What about divorce?
As a church we believe in the Holy Covenant of Marriage as laid out in Scripture. There are principles in Scripture, however, by which we can appropriately view and reconcile the dissolution of the covenant of marriage.
We recognise divorce as a biblical option under the following conditions:
- Continued infidelity and adultery.
- Spousal, physical, sexual and/or severe emotional abuse.
- Abuse of the children, physically or sexually.
- An unbelieving spouse desiring and committed to ending the marriage.
On the grounds of irreconcilable differences we take the view that marriage counselling should be entered into for a period of time that is necessary to bring unity, oneness, love and peace back into the marriage.
If one spouse is willing to work on and restore the marriage and the other spouse continues the process of divorce, then we believe the individual has done all that is possible and should consider allowing a period of separation. If no positive changes occur, they should accept the finality of a divorce settlement.
When two individuals both profess faith in Christ and believe themselves to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we do not condone the ending of the marriage for the following personal reasons:
- I was married too young.
- I was not prepared for marriage.
- I feel stifled in my personal life.
- I feel emotionally neglected.
- I am emotionally in love with someone else.
- We are no longer in love.
- We do not share common interests.
- We argue and fight constantly.
- Our sex life is unfulfilling.
We believe these marital struggles and differences may be resolved with the help of counselling if both parties are willing to make the effort. The process of divorce should not be entered into lightly. The couple should recognise the devastating effects this process may have on their lives.
Divorce and remarriage
We believe in remarriage. We ask that a person pursue counselling and recommend a period of 1 to 2 years between divorce and remarriage.
Leadership and divorce
The requirements and the process for church leaders, elders and pastors are dealt with on a different basis because of the effects on the ministry. These may require more government and, if necessary, discipline. If after counselling the minister is found to be without fault, stepping out of ministry will be for a season of restoration. However, if the minister is found to be unrepentant and continues in a state of hardness of heart, rebellion or sin, stronger measures may be taken. The senior pastors reserve the right to pray and determine the process.
We recognise the pain, stress and disruption to an individual and family during the process of divorce. We therefore require the stepping out of ministry responsibility for a season of restoration and healing.
End of statement. (A full copy with Appendices may be requested from the church office.)