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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Pastoral Qualifications

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Does anyone here think it's a little odd that Paul could be a torturer of Christians before he was saved, as in the self-confessed "chief of sinners" who forced people to reject Christ under threats of only God knows what - but he could still be eligible for the role of a deacon after salvation... because he never had a divorce?

Unless, of course, Paul was eligible to write half of the New Testament but not be a deacon.

Rick you are comparing to many variable and different things in an attempt to get at a different answer than what Scripture clearly teaches. God's ways are not our ways. David was qualified for many things in his life but he was not considered qualified to build the temple.

Just because a man is not qualified to be a pastor or a deacon (and if this is true and they are following God, the Lord will NOT lead them in that direction anyway), there are many other ways they can serve God in accord with the Will and Word of God.

The arguments you are using are among the same arguments used by women and homosexuals to declare they should be pastors and deacons. (To be clear Rick, I am NOT lumping you in with them or saying you are among them; ONLY pointing out the how this same line of arguing is also used by others)

So, why can't a divorced man who may have the ability to be a great pastor be one...why can't a woman who is a gifted speaker and knows the Bible well be a pastor? The same answer, because God says it isn't to be so. That doesn't diminish their standing in Christ before God and doesn't prevent them from following the Lord's leading to serve in any number of other areas.

When we have a clear command in Scripture and we begin to say "what if...or but..." when the Bible does't, we tread on thin ice. Better to follow what is clear.
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Does anyone here think it's a little odd that Paul could be a torturer of Christians before he was saved, as in the self-confessed "chief of sinners" who forced people to reject Christ under threats of only God knows what - but he could still be eligible for the role of a deacon after salvation... because he never had a divorce?

Unless, of course, Paul was eligible to write half of the New Testament but not be a deacon.




No, it was through Paul that God gave these qualifications for both pastor and deacon, and Paul was not a pastor of a New Testament Church, although some of the other apostles were. Do you find that odd? I don't, I take God as He tells us in the Holy Bible.

Besides, I fail to understand why you would ask such a question, the Bible is quite plain about the qualifications of a deacon.

1Ti 3:12 "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife..."

It seems your still looking for loopholes, the Scriptures are quite plain.

I know of pastors that taught that a pastor cannot be divorced, them get divorced, remarried, them change that teaching. I have no respect whatsoever for such a person.

Many times I've seen a novice installed as pastor of a New Testament Church. While the Bible is very clear.

1Ti 3:6 "Not a novice..."

It seems so hard for some to do it God's way, the just seem to think they know better than God.
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Again, Rick, each man is the head of his home. And the responsibility for the spiritual health for that home lies on that man's shoulders. While we all give account for our own individual lives, husbands will give account for how they husbanded their homes. When there is divorce, the home wasn't properly husbanded (cultivated). Ergo, there is blame to assign to the man...


This is as Pharisical as it gets.
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#1 - I'm not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination, Wilch, so let's not go there, okay?


I wasn't going there. I was responding to Rick's statement. That a feminist would agree with what he said. It's called "tongue in cheek".
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Rick you are comparing to many variable and different things in an attempt to get at a different answer than what Scripture clearly teaches.

No, I'm not, brother. I'm trying to show the inconsistencies of saying the Bible says something that it doesn't actually say.

When we have a clear command in Scripture and we begin to say "what if...or but..." when the Bible does't, we tread on thin ice. Better to follow what is clear.

Exactly.

My point is this: it's not clear.

It says: "The husband of one wife" NOT "the husband of one wife for his entire life" (which would include before salvation) and NOT "the husband of one wife right now." It can go one of two ways. I believe there is much more evidence that it is the latter than the former.

The examples you used about gays and women preachers don't apply here - the Bible is very clear on those subjects.

--

I hope no one has been offended personally by my comments in this thread. I hate divorce and I think it's a terrible thing. By the grace of God, my wife and I will never go down that road. Self imposed rule: we're not even allowed to talk about it.

