ECCLESIAL POSITION REGARDING MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
The Bible reveals the principle concerning marriage to be: a man and woman joined in marriage should live together as one flesh for life reflecting the ideal set forth in the figure of Christ and the church (the groom and the bride). The clear doctrine is that divorce by believers should not occur.
The Simi Hills Ecclesia’s policy is to uphold the high principles of the marriage covenant by, first seeking God in prayer and allowing Him to work in the lives of His people. We recognize that human weaknesses and failings do occur. The following principles taken almost verbatim from the 1972 Christadelphian Magazine article entitled, “The Lord Hateth Putting Away”, will guide our Ecclesia in facing the difficult problem (that may arise in our midst) of application for baptism or fellowship in a case of divorce and remarriage.
1. Take steps to ensure that there is complete understanding and wholehearted acceptance by the parties concerned of the divine principles and ideals involved, and that any departure from these ideals is acknowledged.
2. Decisions on requests for fellowship shall be the responsibility of the entire Ecclesia. Our Ecclesia should, with mercy and compassion, try to assess the state of conscience before God of the Brother and Sister involved; realizing, however, that only the individual concerned can be responsible.
3. The Ecclesia will bear in mind the likely effect upon Ecclesial life and worship of such decisions which can only be assessed by its Members.
4. It is always worth remembering that, “In dealing with all offenders… our aim should be not only to admonish and rebuke but also to restore. While endeavoring to maintain to the full the high standards of Christ’s teaching, we must beware of slipping unconsciously into an attitude towards offenders which the Lord would condemn. To achieve the right balance in these matters in the spirit of our Lord’s teaching calls for prayerful and persistent effort and humility of mind.”
5. Regarding Ecclesial offices, the following principle taken from the same article will guide us. When people with compromised lives became Christians, Paul advised against such persons assuming office in the community. It is the duty of the Ecclesia to uphold the Lord’s high ideals and to appoint to its offices Members whose lives are in accord with them. (1 Timothy 3:2-12, Titus 1:5-9)
Please see the entire text of “The Lord Hateth Putting Away”