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Home The Light Articles from 2008 The Alien's Divorce

The Alien's Divorce

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It seems that with an increase in any sin within the church or nation there is a corresponding effort on the part of many to soften or explain away Biblical instructions relative to that sin. It is not uncommon for such efforts to begin with the statement, "We need to restudy our position." With the growing accep­tance of the doctrine of evolution among the intellectuals came the rec­ommendation that we restudy the Gen­esis account of creation. With the in­creased consumption of strong drink we were counseled to re-examine our opposition to social drinking. With the modernist's scholarly writings(?) on discrepancies in the Bible we were urged to restudy our belief in verbal inspiration. With the advent of neo-Pentecostalism in the sixties, some were implored to restudy the subject of the Holy Spirit. With the growing prac­tice of vacation communion assemblies, we were advised we needed to restudy Hebrews 10:25.
With so much divorce creeping into the church, it was inevitable that some­one would insist that we need to "re­study our position on divorce and re­marriage and fellowship." One brother, in lamenting the acceleration in the divorce rate and deterioration of the home, attributed such (at least in part) to our "traditional orthodoxy" on di­vorce and remarriage. He wrote,".. .our code of action has failed to retard the trend..." But murder and rape have also increased. Does it follow that "our code" (the law of the New Testament) has failed? The truth is, many will climb the fence in spite of divine prohibitions. But at least they know where the fence is.
False teachers who want the fences removed only encourage sin. Actually they contribute to the sin and will be held accountable. When the young people among us who have not been well taught of the evils of divorce meet that "special person," it will not matter a great deal that their sweetheart has been married before if all they've known is open fellowship. Fences are a God ordained blessing; "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins" (Rev. 18:4). Certain false brethren, having soft­ened their opposition with the charge of "traditional orthodoxy" and being "opinionated," are now ready to "wrest the scriptures" (2 Pet. 3:16). One such passage which has been wrested in order to sanctify an adulterous relation­ship is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not in­herit the kingdom of God? Be not de­ceived: neither fornicators, nor idola­ters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunk­ards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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."
It is claimed that the above passage teaches that some of the Corinthians were involved in an unscriptural mar­riage, and at baptism were accepted without making any change in that relationship. One writer, in an article entitled, "Ministering to the Divorced" stated, "That first century church faced a world as plagued with divorce as the one we face. The thundering silence on the subject in the book of Acts suggests that the early Christian community did not make it an issue, but just accepted people where they found them." (Emp added)
For proof of the above the writer referred to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. The early church reached people who previ­ously had been fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, thieves, drunk­ards, murderers, etc. This, it is claimed, is a demonstration of God's grace and Christ's love and mercy. This is sup­posed to be "Good News for those whose marital status has been wrecked." If 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 proves that those in an adulterous marriage were accepted when baptized without dis­solving that relationship, it also proves the idolater, when washed, sanctified and justified, did not have to give up worshipping idols. Whatever is said of adulterers is said of the effeminate, abusers of themselves with men (homo­sexuals), the thief, the drunkard, etc. If requiring adulterers to separate is "legalism of the Judaizers" as charged in the article, "Ministering to the Di­vorced," then requiring the homosexual to change would also be legalism.
Bro. M. H. Tucker told of once speaking before the mayor and city council concerning widespread sexual perversion in his city. Present at the meeting to defend such practices were a number of homosexuals, one of whom stated that he belonged to the Gay Church of America and loved God.
If this same sexual pervert had be­longed to the Lord's church by virtue of having been washed, sanctified and justified, would he have to turn from his old life? Would the above men­tioned author say, "The thundering silence on the subject in the book of Acts suggests that the early Christian community didn't make it an issue, but just accepted people where they found them"? How long will it be before brethren begin to write on "Ministering to the Homosexuals"? Is there no "Good News" for those who change "the natural use into that which is against nature... men with men working that which is unseemly" (Rom. 1:26, 27)? Is God a respecter of persons?
The Effeminate
