"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are All Marriages Equally Bound?

DISCLAIMER!!!: THE FOLLOWING POST IS NOT SOMETHING I AM CONTENDING FOR HERE, JUST POSTING IT FOR CONVERSATION. PLEASE COMMENT ON THE MERITS OF THE ARGUMENT. I WANT PEOPLE TO DISAGREE WITH IT!

1 Corinthians 7:14 KJV

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

There has been much discussion about what Paul means by, “the unbelieving husband is SANCTIFIED BY the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband. A number of different views have been forwarded as possibilities. Inherent to each interpretation are necessary implications. The practical implications of a given interpretation must be considered while deciding which position is true.

CLARIFICATION:

1 Corinthians 7:12 KJV

But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

One thing that I would like to clarify before engaging this text is the particular type of marriage that is being discussed here. The kind of marriage that is being discussed is one where a husband or wife is converted and the spouse remains unconverted. Paul is not addressing in this text, though it MAY apply, one who is already a saint in the Corinthian church and becomes “unequally yoked together” with an unbeliever.

If either husband or wife is converted, and the other is not, they must not on this account forsake the unbelieving helpmeet, provided he or she is pleased to remain.[1]


This is a new problem, the result of work among the Gentiles…Paul has to deal with mixed marriages as missionaries do today in heathen lands...The Christian husband married his wife when he himself was an unbeliever.[2]


He has been speaking to the unmarried (1Co_7:8) and to married parties, both of whom were Christians (1Co_7:10). By the rest he means married couples, one of which remained a heathen.[3]


A Christian man, have a wife that believeth not, i.e. who is a heathen, not yet converted to the Christian faith, and she be pleased to dwell with him, notwithstanding his turning Christian since their marriage, let him not put her away because she still continues in her heathen superstition.[4]


“that is, if any man who is now a brother, one called by the grace of God, and is in church fellowship, has a wife to whom he was married whilst in a state of unregeneracy and infidelity; who is as she was when he married her, entirely destitute of faith in Christ; not one that is weak in the faith, or only makes an outward profession, but that has no faith at all in Christ, nor in his Gospel, not so much as an historical one; who disbelieves, denies, and rejects, the truths of the Gospel:”[5]


“This might move a scruple in many minds, whether converts to Christianity were not bound to put away or desert their mates, continuing infidels.”[6]

Keep this idea in mind as we continue to study through this text. If one concedes that this interpretation is true, it changes and greatly impacts the way the text is viewed.

INTERPRETATION:

What is Sanctification?

The purpose of this blog is to set forth one of the interpretations as a possibility and briefly explore its practical implications. What does “sanctified” refer to? The various views are laid out by Albert Barnes:

But the expression cannot mean here: (1) That the unbelieving husband would become holy, or be a Christian, “by the mere fact” of a connection “with” a Christian, for this would be to do violence to the words, and would be contrary to facts everywhere; nor, (2) That the unbelieving husband had been sanctified by the Christian wife (Whitby), for this would not be true in all cases; nor, (3) That the unbelieving husband would gradually become more favorably inclined to Christianity, by observing its effects on the wife (according to Semler); for, though this might be true, yet the apostle was speaking of something then, and which rendered their children at that time holy; nor, (4) That the unbelieving husband might more easily be sanctified, or become a Christian, by being connected with a Christian wife (according to Rosenmuller and Schleusner), because he is speaking of something in the connection which made the children holy; and because the word ἁγιάζω hagiazō is not used in this sense elsewhere. But it is a good rule of interpretation, that the words which are used in any place are to be limited in their signification by the connection; and all that we are required to understand here is, that the unbelieving husband was sanctified “in regard to the subject under discussion;” that is, in regard to the question whether it was proper for them to live together, or whether they should be separated or not. And the sense may be, “They are by the marriage tie one flesh. They are indissolubly united by the ordinance of God. As they are one by his appointment, as they have received his sanction to the marriage union, and as one of them is holy, so the other is to be regarded as sanctified, or made so holy by the divine sanction to the union, that it is proper for them to live together in the marriage relation.””[7]

For the reasons listed above Albert Barnes argues that sanctification in this text refers to the sanctification of the marriage bond; the right for this believer and unbeliever to be married. Paul cannot be arguing for personal sanctification in the salvific sense. It appears to me the only possibility is sanctification of the marriage bond.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown says:

It is the fact of the husband being a “brother,” that is, a Christian, though the wife is not so, that sanctifies or hallows the union.[8]

JFB also agrees that sanctification refers to the marriage union and not to the individual person of the unbelieving spouse.

