What the teaching of the church was for 1500 years about Divorce and Remarriage?
Email: email@example.com I am just repeating This information, it was not my own study. If you can show me information that what I am sharing about any of these historical men is incorrect, I want to know. Thanks for your comments. tony
Agreement Of all the early recognized Church Fathers who wrote, concerning discussion and debate, in thousands of surviving documents, over hundreds of years, there is general agreement on the essential core doctrines of marriage, divorce and remarriage. And as can be seen here divorce-remarriage while spouse was alive was taught to be sin for 1500 years. Even 50 years ago when I was young there was still a stigma or thought of disgrace attached with divorce-remarriage but now it is ok to come out of the closet as is said about other sin also.
12.HermesA.D. 90Hermes was sold into slavery and sent to Rome as a boy. He was later set free by his owner, a woman called Rhoda. He became known as one of the authoritative Fathers of the Church and an influential Christian writer, noted for his detailed description of early Christianity. His surviving book, “The Shepherd”, was considered to be an inspired book of the Holy Bible until the fourth century A.D. To quote the translators: “The Shepherd of Hermas is in form, an apocalypse. It consists of a series of revelation made to Hermas by the church, who appears in the form of a woman, by the shepherd, the angel of repentance, and by the great angel who is in charge of Christians. Each revelation is accompanied by an explanation, and from these it can be seen though the form of the book is apocalyptic and visionary, its object is practical and ethical.”
Hermas wrote: "I charge you," said he, "to guard your chastity, and let no thought enter your heart of another man's wife, or of fornication, or of similar iniquities; for by doing this you commit a great sin. But if you always remember your own wife, you will never sin. For if this thought enter your heart, then you will sin; and if, in like manner, you think other wicked thoughts, you commit sin. For this thought isgreat sin in a servant of God. But if any one commit this wicked deed, he works death for himself. Attend, therefore, and refrain from this thought; for where purity dwells, there iniquity ought not to enter the heart of a righteous man." I said to him, "Sir, permit me to ask you a few questions.""Say on," said he. And I said to him, "Sir, if any one has a wife who trusts in the Lord, and if he detect her in adultery, does the man sin if he continue to live with her?"And he said to me, "As long as he remains ignorant of her sin, the husband commits no transgression in living with her. But if the husband know that his wife has gone astray, and if the woman does not repent, but persists in her fornication, and yet the husband continues to live with her, he also is guilty of her crime, and a sharer in her adultery." And I said to him, "What then, sir, is the husband to do, if his wife continue in her vicious practices?" And he said, "The husband should put her away, and remain by himself. But if he put his wife away and marry another, he also commits adultery." And I said to him, "What if the woman put away should repent, and wish to return to her husband: shall she not be taken back by he husband?" And he said to me, "Assuredly. If the husband do not take her back, he sins, and brings a great sin upon himself; for he ought to take back the sinner who has repented…In this matter man and woman are to be treated exactly in the same way. –The Shepherd 4:1-10(a)Hermas taught: 1. If a wife persists in adulterous behavior the “innocent party” may, and should, divorce in order to separate away from the sins of the offender 2. If a husband divorces his wife for such a reason he must remain single and not remarry. 3. If a wife repents of her offence the husband must forgive her and receive her back as wife. 4. If the husband does not forgive his repentant wife he brings a great sin upon himself. 5. Men and woman are to act and be regarded exactly the same in this matter. 13. Justin Martyr A.D. 151 Justin Martyr was one of the great, early theologians and apologists for the Church. He had the distinction of presenting a defining explanation and defense of Christianity to Caesar and the Imperial Roman Senate. His “Apology for the Christians”, written to refute charges of sedition to the Roman state, is a magnificent legal testimony of the power of early Christians to live Holy and pleasing lives in an evil and corrupted society. Justin was beheaded for refusing to sacrifice to pagan Gods.