That being said, I don't see any evidence in the Bible that a divorce in the distant past, yea even in a man's unsaved life, permanently bars him from being a deacon.

I believe there are two extreme unbiblical positions on this subject. One is the "who cares" mentality about divorce and the other is "I'm holding that against you forever" teaching. I think BOTH are wrong and unbiblical. What matters is what the Bible says, not the world's standards (the former) or Baptist tradition (the latter). Edited by Rick Schworer
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You know, it wasn't too many years ago (well, I guess it was...time can be relative, can't it? :icon_mrgreen: ) that there was no question as to whether a divorced man would pastor (or be a deacon, or evangelist, or missionary, etc), or even, as the OP asked, a pastor be married to a divorced woman. The answer would have been no.

But we are enlightened nowadays. It's okay, because scripture doesn't really mean one wife - it means one wife at a time. And Jesus didn't actually mean what He said when He said that the one who marries a divorced woman (saving for fornication, yes) committed adultery (and, no, I don't believe it's lifelong, but the stain is still there...).

And from whence did the enlightenment come? Why, from ministries where immorality was existent, of course. From men who have been married more than once (via divorce, not death) and remained in the pulpit. Or from men who have decided that their legal wife wasn't enough woman for them...

I've known many men who have been divorced, remarried, and have pastored (or deaced, or missioned, or evangeled :) ) through the evangelist for whom I used to work (anon, years ago...back when this was coming to prominence in Christian, especially IFB, circles). They were taught in their uber-IFB school by a man who said that, when God told them they were to preach, and they said, "but wait, Lord, I got a divorce," God said, "You got a what?" because it was all under the blood. And so this place produced divorced preacher after divorced preacher...and this man? Why, he and his wife are currently serving time in prison for heinous child abuse.

Why should where he is now make any difference to things if he taught what the Bible says? Because he was living the abuse at the time he was teaching...and, I'm sorry, but someone who did what he did has absolutely NO spiritual discernment and his teachings cannot be trusted.

And the divorced preachers? Many of them are still preaching, and still faithful to the wife they found at the college. Kudos to them! But one of my college professors made a statement that has stuck with me all these years: In a situation where there has been a divorce and remarriage and the man continues to (or goes into) preach(ing), God blesses in spite of the sin, not because of the obedience. Something to think about.

But not all of those preachers have been faithful. In fact, many of them have carried on the immorality that was existent in their place of learning.

What does this have to do with anything? Simply this: We, as Christians, have lost, to a great degree, our fear of a holy God and have replaced it with man's reasonings: and those reasonings have caused a surge of divorced men in the pulpit.

We also have a surfeit of women in the pulpit...something no-one here would argue is absolutely wrong. But, hey - reasoning would dictate that if men can go into the pulpit, ignoring God's view of marriage as part of the qualifications, why cannot women go into the pulpit, ignoring God's view of women usurping men's authority in the church. Yes, I know that's faulty reasoning. But, so, too, is the reasoning that, because the Bible doesn't say in so many words: "Thou shalt not pastor or deac if you have been divorced." a man can remain in that position. Oh, wait! It does: "...husband of ONE wife." :coolsmiley:

PastorJ was right: the question of the OP wasn't about a pastor's divorce - it was about his wife's...maybe we've gone a little too far off the trail? :icon_mrgreen:

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Mt 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mt 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

As long as the divorced man lives, the wife he divorced, as long as she lives, is still his wife, they are still "one flesh," no man can take apart what God has joined together. And take notice of the stress put on this, " let not man put asunder," "What therefore God hath joined together."

Where the Holy Scriptures says, "one wife," that is exactly what the Holy Scriptures means, the man that marries, he and his wife shall always be one flesh until one or both die.

We are not making this up, we have clearly showed what the Scriptures says about this matter.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If a person is a missionary, they're not a pastor, of course a pastor could become a missionary. And a missionary could become a pastor if qualified. And of course a person can be an evangelist and not be a pastor nor a missionary.

