"The Bible teaches that all, (both the guilty and the not guilty), persons Scripturally Divorced have God's right to marry."

Max Burgin will affirm

John Cripps will deny


It is finally a pleasure to defend the truth on this vital issue, I hope you will take notice of the proposition, rightly define it, keep the right people in mind, and stay with the point. Only if you do that will this debate be fruitful.

There is a clear distinction to be made between a Scriptural divorce, and an unscriptural divorce, and we will do well to remember that throughout this debate. On this distinction will rest the entire outcome. And all who go through a Scriptural divorce, do not sin by virtue of this fact. It is the result of sin, but is sanctioned by God.

The whole point is, those who are Scripturally divorced are rightly single, it makes no difference to their status whether, or not, they are guilty, or right with God. Whereas those unscripturally divorced, are still married in heaven's sight, they are not rightly single, so they "commit adultery" on every occasion when they marry. The marriage of single people neither makes them right, or wrong. This is not the question under consideration. Neither is what led them to be single. The fact is, all rightly single people can marry. The other issues are not relevant to the matter.

Let me deal with the proposition. "The Bible teaches that all people Scripturally divorced have God's right to marry". Firstly, "The Bible teaches...", it is not silent about this subject, and is the absolute, and final, authority. The question is, do you accept what "The Bible teaches"? Is there any authority, on the subject, apart from the Bible? "...that all people Scripturally divorced...", there can be no doubt who is being talked about, those not Scripturally divorced are not under consideration, THEY are the ones Jesus said "commit adultery" Matt.19:9, not THOSE divorced according to the exception - THEY are rightly single. It is important to keep the right people in mind. Consider the following syllogisms:

All people Scripturally divorced are rightly single.

All people divorced because of adultery are Scripturally divorced.

Therefore all people divorced for adultery are rightly single.

Every person who is rightly single has God's right to marry Gen.2:18, Rom.7:2, 1Cor.7:2.

Every person divorced because of adultery is rightly single Matt.19:9.

Therefore every person divorced because of adultery may remarry 1Cor.7:27-28.

This includes the "guilty party" every bit as much as the "innocent party" - they are equally single, they are both equally "loosed from" a spouse.

If they are divorced for any other cause, they are not rightly single, for example the woman in 1Cor.7:10-11. [Continuing with the proposition] "...have God's right to marry", God invented marriage, and any right to enter it is God given, and He gives it to "every" [1Cor.7:2] person who is rightly single Gen.2:18, Rom.7:2, 1Cor.7:2, 1Cor.7:27-28. The whole question is, are they rightly single, OR, can they be shown to be bound? Stay with the point, and be sure to keep the right people in mind. If they are single, they are not bound - if they are bound they are not single. They can't be part of both! Are those Scripturally divorced, married, or single?

Just by defining the proposition, I have proved the case, but there is more to consider. Jesus spoke of those who "commit adultery", therefore a marriage is involved - otherwise it is impossible to "commit adultery". When we want to know who He was talking about, there are only three possibilities, and it is dealt with in the question, who is "her that is put away" and who "commits adultery"?:

1. SHE is "put away" because of adultery, this person is rightly single, and cannot "commit adultery" if she marries another single person, since no marriage is involved. This is true whether she is guilty or innocent. She is rightly single.

2. SHE is "put away" for any other reason, this person is not rightly single and "commits adultery" in marrying again, on every occasion, since a marriage is involved. She is still married in heaven's sight.

3. SHE is "put away" and no cause is stated, This person may, or may not, "commit adultery", there is no reason given for the divorce, so it is impossible to determine, she may not be rightly single.

Clearly choice 2 is what Jesus was talking about, and excluded the others, which included "every" person who is Scripturally divorced, whether, or not they are the "guilty party", Jesus was not talking about THEM, therefore THEY are not included in the issue.

To show that these are not trick questions I have answered them all, but I will be very interested in what you have to say, for on the validity of your answers will depend the entire issue.

1. When people who are rightly single get married, is adultery possible? NO, since no marriage is involved.

2. Are those Scripturally divorced rightly single? YES, and only for this cause.

3. Does this include the one commonly referred to as "the guilty party"? YES, he is unmarried, but remains guilty, if he has not repented.

4. Is the one commonly referred to as "the innocent party" "a divorced person" for the cause of the exception? YES, every bit as much as the other one.

5. Can that "divorced person" marry without adultery? Why? YES, because they are rightly single.

6. Was the woman in 1Cor.7:10-11 rightly single? How could she "be reconciled to her husband" if she was single? NO, she was not rightly single, she is not the person of the issue.

