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Divorce and Remarriage in the Church

A contemporary study in the Austrian Pentecostal Movement

Bachelor Thesis 2007 40 Pages

Theology - Practical Theology

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
Old Testament Passages and Context
Divorce in the Old Testament
New Testament Passages and Context
Jesus and the Pharisees
Paul and the Corinthians.

THE COMMUNICATION FROM THE LEADERSHIP TO THE CHURCH MEMBERS
The Offical View on Divorce and Remarriage in the Austrian Pentecostal Movement
Divorce
Remarriage
Local Leadership Statement
The Role of Conversion
Counsellors Opinion
Divorce and the Role of Conversion
The Role of Secular Influence
Divorce
The Opinion among Church Members
Conversion Event.
Biblical Support and Communication
The Question of Remarriage
Biblical Support and Communication
Secular Influence

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CONSULTED READING

APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRES

INTRODUCTION

Divorce and Remarriage is very common in today’s society.[1] This has caused problems for churches and believers alike since Scripture seems to speak against divorce and remarriage in the church. This essay will deal with the doctrine in the Austrian Pentecostal Movement, based on Scripture, and its practical reality in the church of the 21st century. The focus of interest will be on how well the church’s opinion on divorce and remarriage is communicated from the leadership to the church members.

The author of this essay is convinced that there is a misconception concerning divorce and remarriage on biblical grounds. There seems to be a disagreement between the statement of belief and its practical reality. The aim of the study is a suggestion for reconsideration of biblical arguments based on Old and New Testament scripture, in order to gain a clearer understanding of the whole issue. The research method consisted of questionnaires in order to obtain insights from the divorced and / or remarried believer in the church. The questionnaire was not limited to this group of believers; it also included pastors, counsellors, singles, and married believers.

The purpose of this study was neither to give freedom, so that anyone who wants to get out of his or her marriage gets a permission to do so, nor to hold those in a marriage where circumstances cause suffering for one of the partners, for instance in situations of neglect or abuse in any form. The idea was rather to set those free, who have honestly tried to reconcile with their former spouses, and yet could not. The intention was to give an objective understanding of the possibility of remarriage after a divorce. The research touched also the question whether divorce before or after conversion has to be handled differently.

Even though the Austrian Pentecostal Movement was not in the situation of dealing with many cases of divorce, it seems that the final act of divorce was preceded by a long way of contemplating the same. This is comparable to sickness’ symptoms that are only seen, when it is too late. Divorce is like such a sickness’ symptom that has to be treated at an earlier state. Starting point for this essay is Scripture reference of the Old and the New Testament.

BIBLICAL FOUNDATION

Old Testament and Context

Divorce in the Old Testament

Both the leadership of the church and the church members base their arguments, either for or against divorce on biblical grounds. A typical bible passage used to argue against divorce is Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Believers usually refer to this passage because they know the discussion Jesus held with the Pharisees in the New Testament. In that discussion Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 24:1-5 and explains that divorce was never meant to be an option.[2] David Instone-Brewer points out that for a Jew marriage was not a choice, it was an obligation. In the Rabbinic understanding God’s saying, “Be fruitful…” was a command that had to be fulfilled.[3] When Jesus referred back to Deuteronomy, he did not mean that marriage was an obligation, but marriage was meant to be a lifelong, monogamous relationship. However, this account in the gospels will be considered more closely in the passage about New Testament scriptures concerning divorce and remarriage.

Back to Old Testament passages, a passage that is hardly ever mentioned in the discussion about divorce and remarriage is Exodus 21:10-11. This passage deals with polygamy in relation with a slave wife, which was not unusual in ancient Israel. “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” Instone-Brewer notes that if a slave had such rights, how much more should these rights be applied to a free woman.[4] William A Heth explains that “…this passage was classified in rabbinic sources under two headings: material neglect and emotional neglect.”[5] According to Jewish understanding, these two sorts of neglect were valid reasons for divorce. Furthermore, it provided protection for women who were depending on the care of their husbands. It was commonly practised that a man could divorce his wife, and later he would make up his mind in taking her back again. With regulation for divorce requirements, the woman was able to find a new husband. She did not have to fear her former husband, who might have forced her back into her first marriage.[6] Instone-Brewer indicates that, “…material and emotional neglect as reasons for divorce were in use until about A. D. 70, but by the time that Jesus was preaching, in about 30 A.D., they were being used only rarely.”[7] Compared to other ancient laws, like the code of Hammurabi, the Mosaic Law was a reformation for women’s rights. Israel was a leading nation in not only allowing a man to get divorced but also in giving the woman the opportunity to go to court and force her husband to divorce her.[8]

People who would not consider divorce at all more likely quote the following bible passage. Malachi 2:16, “‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel;” this expression seems to support that there is no way for divorce because God hates it.[9] The context of Malachi deals with the remnant that returned after the Babylonian captivity. As prophets before, Malachi compares God’s relationship with Israel to a marriage covenant relationship. As the people turned towards idolatry before their captivity, so they turned away from God in Malachi’s time. As a matter of fact, Israel’s men married foreign woman, who introduced their foreign gods to Israel.[10] Even though Malachi pronounced that God hates divorce, one will find that God himself divorced Israel on other occasions, i.e. in Jeremiah 3:8, “ I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away, because of all her adulteries…”[11] Here God is applying what he gave as a provision in Deuteronomy. Jay E. Adams understands this passage in the way that, “…if God Himself became involved in divorce proceedings with Israel, it is surely wrong to condemn any and all divorce out of hand.”[12]

Scriptural support for divorce can be found in Deuteronomy 24:1-5, which deals with the ‘Law of divorce’ or ‘letter of divorce.’ This Law of divorce had to be accomplished in three steps in order to avoid a compulsory divorce. The husband had to write a certificate of divorce in the presence of witnesses, then he had to hand it over to his wife, and finally she had to leave the house.[13] This procedure took time; therefore, a husband had to rethink the whole situation. Jay E. Adams argues that this passage “…is not to be understood as a command to divorce, no criteria for determining what is a valid or invalid divorce, nor even a requirement to give a divorce bill.”[14] Divorce was common in ancient times, and the steps described in Deut. 24 only describe “a genuine divorce proceeding.”[15]

The reasons for divorce were hotly debated in the first century, because of the terminology. The Hebrew words “erwat dabar” meaning “indecent matter”, “unseemly thing” or “uncleanness”[16] led to two different interpretations. The Rabbinic school of Hillel understood it as ‘any matter’, for instance if the wife would spoil the dinner, this would have been reason enough for divorce, while the school of Shammai understood an ‘indecent matter’ only in the sense of sexual immorality.[17] This debate will be discussed in the section about New Testament passages in more detail.

