From the Early Church to Modern Corruption - Find Out what the Early Church Originally Taught about Divorce and Remarriage
Recompiled as an appendix 1/30/10; Revised 2/10/10; 2/15-2/17/10; 9/10/10; 9/3/12
This part of this book has no particular interest at all of drawing dogmas and strong conclusions about absolute truth by reading the writings of men who did not even claim to be writing Scripture. The Bible itself does a completely amazing and exquisite job of this all on its own without any aid. But we have years of catholic and protestant distortions clouding our eyes, stacking up countless indoctrinations that are opposed to the ordinances God originally gave to His Church. At one time His Church faithfully kept these Words, but now they are all but lost in the confusion of multiple excuses worked by deceptive men, and we are almost entirely their disciples this day so that we cannot see God’s clear commands, even if they were plainly held up to us as a hand in front of our face. But a simple and honest look at history will easily incriminate the guilty.
With a soft heart, may we repent of the discipleship we have received from men who have opposed the truth so that we can be unhindered from clearly hearing God’s Words, and simply obey Jesus as those faithful Church leaders in the earliest centuries did.
As a side note, I have gone to great lengths to be historically accurate, and because of this I eagerly welcome any corrections or notations that I may have missed.
During the first five centuries of Christianity, the modern concept of divorce followed by remarriage was unheard of…
In the early church, many voices addressed the subjects of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, but their message, on the whole, was quite unified. Christian marriage, they said, is an indissoluble bond. Divorce, with the implicit right of remarriage, was not an option for Christian couples… Remarriage after separation was considered punishable adultery or bigamy…
Of all the early recognized Church Fathers who ever wrote, all who were written about, every discussion and every debate, in thousands of surviving documents over hundreds of years, there is not a single dissenting voice on the essential core doctrines of marriage, divorce and remarriage. Each taught the same doctrine, each held the same opinion and each enforced the same morals standards…
This divorce and remarriage teaching, which the modern church of today has clearly forsaken, was a direct result of what the leaders of the early church simply believed when they received the letters that we now call the New Testament, on top of what the Apostles personally taught the earliest of them. Especially compared to us today, their eyes were unhindered by contemporary views of “morality,” by Catholic and Protestant agendas, or even by the limitations of the language barrier to the original texts, and for the earliest of them, their hearts were reinforced by the personal testimony of the Apostles themselves or else those who had known the Apostles.
All who led the early Church were certainly not perfect or unanimous in all of their other doctrines, and in this area the heretics would not even allow remarriage after widowhood, but for all practicality, amazingly, from saint to heretic they were essentially unanimous about divorce and remarriage within the early centuries of the church. Basically everyone teaching in the church agreed that remarriage after divorce was adultery, and would condemn a person if maintained. Forsaking an adulterous remarriage was the only option for being counted repentant, saved, and eligible to be admitted into the fellowship of the Church. It was consistently like this within original Christianity until drastic corruption set in.
Here are a few names of the more influential early Church leaders and teachers who all taught this hard core teaching:
Justin Martyr (100–165 A.D.), Irenaeus (~ 130–200 A.D.), Athenagoras (around 133-190), Clement of Alexandria (around 150–215 A.D.), Tertullian (around 160–230 AD), Origen (around 185–255 A.D.).
These, and many more leaders all unanimously and specifically taught that divorce and remarriage for any reason at all is adultery and continues to be so until the second marriage is terminated. Some of their quotes are referenced throughout the main body of this teaching.
There are so many more in history who said these same things, but the most meaningful are those who wrote before 325 AD (as seen above) since this was before the major corruption of the Council of Nicaea when the church took its first major, official steps into mixing with the pagan government. These earlier writers are called “The Ante-Nicene Fathers” (that is, leaders “before Nicaea”) by most people, and it is through the earliest of them and their testimony that we have the New Testament confirmed to us today. But this teaching was so universal, that even works as bad as the Shepherd of Hermas (about 90 A.D.) taught that remarriage was adultery. Even though he falsely claimed the inspiration of visions, and wrote lustful content especially toward the end, he still knew and taught that the marriage covenant was permanent.
So from the greatest and earliest saint even to the heretic, teachers and leaders within the early Church knew that the marriage covenant was permanent, and that remarriage meant living in adultery.
