Can a JW get a scriptual divorce if mate is "gay or lesbian"?

by booker-t 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • booker-t

    This is a very interesting topic because I know a sister who was married to a homosexual man and stayed with him for years. Back in the earlier days JW's were told that "adultery" was sex with a married person and someone of the opposite sex. So if a JW women found out her husband was having gay affairs she could not scriptually divorce her husband. Or if a JW man found out his wife was having lesbian affairs he could not divorce her. What are JW's rules on this subject now with all of the homosexuality hitting the congregations and at Bethel? Have they changed their rules on this? I use to think it was stupid that a JW could not get a divorce if his or her mate was gay or lesbian.

  • blondie

    They can now but this was not always the case. It took 11 years though for the "holy spirit" to correct its mistake.

    In 1972


    w72 1/1 p. 31 Questions from Readers

    ? Do homosexual acts on the part of a married person constitute a Scriptural ground for divorce, freeing the innocent mate to remarry??U.S.A.

    Homosexuality is definitely condemned in the Bible as something that will prevent individuals from gaining God?s approval. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10) However, whether an innocent mate would Scripturally be able to remarry after procuring a legal divorce from a mate guilty of homosexual acts must be determined on the basis of what the Bible says respecting divorce and remarriage.

    In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said: "Everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of fornication, makes her a subject for adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32) On a later occasion he told the Pharisees: "Whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery."?Matt. 19:9.

    Thus "fornication" is seen to be the only ground for divorce that frees the innocent mate to remarry.

    The Greek word for fornication is porneía. It can refer to illicit sexual relations between either married or unmarried persons. The ancient Greeks, in rare instances, may have understood this term to denote acts other than illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. But the sense in which Jesus used the word porneía at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 must be ascertained from the context.

    It should be noted that in Matthew chapters 5 and 19 "fornication" is used in the restricted sense of marital unfaithfulness, or illicit relations with another person not one?s marriage mate. Just before bringing up the matter of divorce in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ pointed out that "everyone [married] that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28) Consequently, when he afterward alluded to a woman?s committing fornication, his listeners would have understood this in its relative sense, namely, as signifying a married woman?s prostitution or adultery.

    The context of Matthew chapter 19 confirms this conclusion. On the basis of the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus pointed out that a man and his wife became "one flesh," and then added: "What God has yoked together let no man put apart." (Matt. 19:5, 6) Now, in homosexual acts the sex organs are used in an unnatural way, in a way for which they were never purposed. Two persons of the same sex are not complements of each other, as Adam and Eve were. They could never become "one flesh" in order to procreate. It might be added, in the case of human copulation with a beast, two different kinds of flesh are involved. Wrote the apostle Paul: "Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish."?1 Cor. 15:39.

    While both homosexuality and bestiality are disgusting perversions, in the case of neither one is the marriage tie broken. It is broken only by acts that make an individual "one flesh" with a person of the opposite sex other than his or her legal marriage mate.

    In 1983 homosexuality comes under the umbrella word "porneia" so the WTS considers it grounds for a scriptural divorce.

    *** w83 12/15 p. 27 When a Mate Is Unfaithful ***

    In such a situation, Jesus? words on the subject have to be taken into account: "I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery." (Matthew 19:9) What does this mean? That fornication (which in the Bible sense includes adultery and gross sexual immorality such as homosexuality) can break up a marriage. Scripturally, the innocent partner has the right to divorce the guilty one and remarry without sin in God?s eyes.

  • BluesBrother

    Well done Blondie, once again.

    I always felt, before the change in 1983, that something was wrong with the previous stance. Consider a young woman whose husband took up with a gay man, she would have been stuck for the rest of her life with no hope of re marrying because her husband was not going to commit traditional adultery. Any way, according to JW thinking (and basic bible teaching) the "sin" appeared greater .

  • darkuncle29

    My best friend's sister was DF'd for this very thing back around 1999-2000. She divorced her gay husband, he had married her so he could get to this country from South America. This is what happens when window washers and painters take charge of people's spiritual well being (in this case actually a very senile reitred Army vet and a "New" elder.)

  • minimus

    BUT---if the person does not practice their homosexuality----they can't!

  • darkuncle29
    BUT---if the person does not practice their homosexuality----they can't!

    That would be true IF JW rules were consistently applied; they're not.

  • euripides

    So why isn't it the case when a spouse believing/announcing they are homosexual (although have never acted upon it) constitutes "adultery in the heart," and thereby tantamount to the real thing? What is the person supposed to do, lose out on the "marital due," and push their spouse into a homosexual act so they can obtain the divorce? OR by scriptural divorce are we merely referring to the point at which you are free to "scripturally remarry?"

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