Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 10, 1963
NUMBER 23, PAGE 2,12a

Moyer's Reply To Frost's Review -- (No. 3)

Lloyd Moyer

I asked for the passage or passages which authorizes the contention that the one whose marriage had been destroyed cannot be married again Brother Frost says, "Here it is: 1 Cor. 7:10,11 and Rom. 7:1-3." I have already dealt with Rom. 7. Now let us notice 1 Cor. 7.

He introduces the wrong passage again. I asked about "a person whose marriage had already been destroyed." He uses a passage which deals with persons who "are married." Paul says, "to the married." This passage refers to one who is "bound to a wife." Brother Frost and I agree that those addressed in this passage must remain unmarried or be reconciled. Anything else would be sinful. This is not dealing with a case where fornication has taken place. However, there are some passages which do.

In 1 Cor. 7:27,28 Paul asks "...Art thou loosed from a wife?" The word for loosed (lusis) is defined by Thayer, "a loosing of any bond, as that of marriage ....1 Cor. 2:27." (P. 384) The one "loosed from a wife" is, therefore, one who had been married but had been "loosed," i.e., released from the bond of marriage. Now to this one Paul says, "....if thou marry, thou hast not sinned." (Emp. mine, L. L. M.)

"The Message Of The Theory"

Brother Frost could not meet my arguments, so he "observed the passover" with reference to them and proceeded to tell every one what "the message of the theory" really is. It is always wise, in a debate, if you can't meet the affirmative arguments, to make the affirmative and negative speeches yourself. This is exactly what Gene did. I mentioned the case of two young men: one a moral reprobate, the other honest and sincere. Frost changed this to make the honest, sincere man one who "deceived" a maid into marriage with intent to keep her until he saw another he wanted. He had the man marrying wholly because of "lust." Thus, Frost had to misrepresent my case because it would have been impossible to deal with that which I presented. Frost then argued that the man who committed fornication (habitually) before marriage was "more honourable" than the man who, in ignorance and unbelief, and in honesty and sincerity, married and divorce and remarried. He should have dealt with what I said instead of what I did not say.

Does Paul Advocate Adultery?

Bro. Frost suggests that I have Paul advocating adultery. God forbid!

Now read carefully so you will understand. Paul shows how "every man" can avoid fornication in the way prescribed by Paul. How? "Let every man have his own wife." This is not adultery. Actually, brother Frost is saying that not every man can have his own wife. Consider the case where a man has committed fornication and has been put away by his wife. The wife is free to marry again, and does so. Now is she still the wife of the first man? Brother Frost says the man "remains bound to his marriage vow to forsake all others to keep himself only to this one until death." Gene, where does the Bible teach such? If this woman is still his own wife, why could he not cohabit with her? But you say, "She is not his wife any longer. She is the wife of 'the man whom she married after putting away the first husband." Exactly so! But if she is not the wife of the first man, then he is not her husband and he is not bound to her! If he is not bound to her, he is "loosed" (released from the bond of marriage) and does not sin if he marries again. (1 Cor. 7:27, 28) In saying that this man can avoid fornication by marrying, are we saying he must commit adultery? No. He does not commit adultery when he marries. He does not have to "burn with passion." (1 Cor. 7:9) It is positive misrepresentation to say that I advocate sinning in order to correct a situation. Such is not so. We are not even discussing a case except where fornication has already severed a marriage.

"Profit By Sins?"

No person can ever profit by his sins. To place his soul in jeopardy is anything but profit. Every act of sin is rebellion to the will of God. And I do not believe that any man can presumptuously plan to sin, and with reservation say that, "I will get forgiveness after I have done so." Certainly one cannot mock God! But we are discussing cases where the sin of adultery had already taken place and the marriage is severed. Brother Frost says that if this is true, "There is no law to prevent divorcing!" Yes, the same as there is a law to prevent lying, gambling, dancing, stealing, etc. Anytime any person violates God's law, he sins it seems that some are trying to put words in my mouth and have me saying that "There is nothing wrong with a person divorcing his wife." I do not know how I could make it plainer that such is rebellion to God. We cannot do evil that good may come!

The Crux Of The Matter

It is my conviction that when adultery has taken place, the marriage is no longer what God ordained a marriage to be. The "divine sanction" is no longer upon the marriage. Hence, it may be severed for the contract has been sinfully defiled. The reason for "putting asunder" is present. When the marriage is "put asunder" by God, it is foolish to argue that the "guilty person is still bound to his marriage vow" when the marriage itself is put asunder. There is no half-marriage. Since neither person is bound to the other, both may form other marriages. Adultery is "unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another." If a person has ceased to be "the spouse of another," then it is not adultery when he cohabits with another whom he has married. Now, rather than trying to attribute ulterior motives, say that we encourage sin, promote evil, etc., why not give some serious attention to this, the crux of the matter: Does God have a law whereby a marriage is put asunder? He either does or He does not! If He does, then the marriage is not partially or half-way put asunder. It is severed! To understand God's law, we must not only study Matt. 5:32, 19:9, Rom. 7:1-3, but also what Paul taught in 1 Cor. 7. What Jesus taught plus what the apostle taught equals the whole truth of the matter. We have shown that a marriage may be put asunder when adultery exists. We have shown that those who are "loosed" may be married to another. When all that is taught is considered, we learn that God, the law giver of marriage, also has a law by which He can and does "put asunder" the marriage He once sanctioned.

I certainly do not desire this discussion to degenerate into a wrangle or "debate" of the kind condemned by Paul. (Rom. 1:29; 2 Cor. 12:20) I will not even attempt to deal with all the conjured situations and misapplications of my position. Enough has been written for a thinking person to see the points made by both sides. I will leave it for each person to form his convictions and pray that none will push them to the dividing of the body of Christ. Brethren, let us study, pray, and work for unity. We urge you to give a calm, sincere, open-minded study to this question.

— 41325 Kathlean, Fremont, California