Divorce and remarriage: the real story

tn_dscn0185On Wednesday, I asked you to give me your best biblical guidance in the case of a man who had sought a divorce after what could be considered unusual marital circumstances. It provoked some passionate responses and much needed clearing of the air on issues of divorce and remarriage in the biblical context. Certainly, the discussion is a work in progress.

That being said, I wanted to share with you the real story of the scenario presented in the post. The “man” was me 17 years ago. 

While this is openly talked about in my book, Touching a Dead Man: One man’s explosive story of deliverance from homosexuality, you may be hearing it for the first time.

The real story is this:

While in the military, I was approached by a lesbian couple who wanted me to enter into an arranged marriage with one of the partners. There were  several “benefits” in it for me and them.  Since I was living my life as a gay man and had no regard for what was right, I decided to do it. I knew other gay servicemembers who had done simular things so it wasn’t that scary to me. Since I wasnt saved and thought I would be gay for the rest of my life, it sounded like it would work for me.

Part of the deal was that after the marriage, we would live together for several weeks in case someone who didnt know about us came by. We would front our marriage to our families and get the benefits (money, image, etc). We agreed that there would be no consumation and we could each continue with our lives sexually as before. We did a courthouse quickie in February 1990. Her lesbian partner was our only witness.

Well, all seemed well until some major issues came up (drug use to be exact). We were living together in what I would term a hi and bye arrangement,  but when this surfaced, I demanded she move out because I didn’t want any drugs in the house. She moved in with her female partner and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Me being responsible for her drug use (which I wasnt aware of previously) wasnt part of our deal.

But after her moving out, a depression and frustration came over me. I felt worthless in a way that I couldnt quite explain. As I went on trying to party more, sex more and live my “gay” life more, the depression deepened and eventually I began entertaining thoughts of suicide. I didnt know what was happening to me because I thought –despite the marriage situation— I was okay.

Sparing details which are in my book, my life fell apart to the point of what seemed like no return until one day. Thursday, April 12, 1990.

That day, I came in full contact with the love, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. And on that day I became a new creation in Christ.

That Sunday I went to church for the first time in many years. I had to go and buy some “church clothes” if thats any indicator of where I was. And I joined that church where I began to grow spiritually. No one knew of my marital status so it was assumed I was single. After some time at the church, I knew that I had to talk with my pastor and ask him what to do about the mess I had created while in my sins.

He told me to make an honest attempt to reconcile with my wife.  I did this. I went to her several times to tell her of my change and ask if she wanted to join me, we could be a real husband and wife. Her response was that she was happy where she was with her female partner.

I went back to my pastor to talk about her response. He told me to move on with my life and with the Lord. He told me to seek a divorce and let the Lord lead me after that. When I told my wife I wanted to get a divorce she told me “do what you gotta do”. I did initiate the action and the lawyer told me that because there was no consumation, children or property the divorce would be relatively simple. But at some point my wife begin stalling about signing the papers. Maybe it was because it would end the “benefits” of our arrangement. She never told me why, but eventually the divorce was granted.

Again sparing details (which are in the book) the Lord opened my eyes in so many ways and Itn_100_06671 later met a beautiful young lady who today is my wife, lover, mother of my four children and my partner in ministry for the last 16 years. Yeah, that’s us in the picture above and her on the right.

The reason I posed the question is that a person from my old church in Texas when they heard shortly after my second marriage  that I had been “remarried” told me in no uncertain terms I was “living in adultery”. The person didn’t even acknowledge my deliverance from homosexuality, just that I was in adultery. I never accepted that because I repented and God had forgiven me for that sin and released me to move forward and accomplish his plan for my life. My wife has been and is an undeniable part of not only my healing and recovery from homosexuality, but in this awesome ministry the Lord birthed in us. And I want to thank her with all my love for being my wife and loving me intensely despite my past. God gave me the favor to find my favor.

Thanks for hearing my real story and as I said before, God’s standards never change to accomodate our sins but his mercy allows us the divine opportunity to start a new life in Him.  I’m thankful for that.


66 thoughts on “Divorce and remarriage: the real story

  1. Well Hallelujah!

    Thank GOD for grace! GOD is the FINAL Judge. And this deep, Some answers are not always in the Bible…GOD is the final judge. Even though I did not compromise on the word, I still will have fellowship with you. I feel like I have egg on my face. All of us, myself included, especially black men, got into some sort of mess and total depravity before we came to the knowledge of the truth. GOD is about making things new once we repent.

    Every woman that I “knew” before I got married to my wife, in the Sight of GOD, there was a union(illegal). So, I was married before I came to the knowledge of the truth.

    My thing is when I counsel, is of course, know the full picture. Its the willful sin is where we must be cautious.

    GOD bless you Pastor Foster and I pray you were not offended with my postions.

  2. What a mighty God we serve!

    I thank God through Jesus Christ, for his grace being shown to you. Not only have you been granted the gift of eternal life, you’ve also found the truly biblical resolution to what left so many of us confounded.

    You never had a first marriage, not even in sinner’s terms. In many states what you call your first marriage would have been legally annulled. Not only was there never consummation, it was never a case where you were physically unable to consummate but in both your minds felt you were bound, you never really wanted to be bound. You were sinners playing the system.

    Then Christ gave you life, He and the Father made their abode with you and you got good counsel from a church elder. You ended what was never a marriage. You are now a married man and have never had but one wife. You have only had the ceremony and binding with one woman.

    These are the kinds of issues we need to pray for pastors to have godly wisdom in advising. Because they get hit with crazy questions like this all the time 😀 .

  3. Thanks IC and EW, I am blessed to be in fellowship with you both.

    All praises belong to God. He is able to take that which we have messed up beyond belief and on his potters wheel make it brand new.

    EW, no I dont have a problem with what you said as in some cases it is applicable.

    IC youre right, sin has a million and one scenarios, thats why Im very thankful the Word of God is our rock and guide.

    You said “You were sinners playing the system”. That sums it up.

  4. Pastor Foster,
    I feel terrible. The leason I learned from this-GET ALL OF THE FACTS BEFORE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS! Please forgive me!

    As I was meditating on this, I sincerely believe the wise Pastor that counseled you applied this scripture.
    John 20:23 KJV Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. Key Word-Remit(Break free and forgive–sort of like a presidential PARDON)

    The Body of CHRIST has the power to remit and retain sins. Your wise pastor remitted your old life and you WERE FREE! This is one of the keys of the KINGdom. It is a power that is not be used lightly.
    What’s your opinion?

