A convicting insight from a Mennonite gospel tract.

Mennonite Children

An honest evaluation reveals that not all is well today with twenty-first century Christianity. There are trends that should alarm us, even among the so-called fundamentalists. One of these trends needing urgent attention is the loss of holiness—the absence of a Bible-based, God honoring expression in the daily lives of many professing believers in Christ. True Christianity is not just a talk but also a walk, a way of life. . . . But today, mainstream Christianity has exchanged piety for pleasure, conscience for convenience, and modesty for moral looseness. People have taken God’s holy Son and reduced Him to a “popular” Jesus. He is now supposedly the Jesus of the professional athlete, of the country rock singer, and of the seminude beauty contestant. This Jesus supposedly smiles and forgives as unisex, divorce and remarriage, immodest dress (undress), fashion, sports, and the pleasure craze, along with the health-and-wealth gospel, settle into comfortable acceptance in many church circles. Dear friends, this is not the Jesus I know, and this is not the Jesus of the Bible!

- From the Mennonite gospel tract What Happened to Holiness?

11 thoughts on “A convicting insight from a Mennonite gospel tract.

  1. “Dear Friends, this is not the Jesus I know, and this is not the Jesus of the Bible! ”

    You’re right, that’s not the Jesus of the Bible.

    Christians today don’t even know what Jesus said about marriage, divorce and remarriage.

    “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband, commits adultery.” —Jesus Christ
    Luke 16:18

    Marriage is for Life!

    “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.”
    1 Corinthians 7:39

    Marriage = A Covenant Between One Man And One Woman…Until Death

    Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery

    “A husband must not divorce his wife.”
    1 Corinthians 7:11

    “Let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”
    Malachi 2:15

    “Thou shall not commit adultery.”
    Exodus 20:14

    “The man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul.”
    Proverbs 6:32

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

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

  2. The elders of my church hold to the view that the divorce permitted in the Bible applies to the Jewish betrothal period and has no application to marriage as it is practiced today in the west. I am still pondering that, but think it provides a defensible position that does a much better job of presenting the covenant of marriage as God intended.

  3. Search Your Bible,

    Thanks for stopping by to read. I would like to address this issue to yourself as well as with you Manfred.

    Let’s take 1 Corinthians 7 and continue reading verses 12-15.

    “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

    Manfred, the problem I have with the “Jewish betrothal period” view and that it “has no application to marriage as it is practiced today in the west” is that this does not necessarily line up with this particular passage.

    1. The church was not an exclusive conclave of Jewish believers and the Gentile believers would not have been practicing such methods amongst themselves. Thus, Paul’s admonition would not have made much sense to a large portion of the congregation.
    2. Paul also deals in this passage with sexual purity and not defrauding one another in the marriage bed. Intimacy within the bonds of a betrothal were completely forbidden amongst the Jews, and again this would not have made any sense for Paul to speak about divorce if he were speaking about a betrothal period.
    3. To follow up on the previous comment, Paul makes it clear that they are not to “depart” from each other, thus indicating that they are living together.

    However, then we have the problem with the verses presented earlier. I believe that Paul makes several things clear in this passage.

    1. Divorce between two true believers of the Lord Jesus Christ is NEVER acceptable or permitted!
    2. For remarriage to take place after the divorce between two true believers, it would be considered adultery.

    Let me add a caveat though: I do not believe that divorce (a sin equal to all others) will take place between two TRUE believers for they will be brought to contriteness of heart and repentance before God. There can and will be chastisement for those who continue in their sin if they are truly children of God. If there is no chastisement, no repentance, no remorse for sin, no seeking of forgiveness by either or both parties, this is a clear indicator that there was never the life of Christ in them to begin with. A HUGE part of the problem is that many pastors are not really seeking to counsel couples to find out where they truly stand in their relationship with Christ. Then when marriage difficulties arise, the church and most pastors are STILL NOT THERE to hold the couple accountable and bring discipline as necessary!

    Back to our passage:

    3. The believing spouse should remain with an unbelieving spouse for the sake of testimony if at all possible.
    4. If the unbelieving spouse chooses NOT to remain married to their believing spouse, the believing spouse can let them depart!
    5. If the unbelieving spouse is the party that chooses to leave, the believing spouse is NO LONGER UNDER BONDAGE. This is a direct reference to the bonds of the law whereby one is to be married for life and faithful to that person.

    Simply put, if a true believer is seeking to live a life that is based on the Lord Jesus Christ and the unbelieving spouse says “I can’t or don’t want to live with you or stay married any more to you”, the believing spouse should try to remain reconciled and live out a testimony of grace. But if that unbelieving spouse departs, then the remaining individual before God is to let them depart and would not be in bondage to the vows of covenant marriage. This would have to be a situation that would be through no fault of their own. If the believing spouse is not a living, vibrant testimony of a work of grace in the heart, there would be questions as to what fault they would have to assume on their own.

    To conclude for now, I believe that a true believer who has their unbelieving spouse depart is then free to marry a true believer if the Lord were to bring somebody into their lives.

