Article XVII: Divorce/Remarriage Policy

Section 1. General Policy.

Grace Church believes that divorced men and women, and the broken homes that result, are the tragic consequence of sin (“What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” [Mark 10:9]), and as such, these men and women are the victims of a shattering life-long blow that requires love, warmth and a source of stability from which to rebuild their lives.

Section 2. Biblical Divorce.

Marriage is an exclusive and permanent union before God that should be separated by nothing but death. Neither husbands nor wives can endanger that union through adultery, defrauding or desertion, without defiling their consciences and bringing judgment upon themselves. Indisputably, it is the will of God for those who marry to remain married until death separates them. Thus, all marriage counseling given by the staff or leadership of Grace Church will be toward reconciliation and restoration of the marriage relationship. Once married, incompatibility does not provide grounds for divorce.

However, Grace Church holds to the view that there are narrowly defined exceptions, as a result of sin, that may constitute a Biblical divorce.

A Biblical divorce is defined as follows:

(a)    In a Christian marriage, where both partners profess Christ, a Biblical divorce may occur if there is sexual immorality (Matthew 19:9).

(b)   In a “mixed marriage” where only one of the partners professes Christ, a Biblical divorce may occur if the unsaved partner wants to leave and seeks the divorce (1 Corinthians 7:12-16), or is sexually immoral (Matthew 19:9).

Section 3. Biblical Remarriage.

When a Biblical divorce has occurred, the believing and faithful spouse is free to remarry another believing and faithful partner, without committing adultery or incurring discipline for sin. Such remarriage is both acceptable and may be performed by the Grace Church pastoral staff (Matthew 5:32; 1 Corinthians 7:8-16). The believing and faithful spouse is, however, under obligation before God to practice, towards the former spouse, the same forgiveness which he or she has been shown by Christ (Matthew 18:21-35).

Grace Church believes that a Christian must never be the cause of the divorce and, if possible, except in the case of sexual immorality, never seek the divorce.

Section 4. Unbiblical Divorce.

In the unbiblical divorce of any Grace Church members, Church discipline will be administered with the desire to see genuine repentance and reconciliation, not only between ex-spouses to whatever extent possible, but also to the other Church members as well. If repentance and the necessary results of such are genuine, forgiveness must be real on the part of the Church and its members.

Section 5. Scriptures.

Matthew 5:31-32; 18:15-20; 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16