  5. EW, I read that scripture before and on another wise I has studied that it meant that. And it is a powerful Christ-imparted privelege to be used in the church but only in keeping with the mercy of God and clear discernment of the issue/circumstances at hand. Yes, I believe my pastor did that. Im not sure he did it as a result of what the scripture you cited, but certainly it was in that spirit.

    He could have easily went another direction and I probably would not be who I am today. God lead him to instruct me in that manner. And I am thankful I obeyed him.

    Dont feel terrible. I have counseled many couples and never told them to get a divorce. I have found out there are so many variables to deal with before any conclusion can be made, even with the clear restrictions of the scripture. So it takes a lot of listening and a lot of questioning and even issue some challenges. A “solomon” wisdom is needed.

  6. EW, what you’ve said is Roman Catholicism. We don’t remit sins, only Christ does. Never did an apostle say to anyone “I remit your sins”. They only acted in Christ, spreading the gospel. John 20:23 was strictly speaking about delivering the gospel. The Apostles in the initial impartation of the Holy Spirit to certain groups had to lay hands on them and be witnesses of that group receiving the Holy Spirit, Samaritans by Peter and John’s former disciples by Paul. But now any who believe receive the Holy Spirit once they believe, because it has been shown any person can receive salvation regardless of their societal affiliation. Gentiles received without Peter even finishing his sermon. God over road any hangups Peter might have had. This is why when people believe and are baptized nobody “has to” lay hands on them, they receive the Holy Spirit though faith, because people of all groups have had the door opened to them. Once upon a time the door was closed to groups such as Samaritans. So any sort of remission in the sense of the work of the Apostles has already occurred and anyone can receive the Holy Spirit when believing on Jesus. And Jesus said that to the Apostles, the Apostles didn’t tell any church elders they could remit anything.

    The pastor did not remit anything and has no power to, neither do you, I or Pastor Foster either. Only Christ removes sin.

    Pastor Foster never had a marriage to that woman he was never bound to.

  7. MAN….i better hurry up and read the book before you spoil the rest of it…LOL…but seriously, im glad God gave your pastor the wisdom to help you with that situation…

    GCMW: LOL, sorry I thought you were finished by now 🙂

  8. May the LORD Most High bless thee out of Zion. . John 20 is woefully ignored in scripture. The church does indeed have the right to bind or to loose. The true meaning is what you referenced in your post to Enoch walked. I bid you the peace of the LORD Jesus Christ.

    GOD redeems!

  9. I think that in the technical sense there was no “remission of sins” done (I had already repented and been forgiven but the consequences remained), but my pastor did seem to apply a broader spiritual wisdom which was able to direct me into a place of resolution. Resolution rather than remission. Let me clear that up.

    I think we may have to take a deeper look at the implications of John 20. IC, I thought about the Catholics when I first read EWs comments and I think they really abused that scripture, but its worth looking at again. I may raise it sometime after the new year.
    So study up brethren! 🙂

  10. PS Your wife is a very beautiful lady. Double blessing, huh? Smile

    GCMW: I’ll be the FIRST to say that Eld Jimmy! 🙂 I havent met or seen a more beautiful woman (inside too) in all my life

  11. Thanks Pastor Foster(…deep down, I knew you were the man!….) I feel a little better. I am probably my own worst critic. I strive to do all I can do for HIM. Sometimes I am misunderstood. Please pray for me to get “Solomon” wisdom, better yet, pray for me to get a greater than Solomon wisdom, the Wisdom that only LORD JESUS CHRIST can give. Amen.

    The reason I did not compromise, because so many GCM enablers and willful adulterers look for any angle to say–AH Hah! I got you Christians cornered. The MASTER was tempted by the Ah Hah Crowd every step HE made. They tempted HIM, we will be tempted the same.

    On the power to remit and retain, do you believe only a mature elder/pastor/overseer has that power? Remitting sins without “discernment” and a Thus saith the LORD as you mentioned, can get the pastor and the person needing restoration into serious trouble with the LORD. The last thing I want to do is cause any man/woman or child of GOD to stumble. Amen.

    I say this with all sincerity, GOD deals with us with the utmost justice and equity that no man can do. If many of us were GOD, we probably would have been like John and James and demanded the LORD JESUS to send down fire(Smile!). And that is HE is GOD alone and there is No other.

    The true heart of the gospel is this from the MASTER’s very lips, Luke 5:32
    I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    GOD bless all of you and have a blessed weekend.

  12. Brother IC, I do not claim to be an expert on John 20:23. But it is one of the keys to the Kingdom.
    Look at what Strong’s says about remit and retain. It is not Roman Catholicism. Binding and loosing is applicable and available to the Body of CHRIST today.
    It is not a power to be used lightly and casually.

    My LORD man, the way the LORD cursed the fig tree….if the situation arises during the tribulation that we have to curse…that GOD gets the glory–So be it!
    That power is not given to everybody. Shaking the dust off your feet when one rejects the true preaching of the Gospel is a power.


  13. Some may have missed it, but this is kinda why I asked if the scripture authority begins at the point of ** I do** or only when one of the persons are saved.

  14. GOD created marriage between 1 man and 1 woman. Since its HIS institution, the scripture authority begins before any man or woman says I do and even before one of the persons is saved.

  15. What a wonderful testimony!

    I think people get hung up on the idea of no remarriage thing because they get stuck in a legalist viewpoint that lacks spiritual discernment.

    Would God rather that we not get divorced? Of course, Is it best if we not get divorced if at all possible? Of course.

    As a general rule should we counsel people to not get divorced? of course, as your pastor did.

    However there are exceptions to that general rule, and we as Christians should look at each indiviual situation and not try to apply the general rule when the general rule would cause more harm than good!

    Of course there is always that caviot that the person thinking about the divorce should have their heart in the right place. And this is what God looks at.

    I was in a similiar situation many years ago before I got saved.

    I got married in sin, my former wife and I separated due to both of being involved in alcohol and drug abuse, I got saved, delivered from alcohol and drug abuse, Praise the Lord! I told my wife what happened and wanted to reconcile the marriage but she did not. I sought counsel from my pastor and he adivsed me the same thing.

    A few years later God brought a wonderful Christian woman into my life, mother of my children, best friend, lover, and partner! And God has blessed our marriage and used us to help other people!

