Is Adultery An Unforgivable Sin?

To begin to answer this question, we need to know what adultery is.  Contrary to popular belief, adultery is a consequence of divorce, and not a cause of divorce.  Often, marital unfaithfulness is equated with adultery, when in fact it is simply sexual immorality within marriage, which may lead to divorce and then adultery.

In my study on marriage based on 1 Corinthians 7, I learnt that adultery is the ultimate forsaking and dissolution of the marriage covenant, and the seal of this is remarriage, because remarriage makes reconciliation after separation or divorce impossible.  Because of the abomination of adultery, Paul instructs Believers who divorce to not remarry, but to remain open to reconciliation.  It is worth asking, therefore; would a breach of this Biblical instruction to remain alone (so as not to commit adultery) after the sin of divorce, make such a person unforgivable?

The concept of ‘living in sin’, which is used to describe Christians who are living with sexual immorality and cohabiting, is usually extended to people who have breached this command to not remarry.  By so judging, their second (or third, fourth…) marriage is considered to be unholy and sinful, because their first covenant marriage was not broken by death, but by unfaithfulness.  It is for this reason that I present the question, is adultery an unforgivable sin?  Certainly, if it is forgivable, then the new marriage should be holy too.

I know divorce is a sin.  Adultery is an abomination.  Divorce and adultery are every bit as distasteful to God as murder, homosexuality and pedophilia.  However, I think everyone believes that murder, homosexuality and pedophilia are forgivable sins, the same as hatred, deceit and fornication.  They may be harder to forgive, but they are forgivable nonetheless.  We expect that those who are forgiven from these sins can live whole lives, filled with the same peace, liberty and grace as other Believers, if they are repentant and committed to walk no longer in sin.

However, I feel that the stain of adultery on a Christian’s conscience and soul can be harder to overcome, because of the scourge of the accusation of ‘living in sin’, though one is renewed in their commitment to abide in love and obedience.  Like the single mother living with the evidence of her sin of fornication, the truth is ever before you that you messed up.  Big time.  You sinned, and people may always judge you based on your past failure, because the evidence is plain for all to see.

I think it is by reason of this guilt and condemnation that Jesus warned us to be careful how we judge.  He said:

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matt 7:2).

I remember as a young Christian, I was always hard on what I considered right and wrong, and spoke harshly about those who fell short.  I also believed in my own strength so much that I thought that if ever I was to do anything so abominable, it would certainly mean the end of my faith!  Not that I would give up the faith as a result, but that it would only take me giving up the faith to be so wicked.  And then I fell.

I didn’t lose my faith, but my sin was ever before me, and I lost my self-righteousness.  I desperately needed God’s grace.  But I had been so judgmental, that my own judgments were taunting me!  It was a long time before I could accept God’s forgiveness.  I eventually came to see that “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (Prov 24:16).  God was able to make me rise again, despite the spiritual death sentence I had spoken over myself years before…

I couldn’t bare the burden of abiding alone, to fulfill all righteousness, as the burning I felt was evidence that a life of celibacy was not my gift.  By understanding the better covenant that I have been called into, I learnt that adultery, though abominable, is not an unforgivable sin.  However, it has been hard for me to confess this new found belief.  I certainly do not want to cross over from being overly judgmental to becoming an abuser of the grace of God.  I am not in the ministry of teaching people that divorce is OK. Or that remarriage is an option.  But I know that we all sin – even after we have come to the knowledge of God and have been saved by the blood of Christ – and we are all forgivable.

Ultimately, it came to the point for me that I either accept the grace of God, that no sin is too big for Him to cleanse, and no fall is too great for Him to redeem…or I walk away in my shame and guilt, and deny Him and His power to save (which is the real unforgivable sin as, by so doing, I exempt myself from forgiveness).  Accepting the grace of God has truly helped me to be so much more gracious (Luke 7:47).  He has continued to teach me so many things, through the great love He has shown me.  I truly hope that anyone else going through such a crisis of faith will humble themselves before God and accept His forgiveness and redeeming love.

If you liked this post, you might like SHAME – THE DEVIL’S STICKY TAPE

Comments
  • MissC

    First

    Posted from TNC Mobile

    March 24, 2016
      • woyi_oc

        Give her her 1st prize first na :p

        Nice read by the way. I’ve never thought much about this line of…thought….

        March 24, 2016
        • @woyi_oc Lol………… your own is just to be policing who came first or who didnt….
          Even though i know the Bible says “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”, I still have difficulty forgiving myself and moving on whenever i fall short. Even when I want to pray i feel so ashamed like the Holy Spirit is shaking his head and saying ” you this girl i don tire for your matter”. Lord please help me to fully appreciate and accept your abounding grace.

          March 24, 2016
          • woyi_oc

            Iz not easy to com(MENT) first na.

            And Promises of prizes for 1st position were implied. Such promises must be kept. 🙂

            March 24, 2016
          • woyi_oc

            “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence” 😀

            March 24, 2016
      • MissC

        Thank you @woyi_oc ????. Lol @ufuomaee I’m yet to come to terms with my little sin of fornication seen as same with the crimes of Hitler. It’s a topic I find painful ????????????

        Posted from TNC Mobile

        March 24, 2016
  • A

    I stopped reading at divorce is a sin. Where did you get the idea from?A

    March 24, 2016
    • Od

      Perhaps you should have read on to establish a real need to ask that question. Your arrogant condescension is showing.

      March 24, 2016
      • a

        I’m starting to think this is a personal attack o. Ah. Because I don’t see where I showed arrogant condescension.Why are not attacking snow who also raised the same question?

        March 24, 2016
        • Od

          “I stopped reading at…” is what I’m calling your attention to. It means you already passed judgment on what she has to say and that whatever it was did not warrant your attention because she had already broken a sacred rule in saying that “divorce is a sin”.

          If you cannot listen to people, why bother to ask them questions?

          March 24, 2016
          • a

            The statement caused me to pause. It’s left for her to tell me where she saw it or not so I can check it out and understand the rest of the writing.

