Letter to the Editor
Re: Robert Ian Williams’s letter (EC8117), no genuine evangelical could possibly countenance replacing our Lord’s “let not man put asunder” with “man cannot put asunder”, which is a doctrine from the pit. Such putting asunder is possible, and is the work, not of the innocent party that sues for divorce, but of the guilty party that provoked the suit, whether by fornication (e.g., adultery, sexual activity that’s against nature), irremediable wilful desertion (of which domestic violence is a particularly brutal form), or refusal to provide (that makes the perpetrator worse than an unbeliever)/wilful total wastage of spouse’s resources (which comes to the same thing).
Since the last discussion in EC on this subject, I have ascertained that Cranmer and fellow Anglican Reformers were on the same side of this “debate” as the Puritan framers of the Westminster Confession. I must also point out that the 1936 C of E Synod was dominated by crypto-papists who had supported adoption of the 1928 Prayer Book. Sadly, far too many evangelicals have assumed these people to have been Christians and allowed themselves to be influenced by their conclusions. And whilst, for instance, Edward VIII’s marriage to Mrs Simpson was in any case incompatible with biblical principles, Princess Margaret’s with Peter Townsend, had it happened, would not have been (unfortunately, Bible believing denominations that would have married them did not get that message through to the Princess before, believing the 1936 decision to be Christian, she announced the ending of the relationship). Just one of the lives ruined by such unscriptural teaching.