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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
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      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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You are missing the context. This isn't speaking to what you are saying.

Not missing a thing, John Verse 27 asks art thou loosed from a wife? It can be speaking of nothing except divorce. For it also asks art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed.

Loosed can mean nothing but divorce. It cannot mean widowed. It would make no sense to say Are you married? seek not to be a widow.

Are you loosed (divorced)? seek not a wife. But, if you marry you have not sinned. Verse 28 starts with the word 'but' to understand why the word 'but' is used, one must go to the previous verse.

Remarriage is not sin according to 1 Corinthians 7
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Not missing a thing, John Verse 27 asks art thou loosed from a wife? It can be speaking of nothing except divorce. For it also asks art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed.

Loosed can mean nothing but divorce. It cannot mean widowed. It would make no sense to say Are you married? seek not to be a widow.

Are you loosed (divorced)? seek not a wife. But, if you marry you have not sinned. Verse 28 starts with the word 'but' to understand why the word 'but' is used, one must go to the previous verse.

Remarriage is not sin according to 1 Corinthians 7


Loosed in the context can mean either divorced or widowed, but your reading a meaning into the scriptures that isn't there. Verses 25-40 of 1st Corinthians 7 should be taken as a whole, you can't take one verse out and fairly interpret it in a manner that would contradict the rest of the passage and multiple other scriptures as well. The part your quoting, verse 27 and the first part of 28, are building upon verse 26 where Paul is saying there are benefits to being unmarried. He is not saying it is not sin for a divorced person to remarry while their spouse is still alive(see verse 39), he is saying it is not a sin for a unmarried(but not divorced) individual to marry. In other words celibacy is not required of believers.

Until the past 50 years or it wasn't even seriously questioned that divorce and remarriage was wrong and a disqualification to pastor. With the prevalence of divorce these days though something "had" to be done to bring the bible in line with modern "realities" I suppose. IFB's might not yet have reached the point of arguing like the Anglicans or some other groups if homosexual pastors are permissible or not, but we have some things that we also "wink" at for cultural reasons while unchangeable God does not.
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Sorry Seth,

Seek not to be loosed does not mean, nor can it mean widowed.

Nice try though.



Never said that "seek not to be loosed" was talking about being widowed. Obviously that part is saying don't get a divorce. However you can be "loosed" by the death of a spouse as well. Therefore "art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife." could apply either to a divorced or widowed individual.

The point stands that your interpretation of verse 27 and part of 28 of 1st Corinthians 7 can be shown to be faulty when scripture is compared with scripture.

"1st Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."

"Romans 7:2-3 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."

"Mark 10:10-12 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." Edited by Seth-Doty
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In order to unattatch something, it must first be attatched.


It doesn't have to mean "to unattach" (verb) it can be not attached to be begin with. It's old English.
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Never said that "seek not to be loosed" was talking about being widowed. Obviously that part is saying don't get a divorce. However you can be "loosed" by the death of a spouse as well. Therefore "art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife." could apply either to a divorced or widowed individual.

The point stands that your interpretation of verse 27 and part of 28 of 1st Corinthians 7 can be shown to be faulty when scripture is compared with scripture.

"1st Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."

"Romans 7:2-3 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."

"Mark 10:10-12 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

That's right Seth. This is what I was speaking of with regards to taking it all in context. As you said in a previous post, those two verses in discussion must be taken in the context they are presented, as you did, and then they must be compared with the rest of Scripture on the subject, which you are addressing here. Well done.
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Hello all. I am new to this forum. I read through the majority of this thread, but not every post, so if I repeat something that has already been mentioned, please forgive me.

I grew up hearing that divorced men could not be pastors. My pastor would not even allow a divorced man to teach Sunday school. While searching for a church home after we relocated, I refused to go to church where the pastor was divorced.

However, I know of two current pastors who have been divorced and remarried and have thriving ministries. People are being saved and their congregations are growing. Salvation is the principle facet to our belief, correct? This has caused me to reexamine what I was taught and see what the Bible actually says.

There are several qualifications for pastor given in I Timothy and Titus. The one common feature is that all are in the present tense. This indicates that God is concerned with how a man is living his life in the here and now. By no means do I condone divorce, please do not think I do. However, if a man that has been divorced in the past is disqualified from being a pastor, then the same principle should apply if they used to drink. If this standard is to be held, then a man who has ever gotten into a fight cannot pastor. To identify one sin from the past without recognizing all sins is a double standard and hypocritical in my opinion. I believe it is an error to single out one sin from a man’s past and ignore the rest.

I read several posts where someone said that even though the sin is forgiven there are consequences for their sin. The only consequence for sin I read in the Bible is death. Sure there are civil consequences for wrong doing (murder, theft, etc…) However, God says the wages of sin is death. Since Jesus died and paid the penalty for that sin, how can man still hold someone guilty? Acts 13:39 states that we are justified from all sins. Justified means declared “Not Guilty”. Therefore, when a divorced and remarried man comes to God in repentance and seeks forgiveness, God removes that sin and remembers it no more. Why does man continue to bring it up?

