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graceful bliss
Jan 12th 2005, 10:34 PM
Do you believe that a man who is divorced can still be a pastor?

I for one, believe that they can. However I want to encourage discussion on the issue. So plesae, tell us what you believe and why. :)

roadrunner570
Jan 12th 2005, 10:54 PM
I don't see why not, especially when you consider:


What if they were divorced and/or remarried BEFORE they were a Christian?

What if the divorce was not their choice?

What if their ex had committed adultery?
I think its the kind of thing if a congregation faces this, they need to pray and have the Lord guide their decision.

Yeshua Is
Jan 12th 2005, 10:56 PM
Good question. Some will say definitely not. Some will say if you got divorced before you became a Christian, it's OK. Some will say it doesn't matter either way. I suppose it depends on how you interpet this scripture. Bear in mind, when Paul uses the word "Bishop" it means the overseer of a church. What we would call a pastor.


1 Timothy 3 (King James Version)

1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;


4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.



8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;


9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.


10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

I definitely think if you've divorced after becoming a Christian you're disqualified. I'm tempted to say if you're divorced at all, then I consider that complete list, and I would submit that if you applied those requirements to span a lifetime, no one would ever qualify. I will say I'm divorced, got divorced about 20 years ago. Came to know the Lord when I was 14, never got into a spiritual walk, got into a bad way, yada yada yada. Was way out of His will for a long time, but I believe I'm disqualified. Had I not become a Christian until after all that, I might feel differently about my qualifications, but I'm convinced I should not be a pastor.

graceful bliss
Jan 12th 2005, 11:01 PM
Keep in mind the culture of the day and that the way we understand "husband of one wife" is not how the Greek readers would have understood it. :)

judi<>><
Jan 12th 2005, 11:05 PM
Well...Jesus tells us that divorce was only given to us under the Law because of the hardness of our hearts...Hardness of heart doesn't make for a really good pastor....

And an elder is to be "husband of one wife..." (at a time???:confused )

Then again, we are told that in the case of an unbelieving spouse, if he/she wishes to depart, it isn't something the believing person is supposed to fight...

And there's the scripture about remarriage making one an adulterer...

Hmm...:hmm:

All that being said...I have several friends who are very good ministers, and are in their second marriages. Those who have been through divorce can probably minister better to those considering the step, though perhaps those of us who have battled through and stayed together might be better able to help others do the same....

My sister was greatly disillusioned as a teenager when the pastor who taught her confirmation class left our church under a cloud. He had been "stepping out" on his wife with a member of the congregation, and after leaving, divorced her...but remained in the ministry. My sister, meanwhile, turned her back on the church, and eventually became a Baha'i...

So you see, I have mixed feelings about the subject...:bounce:

ddlewis86
Jan 12th 2005, 11:07 PM
My in-law's church went through this very issue about 10 years ago. The Elder's Board was in the process of finding a replacement pastor for one that took a job out of state. One of the candidates was a divorced pastor. There was a long debate but they decided that he was qualified. However, he did not make the cut down to the final few candidates. I honestly don't believe his divorce was a factor in the decision.

Personally I view it as I would any sin. Your not gonna find a sinless person to lead your church so I don't think it's something that should be held against them.

graceful bliss
Jan 12th 2005, 11:08 PM
Maybe I should preface it a little better then. :)

Should a pastor who got a divorce under circumstances outside of his control be allowed to still pastor?

Likewise, should a person who got a divorce but then came to Christ and/or rededicated their life, be allowed to pastor?

ddlewis86
Jan 12th 2005, 11:10 PM
Maybe I should preface it a little better then. :)

Should a pastor who got a divorce under circumstances outside of his control be allowed to still pastor?

In my opinion yes.



Likewise, should a person who got a divorce but then came to Christ and/or rededicated their life, be allowed to pastor?

And yes.

:)

chal
Jan 12th 2005, 11:23 PM
God is divorced and He is still the ultimate pastor.

Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

slightlypuzzled
Jan 12th 2005, 11:38 PM
If by 'Pastor' you mean 'Teacher', then I don't think it should be an issue, although I will add that it should be an open issue and not a closed issue. If, as Yeshua Is , you mean the original term as an explicit office of leadership, I am hesitant to answer either way. I would be more prone to look at each individual case.

roadrunner570
Jan 13th 2005, 01:17 AM
My only concern is by making this an issue, your forced to judge another person's actions and Jesus specifically told us NOT to do this, so I don't think I'd be comfortable with it.

Illumined
Jan 13th 2005, 04:51 AM
I think that they should be allowed as pastors with no debate.

Divorce ??? I don't know of any passage calling it a sin and yet we have sinners
as pastors.

chal
Jan 13th 2005, 11:03 AM
My only concern is by making this an issue, your forced to judge another person's actions and Jesus specifically told us NOT to do this, so I don't think I'd be comfortable with it.

chal > Jesus taught that we should judge righteously, not that we shouldn't judge at all.
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

judge;
krino, Greek 2919, Strong’s
krino, kree'-no; properly to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish :- avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

chal > He did teach that we should not condemn and how and why we should judge righteously;

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged. [2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. [3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? [4] Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? [5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

SP's comment about looking at each individual case would be in keeping with these concepts. People get divorced for different reasons.

theabaud
Jan 13th 2005, 01:56 PM
well, we have to use the judgement God gave us to make these decisions... but It really is a case by case basis. I would say that in most cases it would cause much division in the church, and hinder the man due to people's opinions. As such it may be best to just not seek the office, However, if God calls....

Steve M
Jan 13th 2005, 03:13 PM
If by 'Pastor' you mean 'Teacher', then I don't think it should be an issue, although I will add that it should be an open issue and not a closed issue. If, as Yeshua Is , you mean the original term as an explicit office of leadership, I am hesitant to answer either way. I would be more prone to look at each individual case.

I'm mostly with SP on this.

A thought; I'd hesitate to have an unmarried man in the position of elder/bishop, whether he was divorced or a widower. But that's something that needs to be decided on a case by case basis.

Another thought; unGodly divorce is clearly called adultery in Matthew 19:9. If that's not calling it a sin, I don't know what is.

Picking a person to run the Church, we have to remember that God has a reason for all those pesky requirements. We might even say, what's with this requirement to have believing children? What if they don't have children? Is that fair at all to a man incapable of having children?

Well, if a man has grown children, you can see the FRUITS of their method of leadership. I can look at a man and guess what their leadership will bring the Church, but if they have grown children, I can check on their fruits. If their children are all bums, then I can be pretty sure that their leadership will not help the Church. If their children are all faithful believers, than I can be sure that their leadership will benefit the congregation.

So that with this requirement, there is no guesswork. A childless man has no fruits of his leadership we can check immediately, (even a succesful business manager does not have SPIRITUAL fruits of the kind a father has) and so we would have to GUESS based on our thoughts, instead of already KNOWING.