It is impossible to read this text without knowing that Paul has in mind Ezra 10:1-3 and the command to put away strange wives. The wives were to be put away solely on the basis that they were heathen. It is important to note that these marriages between Jew and heathen were treated differently than marriages between Jew and Jew. God had command his people not to marry those from other nations (Exedous 34:12-17); therefore the rules of marriage did not apply.

Paul corrects the idea in the church at Corinth that one can put away a spouse solely because they are pagan; however, he too gives a different rule for marriage with two believers than he does marriages where one is a believer and the other is an unbeliever.

Paul says to the married (equally yoked marriages), “let not the wife depart from her husband, but and if she depart let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband (1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Then Paul says, “but to the rest…if any brother hath a wife that believeth not (1 Corinthians 7:12),” he shifts from equally yoked marriages to unequally yoked marriages. To the equally yoked marriages in verses 10 and 11 his instructions are, “let them remain unmarried, or be reconciled.” When addressing the unequally yokes marriages, and the unbeliever deserting the believer, instead of saying, “remain unmarried or be reconciled,” he says, “a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases.”

Why the different instructions if God views both marriages equally? Because even though God sanctified the marriage because of the believer, he still views it differently than He does when two believers are married. Why? What is the difference? Why the different rules?

Sanctified, but How?

(1 Corinthians 7:14)

We have clearly demonstrated that there is some sort of difference in God’s eyes between equally yoked and unequally yoked marriages. I suggest to you that the difference is faith. How did sanctification come to the mixed marriage union in 1 Corinthians 7:14? According to the text, sanctification comes “by the believing.”

The unbeliever is “sanctified by” the believer. What does it mean when the Bible uses the phrase “sanctified by?” In every case, whatever the bible says someone or something is sanctified by, it cannot be sanctified BEFORE or WITHOUT it. “Sanctified by” describes the means through which the sanctification occurs. Let’s Illustrate.

Acts 26:18 KJV To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Could they have been sanctified BEFORE or WITOUT faith? No!

Romans 15:16 KJV That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.


Could the Gentiles have been sanctified BEFORE or WITHOUT the Holy Ghost? No!


1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.


Can one be sanctified BEFORE or WITHOUT the name of Jesus and the Spirit of our God? No!

1 Timothy 4:5 KJV For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.


Could this food have been sanctified BEFORE or WITHOUT the Word and prayer? No!


Jude 1:1 KJV Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:


Can sanctification occur BEFORE or WITHOUT God the Father? No!

Now my friends, apply the same principle to 1 Corinthians 7:14. The marriage of unbelievers cannot be sanctified BEFORE or WITHOUT a believer, because the believer is the means by which the union is sanctified. Marriage without a believer is not sanctified!

Before you insist too heavily that all heterosexual, first marriages are inherently sanctified by God, and are therefore subject to the same rules of marriage, let me remind you of Ezra 10 where marriages were to be put away entirely and solely because an unbeliever/pagan was involved. Ezra 10 and 1 Corinthians 7 proves that God judges marriages that include unbelievers differently and that they have a different set of parameters.

Else Were Your Children Unclean

(1 Corinthians 7:14)

I am not going to spend a lot of time here, but Paul further illustrates my previous point by saying, “else were your children unclean, but now are they holy.” “Unclean,” is set in the same context with and in contrast to “sanctified.” Whatever sanctified means, unclean means the opposite. “Sanctified” refers to the marriage union being sanctified in the ceremonial sense, and so “unclean” and “holy” must refer to the ceremonial condition of the children depending on whether the marriage is sanctified or not.