Justin Martyr wrote: “In regards to chastity, Jesus has this to say: ‘If anyone look at lust at a woman, he has already before God committed adultery in his heart.’ And, ‘Whoever marries a woman who has been divorced from another husband, commits adultery.’ “ “According to our teacher, just as they are sinners who contract a second marriage, even though it is in accord with human law, so also are they sinners who look with lustful desires at a woman. He repudiates not only one who actually commits adultery, but even one who wishes to do so; for not only our actions are manifest to God, but even our thoughts.” (First Apology 15) (a)
Justin Martyr taught: 1. To indulge in lust is to be guilty of adultery of the heart. 2. Whoever marries a divorced person commits adultery. 3. Whoever contracts a second marriage is sinning against God. (while a former spouse lives) 4. God does not, and the Church must not, take into account human law when it is in violation of God’s law. 5. God judges motives and intentions, private thought life and actions. All is known and exposed to the God with which we have to do.14. Clement of Alexandria A.D.208Titus Flavius Clemens, known as Clement of Alexandria, was a Greek theologian who served as head of the famous Catechetical School in Alexandria. His writings were designed to guide mature Christians to a more perfect knowledge of God and a pure moral character. His defense of the faith exhorted morals, kindness and patience. He taught that the thoughts and will of God in the Scriptures exhorts, educates and perfects the true Christian. Many scholars believe he founded the great Alexandrian School of Theology. He is listed as a martyr for his faith.
Clement of Alexandria wrote: That scripture counsels marriage, however, and never allows any release from the union, is expressly contained in the law: “You shall not divorce a wife, except for reason of adultery.” And it regards as adultery the marriage of a spouse, while the one from whom a separation was made is still alive. “Whoever takes a divorced woman as wife commits adultery,” it says; for “if anyone divorce his wife, he debauches her;” that is, he compels her to commit adultery. And not only does he that divorces her become the cause of this, but also he that takes the woman and gives her the opportunity of sinning; for if he did not take her, she would return to her husband.”(Miscellanies 2:23:145:3) (a)Clement of Alexandria taught: 1. The Scriptures encourage Christians to enter a marriage relationship. 2. The marriage union covenant is permanent and does not allow anyone to be released from the union. 3. The only legitimate reason for divorce is adultery, otherwise separation is prohibited. A remarriage while a former spouse lives is living in the state of adultery, therefore expressly forbidden in Scripture. 4. A man who divorces his wife violates and corrupts her, for if she remarries, for any reason except for the death of her husband, she becomes an adulteress. 5. The one who marries a divorced spouse sins not only by committing adultery with another’s spouse but also sins against God by acting as an impediment to reconciliation of the original marriage. 6. If the divorced spouse had remained single she would have, if possible returned the first union.15. Origen A.D. 248 Origen is known as the most accomplished and significant theologian of the early Church. As a student and exegete of the Old and New Testaments, he influenced the critical thinking of the Church in his day to such an extent that his works still have major impact on doctrine and practice. He was the first teacher known to use the “allegorical” method of Scriptural interpretation. It is estimated that he wrote some 5,000 thesis, tracts, epistles and books in his lifetime of service. Much of his work concentrated on refuting dangerous error and heresy. Origen was imprisoned during the reign of Emperor Decius. He was tortured to such an extent that he died from his ordeal after being released.Origen wrote: For confessedly he who puts away his wife when she is not a fornicator, makes her an adulteress, so far as it lies with him, for if, "when the husband is living she shall be called an adulteress if she be joined to another man;" and when by putting her away, he gives to her the excuse of a second marriage, very plainly in this way he makes her an adulteress… Just as a woman is an adulteress, even though she seems to be married to a man, while a former husband yet lives, so also the man who seems to marry who has been divorced does not marry her, but, according to the declaration of our Savior, he commits adultery with her.(Commentaries on Matthew 14) (a) Origen taught: 1. A man that divorces his wife who is not guilty of fornication causes her to become an adulteress if she remarries, and the man that marries her is an adulterer. 2. The marriage covenant between a man and a woman is permanent, as long as both husband and wife are alive. 3. No matter what the legal circumstances may appear to be to the contrary, a remarriage relationship when either or both parties are divorced, while a former partner lives, is adultery. 4. The intimate relations between the man and the woman remarried while former spouses still live are adulterous, and considered sin. 5. A remarriage is not an actual marriage whatsoever, but disguised adultery.16. Basil the Great A.D. 375 Basil was born in Caesarea and educated in Athens. He is considered one of the great Fathers and Doctors of the Church. His writings include “On the Holy Spirit” and “Moralia.” He was asked by the Church to help defend against the Arian heretical doctrines and subsequently became Bishop of Caesarea in 370. Basil became Basil the Great because of his outstanding personal integrity and holiness as well as his brilliance as a theologian and defender of the faith.
