Divorce, why doesent it say so

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    The discussion of a divorced deacon was brought up on another thread.
    (click here to see)

    I asked a question, which was never answered.

    I Tim 2, says a pastor and deacon may only be the husband of one wife. The debate is whether that means bigamy, divorce, a second marriage (even if due to death) or even if a single man may be a pastor or deacon.


    My question is: If the Lord meant Divorce, why didn't Paul specifically say divorce?

    Salty

    PS lets forget we are Baptists and be civil for once:laugh:
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    The words mean "one woman man".

    According to my Greek prof, a "one woman man" was a phrase a woman would place on the tombstone of her husband as a testimony to his faithfulness throughout their marriage.

    Therefore, "one woman man" is a higher standard than "not divorced". A man can be unfaithful to his wife, never divorce, and still meet the standard of "not divorced".

    BTW, I believe this standard applies to a person after they have become a Christian.

    Therefore, if they were divorced/unfaithful prior to becoming a Christian, and then had a history of service and demonstrated faithfulness to our Lord after being born again, they would meet the standards for a deacon.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  3. Maestroh

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    Well....

    It seems to me PROBABLE why Paul didn't address a number of those.


    Bigamy was not a problem in Ephesus as virtually any commentary tells us. Although I will concede that APPLICATION, it is doubtful it has that meaning.

    There would be no need to address the single man issue since Timothy himself was single and the pastor of the church at Ephesus.

    Btw - those who say this MANDATES marriage must be consistent and say it also MANDATES children - which rules out anyone incapable of having kids.

    The literal rendering, 'one woman man' as one poster noted here, really does not seem to deal with the marital status at all but seems more reflective of a person's character.


    Personally - I do not believe that a divorced person is disqualified on the basis of whatever 'husband of one wife."

    I think he's disqualified on the basis of failing to 'rule his house well.'

    A person may be a 'victim' of a divorce - I'll grant that. But when we're talking the purity of the church and the issue of a person's judgment, I think it most scriptural to not permit the deacon to be divorced.

    Why didn't Paul say divorce? Probably because that was most likely not what he was referring to. Character - not status.

    There are a LOT of men who are married who are not 'a one-woman man.' Some in our churches - if we're honest with ourselves.
     
  4. Maestroh

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    Dear Canaday

    Btw - though I disagree with you slightly on this, I do not regard it an issue worth fighting over. But you bring up a VERY good point that must be considered.

    What if a person got divorced in his early 20s, later became a Christian, has a long track record of faithfulness and meets the other criteria and is in his early 50s (just to use numbers)?

    I used to agree with this, and I will even confess that a part of me WANTS to agree with it.

    But I cannot.

    The reason I cannot is this: it is simply an easy avenue for Satan to use to attack the church - "That church has a divorced deacon on staff." A deacon position is NOT a constitutional right or anything, but a holy calling. And much as only certain folks could fulfill the Nazarite vow, I have altered my position through the years to a more 'rigid' one on this issue (despite softening up in other areas).

    My experience with so many divorced people is that there is a 'defense mechanism' that most of them use to try and justify the divorce. Whether they were the 'innocent victim' of an affair or just used bad judgment themselves - what I find in nearly every case is a justification for the divorce (even from Christians) or a que sera sera, it don't matter attitude.

    Please note: I'm SURE we have some divorced folks here, and I'm sure a number of them are outstanding Christians that are probably better than I am in their service. But I do think the safest route to go is to simply not allow it. That does not mean such a person cannot minister or even provide elderly wisdom and advice to Christians.

    But let me blunt: I wouldn't go to a divorced person for advice on how to keep a marriage together. You go to someone who has done so - for better or for worse.

    I disagree w/you, but not with the "I'm right, you're wrong" mentality.

    May I say it? I may well be wrong here. That's just the way I view it.

    God bless.

