How can a church accept an improperly divorced couple?


Your Bible answers make so much sense and I have been wanting to ask this question. It might be long, but I need to be detailed. OK, here goes. This is the truth as I know it. You can answer it as though you believe what I am telling you as the truth, please. 

There is a married couple (no children) who married for a long time. They are middle-aged now.  Then there is a divorced woman with children that started coming to their church. The married couple were having some compatibility problems before the divorced woman came along. The wife has never commit adultery and as far as I know the husband had not either. 

As time passed somehow the husband and the divorced woman started showing interest in each other. It wasn't long until the husband told his wife he no longer loved her and he was leaving her. The other woman and the hsuband became an item. They left the church that they were in because the man's wife was still there and it became a very awkward situation. The adulterous couple then went to another church of the same denomination in the same area. 

The man divorced his wife on the grounds of incapability. The other woman and this man are getting married in a month. They are currently active members in this other church. Now I know this isn't right, but it's between them and God. However, should they be on the platform representing the kingdom of God in the church they attend now?  I don't see anything in their marriage that could possibly be right. 

The wife of the now divorced man is still attending the other church and is doing fair with the help of God.  I am so confused as to how this can happen. Am I wrong in my thinking? Should I just forget it and go on with my life?

How can people expect the children of God to accept this and how can the pastor in this other church allow it? This is a man of God who is allowing this.  Believe it or not he seems to be really strong in his faith.  This couple can do what they want and God will be their judge, but I am not dealing very well with the fact that the pastor is having anything to do with their marriage as they are getting married in his church.  I don't think he is going to marry them, but he will be there.  But even before the marriage takes place they are being used on the platform as though there is nothing wrong. 

Can God forgive them and then they just go from there? If so, more and more people will be doing this.

I just needed to sound this out and in the process not hurt anyone. Looking forward to your reply.


You seem surprised that sin exists in a church, even though as a denomination it isn't faithfully following God's teachings. "For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you" (I Corinthians 11:18-19). There is nothing about a church or its members that keeps sin out. That is why there are so many warnings in the Bible that we must be constantly on guard against Satan. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:11-13).

The other church has a leader who is willing to ignore sin because the secular world accepts it and because he is deriving benefits from having this couple in his membership. The truth won't impact him. He'll find some way to twist the Scriptures so he can justify what he wants to do. "And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation -- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked" (II Peter 3:15-17).

You don't have control over this other church. You only have control over where you let your own two feet take you. A person has to make up his own mind about what is truth and whether the group he chooses to worship with is following that truth. If the group you are with is not following God, then you stand a good chance of being pulled astray from the truth. "That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:14). Eventually you will have to vote with your feet if you want to find the truth.

I disagree that this matter is just between the couple and God. Consider the man who had his father's wife in I Corinthians 5:1-6. Paul did not tell the church to ignore the sin. He scolded the church harshly for ignoring it and allowing this man to join in their worship. Since the man would not repent, Paul told the church in blunt fashion to kick the sinner out. He warned that if they did not, sin would spread throughout the church -- just as you noted will happen in this case.

Can God forgive them? Certainly, but only if they are willing to give up their sin. Their relationship and their marriage is adultery. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). Until they repent of their adultery, which would include stopping the adulterous relationship, they cannot expect God's forgiveness.