Basil the Great wrote: The man who has deserted his wife and goes to another is himself an adulterer because he makes her commit adultery; and the woman who live with him is an adulteress, because she has caused another woman’s husband to come over to her…The woman who lives with an adulterer is an adulteress the whole time. The woman who has been abandoned by her husband, ought, in my judgment, to remain as she is. The Lord said, “If any one leave his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, he causes her to commit adultery;” thus, by calling her adulteress, He excludes her from intercourse with another man. For how can the man being guilty, as having caused adultery, and the woman, go without blame, when she is called an adulteress by the Lord for having intercourse with another man? A man who marries another man’s wife who has been taken away from him will be charged with adultery… - Amphilochius 199 (a) Basil Taught: 1. A man that deserts his wife and she remarries another makes his wife commit adultery. 2. The woman who a divorced man marries is guilty of adultery. 3. The second woman is guilty of taking another woman’s husband. 4. An adulterous relationship is continuous adultery, not a onetime sin. 5. An abandoned wife is to remain as she is and not remarry. 6. an abandoned woman that takes another man and has sexual intercourse with him is committing adultery. 7. If a man is guilty of adultery, so is a woman. 8. It is a serious offence for a woman to take another woman’s husband and will be charged with adultery. 9. It is a serious offence for a man to take another man’s wife and will be charged with adultery. 17. Ambrose of Milan A.D. 387 Ambrose is known as one of the four original Doctors of the Church. Born in Germany and educated in Rome, he was asked to be Bishop of Milan because of his extraordinary kindness and wisdom, earning him the love and esteem of his people. History records that he publicly confronted rebuked and led to repentance Caesar Theodosius over the slaughtering of thousands of Thessalonians. He wrote major treatises on Christian morality and personal Holiness, warning against adopting the world’s standards. He was by all accounts a most extraordinary man, equal to his times. He was influential in bringing Augustine into a saving personal knowledge of Jesus Christ and receiving him into the Body of Christ.
Ambrose of Milan wrote: But what shall I say about chastity, when only one and no second union is allowed? As regards marriage, the law is, not to marry again, nor to seek union with another wife. It seems strange to many why impediment should be caused by a second marriage entered on before baptism, so as to prevent election to the clerical office, and to the reception of the gift of ordination; seeing that even crimes are not wont to stand in the way, if they have been put away in the sacrament of baptism. But we must learn, that in baptism sin can be forgiven, but law cannot be abolished. In the case of marriage there is no sin, but there is a law. Whatever sin there is can be put away, whatever law there is cannot be laid aside in marriage. - On the duties of Clergy:1:257 (a) And what else did John have in mind but what is virtuous, so that he could not endure a wicked union even in the king's case, saying: "It is not lawful for thee to have her to wife."118 He could have been silent, had he not thought it unseemly for himself not to speak the truth for fear of death, or to make the prophetic office yield to the king, or to indulge in flattery. He knew well that he would die as he was against the king, but he preferred virtue to safety. Yet what is more expedient than the suffering which brought glory to the saint. - On the duties of Clergy, 3:89 (a) No one is permitted to know a woman other than his wife. The marital right is given you for this reason: lest you fall in a snare and sin with a strange woman. “If you are bound to a wife do not seek a divorce,” for you are not permitted, while your wife lives to marry another.” – Abraham 1:57:59 (a) You dismiss your wife, therefore, as if by right and without being charged with wrongdoing; and you suppose it is proper for you to do so because no human law forbids it; but divine law forbids it. Anyone who obeys men should stand in awe of God. Hear the Word of the Lord, which even they who propose our laws must obey: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” – Commentary on Luke, Sec. 8:5 (a) Ambrose of Milan taught: 1. Sex is a marital right that is limited to one’s own husband or wife. Legitimate sexual relations with one’s spouse protects from sexual sin. 2. Extramarital sex is sin and a snare that will catch and kill. 3. It is forbidden by God for a spouse to divorce and to remarry another. 4. Ambrose interprets Paul’s writings in Corinthians to mean that it is forbidden for a man or woman to remarry another while a former or earlier spouse lives. 5. It is a wrong understanding to believe that it is simply one’s right to divorce a spouse. Even though human law may permit such a thing, God strictly forbids it. 6. Anyone who follows human customs and laws regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage, instead of Divine laws should stand in fearful awe of God. 7. All lawmakers, in and out of the Church are warned, to their peril, to hear and obey the Word of the Lord. 8. Jesus’ command is reaffirmed: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” 9. Conversion to Christianity forgives past sin but does not nullify or set aside God’s laws. 18. Jerome A.D. 396 Jerome was another great Father and Doctor of the early Church whose most important work was the translation of the Bible into Latin (The Vulgate). He wrote works defending the Church from Jovinian, Vigilantius and Pelagianism heretics that were threatening