According to the dictionary, an annulment is “a legal procedure which cancels a marriage between a man and a woman. Annulling a marriage is as though it is completely erased – legally, it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid.”

While the Roman Catholic church does not allow divorce, it does allow for annulment. A Roman Catholic will not perform a marriage ceremony between two people if one (or both) of them has been divorced, but he can marry two people if one (or both) of them have had their marriages annulled.

Are annulments biblical? No, they are not. Of course, I am speaking of the annulment of a legal marriage. Legally (and possibly scripturally), there may be valid reasons for an annulment in the case of an illegal marriage due to bigamy, forced consent, mental incapacity, marriage prohibited by law, etc. Otherwise, when two people enter into a valid, legal marriage, the only way to dissolve that marriage is through divorce.

What do the scriptures teach us about divorce? Malachi 2:16 tells us that “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” (NKJV) Marriage as an institution created by God Himself is intended to last until the death of one of the parties. Let’s read Matthew 19:3-6, “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. WHAT THEREFORE GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER, LET NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER.”

There are two scriptural grounds for divorce given in the Word:

Matthew 19:9, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

1 Corinthians 7:15, “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”

Only in the case of fornication or abandonment is divorce allowed in the scriptures. It is allowed, but not commanded. Even in these cases, it is good to seek godly counsel and earnestly try to salvage these troubled marriages. With that said, it may be necessary for one to leave their spouse if there is abuse present, but there is no scriptural permission to be remarried. This is why it is so important to make sure that your marriage is according to the Lord. I realize this is an extremely controversial position, but it is what the scriptures teach. I stand to be corrected if someone can show FROM THE SCRIPTURES that this position is wrong. (325.2)