            March 24, 2016
          • Od

            @A, was there no possibility that if you had read on you might find answers to your question?

            March 24, 2016
        • snow

          Because my “arrogant condescension” is not showing?

          March 24, 2016
          • MissP

            Dear Snow, I love you! Laughing hard at that comment.

            March 25, 2016
          • a

            LOL. *cries in arrogant condescension*

            March 26, 2016
        • a

          You also think i showed “arrogant condescension” by asking a question? How do you know I didn’t continue reading after making my comment?

          March 24, 2016
      • woyi_oc

        This reminds me of a comment I saw…or was it a part of a post where a lady said “Please cover your mouth. Your misogyny is showing”
        I laught a lot when I read that.

        March 24, 2016
        • a

          @ufuomaee Lol “but I was going to say that you’d better finish reading before you comment, if you expect a response from me.” How very nice of you to say. I did finish reading and my question still stands.

          March 26, 2016
  • Snow

    Okay, I have questions.

    First off, Divorce is a sin? But, But in Mathew 19:9 0 Jesus said “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”:

    And then you said, Adultery is the ultimate forsaking and dissolution of the marriage covenant, and the seal of this is remarriage, because remarriage makes reconciliation after separation or divorce impossible.
    But in Mathew 5:27,28 – Jesus also said “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”

    And then 1 Corinthians 7:12-15, (especially vs 15): Paul said ” To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
    15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances. (So what does Vs 15 say then)

    P.S: Marital unfaithfulness is Adultery, Sexual Immorality is adultery, Having any form of sexual relations or romantic relations with another person other than your spouse is ADULTERY.
    Or have we forgotten the woman that was dragged before Jesus was caught in the “ACT” of adultery.

    Well, like you said, your study of marriage is based on 1 Corinthians Chapter 7, I hope you didn’t skip Vs 6 and 40a

    March 24, 2016
    • woyi_oc

      Dude, did you spit all that off the top of your head or did you open a bible to check out the verses…? 0_0

      March 24, 2016
      • Snow

        LOL

        Well, I already know what part of the bible talks on certain things, so it’s just a matter of being sure i don’t misquote

        March 24, 2016
        • woyi_oc

          Hmmmmmmmm. Interesting. So you’re the opposite of your game-of-thrones-namesake, who knows nothing.

          March 24, 2016
      • ibiela

        I was thinking the same thing

        March 25, 2016
      • Adore

        This study you mentioned, it’s on your blog?

        Posted from TNC Mobile

        April 10, 2016
  • Lady Eze

    I get your point, Adultery is forgivable. What I don’t get is your statement “Adultery is the ultimate forsaking and dissolution of the marriage covenant, and the seal of this is remarriage, because remarriage makes reconciliation after separation or divorce impossible”. That doesn’t seem very right to me. I mean, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). This tells us that adultery can take place within the heart [mind] and is just as sinful as an outward act. So that statement is contradictory. When Jesus came, rules were modified. Mathew 19 gives us a clear cut on divorce and it should be stated clearly. And “life” is very different in this era. The kind of things happening, things I’ve seen, the only thing I can say is, if you have issues especially in this times where twisted things happen, you can just ask God. He is right there, He hears us and has direct answers for us for everything we face that is particular to us. Tailoring you marriage issue to God is a great step forward cause as there is the written word of God for direction and guidance so there is the spoken word of God ” Rhema”, and He is still speaking to our personal situations today. Strange things are happening and I don’t think as human beings we hold answers. Ask God.

    March 25, 2016
  • Omali

    I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”(Matt. 19:9, Luke 16:18, Matt. 5:32)

    But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matt. 5:28)

    Ways you can commit adultery:
    1) divorce your spouse expect on ground of fornication AND marry some some eles. 2) sleep with person that not your spouse

    If someone divorces on the account of a spouse unfaithfulness then it is not held against that person that is not a sin. If somebody decides to divorce their spouse not on the account of unfaithfulness although it is frowned upon (hated by God) as long as both parties remain unmarried they have not committed adultery.

    Even if one spouse chose to separate, after all endeavor by the other spouse to keep their marriage. .or a marraige cannot be maintained bc of abuse its OK… they been called to peace (verse 15)

    On this side of town where marraige is valued, divorce is a stigma. Even though if one has the right to divorce scripturally, they won’t. Not necessarily bc God said he hates a divorce, rather I won’t because it don’t look good.

    March 25, 2016
  • Kabuk

    Hi Ufuomaee,

    Since I discovered tnc a little over 8weeks past and from the few articles and comments authored by you, I’d always thought you were a bible-thumping, Judgemental, self-righteous pretender.
    Thank God for good old logic. How can anyone say in this day and age that ‘Divorce is Sin’. That’s even more twisted than the concept of Original sin. where does that leave suffrage, gender equality, battered and abused spouses or the downright irresponsible sperm-donors/fathers. This reasoning is so outdated, incorrect, as to be insulting to my psyche for one. This is what happens when you allow every tom, dick and harry unfettered access to a computer with an internet connection.
    My advice is this, next time you want to put something with this kind of illogical and outdated thinking out, take a step back, sleep over it, if you still feel okay with the contents, sleep over it again, over and over till you feel different. You shouldn’t even deliver this in church or at you bible-study group. Better yet, ask that teenager who lives a few blocks from you and even he will thrash this kind of article.

    PS: I’m angry.

    March 25, 2016
      • K. Rukia

        If you’re unhappy with ‘unbelievers’ commenting on your posts, maybe you should just write a disclaimer that non-Christians should not comment. Or better still, post on a site targeted at Christians. You can’t post something on a site that thrives on reader engagement and then tell readers that it does not concern them. That is silly and rude.

        March 28, 2016
  • Od

    Dear Ufuoma, as I already told you, the Greek word from which “fornication” and “sexual immorality” was translated and which Jesus used in that passage in Matthew 19, porneia, was a blanket word for all forms of illicit sex. In other words, it ordinarily included adultery along with a host of other sexual immoralities. So, your argument that adultery is not cheating on your spouse because Jesus used fornication and adultery, two words instead of one is wrong.

