Corruption in the Philippines

by: Glenn E. Hamilton

This paper is meant solely as a review of class material presented by Jim Puterbaugh in 1992, transcribed by Bob Waldron, and summarized by Wallace Little this year (This summarized material will simply be referred to as "the article" throughout this review). This review will not, and is not intended to be, a complete (or even partial) explanation of all the issues
of divorce and remarriage. This review should also not be read or interpreted as an attack upon Jim or Wallace. This review is designed simply to show to Bible students that there are areas where the arguments advanced in the article "Divorce and Remarriage" are possibly unsound. "Possibly" because I do not claim to be the final authority on things scriptural for that position rests solely with our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 4:5).

The positions advanced herein are mine alone. They reflect what I am fully convinced of in my own mind (Rom. 14:5). Although I admit to the possibility that I might be wrong on one or more points, I will make all my arguments as strongly as possible. I ask all children of God who receive this review to seriously study the points advanced in the accompanying article and in this review and compare them with the word of God (2 Tim. 2:15). Remember the truth is found only in God's word (John 17:17), and that both of these articles are simply the reasoned opinions of two of God's children.

For the sake of clarity, I will organize my presentation by topics. These topics will not necessarily follow the order of resentation in the accompanying article. I also regret that I will not be able to refer to specific pages of the article since I am working from an advance copy and do not have the final copy as it will be distributed. Although this means more work for those studying, the fruits of the study will be their own reward.

There is little doubt that there was Law before God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses and the children of Israel. Without even the need to follow the argument well made from Romans 5, Genesis 26:5 says, "because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws." God clearly states that there were laws to be obeyed before
Moses. That is not the issue. The question is where did these laws come from. The accompanying article hypothesizes a universal moral law based upon an interpretation of Romans chapter 1. However, God did not leave us with guess work about the nature of the laws that existed before Moses. In the verse just examined, God says that Abraham "obeyed" Him. The Hebrew word here for obeyed, qôl, literally means "to call aloud" or "sound, voice" or "voice, sound, noise" . God spoke to Abraham and told Abraham what was expected of him and what the laws were that he was expected to obey.

Furthermore, the laws which God gave to Abraham were to be passed on to his children. Consider that God said, "For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice . . ." (Gen. 18:19). So before Moses, God spoke to Abraham and explained His laws for Abraham and His descendants. Abraham was not responsible to a vague concept called "moral laws", rather he had direct commands to be obeyed.

However, one may ask if that would also apply to the people before Abraham and the people who were not descendants of Abraham. From the very creation, God gave man positive commands to be obeyed. "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it . . ." (Gen. 1:28). "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die"(Gen. 2:16-17). God Himself taught man God's laws. The Hebrew writer summed it up thus, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world" (Heb. 1:1-2). One of the ways in which God spoke was through Moses and the latter prophets, but God also spoke earlier to men like Adam, Noah, Abraham, and others revealing His laws for man through them.

One might wonder why, if God gave exact laws to the patriarchs, don't we have a record of what those laws were. The answer is simple. Genesis, as well as the rest of the first five books of the Old Testament were written by Moses after God had revealed His laws for the children of Israel. What point would have been served by stating laws that did not bind the hearers? Should Moses have said "Now these are the laws God gave to Adam and his children ... and these to Noah and these to Abraham , but now that I've told you them, please disregard them and obey only those that also appear in our new law which God gave us at Mt. Sinai"? No, that would have only confused the Israelites. Instead, Moses only mentions laws that were essential to the history or that would clearly illustrate laws that the children of Israel had received at Mt. Sinai. Therefore, the similarities
between the patriarchal laws and the law given at Sinai do not necessarily reflect a "universal moral law". Rather the similarity could be caused by the fact that we do not have a full text of the laws given to the patriarchs, and that what we do have was given by God and Moses in a form to be helpful to the Israelites under the law given to them at Sinai.

In summary, there was indeed law before Moses, but that law came directly from God to the patriarchs to be taught to others. Similarities between the law given at Sinai and the laws we have recorded in Genesis, do not prove the existence of a universal moral law since other explanations are possible.

