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Sender's name: William McCormick

Can a person that is living in adultery be baptized and continue in the relationship, does baptism take care of the situation? Are singing groups authorized by the new testament (groups that sing psalms and spiritual songs)? If a person divorces a spouse for adultery can he or she go back and remarry that person?




As to your first question, the answer is really simple.  Adultery is a sin.  Jesus said, "You shall not commit adultery" in Matthew 5:27.  If a person is committing adultery, he needs to repent, which means to stop committing adultery.


As to your second question, the Bible is silent on singing groups.  It merely instructs us to sing.


"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father (Eph 5:18-20);"


"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms {and} hymns {and} spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Col 3:16)."


"What is {the outcome} then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification (1 Cor 14:26).


The Bible merely instructs us to sing to each other.  Four part harmony, song books, song leaders and such are simply not mentioned in the New Testament.  Neither are singing groups mentioned.  The Bible merely tells us to sing praises to God, and to sing to each other.  Singing groups are neither scriptural nor unscriptural.  Since the New Testament doesn't deal with them, it is a "non-scriptural" issue.


As to your third question, here are the relevant passages:


"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts {it} in her hand and sends her out from his house, she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man's {wife,} and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts {it} in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, {then} her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance (Deut 24:1-4)."


Even though this is in the Old Testament, it bears examination because it deals with a moral issue, not a ritual one.  God considers divorced spouses returning to each other after they have been married to someone else an "abomination," which is a strong word.  It is evident that God's laws concerning marriage are designed to preserve the integrity of the family.


"But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife (1 Cor 7:10-11)."


For a Christian couple, this passage tells us that they should not separate.  If they do, they need to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their spouse.  The passage goes on to deal with the case of a mixed couple, one a believer the other an unbeliever.


"But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.  Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such {cases,} but God has called us to peace (1 Cor 7:12-15)."


A person who has an unbelieving spouse should stay with the spouse unless the unbelieving spouse leaves.  In that case, the passage says the believer should let them go and is not under bondage.  Later the passage goes on to say this.


"I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is (1 Cor 7:26)."


The passage encourages the one who has been left to remain single.  However, it goes on to say,


"Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.  But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you (1 Cor 7:27-28)."


If you are released from a wife, don't seek one, but if you get married it is not sin.  The only ones "released" from a wife in this chapter are those believers whose unbelieving spouse has left them.


John Telgren

P.O. Box 452

Leavenworth, KS 66048


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