Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 31, 1963
NUMBER 26, PAGE 7-10a

Answer To Moyer's Reply - (No. 2)

Gene Frost

God's Law

In our review of brother Lloyd Moyer's tract on "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage," we called to his attention the fact that the "theory over-looks the divine element" so that "God's only role in this concept is simply to recognize the status quo." Lloyd continues to make the same mistake, evidencing a failure to understand the true meaning and nature of marriage as God ordained it.

Under item 7 of his "points of agreement" he says that man is subject to the divine commands, these being the three elements of his concept, "and that when man meets these elements 'God recognizes a marriage'." He still fails to recognize the divine element as a fourth element which must be honored before God recognizes a marriage. In answer to my statement that "all three are subject to man," he replies, "I guess brother Frost would conclude that these are subject to man," referring to faith, repentance, confession, and baptism. No, and here is the difference. Man must either accept or reject these divine requirements, as stated by the Lord in His word; man may not redefine them. Yet in his three items, (omitting the fourth element which is not subject to man and that controls or governs the other elements), man can change the civil requirements (divorce may be obtained on grounds other than fornication, these being subject to human legislation). Man may not repudiate the conditions of salvation with impunity, but he can repudiate his vow and by committing adultery in a second marriage make it right with God, according to Moyer's theory. Man may not become unfaithful to the Christ, but he can change mates and when all three items are violated or changed thereby obtain God's recognition of the new relationship, according to Moyer's theory. Moyer's theory makes it possible for man to change the vow, the civil statutes, and the relationship, and God will recognize and approve the change (though not one ACT involved in the change). But not so with the divine requirements of salvation. Even so with (4) divine sanction: God's law of marriage establishes a requirement that civil legislation cannot change, but instead requires that civil legislation recognize God's law in order to have His approval. The difference is apparent: Lloyd has God recognizing the results of all civil causes for divorce, -whereas the divine element recognizes only the one cause stated by the Lord. Lloyd makes God's recognition of a marriage the divine element, whereas we pointed out a divine law in addition to and a requisite to God's approval of a marriage.

This divine element we pointed out under the subtitle, "Marriage Defined." There is a joining together in the mind of God as well as in the flesh. (Matt. 19:6) This simply -means that not every joining in the flesh is recognized as a joining in God's mind, and without the divine sanction such physical connections are sinful whether between unmarried people, married person with one not his spouse, or persons unlawfully married. God fastens a person to one mate for life (1 Cor. 7:39, Rom, 7:1), and the only CAUSE for "loosing" so as to be free to marry another while the mate still lives is fornication whereby the innocent person is freed, (Matt. 19:3, 6) The guilty may not free himself; he is not loosed where fornication is the RESULT of a divorce and remarriage. This is a vital point in Lloyd's theory — he assumes that fornication as a RESULT of divorce free the guilty — and he must present the Scriptural proof (book, chapter, and verse). To date the best that he has been able to do is to assume the proof through human reasoning involving arbitrary definitions of terms.

To demonstrate this, that Lloyd arbitrarily defines his terms and reasons on the basis of them, note that he contends that where there is a second marriage, the first is dissolved so that "no marriage exists" with the first mate. He then reasons that where a marriage ceases, there is a loosing — he makes "marriage" and "bound" synonymous. Upon this basis he indulges in ridicule, talking of "half-marriages," "two wives 'bound'," et al. (See his second reply article, paragraphs 4 and 5.) All of his ridicule is based on his own application of his own terms, and he is wrong! We have already pointed out, but Lloyd apparently overlooked it as he did so much of the review, that "marriage" and "bound" are not synonymous. One may establish a relationship in "marriage" with one person, yet be "bound" in God's mind (according to His law) to someone else. In Rom. 7:2-3 we find a woman "bound" to her first man "so long as he liveth," so that when she "marries" another man (without being "loosed," Matt. 19:9) the resulting condition is an adulterous relationship. Lloyd's theory denies Rom. 7: 2-3: he contends that when the woman "married" the second man the (I) vow was repudiated, (2) the civil contract changed, and (3) the physical relationship violated, so that all future cohabitation is pure and the woman could not act or live the adulteress in the relationship. Paul says she does. You see, Lloyd overlooks the (4) divine element — the woman had not been "loosed" from the first marriage (she had no CAUSE to divorce and remarry) so that she was still "bound" to the first man! In this we see that a person may be "bound" to one person while "married" to another (in a sinful relationship) — so we conclude that Lloyd's assumption that "marriage" and "bound" are synonymous is false and the resulting ridicule is ridiculous.