So we might say, why is it important that they have kids? But God had some very good reasons to put every single rule in there. Just because we might not understand one rule or another or why these rules are beneficial at all doesn't mean that there isn't a very good reason God put it there.

So I hesitate when it comes to the marriage requirement. God said they ought to be married. Why?

seek_joy
Jan 14th 2005, 01:42 AM
Some food for thought; Charles Stanley is divorced. His wife left and divorced him (don't know the details). His congregation decided for him to remain as pastor of their church. I don't think it's hurt his ministry.

My church would never accept a divorced pastor. Heck, my pastor won't marry a couple if one of them is divorced. I think we can get too legalistic about these things. I think you need to take it case by case. I would much rather accept a divorced pastor who has repented of his past sins, than a married one who cheats on his wife every week.

Joe D
Jan 14th 2005, 11:34 AM
I would have to place myself in the position "pastor" and then look at the circumstances before I decide.

I guess the main point I would look at is, Was I willing to file for or go along with the divorce or if I fought for the marriage.

I would like to write more on this but then it may give a impression of a predetermined answer of which I'm not prepared to make, so I'll stop here :)

dancedwithdolphin
Jan 14th 2005, 02:37 PM
Does anyone know what filthy lucre is? It was in the scripture someone gave.

I cant say for sure what I think or feel on this topic. I have never had to pick a pastor out. I just went to church. However, I do know this: I wouldnt want the pastor to be the type of person who is easily driven by urges/thoughts. I would want someone strong and steadfast in the Lord. This person has to deal with people everyday. Most pastors I know take their job seriously and it becomes a 24-7 job. I need to know as a woman that I am safe to bring myself to this man, and that my children are safe. That his primary concern is like unto Jesus; to have compassion and to serve.

I know what the scriptures say
I know what my human nature would have me say
The question is, which is right
When you dont know the right path, what are we suppose to do
Lean not unto your own understanding, in all ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path
So pray and ask God, he has the perfect answer

chal
Jan 14th 2005, 02:44 PM
Does anyone know what filthy lucre is? It was in the scripture someone gave.

filthy;
aischros, Greek 150, Strong’s
aischros, ahee-skhros'; from the same as Greek 153 (aischunomai); shameful, i.e. base (specially venal) :- filthy.

lucre;
aischrokerdes, Greek 146, Strong’s
aischrokerdes, ahee-skhrok-er-dace'; from Greek 150 (aischros) and kerdos (gain); sordid :- given to (greedy of) filthy lucre.

dancedwithdolphin
Jan 14th 2005, 04:39 PM
Thanks Chal :hug:

Shameful greed.

Boy you could go all over the place with that one. :lol:

Wise-Owl
Jan 29th 2005, 07:07 PM
When we sin (divorce or a way of life that brings it about) what are the consequencies of our actions? One requirement of a overseer/bishop/deacon:
"He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If one does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of Gods church?" (1 Tim 3:4-5 NIV)

When we fail by sin or otherwise how does God deal with it, especially involving leaders. Some time ago I spent some time looking for examples and this is one that I discovered that I hadn't heard or read before. This has to do with priest and levites, spiritual leaders. God speaking to those that sinned:

Because they served them (Israelites) in the presence of their idols and made the house of Israel fall into sin, therefore I have sworn with up lifted hand that they must bear the consequencies of their sin. They are not to come near to serve me as priests or near any of my holy things or my most holy offerings: they must bear the shame of their destest practices. Yet I will put them in charge of the duties of the temple and all the work that is to be done in it.

But the priests, who are Levites and decendants of Zadok and who faithfully carried out the duties of my sancuary when the Israelites went astray from me, are to come near to minister before me; they are to stand before to offer sacrifices of fat and blood, declares the Sovereign Lord. They alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near my table to minister before me and perform my service." (Ezekiel 44:12-16 NIV)

As I understand these verses, spiritual sinned , God forgave them but they could not perform priestly duties again. They were removed to duties of taking care of the temple but were no longer permitted to serve as priests.
as the consequence of their sin. I asked myself why? This was another scripture. " They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and common and show they how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean." (Ezeliel 44:23)

Just some things to think about. Nick

__________________________________________________ __________

"Don"t get caught in the activity trap, give your life to that which counts for eternity"

maiahsdad
Aug 9th 2005, 05:37 PM
God is divorced and He is still the ultimate pastor.

Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

I don't think that it's the best thing to be a divorced pastor. But what if he married and realized years later that he married the wrong person.Would he then suffer for the rest of his life for that mistake and grieve the Holy Spirit, or would he be doing a more upright thing by letting this wife go in peace, and believing God for the one right for him? Just for thoughts. I look forward to your comments.

mikebr
Aug 9th 2005, 05:46 PM
Is the ability to pastor a spiritual gift?

Do you lose all spiritual gifts when you become divorced?

Sola
Aug 10th 2005, 03:06 AM
I have to assume that God has very good reason for the specifications/qualifications He lays out for pastors. That said, no, I don't really think that a divorced man (or even a single one, for that matter) should be the head pastor of a church. I think that a pastor should meet the Scriptural standards, even though they may seem strict to us now.

karenoka27
Aug 10th 2005, 03:27 AM
I personally believe that God is all for marriage...one man, one woman, one marriage. With that said.. I think it is difficult in some cases for a divorced pastor to council a couple not to get divorced since they have been there.
All of this makes me so sad. The church is disintigrating so rapidly. We make excuses for everything. Come quickly Lord Jesus... but yes I know He is longsuffering,not willing that any should perish...or get divorced?

(Please don't beat up over my comment.. I know many people have "good" reasons for getting divorced...)

Vermontgypsy
Aug 10th 2005, 04:15 AM
The Bible is very clear on the requirements for church leadership as quoted earlier in this thread. I think the "Pastor" in question needs to remember that teachers of the Word will be held accountable to a higher standard, than the Christians in the pews, during the final judgement. (God knows everything that happens at home even if the members of the congregation do not.) I believe this to mean that the divorce should be without question scriptural.

NOTE: I feel that it would be in the best interest of the person in question to find other work. However, I did not find scripture to disqualify any man from ministry if he was blameless in the case of divorce.

jesusissavior
Aug 10th 2005, 01:02 PM
You have to look at the culture during the biblical days. Some men actually had more than one wife, actually it was not uncommon. Thats why it says the husband of one wife. Then you have to look at the divorce, Was it a biblical divorce. If it was then whats the issue. If not lets look at 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Pastors are no exception to the rule. They are still human and sin look at verse 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. To say that a man cannot Pastor a church because he has been divorced or married twice is carnal. Remember Pastors and Preachers are called by God not man.

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 08:47 AM
Keep in mind the culture of the day and that the way we understand "husband of one wife" is not how the Greek readers would have understood it. :)

Why? Polygamy had gone out among both Greeks and Jews 2-3 centuries earlier, and even before had only been for the super-rich.

Besides the same, inverse, Greek phrase is used of women, and neither Jews (never) nor Greeks (almost never) tolerated polyandry.