If the marriage is sanctified, then the children are holy; however, if the marriage is not sanctified, then the children are considered unclean (illegitimate). Else, meaning if the union is not sanctified by having a believer in it, the children are illegitimate. The union is sanctified, not because they are legally married. The union is not “ sanctified by the law,” but the union is “sanctified by the believing.” This means that children from a marriage union that is not sanctified by having at least one believer in it are considered unclean.

IMPLICATION:

So, the implication and practical application is that since marriage unions are not sanctified without one of the spouses being a believer, whenever someone comes to Christ and they are divorced for whatever reason they can remarry in the church. A divorced person who becomes a Christian can remarry in the Church regardless of the reason for the divorce, since his faithless marriage was never sanctified.



[1] Peoples New Testament, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[2] Roberson’s Word Pictures, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[3] Vincent’s Word Studies, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[4] Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[5] John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[6] Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[7] Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

[8] Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, E-Sword Version 9.5.1, Retrieved 09.28.10

32 comments:

  1. I'd certainly have to ponder this before I could come to any conclusion in the matter. I wouldn't want to jump at a theory without considering it farther, yay or nay. However, I might have a problem since the food is being considered in this context. Food will not have faith, nor will it believe, nor will it be converted, nor will it be a heathen. So how will it be sanctified according to this interpretation? It will simply be blessed and fit for eating by the word of prayer. Therefore it might be said, that the heathen marriage will be blessed/sanctified/accepted by the same token. Let's all pray. :)
    Auntie_Lydia Carroll

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  2. @ Auntie Lydia: It is just a "theory" that I have heard thrown around and I wanted to pass it along her for feedback.

    The response to that objection is: food is not part of the marriage union and does not need to be sanctified for the union to be sanctified. Whether or not food is sanctified or unclean has no bearing on whether or not the marriage union is sanctified, however, whether or not there is a believer in the union does. The union is "sanctified by" having a believer, not whether or not they eat pork.

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  3. BTW, "let us all pray," is a great line. funny funny

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  4. Yes Sir,you said you wanted folks to disagree. That was the first thing jumped out at me. :) But thanks for appreciating my line. I couldn't resist. Much Love. Auntie.

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  5. You are welcome to disagree with me any time. I love our conversations.

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  6. Awh_sha!!! :*) _Auntie.

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  7. Most of it is absolute hogwash. There is a clear lack of context in the whole discourse. Also, just because various scriptures hold common words does NOT mean they are of common context. HUGE stretch.

    From the beginning it was not so . . . For this cause shall a MAN . . . cleave unto him a WIFE . . .
    Ish as in man - including mankind.
    All marriages are marriages. To the woman at the well Jesus says "you've been MARRIED five times, and the man you have now is not your husband" This woman is neither a Jew nor a Christian. "How is it you(Jesus) being a Jew ask me a Samaritan . . .?" and Jesus distinguished between her marriages and her either shack-up or affair.

    Someone has got to do better than that gobbledy-gook wherever it came from.
    Want more come and see me . . .
    ;o)

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  8. @ Charles: You said, "All marriages are marriages. To the woman at the well Jesus says "you've been MARRIED five times, and the man you have now is not your husband" This woman is neither a Jew nor a Christian. "How is it you(Jesus) being a Jew ask me a Samaritan . . .?" and Jesus distinguished between her marriages and her either shack-up or affair."

    This view is not arguing that God does not view them as marriages, but that He does not view them all the same. I think it makes a good case for it.

    As Samaritan she is a worshiper of the one true God (John 4). So, there is a faith base to her experience.

    I have some questions for you if you are willing to discuss it.

    You seem pretty fired up about this. :)

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. God certainly recognizes that there was a covenant made, just as he does any non marital covenant made by sinners, but God repeatedly treats marriages outside of a faith covenant differently than He does those made inside a faith covenant.

    I will be happy to re-emphasis particular instances for you. You have to provide a framework in which to explain that and not just call it "gobbledy-gook" and think that is sufficient.

    You may very well be right, but you are going to have to do more convincing than what you just did

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  11. Prove that "man" in Matthew means "mankind." When He says, "from the Beginning it was not so," He brings us back to Adam and Eve who were in Covenant relationship with God.

