Pastor with a divorced wife?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Scott J, May 13, 2002.

  1. Scott J

    Scott J
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    Is a man with a divorced wife qualified to be a pastor, deacon, or other church leader?

    What if the wife was not divorced for biblically supported reasons?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    This is an interesting subject. The Scripture gives no clear qualifications for a pastor's wife. Therefore, there is no Scripture on which a case can be made to prohibit it. (Not that that stops people from prohibiting it.)

    A pastor's wife is like any other lady in the church. She is to be a model of what it means to be a godly woman. That model can be made, with varying degrees of effectiveness, from any background if the life is dedicated to serving Christ.

    It may not be wise for a man who wants to be a pastor to marry a divorced woman. However, it is not prohibited in Scripture.
     
  3. Scott_Bushey

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    Pastor Larry writes:
    This is an interesting subject. The Scripture gives no clear qualifications for a pastor's wife. Therefore, there is no Scripture on which a case can be made to prohibit it. (Not that that stops people from prohibiting it.)

    Scott states:
    Maybe not specifically on this subject, but proverbs 31, Titus 1:3, 1 Peter 3:1-6, give us an idea of what the woman of God are to be like. Many of these scriptures mention them as *wives*.
    The Titus passage mentions the man of God; the husband of 1 wife; surely she is a "1 man" woman.

    Larry writes:
    It may not be wise for a man who wants to be a pastor to marry a divorced woman. However, it is not prohibited in Scripture.

    Scott states:
    Larry, I am trying to see how you have come to this conclusion. Scripture clearly teaches the biblical citeria for divorce. Anything outside of this design is to be considered adultery.

    The opening post states that (possibly) the woman
    was divorced outside of biblical grounds. Do you not consider this adultery?

    In HIM,
    Scott
     
  4. Don

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    Gotta go with Scott on this one--particularly on the adultery portion....
     
  5. LadyEagle

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    Wow, I can't believe I agree with Scott. :D ;)
     
  6. dave brauer

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    I also agree with Scott. I'd like to add what our Lord Jesus said on this in Mt. 19:3-9 ("...from the beginning it was not so..."), based on Gen. 2:24. God's servants must maintain God's standards and not adopt the standard of the "hard hearted".
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    I completely agree with this and, as I said, the pastor's wife is like every other woman in the church. She is to be a model of what it means to be a godly woman. But in none of these passages is it said that a pastor's wife cannot be a divorced woman.

    You have added the last statement. That is not something Paul said and that is where I must take issue with you. I am not suggesting a pastor should marry a divorced woman. I am saying that there is no Scripture that gives qualifications that would dictate that he must not marry a divorced woman.

    I am not sure that it is as "clear" as you suggest it is. Let me very briefly state my position again for the record. Divorce is never the best option. It is always (even in adultery) the result of sin and that sin should be forgiven and the marriage should be restored. But divorce happens and we must deal with it after it does. I believe that a person who gets divorced for any reason can be forgiven and restored to fellowship with God. I do not see a consistent teaching in Scripture that a single person cannot be married. I realize there is a lot of debate on this issue. My point is simply that it is not as clear as you would like it to be. For instance, Christ says that there is only one exception -- adultery. Paul, writing 30 years later, says that there is another -- desertion. So if Christ said there was only one and Paul says there is another (assuming the fact of inspiration) we have a problem that must be sorted out by context. So if adultery is one reason and desertion is another, it seems very clear to me that each speaker was addressing a particular historical contextual issue. Using the principles of Scripture, I believe we can come to a place of understanding of these things.

    And possibly she wasn't. I am much less concerned about the sin that lead to the divorce than the person's response afterwards. Can an "unbiblical" divorce not be forgiven? Is a person with an unbiblical divorce exempt from the principle that it is better to marry than to burn? Somewhere these things must meet in the middle.

    However, this thread is not about divorce. It is about pastor's with divorced wives and you have yet to show my statement to be incorrect. So it stands, Scripture does not give qualifications for a pastor's wife.
     
  8. Scott J

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    Maybe I should provide more detail. I have two separate situations in mind.

    #1- The wife was married to man and had children with him. Later he became abusive toward her and also practiced child molestation. After trying to deal with the situation, she counselled with her pastor and they agreed that she had grounds to divorce him. She later married a man who was apparently unsaved at the time of marriage. After getting saved, he left his career, went back to seminary, and has now accepted a pastorate. Is he biblically qualified?

    #2- In the second situation, the ex-husband would live "right" for awhile- going to church, teaching youth, and even professing a calling to preach. Then, the wife would catch him in lies about his "secret" life. She caught him using and selling drugs. She also caught him sneaking out to bars while she was working second shift. Although she had no direct proof, there were indications that he might have been cheating also. He would lie repeatedly to cover his tracks.

