Deacon Requirements

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by mark, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. mark

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    Last night after midweek service we had the most interesting discussion and I'd like to bring you into it. There about 7 of us men in the discussion (including the pastor). 1 Timothy 3:12 "A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well" Obviously this indicates a divorced man should not be considered, at least one who has remarried. BUT how about a man married to his first wife, but she is divorced? How about a man who had had an affair, but repented and never left his wife? How about a man who as a young unmarried man had had sex, but then settled down and married and has been faithful? Also if we are going to be literal (which pretty much all of us in the discussion were) it has to be a MAN, but also to be literal, it would have to be a married man. What do you think?
     
  2. Ben W

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    Where Paul says that they must be the husbands of but one wife. I would take this to be a reference to Polygamy, Which in those times went on throughout the world. It was decided that a Polygamus lifestyle would not be acceptable for the church. 1Cor 7:2 "Nevertheless because of Sexual Immorality, let each man have his own wife, And let each woman have her own Husband. So Paul says Wife, rather than wives.

    Can A man be a deacon if his wife is divorced. The only permitted divorce in the bible is in a case of Adultery and if it has happened because of this then yes I would say so.

    A young married Man who had had sex and then who had been forgiven by God by accepting His Son Jesus, Had married in the church. He also would be eligable for a deacon.

    As for being an unmarried deacon that becomes somewhat of a grey area. 1Tim 3:11 would give you that impression. Yet Paul also states in 1Cor 7:8 that it is a good thing to remain unmarried as he was because it allows alot more time to serve the Lord. He later states that it is no sin to marry. The Deacons role leads to other roles as Paul states in 1Tim 3:10.

    Can a woman be a Deaconess? Rom 16:1 talks about Pheobe who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea. In this instance the Greek translation of servant is diakona relating to the office of the diaconate. My feeling is that yes there can be women deacons.
     
  3. donnA

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    About the wife, the bible aslo says that if you divorce and wish to marry, you marry the same person. No where does it give permission to marry anyone else but the previous spouse.
    I had the saem question, we have a man who has been called into the ministry, and he has never been married, but his wife has, I have no idea why she divorced, but I do understand she had biblical support.
     
  4. Deacon

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    Does a deacon need to have children?
     
  5. Carly33

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    One may not agree that adultery is the exception for divorce...do an exhaustive study of the word "fornication"....it is not so general.

    A woman may not be a deacon...she must not usurp authority over the man, and the order God instituted was God, Jesus, Man, Woman, Child.....How can this be mixed up? Jesus didn't feel deprived or demeaned...each has a specific role to fulfill....what if I were a deaconness and my husband , of course the head of the home...how could I submit to him at home, and then be in leadership over him at church....can you say Conflict? Confusion?
     
  6. Ben W

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    As far as deaconesses go you need to to a study of Gods Word in Rom 16:1 The greek translation suggests that phoebe was a Deaconess.
     
  7. Bible-boy

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    Being a Deacon in no way implies or imputes any authority to the person selected. If we are going to talk about being biblical, let's be biblical! The first deacons were chosen to be servants of the church. They waited tables. They did not direct the affairs of the church. So our modern idea of a "Deacon Board" that has authority and directs the affairs of the church is not biblical. Take the authority away from the "Deacon Board," change the name to Deacon Ministry and give the authority to the Elders/Pastors, then a woman may serve as a deaconess (female servant of the church) and we have no problem.

    [ November 10, 2002, 06:13 AM: Message edited by: BibleboyII ]
     
  8. wjrighter

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    i am in no way a bible scholar,but i think a person should take into consideration these thoughts,paul said to win romans be roman-greek etc... & if eating meat offened anyone don't. since we are all part of one body w/ one goal to lead people to Jesus,it stands to reason -don't rock the boat.i'm divorced- my problem, but i think the Lord can still use me in many ways.so whats most important to you? deaconship or leading people to Jesus Christ? what are our priorties as christians? love you in the Lord, bill
     
  9. Jonathan

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    Being a Deacon in no way implies or imputes any authority to the person selected. If we are going to talk about being biblical, let be biblical! The first deacons were chosen to be servants of the church. They waited tables. They did not direct the affairs of the church. So our modern idea of a "Deacon Board" that has authority and directs the affairs of the church is not bublical. Take the authority away from the "Deacon Board," change the name to Deacon Ministry and give the authority to the Elders/Pastors, then a woman may serve as a deaconess (female servant of the church) and we have no problem.</font>[/QUOTE]Excellent response BibleboyII (it encourages me about what is going on at SEBTS).