Its not an attitude, its what the Bible teaches. I find it interesting the attitude some, even many, have when they disagree with someone, many times they will say that person has an attitude. Yet perhaps its an attitude within ones self that makes them think the person they disagree with has an attitude.


Allow me to change the word "attitude" to "perspective". Just to clear up any wrongly perceived under current on your part.

Your statement is not based upon any scripture. In fact, we both know the word "missionary" never occurs in the Bible. What is a man who is called of God to lead a church, care for the church, watch for the souls of that church, win the lost and baptize them into the church... Are you seriously asking me to think of myself as a "not pastor"?

You couldn't quote any scripture to support what you just said. You claim the Bible teaches that a missionary is not a pastor. I will wait for the chapter and verse on that my friend. Your perspective is common among many dear friends of mine who are in the ministry. Yet, they (and I suspect you) cannot demonstrator that perspective from the scriptures. Did Paul have any less authority over his converts than that of say, Peter? Their perspective is that since a church is a sending agency, therefore, the one snet is not on the same level as a pastor, yet I would love to hear a job description of a "missionary" that implies a "not pastor" fulfillment.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Are you claiming there's no such thing as a missionary?

Ac 13:1 ¶ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Ac 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Ac 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

In the above verses this church clearly approved of their calling, gave them the blessing, ordaining them for the work set before them by the Holy Ghost.

I will say that at times a pastor is sent forth as a missionary by a church. Usually this man is sent out with the authority from his sending church to start a church. I recall such a situation. I attended a meeting with a group of church the purpose being the sending of a pastor, as a missionary, to Nevada in the heart of Mormon country.

Thanks for changing to perspective from attitude. There is no use in us using such language towards one another, that just causes fire.

If you will read thru the New Testament you will find several that were sent, that were never pastor of a church.

By the way, I don't see no scriptural support for what you seem to claim.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist


No, I'm not, brother. I'm trying to show the inconsistencies of saying the Bible says something that it doesn't actually say.


Exactly.

My point is this: it's not clear.

It says: "The husband of one wife" NOT "the husband of one wife for his entire life" (which would include before salvation) and NOT "the husband of one wife right now." It can go one of two ways. I believe there is much more evidence that it is the latter than the former.

The examples you used about gays and women preachers don't apply here - the Bible is very clear on those subjects.

--

I hope no one has been offended personally by my comments in this thread. I hate divorce and I think it's a terrible thing. By the grace of God, my wife and I will never go down that road. Self imposed rule: we're not even allowed to talk about it.

That being said, I don't see any evidence in the Bible that a divorce in the distant past, yea even in a man's unsaved life, permanently bars him from being a deacon.

I believe there are two extreme unbiblical positions on this subject. One is the "who cares" mentality about divorce and the other is "I'm holding that against you forever" teaching. I think BOTH are wrong and unbiblical. What matters is what the Bible says, not the world's standards (the former) or Baptist tradition (the latter).

Actually, it is clear, "the husband of one wife". Since it doesn't say "except for..."or "unless...", we should take it as it stands without trying to "clarify" if by bringing up issues and points the Holy Ghost didn't deem it necessary to go into.

As LuAnn pointed out, previous to our times the qualifications were pretty much accepted across the board. It wasn't until modernism, humanism and feminism really began permeating the churches that questions and "exceptions" came into being.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Are you claiming there's no such thing as a missionary?

Of course not. I am a missionary.

Ac 13:1 ¶ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Ac 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Ac 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

In the above verses this church clearly approved of their calling, gave them the blessing, ordaining them for the work set before them by the Holy Ghost.

I will say that at times a pastor is sent forth as a missionary by a church. Usually this man is sent out with the authority from his sending church to start a church. I recall such a situation. I attended a meeting with a group of church the purpose being the sending of a pastor, as a missionary, to Nevada in the heart of Mormon country.

