shepherd? 

You and I can be instruments to God's glory on to the strengthening of marriages and families across this nation and our world.  We need to be obedient to His Word and to those vows we took when we were ordained.   We need to stand boldly before our Church family and TRUTHFULLY PREACH THE WORD OF GOD.  ALL OF IT...trusting in -- His -- divine protection and provisions. 

Sincerely,

Your brother and fellow laborer in Christ,
Robert J. Kuiphoff
704-684-5611

"When we prepare our studies and finally present them,
are the following statements true of all
of my studies and positions?"

Note: It is my experience and observation that correct "head knowledge" of doctrine, if  not correctly translated into the practical realm of our daily experiences, will not necessarily produce  a Godly witness with God's protections and blessings. We must consciously evaluate everything we believe and practice in the light of God's Attributes and Sovereignty.  All doctrine must fall within God's parameters. We must consciously set aside our feelings.  Correct doctrine isn't "I think" or "I feel" or even "I believe".  Correct doctrine is "According to the Word of God...thus says our God."

(1) THE WORD OF GOD IS MY FINAL AUTHORITY:

Psalms 33:11, "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations."
Psalms 119:89, "For ever, 0 Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven."
II Timothy 3:15, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
                           reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

(2)  THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD (God is the Supreme Authority) DEMANDS THAT MY
      CONCLUSION IS IN AGREEMENT WITH HIS WILL:

Psalms 119:89-91, "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. [90] Thy faithfulness is unto all
                               generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abides. [91] They continue
                               this day according to your ordinances: for all are thy servants."
Philippians 2:13, "For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

(3)  THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD (God never changes) DEMANDS THAT MY
      CONCLUSION IS IN AGREEMENT WITH HIS ORIGINAL PLAN AND PURPOSE:

Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man the He should repent:
                           hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or make it good?"
Malachi 3:6a, "I am the Lord, I change not."
Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

(4)  THE PROMISED PROVISIONS OF GOD DEMANDS THAT MY CONCLUSION
      UPHOLDS BIBLICAL
MEANS:
 

Isaiah 59:1, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it can not save; neither His ear heavy,
                    that it cannot hear."
1 Thessalonians 5:24, "Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it."
Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus
                            Christ."

5)  THE PROPITIATION OF CHRIST (the Sacrificial price He paid on Calvary's cross for my sins)
    
DEMANDS THAT MY CONCLUSION GLORIFIES JESUS CHRIST:

Ephesians 1:22, "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all
                           things to the church,"
Colossians 1:18b, "That in all things He might have the preeminence."

 


Jesus taught: 

Matthew 5:32 
"
But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 

Mark 10:7-12 
"For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, [8] AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. [9] "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." [10] And in the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. [11] And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; [12] and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." 

Luke 16:18 
"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery." 

God's Word also teaches:

Romans 7:3 
"So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."

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

Today's theologians are saying, not true!

1 Timothy 6:3-5
"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
[4] he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, [5] useless wrangling of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.  From such withdraw yourself."

"FYI AND A HEADS UP
Caution 501c3 Participants"
"Confession" is not "repentance" and "divorce" is not "death"

As a Church Family ministry, if you allow 24/7/52 lifestyle adulterers (the divorced and remarried with living divorced spouses
                 Matthew 5:32,  Mark 10: 7-12,  Luke 16:18,  **Romans 7:2-3,
      
**1 Corinthians 7:39
[** key verses], Revelation 21:8 and  Revelation 22:15
in your Church Family membership, leadership and ministerial  oversight while refusing the homosexual crowd, major problems concerning your 501c3 exemptions are on the way.  You're not going to be allowed to continue having a "smorgasbord ministry" --  having it both ways.  Attorneys who are well versed in the English language and know their way around the Word of God are numerous in the leadership of our Federal and State governments.  Many of them are religious college and seminary graduates who understand 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

Deeply buried is the following:

Since this disclaimer does not expressly state any specific actions that would be protected under the First Amendment (i.e. – publicly denouncing homosexual behavior as a sin or placing an advertisement that includes Biblical verses that condemn homosexual behavior on a public billboard), it has the net effect of paraphrasing the First Amendment and nothing more. As the Judiciary Committee Minority staff has noted, the Supreme Court has “already has decided that hate crimes laws are constitutional under the First Amendment, and upheld the criminal conviction of a person for “hate speech” when coupled with a violent act committed by other persons (Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476 (1993)).” Thus, religious leaders promoting traditional morality could be made subject to compulsory legal processes (and hauled into court) simply because their religious teachings may have been misconstrued by a deranged murderer.