    The very people Jesus was having conversation in Matthew 19 were the One God people.

    There is an aspect of marriage that is lacking apart from the faith component or Paul would never have wasted his time specifically addressing marriages involving unbelievers. If they are all the same, then they would have fallen under Paul's normal teaching by default and would have needed not special instructions.

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  12. A few questions for uncle Charles (whom I respect his intelligence and person), as well as any others who may get involved:

    Q1. Why does the union between a believer and an unbeliever need to be sanctified by the believer since their marriage is equal in every way to those involving two believers?

    Q2. Why was Israel to put away "strange/pagan wives" solely on the basis that they were not in covenant with God if all marriages are equal in the eyes of God?

    Q3. Why the different commands between 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 & 7:12-15?

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  13. The issue is not that God does not "recognize" all marriage. The issue is are all marriage equally "sanctified" by God?

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  14. I see that Paul made allowances for those that were just coming into the church in 1 Cor 7. In dealing with situations concerning marriage he parralleled them with other circumstances and told them to remain as they were when they came to God. That means if you are divorced then you should remain divorced, or if you are in your second or third marriage then you stay in that marriage.

    The issue in Ezra is one of ceremonial laws and they did not leave their wives before they came to the church but after they came and felt conviction. That does not follow with what Paul said in the new testament, we do not demand that one leaves their spouse after they come to God and their spouse doesn't.

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  15. @Anonymous: You said, "The issue in Ezra is one of ceremonial laws and they did not leave their wives before they came to the church but after they came and felt conviction. That does not follow with what Paul said in the new testament, we do not demand that one leaves their spouse after they come to God and their spouse doesn't."

    Actually, this is the point that Paul was addressing at Corinth (1 Corinthians 7:14), there were some were wanting to put away unconverted wives like in Ezra's day, and Paul was saying that in the New Covenant the believing sanctifies the unbelieving.

    In both cases it proves that all marriages are NOT equally sanctified. If God views them the same why is the sanctification needed even in 1 Cor 7.

    It is apparent in Ezra that God's normal rules didn't apply.

    In both cases it proves that all marriages are not inherently the same.

    Do you agree that in both cases God has different rules for marriages that involve unbelievers? If yes, Why?

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  16. Just so that the readers are clear on what the point of this blog post is: The post is not titled, "Are All Marriages Bound?" The post is titled, "Are All Marriages EQUALLY Bound?"

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  17. Go back to context, Buddy. You are making a huge miss-step in your analysis by assuming the Scriptures stand apart from the historical context of times and cultures. Little Sister, you are much closer to the correct concept of the differences in the context than what you are given credit for.
    The people in the Book Of Ezra were NOT acting as people of faith, but as those under the law and bound to obedience. Under the terms of faith in both the pre-Mosaic law and the Mosaic era of the old testament, Abraham the Chaldean, Uriah the Hittite, Ruth the Moabite, and Rahab the Canaanite Harlot were all accepted BEFORE and WITHOUT the law into the faith covenant with God. True believing faith is and was transcendent to the law and prophets. The just shall live by faith, and none are accepted into the covenant of faith without it. The book Of Hebrews is clear that faith occurs without the law, and Paul teaches that obedience of the law justifies no one.
    The Israelites were compelled to put away their wives for the sake of obedience to the law, which obedience never gave them the justification, therefore no sanctification under the merits of faith, just bondage to the letter. In Romans 7 Paul likens the bondage and death of the law to the marital terms of the law. It is a negative in its context, and juxtaposed to the positive of life in Christ by grace through faith. Any extension of the practices of Israelites under the law with regards to marriage, and in particular where the LAW of Moses was invoked with ZERO regards to compassion, mercy, or faith, as a likeness to the beginning, or the era of new testament is a dramatic departure from true contextual scholarship.

    As you said, Little Sister, the problem for the Corinthians was one of necessity. The necessity of Paul's rulings were rooted in the culture. Without all relevant context any attempt at understanding Scripture, or its application to any era is consequentially bound to error.

