Does divorce disqualify someone from being an evangelist, missionary, and or teacher?I believe I understand 1 Timothy and Titus, which lays out the offices of the church such as pastor and deacon, but I would like some additional insight in these other areas. I know many believe divorce, even for biblical reasons, disqualifies one for the role of pastor. What about these other facets of the ministry?
Brother I think it all depends on the circumstances of the divorce.If the man files for an unbiblical separation, then he needs to reconcile his marriage before he is worried about any ministry.If however the wife leaves, and refuses to be reconciled to her husband, I don't know. This one is hitting very close to home right now, and to be honest, I cannot say that my wife is an unbeliever, so I cannot let her go as Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 7.This is a tricky question in that it can be black and white in certain cases. But as we know, life is seldom black and white, but many times grey.So I would say that it is entirely up to the circumstances surrounding the divorce.If you push that verse to far, then any man whose wife died would be disqualified for ministry if he remarried as well. Which through the history of the Church, there have been many, many men that God has used that were remarried after the deaths of their spouses.Sorry I can't give a more specific answer, but it really depends on the circumstances.God's grace to you brother TJ.
Thanks for your reply brother.I should have stated more clearly that I was thinking only of biblical divorces (adultery and non believer leaving) when I posted.I was wondering about biblical divorce in relation to different aspects of ministry such as evangelist, missionary, teacher etc
Grace and peace
I don't see a problem with a man being involved in those if he truly had a Biblical divorce and truly exhausted the reconciliation process to no avail.Especially in the case of being abandoned by an unbelieving spouse. But here we must be careful as well, as Paul was talking about something that would be similar to if you and I were Muslim men who were converted, only to be left by our spouses because we were now Christians.It seems many use a spouses lack of Spiritual growth as a means of saying they are a non-believer, or they are upset at who God is making them and that they cannot be the Holy Spirit in their lives. Then in their own frustrations caused by fleshly desires rather than Spiritual ones, they decide that the other person is an unbeliever.It really amazes me how little people care for the Covenant of marriage in our day. Sadly I did not even understand the greatness of it until I was afflicted by my wife moving out(not for adultery or anything like that, just some issues from the past), and I am hoping that God will be merciful and restore us.
I was wondering about biblical divorce in relation to different aspects of ministry such as evangelist, missionary, teacher etc
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
To ask men in our day what they "think" can lead to much error even though people are not trying to advise error.
On important issues like this it is good to read church history and seek the scriptures before God honestly.
roaring lamb, i pray that God would restore and create a newlove for one another, and that forgivness would touch both your hearts... i will be praying love andy
Thank you brother. If God does not move, I fear our marriage will be done for. But it will not be by my hand.
This is certainly an issue that must be weighed carefully and in conversation with God. Each individual circumstance must be considered. I have a number of random observations that I bring to the topic:I have known some wonderful missionaries, pastors etc... that have been divorced.I have known a number of people who were never technically divorced but lived with someone before they met and married their spouse. I know even more who slept around with various people before getting married. They technically are qualified to pastor many churches, whereas someone who actually married and was divorced is not.I have known a number of people who were divorced before they ever became Christians. Is there grace to cover and restore them sufficiently to serve as missionaries and pastors?We probably have all met pastors convicted of murder, robbery or other horrible crimes in their previous lives. Should they be allowed to serve where a divorced person is not?The fundimental question is whether there is grace for some sins and not others. Does God really separate us from our sin as far as the east is from the west? In all of these instances I am speaking of past sins not ongoing ones. The fascinating part of the overseers and deacons passage in Timothy is that most of the qualifications (except for overseers being able to teach) are things that should be expected of every Christian. They are to be among the most faithful in the church. Their past sins were covered by the blood and do not disqualify them. Those who had multiple wives when they were saved were not expected to abandon any of them, but they also could not hold leadership roles in the church. That is my reading.The thing that has struck me most recently about this passage happened as I was talking to a friend. We were discussing these very issues discussing who is qualified and who is not. Then it dawned on us... We were looking at the Scriptures to find the qualified instead of asking God. It appears to me that we should begin by asking God who he would have serve and then look to the Scriptures to confirm they are qualified. It was for me another sign of my intellectual faith that needs to become increasingly relational. I look forward to other input on the issue. It is increasingly complicated as more and more Christians divorce, and Jesus had some pretty strong things to say about these issues. I expect many would preach such passages with trepidation.Blessings!Heath Powers
First of all, we must address the idea of ministry. What is it? To most, ministry is associated with what I will term, the professional ministry; the outward, organized and religious functions of a church or group. This is not necessarily the "ministry" at all. The ministry must be defined as the acts of the Holy Spirit; Christ in us bringing comfort, grace, life, and justice to others, inside and outside of the church. There are, however, guidelines that speak of Godly character, especially in the Pastoral letters to Timothy and Paul, concerning public ministry and responsibilities in service to the church in the roles of the shepherds.[ ALWAYS PLURAL, by the way..] Divorce does not necessarily violate these standards of Godly integrity, though they may, as has been noted in this thread. This does depend on the circumstance of the divorce. I think of the scripture, "If an unbelieving spouse depart, let him depart...a brother or sister is not in bondage under these circumstances..." Now consider a Christian wife, who has been betrayed by her believing husband, who after forsaking her, drifts into the occult, and then into a slide into Satanic depravity. Is she bound to the marriage covenant, unable to marry the rest of her young life, because her husband chose the wicked? I think not. This, in my opinion, would fall into "the unbeliever." He slid and embraced unbelief. or visa versa... In a time in my life, my marriage was a living pit of pain. My wife seemed to live to curse me. I have always been involved in evangelism, and sometimes traveled here and afar. I have been rebuked and confronted by some, saying in effect, with your marriage in such a shambles, how dare you minister. You are disqualified! my response was : "well OK...but could I "just share my testimony? Would that be alright?? "I guess', was there reply.."Well, is it alright if I might just pray for the hurting and the sick??" "I suppose". "Well, is it alright if I share my faith, and maybe try to lead someone to the Lord??" "Can I comfort my brother or sister, as they struggle?" Eventually red and angry faces appeared. The religious spirit arising to defy Christ in me. Jesus was not qualified, in the eyes of the pharisees to minister. "on what authority do you do these things?" No one can ever take Isaiah 61 away from any believer, male or female! No one, however they may want to. Ministry is an act of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, the hope of glory. If it is from Him, the fruit of God will follow, no matter what or how man may oppose.ps: I endured my struggle, and before my wife died suddenly one night, we were reconciled in a wonderful way in Christ. We were married, and I am so grateful that I had the grace not to bail out because of the pain. I enjoy a clear conscious now, that I might have lost if I did. I will not remarry, for other reasons...Tom