Divorce an d Remarriage in Biblical Perspective

Speaker: Categories: Jul 14, 1990


[1hr, 19min, 11sec / 59min, 32sec]


The topic of divorce and remarriage is of continuing interest and concern to Seventh-day Adventists. Church boards and pastors have sought ways to apply the tenets of the SDA Church Manual and, at the same time, deal humanely and lovingly with the "parties involved." Experimental programs, such as the one at the Loma Linda University Church, have received denominational attention after having first received permission to try out new ways of ministering to those persons caught in the painful divorce-remarriage sequence.

Recently, pastors and other employees of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists devoted a day of study to this recurring problem. One of the resource participants in this discussion was our July speaker.

Dr. Blazen asserts, "One of the most painful processes one can go through is divorce. One of the most problematical possibilities one can entertain is remarriage. Divorce is painful, not only because of the inherent trauma -- psychological, social, and spiritual -- involved in becoming separated from one's partner, but because of the frequent experience of judgmentalism from the church or persons in the church. Remarriage is problematical, not only because of the inherent difficulty of establishing a new relationship after years of customizing oneself to a particular person, family, and way of life, but because remarriage can be the source of great scrutiny and strong condemnation by the church and its members with the accompanying sense of social and spiritual isolation and rejection [experienced by] the remarried person."

He continues, "Inasmuch as the Bible is the foundation of Seventh-day Adventist faith and practice, the question arises as to what Scripture has to say on the subjects of divorce and remarriage. Specifically, can Christians be divorced and, if so, on what biblical grounds; and is remarriage a biblical option and in harmony with scriptural teachings? If Seventh-day Adventists can gain a deeper insight into the Bible teaching and a firmer grasp of the biblical spirit, the spirit of Christ himself, then perhaps we can avoid hurting more those who already hurt and begin helping more those who really desire help."

"One thing is certain," he concludes, "the whole Bible is about healing and restoration, and those who have received this from God are called of God to aid in the healing of others."


Ivan Blazen received his Ph.D. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. He has studied at Andrews University, Union Theological Seminary, the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and Drew University (New Jersey). Currently Professor of New Testament and Chairman of the Department of Biblical Studies at Loma Linda University, he formerly chaired the Department of New Testament at the SDA Seminary at Andrews University.

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