Thanks for changing to perspective from attitude. There is no use in us using such language towards one another, that just causes fire.

Not a problem, I saw where it was changing the tone of my post.

If you will read thru the New Testament you will find several that were sent, that were never pastor of a church.

I have read through the Bible over 40 times my friend. That is not the problem.

By the way, I don't see no scriptural support for what you seem to claim.

I'm not sure I'm claiming anything other than that a God called minister is a God called minister. It's men who have made through their traditions a "missionary" class servant. And that is what I cannot find in the scriptures.
In fact Paul, whom we should agree was a missionary had authority that supersedes pastors in several places.
He said he "robbed other churches" to pay the wages of the Corinthians. Brother, what and how do we explain that? He said that not only did he suffer many things at the hands of others for preaching the gospel, he also said that "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."
According to Hebrews 13, its pastors that have the care of the church. My point is this brother, a missionary (and I won't argue the title) is every bit as called to minister, lead, direct, care for, build up and oversee the local church as any pastor. I'm trying to say, exactly what is it that I am not authorized to do as a "missionary" that you are authorized to do as a "pastor"?
Well, that is the basic idea I was trying to get across. I found it very odd that someone seemed to suggest that if a missionary was divorced he could continue to minister, and it seemed to me that there was some sort of idea that any man called to the full time ministry does not have to meet the Biblical requirements (not standards) of the ministry.

Edited by Calvary
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Calvary,

Would you agree that not all missionaries are pastors?

I agree with you that the majority of missionaries serving the Lord are Pastor's and ought to hold to the qualifications of 1 Tim. 3. However, I know of a few missionaries that are not serving as Pastors. Some examples:

Missionary Pilots in Alaska - They transport pastors from church to church.
Single Lady Missionaries - Serving in churches all over the world. They assist the pastor and usually run children's ministries

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Calvary,

Would you agree that not all missionaries are pastors?

I agree with you that the majority of missionaries serving the Lord are Pastor's and ought to hold to the qualifications of 1 Tim. 3. However, I know of a few missionaries that are not serving as Pastors. Some examples:

Missionary Pilots in Alaska - They transport pastors from church to church.
Single Lady Missionaries - Serving in churches all over the world. They assist the pastor and usually run children's ministries


Absolutely. I am confining my remarks to "church planting" missionaries. My perspective is that, I have found over the years many pastors stateside don't understand the dynamic of what a church planting missionary really does. I am not alone in this thinking, as a missionary, I of course have dozens of missionary friends who have perceived the same failing in men who pastor. I do not think it is a general rule however that stateside pastors are not appreciative of the work we do as church planters and most pastors have great respect for foreign missioanries. I say that just in case this comes across as a complaint dept. :-)

My question is this:

Exactly where does a pastor"s authority differ from that of a church planting missionary on a foreign field?

Ya know, Carrie Suhl, a great lady who supplies me with Bibles for several years is a devoted missionary in Mexico. Her husband was called home to the Lord and she remained in Mexico to help local churches get Bibles free of charge.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think its sad we have to have a debate on this. The world has become so desensitized to sin. How did we get so far away from God's Word so quickly? America's view of marriage has been so distorted.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think its sad we have to have a debate on this. The world has become so desensitized to sin. How did we get so far away from God's Word so quickly? America's view of marriage has been so distorted.


Some, do not have ears to hear with, others just fail to understand the Bible, God's way.

One thing I have noticed for most people, if they're 1st taught one thing about God, Jesus, Church, ect., they seem bent towards sticking to it till they die, no matter what anyone shows them within the pages of the Bible.

That is my humble opinion about the subject.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Calvary,

I for one believe that most missionaries are "Pastors" in a foreign country and therefore must meet the qualifications of a pastor.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Calvary,

I for one believe that most missionaries are "Pastors" in a foreign country and therefore must meet the qualifications of a pastor.


Amazing, we are finding some other things of which we agree on.
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