Divorce: Why John Piper is wrong on this.

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Divorce (incomplete)

This post has long been in the pipeline (no pun intended).  In fact, I had written the first draft only a day before John Piper wrote about David Instone-Brewer’s work on divorce.  Then Andreas Kostenberger added his voice to the discussion.  So I wish to state I am not jumping on the bandwagon, merely carrying on with what I was intending to do anyway.

Quick Summary of John Piper’s Argument.

John Piper’s path to his present position on divorce and remarriage began from his desire to take Jesus’ words in Luke 16:18 seriously.  I appreciate that desire.  Unfortunately, his foundational assumption is that Jesus’ statement is absolute, i.e. any remarriage after divorce is adultery, with no exceptions.  It is that understanding that became the controlling thought for his exegesis.  That means that when he approaches other texts, Dr. Piper is not trying to find out what they say so much as how they fit into that initial statement.  That also means: prove an exception and the argument fails.

Now this is not an illegitimate way to study the Bible.  The idea that there is an overall consistency in the teaching of the Bible is an important part of evangelical studies.  However problems come if your understanding of one verse or passage blinds you to what other passages are actually saying.  This is what seems to happen when Dr. Piper approaches Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:1-12.  His intention is to try to find the chinks in these Matthean passages in order to fit it into Luke 16:18 and the like.  The result is an interpretation that does not faithfully communicate Jesus’ words in Matthew.

These passages state that divorce and remarriage is adultery except in the case of porneia.  Many people have translated porneia as adultery, but Dr. Piper points out that moicheia is the Greek word that is consistently translated “adultery” in Scripture, not porneia.  In fact, Dr. Piper continues, moicheia and porneia are used side by side in a list found in Matthew 15:19 and therefore the two words cannot mean the same thing, i.e. porneia cannot mean “adultery” in Matthew 5 and 19.

In addition to this, Dr. Piper points to John 8:41 where the Pharisees imply that Jesus was born from porneia and draws the conclusion that Matthew is using porneia to mean sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period i.e., that Mary slept with someone other than Joseph during their betrothal period and Jesus was the result.  In those times the only way to break a betrothal was to divorce your intended.  Therefore, when Jesus says that divorce and remarriage is adultery except in the case of porneia he means, “except in the case of sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period”.

Summary of why I don’t agree.

Porneia and Moicheai.

This all seems to make sense to us unfortunate Greek illiterates until you translate porneia into English.  It’s close English equivalent is ”sexual immorality”, i.e., a wide range of sexual sin, including fornication, incest, bestiality, marrying your close relative and so on.  Let’s look at the pertinent verses again using the ESV which correctly translates porneia as “sexual immorality” and moicheia as “adultery”.

Matthew 5:32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

John 8:41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.”

Unless you were committed to the belief that Jesus allows no exceptions to his prohibition on remarriage after divorce, like Dr. Piper is, no native English speaker would say that the phrase “sexual immorality” in these verses means ”sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period”.  Instead of limiting the meaning, English speakers would broaden it.  And the same is true of the Greek.

Think of the discussion between a native English speaker (NES) and an Adherent to the Piper Position (APP).

NES: See, Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 says that sexual immorality is an acceptable reason for divorce.

APP: Ah, but Luke 16:18 gives no exception and neither does the parallel passage in Mark 10:11-12.

NES: So, I guess Jesus was making a general statement in Mark and Luke and included an implied exception in Matthew.

APP: No, I don’t think so.  Jesus’ statements in Mark and Luke sound absolute.  I think Matthew included that exception to explain how Joseph could be called righteous for considering divorcing Mary in Matthew 1:19.  In fact, Matthew 15:19 indicates adultery and sexual immorality are two different things and John 8:41 shows the Pharisees using “sexual immorality” to refer to Mary’s supposed sexual unfaithfulness during her betrothal period.  So, obviously, when Jesus said, “except for sexual immorality” he was really saying, “except for sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period”.

NES: But it doesn’t say, “sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period”.  It says, “sexual immorality”.

APP: Don’t you think sexual immorality includes sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period?