When asked, the New Testament believer refers to Jesus or Paul and their sayings in the New Testament. The investigation of the Old Testament shows valid reasons and a given procedure for divorces, which obviously happened. The given guidelines demonstrate how to handle divorce in a concrete way. The views of the quoted scholars challenge the prevailing understanding that divorce is not biblical.

New Testament Passages and Context

Divorce in the New Testament

Jesus and the Pharisees

The reasons why the author of this paper only chose the gospel accounts and Paul’s writing to the Corinthians is that the interview partners referred to these passages, when asked about biblical support for this essay topic.

In the gospels, Matthew, and Mark one will find the discussion about divorce between the Pharisees and Jesus. Jesus is radical in his statements. During Jesus’ time two rabbinic schools were acknowledged. The school of Hillel and the school of Shammai influenced the group of Pharisees in their interpretation of the law.[18] The quoted gospel accounts can be found Matthew 19, and Mark 10. Both narratives show that the Pharisees were asking for Jesus’ opinion. Walter W. Wessel is convinced that the Pharisees were not fairly looking for information about divorce.[19] Their intention was to manoeuvre Jesus into trouble with Herod Antipas. John the Baptist accused Herod Antipas of adultery for his marriage with Herodias.[20] Wessel speculates that the Pharisees hoped that Jesus would bring himself into trouble because of his opinion concerning marriage and divorce. They wished he would suffer the same destiny which John the Baptist suffered.[21]

The Pharisees started with the question: “…is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”(Matt. 19:9) The important phrase in this text is “any and every reason,” for the school of Hillel interpreted Deuteronomy 24:1-5 in the way that “an indecent matter” had two meanings, an obvious one, and a hidden one.[22] They split the phrase into, indecent matter, and matter. Latter developed into any matter; a term that found entrance into the juridical terminology. The majority of divorces in the first century were Hillelite divorces, and therefore, divorces for ‘any matter.’ The same account is recorded in Mark 10:2: “…is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” Mark wrote his gospel earlier than Matthew and it is commonly held that his audience was Jewish. Instone-Brewer explains that it would have sounded odd to the listeners, if Mark would have written “…to divorce for any matter,” for almost every divorce at that time was a divorce for any matter. He furthermore compares it to the question one would ask today, “‘is it lawful that a sixteen year-old-teenager drinks?’ In itself this is an illogical question, because without anything to drink we dehydrate and die. Therefore, we mentally add “alcoholic beverages” to the end of the question to make sense of it, but it would be pedantic to actually ask the question in this form.’”[23]

He concludes that Jesus accepted the fact of divorce, but did in no way encourage it. Jesus rather put the emphasis back to the Genesis account, before the fall of man, where marriage was established as a lifelong, monogamous covenant relationship. (Gen. 2:24)[24] Jesus further pointed out that the reference to the divorce bill in Deuteronomy is a clear sign that Moses established this regulation because of the hard heart of man. The struggle in the church starts with the confuse understanding of this passage. Who can answer the question of what Jesus really meant when he said: “…that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matt. 19:9) What can be said is that the Hillelite form of divorce was commonly used in Jesus’ time, for the husband was not required to prove the cause for divorce in contrast to the Shammaite form.[25] Jesus’ response demonstrates that he did not accept a divorce for any cause as a valid divorce; therefore, the divorcees of such a divorce were not free to marry someone else.[26] Because the debate was about the ‘any reason’ divorce, it can be concluded that Jesus accepted valid reasons for divorce. Some scholars refer to the argument of silence, which holds that just because Jesus did not discuss other reasons, does not mean that he would not have accepted them. (Ex. 21:10-11)[27]

Paul and the Corinthians

Paul’s writings also deal with divorce, especially his writing to the Corinthians. The most prominent passage to which all the interview partners referred was 1Cor. 7:10-16. Again, the immediate context shall give a better understanding. First century Christians had to deal with other circumstances then today’s Christians have to.

Everett Ferguson explains that in the Roman and Greek society of the first century, “divorce required little formality.”[28] Furthermore, “marriage could be terminated by the woman as well as by the man, unlike the situation in Jewish law.”[29] The church in Corinth not only had to deal with the influence of Greek-Roman culture, but also with philosophical influence concerning flesh and spirit. Gordon Fee observes that especially women had the tendency to believe that the bodily resurrection had already happened. They were convinced that they were already like the angels, and therefore not required to marry.[30]

In 1Cor 7:10-16 Paul starts out with the information that the following is not his own commandment, but the Lord’s. “But to the married I give instruction, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband.” (1Cor. 7:10) Obviously, Paul acknowledged the debate recorded in the gospels, Mark and Matthew. As explained earlier, the whole debate was about the ‘any cause’ divorce, initiated by the school of Hillel. Paul, as a Pharisee was taught at the feet of Gamaliel, (Acts 22:3) the grandson of Hillel.[31] It seems not too far stretched that Paul was educated in the debate of Hillel and Shammai. After his conversion however, he had to reform his way of thinking. This would lead to the assumption that he agreed with Jesus’ statement that a divorce for ‘any cause’ was not legitimate, as stated above. It would still imply that Paul recognised valid reasons for divorce like material or emotional neglect, as was recognised in the Jewish society.[32]

Gordon Fee affirms that the whole discussion in 1Corinthians 7 on divorce and remarriage must be considered in the larger context of the passage. According to him, Paul is rather emphasising the issue of staying in the position where one was called then the actual debate on divorce.[33] In addition to this, Instone-Brewer holds the view that Paul emphasised the marriage obligations, rather than valid reasons for divorce.[34] Paul answered the Corinthian’s question concerning divorce, but he actually shifted the focus back on marriage, and its meaning.

