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If you're a Christian, the only instance in which you are permitted to initiate a divorce is if your spouse commits adultery. This is the one and only exception clause given in Scripture that permits a Believing spouse to initiate a divorce and it not be sin.
Jesus answers the Pharisees by saying "he who created them from the beginning made them male and female". Note; he did not create man or woman he created them equal and it was Adam who created the title woman. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate". Matt 19: 4-7. This was quoting from Gen 2:24. By saying from the beginning Jesus was putting to rest an argument at that time as to whether it was a command from Adam's time or from the time of Moses. This was before there were any priests, temples, popes or churches, when a man and a woman came together (had sex) then they were married. The ceremony that was introduced later was to celebrate, to ask God's blessing and ask friends and others to pray and support the married couple. Remember Henry 8th? If the marriage was not consummated then the Pope agreed to annul it. This was not a divorce, it did not matter what church or state had said, no sex, no marriage. The annulment said it had never happened. It is only since we have had a parliament that they have insisted that there is an official record of a marriage and since then it become a belief that the church or the state authorises the marriage. That is not true only God decides. Even a civil service used to start "We are gathered together in the sight of God.....". That has been dropped but it is still true. I do not know if the phrase "till death us do part", has also been dropped but that is also true, only death can separate what God has joined. Nothing that church or state says can alter that. So what about the debate that continues in Matthew's Gospel 19:7&8 about divorce? The word divorce has crept in to translation but was originally separation. There is a huge difference between a legal separation and divorce. A legal separation allows someone to be free from getting a bad reputation from their spouse, free from debts incurred by the spouse, or free from abuse. It does not mean that any party may remarry. Surely the last thing that anyone should want if they have suffered in any way is that the abusive partner is free to marry someone else and do the same to them but that is exactly what the state is encouraging. Matthew 19:9 has many versions: "whoever leaves his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." or "makes her commit adultery." or" whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery," When they married the two became one flesh. If one party has sex with a third person that is adultery. As princess Diana famously put it there are now three in the marriage. Why Jesus said sexual immorality was an exception was that if a person has already committed sexual immorality i.e. has become an adulteress then nothing the husband does can change that. He cannot make her into something she is already. It does not give it as grounds for divorce. The state may legalise adultery, the church may agree to celebrate and bless adultery but it is still adultery. There may be many reasons why a husband and wife should move apart but there are no biblical grounds to divorce or remarry. The rest has crept in because of state intervention..
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