Titus 1:6-qualifications for clergy

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Speedpass, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Speedpass

    Speedpass
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the NIV, this verse reads "children...who believe". Does this mean that only married men with children who profess faith in Christ should be pastors?!?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Lots of questions from that position:

    Does it say they MUST have children?

    Or that if they have children, they MUST be believers?

    What happens to Paul whose son died or was with his wife when she left him?

    btw, having children has NEVER been a qualification for ministry in the Scripture. See Zachariah and Elizabeth for example.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,659
    Likes Received:
    190
    For that matter, look at Jesus!

    He had neither a wife nor children.
     
  4. GODzThunder

    GODzThunder
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do not believe that being married (that is one can live a single celebate life if they so choose) and having children are not prerequisites of a qualification of a minister but I do believe that it is very hard to understand that crying wife or angry husband OR even the rebellious teenager on the other side of the counselors desk when you have not "been there and done that."

    And the POV from the other side of the table a husband and wife will not take you seriously when you make marital suggestions not having experienced their pain and points of view or that parent will believe you just do not understand the pains of having to raise a wild child.

    So, as far as a pastor goes, it always HELPS to have a wife and children if you want to counsel people but not required in my opinion. [​IMG]
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Not sure that argument holds up. I was a youth pastor when not having any kids, much less teens. But had learned the principles and thus dealt with them.

    I have never taken a drink, much less been an alcoholic or a druggie. But I have taken (and taught) courses on counseling.

    One does not have to "experience" something to be an expert or capable of dealing with it.

    I have great respect for single men who pastor and have a life much more devoted and centered around serving God than I could have as a married man.
     
  6. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,134
    Likes Received:
    221
    Dr Bob
    I do agree with you, but, yes - but, when counseling someone and you are able to say, "I know what it is like, I have been there myself" you may be able to make a better connection. Maybe not always, but it could mean a lot to someone.
     
  7. John Wells

    John Wells
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. (Titus 1:6)

    How about the "husband of but one wife" part? I'm interested in other's views. Here's a scenario to use in debating this:

    Two men live wild and disobedient lives in their teens and twenties. One marries and divorces and the other marries and somehow their marriage survives these turbulent times.

    They both receive Christ as their Savior around age 30 and become new creations in Christ. After ten years of spiritual growth they feel God's call to the ministry. After seminary they are ready to being their faithful calling to pastor their first church.

    Now the positional view of some will say the divorced man is not biblically qualified to be a pastor based on Tit 1:6 and 1 Tim 3:2 (which has the identical wording of "husband of but one wife"). I can only find two translations (NAB and NRSV - which contradicts teh RSV) that render this as "married only once." The multitude of others render it similar to the NIV quoted above.

    One cannot wedge divorced man into these passages from either the literal meaning of "husband of but one wife," nor does the original Greek lead to a "married only once" interpretation.

    My position (based on the Greek) is that this speaks to marital fidelity rather than status. The intended admonition here is that a pastor be faithful to his wife - a one-woman man! This fits with the rest of the admonitions that deal with a pastor having charge and control (being the spiritual leader) over his family. It doesn't say a pastor cannot be divorced! That is out of context and doesn't fit with the rest of the admonitions.

    Also, disqualifying the one pastor because of the sin of divorce while applying God's grace to the multitude of their other sins implies that divorce is a "second unpardonable sin!" ;)
     
  8. latterrain77

    latterrain77
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Qualifications for ministry and qualifications for the office of Bishop/pastor are NOT the same. A pastor MUST meet the 1 Tim. 3 requirements. Neither Zecherias nor Elizabeth held the office of pastor. Nor were they childless; though John the Baptist (their son) did come late in life for them as a child also did for Abraham and Sarah.

    If someone wants to practice law, they must first go to law school and pass the Bar exam. These are the requirements for being a lawyer. If someone wants to become a stockbroker, they must first pass the Series 7 exam and State licensing exams before they can be a stockbroker. If someone wants to be a surgeon, they must first go to medical school, then pass exams and residency in order to become a surgeon! The SAME principal applies to the office of Bishop/pastor! 1 Tim. 3 IS the requirement for that "gig." Those who do not meet those requirements have NO right to that office. Those who DO may apply.

