Does a preacher have a right?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Phillip, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    I have two questions that I would like to see answered by some conservatives or fundamentalists:

    1). A small (100-150) church I know of uses Paul's Biblical statements regarding a deacon being a man with one wife and not divorced. Is it Biblical for this to be translated in the way that the wife cannot be married before?

    I will give an example. We have a good Christian who married a wife whose husband was placed in prison for molesting his biological daughters. The man married the wife (who is a Christian and divorced the man immediately upon finding out about the molestation -- she was being abused too.) and adopted the girls. The church has this in its constitution, but it is my understanding that the pastor was the one who pushed this through and pretty much gets what he wants when he has the church vote for it. The man was never married before, he married the wife not only because he loved her, but fell in love with the children and wanted to give them a chance to have a real father.

    2)My second question is that a missionary has been communicating with several young men in our church. The missionary goes to Africa and holds revivals where many are saved and he also builds and helps churches get started. One of our men received a private letter form this missionary asking him to go with him on a trip to Africa. It is the suspicion among several of us that the man chosen was selected by either the pastor or one or two of his upper-level buddies. It seems as though anybody who is buddies with the boss (not God) gets to be selected for the "fun" things. But, everybody else is "expected" to continue to do their part, ie sound, cleaning, etc. as volunteers with little credit. (I am speaking for someone else here, personally, I don't want to go to Africa -- been there, done that) but, there are good people who seem to be ignored because they are somewhat quiet types. This is a small church.

    I would like to see what some other pastors feel about this and based just on the information I have given, does it seem fair to other church members. :confused:
     
  2. Daniel David

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    1. I would allow the man to fulfill any role other than elder or deacon (provided he is qualified of course).

    2. People should be glad this person is going to africa. It is our role to be faithful. The Lord directs the steps.
     
  3. Phillip

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    Daniel, The Bible says a man with one wife. Is it just "implied" that the woman cannot be divorced?

    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that people were not glad, but the steps are driven, not so much by God, but by the opinion of the pastor who knows very little about the actual lives of many of the church members, nor does he seem to want to know.

    This may sound like a sour-grapes situation, but it is far from it. Many qualified people have felt slighted by this and other decisions that are never brought before the church until they are decided behind closed doors among about two individuals.

    Assumptions are made concerning the people's gifts without asking and the same small group gets chosen each time.

    I have seen people left out of situations such as this (good Christians) who -- after being skipped so many times that they finally feel they are useless in being unable to serve in any capacity.

    (By the way, the first question is not related to the second. The second question involves other people who have no skeletons in their closets, period.)
     
  4. BillyMac

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    1. I always thought that the husband of only one wife referred to monogamy vs bigamy; i.e. husband of only one wife not a husband of more than one wife at the same time, or even a former wife who is a divorcee.

    2. In nearly all churches there is a political inner circle of members that revolves around and supports the Pastor. Many times it is within this sphere of influence that this inner circle dictates those who are favored and those who are not simply by their influential political pull. Studying group dynamics reveals other factors that exist as well. Having said that, if you disagree with a decision made, bring it up to the leadership and ask for direct answers as to why this one was selected as opposed to the one who was not selected. Maybe you (or someone else) knows something that the others do not.
     
  5. donnA

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    I'm not sure I'd call going to Africa one of the fun things. Working the sound and cleaning the toilets is just as much serving God as going to Africa is. We are to be faithful in serving God, whatever He calls us to do.
    A church should not hand pick missionaries, they should be God called, God tells them where to go serve.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    On question #1, no, it is not valid to "translate" it that way. Someone may make that application. I would not. If the man is a man of character and has a family that is under control, provided he meets the other qualifications, then is his qualified.

    As to question #2, I wouldn't worry about it. Anyone who wants to go to Africa or any where else to help a missionary should go. If someone is offended that they weren't asked, then tell them to step up and volunteer.

    I don't know that it is a matter of fairness. IMO, if someone is upset because someone else got to do something they didn't get to do, that may indicate a spirit of jealousy and pride. If someone in my church came to me with a complaint like that, I would certainly address both the complaint and the spirit behind it. Why would someone care that someone else gets asked to serve God on a mission trip? Isn't that a cause for rejoicing?

    This pastor may have some leadership problems. I would be cautious in making that charge based on this information.
     
  7. Jeffrey H

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    Good questions! Your church is not much smaller than mine - we run about 150 in worship. I'm not a pastor, but serve as a deacon and hope you don't mind my sharing.

    #1) It appears this man is qualified to serve as deacon. However, if the issue of his divorced wife is a dividing point in your church, then he should withdraw his nomination until your church can resolve this issue with the study of Scripture.

    #2) Cleaning, sound, nursery, etc. are honorable works and God is glorified when we do them at His leading. He is not glorified when we are jealous of others that appear to be doing the "fun" stuff. I'm not sure I would call Africa "fun". Some of the most important work in our churches are in those areas that are done behind the scenes.