    God Bless you for your openeness!

  16. Therefore, after knowing all the factors concerning brother Foster’s “arranged marriage”: It was not lawful as John the Baptist would say. The marriage was illegal in the sight of GOD to begin with.

    Therefore any gay marriage is Not lawful to begin with in the sight of GOD and the supremacy of the Holy Scriptures. It does not matter if a homosexual or lesbian is not saved to begin with. Marriage is GOD ALMIGHTY’s creation, 1 man and 1 woman for life(saved or not saved) Jew/Gentile. Believer/Unbeliever. Any “man-made” marriage outside what GOD defines in HIS Word IS NOT LAWFUL. Amen.

  17. God bless you John! As I said before, all the praise belongs to God because he knows the path we should take. And if we truly want what is right, I beleive that he will redeem us and make us whole despite the failures of our lives.

  18. IC, thank you.

    I will listen to it over the weekend and talk to you offline or when Pastor Foster wants to bring up the format concerning binding/loosing, etc.

    You know you are my Peter and I am your Paul!
    Or is it vice versa. IRON SHARPENS IRON!
    Love You brother!

  19. IC,
    I am not a computer expert. Is there a mp3 format. I cannot open or play on my system. I saved it. I still don’t have a I-Pod. I am a Neanderthal when it comes to technology.

  20. EW, you don’t need an IPod to play MP3 files. Do you use Microsoft Windows, or Apple Mac or something else? There is free software that will play the audio, but I need to know if you’re using Microsoft Windows or something else.

  21. Pastor Foster,

    You were once dead in your sins. Born inherently evil as everyone else is including me. When you were born again as a new creature why would you assume that your first marriage when you were dead in your sins was valid? Heck! Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists all get married and even the ones that stay married wind up in hell if not saved. The Law never saved anyone. If anything you are living by Gods law right NOW with one man and one woman in a marriage relationship which is a paradigm of the righteous marriage of Christ and His Bride. Your previous marriage was no marriage at all. It was adulterous from the beginning by both parties. Your first marriage was never seen as valid in God’s eyes.


  22. Brother Foster,
    Thanks for sharing, I must get your book and thanks to the Lord for his grace.

    I can only add one thing about “marriage and consumation” Ask yourself about Joesph and Mary for Joesph were minded to put her away, then what did Jesus say, about whosoever put away a wife? Where Joesph and Mary “married” They were by law and they had not consumated.

    We as sinner live a life of sin then onces saved have to live with those circumstances.
    My prayers will be with you. God bless.

  23. Someone brought up the Mary/Joseph situation on my blog. Here’s a modified version of a comment I left there in response.

    In this case, the first promise of marriage was made while both were in sin. Joseph was with Mary in the most “special case” that will ever be. Joseph was holding off because of Jesus and did not afterward. Never such a case before and never will there be again. Joseph wanted Mary, Mary wanted Joseph, but with Foster’s case he DID NOT want the woman in consummation and she did not want him either. So it was never consummated. This did make we wonder about married couples who are not physically able to consummate and I’ve had to resolve that based on scripture such as Matthew 5:33-37, that if 2 people who can’t physically consummate mutually agree they are bound in their own agreement of consummation, that is sufficient. Foster never agreed to consummation and the woman did not either. So I can’t say they were actually married. They committed an act in sin, and once he was saved there was no mutual desire to actually make it a marriage. So there was no real marriage. An annulment would have been more fitting.

    If marriage without consummation is binding, than so is marriage by force or marriage without mutual consent.

    I don’t think Foster had a wife before his current one. She’s the only one he’s ever consummated a marriage with. The only case where Foster and a woman desired to consummate is with his current wife. That means in marriage he’s only been bound to one woman, his current wife.

    And a pastor is to be a man of only one wife, 1 Timothy 3.

    And you folks do know the Jews used to consummate the marriage in a little room at the wedding site grounds just after the reception.

    The angel told Joseph NOT to put Mary away, but there was an option to do so. Joseph had never slept with Mary. But he stayed with her and then consummated the marriage. They wanted each other in a real marriage.

  24. Also, 2 unsaved people, go to the godless government courthouse to “marry”. They never consummated and one later was saved and the other still never desired to consummate.

    I’m not seeing a marriage there.

    And as Kyle said, even Muslims marry. That does not mean it was a Christian union. If two married Muslims get saved and stay married, then they have a Christian union. That did NOT happen for Foster.

  25. I hear you Kyle and IC. Although I need to look at the assertion that the legal marriage (civil marriage) was an actual marriage in the eyes of the law which certainly cannot be discounted.

    I would ask what would be the difference if both parties had become Christians and reconciled? Would you still say it was not a marriage in God’s eyes because neither was saved and there was no consumation? Or is your point that if consumation happened after salvation and reconciliations, then it is a valid marriage in the sight of God?

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Help me out along those lines.

  26. This next response I left at IC’s site and I hope this will NOT deviate from the topic at hand. But I have to give my opinion on this matter from a point of Sovereign Grace. Again, please lets not argue Free Will VS Sovereign Grace but I’m just trying to give my thoughts on this matter from my theological perspective.

    My response from Independent Conservative’s site regarding this subject:

    When we apply God’s grace to the situation the answers come naturally. First we must recognize that both people involved were dead in their sins, inherently evil, and reprobates just as the Bible declares we ALL are. However, due to divine election some are saved. Pastor Fosters testimony is a testimony to God’s grace NOT to the Law which only convicts the sinner to hell. If his former wife is not one of the elect and remains a reprobate the situation described by Pastor Foster all works to the Glory of God regardless of the individual and in both cases. On one hand Pastor Foster was saved by a Sovereign God and his testimony proves such. His former wife if she dies in here sin will be convicted by a Sovereign God using the same situation however she will be found guilty. In essence what I am saying is that God gets the glory either way. In Pastor Fosters case God can say, ” See how I saved this individual from damnation”. In his former wife’s case God could say, ” See how much of a reprobate you are and are deserving of my wrath and will be thrown into the lake of fire”. I’m not trying to speak for God I’m merely giving a point of reference.

    Romans 9: 22,23
    22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

    23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    When we start to ponder how the Law should be applied to this situation we neglect to see the big picture of God’s grace.

    Thank you for letting me say my piece. And again this is from my perspective regarding salvation and how it applies to this situation and should not in any way start an argument nor attempt to deviate from the topic at hand.


