SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Does divorce disqualify someone from being an evangelist, missionary, and or teacher?

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 Next Page )
PosterThread









 Re:

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

 2008/5/27 8:33









 Re:

Quote:
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.


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? There’s a flaw in this logic, this makes absolutely no sense because Christ said, “every time you look upon a woman to lust after her, you’ve committed adultery.” If that truly be the case as is being interpreted, we would have NO pastors or elders.

Zionshield also has another great perspective:
Quote:
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?


I'm not saying that I am 100% right and that EVERY divorced person is called to be a pastor or elder. That’s not what I’ve said. Paul said, “Come let us reason together.” And that’s what I’m trying to do.

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.

Quote:
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.


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 can’t be. I find it interesting that forgiveness can go only this far | .... but not all the way for certain sins and people.

Please know that my whole point in even responding to this thread was not to restart yet one more thread on divorce but to respond to what a couple of people had originally wrote but you couldn't let someone be encouraging to divorced people, could you? LOL (wink) I've been down this road before on SI and even in life. All I'm going to say about divorced people being "mightily used of God in various areas of ministry... but not as elder/pastor," is, so say you (and all those who agree with that particular interpretation of Scripture).

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 can’t 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!!

 2008/5/27 12:07









 Re:

Quote:
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? There’s a flaw in this logic, this makes absolutely no sense because Christ said, “every time you look upon a woman to lust after her, you’ve committed adultery.” If that truly be the case as is being interpreted, we would have NO pastors or elders.



You're grasping for straws.

As for this "one woman man" thing, thats bogus. The only people I've ever heard use this argument are those who want to justify putting a man who has been divorced in the pulpit.

Interestingly, this is a fairly new concept in the way it is presented. You'll not find this argument in the writings of the great theologians of the past.

This type of wordly sinful humanistic reasoning reminds of Henry VIII and how he had the Catholic religious leaders of England in the 1500's try everything within their power to justify him wanting a divorce.

Quote:
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.



The John you're speaking of... is his last name Calvin by any chance? What you're saying is it is impossible to be out of God's will, when scripture is repleat with example after example of people who walked out of the will of God. Sampson... prime example. After he disobeyed God he never again held the same position. God used him, but not in the same way.

King David... even tho he was forgiven, he lost all control over his kids, and his family was a wreck. He was a man after God's own heart... but after he committed adultry and murder things were NEVER the same. For a season he had to watch his back because his own son was trying to kill him and take over his kingdom.

Quote:
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 council divorced people in our fellowship all the time... I'm certain I probably know about as much as I can know without actually going thru it myself... which I wont.

On the issue of "man's interpretation"... you are insinuating by the use of the word "interpretation" that to the naked eye it's difficult to know what scripture has to say about the scriptural qualifications of being a pastor/elder.

But it isnt. It's VERY clear. It's perhaps one of the clearest passages of scripture. It aint me who is making it sound as tho it's saying something it isnt. It's folks who are changing "husband of one wife" to "one woman man".

"One woman man" cracks me up. You could get married and divorced 30 times, and as long as you are only with one woman at a time... go ahead and preach!

C'mon... call a spade a spade... thats just stupid.

Quote:
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 can’t be. I find it interesting that forgiveness can go only this far.... but not all the way for certain sins and people.



It has nothing to do with forgiveness. It has everything to do with the qualifications that GOD has put on any man who wishes to be an elder/pastor. Other than that, there are very few limitations on how a divorced person can serve.

Stop equating full restoration with forgiveness.
They are not the same thing.

Quote:
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 can’t 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!



Again, these passages of scripture need no interpretation. The only ones who think they need to be interpreted and explained are those who wish to disobey scriptures clear teaching on this.

Quote:
God bless you in your walk with Him!!



You too, sister. (It's interesting that women are usually the ones who most adamently disagree with me on this)

Krispy

 2008/5/27 12:37









 Re: Qualification for oversight requires a stable Godly Caharacter.



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.

 2008/5/27 12:46









 Re:

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

 2008/5/27 13:13
Miccah
Member



Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:

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


_________________
Christiaan

 2008/5/27 13:24Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4502


 Re:

Hello…

I’m not divorced. In fact, I’ve 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:

Quote:
Does divorce disqualify someone from being an evangelist, missionary, and or teacher?


