Pastor falling into sin

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by cinnathamby, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. cinnathamby

    cinnathamby
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    Hi

    Hope you can shed some light on this.

    My ex-pastor, whom I greatly respect, fell into sin, divorced his wife(there was no adultery on her part), and dispite fervent pleas from his congregation to repent, went ahead and married his new lover.

    Now he claims that he has repented, seeks our forgiveness and will like to re-establish contact. Problem is that the present pastor and church board does not recognise his second marriage, has sort of "ex-communicated" him (expel the immoral brother)and strongly discourage members from communicating with the ex-pastor. He on the other hand, does not want to commit further sin by divorcing his second wife.

    comments?
     
  2. A_Christian

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    He is forgiven; however, he must move on with the life HE has chosen and not expect things ever to be the same... He should NEVER be a pastor again anywhere; however, he most certainly can serve the LORD in a diminished capacity if he is willing.
     
  3. dianetavegia

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    I certainly would never respect this man and people don't 'fall' into sin. We walk into it with eyes wide open and knowing what we do.

    Agree with A_Christian. This man can never pastor a church again.

    Diane
     
  4. thessalonian

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    This is a very tragic situation and I don't want to make light of it but....
    Just curious. Are there other divorce men and women in the congragation? If there are seems like they have a moral dilemain not allowing him back in. While I think their decision is prudent I think the situation points to a problem with those who say "he is forgiven" recognize his marriage and say let's get on with it. He is not married to his current wife and continues to live in sin as long as he remains with her. Sad but true. He must in repenting reject that illicit relationship born of lust and fornication. Jesus told the woman at the well who had been divorce multiple times that she was not married to her current "husband".

    John 4:18
    for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."


    Neither is this man married to his current "wife".
    Blessings

    [ October 15, 2003, 11:59 AM: Message edited by: thessalonian ]
     
  5. A_Christian

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    John 4:18 I believe means that the woman was divorced and remarried 5 times. The relationship she was finally in was one of just living together.

    Jesus isn't condoning her former 5 marriages, He is just pointing out that He knows all about her, and only GOD could do that.

    One cannot divorce again and remarry the previous mate. That is not what GOD wants. GOD wants us to confess our sins and move on.
     
  6. Carson Weber

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    How can your ex-pastor claim to have "repented" when he's still in an a d u l t e r o u s relationship with this woman he calls "his second wife"?
     
  7. faithcontender

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    Good question Carson. I agree with you!!
     
  8. thessalonian

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    Go and sin no more he tells the woman the pharisees brought to him to be stoned. True repentence requires turning from sin. The woman at the well was not married to her current husband. That is clear. We cannot live in adulterous relationships and not turn from them. God and sin no more. Don't just go to your former way of life is the message of the Gospel. Not just snow covering over dung but cleansing away the dung.

    Blessings
     
  9. BrianT

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    Carson, I'm curious: what should that pastor do now, if he wants to truly repent? Divorce a second time? Remarry his first wife (assuming she would want to)?
     
  10. thessalonian

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    Getting back with his first wife is very unlikely.
    Either separate or live as brother and sister. It is not the living together that is the sin but the carnality of the relationship.
    Though living together presents the problem of remaining in proximity to the temptation as an alcoholic to a bar. If he truly loves God he will let this relationship come between himself and God. Eternity is too long a time to risk.
    Further he is endangering the soul of the woman who he lives with and claims to love. Is that love? These words are hard. Who can bear them? See Matt 19 v. 1-12.
    Blessings
     
  11. Carson Weber

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    Hi Brian,

    Divorce is merely a legal status in the sight of the positive law of the state; it doesn't undo what God has joined in the marital covenant. In order for this pastor to repent, he would have to divorce - in the positive law - his supposed "second wife" and live a celibate life as long as his wife (his "first and only") is still alive. Or, he can reconcile with her and resume conjugal relations. In any case, a divorce court doesn't change the ontological bond that exists between two married individuals. For those who divorce and remarry, this is merely serial polygamy. Interestingly enough, Catholicism and a few non-Catholic Christian sects are the only ones who uphold monogamy. Even the different Eastern Orthodox Churches allow for divorce/remarriage these days.
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    It is a sad time when a Christian marriage is violated whether a lay person or a clergyman.

    In the real life story in John chapter four the word for husband is {aner/anayr}. The Greek scholar Dr. A.T. Robertson says that the word can mean husband or man. Dr. James Strong in his concordance agrees with this. One might guess that if she had five husbands she probably was not married to all five of them. She may have been living with this latest man.

    As far as the clergy who fell into sin, I take a little different view that the rest of you good people. First, if he married the second woman he should remain with the second woman and learn from this bad experience. No doubt, he did have a Godly sorrow for his sin of adultery and we too, should not take this matter lightly. It is a lesson to us.

    If we really believe that the Lord forgives and expunges that sin of adultery, we should find no problem with the pastor trying to re-enter the ministry, if he has learned from his mistake. How is it that someone can be on drugs or murder another person and yet we allow them to enter or re-enter the ministry, but when it comes to adultery, we place our own stigmata on it, in spite of the fact that His blood has washed away the sin and remembers it against that person no more. Perhaps because some feel vulnerable in this area of their lives. In fact, it clearly shows some people's religious prejudice and hypocrisy.