1 Timothy 5:9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,

What that means is a divorced widow was not eligible for the widows roll, not a widow living with 2 husbands.

But I'm not saying that a church can't have a divorced pastor, that's up to them. The whole pastor model is so different from the NT model of multiple "bishops" episkopoi and multiple "deacons" diakonoi in each church that the instructions Paul gives to Timothy and Titus really have no relevance to a church with a single full-time pastor. Or indeed vicar or priest.

God bless :)
Steven

VerticalReality
Sep 12th 2007, 12:43 PM
This topic is definitely older than the hills, but I did find some of the responses to be quite humorous. According to some folks' standards in this thread, Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul couldn't lead their church.

That right there is flatout absurd, and I quite honestly cannot believe folks could believe such a thing.

Steve M
Sep 12th 2007, 12:54 PM
This topic is definitely older than the hills, but I did find some of the responses to be quite humorous. According to some folks' standards in this thread, Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul couldn't lead their church.

That right there is flatout absurd, and I quite honestly cannot believe folks could believe such a thing.
Absurd, you call it? Just following what the scripture says, I call it.

I also note that the office of Apostle seems to be over the office of elder and has no such requirement... mostly because God, not man, picks the Apostle, I think. What do you think about that?

Sold Out
Sep 12th 2007, 12:56 PM
Some food for thought; Charles Stanley is divorced. His wife left and divorced him (don't know the details). His congregation decided for him to remain as pastor of their church. I don't think it's hurt his ministry.

.


I heard this about Charles Stanley. Heartbreaking...

In any case, the bible says this about the qualifications of a pastor:

"This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;' I Tim 3:1-2

In the greek, the phrase 'one wife' literally means only ONE....not just one at a time. A 'one-woman-man', if you will.

Also it goes on to say, "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" vss 4,5

and then on in vs 11, "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things."

Unfortunately for Charles Stanley and other divorced pastors, the word of God is clear on this subject. Their wives have the ability to disqualify them from being pastors or deacons.

VerticalReality
Sep 12th 2007, 01:08 PM
Absurd, you call it? Just following what the scripture says, I call it.

I also note that the office of Apostle seems to be over the office of elder and has no such requirement... mostly because God, not man, picks the Apostle, I think. What do you think about that?

Yes . . . absurd.

Jesus Christ is God, and He was the pastor of all pastors.

Steve M
Sep 12th 2007, 01:12 PM
Yes . . . absurd.

Jesus Christ is God, and He was the pastor of all pastors.
Yet it's Jesus who put down the rules for Elders/Bishops...

And I think that we can say for certainty that He was uniquely qualified to understand the limitations of human beings.

And at the same time uniquely qualified to stand outside whatever rules and regulations needed to be imposed to protect us from ourselves.

The scripture charges us strictly, not once but twice, in Titus and 1 Timothy, to closely examine our leaders and only appoint blameless men. Why would God give us these instructions if they weren't important?

VerticalReality
Sep 12th 2007, 01:14 PM
The scripture charges us strictly, not once but twice, in Titus and 1 Timothy, to closely examine our leaders and only appoint blameless men. Why would God give us these instructions if they weren't important?

Therefore, your stance is that if a man is not married he isn't blameless?

justsurfing
Sep 12th 2007, 01:15 PM
It depends on the circumstances. Had that one high profile pastor who was murdered by his wife divorced her... or had she just divorced him instead of shooting him point blank because she didn't like him as a husband... he might be alive today.

I personally know the Lord instructed me to divorce my former husband. God has called me to minister. I won't answer to anyone for my divorce. It's between me and the Lord. They don't need to attend my seminars, buy my books, or give me money. To each their own. But mine is a speaking ministry... not a pastoral ministry.

If it's a pastor, it's up to individual members of the congregation whether or not they want to stay. Each should be personally lead of the Lord. The council of elders decides who the pastor is to be.

In today's world, Christians - I believe - believe they have a right to criticize anyone who steps into public ministry... even when that ministry is nothing they partake of. To me, it's gossip and backbiting most of the time. But people think they have a right to do it... just as they believe they have a right to talk about those in the entertainment industry. People think being a public figure means people no longer need to mind their own business and obey the Bible relative to gossiping.

Circumstances vary. I don't believe there can be one rule about these matters. Discernment must be exercised by those who partake of the ministry. It's the business of those who attend or receive ministry from a particular church or support it.

I don't attend Charles Stanley's church or support him in any way. I have, however, appreciated his ministry in the past by hearing him on radio... or maybe once or twice years ago on tv. I heard about his circumstances and prayed for him. That was my only responsibility.

God bless,

js

Steve M
Sep 12th 2007, 01:19 PM
Therefore, your stance is that if a man is not married he isn't blameless?
No; my point is that these instructions are very important because, as is observed in Timothy, these men are being set in place to guard God's church and lead it. That every single instruction here has a purpose and a place, and each one needs to be understood and followed.

And it's repeated. Genesis 41:32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. God repeats things for special emphasis.

These are very exacting rules for a reason.

Sold Out posted this verse: "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

If a man has no wife and children, how do we know how well he rules his own house? Do we put God's rules aside and say, 'well, we'll see how well they do?'

I not only say no single elders, I also say no childless elders. I'm very, um, rule-oriented.

VerticalReality
Sep 12th 2007, 01:26 PM
No; my point is that these instructions are very important because, as is observed in Timothy, these men are being set in place to guard God's church and lead it. That every single instruction here has a purpose and a place, and each one needs to be understood and followed.

And it's repeated. Genesis 41:32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. God repeats things for special emphasis.

These are very exacting rules for a reason.

Sold Out posted this verse: "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

If a man has no wife and children, how do we know how well he rules his own house? Do we put God's rules aside and say, 'well, we'll see how well they do?'

I not only say no single elders, I also say no childless elders. I'm very, um, rule-oriented.

And I see it less to do about being "rule-oriented" and more to do about being blameless. This passage of Scripture is covering all bases in regards to a man being blameless. I don't believe it's setting up strict guidelines that a man must be married with children, have a house with a white picket fence, have children on the National Honor Society and a wife in an apron in the kitchen cooking dinner like a good, faithful servant. It's talking about men who are walking steadfast in faith with the Lord and being blameless. In other words, don't be picking men that are running around with women. Pick men who are dedicated and faithful in all they do for the Lord. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 . . . some folks are gifted in cellibacy. They are gifted to be totally dedicated to God and His work alone. You're trying to tell folks here that someone so dedicated and gifted for the Lord's work cannot lead a church?

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 01:33 PM
Hi Steve M :)
I not only say no single elders, I also say no childless elders. I'm very, um, rule-oriented.I respect that, you're only honouring the Word of God and thinking of what's best for the church.