    In the Scripture, as Buddy has conclusively shown, there is a very definite meaning for sanctification. Loosely, it is being set apart to a purpose, particularly in the new testament it speaks to the work of the Spirit of God in the heart of the believer as a consequence of the work of the cross of Christ. How this is done is another whole discussion. SO, what is the passage actually dealing with? Certainly not santification in the "salvific" context. Do an honestly historic contextually accurate research into the real dynamic at play and see where it takes you. At this point I am much more interested in the accuracy of the scholarly process than any particular conclusion or opinion. As a result I am not sharing my opinion of the meaning of these Scriptures, but rather challenging the accuracy of the interpretation based on what I perceive as a lack of conclusive scholarship.
    Nephew, you asked me to disagree. I have not. I have disapproved of the scholarship, and therefore do not need to disprove anything. First present real scholarship.
    Who, what, when, and where must be understood to ultimately even approach why.

    I would submit his, however, the passages in Ezra are not even about marriage.
    Love,
    Uncle C

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  18. I quote you here as a word of caution:
    "Prove that "man" in Matthew means "mankind." When He says, "from the Beginning it was not so," He brings us back to ADAM AND EVE who were in Covenant relationship with God."

    If this is true, then Jesus has NO BUSINESS citing this in the era of the LAW, in which he was manifested. It is not about Adam and Eve alone. God made ALL mankind, and marriage for All mankind. FOR this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto him a wife and of twain they shall become one flesh.

    Strong's Hebrew Definition for # 0376



    0376 // vya // 'iysh // eesh //

    contracted for 0582 [or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning
    to be extant]; TWOT - 83a; n m

    AV - man 1002, men 210, one 188, husband 69, any 27, misc 143; 1639

    1) man
    1a) man, male (in contrast to woman, female)
    1b) husband
    1c) human being, person (in contrast to God)
    1d) servant
    1e) mankind
    1f) champion
    1g) great man
    2) whosoever
    3) each (adjective)

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  19. @Uncle Charles: You said, "If this is true, then Jesus has NO BUSINESS citing this in the era of the LAW, in which he was manifested. It is not about Adam and Eve alone. God made ALL mankind, and marriage for All mankind."

    While Jesus quoted this during the time of Law, he was correcting the Law and was giving future Kingdom teaching for the Church era.

    Jesus said, "Moses said....but I say." He was given teaching for the church after the era of Law.

    Both, Adam and Eve and the instruction of Jesus are APART from the law.

    You also said, "God made ALL mankind, and marriage for All mankind." You must have ignored the fact that stated very clearly that this issue is not the God does not recognize all marriage, but the question is, does all marriage have the same level of sanctification from God. That is the Point. You are still arguing about something that I have already conceded.

    Let's continue this discussion, but understand that I am NOT disputing that God recognizes all marriage as marriage, but are all equally sanctified/bound. This is what the discussion should be centered around.

    P.S. Don't forget my disclaimer!

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  20. sorry for the errors in the previous post. I am laying on my back typing and I am very tired. I hope you can understand what I was trying to type. :)

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  21. Uncle Charles you do me a great honor by engaging me on my blog.

    BTW is there anything that I have blogged about that you agree with? :)

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  22. Q1. Why does the union between a believer and an unbeliever need to be sanctified by the believer since their marriage is equal in every way to those involving two believers?
    This is Paul responding to challenges from the Corinthian Church community regarding the validity of these marriages. No one was challenging the state of the believers marriages. Paul is reacting to issues sent to him to resolve, thus "I say, not the Lord..."

    Q2. Why was Israel to put away "strange/pagan wives" solely on the basis that they were not in covenant with God if all marriages are equal in the eyes of God?

    It has nothing to do with not being in covenant with God. This is a presumption without historic context. Ezra was a zealot who wanted to restore the glory of Israel. His approach seems to have approximated that of the Pharisees. They lacked faith except as they saw it - keeping the law, which was no faith at all.
    The REASON God prohibited Israel from marrying pagans was to preent a dissolution of the Law. He said it was a threat to the injunction against idolatry and would lead to paganism among the children of Israel. It WAS NOT a matter of marriage at all, but a matter entirely of the introduction of idolatry into the worship of Israel because of a tolerance of the religions of their pagan spouses and offspring. Ezra missed the point as are you in this piece.

