Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Remarriage has never been an issue

Published:Saturday | November 20, 2021 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam

In 2011 or thereabout, I conducted a public seminar in Kingston, Jamaica, titled ‘Divorce and remarriage – Second thoughts’. It was recorded and is available from my website: www.thechisholmsource.com.

Why did I think it necessary to do this? Well, far too many denominations, in my view, had doctrinal positions on the subject that were not informed by a careful/critical enough reading of the major texts on the subject in the Bible. Quite an arrogant claim you may say and you could be right, but ponder this titbit.

How can any church block remarriage for all divorced members, except for the so-called ‘innocent party’, when the foundational Old Testament text on the subject (Deut. 24) clearly permits an adjudged guilty divorced woman to remarry in the words “she may go and be another man’s wife” (V 2 KJV)? How dare churches tie up divorcees in unbiblical mummy-like wraps and treat them as species of relational lepers, or as having committed an unbiblical unpardonable sin?

CLUELESS TO THE STATE OF SOME MARRIAGES

I think I opened the seminar with the shocker: “I am not shocked or surprised at the rising rate of divorce in Christendom, my surprise is that so many couples stay together. By the way, let’s stop commiserating with people we know who get divorced since we are often clueless about the state of their marriage. If we only knew, some should be congratulated for having the courage to get out!”

It may not be well-known, too, that remarriage was never an issue in Judaism’s history nor in early Christianity. The bone of contention was the reason for the divorce. As day follows night, once you are divorced on biblical grounds, you are free biblically to remarry.

I am consciously courting the condemnation of denominations (including my own Jamaica Baptist Union) when I borrow the words of Jesus (out of context) and say to denominations: “Loose the divorcees from the graveclothes and let them go.”

Ensure that your denominational position lines up with a proper exegesis of scripture!

REV CLINTON CHISHOLM