Permission to divorce includes permission to remarry.

Adultery or fornication, committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.

Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646, Chapter XXIV, V

While I do not agree with every stance taken in the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), I do agree with this statement on divorce after adultery.

This is a statement made by Protestant scholars and leaders discerning and applying Scripture to the issue of divorce and remarriage in light of adultery.

It is not that I worship the WCF, but rather that I believe these Bible scholars and Protestant leaders rightly discerned and applied the Bible texts on this particular issue of divorce and remarriage in light of adultery.

This stance ought to be understood  as a very mainline Protestant stance!

It defies logic for God to grant permission to divorce and yet deny permission to remarry. The whole point of divorcing someone is create the legal possibility to remarry!

I think it is absolutely absurd to say God finds divorcing your cheater acceptable but still sees you as married to them until they die!

Are you divorced then or not? I do not see that as God granting a faithful spouse the option to divorce if God still sees the faithful spouse as married to the cheater while the cheater lives.

That is not a divorce!

A divorce says the marriage is over. To remarry after the first marriage is over cannot violate that which is truly over.

This is all why I say:

Permission to divorce includes permission to remarry.


2 thoughts on “Permission to divorce includes permission to remarry.”

  1. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matt 5:23

    This says anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. From the context it’s not exactly which case it’s rendering to. Does it apply to a woman who was divorced because of adultery, one who was divorced not for adultery or any divorced woman?

    1. I would go back to the Deuteronomy 22:22 and Leviticus 20:10 texts that make remarriage after divorce (following adultery) a moot point (or the same as remarrying after being widowed). This exception here for sexual immorality connects with that understanding. It is how the Protestant leaders who wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) clearly took this text. The idea being that the faithful spouse is free to divorce and then live as if the cheater was dead as far as the morality regarding remarriage, etc is concerned. (I would add that the cheater is NEVER released to remarry with God’s blessing–unless it is the spouse they cheated upon–as far as I read the Biblical texts. That is one of the consequences of ending a marriage via adultery.)

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