the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jerome wrote: In explaining the testimony of the apostle, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise, also, the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife," we have subjoined the following: "The entire question relates to those who are living in wedlock, whether it is lawful for them to put away their wives, a thing which the Lord also has forbidden in the Gospel. Following the decision of the Lord the apostle teaches that a wife must not be put away saving for fornication, and that, if she has been put away, she cannot during the lifetime of her husband marry another man, or, at any rate, that she ought, if possible, to be reconciled to her husband. In another verse he speaks to the same effect: `The wife is bound ...as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband; she is at liberty to be married to, whom she will; only in the Lord. I find joined to your letter of inquiries a short paper containing the following words: "ask him,(that is me,) whether a woman who has left her husband on the ground that he is an adulterer and sodomite and has found herself compelled to take another may in the lifetime of him whom she first left be in communion with the church without doing penance for her fault." As I read the case put I recall the verse "they make excuses for their sins." We are all indulgent to our own faults; and what our own will leads us to do we attribute to a necessity of nature. It is as though a young man were to say, "I am over-borne by my body, the glow of nature kindles my passions, the structure of my frame and its reproductive organs call for sexual intercourse." Or again a murderer might say, "I was in want, I stood in need of food, I had nothing to cover me. If i shed the blood of another, it was to save myself from dying of cold and hunger." Tell the sister, therefore, who thus enquires of me concerning her condition, not my sentence but that of the apostle. "Know ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband, so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then, if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress." And in another place: "the wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." The apostle has thus cut away every plea and has clearly declared that, if a woman marries again while her husband is living, she is an adulteress. You must not speak to me of the violence of a ravisher, a mother's pleading, a father's bidding, the influence of relatives, the insolence and the intrigues of servants, household losses. A husband may be an adulterer or a sodomite, he may be stained with every crime and may have been left by his wife because of his sins; yet he is still her husband and, so long as he lives, she may not marry another. The apostle does not promulgate this decree on his own authority but on that of Christ who speaks in him. For he has followed the words of Christ in the gospel: "whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery." Mark what he says: "whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." Whether she has put away her husband or her husband her, the man who marries her is still an adulterer. I have not been able quite to determine what it is that she means by the words "has found herself compelled" to marry again. What is this compulsion of which she speaks? Was she overborne by a crowd and ravished against her will? If so, why has she not, thus victimized, subsequently put away her ravisher? Let her read the books of Moses and she will find that if violence is offered to a betrothed virgin in a city and she does not cry out, she is punished as an adulteress: but if she is forced in the field, she is innocent of sin and her ravisher alone is amenable to the laws. Therefore if your sister, who, as she says, has been forced into a second union, wishes to receive the body of Christ and not to be accounted an adulteress, let her do penance; so far at least as from the time she begins to repent to have no farther intercourse with that second husband who ought to be called not a husband but an adulterer. If this seems hard to her and if she cannot leave one whom she has once loved and will not prefer the Lord to sensual pleasure, let her hear the declaration of the apostle: "ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils," and in another place: "what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? –Letters 55, 58 (a) Jerome taught: 1. The Lord has forbidden divorce and remarriage in the gospel. 2. Christians must stop making excuses for and trying to find justification for divorce and remarriage. None of it stands before God, and must not be considered at all when applying the Word of God in the Church or to our individual lives. 3. A marriage is for life, and no matter what a spouse turns out to be, or how they may act, or the sins they commit, the covenant remains fully in effect. God does not divide the one flesh relationship. 4. A spouse that is separated or divorced for any reason, no matter how provoked, or how circumstances came to be as they are, is still bound to the marriage covenant, and cannot be remarried to another, as long as both live. 19. Augustine A.D. 419 Augustine is widely regarded to be the single greatest Church leader and theologian between the time of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the reformation period, and perhaps beyond. His personal testimony of seeking and finding God after an early life of sin is as fresh and new today, and as transparently Spirit filled as it was then. His place in the Church, among his peers, can be compared to what Paul’s was among the Apostles. He rigorously and effectively defended the faith from enemies on all sides. His writings are credited with influencing to an enormous extent the thinking of the great leaders of the reformation.
