Divorced Pastor's & Service

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Jed54, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. Jed54

    Jed54
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    I hope this topic is close to the right forum. If not I do apologize. Our church is currently looking for a new pastor. We are southern baptist. Two pastors who have came to apply have been divorced. And both were very good. There has been arguments thru the years pertaining to divorced pastors ministering a church. Our church as a whole believes any pastor who has been divorced should not hold this position. I guess I will close with this so far, and hope maybe someone could post back any thoughts on this........ Right now we believe that divorce is divorce...... Thank You, God Bless
     
  2. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    Some Christians interpret "husband of one wife" to exclude polygamists. Others interpret it to exclude to divorced husbands. Others interpret it to exclude remarried widows. Some also interpret this to exclude single men.

    This is the first time I've also taken special note of the last requirement made by Paul, to have a good reputation with those outside the church. I wonder how often we emphasize that one?

    [ June 10, 2005, 10:50 AM: Message edited by: Gold Dragon ]
     
  3. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    I always think the verse that matters in this discussion is the one that says "He must be one who manages his own household well."
     
  4. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    [​IMG]
     
  5. jdcanady

    jdcanady
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    We faced a similar situation when a seminary student, who had been divorced prior to salvation, came to be ordained. We spent considerable time studying the issue and as a church voted that divorce prior to salvation would not prohibit service.

    By the way, the "husband of one wife" means literally, "a one-woman man" and denoted a man who had remained faithful to his one wife throughout their marriage. Unfaithful pastors who did not divorce would still be prohibited from service.
     
  6. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    Finally, a church with some common sense. [​IMG]

    We can not hold something against someone before the church even has authority over them.
     
  7. shannonL

    shannonL
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    Is divorce a positive sign of managing your house well?

    The church I grew up in was birthed from another church. The pastor of that church just kind of slipped his associate in as our first pastor. Well, this guy's wife just up and left him while he was still the associate at the other church yet he still became our pastor. SBC church by the way. I don't know if it was because he was divorced or what but our church would hold 800 and this guy mangaged to get it all the way to 120.
    My dad was chairman of deacons at the time. Prior to being saved my dad was married for about 5 min. when he was 19. His wife cheated on him. Well, he had since met my mom of course and had become a fine christian man.
    However; he never did feel comfortable about being a deacon even though his divorce was before he was saved. He studied alot about it. Sought some council. He just concluded that it just means what it says in those passages about qualifications for deacons and pastors. This pastor had surrounded himself with about 6 out of 10 deacons that were divorced. My dad being the divorced chairman.
    My dad didn't want to cause to much trouble but, he felt seriously convicted about being a divorced deacon. So he resigned in his resignation he stated that he just couldn't be a deacon and be divorced and be at peace between himself and the Lord according to how he saw it in Scripture.
    Wasn't long after that we got unsigned letters in the mail telling my dad what a jerk he was in very discriptive lanquage. The pastor's grown son came out to our farm and proceeded to cuss my daddy a blue streak.
    To make a long story short. A month later the pastor had to resign because he really didn't have a leg to stand on.
    After about a year our church found a good man who had not been divorced. He really lived up to the requirements as good as any fellow with flesh on his bones could do.
    Our church went from a sanctuary that could hold 800 only having about a 120 to gaining 100 members a year for 8 years in a row. Our church led the state of NC in baptisms for like 3 or 4 years straight. I, along with 3 or 4 other young fellows were called to preach during that time. The church is still running strong till this day.
    Now can I conclusively say My dad taking a stand for what He thought was Scriptual was behind it all. Well, not conclusively. I do believe having that fellow move on was the right thing.

    I think a man who has been divorced already has a strike against him concerning his integrity as a leader. Regardless of whose fault the divorce was.
    That is not being cruel that is just reality.Some will always perceive him negatively. Unless your church votes him in 100% he will have a hard time from the get go.
    Being divorced doesn't make you some sub par christian. Yet the calling is a high calling. Just because one man misses the mark in one area of requirments doesn't mean divorce gets a pass.
    IMHO it means literally "a one woman man". Regardless of when the divorce took place. There are plenty of men out there that God could send your way who don't have a questionable past.

    pray alot.
     
  8. jdcanady

    jdcanady
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    To Shannon:

    Your dad acted admirably because he refused to violate his conscience. Our concern when we considered the issue was that we do not put more requirements on people than scripture does. The passage in I Tim. never mentions the word "divorce". It says "one woman man". This indicates a man that is faithful throughout his marriage. Those believers who are unfaithful, divorce or not, are disqualified.

    As our church looked at the passage, and others, we generally fell into two areas of thinking. The first was that divorce prior to salvation was not a disqualification. These standards of service are directed toward believers. What our life was like prior to salvation is not considered.

    If we hold the qualification of "one woman man" to apply even prior to salvation, then we must hold that all the standards apply to our lives prior to salvation. None of us could qualify in that case.

    The second area of thinking was that the relationship of the man and his wife is somehow comparable to the relationship between Christ and the church. Hence, the church is the bride of Christ and Christ is called the bridegroom. Since this is a unique relationship, God has required a pastor to demonstrate a faithfulness that is unblemished to his wife, even prior to salvation.

    God "hates divorce", and if a pastor has been divorced, even prior to salvation, that divorce creates a blemish on the church (i.e. the bride of Christ). Any divorce disqualifies.

    As an example, David had been a man of bloodshed. Even though his sins were forgiven, God still did not allow David (a man after His own heart) to build His temple. Something about David's past disqualified him from that particular service to God, even though his sins were forgiven.

    I fell into the second camp, although I must admit the first argument is powerful and it was the one our church accepted. The most important thing is that we didn't just say "That's what I believe, so there!!" We carefully considered scripture in a very methodical way, over many months to bring the church into the process and form a consensus.
     

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