NES: Sure, it can include it, but it’s not limited to it.  Why wouldn’t Jesus say (or Matthew write), “except for sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period” if that’s what he meant?  He clearly says here “except for sexual immorality”.  If he meant to limit the exception the way you think he did, he went a funny way about it.

APP: You just don’t understand Greek.

Now, Dr. Piper has acknowledged that porneia can mean adultery occasionally, but still uses Matthew 15:19 to imply that adultery is not intended in Matthew 5 and 19.  It seems unlikely, however, that moicheia and porneia cannot mean “adultery and sexual immorality (including adultery)” in Matthew 15:19 when the last two words (in English) are ”false witness” and “slander”.  Is Dr. Piper saying that false witness can never be slander, and someone cannot slander another by being a false witness?  Even more telling is Revelation 2:20-22, where porneia and moicheia are used in a manner that strongly implies a degree of interchangeability.

No Exceptions?

Dr. Piper has another problem, however.  His argument is based on the belief that Jesus allows no exceptions for remarriage after divorce and yet even his interpretation has Jesus allowing an exception for ”sexual unfaithfulness during the betrothal period”.  This means that at least in some sense, even in Dr. Piper’s interpretation, Jesus’ words in Luke 16:18 are not absolute.

Joseph Righteous?

Another observation.  In Matthew 1:19 Joseph is said to be a righteous or just man and for that reason “resolved to divorce her [Mary] quietly”.  This is why, according to Dr. Piper, Matthew included the “exception clause”.  But Jesus’ statements in Mark and Luke do not forbid divorce, they forbid remarriage.  Therefore there is no actual quandry that Matthew needed to fix up by adding an exception clause as limited as the one Dr. Piper champions.  Instead, it makes far more sense that, if he had Joseph’s righteous intention to divorce in mind, Matthew expanded the exception from moicheia (adultery) to porneia (sexual immorality) to include the situation Joseph thought he found himself in!

Conclusion.

I have deep respect for Dr. Piper and what God has done and is doing through him.  I by no means intend this to be an expression of disrespect for him.  All I wish to say is that in this instance, John Piper has been misled by a presupposition that Jesus’ statements wereabsolute and as a result has read a narrow and completely unlikely reading into the Matthean texts on divorce.  In short, he is wrong on this one.

Series Navigation«Divorce: Where I am in thought-land and why – Part 4.Divorce series update.»

61 thoughts on “Divorce: Why John Piper is wrong on this.

  1. BrokenHeart

    Ali I feel your view on divorce is very biblical base, God does not think like us he would not want any single person to go thru life miserable and wishing he was happy like the married couples. I will continue to pray and pray and believe that Gods will be done in my life, as should everyone that is divorced. God has a different plan for everyone. I have seen Gods hands miraculously over my life, witnessed true prophecies, speaking in tongues is also very real, and will wait on the LORD. Your words inspired, comforted me and helped me start my healing, for that I praise God. I will try again to email you my information if you think there is any christian counseling that you approve of close to me. I feel already better from reading your post and understand it, its just a matter of waiting on the lord for his will be done. I am ready to accept anything he believes will be right in my life. God bless you and your family.

  2. Ali

    Hi BrokenHeart,
    I’m glad my responses have been helpful, and I certainly consider them biblical too :) . However, I just want to make sure you understand that while I agree that it is difficult going through divorce and perhaps be miserably single for the rest of your life, I don’t think that’s a good reason to argue that God allows remarriage. It’s all about what the Bible says, and if it taught that you weren’t to remarry, that would be that, no matter how miserable it was. Thankfully, it does not say that :) .

    As for counselling, I can’t really give you anything except second-hand recommendations, and depending where you are, perhaps third-hand recommendations. Still, even third-hand recommendations can be helpful, and I’ll certainly do what I can to help.

    When you say you will pray, I think that is the best thing of all. You are right, God is good, his will is always good for those he loves, (even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time). God bless you! I trust he will guide you into all love and truth and blessing.

  3. AVoice

    Ali,
    You wrote:

    [Hence, to quote your own words, “the entire sentence is sensible and the exception clause can be totally omitted without effecting the main point being made“.
    Don’t believe me? Then look:
    But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32 ESV)
    Now, take out the exception clause:
    But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32 ESV)
    It works.]