The article defines moral law as law "designed to control conduct" or governing behavior. This definition is the premise for much of the article and should be thoroughly considered. First, realize that law is defined as "a rule of conduct or action." Therefore, the article's definition of "moral law" is nothing more than the definition of "law". That is, ALL laws are designed to control conduct. A law that prohibits crossing the street controls your conduct. A law that prohibits smoking in public controls conduct. A law that prescribes the correct manner of worship controls conduct. Again, all laws govern behavior because that is what laws are by their very nature and definition.

Now the reason that it is crucial to understand that there is no adequate definition for "moral law" is so that you realize that you cannot try to subdivide laws. If you accept the article's definition of "moral law", then every single law ever devised by God or man is "moral law". Even if you limit the category to "God's moral law", you still have every single law that God gave, because every law controlled some aspect of conduct.

Furthermore, you may be curious as to why I keep placing "moral law" between quotation marks. The simple answer is that God never used that expression to refer to any part of any of His laws. Nor did God use any other expression to refer to one part of His law as opposed to the other parts of His law. If there were such an expression, certainly the article would have chosen one that could be found in God's word. Now up to this point I have only discussed "moral law", but the phrase that is generally used is "universal moral law". The universality is explained by the article as, "If a practice was moral on one side of Mount Sinai, it had to be moral on the other; if it was moral on one side of the cross, it has to be moral on the other." But is that true? Plug in the article's definition for "moral", that is, controlling conduct. Was every law controlling conduct the same before and after Mt. Sinai? What about marrying a sister? Before Mt. Sinai such marriages were not immoral. Abraham was married to his half-sister. Cain, Abel, Seth and the other sons of Adam married their sisters. But after the Law was given at Mt. Sinai
(Lev. 18 and 20), then marriage to a sister was immoral . Yet the article further states, "God's behavior laws, which governs [sic] marriage, have always been the same." But, as just shown, in the case of marriage to one's sister, the law governing marriage changed.

In addition, since the definition the article provides for moral law would also include all the worship laws (since they too control conduct), then all of the laws of patriarchal worship and Israelite worship would be binding today under the principle of "universal moral law". I do not believe the writers of the article hold such a view. I merely point it out to further illustrate the inadequacies of the definitions presented in the article.

In summary, the article fails to distinguish "moral law" from law in general. God never used the expression "moral law" or any equivalent expression. And the universality of such a "moral law" is easily shown to be false.

The article attempts to divide the law given at Sinai into "moral law" and "ceremonial law". Again before trying to follow the conclusions of the argument, first consider the premise. Does God divide His law? Also consider the definition. In this case "ceremonial law" is defined by the article as laws which are a "picture of things to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ". In fact, the article say very boldly, "If one cannot tell the difference between picture of things to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and laws governing behavior, he has a presupposition blinding him from seeing reality." Perhaps then I should admit to not "seeing reality", because I cannot see the difference.

Let me illustrate the problems the definitions in the article present to us. First, of course, is that all laws, even those which functioned as a picture of Christ, also governed behavior. The Sabbath may have been a picture of the rest we find in Christ, but it also prevented the Israelites from working one day each week; thereby, controlling their behavior on that day. The same can be said of any and every other law that pictured Christ.

Second, if there is such a clear distinction between "moral law" and "ceremonial law", then there could never be an example where something was admittedly both moral and ceremonial. Now remember the article's definition of ceremonial, a "picture of things to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ", and let's find something the article calls "moral law". Earlier I quoted the following sentence from the article, "God's behavior laws, which governs [sic] marriage, have always been the same." By the definitions given in the article, "behavior laws" is the same as "moral law". So the article places marriage into the category of "moral law". Yet the apostle Paul and other New Testament writers tell us on many occasions that marriage is a picture of the relationship fulfilled by Christ and His church (e.g., Eph. 5:22-33; 2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7-9; Rev. 21:2). Now, if marriage is a picture of Christ and His church, then the article says it cannot be "moral law". But the article also says that marriage is "moral law" and the New Testament writers say it is a picture of Christ and His church. Therefore, since everyone agrees that the New Testament (as well as the Old Testament) is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17), the only choices are that the article's definition of "moral law" is wrong, or the article's definition of "ceremonial law" is wrong, or that both are wrong. In any event the article's statement that, "Those arguing there is no distinction between ceremonial and moral law are wrong" is clearly mistaken.