I'd agree with you that the command (yes it is that) to Titus to appoint bishops (plural) in every church, and then the criteria list after it, should be followed by churches today that wish to establish themselves on the NT model, but saying "if his wife is barren he can't be a good episkopos" is going a little bit far. And "not single" would rule out Paul and Barnabas. Besides if we're going to apply 1Tim3 & Titus we're talking about a communal leadership of several bishops and several deacons. In which case they don't all have to be super-perfect on every point. If you've got eight elders as episkopoi (as happens to be the case in my church) and two of them are childless, then those two brethren naturally tend to say less when as subject like Sunday School or Youth Group comes up.

God bless :)
S

kejonn
Sep 12th 2007, 02:11 PM
No; my point is that these instructions are very important because, as is observed in Timothy, these men are being set in place to guard God's church and lead it. That every single instruction here has a purpose and a place, and each one needs to be understood and followed.

And it's repeated. Genesis 41:32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. God repeats things for special emphasis.

These are very exacting rules for a reason.

Sold Out posted this verse: "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

If a man has no wife and children, how do we know how well he rules his own house? Do we put God's rules aside and say, 'well, we'll see how well they do?'

I not only say no single elders, I also say no childless elders. I'm very, um, rule-oriented.

So you are saying that Yeshua would not have been allowed to be an elder in your church, eh? ;). Just messin' with you, Christ was an evangelist in any case!

kejonn
Sep 12th 2007, 02:29 PM
Hi Steve M :)I respect that, you're only honouring the Word of God and thinking of what's best for the church.

I'd agree with you that the command (yes it is that) to Titus to appoint bishops (plural) in every church, and then the criteria list after it, should be followed by churches today that wish to establish themselves on the NT model, but saying "if his wife is barren he can't be a good episkopos" is going a little bit far. And "not single" would rule out Paul and Barnabas. Besides if we're going to apply 1Tim3 & Titus we're talking about a communal leadership of several bishops and several deacons. In which case they don't all have to be super-perfect on every point. If you've got eight elders as episkopoi (as happens to be the case in my church) and two of them are childless, then those two brethren naturally tend to say less when as subject like Sunday School or Youth Group comes up.

God bless :)
S
Steven,

Would Paul or Barnabas ever settle down from their travels to assume such an office? Some people travel from place to place as their ministry, and that is what they did (until Paul was imprisoned). That is why single people still have many roles they can fill both in a church and outside of a local congregation. There they are part of "The Church" :cool:.

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 02:44 PM
Hi K :)
Steven,

Would Paul or Barnabas ever settle down from their travels to assume such an office? Some people travel from place to place as their ministry, and that is what they did (until Paul was imprisoned). That is why single people still have many roles they can fill both in a church and outside of a local congregation. There they are part of "The Church" :cool:.Maybe Barnabas did? That's fair comment. Though a single person (or childless couple) can still be tied by work and family committments, and shouldn't for that be banned from the elders or deacons.

btw - It's possible that Paul was actually a widower, because when he says he was "unmarried as I am" that doesn't have to mean "never married", and there are some other little hints buried in the letters that he knew something about married life.

God bless :)
S

VerticalReality
Sep 12th 2007, 02:47 PM
Just messin' with you, Christ was an evangelist in any case!

Actually, Jesus Christ served in all the offices of the 5 fold ministry. He was an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor and a teacher.

DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 03:28 PM
Some food for thought; Charles Stanley is divorced. His wife left and divorced him (don't know the details). His congregation decided for him to remain as pastor of their church. I don't think it's hurt his ministry.

My church would never accept a divorced pastor. Heck, my pastor won't marry a couple if one of them is divorced. I think we can get too legalistic about these things. I think you need to take it case by case. I would much rather accept a divorced pastor who has repented of his past sins, than a married one who cheats on his wife every week.

I was going to mention Charles Stanley as an example, but you beat me to it.
One interesting thing I noticed was that, right after Stanley's divorce was final, the Christian radio station in my area removed Stanley's daily radio show from their programming. For whatever reasons, the directors of the radio station decided Stanley should be removed. They only said it would be in their best interest to do so. No other comments were aired.

kejonn
Sep 12th 2007, 03:41 PM
I was going to mention Charles Stanley as an example, but you beat me to it.
One interesting thing I noticed was that, right after Stanley's divorce was final, the Christian radio station in my area removed Stanley's daily radio show from their programming. For whatever reasons, the directors of the radio station decided Stanley should be removed. They only said it would be in their best interest to do so. No other comments were aired.
Hey DSK,
One thing to consider is that many "Christian" radio stations are in business for the same reason that secular stations are" to make $$. Not saying the one you are referring to is because I've encountered a few that did not seem to be in it for that, but radio stations make many decisions based on public opinion rather than what they feel is right or wrong. If they received several complaints about having Stanley on the air, they may have removed his show for reasons outside of the morality of it.

But to take this discussion into another realm, what if the pastor's wife leaves him on her own and he cannot prevent it? I do not know the legal rules of divorce but I think one can be granted if one member sues for it whether the other spouse agrees or not. So should this person be disqualified from the ministry if they had a rebellious spouse?

ravi4u2
Sep 12th 2007, 03:51 PM
Is the ability to pastor a spiritual gift?

Do you lose all spiritual gifts when you become divorced?
I am using the word 'pastor' in the sense that you are using it. If it is a spiritual gift, which is without repentance, why did Paul say, "If a man desires the office of a Bishop, he desires a good work"?

DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 04:21 PM
Hey DSK,
One thing to consider is that many "Christian" radio stations are in business for the same reason that secular stations are" to make $$. Not saying the one you are referring to is because I've encountered a few that did not seem to be in it for that, but radio stations make many decisions based on public opinion rather than what they feel is right or wrong. If they received several complaints about having Stanley on the air, they may have removed his show for reasons outside of the morality of it.

But to take this discussion into another realm, what if the pastor's wife leaves him on her own and he cannot prevent it? I do not know the legal rules of divorce but I think one can be granted if one member sues for it whether the other spouse agrees or not. So should this person be disqualified from the ministry if they had a rebellious spouse?

I completely agree with your entire post.

I don't know the circumstances surrounding Stanley's divorce. It may be that his wife asked to be divorced. I don't know. I do know Scripture says;
1 Cor. 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
However the thing I noticed about that verse is this; There is no mention made of divorce. The only allowance I find in Scripture for divorce is fornication

AlainaJ
Sep 12th 2007, 04:28 PM
I believe each case would have to be looked at.

Was the divorce before he was a Christian?

If he was a Christian what caused the divorce?
Did his wife leave him or cheat on him?

What were the circumstances surrounding it......

What if he has been married and divorced more then once since being a Christian? Does that make a differrence if say he is 50 and this is his third marriage? :hmm:

Sold Out
Sep 12th 2007, 04:49 PM
Steven,

Would Paul or Barnabas ever settle down from their travels to assume such an office? Some people travel from place to place as their ministry, and that is what they did (until Paul was imprisoned). That is why single people still have many roles they can fill both in a church and outside of a local congregation. There they are part of "The Church" :cool:.

