Unity Graphic

Unity of the Spirit VS Unity in Diversity

Charts (Lesson Six)
Divorce, Remarriage and Fellowship

Introduction to Lesson 6 Charts:
Journey Toward Jesus, Or Journey Away from Jesus

The following quotes from "Journey Toward Jesus" record a journey away from Jesus into sectarianism. These quotes are used in this lesson to illustrate a doctrinal and moral movement away from New Testament Christianity. Nothing reflects this movement away from Jesus and his teaching any more than the rampant divorce and remarriage issue. The events recorded in the exchange between Edward Fudge and Bruce Edwards are indicative of the critical movement typified in the divorce issue. If any lessons may be learned from any journey it should be a resolve not to depart from the old paths, whether it be "Unity in Diversity", or "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage."

A Journey Toward Jesus
16 Letters on Salvation by Grace through Faith, and its Implications for the People of God

Bruce Edwards and Edward Fudge

During part of this correspondence, Bruce Edwards was on the staff of Truth Magazine and Edward Fudge was on the staff of the Gospel Guardian. Both men are now simple Christians, without any institutional connections.


During the more than two decades since these letters were written, both authors have continued to study the Scriptures and to grow in Christ. The Lord has led both men out of the "noninstitutional" Churches of Christ in which they served when this book was first written.

EDWARD FUDGE currently serves as an elder in the Bering Drive Church of Christ in Houston, Texas, where he moved in 1982

BRUCE EDWARDS is Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). He is currently serving as an elder at Bowling Green Covenant Church, a reformed and charismatic, nondenominational fellowship that tries earnestly to fulfill the goals of nonsectarian, apostolic Christianity as envisioned in the StoneCampbell movement, all under the authority of Scripture and the direction of the Holy Spirit.

The Sense of Scripture
Studies in Interpretation
Restoration Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, January 1987

I Saw Jesus' Prayer for Unity Answered
Edward Fudge

This is a special day for Vance for still another reason. He is to be ordained this afternoon into the ministry of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), having preached previously for Churches of Christ....

Vance's ordination service included the reading of Scripture and special music by brothers and sisters from the Baptist, Bible and Episcopal churches, and a Black minister from the Church of God in Christ. At the laying on of hands, Vance kneels, and the elders of the host congregation,the First Christian Church of Crockett, surround him.

The presiding minister then invites the elders and clergy of other denominations present to join the circle. "We believe in the oneness of Christ's Church," he says. Though a small assembly, it is representative of the Christians in this small east Texas town. Along with Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Bible, Episcopal and Catholic representatives, I am thrilled to join the circle as an elder in a Church of Christ. I bring to Vance's continuing ministry the prayers and best wishes of all those of his former association who see this as a continuing step in his pilgrimage to heaven, rather than as a mark of his final departure from the faith.

Epilogue by Bruce Edwards

When I first wrote Edward Fudge in 1973, my new bride, Joan, and I found ourselves ministering to the Church of Christ in a small, rural town in central Missouri. We were fresh from a rigorously conservative Bible college in Florida where non-instrumental, "non-institutional" students like me went to learn to be sound preachers.

My head was in the clouds and my feet were, well, planted firmly in the "Show-Me" Missouri soil. Edward's writings were a cause celebre; I was, even at 21, an ambitious, aspiring preacher-editor-influencer; and, having thoroughly imbibed Mizzou's skeptical spirit, I wanted to explore, then expose the "leaks" in Edward's "grace" doctrine.

My goal in the exchange was hardly to encounter God in a new and dramatic way. But that, in fact, was the result!

The word wrangling, the tortured hypotheses, in short, the relentless interrogation reflected in my letters to Edward in A JOURNEY TOWARD JESUS painfully underscore, a quarter of a century later, that my only means of seeking the truth as a young believer was through dialectic, that is, through socratic inquisition. To say the least, it is a method dependent entirely on the intellect and the appropriation of one narrowly conceived hermeneutic. I had forgotten or never known that God also speaks through the imagination, and through the heart, in a language deeper than propositional discourse or Aristotelian logic, valuable and essential as those "tongues" are to our development as disciples.