    We are having this same discussion in our church right now as we are simulaneously preparing a new constitution and searching for a pastor. The main reason that many folks dislike the idea of deaconnesses is that in many of our churches, a deacon board has been unscripturally granted authority.

    It doesn't take an extensive greek education to discover that what Paul wrote to Timothy was requirements for "men who would be servants" and then "likewise, the women..." that simply cannot be taken as a gender exclusive command for the "office" of deacon.
     
  10. hrhema

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    Jesus said that the only exception for divorce and remarriage is unfaithfulness. Those who interpreted the Bible believed that Adultery and Fornication was basically the same thing. If Jesus gave permission for remarriage who is anyone to question this.

    Paul was speaking of polygamy. Not divorce.
    Paul in his writing was even more lenient than Jesus had been for he said if a believer who is married to an unbeliever and they choose to leave then the believer is free.

    No where in the Bible can you find any command from anyone to have Deacon Boards. The deacons were table servers nothing more. Somewhere down the line someone broke away from what God wanted and took authority away from the local pastor.

    I have seen a lot of Southern Baptist churches that allow the people in the church to nominate a person for the position. That person may not even measure up to the Biblical requirements for a deacon but will get in office any how.

    I believe this is why a lot of churches are full of turmoil because they have went against scripture and allow a board of elders or deacons to rule the church or they have a bunch of Biblically unqualified men on their boards.

    In the past there has been churches without very many men in them. So the pastor turned to the women for help because the men who attended wanted no part of any position in the church. I don't believe God had a problem with that.
     
  11. donnA

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    When you talk of priorities, the bible needs to be the standard we use. If the bible teaches one wife, (if it means not divorced), then thats scripture, and that is our priority.

    Not in my SB church they don't, and the people do not make the nominations either.

    I'd like to see in the bible where Jesus says you can remarry after divorce.
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

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    The Bible speaks against a lot of things besides divorce, you know! Can we elect a man as a deacon if he has commited murder? How about if he has gossiped? To my way of thinking, the bit about husband of one wife means, don't elect as deacons those guys who have two wives right now. I would count concubines and mistresses in the total score. :D Unmarried men, if they are chaste, can also qualify, they're not breaking God's law or ideal pattern for the family. I would say ANY past sin, divorce, murder, whatever, needs to have been properly repented of, and it needs to be credible that the candidate has stopped doing that kind of sin.
     
  13. Frogman

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    As for deacon(s) qualifications, Acts 6.3 seems to suggest this office should properly be held by a man.

    As for whether or not it is ok for one to have been married, but now remarried, I agree with Katie. If someone divorces, they only have biblically grounds for remarrying the same spouse, otherwise, they and whoever they marry are living in adultery. This can be forgiven of God, but still would prevent their serving as deacon or pastor. The words 'the husband of one wife' at I Tim. 3.2 for a bishop and again at vs. 12 mean what they say.

    Though we have been given divorce, look at the conditions for which we have it:

    Matt. 19

    First, "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." vs. 8

    further: "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." vs. 9

    The allowance Christ makes for divorce is the grounds of fornication which; this is not adultery, but would lead to adultery if the party remarrys someone other than the original spouse.

    Fornication: "porneia" and used of illicit sexual intercourse; in this way it is differentiated from adultery, for adultery is living in a relationship, though married legally, with one of the partners being previously married. Fornication is having the sexual relationship outside of the marriage institution. (Vine's says the usage of porneia at Matt. 19.9 'stands for, or includes adultery' meaning the second marriage, if to another person is not a true recognizeable marriage biblically.

    Remember, we have been given divorce because of the hardness of our hearts. Remember also our marriage institution is symbolic of our marriage to Christ.

    It is difficult to properly teach these things in our time, though our nation is not equated to the pagan practices of the time of Paul, we are driven by the lusts of the flesh. Many follow these lusts and then later desire service to God, it is best to refuse the ministry of deacon to any who have a previous living wife, regardless of the circumstances, not all may have been disclosed by the candidate, in hopes of gaining favortism for his position.

    The bible means one wife, not one wife at a time, since it is certain that remarriage constitutes adultery;

    (I have had it explained to me by one preacher, whom I respect, but I disagree with, that fornication is speaking of sexual conduct prior to marriage, and is only a grounds of divorce if this is not disclosed to the partner before marriage)

    Ex: Say I led a sexually active lifestyle prior to marriage, but finally decided to marry, however, I kept this lifestyle hidden from my fiance; we marry, she discovers it, then (according to the way it was explained to me) she has the biblical authority to divorce, the same would be true of the man, learning similar incidents of his wife.

