So much can be said of this doctrine.
Remarriage is illicit unless there is adultery, one dies or ‘the unbeliever leaves’. Moses permitted divorce, ‘for hardness of heart’….but from the beginning, it was not so’. This is known as the ‘except’ clause.
Everything has it’s root in intent. If one was remarried without the knowledge of this doctrine, it would have less impact upon the result. The premise behind those aberrant camps railing against divorce and remarriage is that the sin in perpetual, i.e. if one is in a illicit marriage, one cont’s to commit adultery until one leaves the adulterous marriage. One could be 25 years into the re-marriage and these people believe you must leave, abandon children, responsibility etc., else you are a practicing adulterer, and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God. As well, most of these advocates believe that anyone who endorses the opposite MUST be adulterers and involved in an adulterous marriage, else they would not defend the doctrine.
All sin is forgivable x for the blasphemy of the HS. Adultery is not a perpetual sin. To consider it perpetual is to say 1 John 1:9 is a lie. To pray again for forgiveness once one repented and asked for forgiveness is to doubt 1 John 1:9; which is even a greater sin. To abandon ones family in pursuit of repenting to an illicit marriage is a greater sin.
No one ever loves the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. This sin is perpetual. If one does not repent, will he perish? He is practicing not ‘loving the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength’, without any recess. That can’t be true; all would be perishing.
Live as you are called:
You will notice that this statement follows an exhortation to ‘keep your marriage vows’. This says much.
Keep Your Marriage Vows
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Live as You are Called
17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
The concept of a believer being able to live in a sin, one that is beyond forgiveness, perpetually is preposterous. For those who believe this, I guess Christ died for every sin but adultery.
If I may: If anyone is an adulterer and single, stay single. If anyone is an adulterer, remarried, stay remarried.
*The above paper is not intended to advocate for unbiblical divorces. Surely, as Christ shows, there is such a thing; consider the ‘except clause’.