BTW... I also want to state that I am in no way suggesting that divorce cant be forgiven and the person cant be used of God.We have several divorced folks in our fellowship, and they are mightly used of God in various areas of ministry... but not as elder/pastor. Divorced people are more than capable and gifted to serve within the church.Krispy
Krispy wrote:We have several divorced folks in our fellowship, and they are mightly used of God in various areas of ministry... but not as elder/pastor. Divorced people are more than capable and gifted to serve within the church.
I Tim. 3:2 ..."husband of one wife" is literally in the Greek "one woman man". If one believes that a man can't be in the "ministry" after divorce this text can't support that. If you were to take that from this scripture wouldn't you also have to conclude a widowed man could not remarry and remain a pastor?
BTW... I also want to state that I am in no way suggesting that divorce cant be forgiven and the person cant be used of God.
This is just one perspective but a man who has committed adultery and yet remains married to the same woman, can he still be considered to be an elder or a pastor? How many times would he have to commit adultery to be taken out of the running for elder or pastor? Theres a flaw in this logic, this makes absolutely no sense because Christ said, every time you look upon a woman to lust after her, youve committed adultery. If that truly be the case as is being interpreted, we would have NO pastors or elders.
If God called (let's use John as an example), say before John got married or even while he was married, he was called to be a elder/pastor and then down the road a divorce happens for whatever reason (I'm not debating reasons). If nothing takes God by surprise and even though God hates divorce; he who called John is faithful and eternal. Correct? So if God knows our beginning and he knows our end; if this is true.... and he truly is Alpha and Omega, then when he called us, he also knew our sinful middle. And yet he called John to be a elder/pastor knowing all this before he called John? Either God is God of it all or He isn't.
I don't know if you know this or not, not being divorced but divorced people are broken people, especially those who have had a call on their lives because one reason is that they have to constantly deal with "man's" interpretation of Scripture and men telling them what they can and cannot do in the spiritual realm. When in fact God knew before our birth what we would do and yet he called anyway.
I know you are saying that they can be forgiven and used of God. And yet throughout the hallowed halls of SI and many other Biblical forums on the Internet, there are mere human beings laying down the conditions of HOW divorced people CAN BE used by God and cant be. I find it interesting that forgiveness can go only this far.... but not all the way for certain sins and people.
Krispy, from your writings I know that you are a good man and a Godly man and I also know you believe very strongly about this, just as strongly as I do about NOT agreeing with this particular interpretation because I have seen Christ work and move with people who have failed Him miserably in divorce as well as other areas and are broken. I cant explain it but God is using them mightly and yes, even in the areas of eldering and pastoring despite us or in spite of us and our interpretation of Scripture!! Praise God for that!
God bless you in your walk with Him!!
The issues Paul were addressing concerning Shepherds, or Elders in the local church in the Pastoral Epistles were simply issues of proven Godly character. Paul himself was not married; Peter was. They were both Elders and Apostles, who came 1st in authority in the big Church. If Peter was divorced by his wife, through no fault of his own, or virtually no involvement, and responded to his wife with mercy and love, to no avail, would that affect his character, relationship with the Lord or service to the Lord one bit?...No, of course not. It would be no different than if his wife had died. The issue though may be with re-marriage, and that always depends on the circumstance. Consider Job's wife. "Curse God and die!". and this , as we see, was in the midst of absolute desolation and pain. "Curse God and die!" If ever a grounds for divorce was justified, here it does lay,,,Did the Lord think any less of Job?, or his position? because of his wife's infidelity? No, not one bit. Consider Michal's mocking and disrespect of King David, who effectively put her away, until her death. Did this affect the Lord's favor toward his chosen son?...No, a resounding no. There is no place I see in scripture that a man must step down from elder ship because of divorce. Sin or rebellion to God, yes....divorce, in itself, may find an entirely innocent man who the Lord has placed in ministry, and desires to keep him there. Remarriage does enter into a different set of order, though. Godly character and stability are the requirements for oversight inside of the church of God, and these cannot and should not be allowed to be stained by the actions and sins of another, even if it be a spouse.
