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Divorce, Re-Marriage, Adultery, and the Ministry

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I am new to this forum, and I specifically came here to see the IFB views about Divorce, Re-Marriage, Adultery and Ministry.  I am an IFB and have wrestled for years about this topic, because of my desire to be in the ministry.  I can say that this has been a subject of great debate since the 1st century and, knowing that God is not the author of confusion, I can only conclude that Satan has used this to divide churches and create sects that do not glorify God.  One thing is clear to me; "The husband of one wife" means what it says.  A one woman man, committed to the one he is married to, whatever the situation, be it death or divorce...BUT, I must continue!

First of all, I would like to say that we are not under the Law in the sense that our flesh must perform all that is written or perform sacrifices to atone for the wrong we have done, but Grace did not abolish it: on the contrary, Grace fulfilled it all in Christ.  We are new creatures in Him which is a great miracle in itself.  But being a new creature does not mean that anything goes in the church.  Nothing in the Law itself gave the commandment "Thou shalt not Divorce".  Moses allowed it only because of the hardness of men's hearts.  But, the Law did say "Thou shalt not commit Adultery".  Jesus went on to teach that even if you look on a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery with her in your heart.  Is the issue here really Divorce, or is it Adultery?  If the issue is Divorce, then I am convicted that the issue is settled.  But, if the issue is Adultery, then no man has the right to be a Pastor or Deacon under Jesus' definition of Adultery.  Now, there is no man in the ministry who would admit to this secret sin, and any man that would say that he has never committed adultery is a lier.   But, Jesus Himself linked the two together.  Adultery and Divorce go hand in hand.  Not that both the husband and wife committed it, but someone in the relationship did and Divorce was the outcome.  But the two are also separated in some cases.  The lack of Adultery is not listed as a requirement for being a Pastor or Deacon, but Divorce is.  Why?  Also, to be a Pastor or Deacon one must be blameless!  Who of you that fill the pulpit is blameless?  The answer of course is NO ONE! So, what are we to do? 

It is unfortunate that today sex is everywhere.  The clothing that men and women wear in the secular world is unbelievable, to say the least.  We would have to wear blindfolds to keep from looking a second time.  So, I believe that for this debate, everything must be simplified because I believe Jesus made it simple.  Divorce is Adultery. You just can't get around it.  I have tried, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit will not allow it!  ANYONE who Divorces his wife SAVE FOR THE CAUSE OF FORNICATION, causes her to commit adultery (Matt 5:32, Matt 19:9).  Now, we can slice it, dice it, filet it, and beat it to death, but, Divorce is Divorce, and if you have divorced, there is NO scripture that will support a man being a Pastor or Deacon.  I have tried to get around it, but have always been convicted to the contrary.  I believe the following to be the reason.

First of all, there are still those men that are available for ministry that God has CALLED to be Pastors and Deacons, (although this too is waning in this present evil world).  Men who are married to their first and only wife.  The reason for this requirement is first, for those exact men, and second, because of the world.  If we do begin to fill the offices of Pastors and Deacons with Divorced men, then it will erode marriage (more and more Pastors or their wives will be tempted to Divorce), it will diminish the offices, and it will bring controversy and contempt from the World.  Remember; Rom 14:21  "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."  Therefor, I will not allow myself to do a great disservice to the church or the Kingdom of Heaven by allowing myself to be ordained as a Pastor of Deacon.  Can I still preach?  Yes.  Can I still serve in the mission field? Yes.  I can do any other thing but fill these offices FORMALLY. I have been disqualified.  Also, I believe that those in these offices have a responsibility to not, through action or inaction, create an environment that seemingly makes Divorce an unpardonable sin. Use those whom God has given to you to use the gifts the Spirit of God has given them.  Don't be guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit in someone's life. 

I also must remind the reader that if men were to regard the requirements of 1 Tim 3:2,12, and Tit 1.6, then I fear there would be no Pastors or Deacons.  So, the argument could be made that our standards have become relaxed in filling these offices.

So, I exhort everyone that reads this to do the Word, preach the Word, quench not the Spirit, love the brethren, don't do anything that will cause a Brother or Sister to stumble and above all else, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your spirit.  AMEN

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We that are born again Christians, are serving in the Lords Army. New Christians are privates, as we work our way up to we get to becoming  a General, or Pastor. As sins starts applying into your life and mines, you can start removing stripes. That will be your position, and in what place you and I can serve Him. 