Someone had posted on another thread that the best way to know that someone is qualified is to observe how he manages his home, not that it's required he be married.

revrobor
Sep 13th 2007, 05:26 AM
The Bible does not address a pastor's divorce specifically but speaks of divorce generally. The verses in Timothy and Titus that refer to a Bishop being the husband of "one wife" are not talking about divorce but addressing the practice of the time in having multiple wives at the same time. Those verses have been grossly mis-interpreted by those who want a "divorce-free" pastor.

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 10:51 AM
The Bible does not address a pastor's divorce specifically but speaks of divorce generally. The verses in Timothy and Titus that refer to a Bishop being the husband of "one wife" are not talking about divorce but addressing the practice of the time in having multiple wives at the same time. Those verses have been grossly mis-interpreted by those who want a "divorce-free" pastor.

Hi Revrobor
For once I'm going to have to disagree with you :), the inverse phrase "wife of one husband" is also used of the criteria for the widow's welfare list, and polyandry was unknown among Romans, Greeks (at this period) and Jews, so it can only mean "widow who is not divorced and remarried".

Don't get me wrong - I'm as liberal as they come, convinced by the edvidence in studies such as David Instone-Brewer's, and more than happy to have D&R members in the church, but Paul demands higher standards for bishops and deacons : and "husband of one wife" doesn't naturally mean just polygamy (an alternative Greek phrase with a gerund "having more than one wife" would be used) the contemporary evidence from Greek and Jewish texts is that polygamy was extremely rare during this period, wheras divorce and remarriage was almost casual - among Romans Greeks and Jews.

But as the Bible only speaks of bishops and deacons not pastors, then it's a decision of each local congregation whether they want to apply Paul's rules for bishops and deacons to a pastor or not.
God bless :)
Steven

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 12:37 PM
Hi Revrobor
For once I'm going to have to disagree with you :), the inverse phrase "wife of one husband" is also used of the criteria for the widow's welfare list, and polyandry was unknown among Romans, Greeks (at this period) and Jews, so it can only mean "widow who is not divorced and remarried".

Don't get me wrong - I'm as liberal as they come, convinced by the edvidence in studies such as David Instone-Brewer's, and more than happy to have D&R members in the church, but Paul demands higher standards for bishops and deacons : and "husband of one wife" doesn't naturally mean just polygamy (an alternative Greek phrase with a gerund "having more than one wife" would be used) the contemporary evidence from Greek and Jewish texts is that polygamy was extremely rare during this period, wheras divorce and remarriage was almost casual - among Romans Greeks and Jews.

But as the Bible only speaks of bishops and deacons not pastors, then it's a decision of each local congregation whether they want to apply Paul's rules for bishops and deacons to a pastor or not.
God bless :)
Steven

If you are divorced and remarried you are still just a husband of one wife.

Sold Out
Sep 13th 2007, 12:39 PM
If you are divorced and remarried you are still just a husband of one wife.

Not technically...you are only the 'husband of one wife at a time'

In the greek, 'husband of one wife' literally means 'one woman man'.

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 12:40 PM
Not technically...you are only the 'husband of one wife at a time'

In the greek, 'husband of one wife' literally means 'one woman man'.

If you are divorced and remarried you are still just a one woman man.

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 01:40 PM
If you are divorced and remarried you are still just a one woman man.

Maybe in English, I don't know. But not in classical Greek. If the widow was a one-man-woman, and her one man died, then she'd automatically be on the widows list and Paul would be talking nonsense, wouldn't he?

Sorry, "husband of one wife", "wife of one man", means in sequence, not simultaneously.
S

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 01:43 PM
Maybe in English, I don't know. But not in classical Greek. If the widow was a one-man-woman, and her one man died, then she'd automatically be on the widows list and Paul would be talking nonsense, wouldn't he?

Sorry, "husband of one wife", "wife of one man", means in sequence, not simultaneously.
S

Where's your evidence of this?

In addition, how many wives do you think the disciples had? Do you think they would have been disqualified from being a leader of the church?

jiggyfly
Sep 13th 2007, 02:19 PM
I think that it is dependent on the individual circumstances. But it should definetly be a consideration. In a like manner should someone who has never been married and had a family be a pastor? After all, Paul does state in 1 Tim. chapter 3 that if a man can not run his own household or family well why should he be trusted with God's family.

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 02:27 PM
Hi VR :)
Where's your evidence of this?
The social evidence is plentiful, but most materials aren't online, and it'd be a lot of work for me to OCR, but you could start here:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=425&letter=P

The linguistic evidence is fairly simple. In both these verses it's a simple genitive construction of possession, with no tense reference.
1Tim 3:12 ανδρες (man) μιας γυναικος (of one woman)
1Tim 5:9 γυνη (wife) ενος ανδρος (of one man)

If you wanted to make a statement implying polygamy you'd need to use the verb had, "Now Herod the king had nine wives at this time" (Antiquities XVII:3:1), if he'd have written like 1Tim3:12, "Herod husband of nine wives" that would suggest he had them in a row, like Henry VIII of England had six wives in series. Josephus actually comments on Herod saying "it is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time". - though ancient here means 'former' rather than 'longstanding'.


In addition, how many wives do you think the disciples had? Do you think they would have been disqualified from being a leader of the church?One. Yes.

1 Corinthians 9:5 Do we not have the right to take along a sister (singular) wife (singular) as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

God bless
S.

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 02:48 PM
Hi VR :)
The social evidence is plentiful, but most materials aren't online, and it'd be a lot of work for me to OCR, but you could start here:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=425&letter=P

The linguistic evidence is fairly simple. In both these verses it's a simple genitive construction of possession, with no tense reference.
1Tim 3:12 ανδρες (man) μιας γυναικος (of one woman)
1Tim 5:9 γυνη (wife) ενος ανδρος (of one man)

If you wanted to make a statement implying polygamy you'd need to use the verb had, "Now Herod the king had nine wives at this time" (Antiquities XVII:3:1), if he'd have written like 1Tim3:12, "Herod husband of nine wives" that would suggest he had them in a row, like Henry VIII of England had six wives in series. Josephus actually comments on Herod saying "it is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time". - though ancient here means 'former' rather than 'longstanding'.

So, you believe Jesus if referring to polygamy when he says the following to the woman at the well . . .



John 4:17-19
The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”


Why is the woman now considered to not have any husbands, and why was she able to have five legitimate husbands at one time previously?


One. Yes.

1 Corinthians 9:5 Do we not have the right to take along a sister (singular) wife (singular) as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

God bless
S.

Hmm . . . I'm not so sure they didn't have more than one wife prior to Jesus going by your terms here. If you remember, the disciples were awfully shocked when Jesus Christ informed them that divorce and remarriage for any other reason outside sexual immorality is considered adultery . . .



Matthew 19:8-10
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 03:59 PM
Hi VR :)
So, you believe Jesus if referring to polygamy when he says the following to the woman at the well . . . I don't know how you could read me as saying that. :) Please re-read what I said. Note that the verb "had", εσχες, is past tense. If it was present tense or a past-continous then yes it would mean she was a polyandrist.

