Deacon Qualifications

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife..." (I Tim. 3:12)

    While I realize that the subject of whether a divorced person could ever serve as a deacon has probably been discussed in previous threads, my question is this:

    Can a single man [one who has never been married] meet the qualification as stated in the above passage since he isn't the husband of any wife?

    I would prefer that you answer this question by citing some specific scripture(s) to substantiate your position on this issue.

    Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,085
    Likes Received:
    218
    Boy, you sure make it tough to answer a question:laugh:

    Salty
     
  3. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello ktn.

    Yes. The prohibition is against polygamy not singleness.

    Paul regards singleness as the ideal pattern for ministry but Jesus says it only applies to those who can accept it, MT 19:12.

    1CO 7:27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.

    1CO 7:32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife

    Any good?

    john.
     
  4. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,073
    Likes Received:
    101
    Paul's admonition was that a deacon, if married, should be a faithful husband. To require deacons (or elders) to be married would contradict his advice to the Corinthians:

     
  5. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    I appreciate your replies--and more are certainly welcomed.

    With regard to the I Cor. 7:32-33 passage to which johnp and rsr referred, the implications that one can derive from Paul's statements have often confused me.

    At first glance, it would seem that what Paul was saying:
    a) single person = spiritually minded person
    b) married person = worldly minded person

    Now, obviously, that can't be what Paul is really trying to tell us because I've known single Christians who are quite worldly minded and married Christians who are spiritually minded, and I'm sure most of you have too.

    In light of the I Cor. 7 passage, I suppose (at least as far as it relates to serving as a deacon anyway) what we may conclude that Paul might prefer a deacon to be unmarried, but if he is married, he should be the husband of one wife.

    Would that be a correct understanding? (Please understand that I don't want to get into the issue of whether or not "the husband of one wife" excludes a divorced man -- that's been haggled over in other threads I'm sure.)

    Moreover, if any of you are or know someone who is a single man who is serving as a deacon, I'd love to read your comments about it.

    Again, I really appreciate my BB friends help in this matter.
     
  6. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe the deacon and bishop both should be married. I believe Paul taught this in the letter to Timothy.

    Paul consistantly uses the phrase 'Let them be'.

    If he did not mean the deacon must be married, then in the same context he could not have meant the deacon must be blameless, grave, or any of the other qualifications. He must not be able to rule his own house would also apply.

    No, when Paul said let the deacon be the 'husband of one wife', he was setting a standard that deacons must be married.
     
  7. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello ktn.

    As you say, being married or not is not the defining thing. A married man has responsibilities towards his wife and this will influence his ability to give his undivided attention to the Lord's business. Not that the married man is wrong in having this responsibility.

    For instance, a single man might be free to bring into his house a person in need of shelter whereas a married man must consider his wife. I would not be willing to bring a stranger into the house and leave him there since my wife would be put into danger.

    1CO 7:30 those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; But in a house with a wife the property is hers as well as his. I cannot improverish myself if I have another to care for. My interests are divided. Caring for my wife will limit my ability to care for the stranger.

    There is no law against marriage or singleness but there is with polygamy. I think Paul was being pragmatic not laying down a rule but prohibiting polygamists from Church office.

    1TI 3:12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.

    If 'His Blood' is right Paul consistantly uses the phrase 'Let them be'. then being married is not enough, one must have children as well. Let them be ruling their children would be a condition.

    1TI 3:10 They must first be tested...
    1TI 3:12 They must be the husband of but one wife.

    The NIV have it translated with a 'but'.

    john.
     
  8. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let us look at the passages in 1 Timothy 3 that speak of 'letting the deacons'

    1 Timothy 3:10 (KJV) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless.

    1 Timothy 3:12 (KJV) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

    If verse 12 does not mean the deacons should be married, then verse 10 would mean that the deacon would not have to be proved, they would not have to even fill the office of the deacon blameless.