2664091B-12CA-474E-B4D0-1F5D146B3F05.jpeg

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On 1/3/2020 at 2:09 PM, ChristianUnderground said:

I am new to this forum, and I specifically came here to see the IFB views about Divorce, Re-Marriage, Adultery and Ministry.  I am an IFB and have wrestled for years about this topic, because of my desire to be in the ministry.  I can say that this has been a subject of great debate since the 1st century and, knowing that God is not the author of confusion, I can only conclude that Satan has used this to divide churches and create sects that do not glorify God.  One thing is clear to me; "The husband of one wife" means what it says.  A one woman man, committed to the one he is married to, whatever the situation, be it death or divorce...BUT, I must continue!

First of all, I would like to say that we are not under the Law in the sense that our flesh must perform all that is written or perform sacrifices to atone for the wrong we have done, but Grace did not abolish it: on the contrary, Grace fulfilled it all in Christ.  We are new creatures in Him which is a great miracle in itself.  But being a new creature does not mean that anything goes in the church.  Nothing in the Law itself gave the commandment "Thou shalt not Divorce".  Moses allowed it only because of the hardness of men's hearts.  But, the Law did say "Thou shalt not commit Adultery".  Jesus went on to teach that even if you look on a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery with her in your heart.  Is the issue here really Divorce, or is it Adultery?  If the issue is Divorce, then I am convicted that the issue is settled.  But, if the issue is Adultery, then no man has the right to be a Pastor or Deacon under Jesus' definition of Adultery.  Now, there is no man in the ministry who would admit to this secret sin, and any man that would say that he has never committed adultery is a lier.   But, Jesus Himself linked the two together.  Adultery and Divorce go hand in hand.  Not that both the husband and wife committed it, but someone in the relationship did and Divorce was the outcome.  But the two are also separated in some cases.  The lack of Adultery is not listed as a requirement for being a Pastor or Deacon, but Divorce is.  Why?  Also, to be a Pastor or Deacon one must be blameless!  Who of you that fill the pulpit is blameless?  The answer of course is NO ONE! So, what are we to do? 

It is unfortunate that today sex is everywhere.  The clothing that men and women wear in the secular world is unbelievable, to say the least.  We would have to wear blindfolds to keep from looking a second time.  So, I believe that for this debate, everything must be simplified because I believe Jesus made it simple.  Divorce is Adultery. You just can't get around it.  I have tried, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit will not allow it!  ANYONE who Divorces his wife SAVE FOR THE CAUSE OF FORNICATION, causes her to commit adultery (Matt 5:32, Matt 19:9).  Now, we can slice it, dice it, filet it, and beat it to death, but, Divorce is Divorce, and if you have divorced, there is NO scripture that will support a man being a Pastor or Deacon.  I have tried to get around it, but have always been convicted to the contrary.  I believe the following to be the reason.

First of all, there are still those men that are available for ministry that God has CALLED to be Pastors and Deacons, (although this too is waning in this present evil world).  Men who are married to their first and only wife.  The reason for this requirement is first, for those exact men, and second, because of the world.  If we do begin to fill the offices of Pastors and Deacons with Divorced men, then it will erode marriage (more and more Pastors or their wives will be tempted to Divorce), it will diminish the offices, and it will bring controversy and contempt from the World.  Remember; Rom 14:21  "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak."  Therefor, I will not allow myself to do a great disservice to the church or the Kingdom of Heaven by allowing myself to be ordained as a Pastor of Deacon.  Can I still preach?  Yes.  Can I still serve in the mission field? Yes.  I can do any other thing but fill these offices FORMALLY. I have been disqualified.  Also, I believe that those in these offices have a responsibility to not, through action or inaction, create an environment that seemingly makes Divorce an unpardonable sin. Use those whom God has given to you to use the gifts the Spirit of God has given them.  Don't be guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit in someone's life. 

I also must remind the reader that if men were to regard the requirements of 1 Tim 3:2,12, and Tit 1.6, then I fear there would be no Pastors or Deacons.  So, the argument could be made that our standards have become relaxed in filling these offices.

So, I exhort everyone that reads this to do the Word, preach the Word, quench not the Spirit, love the brethren, don't do anything that will cause a Brother or Sister to stumble and above all else, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your spirit.  AMEN

I knew of a Pastor whose wife divorced him, as she was having an affair with someone on his staff, and yet he was forced to go on counseling and was taken off pastorate, and then was forced to leave the church due to his situation!

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Yes it is unbelievable what the self righteous will do to pastors.  I am currently filling our pulpit as a Lay Preacher because our pastor retired and we cannot afford to pay a pastor at this time.  I would be very miserable if I would have refused.  Sometimes dogmatism goes to far, and the Church is suffering from it.  Many IFB’s will condemn me and say there’s no such thing.  Just as I was once told there’s no such thing as a fundamental Presbyterian.  All I can say is if they want to judge another man’s servant, I will not be offended,  but I will do what the Lord called me to do.

