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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Are Pastoral Disqualifications Permanent?


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In dealing with the fall of a fellow pastor (see Prayer Requests for details), the idea was brought up that some sins permanently disqualify a man from the pastorate while others don't. I think most of us agree that divorce permanently disqualifies a man from the pastorate, but what about theft? If the pastor repays the money he claims to have borrowed (without telling anyone about it), can he remain in the pastorate?

What sins disqualify a pastor permanently, and what sins disqualify a pastor temporarily, allowing him to return to the pulpit eventually?

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In dealing with the fall of a fellow pastor (see Prayer Requests for details), the idea was brought up that some sins permanently disqualify a man from the pastorate while others don't. I think most of us agree that divorce permanently disqualifies a man from the pastorate, but what about theft? If the pastor repays the money he claims to have borrowed (without telling anyone about it), can he remain in the pastorate?

What sins disqualify a pastor permanently, and what sins disqualify a pastor temporarily, allowing him to return to the pulpit eventually?


I've read and reread 1 Timothy and Titus; I'm not so sure divorce permanently disqualifies a man from the pastorate.

If a wife suddenly left of her own free will never to return, i.e. remarried other men several times and it was discovered she committed adultery before she left; then the man divorced her, would this bar the man from the pastorate? Edited by 1Tim115
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1Ti 3:1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil..

Tit 1:6 ¶ If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

My personal opinion is that there be many, that have no back bone at all, that will not take a stand against the man that claims to have been called by God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ that meets not ALL qualifications nor the man that brings shame to that position. Those that do this will ordain men to be pastors that are a complete embarrassment to the Churches of Jesus Christ and brings much shame on His Churches. Theses such people put a stumbling block in front of many, those that allow this are 100 % responsible for the shame that man brings on Jesus and His Churches.

No longer my personal opinion!

The man who is a thief should never be pastor of a church, and if he is found to be a thief he should be stripped of that position. A thief is not blameless.

In fact we all know that the Bible gives the qualifications for that position, at any time they fail to meet those qualifications, before ordination, or after ordination, they should cease to pastor one of Jesus' Churches. And members of one of Jesus' Churches should not put up with the man that does not meet all qualification God gives for that position.

We that are saved thanks to Jesus have no right, power, authority, to change any of the qualification given, we do have the right, power, authority to uphold them.

Sad to say, many pastors that get in trouble will move to a different location and will stay in the ministry, and many churches that have had such a pastor will not speak out against him. Doing that they fail to stand up for God's truths and aid men that should not be in that position stay in that position.

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1Ti 3:1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil..

Tit 1:6 ¶ If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

My personal opinion is that there be many, that have no back bone at all, that will not take a stand against the man that claims to have been called by God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ that meets not ALL qualifications nor the man that brings shame to that position. Those that do this will ordain men to be pastors that are a complete embarrassment to the Churches of Jesus Christ and brings much shame on His Churches. Theses such people put a stumbling block in front of many, those that allow this are 100 % responsible for the shame that man brings on Jesus and His Churches.

No longer my personal opinion!

The man who is a thief should never be pastor of a church, and if he is found to be a thief he should be stripped of that position. A thief is not blameless.

In fact we all know that the Bible gives the qualifications for that position, at any time they fail to meet those qualifications, before ordination, or after ordination, they should cease to pastor one of Jesus' Churches. And members of one of Jesus' Churches should not put up with the man that does not meet all qualification God gives for that position.

We that are saved thanks to Jesus have no right, power, authority, to change any of the qualification given, we do have the right, power, authority to uphold them.

Sad to say, many pastors that get in trouble will move to a different location and will stay in the ministry, and many churches that have had such a pastor will not speak out against him. Doing that they fail to stand up for God's truths and aid men that should not be in that position stay in that position.

Are you saying this man...
If a wife suddenly left of her own free will never to return, i.e. remarried other men several times and it was discovered she committed adultery before she left; then the man divorced her, would this bar the man from the pastorate?

...would not be held blameless?
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I've heard of wife's leaving on their own, yet it was the husbands fault.

And being as the husband is the head of the family, its left in his lap. When your the head you have to accept the responsibility many times when the fault is not directly yours.

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

When the husband is divorced he is no longer blameless and no longer meets the qualification given in the above verse. And yes, I know the trend of everyone blaming everyone else for their ever little problem. But we are not speaking about the blame game. We have to use the Bible in order to know what is right or wrong.

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Jerry,

Have you ever taken something that wasn't your's? If you have, your a thief and disqualified. Again, Pastoral qualifications are very clear in 1 Tim. 3. and there is no mention of theft.


