Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Steve Camp: DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21st: STEVE CAMP

MP3 available here

STEVE CAMP, award winning Christian recording artist & composer, apologist, conference speaker, controversial Christian blogger, former Minister of Music under Dr. John MacArthur at Grace Community Church in San Fernando Valley, CA and founder & director of AudienceOne Ministries will address "DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH".

This is a very controversial and highly debated subject within the church, even within the same denominations and congregations amongst the most conservative, Reformed and Fundamentalist Christians. Steve Camp, who himself experienced the agony of a painful divorce, against his will to the end, believes there are *some* cases when Christians may, in good conscience and without violating Scripture, remarry after a divorce. We invite calls from those who disagree with Steve's position, as well as from those who agree with him, and from those who are not certain either way, who wish to participate in the broadcast.

Listen to this broadcast

(Steve Camp began discussing this topic last week on the August 15, ISI show. Listen to that broadcast here)

11 comments:

Churchmouse said...

Okay Jim, now I'm confused. It looks like a new blog, smells like a new blog, it even spoke to me and said "I am a new blog." I guess it's a new blog :) It is a Godsend considering that I missed the one on Eastern Orthodoxy two Mondays ago and was kicking myself over it. Well, I'm going to load that one on my iPod and plan to listen to it just as soon as I find out about the marvelous health benefits of CocoPure.

Peace,
Ray

Search Your Bible said...

MARRIAGE = A COVENANT BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN…UNTIL DEATH

Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery

http://www.cadz.net/remarriage.html

http://www.marriagedivorce.com/mdreform2.htm

N. said...

"Love's not a feeling,
oh, we've got to learn
To get past our emotions
To the meaning of the word.

"Love's not a feeling
We can lose or throw away,
Lord, give us the courage
To live it every day...."

My husband and I had the preceding Steve Camp song performed at our wedding twelve years ago; and were very surprised and saddened to learn of this. I don't think the relevant spiritual issues were examined very thoroughly during the podcast -- too much "CocoPure" and not enough program discussion... Where's the "beef"? (Heb. 5).

Dan said...

Divorce and marriage is a difficult issue, and most pastors struggle to know how to deal with it scripturally, faithfully, lovingly.

For some, it is as simple as saying Steve's first wife divorced him. If she was unfaithful, then Jesus' exception clause for adultery cinches it. He can divorce and remarry. Furthermore, he didn't divorce his wife. She divorced him. By the way, I'm in the same situation as Steve, a man who was faithful in marriage and did not approve of the divorce.

Some betrothal theorists jump in and claim the exception was not for adultery, but it was for fornication during the one year betrothal period prior to consummation of the marriage. John D Keller wrote an in-depth study on the history of the exception clause claiming it was always understood to mean "fornication" and not adultery by the old church fathers until the time of Erasmus who some say altered translations for the sake of mercy or compromise. It would seem they believe we should stand for our first marriages and pray to bring our first spouses to repentance.

I don't expect either Steve or I will obtain their approval given that we both remarried. Some would say repentance for us would mean repenting, giving up our second wives, and praying for our first wives. Others would say we had already committed the sin and are now in our second marriages and are bound to them, but we should repent.

I have a hard time swallowing that theory given other scriptures seem to fly in the face of the betrothal theory--Deut. 24:1-4 for example. And the best argument I seem to be able to get against that is that it is the old testament and therefore no longer applies. Still, whatever laws change, God's principles behind them remain.

I feel in my own second marriage, God was central. I believe He brought us together and seemed to move heaven and earth to make it happen. Impossible obstacles were moved away as if they were nothing. As we were seeking God regarding this marriage, Eileen had the song, "With all That I Am" stuck in her mind, but she told nobody. As our pastor drove to the church, he felt called to add that song to our wedding song list, and Eileen was surprised to find the song show up in our wedding. My ex held back my daughter from being our bridesmaid, though my mother made a train trip to pick her up just to be stood up by my ex. But, when I spoke to my daughter about the song, she was shocked because she was just practicing the same song at her church. She said she felt she was still part of our wedding anyway. When we wanted to meet in Adelaide to visit with Eileen and her sister, I did not have a passport and because of 9/11, passports took a long time to obtain. I stumbled across an article that talked about expeditors and I had my passport in about 2 or 3 days. The plane tickets were cheap.

Her brother in law was not sure whether our marriage was allowed scripturally and he apologized saying he might not be able to come to our wedding with his family. But, as he prayed and searched the scripture studying it in depth, he came to believe as I do that it was OK for us to remarry. And not only did he show up, but he gave away Eileen to me since Eileen's father had passed away a few years before. And his daughter and Eileen's nephew were our flower girl and ring bearer.

Our families and our church approved heartily, and we have ministered side by side in the children's ministries, new believer's training, and providing several months of evangelism training in our church.

And as churches go, our church is one of the most strict regarding repentance, faithfulness, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Anyway, that was long, but I hope it was helpful.

Michael Johnson said...

This kind of insanity makes people fear anything involving church .this is unreasonable unrealistic when divorce rate is 70+%.makes me thank God I'm a liberal at least within. Those borders you still find Jesus. Of the gospels .nerver forget who he called sons of the devil ...the holiest people of the day. And would rather take company with a prostitute ...

hildafunk said...

you scour every site that talks about divorce so you can proudly proclaim the truth and point your finger at those dirty remarriers! Never once have i seen you offer any hope to the hurting...you should be ashamed at youreelf. I like it how you call yourself "search your Bible" as if those who didnt hold.your view hadnt actually ever searched thier bibles. Graceless, mericless and Christless!

hildafunk said...

sorry..that was directed at "search your bible"

Steve Roberts said...