On 1/5/2020 at 8:44 AM, E Morales said:

We that are born again Christians, are serving in the Lords Army. New Christians are privates, as we work our way up to we get to becoming  a General, or Pastor. As sins starts applying into your life and mines, you can start removing stripes. That will be your position, and in what place you and I can serve Him. 

2664091B-12CA-474E-B4D0-1F5D146B3F05.jpeg

I have never seen this in scripture but have heard it many times.  Maybe you can give me references to this doctrine of yours.

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20 hours ago, ChristianUnderground said:

Yes it is unbelievable what the self righteous will do to pastors.  I am currently filling our pulpit as a Lay Preacher because our pastor retired and we cannot afford to pay a pastor at this time.  I would be very miserable if I would have refused.  Sometimes dogmatism goes to far, and the Church is suffering from it.  Many IFB’s will condemn me and say there’s no such thing.  Just as I was once told there’s no such thing as a fundamental Presbyterian.  All I can say is if they want to judge another man’s servant, I will not be offended,  but I will do what the Lord called me to do.

I have never seen this in scripture but have heard it many times.  Maybe you can give me references to this doctrine of yours.

This is a example on how we serve the Lord. This is not thought in this manner in the bible. We humans need to see things to get the picture. If you see the stripes, you understand what I'm talking about. You and I can full man, but not God, so we remove are invisible stripes. You are serving were you at, not only Baptist can lead a lost soul to Christ.

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I have long disagreed with the view that a divorced man is disqualified to be a pastor. The idea comes from the phrase "The husband of one wife" He is to be the husband of one wife. I get that and I agree with it. However, does that reference divorce? If so, then it must also refence a widower, for in both cases, they are married to only one wife, but they HAD been married to another wife at one time. 

In the question of divorce, it would be dependent upon, I suppose, the circumstances of the divorce. As Jesus said, fornication, (not adultery), is the acceptable reason for divorce, so in such a case, the man should be free to both remarry and pastor a church.  In other cases, we see Paul speak about if a believer is married to an unbeliever, and the unbeliever departs, let them depart, the believer is not under bondage, (bonds of marriage) to them. Therefore, that man should be free to both remarry and be a pastor.

After I had accepted the call to preach, but well before I became a pastor, my wife left me, (an unbeliever), not wanting anything to do with that life. I wonder, when God called me, was He surprised that happened? No, He knew, and I believe it was part of that call, because she would not have been conducive to that work. No different than when Ezra commanded the Israelites to divorce the strange women they'd married while in captivity.  

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:23 AM, Ukulelemike said:

I have long disagreed with the view that a divorced man is disqualified to be a pastor. The idea comes from the phrase "The husband of one wife" He is to be the husband of one wife. I get that and I agree with it. However, does that reference divorce? If so, then it must also refence a widower, for in both cases, they are married to only one wife, but they HAD been married to another wife at one time. 

In the question of divorce, it would be dependent upon, I suppose, the circumstances of the divorce. As Jesus said, fornication, (not adultery), is the acceptable reason for divorce, so in such a case, the man should be free to both remarry and pastor a church.  In other cases, we see Paul speak about if a believer is married to an unbeliever, and the unbeliever departs, let them depart, the believer is not under bondage, (bonds of marriage) to them. Therefore, that man should be free to both remarry and be a pastor.

After I had accepted the call to preach, but well before I became a pastor, my wife left me, (an unbeliever), not wanting anything to do with that life. I wonder, when God called me, was He surprised that happened? No, He knew, and I believe it was part of that call, because she would not have been conducive to that work. No different than when Ezra commanded the Israelites to divorce the strange women they'd married while in captivity.  

AMEN.

There are two biblical reasons for divorce: fornication, and in the case of an unbeliever refusing to remain married to a believer.

Fornication in the text (Matthew 5:32)  was the Greek word porneuo.  This word includes fornication and adultery (which, by definition is a form of fornication being any sexual act outside of marriage); but it has to do with a corrupt appetite for sexual perverseness.  It has the idea of sexual acts being idolatrous.  In other words: a perverse sexual addiction that one does not want to relinquish.

With that said, Jesus nor Paul promoted, much less commanded divorce in either of these situations.  Many people are capable of grace enough to forgive their spouse for fornication/adultery, and to work through that sin and repair their marriage and relationships.  Obviously, in the case of a person with sexual addictions not willing to repent, divorce is likely the only option; and in the case of an unbeliever, the believer is not to put their spouse away.  It is fully up to the unbelieving spouse.