  27. After you got saved, if you were already part of a consummated marriage in which your wife still wanted you after hearing of your conversion, you would have been bound in a marriage.

    After you got saved, if you reconciled and consummated the marriage promise you made in your sins, you’d be bound in marriage.

    It was not a marriage because you both never wanted each other to begin with, never consummated, not physically or by desire of both parties. You made a promise that never was completed. The two remained 2, never 1 flesh, never bound to each other in consummation under a marriage promise.

  28. Pastor Foster, IC, Kyle, or Beckrl, or anyone else out there…

    Would you agree that the LORD JESUS’s commandments and rules of righteous living for Christians also apply to Non-Christians?

    Would you agree that the 10 Commandments, Sabbath included, and all the commandments of morality that have been Revealed to All Mankind, that GOD will judge all mankind and nations according to whether they accepted and obeyed HIS Laws or rejected, despised HIS Laws?

    It is well documented and proven because of Christianity and the Bible it created a better world, nations like the USA to birthed in the New World (even though the USA and the whole world are rapidly apostazing now!)

    You cannot have a set of laws and commandments for Christians and then say, those laws and commandments do not apply to Unbelievers. CHRIST died for ALL! The 10 commandments even with Sabbath(and many Jewish Believers will argue you forever on Sabbath-whether Saturday or Sunday) and all of the moral laws from the Old testament ARE STILL BINDING to ALL Mankind. The LORD JESUS did come to do away with the law, HE fulfilled the Law and the Prophets and the LORD JESUS gave the full understanding for example concerning marriage and adultery…plain and simple. You cannot say you have one set of rules for Jews/Christians and another set of rules for Unbelievers. We will be JUDGED according to the Whole Counsel of GOD-Genesis to Revelation.

    When the LORD commissions missionaries or evangelists and sends them forth to areas where men have never heard the Gospel or the doors are closed to the Gospel versus being open and free here in the USA, GOD does not convert one spouse and then the other spouse if he/she were to remain uncoverted, the believer is free to leave that marriage.

    Marriage between 1 man and 1 woman with consummation(I had to add that in there!) whether Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or done at the justice of the peace is honored by the LORD. The LORD’s intentions when HE saves a spouse in a Non-Christian family IS to SAVE the other spouse and SAVE the whole household, any children born in that marriage and so on. Can you imagine the eternal damage it would do the children that are born in unbelieving homes and one of the spouse gets saved and then that believing spouse is not bound to that marriage before conversion. I pray no one is saying that! GOD forbid!

    Pastor Foster’s case is probably the most unique case I have EVER heard of!

    Pastor, have you ever imagined where you be right now if you had consummated and brought kids into the picture?

    I would dare to say the enemy was trying SUPER DUPER hard to keep Pastor D.L. Foster from coming forth! The devil was trying to abort your destiny. But thank GOD for Romans 8:28! Thank GOD, GOD is not like us men(Smile)!

  29. Dear Calvinist Kyle,

    You said, “First we must recognize that both people involved were dead in their sins, inherently evil, and reprobates just as the Bible declares we ALL are.
    I agree 100% with this statement! Amen.

    “However, due to divine election some are saved.”
    This where we DISAGREE. GOD did by HIS divine will present the gift of salvation to Pastor Foster with deliverance to demonstrate that HE is GOD and there is NO OTHER. Amen. Pastor Foster received the free gift and GOD delivered him and Pastor Foster became one of the elect because he REPENTED.

    “If his former wife is not one of the elect and remains a reprobate the situation described…. ”

    My dear friend in CHRIST, if the former partner(we all agree and have established clearly that she was not Pastor Foster’s wife to begin with)…If the former partner DOES NOT REPENT and turn from her wicked evil ways, she will perish. Not because she is one of the elect. I cannot agree with you.

    She chose to continue to live in her lifestyle. Pastor Foster’s conversion is and will FOREVER be a testimony and witness to her for ALL ETERNITY. All Eternity if she repents OR All Eternity if she chooses to not repent which will cause her to perish to Hell. If GOD can change a man who she formally knew to be a homosexual, well this same GOD can change her from a lesbian. If she was willing to change–she desired(free will) NOT to!

    Question: How do you know that GOD did not use Pastor Foster in a divine attempt to reach this woman? GOD offered her the opportunity to come out of that lifestyle and discerning Pastor Foster’s witness, I believe he pleaded with this woman to reconcile with him. When this woman rejected the opportunity or offer or a way of escape through Pastor Foster, she did not just reject Pastor Foster. She rejected CHRIST HIMSELF! The Power and testimony of the True Gospel of the LORD JESUS CHRIST was FULLY PRESENTED to this woman. SHE CHOSE DEATH! So GOD had Pastor Foster to shake the dust off his feet. She will be without an excuse IF SHE DOES NOT REPENT and TURN AWAY From her lifestyle and ACCEPT CHRIST!

    GOD is no respecter of persons.

    Love Ya Brother!

  30. EW, all are depraved unless and until the Lord touches them. Once the Lord touches someone they are a new creature in Christ. That’s new, not carry over what was in their past and try to hold it against them. If a person gets saved while married and their unsaved spouse still wants them, they should remain married, perhaps their spouse will come to knowledge of the truth if the Lord wills. But if the unsaved spouse does not want them they should and are free to leave. Please read 1 Corinthians 7 With DL’s case, not only was he rejected, but his was never consummated and never marriage to begin with.

    If I had 100 marriages and 100 divorces before getting saved, once saved I am a new creation. My slate is clean. I have no marriages or divorces, because I’m new. All my sins forgiven.

    You may want to get over that hang up you have about the USA being some “Christian Nation”. Just as I’m sure you were shocked as a child to hear Presidents held slaves, one day your going to find this nation was founded on Masonic paganism. Proposals were made in some colonies to establish the national Constitution on Jesus Christ and those proposals were flatly voted down and rejected. This nation’s first President even dedicated the capital building in a Free Mason ceremony. This nation was very rooted in Baal from its beginnings. I’m not saying I want a theocracy, but America was founded on Free Masonry’s universalism, not Christianity.

    It is not for me or you to try and bind sinners to live like Christians while still in their sin. We are not to judge the world, but those who claim to be in the church.
    1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (New American Standard Bible)

    12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

    13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

    It does not matter if a sinner lives what you would call a moral life with one spouse of the opposite sex. They will be tossed into the same lake of fire as the homosexual who sleeps around with people of the same sex and dies of AIDS.