    I submit that in order for the word 'let' in verse 10 to mean they must be, then 'let' in verse 12 would also have to mean they must be married; and yes, with children
     
  9. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Was the Apostle Paul not qualified to be a bishop?

    If a bishop's or deacon's wife passes away, are they required to step away from their office since they are no longer married?

    Why would he make it a specific point to say "one wife", rather than "a wife", if he meant that a bishop/deacon has to be married? The reason for the qualifier "one" is so men will know that having multiple wives, whether through polygamy or through numerous divorces/remarriages, is wrong. He could have also said the bishops/deacons "must not be the husband of multiple wives".
     
  10. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul was not a Bishop, nor was he a Deacon. He was an Apostle. Paul received his teaching from the Lord Himself. He relayed that which the Lord taught him to others. I believe when he penned the Epistle to Timothy in regards to Bishops and Deacons and their wives, he received instruction from the Lord as to who should be in the offices of the local assemblies.
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    First, the Scripture in 1 Corinthians is not dealing with the office of Deacon that 1 Timothy is, so that is comparing apples to oranges. There is much more to the "Lords affairs" than just the office of deacon or overseer.

    Second, HBSMN states correctly, IMO, the fact the wording in the text confirming that deacons and overseers are to be married. The wording doesn't allow an open interpretation. If the argument is made that they do not have to be married, then the same argument also has to apply that they don't have to be above reproach, they don't have to be sober minded, they can be a new convert, dishonest, greedy, an alcoholic, etc. The very fact that Paul is requiring them to manage their own households well, and relates that to managing the Church "family" speaks volumes for the need to have a household to manage in the first place....something a single man does not have. The argument can even be made that they have to have children, but a "household" can be a husband and wife only.

    1Ti 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
    1Ti 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
    1Ti 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
    1Ti 3:4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,
    1Ti 3:5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?
    1Ti 3:6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
    1Ti 3:7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
    1Ti 3:8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.
    1Ti 3:9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
    1Ti 3:10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.
     
    #11 webdog, Mar 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2007
  12. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you sure Paul was not married? What if National Geographic comes up with his wife? :laugh:
     
  13. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul was married at one time, we know this because he was a Pharisee. Marriage was a requirement for one to be a Pharisee.

    Paul apparently went through a divorce, or his wife died at some point, for the said 'I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.' Paul had to be single at this point in life.

    It is commonly believed that Paul's wife divorced him after he was knocked off of his high horse on Damascus Road and converted to Christianity.
     
  14. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    HBSMN, I don't believe women were allowed to seek divorce. Paul either would have been widowed, divorced her, or even could have had her put to death if she became a follower of Christ prior to him becoming one.
     
  15. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    The same ones who reported on finding Jesus' REAL tomb? ;)
     
  16. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Webdog,

    That is possible.

    I look at a possible divorce on the behalf of the wife because of Paul's statement:
    A brother or sister is not in bondage in such implies that even an unbelieving wife can divorce.
     
  17. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Zackticklly! :thumbs:
     
  18. EdSutton

    EdSutton
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul did refer to himself as a deacon, but not as an elder/bishop;

    Peter referred to himself as an elder/bishop but not as a deacon.

    FWIW.

    I agree that Paul and the Holy Spirit meant "the husband of one wife". A widower would still fit that description, IMO. The prohibition would be and is against "the husband of no wives", "the husband of two wives", "the husband of three wives", etc. There were and are Greek words that could have been used to say "married no more than one time", on "not married more than once", but that is not what was said.

    And interesting speculation that Paul's wife may have left him. I had never heard that offered before, but have often heard that he may well have been a widower.

    Ed
     
  19. MNJacob

    MNJacob
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    2
    The problem is that Paul didn't say, "...husband of one wife."

    he said: "....one woman man."

    Now what does that do to the discussion?
     
  20. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not too much. How would that affect someone with "no woman"? :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...