    My understanding of 1 Tim. 3 is that a divorced man may NOT hold the office of Bishop/pastor. If he is divorced, then by definition he is NOT married and furthermore fails the standard set by 1 Tim. 3: 4-5. On the other hand, if he is divorced and then marries to another, in addition to the above he is also then an adulterer (Mark 10: 11). Adulterers will NOT inherit the kingdom of GOD (1 Cor. 6: 9, Heb. 13: 4). I would not allow an adulterer to be bishop/pastor over me. Fellowship? YES!!! Authority? Not possible.

    Jesus was not a "pastor" in the 1 Tim. 3 sense. He was a "high priest" (Heb. 4: 14) which is a different office. Nevertheless, Jesus IS married to His church. In fact, it is THAT Divine marriage which our human marriage seeks to emulate (Eph. 5: 22-33). Human marriage WITHOUT this dynamic is an empty suit. latterrain77
     
  9. John Wells

    John Wells
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    latterrain77: My understanding of 1 Tim. 3 is that a divorced man may NOT hold the office of Bishop/pastor.

    All of my responses assume the aspiring pastor’s divorce occurred prior to his becoming a new creation in Christ, at which point, forgive me if I am wrong, ALL sins are forgiven. “Husband of (but) one wife” doesn’t even hint at marital status. In context it is talking about a man’s devotedness to his wife. The whole point of Paul's passages of 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1:6 forward states that to be a worthy pastor, a man must have a proven record of successful spiritual leadership with his wife and children (if he is married). It makes since that if a man is not a successful spiritual leader with his intimate family, how on earth can he be a successful spiritual leader of a body of believers? If a man is not singularly and totally devoted to his wife, it undermines his entire spiritual authority and leadership abilities.

    latterrain77: If he is divorced, then by definition he is NOT married and furthermore fails the standard set by 1 Tim. 3: 4-5.

    He can be remarried. He can even be single. Paul was! (1 Cor. 7:8)

    latterrain77: On the other hand, if he is divorced and then marries to another, in addition to the above he is also then an adulterer (Mark 10: 11).

    That verse does not stand alone. It must be viewed in light of Matt. 5:31,32; 19:9; 1 Cor. 7:15.

    latterrain77: Adulterers will NOT inherit the kingdom of GOD (1 Cor. 6: 9, Heb. 13: 4).

    Then we’re all in trouble. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) Your references speak of unrepentant practicing adulterers. Nearly every man who has ever drawn breath and possesses reasonable eyesight is an adulterer. I presume that includes you?

    latterrain77: I would not allow an adulterer to be bishop/pastor over me. Fellowship? YES!!! Authority? Not possible.

    Then I would imagine you wouldn’t let the Apostle Paul exercise authority over you, because he most likely looked lustfully at a woman once or twice! :eek:
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Jesus never pastored a church either. So where does that put Him?

    Some say that a divorced man could never lead a church. Moses led the people of God and killed a man. Peter led the people of God and he cut off a man's ear. Paul led pastors and planted churches and he persecuted Christians. Do these men qualify as pastors by today's standards for ministry. All led the people of God. One for sure pastored churches and pastors who pastored churches.

    It seeems that by today's standards of some that a divorced man is somehow lower than men like Paul who murdered people. Seems like a strange standard to me.
     
  11. latterrain77

    latterrain77
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi JohnWells. Thank you for your thoughts. You said; "All of my responses assume the aspiring pastor’s divorce occurred prior to his becoming a new creation in Christ, at which point, forgive me if I am wrong, ALL sins are forgiven..." Even if so, then this newly saved man will recognize that his prior divorce locks him out from the office of bishop/pastor.

    You said; " “Husband of (but) one wife” doesn’t even hint at marital status. In context it is talking about a man’s devotedness to his wife." The phrase "husband of one wife" does not mean "one wife at a time." Even if it did (and it doesn't) a divorced man would still be disqualified from the pastor office as per 1 Tim. 3: verses 4 & 5 and otherwise.

    You said; "... a man must have a proven record of successful spiritual leadership with his wife and children (if he is married)." I agree. And if a man is divorced he automatically and irreparably fails this test (unless he becomes reconciled and remarried to his wife whom he divorced). A single man CANNOT meet the standard by definition (verses 2, 4, 5 and otherwise).

