By Timothy Sparks
While some may say that God did not give us divorce, there are three exceptions they may allow:
(1) An exception to Jesus’ ban on divorce;
(2) An exception that would favorably authorize hard-heartedness, permitting divorce; and
(3) An exception that would favorably authorize withholding forgiveness, permitting divorce.
Jesus says that it is not for humans to divide what God joined (Mt. 19:6; Mk. 10:9), yet divorce is an attempt to divide what God united. God did not give divorce in the beginning (Mt. 19:8), and Jesus bans it (Mt. 19:4-6). God gives no exception to Jesus’ ban on divorce.
God hates divorce, which arose from husbands’ hatred against their wives (Mal. 2:16). Jesus makes clear that divorce originated out of men’s hard-heartedness (Mk. 10:5). God gives no exception to Jesus’ teaching that would favorably authorize hard-heartedness.
Hard-heartedness is the opposite of forgiveness, and Jesus commands unlimited forgiveness (Mt. 18:21-22). God will not forgive unforgiving individuals. Forgive or forfeit forgiveness (Mt. 18:35). God gives no exception to Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness.
Divorce was instituted by men and for men. Why would we want to hold onto a human institution God did not give us?
See also the discussion of forgiveness (Lk. 17:3-4) in https://timothysparks.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/negative-inference-fallacy.pdf, pages (slides) 9-10 of the pdf.
4 responses to “Did God Give Us Divorce? What About Forgiveness (Mt. 18:21-35)?”
I whole heartily agree with your stand on divorce and remarriage . I’m not sure exactly how you stand on the issue of forgiveness but from all the article’s that I’ve read from many different ministries I have yet to find one that is accurate and complete except for the series of messages by Pastor Phil Schlamp on sermonaudio.com, call, “Forgiveness , will that be One Goat or Two”, I would highly recommend it because of the New Age teaching on forgiveness is being taught and accepted in the church today.
Hello Brenda, thank you for your message. I believe in unlimited forgiveness (Mt. 18:21-22) as Jesus taught just prior to the issue the Pharisees raised about divorce (Matthew 19). I also believe what Jesus said after his statement concerning unlimited forgiveness: God will not forgive unforgiving individuals (Mt. 18:35). God gives no exception to Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. If an adulterous spouse sins against me, no matter how many times, I operate from the perspective of Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. Others, however, believe we can hold it against an adulterous spouse and divorce. I do not believe Jesus teaches us to hold people’s sins against them. Rather, Jesus teaches us to forgive (let it go; don’t hold onto a wrong committed against us).
Anyone who claims that God did not give us divorce cannot be claiming exceptions of any sort. Either God did sanction “putting away” (man’s futile attempt to sever a God-joined one-flesh entity) or men entirely fabricated, legalized and spiritualized an abomination! We can’t have it both ways. All of the honest biblical evidence points back to the latter every time.
Keep up the good work, Timothy! We carry your blogs on our page quite frequently.