    Revelation 20:15 (New American Standard Bible)

    15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

    We share the message of hope and salvation in Jesus and the Holy Spirit will speak to whoever is the Lord’s.

  31. IC
    Becareful my brother.

    [quote]If I had 100 marriages and 100 divorces before getting saved, once saved I am a new creation. My slate is clean. I have no marriages or divorces, because I’m new. All my sins forgiven.

    You would be saying that God only sees a Saved persons marriage. Remember Jesus said, WHOSOEVER.

  32. Beckrl, My statement was not that God “only” sees a saved person’s marriage, but that a person with a clean slate has a clean slate. Meaning once saved nobody has any grounds to dredge up their past. If single when they are saved, even if single because of past divorces, they are free to marry once.

    Which means as I said, if I had 100 marriages and 100 divorces before getting saved, once saved I am a new creation. My slate is clean. I have no marriages or divorces, because I’m new. All my sins forgiven. And I can go marry and you should only see it as my first, because it was the first marriage I’ve had since rebirth.

    Beckrl, I’ve seen how folks with your view have treated people that come into the church after divorce. Divorced sinners seeking some comfort, find Christ and then are informed by people such as yourself that although they desire to marry and have been unable to ever reconcile with the sinner they are divorce from, that they as a new creation must sit single and I’ve witnessed the harm that false yoke brings on people. New means new, while for you it means keep their old baggage. Christ has released them and you have no stance for holding them.

  33. Well actually, when I said:

    Beckrl, My statement was not that God “only” sees a saved person’s marriage,

    I meant he sees the actions of both sinners and saints, not that he’s still holding past divorces against a saved person. So when you said:

    You would be saying that God only sees a Saved persons marriage.

    If you mean that I’m saying God only recognizes the marriage they had after being saved and that he ignores all their past divorces after salvation, that is EXACTLY what I’m saying.

    I say new is new, but you have developed a misguided view, that claims new is whatever select old sins you care to keep over a person.

  34. Beckrl, here is the Bible truth that what I say to you is true.
    1 Corinthians 7:24-28 (New American Standard Bible)

    24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.

    25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.

    26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is.

    27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.

    28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

    A divorced person who is called to Christ and becomes a new creation does not sin if they marry again.

  35. IC
    Please read the whole context of scripture.
    1 Corinthians 7:
    25Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

    29What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

    32I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord

  36. Beckrl, I read it all and it affirms a saved person who may have had divorces when a sinner can marry as a saint. There is a suggestion to remain single, but to marry as is noted as not a sin. Not for the person who was released from a wife before salvation and not for the virgin either.

    Beckrl, you would do well to avoid advising people on marriage, your teaching is a false yoke.

  37. Brother Foster

    Thank you for allowing me to post on this topic, but I will end my comments with the scripture that I posted.
    “Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned”

    Paul said, to the saints that if you were unmarried (single) do not look for a wife. Why? because it would be better because”An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs”BUT IF you do marry you haven’t sinned.” That is not implying a divorced person but a single unmarried person.
    1 corinthians 7:1″It is good for a man not to marry.”
    8Now to the unmarried (single)and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    Are would you say Paul is divorced “unmarried” as I am
    Paul is only saying for the work of the Lord’s affairs it would be better to stay single. There is no implication of a divorced person nor remarriage.

    God Bless

  38. Hi David….I was touched by your testimony…and when I was in the military, I almost made that same mistake of marrying for the sake of BAQ (benefits)…but we both feared God and the sanctity of marriage….You have a lovely wife and May God Bless you both….always

  39. Beckrl, your problem with this one is that you’re using a translation that is not word for word literal and instead a general viewpoint translation, the New International Version. I highly recommend you consider a word for word literal translation such as NASB that I’ve cited from or KJV or NKJV or ESV. What the translation you cite inappropriately calls “unmarried” is better translated “Are you released from a wife?” or “Art thou loosed from a wife?” It’s speaking about someone formerly married in that statement, not someone never married and the wording is most important.

    Please check the Greek for yourself of the verse (all Greek manuscripts agree on this one) and recognize that the Biblical Greek term lyō is the breaking of a former bond.

  40. IC and Beckrl,

    You and Beckrl are both right depending on the circumstances! You are also both wrong depending on the circumstances. 2 wrongs don’t make a right! Smile and LOL. Amen.

    Seriously, Who are we, the council at Jerusalem(LOL)? But this is good dialogue because we live in a fallen apostasized society. Divorce is just as rampant in Christians as it is in Non-believers! Amen.

    Now, I concur with Brother Beckrl in heathen marriages where there is 1 man and 1 wife and there was a consummation and children were procreated.

    When the first apostles went into Gentile lands to evangelize, plant, and spread the Gospel, they DID NOT BREAK UP Jewish marriages or Gentile marriages. The Gospel heals and restores broken lives and families…No other faith or religion in the world can claim to do that. The Gospel brings freedom not bondage.

    They were sent to bring sinners(Jew & Gentile) to the saving knowledge of the ONE TRUE GOD and HIS SON.

    GOD does not break up heathen marriages(1 man & 1 wife–to clarify) if one of the spouses gets converted. The LORD’s intentions is to save the whole family, sanctify the marriage, and sancitify the children. And when GOD sees a husband and wife–HE sees 1 flesh–Christian or Non-Christian. HE is not in the business of destroying families–that was back in the days of Noah

    There is a promise to any new believer when they get saved… Acts 2:38-39 KJV
    V39 says the promise can be passed down from generation to generation. Just like there are generational curses there are generational blessings!
    A generational spiritual blessing to be more exact.
    Why would the writ say the promise is unto you and to your children?

    When one of the spouses gets converted, the saved spouse SANCTIFIES the unbelieving spouse and the children that were born from that marriage. The remaining unsaved spouse IF they are pleased to dwell with the believer, the unbelieving spouse does not DEFILE the marriage–That’s Old Covenant.

    Now IC, I CONCUR with you 100% in scenarios like Pastor Foster case or similar cases. But what if there is a consummation and children involved before divorce. This is where it gets tricky and WE MUST RELY UPON the Counsel of the HOLY GHOST along with the Scriptures.