The gospel accounts and Paul’s answer to the Corinthians are the most frequent quoted passages when it comes to the discussion on divorce and remarriage. To conclude this section, one may observe that in both passages the emphasis is on marriage, as a life long covenant. Regulations that have been made in the Old Testament are considered as valid reasons for divorce by Jesus as well as by Paul. One can notice that in the discussion on divorce and remarriage it is not enough to quote Scripture. There is the need to sincerely evaluate the context, social and political background, and if possible to undertake an exegesis of the quoted passage.

THE COMMUNICATION FROM THE LEADERSHIP TO THE CHURCH MEMBERS

The Austrian Pentecostal Movement has a clear understanding of divorce and remarriage in the church. The official statement and the knowledge of the common church member differ when communicated from the head of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement to the church member.[35] The research that was done shows how well doctrine was communicated. Interview partners were the president of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement, various pastors of local churches, counsellors, and some church members of the local church in Linz. What became clear while doing this research was the need for clear guidelines provided by the Pentecostal Movement and the Leadership in the local church. Another need that was discovered was the desire to receive more information about divorce and remarriage in the church through sermons or seminars.

The Official View on Divorce and Remarriage in the Austrian Pentecostal Movement

Previous discussions concerning divorce and remarriage were held by the Austrian Pentecostal leadership (Ältestenrat) in 1996; the following is a citation of their agreement: “The previous aim for counselling must be the preservation of the marriage on the basis of forgiveness. The biblical evidence is clear in as so far that we cannot consider divorce a ‘biblical solution.’”[36] The Ältestenrat further pointed out that divorce that happens besides all efforts for reconciliation has its reason in the ‘hardness of heart’ referring to Jesus’ discussion. Their definition of ‘hardness of heart’ means the stubborn rejection of reconciliation. The weakness of their statement is the literal understanding of that discussion in the gospel account. The hardness of heard mentioned by Jesus was not a reason for divorce, it was his statement about men’s nature, which led to the permission for getting divorced. As demonstrated above, it is essential to consider the context, and the influence of rabbinic tradition.

Concerning remarriage the following was established: “We cannot find a general recommendation for remarriage on biblical grounds.”[37] This statement demonstrates that biblical grounds do not include the Old Testament for as mentioned earlier, in Exodus and in Deuteronomy regulations were made in case one gets divorced. The biblical grounds mentioned by the Ältestenrat can only be understood in terms of New Testament passages; in essence, Paul’s writing to the Corinthians, and the already mentioned discussion Jesus held with the Pharisees.

The basic principle the Ältestenrat wanted to communicate was the emphasis on Christian values in a society where norms are changing: “Since all God-given values and biblical norms are vanishing in our society, we want to be aware of the biblical norms that should be held high in the church of Jesus Christ.”[38] This view does neither consider divorce nor remarriage as an alternative. The author of this essay agrees that biblical norms should be held high, but to define biblical norms concerning divorce and remarriage seems to be difficult.

Divorce

In an interview in January 2007 the president of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement, pastor Eduard Griesfelder, communicated the official statement as well as his personal opinion. Concerning the biblical foundations he referred to the Old and New Testament, and pointed out that he is convinced that “the Lord does not want any believer to get divorced.”[39]

In another interview the former president of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement, Klaus Winter[40] stated that: “The restriction given by Jesus certainly deals with a serious sin, namely sexual offence. How important the hardness of heart is, is another question. It seems that when a marriage is broken, the Bible does not absolutely require to endure it and to stay.”[41] He is confident that “...with the help of the Lord, every marriage can be reconciled, otherwise the burden of Jesus’ sayings would be too heavy to bear.”[42]

Concerning remarriage he referred to the decision made by the Ältestenrat in 1996. Besides the statement of “no general recommendation for remarriage according to the Bible”, he furthermore states that “...one cannot clearly say Yes or No, after searching for or against biblical support concerning remarriage.”[43] He defines three reasons for divorce and remarriage: “adultery (Mark 10:9), abandoned by an unbelieving partner (1Cor. 7), and the hardness of heart.” (Math. 19:8)[44] Following his arguments it might be concluded that his research did not cover Old or New Testament context or background as one could observe in the earlier part of this essay. Valid reasons for divorce besides his mentioned reasons were given in Exodus 21:10-11.

Remarriage

Eduard Griesfelder does not see a problem in remarriage, except when divorce and remarriage are happening in a very close timeframe. He would question the attitude of such a person. To him “it is better for the divorcee to keep a distance from the divorce event in order to gain a better understanding of the whole situation, and eventually have the opportunity of reconciliation to the former partner.”[45] What became clear during these interviews was that both interview partners agreed on the fact that each case is to be considered individually. Even though E. Griesfelder is convinced that the Lord hates divorce, in the question of remarriage he applies mercy and understanding. This seems to be a contradiction, but it shows that he understands that there is only one sin that cannot be forgiven, namely the sin against the Holy Spirit. (Matt.12:31)[46]

Local Leadership Statements

The Role of Conversion

After having stated the official opinion, it is important to see, if and where the differences occur in the local churches. The president of the Movement cited the debate in the gospel accounts, and so did the pastors who answered the questionnaire. The questionnaires were designed in such a way that the interview partners had room for any thought. There was no need for further detailed questions, for most of the interviews were recorded. The purpose of the questions was to give a broad perspective of what the interview partners believe.[47]

Pastor Walter Bösch referred besides New Testament passages also to the Old Testament, namely to Malachi 2:13-16. He explains that “divorce, no matter if it happens before conversion or after, always leads to a write-off. It leaves husband and wife with a multiple net of negative side-effects.”[48] He further points out, “that even though ‘God hates divorce,’ he loves mankind, and therefore also the divorcee.”[49] To him it is important to figure out where the reasons for the former divorce were, in case the divorcee wishes to get remarried. He would encourage the divorcee to consider God’s view concerning marriage according to Genesis 2:24.[50] In the case that believers want to get divorced, he would put every effort to rehabilitate their marriage.[51]

