divorce and pastorship

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Frogman, May 21, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    I was working on an a/c unit Sat. and the owner and I had a discussion of Scripture etc. Ultimately our discussion went the way of Biblical teaching of divorce and how it relates to the pastorship, at least somewhat.

    This man is a member and very active in a United Methodist church. As we discussed these things I told him I have a cousin in the First Church of God who has been married and divorced 2x and in each instance was (along with his spouse) unfaithful. Since this he has 'been saved' and announced a call to preach. I cannot change his belief, but I have spoken to him personally as to why I believe he is in error concerning his calling.

    The man whose a/c I was working on brought this up by way of a young man in a baptist church he knew of who prior to being saved was married and experienced divorce. Then he remarried, this time he and his wife began attending church and they were both 'saved' in a baptist church which they ultimately joined.

    The difficulty is that this man soon felt 'called' to preach, but knowing the 'doctrine' of baptists to be hard as it is concerning divorced preachers etc. he 'grieved' the Holy Spirit for nearly two years, finally submitting and telling the church that regardless of their belief he was going to enter the ministry.

    Doing this he was coldly received and finally had to 'separate' from the church and 'started' his own where he could preach. Since then, about two years ago, God has added to this man's church 250 members. The question is: Doesn't this prove the error of the 'baptist' doctrine that a divorced man is not able to 'preach'?

    I maintain that on the contrary, God, nor the Holy Spirit will contradict the Word of God. The argument from the other side was that this all was in the past and prior to salvation, then, this negates the sin of divorce and re-marriage, of adultery. I disagree with this, knowing that God knows them that are his, the experience of salvation is in time among men, but is an eternal view of God, it's miracle never surprises him, believing this, then, will God contradict his Word to call an adulterer into the ministry?

    The man also said that I was attempting to tell God that He was wrong in calling this man to preach, but on the other hand I say it is also telling God that he was wrong in recording in Scripture that a preacher should be the husband of one wife. At the very least, this is an admission that Paul was wrong, thus showing the Word of God to have been affected by the whims of men.
    I don't believe so. What are your thoughts?

    God Bless
    Bro.Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Dallas, there are great differences of interpretation on the "one woman man" passage. Some good ifb'ers do NOT see that as having thing one to do with divorce and remarriage.

    I would counsel this brother, though, no matter WHAT you believe about the "one woman man", that the FIRST REQUIREMENT of a pastor is to be "above reproach".

    Twice divorced would raise all kinds of questions in my mind. :rolleyes:
     
  3. Istherenotacause

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    I've known many GREAT men of God who differ on this, but each agree that a divorced man should not pastor, (being a bishop). Some are more "hard" preachers than most could imagine, unless they knew these men of God. I had a long bout with this dilemma myself until I got so frustrated I made comments like,"All these people dropping off into hell while we argue over double-married preachers!" "If you are sure God's called you to preach then don't let any man keep you from preaching!"

    But then I received light on the matter. In the qualifications of a bishop, all the things mentioned are forgivable because they are sins against other men, BUT! the area of divorce is breaking a vow with God- the marriage covenant, this would disqualify the married again preacher with a living wife, divorced then she died applies as well.

    The report of the man starting his own church w/250 members is just another evidence of the symptoms of society. People heap to themselves teachers having itching ears because they will not endure sound doctrine. (That would strike some of you right if you considerd what the Bible says about not enduring sound doctrine!)

    I realized that all men's lives "preach", they either preach righteousness, or rebellion to that which is right. But we are talking about a "position" in the service of God.
    Fulfilling a position has requirements, telling some one about Jesus has the only requirement of telling the truth!

    The position of preaching has the intention of moving farther ahead into service: Missionary, evangelist, pastor. If the qualifications for a preacher aren't found in I & II Timothy and Titus, then where are they? Do we hold the deacons to a higher standard than preachers?

    For those who want to argue this point, debate is a sin, so read your Bible and reason it out with God. Try telling him how He's wrong, He's always right! You're always wrong until you prove Him right!