    I think Jesus said it clear enough for anyone to read in Romans 8:33. Is there anything in this verse you don't understand?!

    I do think, however, if it happened again that church officials should mark down that the man has a real problem, and then not let him minister again.

    As far as I Timothy 3:2 a remarried pastor is blameless, because the atonement of Jesus cleanses every sin, not merely the little ones. Is not I John 1:7 true anymore?

    The clergy should not minister in the same area of the country that the sin was committed, but should minister in another area where this would not be known or held against him.

    Not that the man's sin should be ignored but few of us know what kind of spouse he had to live with at home with his first wife. If a man is content at home he is not likely to err. Some spouses-men and women let themselves go and wonder why their husband/wife have straying eyes. Some eat everything in sight at home and when they go out with the ladies they say, "I'm only eating a salad." This might also be said of men.

    Why is it that so many Christian laity see only the sin and not the forgiven saint? I guess for a lot of reasons . . .
     
  13. Frogman

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    AMEN!! From the Amen corner. Glad to see at long last a sound Biblical view presented as it has been from the Catholic perspective in this thread.

    The only way to Biblically end a marriage is through death of one spouse or the other, the only course otherwise is reconciliation with the former spouse or to remain unmarried.

    Does sin not require suffering of consequences in this world? It seems we do just want to sweep it under the carpet. Does God forgive? Yes, but the consequences are still real.

    I believe Paul presents this teaching as truth from the Lord in 1 Cor. 7.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. Carson Weber

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    Dallas,

    It's good to see that you're one of those non-Christians who lives in the heart of Apostolic Tradition when reading the Bible with regard to marriage. I have, in the past, uttered these same words on this same board in this same section and have been hammered by Baptists, esp. those who are re-married while their real spouse is still alive.
     
  15. Ps104_33

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    Catholics just get their marriage annulled. (Catholic divorce)
     
  16. Johnv

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    Then you should take it as face value and accept his repentence. I refer to the Prodigal Son parable.

    It's not within their power to recognize marriages or not. That's like me not recognizing that Star Trek 5 is a Trek film. I can't pretend that it's not part of the Trek canon, even though I'd like to. I know silly analogy, but I think you get the point.

    I refer again to the Prodigal Son. The fact that they're trying to discourage members from associating with him tells me that they're overstepping their bounds as a church body.
    He should not. He should accept that he committed adultery (which it appears he has done), and accept that his actions are wrong. But he is now remarried, and he cannot do two wrongs in an attempt tp make a right. He must move forward, not backwards, and commit his current marriage to the Lord.

    That being said, I don't think he should be allowed to pastor or hold a church office. But be a congregant and volunteer for church functions, that's fine.
     
  17. Johnv

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    An annulment is not a divorce. It's a declaration that the marriage never existed. For example, if the marriage was entered into under fraud, then the covenant was never in existence.

    Even the law recognizes a civil form of annullment.
     
  18. BrianT

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    Thanks Carson and Frogman, I guess I see what you're saying. However:

    I don't want to sound flippant, or make up ridiculous scenarios just to be facetious (really!) but here's a situation that I don't think makes sense. I'm just trying to wrap my brain around some of the Catholic-way-of-thinking on a few issues, and marriage is one of them. [​IMG]

    Let's pretend that pastor now wants to convert to Catholicism. Under current conditions, that pastor (in his second "marriage") is viewed by the Catholic Church as living in adultery. Thus, he is both a "perpetual adulterer", and also forbidden to partake of the Eucharist. Let's say he therefore tries to get an annulment of his first marriage, but for whatever reason, is unable to. He's "stuck", in a sense.

    If his first wife dies, does his second marriage suddenly become valid, and is he then allowed to partake of the Eucharist?

    Here's the twist: if the death of his first wife allows his second marriage to become valid, removing him from perpetual adultery and allowing him to partake of the Eucharist, does it matter how his first wife dies? What if the man murders her, and later repents, just to get "unstuck" and have his second marriage validated? (Sort of like what King David did, but in reverse or something) In this case, the man's standing in the church is, in the long run, better off (a momentary sin (murder), ending a perpetual sin (adultery)). Yes, both are "mortal" sins, and neither should be committed in the first place, but once repented of and forgiven, the murder is blotted out which was not an option for the adultery. This seems completely wrong to me, but according to how I understand the Catholic view of marriage, technically it's a viable option. What's wrong?

    I'm not sadistic, I just like logic puzzles. [​IMG]
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    Catholics just get their marriage annulled. (Catholic divorce)

    Ray is saying, 'Annulled for a check written to the church. One Catholic told me it was for processing the paper-work. How interesting. As I recall the fee was rather large. I know of a Catholic who already has had two marriages annulled. So much for 'til death do us part;' I think this was the young, idealism of our brother Carson Weber.
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    An annulment is not a divorce. It's a declaration that the marriage never existed.

    And if that Catholic couple have a baby or a young child, what does that make that little human being. Apparently, not a son or daughter of that union. We call that child illegitimate one, to say it in a politically correct way.
     

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