    Divorce and remarriage is just cheating in God’s eyes because nothing can break a marriage except death and Himself.

    Regarding Deuteronomy 24:1-4, that was what Jesus was addressing in Matthew 19:8 where he said that Moses’s provisions for divorce were to accommodate the unreformed hearts of the Hebrews but that “in the beginning it was not so”. God made marriage unbreakable. Divorce makes that a lie. But you cannot really make a truth a lie, you can only ignore it and act as though it isn’t true. When you do things like that, you make a mess.

    By divorcing and remarrying, you do not break your marriage, you commit adultery against your spouse. And that is a sin before God. When you repent that sin and return to God, in my thinking, you will not have to return to your old marriage because God has not called us to confusion. He will make things simple again and heal your error. Your new marriage will be taken as legitimate and the old one broken by God. That is the kind of thing that God’s forgiveness does.

    It is not that remarriage has broken your old marriage, it is that God has healed your error or else you would have trouble with the complications that arise. Now, if such complications arise, you can act in the confidence that you are not guilty of anything before God and deal with them accordingly.

    The commandments for marriage and divorce are clear from Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7.

    Marriage is sacred. God made it unbreakable. As Jesus said, “what God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6) The only possible exceptions we can see are where an unbelieving spouse chooses to leave a believing spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15) and when a spouse betrays her partner sexually (Matthew 19:9).

    No one is allowed to divorce in Christianity. When a couple have issues that make living together either too difficult for them or even dangerous, they may separate but the marriage is still in force. Regardless what the courts and court documents may say, God does not recognize divorce. So, when people separate like that, they may not remarry. Because the new marriage is not recognized by God. He sees it as an adulterous relationship because the first marriage is still in force. Only when he cleanses it because repentance can it become legitimate in his eyes. Think David and Bathsheba and God’s personal adoption of their second son, Solomon.

    @Snow, please respect the Bible you read. Your lack of faith in it does not permit you to use it without respect. If you will discuss with Christians, say what is written as it is written not as you demand that it must be written. I have said this to you before. You don’t absolutely have to participate in discussions pertaining to Christian beliefs or involving the Bible. The least you can do is present what evidence you will when you do participate in the same light as it was given in the Bible.

    In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul gave a lot of instructions about marriage and celibacy. Some were basically suggestions he gave as an apostle with the authority to command the churches he was responsible for. Some were clear commands from the Lord. He clearly noted where he was speaking on his own discretion “as one who is faithful in the Lord’s affairs” and where he was relaying God’s commands.

    In v. 6, he was speaking of the periods of sexual abstinence he had just talked about in v. 5 where he said that a couple could agree to abstain from sex for a time while they fasted and prayed. He said that it was not a command at all that they should have such periods, just a provision in case they wanted to have such periods. Now you go on to read it as his claim to speak on marriage without God’s authority. Even if you won’t read the Bible through, at least read verses and statements in their own immediate context, why don’t you?

    In v. 40, Paul was addressing celibacy. He said that it wasn’t bad if a woman were to get married but that if she chose celibacy she would be happier, “in his own judgment”. He advocated celibacy throughout that chapter of Corinthians and his reason was clear: the days they lived in as Christians were not kind to marriage. So, if people could be celibate, he thought it would be better for them. That was what he said (see vv. 7-8, 25-26, 28, 32, 40).

    There are only three places where Paul gave his own suggestions without any command from the Lord (vv. 6, 12, 25).

    The first (v. 6) had to do with periods of sexual abstinence in marriage, as I said. He stated that he was not commanding such periods, only advising about them should the couple decide to have them.

    The second (v. 12) was about mixed marriages where a Christian found themselves married to an unbeliever. He said that they should not divorce the unbeliever but stay true to Christ in the relationship because their loyalty would sanctify the marriage and perhaps even bring the spouse to salvation. But that if the unbelieving spouse chose to leave, there was no bondage on the Christian spouse.

    The third (v. 25) was about celibacy. He stated that because the times were so hard for Christians – they were being persecuted and often had to flee at very little notice and they also had economic difficulties because society was very antagonistic toward them – he preferred that everyone was celibate like him. He believed it was easier. But he also made sure to state that getting married instead was not a sin, just the beginning of possibly avoidable difficulty in those times. He said that not everyone had the same gift or the same circumstances, “but as God has distributed to every man, as the Lord has called everyone, so let him walk”. And, said he, ordain I in all churches. So, don’t feel compelled to be celibate if you can’t be. Get married rather than fall into sexual immorality. That was essentially what Paul was saying about that.

    In total, @Snow, Paul addressed four situations in that chapter. While he gave pastoral advice in three, he gave a firm commandment in one. He said, “and to the married I command, yet NOT I, BUT THE LORD…” That is in v. 10. Incidentally, I told @A about this verse in another discussion some time ago but she (if I remember correctly, she’s a she) is back here asking about where the Bible says that divorce is a sin.

    God commanded – not Paul, God – that married Christians should not divorce. They may separate if they need to but neither may remarry. If they find that they need the intimacy of marriage then they must get back together with their spouse. The clarity of this is not in doubt. A violation of this command is sin. Plain and simple.

    And to seal it, I will add that Paul was actually repeating (and then expanding) what Jesus himself said in Matthew 19. In v. 6 of that chapter, he commands that we must not break apart the union that God has created. In v. 5 earlier, he had already said that the two are one flesh. In v. 9, he said that apart from illicit sex, a man is not allowed to divorce his wife for any reason. And should he do so and marry someone else he himself is committing adultery and anyone who marries a divorced woman is also committing adultery. In other words, it’s better to just stay married and work things out with your wife or stay unmarried if you divorce. It should be noted that he was addressing the men. There may be a reason worth investigating why Jesus focused on husbands rather than speak to both but I will not address it here except to say this: the Pharisees came asking about Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

    March 25, 2016
      • Od

        I’m sorry if I appeared to misunderstand, Ufuoma. Discussing online is a very challenging thing to do so I often speed-read and answer things according to priority. If I ignore some things and thus give the impression that I misunderstood you it is likely that I only bothered with what I considered important to address.

