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Featured Is celibacy the viable option after ending an adulterous remarriage?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by PeterDona, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Hi,
    As the name of the thread will indicate, I am in the camp that sees remarriage as adultery. It seems that a wave of conservatism in this area is going through christendom, and I feel also that this is what lines up most closely to the scriptures, and to the emotional reality of myself. I am a very faithful person, maybe that goes with the introvert personality trait?

    Anyway, my question is on, how is the situation for those who moved out of an adulterous marriage, and have not been married in a licit marriage.

    1) when remarriage is adultery (in the ongoing tense), it would be so that the only solution will be remission of the sinful condition, therefore stopping the sinful relation (?). Some argue that an adulterous marriage is not a marriage in Gods eyes. I found some support for this in Malachi 2:14-16, where God explains about staying with the "wife of thy youth", which would be the same as "your first wife".

    2) after removing the sinful condition, an adulterous marriage, a person is divorced or single. Is such a person able to marry, or does he have to stay celibate? Both sides can be found on the net.

    -- celibate: it is good for a man not to touch a woman (1 Cor 7:1) and, in the discussion on marriage, Jesus mentioned those who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom (matthew 19:8-12). So celibacy is encouraged, at least. Also, there is the general idea that a divorced person cannot remarry, does this idea extend to the person who has divorced from an adulterous marriage (which is suggested on some websites)?

    -- marry: this is where until now I have seen only a void, no discussion on it. I saw it not in scripture, or in the writings of early christians. So where does it leave us? Hopefully there are some people on this forum, who meditate the same things.​

    p.s. this is not a thread to discuss the validity of the claim for remarriage being adultery when first spouse is still alive, if you want to do that, better to start your own thread. Please make your answer in either category 1 or 2 above. Thank you :)
     
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  2. Goodbook

    Goodbook Reading the Bible

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    This is confusing.
    Sorry. I would think that person should reconcile with their first wife, so yes they can marry their first wife again as she is not dead. If she died then he could remarry someone else.

    Im saying the first wife because then that adulterer would have commited adultery if he divorced in order to marry the second wife while the first wife was still alive. But if the first wife went and found someone else it might be too late but then she would have been an adulterer as well.

    And all their children would end up VERY confused.
     
  3. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Agree, Goodbook, and the concern for the children is something that I see - interestingly - in the passage in Malachi 2:14-16.

    I believe that Malachi 2:14-16 when it talks about "wife of thy youth" and "wife of thy covenant", that it is talking about the first marriage being the covenant marriage - a covenant that is still active.

    And then it goes on to talk about godly seed (v 15). Is this seed the children, or is it a reference to faithfulness in marriage producing godliness?
     
  4. dysert

    dysert Member

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    There is also a 2c, viz., married & celibate.
     
  5. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    is there a subforum better suited for this topic? If so, admin is welcome to move it. Thank you :)
     
  6. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    I think it's a matter of your church's doctrine and your personal belief. I am the only Catholic in my family, though my wife's entire family is Catholic. I have one sister who's about to be married a third time, I have an aunt who is married three times, though only one was via divorce. My mother met a man 10 years after my dad passed, and wanted to marry him, but he died before that could happen. I believe that marriage is forever, but only since I became Catholic 10 years ago. I used to believe "til death do us part", but now I believe the marriage lives on. Both my wife and I are committed to not being married again should one of us die. I also believe that, if we should ever break up, I will not marry again. I am her second husband, she's my first and only wife. Her marriage was annulled by the Church because it was not a canonical marriage. In my faith that means that the marriage never happened in God's eyes, and we believe the Church speaks for God in these matters. (let me say parenthetically, that, since I got involved with the Church, I have seen what happens in the diocese when an annulment is requested, and in many cases, the parties lie to get what they want. It's not the Church's place to discern the truth of statements which are taken under oath before God, but I would hate to be the person that lied in such a case just so he could get his trophy wife 'legitimately'...in my wife's case, it was obvious that all the canonical requirements had not been met, so it was cut and dried.)
     
  7. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Root of Jesse, that is some very interesting point you make about being committed to not remarrying after spouses death. I have been meditating today, that the requirement for an elder and/or deacon to be a "man of one woman" means, that he did not remarry after the death of his wife. Thereby showing that he is not into marriage for the pleasure part, even if he would have a legal right since she is now dead.

    Concerning annulment of marriages, which is practised only in the Catholic Church, which is however the (numerically) largest church in the world, I went and studied the root of the annulment. For me, it has to be based on scripture, or it has not authority. For me, a Church can only walk within the confines of Scripture, or it goes outside its boundary.

    That said, the Catholic Church bases the annulment of an interpretation made by a pope in the 7th century, based on a reading of Genesis 20, where Abimelchs marriage with Sarah is null because she is married to Abraham already. Well, of course such a marriage will be null, because she is not available. However, I have the impression that annulment is used so much today in cases where a marriage is actually biblically ok.

    But I highly respect the Catholic Church for keeping the bar high in a time where morale is eroding. It is certainly true, as stated e.g. on this page: click that the general public is no longer as well educated in their faith. I just hope that the Catholic Church will not let go of its high morale.

    I myself am living celibate, but due to a special circumstance, where I was married into what I now see was an illegal marriage. Hence also my speculation if I must remain celibate after an illegal marriage. The Bible advocates to make only safe steps, so I have to be 110% sure if I could go into marriage. And, celibate life is not that bad actually :)
     
  8. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter

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    I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." Matthew 19:9. Where do the laws of marriage come from? The Church. So Canon Law determines the laws of marriage, and a canon lawyer can determine if or if not a marriage has, in fact happened. In the history of the Church, the authority over marriage of Christians begins with the apostles and their successors, the Bishops.
     