    After 7+ years of the same pattern, she became friends with another man, eventually fell in love with him, divorced her first husband, and married the second man who had no previous marriage. Both were Christians at the time but backslidden. Is the new husband qualified to pastor?
     
  9. Andrey

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    Wonderful situations and a wonderful question.

    Should we focus on rules or on our relationship with Jesus?

    Since his qualifications are not based on her past, but on his relationship with Jesus, I would say that nothing about her disqualifies him.

    Andrey
    www.achievebalance.com/divorce
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Biblical reasons for allowing divorce are:
    ~Sexual Sin, Matthew
    ~Abandonment, I Corinthians

    IF one accepts a divorce as Biblical, there is nothing forbidding remarriage.

    Hence the pastor whose wife was so divorced and then remarried would still be "above reproach", etc, as per requirements of I Timothy 3. He would also, by Jewish law and Civil law, be "a one-woman man", since he was legally and rightly married to one woman (his present wife).

    I would not like it, but could not stoop and pick up stones over a situation as you describe.
     
  11. post-it

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    Going with Dr. Bob on this one.
     
  12. FundamentalDan

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    I agree with Dr. Bob here too (is that three times I have agreed with him in one day? remind me to get my head examined). If the pastor meets the requirements, I do not see where his wife should enter into the picture. Sometimes we expect way too much in the area of scrutinizing pastor's wifes.
     
  13. Daniel David

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    According to the words of Christ, to marry a divorced person is to cause them to commit adultery. That would therefore disqualify a man from the office of pastor/elder. Luke 16:18.
     
  14. Sularis

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    I agree with Bob

    As long as wife divorced for Biblical reasons

    NP

    However I will add a small proviso - if the person who divorced is dead; then I would free the person
    to remarry. AFTER death - even if the divorce was unbiblical at that time; but if she remarried while still alive - they must admit and confess their sin, and then I would consider them - but lower on the list
     
  15. Johnv

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    If a woman falls in love with another man while married, it doesn't matter how bad her marriage is, for her to leave her marriage for the purpose of being with someone else is still adultery. Jesus said adultery in our hearts is still adultery.

    It's been my limited experience that, when a woman falls in love with someone else while married, all of a sudden, the marriage she's in is "bad" for one reason or another. Sexual starying has a tendency to could the truth, and we end up writing our own revisionist history.

    Of course, I don't mean to pick on women. The converse is also true when husbands do it.
     
  16. dave brauer

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    I agree with preachtheword on this one. The preacher who marries a divorced woman is committing adultry. She may have had a "biblical" reason to get divorced, but there is no Biblical basis for remarriage after divorce. This is based on scriptures in Gen. & Matt. already referred to in this thread.
     
  17. Pastor Bob

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    Dr Bob:
    &gt;Biblical reasons for allowing divorce are:
    ~Sexual Sin, Matthew
    ~Abandonment, I Corinthians

    IF one accepts a divorce as Biblical, there is nothing forbidding remarriage.

    Hence the pastor whose wife was so divorced and then remarried would still be "above reproach", etc, as per requirements of I Timothy 3. He would also, by Jewish law and Civil law, be "a one-woman man", since he was legally and rightly married to one woman (his present wife).&lt;

    I'm with Dr Bob on this 100%!!!

    -Pastor Bob
     
  18. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    Could ya'll give me the exact references to the verses of biblical ground divorce? {ch,verse}
    I don't know a lot about this issue, but is it okay for someone who had a divorce under biblical grounds to marry someone who has never been married? :confused:
    If so, are there verses suporting it?
    There is so much I still have to learn! so many things,so little time! :eek:
     
  19. dave brauer

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    I'm with Matthew 19:9 on this: "And I say unto you,Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication (putting away is acceptable for this cause/reason), and shall marry another (remarriage is not acceptable because Jesus said it is adultery), commiteth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Jesus very clearly states his position here. What is so hard to understand about this? Therefore, the pastor in question who has married a divorcee (her which is put away) is guilty of adultery in light of this scripture. As I said before, Moses granted a bill of divorcement, because of the hardness of their hearts. But, from the beginning (answers in Genesis) it was not so.
     
  20. Aki

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    dr. bob approached it (with scriptures) well. also, he gave his personal opinions about it well.

    as christians, not only does our own obedience matter, but also our testimony. if a man, though rightfully divorced, would end up with criticisms and not fruits due to his marriage life, then pastoring would not be advisable. a very great deal of discernment is necessary for this matter.
     

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