Free Speech & Religious Liberties:

The First Amendment establishes that Congress “shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech….”. The nature of “hate crime” legislation is to require law enforcement officials to try to ascertain the specific thoughts and motivations that a perpetrator may have had while committing a violent crime, in order to stiffen the penalty for the underlying offense. Current federal law allows an individual to be prosecuted as an “accessory” to a crime, or if the individual somehow “incited” violence. Thus, if an individual (such as a pastor or rabbi) denounced the act of homosexuality as a sin to a group of people, and one of those people committed a violent crime against a homosexual, it is plausible that the pastor or rabbi could be charged with inciting violence or as an accessory to the crime. State hate crime laws have been used in several instances to harass, arrest, and/or silence non-violent protests, public broadcasts and media events and displays, and other instances where individuals were lawfully exercising protected First Amendment free speech privileges. Some conservatives may be concerned that empowering the federal government, and disparate state and local governments via new federal grants, to pursue “hate crimes” may have the effect of silencing or restricting free speech. It is perceived by many conservatives that the “LBJ amendment” (regarding IRS regulations prohibiting political candidate endorsements by non-profits) has had the net effect of squelching free speech in churches and synagogues across the country since 1954. Notably, the only ramification that comes from not adhering to the LBJ Amendment is that a non-profit would potentially lose their 501(c)(3) tax status, not the potential criminal liability and prosecution that is allowed under this legislation.

Pastors, the following is just "two" of your many problems:

One, "Confession"
is not "repentance" and, two, "divorce" is not "death".

1 Corinthians 6:9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived, neither
1-fornicators,
(Fornicators must stop their sin for membership and leadership.  Who is a fornicator?  These are folks that the world and Christians would term as "shacked up" or living together and having regular sex without being married.  Some fornicators are individuals who are known to be "regularly" sleeping around with many others.  A fornicator can also be an individual who is dating or engaged to a single individual and they are known to be having sex.  These individuals must stop their sin to become a Church member or leader.)

2- nor idolaters, (Idolaters must stop their sin for membership and leadership.  Who is "commonly" termed an idolater?  Any person who has a statute of a god, a person, an individual that some religious body has distinguished as a "saint" and they bow down to or pray "to" or pray "in" that god's, person's or saint's name and believe that they actually hear, help or intercede for them in some manner.  These individuals must stop their sin for membership and leadership.)

3- nor adulterers (Is the 21st century church attempting to CHANGE the Word of God and say to you and me that only some adulterers will not see the Kingdom of God but not all adulterers?  By overwhelming "MEMBERSHIP PRACTICE" it is clearly evident that our 21st century church leadership is absolutely teaching that it is no longer true that all adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of God but only some adulterers.  Also, only some designated adulterers can be members and leaders of their church where as other adulterers can only be members; interesting.)  Please see the notes below.  

Definition of adulterer:
Noun, a person who has committed adultery
An adulterer is any individual who is married and having sex with someone other than their spouse.  That individual is an adulterer.

Men, until the last 30 +/- years and with only a few exceptions, everyone knew and accepted that adultery is in violation of (1) the Word of God, (2) a violation of irrevocable vows to God and (3) a violation of the irrevocable one flesh until death relationshipThis irrevocable relationship is the key doctrine that the church today is trying to overlook and / or annul.  Also, until the last 30 +/- years, there was only one kind of adulterer.  Adulterers were the sinful individuals called adulterers by our Lord in His Word: Matthew 5:32, Mark 10: 7-12, Luke 16:18, **Romans 7:2-3, **1 Corinthians 7:39,  Revelation 21:8 and  Revelation 22:15
(** key verses)

By overwhelming "MEMBERSHIP PRACTICE", our 21st century church has created two (2) categories of adulterers:

Category #1- The sinful and "unsaved adulterers" are called adulterers by our Lord in His Word, Matthew 5:32,  Mark 10: 7-12,  Luke 16:18,  **Romans 7:2-3, **1 Corinthians 7:39, Revelation 21:8 and  Revelation 22:15.(** key verses)

Definition according to membership practice:
The
sinful and unsaved adulterers are individuals who haven't joined a local church and agreed with them (confessed) that their remarriage is a sin.

