THE HARD QUESTIONS ON SEX, MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE!
THE HARD QUESTIONS ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE!
I am absolutely SURE that my teachings on unconsummated marriages are true, when dealing with the issue of "fornication" as a subject of divorce, and I am willing to stand before God on the day of judgement having said them. But there are other questions I refuse to give a definite doctrine on. The fact is we can only go as far as the Holy Spirit leads us as individuals. Some Christian teachers out there might find the following questions easy to answer, but I have a suspicion many who claim it is "easy to answer" the following questions may say so because they are Antinomianist style teachers who think they are saved no matter how serious their doctrinal errors are, or the devastating impact they have on other people's lives. Here are some of the tough questions:
QUESTION 1) If a man or woman consummate their marriage with a person who has told them they are a virgin, and only a year later find out it was untrue, and the person had committed fornication, can they divorce them then too?
COMMENT...... giving a definite answer on this brings about moral dilemmas:
a) Saying a person can divorce for fornication discovered long after marriage would potentially lead to a plethora of divorces, and if wrong I would become a divorce heretic on the day of judgement (something I have strenuously tried to avoid).
b) If on the other hand you try to answer the question by saying "No the person can and must stay married to the person, having consummated it the marriage stands!" this sounds very much as if you are saying premarital sex is something that does not affect getting married later, and therefore might be considered a blase attitude about the temptations and consequences of premarital sex.
c) The issue of "Cynical Consummation" is also to be included and tackled doctrinally, that is a person suspects their spouse was not really a virgin, but just goes ahead and consummates the marriage frivolously, deciding to just in effect "dump them later" or divorce them if they find out their suspicion is true. Can such a conscientious renegade really sanctimoniously waltz off later into another marriage, and get off with his devil may care attitudes? And of course ironically many of these people who would be willing to divorce a spouse in an instant for undisclosed fornication, years after marrying, would themselves have lied about having committed fornication before the marriage as well!
This requires a lot of Faith, as it affects many many lives to answer these things, and there is almost a moral Catch 22 nature about the two main answers.
QUESTION 2) If a person marries a divorced person, (for instance - because the NIV bible they use changed the word "fornication" in Matthew 5:32 and tricked them into believing it can mean post marital adultery as a cause to divorce and remarry) and then realises it is a sin, can they divorce the person and marry a Christian virgin?
COMMENT.... This at first seems easy to answer. But what if this person who is willing to get out of a marriage they now see is adultery says this.... "My first marriage was never a true marriage at all, so therefore I have never actually been married. I think that means I can now get into a REAL marriage if I divorce the person I was first adulterously married to."
Really this is a very very basic question, yet I am avoiding answering it. I feel I have failed as a teacher by not having the Faith to give a definite answer. Its another Catch 22 type situation where both answers seem in some way morally controversial: One thing I definitely agree on is that the person's first marriage to the divorcee was NOT a HOLY matrimony..... BUT that does not mean I am willing to sanction a second marriage for them if the person divorces the divorcee, as it is very morally controversial, yet I am not discounting the possibility. I don't have an answer. The Catch 22 nature of the two answers are as follows
a) SAYING YES........ means you are a potentially lax teacher on divorce (for instance some people would say you are teaching that marrying a divorcee is a "freebie marriage")
b) SAYING NO......... means what? That you are saying that if you divorce a divorcee you are still in God's eyes bigamously married for life to them till they die? In other words the same principle of "marriage for life" applies to holy and unholy matrimony?
Me bringing these questions to your attention here, is to simply show you at present the dilemmas involved in answering them. Later on I hope to give my "most likely" answers to them all.
3) DIVORCE BEFORE SALVATION
When all is said and done, a person who commits fornication before marriage gets themselves into a situation where they must make decisions on doctrines that even dedicated theology students find very very difficult to answer, and this is yet another BIG reason to avoid all sex before marriage, or marrying a divorcee.