The Sanctity of Marriage

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“God Honors All Marriage”
Evaluation of an Evangelical Thesis

Sam is a good man.
Sally is unhappily married to Sam.
Sally wants another man: Harry.

Q: What does God want Sally to do?
ARepent and be faithful to Sam.

Sally commits adultery with Harry.

Q: What does God want Sally to do?
ARepent and be faithful to Sam.

Sally wants Harry, so she leaves Sam and moves in with Harry.

Q: What does God want Sally to do?
ARepent, return and be faithful to Sam.

Sally does not want to be Sam’s wife any more.
Sally asks a judge to declare that she is divorced from Sam.
Sam protests. The judge ignores him and makes the declaration.
Sally says she is no longer Sam’s wife and that Sam is no longer her husband.
Sally’s pastor agrees, acknowleding that Sam and Sally are divorced.

Q: Does God give the church or civil government authority to define divorce?
A: No. The church  and civil government may only acknowledge divorce as God defines it.

Q: Does God agree with Sally and her pastor?
A: No. Sally’s act does not redefine her marital state, even though it was legal.

Q: What does God want Sally to do?
ARepent, return and be faithful to Sam.

Sally wants to promise Harry that she will now be faithful to Harry instead of to Sam.

Q: What does God say about such a promise?
A: It would be wicked, treacherous, adulterous … more than any previous act.

Q: What does God want Sally to do?
A: Repent, return and be faithful to Sam.

Sally asked a government official to declare that she is married to Harry. The official did so.
Sally just promised Harry publicly that she will be faithful to him as a wife.
Sally just asked her pastor to say that she is now married to Harry. Her Pastor just did.

Q: Does God give the church or civil government authority to define marriage?
A: No. The church and civil government may only acknowledge marriage as God defines it.

Q: What does God want Sally to do … now?
Q: What does God want Sally to do … after a year?
Q: What does God want Sally to do … after ten years and three Harry-kids?

A: (Evangelical) Now that Sally has brutally sinned against everything God has commanded her concerning the institution of marriage, willfully disobeying His every instruction to her … and persisting in her rebellion to an ultimate degree … God finally changes His mind about what is holy for Sally to do. Now … because Sally persisted in her sin so completely … God encourages Sally to continue exactly as she wishes … to be faithful to Harry until death parts them.

You see, God changed His mind about what was sacred the moment Sally committed her most profound sin against His Ways. Simply because Sally made an adulterous promise to be the wife of another man besides her husband, though God was deeply angered by her treachery as she did so, He is now in full agreement with her desire … because ALL marriage is holy; such solemn promises should not be broken.

Now that Sally has finally committed the ultimate marital crime, in unbridled treachery against both God and her husband Sam, God finally agrees that it is now holy for Sally to continue in this once-adulterous intent. What began as adulterous and wicked is now the way of righteousness; this is His new command to Sally: “Be faithful to your husband Harry … not to Sam any more … Sam is no longer your husband.”

In fact, now it is adulterous for Sam to want Sally back as his wife — or for Sally to want Sam again … and any further relationship between Sally and Sam will be adulterous … unless, of course, Sally ever changes her mind, continues to ignore God’s commands, divorces Harry and remarries Sam … committing adultery again … this time against Harry. Only then God will approve of Sally being with Sam again, and it will be adulterous for her to be with Harry after that … unless … of course …

In fact, as long as Sally keeps changing her mind about the man with whom she wants to be, and pursues her wanton pleasures in utter defiance of God’s commands, God will continue changing His Mind about whom she should be with, about what is holy and unholy, and about which relationship He will honor … for as long as Sally is divorcing and remarrying in absolute disregard for His ways.

A: (God) Repent, return and be faithful to Sam. Though endorsed by both the visible church and civil goverment, Sally’s acts of “divorcing” Sam and “remarrying” Harry does not alter her marital state with Sam. Regardless of Sally’s attempt to end her marriage to Sam, Sally will in fact continue to be married to Sam until their marriage ends according to God’s definition of divorce. This will be when Sam declares in writing that he does not receive Sally as his wife any longer (De 24:1), willfully abandons her (1 Cor 7:15), neglects her in a comparably harsh manner (Ex 21:10-11), or abuses her in a life-threatening or maiming manner (Ex 21:26-7).

Until that day, every other intimate relationship in which Sally participates will be adulterous (Ro 7:1-4), any other man touching Sally intimately is subject to the vengeance of God on Sam’s behalf (1Th 4:6) and all children born of such intimacies are, by definition, born out of wedlock.

Every adulterous relationship should be terminated promptly as inherently sinful. (Mk 6:18) What begins as corrupt continues to be; persistence cannot purify an unholy union. All who knowingly accept, enable and encourage such relationships desecrate the institution of marriage, calling evil good and good evil, and walk as a manner of life opposed to God and His ways.

Once one perceives that both the church and civil government have absolutely no authority to define either marriage or divorce one is logically obligated to either:

[1] Reject the premise that God honors all socially sanctioned “marriages” and honor God’s definition of marriage, or
[2] Admit that Sally may in fact be intimate with any man she wants whenever she wishes and never commit either adultery or fornication … ever … since Sally may rather choose — at her own whim —  to “divorce” at will and promptly “remarry” any willing man.

It should be clear, given those two choices, which one is appropriate.

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