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[thoughts] Commitment in Marriage (June 26 - July 2, 2006)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 3799 subscribers. Thank you! ... My apologies for not
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2006
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth

      This edition goes out today to 3799 subscribers. Thank you!

      My apologies for not getting these out any sooner in the week. Each week I
      hope to get it put together earlier in the week, and each week I miss that
      aim. That's one way in which you could pray for me. Thanks! --Mark

      (1 Corinthians 7:1-15)


      As the twentieth century closed, divorce rates in the United
      States remained staggeringly high. Statistics for that era indicate
      that close to half of all new marriages would end in divorce. A
      rate that high means that even professing Christians succumbed
      to this social blight. But what does such a cultural catastrophe
      have to do with you?

      I and my generation find this one of the hot issues to deal with
      as we attempt to provide Biblical answers to practical puzzles
      related to divorce and remarriage. I believe the next generation
      will have to battle with this even more.

      One of the hardest angles in this whole disaster is this: Do we
      find in 1 Corinthians 7 a Pauline exception that makes room for
      remarriage after divorce? This is hard because of the human
      factors involved. With remarriage so common, if the answer to
      the question is *no*, then we complicate things for thousands of
      couples and families. This is also hard because of the divine
      factor involved. We cannot afford to say *no* if God answers
      *yes* anymore than we can afford to say *yes* if God answers *no*.

      A pivotal verse in this chapter doesn't apply to all remarriage
      cases, but it does to many of them: "But if the unbelieving
      depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage
      in such cases: but God hath called us to peace" (15). Many take
      this verse to mean that in this kind of circumstance, remarriage
      is permissible. On the basis of another seventh chapter, I
      disagree: "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by
      the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband
      be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband" (Romans 7:2).

      Then what *does* 1 Corinthians 7:15 mean?

      In my estimation, the issue hinges on the fact that *God* has
      bound the husband and his wife. Included in that binding is a
      God-given command to please, satisfy and serve each other
      physically (verses 3-5). Defying God by defrauding one another
      brings huge consequences. Note that the *physical* "obligations"
      to the spouse have *spiritual* ramifications.

      It seems to me that the key here is the unalterable fact that this
      is a *command* given by *God*. Who would dare go against
      God's commands? Yet, if a husband departs, the wife is freed
      from God's command in this area. Though she no longer meets
      the sexual needs of her husband (how could she when he's
      gone?), she is not in disobedience to God's command. In other
      words, she is not under bondage to that specific command.

      Make no mistake though. The marriage union stands as long as
      both spouses live. Does this mean that the abandoned spouse
      must remain single, even if the other spouse remarries? I don't
      see the Word making room for divorce and remarriage in any
      situation. I see no Biblical stand to take but this: "No remarriage
      so long as the spouse yet lives."


      Thanks again for subscribing!
      Mark Roth

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