I would agree that any man who is divorced under either of these two allowances and remarried; or is released from marriage due to a spouse's death and remarried is fully qualified (at least by biblical marriage standards) to be a pastor.

 

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On 3/29/2020 at 12:17 AM, ChristianUnderground said:

Yes it is unbelievable what the self righteous will do to pastors.  I am currently filling our pulpit as a Lay Preacher because our pastor retired and we cannot afford to pay a pastor at this time.  I would be very miserable if I would have refused.  Sometimes dogmatism goes to far, and the Church is suffering from it.  Many IFB’s will condemn me and say there’s no such thing.  Just as I was once told there’s no such thing as a fundamental Presbyterian.  All I can say is if they want to judge another man’s servant, I will not be offended,  but I will do what the Lord called me to do.

I have never seen this in scripture but have heard it many times.  Maybe you can give me references to this doctrine of yours.

 

On 3/30/2020 at 11:26 AM, E Morales said:

fool man, ...   🙂

Fool? The Bible also speaks clearly to those who would call someone a fool out of contempt (Matthew 5:22) We have so much self righteousness in the church today that I cannot see the forest because of the trees.  
Before we pass such harsh judgement on other Christians, all being born again for their is no other kind, let us put down tradition and the opinion of others and truly study for ourselves the pure milk and meat.  By the way, did God or man create divorce?

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52 minutes ago, ChristianUnderground said:

 

Fool? The Bible also speaks clearly to those who would call someone a fool out of contempt (Matthew 5:22) We have so much self righteousness in the church today that I cannot see the forest because of the trees.  
Before we pass such harsh judgement on other Christians, all being born again for their is no other kind, let us put down tradition and the opinion of others and truly study for ourselves the pure milk and meat.  By the way, did God or man create divorce?

He wasn't calling anyone a fool, he was correcting the post where the poster wrote "We may be able to FULL man...", when he clearly meant "to FOOL man...". Just a spelling correction. Probably they made the comment on their phone and it didn't like the word fool and changed it.

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On 4/1/2020 at 12:23 PM, Ukulelemike said:

I have long disagreed with the view that a divorced man is disqualified to be a pastor. The idea comes from the phrase "The husband of one wife" He is to be the husband of one wife. I get that and I agree with it. However, does that reference divorce? If so, then it must also refence a widower, for in both cases, they are married to only one wife, but they HAD been married to another wife at one time. 

In the question of divorce, it would be dependent upon, I suppose, the circumstances of the divorce. As Jesus said, fornication, (not adultery), is the acceptable reason for divorce, so in such a case, the man should be free to both remarry and pastor a church.  In other cases, we see Paul speak about if a believer is married to an unbeliever, and the unbeliever departs, let them depart, the believer is not under bondage, (bonds of marriage) to them. Therefore, that man should be free to both remarry and be a pastor.

After I had accepted the call to preach, but well before I became a pastor, my wife left me, (an unbeliever), not wanting anything to do with that life. I wonder, when God called me, was He surprised that happened? No, He knew, and I believe it was part of that call, because she would not have been conducive to that work. No different than when Ezra commanded the Israelites to divorce the strange women they'd married while in captivity.  

Mike, I can understand, having had a wife like yours. Please understand I am only offering an alternative for other folks who are called to preach/serve. Folks should understand we may not be called to be a pastor. Evangelism is open to any man called to preach. That said, it isn't about the position, its about serving the Lord in the capacity and framework He has given. We have many options for service,  we can serve in other capacities besides the pastorate. Looking at all the requirements of a pastor and deacon in Timothy and Titus, I chose service in other positions. I have peace about my decision and serve in other capacities within my local church and in witnessing to others. I've also preached in my local church, we are all called to preach/teach the good news of Jesus Christ.

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On 5/2/2020 at 5:41 AM, 1Timothy115 said:

Mike, I can understand, having had a wife like yours. Please understand I am only offering an alternative for other folks who are called to preach/serve. Folks should understand we may not be called to be a pastor. Evangelism is open to any man called to preach. That said, it isn't about the position, its about serving the Lord in the capacity and framework He has given. We have many options for service,  we can serve in other capacities besides the pastorate. Looking at all the requirements of a pastor and deacon in Timothy and Titus, I chose service in other positions. I have peace about my decision and serve in other capacities within my local church and in witnessing to others. I've also preached in my local church, we are all called to preach/teach the good news of Jesus Christ.