    M
     
  5. Salty

    Salty
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    Then check out this post
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]c. CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION-RULETH WELL-ABLE TO TEACH[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]By clear implication a pastor must have children, and they must be under his authority, the must have rules, and those rules must be enforced.[/FONT]


    The website that this came from is found here

    note: section "c" is found near the bottom of the web page.

    Salty
     
  6. Maestroh

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    How Do You Explain Pastor Timothy Then?


    Timothy's mother and grandmother are referenced.


    His wife and child are not.
     
  7. Salty

    Salty
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    Just a point of info, I do not agree with the info on the link that i posted, just giving a reference for a point brought up.
     
  8. Maestroh

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    But Thank You

    Yeah, some folks go too far - no problem showing that or disagreeing.


    Thankx,


    M
     
  9. canadyjd

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    Let me first say that I appreciate the humble and respectful way in which you have expressed your disagreement.

    I am not worried about what Satan might say. I just want to do what God has revealed in His Word to be the right thing to do.

    If you hold that one of the qualifications (one woman man) is to be applied retroactively to the person's life as an unbeliever, then all of the qualifications must be applied retroactively. That pretty much eliminates everyone.
    I am not saying it is not an area to be addressed on case by case basis. If there is no attitude of remorse/repentance, and a clear adherence to the sanctity of marriage, then they are not following scripture.
    No offense intended, but I would rather have the biblical route than the safest route.
    We follow a similar philosphy. I never go to anyone fatter than I am (which is a relatively small percentage of people) for weight loss advice.

    But marriage counseling is not the only area in which deacons can minister.
    I appreciate your candor and the polite way in which you expressed it.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  10. Salty

    Salty
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    Actually, a person who has been divorced and then had the Lord straighten out, may be an excellent person to go to for marriage advice.

    canadyjd said (in answer to a deacon giving marital advice)
    Code:
    We follow a similar philosophy. I never go to anyone fatter than I am 
    (which is a relatively small percentage of people) for weight loss advice.
    I may have a different outlook on this. If an obese person was to tell me they eat 4 meals each three times a day at a fast burger joint, I may actually believe him.

    But for solid counseling I would want to go to someone like Richard Simmons (forget the jokes) - because he has been there as an overweight person, and found a way to overcome it.

    Sometimes experience is a great teacher.

    HTML:
    Originally Posted by MaestrohThe reason I cannot is this: it is simply 
    an easy avenue for Satan to use to attack the church - "That church 
    has a divorced deacon on staff."
    Why would Satan want to use a rededicated person whom the Lord has truly changed. as a way to keep folks from coming to church.

    Salty
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    The phrase "Ruleth his house well" is defined in the same passage and is narrow.