πεντε (five) ανδρας (men) εσχες (you have had)

Also it doesn't say "at the same time" as Josephus adds in relation to Herod.


Why is the woman now considered to not have any husbands, and why was she able to have five legitimate husbands at one time previously?Samaritan divorce law was the same as Jewish divorce law, they were allowed to divorce and remarry. Besides which, given that Christ says "and the one you now have is not your husband" (και νυν ον εχεις ουκ εστιν σου ανηρ τουτο), then in this case it probably just means "you've had five men", she didn't have to legitimately marry each one.


I'm not so sure they didn't have more than one wife prior to Jesus going by your terms here. It's always possible some of them were divorced and remarried before they were called, who knows, but it's very unlikely that Paul is saying "Peter travelled with one wife and left the others at home".

As I've said four times now, I couldn't care less if a church has a divorced and remarried pastor. That's up to them. Where I come from, the UK, churches have a real problem finding a full time vicar or pastor - the debate is about women vicars/pastors and gay vicars/pastors, I don't think anyone cares about having a divorced and remarried vicar/pastor.

But it doesn't impress me when people try and shoehorn the Greek text of 1Tim3 and 5 into it being about polygamous bishops and polyandrous widows. That's a forced reading.

God bless :)
S.

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 05:20 PM
Hi VR :) I don't know how you could read me as saying that. :) Please re-read what I said. Note that the verb "had", εσχες, is past tense. If it was present tense or a past-continous then yes it would mean she was a polyandrist.

Actually, you said the exact opposite in your previous post . . .


If you wanted to make a statement implying polygamy you'd need to use the verb had, "Now Herod the king had nine wives at this time" (Antiquities XVII:3:1), if he'd have written like 1Tim3:12, "Herod husband of nine wives" that would suggest he had them in a row, like Henry VIII of England had six wives in series.

You stated here that using the verb "had" would imply polygamy. Well, in John 4:19 Jesus says to the woman at the well that she "had" five husbands. So, I'm simply going by the guidelines you are setting forth here.


Samaritan divorce law was the same as Jewish divorce law, they were allowed to divorce and remarry. Besides which, given that Christ says "and the one you now have is not your husband" (και νυν ον εχεις ουκ εστιν σου ανηρ τουτο), then in this case it probably just means "you've had five men", she didn't have to legitimately marry each one.

I'm not going to assume anything here. Jesus says she had five husbands, so that would definitely mean she was married to them. In any case, I'm aware that they could divorce and remarry, but that's not the point I'm making. I'm simply using the Scripture as an example that using the term "had" doesn't mean it's talking about polygamy. I don't believe Jesus is talking about polygamy here, nor do I believe that 1 Timothy would have to use the term "had" in order to make it about a polygamist situation.


It's always possible some of them were divorced and remarried before they were called, who knows, but it's very unlikely that Paul is saying "Peter travelled with one wife and left the others at home".

I'm also not saying here that I believe the disciples had more than one wife at one time and were practicing polygamy. I'm simply using this as an example that according to the theory being presented, it is possible that even the apostles would be disqualified from being bishops. If they had in the past been divorced and remarried, according to the interpretation being presented they would be husbands of more than one wife.

Steve M
Sep 13th 2007, 05:22 PM
As I've said four times now, I couldn't care less if a church has a divorced and remarried pastor. That's up to them. Where I come from, the UK, churches have a real problem finding a full time vicar or pastor - the debate is about women vicars/pastors and gay vicars/pastors, I don't think anyone cares about having a divorced and remarried vicar/pastor.

Steven; I have to say I agree with you on this. I think you're dead-on that the church is facing bigger problems anyway. And, really, I care a lot about the individual circumstances of each divorce--was it something we can talk about as a scriptural divorce or not? (which opens another can of worms)

I do continue to hold the elder must have children... not just any children, but children old enough to believe. But that's really a separate discussion.


But it doesn't impress me when people try and shoehorn the Greek text of 1Tim3 and 5 into it being about polygamous bishops and polyandrous widows. That's a forced reading.

That's what I've always thought. :)

Steve M
Sep 13th 2007, 05:23 PM
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven3 View Post
If you wanted to make a statement implying polygamy you'd need to use the verb had, "Now Herod the king had nine wives at this time" (Antiquities XVII:3:1), if he'd have written like 1Tim3:12, "Herod husband of nine wives" that would suggest he had them in a row, like Henry VIII of England had six wives in series.
You stated here that using the verb "had" would imply polygamy. Well, in John 4:19 Jesus says to the woman at the well that she "had" five husbands. So, I'm simply going by the guidelines you are setting forth here.

Note the bolded second statement 'at this time.'

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 05:26 PM
Note the bolded second statement 'at this time.'

I've already made note of it. However, that wasn't a requirement being presented. Steven was clearly noting the tense used. This has nothing to do with the statement "at this time".

The argument being presented by Steven is even if that passage of Scripture didn't have the phrase "at this time" at the end of it, it would still imply polygamy because the term "had" is being used.

Steve M
Sep 13th 2007, 05:59 PM
I've already made note of it. However, that wasn't a requirement being presented. Steven was clearly noting the tense used. This has nothing to do with the statement "at this time".

The argument being presented by Steven is even if that passage of Scripture didn't have the phrase "at this time" at the end of it, it would still imply polygamy because the term "had" is being used.

The social evidence is plentiful, but most materials aren't online, and it'd be a lot of work for me to OCR, but you could start here:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...d=425&letter=P

The linguistic evidence is fairly simple. In both these verses it's a simple genitive construction of possession, with no tense reference.
1Tim 3:12 ανδρες (man) μιας γυναικος (of one woman)
1Tim 5:9 γυνη (wife) ενος ανδρος (of one man)

If you wanted to make a statement implying polygamy you'd need to use the verb had, "Now Herod the king had nine wives at this time" (Antiquities XVII:3:1), if he'd have written like 1Tim3:12, "Herod husband of nine wives" that would suggest he had them in a row, like Henry VIII of England had six wives in series. Josephus actually comments on Herod saying "it is the ancient practice among us to have many wives at the same time". - though ancient here means 'former' rather than 'longstanding'.

Steven's point here is not that the word 'had' automatically makes this a polygamy discussion, but that the lack of it makes it hard to impossible to make that sentence say 'no polygamy' (as opposed to 'must be faithful).

I have no idea if he's right or wrong, but you're misconstruing his grammatic argument here entirely. (the rightness or wrongness rests in the Greek, which I know nothing about)

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 06:12 PM
Steven's point here is not that the word 'had' automatically makes this a polygamy discussion, but that the lack of it makes it hard to impossible to make that sentence say 'no polygamy' (as opposed to 'must be faithful).

Actually, I believe it's hard to impossible to know for sure either way, and that is including the Greek. I've looked that passage up in the Greek, and there's really no way to make a good argument either way. You can't say it isn't about polygamy and you can't say that it is going by the Greek. Therefore, I'm simply going to go by what it says. If it says that the person needs to be the husband of one wife . . . well, then I guess as long as they have only one wife they are okay. The passage doesn't talk about divorce and whether or not the person has been remarried. It doesn't mention any of that.