I agree. In fact, for many years I thought, following the standard IFB position that divorce disqualifies one for the position of a pastor, I sought and prayed for where to serve, but I had extremely clear direction to the pulpit where I still serve. And even here, I have prayed that if someone else was more suited to it, if the Lord would bring them and make it clear to me, that I would gladly stand down, yet that hasn't been the case. In fact, thus far, after 18 years as pastor here, the only options I have are to step down and shut down the church, or remain, and I won't just let the church close as long as there is anyone being helped and guided and saved through that ministry. I won't leave them with a Southern Baptist or Assembly of God as their only options. 

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On 4/23/2020 at 11:52 AM, Casey said:

AMEN.

There are two biblical reasons for divorce: fornication, and in the case of an unbeliever refusing to remain married to a believer.

Fornication in the text (Matthew 5:32)  was the Greek word porneuo.  This word includes fornication and adultery (which, by definition is a form of fornication being any sexual act outside of marriage); but it has to do with a corrupt appetite for sexual perverseness.  It has the idea of sexual acts being idolatrous.  In other words: a perverse sexual addiction that one does not want to relinquish.

With that said, Jesus nor Paul promoted, much less commanded divorce in either of these situations.  Many people are capable of grace enough to forgive their spouse for fornication/adultery, and to work through that sin and repair their marriage and relationships.  Obviously, in the case of a person with sexual addictions not willing to repent, divorce is likely the only option; and in the case of an unbeliever, the believer is not to put their spouse away.  It is fully up to the unbelieving spouse.

I would agree that any man who is divorced under either of these two allowances and remarried; or is released from marriage due to a spouse's death and remarried is fully qualified (at least by biblical marriage standards) to be a pastor.

 

Yes, as there were given in scripture permitted divorce, but still feel that 2 real Christians should by grace of God be able to work it out!

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      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.

      5. When you make a vow that "Till death do us part" I do not believe adultery gives you the right to break that covenant and promise you made to your spouse to love them and care for them "Till death do us part". 

      6. If you were committing adultery, would you want your spouse to divorce you? or would you want her to love you and pray for you until you came to a place of repentance? We are to do to others as we would have done unto ourselves.

      Just some final notes, I do not see how the verse in Corinthians that says "is not under bondage" can mean they are free to remarry, in my opinion that is something read into the passage. Also I realize that under the Law of Moses God allowed remarriage, however, it is said that was for the hardness of their hearts, I do not think God ever was happy with any kind of divorce, God clearly hates divorce, and New Testament Christians should go far beyond the letter of the law of the Moses because we have the Spirit of God indwelling us.
    • By Donald
      My wife and I regularly sing in Church; And there is a song, that she has suggested that we sing called, “just one more soul”; But I have been against the idea, because I just didn’t like this song.  And this morning the Lord has shown me why “I don’t like it”: Because it is UnBiblical;  In several ways.
      Here is a line from the first verse.... “The preachers are weary, the singers are tired”:
      For one thing, if this is the case in your Church, than the preachers and singers, need to either find some other ministry to do(one God is calling them to), or they need to get saved.  Because doing things in the Spirit, will not be wearisome.
      But the next line, just might be right.... “The Church as we know it, is losing its fire”
      For sure, when members of a local Church are “laboring in the flesh”, they will lose God’s fire!
      And the last line of the first verse, gives the wrong response to this problem.....
      “But we must determine to keep pressing on”!
      If your laboring in the flesh, “more labor” is not the answer!
      Jesus said......
      "Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
      ------------------------
      Sure enough, there is some “work” involved, in staying close to the Lord; Such as Prayer and Bible study and Church attendance!  But, the fruit of this labor, is learning to follow the Lord’s instructions: And His instructions are not Burdensome!  They are fun!
       
    • By beameup
      We are Ambassadors.  Just as an earthly kingdom or nation would have an Ambassador, so too Christ has representatives of his Heavenly Kingdom.                    2 Corinthians 5:17-21   Our Ministry is one of Reconciliation - we are to spread the Word of Reconciliation (how that God wants men to be Reconciled to Him, through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ).
      Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us [proclaim] the word of reconciliation. Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
       
    • By RevBob
      A warning for Christian ladies: this post may be inappropriate for you.  Make sure to get a permission from your husband or pastor before you attempt to read this post in its whole.
       
      One of the affiliates of my church specializes in preaching to various deviants, including preaching at California nude beaches.  He believes that, where appropriate and useful, such manner is justified by Isaiah's ministry.  I'm not sure I completely agree, especially when it comes to ministering to satanic women, of which there are plenty at such venues.  Nevetheless, he does lead people to Salvation.  Here's one letter to his ministry that he shared with us:
       
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