Struggling with "divorced Pastor" issue!

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by GloryBound, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. GloryBound

    GloryBound
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    My husband and I have recently left our church and are now seeking another church to attend. We have visited the IFB churches in our area. They are all in other towns as we do not have one in ours. (I read all the post under "Can a Divorced Man be a Pastor/Preacher?" In hopes of finding something to help but after reading all the post I am still heavy hearted over this issue.)


    We were leaning toward one of the churches we visited because of the amount of services they have. My husbands work keeps him away from church a lot. This church would give him many more times to attend. His job has hindered his growth in the Lord and this would be a great opportunity for him.


    We met with the Pastor and we asked how many times he had been married. He said only once but went on to say that his son, who is the assoc. Pastor there, has been married twice. My heart sank because I believe as many other IFB'ers here that a divorced man is not to Pastor a church.


    On the other hand, my husband does not have the same conviction about the divorce issue and is leaning toward attending this church. I know what the Bible says about submitting to my husband and allowing him to be the spiritual leader of our home and I will go where he wants us to go.


    I guess my question to you is, if my husband does decide this is the church we will attend, will the Lord hold us accountable in some way for sitting in a church with a divorced Pastor? Not sure that I am phrasing this question right but I pray you know what I am asking.


    ~Glorybound~
     
  2. Taufgesinnter

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    Each is responsible for the light he has been given, so if it is not against your husband's conscience to sit under a divorced pastor, I do not think he'll be held responsible. On the other hand, if you know better and are correct, then you will be held responsible for doing what you know is wrong in violation of your conscience, and claiming you were just submitting to your husband will be no excuse. For even an unbelieving husband is still head of his believing wife, yet she is to obey him only in the Lord--she must submit but never to sin. Nobody has the valid authority to tell anyone else to sin, and failure to obey such authority under those circumstances, whether that of a parent or spouse or the state, is to obey God rather than men.
     
  3. GloryBound

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    Am I to attend a different church from my husband? Or am I to convince him to attend a different church knowing it will surely hinder his growth? Won't the Lord hold me accountable for that also if I am wrong about the divorce issue?

    This is all very confusing and I know my husband and I need to get settled back into church regularly as soon as possible. I am already feeling very detached and seperated from Gods people.
     
  4. Scott J

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    From personal experience, you should be very careful about this situation and do not give into the temptation to be pragmatic.

    If you can, find out the reason for the divorce from both sides. If the first wife was unfaithful then it might be primarily her fault or he might have pushed her to another by failing to lead and care for their relationship. If she abandoned him, he could be totally innocent or perhaps he drove her away.

    If the first test is passed, I would recommend that you get to know this pastor and his current wife. Learn the nature of their relationship and be sure of the kind of woman she is. You should really go the extra mile on this front. No marriage is perfect but most divorces are the fault of both parties. The pastor may have brought his baggage with him. If he has, it will almost certainly manifest itself in the church.
     
  5. Taufgesinnter

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    I agree that it's important to investigate the associate pastor's situation. If his first wife was herself a divorcee, then he was living in adultery with her but not really married to her--in which case, he is actually married for the first time to his present wife. It's also possible that the woman the pastor divorced died before he remarried. See?

    I'm not trying to sow discord in someone else's marriage. You're right, it would be better to persuade your husband. What would you do, though, if your husband decided you were going to attend a Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, or Presbyterian church? Or a flamingly liberal Baptist church? If you don't believe in women pastors, what would you do if he chose a church where the pastor was a woman? Or a practicing homosexual?
     
  6. Baptist in Richmond

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    I cannot believe what I am reading.
    Although I wasn't there, you have presented the Pastor as being quite candid. I would dare imagine that the Congregation knows this as well. For whatever reason, the Associate Pastor is still there. Once again, I wasn't there, but most likely the Associate Pastor has asked for and received forgiveness, both from God and the Congretation. Remember: divorce is indeed a forgivable sin. Moreover, do you really think it is appropriate to start "investigating" something that is in the past? If you were a member of the Congregation, would you appreciate someone coming in and revisiting this issue?

    If you honestly have a problem with the divorce, then this church is not for you. If you explain that to your husband that you really have an issue with this, I am sure that he will understand. God will lead you and your husband to a church.

    My advice would be to make every attempt to refrain from potentially opening old wounds.
     
  7. Don

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    The questions above are valid ones.

    You have every right to question your pastor, and "re-open wounds." In fact, you have a responsibility.

    While we are sheep, and the pastor is the shepherd of the flock, we are not unthinking sheep. When looking for a new flock, we have the responsibility to ensure we're not placing ourselves in a situation where our convictions are going to be compromised.

    If it has been settled before the church, then the pastor AND his son should be more than willing to discuss the situation.

    I agree with what's been written above: If the unbelieving spouse left, then the believing spouse has committed no wrong. Find out what happened before you make your final decision.