    IC, I believe you are saying this divorced person that is now saved is now free in CHRIST to remarry. I would counsel the newly saved divorcee to STAY A divorcee and SEEK THE PERFECT WILL of the LORD for himself or herself. IT IS NOT WHAT HE OR SHE WANTS ANYMORE, IT IS WHAT GOD WANTS. WE HAVE TO GET ALL OF THE FACTS And HEAR what the SPIRIT says to do. Amen.

    We all know human beings that are saved are still humans with human feelings and emotions. That’s why I believe one of most UNDER-taught principals in Christianity is putting the flesh under subjection!

    GCMW: Edited for length and clarity. Thanks!

  41. Brother – love your blog. But I feel so sorry for you.
    GCMW: Thanks for the love. Youre sorry? Why? Please dont drop cryptic statements, Pastor.

    You are going to men and what men say to justify your sin.
    GCMW: You would need to cite where I asked anyone to justify me, marriage, life, wife, et al. Otherwise, Im not sure this comment is truthful.

    Go to the very words of God.
    GCMW: Please reread my comments on this thread and the first post and again please cite where I have not went to the “very words of God”.

    Jesus Christ said that God HATES divorce.
    GCMW: I agreed and cited that.

    And then He commanded that what God has joined together must not be split by divorce. Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
    8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
    9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    GCMW: Are you saying that God joined a unregenerate homosexual man and a lesbian woman in holy marriage?

    This was such a hard teaching that many of His disciples left Him over it.

    GCMW: This isnt true. Mt 19:1-9 No disciples left him over his teaching on divorce. Matthew 19 is clear he was responding to questions from the Pharisees who were attempting to “test” him. IOW, their hearts and motivations were not right from the beginning. Certainly, they could not be classified “disciples”.

    But the fact is that Scripture teaches that divorced men who remarry are adulterers. Period. No matter “who is to blame”. No matter “who is at fault”.
    GCMW: This isnt true. You put a period, but there are conditions, cited by Jesus which allow for divorce and remarriage. Scripture is not in conflict with itself. But it is dishonest to handle the word of God without applying right division.

    The original marriage is extant in God’s eyes. The new marriage(s)? They don’t exist in His eyes. Thus the people in them are committing either adultery or fornication.
    GCMW: You are contradicting yourself and I can see why. If divorce is sin and a man repents of that sin, are you saying that God will not forgive that sin? I wasnt aware that divorce was an unforgiveable sin. Could you please cite the scripture to support that?

    It does not matter that everyone disagrees.

    God’s Word stands.
    GCMW: I said that and agree 100%.

    It breaks us if we try to break it.

    Pray about this. Read your Bible. Seek your counsel there. Marriage is only broken by the death of a spouse.
    GCMW: Let’s tell the WHOLE truth Pastor. Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 that “fornication” in just cause for divorce and remarriage. Clearly I have stated that both I and the woman I married committed multiple fornications prior to my repentance for my sins.

  42. Brother Foster,
    Please forgive me for I said, It would be my last comment, but let me add this about a covenant and consummation.

    Marriage is based on both of those concepts together. Biblically a covenant is always made first, and then the two become one physically and are “married.” In Old Covenant marriages the covenant was made well in advance (often a year) of the two becoming one physically. They lived separate lives calling one another “husband” and “wife” but weren’t yet “married”. This was called the betrothal period where they were bound legally to this person but not physically. Then at the end of the betrothal they became one physically as well and were then “married”. In modern times of course we make the covenant and consummate it immediately after. In either case it is the covenant that makes it legally binding while the consummation is just the physical manifestation of the two becoming “one flesh.” Old covenant marriage would show the “blood of the covenant” from the consummation. BUT it was by covenant that binded them together.
    Thank you.

  43. I’m sorry but Pastor Jonathon has no concept of true Grace. To think that you Pastor Foster would have to live under the Law with a unsaved women committing abominations with another woman within your own house and drug use shows that Pastor Jonathon is absolutely devoid of the Sovereignty of God and what he did in your life by changing you and taking out the heart of stone and giving you a heart of flesh. God made you a new creature and you were born again and now Pastor Jonathon wants you to reconcile with an unwilling participant who would love nothing more than to continue in her dead sin state. This is ludicrous! I have so many things I want to say but I probably would be banned because I would let my emotions get in the way. However, I need to go further. Pastor Foster, TRUE marriage is a paradigm of what is to come in the future when we(bride) are married to the Groom (Christ). There is a symbiotic relationship of love between the Bride and the Groom. In your case between the your “ex” so-called there was NO love for each other. Is Pastor Jonathon saying that the first marriage was truly valid in the eyes of God? How is this possible when compared to the ultimate marriage between the Lamb and his Bride which your first marriage was not. Pastor Jonathon is saying by proxy that Homosexual Marriage is right in the eyes of God. Now listen to what I just said. He may not be aware of it but it is true. For example, were you both in that lifestyle? Yes! Did you and your then wife get married as Homosexuals? Yes! Regardless of the fact that you both agreed to not be intimate, In the eyes of God YOU and SHE committed the same abominable act in which many people across the nation in states like California and Massachusetts are doing this very day. And the question needs to be asked IS homosexual marriage VALID in the eyes of God? NO! Therefore your first marriage was NOT valid in the eyes of God. The LORD NEVER would approve of Homosexual marriage in any circumstance. Once you were saved by the very Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ you were a new creature having nothing to do with your former self. HOW CAN PASTOR JONATHON CLAIM TO SPEAK FOR GOD AND DEMAND THAT YOU GO BACK TO A COVENENT STEEPED IN ABOMINATION EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE NO LONGER A PART OF IT. Even if Pastor Jonathon knows that you are a new creature and are no longer captive to your former sin state how can he say that you should remain married to a homosexual woman who herself would continue to commit abominable acts.

    Let me expound further, Your household was a microcosm of Sodom and Gomorrah just on a smaller scale. For starters your marriage was a homosexual marriage regardless of the fact that you were married to a woman. You two took marriage vows as homosexuals. In it’s very essence your first marriage was the same as a Man-Man or Woman-Woman marriage. Next, as you stated there was drug use on her part, partying on your part, and abominations being performed on both of your behalf. Your household was a microcosm of Sodom and Gomorrah. Let me expound further. Is Pastor Jonathon asking you to stay in Sodom and Gomorrah? Is he asking you although you are now saved you should go back to your first wife? Should you have fled your mini Sodom and Gomorrah just as God told you to do or should you have turned back around? My friend you are now free from God’s judgement. Pastor Jonathon’s advice would have condemned you to a pillar of salt.

