Dan L. White, of southern Missouri, is one of the best Church of God writers today. His writing style is unique. Dan’s razor-sharp logic is nevertheless kind and gentle. His extraordinary 38-page article, “Marriage is for Life — Not From Wife to Wife,” is a real gem.
For forty years, from 1934 until 1974, the Radio/Worldwide Church of God taught marriage for life. Then, in 1974, this profound doctrinal truth was destroyed, as the Church of God adopted the standard Protestant teaching of open divorce, divorce for any reason, or no reason. The “new” teaching is hard-hearted, unmerciful, and has caused numerous original marriage families to break up.
White’s brilliant analysis provides more than food for thought; some of his paragraphs are whole sermons!
“People often think that if a person holds a certain doctrine, that makes him a believer. For example, Seventh Day Adventists might say that keeping the Sabbath marks a believer. But in World War II, almost all of the German SDA’s supported Adolf Hitler, killing in his cause. Hitler said if they didn’t support him, he would get them. God said He would protect them. So they believed Adolf more than God, and served Adolf. They weren’t believers in God at all. They were just Sabbath-keepers. [How strong is our faith; what is it we would die for?]
“Old WCG people often used the phrase ‘before I came to a knowledge of the truth.’ When asked what truth, they would usually answer, ‘the Sabbath, the holy days, and not eating pork,’ some doctrines of the church at that time. When they were asked what they believed about something specific, they would almost invariably give the official position of their church. Maybe even offer a helpful booklet. But when the church changed its official doctrines, their truth changed. Therefore most of these people, who once mused arrogantly about unbelievers departing, were shown to be unbelievers themselves. They did not believe in Yhwh God, the same yesterday, today, and forever, with eternal truths which last through the ages. They believed in that particular church, — never the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, always changing from decade to decade.” Truth never changes; people sure do!
“In the first 40 years,” White says, “many were blessed by the Church’s teachings. In the past 30 years, many have been cursed by the Church’s teachings. . . . If you have been trapped by Christianity’s anti-marriage teaching, and you have to bear the burden of that, there is someone standing beside you [Yahshua] ready to help carry your pole. Your ultimate healing will not come from any earthly marriage, but from your spiritual wedding to Yahshua, Yhwh’s salvation, which He provided for you.”
The untold damage and suffering caused by today’s prevalent harsh and mean wide open divorce doctrine has ruined thousands of lives. There is healing available in a return to the Messiah.
The current doctrine takes the “exception clause” of Matthew 19, and makes it the rule. Many Churches use the “exception” to nullify God’s law of marriage. Christ introduced a new way of thinking. His concept of love without limits astonished the disciples’ carnal minds. If you understand that marriage is for life, then you have come a long way towards understanding the mind of God.
Dan White’s exegesis of I Corinthians 7 is one of the most powerful and elegant explanations I have ever seen.
“God wants us to obey Him,” Dan reminds us, “and when He gives us occasions to show our love for Him, these are the greatest opportunities in our lives . . . . The people in the WCG and ex-WCG churches today differ enormously from their progenitors in the Radio Church of God. The main difference is their attitude toward obedience . . . . God worked through those people in a way He is not working through Church of God people today. Some who see this look back and try to find the point at which the church had perfect doctrine, and copy that. But the Church never had perfect doctrine, nor will it. What the Church did have was an obedient attitude.
“When people who had been married more than once learned that Christ said they committed adultery by marrying a divorced woman, many said, ‘Whatever it takes to obey, I will obey.’ Today most Christians would scoff at such an idea. But know this: if you are not willing to do that, if necessary, then you are not one of Christ’s disciples. If you do not love God more than anyone on earth, more than yourself, if your hand would not sacrifice Isaac — you are not Christ’s disciple. . . .
“The Church has spent the last decades looking for comfort instead of looking for Christ, dwelling in convenience instead of conviction, living in laxity instead of love for God. We have now been blessed with the knowledge that our salvation does not come from a Church; it comes from Christ, and He wants us to show our love for Him and our Father, as He showed love for His Father. This means obedience and sacrifice and opportunity.”
God gives us love without limit. Will we extend this same unconditional love to our mates? Dan White says, “Pro-divorce people make adultery, mating with someone besides the original mate, the only sin you don’t have to repent of — to actually stop.” Will we learn the lesson that marriage is for life, and not from wife to wife?
Please read this important article!
Dan White’s article, “Marriage is for Life — Not From Wife to Wife,” is available on the Internet at www.giveshare.org/family/marriageforlife.html. Those who do not have Internet access may request a free copy from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
Also request a free copy of “Divorce and Remarriage,” by Herbert W. Armstrong.
— review by Richard C. Nickels W