Does the "Husband of Just 1 Wife" prohibit Divorced From Serving IN Leadership?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Apr 7, 2011.

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  1. JesusFan

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    Does it matter if the divorce was "scripturally correct?"
    Does it matter if was done before becoming a Christian?
    Does it matter if person stayed single?

    Or does the Bible teach IF divorced. disqualified from serving as Elder/pastor etc period?
     
  2. Gershom

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    Divorce is not mentioned in that passage.
     
  3. freeatlast

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    I assume you are referring to 1 Tim 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach

    There is a problem in my opinion with the translation. The passage does not say "husband of one wife." The Greek says "one woman man." To me this is one of the greatest injustices that the translators have done to any text. The focal is not about how many times one has been married although it would be included. The focus is about the character of the person who would hold this office.
    Keep in mind that a man can be the husband of one wife and not be a one woman man. He can have eyes for other women and that alone would disqualify him. He might not step out in a physical way with another woman, but taking the office secretaries to lunch and just like spending time with women other the wife wife shows he is not a one woman man. This man is disqualified based on this passage. A one woman man sees no other woman then his wife. She alone is the apple of his eye and he guards that with all his being. How he speaks of his wife and treats her is all summed up in this passage as opposed to how he treats and speaks to other women.

    Now to your questions;
    Does it matter if the divorce was "scripturally correct?"
    Does it matter if was done before becoming a Christian?
    Does it matter if person stayed single?
    Or does the Bible teach IF divorced. disqualified from serving as Elder/pastor etc period?

    What is a scriptural divorce? There are many arguments about that. Very few divorces are ever one sided. To be a shepherd I believe that the man needs to be above reproach as scripture says. With a divorce on his record unless it happened before he was saved I think he should not seek the church pulpit. There are many other things he can do and not take the chance of compromising his leadership position as an example to the church. By the way the Deacon falls in this also. So if he divorces just step down from leading the church and if he has been divorced as a christian don't seek the position.
     
    #3 freeatlast, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2011
  4. JesusFan

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    To me, the "biblical divorce" situation would be IF:
    other party was not saved and decided to leave
    this happened before one was saved
    other party was commiting adultery refused to repent and left

    IF these were one of the reasons, would the husband still be qualified to lead?
     
  5. revmwc

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    We have a problem here. We found something we agree on. The greek term meaning a one woman man is exactly what we have here and exactly Pauls meaning.
    Here something I like to throw into these divorce questions and that is what does the word say constitutes a marriage. For example what contituted the marriage of Issac and Rebecca? What constituted many of the Old Testament marriages. Many times there were no formal ceremonies and there definitely was no marriage licenses, so what consumated the marriage.
    We go to Paul, I love Pauls teaching, 1 Corinthians 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
    Looks like it is the physical act of the two according to Paul. The physical joining together, now if that be the case and you want to exclude the divorced man and say he isn't the husband of one wife then how about the guy who is premaritally joined to a woman are not they married in God's eye's. That woman is his wife too. No the term in the Greek means he is dedicated to one woman and that is the woman he is with.
     
  6. Don

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    Not sure I agree with your statement that there's a translation problem; remember, in the early 1600's, divorce was scandalous. It's only been within the last 100 years or so that divorce has become a social "norm."

    Totally agree with the rest of your explanation.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    So the Bible passage refers to fact that the man needs to be faithfully commited to his current wife, not a prohibition against him if was divorced prior to this current wife?

    so really paul was adressing the common practice of pologmy at that time, not really addressing divorce?
     
    #7 JesusFan, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2011
  8. John Toppass

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    I can not find anywhere in the scriptures where a divorce is scriptural. However, I do find where the spouse will not be held accountable for adultery if the other spouse is guilty of fornication and leaves.

    The Greek does say one woman man but it does not mean one woman at a time man. (as in "I will be with this woman today and that one tomorrow or that one this week, month, year, decade, or what ever and put her aside then be with another.)

    I do not find that divorce would keep a man from serving as a pastor or elder or deacon. It is marrying of another woman that makes him not a one woman man. There are many who dispute this but usually it is because they have an agenda.

    This was not designed to punish but it is the way God set His Church office up.

    There are plenty of other ways to serve God without going against the scripture.

    How can a pastor, elder or deacon defend the institute of marriage if they have put one woman aside and then married another?

    What God has put together, let no man take apart. Divorce is man's way of tearing apart a marriage.

    This is a quick explanation this could be cussed ad discussed for pages.
     
  9. freeatlast

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    Keep in mind the passage is not dealing with this scenario. It is dealing with the character of the man as well as the need for the one who leads to be able to lead without distraction.
    I think we could get into all kinds of scenarios. What about if there was children and visitation and the ex is always causing trouble even if the man is doing all he can? Would we want this man to pastor? I woud say no.