    The Desert Pastor

  4. DP,

    Many thanks for your commentary and analysis of the passage from 1 Corinthians. As I said, I am still pondering this topic and you have helped me out!

    Warm regards from the swamp known as Houston.

  5. You are welcome Manfred. I would love to visit with your church and elders, but I am afraid that swamp living would be detrimental to my health! They say it is hard learning to breath as though you were under water with all that humidity and I have not yet evolved a good set of gills! LOL I much prefer the dry air of the high desert! – TDP

  6. DP – thanks for the laugh! My wife loves the heat and humidity down here, proving that there’s no accounting for personal preference. It’s a very harsh environment for houses – much more demanding that when we lived in Corinth, Texas (north of Dallas). I do like the year-round motorcycle riding, however :-)

    One good of the Internet is proclaiming Truth. Press on!

  7. The subject of an unbelieving spouse is one that I am all too familiar with, and is actually part of my testimony. Not to clog the combox too full, but…

    My ex-wife and I met in January 1988 in, of all places, a bar in Rochester NY. Spent the next 13 years drinking, partying, &c. Fast forward to May 2001, when God gets me alone one night and drives me to my knees in repentance. This began a three-year ordeal wherein she left and came back three times and tried every way possible to drag me back into the muck of sin, and ended with her divorcing me in 2004 (irony alert: my first date with my new wife was a year and a day after the divorce). I would be interested to know how many divorces in the church happen because one spouse gets saved and the other wants nothing to do with God.

    If anybody is reading this, who is going through the same thing, I would highly recommend the book by Lee and Leslie Strobel, Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage.

  8. Jeff says:

    Jesus relinquished a woman/man from marriage if the other committed Adultary. “From death do us part” could be taken hear because the Bible states (sorry, don’t know the exact verse) that the act of adultary causes that person to be dead or causes death, (sin is death).

    The above isn’t a statement, it is really a question asking for your thoughts on this.

    Thank you

  9. pat miaoulis says:

    the passage you speak of in corinthians i would like to comment….

    in verse 10 paul says yet not i but the Lord ……..
    in verse 12 he reverses and says but to the rest i not the lord….

    clearly he is saying something not from the lord but his thoughts…..i for one am surely going to follow the teachings of Christ and his word……BUT lets truly see why and what paul is saying……paul states if an unbeliever wants to leave let them go..[sounds like the dad in the prodigal son, yet he was still his son]…..so paul says stop fighting let them go……we arent bound to stay in the same house and argue and fight, etc…. let them go and serve the Lord….being bound to stay living together is what pauls is saying.let them go……but he neveres says we are free to remarry……he says we arent bound to provide,support, etc….they may come back and be repentful….the way some explain it totally eradicates verse 10 and 11…….but 11 says she is to remain unmarried or return to her spouse…..not to many follow that teaching now do they……the believer is to live in peace, let them go, remain faithful to ones vows, and be the example and make available the ministry of reconciliation and grace and love…….the unbeliever has issues and doesnt know better[yet]…..so the believer must live according to the word……a marriage covenant cant be broken as far as husband and wife till death…..period….but we cant force someone to stay, but we control our actions and that is to be obedient…….

    there is no verse in scripture that says anyone can remarry until death……but reconciliation or remain single…….those are the only options……..PERIOD…… why do we as man, with our hardened hearts think we caan make exceptions…….jesus said it was not that way in the beginning and he never not once says God is the author of any divorce…..God detest it!!! and we should too…..but if divorce happens….we can reconcile,remain single, or wait till the death of either spouse…….thats what it says!!!

    other scripture supports this and calls any marriage outside of ones first husband and wife……unless one is dead…..adultry….what part of thou shall not do we not get…..it is time for the church to stop making excuses is it not….most pastors i know will not marry someone who is divorced…..how many times have you ever heard counceling to a newly wed couple that a marriage is not a lifelong covenant? i never have!!! see we have a simblance of being holy yet we refuse to follow all the word!!!!

    the word also warns us not to marry an unbeliever…..so if we do and they leave we have consequences for our previous disobedience and cant blame anyone but ourselves…….

    my fellow believers…..this is truth…..twisting scripture is not what i ahve done.yet all they teach remarriage is ok and blessed has twisted or avoided the truth given to us…..

    paul cant override what Christ says and i dont feel he does, yet some twist it to appear he does ……..where we may have to allow a divorce we arent bound to stay in a marriage if a non beleiever wants out…….but the two are still one…..only death can stop that…..we must follow our vows and remain single and pray our lost spouse repents and returns to christ and their only God given marriage…..

    funny, no where do i find the word step dad or mom.step sister…….nothing …….so who invented those words…..MAN WITH OUR HARDENED HEARTS! the word says any marriage other than the first marriage is what again….adultry!! and even though believers commit this sin……a true believer will repent and confess there sin one to another[in other words to the one that we sinned against and ask forgiveness]….

    i am no pastor so please will a pastor please take up this truth and preach and teach it to the ends of the earth…..the narrow road! love in Christ…….

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