Resolution on the Ministry of the Divorced and Remarried (Mennonite Brethren Church, 1981)

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Resolution on the Ministry of the Divorced and Remarried (MB, 1981)

We believe that the Scriptures teach the permanence of marriage and that divorce and remarriage are violations of God's will. However, we recognize that people often fail to live according to God's will, and marriage relationships are broken, often resulting in divorce and remarriage.

We also believe that God's Word teaches that where humans sin, that sin can be forgiven by God whenever there is repentance. We acknowledge that the intention of God in redemption is to extend forgiveness even for divorce and remarriage.

We resolve therefore:

That we proclaim with conviction that the will of God for marriage is permanence. And, that we extend the forgiving grace of God to those who have experienced divorce and remarriage. And, further, that without relenting at all on our commitment to the sanctity of marriage we offer forgiveness and the opportunity for ministries without implying approval of the wrong that has been committed.

We encourage the local congregation involved to treat each situation individually to discern the attitude, the gifts and the quality of Christian character of the divorced and remarried.

We commit ourselves to instruct the divorced and remarried to recognize the seriousness of their offense against God and the community; that they allow the community of believers sufficient time to accept their repentance; that they consider service a privilege rather than a right; and, that they voluntarily step aside for a period of time and allow the church to determine readiness for service (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6).

We reaffirm the resolution adopted at our 1969 conference at Vancouver, i.e., "The services such members can render in a church will largely be determined by what the membership is ready to receive from them. However, we believe that a member who has been divorced, or divorced and remarried should not be eligible to serve on the deaconate or in the ministry" (1969 Yearbook, pg. 16).


Yearbook, 55th session, General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, August 7-11, 1981. Winnipeg, Man. : Kindred Press, 1981: 48.