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Eowyn's Heart

The name of this blog is based on the character Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because I strongly identify with her on many levels. The purpose of this blog is to proclaim the glory of my Lord and King through His work in conforming me into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. In all things, I trust you will see His hand at work.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Remarriage after Divorce

Recently there's been some discussion in groups I participate in about John Piper's teaching that remarriage is not permitted after divorce - even if the divorce is for Biblical reasons (sexual immorality). I've been thinking about what I've been seeing on this issue from both sides and felt it was time I weighed in - not just on the issue, but on the way in which the controversy is taking shape.

I want to start out by stating uniquivocally that I whole-heartedly disagree with Piper's teaching on this issue of remarriage after divorce. That statement must then be caveated by an admission that I have never had the need (by God's good grace) to do a deep study of this issue for myself (having been neither married nor divorced) - my understanding of the issue and my personal belief structure in this matter is based on a short foray into the Word and a trust in the teachings of learned men - mostly Dr. John MacArthur.

That said - I have a problem with the backlash attack on Piper. Everything I've seen thus far from those who disagree with Piper is emotionally and personally based. The attacks on this Man of God (for so He is) have been disrespectful, childish, and completely unBiblical. If a man is teaching wrong theology - attack his theology - not the man! This kind of dissension only gives Satan glory and sets good Christians (with somewhat conflicting beliefs in non-essential areas of theology) at one another's throats . . . and we expect the world to be drawn to that??

Most complaints are that such a stand is "unfair" or "punishment" upon an innocent party. First of there are no innocent parties. We are all sinners and, in the case of divorce, more than 9 times out of 10, it takes two. Second, who are we - puny, stupid little humans - to tell Almighty God what is Just or Fair or Righteous?? IF Piper were correct and IF we here truly claim to believe God is Sovereign - wouldn't we be obliged then to simply accept and obey?

No one yet has laid out the Biblical basis FOR remarriage after divorce (and there IS a Biblical basis).

In the I Cor 7:39 passage it states, "A wife is bound as long as her husband lives . . ." I looked it up in the Greek and guess what, "Husband" means . . . "Husband"! This passage is referring to an EXISTING husband/wife relationship.

Matthew 5:32 indicates that divorce is permitted in cases infidelity or "unchastity" or "sexual immorality."
Divorce - by Biblical and modern definition severs the husband/wife relationship. Upon divorce for Biblical reasons - I Cor 7:39 no longer applies to the man and woman affected as they are no longer husband and wife. They are now obliged to the teachings of I Cor. 7:25-38. It's simple logic.

Side Note: It is also interesting that the Greek word for "divorce" used in Matt 5:31 is "apostasion"(also defined as repudiation) . . . and in my Greek Dictionary, it follows the word "apostacy" (defined as defection). Wonder why God hates divorce?

Anyway, the point of this is that Piper is wrong, there is a Biblical way of addressing that error, and personal attacks are not it. Let us love one another, Hold one another accountable to the truth "in love" and excercise the Grace and Mercy Christ displayed to those around Him. Piper is not apostate - he's just wrong on this issue. So - let's just preach the truth on this issue instead.


Blogger Mark said...

I'm actually a little surprised. I'd never heard anyone take Piper's stand, I'd always heard the one you gave. Most people state that's the only time remarriage would be allowed, but it is certainly allowed in that case.

10:38 PM  

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