    But if your convictions are absolutely clear-cut about a pastor being the husband of one wife, then as Baptist said, you need to make this absolutely clear to your husband, and ensure he understands that if he insists on going to this church, it's going to cause division in your family.
     
  8. Baptist in Richmond

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    I disagree with you strongly; however, I appreciate the manner in which you have presented your argument.
     
  9. Taufgesinnter

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    Divorce is forgiven if repented of. Remarriage is unforgiven if it's not yet forsaken--because repentance of a sin means forsaking that sin. The matter needs to be investigated only because if this associate pastor is divorced and remarried, the odds are extremely high that he's living in a state of unrepentant adultery with his "wife". If that's the case, he's in no better a position than a homosexual pastor who's "forgiven" but still engaging in homosexual liaisons. Or an unmarried couple that's been "forgiven" but is still sleeping together. If the associate pastor is divorced and remarried, and his "previous" marriage was the first marriage for both him and his wife, and she is not physically dead, but his church "accepts" him and his leadership and has apparently "forgiven" him, then that church either condones divorce and remarriage or has fallen for the false teaching nowhere stated in Scripture that God permits remarriage if the divorce was for adultery. Either way, it doesn't sound like a good church to attend, if true.

    That repentance means forsaking sin, and that repentance precedes and is prerequisite for forgiveness, is basic Bible doctrine.
     
  10. Taufgesinnter

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    And if the unbelieving spouse left, the believing spouse is absolutely required to be reconciled to the unbelieving spouse or remain as though unmarried. Period.
     
  11. Baptist in Richmond

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    The points you make are matters best handled between/among the parties involved.

    Out of curiousity, what would you propose that the remarried Pastor do? Should he get divorced from the second wife?
     
  12. Don

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    Tauf, I remind you of 1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
     
  13. Taufgesinnter

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    Don: Yes, that's true. The unbeliever may depart. The believer must remain as if unmarried or be reconciled.

    BiR: I think he should repent.
     
  14. Baptist in Richmond

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    Yes, and I agree; however, you have previously implied that simply to repent is insufficient.

    What must this Associate Pastor do further to forsake that sin?
     
  15. Don

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    Tauf, I suggest you re-look at "A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases"; or at least provide us which source for exegesis you're using that countermands this statement.
     
  16. Baptist in Richmond

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    Sorry, but I should have posed this to you.
    I am not sure why you would think that attending a church with your spouse is a sin as I cannot remember any Passage in the Bible that would lead me to believe this.

    Do you feel so strongly about this that the prospect of joining this Congregation really bothers you? If so, then you should make sure that your husband understands your concern. I am sure that he would understand. I know that I am not telling you anything you don't already know, but remember Proverbs 3:5-6.

    Personally, I would not make any attempt to revisit the past, as this could be a painful point in time for the Pastor as well as the Congregation. On the other hand, Don has given you some great advice, so you could investigate further should you feel strongly this way.

    At the bottom of your message it says that you are from Central Florida. I am from Tampa, so I can tell you that there are several good churches from Tampa to Daytona Beach, and most cities between them. If you are not comfortable with this church, there are numerous alternatives for you.
     
  17. GloryBound

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    I know your all doing your best to help me and I do appreciate everything that you have written here. But, I must ask you, are all of you attending a church that has "nothing" you disagree with? Is there such a church out there for us?


    It seems to me that you also are divided in your thinking about the divorce issue. You appear as divided as my husband and I are. From your responses, someone must be wrong! Am I now to decide which of you is correct?


    Right now, my husband just wants to worship the Lord and be among the Lords people. I have been where he is and I know that burning desire that grows inside you to fellowship with others who know the Lord as their Savior. He works 65 hours a week with worldly people who are always trying to drag him down, or pull him back into his old worldly ways. I am afraid he may throw up his hands and quit going to church all together if I continue to cloud his mind with all the "rights and wrongs" of a the churches around us. I may very well put out the fire that burns within him.


    The weight of his spiritual growth is weighing heavy on my heart. I question myself now, do I put a churches doctrine that is clearly divided among God's people, above my husbands spiritual growth? I know I must continue to pray for the Lords guidance. In the meantime, I also must make the best choice I can in the church we attend. Thank you all so much for your help. May the Lord bless each of you for taking the time to share your convictions with us.


    Love in Christ,
    GloryBound
     
  18. Taufgesinnter

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    Yes, and I agree; however, you have previously implied that simply to repent is insufficient.

    What must this Associate Pastor do further to forsake that sin?
    </font>[/QUOTE]If it applies per prior posts, stop living in adultery with his girlfriend*, and either be reconciled to his only wife** or live in celibacy.

    *Whom the state regards as his wife.
    **Whom the state regards as his ex-wife.
     
  19. timothy 1769

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    1Corinthians 7:15
    But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
     
  20. timothy 1769

    timothy 1769
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    What if he divorced his first wife because of her fornication?
     

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