Augustine wrote: This we now say, that, according to this condition of being born and dying, which we know, and in which we have been created, the marriage of male and female is some good, the compact whereof divine Scripture so commends, as that neither is it allowed one put away by her husband to marry, so long as her husband lives; nor is it allowed one put away by his wife to marry another, unless she who have separated from him be dead. Our Lord, therefore, in order to confirm that principle, that a wife should not lightly be put away, made the single exception of fornication; but enjoins that all other annoyances, if any such should happen to spring up, be borne with fortitude for the sake of conjugal fidelity and for the sake of chastity; and he also calls that man an adulterer who should marry her that has been divorced by her husband. And the Apostle Paul shows the limit of this state of affairs, for he says it is to be observed as long as her husband liveth; but on the husband’s death he gives permission to marry. For he himself also held by this rule, and therein brings forward not his own advice, as in the case of some of his admonitions, but a command by the Lord when he says: “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” I believe that, according to a similar rule, if he shall put her away, he is to remain unmarried, or be reconciled to his wife. -Commentaries on the Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels (a) For whosoever putteth away his wife except for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery. To such a degree is that marriage compact entered upon be a holy Sacrament, that it is not made void even by separation itself, since so long as her husband lives, even by whom she hath been left, she commits adultery in the case where she marries another, and he who hath left her is the cause of this evil. But I marvel, if, if it be allowed to put away a wife who is an adulteress, so it be allowed, having put her away, to marry another. For holy Scripture makes a hard knot in this matter in that the apostle says, that, by commandment of the Lord, the wife ought not to depart from her husband, but, in case she shall have departed to remain unmarried, or to be reconciled to her husband…I can not see how the man can have permission to marry another, in the case where he left an adulteress, when a woman can not be married to another when she left an adulterer. Seeing that the compact of marriage is not done away with by an intervening divorce, so that they continue as wedded persons one to another, even after separation, and commit adultery with those with whom they be joined, even after their own divorce, either the woman with the man, or the man with a woman. Neither can it rightly be held that a husband who dismisses his wife because of fornication and marries another does not commit adultery. For there is also adultery on the part of those who, after the repudiation of their former wives because of fornication, marry others… 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 (a) A spouse, therefore, is lawfully dismissed for cause of adultery, but the laws of chastity remains. That is why a man is guilty of adultery if he marries a woman who has been dismissed even for this very reason of adultery. -ibid., 2:4:4 (a) A woman begins to be the wife of no later husband unless she has ceased to be the wife of a former one. She will cease to be the wife of a former one, however, if that husband should die, not if he commit adultery. –ibed, 2:4:3 (a) Therefore to serve two or more (men), so to pass over from a living husband into marriage with another, was neither lawful then (in the Old Testament), nor is it lawful now, nor will it ever be lawful. To apostatize from the One God, and to go into adulteress superstitions of another, is ever an evil. -On the Holy Spirit; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises. (a) Augustine taught: 1. It cannot be rightly held by those wishing to believe so that anyone who divorces their spouse for adultery and then marries another is in the will of God and avoids the sin of adultery. 2. It is adultery to marry another if someone is divorced and then chooses a new husband or wife. 3. Whether or not a spouse commits adultery or fornication does not matter insofar as remarriage is concerned. Whoever remarries while a divorced spouse lives is in the state and sin of adultery. 