    The context was that whether the exception clause was included or omitted, the sentence in both cases has the identical MEANING. The omission under DA (the divorce for adultery explanation) takes out the pivotal clause that is taken to indicate permission for the post marital divorce. Therefore under that model, the omission of the exception clause creates a very different meaning than when present.

    However, under DB (divorce in betrothal), the exception clause serves as “nonrestrictive/nonessential” making it merely an added bit of extra information not critical to the point the sentence centrally makes.
    This kind of non critical omission that does not change anything of real importance, can be seen in your own parallel that you offered:
    “Anyone who takes a space walking spaceman’s spacesuit from him, except in the case where he’s already dead, will cause him to die!”

    The exception clause cites what is obvious and hence able to be left out without creating a different message than when present.

    “Anyone who takes a space walking spaceman’s spacesuit from him, will cause him to die!”

    The exception clause in your parallel functions in the same way as the exception clause under DB. Under DB, the divorce within betrothal, (conveniently identified by a most recognizable reason for such a divorce, for fornication) also makes the exception clause to state the obvious and it is therefore likewise not critical to the text. Whether omitted or included, in both cases, the sentence literally means the same thing. The exception clause then, (like your own parallel) is seen to be merely an added bit of information that does not effect what the sentence centrally addresses when omitted.

    Notice that, like your parallel, the exception clause under DB, does NOT relate directly to the topic of the sentence, and yet it makes perfect grammatical sense.
    This construction that Jesus chose to use, makes it IMPOSSIBLE for an exception clause to relate directly to the topic of the sentence and make literal sense.
    Yet your position maintains that in 5:32, the exception clause does in fact pertain directly to the topic under discussion and the sentence is literally sensible.

    Could it be that Matt 5:32 is the only sensibly written sentence on the planet for which a simple grammatical parallel of its basic function is impossible to make?

    This inability to create a simple sentence paralleling the claim that DA makes of how it functions creates the conundrum of which I previously referred:
    It thereby becomes responsible to admit that under DA, Matt 5:32 was not written in a grammatically competent manner. The conundrum therefore exists that under DB, the 4-clause sentence, in which all 4 clauses are dependent on each other for overall competency, becomes as grammatically perfect as your astronaut parallel. The entire sentence becomes that much more complex by virtue of the fact that the 4th clause also fits perfectly.

    I welcome questions that are designed to bring to light error under DB (the divorce in betrothal explanation of the exception clause).
    I commit to answer any question in question form that is able to be directed at exposing perceived failures of DB.
    Ali, would you also be willing to answer the tough questions that DA faces?
    This is not a personal thing. We both are representing two very different positions. A lack of a reasonable answer is only a failure (perhaps only temporarily) for the position itself. It does not reflect on us personally since the conflict is between ideas and reason within the individuals, not between the individuals themselves, both who are seeking understanding.

  4. Ali

    Hi AVoice,

    Sadly, the lapse of time between our comments has ruined the flow of this coversation somewhat. Still, I’ll try to pick up where we left off, and answer the last two comments you wrote in sections.

    Grammar or not?
    I think part of the confusion in all this is that you are not actually discussing pure grammar here. A grammatically correct sentence can make no meaningful sense e.g:

    He was taller than himself.

    The problem with that sentence is not grammatical, it’s semantic. It is the meaning of the words used that causes it to be nonsense. Most, if not all, of what you are arguing is about the meaning communicated by the words used, not the grammar itself. So, I am not going to be talking about grammar, but “sentence structure” and “meaning”, just to get away from the confusion. Hopefully that doesn’t confuse you! :)

    Greek vs. English.
    I’m not sure we are communicating clearly here. My point was that because the Greek is the original text, it is necessary to look at it, especially if you are trying to determine something about sentence structure. I think the KJV is a good translation, though I do not think it is without error, nor do I think that it translates Matt 5:32 perfectly for our day and age [see above where I contend that sexual immorality is a better translation than fornication]. However, in terms of the sentence structure, I suspect that the English does in fact translate Greek well, and yet it is very unwise and weakens your argument not to look at the original language. It’s not enough to say you are certain the KJV translates the Greek well without actually checking it out! But I’m not going to go on about that. We’ll leave that there.