God's Plan for Marriage in Creation
(Genesis 2:18-25)

One Man, One Woman, For Life

Divorce not a part of God's intent for man "from the beginning"

Divorce Not Intended "From the Beginning"

One Man, One Woman, For Life

Divorce Never Commanded by God

Once It Began - God Regulated It
Deuteronomy 24:1-4


What the Law of Christ Says
Matthew 5:31-32

The Law:
"Whosoever divorces his wife for any reason causes her to commit adultery..."

The Exception:
"Except fornication."

  1. Divorce for any reason (not for fornication) - he causes her to commit adultery.
  2. Divorce "for fornication" does not cause her to commit adultery - she is already an adulteress. No need to repeat it.

The Law:
"Whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."

No Divorced One ("Put Away Person") Can Remarry!

What the Law of Christ Says
Matthew 19:9

The Law:
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery."

The Exception:
"Except for fornication."

The Law:
"Whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."

What the Law of Christ Says
Mark 10:11-12

The Man

The Law: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her."

The Woman

The Law: "And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

No Exception Clause Given At All

What the Law of Christ Says
Luke 16:18

The Law:
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery."

The Law:
"Whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery."

No Exception Clause Given At All

This agrees with God's law from the beginning: One Man, One Woman, For Life

Beyond This Point
The Law of Christ

Every Passage Must Be Studied to Keep the Context of the Law of Christ (all the NT)

Or Arguments Become:

Thus, To Do What Jesus Said Not To Do!

Apply: Baptism, etc., or Divorce

Spin The Theory Wheel


Receive Ye, Romans 14
Don Patton


Redefine Adultery
Olin Hicks


Win An Unscriptural Mate Every Time!!!

Fornicator Remarry
Darrell Bean, Jack Freeman, L. Williams



Roy Hill, Dabney

Unbeliever Leaves
James D. Bales, Jerry & Don Bassett



Kingdom Law
E.C. Fuqua, Homer Hailey

"Kingdom Law on Divorce Does Not Apply to Aliens"

Aliens under "Moral Law"?

All Under the Law of Christ

If "Kingdom Law" does not apply to the sin of divorce, what other sins are excluded?

Are Aliens Under Gospel?

Question to Floyd Chappelear:

"Are you saying, since a lot of people are outside of Christ they are not under His and His Father's law? Your message has me confused! Please put in plain and very simple words so I may not misunderstand."


"I really don't know how to say it plainer. The alien is not 'under law to Christ.' PERIOD. He is under God's eternal law which is outlined in Romans 1, which includes m/d/r as stated by Christ in Matthew 19.

Floyd Chappelear, sentrymag@pipeline.com (6/2/97)

Why Only MDR?

If God's Law Does Not Apply to Aliens Regarding Divorce and Remarriage, Why Is This the Case Only With This Sin?

Why Is This Sin Any Different Than Others?

1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21

Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, etc.

In The Plan of Salvation, What Part Does Repentance Play Regarding:

Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; Acts 19:18-20
"Change of Mind; Change of Life"


Why Only MDR?

If Baptism Washes Away Past Unscriptural Marriages, Permitting the Guilty to Keep A Spouse that Belongs to Another, Why Is This the Case Only With This Sin?

Why Doesn't Baptism Permit:

Baptism Doesn't Change Sin Into Righteousness!

Guilty, Put-Away Fornicator Remarry in OT & NT?

"Did God permit the put-away fornicator to remarry in Deuteronomy 24? According to what Moses said here, he did."

Darrell Beane tape 5, #92

"In that verse ... Deuteronomy 24:1-4, we have two divorces, two remarriages. Moses permitted it. He didn't tolerate it. God wasn't just tolerating it or regulating people just throwing away their wives for any reason. The reason was indecency or fornication and they were authorized to do that. And Jesus is going to teach exactly the same thing in Matthew 19. Exactly the same thing."

ibid. #96

Guilty, Put-Away Fornicator Remarry in OT & NT? (II)

"Now the contention is that Jesus never said, never gave authority for the guilty party to remarry. Well, I'm going to show you that he did give authority for the guilty party to remarry. And he gave specific authority for the guilty party to remarry."

