If you’re a regular reader you know that in past Little Lessons, every once in a while, I have addressed what is known as the marriage permanence doctrine.
And this is a doctrine that focuses on a few verses in the New Testament that have lead some to believe and to promote the idea that if you’re married, but you’ve been previously married at any time in the past in your life, you’re in an immoral, adulterous relationship and you should divorce your current spouse. Regardless of how long you’ve been married, regardless of how many children you might have by that spouse.
And if possible, you should go back to your first spouse, because allegedly you’re still married to that person in God’s eyes. And you have no right to remarry until that first spouse is dead because this is a covenant that’s only breakable by death. And it’s easy to understand why some folks would buy into that although it is tragic. And I’ve discussed it at length on several little lessons. I’ve also written extensively about it on this website.
I do think it’s a bit ironic that they label themselves “marriage permanence” when they’re advocating that literally tens of thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Christian couples get divorced because one or both of them were previously married.
Okay, so I’m not going to belabor that point and go into all of the things I’ve said in the past. But I received a question from one of our beloved viewers and thought, “Oh, I’d love to hear how the marriage permanence people would answer this question.” And so here it is, I’m going to read it to you:
“I have a question. I am new in Jesus Christ,” this is a young believer in Jesus Christ. “I was a Muslim,” Okay, well this is a Muslim background believer, “and I became a Christian. I’m living in the Netherlands, it’s another word for what we call Holland. I had several Islamic marriages…” and she then puts four in parentheses so she’s been married four times as a Muslim. “But all those men divorced me for very cheap reasons and since I’m an ex-Muslim, they would kill me and my life was in great danger.”
So what she’s saying is, of course the Quran says that anyone who apostatizes out of Islam, they deserve death and in many countries in the world, that’s carried out. So she’s saying, my life is actually in danger if people discover that I’m a former Muslim and so forth. So she’s doing her best to preserve her life. She said, “After I came to Christ, I married a Christian man.” Whoa, life is looking up now, she’s married to a guy and they both have God as their Father.
Okay now, of course, the marriage permanence folks would say, “In God’s eyes, you’re married to your very first Muslim husband and so therefore, you should divorce your Christian husband and go back to your Muslim husband.” That’s what they have to say to be consistent. God wants you married not to a Christian, but to a Muslim and these marriage permanence people, bless their hearts, they often focus on just an American context, they never think outside the little bubble world of America. That there’s all kinds of people like this who have converted from other faiths, who were married in that other faith, and that the marriage permanence doctrine requires these people to divorce their Christian spouses and go back to unsaved and even Muslim spouses.
She says, “My husband is also an ex-Muslim,” her Christian husband. “And he was divorced with his ex-wife many years ago.” So the marriage permanence people would say, “Oh my goodness, they’re both of course living in an adulterous relationship, they’re both going to go to hell, these two Christians who converted from Islam to Christianity. God’s going to cast them into hell one day, because they’re living in adultery and they should divorce and get out of their Christian marriage and they should both go back if they possibly can and get remarried to the one to whom they’re supposedly married in God’s eyes.”
Now granted there are a number of marriage permanence folks who have a little different variation of marriage permanence in saying that God doesn’t require you to go back to your former marriage but that you should just live in celibacy until your former marriage spouse is dead. So some marriage permanence people wouldn’t say that you’ve got to go back to your former spouse. But many of them would, okay. And of course, they all say, “In God’s eyes, you’re still married,” because that’s the whole premise of their theology. “You’re married until death do you part. It’s a covenant that can only be broken by death and so in God’s eyes, you’re still married.” So of course, if you had the opportunity to go back, you should go back because in God’s eyes, allegedly you’re married to that person.
In fact, if that person’s remarried, you should work to break up their marriage and try to affect a divorce in their lives so you can get back into God’s will, being married to your first partner. And regarding her husband, she said, “He was forced as a young teen to marry a woman against his will and he didn’t even love her,” so this was a forced marriage and she is a Muslim. So again, he’d have to go back to a Muslim woman that he never wanted to be married to.
“Me and my current husband have two kids now.” Listen to me marriage permanence folks, are you honestly going to tell these people to divorce as Christians in front of their two kids whom they’re trying to raise to follow Christ in obedience to Christ? “We’re going to divorce now kids.” Her question and the reason she’s asking this is because the marriage permanence people have obviously spread their influence to her. “Should we get divorced and return to our first husband and wife?”
Well my answer is, absolutely not. And any person who says you should, oh my goodness, there are no words, no words. I guess I do have some words, but I’m trying to be nice. “Remember, we received death threats since we are ex-Muslims. Leaving Islam means death penalty.” Oh my goodness. I think what she’s implying there is if we did divorce and go back to our former spouses, they’d have to kill us because we converted to Christ and we’d have to tell them that. And getting remarried, you’d have to say, “Well I’m a Christian now.” Okay well the Quran says that you should be killed because you apostatized. Marriage permanence people, are you going to tell these Christian people to divorce in front of their two kids? That this viewer should go back four husbands ago to a Muslim? That in God’s eyes, they’re still married?
All right, so I said this is a stumper. God bless you, hope to see you next time.