Is it wrong for a divorced man to be a pastor?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Olivencia, May 22, 2009.

  1. Olivencia

    Olivencia
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    I'm writing this off the cuff but I read an article awhile ago saying it wasn't allowed. I can't remeber what passages were cited.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Jim1999

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    simple answer, NO! Nothing in scripture that says yes or no!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Olivencia

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    Thanks.
    Scripture reads, The husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2). If divorced one doesn't have a wife, if re-married then that would make it two wives...or does it mean that the husband of one wife in the sense of right now?
     
  4. Jim1999

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    If you take that one verse to mean every minister must be married, then I was an illegal pastor for a number of years when I was unmarried!

    It simply means IF he is married, he can have only one wife...

    One can be biblically divorced and continue to minister.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. sag38

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    I agree, there are Biblical grounds for divorce and re-marriage.
     
  6. michaelbowe

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    Most theologians, both conservative and moderate/liberal, interpret this verse as an answer to polygamy. It has nothing to do with marrage except the minister should be married to one person at a time. There are biblical reasons for divorce, and I think there are larger reasons where the minister did not have any choice. I realize this is a progressive idea, and will probably be crucified for it, but I fall in the moderate/liberal camp anyway. I do run issue when a minister wants to jump into ministry without dealing with the problems divorce brings, i.e. emotional, financial, etc. There should be a healing time before anyone wishes to work ministry when something as tragic as divorce happens. Short answer to your thread is no it is not wrong for a divorced person to pastor.
     
  7. John Toppass

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    But do these grounds allow that man to be a pastor?
     
  8. Salty

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    If Paul was talking about divorce, then why did he not use the word "divorce" instead of "husband of one wife" (as a permanent restriction)
     
  9. historyb

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    The qualifications are to be the man of one wife among other things, so if the man is remarried no. However if he is not remarried than I would say it's okay, for instance Dr. Charles Stanley is divorced and is a pastor but he is not remarried. My [​IMG]
     
  10. Olivencia

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    If Paul was talking about divorce, then why did he not use the word "divorce" instead of "husband of one wife" (as a permanent restriction).

    --> Maybe he thought it was understood in that oftentimes there are different ways of expressing the same truth claim.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However if he is not remarried than I would say it's okay

    --> But doesn't the text read "husband of one wife"? If one is not re-married (or married) doesn't it follow they are not the husband of one wife?
     
  11. Salty

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    So you are not able to say with certainty?
     
  12. Olivencia

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    Not certain.
     
  13. EdSutton

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    "A pastor" ?

    Yes, of course.

    "Pastor and teacher" is one of the irrevocable spiritual gifts bestowed at the sole discretion of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 11:29; I Cor. 12:4-11)

    Occupy the 'office' of a Bishop/elder in a local assembly?

    Another question, entirely!

    Ed
     
  14. sag38

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    But do these grounds allow that man to be a pastor?

    Why would they not allow him to be a pastor? It's a great stretch to use "man of one wife." to limit him if his divorce was Biblical.
     
  15. gb93433

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    It actually reads a one woman man.
     
  16. Shortandy

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    While I understand the debate of husband of one wife I would draw attention to another part of the text. I would say no about a divorced pastor simply because he would not fufill the requirement of 1 Tim. 3:5. A divorced pastor can't say he has managed his household well. Can he???

    On the issue of biblcial divorce there are two. One is unfaithfulness according to Christ and if the unbliever leaves according to Paul. If the pastor is unevanly yoked with an unbeliever he was not fit for service by 1 Tim 3 standards anyway for his household is not in order. So this one can't apply. In many cases the divorce is becasue of the pastors unfaithfulness (he fell into sin), but based on an honest interpretation of Ephesians 5 he is disqualifed. The husband plays the part of Christ in the marriage and the wife plays the role of church. For those who believe in eternal security a pastor who has been divorced is one who paints a horrible picture of Christ leaving the church.

    I would say that 99% it is clear that most of these divorced men are not qualified. I leave 1% because there maybe...just maybe is an exception.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Setting aside the American customs and laws and taking a look at the historical Jewish customs and laws upon which to interpret scripture that for a couple to break a betrothal it required a divorce. To accept your reasoning then anyone who has had a broken engagement could not ever be a pastor. Biblically anytime that a betrothal or marriage was broken it required a divorce because both were legal binding contracts. So do we separate the divorce that breaks a marriage from the divorce that breaks a betrothal?
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    The church has taken this passage and extended every possible thing they personally want to add to it and leave out everything else they could care less about. The phrase "One that ruleth well his own house," is clearly and singularly defined by the following phrase "having his children in subjection with all gravity;" there is no reason in this passage to place it in the context of anything else. And if we were being honest about placing that phrase in your context then we would be forced to investigate every little aspect of the home.
     
  19. paidagogos

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    Inaccurate at best

    This is not true. Even a casual reading of the literature would show that this is a very contested issue. Views range all across the board. I challenge this generalization as inaccurate, lacking knowledge and substance, and overly simplified. To get a good overview, I recommend reading Wayne House's book (see link below) on the various views of divorce and remarriage. Carl Laney's book is the most conservative and opposed to any divorce and remarriage especially for a minister.

    I suggest reading some of the books at the following links, which thoughfully lay out the various positions:

    http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/1842271318/ref=s9_asin_image_1/102-1186144-8364964

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0310511119/?tag=baptis04-20

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0871238926/?tag=baptis04-20

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0830812830/?tag=baptis04-20
     
  20. paidagogos

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    The crux of the matter!

    You are perfectly correct to note that the literal rendering is "a one woman man." Now, does a divorced man meet the qualification of a "a one woman man?"

    Also, I would like to hear someone address the important issue of how marriage represents the union of Christ and His church. As such, how does this affect, if it does, the marriage requirements of a pastor.
     

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