4. When a spouse remarries according to the law of the land, after a divorce, they are still married to the former spouse as long as that spouse lives. Therefore the sexual and intimate relationship they have with a new spouse is simply engaging in a forbidden relationship by sinning with a person they are not married to in the eyes of God and the Church. Chastity refers to sexual abstinence. To have sexual relations with a remarried spouse is to be living in sin, in direct disobedience to God’s Word. 5. A spouse can if they must, divorce their husband or wife who is guilty of adultery, but must not have a relationship with another as long as the original partner lives, for they are still in a binding life long covenant with them. 6. It is forbidden for a man or woman, even if they themselves were never previously married, to marry or have sexual relations with a divorced person whose spouse is still alive. They would be guilty of having sexual relations with another person’s spouse, which is the very definition of the sin of adultery. 7. It never has been lawful, it is not now lawful, and it never will be lawful to divorce and remarry. To say and do otherwise is to adopt the adulterous superstitions of a different God than the one to which we have to do.20. Summary of Early Church Doctrine on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage90 A.D. – 419 A.D.1. If a spouse persists in adulterous behavior and there is no other alternative, the marriage relationship can be terminated by the innocent party. (Hermes, Clement, Jerome, Augustine) 2. Spouses that are divorced for any reason must remain celibate and single as long as both spouses live. Remarriage is expressly prohibited. (Hermes, Justin Martyr, Clement, Origen, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 3. To indulge in lust with the mind is to be guilty of adultery of the heart. (Justin Martyr) 4. Whoever marries a divorced person commits adultery. (Hermes, Justin Martyr, Clement, Origen, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 5. Whoever contracts a second marriage, whether a Christian or not, while a former spouse lives is sinning against God. (Justin Martyr, Ambrose) 6. God does not, and the Church must not, take into account human law when it is in violation of God’s law. (Justin Martyr, Origen, Ambrose) 7. God judges motives and intentions, private thought life and actions. (Justin Martyr) 8. The marriage covenant between a man and a woman is permanent, as long as both husband and wife are alive. (Clement, Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 9. It is a serious offence against God to take another person’s spouse. (Basil) 10. The Church must charge all persons who are in possession of another living person’s former husband or wife with adultery. (Basil) 11. Sexual relations are a marital right that is limited to one’s own husband or wife. (Hermes, Justin Martyr, Clement, Origen, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 12. Sexual relations with one’s legitimate spouse protects from sexual sin. (Ambrose) 13. Marriage and sexual relations with a remarried spouse while a former spouse lives is the sin of adultery. (Hermes, Justin Martyr, Clement, Origen, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 14. It is a serious mistake to believe that it is simply one’s right to divorce a spouse and take another. Even though human law may permit such a thing, God strictly forbids it, and cannot, and will not honor it. (Clement, Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 15. Anyone who follows human customs and laws regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage, instead of God’s Divine instructions should stand in fearful awe of God Himself. (Clement, Ambrose) 16. All lawmakers, in and out of the Church are warned, to their peril, to hear and obey the Word of the Lord in regard to His commands on marriage and divorce. (Ambrose) 17. Christians are to stop making excuses and trying to find justification for divorce and remarriage. There are no valid reasons acceptable to God. (Jerome, Augustine) 18. A marriage is for life. No matter what a spouse turns out to be, or how they may act, what they do or don’t do, or the sins they commit, the covenant remains fully in effect. A remarriage while a former spouse lives is not marriage at all, but sinful adultery. God does not divide the one flesh relationship except by physical death. (Hermes, Clement, Origen, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine) 19. Marriage is a lifelong covenant that will never be invalidated by God while both parties live. (Hermes, Justin Martyr, Clement, Origen, Basil, Ambrose, Augustine) 20. It never has been lawful, it is not now lawful, and it never will be lawful to divorce and remarry. To say and do otherwise is to worship and adopt the adulterous superstitions of a different God than the one to which we have to do. (Augustine)