We have said that “It was consistently like this within original Christianity, until drastic corruption set in,” and some of the first faint but significant signs of this corruption can be seen in a few later leaders such as Origen (before Nicaea) and even more so in Augustine (after Nicaea). Were there exceptions to this extreme teaching on marriage? As a whole there was not, but these few wavered, and through watching and considering their life and example we can see in many areas of truth (not just on marriage), what “small” breaches in integrity can do so quickly to ruin a man’s entire life before God.
We should take some hints from the fact that overall lawlessness and disturbing compromise against truth, happened long before anyone even wavered a little on standing up for marriage, and this speaks volumes about the solidity of their concepts of marriage and the potent effects of corruption.
“Origen Adamantius of Alexandria” was a latter Pre-Nicene church leader in Alexandria, (185–255 AD) and wavered some in sympathizing with the permissiveness of some that allowed remarriage after divorce, but he himself, even though he was a heretic in his Universalist philosophies, taught the life-long permanence of the marriage covenant, and the adultery of divorce and remarriage.
A Universalist is one who teaches that everyone eventually goes to heaven, much like Unitarians, and Origen was discipled into this heresy by his teacher, Clement of Alexandria. Their theology is often called, “Universal Redemption” or “Final Restoration.” Origin was a influential and brilliant writer, and if it were not for the unprecedented ideas that he repeated and through out to the Church, we may never have had Unitarian religions mimicking churches today.
Origin was so bad in his Universalist heresy, that even the Catholic church ended up anathematizing him (that is, basically ‘retroactive excommunication’ in this case) in their Fifth Ecumenical Council. They likewise condemned anyone who did not also reject him, his teachings and his writings.
Origin is described even by those who sympathized with him in this way:
“Many of his teachings reflect brilliant spiritual insights. On the other hand, some of his teachings exhibit strained or unsound theological speculation, (“Who's Who in the Ante-Nicene Fathers” from “A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs” by David W. Bercot)”
And I would be faithful to say that (at least in many points) he was too brilliant for his own good. As it has been said of others: his brilliance empowered his insanity with convincing potency.
When it comes to those who try to misuse Origin to indicate that the early Church had exceptions to her strict stance on divorce and remarriage, there are several things that we need to consider:
First, it is foolish to be persuaded about the issue of divorce and remarriage primarily based on the early church when we have a Bible that already makes the same definite assertions. We should have first believed it, and then looked into history.
Second, if we are still going to be persuaded by Church history, then let us know that Origen is representative of those who erred in history, not as one who “faithfully passed along the traditions of the Apostles” as others did. So Origen is not a good example to start with when it comes to representing the “Early Church.” This is clear for anyone who has understanding and reads his writings.
Third, let us keep in mind that Origen was not one of the earliest church leaders relative to the rest. He lived from 185 to 255 A.D.
But nonetheless Origen did make a wavering statement, and you may be disappointed in those who misuse it when you see the actual statement, because it does not indicate anything near what the liberals imply. Origen’s wavering statement about remarriage was as follows:
But now contrary to what was written, some even of the rulers of the church have permitted a woman to marry, even when her husband was living, doing contrary to what was written, where it is said, "A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth," and "So then if while her husband liveth, she shall be joined to another man she shall be called an adulteress," not indeed altogether without reason, for it is probable this concession was permitted in comparison with worse things, contrary to what was from the beginning ordained by law, and written.
Would you believe that anyone would dare try to use this quote to say that the Early Church supported certain exceptions to their teaching? But sadly, people do try to distort Origen in this very way!
In this section Origen somewhat sympathizes with those involved in a scandal of their day, but would you yield to sympathies that were based on admitting that it was “contrary to what was written”? If you hate Jesus maybe so. But isn't it noteworthy that even in slightly wavering this way, Origen still mentions that it is “contrary” to Scripture? Even the tone of this quote tells us that this is a highly unusual occurrence when he says, “a woman.” How does that compare to our churches today that are filled with divorced and remarried couples? But despite this scandal, Origen himself still taught the permanency of the marriage covenant along with all the other church leaders, even from within this very same paragraph that was quoted above:
But as a woman is an adulteress, even though she seem to be married to a man, while the former husband is still living, so also the man who seems to marry her who has been put away, does not so much marry her as commit adultery with her according to the declaration of our Saviour.
Origen teaches the permanence of the marriage covenant like this numerous times throughout this book, surrounding the area of his notorious “wavering statement.” Compared to us and the crimes we are used to today, this is not much of a wavering statement after all!
So we can see that even the heretic Origen knew that the marriage covenant was permanent.
You can read more specifically about all of Origen’s heresies in the Appendix entitled, “Extra Notes on Church History”.