    You made the right decision Pastor Foster.


  44. GOD bless you Pastor Foster for this dialogue. It has been a blessing.

    I know this is getting deep. We haven’t even tipped the scale of crazy what if scenarios.

    One crazy scenario I thought about today is, what if a newly saved person to do that gets saved in a polygamy family? This is a reality in the Middle East and various parts of Africa. Let’s say the true gospel is preached to a husband or tribal leader or a sheik who has 5 wives, 20 concubines and 50 kids and he gets saved? LOL–It would take some dynamite HOLY GHOST power to even get near a man like this-LOL! The man hears the Gospel and repents and gets saved.

    The man is new creation now, is he free from his wives and his children? I do not believe he is free. What about his concubines? I do not know. Any takers out there? He had to take care of his tribe literally before and he still has to take care of his tribe after conversion. He obviously had the means to do this. But what if he was a warlord or forced these women to be his wives, concubines, etc?
    What if he stole women from families or from husbands who could not defend their honor? WHAT IF? This is where we must rely totally upon the Voice of the HOLY GHOST and HIS direction in my humble opinion.

    Flip the scenario.
    What if one of the wives or the concubines gets saved. Now the polygamist husband is the unbeliever. What is the woman or women to do in this situation? She’s a new creation. But is she free? Now this saved woman’s life could be in jeopardy if her muslim/pagan husband finds out or GOD could do an Esther situation. We do not know, but GOD through HIS SPIRIT knows. What scripture determines how to counsel and guide this woman. We have no clear example, this is where reliance upon the HOLY GHOST is an utmost priority, because HE will lead and guide us to all truth. The closest reference that came to my mind is Peter’s advice to wives:1 Peter 3:1-2 KJV
    (1) Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
    (2) While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

    Holy discernment on these type of scenarios must be done, because I truly believe this type of situation could occur if not already.

    GOD bless.

  45. WHAT IF?

    A man take another man’s wife and then repents can he keep the wife? Some would say yes because of forgiveness. What about this forgiveness of all unrighteousness or what sin was he repenting of????
    Jesus said, go and sin no more.

    GCMW: He would be wrong and the man could not claim to be covered under go and sin no more due to what is called presumptuousness. Im not sure if you are applying this scenario to my case, but if you are it would not be applicable.

  46. She is so pretty! She is truly a Proverbs 31 Woman. Both of you make a beautiful couple. Crying tears of joy because of what God has done in your life.To God be the glory!!!!! Romans 8:28. Her hair is the BOMB! Translation: It becomes her!

    Sister in Christ,
    Jeanie Franklin

  47. [quote]GCMW: He would be wrong and the man could not claim to be covered under go and sin no more due to what is called presumptuousness. Im not sure if you are applying this scenario to my case, but if you are it would not be applicable.[/quote]

    No, I’m not Brother Foster I was just “what if…ing” 😉

  48. I’m wondering why my post on your blog never appeared about Ecc. 5:4-5 concerning vows unto God

    GCMW: Posting a scripture with no explanation of why or what it applies to isnt beneficial to the discussion. Feel free to post it again with sufficient commentary.

  49. What a wonderful testimony! Thank God for his miracle working power, and for your boldness in spreading the word that he is indeed our great deliverer! Keep standing for Him.

  50. First let me start by saying that I priase God for the wonderful transformation in your life through the work of the Holy Spirit and the redemption of the Lord. I don’t think many folk count that as much as they should have. You have had a remarkable journey I pray you continue to stay the course and be the example of who humanity needs you to be (in the Lord).

    I believe you summed it up when you said, “I never accepted that because I repented and God had forgiven me for that sin and released me to move forward and accomplish his plan for my life.” Yes you made a vow and the vow was broken. But it is what it is. Would it have been better for you to never have married again? If it was in you to do, you would have done it (stay single for the LORD). We all know that some men can forego marriage, however, most cannot. Had you done so it may have led you back into sin. (but that’s speculation). Obviously God has had mercy on you and given you a second chance at life. You are married to a beautiful woman and have blessed children. You have been together for a time now and still you are glorifying God. While I agree with most posters, divorce is rarely a pliable answer, God in His great wisdom has made some accessions for His people. You tried to make things right and it didn’t work. God knew, and as I said, if it were for you to never remarry, He would never have allowed it to be blessed as it is.

    The key is to remember scripture, rightfully divide it and apply it. All of which were done. God wanted you to remarry so He blessed you with a wife. Even more, He blessed you with mercy. With liberty in Christ. You don’t live in adultery if you have been freed in Christ. This doesn’t mean you (anyone in general) need to keep sinning to prove foregivenss, but when it has come we recieve it and press on in the glory of Christ, honoring Him for His mercy and His strength to keep from sinning further.

  51. This is beautiful……not only because you’re both so happy together, but because you guys are clearly on the right side of truth of the Word of God.

    Please give me your input on the following matter:

    – My best girlfriend is getting married shortly .
    She and I were selecting wedding dresses over the web, compiling the invitation list etc……and she gave me the job to visit the jewellery stores to check out ring prices. She felt this man who had been her friend for a number of years was the man God meant for her to be with.

    Several weeks ago I called her just to say hi, and she sounded rather stressed and depressed. She said she was okay, but some business transactions were being drawn out so she felt a bit down. Few days later a question popped up in my head, and I asked her how the pre-marital counselling was coming along. She was rather vague and indicated that the pastor was too busy to deal with them….so they would have to find somebody else………this sounded a bit weird to me because she had a good relationship with her pastor. Anyways………..

    A few days after this convo, she called me up and blurted out that her husband -to-be was divorced, no adultery involved….and whie she was initially okay with marrying a divorcee,she was now being plagued by second thoughts regarding how right this was in light of God’s word. She was now worried about her standing with God if she went ahead with the marriage at this time. I asked her some questions and she revealed that their pastor (the one who ” had no time for them”) had actually said that based on the circumstances, and the church rules, he couldn’t marry them. So if they still intended to get married, they would have to give up their fellowship at that branch.

    God helped me to hide my surprise at this ‘newsflash’
    and I was able to tell her that what really matter is what God says on the matter. She said she knew, but it was hard…….plus another pastor who had gone through the same thing (i.e. divorce no adultery, and now remarried) was counseling with her on the matter. (same denominaton, different congregation) His positon was “is there any sin that God cannot forgive? The only sin that fits in this category is blasphemy. Look at at David, he was a man of God, and he sinned and God forgave him etc etc …..”

