What Defines Pastor/Preacher?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Emory, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Emory

    Emory
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    Hello,

    With the "Can a Divorced Man be a Pastor/Preacher?" thread in mind, my question is are the two (Pastor and Preacher) one and the same?

    The qualifications found in 1Timothy 3 are laid out for those who desire the office of bishop/elder/overseer.

    According to Scripture, is it permissible for a man who has been divorced to preach? I know that we are all to preach the Gospel, but I am speaking of perhaps a Sunday service, Wednesday night, Youth Sunday, Nursing Home, Prison, etc.

    What defines a pastor and a preacher? What is the work of each of these?

    Please explain your thoughts, if you can, with Scriptural references. [​IMG]

    God bless,

    Emory
     
  2. The Harvest

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    pastor and preacher can be used interchangeably but typically a pastor is the head of a church and a preacher can be anyone who is preaching the gospel. in other words a pastor is always a preacher, but a preacher isn't always a pastor.

    those "qualifications" in 1 Tim do not say that a man who has been divorced can't be a pastor. couple things...

    1 Tim 3:2
    A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife

    people get hung up on that husband of one wife thing and read into it. it does not say "a man who has never been divorced". the intention of this verse is to say that a bishop must not be a polygamist.

    the people who say that divorced stuff contradict themselves all the time. they say you can be divorced as a pastor, but you can't remarry. which clearly is ridiculous because if you are divorced, you're not "the husband of one wife" anymore. you're the husband of no wife.

    also if you take that verse out of context another way, it would mean that unless a pastor IS married, he can't preach. in other words, if you've got a guy who has never been married then he's not qualified.

    then of course, you've got the problem with 1 Corinthians 6:16 which says
    What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
    So that means that any man who has ever had sex with a woman that he did not marry in a ceremony they are now one flesh--married. so any pastor that has ever had sex with someone he didn't marry in a ceremony has more than one wife--if you follow their logic.

    the biggest problem with those people that believe "if divorced, unqualified to preach" is that they don't pay any attention to the other qualifications. divorce becomes the unpardonable sin to them. if a pastor has sinned in this area, he needs to get that settled with God and move on. divorce is not the unpardonable sin.

    just for the record, i don't believe in divorce and can't imagine a scenario where i would recommend divorce. but it is NOT a disqualification for someone to be a pastor.

    hope that helps.
     
  3. Emory

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    Harvest,

    Thank you for your reply. I agree with your thoughts concerning "the husband of one wife." It means just what is says and there is no mention of divorce.

    On the matter of defining pastor/preacher, what are your thoughts in regards to 1 Timothy 5:17 "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."

    When we take into account that bishop/elder/overseer are used interchangably, it seems that we find in this verse that not all bishops/elders/overseers preached. Is that true? Or does "labour in the word and doctrine" have some other implications here?

    The question that I would really like to have answered by those who claim a divorced man cannot preach (because it has affected me on a personal level -- I was divored long before I was saved) is, can a man who has been divorced preach in the church setting at any time? Why or why not?

    If we say that a pastor's expectations are laid out in 1 Timothy 3, where are the expectations for a preacher who would preach on occasion?

    God bless,

    Emory
     
  4. aefting

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    At my church, we take "the husband of one wife" or "one-woman man" to mean that a divorced man cannot hold the office of pastor or deacon. We do allow, and have had, a divorced man preach. Of course, the divorce occurred in the distant past and today the man displays an upstanding Christian testimony. We understand the Bible to teach that such men may have many effective ministry opportunities in the church, even if he is prohibited from holding the special office of pastor or deacon.

    Andy
     
  5. The Harvest

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    taking the context of the whole chapter into account, Paul is using the term elder as a reference like our parents told us "respect your elders". if you look at 5:1 you've got a contrast between elder and younger. and verse 2 says elder women and younger. then if you follow it all the way down to verse 17 what you've got is Paul saying that an elder (older person) rules their house well (see verse 8) is worthy of double honour. and then he adds "especially they who labour in the word and doctrine". people (pastors) who labour in the word and doctrine should be elder (and i don't mean they have to be a certain age necessarily, but not a novice as in 1 Tim 3:6). pastors ought to be elder spiritually. so Paul's saying people who rule their houses well are worthy of double honour and especially pastors who preach the word and doctrine. (keep in mind there's a lot of pastors out there that aren't preaching the word or doctrine or they're preaching a false doctrine)


    well i can tell you what they would say because i have had to deal with them on this issue. they'll say absolutely not. i volunteer with an organization that goes into prisons that will NOT allow someone who has been divorced to preach, but they can go cell-to-cell and witness--which, by the way, is preaching, just on a personal level. their logic is ridiculous.

    the thing is, you can't let man's logic keep you from serving God. God did not say that because you have been divorced that you can't spread His word. that divorce is under the blood brother, get to preachin'! ;)

    brother, the only qualification is to be a Christian man.
     