Third, as in the case with "moral law", "ceremonial law" is not an expression found in God's word. God never divides His law into parts. If He had wanted the law divided into parts, He is certainly adequate to the task.

In summary, the article's definitions of both "moral law" and "ceremonial law" fail to make clear distinctions. The term "ceremonial law" is not given by God to any part of His law, nor is there an equivalent expression that is used. If God had wanted to divide His law into parts, He would have done so. Since He did not, neither should we.

ROMANS 1 & 2
The article affirms that the sins listed in Romans 1:18-32 are a universal moral law. Yet there is no real attempt to prove this bald assertion. The text itself denies that these sins were a violation of some moral (or natural) law. Romans 1:32 says, "and, although they know the righteous ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, ." Consider the word "ordinance", in Greek, dikaioma. It means either a regulation given by God (as, for example, in Luke 1:6; Hebrews 9:1, 10) or a verdict handed down by God -- see Romans 5:16. It also speaks of deeds or acts performed in accordance with a righteous standard -- see Revelation 15:4 and19:8 It is used in Romans 2:26 and 8:4 of the righteous requirements of the law. In any case, whether you make it a righteous act, verdict or regulation (requirement) of God, it isn't knowable as "the ordinance of God" without special revelation.

Did God give a special revelation to the Gentiles before Moses that would let them know His laws? Yes. We discussed the nature of those laws earlier. God told the patriarchs beginning with Adam what His laws were for mankind. Romans 1 merely states that man did not obey those laws that were given by God to the fathers (and which were attested to by the creation itself).

The article further states, "Rom 2:11-14 affirms God [sic] gave the Jews the same laws He gave the Gentiles." But Romans 2 only affirms that proposition if you have already agreed to a "universal moral law" understanding of Romans 1:18-32. Since Romans 1:32 makes it clear that Paul is discussing revelation from God (through the patriarchs), then Romans 2 can be understood to refer to that law which God gave to the patriarchs as opposed to the law given at Sinai. The Israelites would be judged by the law they had (the law given at Sinai), but Gentiles, who did not have that law would be judged by the law they did have (called the law "written in their hearts" -- Rom. 2:15). What law was that which was written in their hearts? The law which God had revealed to the patriarchs and which they knew required death as the penalty.

However, the article asserts about Romans 2, "Verse 14 reads, 'For when Gentiles who do not have the law,' means when the Gentiles who don't have the law of Moses 'instinctively do the things of the law of Moses,' that is, according to the Law as Jews ought to behave '...not having a law, are a law to themselves.'" Yet in all of modern history there has NEVER been a case of a person who "instinctively" did the things of any law. If man were capable of "instinctive" obedience to law, then there would never be a need for law. Again this verse is not referring to either a "natural law" or "universal moral law". Rather it is making reference to the law to which the Gentiles were accountable. That is, they were accountable to the law under which they lived, the law given to the patriarchs.

In summary, Romans 1 & 2 are a statement that the Gentiles before Moses and during the times of Moses did have a law which God had given them through the patriarchs. The fact that the Gentiles chose not to live by that law would condemn them on the judgment day exactly in the same way as the law given at Sinai would condemn the Israelite who chose not to live by that law. "Natural law" and "universal moral law" are as completely foreign to this passage as they are to the rest of Scripture.

The article says, "The Jewish religious leaders of Jesus day, the rabbis and Pharisees, were an apostasy, having set aside Moses' teaching." That is quite an accusation against the Pharisees, but does it agree with Jesus' own comments about the Pharisees? In Mathew 23:2-3, Jesus says, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore, all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them." Jesus commanded His Jewish audience to obey the teachings of the Pharisees. Was Jesus commanding people to obey "an apostasy, having set aside Moses' teaching"? No, certainly not! The Pharisees were wrong to add traditions and make them equal to God's commands. The Pharisees were wrong to be hypocritical in their application of the law and their traditions. The Pharisees were wrong when they allowed a tradition to make a law void. But Jesus does NOT say they were apostate.