Pastor Bösch did not answer in detail the questions for remarriage, for it seems that divorce is not an option, but reconciliation in a believer’s unstable marriage is his primary aim. He is clear in how he interprets Genesis 2:24, and the debate in Matt. 19. “Marriage is a permanent covenant, which must not be broken easily. The Bible is the norm for marriage and sexuality, not the norms provided by our secular world.”[52]

Pastor Martin Griesfelder differentiates in the aspect of time moment when divorce happened. To him, “everything that happened before conversion has no influence, and this is true in the case of divorce.”[53] When divorce happened after conversion, he is sure that “each case is to be considered individually.”[54] As pastor Bösch, so pastor M. Griesfelder states that “reconciliation of a broken marriage is the primary goal; ‘even though only one partner wants to be reconciled.’”[55] To him “reasons for divorce are only possible when it comes to sexual immorality, namely adultery, referring to Jesus’ debate with the Pharisees.”[56] Concerning the question of remarriage, he points out that “whatever happened before conversion does not matter. On the other hand, if a divorce happened after conversion including the wish for remarriage, he would question the divorcee’s opportunity of being actively involved in church ministry.”[57]

Important research was done by Pastor Alfred Schweiger, in his essay Ehescheidung – Wiederverheiratung? [58] he covered essential bible passages as well as the influence of the Catholic Church on the evangelical mindset. Latter is demonstrated in the misunderstanding of being divorced in the eyes of a legal court, but not in the eyes of God.[59] The so-called ‘lifelong separation from table and bed’ was an invention based on the idea that marriage is a holy sacrament, which by no means can be dissolved.[60] Regarding the ‘letter of divorce’ he makes clear that “the possibility of divorce given by Moses was not to be understood as a legal right, but rather an act of Schadensbegrenzung (to limit the damage).”[61] He recognises that “after a divorce the question of remarriage was not even asked in the Old Testament,” which means that it was not considered to be a problem.[62] In his introduction he clearly refers to the biblical truth that “in the beginning of God’s creation, divorce was not meant to be.”[63] Throughout his treatise Schweiger clearly says that, “the holiness of marriage and its indissoluble character remains even though God forgives in the case of deepest sin.”[64] Schweiger refers to the promises given at the wedding ceremony that should prevent the couple from breaking up easily.[65] He unmistakably states that “whoever is married should put every effort in avoiding a divorce.”[66] “The ultimate goal has to be reconciliation!”[67]

The misunderstanding concerning the relationship of divorce and adultery, as mentioned in the gospel account can be traced back to traditional teachings in the Catholic Church. It seems that Jesus said that anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery. Therefore the conclusion should be that this is true for any divorce. As proved in the section about Jesus and the Pharisees, the whole debate was about divorce for ‘any reason’.

The individual consideration of each case of divorce is in agreement of both the Ältestenrat and the local pastors of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement. The fact that God’s intention for marriage was a monogamous lifelong covenant is in focus. Providing the opportunity for reconciliation and rehabilitation of the marriage situation is the most important aim. They also agreed on the possible reasons for divorce according to New Testament passages. The Ältestenrat defined besides adultery, also abandoning of one partner, and the hardness of heart. The ‘hardness of heart’ was defined more clearly in the conversation with the counsellors. A conflict between their views and the crucial point that divides them is the role of conversion. To some of the interview partners divorce before conversion is not to be treated differently than divorce after conversion.

Counsellor’s Opinion

Divorce and the role of conversion

Counsellors in the Austrian Pentecostal Movement recognise the necessity of being more present, when it comes to marriage problems. The president, the pastors and the counsellors were in agreement with the fact that “usually an affected couple search for help, when divorce is already planned.”[68] A philosophical question that rose during the interview was the question of determining the moment divorce actually happens. The answer to that question included God’s view on a couple in marriage crises, and was left open for further discussion.

Counsellor Maria Utri states that “one has to evaluate and treat the situation differently, when it comes to the question of divorce before conversion.”[69] She says “the person has a different spiritual awareness when he enters the marriage covenant.”[70] “The same is true when it comes to a divorce. Missing a personal relationship with God, a person thinks and acts differently.”[71] “Exactly these situations happen in our churches, and we have to deal with it, as counsellors, and as churches.”[72] “People from outside of the church come in, and carry various divorce – constellations, and problems. It is not our assignment to ignore it in a spiritual way, but to deal with it.”[73] She points to Scripture that says “...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone...”(2Cor. 5:17) and is certain that “this Scripture has to be applied and determines the treatment of divorce.”[74] As observed in the dialogue with the Leadership and pastors, the aim to provide a way for reconciliation, and forgiveness has priority to the counsellor too.

Another counsellor, Lotte Stecher, points out that “in today’s society divorce is easy.”[75] To her “the suffering people are not only the spouses, but also especially the children.”[76] Her approach is based on biblical foundations plus on figuring out whether there is still common ground for restoration of the relationship.[77] She refers to marriages, which were broken and have been restored.[78] Furthermore, she is aware of the necessity of providing counselling for both partners.[79]

Counsellor Utri put an emphasis not only on reconciliation between husband and wife, but also between the affected divorcee and God; especially, when all possibilities for reconciliation are exhausted.[80] She acknowledges the importance to show understanding and empathy. This is not limited to the counsellor; it also includes the leadership of the church.[81] It is important to her that “a divorcee can close his history, and is able to put aside the label Geschiedener (divorcee).”[82]

The Role of Secular Influence

Utri answered the question relating to secular influence on the church and points out that “the influence should not be in the area of spiritual attitude, evaluation or action.”[83] She says that “it is significant to the church to counteract influences regarding the vanishing values in society.”[84] On the other side, she recognises the fact that “people with a secular mindset and value system are entering our churches, and we have to handle it.”[85]

As one can observe the counsellors agree on the fact that divorce before conversion is part of a sinful life, which is forgiven, as soon as someone turns to Christ. As with other sins in the life of a believer, consequences might continue to follow. Taking care for one’s children or payment of maintenance could be one of those consequences. Besides that, one may not underestimate the psychological effects of a divorce! The challenging aspect of Utri’s view is the positive confrontation with secular society, which eventually will remind the church of her role in society.