  9. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

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    I am married, committed adultery and if and when we divorce, which seems very likely in the next 6 or 7 years as that is what the wife wants, i wont be entering into a relationship or marrying due to my beliefs.

    Ok, i shouldn't have committed adultery but that is a very long story documented elsewhere!
     
  10. Kersh

    Kersh Well-Known Member

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    Is the OP assuming that every time a person remarries after a divorce that they are commiting adultery? What if the marriage dissolved because of the ex-spouse's infidelity? What if the ex abandoned the marriage? Is moving on with your life still adultery?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  11. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

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    Jesus said:

    Matthew 19
    Teaching about Divorce
    19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

    3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? 6 So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this precept, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”
     
  12. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Root of Jesse,
    yes it would be great if we could just believe that the Catholic Church is the succession of the Church that was in the first centuries, and which put the Canon of Scripture together, and so on. As a protestant, I have of course heard and read some argumentation that challenges such a position. But nevertheless, even Denmark was christianized by the catholic monk Poppo, and we have much wherefore to be thankful to the Catholic Church.

    My marriage was null, basically because my 'wife' was recently separated from her husband of 12 years. So she was already in a covenantal marriage - which by the way does not end at a secular divorce (my position, but I believe also the biblical position). And, btw she and her husband entered that marriage being both christians at the time of the marriage. However, I have a boy with this woman, so the situation is not so easy to just solve on a piece of paper.

    Antletems, the first christians allowed for a separation in case of adultery, but then there should be forgiveness and return to the marriage. They never legalized remarriage. I can only applaud your decision to stay celibate, until hopefully one day your wife will take you back.

    Trust God, trust the One who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can imagine, according to His grace.
     
  13. Kersh

    Kersh Well-Known Member

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    So unchastity is a valid grounds for divorce? Also, if a wife divorces her husband (a situation that was probably quite rare in Jesus' day), are both off the hook?
     
  14. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

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    Thank you but i am still living with the wife but she has been 100% in that we will separate when our child is older.
     
  15. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Kersh,
    The unchastity as the exception thingy is only discussed in the gospel of Matthew 5:32, which is a gospel directed at the jewish people. You would be very careful to interpret that exception clause, but anyway, it seems likely, that before the marriage, during the betrothal, if you found that your to-be wife was not a virgin, you could legally dismiss her. But after the marriage, all doors were closed until death.

    A man and a woman seem to have equally no open doors when we look at Mark 10:11-12.

    And likewise, Luke 16:18 seems to slam the door at the "innocent party" interpretation. The one who is divorced against his will still will have to remain celibate until reconsolation happens. Even if the partner starts living in a remarriage, which is not a marriage but an adultery, according to the same passage.

    And, by the way, the original hebrew meaning of adultery is most like the word "pollution", so if you go into adultery, you pollute your marriage, but by no means you break it or end it. Such is not possible.
     
  16. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Are you not able to win back her heart?
    It is not too late .... but there will need to be forgiveness. I will pray for you and your wife and your son.
     
  17. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

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    Thank you but best to pray for those that really deserve it. Not me. My wife and child, yes.
     
  18. Kersh

    Kersh Well-Known Member

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    None of us deserve anything good. But, we serve a God of mercy. I pray for your marriage and that you will come to accept God's grace.

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I interpret 1 Corinthians 7 along with Matthew 19:9 to indicate that if your spouse unilaterally decides to divorce you, then you are free to remarry if/when you established that your ex is persistently unfaithful to you (most clear if he or she remarries someone else). Until such a time, the door to remarry remains open and marrying another is a sin. Also that it is not a sin to remarry if your spouse has turned away from the Lord along with divorcing you. (These are specific situations and my interpretation cannot necessarily be applied to similar circumstances.)

    Note that remarrying someone you used to be married to, after they have been married to someone else, is an abominable sin. (Deuteronomy 24:4, Jeremiah 3:1)
     
  20. PeterDona

    PeterDona Active Member Supporter

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    Hi Greg,
    I know that this is a popularized interpretation that you bring forward.This is what I call the "innocent party" interpretation. It has some problems
    1) normally, no one just pops out of nowhere and goes into a divorce. Actually, in divorce laws there is the assumption that already after 3 years, you and your wife are very similar. So the innocent party situation is not very likely to ever occur.
    2) I interpret Matthew 19:9 to mean just the opposite as you. Namely, even if a woman is divorced, and the man has found a new life partner (being an adultery), even in that situation, the abandoned person would go into an adulterous relation if he/she hooked up with another.
    3) I positively think, that the abandoned spouse is unwillingly thrown into a celibate situation, and this is, I believe, what Jesus refers to, when he later in this passage talks about those who are made eunuchs of men.
    I have wondered a lot on this commandment (deut 24,1-5), and Jesus' comment in Matthew 19, that this was given as an admission for the hardness of hearts, but from the beginning it was not so.
    5) what was not so from the beginning? I believe we are talking about the option to be released from the bond of marriage
    6) so, in the new covenant, should we go by how it was in the beginning, or by how it was made as an exception in the law? I think the first option makes most sense. Also, considering that the law has been done away with. But well, this is certainly a point for meditation.
    7) what is referred to, concerning hardness of hearts? Hearts that are beyond reach of repentance?
     
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