  6. The Harvest

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    by the way, it's an interesting connection that, for the most part, those who say divorced men can't be a pastor are those who also do not believe in rightly dividing the word. and those who don't believe divorce is the unpardonable sin DO have the rightly dividing thing down.

    not the case in every situation, but from what i've experienced, it's that way most of the time.

    Dr Ken Blue has a great booklet on the marriage, divorce and remarriage issue. i'll see if i can find his website and send you the link if you're interested.

    here's the link
    http://www.opendoorbaptist.com/index.mv

    i didn't see that booklet on the order form, but if you call or email them and ask for it, i'm sure they'll be able to sell it to you. [​IMG]
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    "Preacher" is an endearing term, used by southern churches (and those transported into yankee-land). It is used synonymously with "Pastor".

    As was pointed out, the official definition of preacher would be one who heralds or proclaims (kerux in Greek) the Word.

    I have been a "Pastor" most of my ministry career. Presently, I am a "preacher" of the Word, holding bible conferences, pulpit supply, teaching seminars, missions, etc. With my health challenge, I may never be a regular "pastor" again.

    All four of the "gifted men" God gives for ministering in the church are PREACHERS. Only one of the four is a PASTOR.
     
  8. C.S. Murphy

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    Harvest I am amazed that you have so much insight into this long time debate. Personally I would like to agree with you but I would have to hear it from paul not you. I see no biblical proof that can make me that certain. Just curious are you divorced?

    Murph
     
  9. The Harvest

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    thank you. i have put quite a bit of time into studying this issue because i think it's really hurting the body of Christ. there's a lot of good men out there who have made some bad decisions in their lifetime who are not being allowed into the ministry because of a false doctrine. [​IMG] how many people have not been saved because somebody won't let a divorced man preach? :(


    well that's ok. i don't claim to be anywhere near the level of Paul.

    i'm not divorced. i've been married for nearly 5 years now and have no intentions of ever getting divorced. i think it's wrong. but i don't think divorce is something that God can't forgive.

    when i have a pulpit, if my wife were to leave me, God forbid, i wouldn't quit the ministry. God calls the man, not the woman.
     
  10. C.S. Murphy

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  11. The Harvest

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    i gave you most of it on my first post here. but here's a little bit more that may not give you any blazingly obvious proof. if i could give you that then this issue wouldn't even be an issue. ;) but here's some more info to consider.

    1 Tim 3:2
    A bishop then must be blameless,
    the husband of one wife,
    vigilant,
    sober,
    of good behaviour,
    given to hospitality,
    apt to teach;
    Not given to wine,
    no striker,
    not greedy of filthy lucre;
    but patient,
    not a brawler,
    not covetous;
    One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
    Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    If the husband of one wife means that a pastor that gets divorced has to get out of the ministry then if a pastor doesn't meet ANY of the rest of these qualifications, he must get out of the ministry too. If he isn't hospitable, if he is impatient, if he ever covets something, if his kids ever disobey him, or even if someone doesn't like him (good report of them which are without). If one is a disqualification, then they all are.

    I know this doesn't completely prove that husband of one wife doesn't mean never divorced, but i think you see the point. If divorce is a disqualification, then so are the rest. But I know for a fact that there are many many pastors out there who do not meet all of these qualifications, but are good pastors and are serving God faithfully.

    Bottom line:

    I know most people on here don't like Sam Gipp. But he's got a point in one of his sermons where he says...(paraphrasing of course) If God wants a man out of the ministry, He will take the man out of the ministry.
     
  12. David Mark

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    The question is then: Blameless by whose standards? Blameless just by the list following that verse? Blameless just by the sheep in that pen?

    If I start first with that qualification, IMO, It should disqualify every living human being that I know about on earth today. Believer or not. Are not those who claim such positions due to be scrutinized? Aren't those folks supposed to be watching over the souls of those under their care? Every single one of them?

    Of those of you who call yourself or are called Pastor, can you truly say you are blameless in all you do?

    Let him that is truly blameless, prevent the divorced man from seeking the office of Bishop.

    Old habits are hard to break.

    I call no man pastor or teacher in a spiritual sense. I hope I never do. I'm 43 years old and I have never met a "blameless" man on this earth.

