Divorced Ministers

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by labaptist, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. labaptist

    labaptist
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    I would guess it is pretty much the consensus of this forum that divorced men cannot pastor. If this is the case, what type of full time ministry do you think a divorced and remarried man can do? Can he be an evangelist or an assistant pastor?
     
  2. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
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    There is no Scripture whatsoever to deny a divorced man from preaching in a local assembly.
     
  3. tinytim

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    There are some of us on here that believes that when God says He forgives, He forgives.

    There are 5 main views that are prevalent among us concerning ministers and marriage...

    1) A Pastor must be married
    or
    2) A Pastor must not be divorced
    or
    3) A Pastor can be divorced but not remarried
    or
    4) A Pastor must have had his divorce before he was saved.
    or
    5) A Pastor can be divorced and remarried as long as he is faithful to his current wife....

    And all of these are interpreted differently from the same passage in Timothy.

    I tend to go with number 5.
    But it all depends on the situation of the divorce...
    Like was he a pastor before the divorce.. if so, I tend to believe that he has ruined his ministry.. others won't trust him. The trust must be there.

    To answer the OP, I think an evangelist, Assistant pastor, youth pastor, etc, should hold to the same qualifications as the Pastor...

    But it really depends on the local church...
    It is really a local church decision to allow who to pastor...
    But I am sure there are others that will disagree with me...
     
  4. SBCPreacher

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    You beat me to it.
     
  5. TomVols

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    Agree with #5. An elder must be a "one-woman man." That can apply to singles, marrieds, divorced, etc. The church has got to stop butchering this scripture.
     
  6. gb93433

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    Many say a divorced man cannot pastor. However when asked if a man who has murdered someone can, that is a different story. He is forgiven and the people rejoice because of his changed life.
     
  7. TCGreek

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    Brilliant observation. But it all depends on the local church, sad to say, but that is the case, no matter how we slice it.

    If the local church is of position #5, then so be it. And on and on we go, into eternality.
     
  8. av1611jim

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    Ironic isn't it?
    A man can be a former drunk, brawler, wife beater, or what-have-you: but God help the man who was divorced! THAT man could NEVER be a pastor.

    (Sarcasm ended........)

    Strange isn't it how some churches and the people in them seem to have higher standards than God Himself.
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Didn't God get divorced... (from Israel)...

    (Jeremiah 3:8 KJV) And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

    Hmmm... some pulpits wouldn't let God in it...

    But we already know that.
     
  10. Apreacher4Him

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    "Brethren" "let us reason together"

    I have come to respect many of your posts...

    Yet, I must give my testimony....

    I believe, and still have the burden of God to Minister the Word.

    But, I cannot.

    I do believe that a friend of mine can who is "Church Administrator" at his church because he was not saved when he married his wife who was divorced (and it was not he who had another wife and thus still "a one woman man").

    The Apostle Paul, for example, who led many to be killed while named "Saul" even attending Stephen's stoning and consenting in his heart the Bible says

    That he received "MERCY" because he did it in "IGNORANCE" (that is, before his salvation - being zealous thinking he did God service) - I cited that passage to my friend just before he took his position as "Church Administrator" lest another come to him later and cast doubt on God's call to ministry...

    But, I on the otherhand was saved while in the 5th Grade, attended a Christian school, Went to Seminary obtaining my M. Div. after getting a double Major in History Education and Bible... Then got married, but as God did not give me peace as a husband I would not dare take a position as pastor... by that I mean my wife and I needed to learn to dwell together as husband and wife and I was failing as a Husband but did not know how to change everything and did not want to change the things that I could. Then we were divorced this year... [I of course, now see had I been willing to change what God was commanding me he would have given me grace to change the others and also to work to "sanctify" my wife as the Bible says that one spouse can spiritually bless another as God uses your testimony. - but I was a fool]


    No man can accuse me of being "unforgiving" or "not understanding the Love of Jesus"... It is the Love of Jesus that allows me to sing "It is well with my soul" in Church on Sunday without my wife sitting in the pew by my side... It is the forgiveness of God that allows me to function every day even though I stepped down as Junior Church teacher for the testimonies sake even though I could site "fruit" that God gave in those wonderful years I taught those precious kids...