"Jesus has come now to straighten out God cause he tolerated it in the OT but he doesn't tolerate it in the book of Matthew. That's not true. He's doing exactly the same thing."

Darrell Beane, Tape 5, #101, 122

Did Jesus Come to "Straighten God Out?"

"Jesus has come now to straighten God out cause he tolerated it in the OT but he doesn't tolerate it in the book of Matthew.

Darrell Beane, Tape 5, #122

"Straighten God Out", or Progressive Revelation?

Divorce, Animal Sacrifice, Instrumental Music, Ten Commandments, Sabbath, Law of Moses, Polygamy, Concubines, etc.

Colossians 2:14-16; Hebrews 1:1-2; 8:7-13

What Was 'Uncleanness'?
Deuteronomy 24:1

Not Adultery or Fornication - Deuteronomy 22:22
Guilty to be Put to Death

Not Suspicion of Adultery - Numbers 5:11-31
Did not need witnesses

Not Evidence that Virginity was gone - Deuteronomy 22:13-21

Compare Genesis 42:9,12 "nakedness of land"
Spies look for "weakness" of a land
Wife of Deuteronomy 22 had a "weakness"

Is Matthew 5 & 19 In Old Testament or New Testament?

"Is the book of Matthew in the Old Testament or the New Testament? Now we are accustomed to hearing that Matthew 5 & 19 is New Testament teaching pertaining to Christians. And what I intend to show in this lesson tonight is that such is not the case at all, that Matthew 5 and Matthew 19 are every syllable Old Testament teaching."

Darrell Beane, Tape 6, #020

Are The Gospels a Part of the Old Testament?
(Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

"And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom..." (Matthew 4:23)

Promise of Holy Spirit
John 14:26; 16:13-14; Acts 1:3-5

If So, What About:

John 3:5; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 13 - Kingdom Parables; Matthew 18:13-17; Matthew 28:18-20, etc.

"Teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you."

What Did This Include?

Who is "Bound" in Marriage?

"Here's some not-so-Biblical language. The idea that they are bound to God. Anybody ever hear anybody talk about 'You're bound to God?' Well, I challenge you to find a passage that says that the man and woman are bound to God in marriage. The argument goes like this ... 'There are three sets of handcuffs, not one set. The husband is handcuffed to God, it's the law of God. The wife is handcuffed to God. And the husband and wife are handcuffed to each other.' No, I don't believe there is even one pair of handcuffs...."

Darrell Beane

Who Is "Bound"? - 2

... "Yes, we are bound to obey God whether we are married or not. Everybody is bound to obey God. But there are no handcuffs binding anyone to God in marriage."

Darrell Beane, Transcript, Tape 1, #258

Find A Passage? Romans 7:1-3
Don't Like "Handcuffs?" "Bound" = "deo" (To bind, tie, fasten, put under obligation, Thayer, p. 131).

Marriage Is Not "Handcuffs" Let's Try "Yoking"

"What God hath joined (yoked) together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6).

"Yoking" takes place in the mind of God. The husband and wife are "bound" to each other and under "dominion" to law of God (Romans 7:2-3). One may be married to one but bound to another because of this "yoke."

God Yokes - Forbids Separation (Divorce)
Men Ignore God's Yoke and Attempt Multiple Yokes!

God's Law
"Joins" (Yokes Together)
Matthew 19:4-6








Leave and Cleave et. al.

From Sexual Relations with Another (Romans 7:2-3)

God's Law
"Joins" (Yokes Together)
Matthew 19:4-6

1. Fornication

2. Put Away

3. Released




Yoke Broken

Matthew 19




Leave and Cleave et. al.