In order that brother Moyer may clearly see his fallacy, (and we hope that he will be courageous enough to surrender the theory), we shall explain again the truth of the Bible as to what marriage is as God will approve.

Marriage Approved

In the beginning God made them male and female, and said, "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:4-5) God thus joins a man and his wife, i.e., they are yoked in keeping with (I) the vow or agreement to enter the marital relationship. The 'marriage' is consummated as (2) the civil requirements are met and they (3) cohabit. They are then (4) "bound," i.e., put under obligation to one another to be faithful to the marriage. ("Bound" is opposite to "to be free" (to be free to enter another relationship — page 131, Thayer's Lexicon, deo.) Marriage is then the physical relationship; they are bound in the mind of God: God has joined them together.

Those joined by God are bound for life. (1 Cor. 7:39, Rom. 7:1) The only loosing is of God and the only CAUSE is fornication, a violation of the obligation, whereby the innocent is "loosed." (Matt. 19:9) When one severs the marriage without this cause and marries another he commits adultery — Jesus said so! (Matt. 19:9) Both the man and his wife are still bound, even when one has divorced and remarried: "and who marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." (Matt. 19:9) Get it: nothing but fornication by one's mate gives CAUSE to divorce and remarry. Without this cause the bond is not broken, and though each divorces and marries a dozen times in every relationship except the one approved of God (when He joined them) is adulterous!

Chart Goes Here

Therefore when one puts away his mate for the CAUSE of fornication, he is loosed from the obligation to the guilty mate if he elects and is free to live with another. (Otherwise, if not loosed, made free, one could never lawfully marry another.) You see, God holds one to his vow. God no where has given permission to the guilty to be free from his vow: he promised to be the "one man" and "one woman," and the fact that he is guilty does not free him so that he may ignore it. And the fact that the innocent is loosed does not free the guilty. For this reason, our young people need to be taught the sacredness and seriousness of their marital vow: they vow before God to cohabit with none but one, and thereby they are bound in the mind of God. We cannot set it aside and say to God, Well, I've changed my mind. I've (1) nullified the vow and made another, (2) divorced and remarried in keeping with civil law though without the cause you stated, and (3) I am not cohabiting with another. God, this is not what you ordained, but you'll have to recognize it!" Forbid!

It is God's part that Moyer's theory completely overlooks!

A Right To Divorce

We need to note also that fornication per se does not sever the bond and dissolve the marriage. It gives the innocent the right to be loosed. Lloyd says, however, in such cases the two elements are destroyed, all that remains is the legal element. Therefore, for the two to live together they must "make an agreement to live together again as husband and wife," and "come together in cohabitation." (See "The Dissolution of a Marriage" in his tract, last part of first paragraph.) But consider the case where the innocent is ignorant of the unfaithfulness, according to the theory in cohabiting only two elements are intact (and possibly only one since the cohabitation is not in restoration) — they are only one-third to two-thirds married! (Talk about half-marriages!) Can there be an approved marriage with only one or two elements intact? If not, and such a relation is sinful, the innocent party commits sin according to the theory! Who believes it?

Points Of Agreement

Brother Lloyd Moyer in his "reply" tries to minimize the effect of the theory he advocates, enumerating a great number of points upon which we supposedly agree while devoting only three brief paragraphs to the disagreement. It would be wonderful if we did not disagree at all, but we do and the disagreement is great and serious. To what extent we disagree we shall note as we consider the "points of agreement."

1. Brother Moyer says that we agree "God ordained one man and one woman (to) come together as husband and wife, and this for life." We do not agree as to how firm this will of God is. I believe that one "'is permanently bound'" (page 114, Kenneth Wuest, Word Studies, Romans), the only exception is loosing for the cause of fornication. (Matt. 19:9) If one marries another without this cause he enters an unlawful relationship: commits adultery and acts the adulterer as long as the lawful mate lives. (Matt, 19:9; Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39) In contrast, Lloyd teaches that when one divorces for any cause and remarries, then AFTER adultery is committed one time the relationship becomes lawful. We do not agree.

2. Lloyd says he agrees "that only God can dissever a marriage." But Lloyd has God dissevering a marriage when men comply with human terms (divorce for "incompatibility," "mental cruelty," etc., and remarriage) rather than for the one cause He gives (fornication). We do not agree.