    Q3. Why the different commands between 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 & 7:12-15? As I said before. Elementary, Watson, no one was questioning the position of marriage for believing couples. As you read on you discover that the position of the children of said marriages are a part of the dispute. Enter the mindset of the times and the newly converted/initiated pagans and you may gain some insight into the issues and why Paul even uses terms like "sanctified" completely out of context to the New Covenant.
    I have agreed with you before. I am not challenging your doctrine, after all, we generally believe what we want to, just demanding a very high standard of scholarship; a virtue woefully lacking in certain circles.

    Buddy said, "@Uncle Charles: You said, "If this is true, then Jesus has NO BUSINESS citing this in the era of the LAW, in which he was manifested. It is not about Adam and Eve alone. God made ALL mankind, and marriage for All mankind."

    While Jesus quoted this during the time of Law, he was correcting the Law and was giving future Kingdom teaching for the Church era."

    Exactly my point. Now you've gone and contradicted yourself. Marriage as established in the beginning is universal, and has the very same expectations for all of mankind. There are no different rules, and Paul is not making any. He is entering into the parameters of the debate. His words to the believing couples simply anchor the cornerstone of expectations for marriage. To the rest he offers reconciliation for the controversy. The situation is volatile. Wisdom is required. Paul is judicious, wisely offering the way to quieten the storm around the issue. Now the unbelievers DO NOT HAVE TO SEPARATE, and MAY ALSO BE RECONCILED TO EACH OTHER if they have been thrown apart by this maelstrom. The marriages are good for their children, too.

    Paul embraces the forever aspect of marriage as God's ideal intent. He utilizes the common ground of agreement in all sides of the argument, the soundness of the believers unions, then he draws the controversial unions into the same content; that of the rightness, the viability thereof, and the sanctification of the same. What magnificent wisdom.
    Think as a shepherd, as Paul saw himself - a Master Shepherd.

    All marriages have equal standing in the sight of God. And God views them the same. It is man who has issues as such. Jesus said, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses gave you a bill of divorcement. . ."

    "The marriage bed is undefiled, and honorable in all"

    John says, "The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ"

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  23. @Uncle Charles: You said, "Paul even uses terms like "sanctified" completely out of context to the New Covenant."

    Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying here, but if I am even close then I am wasting my time. If you think Paul is using words out of context you are also severely missing something here. Whatever the answer is, it certain is NOT Paul's abuse of context. Unless I am severely misunderstanding you, it is going to take someone else to change my mind at this point. I know that means nothing to you.

    If Paul can't satisfy your "high level of scholarship," then I certainly will never be able to. I have read some of the worlds greatest scholarship and have never heard anything close to this.

    I could say much more about your last comments, but I feel at the juncture that it would be a waste for the both of us.

    I may be wrong on this issue, as I have been on many others through the years, and I am certain I will be again.

    As I understand you view all of the teachings of Jesus and Paul as the "ideal" of marriage, but not really commandment that must be obeyed. Again I may be wrongly judging you, but if I am not then we are certainly coming from different interpretive foundations.

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  24. Uncle Charles: I am thinking that I am must have misunderstood what you meant by your statement that I quoted in my last post. Please explain if I did.

    Also, please allow me to apologize for my abruptness and rudeness. I did not at the moment mean to sound that way, but the Lord convicted my and I want to apologize to you.

