Why Do I Commune With Remarried Christians?

I’m a student of the early church. Many people who study the early church take a very strong stand against divorce, even saying that all remarried people are living in adultery.

I don’t take that stand because such an attitude is sinful, wicked, and pharisaical.

I understand wrestling with such a doctrine, but those who stick to it are hard-hearted and separated from the Spirit of God, who is strongly opposed to such an attitude. May God grant them to repent of their bondage to intellectualism and carnality and become open to the love of God that is shed abroad in the hearts of those who follow Christ and are not Pharisees.

Clear enough?

Here’s my argument that the early churches did not have such an attitude, and that those who interpret their writings that way are mistaken …

Why the Early Church Did Not Teach That All Remarriage Was Adultery

We believe that life begins at the new birth. Everything else before that dies, including remarriages.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s clear that the early churches agreed with this. Tertullian (c. A.D. 200), even as a Montanist (see side note) stated:

To one who, before believing, had been loosed from a wife, she will not be counted a second wife who, subsequent to believing, is the first. For it is from believing that our life itself dates its origin.


Montanists were stricter on many issues than the mainline churches.

They were a sect started by a false prophet (Montanus) whose prophecies were rejected by his church as false. Despite appealing to two other churches, who also rejected his teachings, Montanus refused to repent.

Montanists did not allow remarriage after a person was a Christian even for widows and widowers. They based this not on Scripture, but on the further revelation they claimed from the Holy Spirit.

I don’t know how Tertullian could be more clear. To me, the early church advocates to whom I’ve talked are hypocrites, with evil and dishonest hearts choosing to hold to a doctrine that they know the early Christians do not support.

We don’t allow divorce and remarriage after believing with one exception …

We don’t consider a marriage a marriage until the church has given an amen to it. Thus, if a person arrives married to an unbeliever, and then after a time the unbeliever departs because he or she can’t bear the reality of Christ in his or her spouse, then we consider that person never to have been married. (From 1 Cor. 7, of course.)

There’s an interesting set of verses in 1 Cor. 7.

In verse 8, Paul gives instruction to the unmarried and widows. In verse 10, he gives instruction to the married. Then, in verse 12, he gives instruction to the rest.

The rest???

Who is left after the unmarried, widows, and married?

We believe that the rest are those who have unbelieving spouses, whose marriages have not yet been given the amen from the church.

That seems clear enough from the verse itself. He gives instruction to those with unbelieving spouses that they should live with their spouse if the spouse is willing. If not, then the believer is not under bondage.

Seems clear enough to me, and that’s the position Rose Creek Village holds and that we feel God has blessed.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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3 Responses to Why Do I Commune With Remarried Christians?

  1. jeremiahbriggs says:

    Yah is in the heavens and He does what He pleases. BTW He hates unreality more than divorce

  2. John Michael says:

    I had really wondered why we had come to that conclusion. I never asked anyone, but had been brought to remember that the scripture said at one point that God had divorced Isreal, because she had become a harlot. Also, that when coming back to restore Jerusalem, the men who came back were led by God to put away their foreign wives and children (I think because they were drawing their hearts away from God). While loyalty is the rule, and divorce the exception, there are obviously exceptions, even in the scripture.

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