Divorced in Church Roles

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by WorthyIsTheLamb, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. WorthyIsTheLamb

    WorthyIsTheLamb
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    Just a quick question in the fundamental ranks.

    How do you feel about a divorcee or a couple where one spouce has been divorced working or teaching in the church?

    How do you feel about a divorcee or the spouce (man of course) of a remarried couple being called to preach or preaching? Not a pastor, but other roles.

    I know alot of fundamental baptist have a hard time with this but just want to see the main feeing is on this board. I hope I have not opened a can of worms. God bless...

    :wavey:
     
  2. Pastor_Bob

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    If they are right with God and committed to their ministry, I have no problem with them teaching or serving in any capacity other than deacon.

    I find no scriptural reason to forbid him from preaching.
     
  3. LeBuick

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    Just curious, why no to deacon but yes to preaching?
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Pastor Bob has it about right.

    In I Tim 3 and Titus 2, Paul says both elders (bishops) and deacons must be the husband of one wife. Elders and Bishops serve as pastors.

    The qualifications for preachers who are not pastors is not mentioned. Nor does the Bible list those qualifications for teachers or other workers. That's why Pastor Bob said he'd have no problem with divorced preachers.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    Here's variation on the OP.

    What if a pastor or deacon has not been divorced, but is married to a divorced woman? What then?
     
  6. Squire Robertsson

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    I'm somewhere between not letting a divorced person push a broom in church and the position of "that's so out of date" with so many divorced folks out there today.
     
  7. TC2

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    Not push a broom in church? Harsh.
    How about if a deacon gets divorced, does he lose his deaconship?

    What's the diff in a pastor and a preacher?
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

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    It's not my position. However, it was the position of some of the older brethren back in the 70s.
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    A Pastor is the 'human' head of the church (shepherd) and his sheep should follow his lead.

    A preacher preaches. Period.

    One can be a preacher, but not a Pastor. A Pastor is both and 'should' have a Pastor's heart.
     
  10. annsni

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    Well, to me, the importance is the circumstances and time of divorce. If the man or woman was divorced before they were saved, that's a very different story.

    Also, was the man or woman abandoned in their marriage?

    I don't think that it's a clear "yes" or "no" answer.
     
  11. WorthyIsTheLamb

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    OK.. Here is why I ask.

    I feel the Lord is calling me to preach, BUT where I attend church most of the people do not feel that this is right. Only a handful know of this. My wife was divorced before we were married but also she was not saved and I was not right with God at all. Her circumstances for divorce were abuse and her ex-husband ran around on her. But I know that divorce is divorce.

    But I have a desire to preach. I finally have been allowed to teach Sunday School after a 2 year battle with that issue. But God is burning something so powerful into my soul.

    I know God is not the author of confusion and this subject is not laid out well in the Bible. But we are fundamental Bible believers are we? We take God's word for what it truly says not tradition.
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. But isn't a man who marries a divorced woman still the husband of one wife?

    And is there room for the interpretation that Paul's writings on the subject mean the husband of one wife at a time? That is, a condemnation of polygamy.

    Further, are divorce and remarriage the only two sins outside the scope of the shed blood of Jesus?
     
  13. LeBuick

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    I guess I have a response/question because this question never sits well with me.

    First, as I read this scripture I don't see divorce as the problem. Jesus specifically said, "and shall marry another". This says to me if you get a divorce and stay single then you have committed no sin.

    Secondly, the Master says, "except it be for fornication". This says to me there is a legitimate divorce where remarriage is allowed and again, you have committed no sin. Do we ever ask or see if their divorce qualifies as sinless?

    In bible times it was common for men to have multiple wives. There was Solomon and we know how many wives David had yet that was not their sin before God. What Pauls says in Timothy is, "the husband of one wife". How do we know he is speaking of divorce and not polygamy? I don't believe the Bible has any conflicts and Jesus himself said, "except it be for fornication".

    Lastly, if divorce is a sin and not an "unforgivable sin", at what point is this, like any other sin, forgiven? What if they leave their second wife and repent, would they be forgiven and allowed to Pastor then? What if they leave their first wife and marry their first wife again, repent, are they forgiven and allowed to Pastor then? Do we consider all of His past to include before he came to Christ? If Jesus forgives our sin's, why does the Church have a higher standard?