    While I think that the person in your example could be qualified technically I am not sure that he should be in the position actually. Keep in mind that probably most of the pastors in this country are serving and in violation of the calling they have. Please don't ask for stats as I base this on what I see. I will give you one example. In my opinion Dr. Charles Stanley should have stepped down. Not waiting until his divorce but the moment of his separation but not because of this passage, but because he was to be head of his houshold and could no longer be. So I can tell you that I would not want a man to pastor me who had a divorce no matter what the divorce was about. He can pick another way to serve.
    And no it is not limited to pologmy as even a regular Christians is not to be in pologmy. It is about character. No other woman catches his eye or turns his head. He is dedicated to one woman.
     
    #9 freeatlast, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2011
  10. revmwc

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    That is correct and the asia minor area was steeped in poligomy
     
  11. Salty

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    How can a pastor encourage his flock not to drink alcoholic if he once was an alcoholic.
    How can a pastor teach young women to never have an abortion, if he encourage his girlfriend years ago to abort their child?
    How can a pastor instruct his flock to obey the law if he continued to drive in the past after his license was revoked for numerous moving violations.

    Very Simple - the Lord forgave him for those past sins, and now the individual has allowed the Lord to live thur him. In fact he may be in a better position to help those since he went thur some of those trials. How often has someone said "I know how you feel" and never experienced the current problem.

    With humility, (based on comments from my students) I was a very good driving instructor. One reason, I failed my road test 5 times - I realized that many students may have difficulties - and I was the perfect instructor to help them

    Now back to the Biblical passage
    Lets consider these situations - should these men be allowed to serve as pastor?
    1. Never married
    2. had "relations" with a girlfriend before marriage
    3. Married a divorced woman
    4. A childless couple
    5. A child has been convicted of a crime
    6. An adult child has brought shame on his dad
     
  12. convicted1

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    If you pay close attention to detail, when Paul wrote about being the husband of one wife, wasn't he speaking to those who had come out from judaism, and also to the gentiles who were saved? Under the OT, a man could have as many wives as he could afford. Not so, in the Grace covenant. I believe that Paul is telling them, that if you are married to plural wives, you are still trying to live under the law. By doing this, you can not be in the leadership(moderator/pastor) of that church, because you aren't truly under Grace by doing this. However, this is just one man's opinion....
     
  13. JesusFan

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    probably the imortant question to answer is :
    Will the Lord CALL to a pastoril/Ministrial office someone who has sinned?

    Well...
    peter denied Jesus 3 times, still an Apostle
    paul murdered Christians, still an Apostle
    King David Adultery/Murderer still King

    just think that we DO need to exhibit Godly examples as leaders, but lets not exclude those from serving that Gos has chosen not to!
     
  14. freeatlast

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    1) yes if he meets the qualifications.
    2) If he was a Christian when it happened the answer is no.
    3) no he should not be considered as he is an adulterer.
    4) yes he can serve if he meets the qualifications
    5) it depends on if the child is now a Christian living for the Lord. if not then his father is disqualified as pastor.
    6) That is sort of broad and what is meant by shame. However if the child even if adult is living at home then the man is not qualified.
     
  15. Salty

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    But Paul tells us in Timothy that he must be the husband of one wife - so if you are single, how can you have a wife?

    Scripture please

    But Paul tells us in Timothy that he must have "his children in submission" How can he have his children in submission, if he has no children?
     
  16. webdog

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    On thing I don't think that has been addressed is can a single man be a pastor? There are plenty of those today, but how does that not violate the "must be a husband of one wife" principle?
     
  17. Skandelon

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    So, if a woman cheats on her husband and leaves him and years later he remarries then he is disqualified to be a deacon?

    What if he was "argumentative" in the past? What if his children were rebellious in the past? Are those qualifications also "life long?"

    It just seems to me that divorce is the one qualification of all that are mentioned here to whice we apply this "life time" rule. Shouldn't we look at the character of the person TODAY and in recent times? Can you honestly say that God didn't want a man whose wife left him 40 years ago and he has been remarried, saved and now in a loving committed relationship to serve his church as a deacon?
     
  18. freeatlast

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    No Paul does not tell us he must be the husband of one wife. That is a miss-translation of the scriptures. Paul tells us he must be a one woman man. It is about character, not his marital status.

    It is not a command to have children. It is a command that the person seeking the pastorate if there is children have his children in subjection. If he cannot rule his own house how will he rule the house of God? Timothy as well as John were a pastors and not married as far as we know.
     
  19. freeatlast

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    What if he left his wife because of his adultery 40 years ago and then re-married and now is a standup guy and faithful to his new wife. Should he be considered because time has passed and he is a good guy? I suppose that we can come up with all kinds of scenarios, but the bottom line is that the people who hold the office of pastor, elder, or deacon are to be those who are above reproach and it is possible to become disqualified and time does not fix that disqualification.
    The best thing is for the church is that it picks men who meet the qualifications and their past and current life as a Christian cannot be questioned. It would be different if what happened in their past was before salvation, but if it happens after then they should not serve as pastor, elder, or deacon. They can do many other things and not take the chance of bringing accusations against the Lord.
     
    #19 freeatlast, Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2011
  20. Osage Bluestem

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