WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
There is a small but vocal group of sincere, dedicated believers who are teaching that there is no divorce allowed for any reason for Christians who are married.
And yet Jesus said:
Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Obviously there is an exception - "fornication"
However the proponents of "No divorce - No exception " justify their view by saying that "fornication did not apply to people who were actually married - *only* to those who were "betrothed" under Jewish law.
"According to this view, the exception of porneia [fornication] allows divorce only in the case of unfaithfulness during the betrothal period. By her infidelity, the betrothed girl had broken her agreement to marry, and consequently, the man could be released from his obligation to marry the girl since marriage had not yet been consummated. The exception clause would then apply only to the ancient Jewish betrothal practice and not to modern marriages." S.B.
Therefore, the teaching that there is absolutely no divorce (other than "betrothed" people) depends completely on the forced conclusion that "fornication" cannot be committed by married people.
For example Sharon writes: Quote: " Fornication in the first century was promiscuity by SINGLES"
However, if fornication refers to *any* sexual immorality then their argument collapses. Therefore they are forced to conclude that the horrendous sin "not so much as named" among the Corinthians was simply sex between two unmarried people. Logically, that conclusion is preposterous.
The Biblical truth? Divorce was allowed for "fornication (sexual sin) by ones betrothed AND ones married spouse.
SO WHAT YOU ASK?
Those who insist there is no divorce and remarriage (even for open sexual immorality) means that those who divorce their spouses for sexual sin and remarry are committing adultery. Ironically the "no divorce - no exception" teachers then demand that those who remarry must divorce their new spouse no matter how much damage caused to their families.
In effect they are saying "God hates divorce so you must now divorce your spouse." And on what grounds? According to their own teaching divorce is NOT allowed - NO EXCEPTIONS.
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery:
According to Jesus, if a man were to listen to these people and divorce his wife simply because he remarried, he causes the second wife to commit adultery even though she may be completely innocent. Then the innocent wife may be forced into a life of poverty because she cannot remarry. Since neither can remarry any children are forced to grow up without one parent. A family destroyed for nothing. It seems clear to me the source of such destructive and erratic teaching - no matter how well intentioned. To say that divorce is forbidden then insist that those who have remarried be divorced is both inconsistent and preposterous.
CONCLUSION: Christians are forbidden to divorce for any reason EXCEPT sexual immorality.