Westminster Confession (Class #22) — “Of Marriage & Divorce”

Chapter XXIV – Of Marriage and Divorce

i. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time.(1)

(1) Ge 2:24; Mt 19:5,6; Pr 2:17

ii. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,(1) for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;(2) and for preventing of uncleanness.(3)

(1) Ge 2:18

(2) Mal 2:15

(3) 1Co 7:2,9

iii. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.(1) Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.(2) And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.(3)

(1) Heb 13:4; 1Ti 4:3; 1Co 7:36,37,38; Ge 24:57,58

(2) 1Co 7:39

(3) Ge 34:14; Ex 34:16; Dt 7:3,4; 1Ki 11:4; Ne 13:25,26,27; Mal 2:11,12; 2Co 6:14

iv. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word.(1) Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.(2)

(1) Lev Chapter 18; 1Co 5:1;Am 2:7

(2) Mk 6:18; Lev 18:24-28.

v. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.(1) In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce:(2) and after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.(3)

(1) Mt 1:18-20

(2) Mt 5:31-32

(3) Mt 19:9; Ro 7:2-3

vi. 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 wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:(1) 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.(2)

(1) Mt 19:8,9; 1Co 7:15; Mt 19:6

(2) Dt 24:1-4


About Monte Kline

Born (1949) and raised in Illinois, I came west at age 17 to attend Oregon State University and enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. After pursuing Eastern and other religions, I came to faith in Christ and became involved with Campus Crusade for Christ, whose staff I was part of for six years after graduation. Developing a serious cancer condition during those years redirected me to the study of biblical principles related to health and the authoring of five books (so far) from that perspective, the best known of which is The Junk Food Withdrawal Manual. For the past 30 years I made my living as a natural medicine health practitioner with a Christian-oriented practices in the Pacific Northwest, but now operate my "virtual" practice from Southern Arizona. I have been involved in teaching in my local church over the years where I have taught systematic theology, attributes of God, recognition and development of spiritual gifts, Jude, I Peter, II Peter, Hebrews, and the historic creeds and confessions of the church. Recently published books include FACE TO FACE: MEETING GOD IN THE QUIET PLACES, which deals with Christian Personal Retreats (see www.christianpersonalretreat.com) and BODY, MIND & HEALTH: DISCOVERING GOD'S SOLUTIONS FOR TOTAL HEALTH.
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