In fact Paul himself while discussing his life before he came to Christ says, "circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless" (Phil. 3:5-6). Paul said he was both a Pharisee and found blameless by the Law (although still a sinner). He did NOT say he was a Pharisee and therefore apostate from the Law.

The article further says that, "Judaism was false religion-an apostasy from the law of Moses-based, false teaching, [sic] the traditions the Pharisees bound on people." Again it is an assertion without evidence. Current Biblical scholarship has rejected the idea that Judaism at the time of Christ was a "degeneration of earlier prophetic religion"

The article makes one attempt to justify its opinion about Judaism. It says, in reference to some of the statements in Matthew 5, "That was Judaism, from a book called the Mishnah." The article fails to point out that Mishnah did not come into written existence until almost 200 years after Christ. Furthermore, the belief structure that gave rise to the Mishnah did not begin to develop until after the destruction of the temple in AD 70. To make arguments that are anachronistic (i.e., out of their
proper historical context) is useless.

In summary, the article makes accusations against the Pharisees and Judaism which it cannot support from the word of God. The attempt to find support in the Mishnah is without basis since the Mishnah was not in existence at the time of Christ and did not begin development until more than forty years after Christ's death.

I generally agree with the article that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was clarifying the true meaning of the Law of Moses. After all Jesus was "born under the Law" (Gal. 4:4) and was "without sin" (Heb. 4:15). If Jesus had taught contrary to the Law while living under the Law, then He would have sinned. However, the article does make some possibly erroneous
remarks about the sermon.

After quoting Matthew 5:17-20, the article states, "Thus Jesus didn't come to destroy the O.T.-the law and the prophets." While that is true, the article fails to give consideration to the "but" part of the statement. Jesus actually said He came not to destroy, but to fulfill. Jesus did not destroy the Law (a violent end), rather He brought it to its conclusion (a peaceful end). But He did bring it to an end. Jesus further stated (verse 18) that the Law could not pass away until all was accomplished. Some may read Jesus statement that heaven and earth would pass away before the Law until it is accomplished to mean that the Law would exist until the second coming; but that is NOT what the text says. Jesus said the Law would pass away when it was accomplished (verse 18), fulfilled (verse 17). When Jesus rose from the dead, He explained to the disciples, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." So Jesus said after His resurrection that the Law, Prophets, and Psalms had been fulfilled (as He had predicted back in Matthew 5:17-18). Since they were fulfilled, they passed away.

Next the article says, "Then He said, 'Whoever teaches others not to keep the commandments, he shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.'" I assume for the sake of fairness that this is simply a mistake rather than a willful misrepresentation of God's word. The text says, "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments and so teaches others shall be called least
in the kingdom of heaven, " (Matt. 5:19). Notice that the person referred to could still be "in the kingdom". Jesus is telling His audience that they must keep the commandments (the Law of Moses) until it is fulfilled (at His death). Notice the future reference to the kingdom: "shall be called".

Again, Jesus is telling His audience that He was not destroying the Law with His teaching, rather with His death He would bring it to its end. Until that end of the Law, they were obligated to continue living according to Moses' Law, which He then sets out to explain more clearly to them. The article's assertion that in the Sermon on the Mount "there are no references to ceremony" is an exaggeration. Verses 23 -24 refer to gifts brought to the altar (by the article's definition of ceremony, these gifts are clearly "ceremonial law"). Although the one example is enough, other possible references to ceremonial law would include vows (5:33-37), prayer (6:6-15), and fasting (6:16-18).

In summary, although Jesus was correcting some problems with the people's understanding of Moses' law, He was not saying that those of us in the kingdom had to teach the Law of Moses. Jesus said that Law would pass away when it was fulfilled, and after His resurrection He told His disciples that it had been fulfilled; therefore, it had passed away. The continued
efforts to bring in a distinction between "moral law" and "ceremonial law" add nothing new to the earlier discussion of those topics.