Steve M
Sep 13th 2007, 06:19 PM
Actually, I believe it's hard to impossible to know for sure either way, and that is including the Greek. I've looked that passage up in the Greek, and there's really no way to make a good argument either way. You can't say it isn't about polygamy and you can't say that it is going by the Greek. Therefore, I'm simply going to go by what it says. If it says that the person needs to be the husband of one wife . . . well, then I guess as long as they have only one wife they are okay. The passage doesn't talk about divorce and whether or not the person has been remarried. It doesn't mention any of that.
I'll have to take your word for it. :)

kejonn
Sep 13th 2007, 06:50 PM
What of this verse:

Mat 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Many have read this to mean that God consecrates the marriage but man allows the divorce. So therefore, when a divorce and remarriage occurs, that is where the adultery takes place because the "one flesh" is still intact in God's eyes, regardless of what man does. So "husband of one wife" might very well address divorce and remarriage as the second spouse would then be "two wives" because God joined the original couple into one flesh.

Sold Out
Sep 13th 2007, 06:53 PM
What of this verse:

Mat 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Many have read this to mean that God consecrates the marriage but man allows the divorce. So therefore, when a divorce and remarriage occurs, that is where the adultery takes place because the "one flesh" is still intact in God's eyes, regardless of what man does. So "husband of one wife" might very well address divorce and remarriage as the second spouse would then be "two wives" because God joined the original couple into one flesh.

Very interesting......

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 06:59 PM
What of this verse:

Mat 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Many have read this to mean that God consecrates the marriage but man allows the divorce. So therefore, when a divorce and remarriage occurs, that is where the adultery takes place because the "one flesh" is still intact in God's eyes, regardless of what man does. So "husband of one wife" might very well address divorce and remarriage as the second spouse would then be "two wives" because God joined the original couple into one flesh.

If a man and wife divorce one another for anything other than sexual immorality, it is indeed invalid and they are still considered married in the eyes of the Lord. In addition, if they remarry, they are also considered to be committing adultery because their first covenant was never broken. However, in the process of committing adultery in their second union, they are indeed breaking the first and bringing it to an end. This is sexual immorality and it is grounds for divorce according to Matthew 19. Therefore, that marriage is now obsolete if they would so choose. So, in such a case neither party is still considered to be married, and according to Scripture they are free to remarry (I want to add in the Lord to this). When they do remarry, it doesn't mean they now have two spouses.

kejonn
Sep 13th 2007, 07:09 PM
If a man and wife divorce one another for anything other than sexual immorality, it is indeed invalid and they are still considered married in the eyes of the Lord. In addition, if they remarry, they are also considered to be committing adultery because their first covenant was never broken. However, in the process of committing adultery in their second union, they are indeed breaking the first and bringing it to an end. This is sexual immorality and it is grounds for divorce according to Matthew 19. Therefore, that marriage is now obsolete if they would so choose. So, in such a case neither party is still considered to be married, and according to Scripture they are free to remarry. When they do remarry, it doesn't mean they now have two spouses.
I've felt the same way about this subject. I myself am divorced but it was not for adultery (although my ex-wife soon rectified that). I have not thought much on remarriage, but I have pretty much accepted that I would never be eligible to be a bishop or deacon. Whether the divorce-remarriage applies or not, I know that God can still use me in many other ways than holding any of those offices in a church.

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 07:37 PM
Hi VR
I've already made note of it. However, that wasn't a requirement being presented. Steven was clearly noting the tense used. This has nothing to do with the statement "at this time".

What I said was that a genitive possessive construct (which does not require a verb of possession) would not normally indicate polygamy.


GENITIVE POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCT (USING "OF")
A genitive construct does not carry tense, since there is no verb, just "of". So we are left with assuming the cultural norm.

χηρα, ενος ανδρος γυνη A widow, a woman of one man = a monogamist
χηρα, πεντε ανδρας γυνη A widow, a woman of five men = divorced and remarried usual reading, (or four times widowed, but not someone simultaneously having five men)



VERBAL POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCT (USING "TO HAVE")
If we want to clarify the nature of the possession - simultaneous, sequential, etc, we require the verb "to have", and the tense imperfect, aorist perfect or gerund will indicate the nature of the verbal action.

Present tense is straightforward:
γυνη δραχμας εχουσα δεκα - a woman having (present) ten coins
γυνη ανδρας εχουσα πεντε - a woman having (present) five husbands
ανθρωπος εχων εκατον προβατα - a man having (present) 100 sheep
ηρωδης εχων εννεα γυναικας - Herod having (present) nine wives

That would mean nine wives at once, or 100 sheep at once, whether or not "at that time" (εν εκεινω τω καιρω) was after it. Josephus probably put that there because before Herod had eight, later he had ten, etc.

Past tense is more tricky, we have to consider which past tense is used:
πεντε γαρ ανδρας εσχες - you have had (aorist) five husbands
γυναικας δυο εσχες - you have had (aorist) two wives (but lost one or both of them)
ανθρωπος ειχεν τεκνα δυο - a man had (imperfect) two sons
ανθρωπος ειχεν γυναικας δυο - a man had (imperfect) two wives (at the same time)


DATIVE POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCT ("TO HIM ARE")
An alternative to the Genitive possessive would be a dative possive with "to be"
δυο χρεωφειλεται ησαν δανειστη - to a man were two debtors
αυτοω γυναικες δυο ησαν - to him were two wives

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 07:52 PM
Hi VR

What I said was that a genitive possessive construct (which does not require a verb of possession) would not normally indicate polygamy.


GENITIVE POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCT (USING "OF")
A genitive construct does not carry tense, since there is no verb, just "of". So we are left with assuming the cultural norm.

χηρα, ενος ανδρος γυνη A widow, a woman of one man = a monogamist
χηρα, πεντε ανδρας γυνη A widow, a woman of five men = divorced and remarried usual reading, (or four times widowed, but not someone simultaneously having five men)



VERBAL POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCT (USING "TO HAVE")
If we want to clarify the nature of the possession - simultaneous, sequential, etc, we require the verb "to have", and the tense imperfect, aorist perfect or gerund will indicate the nature of the verbal action.

Present tense is straightforward:
γυνη δραχμας εχουσα δεκα - a woman having (present) ten coins
γυνη ανδρας εχουσα πεντε - a woman having (present) five husbands
ανθρωπος εχων εκατον προβατα - a man having (present) 100 sheep
ηρωδης εχων εννεα γυναικας - Herod having (present) nine wives

That would mean nine wives at once, or 100 sheep at once, whether or not "at that time" (εν εκεινω τω καιρω) was after it. Josephus probably put that there because before Herod had eight, later he had ten, etc.