7. Can all people who are rightly single get married? YES, that is the only reason

8. Must a person be right with God to have His right to marry? NO, but he must be free of marriage.

9. What Scripture says any person who is rightly single can't get married? NONE, the Bible is completely silent about them.

10. Where does the Bible teach that one Scripturally divorced, and guilty of adultery, or any other sin, must remain single? NOWHERE, but that is what the issue is all about, and that is what you teach.

11. Must he be divorced? NO, God does not require it - He allows it.

12. What is the difference in having the right to remain married, and having the right to get married? NONE, you are not consistent in your own position.

13. Why is celibacy bound on one - only if divorced, and ONLY for the sin of adultery? BECAUSE THAT IS YOUR LAW, and you feel good about it, you do not even apply it to all who are divorced, or on all who are "guilty".

14. If celibacy is not punishment, what is it? NOTHING, it can't be shown to apply.

15. What happens when both people "commit adultery" - do they each become a "guilty party"? YES, this is true whether, or not they are divorced.

16. If they get a divorce, and only one is "put away" may the other one get married? YES, he was divorced because of adultery. The "put away" one is in the identical situation.

17. Can they get a Scriptural divorce? YES, they each have the same right to "put away...for fornication".

18. Can the one who does the "putting away" get remarried without sin? YES, they are single, but a sinner, that does not make the marriage a sin.

19. Can the other one get married without sin? YES, for the same reason, the whole thing depends on the reason for the divorce in the first place.

20. Being divorced doesn't justify, or make right, any sin, but does it negate the marriage? YES, that is exactly what it does, and it applies equally to both parties. So does the binding - it is not possible for either to apply to only one person.

21. When people go through a Scriptural divorce is any sin committed by anyone? NO, though it is always the result of sin, it is always right - or allowed by God.

22. Can "guilty sinners" obey God's law? YES, "the Gentiles do by nature those things...", 1John 1:8-10 says that nobody can claim to be free of sin.

I have asked many questions, and I could ask more, but these are enough to show the stupidity, and utter futility, of your position. You cannot ask any question that will pose any problem to the truth. It’s time you came up with a position that will endure, and deal with any possible eventuality - truth changes not, it remains the same in every situation. It beats me why on earth you accept it as truth, when there is no such thing as Scripture to support it, or that says so. In fact it is error, and I have shown that it contradicts very plain and simple Scriptures. There can only be one way to establish it as truth - give the passage that says so. That is the responsibility you have.

It's important to observe that "put away" is the same as "divorced", in every respect, and it does not refer to people, but to the reason for the divorce, this is obvious from the statement, "her which is put away". "her" refers to the person, "put away" refers to the separation, you cannot have a divorce that does not involve people, the two are related, but they are not the same. You want "put away" to refer only to the "guilty party" - supposing that they did not instigate the divorce, that is not so, it refers to the divorce - you are reading into the passage what you want, and the "innocent party" is "put away" - from the marriage, or divorced, as much as the "guilty". Your position is nothing but a play on words, that does not mean what you want. If you are right, it is necessary to get in first to remarry without sin - to be one who "puts away" rather than the other one, to instigate the divorce. The reason for the divorce ceases to be important - and there is no value in the exception. It affects both people equally.

Consider the following syllogism:

All people "put away" from the marriage are divorced.

Only people divorced because of adultery are rightly "put away".

Therefore every person rightly "put away" is divorced.

Your position presupposes that in every divorce there is an "innocent party", more than that it presupposes that every divorce is unscriptural - either is not necessarily the case. Such a presupposition is a contradiction in terms, where there is an "innocent party" who instigates the divorce, it is Scriptural, and the people involved are rightly single as the outcome. You fail to make the distinction between a Scriptural and an unscriptural divorce. That is fundamental to the issue. If the divorce negates the marriage for one, it does for the other, there is nothing that binds either one to the marriage, whether they be "innocent" or "guilty" - that is irrelevant to the issue. They are both rightly single and need no other qualification to have God's right to marry.

All people who are rightly single have God's right to marry, regardless of whether they are a "guilty sinner", one doesn't need to be saved - or right with God, to have this right, being saved is not to be confused with being married, one can be either without the other. The only condition that God placed on the matter - that we can read about in Scripture, is being single - that is exactly the condition of every person who is Scripturally divorced.

As you can see, these questions are related, and raised by your position, and you can't answer them, to do so will negate your position. Are you able to give any Scripture that says anything that you believe and teach? That is the acid test! Celibacy is not bound on ALL those who guilty of adultery, it is not required of those still married - it is not even required on ALL those who are Scripturally divorced - only the "guilty party", is not the other divorced for the same reason? Why can they escape it? You are not consistent! Why is that what you teach?

