The Evangelical Universalist Forum

"You must do nothing to come to Jesus" vs "This is what you must do now"


Don, lets get real in the real world. If a friend came to you and she said her husband was beating her and she was wanting to separate from him, would you agree with her?


Of course I would agree with her. I would agree to a divorce. I thought I had clearly explained all that! Jesus didn’t say people couldn’t divorce for any particular reason. Once again, He said if for any reason at all, if a man divorces and remarries, he is committing adultery. (He seemed to be speaking only of a man who divorces his wife, though one could apply it the other way round, I’m sure). But Jesus gave ONE and only one exception in which divorcing one’s wife and remarrying would NOT be adultery. If one’s wife becomes a prostitute, then if her husband divorces and remarries, he is NOT committing adultery.


So you are saying that if a man beats his wife from your understanding of God’s law or your understanding, that she has no standing to separate from the man… In other words divorce him?


Sure - how about coercive control by a man who is a narcissistic psychopath?


How do we know if Jesus even said these words? The Bible is not my God, nor was it Jesus’ God. If it was, then He would have been teaching the Levitical law, things such as these:
Lev.24:19 “If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done , so shall it be done to him-fracture for fracture, eye for eye…”
or that it is a sin to have a baby etc.

If a man is beating his wife, or vice versa, he has forsaken his vow to love, honor and cherish. He is no longer living in the Spirit.
Besides this, as DaveB points out here;

Why are there marriage vows in the first place? If you didn’t swear that you would be with this person for the rest of your life, I suppose there would be no need for a divorce.


Wow your MO is amazing… how do you have any confidence in ANY of the texts of the bible? You’ve effectively excised MORE scripture than any of the other folk here who do similar, but you take the cake! You have zero credibility in claiming ANY TEXT in favour of any of your novel interpretations.


LLC, FWIW, If you would have agreed earlier that Jesus and the apostles recorded words are not decisive for your view and arguments, it would have saved time on tangents. As a non-fundamentalist, I have sympathy for your bias that texts can be questioned and doubted, and also for many of your theological assumptions and conclusions.

But as a member of the Christian tradition, much less being on an evangelical forum, my assumption is that the Biblical text is pivotal for debates about theology, as well as the reality that I am personally interested in the exegetical questions of what Bible authors were actually trying to say.

These two realities in tension lead me to the conclusion that we have often talked past each other. I have contended for what I see as Bible authors POV, but you have been able to challenge those beliefs, partly because you do not feel bound by such texts. But I was never presenting an argument for what is the right belief, only for what the belief of the Bible writers was in a given text.


Amen Brother


That is a great post, though, LLC has a different view of the Biblical Text…

The Idea of being a member of the Christian Tradition, is interesting as this forum has seemed to move from the staunch Judeo-Christian belief to a more open and realistic view of what God has and hasn’t done.

I realize, you invested a lot of time (and maybe money) learning what you did, but there are real different views out there.

Is theology that necessary?

Just a thought.


How you arrive at this conclusion from what I have written, is beyond my understanding.
Jesus WAS NOT teaching anything about who should or should not separate or divorce, or on what conditions divorce is allowed…

What He was teaching, is that if one DOES divorce, then if he remarries he is committing adultery.

Then He gave ONE exception, in which divorcing and remarriage is NOT adultery. That exception is the case where the wife had gotten into prostitution.


The other exception is where an unbeliever “departs” their believing partner, as per…

1Cor 7:15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.


I agree that you and LLC don’t want to get bogged down in exegesis as if the Biblical text was actually pivotal for Christian theology. But when you state that the forum has moved from a Judeo-Christian belief to a more realistic view of what God hasn’t done, I’m curious what you are assuming that He has not done?


Same old cliché. If you don’t believe every word in the Bible is infallible then we can’t trust any of it. Baloney.

Is this the pot calling the kettle black? You wipe out the whole New Testament by your claims that you don’t have to do anything to inherit the kingdom of God, Jesus did it all.

Finally, something we agree upon.:grinning: If one is “dead” in the Spirit, we are free to leave.

No. I’d say not. In fact Jesus says this: " You study the scriptures because in them you think you have eternal life."

I believe they’re trying to tell us the reasons why Israel fell, why men fail and to teach us of the one true God so that we may live and prosper.


It’s got NOTHING to do with infallibility and everything to do with none of your misguided bible interpretation being worth anything… how do we know if_______even said these words? — nah sorry, nothing you peddle can now be taken seriously, as you yourself so woefully demonstrate!

Yep… MORE inept understanding — would love to see some supporting quotes!


Do you think this is another exception in the sense that it if the unbeliever departs, the brother or sister can marry again without that being adultery?


This is often interpreted as an additional grounds (desertion) for divorce, which in Judaism was understood to free one for remarriage. This is sometimes called “Pauline privilege,” was advanced by Chrysostrom in the 300’s, incorporated into Roman Catholic law, and defended by Luther.

But others argue that this text is not addressing divorce, but merely letting a mate go without pursuing them. My own sense, having read many “Four evangelical views of divorce” type books, is that the relevant texts illustrate how hard it is to gain consensus on such topics, and how difficult it is to assure that what we assume is our objective exegesis is not influenced by factors beyond the texts at hand.


Here’s a Wiki article on it:

A Catholic article:

But things could be worse…as today’s Patheos Evangelical newsletter illustrates:


IMO that’s the most probable reading given Paul is quite explicit with his use of <δεδούλωται> dedoulōtai — meaning (NOT) being under restraint or bondage to — which in this case was to marriage; noting again Paul is addressing the mixed union of believer/unbeliever… something NOT germane in Jesus’ earlier teaching 1Cor 7:10; Mt 5:32. Interestingly, this is the Aramaic reading of Jesus…

Mt 5:32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is separated but not divorced, commits adultery.


Your underlining of separated but not divorced is interesting. So are you willing to share further?


Nothing further to add other than noting the interesting distinction the Peshitta makes.