3. "If a person puts away (divorces) his mate for any other cause than fornication, and marries another," we agree Lloyd says, that "he is guilty of adultery." This adultery Lloyd says is ONE ACT. We do not agree. The Bible says that in the unlawful relationship one acts the adulteress (or adulterer) as long as the first mate lives. (Rom. 7:2-3; also conveyed in the tense of "commit adultery," Matt. 19:9.)

4. "We both oppose 'free love and easy divorce'," Lloyd says, but adds that I accused him of advocating "free love and easy divorce." I did not do so knowingly; I said, "Free love and easy divorce is the advocacy of the modernist philosophy now permeating our society." What I said can refer to Lloyd only as he is a modernist. If he is not, then the statement had no reference to him. I do not believe the Lloyd is a modernist; I believe that he made a mistake in finding something to levy against me.

I do believe that his theory will have an effect of minimizing the gravity of sexual sins, but I do not accuse him of advocating it. I accept Lloyd's word that he opposes such, but I disagree that our teaching is equally effective in combatting divorces without cause.

5. Lloyd says he deplores the modifying of God's standard so as to justify worldly practices. Lloyd may "deplore" it, but it is indisputable that his theory justifies remarriages that are in violation of God's standard! (Matt. 19:9) An interesting question in view of his theory: Lloyd, do you deplore the civil laws allowing divorce for causes other than fornication? (If civil law was identical with divine law, Lloyd would have no theory!)

Lloyd here accuses me of saying he "advocates" "allowing the evil influence of an immoral society to determine what he teaches." It may, but I do not know his motive and so stated. I said of the "numerous theories" that of "the latest to come to our attention" that Lloyd Moyer is "Its Advocate." (I am sorry that such matter must be answered, yet lest prejudice be introduced through personal charges I have consumed valuable space.)

6. Lloyd says we agree "that no person can deliberately, willfully, and presumptuously plan to destroy his marriage that he might be free to marry another, without God's disapproval." The question is, what is this "disapproval?" Is it the imputation of ONE SIN of adultery when the marriage is consummated, or is it a rejection of an unlawful relationship in which every sexual act is adulterous? We do not agree as to what constitutes God's disapproval.

7. We agree "that the divine requirements must be met by man before God will recognize or sanction a marriage," Lloyd says. Brother Moyer does not teach that the only cause for divorce whereby a second marriage is lawful is fornication — he teaches that a divorce may be for any cause and the second marriage per se is lawful after the first sexual act (God may disapprove of the sexual act, but He does not disapprove of the marriage)! We do not agree.

8. A fornicator can be forgiven. We agree, and also the adulterer. Repentance necessitates the cessation of all sin and sinful relationships. Lloyd does not believe that repentance demands a change in marriages made in adultery. We do not agree.

9. Brother Moyer's purpose in his theory "is not to open the gates to immorality," I accept, but that such is the effect I levy against it. Lloyd must accept the consequences of his theory. I do not agree that his theory is equal to the truth in combating immorality.

10. We agree "that God does not look with approval on any sin," yet Lloyd says that "It is God's law and is God's will that they do that very thing," namely that a divorced person will marry and commit adultery rather than burn in an unmarried state. God disapproves, he agrees, but then declares that it is His will that they do sin! I do not agree.

11. Lloyd now agrees that to act with ulterior motive is yet to sin. Yet he accuses me of teaching that a woman may force her husband to divorce her so she can remarry. I teach no such thing! He puts words in my mouth that contradict what I do say, and says he agrees! I do not agree that an example in contradiction to the principle is permissible.

12. We agree "that it is wrong to advocate sin in order to correct the situation in which a man has involved himself through unscriptural divorce," Lloyd says. Yet he teaches that this unlawful situation becomes lawful by one act of adultery in a second marriage, and he even has Paul advocating it in 1 Cor. 7:9, as "God's law and....God's will"! Lloyd, do you advocate divorced persons (without Scriptural cause) to remarry rather than to burn with passion? If so, we do not agree. We do not agree that it is God's will that such persons commit adultery to establish a second relationship!

The Alien And The Christian

In his tract brother Moyer applied his theory to both Christian and alien, so that when either violates the three elements of the theory in divorce and remarriage he is at once freed from the first mate and is joined to a second.

