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Author Topic: Divorced Pastor  (Read 2073 times)

Offline Danny

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Divorced Pastor
« on: November 08, 2010, 01:44:17 PM »
Is it ever acceptable for a man to shepherd a church if he has a divorce in his history?

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 06:11:09 PM »
Quote from: Danny;45911
Is it ever acceptable for a man to shepherd a church if he has a divorce in his history?


Hello Danny,
that is a great question. Scripture never directly deals with that issue. However I do think that there is scripture that does at least indirectly. In 1Tim.3:2 it gives the qualifications for a pastor.

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

However there is a big problem with the translation. It does not say what the translators say it says. Instead of saying "the husband of one wife" it actually says one woman man . This makes a big difference. The reason is that this is not dealing with the issue if he has more then one wife at a time or even if he has been married before. The issue is about his character. He must be a man who's heart mind and soul is for one woman only. A man may be married to only one woman at a time or he may have never been divorced or re-married and still not be a one woman man.

We have all seen married men who have eyes for women other then their wives. That does not mean that he carries out actual sinful acts with another woman but he still loves to look, talk, or even touch other women. This is what this passage is talking about and he would be disqualified.
Now what if a man were divorced could he be a Pastor? First if the divorce took place before he was saved then I see absolutely no problem with it biblically. What if he lied while lost or cussed while lost or murdered while lost (Paul) was a murderer. Do though things disqualify him? No not if he has been saved and neither should a divorce if it happens before salvation. So if the divorce took place while lost and he has since re-married and meets the all the qualifications then I see no scriptural reason why he could not be a pastor.
Then what about someone who divorces after they are saved. I think that this would make things a little more difficult. Why he divorced? What was all the circumstances? The Pastor is to be an example and if he has a divorce after salvation then he has a difficult time being the example to the church. It is not impossible, but it is very difficult. In most cases I would not want a man to be over me who had a divorce after he was saved.
Isaiah 48:18,Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Offline John Oscar

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2010, 11:30:02 AM »
I would add abandonment by a spouse that has herself left the faith would be a biblically acceptable reason for divorce that should not compromise a man's ability to remain as a pastor.  I refer to the title "Pastor" as one who leads the church (senior/lead pastor).
 
 
1 Cor 7:15
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
John O


Offline saved

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 02:26:01 PM »
John I agree with you that in the case of the spouse leaving would not technically disqualify the man. However at the same time he would have to prove without question that the separation was totally her choice because of his faith. In fact if she left because she felt that he was denying the family to carry out what he felt was pastorate duties I would say that he was disqualified. His family should have come first. I know of a many a men who have used the pastorate as a justifiable excuse to deny quality time with  their families and the family always suffers. When a man is spending 60, 70 and 80 hours a week he is denying his family and he needs to step down even if his wife stays with him or change his hours.
Isaiah 48:18,Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Offline John Oscar

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 06:57:39 PM »
Saved,
 
Are you familier with Charles Stanley's situation, and if so, what do you think about it?  It's not a "gotcha" question, I'm just curious how you feel about it.
John O


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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2010, 08:34:26 AM »
John, I am aware of him being divorced. However I am not sure as to why and I think that few are. From the information I have about this issue it is my opinion that he should have stepped down if for no other reason then because this was the churches policy for everyone else and he dogmatically stated in the beginning that if he was ever divorced he would step down. Even his own son departed from that church because of it. So as I said based on that church's policy, his own word, and most importantly the word of God he should have stepped down. He could have become an evangelist if he wanted to continue to preach, but he should have stepped down from the Pastorate
This is the problem that arises when people become more attached to things of this life rather then the things of God.
Isaiah 48:18,Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Offline John Oscar

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 06:30:09 PM »
I agree. I have a great respect for him as a teacher and preacher of the Word. However, I do believe he should have stepped down as he said he would if the divorce went through.
I don't know all the specifics with Rev. Stanley, but my opinion is that any pastor found in that situation should immediately leave the pastorate to save his marriage.  You have to take care of home and make sure that is healthy before you should try to help people outside the home.
 
 
Luke 16:10-12

10
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

NIV

 
1 Tim 5:8
8
[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/B]
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
 
NIV
 
John O


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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 07:41:15 AM »
John I too used to hold him in high regards as to his teaching and preaching. However after this all started with his wife he seemed to stray from what he at one time taught. I was listening to him several years ago, and this brought an end to listening to him, and his message was on salvation and he said that a person does not to have to repent to be saved. When I first heard him say it I was so shocked I thought I misunderstood him and so I started listening ever so intently. Sure enough he really made the point several times that salvation does not require repentance. He claimed that was works salvation to have to repent.
I wrote the church for an explanation since that was out of character for him. No one replied so I wrote again and after the third time one of the elders contacted me after about three months and told me that they were going to edit out the part of the message where he said that repentance was not needed for salvation and the reason he said that was that he was going through some difficult times. That was the last time I have really listened to him.
Today he seems to preach a philosophy type of teaching rather then just preach the word of God as he once did. Because of the divorce and him remaining as Pastor he was put off several radio stations, his son resigned as Pastor of one of the satellite churches and started another one not associated with First, and several of the members left. I understand that he did step down from what was considered administrative duties, what ever that means, only to remain as Pastor leader. I am not sure as to all his duties today. I wish him well, but I also wish he had stepped down as I think that his decision to remain in the pulpit did harm to the Lord.
Isaiah 48:18,Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Offline me again

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 05:09:28 PM »
A church pastor named Jim Swilley has been divorced twice and has four children and has come out of the closet and said that he's been a homosexual since he was a boy.

