John Knox on Divorce and Remarriage

Gordon J. Wenham and William E. Heth’s Jesus And Divorce contains a massive bibliography — one work listed is David L. Smith’s Divorce and Remarriage From the Early Church To John Wesley. Smith writes:

“John Knox, the founder of Scottish Presbyterianism, was very much like his mentor, John Calvin, in his stance on divorce. In his First Book of Discipline (1560), he noted that marriage, once lawfully contracted, could not be terminated unless adultery had occurred. Like Calvin, he deplored the failure of civil authorities to execute adulterers. The church was to excommunicate such people and set the innocent party free to marry again. Upon the repentance of the guilty party, however, forgiveness was to be granted and, ‘if they cannot remain continent, … we cannot forbid them to use the remedy ordained by God (i.e. marriage).'[56] Knox realized that such a position was far from perfect but, with his colleagues, he offered it ‘as the best counsel God giveth unto us in so doubtsome a case.'[57]”  [Underlining mine–CD]

[56] John Knox’s History of the Reformation in Scotland (ed. William Croft Dickinson; London: Thos. Nelson, 1949) 2:318.

[57] Ibid., 2:319.

Apparently a failure of the civil authorities to put adulterers to death justifies a fanciful, creative, cavalier, and contemptuous treatment of Romans 7:1-3.

As noted in the previous post, Most (if not all) members of this Reformed brotherhood are the servants of corruption, setting people free to commit adultery, inventing facinorous fictions in order to retain a serpentine hold (2 Peter 2:18-19).