    It doesn't matter! As my pastor used to say you don't spoil the vineyard to pick the fruit... if your bulldozing the foundation of the trees with your plow and then sing praise because of the "fruit" that are being shaken down out of the dying tree you have missed the point.

    I love the ministry and the only thing I miss more than leading a teaching or preaching service is MY BELOVED WIFE.... but, I did not Fear the Lord as I ought nor was my love what drove my life for Him... So I lost my wife, and in so doing I lost any chance of future ministry... Even ere she comes back... I would not dare to presume to minister lest I was called to by others..

    But, back to the topic a "one woman man" cannot define a man who has taken "another" woman as a wife... It is much easier to believe it can if you believe in Divorce and re-marriage for any Christian... because their are not double standards with God, or a "priestly" class...

    But, as I read my Bible it says that even an "innocent" party who marries another
    who was divorced "commits" "adultery"... why so? I thought the "marriage" was "honorable in all" and "the bed undefillied"... an adultrous bed seems "defilied" to me.

    Well, God is still counting the first wife until the law has no more power - which does not occur until death. We know from Scripture that you can have more than one husband - for the woman at the well had "five" acknowledged by Christ, nevertheless her marriage to the fifth did not sanctify her first four, nor the fifth, nor the adulterous relationship that she was in but did not marry. Those were straightly her well-known and public sins .. She was a 6 man woman counting all the men that she had!

    Therefore, I also agree with my brother above that all pastoral and deacon positions in the Church require one to be right with God, with men, and with HIS FAMILY... The foundation of the family being marriage...

    Hence, if I preach against any man, I preach against myself first, my failure as a Husband, and my loss of my life's call and my life's dream... but moreover all the loss of my beautiful and christian wife.

    Do not think I do so lightly...

    And, if you would offer any encouragement then please do not think of my "loss of ministry"' God will find some place for me to serve to His Glory..

    Only think of my loss of my precious and beautiful wife.... Pray for her! pray for us! pray for me! - I love her and long for her so.

    God bless...

    In Sincerity and Truth,

    - Michael

    P.S. and if anyman has lost his "Fear of God" so that he is letting the precious bond of marriage and love with His Wife slip
    let me say please run to your wife and beg her forgiveness; please do not be a fool.... God is able to humble you.
    And to those who are in like situations because of not "Fearing the Lord" and obeying Him, at least turn and find cleansing, at least be as wise as Jonah, who said "by reason of mine affliction I cry unto thee"... only be more wise and remain obedient... Only God's grace is what worketh in you both
    to will and to do of his good pleasure. God bless and Amen... - In Christ alone, Michael
     
    #10 Apreacher4Him, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2007
  11. Brother Bob

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    This is a question that will never be answered in a way that will suit everyone, on this side of Heaven. All I will say is, the passage in Timothy was not put there just to take up space.
     
  12. gb93433

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    I have heard churches tell me that they needed a pastor who were unwilling to do ministry. They get what they are seeking. Years ago my pastor used to say, "If you want to get married in the worst way, you will get exactly that." It is true of churches getting pastors. It is true of places of employment wanting a warm body as a worker.

    Too many churches want a pastor and not a man of God who will preach the word with boldness. How many pastors have actually discipled anyone. Never once was I ever asked that in an interview with anyone in a church. From my days in seminary I found very few men studying to be pastors who ever personally discipled anyone. Pastoring seemed to be more about preaching and visitation than making disciples.

    The article at http://bpnews.org/ reported, ‟The Journal of Pastoral Care reported in a 1993 survey that 14 percent of Southern Baptist senior pastors have engaged in '“sexual behavior inappropriate for a minister.”' Those statistics include sexual misconduct between adults. But 70 percent of reported sexual assaults involve minors, according to the victim-advocate group Darkness to Light, and an estimated 30 percent of child victims never report their abuse. Most abusers will have multiple victims, and serial abusers can have 40 to 400 in a lifetime.”

