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Qualifications for Deacon?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Wesley Briggman, May 4, 2021.

  1. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Well-Known Member
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    (1Ti 3:8 KJV) Likewise [must] the deacons [be] grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    (1Ti 3:9 KJV) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
    (1Ti 3:10 KJV) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless.
    (1Ti 3:11 KJV) Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
    (1Ti 3:12 KJV) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

    My concern is with verse 12. My recollection is that some decades ago, some pastors took the position that this verse should read: Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife at a time,...

    I am trying to find out where this recommended change to God's word originated.

    Help please.
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I do not know where this originated. However, I remember hearing some preachers teach "one wife at a time" around here at least back into the early 1980s or late 1970s (for both preachers and deacons).

    Edited to add: in their case, they were saying one wife at a time as in there could be no polygamy. So in their minds the qualification did not apply to divorce and remarriage.
     
  3. Paul from Antioch

    Paul from Antioch Active Member

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    Question: Does the NT disqualify a single male from the office of either a Pastor and/or a Deacon?
     
  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    No
     
  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Many believe that the one man woman indeed related towards the common practice of multiple wives back then!
     
  6. Paul from Antioch

    Paul from Antioch Active Member

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    Please give very specific NT verses that explain in detail your "No" reply since I'm somewhat unsettled on this matter. Thank you!
     
  7. AVL1984

    AVL1984 <img src=../ubb/avl1984.jpg>

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    I would have to say NO. I have had one pastor who was single, and I know of many churches where at least one of the deacons is single. I believe it's up to each individual church, since they are autonomous bodies of believers, to choose whom they would have serve as pastor or deacons.
     
  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think that one being single or married would not affect being able to pastor or be an Elder!
     
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  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    One cannot reason from the part of the man must be husband of one wife to also include to mean must be married!
     
  10. AVL1984

    AVL1984 <img src=../ubb/avl1984.jpg>

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    I don't believe that when the Bible says husband of one wife that it means that the man has to be married at all, but that if he IS married, that he must be the husband of only ONE WIFE. The Apostle Paul speaks and says he would rather that people who are unmarried remain the same as he was...unmarried. I don't believe this necessarily disqualifies a single man from being a pastor.
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Your view is mine exactly!
     
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  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Are you one of the many who believe that?
     
  13. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    A man is married - he is getting divorced - the judge says that the marriage is dissolved. He is no longer married.
    Later he gets married to someone else. He only has one wife.


    How about this: A man get married - gets divorced - couple of years later - he re-marries his first (and only previous) wife.
    Would he be qualified to be a pastor?
    (naturally, my answer would be yes - based on the above statement I made.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Yes
     
  15. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks.
    Have you ever checked to see what was the common practice in the Roman Empire in those days? If I remember correctly, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon expressed the state of things as something like that they married in order to divorce, and divorced in order to marry.
     
    #15 rlvaughn, May 6, 2021 at 9:32 AM
    Last edited: May 6, 2021 at 9:52 AM
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  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member
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    I heard W. A. Criswell preach a seminary chapel sermon on the qualifications, and he argued strongly that "must" (δει) had to be taken literally throughout. Therefore, not only did a pastor *have* to be married, but also *had* to have at least *two* children (since the Greek τέκνα is plural)!

    Needless to say, this caused the seminary to go into damage control mode over the next few weeks....
     
    #16 Ziggy, May 6, 2021 at 10:07 AM
    Last edited: May 6, 2021 at 10:22 AM
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  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Well, Jesus would not qualify as being a Pastor or Elder in his church!
     
  18. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Not too hard at all. Paul said it was best for men to remain single. This qualification is the lowest bar, not the highest.
    I Cor 7 makes that quite clear. Single is the high bar. Married to ONE wife, the acceptable but most definitely lower bar.
     
  19. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Yes, and in coming years, bunch of confirmed bachelors will be graduating Southern Seminary expecting to get pastorates, as SBTS just added to its faculty prominent advocate of that sort of thing: Abraham Kuruvilla:

    "Single by choice, he also has a special interest in the theology of Christ-centered singleness and celibacy."

    Kuruvilla on Celibacy (pdf)

    "there are more people to whom the gift of ecclesiological singleness has been given than we realize or acknowledge. In fact, I suspect there are more people with that gift who end up being married (because that’s the default cultural pathway)"

    "'celibacy' comes from the Latin caelebs, 'alone' or 'unmarried'/'single'....Most of the early church fathers recognized celibacy as having a transcendent aim. In the fourth century, Gregory of Nyssa argued that celibacy defined simply from mere physical praxis held no value: celibacy was more than just abstinence. '[Celibacy] is not a single achievement, ending in the subjugation of the body, but that in intention it reaches to and pervades everything that is, or is considered, a right condition of the soul. That soul indeed which in virginity cleaves to the true Bridegroom will not remove herself merely from all bodily defilement; she will make that abstention only the beginning of her purity, and will carry this security from failure equally into everything else upon her path'."

    "I can be celibate, because it reflects the Gospel....
    'Let not the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a withered tree’.
    For thus says Yahweh, ‘To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths,
    And choose that which pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,
    To them I will give a memorial and a name in My house and in My walls,
    And a name better than sons and daughters;
    an everlasting name I will give them which will not be cut off.'
    Isaiah 56:3-5"
     
    #19 Jerome, May 7, 2021 at 11:47 AM
    Last edited: May 7, 2021 at 11:54 AM
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