Divorce

With regards to the question for the possibility of divorce, Utri said she would allow divorce under special circumstances. Such circumstances would include first of all life threatening conflicts, mainly in the sense of physical or psychological nature. She identifies the problem of where to draw the line between enduring suffering and getting out of a situation.[86] To her it seems easier to recognise physical than psychological abuse.[87] She further points out that “as a counsellor she has to treat the counselee in a wholistic way, by that she means, physically, psychologically and spiritually.”[88] The observation of non-verbal communication and way of living are important to her.[89] Essential to her is the fact that “an outsider cannot judge how great the pressure of suffering is for a counselee.”[90]

Another reason for divorce, Utri mentioned is “when adultery is continuously and wilfully maintained.”[91] Additionally, “when there is no willingness, even verbally communicated in such a way, to end such behaviour.”[92] With that given statement she defines ‘hardness of heart.’ To her it is even worse to avoid the possibility of divorce in such a situation. She compares it to the co-dependency of an alcoholic.[93] She strongly indicates that” it is a wrong understanding of humility or spirituality to stay in such a relationship.”[94] It rather demonstrates that a partner, who endures such a situation and stays, becomes an accomplice.[95]

As the leadership of the church and the president of the Pentecostal Movement, Utri quoted New Testament passages, with an emphasis on the Deuteronomy passage mentioned in Jesus’ debate with the Pharisees. On the counselling level the communication of the biblical support is certainly on a very confidential level. This is in agreement with what pastors and the leadership of the Pentecostal Movement declared. Couples show up, when they are already in marriage crisis. For Utri it is necessary to give guidelines, not absolutes in the counselling session.[96] She would distance herself from definite sayings, like ‘you should put this into practice or that.’[97] Because the counselee is not able to think clearly in a crisis, Utri thinks “it is beneficial to communicate all bible passages that deal with divorce.”[98] She acknowledges the importance for the counselee to have time to think, and pray in the presence of God, considering the next steps.[99] This view strengthens the prevailing understanding that it is not the counsellor’s role to teach, but to guide as well as to leave it open to God to speak through His word.

The Opinion among Church Members

Conversion Event

The research was done in a local church with church members who either were single, married or divorced. The author of this paper expected more interest on the church member’s side, but had to experience that only a few were willing to answer the questionnaires. The following chapter will give some insights of what is known by the believer. Most of them are believers for at least ten, some for twenty years or more. In one case, Rumanian background was influential on the opinion concerning the character of marriage. As in the questionnaires for the leadership and counselors, the first question dealt with the point of time for divorce.

The majority of the interview partners agreed on the belief that divorce before conversion is a part of life, which is forgiven. Their understanding is that in turning to Christ, God has forgiven every sin that occurred before. The church reality demonstrated, as one interview partner mentioned that in theory the elders of the church allowed him to remarry, but the practical step never happened.[100] Moderate answers to that question included sayings like “divorce is not desirable, but provided by the legislation as an emergency measure.”[101] Another reply was that “divorce is something unpleasant, but cannot be avoided.”[102] One interview partner explained that “there should be the intense desire to maintain the relationship, but if it does not work out, a separation is better than living together while lacking respect for each other.”[103] The believer who grew up under communism put the emphasis on perseverance of the marriage relationship.[104] He quoted Malachi where it says that God hates divorce, and pointed out that “one has to be willing to sacrifice time for his marriage.”[105] To him there are no trite reasons for divorce. Problems that occur in a relationship have the purpose to be solved, and in doing so one will grow stronger.[106]

Concerning divorce after conversion one statement was that “…because God as the mediator was not present in a life before conversion, does not mean that a marriage will maintain with God as the mediator in a believers’ life.”[107] One interview partner gave the advice that “believers who get married should not get divorced.”[108] However, she recognises exceptions and refers to the responsibility of the churches and its leaders to give guidelines.[109]

Even though the group of interview partners in the area of church members was small, one can easily observe, how diverse their opinion was. During these interviews it was obvious that each of them had a specific situation in mind. With one exception no one gave biblical support for his or her opinion. Only after asking for bible verses, some of them could either quote the passage or knew the author.

Biblical Support and Communication

Again the majority of the interview partners agreed on the known bible passages. They referred to Paul and the letter to the Corinthians, and to Jesus’ debate in the gospels. One interview partner mentioned the ‘letter of divorce’ in the Old Testament.[110] Another one had to admit that she does not know Scripture by heart, but referred to the essay published by Alfred Schweiger.[111]

When it came to the question of how the church leadership communicates their principles, the answers were again diverse. Some said that there is no communication at all, meaning no sermons, no teaching, and no seminars.[112] Others disagreed and referred to preaching, or family retreats, where this topic is taught.[113] One interview partner referred to another organisation, which offers marriage seminars.[114] All of them agreed that the issue of divorce and remarriage is certainly communicated on a counseling level, either with a counselor or the local pastor. It should be observed that each interview partner attends church on a regular basis, yet their perception of what is taught differs.

The Question of Remarriage

When it came to the question of remarriage of a divorcee, the author of this paper could observe the great empathy for a divorcee. The interview partners were consistent in showing mercy and understanding. To all of them it seemed hard to tell a divorcee that he or she has no permission to remarry at all. Though, to investigate whose fault it was that a marriage broke up, was important for one of the interviewed church members.[115] He states that “it cannot be that for instance a woman who was cheated by her husband should not be allowed to remarry.”[116] The reasons that led to divorce are crucial. He would vote for remarriage, but recognizes that “this decision is in the hands of the local pastor or the church leadership.”[117] Another interview partner said that “she thinks it is not fair to punish one for a life time, for having chosen a wrong partner.”[118] One could argue that this is a very subjective view for what would be the definition of a wrong partner? She confessed that she cannot refer to any biblical support for her opinion. To another church member it is worthy to give a second chance, meaning remarriage.[119] “When it turns out to be a good relationship, then it is better than staying single.”[120] Interesting to the author was one church member’s reference to John 4, the woman at the well. He called attention to the fact that “widowers are allowed to remarry.”[121] As stated in the beginning of this essay, the situation of widowhood will not be discussed. This essay only considers divorce and remarriage. That church member experienced three divorces before his conversion, so to him “Eph. 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” became a new meaning.”[122] So far none of these opinions seems to be substantial and the main reason for this lies in their arguments based rather on personal opinion than on Scripture.