Augustine of Hippo is commonly (but inaccurately) known as “Saint Augustine” or “St. Austin,” and was one of the first major mile-stones of corruption in the area of marriage.
Many years after the overall corruption problems that were christened in Nicaea (325 A.D.), Augustine (354–430 A.D.) pioneered away from the primitive faith in many ways, and he did this against marriage by teaching that christian marriage was a Sacrament of the church, and he effectively contrasted this with “natural” marriages that were not performed by the church.
The “Sacraments,” are basically what Protestants call the “Ordinances of the church,” which Biblically speaking, are the deep spiritual traditions or practices that the church has been commanded to keep. This includes things like Communion (also called “The Eucharist” by liturgical churches), Baptism, and any other practice like this that the Bible commands followers of Jesus to keep and observe. They are essential practices of corporate, Biblical faith, and the countless varieties of attempts at keeping them have in many ways defined every version of christianity, whether in truth or in falsehood. But Jesus’ Church alone has the right and obligation to keep these things.
But instead of practicing Biblical sacraments, Augustine used their potency to invent and promote the theory of “Sacramental Marriages.” Augustine distorted the concept of marriage as if it were a matter given to the church to perform and govern. If the church did not perform the marriage, then Catholics came to categorize it as a “natural” marriage, and this ended up meaning that it could theoretically be dissolved in cases such as if one of the spouses lacked baptism (or “sprinkling”). Augustine is the primary church leader in history to propose that marriage can be, or declared to be, valid or invalid, annulled or dissolved, based on the authority and definition of the church. This is eventually where we get the idea that a couple “is more blessed” or is a “match made in Heaven” or has a “Holy Marriage” if they are wedded in a church building.
Augustine could be called one of, if not the most, influential church leaders in catholic doctrine, and because of this, his ideas have stuck throughout the centuries. Because of this, the text of one of the main American catholic bibles called “The New American Bible,” reads like this, “…Whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery,” (Mat_19:9 NAB; and similarly so in Mat_5:32). The four underlined words are a miss-representation of 1 Greek word properly translated as “fornication.” The NAB reads as such not at all because the original Greek word (porneia) that is used in Matthew 5 and 19 means, “unless the marriage is unlawful,” but rather to forcibly reconcile the Scriptures unto Augustine’s creative departure from the Words of Jesus. How even the translators managed to sear their conscience enough to justify this in their own eyes is beyond me. Further implications of this Greek word and the verses that use it are covered in chapter four, entitled, “The Exception Clause.”
Augustine, however, was apparently not as dogmatic with these ideas as those who followed afterward, and they did not take full and final ground in the church until some years before the Catholic Church officialized them, especially in 1563 in the Council of Trent, as a strong reaction against the Reformation, known as the “Counter-Reformation.”
Augustine laid the foundation of violating Scripture to allow for divorce and remarriage in limited cases, which eventually resulted in a full blown list in the Catholic church of excuses that could theoretically allow people to divorce and remarry, such as the so called “Petrine and Pauline Privileges,” which are mostly covered in chapter five, under the point entitled, “A Pauline Exception.”
These horrible compromises and many others are described and promoted by “The Catholic Encyclopedia”:
“Divorce (in Moral Theology)” – www.newadvent.org/cathen/05054c.htm
As we can see later, the reformers took Augustine’s teaching even further than the Catholics in actually permitting and even promoting divorce and remarriage. But despite Augustine’s compromises:
“He opposed those who wanted to allow marriage of the innocent party in cases of adultery and made the indissolubility of Christian marriage, even after adultery, the standard of the Western church.”
The following quote is only one out of a number of other equally clear quotes that he wrote on this issue:
“No one is so unreasonable to say that a man who marries a woman whose husband has dismissed her because of fornication is not an adulterer, while maintaining that a man who marries a woman dismissed without the ground of fornication is an adulterer. Both of these men are guilty of adultery, (Adulterous Marriages 1:9:9).”
Can you see that even those who compromised in history were zealous for the permanency of marriage compared to today? Even Augustine opposed the liberal excuses we use today to justify divorce and remarriage.
From all of this I hope you will notice, especially in the early Church before the council of Nicaea (325 A.D.), that there was impressive universal agreement in the early Church about divorce and remarriage. The only ones who really wavered at all on this issue among the Church were the heretics, and not those who were faithful. Even when a bad leader varied somehow, in the end even he would uphold the same essential standard for the permanency of the marriage covenant and the adultery of remarriage. This recognition of the permanence of one flesh was held and defended from saint to heretic.
Though subtle heretics (2Pe_2:1; Jud_1:4) corrupted truth from within the Church (Act_20:29-31) in other areas of doctrine, it was not until after Nicaea that corruption eventually hit the teaching of the permanency of one flesh as well, especially from the times of Augustine. Despite even the problems introduced by Augustine, the standard normal rule of marriage in the church’s mind was that it was still “indissoluble” and unbreakable for life, and divorce and remarriage was adultery as long as the first spouse was alive.
Despite these few exceptions, the Church leaders (listed previously) along with the Church in general (especially from 90 A.D. to the early 300s A.D.) unanimously held this hard teaching on divorce and remarriage on almost every front. This was a universally fundamental doctrine of the Church. Any good church historian will attest to the amazing agreement on this subject, even at a time when so many other things that we take for granted were still being tooled out in the Church’s mind.
This was the Church’s wide-held zealous stance, even before the Bible was first compiled as one book! In fact, the first of the two historical quotes shown above are from an essentially liberal source that opposes everything this work sets out to proclaim, yet they note the agreement of the early church on this subject. Even before every book in the Bible was completely compiled and uniformly distributed, on this issue the early Church was virtually of one accord. When it came to the law of marriage, they were resolute. Those who propagate the new unbiblical liberal views of divorce and remarriage preach an entirely different message on this issue than their most respected Church leaders of early christianity, who would consider contemporary standards heretical.
Even after the mile stone of apostasy at Nicaea, the church generally continued preaching the hard but Biblical teaching about marriage with very few exceptions. But after this time there were a number of very decisive glitches from the Truth that directly affect and define us today. Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) who is well known as the father of humanism introduced one of the more significant deviations during the Protestant Reformation. He is called, “The most brilliant and most important leader of German humanism…” by the Catholic Encyclopedia, [www.newadvent.org/cathen/05510b.html].
The earlier corruption of Catholicism had come to theoretically allow disguised divorces (which they called “annulments”) in accordance with Augustine’s error, but this has traditionally been rarely granted by the Catholic church until more recent times. Despite this Catholic compromise, even they have written against Erasmus, along with many other heretical charges: “Similarly he rejected… the indissolubility of marriage, and other fundamental principles of Christian life and the ecclesiastical constitution.” [Source: same as above].
Erasmus taught that the first spouse could remarry after a divorce, under certain conditions of sin, because we could count the first spouse as spiritually dead. He said that this was because there was no more stoning allowed as instituted by Mosaic Law that could free the innocent spouse when her husband deserved to die, and she deserved to be freed from him.
“Desiderius Erasmus, also held views on marriage and divorce which were quite radical for his day. He cast scorn on the total prohibition of divorce and the idea of an indissoluble marriage bond,”
And this was consistent with his distinct pattern of corrupted sinful ideas…
“He popularized the notion that being a follower of Christ does not have any real legitimate connection with practicing good works or living Holy lives,” (Restoration of Christian Marriage, By Stephen W. Wilcox).
Erasmus developed many of his newly popularized doctrines allowing remarriage including the case of adultery, as well as his even more unfounded teaching that the desertion of a spouse freed “the innocent party” to remarry, which he enhanced from previous corruptions to now include every case of abandonment, and as the reformation moved on, the list of excuses allowing divorce and remarriage seemed to get longer and longer, not only with Erasmus, but eventually with the other reformers as well.
If a reader finds these Erasmian ideas doctrinally appealing, then I would exhort that such a reader remember to 1. Consider where we got these ideas from, (Erasmus); and 2. To establish that it is not worth cherishing any tradition of man to the sacrifice of the commands of God (Mat_15:1-9); and 3. Line up all of these things in man’s corrupted history with the eternal truth that Jesus preached!
These new invented compromising philosophies were specifically called on to allow King Henry to remarry against the “authority of the Pope.” This all-around shameful event erupted into what historians have called “The Great Schism” when the king split off and made his own church and Pope, especially to approve his remarriage. It was such a scoundrel as Erasmus, the father of humanism, who derided the Truth of Jesus enough to step up and defend the king in the name of christian doctrine, so that he could divorce the Queen because, “she was only bearing girls instead of boys.” This shameful event had Erasmus’ name written all over it, and it is from this man that we directly derive what we now know as “The Mainline Protestant View on Divorce and Remarriage.”
Without realizing it, the modern church has been discipled into manipulating certain verses, and completely ignoring others, to produce a humanistic outcome in our belief system, to produce a doctrinal pattern that is distinctly Erasmian. Do we truly, “Just go by what the Bible says” as many churches claim they do, or are we accepting something else from Erasmus without knowing it?
Martin Luther (November 10th 1483 – February 18th 1546) a former friend of Erasmus, was also reforming at this time. Luther had many errors and perhaps among his first was befriending Erasmus, which he later deeply regretted.
Luther, as well as other reformers such as John Calvin, being decisively influenced by Erasmus, also propagated humanistic views about divorce and remarriage. The others did so only with less licentiousness and foolish scorn for traditional values, and it seems that Luther originally accepted these views primarily as a way of “swinging away” from Catholicism, whereas Erasmus did it for the sake of propagating humanism and “scholarship”. From reading some of Luther’s self-questioning statements, it seems to me that he would have originally rather retained more “Catholic” views on this issue, but his liberal commitments seem to have gotten the best of him in the end as he and many of the other reformers helped people get divorced and remarried, and put their own popish blessing on it contrary to the Words of Jesus.
Although it might seem shocking to many people who have never heard of his many well documented atrocities, Luther is at the core of all that it means to be a corrupted modern Protestant christian today, including allowing and even promoting divorce and remarriage in the end. I have briefly documented and summarized some of the most clear proofs of Luther’s overall heresy and thorough wickedness in the Bibliography and Glossary under, “Martin Luther.”
Although Luther and Erasmus both planted seeds of corruption in the mind of the church concerning this issue, it was Erasmus who was ultimately to be blamed being more originally responsible for much of where the Protestant church is today on this issue. That which we would call “The Mainline Protestant View” (epitomized in the Westminster Confession) was originally called “the Erasmian View” of divorce and remarriage.
It was only Erasmus (1466-1536 CE), a Roman Catholic scholar, who advocated that couples be allowed to divorce and remarry in the case of adultery or desertion. This belief was accepted by Martin Luther (1483 - 1546 CE), and became embedded in the Westminster Confession of Faith in 1648.
And if you don’t already know better, the Westminster Confession of Faith has affected countless denominations over the years, especially those of a Baptist, Presbyterian, and otherwise overall Reformed Theology persuasion. Many churches today gladly honor, quote and affirm this stained creed.
Still, despite all of this trouble at this time of reformation, the so-called “Radical Reformers” including many of the Anabaptists stood against a lot of such corruption, generally disallowing and condemning divorce and remarriage for any reason, much like the early Church.
I hope this question arises out of reading about Erasmus: “If this is what “the father of humanism” has taught us, then whose disciples are we really as the church of today?” It is undeniable that on this issue we are closer to being the disciples of Erasmus and humanism than being heirs of the faith which was transmitted through the founding leaders of the Church of Jesus, including their greatest deposit of truth preserved for us in the Bible. This is one of the most important things to get out of this entire section. No one ever interpreted the Bible the way we have, to permit remarriage for adultery, “abandonment,” or whatever other excuse we may find, until Erasmus. And it is he that we (as “the church”) follow on this issue. We are becoming more and more the disciples of humanism.
Though we have chaos in marriage today as a direct result of being disciples of the reformation and humanism, the majority of the teaching we have glutted ourselves in did not completely take over as a standard practice until much later.
“…the sanctity of marriage, the undesirability of divorce and the impossibility of remarriage while a spouse lived was upheld and enforced over the centuries by the vast majority of the denominations, sects and divisions of the protestant persuasion,” (Restoration of Christian Marriage, By Stephen W. Wilcox).
After the many breaches of integrity among American churches between 1939 and 1945 with their involvement in World War II, there were some particular beginning signs of corruption within a number of denominations by the 1950s when the divorced population had climbed to 25% of all marriages in the United States Later in 1969 (as though it were an introduction to all that would happen in the 70s), the “no fault divorce laws” were legislated, which reportedly brought the divorced population up to about 50% of marriages. That is double the already absurd number in a matter of 20 years! Tony Perkins has been President of the Family Research Council in Washington DC, and he has said that these laws also brought about 141% increase in single homes, and a ten-fold increase in cohabitation.
We can clearly see the results of more lax views of divorce on this nation. Sadly the church followed (or lead) in morality right along with the rest of the world, and reportedly eventually overtook it in frequency of divorces, and thus the majority of the church’s overt rebellion against the Biblical teaching about divorce and remarriage in the United States has come about in rapid landslides of apostasy, especially during peaks of corruption as in the 1940’s and 1970’s.
