The Traditional Theory on Divorce and Remarriage Cannot Be Harmonized with One Scripture

-Unchanged- Let Alone All of Them!

Olan Hicks

What About Matthew 19:9?


(l)Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication...


(1)Not possible to actually put away in such cases. He remains bound to her in God's sight.

(2)...and shall marry another...

(2)He is not married to the second mate in God's sight.

(3)...commits adultery.

(3)The adultery consists not in divorcing and remarrying but in subsequent sex.

What About I Corinthinans 7:10-11?


(1)Unto the married...


(1)This command applies unto the divorced.

(2)"Let not the wife depart from her husband."

(2)Not Possible for the wife to divorce the husband.

(3)If she departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled

(3)If she divorces, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled, even if she is remarried.

What About Romans 7:1-4?


(1)First 3 verses refer to the Law 5 times.


(1)This passage states what the gospel requirements are on divorce and remarriage.

(2)Paul's point, here is that one can become dead to a marriage contract and marry another (v.4).

(2)Paul's point is to show that no one can be freed from a marriage contract unless the mate dies, or fornicates.

What About Herod's Incest Matt. 14:4?


(1)It is not lawful for you to have her (Lev. 18:16; 20:21).


(1)It violates a principle of Christ (Matt. 19:9.

(2)Taking a brother's wife was incest, the same as I Cor. 5:1.

(2)You are ineligible to have any wife -- related or unrelated.

(3)John was beheaded about one year before Jesus spoke Mt. 19:9. We are dead to the law (Rom. 7:4), and married to Christ

(3)This is a case of applying Mt. 19:9, and declaring that unscripturally divorced persons are ineligible to marry!

The Truth Harmonizes With Every Passage Exactly As Written

God made it clear in the very beginning that He did not intend that any human be compelled to live alone (Gen. 2:18), and that marriage is his appointed way for males and females to relate together on earth. Centuries later, Paul applied this same basic principle three times in the space of nine verses, as he ordered marriage eligibility for every man and for every woman, even those at Corinth who had been guilty of adultery in times past (See I Cor. 6:9, 5:1, 7:2).

In later times men took it upon themselves to try to stop a trend toward the abuse of marriage. Well intentioned efforts led to enacting more and more religious "laws" unknown in Scripture or to the apostles. Gradually, a traditional theory developed, which is called the "Sacramental Theory," which was made official at the Council of Trent (A.D. 1545-1563). The result has been to pass on to future generations procedures for handling cases where this sin has occurred which is totally unknown to any part of the Bible. As illustrated here, it openly conflicts with everything written in the Word of God on the subject. To forbid divorce is one thing, but forbidding marriage itself is quite another. This is specifically noted in Scripture as a mark of the Great Apostasy of the latter times. (See I Tim. 4:1-3).

Over the past twenty years, our national divorce rate has averaged more than a million per year. That's 20 million divorces in as many years, involving 40 million adults. According to the traditional theory at least one of these persons is totally ineligible for marriage for the remainder of his or her life, and in many cases, both persons. All of which means that between twenty and forty million people are ordered to give up their mate, or give up their God !

What a contrast this is with Paul's order, "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (I Cor. 7:2), to which he adds, "It is better to marry than to burn" (v. 9). And to one "loosed from a wife," "If thou marry thou hast not sinned." (vs. 27-28). These statements are all crystal clear, but not a single one of them can be accepted by one holding to the traditional concept.

It is good when we are concerned about respect for the permanency of marriage and the wrongness of divorce. But, brethren, we must study and accept the Bible way of handling the problem. We do not want the Lord to have occasion to say to us in the day of judgment, "Full well you reject the command of God that you might hold to your tradition." (Mark 7:9). Let's oppose divorce, the devil's appointment; but hold to marriage, which is God's appointment.