Lutherans/Lutheran annulment


I am a catholic, I made all of the sacraments but am not practicing. I am considering getting married in the Lutheran church. My fiance was baptized and married in the Lutheran church and is divorced. Does he need to have an annulment?

Thank you

Thank you for question and congratulations on your future wedding.  No, we Lutherans do not recognized religious annulments of marriage. For us, divorce is divorce, a unfortunate part of the brokenness that is part of our humanity.  It is a fracture, a death of a relationship, and in our theology and practice, we simply name it so.

When divorced people come to me wishing to get re-married, we do touch the previous relationship(s)--what happened, and what can be learned from that previous relationship. I feel it is important to examine past pains, especially since by talking through them, it is likely that those same patterns will carry over into the new marriage.

Then we can speak of the new life this couple will have together.  As Lutherans, we take sin and the brokenness of the world and humanity seriously, but we take even more seriously God's grace and redemption of broken people.  It's God's love and forgiveness through Jesus that allows us to learn from the past, but not live there.  We are called to live our new life in the present.  I pray the best for you and your fiancee.

I hope that this is helpful.

Martin Eldred


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Martin W. Eldred


I have been a Lutheran Christian for 55 years and a Lutheran pastor for almost 27. I can answer most general questions about Luther, Lutheran History, Lutheran Theology, and a Lutheran approach to Biblical Interpretation. I am ELCA, for those who know what that means, and I tend to be moderate theologically. I hope that I can converse with those that are either more conservative or liberal than I, and especially with those who are really just seeking.


Pastors are "generalists" and generally have a working knowledge on many subjects. We are also used to working with a variety of answers from a variety of people. I teach a great deal, especially in the area ofthe New Testament. I particulalry enjoy the Pauline literature.

I have been a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international gathering of biblical scholars and teachers, since the late 1980s.

I have written a few book reviews for the journal, "Lutheran Quarterly."

I have a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Religion (Biblical Studies)and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and I am currently completing a PhD in New Testament.

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