        I see what you mean by adultery being bigger than we ordinarily think. Jesus did say that it begins with lusting in the heart and then it proceeds and gets worse until it becomes a full-blown physical sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse. In that we agree. As a matter of fact, that is what I think is why Jesus used “fornication” instead of “adultery”. Pornography is not active sexual intercourse with anybody but it is immoral and a sexual betrayal of your spouse. A marriage can be violated by that.

        As for causes of divorce, I am inclined to agree with you. I understand separation better as a consequence for even physical adultery. It’s hard to wrap my head around it being ok for a man to divorce his adulterous wife and marry somebody else while it is adultery for somebody else to marry her. So I wouldn’t quite agree that even adultery nullifies the marriage covenant.

        I appreciate the time you took to set me straight. 🙂

        Grace be with you.

        March 25, 2016
    • snow

      Oga, Librarian of the Bible. Come and beat me, you hear? Since you know what my faith is or isn’t, If i quote bible on TNC again, please hack the site and delete my comment, you hear?

      The topic of the post is “IS ADULTERY AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN?”, you don’t see me disagreeing anywhere with it.
      First off, I don’t see any sin as unforgivable, unless you sin against the Holy Spirit (and so far, that has an extremely open meaning)

      My comment was merely pointing out the semantic contradictions, about how the writer, and apparently, you define your terms.
      First off: What is adultery? What is divorce? Define divorce first, before you try to tell me if it’s a sin.

      If i separate from my wife, and remain single till i die, is that divorce? if yes, is that a sin?
      If my wife commits sexual immorality, and i get a divorce, is that a sin? if i remain single, is it a sin?

      then you said, God commanded – not Paul, God – that married Christians should not divorce. They may separate if they need to but neither may remarry.” So divorce and separation are not the same?

      Now hear yourself: “The only possible exceptions we can see are where an unbelieving spouse chooses to leave a believing spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15) and when a spouse betrays her partner sexually (Matthew 19:9).”
      If you took time to understand my comment instead of immediately trying to diagnose where I place my faith, you would understand that this is the core of my comment, Here it stated the only conditions where divorce/separation (whatever you choose to call it) is allowed. And then I went to pose a question, if under those conditions, I remarry, am i committing a sin? (please note in Vs 15b of 1 Corinthian 7, Paul said “The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances”)

      ALSO:

      When you repent that sin and return to God, in my thinking, you will not have to return to your old marriage because God has not called us to confusion.
      Now consider the writer’s 2nd & 3rd paragraph where the last part stated “It is for this reason that I present the question, is adultery an unforgivable sin? Certainly, if it is forgivable, then the new marriage should be holy too.”

      So I ask, I divorce and marry another (apparently this is a sin), if I repent (please consider the meaning of this word) of this sin, what does it mean? and what do I do then? (i hope you both understand where I am going with this, the writer scratched this in her 3rd paragraph)

      Because, it seems you two are saying almost the same, yet different things, even though you use a passage/story in the bible to back yourselves up.

      Now @od, I dont get this “greek word where a meaning was translated”, the bible wasn’t written in greek, it was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine greek. So the writer could be as right as you believe you are, after all things get lost in translation.

      All this being said, I would advice you never to try to diagnose where my faith is based. DO NOT DO THAT EVER. Your understanding of the bible is not absolute, as you should know, neither is it always right however true you believe yourself to be.
      I am what I am. That does not invalidate what I understand from what I used to be.
      Never try that again.

      March 25, 2016
        • Snow

          Hi, @ufuomaee i’m not disagreeing with what you said.
          I just asked questions to better help me understand the message you are trying to pass across.

          All i asked was about those passages, where it was allowed to separate/divorce your spouse. And you answered them well using Jesus’ teachings about love and forgiveness.
          And i also asked about what the word “divorce” means, which you told me what you believe it is.

          As for my faith and what I believe, well, it isn’t as simple as I would like it to basically because of history.
          And as for my being “well-versed in the Bible”, I used to be very active in the church growing up.

          March 25, 2016
        • K. Rukia

          Od and Ufuomaee, you have this horrible habit of ganging up on people in the comments. Of course it’s normal to join existing conversations and buttress other people’s points, but it’s not cool when it’s antagonistic.

          For example, Ufuomaee, you said to A: “…you’d better finish reading before you comment, if you expect a response from me”. Very rude, antagonising and uncalled for. A did something that many people (and maybe even you) do when they are reading an article encounter something they don’t agree with. They pause and think. She then decided to ask the author an innocent question that wasn’t meant as an attack at all, but you responded as though it were.

          Od, you said to Snow: “please respect the Bible you read. Your lack of faith in it does not permit you to use it without respect.”
          And then when he called you out on making an assumption/jumping to conclusions regarding his faith, you saw it fit not to apologise, but respond with “I called it right then. You aren’t a Christian”. This was extremely rude and uncharitable.

          There are more examples from other posts but I think these are sufficient.

          TNC is a platform for free expression and stimulating engagement. If you keep coming off as the cyber-gangsters people will eventually just stop engaging with you altogether, and your message will be lost. I don’t think that’s what you want. MIA pointed out to you that your methods tend to ‘make Christ look bad’ which has caused them to ignore you, but instead of looking to learn and maybe asking them to explain so you understand where they were coming from, your response was cutting and catty.

          Od and Ufuomaee, I get that you are Christians in a world where Christianity is not very popular, and this might make you feel as though you must be on the defensive all the time. But really, you just need to relax. Not everyone is out to attack you and your faith. Not everyday Righteous Christians vs. the world.

          March 26, 2016
      • Od

        @Snow, so I called it right then. You aren’t a Christian. Or, at least, you don’t claim to be one exactly. You used to be, if I have read you right this time. Why does it matter to me? Because obfuscation is a real problem in discussions. Where a person stands determines what they see and if you don’t properly understand where they stand, you can completely misunderstand what they describe from their vantage point.