Biblical Support and Communication

It seemed difficult for the church members to refer to any Scripture. As stated above, one church member mentioned the woman at the well. She was not living in a marriage relationship, but Jesus pointed out that she was married to five former spouses.(John 4:18) Only reading this passage itself does not clarify, whether this woman was a divorcee or a widow. One of the church members could at least make known that divorce was an issue in the Old Testament.[123] All others were not able to give any reference. This fact verifies what they stated about the way of communication in the church regarding remarriage. The interview partners gave statements like, “there is silence; one has to get active in order to obtain answers.”[124] Another one stated that “this topic is neglected; only in small circles it is communicated, for instance in cell groups.”[125] Another one said: “There is no communication at all, and she assumes that remarriage is probably discussed in personal conversations with the pastor.”[126] To another one it seemed that “the question of remarriage does not occur very often, therefore it is not an issue at the moment.”[127] Even though the majority of these interview partners would support the wish for remarriage, they were not able to support their arguments on biblical grounds. Furthermore, they indicated that their lack of knowledge has its reason in the non-communication of the church leadership. Obviously the influence of society had a greater affect on the opinion of the church members then what is communicated through the church leadership. The following passage will deal with the question of secular influence on the church.

Secular Influence

The church is living in a secular society, where not only norms and values are changing but where individualism is the measurement. Issues that were wrong fifty years ago have developed into common recognized behaviour. In the fifties of the last century, divorce was hardly ever an option. Marriage was considered to be an everlasting union. Promises given at the wedding ceremony included the phrase “…till death do us part.” Today, this promise is no longer pronounced, at least not in front of a civil court. According to the registers, the wedding vow does not determine the time span, but only that a couple wants to share their lives.[128] Anita Mehrwald, a register asserts that, “I ask the couple, ‘do you want to enter this marriage relationship with...’, then answer with yes. You answered my questions with yes, and now you are married according to the laws.”[129] Avoiding the commitment to a lifelong union seems to make it easy to dissolve marriage.

Again, every interview partner had a different viewpoint in mind. One interview partner is aware of the fact that “broken people are searching for help in the church.”[130] She is certain that “secular influence is strong, especially when a church grows in its numbers.”[131] She admits that: “because of the strong influence of society, it is not easy, even as a believer to submit to church doctrine.”[132] Another church member said that “there is definitely an influence of society on the church.”[133] First of all she recognises the development in the area of education for women.[134] “In contrast to thirty years ago, education offers women independence; therefore, women won’t stand anymore for whatever happens in a marriage relationship.”[135]

Even though Christ said that we are in the world but not from the world, it is impossible for a believer to withdraw from secular influence. One can observe that the humanistic way of thinking, in the sense of individual self-fulfilment, does not stop in front of the church. As one of the church members said, “It is important that Christians need to have a firm point of view. They are not allowed to be swept along with secular opinion, and Christians have to swim against the current tide.”[136]

CONCLUSION

The presupposition that led to the research for this paper dealt with various opinions concerning divorce and remarriage in the church. The area of interest was the communication from the leadership to the common church member. After having consulted various commentaries and scholars who did exegetical studies in the Old and the New Testament, the author of this paper gained a better understanding of biblical arguments concerning divorce and remarriage. The research in the Austrian Pentecostal church demonstrated that specific bible passages were used to support a rather strict opinion. Nevertheless, none of the interviewed persons, neither on the leadership level nor church member level, clearly forbade divorce or remarriage.

The purpose of this research was to offer a better comprehension of what Scripture has to say. Furthermore, it should demonstrate the need of communicating this topic in the churches not only on a personal level, but from the pulpit. The author of this paper is convinced that marriage is meant to be a life-long covenant, but because mankind is living in a fallen creation, divorce happens. For that reason, the believer who experienced divorce and wishes to remarry should know his church’s doctrine and its biblical support.

The research demonstrated that the communication form the head of the Pentecostal Movement to the local pastors and counsellors is in agreement concerning reconciliation of marriages in crisis. Agreement is also in their definition of biblical reasons for divorce, namely adultery, abandonment, and hardness of heart. Slightly differences occur when it comes to the question of the role of conversion concerning divorce. For some, everything that happened before conversion, including divorce is forgiven as any other sin. Disagreements occur at the question on remarriage, not because the leaders answered differently, but because some did not answer that question at all. This led to the conclusion that a Christian marriage has to be maintained and divorce is not really an option. Therefore, there is no need for remarriage.

What seemed to be clear on the level of local leadership was not clear anymore on the church member level. Hardly any of the interviewed persons could support his or her arguments with Scripture. The most difficult question they answered was the question of permission to remarry. The given answers demonstrated rather an influence of modern society than biblical support. They could identify the reasons for their deficit of knowledge in the lack of communication from the leadership. Obvious to the researcher was the personal need on the side of the divorced believer of finally getting to know whether or not he is allowed to remarry.

A suggestion to the leadership of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement is to reconsider the Old and New Testament scripture in its context. Since the author of this paper is not educated in biblical languages, exegetical research should also be considered in order to comprehend what God communicates in His word. It was not in the mind of the author to give her personal opinion. But the emphasis is on the requirement to communicate whatever the official statement of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement concerning divorce and remarriage is, so that every believer in the church is familiar with it.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adams, Jay E. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980.

Ältestenrat der Österreichischen Pfingstbewegung. Unsere Stellung zum Thema Scheidung, Wiederverheiratung, Dienst als Wiederverheirateter 1996.

Bösch, Walter. Pastor Vienna Pentecostal Church, e-mail conversation from 8. January 2007.