I don’t pretend to know – beyond any doubt – the answer to this question. I don’t pretend to know – beyond any doubt – the extent or limits to those brethren who have been divorced in the past (before Christ, while backslidden, or due to one of the few Scriptural permissions for divorce [such as adultery by the spouse or if an unbelieving spouse leaves and requests a divorce]). I think that one of the problems with such discussions has to do with our modern understanding of just what it means to be “in the ministry.”

Today, many of us consider “the ministry” to be some full time career in which the “minister” is officially recognized as a worker for the Gospel. Today’s “missionary’s” are often those “full time” career-oriented ministers who feel “called to full-time service” and who hope to have his needs provided for by other believers. Many of today’s missionaries and evangelists spend vast amounts of time raising money so that they can remain “full time” (with some of the payroll of an overseeing organization). Many pastors are “full-time” paid employees of a particular local congregation or denomination.

But what is a pastor? This seems to be an officially recognized administrative “overseer” of a local congregation. But what about a missionary or an evangelist? Are they supposed to be officially recognized full-time members of the clergy? What about some of those members of the Body of Christ who work secular jobs but spend their “free time” in evangelism? Sometimes, they take trips to foreign lands in order to tell others about Jesus. Are they considered “missionaries” or “evangelists?”

As a teenager, I had a youth-pastor at our local Assembly of God church who had a deep and lasting impact on my life. He was the only guy in my church willing to tell me that I was going to go to Hell (I had pretty much fooled everyone else). He was extremely blunt with his honesty. Yet he was also an extremely humble man. He introduced me to the words of Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson and A. W. Tozer. He was a fiery preacher who spent his spare time preaching on the streets. Ironically, he could not (at the time) obtain his license from the Assemblies of God because he had been married and divorced about ten years before his conversion. Yet he served as a youth pastor, a teacher, a local evangelist and participated on mission trips.

I’ve often wondered about whether or not such a man should be a minister. Now, he hardly made any money at the Church (I think that he was “paid” less than $18K a year). The last time I spoke with him, I learned that he is working a secular full time job as he also works (without a salary) at a local church.

Would we consider such a man to be exempt from doing the work of an evangelist or missionary based upon a decision made by a typical worldly mind while he was still an unbeliever? Would we prohibit such a man from being a “Sunday School” teacher, missionary, or even a pastor?

I think that there is quite a bit to think about when considering such things. I have no problem listening to him share the things that he has learned from the Word of God. I have seen many lives changed by this man – and he doesn’t attempt to hide his divorce from his previous life without Christ.

We often tend to place a quasi-spiritual aura around those in the “full time ministry.” But is this what Paul was referring to in his letter to Timothy? Was he saying that those who have been divorced and remarried before coming to Christ should have no part in doing the work of an evangelist (even in an unofficial capacity)? Are all divorced members of local congregations restricted to merely sit in the pews and ask questions? Can they not share their experiences and knowledge (teaching) or spread the Gospel to their neighbors (evangelism)? Can they not shepherd younger believers even to not make the same mistakes that they made?

I am interested in this topic, because I have heard so many differing opinions for so long. I have heard the argument that this Scriptures concerning the work as an overseer or “bishop” implies those who [u]currently[/u] (since coming to Christ) have one wife and live a noble, exemplary life (such as my former youth-pastor who is the “husband of one wife” (even though he divorced and remarried ten years before coming to Christ). I have heard others say that all divorced individual – including those who divorced and remarried [u]before[/u] coming to Christ – have forfeited any responsibilities for spreading the Gospel. I know a pastor who told me that such individuals must remain silent in any sort of work.

But what about all of those ministers who lived a terrible life before Christ – doing drugs, getting girls pregnant, or even persecuting the Church? Are they any more righteous than those who were divorced and remarried before even knowing Jesus Christ?

I guess a good question is about just who Paul was referring to in these passages. Just who is an “overseer” or “bishop?” Is a person an overseer or bishop who does the work of an evangelist? Is a person an overseer or bishop who works as a "missionary" by telling others about Jesus in diverse places? Is a person disqualified based upon something they did BEFORE coming to Christ?

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2008/5/27 14:10Profile









 Re: "Never an innocent party in divorce?"...untrue....

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.

 2008/5/27 14:21









 Re:

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

 2008/5/27 15:12









 Re: He can be beyond reproach, yet divorced....qualified!

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

 2008/5/27 16:57





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy