letters to surfers

Question : What advice would you give someone who has adulterated a marriage, committed fornication, and is now a Christian remarried and with children? Some church people tell me I am living in adultery, I must die to sin, and leave this relationship in order to be reconciled to God.

by Robert Brow    (www.brow.on.ca)

In Adultery: An Exploration of Love and Marriage  (www.brow.on.ca)  my wife and I point out that a divorce is always a disaster. What the couple had hoped for in the marriage has been adulterated. That is a matter of fact, not a matter of guilt.

Once the previous marriage has been terminated (as has obviously happened in your case), there is no need to continue feeling guilty about it. It is impossible for a woman to be living in the adulteration of a previous marriage - that is ended, and from God's point of view forgiven, forgotten.

All teachers, and all denominations are wrong on some points, and telling a remarried person that "you must leave this relationship in order to be reconciled to God" is just plain wrong. God loves us much more than we love our own children. Would you advise your own daughter to dump her present husband and children to go back to a previous marriage which is long since dead?

The teaching about being dead to sin is a quite different question. What Paul is teaching in Romans 7 is that we are totally unable to change ourselves by trying to change our unruly flesh (our natural instincts) by focussing on it. We need to "set our mind" on the Spirit (Romans 8:4-6), and let the Spirit do the changing from inside. You sound as if you are doing well and growing as a Christian. Rejoice in that and be thankful.

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