The Preacher's Pen
Can I share a concern with you? Recently I have noted a concerted effort on the part of some to play down the error of the "second putting away position." Briefly stated, this view argues that if Joe and Suzy divorce (without any immorality occurring) as soon as one of them remarries the other is then free to exercise Matthew 19:9, put that spouse away and remarry. The problems with this view are legion. If Joe and Suzy have already put away their marriage what is left to put away when a remarriage occurs? What passage would instruct us in how to do this second, or "mental," putting away? Further, "mental divorce" or the "second putting away" violates the order of Matthew 19. There we are told of marriage, immorality and divorce, not marriage, divorce and then immorality.
My concern is that some who know this view to be dead wrong have seemingly decided to call it a minor issue not worthy of concern. Various rationales have been put forward to justify continuing in fellowship with those who teach a second putting away. Reasons for not labeling such teachers as "false teachers" have been constructed. All of this done, for the most part, by those who have been the most aggressive and determined in rooting out error on Romans 14 and false teaching regarding God's law on divorce and remarriage being for all, Christian and non-Christian alike. Why is it that their determination seems lacking when it comes to the error of "mental divorce?"
I confess I do not understand this at all. The end result of the "second putting away" teaching is people living in sin, living in adultery. That means they will be lost. Is such a minor issue? Is teaching people what will cause them to lose their soul not important? How can some justify their adamant attacks on some teachers of error on divorce while still continuing to protect, uphold and commend another brother who teaches (a different) error on divorce? If error is error why isn't this error being exposed and its proponents clearly labeled and denounced?
Perhaps this matter just hits too close to home for me. When I was a boy I saw the local church divide over this issue. I believed and supported the mental divorce error in that division. Through the writings of a good brother I came to see I was wrong and repented. What if that brother had been silent? What if he had not been courageous enough to identify error for what it is? What if he had swept it under the rug as some appear to be doing now?
'>What characterizes Christians is a willingness to seek the truth, all of it, all the time. Let us be true to our profession that all may come to understand God's truth on marriage - all of it.