Category #2- The sinful but saved "Christian adulterers" are also called adulterers by our Lord in His Word, Matthew 5:32,  Mark 10: 7-12,  Luke 16:18, **Romans 7:2-3, **1 Corinthians 7:39,  Revelation 21:8 and  Revelation 22:15. (** key verses)

Definition according to membership practice:
The sinful but saved Christian adulterers are
individuals who have joined a church after confessing to a Pastor and membership that their remarriage
"was" a sin (at the time of their remarriage) and not "is" presently a sin (Romans 7:2-3).

Problem:
The Word of God is absolutely clear that no Born Again Christian  can or will remain in any sinful lifestyle.

Romans 6:1-2, "What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? [KJV]

Ephesians 5:5
, " For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." [NKJV]

Romans 6:1-2
, "What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? [2] May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" [NASV]

ARE OUR 21st CENTURY, FUNDAMENTAL CHURCHES PRACTICING "ABSOLUTION" OF A "PARTICULAR" SIN?

Facts: Confession is not repentance;
           Divorce is not death.

Years ago I was the Chaplain of a large jail system and I can assure you from observation and personal experience that confession is not equal to or the same as, repentance!

Because confession is not repentance and divorce is not death, it is my conviction that Pastors and their membership who forgive the divorced and remarried folks simply because they confess that what they had done "was a sin," even though the Word of God instructs us that it is an "ongoing sin," and do not require that they obey the Word of God by repenting and ceasing their sin, have fallen into the same sin that we have condemned the Roman Catholic Church and her Priests of doing, granting ABSOLUTION of SIN.   It's interesting that even the Roman Catholic Church condemns remarriage, that is, until they have annulled the first marriage and that, dear reader, is precisely what our 21st century church membership practice is accomplishing, absolution of sin.  When asked, Pastors and membership alike will, without hesitation, tell me they "believe" that, in God's eyes, (1) their divorce decree did away with their marriage vows and their one flesh relationship; (2) they believe that God's grace covers this sin (and they will call it sin).

Men, this double standard is not supported by the Word of God.

4- nor effeminate, (must stop their sin for membership & leadership)

5- nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals), (must stop their sin for membership & leadership)

1 Corinthians 6:10

6- Nor thieves, (must stop their sin for membership & leadership)

7- nor covetous, (must stop their sin for membership & leadership)

8- nor drunkards, (must stop their sin for membership & leadership)

9- nor revilers, (must stop their sin for membership & leadership)

10- nor extortioners, (must stop their sin for membership & leadership) shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Question: Pastors and church leaders, why do you demand that nine of the ten listed sinners must not only confess that their lifestyle sins are -- sin, AND, these SAME nine individuals must also repent of those sins and cease (completely stop) the sin to become members and / or leaders of your ministry but -- not -- the lifestyle adulterers?  Why are the divorced and remarried lifestyle adultery individuals exempt and allowed membership and leadership in your ministries and Church Families?! 

