The divorce rate in this country is well over 50%. In some states, there are more divorces granted than marriage licenses. This problem with society has already infiltrated into the churches of Christ. I know of preachers in the Lord’s church who by the definition of Matthew 19:9 are living in open adultery and are in good standing with the brethren they reside. If you try and correct them it is you they say that are causing trouble and division. The troublemakers are not the ones upholding the truth regarding marriage and remarriage, it is the adulterers and those who have made a pact with evil (1 Kin 18:18).
Many of the people baptized today are unscripturally divorced and remarried. The Bible teaches that these people are adulterers (Mt. 19:9 cf; 5:32). Repentance demands that these adulterers cease committing adultery by putting away their adulterous marriages. However, they are left alone to perpetuate their sinful condition to the church and their families. Sin lies at the door.
Many people in the church have twisted the Scriptures to allow and justify unlawful marriages. They have tried to say that the non-Christians are not subject to the laws of God, and thus they are not guilty of adultery if they were divorced and remarried prior to becoming a Christian. John 3:4 teaches that all sin is lawlessness or a transgression of the law. If non-Christians are not subject to God’s law then they have not sinned and do not need baptism. They are already saved according to that theory. Others contend that since baptism takes away all sin, that God forgives the adulterous couple of the unlawful divorce and remarriage. Even though baptism takes away sin it does not change a marriage relationship. God does not grant the adulterers the right to continue committing adultery (Rom. 6:1-2). The same can be applied to fornicators and homosexuals. Once baptized, they must stop their sinful acts. That is exactly what Peter was speaking about when he said, “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Pet 2:22).
The fear of strife and division has caused some of our brethren to adopt a compromising attitude. They have suggested a peaceful coexistence. They have suggested that we regard this question as being a matter of individual private conviction or opinion. I have heard it suggested by some that the adulterers be allowed to continue in full fellowship as faithful members of local churches and let the problem be between them and God. The church at Corinth was severely condemned by God for fellowshipping with a fornicator (1 Cor. 5:1-13).
As for me, I cannot tolerate a doctrine of legalized adultery. I will oppose with vigor those who teach such, even to the point of a breach in fellowship. Truth is never the cause of division. It is sin which causes division. We cannot afford peace at any price. The price we will pay is that eventually local churches will be filled with adulterers who continue to sin with impunity. Sadly, that day is already here and it has devoured not only denominations but more imperatively, the churches of Christ!