This passage deserves some special attention to prevent its abuse in the later contexts of the gospels. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is commonly called "case law", although as a lawyer, I would call it a conditional statute. In any event, verses 1-3 form the protasis (that is, the condition which must be met in order for this law to come into effect). No approval can be gleaned for any of the actions in the protasis. The only thing authorized in the statute is the apodosis (resolution) which is found in verse 4. "Rightly understood, the rule simply prohibits a husband from returning to a wife whom he had divorced after she has married a second time -- even if her second husband has died in the interim."

If that is confusing, consider Deuteronomy 22:28-29, which is another conditional statute. God is not authorizing or approving of the actions in verse 28 (the protasis). Those actions (rape or fornication are sinful). The statute merely explains what to do once the sin has occurred.

In Deuteronomy 24, God does NOT approve of the divorces and remarriages in verses 1-3. They form the protasis and are as sinful in God's eye as the rape in Deuteronomy 22:28. All God is doing is explaining what will be the result of the sin(s) involved in divorce and remarriage. The article fails to distinguish between the sinful acts of verses 1-3 and the actual command of verse 4. This failure results in attempts to justify actions that were sinful. For example, the article says, "The bill of
divorcement and sending her out of his house were two different things. He gave her a bill of divorcement and sent her out. God hates sending her out, not the bill of divorcement: He commanded that by Moses." God NEVER commanded the bill of divorcement, it was part of the sinful actions (protasis) which brought about the command of Deuteronomy 24:4.

Similarly, the article states, "Obviously God recognized the second marriage as real." But this conclusion is only obvious if one fails to realize that the second marriage is also in the protasis and, therefore, is at least suspect as also being a sinful action. Certainly it would be a stretch of logic to find approval in the midst of an action that is being condemned.

In summary, Deuteronomy 24 contains NO approval of divorce, NO approval of a bill of divorcement, and NO approval or remarriage. Deuteronomy 24 only provides a command regarding the consequence of the sinful actions of divorce and remarriage.

Jesus' statement in Mark 10:5, agrees completely with what has been said about Deuteronomy 24. The Pharisees tried to make Moses out to have given them permission to divorce (both the bill of divorcement and the sending away), but they had missed the same point as the article misses. Both the bill of divorcement and the sending away are located in the protasis and
were, therefore, sinful actions for which God was specifying consequences.

Jesus, however, did not miss the meaning and says that the statute was because of the hardness of their hearts (that is, a response to their sinful actions, not an approval of those sinful actions). The article is correct in stating that divorce is sinful (although the article fails to mention the exception Jesus gave to that rule in Matt. 5 and 19 for fornication). However, the article tries to find some kind of approval for a second marriage when no such approval is found in the text. The article makes the following appeal as the basis of recognizing the second marriage:

The second marriage is a marriage. Marriage is right-God authorized it. In Mal 2, God didn't say, "I hate marriage," or "I hate second marriages." He hated the sending out. THAT is what needs to be forgiven, the sin of breaking the first marriage. One must repent of breaking the covenant, not of being married.

The article seems to be saying that all marriages are acceptable to God. There are three serious problems with this view of marriage. First, a view that all marriages are acceptable would mean that there are no consequences to sin. The article attempts to cloud the distinction between consequences for sin and paying for sin, by calling any restriction on remarriage
"penance". But "penance" is doing something which when completed has paid (atoned) for the sin. No one is suggesting that the prohibition on remarriage is paying for the sin of divorce. Rather the prohibition (to be discussed momentarily under 1 Corinthians 7), is merely a consequence of sin. God does teach that there are consequences for our sins which may even reach to future generations (Ex. 20:5; 2 Sam. 12:7-14), even though such consequences were NOT paying for the sin, "penance" (Ezk. 18:20; 2 Sam. 12:7-23).