My answer to the above question is from personal conversations with Pastors across this nation ( reasons "fundamental" pastors give ) and observations:

Because I am approaching my three score and tenth year on this earth, I have personally witnessed and experienced first hand an "almost" total transition from remarriage exclusion to remarriage inclusion within the local church membership.  Also, every fundamental church pastor that I have personally known knows that confession is not repentance and divorce is not death Because of this fact I am convinced that the divorced and remarried first found inclusion in church membership 30 to 40 years ago via an "Achilles heel".   I'll explain:

The Achilles heel membership syndrome began to take place in the local churches because very few Pastors or members making this decision actually had a mother or father, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, cousin, or a good friend, buddy, boss, working acquaintance, and etc., who was openly living in one of those other nine sins, i.e., living as a thief, a drunkard, an extortioners and etc.  Taking a stand on the Word of God concerning those sins would cost Pastors and members very little or nothing at all; as a matter of fact, pastors heard then as he hears now, "Great message, pastor!" and the general public heard then and now, "You ought to hear our pastor preach.  He's tough on sin!"  But taking a stand on the Word of God concerning divorce and remarriage {the "Achilles heel"} would potentially cost the Pastors, then and now, their ministry income / vocation due to peer and denominational association disapproval, their marriage, their family, their friends, etc. and etc.  In personal conversations with my peers and with church members across this nation and around the world (via email) I've discovered over the years that these men, church leaders and members were and are only thinking of themselves  and the divorced and remarried folks in their lives -- including their spouse, sons, daughters, grandchildren, friends, etc., can simply go to hell because it will cost them too much to be honest with those folks!  I'm not being harsh.  There is no other explanation for someone who knows the truth and doesn't love someone else enough to warn them about the consequences of their sinful lifestyle.  Read their reasons for yourself:  ( reasons "fundamental" pastors give ) & ( reasons "Christian" husbands and wives give for their remarriages )

Another sad but true scenario:
We have a preacher generation that is commonly referred to as "preacher boys" by the older generation of Pastor Shepherds.  This so called preacher boy generation has grown up with the inclusion of the remarried 24/7/52 lifestyle adulterers in their churches and have been taught that church membership is ok for some but not leadership.  As is true of any and all evolved generational changes, what is allowed in moderation in one generation is practiced in excess in the next.  The past 30 to 40 years is considered to be a generation.  This generation began the inclusion of the divorced and remarried into membership.  As this generation grew older (evolved) they began to include the divorced and remarried into church leadership.   Now we are witnessing more and more divorced and divorced & remarried "pastors" (lower case "p") as well as divorced and divorced & remarried leadership.  The Achilles heel has now become the Trojan Horse within the walls of the church.  And, why would I say this?  A divorced & remarried pastor who is a retired divorced & remarried Christian College professor said to me, "I don't believe that God is going to punish me for preaching."  Punishment for preaching the Word of God?  I can only say that God will honor His Word.  I can also say without reservation that -- that pastor shepherd hasn't considered his "Trojan Horse" example to his membership: Hebrews 13:7, "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith (you) follow,..."

We are now at the beginning of the next evolved generation of 21st century pastors and membership which is the inclusion of the homosexuals in membership and leadership.

The obvious perversion of the Word of God is evident all around us concerning the inclusion of the divorced / remarried adulterers and homosexuals due, in a very large part, to the Achilles Heel syndrome leading to what is now a Trojan Horse syndrome.  It is impossible to exclude one group of sinners when other groups of sinners are already included!  Is there any other answer for these leader and membership practice heresies when the Word of God is so very, very clear 1 Corinthians 5:9-13? (Amplified Version)

"I wrote you in my [previous] letter not to associate [closely and habitually] with unchaste (impure) people [10] Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether! [11] But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person. [12] What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]? [13] God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church]".

Pastors and leaders.  Confession is not repentance and divorce is not death; who or what is your "Achilles heel"?  And, do you already have, or, are you a Trojan Horse in your church family?

 
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Please be advised, Rev. Robert J. Kuiphoff is an Ordained Minister of the Word of God and is not a licensed or trained Attorney, Psychologist, Psychiatrist or Medical Practitioner or Physician.  Any and all counsel, suggestions and / or advice derived from www.goldenfaithbiblechurch.org or via email, telephone or personal conversations with Rev. Robert J. Kuiphoff is based solely upon Rev. Robert J. Kuiphoff's personal convictions concerning the Word of God; his personal interpretation of the Word of God and his lengthy experience counseling and advising men, women and children concerning the Christian Life and daily walk in the world that we all live in from the Word of God and / or his personal observations and experiences.

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Your servant in Christ our Lord,
Rev. Robert
(Bob) J. Kuiphoff

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