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  25. Apparently you've missed my point(s) completely.
    Additionally, you requested that we disagree with you. I did. However, I chose to disagree on the basis of what I see as inconclusive scholarship rather than your thesis.
    I will not enter into debate over the matter. It isn't my style, as I generally find it fruitless. Instead I hoped to feed you enough information to cause you to adapt to a unfamiliar perspective similar to walking around the house in order to see it from beyond the curb.
    Some of your speculation on what I actually believe is just that. Don't be distracted from our common goal, to examine the thesis for its merits. This I was hoping to do by pointing out that the proof texts were suspiciously dissimilar and contextually incompatible.
    As for the bit about the non-contextual use of the word sanctified by Paul I was simply utilizing the conclusions of your provided commentaries, even to the point of repeating the odd term "salvific" one of the commentators used when saying the use of sanctified in this text was not specific to the nature of sanctification in the New Testament. I am in good company on that one. Looking closer, however, you must realize that I DID NOT say New testament, but New Covenant. A distinction I reserved in anticipation of a potential reaction exactly as you've had. In the New Covenant the believer is sanctified by the work of grace through faith, certainly not by marriage. Sanctification is through the merits of Jesus shed blood, not the marital covenant. To debate that point would be, as you've said, a waste for both of us.
    Just to clear the air, I make a poor legalist, but a grand Christian. That doesn't presume that I have no reverence for the Word of God, nor recognize the call upon the believer to obedience of faith. Neither does it presume that I will make a commandment of what is not one in any text.
    You have yourself written that Paul was responding to issues that were sent to him in letters. I don't see the point in taking issue with me for following the very same logic with regards to contextual interpretation of the texts. There is caution to be exercised when attempting to transpose context from its forum to another. Because gold is mined in California in no way supports the notion that ALL gold comes from California.
    Calm down a little bit, Nephew. I do not, nor have I ever said that you are either unlearned or studious. In fact, I find you to be of a wonderfully studious disposition, and a lover of learning. I applaud your love for the Scriptures and your dedicated pursuit of the same. The scholarship to which I am speaking in this discussion is not one of your study resources, but that of the presumption of context that has NOT been firmly established with regards to the arguments offered in your thesis. Bear with me here, for I do not find the request to examine the thesis before it is contextually supported to be unlike that of a child pleading with a parent to "please say yes" before the question is asked. An impossibility to reason in the least. I had hoped you would step back from defensiveness and try to see see my point.
    Whether or not this discussion continues is in your court. It will be sad if you run from opportunity to expand your way of thinking.
    I do wish I were a better comunicator . . .

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  26. Hey, I love you, Son. I am not quite that easy to run off. Some of what I say can be scary, or at least a little unsettling.
    I don't have an agenda, so reconsider what I'm saying and ask me to clarify what is unclear.
    I'll try to be more understandable.

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  27. Thank you for accepting my apology and coming back to the conversation.

    I will comment more later. I have to get up at 3 a.m. to go to the airport and fly to Kingston, Jamaica.

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  28. Uncle Charles I am hearing you. I am considering what you are saying.

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  29. Then I expect growth.
    More in private.

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  30. Maybe I'll just venture some oughts here. You have to approve them first so use your judgment.

    First, you asked for debate - "disagree with me".
    Second, you disclaimed this as necessarily being your own viewpoint, but a topic for debate. So I'm not trying to personalize all criticisms to you.

    That said, why I am so difficult is because I feel it would be such a lost opportunity to be as young as you still are with so much time before you for use in the Kingdom and lose yourself in the mimicry of faulty assumptions.

    This is not a rebuke, nor do I believe I know more than others. I just think that care should be taken when debating things that we do not align ourselves to the tradition we think gives us the greatest leverage in a debate for the sake of the win. I say to DOUBT EVERYTHING, Apostle Paul said to PROVE ALL THINGS. I believe it is the same exhortation. Objectivity is required in honest investigation, therefore, we are at best skeptics before we can be supporters, or else we likely will fail to properly prove something before we accept it.

    Why did God tell Israel not to marry Heathens? Because it is a sin? Obviously not, or else Ruth the Moabitess would not be the heroine of the OT she is. God cares about influences, not about who except as it pertains to influence over our faith. Furthermore, there is not one statement in Paul's injunction regarding being unequally yoked directly addressing marriage. There is with regard to idolatry, and perhaps other counter-Christian concepts. Can a case be made for marriage from that injunction? Perhaps, if one wishes to use it as supporting a principle otherwise firmly established in the Word, but not as a direct statement of proper marrying (As with real estate, location, location, location, so with doctrine - context, context, context). So you see that I think there are fundamental flaws in the argument based on faulty assumptive utility of the Scriptures inherent to the debate as presented here. Maybe you're right, but these Scriptures used to establish the thesis are not going to prove it, at lest not as they are presented to date.

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