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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christian Adultery

I almost titled this post "HOSEA'S WHORE" but shock value is not always needed, even though the title would fit well into my commentary on forgiveness in marriage after infidelity.

My facebook friends had what they considered to be a hot topic: SHOULD A CHRISTIAN REMAIN IN THE MARRIAGE AND FORGIVE AN ADULTEROUS SPOUSE.

One would think the Bible has answered this question beyond a shadow of a doubt, but for some reason, FORGIVENESS is really pushed and stressed regarding adultery. It seems the party offended must demonstrate their Christianity by how forgiving their heart is in this situation. I posted a reply saying that it seems marriage counseling is geared more for the sinner than for the saint. I said this because even when the one being cheated on is Christian and the spouse doing the cheating is a non-Christian, the counseling remains the same: FORGIVENESS. I also posted if the sheep is continually being bitten by the wolf, why are we instructing the sheep to forgive the wolf?

Leviticus 20: 10: "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife---with the wife of his neighbor--both adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

We are familiar with the adulterous woman of John 8:4 where the priest brought her before Jesus without the man she was committing adultery with to be stoned in accordance with the Law of Moses and Jesus in essence said let her go becaause you are following only part of the Law. Both guilty parties are to be stoned.

Proverbs 6:32 "But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment whoever does so destroys himself."

The Bible does not want Christians to commit adultery period. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IN EXODUS 20:14 STATES SUCH: "You shall not commit adultery." So the issue that is causing some debate is how does God feel about DIVORCE?

There is a long passage about divorcement that makes the head swim in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 "If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and the second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house or if he dies, then her first husband who divorced her is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. that would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord." DEFILED is not of a sexual nature but from touching or eating something unclean.

Matthew 5:31-32 :"It has been said 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries a divorced womon commits adultery."

There you have it. Adultery is grounds for divorce. WHERE'S THE QUESTION?

Now let's look at the prophet Hosea who God told to marry an unfaithful woman. Hosea 1:2: "...Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord. So he married Gomer..." God picked Hosea's wife and named the children that were born during that relationship. Why would God tell a chosen servant to marry an unfaithful woman?

God wanted to use Hosea's marriage to demonstrate how Isreal was like an unfaithful spouse and the kind of destruction that can bring to a 'body' i.e. marriage, family, and nation. God showed how the unfaithful goes after material things in selfish ways in 1:5 "Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said 'I will go after my lovers who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink." 4:14: "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes- a people without understanding will come to ruin!"

The only God sanctified marriage consisting of adultery was a marriage intended to reflect how the children of Israel had turned to satisfying their flesh, both the men and women. At the end of the book of Hosea, God states even the vilest of sins can be forgiven if the people turn from their wickedness back to God in repentence.

So, why the push to forgive the adulterer? I don't know. Is there Scripture freeing the Christian from an aduterous spouse? Yes, there is. Should forgiveness even be attempted? Well, we are told to have a forgiving heart.

My advice is to present to the couple the Scripture and after that they themselves will have to decide their next course of action. To FORCE a person to forgive an adulterous spouse or their Christianity will be in doubt is abusive and I can not see it being biblical or healthy to the spirit. A covenant has been broken and there are numerous examples of what a perosn is to do once a covenent is broken. In all of them, the person breaking the covenent has released all obligations of the other person the covenant was made with ***look at my older post on covenants***

My final word on the subject is take everything to God in prayer. Live for God and not for man and realize God's word is meant to heal the broken, not cause more bondage and pain.

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