        As for what I thought of you particularly, Ufuoma was not entirely right although she was close. I did think you were an unbeliever but I didn’t consider you well-versed in the Bible. I considered you to be a lot like I once was when I couldn’t do the whole church thing anymore. I grew up with my face stuck in a Bible pretty much all the time and not by coercion. I was just curious like that. I was always super-active in church and I tried very hard to live right but it was exhausting and I saw too much hypocrisy around me and within my own self. My questions were too scary for other people and my theories were called heresy at least once. I had to pull out and go find out if this whole Christian thing was real or not for myself.

        That was the two years I spent doing my best to remove any possibility of being mistaken for a Christian. I wanted it to be real. If I ever stepped inside a church or Christian fellowship I wanted to know that I was supposed to be there. I didn’t want any more hypocrisy in myself. If God was real and Christianity was right I wanted to see the evidence in my own life.

        But I knew the Bible very well. I’d read it so much and so often that it came easily to me when a discussion bordered around it but the honest truth? What I know now far outpaces what I knew then. There’s a lot I still haven’t figured ou, like that bit about divorcing your spouse because they engaged in illicit sexual immorality. Jesus clearly said that but then how does that work exactly especially in light of 1 Corinthians 7? I don’t yet know. That was why I said “POSSIBLE exceptions”. Until I understand how those two passages work together, I only maintain a possibility, not an outright certainty. I don’t know it all but I know the big picture now. That was what I was missing before.

        Your story sounds like mine, in other words. The difference may be that even when I was struggling at being an absolutely spotless and perfect Christian in the past I really listened to life around me and did not hide from other ideas, theories and philosophies that were going around so I never felt seriously challenged by other religions and philosophies. I always kind of knew that Christianity was right. It just didn’t seem to work like it said, or like I thought it said it would, on or for me.

        So, I think that even though you know what Scriptures say what, you actually don’t know what they say exactly. So it’s easy for you to misuse them. The places I mentioned, for instance, were meant to point out that Paul did not ever say that he was not speaking on God’s authority. He made allowances and provisions as an agent of the Lord who was trusted by the Lord and had the wisdom to make such allowances and provisions. But in some things, he straight out presented clear commands from God. And one such thing was divorce. As I told you, you were wrong to use vv 6 and 40 to try to prove that Paul was not speaking on God’s authority about divorce. He most certainly was even if we were to agree that he went solo anywhere else. That was all my contention with you.

        Regarding the article itself, I typically address myself to three things in a discussion:

        1. The title. But I give it the least importance and sometimes don’t bother to address it because titles can and often do misrepresent the content.

        2. The central idea. This is always the most important thing in a discussion to me. The big picture, the idea that is being communicated is really what all the fuss is about.

        3. The details. Sometimes, the central idea is actually hidden in a multitude of misleading details. Sometimes, the details are a bit incoherent even when they are well-meaning and they thus take away from the validity of the central idea. That’s why I bother with them.

        In this discussion, I didn’t think the title was important at all. It is common enough knowledge in Christianity that the unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (it’s not really as confusing as some scholars have made it out to be: once you just don’t care about what God thinks of you, you’re sitting right in that nasty place because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is done consciously, full aware and without any care about what will happen to you. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes us repentant. If you decide that you don’t need God’s forgiveness for anything, you have already slapped away the Holy Spirit’s convicting hand. Paul committed blasphemy too but it was in ignorance so it could be forgiven. It’s not some kind of divine ego trip. It’s all about arrogance which sees the truth for what it is and rejects it anyway). Every other sin can be forgiven. So I did not address myself to the title at all. I was only interested in whether adultery is a cause of divorce or a consequence of it judging by what Jesus said in Matthew 19.

        Adultery is part of the meaning of fornication. Not the other way around. There are other things that are also fornication, including but not limited to pornography. Everything that is sexually immoral is fornication. Adultery is just one of them. So, what Jesus said there is that any manner of sexual immorality is a cause for divorce. And that remarriage after divorce for any other reason is adultery which is also fornication. Etc.

        As for your questions, I want to keep it simple. Divorce is wrong. God hates it and does not recognize it. Separation is not necessarily divorce. The idea of divorce is dissolution of marriage. Separation is putting distance between both members of the marriage covenant. The wife could move away or the husband could move away. But they are not divorced. They can go get a divorce and thus disobey God: “what God has joined together, let not man put asunder”. Or they can exist separately until they are both willing to rebuild their life as a couple.

        In the instance of fornication in any form, I honestly don’t understand that fully yet, but I know that we can forgive one another. If a spouse betrays you, it can be extremely difficult to forgive. I believe that that can be occasion for an indefinite separation. But it is not unforgivable and with the supply of the Lord’s grace to both partners, it is possible to rebuild the relationship and get past the betrayal. I believe the same for all forms of abuse: emotional, physical and sexual (whether taking sexual pleasure without any consideration for your spouse’s well-being or withholding sexual pleasure for no mutually agreed reason). A separation may be necessary but no divorce is in any case.

        I also consider that unchristian behaviors carried out consistently by someone who claims to be a Christian may be proof that they are not Christians at all or, at least, that they should not be considered Christians. So, if such a spouse eventually leaves, the Christian partner is not bound to them anymore. But this is a personal judgment. It is fully subject to examination under the Bible’s principles.

        So, if you separate and stay unmarried, there is no sin. Divorce is more than separation. It is an attempt to dissolve the marriage, whether to set you free to stay single or to get married again. Such an attempt is contra the Bible.

        If you have already divorced and remarried, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, as I already said, there was really nothing new I had to say about that.

        March 25, 2016
  • Snow

    “So, I think that even though you know what Scriptures say what, you actually don’t know what they say exactly. So it’s easy for you to misuse them. ”
    you don’t even have an idea of what i know. I knew when I used the word “active”, it would be subject to interpretation, let’s just say you have no idea my level of activeness in the church.