    In His Holy Service,

    Brother Ricky
     
  4. MaryKay

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    I know that there are many of you who are much wiser than I in these matters....but here I go.
    I think it is wonderful that this man and his wife are saved and joined a baptist church.
    I see a problem with their joining and not following and accepting the doctrine of the church before making a committment to join that church.
    Paul states in Tim.3:2 that a Bishop (pastor) must be blameless and the husband of one wife. Thus he cannot be a pastor of a new testament church.
    I am only speaking of a pastor's position- How is he going to lead these 200+ people in the whole doctrine of the church when he isn't following God's law in the requirements of this very important position .
    I personally would feel somewhat uneasy with a pastor leading me in the trues of God's word who
    openly was not following the word himself.
    Is it possible that his desire to pastor clouded what God was telling him? I see the law as one for everyone, if God intended to have exceptions He would have told us.
    I pray I have been of some help to you and not added to your burden.
    In Christ , Mary Kay [​IMG]
     
  5. Major B

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    This is a topic with which I have wrestled, not because of my personal situation, but because it is a problem for so many.

    Some observations:

    1. There is a distinction between "preaching" and "pastoring." There are no qualifications given for "preaching," (other than the restrictions against women teaching or having authority over men--1 Tim 2:8-14, 1 Cor 14:34-37. A man who has been divorced could serve as an evangelist, a street preacher, a jail preacher, a Bible Study leader, etc., etc.

    2. We are mindlessly precise about this one qualification for bishops/elders/pastors, but not at all concerned about some of the other qualifications, such as:

    Titus 1:9 "...holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped,"

    I have seen many men ordained to the gospel minsitry who did not have this qualification, and there are many I know in the ministry today who still do not have the qualification after several years in the ministry. Most of us would not even consider ordaining a twice-married man, but will lay hands on an ignorant man.

    How about ==&gt;"1 Tim 3:4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);" and also the Titus passage: Titus 1:6 "...having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination."

    Then there is==&gt;"1 Tim 3:6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil." I have seen men ordained who were perhaps less than a novice!

    If we are going to be so persnickity about twice-married men (and we should be), let us not forget the other qualifications.
     
  6. Frogman

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    I do agree Major B. My only thought I would add is that permitting a man to preach even, who has been divorced/remarried would seem IMHO to go a long ways in discarding those sound words you have seasoned this discussion with.

    Overall, I agree, the Bible does say lay hands on no man suddenly. We, maybe by custome??? do not ordain a man except and unless he is called to a work as pastor somewhere, then we ordain him. Sometimes people seem to think that they will have more opportunity of preaching if ordained, but if they are not being used before the church lays hands on them, then there is something else wrong that needs to be seen to by the individual, something that ordination won't fix.

    Thanks everyone for the posts. I did not post this to be argumentative on it, I had my fill of that last Sat. the man I discussed it with also is my brother-in-law and it was concerning a young man he knows who left the baptist church for this reason.

    Have a Great Day in the Lord.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  7. Ben W

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    If somebody is Born Again then they have entered a new life. So I can see the point of that person wnating to go fufil a call from God on life.

    And there is the thing. Is God calling people that are divorced prior to Salvation? Because if He is then we cannot stand in His way. Yet discerning what somebody else's call is not real easy.

    When a Sin is Forgiven is it Forgotten about Yes. God does not read out forgiven sin against you on judgement day.

    I have a friend who pastors a Baptist Church. His wife left him for another man. He is now remarried and is still a Pastor. His Church voted 100% that he should return as Pastor with his new wife. I have no problem with him pastoring. He had no part in the Adultery, He was the victim. He is restored to his position in the church, and I think that is o.k.
     
  8. Ernie Brazee

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    There are too many men pastoring today who are unqualified, but they have desire to please their own desires regardless of God's requirements. At the same time we have too many who are afraid to line up pastoral qualifications with the word of God, but rather just accept anyone who proclaims their call to preach. They may be called to preach s we all are to proclaim the Word of God, but not all are called to the most important position held by man today. As this is a position held in high regard by God, so are the qualifications narrow and exclusive.
     
  9. Istherenotacause

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    It has gotten to the point that anything one can reason out for themselves with themselves and with people of like thinking, is acceptable, but what so many fail to realize is the binding covenant of holy matrimony, regardless of being prior to salvation or not.

    In the area of a person being divorced prior to salvation, saying he then can be qualified to preach, the same train of thought would include that a person is released from the prior marriage at salvation, making it null and void, yet never having been divorced.

    Also, that word "one", as in one wife, means first and only, therefore the marriage covenant still stands whether one is saved or not.

    Still, if you can convince the Lord a double-married man is qualified to preach then so be it, but that's not possible due to the qualifications found in the Word of God. We do believe the Bible to be the Word of God don't we?