Chevy,
The issue is not that he stole because that is not mentioned in the qualifications. The issue is, "Is he blameless". The idea of being blameless is that nothing can be pinned to you or held against you. At the point of the theft, he is no longer blameless and must step down. That doesn't mean he could not pastor again. It takes time to overcome sin.

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Pastorj, I just love how people argue against the Bible using human reasoning. Why not take the Bible as it is? I suppose that is a $64,000 Dollar Question.

I'll answer that $64,000 dollar question. For you young ones there use to be a show called the $64,000 Question back in 1955-58, with today's inflation those numbers would be much higher today.

Few there be that will accept the Bible as it is.

The man that married the divorced woman has shown that he is not blameless, therefore he is not qualified to be a pastor. He has freely of his own free will caused to commit adultery.

Mt 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Of course in today's world adultery is so tolerated that most people, including Christians, Christian teachers, and even pastors pays it no mind and does not think of it being of enough importance to pay any mind.

A pastor that has done this has shown that he thinks he knows better than God and cannot be an example to his flock.

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I've heard of wife's leaving on their own, yet it was the husbands fault.

And being as the husband is the head of the family, its left in his lap. When your the head you have to accept the responsibility many times when the fault is not directly yours.

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

When the husband is divorced he is no longer blameless and no longer meets the qualification given in the above verse. And yes, I know the trend of everyone blaming everyone else for their ever little problem. But we are not speaking about the blame game. We have to use the Bible in order to know what is right or wrong.


So if this were the case...

If a wife suddenly left of her own free will never to return, i.e. remarried other men several times and it was discovered she committed adultery before she left; then the man divorced her, would this bar the man from the pastorate?


...what part do the following scriptures play, if any?

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

Do the above two scriptures say this brother would be held blameless?
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Jerry,

You still refuse to answer the question. Have you ever taken something. If you have, you are a thief. and therefore in your estimation disqualified from the ministry. I am thankful for a God who forgives me and washes the sin away and casts it as far as the east is from the west. A God who remembers my sin no more.

I stole a candy bar and a hot wheels car when I was 10 years old. No one I know considers me to be a thief anymore. I consider myself to be blameless in this area. When I was 10, that wasn't true. I listed to heavy metal music when I was 16, but that is not the case now.

My point is that when I was 16, I wasn't qualified to pastor, but at 42 no one holds those things against me.

The same is true for many sins that people commit that do not directly disqualify someone from the ministry. If the man was divorced, he is disqualified. Time will tell whether someone is qualified as they will prove they are blameless.

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So if this were the case...



...what part do the following scriptures play, if any?

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

Do the above two scriptures say this brother would be held blameless?



The qualifications for a pastor are not qualifications to be saved. The brother there is not a pastor, and we are speaking about the office of pastor. The most important position in a New Testament Church. And God has given the qualification for that position. But many churches will not hold to them, and or add to them.

And yes, the pastor is held to a higher standard which is very clear for anyone taking heed to the qualification for that position, although there be few pastors that will accept that fact.

I did not say, neither does the Bible say, the pastor had to be perfect, if that was the case no human could hold the position.
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The qualifications for a pastor are not qualifications to be saved. The brother there is not a pastor, and we are speaking about the office of pastor. The most important position in a New Testament Church. And God has given the qualification for that position. But many churches will not hold to them, and or add to them.

And yes, the pastor is held to a higher standard which is very clear for anyone taking heed to the qualification for that position, although there be few pastors that will accept that fact.

I did not say, neither does the Bible say, the pastor had to be perfect, if that was the case no human could hold the position.


If Christ and Paul would not hold the man I described accountable then neither would I. The man is free to pursue what ever God may call him to do; be it pastor, evangelist, missionary, or whatever full time ministry position. I suppose I'm just another apostate for taking that position.
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Its not about you nor I holding him accountable, its about sticking to God's Word.


He is only free to if he meets the qualification that God has given, if he does not meet them God is not calling him to be a pastor.

Like one fellow I know of, he moved to two different churches in his home stated, wanting to be a pastor, they would not accept him to be a pastor. Finally he moved to a Baptist Church in Louisiana, attended a school they had. Later going forth to surrender to preach. They would not accept him, for he had been married 2 times and divorced 2 times.

I know this is not exactly the issue we spoke of, the issue previously mentioned was a man marrying a divorced woman. Yet marrying a divorced woman keep a man from being blameless.

Because many churches will not hold to what the Bible says about the qualifications for a pastor many men are behind the pulpits that should not be there.

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It always amazes me how the brethren automatically cast blame on a divorced man and disqualify him from being a pastor or a deacon. Divorce isn't always a sin, only when it's done unscripturally. To be honest, if it's not a sin, then that means God doesn't see anything wrong with it - only the brethren do. And if God doesn't see anything wrong with it, then for a man to say a person is disqualified would seem, well, pharisaical.