    Pastors will always have their favorites or buddies which creates an inner circle by no fault of his own. While he may strive to love everyone equally, he also desires to have true meaningful friendships with folks in his church.

    [ April 07, 2004, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Jeffrey H ]
     
  8. Plain Old Bill

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    If this womans husband was molesting the children I would call that a Biblical reason for the divorce on her part.I would'nt hold the remarriage against either party . Also this is the mans 1st marriage.He is the husband of one wife who was divorced for scriptural reasons.When I was a young man when someone was caught and prosecuted for child molestation (sometimes synonomous with child rape)it was a capitol offence.
    2nd question. There could be to many variables to answer this question fairly.
     
  9. Glory Bound

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    I've seen a few comments regarding the "fun things". I think I know what Phillip is getting at - the more "high profile" assignments. A lot of the time folks recognize pastors, sunday school teachers, music leaders, and deacons because they are more "high profile" - while the folks who work behind the scenes don't always get recognized or thought of when ministry is mentioned. I'm not thinking of rewards when I write "recognized" - but rather a more simple form of acknowledgement.

    How often do we mention pastors, deacons, music leaders and sunday school teachers when we speak of church workers, but fail to mention those who do the cleaning and maintenance of the building?

    As far as my opinion on question 1 - I see no problem with the fact that his wife had previously been divorced. I'd vote for him as long as the other factors were in line.
     
  10. gb93433

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    Their are reasons that permit divorce and who are we to not agree with scripture? So if that being the case who are we to not accept the person who is in compliance with scripture?
     
  11. Phillip

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    Exactly my point. It is easily seen how things are construed and some people just want to be thought of a equal in their service, but are not even mentioned.

    In the second question, there will be no vote. The pastor is allowing people to write down their choices for deacon and he will go through the list and make the determination who is qualified or not (this is supposedly so that the unqualified will not be embarrassed.).

    Back to the original question, does the pastor have the right to be the "all knowing and all seeing JUDGE in these matters when there are equally qualified people, or he uses HIS Biblical interpretation of what qualification is?

    This has NOTHING to do with jealousy. I am not even in the game---I am watching other poor souls get skipped who have been excellent Christians and servants in the church, they just don't make it to the "inside clique".
     
  12. Sularis

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    Ok deacon thing - 2 parts - whats good for the goose is good for the gander - what sane person thinks that just because someone is a wife/husband that she will not exercise some influence in that persons behaviour in office - ie when you ELECT a married couple to church office - the wife/husband will in some way shape or form participate - so he/she too must meet the qualifications

    - growing up my church did what i still consider this day the most biblical thing - despite the fact they've now changed it and have a "Calvinist" *ptoooie* as a pastor

    They put down every mans name who qualified on a list that was circulated for a month; and told people to vote for 6 people that they wanted as deacons. The 6 who recieved the most votes became deacons - to get on the list if you werent on it and it happened - one had to talk to pastor and elders - and in one instance where pastor and elders were a problem - business meeting, with signatures - but they were done in order one did not jump straight to a business meeting without talking to pastor so that the individual knew what the pastor and elders would say and so would have decided if their reasons for disqualifying him were worth being aired in a public forum. To get off the list one had to talk to the pastor or an elder and give a valid reason why you think you couldnt do the job - not many people got off the list

    As to part 2 - pardon the worldly expression "stuff" happens - i personally find sound fun - no life stinks and unless YOU feel up to supporting the guy/gal in taking on the whole church - you best be leaving that church or just taking it.

    and you are willing to be dragged through the mud cause you will be - (trust me you will be) then go for it - change will happen - but it might cost more then your friend more then he's truly willing to pay - it cost me far more then I was willing to pay - for such a little gain - that in my situation - Id gladly have taken more beatings and mocking - then lose what few friends I had.

    Cause Im a lonely young punk - and all that Ive got are my convictions and God's Word - and a copy of a reference by my pastor where he called me a liar - lazy - hindrance - and a whole bunch of other things - which he tried to hide from me by sealing it in an envelope which the interviewer showed me and said if i really wanted to use it.

    You have to decide whats important to stand up for - and hopefully whats right is worth standing up for

    - I will not back down on the existence of dinosaurs
    (got me called heretic at the age of 10 by my pastor and church; then we got a new pastor who believed in dinosaurs and everyone changed their mind - not a single apology all of which I predicted/prophesied in its entirety)
    I will not back down from universal call
    (got me called blasphemer at the age of 11 or 12 by the same pastor and different Sunday School teacher)

    I will not back down from Satan as an independent agent with power of his own, but that he can be and is directly controlled by God.
    (the word blasphemy and heresy both came up again at least I had a few years between this one, 15)

    I will not back down from no creation's of God save man is inherently evil - and that it is the use of that creation that determines its moral alignment - be it music - television - books - or clothing
    (this one got me called Satan worshipper - by both pastors at the time and a youth worker)

    I will not back down from homosexuality is a sin -
    (a Reform church - suggested i find another church)

    I will not back down that the church is a place for homosexuals as pastors - since we have liars, cheaters, and whatever sins the pastors we have currently committed for they are sinners - forgiven - but still sinners - why not homosexuals as long as they realize what they do is a sin and do not advocate it.