Brandstetter, Gertraud. Church member of local church Linz. Interview by author, 5.January 2007, Linz. MP3 recording. Linz.

Browning, Don S. Families in Ancient Times Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1989.

Everett, Ferguson. Backgrounds of Early Christianity Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003.

Fee, Gordon The First Epistle to the Corinthians Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987.

Griesfelder, Eduard. President of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement. Interview by author, 2. January 2007, Leonding. MP3 recording. Leonding.

Griesfelder, Martin. Pastor Linz Pentecostal Church, e-mail conversation from 7. March 2007.

Heth, William A. Remarriage after Divorce in Today’s Church 3 Views Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.

Hüttner, Sabine. Church member of local church Linz. Interview by author, 5. January 2007, Linz. MP3 recording. Linz.

Instone-Brewer, David Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, The Social and Literary Context Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002.

Instone-Brewer, David. Divorce and Remarriage in the Church Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2003.

Kaiser, Walter C. Jr. “Divorce in Malachi 2:10-16,” Criswell Theological Review Vol.2 No. 1, 1987..

Leonte, Gicu. Church member of local church Linz. Interview by author, 4. January 2007, Marchtrenk. MP3 recording. Marchtrenk.

Mehrwald, Anita. E-mail conversation from 17.November 2006.

Schweiger, Alfred. “Ehescheidung- Wiederverheiratung?”

http://www.sbg.at/alfred.schweiger/download/scheidung_wiederverheiratung.pdf. accessed in November 2006.

Stecher, Lotte. Counsellor Pentecostal Church Linz. Interview by author, 5. January 2007, Linz. MP3 recording. Linz.

Stefke, Wolfgang. Church member of local church Linz. Interview by author, 15. April 2007, Linz. MP3 recording. Linz.

Utri, Maria. Counsellor Pentecostal Church Linz. Interview by author, 18. April 2007, Linz. MP3 recording. Linz.

Wessel, Walter W. The Expositior’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version Mark Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

Winter, Klaus. Former president of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement, Pastor Pentecostal Church Bad Isch. Interview by author, November 2006, Brussels. MP3 recording. Continental Theological Seminary, Brussels.

Zemljak, Andrea. Church member local church Linz. Interview by author, 15. April 2007, Linz.

CONSULTED READING

Allen, Roland B. The Expositor’s Commentary with the New International Version, Numbers Volume 2. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.

Carson, D.A. The Expositor’s Commentary with the New International Version, Matthew Volume 8. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

St. John, Colin. “Coming out with Dad” Psychology, May-June (2006): 44-45.

Deming, Will. Paul on Marriage and Celibacy The Hellenistic Background of 1Corinthians 7 Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004.

Emswiller, James P. Divorced and Separated Catholics A guide to Ministry. Winona: St. Mary’s College Press, 1979.

Fine, Mark A. Handbook of Divorce and Relationship Dissolution. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publisher, 2006.

Garland, Diane R. Family Ministry, A Comprehensive Guide. Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 1999.

Harris, R. Laird. The Expositor’s Commentary with the New International Version, Leviticus Volume 2. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.

Kalland, Earl S. The Expositor’s Commentary with the New International Version, Deuteronomy Volume 3. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.

Lighfoot, John. A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979.

Lim, Johnson. “Divorce and Remarriage in Theological and Contemporary Perspectives” Asia Journal of Theology, 271-284.

Marquardt, Elisabeth. “No Good Divorce” Christian Century, February (2006): 18-23.

Murphy O’Connor, Jerome. “The Divorced Woman in 1Cor 7:10-11” Journal of Biblical Literature, JBL 100/4 (1981): 601-606.

Swain, K.W. The Image of God, A Bible Study of Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. USA: Author House, 2004.

Questionnaire for the Leadership

Dear Leaders, thank you for your co-operation. I am aware of that “divorce and remarriage of believers" is a complex topic and it might be under certain circumstances even being a new one. I am also aware of that this questionnaire does not cover all possibilities.

"Is it forbidden to get divorced?"

1. What is the basic point of view of the Pentecostal Movement in Austria concerning divorce?

a) Divorce before conversion?
b) Divorce after conversion?

2. What are the biblical principles?

3. How are these principles communicated?

4. How does the secular society influence the church in that area?

5. How often do church members ask for counselling, marriage seminar or couple counselling?

6. In the case of divorce, what are the consequences?

7. How important is the fact that there is only one local Pentecostal church in the city?

"Is it forbidden to remarry after divorce?"

1. What is the basic point of view of the Pentecostal Movement in Austria concerning remarriage?
2. What are the biblical principles?
3. How are these principles communicated?
4. How often do church members ask for advice in that area?
5. How does the secular society influence the church in that area?

Questionnaire for Counsellors

Dear Counsellor, thank you for your co-operation. I am aware of that “divorce and remarriage of believers “is a complex topic and it might be under certain circumstances even being a new one. I am also aware of that this questionnaire does not cover all possibilities.

"Is it forbidden to get divorced?"

1. From the viewpoint of the counsellor, what is your opinion concerning divorce?

a) Divorce before ones conversion?
b) Divorce after ones conversion?

2. What are your arguments on biblical grounds?

3. How do you communicate your convictions?

4. How does the secular society influence the church in this area?

5. How often do church members ask for counselling, marriage seminars or couple – counselling?

6. In the case of divorce, what kind of consequences do you apply?

7. How important is the fact that there is only one local Pentecostal church in the city?

"Is it forbidden to remarry after divorce?"

1. From the viewpoint of the counsellor, what is your opinion concerning remarriage?
2. What are your arguments on biblical grounds?
3. How do you communicate your convictions?
4. How often do church members ask for advice in that situation?
5. How does the secular society influence the church in this area?

Questionnaire for Church Members

Dear Church Member, thank you for your co-operation. . I am aware of that “divorce and remarriage of believers “is a complex topic and it might be under certain circumstances even being a new one. I am also aware of that this questionnaire does not cover all possibilities.

"Is it forbidden to get divorced?"

1. What is your point of view concerning divorce?

a) Divorce before conversion?
b) Divorce after conversion?