    You said; " He can be remarried. He can even be single. Paul was! (1 Cor. 7:8)" He cannot be single (1 Tim. 3: verses 2, 4, 5, and otherwise). Nor can he be remarried to another woman while his first wife lives (1 Cor. 7: 39, 1 Cor. 7: 11, 1 Cor. 7: 27). They are BOUND as long as the other lives (1 Cor. 7: 39). Eph. 5: 31 makes it clear that a husband is bound to his WIFE (singular) not his "wives" (plural). Eph. 5: 31 says he leaves his mother and father to become one with his wife. It does NOT say that he leaves his first wife to cleave to his second wife.

    1 Pet. 3: 7 shows that a man is to give HONOR to his "wife" (singular). He cannot possibly do so if he has WIVES (plural). With respect to Apostle Paul, he was not a "pastor" in the 1 Tim. 3 sense. Furthermore, Paul's marital status is not clear from the reference that you quoted. Was he a widower? Was he divorced? Was he married? (1 Cor. 7: 27). Which one? If any! It hardly matters, since Paul was not seeking, nor was he engaged in the office of Bishop/pastor. The pastor MUST be held to the very highest standard. The fish rots from the head down. The single state is fine for a believer (it's a calling) but it is NOT acceptable for a pastor.

    Concerning Mark 10: 11, you said; "That verse does not stand alone. It must be viewed in light of Matt. 5:31,32; 19:9; 1 Cor. 7:15." The conclusion of Mark 10: 11 is irrefutable which is; a divorced man who marries another is an adulterer. There is no other possible read of Mark 10: 11. Furthermore, a man who divorces his wife automatically causes her to become an adulteress (Matt. 5: 32) even though she may be wholly innocent! If you think Mark 10: 11 means something else, please provide your explanation.

    You said; "Then we’re all in trouble. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) Your references speak of unrepentant practicing adulterers. In order to truly meet the Matt. 5: 28 standard of "heart adultery," a man would need to have thoughts that are LITERALLY "lust" based and not merely an appreciation or infatuation over a woman.

    Accordingly, if a man's "thoughts" are such that they result in a true sexual response in him (I won't be more graphic, but I think you understand what I'm talking about) AND such thoughts are combined with the fantasy of sexual relations with a fictitious or symbolic woman, then the Matt. 5: 28 standard has probably been met. However, if such thoughts do NOT inspire that result, then it does not likely meet the Matt. 5: 28 standard of "heart adultery." The required "lust" must be present to meet the Matt. 5: 28 standard.

    In addition, if a pastor is married to a wife, yet he is engaging in true lustful thoughts of other women (as described above) then it is HIGHLY possible that he is committing the brand of adultery as described in Matt. 5: 28. Married men (and especially pastors) should NOT be having sexual fantasies of any women other than their wife. Right? Imagine the confusion in the church if the pastor was known to be lusting after women other than his wife? For example, how could a lustful or divorced pastor provide advice to troubled spouses? He could not.

    You said; " Nearly every man who has ever drawn breath and possesses reasonable eyesight is an adulterer... See my above comments. You seem to repeatedly confuse healthy attraction with lust. They are different. In addition, committing "adultery in the heart" (Matt. 5: 28) though a sin, is not the same thing as committing "adultery in the flesh." Adultery of the heart involves the sin of ONE person (the lusting man only) while adultery of the flesh involves the sin of TWO persons (inappropriate physical relations between a man and a woman). Accordingly, they are different (though with a similar twist).

    One of the main reasons a person should marry is to contain such situations (1 Cor. 7: 9). GOD uses these feelings in marriage as a means to bring about the blessing of many children which can possibly occur as a result. When this happens, the 1 Tim. 3 standard is further supported concerning "family" (verse 4 & 5). A pastor (or any man) blessed with MANY children is an EXTREMELY blessed man indeed (Psalm 127: 3-5). The MORE children the merrier!