Past tense is more tricky, we have to consider which past tense is used:
πεντε γαρ ανδρας εσχες - you have had (aorist) five husbands
γυναικας δυο εσχες - you have had (aorist) two wives (but lost one or both of them)
ανθρωπος ειχεν τεκνα δυο - a man had (imperfect) two sons
ανθρωπος ειχεν γυναικας δυο - a man had (imperfect) two wives (at the same time)


DATIVE POSSESSIVE CONSTRUCT ("TO HIM ARE")
An alternative to the Genitive possessive would be a dative possive with "to be"
δυο χρεωφειλεται ησαν δανειστη - to a man were two debtors
αυτοω γυναικες δυο ησαν - to him were two wives

Regardless Steven, there is really no way to tell for sure either way. I've looked at this thing through the Greek and it really doesn't give an indication. All I know is that the passage says this man should be the husband of one wife. What I also know is that just because someone is divorced and remarried doesn't mean he is now the husband of two wives, so this argument is really pointless.

Steven3
Sep 13th 2007, 08:08 PM
Hi VR
I've actually baptised a man and his two wives in India, so I have no great antipathy toward bigamy (nor to divorce and remarriage). It's just that as the Jewish Encyclopedia article says it was not the norm at all. Which is why Josephus has to explain it to his readers in the case of Herod.


Actually, I believe it's hard to impossible to know for sure either way, and that is including the Greek. I've looked that passage up in the Greek, and there's really no way to make a good argument either way. You can't say it isn't about polygamy and you can't say that it is going by the Greek. Okay, let's stick a few sticks into the shifting sands of the NT text ;)

1. We do know that "woman of one man" in 1Tim5 does not mean polygamy, so if we're going to apply polygamy to "man of one woman" in 1Tim3 then we have a double standard (which of course is not impossible, either in the 1stC or now. I'm just noting it).

2. We also know that when the Septuagint speaks of bigamy it doesn't use Paul's phrase. Instead it says "Lamech took two wives" (Gen 4:19) "To him [were] two wives" (1Sam1:2, the dative possessive construct).

3. We also know that "man of one woman" ("unius uxoris virum") was interpreted by Tertullian, and the RC church thereafter, to mean "had had only one wife". FWIW, which isn't too much.

But I'm really not fussed. It's the confident assertion, not by you but by someone else earlier in the thread, that "the Greek refers only to bigamists" or words to that effect. In a word, baloney.

That's all, may each do as best we can :)
S.

revrobor
Sep 13th 2007, 08:25 PM
If a man and wife divorce one another for anything other than sexual immorality, it is indeed invalid and they are still considered married in the eyes of the Lord. In addition, if they remarry, they are also considered to be committing adultery because their first covenant was never broken. However, in the process of committing adultery in their second union, they are indeed breaking the first and bringing it to an end. This is sexual immorality and it is grounds for divorce according to Matthew 19. Therefore, that marriage is now obsolete if they would so choose. So, in such a case neither party is still considered to be married, and according to Scripture they are free to remarry (I want to add in the Lord to this). When they do remarry, it doesn't mean they now have two spouses.

There is no verse of scripture allowing divorce in a marriage ordained by God. ("God hates divorce") The verses in Matthew where Jesus is talking about divorce is referring to those we would call "engaged" today. If a man learned his fiancee' had sex with another man he could call-off the wedding by giving her a bill of divorce as sexual intercourse is Biblically what makes a couple husband and wife and he would be committing adultry to marry her. That's exactly what Joseph was considering doing to Mary until the angel set him straight. IMO marriages not ordained by God are outside any Biblically guidelines. "Ordained by God" = knowing without a doubt that God has given you your spouse and His blessing. Just because a wedding takes place in a church does not make it a God-ordained marriage.

Steve M
Sep 13th 2007, 08:27 PM
The verses in Matthew where Jesus is talking about divorce is referring to those we would call "engaged" today.

And the proof to this claim?

revrobor
Sep 13th 2007, 08:35 PM
And the proof to this claim?

It's not my job to "prove" anything but to share the truths God has revealed to me. If you have a problem with it take to the Source and see what He says.

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 08:46 PM
It's not my job to "prove" anything but to share the truths God has revealed to me. If you have a problem with it take to the Source and see what He says.

If you are not willing to share the biblical truths God has revealed to you that provide credence to what you say, what's the point of saying it at all? Aren't we all here to try and gather a greater understanding of the Word? If you are adding something as significant as what you claim in your previous post, it would be helpful if you would provide the Scriptures to back it. Just my opinion.

revrobor
Sep 13th 2007, 09:06 PM
If you are not willing to share the biblical truths God has revealed to you that provide credence to what you say, what's the point of saying it at all? Aren't we all here to try and gather a greater understanding of the Word? If you are adding something as significant as what you claim in your previous post, it would be helpful if you would provide the Scriptures to back it. Just my opinion.

We should be here to gather a greater understanding of God. And He's not restricted to the printed page in communicating with us. Just ask Him if it's correct. If you want to do a study on it start with the culture of the day where an engaged couple were considered "Husband" and "wife" before they came together sexually to become "one flesh".

Steve M
Sep 13th 2007, 10:48 PM
It's not my job to "prove" anything but to share the truths God has revealed to me. If you have a problem with it take to the Source and see what He says.
Been there. He said married, twice, and the disciples thought that if one could not 'put away' a 'fiancee,' it would be easier not to marry at all. He made reference to 'what God has joined together.' The Source seems to disagree completely with you. I can't reconcile the two.

VerticalReality
Sep 13th 2007, 10:56 PM
Been there. He said married, twice, and the disciples thought that if one could not 'put away' a 'fiancee,' it would be easier not to marry at all. He made reference to 'what God has joined together.' The Source seems to disagree completely with you. I can't reconcile the two.

Gotta say I agree here. The two sound purty married to me.:dunno:

Steven3
Sep 14th 2007, 10:55 AM
Hi SteveM :)
And the proof to this claim?

Revrobor is correct that the Greek ἀπολύω (apolyō) "put away" can also include fiancees: most famously Joseph, see http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=630

But it doesn't seem to be the usual use, either in the Septuagint, or NT, or contemporary texts.
God bless
S

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 12:37 PM
We should be here to gather a greater understanding of God. And He's not restricted to the printed page in communicating with us.

We have to be careful not to rely on extra-biblical revelations to guide us. The bible is crystal clear on about 95% of issues, and marriage is one of them.

revrobor
Sep 14th 2007, 09:36 PM
Been there. He said married, twice, and the disciples thought that if one could not 'put away' a 'fiancee,' it would be easier not to marry at all. He made reference to 'what God has joined together.' The Source seems to disagree completely with you. I can't reconcile the two.

You can if you understad that Jesus was first answering th Pharisees question about those who were actually married in a God-ordained relationship. He then addresses those who were "engaged" (considered husband and wife in that culture). I personally do not believe there is any Scriptural support for divorcing a spouse in a God-ordained marriage. I believe Christian couples use this teaching as a cop-out to escape from a marriage for whatever reason.