    No others using your argument.
    You say that you are the only you know of that has put forward your argument, though without proof you then say you assume others have realised this as well! In other words, as far as we know – without making assumptions – you are the only one to see this argument and put it forward. And I have said, since it is a strong argument, the fact that no one else has used it is very telling. It matters because, from the little I have read of your interactions on this point with others as well as with myself, no one is getting the point that you say is so simple. And since that is the case, it’s worth going to someone who agrees with your overall view of divorce and has the Greek and English linguistic skills to check your argument, and being open to being told (even if they don’t tell you this) that you are wrong and that your “revelation” is actually a mistake.

    But it’s up to you to decide whether you do that. Let’s leave that now and move on.

    The difference between divorcees.
    In your last comment, you return to your assertion that the main distinction of the main part of the sentence is post-marital divorce (as opposed to pre-marital divorce), and argue from there. I have already dealt with this misplacing of emphasis, which you seemed to understand because in your second-last comment allowed that the difference between the divorced women in the main sentence and the exception clause is one between an unjustly divorced woman for reasons other than sexual immorality, and the other a justly divorced woman for reasons of sexual immorality. Unfortunately, you then go on to posit a very wooden reading of the verse, saying that the woman divorced for adultery is not caused to commit adultery, and protesting that it is impossible to tell whether the divorced woman referred to in the last clause is the one unjustly divorced or the one justly divorced! I have explained previously how the verse reads, drawing on Old Testament patterns and Matthew 19:9. In light of that, for you to introduce such a wooden reading that completely bypasses normal – and yes, grammatical – understandings of ellipses and exception clauses makes me wonder whether you are actually trying to read and understand my replies or whether you are merely intent on proving your point without true engagement! But maybe, given the length of time between some of our comments, you’ve forgotten, so below you’ll find an excerpt from my previous comment that I’ve cut-and-pasted:

    “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (ESV)

    Now, this is a little trickier to interpret because there are a couple of ways to read it. The first reading (which you thought I was saying above) is: if a man divorces his wife without there being any sexual unfaithfulness, then he makes her commit adultery by virtue of being divorced. The second reading, which is the more likely as I’ll explain below, is: if a man divorces his wife without there being any sexual unfaithfulness, then he makes her commit adultery when she remarries (which was culturally necessary).

    The first reading takes the words at face value, and in that sense it is a valid reading. However, there are a few reasons why I think the second reading is better. 1) As you said, the first reading basically makes no distinction between a woman divorced because she was fat and a woman divorced because she actually committed adultery. 2) In 1 Cor 7:11, Paul addresses the divorce of believers (speaking only to the wife but it applies to both) saying that Christian divorcees should remain unmarried or reconcile. While separation is far from his first choice, Paul in no way indicates that separated Christian women have been made to commit adultery. 3) Everyone else in these verses that are said to commit adultery after a divorce do so by marrying/remarrying. 4) The phrase immediately following makes far more sense if read in context as the new husband that the divorced wife married after being unjustly divorced.

    However, regardless which reading you take in Matthew 5, the grammatical structure of Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 makes perfect sense.

    I do not accept that your wooden reading of the text is the only way to read it, nor is it the most likely. And since I also do not accept that the main point of the verse is the discussion of post- and pre-marital divorce, then I also reject your re-assertion in your last comment that the verse makes no sense without the exception clause if read according to my view.

    Tough questions.
    You asked whether I’d be willing to answer the tough questions my position faces. Absolutely. And I have answered the questions you have raised. I have actually given you a grammatical parallel to Matthew 5:32, but you do not seem to be able to grasp how I read Matthew 5:32, and therefore cannot see the parallel. I’m not sure what more I can do.