    You said; "Then I would imagine you wouldn’t let the Apostle Paul exercise authority over you, because he most likely looked lustfully at a woman once or twice!" Apostle Paul was not a pastor. Furthermore, he was also not divorced. Either way, if he (or any other human being) were a divorced pastor, then I would NOT allow him to have authority over me. I have no way of knowing if Apostle Paul met the "lust" standard as you seem to think he did. There is not a single suggestion in the Bible to indicate that he did and many that suggest he did not. Again, I think you confuse healthy attraction with lust. They are different. Thanks JohnWells. latterrain77
     
  12. massdak

    massdak
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    0
    this may sound odd but where in the bible does it say the aposle paul had a son? i have heard he had a wife too but dont know where it is in scripture. could you give me the verses on this
     
  13. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Give that man a cheroot! Wondered if anyone actually READS what I post . . or if they just blow it off.

    The Bible does not say ANYTHING about Paul's wife and son(s). It does say:

    He suffered the loss of all things
    He was a Pharisee and member of the leadership of the Jews

    According to Jewish historians, no one could be part of the Sanhedrin or a Pharisee without being married and having a male heir.

    Growing up Jewish, I learned that as a child. They are HYPER about rebbes being married and having a son! Even the Shamash (kinda like a deacon, servant in the synagogue today) had to be married.

    So . . Paul had a wife, son and "lost" them. Maybe he was divorced! :rolleyes:

    More than likely, they had died much earlier in his life. And so fulfilled "suffered the loss of all (things)" [​IMG]
     
  14. John Wells

    John Wells
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    latterrain77,

    Before I respond to your response, are you involved with the Latter Rain movement/theology?
     
  15. latterrain77

    latterrain77
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi JohnWells. Thank you for your question. I'm unfamilar with the theology that you mentioned. My BB username "latterrain77" is taken from the Bible; James 5:7. My church affiliation is (and has been) 100% Baptist for many years. I adhere to a Sola Scriptura, inerrant Bible, salvation by GRACE alone understanding of truth. latterrain77
     
  16. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Putting aside divorce for a moment, some of you are not getting the fact that "husband of one wife" does not require marriage. It is speaking of a man's fidelity and character with respect to women!!!!

    The standard for pastors is "blameless." Everything else in that list are exmples of what it means to be blameless. Not everything about blamelessness is included in that list. That is a representative list.

    The question is, Can a divorced man be blameless? The answer is yes, he can be. He may not be, and it may be very rare when he is, but he can be. Let's deal with Scripture folks, not culture.
     
  17. John Wells

    John Wells
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    A great big AMEN, Pastor Larry! [​IMG]
     
  18. John Wells

    John Wells
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whew! Glad to hear that! You might want to check out:

    Latter Rain Movement

    As to the debate on divorced pastors, I believe I have defended that with all I know or care to say at:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=48;t=000443;p=2

    If you do not accept the literal rendering or Greek meaning of the words in the debated verses, or Pastor Larry's last comment in this thread, then further discussion is futile.

    Peace!
     
  19. latterrain77

    latterrain77
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi JohnWells. Thank you for the link. I most assuredly do not hold to the doctrines described in that link. By GOD's Grace, I have nothing to do with "pentecostal/charismatic" theology. Thanks! latterrain77
     
  20. latterrain77

    latterrain77
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Larry. You said; "some of you are not getting the fact that "husband of one wife" does not require marriage. It is speaking of a man's fidelity and character with respect to women!!!! The phrase "husband of one wife" in 1 Tim. 3 cannot mean "women" generally as you suggest. It means a man's ONE wife. His bride in Holy matrimony.

    Relationships with "women" (a non wife) and a relationship with a wife are UNIQUE and seperate. A wife is clearly described in the Bible as that particular woman who becomes "one flesh" with her husband (Matt. 19: 5). It this woman - the wife - that 1 Tim. 3 demands of it's pastors. A man to women relationship outside of marriage is a different dynamic.

    The man/woman marriage (wife) is the ONLY relationship where sexuality can occur and be fully explored (Heb. 13: 4). Such can never be the case without a wife; or in connection with a man or pastor's relationship to a woman NOT his wife.

    Accordingly, the 1 Tim. 3 relationship insists on a literal "wife" and she must be the ONLY wife. A pastor who is divorced from his first wife and married to a second different wife is an adulterer (Mark 10:11).

    To be honest Larry, I have never heard a pastor or preacher say what you have said about the 1 Tim. 3 phrase "the husband of one wife." You are the first person I have ever heard claim that "wife" means "women" and not "wife." Have I misunderstood what you were trying to say? Thank you Larry. latterrain77
     

Share This Page

Loading...