    I have heard where Paul said, "the husband of one wife" to mean that a Pastor must be married. He can't be single. I take this to mean if he is married, he should be the husband of only one wife. I wonder, was Paul married?

    Edited to add this thought; If sin is forgiven yet we still count the offence to the person's charge then they still have a guilty stain. Right?
     
    #13 LeBuick, Oct 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
  14. LeBuick

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    The way I read it, fornication is a legitimate reason for divorce. Besides, any Man God calls to preach has sin and is not worthy. For all we have sinned and come short of his glory. I believe God is a God of forgiveness. I believe Isaiah said it best;

    Isa 6:5 (KJV) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
    6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
    7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
    8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

    If he is calling you to the ministry, answer "here am I, send me".
     
  15. Joe

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    I thought it was the word "blameless" which in context, meant the person was to be blameless who searved as Deacon or Elder. So if they had a sketchy past which could be blamed on them, then they were forbidden to serve in that position. I think LeBuick covered this, and it doesn't apply here since this was biblical grounds for divorce. Yet I seem to recall this verse being used to prevent any divorced person from serving in this capacity. I can't locate it now.
     
    #15 Joe, Oct 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
  16. Salamander

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    Better check into the tradition of the betrothal before taking such a stand.

    Marraige is a covenant with God not a covenant between two individuals, so the emphasis is what God puts on marriage, not what men do concerning sin and divorce.

    Since fornication can only be committed before the marraige, it is then adultery that could be considered as grounds for divorce, but that is not the case concerning the vow.

    In looking at the positions of preachers, we'd have to allocate the man to one or more of only three positons: Pastor, Evangelist, Missionary.

    Where is it we are to "find" that any preacher has qualifications other than these three?

    Myself? Married 22+ years to the first and only wife. My wife? married 22+ years to the same and first and only husband. I pastor,evangelize and am a local church missionary.

    Am I w/o sin? Not in my flesh, but as far as my soul sealed unto the day of redemption and the mandate the Lord has about becoming one flesh that no man can put asunder, I am qualified.

    To answer the OP, no, a man who has gone against the command of God is not qualified by any measure. Doesn't mean he can't "preach", it only means he can't fill any one of the three positions as a preacher.
     
  17. thomas15

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    Tom,

    Yes, a man who marries a divorced woman is still the husband of one wife. Proceeding from this point, it depends on how Matthew 5:32 is interprated. In context and from the NIV:

    Mat 5:31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’

    Mat 5:32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.



    A case could be made that a man who marries a divorced woman, (regardless if he is the husband of one wife) committs adultery (the wife). The case could also be made (and I don't have the scripture at hand) that this husband is in an adultery relationship until the first husband of the wife dies.

    I don't say this to be mean to anyone and yes we can be forgiven of all our sins. I was saved in 1977 and in 1985 married, my wife (to whom I have been faithfull to) but she was married previous to me to a man who was unfaithful to her. I have been to Bible College and have studied the Bible for 30 years and at one time really wanted to go into the ministry. A bitter pill for me but I don't think I meet the requirements of deacon in 1Tim. because I married a woman who was divorced. Again, I knew at the time that marrying a divorced person was problematic and I was saved so I cannot argue that I wasn't saved when I married.

    Now today, 15+ years later I wish I finished my Bible College studies because for 2 reasons. 1). There are other jobs in the service of the Lord besides deacon/elder/pastor. and 2). Husband #1 has since assumed room temperature so I now meet the qualifications.

    Anyway, all of this depends on the church that hires you and I would guess that if you were married for 25 years to the woman no one would ask the question "was your wife married and divorced before you wed"?

    So to put my feelings on this, I don't think a man who has never been divorced but married to a woman who has (for any reason) can be a deacon as long as the 1st husband is alive. However, If a man is called to serve, he should obey the call.

    I have made the decision to re-start my schooling and get my masters degree. I view this as a long term thing probably will be close to 60 years old when I receive it and I will let the Lord direct me as to vocation in his service. And if He doesn't direct me, then I still will not regret the schooling, the only regret being that I didn't do it when I was 30 years old. All of the above is my opinon.

    Yours truly
    Tom
     
    #17 thomas15, Oct 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
  18. SBCPreacher

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    Now, that's good. I've got to remember that.
     
  19. Jerome

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    Leviticus 21:7
    They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God.
     
  20. rbell

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    If I run into any priests, I'll be sure and let them know. :D
     
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