    And you do? because you’re a christian?
    Does that make what you say or understand more true than mine? Or isn’t it also easy for you to misuse them?

    Because so far, on almost all the christian posts i have seen all this site, it has all your personal understanding.
    “I think”, “I feel”, “I personally believe”
    So i don’t get why you think me talking about the bible means i don’t know or i’m disrespecting.

    even your understanding of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is different from what I have been told by Pastors (and they each gave different interpretations), preachers and other workers of God. I have not even bothered to lookup what scholars say.
    Do i then discard what you tell me because they are pastors and so supposedly have better understanding of the bible?

    so please, say what you want but never claim to have a better understanding of the bible than anyone? that is what you’re trying to tell me based on your claim to christianity and personal understanding

    March 25, 2016
    • MIA

      Hello @Snow, e-hugs to you. I have decided just to read and ignore Od not because he has valid points but because most times he ends up making the Bible and Christ look bad.

      Posted from TNC Mobile

      March 25, 2016
      • Od

        Lol. 😀 😀 😀 I make the Bible and Christ look bad? Ok, that’s a new one. Now, do you think you can describe exactly how I do that? My bet is on this: you can’t. And I’m pretty sure you won’t even try. I’ll bet you don’t even reply. 😀 Easy to make accusations.

        March 25, 2016
        • MIA

          @od d Nigger I can chew and spit you out!! I deal with people like you in real life let alone on the Internet where you don’t know who I am. You are judgmental!!! You think you way is the right way and every other person is heading to hell!! I am a Christian but like I told @ufuomaee if the Jews are right see you in hell Bro!! It’s not an accusation it’s the exactly how I feel about you.

          March 26, 2016
      • K. Rukia

        THANK YOU

        March 26, 2016
    • Od

      Lol. Are you saying that you’ll like it better if I said, “You must believe what I say”, “God told me”, “I am certain”? 😀

      I am not an apostle. I was not given the authority to command and set traditions and doctrines. I do not take that authority. I make sure to show that I am as any other believer. If there is a difference, it is in experience. And the degree of mine may make me actually far better at understanding the Bible than, say, you.

      In short, Snow, you and I are not in any kind of competition. You can hold as tight as you want to whatever you think the Bible says but if you present it in public discussion, you would be safe to assume that if I’m participating in it, I will counter it in perhaps the same way as I have here. It is possible to determine whether my understanding is correct or yours is or whether both are wrong. That’s why we have reason, logic and debate.

      As for pastors, it’s a long time I found it easy to trust one. You need not trust me or any scholars either. The Bible is clear in itself. And if you have the unction or anointing of God, it is supposed to teach you all things in the Bible. If you don’t, I suppose you’ll have to find your own way to learn.

      Regarding the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, Jesus was speaking to some particular people about something very particular which one of their later members spoke of in a later communication to a church. If there are conflicting interpretations, take the ones that agree with everything the Bible says as a single document.

      March 25, 2016
      • K. Rukia

        Od and Ufuomaee, you have this horrible habit of ganging up on people in the comments. Of course it’s normal to join existing conversations and buttress other people’s points, but it’s not cool when it’s antagonistic.

        For example, Ufuomaee, you said to A: “…you’d better finish reading before you comment, if you expect a response from me”. Very rude, antagonising and uncalled for. A did something that many people (and maybe even you) do when they are reading an article encounter something they don’t agree with. They pause and think. She then decided to ask the author an innocent question that wasn’t meant as an attack at all, but you responded as though it were.

        Od, you said to Snow: “please respect the Bible you read. Your lack of faith in it does not permit you to use it without respect.”
        And then when he called you out on making an assumption/jumping to conclusions regarding his faith, you saw it fit not to apologise, but respond with “I called it right then. You aren’t a Christian”. This was extremely rude and uncharitable.

        There are more examples from other posts but I think these are sufficient.

        TNC is a platform for free expression and stimulating engagement. If you keep coming off as the cyber-gangsters people will eventually just stop engaging with you altogether, and your message will be lost. I don’t think that’s what you want. MIA pointed out to you that your methods tend to ‘make Christ look bad’ which has caused them to ignore you, but instead of looking to learn and maybe asking them to explain so you understand where they were coming from, your response was cutting and catty.

        Od and Ufuomaee, I get that you are Christians in a world where Christianity is not very popular, and this might make you feel as though you must be on the defensive all the time. But really, you just need to relax. Not everyone is out to attack you and your faith. Not everyday Righteous Christians vs. the world.

        March 26, 2016
          • K. Rukia

            You are clearly on the defensive again, meanwhile I’m not attacking you.

            My comment about your post (the post, not the author!) not being sanctimonious was sincere. The fact that you think it was patronising is a reflection of your own insecurities and has nothing to do with me.

            If you have noticed me ganging up on people, the better thing to do would be to call me out on it with examples, not throw it at me in your own defence. Two wrongs do not make a right.

            As I said before, there is nothing wrong with buttressing points that you agree with; what I called out was the antagonistic way that you and Od carry on with it.

            Maybe pause for a minute and see if there’s any truth in what I’ve said rather than chalk it down to Rukia trying to make you look bad and while coming off good. I have nothing against you, except your antagonism.

            March 26, 2016
          • A

            Madam Ufuoma, you don’t need to tell me to finish reading the post. You can answer my question if you want to and like i told Od, what makes you think I didn’t? I did finish reading and my question wasn’t answered.

            Oh and I’m a she…not that it really matters

            March 26, 2016
        • Od

          Hi Rukia, it’s good to see you around again. Wondered for a while there where you’d got to.

          It’s so nice of you to worry about our message, Rukia-chan, but you really needn’t worry. It’s going to be just fine.

          As for A, what she did wasn’t any more right or any less rude or condescending or arrogant just because everyone else does it. If it’s wrong, then everybody who does it is wrong to do it even if it includes me. I had to learn to stop it too. I can’t remember how exactly – many such lessons are lost in the unremarkable but very defining moments of our lives.

