serving as a deacon after divorce

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by mk7, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. mk7

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    If an unsaved man is married to an unsaved woman, and they get divorced, and then he at some point gets saved, marries a Christian, is he able to serve as a deacon in his church? My husband and I go to an independent, fundamental,
    Baptist church and we were told by the pastor that he cannot serve, according to 1 Timothy 3:2.
    It was explained that, although his sin was forgiven, the consquences of that sin are carried over. We do not agree. We believe that the consequences are carried over from that sin in the physical realm perhaps (alimony, etc.) but in the spiritual realm we are "accepted in the beloved." (amongst many other verses) Any comments on this subject?
     
  2. gb93433

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    2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

    In 1 Tim 3:2 the literal phrase is "one woman man." The leaders in a church are to be a "one woman man." Next time you see your pastor ask him what that means.

    Jesus and Paul gave legitimate reasons for divorce. Do you think Jesus and Paul would have disagreed. Do you think what Jesus and Paul preached was about being a second class Christian? If Jesus and Paul gave reasons for divorce who are we to preach otherwise and condemn.

    I have a pastor friend whose wife started chatting on the internet. Eventually she went to visit one of the men she chatted with. She slept in bed with the man. She was also the DOM's secretary. I preached at that man's church and told him after the service there was something wrong with his wife. Little did we know that what I preached on hit her nerves and God exposed her. Later he confided in me that his wife was on the internet.

    Was that my friends fault with his wife. Not in the estimation of me of my wife. It was her's alone. The church he was pastoring told him that at first they needed him but during that time he needed them. They helped him and gave him the time he needed to get well from this time in his life. That man was changed in a way that I had never seen him before. He told me that for the first time he understood God's grace in a way he had never seen before. His preaching is very different. God is blessing that church with people that love one another and with numbers too. The people in town know about the preacher and they also know about the people who care for others.

    I know what it is like to pastor a church where people came to Christ and God blessed but the deacon judges scared them off with their judgment. When the church began to explode with growth some of the deacons began to make life miserable for me and gossip and say things that were not true.

    Do you think Paul who persecuted Christians and may have killed some could be a deacon today? If Moses were alive today could he be a deacon because he killed a man?
     
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    The point is not what did the man do before he was saved? The point is not did he ever kill a man? The point is, what does the Word of God say about the qualifications of a deacon?

    The pastor should not have used verse 2 to support his belief; he should have, and may have used verse 12. "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." (KJV)

    Can a man rule his house well if he cannot keep his home together? Just asking; not giving an opinion yet.

    Consider Adam Clarke's comments on this passage:
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    No, your husband cannot serve as deacon. Scripture is very clear on this saying a husband of one wife. NOT one at a time, tho.
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    Diane, if a person is divorced before they come to know Christ and that disqualifies them from being a deacon, then we better use that standard with the other qualifications as well, not just to divorce. For example, if a man is a terrible person, abuses drugs, etc before coming to know Christ. Does that disqualify him from serving? I am fine if that is the standard, but just think we should rethink how it is applied and not just limit it to divorce.

    I know pastors and deacons that before they came to know Christ were horrible people, but God changed their life, forgave them and now they are wonderful leaders, pastors, and deacons. But if one of them was divorced before they came to know Christ many would automatically disqualify them. If that is the standard it needs to be applied across the board.

    I think the issue is whether the divorce occured before or after salvation and each situation needs to be examined Biblically.
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.


    Titus 1:6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.


    Before Deacon nominations in our church, this Biblical criteria is mailed out to every man in our church with the instruction if they do not fit the criteria or do not want to be considered for the position of deacon, to please notify the church to remove their name.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    I agree wholeheartily with those verses. My whole point is that if we use that standard for divorce, why do we not use that standard for every one of the qualifications listed in the above verses?
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

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    I believe the standard is to be considered in the present tense. Is the candidate living his life now in such a way that qualifies him for the office of deacon? Is he grave now? Is he not double-tongued now? Is he not greedy now? Is he the husband of one wife now? If he has been divorced, I'd say the answer to the last one is "no."
     
  9. dcorbett

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    My Daddy was a deacon. When he and my Mother divorced after 28 years of marriage, he was still a deacon UNTIL HE CHOSE TO REMARRY. He himself said he could no longer be a deacon because he was no longer the husband of one wife.

    He was Southern Baptist, by the way. I am Independent Fudamental because it is closer in doctrine to the Southern Baptist churches I grew up in than the Southern Baptist churches are today.

    Debbie C
     
  10. Scott J

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    That seems inconsistent. The scripture by the way doesn't say undivorced. It says "one woman man". This doesn't necessarily imply "no divorce". Like you said, this passage deals with current character.

    "What is this person like now?" "Is he a faithful, devoted, godly husband?"

    This is consistent with this passage.