I've counciled many couples... and have never found where one party was completely innocent in a divorce. There was always a break down in the marriage that involved both parties. Both parties could have prevented it from happening. Unfortunately one party usually takes things a step further by having an affair.There is no such thing as an innocent party in a divorce... ever.Paul says that if a man can not keep his own family together and in order, then how can he expected to keep things together in God's house? It's obvious what the answer is... he cant be.Krispy
Scripture is pretty clear on this issue.The problem I see is that some people feel that they should be allowed, or entitled to be an elder or pastor. They feel that they have the ability to lead in this degree.A lot of time people misplace the ability to do things, with what God's order of doing things are. Does a divorced person have the ability to be a good pastor or elder? Yes. But the issue isn't about personal ability, it is about God's order and the way He has things set up, and God's order is clear. We may not understand or agree with the way God has this set up, but there is a reason for it, and someday that reason will be revealed. To be disobediant to God's will is to be disobediant to God, regardless on what we think.Blessings
Im not divorced. In fact, Ive only been married for just over a year. However, one of the problems that I find with the prohibitions on those who have been divorced is that it seems that we fail to distinguish between the motivations behind ministry. We know that the Scriptures require an overseer (listed as a Bishop in the King James Version in order to keep with the ecclesiastical rhetorical tradition) to be the husband of but one wife (I Timothy 3:1-2). We know that God hates divorce (but not, of course, divorcees). We know that divorce is prohibited except for a few rare circumstances.But the original question here deals with working as an evangelist or missionary:
Does divorce disqualify someone from being an evangelist, missionary, and or teacher?
Krispy, Still, no scriptures, no matter how many marriages you have counselled. Paul spoke of children under a godly order. The idea that there is never an innocent party in divorce is naive, and shows not only your inexperience, but lack of understanding of church doctrine. Where is it stated in the Bible? There are, and have been many innocent parties in divorce issues. A divorced Pastor may retain his eldership, under the condition that he was acting honorably and in a holy way. See the past on Wesley, and there have been other historical pastors who have encountered this; but the Bible is our ultimate standard, and your position is unfortunately built on sentiment or tradition.
BrotherTom, you know I love you. Therefore I know you will not be offended when I tell you that your response shows a lack of training and understanding, not mine. I have never counselled a couple where adultry has taken place and the other spouse hadnt contributed to the marital problems that led to said adultry.It's quite simple... it's two flawed people married to each other. I would never ever say to someone "you caused your spouse to cheat" because the cheater is responsible for their behavior. But BOTH spouses have contributed to the problems that led up to the adultry.And yes, Paul said what he said about houses being in order right on the heels of speaking about children... but don't you think he was talking about the elder's household in general? Not just the kids, but the entire household?If an elder has a gossip for a wife, don't you think that is a problem? This is common sense stuff. Enough of playing with scripture to make our points. Scripture is very easy to understand on this matter.Krispy
As I said, your experience and sentiments trump scripture. There have been many, many marriages end in divorce that had nothing to do with one of the parties, husband or wife, and one of the divorcee's [b]is [/b] innocent. Of course, "trouble in the flesh" is a promise when taking the marriage vow, and to say that a faultless marriage exists on Earth would probably be an untruth. That is because of the self - life. I know many couples where one of the parties just had an itch for sin, and pursued it,,,too many,,,and the result was a divorce, after this betrayal; They[ the offended party ] conducted themselves with integrity and holiness throughout, waiting for the Lord to reconcile. Is a man no longer allowed to Pastor in a situation like this? Please do not infer that I am "playing with scripture to prove a point". This is sacred, in that it involves the condemnation of Christian men and women who may not deserve it, and all we have in these life situations are the holy scriptures. In many, or most situations, of course it takes two to tango, but Jesus himself made a distinction involving the gravity of the sin; "except for fornication." A party may justify that the reason they committed adultery was that their unloving spouse responded to them in a myriad of provocations, but the committing of it was nothing other than murderous sin in their own heat of lust of the flesh. To say that there is equal culpability in the eyes of the Lord, is also naivety. Did Nathan the prophet mention anyone else as he rebuked David for murdering Uriah , and raping Bathsheba? I am sure that much conflict is evident in a marriage before adultery occurs, and possibly much is instilled by the ultimate offender, as the decision to sin is born long before the opportunity to do so arises. Further more, adultery is not the only reason people leave marriages. Do you think that maybe that there are some, who just don't want Christianity anymore?,, and want a "life" of their own? Read the thread, "I walked the plank!"..Many, many brothers on the mission field, preaching and Pastoring have been abandoned by their wives, when the missionary life lost it's sparkle. Is the man disqualified?? Many great men of God marched on,,alone, and in glory. It does often come down to individual circumstances, but we cannot lump the disqualified into the same pile as those rejected and sinned against without cause or offending sin. This in itself would bring reproach on the name of Christ. Thanks for listening, Tom