    1Ti 3:4 - One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity
     
  12. jcjordan

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    Being a divorcee, this is a very sensitive subject with me. All the more, I'm at fault for my divorce, and this grieves me. Furthermore, I then engaged in what I consider to be unbiblical...remarriage. Up until this time in my lilfe, I believed I was a Christian. I had lived in such a way that I was deserving of God's grace (which isn't really grace at all). God used my sin to show me the depth of my depravity, but didn't leave it there. In turn, he showed me the greatness of my Savior. If God could save me, then he can save anyone. God has so blessed me. My current marriage, under all the circumstances, shouldn't have lasted more than a year. My wife and I both now believe that our marriage shouldn't have happened, but now that it has, we've asked God to bless us despite our sin. And he has. We now have 4 beautiful little boys and a little girl on the way in just about a month. God has convicted me on how to run a Godly household and we now participate in nightly family worship that lasts 20-30 minutes. Folks, this isn't anything that I desire praise for. I consider all of this an act of God's grace that he has convicted me on how to lead my family and that my boys (all 6 and under) actually sit through and not only listen but also are excited about singing hymns and learning the catechism every night. By God's grace only, our marriage and our household is solid. It has nothing to do with me. I just marvel at this every day.
    I don't believe at this point in my life that I would be qualified to be a deacon or elder or pastor of a church. It's only been seven years. I don't think that my past divorce should be overlooked, because I was divorced while professing to be a believer. Such behavior just can't be overlooked. Now, I know now that I wasn't a true believer. To think that I did what I did, just makes me sick. However, I think if I were to continue on in leading a godly householf over the next 10 years or so, that I may be a decent canidate, biblically speaking, for a position in church leadership. However, this is something I will never promote or argue for in my church. I know that God will take care of His church, and He surely doesn't need me to lead. I do think that in our baptist churches though, that this is the first thing that seems to be looked at as one qualified for deacon or elder. How many deacons do we have in our churches that are faithfully leading their households in regular family worship? Recently, I heard only 2% of southern baptists do so at least one time a week. Is one time a week even sufficient? Some of the best Christians I know, are those who were divorced 20 or 30 years ago. They have shown evidence of a solid marriage for 15, 20 or 25 years. They have a firm grasp on scripture, yet they are looked over for deacon in favor of some guy who is a who's married, a good businessman, doesn't smoke or drink, but his wife is ungodly and his chidren are rebellious. I would even be shocked if some of these deacons spend time in personal devotions. Yet, somehow they are more quailifed than the godly man who divorced as an unbeliever 30 years ago. It seems as if we want men in leadership whom God hasn't rescued from that great of sin and in turn, have not that great of an appreciation for God's grace.
     
  13. standingfirminChrist

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    The fact that Paul wrote in his epistle to the young Timothy that the bishop 'must be the husband of one wife,' and one that has 'his children in subjection,' tells me Timothy would have to have been married and have children in order to be a pastor.

    Where do you get the idea that he was not married?
     
  14. canadyjd

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    Thank you for your post and may God continue to bless you and your family.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  15. Ed Edwards

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    Three of the nine Deacons in my church have lost wives (I am one of them). Two of us have been remaried (I am one of them). Should the third man (he will be 97 this next week) be an active deacon? I think so, even though he doesn't have a wife now.
     
  16. righteousdude2

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    God Still Restores Us!

    :godisgood: I so enjoyed reading this post. I too am the result of a failed marriage. after 10 years of "Hell on earth" my ex decided to go her own way, and NEVER looked back. I lost two children, and the ministry God called me to because of her. As I said before, I am 51% at fault for not recognizing the devil and his handiwork within that marriage to cause a divorce. Had I realized the supernatural power of the devil and the ability he has to wreck and destroy marriages as he does in the life of the saved, the story may have never been written [on this post].

    God did deliver me, and through repentance He has given me 28 wonderful years to a woman that loves the Lord, loves me, and has always had my spiritual well-being in her thoughts and prayer.

    God is in the business of restoration, and for any one who thinks or believes different, well, I feel badly for them. There are a great number of wonderful people out there who have been divorced and remarried, and they are the best people to have in your circle of prayer support.

    I know this subject is being beaten to death, but, I also value the posts, because they allow those folks on the BB who were spiritually wounded by divorce to make a stand and give their testimony. Divorced/remarried people will be in heaven, this I am assured of. Judgmental people will be in heaven too, but, the blood of those who were driven away from the faith, because of their harsh words in regard to remarriage, will be upon their hands; of this, I am also assured.

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul :type:
     
  17. Bob Dudley

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    food for thought...

    This is an excerpt from an article I am writing titled Divorce: The Unpardonable Sin?

    There are four different traditional explanations for husband of one wife: marriage as a requisite to office, one wife in a lifetime (even if the wife dies), no divorce, and faithful to one’s wife (one-woman kind of man).

