Question:

I have a question regarding divorce.If a person marries another knowing the person has been married before but understood this person was divorced scripturally from the first marriage. Years later, trouble begins and one spouse files for divorce. Therefore, leaving the one spouse not free to marry again since there was no adultery involved. After a while, and I assume some investigating, the one spouse finds out that his partner had lied to him and was never divorced. Now, here is the question: Does that leave the innocent person able to marry again under the guise that he was deceived or is he still bound to his partner in God's eyes? I realize there are getting to be so many bizarrereasons that Christians tryto find to be released from their marriages, but I have never come up against this.Isn't all you have to go on while courting your mate is what they tell you?You believe them and then later on find out things were not as they seemed. Does this release our responsibility?

Answer:

Strangely enough I have run across a similar situation a number of years ago. When I was first told about it I had to think about it long and hard and consulted with a number of preachers who had more experience than I had at the time. We all came to the same conclusion, which startled me because I figured someone somewhere would have some disagreement.

The key is that a person marrying another who claimed to be free to remarry, but had not even been divorced -- let alone scripturally-- was never married. He was lied to, he committed adultery without realizing it, but he was never married. Even in our own laws we call the situation bigamy, all but the original marriage are declared to be fraudulent.

There is no avoiding responsibility or trying to get out of a marriage. He should repent of the sin that he had committed unknowingly and move on with his life. "So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:3).