    14% was quite shocking to me. Anything above 0% is way too many.
     
  13. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    The blood is sufficient to cover all sins or no sins.

    Divorce is not the unpardonable sin. It is sin just like any other.
     
  14. PJ

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    I concur. Very thoughtful post, Tim. :)
     
    #14 PJ, Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2007
  15. mcdirector

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    I agree that divorce has in so many cases been made the unpardonable sin when (like Sue said), we trust that God forgives all sins or that He forgives none of them.
     
  16. ShotGunWillie

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    The reason why this is such a discussion these days because 50% of all marriages end in divorce and 74% of all second marriages end in divorce.

    People don't take marriage as seriously as they use to. 20 years ago this discussion would have been unheard of and a previously divorced pastor would have been an oxymoron. Now, of course, like everything else our standards drop therefore we accept whatever other free thinker believes and hold it dear to our hearts.

    I am not saying that no one under certain circustances should get a divorce, as long as it is biblical, and still yet then, wouldn't I want to hold my pastor, my earthly shepard to a higher standard, because he is a man of God who delivers His message each Sunday.
     
  17. mnw

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    I hold to a different view that seems to be the concensus here. :) But it is one over which I do not fight and only enforce in my own local church.

    I do not believe a divorced and remarried individual can hold office in the local church. No matter what the reason for the divorce. I believe the only way to end a marriage is by the death of one of the individuals.

    The key element comes back to what marriage is. I believe it is a lifetime commitment and in the eyes of God people remain marriage for as long as they both shall live.

    It is not about unforgiven sin, it is about unavoidable consequences. What if a man gets saved between murdering someone and getting prosecuted? Their sin is forgiven, but they must suffer the consequences of the law of the land.

    Some say it is harsh that God would disallow an individual from holding office because of a mistake in his youth or perhaps because of the actions of an unfaithful spouse. But think of it this way, is God harsh for disallowing women from holding office simply because they are women? What about the Old Testament? Man, if you had a crooked nose you couldn't be a priest?

    We are under grace and not the law, I realise that, but sin has consequences. Even those sins we may wish to only call mistakes.

    I fought against this view long and hard, but it is the only Scriptural position I can find. Trust me, if you knew my family situation you would know it was not the easiest conclusion to come to.
     
  18. mcdirector

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    Of course pastors should be held to a high standard. I am a teacher and I believe there is Scriptural support for holding teachers to a high standard also. The issue is - do we automatically exclude someone from the pastorate because they are divorced? In some churches, in some people's minds, this is the case and it is not biblical to do so. Each individual must be looked at. Each individual's testimony must be heard.

    It seems silly to automatically exclude a man for divorce and not to automatically exclude him for fornication or manslaughter or lying or pride or . . .

    The fact of the matter is that a man may have been a victim of divorce or divorce may have been a one time incident of which he has confessed and learned. Divorce may have happened before salvation. The other things I mentioned (along with many more) may be a way of life that actually hinder the pastorate on a daily and regular basis - that divorce is so visible doesn't make it a worse sin.
     
  19. mcdirector

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    mnw - there was a time in my younger life when I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly about the consequences. As I have aged though, I have seen several families where the wife has left the family because she didn't want to be a pastor's wife. I have seen other men who should have left the pastorate for other reasons but did not.

    I haven't served under a divorced pastor, so without personal experience, all that I'm saying is theoretical. I do think a newly divorced pastor needs time away from the pastorate for healing - that may well include confession and redemption. If he is at fault, that time of healing may lead him away from the pulpit. I would like to see church leadership that is strong and bold enough to take a role in this that is indeed healing and do what is right and good for the church and the pastor.
     
  20. Plain Old Bill

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    Tim, I could'nt agree with you more. Right on target.:godisgood:
     

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