Divorce/remarriage/adultery is a sin that can be forgiven just as murder, thievery, or lying can be forgiven. But just as is the case with other sins, divorce/remarriage/adultery must be confessed and forsaken. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). Those who do not forsake their sin continue in it. Christians should consider persons involved in divorce/remarriage/adultery as persons in need of forgiveness by God and therefore in need of salvation. They should be considerate of them and compassionate, always seeking opportunities to lead them to sincere repentance and a saving relationship with the Savior. They should relate to them as did Jesus to the woman of Samaria and the woman taken in adultery, showing compassion and teaching the truth without condoning the sin.
Christians must be careful not to compromise clear biblical teaching on divorce/remarriage/adultery and not to become "partaker" with those involved in their sin. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" (2 John 9-1 1).
1. While we want to lead them to a saving relationship with Christ, our relationships with them will of necessity be somewhat reserved and strained, even with relatives and those professing salvation. They cannot be considered as those of the faith.
2. We should be considerate of the children of divorced and remarried persons and seek to be of positive influence on them. They are potential converts to Christ in spite of their unwholesome home situations.
3. We should not attend the weddings of divorced persons whose previous companions are still living, and we should not invite them as a couple to our weddings, lest by inviting them we may seem to condone their relationship and associate it with the pure Christian relationship.
4. We should not knowingly provide lodging for divorced/remarried couples unless there is urgent need, and then arrangements should be made for separate lodging, lest we condone their sin.
5. Where there is real material or physical need, we should be willing to assist as we can to all men, including those who are divorced/remarried.
Officially adopted as a statement of position and policy on June 23, 1995, by the Southeastern Mennonite Conference.
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