    I wouldn't count this as a separation issue with a church personally. Interpretting this as "no divorce" is perhaps a "safer" interpretation. But like I mentioned, the context is current character, not past character.

    BTW, if "knowing" a woman is a marriage per the implications of the OT then how many current deacons and pastors are likewise not "one woman men" and thus disqualified from serving in their positions?
     
  11. gb93433

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    If one uses the entire standard of divorce as set forth by some, then that person cannot ever serve as a deacon if he was ever engaged and it was broken. Because in the culture of the OT and NT times it was required to get a divorce to sever a betrothal.
     
  12. gb93433

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    That is a sad way of doing things. Why should one have to call the church to be removed. One ought ot be cionsidered first by the exisiting deacons and then the person asked in private.

    I know of a pastor that told me in the church he pastoed it was done that way when he came and two men in that congregation were lovers being considere as deacons. The wife of one of them knew but the pastor did not until shortly before it was time to vote. Serving as a deacon is not a poularity or party contest. It is seriuous business. A man ought to be examined in private first and then his name should be brought before the congregation to see if there are any objections. Then there should be a time for the congregation to get to know the person. A person who servesd in a leadership capacity carried with him the name of the church he serves. I have seen too many while I was in business who were considered by those outside the church not to be very reputable. According to the world the person did not meet the standard but according to the chruch they did.

    When was the last time the church asked people in the world about a person being considered as a deacon in their church?

    From what I have heard from people all over the US is that they think the least of church people where there are the most "shamans" and the church folks are judgmental and not consistent from Sunday to Monday.
     
  13. PastorSBC1303

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    That seems inconsistent. The scripture by the way doesn't say undivorced. It says "one woman man". This doesn't necessarily imply "no divorce". Like you said, this passage deals with current character.

    "What is this person like now?" "Is he a faithful, devoted, godly husband?"

    This is consistent with this passage.

    I wouldn't count this as a separation issue with a church personally. Interpretting this as "no divorce" is perhaps a "safer" interpretation. But like I mentioned, the context is current character, not past character.

    BTW, if "knowing" a woman is a marriage per the implications of the OT then how many current deacons and pastors are likewise not "one woman men" and thus disqualified from serving in their positions?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Great post, I agree. [​IMG]
     
  14. Plain Old Bill

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    I've seen similar discussion and debate on this issue in different forms on this board many times and have come to the conclusion that divorce is the unforgivable sin. Remarriage is even more unforgivable.Now I don't think God has a problem forgiving these situations if they are the sin of the party being discussed but baptist will never forgive divorce at least most of them.
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

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    Bill, great observation. It does seem at times that baptists are less forgiving that God Himself.
     
  16. just-want-peace

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    Heaven help us if we eliminate all leaders who have failed IN THE PAST to:
    1 ruling their children and their own houses well
    2 being found blameless
    3 the husband of one wife
    4 not given to much wine
    5 not doubletongued
    6 not greedy of filthy lucre
    7 one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)


    etc, etc etc

    Who's gonna be filling all these empty slots?

    If #3 is the only one that disqualifies, I'd love to hear your reasoning. Have the Baptists discovered a new "UNPARDNOBLE SIN" If we're gonna use only one, I'll submit that #7 is the one we ought to use!
     
  17. Debby in Philly

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    Ain't that the truth. And if #7 above were held to down to the last iota, then there would for certain be no deacons!
     
  18. Thankful

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    Our church will not ordain a man who has been divorced before being saved or after being saved.

    I believe the Bible is very clear on this matter.

    I believe if a man does not meet all the qualifications as outlined in the Bible, then he should not be a deacon.

    If no one in the church can meet the qualifications as outlined in the Bible then there should be no deacons in the church.

    The people in the church may forgive a person who is divorced, but this still does not qualify him for being a deacon.
     
  19. gb93433

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    If a man murdered someone and came to Christ we would applaud him. But if he were divorced God better help him because no one else will.
     
  20. av1611jim

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    GB;
    I am with you on this one brother.
    A few of you others also.
    It seems that Baptists have redefined the "UNPARDONABLE"
    Were you ever a drunk? That's ok.
    Were you ever a fighter/brawler? That's ok.
    Were you ever a greedy businessman? That's ok.
    Were your kids ever rebels? That's ok.
    WHAT??? You mean you have been divorced? BALIFF! Take him out and flog him!!!

    1Ti 1:12
    ¶ And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
    13
    Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
    14
    And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
    15
    This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
    16
    Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting

    If the chief of sinners can be a preacher, then why not the average sinner? Especially since Paul clearly says that his life is for a pattern for them who should follw him? IOW; Paul found forgiveness and God used him mightly. Can God NOT use a divorced man?

    (I think I am changing a bit.

    :D with just a tad more grace than I used to have.)

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     

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