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Thread: Divorced pastors

  1. #1

    Divorced pastors

    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.

  2. 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.









  3. #3
    Yeshua Is Guest
    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.

  4. #4
    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.

  5. #5
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    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??? )

    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...

    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...
    Disconnection is not an option!

    I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. ~ John 15:5-8

  6. #6
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    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.
    Ephesians 2:8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
    Romans 11:29
    for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.


  7. #7
    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?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by graceful bliss
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by graceful bliss
    Likewise, should a person who got a divorce but then came to Christ and/or rededicated their life, be allowed to pastor?
    And yes.

    Ephesians 2:8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
    Romans 11:29
    for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.


  9. #9
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    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.
    ShalomUit
    Chal
    <*,})+<


    Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda: The church reformed and always to be reformed

    Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is surely stranger than truth "may be." Maybe? -chal's Third (and final!) Big Book of Little Known Thingies that Could (in fact) Become Facts (or faxed) One Day.

  10. #10
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    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.
    God happens!
    'I Can Only Imagine'

    Bless the Beasts and the Children:
    http://youtu.be/AhR36gV6vW4

    On cautionary note:
    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectPeter
    When they say something... it is about anyone's guess what it is they really mean... but NEVER ask for clarification of their mysterious language... they are often very happy to give it and that's when the discussion goes FREAKY!

  11. 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.









  12. #12
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    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.
    Revelation 3:3
    .....If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadrunner570
    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.
    ShalomUit
    Chal
    <*,})+<


    Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda: The church reformed and always to be reformed

    Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is surely stranger than truth "may be." Maybe? -chal's Third (and final!) Big Book of Little Known Thingies that Could (in fact) Become Facts (or faxed) One Day.

  14. #14
    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....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slightlypuzzled
    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?
    One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father over us all.

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