2. What are your arguments on biblical grounds? (passages)

3. How well are these arguments communicated?

4. How does the secular society influence the church in that area?

5. In the case of divorce what are the consequences? Church discipline?

6. How important is the fact that there is only one local Pentecostal church in the city?

"Is it forbidden to remarry after divorce?"

1. What is your point of view concerning remarriage?
2. What are your personal experiences in the church concerning remarriage?
3. What are the biblical principles that have been applied?
4. How are these principles communicated?
5. How does the secular society influence the church in that area?

[...]


[1] The author of this essay has to make clear that whenever she talks about remarriage, she understands it in the context of divorce, not in the context of widow or widower.

[2] David, Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, The Social and Literary Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 91.

[3] Ibid.

[4] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 36.

[5] William A. Heth, Remarriage after Divorce in Today’s Church 3 Views (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 130.

[6] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2003), 31.

[7] Ibid., 55.

[8] John J., Collins , “Marriage, Divorce, and Family in Second Temple Judaism” in Families in Ancient Times (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1989), p. 120.

[9] Walter Bösch, found in an e-mail conversation from 8. January 2007.

[10] John J. Collins, “Marriage, Divorce and Family in Second Temple Judaism” in Families in Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997), 123.

[11] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “Divorce in Malachi 2:10-16,” Criswell Theological Review Vol.2 No. 1, (1987): p.80.

[12] Jay E. Adams, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980), 23.

[13] Ibid., 28-29.

[14] Ibid., 62.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity Third Edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 518.

[17] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, The Social and Literary Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 134.

[18] Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity Third Edition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 490-491.

[19] Walter W. Wessel, The Expositior’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version Mark (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 710-712.

[20] Walter W. Wessel, The Expositior’s Bible Commentary with the New International Version Mark (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 710-712.

[21] Ibid.

[22] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible The Social and Literary Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 111.

[23] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2003), 59.

[24] Ibid., 66.

[25] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible The Social and Literary Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 113.

[26] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 96-97.

[27] Ibid. 97

[28] Everett Ferguson, Background of Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 75.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Everett Ferguson, Background of Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003), 75..

[31] Ibid., 491.

[32] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, The Social and Literary Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 194.

[33] Gordon Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987), 306.

[34] David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, The Social and Literary Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 196.

[35] The research was done in the leadership level of the Austrian Pentecostal Movement as well as in the area of counselling and in the church body.

[36] Ältestenratsitzung, Unsere Stellung zum Thema Scheidung, Wiederverheiratung, Dienst als Wiederverheirateter (Österreich: September 1996), 16.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ältestenratsitzung, Unsere Stellung zum Thema Scheidung, Wiederverheiratung, Dienst als Wiederverheirateter (Österreich: September 1996), 16.

[39] Eduard Griesfelder, interview by author, MP3 recording, Leonding, Austria., 02. January 2007.

[40] Klaus Winter was also part of the Ältestenrat, where they discussed Divorce and Remarriage in 1996.

[41] Klaus Winter, interview by author, MP3 recording, Sint Pieters Leeuw, Belgium, 15. November 2006.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Eduard Griesfelder, interview by author, MP3 recording, Leonding, Austria, 02. January 2007.

[46] Matt. 12:31 “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”

[47] See the Appendix, Questionnaires.

[48] Walter Bösch, found in an e-mail conversation from 8. January 2007.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Martin Griesfelder, found in an e-mail conversation from 7.March 2007.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Martin Griesfelder, found in an e-mail conversation from 7.March 2007.

[58] Alfred Schweiger, Ehescheidung – Wiederverheiratung http://www.sbg.at/alfred.schweiger/download/scheidung_wiederverheiratung.pdf. (accessed in November 2006)

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Schweiger, Ehescheidung – Wiederverheiratung http://www.sbg.at/alfred.schweiger/download/scheidung_wiederverheiratung.pdf. (accessed in November 2006).

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Ibid.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Maria Utri, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 18. April 2007.

[69] Maria Utri, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 18. April 2007.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Lotte Stecher, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 2. January 2007.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Maria Utri, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 18. April 2007.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Ibid.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Maria Utri, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 18. April 2007.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Ibid.

[89] Ibid.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Ibid.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Maria Utri, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 18. April 2007.

[95] Ibid.

[96] Maria Utri, interviewed by the author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 18. April 2007.

[97] Ibid.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Church member E, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 15. April 2007.

[101] Church member C, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 15.April 2007.

[102] Church member B, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria 5. January 2007.

[103] Church member A, interview by author MP3 recording, Linz Austria 5. January 2007.

[104] Church member D, interview by author MP3 recording, Marchtrenk, Austria 4.January 2007.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Church member B, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[108] Church member C, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 15. April 2007.

[109] Ibid.

[110] Church member B, interview by author MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[111] Church member A, interview by author MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[112] Church member B, interview by author MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[113] Church member D, interview by author MP3 recording, Marchtrenk, Austria, 4. January 2007.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Church member D, interview by author, MP3 recording, Marchtrenk, Austria, 4. January 2007.

[116] Church member D, interview by author, MP3 recording, Marchtrenk, Austria, 4. January 2007.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Church member B, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[119] Church member A, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[120] Ibid.

[121] Church member E, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 15. April 2007.

[122] Ibid.

[123] Church member A, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[124] Ibid.

[125] Church member E, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 15. April 2007.

[126] Church member B, interview by author, MP3 recording, Linz, Austria, 5. January 2007.

[127] Church member D, interview by author, MP3 recording, Marchtrenk, Austria, 4. January 2007.

[128] Anita Mehrwald, found in an e-mail conversation from 17. November 2006.

[129] Ibid.

[130] Church member A, interview by author, MP3 recording, 5. January 2007.

[131] Ibid.

[132] Ibid.

[133] Church member B, interview by author, MP3 recording, 5. January 2007.

[134] Church member B, interview by author, MP3 recording, 5. January 2007.

[135] Ibid.

[136] Church member D, interview by author, MP3 recording, 4. January 2007.

Details

Pages
40
Year
2007
File size
578 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v114889
Grade
2,30
Tags
Divorce Remarriage Church

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Title: Divorce and Remarriage in the Church