God HATES divorce, don't find the word "Hate" linked to God often within scripture, but divorce strikes at the very image of the most Holy Trinity.
With that said, there are allowable occasions for remarriage. I do not claim to be an authority, but I speak on what I know of the Church and tradition. All the more reason there needs to be a governing body deciding on these matters, but ultimately it is God's knowledge of our hearts and the truth which will be the final judge.
I was granted an annulment by my church. The church which granted it, granted on the basis there was no sacrament/covenant bond to begin with. It could not have been a valid covenant because the woman I was married to had a mental and emotional illness. She divorced me, as I was willing to live with the illness, as it worsened through her postpartum depression. It saddens me to see Steve Camp & Amy Grant go through a divorce and remarriage, given they were both instrumental in my spiritual growth in my early walk with the Lord.
I leave the judgement of Steve Camp to God, not me! He deserves mercy and love, not condemnation.
Keep in mind your measure of judgement is used to measure you on judgement day.
Meanwhile, pray for marriage, pray for Steve Camp, Amy Grant, and many others who are torn apart by divorce.

Jasmina Beaty said...

Hope for the hurting is offered! Truth, edification, and a reminder of many scriptures that clearly call all remarriages adultery if the first spouse is still living...unconditional love, unmerited grace, and undeserved mercy is what God's love is all about and rather than causing discord, revenge, and bitterness all Christians should set aside their assumptions that God is partial based on individuals' circumstances and foolishly thinking that he's more concerned with the feelings of happiness, ALL should remember that he's more concerned with our faith and obedience in and to Him. holiness is always what we are to pursue. Not being lukewarm and catering to worldly matters. We all have sinned in many ways, can you imagine if He was unforgiving, lukewarm, hateful, unloving towards us when we didn't even know we needed Him or when we came to Him with an upright heart that had godly sorrow and begged for forgiveness? Luckily, God is faithful, He hears...He hears and knows every idle word that is spoken. He knows and judges the hearts of all men. How on earth could anyone even believe in exception clauses? Unless they indeed have no knowledge of Christ's ministry?

Jonathan Bubar said...

Paul addresses this issue pretty clearly. If both are believers, then it is forever. If one is an unbeliever and they want to leave, let them go and you are free to marry a believer only. If you both profess to be believers, then they should work things out regardless of how long it takes. They are to practice biblical repentance and forgiveness without boundaries. If one of the professing believers initiates a divorce, then you are to follow Matthew 18. If the abandoning party defies the elders, they are to be treated as an unbeliever, thus the one who is abandon but held to their covenant commitment should let the presumed unbeliever go and they are free. Some would argue that they aren't free to remarry until the one who leaves remarries and I can see the case for that, but Paul (who may have been divorced himself) addressed the complexities of dealing with marriage, divorce and remarriage in a fallen world. Clearly, divorce was not conceived in the mind of God. It's man's sinful doing (because of the hardness of his heart), and I don't believe that a true believer and follower of Jesus would initiate divorce unless they feared for their life. The complication that comes is when the state issues and defines marriage. It creates circumstances that aren't as cut and dried as we would like them to be. In a fallen world, sometimes we have to do the best we can with a broken situation. Grace and peace.

Shawn Bryan said...

Addressing Paul's command regarding a non-believing spouse who chooses to leave.

The English word "enslaved" in 1 Cor. 7:15 is the Greek word "douloo" (Strong's #1402), which is a perfect tense verb, meaning the brother or sister "has not been enslaved and is not now enslaved". Clearly, this cannot be referring to the covenantal marriage bond, or else what Paul would be saying is that "a brother or sister has not been married in such matters". This, of course, would directly conflict with what Paul just finished saying about commanding them to remain married. If they have not been married all along, then they have been whoring. Are we now to believe that Paul is sanctioning whoring for Believers?

The Greek word "douloo" means "to enslave, to be a slave, to make a slave of, be subject to, serve and obey" and is NEVER used in relation to the covenantal bond of marriage. When Paul speaks of the binding character of marriage, he uses the Greek word "deo", not "douloo".
1210. deo, deh'-o; a prim. verb; to bind (in various applications, lit. or fig.):- bind, be in bonds, knit, tie, wind. See also 1163, 1189.

1402. douloo, doo-lo-o; from 1401; to enslave (lit. or fig.):- bring into (be under) bondage, x given, become (make) servant.
We can see some examples of Paul's usage of this word "douloo" throughout the Messianic Scriptures. It is consistently used in the context of slavery and submission.
"And having been set free from sin, you became DOULOO (servants) of righteousness." (Romans 6:18, The Scriptures)

"For though I am free from all, I made myself a DOULOO (servant) to all, in order to win more," (1 Corinthians 9:19, The Scriptures)

"So we also, when we were children, were under the elementary matters of the world, being DOULOO (enslaved)." (Galatians 4:3, The Scriptures)
Paul isn't saying that they were never really married! He is simply stating that the Believer has never been in a servile position to the unbeliever. The believing brother or sister was never subject to maintain the marriage against the will of their unbelieving spouse. The meaning of Paul's words are stated in the very next sentences: "But Elohim has called us to peace". The Believer should not dispute or interfere with the separation. Rather, he or she should let the unbeliever separate in as peaceful a way as possible, not creating unnecessary disturbances.

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