What We Believe

September 02, 2007 Q & A

Divorce and Remarriage


What is the OPC position on marriage, the grounds for divorce, and for biblical remarriage? Does the OPC have a position paper on this topic? If so, how can I get a copy?

I am not looking for a referral to a book about general Reformed convictions but specifically what the OPC position is on this topic.


The position of the OPC is what is stated in the Confession of Faith, Chapter XXIV, "Of Marriage and Divorce," paragraphs 5 and 6:

5. 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.

6. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage: wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.

I gather that you are already familiar with this. No GA study papers have been done on this matter to my knowledge.

I believe that a least a couple of presbyteries have had to deal judicially with cases where the understanding of "desertion" was dealt with. You indicate that you are not asking for book titles, but rather for official papers or pronouncements, so I won't offer you John Murray's and Jay Adams' excellent books (with which I think everyone in the OPC with whom I have ever discussed these matters would substantially agree). So, for the OPC, WCF 24.5,6 is all I can give you.

I can't tell from your posts if you are researching a topic or inquiring for personal reasons. If the latter, I pray the Lord grants you the light you need to do what pleases Him.



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