    Marriage as a Requisite to Office
    This position says the passages above imply that, to be ordained, one must be married. The advantage to this position is that it takes a very literal interpretation of the English passage. At first blush, this seems like a very legitimate position. However, Scripture interprets Scripture and Paul had quite a different thing to say in 1 Corinthians 7:8, 25-33. In particular, look at 1 Corinthians 7:32-33:

    32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:32-33)

    Here Paul is encouraging celibacy. He tells the believers in Corinth that they should only get married if they have to. He tells them that they can serve better if they stay single so that they are not distracted with married life. For this reason the passages in 1 Timothy and Titus can not mean that only married men may become leaders in the church. After all, they would be more distracted with the things of this world than their single brothers.

    One Wife in a Lifetime
    This view basically says that a man can only have one wife, ever, in his entire life. This means that, even if his wife dies, he can not remarry. He must remain a single widow. Again, this is a reasonable interpretation of the English passage. However, Paul has already told us elsewhere that, once a spouse dies, the one left is free to remarry.

    1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (Romans 7:1-3)

    We must keep in mind that the passages in 1 Timothy and Titus do not say, specifically, “an elder must be married only once” or “an elder cannot remarry.” And either one of these wordings are possible in Greek. If Paul would have said, “having had only one wife” (ἔσχωνμιᾶςγυναικὸςμονῆς) it would have stopped all arguments. Instead, he said, literally, “one woman man” (μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα).

    No Divorce
    This is the main independent, fundamental Baptist position today. This view holds that divorce is a sin and Paul is stating in these passages that it is a sin that disqualifies one from holding these offices. There are really a lot of problems with this view. First, divorce is not a sin – putting away your wife is the sin (if there is a sin) and divorce is the way to correct the problem. Second, if Paul had meant a divorced man can not hold these offices then he could have easily said just that.

    He could have said “not divorced” or, even, “not separated from his wife” (μὴἀπολελύμενον) just like he said “not given to wine” (μὴπάροινον) or “not a striker” (μὴπλήκτην). But Paul brings this up in the positive attributes part of his list, not the negative. Another thing to notice is that every other item in the list deals with a current character trait and not a past event in the person’s life. It would make more sense, then, that this would be a current character trait and not a past event in the life of the person.

    But, to restate, the main problem with this interpretation is that divorce is not a sin.

    Faithful to One’s Wife (A One-Woman Kind of Man)
    This view claims the best interpretation of μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα is one-woman man and not husband of one wife. The main advantage of this view is that it treats this phrase like every other phrase in the list of requirements – like a current character trait and not like a past event. The other views treat this phrase as though it is completely different in makeup than all the other requirements in the lists. The other views claim this is a past state of being whereas everything else in Paul’s list of requirements are current character traits.

    Also, this view holds that Christ’s blood is sufficient to cover all sins. There is nothing you could do in years past (either before or after you were saved) that would disqualify you as a leader in the church provided you are saved and you reflect the characteristics listed in 1 Timothy and Titus at the time period you are seeking the position.

    Really, the only disadvantage to this position is the entrenchment of the divorce view in fundamental circles today.
     
  18. DrRandyGrace

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    Well said, Brother.
     
  19. Salty

    Salty
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    any new thoughts
     
  20. saturneptune

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    Of course, it comes down to the local church, not what we think. Our particular church once had an issue on voting for a candidate for deacon, not because he had been divorced, as he was the husband of one wife, but his wife had been divorced. He ended up being elected, and is one of our best deacons today.

    I have heard the debate over and over about divorced vs being married to more than one person. I tend to believe that it means divorced, as bigamy is not an issue in our nation to any degree. And I agree with the other poster that said a divorce before salvation should not be held against a person. Jesus has the power to radically change any life. In reality, even if there is a deacon or deacon candidate that was divorced after salvation, depending on the circumstances, who are we as flawed humans to say that this person has a life time ban from ever serving in that capacity. If the deacon in question was cheating, beating his wife, and putting cigarette burns on his kids, of course he is unfit. Again, common sense goes a long way.

    We do have high standards at our church. I am a deacon and have been divorced five times. I have promised the church to resign my ordination when I make it to six. LOL
     

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