          Don’t do stuff like that. Don’t ask a person to answer questions when you deliberately stopped listening to what they were saying that could have answered your question. I’d do it anywhere else if I could be bothered enough by the discussion going on. I was particularly interested in A because she’d done something a little like that before when we discussed.

          Snow. What exactly are you accusing me of here? Of offending him? Does offence mean that you did something wrong? I offended him apparently, but if I apologized for doing so, would that not make what I did that he found offensive wrong? Is it wrong to assume regarding someone’s philosophical position on the basis of their online behavior? What makes it wrong? As a matter of fact, what makes it so upsetting? Is being a Christian and being mistaken for an unbeliever or vice versa that big of a deal? I’d simply correct the person if it were that important to me. What’s all the vex about?

          Glad to know that I shouldn’t expect any complaint from you in the future about Christians wanting to rule the world because they have a different way of seeing life from you. I’ve heard irreligious people complain like we’re the state. We simply believe that the world would be better if things were done the way our Master Jesus taught us. And that the world owes him obedience anyway. So, you know that our being unpopular means that we can hardly hijack legislation. Or government. Or any other thing that requires popular vote or minority violence and lack of scruples. As Christians, we lack both so youk shouldn’t act like we do when next we debate or you debate with my brothers or sisters.

          Finally, ganging up. We don’t. At least I don’t, not consciously. Lone wolf is more my style these days. If I see Ufuoma somewhere, I typically don’t interfere because she is likely to represent my thoughts correctly. I only join when there is something I feel the need to deal with personally because of personal experience.

          Still, do you want me to apologize for having someone in my corner who watches my back? That’s really weird given all the Voltron and chest bumps I saw going around on the site. In fact, in my very first conversation on this site, S was your batman and it appears to be cute to a lot of people…maybe because, like you said, irreligious people are more popular today.

          Seriously, Rukia, don’t worry about us. This is not the first online forum I’ve been on. When the time comes for me to move on I will and perhaps it will be for good reason or it will be for bad. But for the moment we’ll do what is right regardless how you feel about it.

          March 26, 2016
          • K. Rukia

            Whatever.

            March 26, 2016
          • Od

            @k-rukia, LOL.

            March 26, 2016
  • Tee boy

    The rest of us are just reading away…..
    If Christianity says sins can be forgiven then adultery should not be an exception.

    March 25, 2016
  • Kay

    lolz…. I am glad I am not a Christian because of humans.
    dear author, dunno what to say to you and your attitude sef. and Biko if you ain’t clear on smfn, don’t fly to write a post about it.
    to the other dude… no words too.

    March 26, 2016
    • Od

      Humans are the reason you’re not a Christian? That’s kind of weird. Or do you mean that that you’re glad that humans are not the reason you’re a Christian?

      You posted a comment to say you had no words for somebody?

      We often share what we think to improve the quality of our thoughts. Sometimes we think we know something until someone else hears it then we realize that we really don’t. So, I’m sure it’s a good thing that the author shared what she had.

      I assume I’m the other dude. Nice to meet you too, Kay. 🙂

      March 26, 2016
  • Kay

    feel free to construe it in whatever manner you so wish. not only are you both (you and madam poster) arrogant, it appears the poster wasn’t quite prepared to be challenged by ‘unbelievers’. perhaps she expected people to not only agree with her, but to blow her a large trumpet while at it.
    stop hanging your Christianity all about you like some deserved badge of honour and Mr, you ain’t the custodian of the bible. you’re one of those who think they can get away with their arrogance by faux politeness.

    March 26, 2016
  • Od

    @MIA, so I was kind of right. And wrong. You did come back to answer after all (but that was kind of a dare that I hoped would make you come back sha). But you failed to tell me how I make Christ and the Bible look bad. Unless your “you are judgmental” is your argument for how I do that. If it is, I don’t know what it means. Because if my claim that Christianity is the only way to Life is what makes me judgmental, then I can’t imagine how I could be better than Jesus Christ Himself who claimed to be the Only Way to God. I can hardly have been making him or the Bible look bad by asserting their own claim.

    @Kay, Ufuoma and I are arrogant, you say. How exactly does your strong conviction about that not make you yourself arrogant? What do you want exactly from us? Do you have some kind of mold you need to press us into to feel better? Are you sure you’d be happier if we fit that mold?

    Whatever Ufuoma’s preferences may be, they shouldn’t prevent you from challenging things you believe are wrong. Just don’t get upset if your challenge fails for being irrational or illogical. I challenge unbelievers about ideas they share that I also believe are wrong and I subject my challenges to logical examination. If they pass the test of reason then ideally the ideas I challenged should be discarded. Why is it harder for unbelievers to do the same, do you know?

    Also you say I should stop hanging my Christianity like it’s some deserved badge of honor. Why? Because you don’t like it? It’s my identity and while totally undeserved, it IS a badge of honor. Why should I hide it? To avoid offending you? Are you some kind of god or something? Besides, you just announced yourself on this thread with “I’m glad I’m not a Christian because of humans”. What is that if not hanging either your awesome Christianity or your unbelief in plain sight to celebrate it? Biko, buy a mirror, nwanne.

    And, yes, I am a custodian of the Bible. It is my Father’s book. What’s your problem with that? Kai! You people like looking for trouble ni o!

    March 26, 2016
    • MIA

      @od “please respect the Bible you read. Your lack of faith in it does not permit you to use it without respect. If you will discuss with Christians, say what is written as it is written not as you demand that it must be written. I have said this to you before. You don’t absolutely have to participate in discussions pertaining to Christian beliefs or involving the Bible”. When the devil came to Jesus after her fasted for 40 days and quoted the Bible, nowhere did I see our Lord Jesus tell him to leave it for the experts. He replied him with his own knowledge. So there you have it, telling someone to stay off a book you didn’t contribute in writing is wrong in 7 continent!! FYI You didn’t make me reply, I replied as soon as I saw your comment. In other news some of us have jobs/lives outside the Internet.