    (pretty much most Baptist churches at least the ones with semi-sound doctrine get upset when they hear it)
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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  14. freeatlast

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    Phillip,
    The bible does not say what you said it says. here is what you said;
    "Paul's Biblical statements regarding a deacon being a man with one wife and not divorced."

    The text never deals with divorce. That is interpreted and may I say badly interpreted. Let me explain what the Greek says. it says "a one woman man." Not husband of one wife. That is a VERY badly translated passage. Paul is not dealing in a limited way with people who are or are not divorced. The whole context of the requirements for pastor and deacon are Character requirements, not positional requirements in respect to marriage and divorce. Just because a man has never been divorced does not mean that they are one women men.

    May I also point out that it does not mean that in the man's past he never had a relationship with a woman or more then one woman. If he has now come to God and His life is subject to God's ways and is examined to be totally true to one woman, he IS a one woman man. Many men may be married to one woman all their lives and never sleep with another woman, but they have eyes for other women. These are not one women men. A man who is in the pastorate and gets into porn is no longer a one woman man and needs to be removed, step down. Some men are touchy with other women and are not one woman men. A true one woman man is one who's wife is the apple of his eye and he sees no other women. Just because there was a divorce in the past and someone re-marries does not disqualify them necessarily. It could if he was saved and committed adultery or was the one at fault, but if the wife was the one who was at fault and a divorce took place and he re-marries he is free to hold an office IF he is now a one woman man in character.

    Now what about if the wife has been divorced. The same applies to her. If she was not the one who offended and re-marries her previous marriage does not come into play, but she needs to be a biblical wife. Submissive, chaste, quite spirit, keeper at home and so on. She has the same character needs as the husband. That is why it says;
    1Ti 3:11 Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

    Both have to have a character of godliness and it is seen in how they deal with each other in the relationship in marriage as well as church activities.

    So to sum this up IF the man AND the wife are both godly in their ways both in and out of the church including the marriage and it is clear that this woman is the apple of his eye and he is the same to her, both leading their family in the biblical callings they have, then he is qualified to be a deacon. He can even be a pastor if he can teach. The only difference in the calling of an elder (pastor), is being able to teach.

    To your second question I am going to pass. The reason is that it is actually an accusation type question and I feel that it would be inappropriate to get into it. It sounds like you have a power struggle going on and it needs to be dealt with.

    First you mentioned concern about the pastor leading with too much power. If you want to be in obedience you need to go to him in private and confront him with your concerns. Much prayer needs to be done first. Do not be talking with others about this. Just go in private. If then he does not listen and you feel that ore needs to be done you can take the problem to two or three other godly men in the church and so on.Matt. 18:15. Do it the way The Lord said.

    However in many such situations things are so bad that this will not work. The pastor and the deacons are intrenched and all this will cause is an uproar. If that be the case either find another church or remain silent and pray over the problem, but do not try and get together a majority and over throw the pastor. That would be sin. So either confront the pastor with your concerns in prayer and humility, say nothing and stay and pray with fasting or find another church. That is my advice. God bless.
     
  15. Phillip

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    Let me be very clear. I have no intentions of doing anything with the situation. I am simply bringing up the question to see how other Christians thought about the situation. It does not involve myself, but I see some good people constantly being left out.

    I do NOT believe there was ANY sin admitted the the pastor, such as pornography involved. I know these men too well. I believe the last statement above fits the case that it is too deeply intrenched to even bring it up to the deacons. It is not a hill I wish to die on.

    The question was more out of curiousity than anything.

    Yes, by the way, I did misquote Paul, I realized that upon posting, but the lovely software would not allow me to edit, so I just assummed that people could use the Biblical rendition and not mine. ;)
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    We should all be cautious in this. Remember when Christ predictd one of hte 12 would betray him, no one knew who he was talking about. They all "knew each other too well." Of course, I am insinuating nothing about these men obviously, since I don't even know them. These things get their hooks in people that never show it outwardly ... We must all take heed to our lives to protect ourselves at all costs ...
     
  17. shawna w

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    I don't think the man should be alienated from being a deacon or anything else for that matter. What did he do that was wrong? The Bible states that adultry is an acceptable reason for a divorce and isn't that a form of adultry? I have been divorced myself and my ex was not only sleeping with some one else he also fathered a child by her. Was I wrong then too? I think not. There are acceptable reasons and this man stepped in to correct a wrong by some one else and possibly saved some children in the process.
     

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