Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from essay:
But it was not like that from the beginning."
The Reformed Theology looks at marriage and divorce from the standpoint of being covenantal. They quote the Bible as saying in Malachi 2:14, "…because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant" (Fielding, 2010). Fielding goes on to say,
"In the Old Testament, "divorce" was carried out by a literal physical execution of the guilty party for capital offenses, which were the same as what most people would consider divorceable offenses today, such as adultery, rape, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, murder, child-sacrifice, witchcraft, and blasphemy. "Divorce by death made remarriage possible, and freed the innocent partner from bondage to a guilty and unclean person," writes Rousas John Rushdoony in the Institutes of Biblical Law" (Fielding, 2010).
The Reformist views almost all aspects of the Bible as being covenantal in relations to God's interactions with man and the interactions between people. Their view on God's plans in Genesis of one husband and one wife was before sin. That they were living in a perfect society and were not necessary to their lives. After Adam and Eve had sinned, the covenant changed because sin was now part of their lives.
In addition to the reason listed above by the Reformist, they break down the divorceable offenses into two categories:
The first group includes sins against God including idolatry, blasphemy, witchcraft, divination, and spiritism. The second group consists of sins against the spouse. This group is then divided into two subgroups: the first subgroup includes all sexual sins, and second is a subgroup he calls "murder." Murder includes physical abuse and desertion (physical and sexual), infant sacrifice, and failure to provide economically (Fielding, 2010).
The scriptures are not there in the article to substantiate these conclusions and are based on loose observations and interpretation of the one's listed. Fielding concludes her article with this scripture, "Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1 NIV)."
In regards to the topic of abuse in a marriage as grounds for divorce, this also is a gray area, and depends on the interpretations of the author. Instone-Brewer declares that in studying the Bible and reading Jewish scrolls found along the Dead Sea, that the basis for divorce in Exodus 21:10-11 and that Jesus backed this up with his answers to the Pharisees about divorce, is the grounds of neglect (Instone-Brewer, 2007). He states that in Exodus even slave wives had the following three rights as declared in the marriage vows: food, clothing and love. Neglect of these was a ground's for divorce in the Old Testament.
Instone-Brewer concludes the following reasons that a divorce can be allowed according to the Bible are as follows:
Adultery (in Deuteronomy 24:1, affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19)
Emotional and physical neglect (in Exodus 21:10-11, affirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7)
Abandonment and abuse (included in neglect, as affirmed in 1 Corinthians 7) (Instone-Brewer, 2007) (wcg.org, 2010).
His interpretation of the facts is based on the Bible and scriptures contained in the Bible.
Divorce is a current issue running rampant in the United States due to the ease at which divorces can now be attained. Anybody can get a divorce without any fault being put on either party.
The only true reason for divorce that is clearly written and stated by Jesus is in the case of sexual infidelity. It is true that God divorced his bride Israel due to her constantly straying into sin. (Jeremiah 3:8) and maybe that is an indication of the right to divorce a nonbeliever. The Bible promotes the institution of marriage from the first of the Bible and all through the New Testament as being a desire of God for man to have one wife and women to have one husband.
In regards to the topic of divorce from the Christian, marriage is a union that should be held in the highest regards and divorce should be the last option available. Divorce should be in the case of infidelity and even though it is a gray area, in the case of abuse to the other spouse or children. Getting divorced just because someone decides they do not want to be married is ridiculous. The divorcing a believer by a nonbeliever is understandable from the aspect of the believer being at risk to fall into sinful ways and God did divorce the nation of Israel over the continuous sins.
Divorce, when used as a last resort, is acceptable in the reasons listed in the last paragraph. The view of the Reformist leaves too much loose interpretation and is not supported by factual information pertaining to the Bible. There is more to marriage than just a contract and the easy of divorce should not exist. The view of the majority of the research shows that infidelity is acceptable reason and that, according to Paul and scriptures in the Old Testament, divorce of a believer by nonbeliever is acceptable. The rest of the reasons are understandable but there is a lot of gray area to be interpreted.
Bacchiocchi, S. "The Marriage Covenant: A Biblical Study on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage." n.d. Chapter 6. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/marriage/4.html
Feeney, J. "Divorce and Remarriage. Does God Permit it?" 2007. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from http://www.jimfeeney.org/divorceandremarriage.html
Fielder, S. "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage -- a Covenantal Model." 2010. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue07/divorce.htm
Holman Christian Standard Bible. 2004. Holman Bible Publishers. Nashville, TN.
Instone-Brewer, D. "What God has Joined." 2007. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/october/20.26.html
McCallum, D. "The Ethics of Divorce and Remarriage." n.d. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from http://www.xenos.org/essays/divorce.htm
WCG.org. "What about Divorce and Remarriage." 2010. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from…[continue]
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