From Sexual Relations with Another (Romans 7:2-3)

How Far Does Fellowship Extend?
If we may have Fellowship with Hailey in his error on "The Alien,"

What About (on MDR)

Olin Hicks

Roy Hill

E.C. Fuqua

Don Patton

Darrell Beane

Jack Freeman

Lowell Williams

J.D. Bales

Jerry Bassett

Don Bassett





Social Drinking


R-Rated Movies

The Gate Is Wide Open!

Jesus Never Taught About Mixed Marriages

"And then when it's a Christian and a non-Christian, here's how Paul said, 'I, not the Lord." The Lord didn't teach on it."

Darrell Beane, Tape 7, #454

But this assumes too much & ignores proof!
Matthew 19:3-6

"Not Under Bondage"
(1 Corinthians 7:15)
Two Types of "Bond," Not One

"ou dedoulotai" from "douloo" - to make a slave of, reduce to bondage" - Thayer, 158 (Perfect passive indicative 3rd person, singular)

The believer is not now nor ever was under bondage (slavery) to the unbeliever so as to give up Christ to keep the husband.

"deo" - "to bind" - used in Romans 7:2 and 1 Corinthians 7;39 and refers to marriage. The Christian is "bound" in marriage for life (Romans 7:2-3; Matthew 19:3-9). If not under this "bond" ever, then believer was never married, but see vs. 14!

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Chapter deals with assorted questions which can be learned from Paul's answers.

1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Context (2)
"Now Concerning Virgins..."

Pros and Cons of married life versus singles (vv. 32-35)

"The interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7:25ff is debatable, but the passage is best understood of couples living in a state of permanent but unconsummated betrothal."

F.F. Bruce, "Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free, p. 268

"Are you engaged to a woman? Do not seek a release (i.e., do not break off the engagement). Are you free from a woman (i.e. single)? Then do not seek a woman (as a wife)."

J.K. Elliott, "Paul's Teaching on Marriage in 1 Corinthians, p. 219-225

Darrell Beane on "Loosed" or "Released"

"In 1 Corinthians 7:27, here we have 'Are you bound to a wife, do not seek to be released. If you are released from a wife, do not seek a wife, but if you do marry, you have not sinned."

Darrell Beane, Tape 4, #33

As applied to Guilty Put-Away Fornicator, it contradicts Matthew 19:9; Romans 7:2-3

"Bachelors as well as widowers are included in lelusai."

A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures & Expositor's New Testament

A loose dog may never have been bound!

Current Charges Made Against Us




Call Names

1 Corinthians 1:11
1 Timothy 1:20
2 Timothy 1:15

Religious Jingo

No Opportunity To Reply

1 John - Gnostics;
1 Timothy 4:20 (Demas)

"Watch Them Dogs"


A Sin!

All of Above

Charge A Man With What He Denies

A Sin!


Take Out Of Context

A Sin!

Charge Without Proof

Who Is Calling Names?
Who is Making Unfounded Charges?


If "Jingo-ists" are "political men ...who have raised their own interpretations to the level of the truth,"

Were Faithful Brethren Jingo-ists when they taught:

Are We Jingo-ists when we teach:

How We May Unite On Fellowship Regarding MDR
"Provision for Unity"
Ephesians 4

"Anything which compromises the uniqueness of the 'seven ones' simply cannot be tolerated in the body of Jesus Christ."

"The one faith is the revelation, the doctrine to be believed. Any doctrine which does not rest upon the solid ground of what the Bible teaches, or is contrary to it, violates the uniqueness."

"Since the common worry and illustration of our time is about marriage and divorce, let's preach that. There have been a plurality of views through the years taught by a number of capable brethren on this subject. Because of that fact, the only way that I know to settle that question, whether it be from an aged Christian, an experienced man, a well-intentioned proficient and efficient teacher, the only way that can be decided is to go back to the text and see what it says. The teaching that God will disunite what he has joined on any grounds other than sexual, sexual infidelity is a denial of the uniqueness of what the faith of Jesus Christ teaches on that moral question.

Harry Pickup, Lexington, KY, 7/98

e-mail this author at tmr1@flash.net

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