Third Response from C. Kelly Wilson to Tom Roberts
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Brother Roberts,

Here is a short side-by-side comparison between the position you have taken and what the scriptures say ...

Luke 18:18-30:

  • The context shows that the rich young ruler would not set his love of the Lord above his love of riches.
  • Peter affirmed that he and the other disciples had left all for the Lord. In effect they were saying that, unlike the rich, young ruler, they had set their loyalty and service to Him above all else.
  • The Lord praised those who did as Peter and the disciples had done and promised them, in the end, eternal life.
  • The context establishes that each disciple must leave all to serve the Lord.
  • Neither Peter, nor the other apostles divorced their mates, any more than they abandoned their children, parents, or familial responsibilities. Thus, divorce is not under consideration in this passage.
  • The companion passages (Luke 14:26-27, 33; Matt. 10:37-38; Mk. 10:30) teach the same thing this passage teaches: in order to serve the Lord, you must set your love, loyalty, and service to Him above all else, not divorce your wives, abandon your children and parents, and reject your familial responsibilities.

Comparison:

  • Tom Roberts contends:
    • Peter and other disciples did not leave all.
    • If their wives had hindered them from serving the Lord, they would have had to leave them which would mean divorce them in order to serve God
    • Thus, one divorces their mate, abandons children, parents, and familial responsibility to obey the Lord's instructions in v.29
  • The scripture affirms:
    • The Lord states no condition of hindrance by which you may have to leave all
    • The Lord affirms that one must love Him more than anyone or anything else (Matt. 10:37-39), must hate (comparatively and figuratively speaking) everyone else in comparison to their love for Him (Luke 14:26-27), must forsake all he has (Luke 14:33) to be His disciple, and will only receive the blessed promises, including eternal life, if they emulate the example of Peter and the other disciples and leave all (Luke 18:28-29)
    • The Holy Spirit affirms that Peter and the other disciples had left all
    • Peter and the other disciples, according to the context, didn't divorce their wives, abandon their children, or forsake their other responsibilities and yet the scriptures confirm that they had left all
    • The word left does not include divorce as a definition, in this or any other context, for the sake of the kingdom
    • In order to obey the Lord in this passage one devotes their love and loyalty to the Lord above their loyalty to anything else, including parents, wives, and children.
    • The scriptures do not teach that one divorces their mate, abandons their children and parents and forsake their other responsibilities to serve Him.

Comparison in I Cor. 7:10-15:

  • Tom Roberts contends:
    • The word sin is not used directly and no command to withdraw from this woman is given in the context
    • Thus, the woman in v.10-11 did not violate God's direct prohibition in v.10
    • No sin was committed
    • Paul told them to stay as you are (remain unmarried) since no sin was committed in the first place
  • The scripture affirms:
    • God's direct commands:
      • Don't divorce your husband (v.10)
      • Don't divorce your wife (v.11)
      • Don't divorce your unbelieving mate (v.12-13)
    • If you keep the whole law and offend in one point, you are guilty of all (Js. 2:10).
    • If you commit sin, you commit lawlessness (I Jn. 3:4) or violate God's Law
    • If you fail to abide in the doctrine of Christ, you are not His disciple (Jn. 8:32; Jn. 14:21) and do not have God (II Jn. 9-11)
    • Unless you repent, you will perish (Lk. 13:3, 5).
    • God does not need to state that repentance is necessary in any context, since it is always required (I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:21)
    • To the one who contravened God's instructions in v.10, the Holy Spirit commanded:
      • (let her ) Be reconciled and restore the wrong, in accordance with godly sorrow and a desire to righteously vindicate oneself (II Cor. 7:9-11) or
      • If restoring the marriage is not possible due to conditions beyond her control, (let her) remain unmarried
    • Neither in this passage, nor in any other, does the Spirit state or imply that you can sin and just stay as you are

Comparison of the whole counsel of God on the teaching about divorce:

  • Tom Roberts contends:
    • The Lord's one exception of fornication applies only to divorce and remarriage, not divorce only.
    • No passage of scripture forbids anyone from divorcing their mate, as long as remarriage is not under consideration.
  • The scripture affirms
    • One cannot divorce their wife for any cause (Matt. 19:4-6), in response to the Pharisees' question in Matt. 19:3
    • What God has joined together, do not separate (Matt. 19:6)
    • Under Mosaic Law, men were permitted to divorce their wives because of hard hearts, but from the beginning it (divorce) was not so (Matt. 19:8).
    • Jesus teaching under His Law is if one remarries after divorcing their mate for a cause other than fornication, they commit adultery.
    • The Lord's illustration of adultery shows:
      • The bond remains (Rom. 7:1-2)
      • The one who divorced their mate for a cause other than fornication violated the instruction to not separate what God had joined together (Matt. 19:6)
      • The one who divorced their mate for a cause other than fornication sinned, as illustrated by the adulterous remarriage (Matt. 19:9) and in accordance with the original question asked by the Pharisees in Matt. 19:3
    • If you divorce your mate for a cause other than fornication, you cause her to sin (Matt. 5:32) illustrating the sin committed by the one who unlawfully divorced their mate
    • Only one exception given by the Lord by which one may divorce their mate: fornication (Matt. 19:9; Matt. 5:32), whether remarriage is under consideration or not
    • No authorization is given by God to divorce one's mate for any other reason

These few words illustrate the sharp contrast between what your position is and what the scriptures teach. You used definitions of words that defy the context (i.e. the word left means divorce in Luke 18:29) instead of using the contextual definition (i.e. the word left in Luke 18:29 means to subvert all love and loyalty for anyone and everyone to the Lord). Furthermore, instead of accepting what a passage does teach (i.e. Peter and the other disciples did leave all), you speculated about what a passage may mean (i.e. If Peter's wife had hindered him from serving God, he would have had to divorce her).

I am sorrowful to say that I cannot recognize you as a faithful gospel preacher as long as you hold this doctrine (Rom. 16:17: II Thes. 3:6) because this doctrine is contrary to the doctrine of Christ.

In a bulletin you emailed to several brethren about a week ago, you announced that several useful and profitable public discourses on a number of bible subjects have been conducted to further truth.

Will you be willing to have a public discourse on this subject in a forum that will further truth?

Your brother,

Kelly

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