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 Vol. 7, No. 1 

January 2005

Since You Asked

~ Page 16 ~

Image Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Image May the Guilty Party
 Remarry with
 God's Approval?

By Louis Rushmore


Matthew 19:9 either means something or it doesn't mean anything. The verse reads, "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Without the exceptive clause, Jesus Christ said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Here, Jesus plainly stated if either of the parties to a marriage divorce and remarry, God considers it adultery. With the exceptive clause, "except it be for fornication," respecting the one divorcing his spouse because of adultery, Jesus said that one may marry another biblically eligible candidate for marriage. The same exceptive clause is not applied in the verse (or elsewhere in the New Testament) to the person guilty of adultery.

What Jesus taught about marriage-divorce-and-remarriage is not popular today. It was not popular among the disciples of Jesus Christ when he taught it, and our Lord's apostles reacted adversely to that teaching. "His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry" (Matthew 19:10). Neither the poor reception Jesus' teaching about marriage-divorce-and-remarriage then nor now changes divine teaching about that subject one bit. What Jesus taught about marriage-divorce-and-remarriage was not negotiable then, it is not negotiable now and it will not be negotiable before the Judgment Bar of God.Image

Is It Right to Take the Lord's Supper Multiple Times on One Sunday?

By Louis Rushmore

Image Acts 20:7 prescribes the frequency that the Lord's Supper is biblically authorized to be observed. Like the contribution (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) and other acts of New Testament worship (singing, prayer, preaching), the Lord's Supper should be observed every first day of the week. The Lord's Supper is the only act of worship that Scripture authorizes exclusively or only for the first day of each week, since giving, singing, prayer and preaching can be observed in Scripture occurring outside the Lord's Day assembly. Congregations that may have more than one worship period on the first day of the week often provide an opportunity for persons who were unable to attend an earlier worship period to partake the Lord's Supper at the latter worship period.

However, I am not personally aware of anyone partaking the Lord's Supper more than once on the Lord's Day. It seems that the example of Acts 20:7 admits of only one worship period on that day in Troas; it is fairly certain that first century churches did not partake the Lord's Supper multiple times on the Lord's Day. Contemporary churches of Christ have not learned from the Scriptures to observe the Lord's Supper multiple times per Lord's Day. The biblical requirement is to observe the Lord's Supper once weekly on the Lord's Day (first day of the week), and I know of no biblical reason that anyone would desire to observe the Lord's Supper more than once on the Lord's Day. If someone has a non-biblical reason for observing the Lord's Supper multiple times on the Lord's Day, then it is beyond the authorization of the Scriptures. At least, no one could insist that others likewise partake of the Lord's Supper multiple times on the Lord's Day.Image

Image Image Religious Jewelry

By Louis Rushmore

I am dealing with an issue regarding the displaying or wearing of religious emblems such as crosses, fish, crucifix, angels and such like. I was wondering what your thoughts on this subject are. Any help that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bruce Stulting

Certainly, we realize, that unlike the stance of some religious groups, a child of God may wear jewelry. For instance, should one refer to 1 Peter 3:3 as "proof" that a Christian cannot wear jewelry, he would be arguing simultaneously (whether he realized it) that a Christian cannot wear clothes either--hardly a satisfactory conclusion to derive from a purportedly biblical principle. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel." Of course, the lavish, outward adornment (not ordinary and modest adornment) in that context is contrasted with the humble, inner spirit of a godly Christian (1 Peter 3:4).

The question, though, essentially is may a Christian wear religious jewelry. My computer database of various religious magazines I have read and catalogued over the past 30 years does not register a single article that addresses this question; if there are any articles in my periodical library that address that question, I have overlooked them. Briefly consulting a collection of religious questions and biblical answers incorporated in book form, likewise, I was unable to find a single reference to the question posed here. Apparently, that question has not been a big issue of concern among the churches of Christ in my lifetime.

The only basis of which I am aware where one might view jewelry that depicts crosses, fish, a crucifix and angels unfavorably is were they to be construed as symbols of idolatry. Indeed, Christians are forbidden to practice idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8). As a former Catholic, I am well aware of the idolatrous use of images by the Catholic Church and its parishioners, especially the crucifix; it has always seemed a little strange to wear a cross around one's neck when it represents an instrument of capital punishment. (I can almost imagine people wearing miniature guillotines and electric chairs around their necks and as charms on bracelets.) However, I know of no Christians or members of the Lord's church who practice an idolatry symbolized by crosses, fish, angels or even a crucifix. I am, though, aware of Christians who are covetous, which the apostle Paul in Colossians 3:5 calls idolatry, about which we apparently have little or no concern. There may be other matters more deserving of critical attention.Image

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