Can't you see that "guilt" and "innocence" have nothing whatever to do with the issue? That is a separate matter altogether, That, at least one is guilty is obvious, and the Scriptures make it clear he is not right with God Gal.5:19-21, but he is rightly single Matt.19:9 - "loosed from a wife" and has "not sinned:" 1Cor.7:27-28 if he marries, that does not make right the sin of adultery, neither does it negate his right, as a single person, to marry. Was Paul wrong in what he said?

If one is bound by sin, by what, or to whom is he bound? To avoid fornication let "every man have his own wife" 1Cor.7:2, does this include "every" person who is rightly single? If "every man" can have "his own wife", who is she? How can the woman he is divorced from be "his own wife"? Ones right to marry is decided solely on the basis of whether, or not, he is rightly single. It's as simple as that.

"To avoid fornication let every man have his own wife", for you to be right you must show that the temptation of fornication does not apply, to those divorced because of adultery, and that marriage is not the answer, but remaining single is. If fornication is not a temptation, why did adultery take place? How can the temptation be overcome if you don't allow marriage? What other "escape"[1 Cor.10:13] is there? Does God have another way for some to avoid this temptation?

The Bible does not speak very kindly of those who forbid marriage 1Tim.4:2-3, why are you among them?

The matter is abundantly clear and simple, what have I said that is wrong? You have much to answer, and explain. I trust you will think about the situation, and come up with the truth.

I have dealt with the proposition, shown it to be true, and given Scripture that says so. To all those who love the truth, that means the matter is resolved. I have shown the foolishness of your position.

Now you have the task of denying everything that I have said, to do that you must deny what "The Bible teaches...", a job I would not want, but that is what you are responsible for, or admit you are wrong. I hope, and expect, you to deal with everything I've said. You have no other option.

Can you do it?


1. If a person who is Scripturally divorced remarries:

a] Does he sin? ..........

b] Identify the sin, what are you going to call it? ............... [It is pointed out that you can't call it "adultery", as they are the wrong people, since no marriage is involved.]

c] Give the passage. ...............

2. This syllogism has very often been used:

A person may divorce and remarry only if his partner has committed fornication Matt.19:9.

The guilty party does not have a partner who has committed fornication.

Therefore the guilty party cannot remarry. ***[see note below]

That is an invalid syllogism, the following one is drawn up to show its mistakes:

All Australians are human beings.

John Cripps is not an Australian.

Therefore John Cripps is not a human being.

Whatever you do with one to show it to be wrong, and false, I will do with the other, since they both have the same faults. It is clearly not enough for both premises to be true, as is the case. It is not possible to accept one, and reject the other.

Do you accept either one? I challenge you to draw up one, that's right, that says what you teach.

3. Is there any difference between "marriage" and the "bond"?

Is it possible to have one, without the other?

If a person has neither, are they single?

4. a] Can a person repent of loss of virginity?

b] Can a person repent of rape?

c] Can a person repent of murder?

d] Can a person repent of adultery?

e] How?

f] Can restitution be made in any case?

5. a] Can one Scripturally divorced, and guilty of adultery, remarry a former spouse? Does the "innocent party" have this right? I am sure you can see the stupidity of this situation.

b] If this "guilty sinner" can marry a former spouse, why can't he marry another single person?

c] Does he not "commit adultery", in marrying his former spouse?

d] Does he "commit adultery" in marrying another single person?

e] Is there any difference in the single status of the two?

f] Is something else required, of one who is guilty of adultery?

g] Can one not Scripturally divorced remarry a former spouse?

h] Can he marry anyone else?

i] What about the "innocent party", in such a divorce?


To rectify its mistakes it would read:

A person may not divorce and remarry except his partner has committed adultery Matt.19:9.

The guilty party does not have a partner who has committed fornication.

Therefore the guilty party cannot divorce and remarry.

Now I accept it as being true. But I hasten to point out that it refers to a totally different person. The reason the "guilty party" cannot remarry, is because he cannot divorce, he is still a married man. Whereas the "guilty party" in a Scriptural divorce is not married. There is a difference. Do you accept that?

The fact that he is guilty of adultery, is of no consideration - the whole matter is decided solely on whether he is free of marriage. To forbid marriage on the basis of guilt, is to decide for the wrong reason. The Bible nowhere forbids marriage, to any person, for that reason. But you do!!!

6. Are you able to draw up one that is right, that says only the "guilty party" in a Scriprtural divorce, must remain single? If you can do that - you teach the truth - BUT you must also show that the one I wrote is false - otherwise the truth is contradictory. There is a great deal at stake on your ability.