    I appreciate that you are not seeing this as a personal issue. (I’m not convinced that other commenters here have the same perspective :
    ) ). I try to be as honest with myself as possible, and I can say that I have truly considered the betrothal view, reluctantly accepting that if it were accurate that I would have to make some radical adjustments to my own life (I am married to a previously married woman). With as much good will as I can muster, I just do not see it as a faithful rendering of the biblical teaching on divorce. I have read and strived to understand your arguments, and they just do not line up (despite the fact Herb basically says they’re irrefutable in the comment I am still unable to approve for technical reasons). So, I’m not sure what more can be said. I believe you are seriously misreading the verse and the bible on this topic. If you have any other arguments to bring, please do. But on this issue of sentence structure, I’d ask that you accurately explain my position and why I disagree with yours before we continue. That’d show me that we are not going to just keep talking past each other.

    Thanks, AVoice. I really do appreciate working through these things again. It’s been helpful to me.

  5. George

    Ali,

    Please take some time and review the following website (link below). This is the teaching I hold fast to, it will put things into a new perspective. It happens to be a teaching most find controversial. I personally have never met or known anyone who even begins to consider this point of view, too often we are stuck under some form of dogma.

    http://www.righteouswarriors.com/controversial/article12.html

  6. AVoice

    Hi Ali,

    Yes, it has been a while. Let us be patient with one another.

    DA is short for the Divorce for Adultery explanation of the exception clause.
    DB is short for the Divorce in Betrothal explanation of the exception clause.

    From a sentence-function perspective, Matt 5:31,32 functions in a radically different way under DB than how it functions under DA.

    The reason for seeking a grammatical parallel is because it goes directly at a very foundational reality concerning sentence structure. It touches on a more foundational level, than let’s say, whether a rendering is “wooden” or not.
    While there could be disagreements about what a verse means, when putting those things aside and looking at something much more basic, the functions taking place within the sentence in its obvious context, there should be no objection from either side of the disagreement what the sentence construction is actually doing.
    If a sentence is competently written, then a parallel demonstrating any particular major function of that sentence should be able to be produced.
    Wouldn’t you agree?

    You wrote:
    [But on this issue of sentence structure, I’d ask that you accurately explain my position and why I disagree with yours before we continue. That’d show me that we are not going to just keep talking past each other.]

    I agree that we should seek clarity. In response to this above quote, I am quoting you again, which I understand may be a misunderstanding on your part:

    [In your last comment, you return to your assertion that the main distinction of the main part of the sentence is post-marital divorce (as opposed to pre-marital divorce), and argue from there. I have already dealt with this misplacing of emphasis,]

    Here is Matt 5:31,32, labeled A) and B) with the 4 clauses in 5:32 broken down for the sake of clarity:
    A) 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put
    away his wife, let him give her a writing of
    divorcement:
    B) 32 But I say unto you,
    1) That whosoever shall put away his wife,
    2) saving for the cause of fornication,
    3) causeth her to commit adultery:
    4) and whosoever shall marry her that is
    divorced committeth adultery.

    My assertion is simply that verse 31 establishes that Jesus is talking exclusively about normal post marital divorces because he is referencing Deut 24:1.
    Moses: “send her out of his house”
    Jesus: “put away his wife”
    Moses: “let him write her a bill of divorcement”,
    Jesus: “a writing of divorcement”.
    Moses: “give it in her hand
    Jesus: “give her”

    Do you disagree with me that Matt 5:31 is absolutely referencing Deut 24:1? Your wording was unclear as if perhaps you are disagreeing with me. Do you believe that 5:31 was NOT spoken as a clear reference to Dt 24:1? You appear to think that my “assertion” that 5:31 references Dt 24:1 is misplaced emphasis. Please explain. Do you think Moses meant to include betrothed wives that were not yet married in Deut 24:1? That would not make sense because sending her “out of his house” is not reconcilable to that cultural premarital “divorce”. So all I am asserting is that Matt 5:31 establishes what the topic is, and the topic is divorce, as Deut 24:1 reveals, since Jesus is obviously referencing that.

    This is important because from a basic structural perspective, 5:31 establishes what the topic is. And from this basic structural perspective, clause 1 reiterates that topic. Would you not agree? Please view Matt 5;31,32 as I have quoted and broken them down above for clarity. Clause 2, the exception clause, then provides a partial allowance of what both verse 31 and clause 1 refer to. Please view the text again. Would you not agree that this is what occurs by the exception clause under DA? Doesn’t the exception clause under DA provide partial allowance of what both verse 31 and clause 1 refer to?