    Dave.
     
  13. C.S. Murphy

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    The question is then: Blameless by whose standards? </font>[/QUOTE]The word says blameless it matters not whose standards are met. Agree or not with this issue the text says "husband of one" I am very curious about your problem with addressing someone as Pastor, please explain.
    Murph
     
  14. David Mark

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    To me, the office of bishop or pastor is such a high office with such an awesome responsibility and impeccable qualifications that I just don't think any man on earth today truly qualifies for it. At least not any man that I have met or know of. Therefore the nitpicking over the qualifications tends to un-nerve me. [​IMG]

    If you want to watch over my soul as one who must give an account then show me that you watch over my soul as one who must give an account and then I will call you my pastor. Until then you are my brother and nothing more.

    Dave.
     
  15. C.S. Murphy

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  16. David Mark

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    (Calmly I say) I have never even remotely denied that some were pastors nor have I denied that some today could be true pastors. I was very careful with my reply and I put much thought into it. I've only spoken my mind and my opinion based on what I've seen. I do not see where I have gone against scripture. I've pressed the issue, but I have not gone against scripture. It's the medium of our conversation that makes me misunderstood and of course my ineptness. If I had a real pastor in my life I could have these types of conversations with him and not have to struggle with being misunderstood on an Internet bulletin board. You can't hear the calmness in my voice nor do you see how much I struggle to find appropriate words. It's enigmatic to me that this is the only place where I can be this honest. In front of strangers whose faces I know not and whom I've never shared a meal with. Don't get me wrong, I am completely thankful to God for the opportunity to speak my mind, and you as a moderator have been relatively fair and have done well by engaging me. I appreciate that. [​IMG] It's really hard work to say what is on my mind without offending someone. Face to face is much easier than this but never this honest.

    In short, I have tried to explain in detail why I scrutinize folks who call themselves pastor and imply in any way that they qualify fully and without question to be "my pastor". I've never had the luxury of speaking my mind on the subject. Additionally, I really don't have an issue with folks who seek to be called or are called pastor. It's about being my pastor and attempting to influence me.

    My pastor or "overseer" should have the time and freedom see my life in detail and to say things to me that no other person would be allowed to say to me. I should have perfect confidence in him and believe that he will protect me even when I am wrong. On the other hand "my pastor" should be honest and open with me about his life and should allow me to speak about things I see. That type of ministry should be a two-way street. This is only the tip of the iceberg of what I think a pastor should be. I've met many good men (thanks to God), but I haven't yet met one that fits the role of pastor in my life. I don't interfere with those who have found a man that they call pastor either.

    I don't mind acknowledging a man who coordinates the assembly, keeps things flowing smoothly, preaches from a pulpit, has a degree in theology etc. All of those are good things and require talent or gifts. I don't have to recognize him as my pastor. He has to earn that from me. very few men if any have shown me that they are willing to go that distance with me. Only God himself has done that in my life. He is the head, The Great Shepard, my teacher, my counselor, my provider, my comforter, my strength, my peace and my hope. [​IMG]

    Dave.
     
  17. C.S. Murphy

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    I am happy to know that you aren't against pastors, I was not sure what you meant. I do believe that God would have you to seek a relationship with a pastor. Yes it should be a two way street and I believe it can be if both sides will be honest with each other and obedient to God. Of course you will never find a man who is totally reliable because just as you we pastors are human, but I would not spend the time I have for ministry here worrying and questioning a pastors right to minister I would just allow them to do so and trust God for His guidance of both you and your pastor.

    God bless
    Murph
     
  18. David Mark

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    Murph,

    I understand what you are saying. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said:
    I'd like to hear more of that kind of honesty from men in leadership positions in a Church. That very statement makes you more trustworthy in my mind.

    It was the nitpicking over the qualifications that motivated me to get involved in this thread. It was the disqualification of some based on outward factors or past sins and less on the heart of a man who seeks such a position and whether or not his repentance and his faithfulness is true. Will a man who seeks such an office give himself totaly and care equally for those that God has given him? Will this man care equally for those new folks that God would like to add to the assembly?

    I have excellent relationships with several men who call themselves or are called pastor. I support them in any way I can. As much respect as they have earned from me, they have not earned enough for me to call them my pastor. I am only cautious about who I let unquestionably influence me. I could not even begin to discuss a topic like this with them. My hat is off to you because you as a pastor are willing to discuss a topic like this with me.

    My standards are very high for pastors and teachers, my standard for those I call brother or sister is very basic or simple.

    Dave.
     

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