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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mississippi John, May 11, 2010.
What is your stance, brethren ?
Same as God's.
Well, that's a good way to kill a discussion.
Depends on the situation, but it should still be an option.
Right...if you want to debate a subject and make sure each side feels good about themselves, you need to leave what God says about it out of the discussion. If you include God, one side is bound to get their feelings hurt.
Please explain in what situation that a divorced pastor is acceptable? Please make sure to use Scripture to back up your explanation. I promise I'm OK with having my feelings hurt by God's Word.
Please explain in what situation a divorced pastor is unacceptable? Please make sure to use scripture to back up your explanation. Make sure it actually addresses the issue of divorce, and pastors (and not some vague scripture, that doesn't actually address that issue...)
I asked first...why the deflection?
Because you first have to establish that a divorced pastor is unacceptable, before you can investigate whether there are exceptions. There is no need to find exceptions to a rule that does not exist.
Ouch ! He got ya on that one Matt.
We all know exactly where this is going. I'll present Scripture (and you already know which Scripture) and then you won't accept that it means that it says. Then we will be back at square one. Do we really even want to do this?
Yes, we do
Not at all. I will accept what it actually says, and you will make it mean MORE than it actually says. It is up to you; I will be glad to discuss the subject.
I will say this: it is JUST as dangerous to ADD to God's word (or, even more so!) as it is to LESSEN God's Word. We should let it say what it says, no less...but no MORE either.
It Is Going to Depend on the Individuals Situation...
.... each situation will be different. There are pastor's who had a wife "leave" them for another guy. What is your stance on that situation?
There may be women married to a pastor who was beaten senseless (emotionally and physically) by her ex, divorced and re-married to a pastor. What is your stance on this?
There may be a pastor, or, a woman, who divorced their ex due to sexual, or, physical abuse of the children. What would you say to their right to marry?
It is truly, IMHO, a case-by-case situation. I know, I've been there, done that, and went through all the guilt trips; other people's opinions, judgment, and suggestions.
Like Job, while everyone that counseled me meant well, but, in the end, I had decisions to make, and I am the one who will have to face that final question not from you, but, from God, and only from God.
There are just too many variances to make a sound and solid opinion. Each individual will have to be clear in their own spirit, mind, and heart as to the rationale for the failed marriage, and the decision to re-marry.
Man, in his infinite wisdom will never actually be able to make a rule that fits everyone's situation.
The best book I ever read on this topic was: The right to remarry by Dwight Hervey Small.
In the end, it comes down to the fact that divorce is a sin, and God forgives sin, which means there are no sins to big, or small to forgive, so divorce and remarriage must come about with two hearts that are truly repentant, remorseful, and ready to not commit that sin ever again.
In my case, I am a week from celebrating 30 years with my new wife. We both love the Lord, serve Him, and 30 years of commitment says something about repenting and going in a new direction.
My first wife just didn't want to be married to a pastor any longer. It was leave my calling, or, let her go!. I tried to leave the church for a while, but, than she took up with other men, and the marriage couldn't survive her adultery, and my going back into full time ministry.
Sorry if this doesn't answer your question theologically, but, in my heart, I have come to accept that which happened, and made a new direction for myself.
My heart is free of any condemnation from His Spirit. And my life is renewed, just as my marriage has been renewed. And, I passed "scrutiny" of a Southern Baptist Ordination Committee in 1983. They prayed about their decision. Reviewed Scripture, and ordained me in spite of my failed attempt at marriage.
Pastor Paul :type:
What does this say?
1Ti 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
This is present tense. So there are only two things this verse could actually be saying:
#1 Single men cannot be Pastors. We know this is NOT what it is saying, since Paul tells us in another place that it is better, for those so gifted, to be single for the sake of the ministry.
#2 It forbids polygamy. Polygamy was a problem in outlying areas (and even not so outlying areas...Herod had several wives) of the empire, including Lystra, and there is some evidence of it in Crete; they were known for their immorality. This is the best explanation of what the verse is saying.
Divorce is actually not mentioned in connection with ministerial qualifications.
This is the case with me. I have never been divorced, but my wife was forced into marriage with a 25 year old unbeliever when she was 16. He used to tie her to a chair and beat her (not to mention worse things). According to some, I shouldn't be in the ministry.
Talk about adding to scripture! Some people are like modern day scribes and pharisees, tacking on their own little rules to the scriptures...(not saying that is true of anyone here).
Those are Both Good Points
I never looked at that verse to be speaking against polygamy. You make two very good points
Well said Paul. Thank you for your openness.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..."
1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
"He must be the husband of one wife; not having given a bill of divorce to one, and then taken another, or not having many wives at once, as at that time was too common both among Jews and Gentiles, especially among the Gentiles."
There was a time when people understood what the Bible meant without question. Now we are are living in the enlightened age where words can be twisted, and meanings can be misconstrued, kinda like when Clinton said, "I did not have..." well you know what I mean.
I usually tell people we should look at this from a case-by-case basis. Too many variables out there.
A quick example: A friend of mine was divorced in his mid-20s, then was saved, called to ministry, studied for it and applied to churches...should he be presented the same as others?
Now if we have a minister who is serving somewhere and a divorce happens one would be wise to consider stepping away from pulpit ministry. That is a stickier issue imho.
You can't make the text say it is in the present tense like this. The major verb here (which is infered across the subsequent clauses) is εἶναι which, while a present infinitive doesn't have the exact meaning you're try to make it have. Particularly since it isn't directly attached to the phrase you bolded and occurs in another clause of the sentence. (Cf Titus 1:6 uses the verb ἐστιν to speak about qualifications.) Your aim is a bit askew but you certainly have hit the target. It is something to consider and I'll keep it in my quiver for future review.
Suffice to say that while it can be a minor point the more predominating one is that the phrase husband of one wife has much more to do with:
Which are excellent points. I think the history of interpretation has more to do with men being polygamist that divorced. Let us not forget the Sitz em Leben of the text here, polygamy was far more an issue to leadership than divorce.
Your points are very well put. Just hold back on the Greek.
You can't make the text speak explicitly to divorce, yes I agree with that. :thumbsup:
Whew, that's a relief.
In our culture, infidelity is rarely expressed via polygamy, so I guess we are off the hook for that verse. Sweet:thumbs:
Yep it says "husband of one wife", not "cannot be divorced". Polygamy was common in the ancient world and it was something Paul DEFINITLY dealt with.
Divorce happens, and part of beng a Christian is helping people reconcile with the Church and God , not condemning them.