    Under DB there is complete agreement with DA UNTIL the exception clause, clause 2. Under DB, the exception clause DOES NOT provide partial allowance of what Matt 5:31 and clause 1 refer to. See what I mean when I say the sentence function between DB and DA is radically different?
    So the challenge is easy enough, which is presented by the invitation to produce a parallel. Can someone create such a structure like what is seen in 5;31,32 wherein it’s exception clause can provide partial allowance of what the topic is about? DA confidently asserts that an exception clause under that sentence structure has no problem with providing partial allowance. If so, then a parallel should be easy.

    For example, your parallel:
    “Anyone who takes a space walking spaceman’s spacesuit from him, except in the case where he’s already dead, will cause him to die!”
    This parallels clauses 1-3 of Matt 5:32 and that is all that I required. Broken down to parallel the first 3 clauses of 5:32, it looks like this:
    1) Anyone who takes a space walking spaceman’s spacesuit from him,
    2) except in the case where he’s already dead,
    3) will cause him to die

    I provided a reasonable scenario and thereby an equivalent of A) and B). Remember, A) establishes the context which clause 1) reiterates.

    A) You have heard it said that the spacesuits of our older comrades should be taken from them,
    B) But I say to you,
    1) Anyone who takes a space walking spaceman’s spacesuit from him,
    2) except in the case where he’s already dead,
    3) will cause him to die.

    As liberal as this challenge is, this submission by you, with what I have provided for A) and B) does NOT have the exception clause providing partial allowance of what both A) and clause 1 refer to.
    Obviously your topic is taking suits from living astronauts yet your exception clause does not provide partial allowance for that, let’s say, if they are ill.

    I covered this in the post on July 3rd. I do not believe this should be viewed as a talking past you. How is asking for a sentence that can perform how you say Matt 5:32 performs, unreasonable? Please answer this question.
    What objection do you have of my request that you provide a parallel wherein its exception clause provides partial allowance of the topic under discussion and thereby vindicating what DA asserts the exception clause does in Matt 5:32?

  7. Al

    Obviously about a different matter.

    1 Corinthians 6:12 “Every thing is permissible, for me – but not everything is beneficial”

    I find most debatable subjects when wrestled to there enth, come down to being, ‘not beneficial’ and at this point God’s grace flows.

    Regards . . . Al

  8. christina baldivino

    I go back and forth on this issue and struggle. If tje position that no exceptions is true, what woulf God want me to do im married to a divorced man and our third child is on tje way and our first child is special needs. Tearing apart our family would be an emotional and logistica financial nightmare for us.and tje kids. Im so afraid if were.in adultery, I see no way to make this right if the other position is true. I didnt want this situation. I waitrd for a man until I was 31, and finally couldnt hang on for the perfect situation anymore.

  9. Alistair Robertson

    Hi Christina,

    I’m in a similar position to you. I’ve married a divorced woman. To some people that will make my opinion on this matter suspect, but I have tried hard to be objective and went through a very difficult period (that came and went) struggling with the thought that maybe I should divorce my wife. To the best of my ability I have looked at the arguments and, along with the vast majority of evangelical biblical scholars, see John Piper as being wrong.

    Of course, John Piper actually teaches that people in our situation should remain in our situation. I think he’s inconsistent with his own position, but you could check out his reasoning if you wanted.

    God has provided a pretty clear picture about marriage, divorce and remarriage, and it is that divorce and remarriage are permissible for a limited number of reasons. If a person divorces and remarries (or marries a divorced person) for an illegitimate reason, the second marriage is still binding, and in fact seals the illegitimate divorce.

    I understand firsthand how you are feeling. If you want to discuss it more, feel free to email me or respond here. I’ll say a quick prayer for you. Otherwise, go in peace in Jesus’ name.

  10. Alistair Robertson

    Al,

    Thanks for your comment. In some situations I would agree with you, but there are some very important issues that require clarity. The Bible encourages people to wrestle with these issues and come to a conclusion. That is not legalism, it is clearing the way for a better flow of grace.

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