    The fiance’s position on his divorce was summed up like this ” you must know when God has given you your deliverance.” (I am not privy to the details of his first marriage and the subsequent divorce) He said the decison was entirely up to her and whatever she decides he would respect that.

    She was a royal mess, crying and crying, torn between
    not being with him, and being true to her understanding of God’s word re: divorce . At one point she cited the main reasons why she should go ahead and marry him. …..

    To cut a long story short….after some back and forthing she decided to go ahead with the wedding.

    I love her dearly, but I cannot in all good conscience go to her wedding now. I told her, and she said she understood. I love her dearly, and by extension I love her husband-to-be (albeit not as much) because she loves him BUT I feel that I am compelled to stand with the word of God regardless of my love for my friend. I know that man can convince you, but only the Holy Sprit can bring conviction, and even then we are free to walk away from His voice.

    I asked her if she was okay with the entire thing, and she said yes, she also looked happy. I realised then that this is how parents and friends end up supporting children and loved ones when their lifestlye goes against God’s word. It’s done in the name of love.

  52. Lesha I have to agree with you on this one. Based on what’s written here the marriage has no biblical justification at all. It presumptous at best to use the “forgiveness” angle prior to entering to a union you know is wrong and have been told its biblically wrong.

    I dont think “happiness” should be the goal of the Christian, it should be obedience. I would do the same, I would express to her that attending the wedding would mean you would be giving your approval to something you dont believe is biblical. Sometimes standing with the truth brings you into conflict with friends and family.

  53. I just wanted to comment that In my opinion, Pastor Foster’s book is one of the best books I’ve ever read–period–on any subject. It is a great read! You’ll laugh, cry, be shocked, informed, enlightened, encouraged, and inspired by his words. It is written as though he’s sitting there talking with you one on one, like talking with a personal friend. You will enjoy it.

  54. GNP22, thanks so much! I really appreaciate that.
    I didnt even know you had read it. May the blessings of the Lord overtake you as you pursue him.

  55. I was in the military for 8 years and I am very familiar with those particular arrangments. I believe that the wife you have now is your first wife in Gods eyes and the wife that he sent you. The “marriage” before was an act of sinners and it was not consummated. I agree with the comment above that an annullment would have been better, but I’m sure you had legal counsel to guide you. I am going to buy your book. I think it might help me with my present situation. I can only hope that the Lord will bless me with a husband and a family some day. I wish all the best you and your family.

  56. I’ve been away from blogs way too long and missed this beautiful post! What a wonderful couple you two are and how God has blessed your entire family!

    Your obedience in leaving that life of sin and your wife’s courage in giving you a chance and trusting God for your marriage. Wow! Your wife is as beautiful outwardly as she is inwardly and I thank you for sharing your wonderful testimony!

    God Bless You Pastor DL and you and your family have a very Happy and Blessed New Year!

  57. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 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. ” I Cor. 7:14-15

    I understand that in your case, you were the one seeking divorce. Yet and still, the fact that your first wife was using the covenant of marriage as a weapon to keep you in a lie so that she could reap other benefits to me seems like bondage (although the veracity of Scripture is certainly not based on what “I” think).

    I believe someone questioned above whether God only recognizes marriages of those who are saved. The Scriptures clearly say that what “God” has joined together let no man set assunder.

    I think we would all agree that God hates divroce. Even when the religious leaders tried to trip of Jesus and ask why Moses gave a pronouncement of divorce of this was the case, Jesus indicated that it was because of the hardness of their hearts. This proves one thing for me, “God hates divorce and always has”.

    YET, in Ezra Chapter 10, God demands that the men of Israel put away the strange wives they had married. Our God – who changes not and hates divorce – commanded them to put away these unbelieving women.

    We are guilty when we sin and disobey God. But does our God, who knows all, expect us in our fallen state to obey His commands? No, He does not and says as much because the carnal mind cannot submit to God.

    I would offer that the Scriptures hold to a different standard for how He treats/recongizes marriages that He has ordained versus ones in which man engages apart from Him. The mere fact that He even addresses how to handle situations where one is a believer and one is not seems to support this. Clearly this is not direction given to those who get married in Him, because He has told us not to be unequally yoked.

  58. LatterDays,
    this was an awesome exposition. I had not even thought about the Ezra case but it is sound and applicable.

    What do you think on the other end of that spectrum God commanding Hosea to remain married to Gomer even while she committed adultery oh him?


  59. I think that is a little diifferent. The principle in the case of Hosea does not seem to be about keeping a marriage to an unbeliever but about illustrating the hurt and anger God felt towards Israel’s idolatry.

    God commanded Hosea to go and marry a whore, not just to stay married to a whore. “The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.” Hosea 1:2

    This is significant because Hosea is following God’s direction (i.e. God ordained and indeed commanded the marriage). I think that God wanted His prophet to deeply understand how He felt about Isarel: the deep love in having chosen her as a bride, the deep hurt in being rejected and basically spat in the face by her whoredoms, the anger at the ingratitude which was shown.

    Hosea’s relationship with his wife then became an illustration for how God was dealing with Israel. While somewhat horrific to consider, there is so much to be learned in this text. We can see how upholding and honoring one’s family is so intrical to understanding who God is and how He feels about and relates to us.

    I’ll also mention that when God speaks of the great falling away that will occur in the end times (and is occuring), the word for that fall away “apostasia” comes from the word “apostasion” which literally means a bill of divorcement. There is a bill of divorcement given between God and those who have fallen away from Him into unbelief.

    As a child of divorce, I am one of the first to say the damage that can cause to the couple and the children. As someone whose spouse commited adultery, I can share the piercing pain felt in having a relationship dishonored and being rejected by one you love. As one whom God has forgiven in sin, and who in turn has forgiven others, I can share the awesome blessing, growth, and joy realized through reconciliation and healing.

    When Jesus saw the woman caught in the act of adultery, the people were right when they pointed out what the law commanded. BUT, there is a law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus whereby we are given grace.

  60. Oops! Sorry I was so long-winded. 🙂

    Also I meant to mention that I am so uplifted by your testimony and openess! I pray that God continues to bless and protect your family as well as give you strength to to speak His words with all boldness.

    God Bless!

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