      March 27, 2016
      • Od

        You’re right about the fact that I should have just responded with what I knew too. I overreached dictating to him how to use the Bible. I can preach, persuade, even offer unsolicited advice but it is not my place to dictate anything. It is unacceptable in Christianity to do that.

        But you also claim that I told him to stay off the Bible. Can you show me where I did so?

        It was just a bet not an ego contest, MIA. I hoped that if you decided to go on ignoring me as you said you now do, it would give you incentive to do otherwise.

        So I’m the one who is jobless nau, abi? 😀

        I’ll reply your other comment here:

        You read in the Qur’an that Jesus did something as a kid. Why do you believe it? Do you believe it because it is written in the Qur’an because if you do wouldn’t you also believe that Jesus did not die on the Cross? That’s in Surah 4:157-158. The latter contradicts what is written in the Bible. Which would you believe and why?

        March 27, 2016
    • MIA

      @od I read the Koran and other religion books I can lay my hands on. Did you know Jesus started performing miracles as a child? It’s not recorded in the Bible but the Koran has records of it. He gave life to a bird made from clay. Do you know the assumption is recorded in the Koran? My darling you need to pray for wisdom!! Everything you need to know about God and Jesus Christ is not in the Bible. Namaste.

      March 27, 2016
    • Kay

      od. I am glad it appears that way to you. your arrogance is apparent. you already woke up to declare someone else as arrogant. but surely your mighty self didn’t see the arrogance in that. whether or not A finished the post, surely a custodian of the bible like you could have utilised the way the bible teaches to act towards others, ay? in fact, common sense teaches it. as to wearing your Christianity as a badge of honour, emphasis is on ‘deserved’. since you know it isn’t something you worked for but obtained by Grace and mercy, then you should be mindful of how you act towards others and stop feeling superior. I didn’t ask you to mask your Christian identity. if you are however going to announce your Christianity, then you should consider your attitude in line with it. I can totally see people wanting to be Christians now with your attitude and that of ufuoma.
      ufuoma, I wonder what you make of words in quotation marks? because people disagree with you, you think they are unbelivers? nothing on this platform is for a particular group of person’s only. this isn’t a Christian blog. it’s general so anybody has the right to challenge you. even Jesus was challenged so who do you think you are? while you ration out hell portions to people who sound crazy to you, I hope your attitude to others is considered so you get a share.

      March 27, 2016
      • Od

        1. @Kay, my comment was not a slip in my usual behavior online. There was a reason I said she was arrogant and condescending and I stated it. Arrogance is not making claims or accusations, it is presuming to hold the world outside yourself to standards that you create without appeal to any authority outside yourself. It is acting even if only momentarily as if you are God and there is no higher authority than yourself.

        Condescension presumes the same thing. It is an attitude like you are outside the human class and require special treatment to offer any attention to ordinary people.

        I essentially told A that stating that she stopped paying attention at a point and then demanding to be treated a certain way in order to give any more of her attention was arrogant and condescending. I didn’t set those standards. I didn’t create those words or their meanings. I just told her that her behavior was consistent with them.

        That is not being arrogant. It is just common sense. You hold up a discussion all because you disagree on a point and will not hear anything until that point has been addressed to your satisfaction? Does that seem reasonable to you?

        Unless you disagree with the definitions of arrogance and condescension that I have offered – in which case you will have to demonstrate their insufficiency – you should tell me again if my behavior was consistent with them.

        2. I’m not sure what you’re saying about my Christianity. In what way have I acted deserving of it? Does the fact that I am a Christian mean that when I see people behaving the wrong way I should look the other way rather than call them out? What attitude exactly is this that I have portrayed that is inconsistent with the nature of Christianity, Kay?

        3. Can you demonstrate exactly what I have done that convinces you that I feel superior?

        March 27, 2016
  • Dafididafidi

    I believe Other religions have what are referred to as sins

    March 26, 2016
  • woyi_oc

    Man…..see the number of comments that are as long(er) than the post…0_0

    March 27, 2016
  • Vocalcords

    This is just disheartening. From what I have noticed, the author is usually aggressive and unpleasant when responding to comments and this is just putting it lightly. You claim to be a believer yet your disposition goes against Christ’s nature. You can make your points without being rude and totally disrespectful. I just kept cringing as I read some of your responses. What you were hoping to achieve from the believers or Christians you claim to have written this article to encourage are too distracted and ashamed of your behaviour to be encouraged. You really need to stop this. The essence of Christ’s coming was for the unsaved so where do you get off telling people who should and shouldn’t read your article. I may not be as eloquent or articulate as you and your partner (Od) but I know I would not want to know The Christ you talk about with an attitude like that. You guys just make Christians look really bad. Ahah!!! If you like tell me I am not a Christian either since you are the ”keeper of the book of life”.

    By the way, there were way too many errors in your article. I don’t want to start a fight with you so I’ll just move on..

    March 30, 2016
  • Dieux Oint

    Wow!!!….A “good” post but you killed it with your reply to comments made. It seems you are trying to force your idea on people. Each one should pursue his salvation with fear and trembling.

    If you ask for forgiveness He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

    I think you should change the topic of your post to “Adultery as A Sin” because your post is way off the mark of the title….

    You sound like a canal man trying to judge all things like a spiritual man….

    March 30, 2016
  • Mariann

    All this bickering, going back and forth and all that seems moot to me. the Author raised a question and answered it herself. The content thereafter is just just unnecessary.
    Is adultery an unforgivable sin? yes or no? No it is not.
    It is written in the bible, even though your garment be as red as crimson, i will make it as white as snow. Literally to me that just means, e no get as your sin fit bad reach, come to me and i will wash you clean.
    My conclusion is that the author is already aware of this and that makes the post pointless and then she had to add things in the middle and make all of you come here and be arguing for days on whether adultery is different from fornication and all other non issues. My point is the question has been asked and answered. YES it is forgivable, and for me NO it is not even near the worst sin a person can commit.
    So biko move on people… get back to work

    March 31, 2016
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