Second, God clearly teaches that some marriages are NOT acceptable. In Leviticus 18 & 20 and Mark 6:18, incestuous marriages are prohibited. In Deuteronomy 24:4, the return to marriage with the first husband is prohibited. Therefore, it is clear that although marriage (as an abstract concept) is approved by God, it does not follow that every case of marriage is also approved.

Third, the argument advanced by the article, and quoted above, is an argument from silence. Simply stated, the article is trying to say, "But God didn't say not to." (Actually God did say not to remarry, but that will be covered below.) This review is too short to allow a complete discussion about authority and the silence of Scripture, but if you need some passages to show that God's silence is prohibitive when there is a direct command then consider Lev. 10:1-3; 1 Samuel 15; and Heb. 7:11-15 (esp. verse 14).

In summary, Jesus states that divorce is sin and that Moses was not allowing divorce, but rather was giving a command regarding the consequences of the sinful acts of divorce and remarriage.

It is to be regretted that the article does not fully expound this chapter. The reason was that the tape from which a transcript was made and then summarized ended before the class was over. In any event, I will deal with the article as I have it, and I will point out some similar arguments that might be made and where they are weak.

The article spends much time discussing verses 1-6 where Paul discusses that sex in marriage is good and important for the spiritual well being of both partners. From this set of verses, the article tries to conclude that everyone (even the divorced) have a right to be married to whomever he (or she) chooses. But the article glosses over verses 10-11 (probably because of the aforementioned problem with the tape). But Paul clearly states that those who are married are to remain married. If a divorce happens (a sin, another example of a protasis), then the consequence is that they must remain unmarried or be reconciled. God has herein given a direct command.

To say that the divorced party can now go on and get remarried without sin is wrong! God said to remain unmarried or be reconciled. No other options are available. You can not argue that God did not say "and don't get remarried to someone else." He already gave positive commands as to what is acceptable.

The article attempts to lump verses 10-11 in with verses 12-16. The article states, " In 1 Cor 7:10-16, Paul deals with the problem of marriages broken because the unbeliever refuses to live in the husband-wife relationship with the Christian." Paul clearly distinguishes the topic of a religiously mixed marriage in verse 12 by saying, "But to the rest ." Verses 10-11 are not connected to the topic of verses 12-16. In verses 10-11, Paul addresses the Corinthian saints who are married and gives
them a direct command from our Lord. We ignore such commands at the peril of our souls.

Due to the brevity of the article's discussion of 1 Cor. 7, allow me to make one other observation from this chapter to head off an error that is commonly made. Some people try to argue from verses 27-28, that all divorced people have a right to remarry without sin. Such attempts fail to consider the context of those verses. The topic under consideration in verses 27-28 actually begins in verse 25 and continues until verse 38. The section begins, "Now concerning virgins, " (7:25). This section deals only with virgins. Someone might say, "But how can a virgin be bound to a wife or be loosed from a wife?" The answer is simple. Recall the story of Joseph and Mary. They were still virgins, but they were bound as husband and wife (Matt. 1:18-19). And when Joseph thought Mary had been unfaithful he was going to divorce her even though they were both virgins (Matt. 1:19).

Therefore, the only authorization in 1 Cor. 7:27-28 is for a virgin who is 'divorced' to get married. In our society (since betrothal is not practiced as it was then), the statement would be equivalent to saying that someone whose engagement is broken off still has the right to get married to someone else if he or she so chooses. To make any other application is to ignore
the context.

In summary, although Paul does say that sex in marriage is good, he does specifically command that married saints must remain married. If the sin of divorce happens, then they must remain single or be reconciled. Paul does not give saints the right to marry another. Paul does exclude the case of virgin marriages, "betrothals", which are broken from this prohibition on

I pray that each of you will study seriously this issue. Read the article and this review and most importantly take God's word, open it, and study for yourself. May God grant you wisdom and understanding so that you may be "fully convinced" in your own mind (Rom. 14:5). If anyone has questions or comments about what I have presented in this brief review feel free to contact me at my address given below. God bless and to Him be the glory both now and forever.

Glenn E. Hamilton
PO Box 705
2600 Baguio City