Quote
Swilley, 52, founded the church 25 years ago. He seemed the stereotypical picture of a pastor, with four kids and a wife who doubled as his associate pastor. But Swilley said he’s known he was gay since he was little boy. He said his wife, Debye, also knew his secret from the start.

:ballchain:

Here's his website:
http://www.churchinthenow.org/

He was interviewed on CNN News last night and it's just amazing that this stuff is being entertained as being legitimate. He said [paraphrase] that the Word of God is inspired, but then he quoted a bunch of scriptures as proof that homosexuality is okay. He also noted that Jesus didn't even talk about homosexuality.

Sorry for putting a severe twist on the divorce issue!!! :eek:
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Offline Danny

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 07:21:04 AM »
I believe that when Charles Stanley's wife divorced him, that he did resign and the church did not accept his resignation.  He eventually decided to stay.

Offline John Oscar

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MTV Vows to Stick With 'Skins'
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 07:50:31 AM »
Despite sagging ratings, community outcry and a sponsor exodus, MTV is doubling down on the controversial teen drama 'Skins,' a source says
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John O


Baptist-boy

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 01:31:57 AM »

I do not think the issue is what we think but what does the Word of God say.  There are limits on divorce and the pastor for example if possible one should stay even with the unbelieving spouse.  It also says if the unbeliever leave the other is free and I assume free means to marry again.  When it comes to Timothy and Titus we find these verse do not apply to divorce but to polygamy.  Male person one woman.  A one woman man both in the personal life and the marital relationship.  Why do I say it has to apply to polygamy? Frankly the word of husband and wife are use in the greek text both UBS27 and TR.

So polygamy is excluded, women are excluded by inference not rule and  homosexuals are in the race.  Funny they do not mention divorce.  Maybe is was not an issue.

What did the Lord say?  Not much and nothing regarding gentile practice.  All we can transfer to the new creation is Divorce was given because of the hardness of fallen human heart.  The spirit of regeneration comes into the person but does the old sin nature leave.  Are perfect in works or our being covered by the Blood of Jesus?  The answer is obvious.

There is also another problem.  We of the evangelical camp do not believe in a higher order of men who lead us.  We recognized them as being only other brothers in Christ. If we have another standard for them we are in danger of falling into  clericalism.  As a pastor I am called to my work but I am not a man above the world.  I am a sinner saved by grace.

Obviously we don't want a drunk, an argumentative person, one who opens heart and home, a caring father and husband.  Yet we still expect these of all church members.

When the bible is so clear on a subject why do we keep adding to it with our opinions and our legalism?

After this has been said it remains the choice of a local church to call or not to call.  The church should examine itself as they work with apparently fallen messengers.

Last comment.  Do you have any idea how many tithes have been paid to get one minister through college and seminary?

Offline me again

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2011, 08:16:24 AM »
I do not think the issue is what we think but what does the Word of God say. 

Prior to the invention of the "no-fault divorce" in the 1960s, it extremely difficult to get a divorce in the United States. And if someone did get a divorce, it made the headlines in the newspapers, especially when Hollywood stars divorced.

After the invention of the no-fault divorce in the United States in the 1960s, almost every state in the union had adopted it by the 1970s. Today, the no-fault divorce is accepted in all 50 states. Since the invention of the no-fault divorce, the divorce rate has skyrocketed. Prior to the invention of the no-fault divorce in the 1960s, most married couples stayed married. Today, most first-time marriages end in divorce.

A free country such as the United States is designed to be exercised on a moral people. As the nuclear family continues to disintegrate, the nation will eventually collapse, due to moral depravity. It may take a generation or two or three, but the nation and our constitution cannot withstand the moral implosion of God's ordained system of holy matrimony.

You can read more about no-fault divorces here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-fault_divorce
"So then, stand firm and hold to the traditions :o which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Stan

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2011, 02:18:11 PM »
There are two kinds of sinners

1 - Those who have been caught
2 - Those who have not been caught.

Truth is this, no one is worthy to be a Pastor. Not me, Not thee nor him, him and her.

We need to support each other, and support the pastor who has gone through pain and loss.

Baptist-boy

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Re: Divorced Pastor
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 03:39:36 PM »

Brother, I think you have hit the nail on the head.  We are not worthy of salvation, we are not worthy of the holy call to ministry.  When we forget this we fall into the sin of the Pharisees, LEGALISM.

We are sinners saved by grace and worthy of death.

You have said it better than I.

 

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