Toad’s Challenge For Churchians:
Consider this an open-book test. All the answers have been provided here.
Category I: Definition of Marriage
- Where is the Biblical definition of marriage found and how can we know that is the definition of marriage?
- According to this definition, what are the requirements for the formation of marriage? In other words, what acts must be taken by all people, each and every time, for all of time in order to form a marriage?
- At what point will God consider the man and woman married?
- What is the Biblical standard of commitment in marriage of the man and the woman and how do we know what the standard is?
- Is the Biblical standard of commitment in marriage the same for both men and women or are they different? Why?
- Are the requirements of marriage different for virgins and non-virgins? If so, how do they differ and why?
- Does the virgin have agency? Meaning, is her consent required to form a marriage?
- How does the man demonstrate his consent and commitment to marriage?
- Is the Father’s permission required to marry his daughter?
Category II: Definition of Divorce
- According to Matthew 19, after quoting Genesis 2:24 on the subject of divorce, Jesus said “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been this way.” Demonstrate from the text why divorce (which Moses “permitted”) has not been this way from the beginning. How do we know there was no divorce from the beginning?
- What are the grounds for divorce under the Law?
- Does a woman have the authority to divorce her husband?
- Can a legitimately divorced woman remarry?
- What are the grounds for divorce for a Christian?
Category III: Slavery and House Rules For Christian Slaves
- According to Romans 4:15 and 5:13 the Law defines sin and therefore applies to everyone. According to Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, it is forbidden to add to the Law or subtract from it. Does Christ have the authority to violate God’s Law by adding to or subtracting from the Law?
- Does Christ have the authority to place additional restrictions on His slaves that He purchased with His blood in addition to the Law of Moses?
- Did Christ command His slaves to not divorce for any reason, even though Moses permitted husbands to divorce their wives if they committed adultery?
- Did Christ command His male slaves not to have sex with prostitutes, even though the Law makes no such prohibition?
- Did Christ command His slaves to only marry men or women who are also His slaves?
- Do such regulations that Christ makes for His slaves apply to those who are not Christians?
Category IV: Definition of Sexual Immorality
- Is “sex outside the bounds of marriage” always a sin?
- What is the Biblical definition of “fornication”?
- What is the Biblical definition of adultery?
- If lust is a sin, what law is being violated?
- Is female homosexuality a sin?
- Is female prostitution a sin, in and of itself?
Category V: Issues Related To Polygyny
- Is polygyny lawful?
- Did God support polygyny?
- Did God ever command polygyny?
- Did God have two wives?
- Did anything in the New Testament forbid polygyny?
- Does polygyny offer solutions for the marriage crisis today?
Rules: Sola Scriptura, no antinomies allowed, cite the definitive text with exegesis as necessary for each answer. Responses may be submitted by email to artisanaltoad at gmail or in the comments below.
For those of you who are new here, keep in mind that what the text cannot mean in light of other passages quite often determines what the text does mean. I will provide one example:
It is often claimed that Christ’s teaching in Matthew 19:4-6 forbade a man from having more than one wife. The problem with this claim is Jesus didn’t have the authority to change the Law because the Law clearly states that it was not to be added to or subtracted from. Doing so was a violation of Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, which is a sin. The Law supported having more than one wife and gave the regulations for a man who desired to do so. Psalm 19 states the Law of the Lord is perfect, meaning that it is complete.
Jesus testified that not the slightest stroke or shading of the pen of the Law would pass away until all things were complete. He testified that He did not come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it. By His own testimony He did not change the Law and by the testimony of the Law He could not change the Law. Therefore, if He taught something that added to or subtracted from the Law, He sinned.
Had Jesus actually been teaching a “one man and one woman” doctrine of marriage that forbid polygyny, He was in sin and therefore was not a perfect and acceptable sacrifice and therefore could not have been the Messiah. If Jesus was not the Messiah we have no Christianity and the entire New Testament is a lie. Therefore, to reach the proper exegesis of this passage we must not only look at what He said, we must consider it in light of what He could not possibly have meant with the words He used.