Thanks for bearing with me.

Edited by chapabel
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Hello all. I am new to this forum. I read through the majority of this thread, but not every post, so if I repeat something that has already been mentioned, please forgive me.

I grew up hearing that divorced men could not be pastors. My pastor would not even allow a divorced man to teach Sunday school. While searching for a church home after we relocated, I refused to go to church where the pastor was divorced.

However, I know of two current pastors who have been divorced and remarried and have thriving ministries. People are being saved and their congregations are growing. Salvation is the principle facet to our belief, correct? This has caused me to reexamine what I was taught and see what the Bible actually says.

There are several qualifications for pastor given in I Timothy and Titus. The one common feature is that all are in the present tense. This indicates that God is concerned with how a man is living his life in the here and now. By no means do I condone divorce, please do not think I do. However, if a man that has been divorced in the past is disqualified from being a pastor, then the same principle should apply if they used to drink. If this standard is to be held, then a man who has ever gotten into a fight cannot pastor. To identify one sin from the past without recognizing all sins is a double standard and hypocritical in my opinion. I believe it is an error to single out one sin from a man’s past and ignore the rest.

I read several posts where someone said that even though the sin is forgiven there are consequences for their sin. The only consequence for sin I read in the Bible is death. Sure there are civil consequences for wrong doing (murder, theft, etc…) However, God says the wages of sin is death. Since Jesus died and paid the penalty for that sin, how can man still hold someone guilty? Acts 13:39 states that we are justified from all sins. Justified means declared “Not Guilty”. Therefore, when a divorced and remarried man comes to God in repentance and seeks forgiveness, God removes that sin and remembers it no more. Why does man continue to bring it up?

Thanks for bearing with me.
Excellent post!

The key words in 1 Timothy 3 are, as you mentioned, in the present tenst... MUST BE.

To say a man cannot pastor because he remarries is hypocritical... especially in light of the fact that all have sinned one sin or another.
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The Bible never says a divorced man can't be a pastor. The problem many fundamental Baptists have is they make an assumption that Bible doesn't say. The Bible clearly states that a pastor and deacon must be the husband of one wife.

That can mean two things:

1. One wife ever.

This is what most IFBers subscribe to. To remain consistent you must also teach that:

a. If a man was divorced before being saved it makes no difference - he is not the husband of one wife ever and cannot serve as a pastor or a deacon.
b. Though a man may be divorced biblically according to Matthew 5 it makes no difference - he is not the husband of one wife ever and may not serve as a pastor or a deacon.
c. If newly saved men has had his lost wife leave and divorce him two months into his new life in Christ, he is forever banned from serving as a pastor or deacon, regardless of what fruit the Lord may have worked in his life twenty years later.
d. If a man’s wife dies and he remarries, he is no longer the husband of one wife ever.

They will scratch and claw to deny some of these, but the fact remains that to be consistent this is what you must teach. All four of these points have huge problems when it comes to remaining consistent with the rest of Scripture and in my opinion the nature of who God is and His forgiving, merciful, and gracious nature. If in fact this is an unscriptural standard and burden placed upon people, then it is Phariseeism plain and simple. To demand a standard of a man that God does not demand of him is the primary qualification of a Pharisee.

I am the husband of one wife ever and so is my pastor.


2. One wife now.

The teaching here is that you can't be a polygamist and be a pastor or deacon. This teaching does not eternally punish a child of God for a pre-conversion divorce or a biblical divorce in which God assigns no blame to the man.

This doesn't guarantee a divorced man a position as a pastor or a deacon. He must meet all qualifications. Many pastors today couldn't teach their way out of a paper bag, and though they may have been married to the same woman for thirty years, they have no business being in the ministry.

Obviously there's much more to the discussion. I'd encourage you to study the Bible for yourself and pray about it. Ask yourself which one of these two interpretations is consistent with Scripture. Also go back to the first post and re-read the entire thread.

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However, I know of two current pastors who have been divorced and remarried and have thriving ministries. People are being saved and their congregations are growing. Salvation is the principle facet to our belief, correct? This has caused me to reexamine what I was taught and see what the Bible actually says.


The simple fact that people are being saved through a particular ministry does not mean that that ministry is operating in complete obedience to God. Billy Graham, for example, operates ecumenically - he sends hundreds of converts/seekers back to the Church of Rome and the false gospel it teaches - yet I do not doubt that many people have been truly saved under his ministry. But the fact that people have been saved does not make his actions correct.
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The simple fact that people are being saved through a particular ministry does not mean that that ministry is operating in complete obedience to God.

Are you suggesting God is blessing disobedience?

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That would not be an example of God "blessing", but rather God working some good even through such means.

Those who have been saved through the ministry of a divorced pastor would consider their salvation a blessing from God and would disagree with you. So you would admit that God does save even though it be through a divorced pastor?
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Those who have been saved through the ministry of a divorced pastor would consider their salvation a blessing from God and would disagree with you. So you would admit that God does save even though it be through a divorced pastor?

