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26-Jan-2016 12:37

I felt an immense burden in having to teach our congregation what the revealed will of God is in this matter of divorce and remarriage.

I was not unaware that among my people there were those who had been divorced and remarried, and those who had been divorced and remained unmarried, and those who were in the process of divorce or contemplating it as a possibility.

I knew that this was not an academic exercise, but would immediately affect many people very deeply.

I was also aware of the horrendous statistics in our own country, as well as other Western countries, concerning the number of marriages that were ending in divorce, and the numbers of people who were forming second marriages and third marriages.

All of my adult life, until I was faced with the necessity of dealing with divorce and remarriage in the pastoral context, I held the prevailing Protestant view that remarriage after divorce was Biblically sanctioned in cases where divorce had resulted from desertion or persistent adultery.

Only when I was compelled, some years ago, in teaching through the gospel of Luke, to deal with Jesus' absolute statement in Luke did I begin to question that inherited position.

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiring and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.

For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

But I intend to respect the official statement (having written the first draft myself) as our guide in matters of membership and discipline.

I make this paper available so that the basis for certain statements in the official paper can be readily obtained.

The paper you hold in your hands is NOT the official church position on divorce and remarriage.

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiring and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.But I intend to respect the official statement (having written the first draft myself) as our guide in matters of membership and discipline.I make this paper available so that the basis for certain statements in the official paper can be readily obtained.The paper you hold in your hands is NOT the official church position on divorce and remarriage.It is my own understanding of the Scriptures and therefore the guidelines for my own life and teaching and ministerial involvement in weddings.