    However, if my wife is made aware of my behavior prior to marriage, then marries me nonetheless, she cannot later use this former lifestyle against me; the same if my wife lived this lifestyle and made it aware. The idea is that no thing is brought into the marriage institution hidden, as the two individuals are to be one, then all things must be open.

    In the instance of someone falling into fornication after marriage, this preacher said would not be grounds of divorce, as he viewed fornication to mean a former lifestyle; I disagree with this; and I think it would be the only grounds of divorce; however, we are under Grace, so in this case I would pray the Lord grant me the ability to forgive even as he does.

    I do not personally agree with divorce; I feel if I myself divorced, even without remarrying, then I should discontinue preaching. Why? Because the questions surrounding the reasons for my divorce, some would believe me to be justified, some would not. This would ultimately only foster debate, discontent, and maybe division. It is not worth this.

    As for having our priorities straight, our priorities should be biblical, if our divorce and remarriage, or divorce prevent us from entering into service, this is not the fault of the Lord. We just don't want to admit there are sometimes consequences to sin, though forgiven, there can remain a penalty for enjoying its pleasures for a season. I believe this is where many are today who say it does not matter. If our priorities are where they should be, we would realize God has no need of our presence in the ministry, but is able to raise up children to Abraham of the stones; thus, would we prevent entering upon such service which ultimately would bring dishonor through suspicion and misunderstanding from church members and the world itself.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. Frogman

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    How often are these discovered after the fact; and thus have brought our Lord to an open shame.

    We are not speaking here of my personal feelings and what makes me feel good as a member of the church etc. But only of the consideration of does my former life bring into question the honor and Glory of God?, do current activities in my life constitute dishonor to my Lord?

    In cases where things can be constituted to view as dishonorable to God, then those individuals should be prohibited from entering the ministry.

    If a man is married and is known to have had an extra-marital affair, he is prohibited from service, as this would bring Christ to open shame. How? because it would only serve to increase the murmuring of the church, and the outside world.

    We need to once again hear it taught from behind the pulpit that sin is sin, not 'mistakes' sin prevented Moses from seeing the Promised Land, sin caused David's house to be plagued with division (in fact the same nature of sin we are discussing).

    God Bless.
    Frogman
     
  15. Carly33

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    First of all we are all deacons in the sense of being servants one to another, but then why have an official office? It is clear from scripture that it was intended:1Timothy 3:8...if a deacon is not a special position, why the requirements?

    So if the office of deacon is part of the order in the church...how do you reconcile women being in leadership....If she can't be pastor...why can she be a deacon....?

    To me there is a general sense and a broader one to the word...diakonos...the servant and the office of a deacon.
     
  16. Deacon

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    Bibleboy wrote:
    There seems to be some latitude in defining the role of deacon. In Acts 6:2-5 the role was primarily to serve tables, but the purpose was to relieve the Apostles of the burden of the various tasks (responsibilities or businesses) that would take them away from “prayer and the ministry of the Word”.

    The word “deacon” (Gr. diakonos) as mentioned above, means servant, helper, and assistant. In its simplest meaning it does mean to wait tables but generally the meaning is expanded to mean service in general. Now we are all called serve. But the role of deacon is a role of honor and although not out rightly expressed, is a role of leadership (Phil 1:1, 1Timothy 3:1-13). The “Deacon Board” where I serve, acts in subservience to our pastors and serves to coordinate public functions, maintain facilities, organize the various aspects of the ministry including such thing as finance, personnel, baptisms, missions etc.

    There is some ambiguity, regarding the phrase, “husband of one wife”, even among my churches pastors. We have chosen to only allow only once married men who are married to a wife that has been once married. We are beginning to bend on the issue of children.
     
  17. Carly33

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    You stated it much better Deacon, but I agree with your assessment.
     
  18. donnA

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    Thank you Dallas, thats just what I meant.

    If marriage is symbolic of our relationship with Jesus, then what does it symbolize in that realtionship if we divorce(for even biblical reasons) and remarry another. Thinking about it in that context gives pause to think about who c person divorced person can remarry if at all. And as Dallas said, and the bible, divorce is allowed becasue of the hardness of your heart.

    [ November 08, 2002, 11:44 PM: Message edited by: katie ]
     
  19. Angie Miller

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    [​IMG] My Husband is a Deacon and I guess they pitty him and allow him to continue to be one. For one I have a big mouth and two our Son has ADHD. Crazy life, but when you get down to it he has control, so to speak, and the kids are growing in their love for Christ.
    He has a heart that loves God first and them me, and the kids. That is what I think the scripture is saying a man should do and be.
    Love in Christ Angie [​IMG]
     
  20. Bible-boy

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