Qualification for Deacon/Pastor

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by pocadots1990, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. pocadots1990

    pocadots1990
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    I am sure you have had this debate before. The issue about "husband of one wife". I have always been raised that a divorced person (whether husband or wife), the man is not qualified to hold that position. Then I have heard and seen situations where a divorced is allowed to hold a deacon's position.

    One thing about this though, people seem to stress this issue more than the others. From what I understand, the qualifications are just as important as the other ones.
     
  2. webdog

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    I, too, was raised having been taught the same way. I don't agree with it now, however.

    You make a good point about that one requirement being a sticking point above any other requirement. They are all just as important.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Whatever you believe about one, you should believe about the other.
     
  4. charles_creech78

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    1ti 3:8 Likewise must the DEACONs be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 1ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a DEACON, being found blameless. 1ti 3:12 Let the DEACONs be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 1ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a DEACON well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus
     
  5. pocadots1990

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    Can you give me some scriptural reason why you believe this way?

    Pastor Larry

    You make a very good point.

    Should a divorced man or if his is married to a woman who has been divorced serve in these roles?
     
  6. tinytim

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    I believe it was talking about polygamy.

    If Paul would have meant, divorce and remarriage, he would have said it.
    Now if a man after he is a pastor divorces and remarries, and the divorce is his fault... I don't think he could be considered blameless.. (at least all confidence in him would have been lost in the community)
    so yes, the other qualifications are just as important.

    I know a man that was called to preach, and his wife left him because she didn't want to be a preacher's wife...
    Now is he held responsible for his wife's sin?
    Should he have to pay the rest of his life for her sin?
    Does God hold us responsible for the sins of others?

    He is now remarried, and is a good pastor. He is faithful to his wife, and God is blessing the church.

    If God calls them, who are we to dis-call them?
     
    #6 tinytim, Sep 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2007
  7. standingfirminChrist

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    While the text does not say the deacon cannot be a divorced man, may I point out a key word in the text?

    "Blameless"

    If the one desiring the office of a deacon is divorced, some questions would have to be asked, starting with:

    Was the divorce his fault? Did he beat the wife? Was he unfaithful? etc.

    If he was faithful in the marriage, and it was the woman who was unfaithful or abusive, then I see no reason for him not to fill the position of deacon if he meets all other standards.

    When Paul wrote to Timothy that the deacon or bishop were to be the husband of one wife, he was not addressing divorce at all. Timothy was in a geographical location where polygamy was accepted. A bishop or deacon with more than one wife will tend to spend more time trying to please his wives and less time in the service of God.
     
  8. tinytim

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    I pity the ..... er, man who has more than one wife...

    I also want to add, that ultimately, it comes down to this:
    Church autonomy...
    If a church decides to use a divorced man, unmarried man, remarried man, or even a woman, the church will have to answer to God for it's decision.

    And unless you are in that church, you really have no say.
    Now if the church you attend is struggling with a decision like this, then everyone needs to study to find out what God wants them to do.
     
  9. Jerome

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    Divorce and concubinage were actually much more common in the Roman empire. Polygamy was illegal and rare.
     
  10. standingfirminChrist

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    From books I have read, polygamy was widespread and accepted.

    The Jews allowed polygamy. David had 8 wives, Solomon 300, Rehoboam had 16 or 18 if I remember correctly.

    Polygamy was not against the law for the Jews.
     
    #10 standingfirminChrist, Sep 1, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007
  11. Lagardo

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    David, Solomon, and Rehobboam did not live at the time 1 Timothy was written.

    I have heard the polygamy argument before. However, as best I can tell, polygamy was not common at the time. Sexual immorality was widespread, but actually marrying more than one wife was legally chaotic.
     
  12. webdog

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    I'm not sure I understand your question. Is there Scriptural reason's they are not all to be taken as equally important? Is that what you are asking? If it is, there is none. If there are equal number of requirements, they are all equally important.
     
  13. standingfirminChrist

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    Matthew Poole's Commentary:
    John Wesley's Notes:
    I have other writings from others commentaries that say polygamy was practiced and accepted during that time.
     
  14. Jerome

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    Doesn't Wesley say Paul was?
     
  15. standingfirminChrist

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    Jerome,

    If the one applying for position of Bishop or Deacon has been through a divorce and he was not the unfaithful one, I do not believe Paul was saying he could not fill that office.

    In my posts above, I was showing that polygamy was known in that time and accepted by both Jew and Gentile. Contrary to what some have said about it not being accepted
     
  16. pocadots1990

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    Sorry for not making myself clearer.

    Do you believe a divorced man (or wife has been divorced) to serve as a pastor or deacon?
     
  17. standingfirminChrist

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    Definitely not a wife. Bible says the Bishop must be the husband of one wife, not the wife of one husband. Same with deacons... husband of one wife.

    If the divorce was because of her unfaithfulness and not his, I see no Biblical mandate forbidding the man filling the office if he meets all other requirements.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Depends on whether or not they meet the qualification of blameless. If they do, having been examined, let them serve.
     
  19. pocadots1990

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    So you are saying that it depends on the situation. For instance, a man I went to school with is divorced because is ex-wife said that either he chooses her or God. He chose God and the woman left him. For that reason, the man is blameless and should be able to serve in these capacities.

    Whereas, another man who left his wife for another woman has been disqualified from serving in these areas.

    Pastor Larry, you made a very good point. Thanks
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, it depends on the situation.
     

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