But now in his reply, he has excluded the Christian from his theory. He has minimized his theory to cover only cases where "the marriage is severed" already. To sin presumptuously, knowingly as a Christian, "to act with ulterior yet to sin." "Certainly," he says, "one cannot mock God!"

So with the person who knows God's will, it will not work where the CAUSE is not fornication! I suppose, then, that such marriages would be adulterous?!

Lloyd has argued both positions. In his tract he said, "The blood of Christ will cleanse the child of God who has sinned the same as it will the alien sinner," the sin of the context being the one act of adultery in a second marriage. Before he wrote his tract he said, "We teach our young people that they better think when they marry, that it is from now on, and that you can't trifle with it in any way, but when you do you break the marriage vow. Discussion, 1-20-63) So we see that one time he teaches that with knowledge the sin is the same as when committed ignorantly.

But then show him that this puts a premium on sin, and he backtracks and makes a difference. Now it will work for the alien, but not for the Christian. What is the difference? The former is committed in "ignorance" —

" 'Paul, how did you get forgiveness?' Because I did it ignorantly and in unbelief.' And that's exactly, friends, how the alien sinner gets his forgiveness. 'Does the Christian get it that way?' The Christian knows better; you've got a different situation. You've got a willful sin in the case of a Christian. My friends, Paul received this forgiveness because he did it ignorantly and in unbelief. 'Well,' somebody says, 'Well, does ignorance excuse the law?' Paul said it did in this case." (Discussion, 1-20-63)

Lloyd not only puts a premium on sin, he also puts a premium on ignorance! This is antinomianism: "ignorance excuse(s) the law!" Forbid!

Brother Moyer has vacillated between these positions, and so we ask him to tell us plainly: If a person deliberately (knowing God's will) violates the three elements of your theory, is his marriage severed? If it is, is he free to remarry? If and when he does, does he commit only one sin of adultery or is each sexual act of the second marriage adulterous? In repenting (as a Christian or as an alien), may he continue in the second manage?

Moyer's Illustration

Brother Lloyd charges that I misrepresented his case of the two men: one marries and the other seduces. I deny it. He says of both: he "sees a young lady that he desires to have." What is meant by "desires to have"? It is common to both, and either refers to lust or marriage. Did both desire marriage? No. Then "desire to have" must refer to lust! One satisfied his lust by seducing; the other in marriage. Where lust is the motive, I say that neither is "honorable."

I did not misrepresent Lloyd's illustration. If he did not mean what he said, then that's his error and not mine. I only know what he said.

Does Paul Advocate Adultery?

Lloyd changes "cases" on me and avoids the issue. Where a man has (1) broken the vow and is (2) divorced without Scriptural cause, is he to burn with passion in the celibate state? Of such "who 'cannot contain' (control or govern their passion)," Lloyd says, "Paul says, 'let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.' (1 Cor. 7:9)" But in marrying again, according to Moyer's theory the first act is adultery. It is better to marry (commit the one act of adultery) than to burn as a divorced person, Lloyd has Paul advocating.

As if this were not bad enough, he even states that it "is God's law and is God's will" that the divorced woman "commit adultery" in a second marriage, Matt. 5:32! Lloyd, there is no need to misrepresent; the doctrine appears bad enough in its own light!

A New Theory

In fairness to J. W. McGarvey whom Lloyd quoted in an attempt to show that others before have believed his theory, so that it is not "new" he says, I quote from the Fourfold Gospel, page 242: "the innocent party to such a divorce can marry again. Of course the guilty party could not, for no one is allowed by law to reap benefits of his own wrong."


We could take every item, every distortion and quibble, and answer, but we do not believe that such is necessary and to do so would require more space than we would request of the Gospel Guardian. However, I believe that a continued study and development of arguments now begun would be profitable. Lloyd indicated in his "reply" that he would write no more in this exchange. However, I request that the study be continued, to be published in permanent form upon completion, including his tract and articles as presented in manuscript form (rather than as altered in the Guardian. (All interested in obtaining a copy of a full discussion, should brother Moyer be willing, please send me your name and address so that we may determine the interest in such.)

In closing, I pray that Lloyd may learn the truth and surrender his theory (not necessitating further discussion). If he continues, heresy can only result, and I cannot concur with any expression that truth can embrace and tolerate heresy (but this is another subject deserving of study and discussion).

— 1900 Jenny Linn Avenue, Fort Smith, Ark.