    In His Holy Service,

    Brother Ricky
     
  10. Frogman

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    This is my point, saved or not, The Holy Spirit does not go against that which is the Revealed Word, which, BTW, is the Word of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, if he is going against that Word, then he is not in line with the Will of God as recorded in the Scripture and then he is not the He. In other words, Since the Holy Spirit cannot speak contrary to the Will of God, this is what men try to make it do when they have a calling that is in direct violation of God's Word.

    When I stated what I believed, this was turned around on me and it was said that I was trying to tell God who He could and couldn't call...???? As if the Word of God doen't specify these qualifications at all, and if I would hold myself to them, then that is just my problem, right :confused: How little the Word is followed, yet the work is called of God by men [​IMG]

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  11. Daniel David

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    First, I do not believe a divorced man is qualified to serve in the role of elder or deacon. He can preach and teach though.

    Second, as to the above quote, I totally disagree. The greek literally is rendered, one-woman kind of man. It does not speak to the order of marriage. It speaks to the fact that the elder must be a person who is committed to God's standard in relationships.
     
  12. wizofoz

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    Funny, I haven't found "one living wife" in the Bible yet.
    But I did find several verses which state that God forgets our sins when we become saved. Not some sins, not ones of His choosing, but all your sins before salvation.
    If you are married and not saved, is the union really in the eyes of God, since you are not part of His family? If so, why do we need salvation?
    If not, then you are not breaking the covenant since you have not made one to begin with.

    It's very tiring to see people continue to judge others by their past. Such people never let the alcoholic put his bottle down, never let the drug addict throw away his needle, and never let a divorced man let go of his former wife.
    It's very sad.
     
  13. Frogman

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    God does not contradict His Word.

    Doesn't matter how tired of a topic or who calls it judging on my part, God's word is not contradictory.

    Salvation is never a surprise to God; though it is a miraculous work, it is not something God is wringing his hands over hoping the lost couple will someday choose His Son so they can be saved. If as an 'unsaved' person I commit sin that prohibits my entrance into the ministry, God is not bound to change His Word because now I want to serve Him.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. wizofoz

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    "If as an 'unsaved' person I commit sin that prohibits my entrance into the ministry, God is not bound to change His Word because now I want to serve Him."


    So God does not forget one's sins before salvation after one is saved. Isn't that contradicting His word, too?

    You can't have it both ways.
     
  15. Frogman

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    I did not say that God does not forgive sin, but the marriage institution is sacred to God whether it is among heathen peoples or Christians.

    It is the sin that prohibits the entrance into the ministry.

    Why is it that people want to pretend that sin has no consequences?

    When Moses struck the stone the second time, he was forbidden to enter into the promised land, why? He was still a forgiven child of God, but he could not enter into the promise land, does this mean God did not forgive his sin? Or does it just mean that even with forgiveness there are consequences we must endure?

    I believe the latter.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  16. wizofoz

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    Jeremiah 31:34
    "...Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

    Hebrews 8:12
    "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

    Hebrews 10:17
    "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."

    "Remember no more"!
    Doesn't that mean that the sins are not brought back to mind? Does not the Word of God state that if a person comes to Him, and is saved, that his sins and iniquites are not remembered any more?
    Why suffer the consequences of something that is not even remembered by God?
    It is man who keeps bringing someone's past up. God has put it away.
    And yes, you stand in judgment of someone when you determine their worth in God's eyes by what they did before they entered into His family.
    It's not for you to determine, it's for God to determine.
     
  17. Frogman

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    God does not contradict His Word. I did not say that God did not forgive for the sin. I said that there are still consequences for that sin.

    Consider also, Moses was called by God to go to Pharoah, finally he consented to do so.

    Moses continued in service, even having it said of him that he was faithful in all his house, yet for striking the rock the second time and not speaking to it as God had commanded, he was prevented from entering into the promise land. Moses enjoyed forgiveness for this sin, but suffered the consequences of being removed from service.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  18. wizofoz

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    Why are you even mentioning Moses here?

    I'm talking about someone who has sinned before salvation. When he is saved, the past sins are FORGOTTEN!!
    God forgets them, man should, too.

    What is so hard about that?
     
  19. Frogman

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    I have already dealt with the imagination of that God did not already know this person and that they then were not subject to the law of God in the marriage institution. The exclusion from the ministry because of divorce does not mean they cannot be forgiven, but that they cannot enter into service. It has nothing to do with 'does God forget sin or not.'

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  20. MaryKay

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    You are absolutely correct Bro. Eaton . He can serve just not pastor. Even though we are forgiven there are still consequences for our actions. Mary Kay
     

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