By Ken Blue
“And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mark 10:11-12.
Since this verse is the final answer on the matter of divorce and remarriage for most pastors, it might be a good time to check and see if their actions match their theology. If you believe these verses settle the matter, then the conclusion is simple.
One question we should ask first; if a couple is “shacking up” would you let them become members of your church. My guess is that 90% will answer no, and we agree with that decision.
However, if a married couple seeks membership and either one of them was previously married would you let them become members? If you take the Mark 10 position, how do you justify their membership? Doesn’t the text make it clear that they are living in adultery? Does the second marriage license remove their adultery status? What if they claim they were saved after the second marriage, does that settle the matter? There are Christians who deserve to know your answer to the question.
Another way some skirt the issue is to allow the remarried membership, but withhold certain privileges from them. You will hear pastors’ say, “We let them join, but they can’t teach, lead, or hold any office.” Of course you will let them serve as janitors, bring in new members, and tithe. Have you forgotten that you believe these have two spouses, and are living in adultery? Something is rotten in Denmark!
If you really believe they are living in adultery, how do you justify their membership? You cannot. If you allow them membership, how can you justify making them second-rate and inferior members? It looks like you have allowed tradition and faulty hermeneutics to paint you into the proverbial corner, and play the hypocrite.
I have a pastor friend who will not allow the remarried to join his church. He has about ten members. I completely disagree with his understanding of this issue, but he is true to his convictions, and we must respect him for that. Are you really true to yours?
Finally, let me throw a stink-bomb in the whole mess. The four gospels are not church epistles, and they deal with doctrines concerning the Jews, and their Kingdom ministry. The only place to find church doctrine on this subject is in the Church Epistles. These are Romans through Philemon. Pastors have taken a position on this subject that makes them appear foolish when they try to justify why they let remarried couples join their church. Shame on you, pastor.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.