God can save through a wicked person presenting the Gospel in an attempt to be mocking, but that doesn't mean God is blessing the messenger or even what he's doing, but rather that God can and does use those not walking right to accomplish His will.
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There is a huge difference between a wicked person mocking God and a divorced pastor doing his best to present the Gospel, lead people to the Lord and shepherd a flock. Do you lump both together in the same group?

I guess the point I'm trying to make is I have seen how God has blessed the ministries of those two divorced pastors. After reviewing the qualifications for pastors, in light of other scripture, I fail to see where divorce and remarriage prohibits a man from pastoring. I once held a firm view against this, mainly because that was what I was taught by man. I understand why many still hold this position.

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The fact remains that divorce is not God's will for anyones marriage. I hold to the more fundamental side to this issue however God's grace forgives a load more than any of us are willing to do, He is all powerful and if he chooses to bless then so be it.

I think when you start looking for loop holes to accept a sin in someone's life you are on shaky ground. God wants his best for us and we should want God's best too.

I would never be rude, judge, or look down upon a divorced person. But when you look at a pastor's role in a church, ( this includes marriage counselling ) how can you take advice from someone who could not keep a marriage working and stable. And yes I know we all sin and are imperfect but you don't go to a gambler for financial advice nor would you go to a divorced person for marriage advice. There is also the issue of being a stumbling block. If you are counselling a married couple that divorce is not the way, and they find out you are divorced you advice becomes questionable and some would use it for justification. ( which I'm sure we all agree would be wrong)

I have no doubt that many ultra conservative stands I take will be way more on the legal side than on God's grace side, however when I stand before God I want it to be with having done the best I can, I want to be the best example that I can be. If I was a divorced person I would not stand up in front of church as a Pastor (if I was male) and I wouldn't put my hand up to teach my Sunday School class, I would want better for my flock and for my SS kids.

It concerns me all of the comments about IFBers etc. If I have not shown grace I apologise but I have to stand where my Lord leads me and I hope you do the same.

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The fact remains that divorce is not God's will for anyones marriage. I hold to the more fundamental side to this issue however God's grace forgives a load more than any of us are willing to do, He is all powerful and if he chooses to bless then so be it.

There are many things in our lives that are not God's will and yet He chooses to use us. David was a murderer and adulterer, and so was Moses, yet God placed them in positions of authority arguably far greater than that of a pastor of small local church. You can be "fundamental" all you want, but what does the Bible say?

I think when you start looking for loop holes to accept a sin in someone's life you are on shaky ground. God wants his best for us and we should want God's best too.

Amen, I don't think anyone here is in favor of finding loop holes to accept sin. Everyone should want God's best, but sometimes it doesn't happen. I'm very blessed to have God's best when it comes to my family; I have a wonderful wife and four beautiful children. But what about a situation where someone's wife left them because they recently trusted Christ? That's not a weird or odd situation, it's very common. God gave an allowance for divorce in Matthew 5, and God never makes an allowance for sin. Therefore divorce isn't always sin. What Scriptural basis would you have for holding something against a Christian that God does not?

I would never be rude, judge, or look down upon a divorced person.

Be honest - you already have looked down upon all divorced people, regardless of whether the divorce was biblical or pre-salvation. You didn't stop at disqualifying all divorced people from serving as a pastor or a deacon, you went so far in this post of yours to say they can't even teach a little kids Sunday School class. There is no Scriptural basis for what you are saying.

But when you look at a pastor's role in a church, ( this includes marriage counselling ) how can you take advice from someone who could not keep a marriage working and stable. And yes I know we all sin and are imperfect but you don't go to a gambler for financial advice nor would you go to a divorced person for marriage advice. There is also the issue of being a stumbling block. If you are counselling a married couple that divorce is not the way, and they find out you are divorced you advice becomes questionable and some would use it for justification. ( which I'm sure we all agree would be wrong)

People looking to do wrong will always look for any justification they can, just like anyone trying to do right will look for any way to overcome the problem. It's ridiculously common for pastor's houses to be unruly - and that's a disqualification. If the pastor steps down, gets right and ten years later pastors again no one says anything. Yet if he's been divorced at any point in his life he's forever unworthy of being a Sunday School teacher?

I have no doubt that many ultra conservative stands I take will be way more on the legal side than on God's grace side,

Ask yourself a couple questions:

1. It is "ultraconservative" or unbiblical?
2. Would YOU rather be on God's legal side or His grace side?

however when I stand before God I want it to be with having done the best I can, I want to be the best example that I can be. If I was a divorced person I would not stand up in front of church as a Pastor (if I was male) and I wouldn't put my hand up to teach my Sunday School class, I would want better for my flock and for my SS kids.

Because you look down on all divorced people as second class.

It concerns me all of the comments about IFBers etc. If I have not shown grace I apologise but I have to stand where my Lord leads me and I hope you do the same.

Nothing you've said has offended me. But then again, I'm not divorced.
Edited by Rick Schworer
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