1973 marked the beginning of the New International Version (NIV), and especially with its first release, it promoted many liberalized views of divorce and remarriage via mistranslating a number of key verses on this issue. Most all translations have their weaknesses, and the NIV (among other things) has been definitely deceptive in this area of divorce and remarriage.
The NIV has lied to countless masses of church people as it gained the highest reader population of those trying to read the Bible. By reading the NIV, countless people who did not even know what they were being given, have been repeatedly fed the liberal humanistic agenda of Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, which has been inserted right into key verses of the text of the Scriptures, having replaced and misrepresented the actual Words of God. Many other translations followed suit, and many of these crimes against marriage, as well as a few changes in the updates to NIV are documented in Divorce and Remarriage Repentance Revolution.
Coincidentally enough, in August of the exact same year of 1973, the Assemblies of God took a huge turn for the worse. The Assemblies of God have been the biggest non-Catholic denomination in the world, (over 50 million) and have consistently held much of this teaching, and were among some of the last to depart from a lot of it.
You can see for yourself what terribly *worldly official views the AG now holds:
The shortened version of this position is found at: www.ag.org/top/Beliefs/relations_09_div_remarr.cfm
[These devilish compromises asserted by these websites are among those confronted by this work.]
* I say that they are “worldly,” as opposed to what the church has always taught, and as this work shows, they are certainly not Biblical. So then, these views are properly called “worldly,” because this is very plain to see:
The World (Humanism/ Secular thinking) ← ... → The (real) Church (Truth/ The Bible)
(A) Where is the American church on this continuum? (B) Where are you?
From what I've read from being involved with the Assemblies of God, most any A.G. minister would have quickly deemed these views as ungodly falsehood in the early 1900’s when they were founded, as one can see in a number of their own quotes. But now it has come to be quite the opposite.
“Until recently it was considered ‘Anathema’ for anyone professing to be any type of Christian to divorce and remarry,” (Restoration of Christian Marriage, By Stephen W. Wilcox).
While I was attending an A.G. church for a 5-year period, there were even more liberalized readjustments made in August 2002, which I was grieved to hear.
This, by the way, has certainly not been the case for the Assemblies over the majority of the first years of her existence. In fact, let us actually heed this warning thought and cry echoing from an Assembly of God writer from 1957 because we must apply it more than even he does if we will now see the church saved from its plummet into apostasy:
Numbers of churches, including some of the older denominations, which in the earlier years of their existence retained rigid views on divorce, going so far as to forbid the right of the so-called “innocent party” of Matt. 19:9 who divorces his “unchaste wife” because of fornication to remarry, have in later years liberalized their doctrine of divorce. Is this a fulfillment of Thess 2:3, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the day of the Lord] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition”? Will our denomination follow the pattern of other apostatizing churches? God forbid! (Introduction to Does Divorce Dissolve Marriage?By Milton T. Wells, 1957; emphasis mine)
The 70’s also marked the deviation of many Mennonite churches into “main-stream” churches. Mennonites (a subset of Anabaptists) have been one of the last surviving denominations or “movements” to stand up for this Truth, and many of them forsook it around the 70’s. Before this time it was strictly prohibited to have a divorced and remarried person even accepted into membership, but now things have changed for many congregations.
Thankfully there are still real, conservative Mennonite “Conferences” and “Fellowships” (associations of churches) and other independent congregations that still hold today what they had faithfully held before about marriage.
I appreciate coming across a good percentage of Mennonites that are still faithful to their Biblical heritage on marriage. They have not gone extinct yet! But I have also run into self-called “Main-stream” Mennonites, whose compromised liberal values make me think it not proper to even call them “Mennonites.” This is not just my idea, but I have found that REAL Mennonites say the same thing:
The Church of God of Prophecy has also been one of the last surviving denominations today that has officially believed what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage. According to what one of their pastors told me, (and according to what I have read from their leadership), they have become more loose on their stance, no longer requiring each church within their denomination to hold to it as they always have, and it looks certain that they are not far from losing it altogether. This seems to be their direction in their attempts to foster good relations with the main-stream Church of God.
Today the Biblical/historical teaching of the Church concerning divorce and remarriage is largely unheard of from the pulpit, and looked down upon when brought up. I have been told that about 97% of the visible church no longer holds this teaching. Most all churches have fallen from it. May God have mercy on us for adulterating from the Truth and turn us away from our present sinful unbiblical state.
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