Someone writes: I do not believe that people need a book like yours to know what the Bible teaches about MDR. All they really need is the Bible.
My response: I really couldn’t agree more. All they really need is the Bible and time to study it. You are exactly right. And if there had never been any false teaching on the subject, then there would be no need for me to spend well over a year writing a book about it. But the truth is that there have been a lot of false ideas that have been taught concerning MDR over the years by various religious groups such as the Catholic Church, Herbert W. Armstrong and the World Wide Church of God, as well as others including members of the Church of Christ. (Note: I am not “taking shots” at the Catholics or Armstrong, Church of Christ, or any others. I am a member of the “Church of Christ” myself and have been for over 45 years and there are some of our brethren even now who are basically teaching the same thing that the Catholics teach and that Herbert W. Armstrong taught for years. So this is not about talking bad about brethren or trying to speak disparagingly about other groups but it is about what has been taught by influential religious leaders on the subject of MDR and the need for my book). Therefore there is a need to “clear the cobwebs,” so to speak, so that people can actually read what the Bible really says about it. Many people who say what you say about using the “Bible only” will only want people to read Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:1-9 as if that is all that is said on the subject. But nothing could be further from the real truth. Matthew is only primarily dealing with one aspect of the question…only O-N-E. (Is it lawful to divorce a faithful mate or cause a mate to be divorced in order to marry?) I am glad for anyone–and I mean “a-n-y-o-n-e”—to simply read what the Bible says on the subject for answers to their questions. Here are some of the questions people might ask and the Bible answers without any comment from me…or you. I will use the New King James Version for all the answers since it is my primary study Bible.
1. What was God’s original plan for married couples?
But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:6-9).
2. Does Jesus allow one to divorce a faithful mate and marry someone else without sinning in doing so?
So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:11-12).
3. If two Christians are now married are they allowed to divorce?
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to departfrom her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).
4. What are two Christians who are now married to do if they have problems down the road and divorce anyway?
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).
5. What if a Christian is married to an unbeliever, do they have to divorce them to be faithful?
But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:12-13).
6. What if the unbeliever is “not willing” to live as a marriage companion at peace with the believer? Maybe he proves it by “beating her” or otherwise “abusing her?” What then?
And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:13).
But God has called us peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15b).
7. What if a Christian is married to an unbeliever and the unbeliever “leaves” or simply “walks out” on the believer?
But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15).
8. If a couple divorces and remarries before they become Christians must they divorce again and live single to be faithful?
a. But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. (1 Corinthians 7:17).
b. Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. (1 Corinthians 7:20).
c. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called. (1 Corinthians 7:24).
9. Does the word “calling” or “state/condition” include marriage?
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. (1 Corinthians 7:27a).
10. Can a person who is already “divorced” from a mate remarry without sinning?
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. (1 Corinthians 7:27-28).
11. What if a Christian woman is married to a man and he becomes an “idolater” (or is committed to any false religion) and he demands that she practice “idolatry” in order for him to remain married to her. What does God say for her to do? Must she stay in that relationship and be involved in that idolatry/religion?
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore” Come out from among them. And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:37).
The real question is: Are we really willing to let people study the Bible for themselves concerning the subject of MDR? Are YOU? Really? Can they really “read all that the Bible says” and make up their own minds? Suits me! I am all for it!! But many of those who say “let them read the Bible for themselves” and “make up their own mind”…believe “nothing of the kind.”
Hope this helps! God bless! And “Thank God for Jesus!” (2 Cor. 9:15).