MARRIAGE ERROR

by Kevin Rutherford

 

Marriage and the home in our country have been under attack for nearly fifty years. The feminist movement, no-fault divorce, selfishness, and homosexuals demanding the right to marry have taken their toll on the home. With Satan using all of these methods to attack the home, the last thing we need is for Christians to join the devil. However, we now have elders in the church, along with Gospel preachers, who are contributing to the demise of the home by sanctioning marriages which God does not.

We know that Godís law with regard to marriage tells us that marriage is for life. The married couple is not to be pulled apart. The only exception God allows to this rule is in the case of adultery. If a spouse commits fornication, the innocent spouse has the right to divorce them and remarry (Matthew 19:9). The innocent spouse does not have to divorce the guilty, but may if they so choose. Unfortunately many in the world are not concerned enough about Godís will for the home to look into His word for instructions on marriage. Consequently there are many who marry, divorce, and remarry for reasons other than the one sanctioned by our Lord.

This fact certainly becomes a stumbling block when Christians try to teach people the Gospel. Why a stumbling block? Because Godís word demands repentance of sin prior to becoming a Christian (Acts 2:38). Repentance is more than just being sorry, saying sorry, or confessing sin. Repentance involves a change of heart that leads to a change of actions (Matthew 21:28-31). If one is in a marriage that is considered sinful by God, then they need to get out of the marriage in order to have properly repented.

In order to eliminate this stumbling block some brethren try to find a way to keep the couple in the marriage and still baptize them. One of the attempts made by Christians to justify such a position is based on I Corinthians 7:20. This verse says, ďLet each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.Ē The idea is that because they are called to be Christians while in this marriage they should remain in the marriage. What if someone is called by the gospel to become a Christian while he is in a homosexual relationship? Does he need to get out of that relationship in order to repent? Yes he does. Those homosexuals who became members of the church at Corinth understood this (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Obviously then, this verse is not telling us to remain in sin when we become Christians. The context speaks of circumcised remaining circumcised, the uncircumcised remaining uncircumcised, slaves remaining slaves, free remaining free and believing spouses being married to unbelieving spouses. This verse is not telling people to remain in a sinful marriage relationship when they get baptized.

Not everything that God tells us to do is easy (John 6:60). Much of it goes against the wisdom of men (I Corinthians 1:18-25). However, we must never seek to find excuses to justify sin. In so doing we condemn ourselves and those whose sin we have justified.