In the text under consideration, what is the meaning of effeminate? In the Greek, the word is malakos and means basically soft. Arndt and Gingrich, in their Greek/English lexicon, point out that in reference to clothes it means soft garments as worn by the fastidious. Matt. 11:8 is cited as an example of this use. Is this the meaning Paul attached to it in 1 Cor. 6:9? Arndt and Gingrich fur­ther say that in reference to people it means soft, especially of catamites, i.e., men and boys who allow themselves to be used homosexually. 1 Corinthians 6:9 is cited as an example of this use.
It is not enough for one to say, "Ef­feminate means soft and 'sissy,' there­fore it is unnecessary for one with these characteristics to change when baptized; and if the effeminate were accepted on baptism so were these in adultery." As used in the text, effeminate means a "male who submits his body to unnatu­ral lewdness." Moulton and Milligan ob­served that in modern Greek, this word still refers to one's perverse sexuality rather than to a mere sissy way of speaking, acting, etc. MacKnight says the name catamite (malakos) was given to men who suffered themselves to be abused by men contrary to nature. It is clear that the effeminate, abusers of themselves with men, fornicators and adulterers are in the same class of things—sexual vices. All must cease their practice.
They Changed
Paul stated, "And such were some of you: but now ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified..." (1 Cor. 6:11). The International Critical Com­mentary correctly says, "The three fold 'but' emphasizes strongly the contrast between their past and the consequent demand which their changed moral condition makes upon them." The Christians in Corinth gave up their old way of life just as the Chris­tians in Rome did. To those in Rome who were baptized into Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:3), Paul said they were to "walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4), and were to "no longer be in bondage to sin" (Rom. 6:6). Those who believe the adulterers in 1 Cor. 6:9-11 were bap­tized without making any change, and who furthermore believe such to be an example of God's grace, need to read Paul's question and answer in Rom. 6:15, "Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." God's grace did not permit the Roman Christians to continue in sin. They changed! So did those in Corinth. Paul said, "And such were some of you," not "such are some of you." There is grace in 1 Cor. 6:9-11 but it is not a kind of grace which allows the adulterer or the homosexual to continue that relationship. It is a grace which teaches; a grace which instructs us to deny "un­godliness and worldly lusts" and to "live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world" (Tit. 2:11-12). To teach otherwise is to wrest the Scriptures to one's own destruction (2 Pet. 3:16). -Adaped
"We must always so preach the gos­pel that those who come to obey it will know that they cannot obey the gospel, cannot be forgiven and saved, unless they repent of their sins. And repentance requires them to get out of any unlawful business in which they are engaged, to quit sinful habits or practices, and to break up any sinful relationship or alignment in which they are bound. This includes unlawful marriages, of course." —Brewer
"The idea that God takes no cognizance of the sinful lives and states (men) enter before becoming Chris­tians, and they are all blotted out and forgotten when baptized, and the per­son ma)' persist in the same course afterwards, is contrary to the truth and most demoralizing. Read 1 Corinthians 7 and see that the marriage between sinners is recognized as sacred...It seems to me this is on a par with saying that a man might steal a fortune before he obeys the gospel. God does not deal with him then, but the civil law. He then obeys the gospel, all his sins are washed away by the blood of Christ, and he is left in possession of his ill-gotten wealth." —Lipscomb
Repentance presupposes law and a violation of that law. It also presup­poses separation from the sin of which one was guilty! "It is doubtful, however, that any true Bible student would affirm that repentance does not involve change of conduct as well as change of mind. It is true that repentance, strictly speaking, cannot be defined accurately as 'a change of conduct,' but rather as "a change of mind' metanoia. But the 'fruit of repentance' is defined exactly in terms of a change of conduct (Luke 3:8-14), and where the fruit does not exist, repentance does not exist." —Woodroof
Brother Roy Deaver received a letter from a man in Nigeria. The letter says in part ".. .and I will be also grateful to you if you will advise me on this matter: I married many wives all with children: there is no possibility of divorce them because of the issue I have with them. What shall I do to solve this problem? Presently I am with six wives and twenty-one children." Here is a man civilly married to six wives. If God has no marriage law for the alien, he is married to none of the women in God's sight-he can marry anyone. On the other hand, if one can remain in a sinful "calling," the brother need not sepa­rate. For our brethren who teach these strange doctrines, here is a real-life dilemma for them to wrestle with. What will they advise the Nigerian?                          ii


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