So now not only are we unscripturally broad-brushing and being pharisaical by saying a man is disqualified from being a pastor or a deacon for being divorced, we're going a step further and saying that he's permanently disqualified - not because God thinks he's to blame, or because the Scriptures blame him, but because we blame him.

It's not a "wait until you get your life back together and see how the Lord leads..." it's "No, not now and not ever. Not ten, twenty, or thirty years from now - you'll never be good enough to be a deacon, let alone a pastor."

I don't see that anywhere in the Bible.

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Jesus declared that God hates divorce. That's a very strong statement and clearly indicates God does indeed see something wrong with divorce.

Even when commenting upon divorce which was allowed by Moses, Jesus made it clear that such was only allowed because of the hardness of the peoples hearts (not a good thing) and that such was not from the beginning.

Again, Jesus said God hates divorce, and there is no indication that hatred of divorce does not apply to certain divorces.

The main issue with regards to pastoral qualifications in this area seems to come down to the interpretation of what it means that a pastor must be the husband of one wife, since divorce itself isn't specifically mentioned in the list of qualifications. Along with this, as has been brought up in this thread, there seems to also be differences in interpretation as to what is meant by a man/pastor having his house in order and how that does or does not apply to who he marries.

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Absolutely God hates divorce, and Jesus made that clear. But He also made it clear that when a divorce happens, both parties are not always to blame - otherwise there would be no exception laid down in the Scripture for divorce.

Assigning blame where God doesn’t is creating a law, standard, or regulation that is outside of the Scriptures. That is pharisaical.

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Absolutely God hates divorce, and Jesus made that clear. But He also made it clear that when a divorce happens, both parties are not always to blame - otherwise there would be no exception laid down in the Scripture for divorce.

Assigning blame where God doesn’t is creating a law, standard, or regulation that is outside of the Scriptures. That is pharisaical.

How does what you are saying here apply to the question at hand?

Who decides, or how is it decided, who is responsible for a divorce? How does that apply to the question at hand?

Can a man who is married to a divorcee, a widow, his cousin, a 17 year old, a woman 40 years older than he, a woman of another denomination....biblically be a pastor? Why or why not?
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All I'm saying John is that if God makes allowances so should we. The common thinking among Baptists is that divorce automatically disqualifies a man from being a deacon let alone a pastor, now and forever. I think that line of thinking is unbiblical, heartless, and lacks discernment. Not trying to offend anyone here who thinks that way, I'm just being honest. If a man is divorced biblically, he shouldn't be treated like a second-class Christian who did something wrong - because he didn't. After all, God doesn't think so, so why should we?

I think more often than not a man that has been divorced will probably be disqualified from being in the ministry. The line of thinking that I'm trying to challenge here is that it automatically disqualifies him.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

All I'm saying John is that if God makes allowances so should we. The common thinking among Baptists is that divorce automatically disqualifies a man from being a deacon let alone a pastor, now and forever. I think that line of thinking is unbiblical, heartless, and lacks discernment. Not trying to offend anyone here who thinks that way, I'm just being honest. If a man is divorced biblically, he shouldn't be treated like a second-class Christian who did something wrong - because he didn't. After all, God doesn't think so, so why should we?

I think more often than not a man that has been divorced will probably be disqualified from being in the ministry. The line of thinking that I'm trying to challenge here is that it automatically disqualifies him.

I'm not actually arguing against you, I'm trying to see your biblical position for this.

It has been asked if a man marries a divorcee, is he qualified to be a pastor or not. What are the biblical grounds for saying yes or no?
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Absolutely God hates divorce, and Jesus made that clear. But He also made it clear that when a divorce happens, both parties are not always to blame - otherwise there would be no exception laid down in the Scripture for divorce.


Not everyone believes there are any "exceptions" given in scripture. As I said before, it is a matter of qualifications not a slam on anyone. A blind man isn't qualified to drive, a double amputee isn't qualified to compete in a foot race. It matters not at all how long ago they were disabled or whether their disability was their own fault or the fault of someone else. The fact remains that they are disabled regardless of the reason and can't do everything someone not suffering from that disability can do. Does that somehow make them "second class" citizens? No, of course not, there are other areas where their disability is not critical and there they can compete on a level field with others.

When a person has been married, and then that one flesh relationship joined together by God is put asunder by man contrary to Gods will it causes a spiritual traumatic injury and a resulting public and private disability of a sort that means there are a few things they can't do. David was a man after Gods own heart and was beloved of God yet God refused to allow him to fulfill his hearts desire to build the temple to the Lord because he was a "man of war" and had "shed blood". Was God slamming David or was he somehow not fully forgiven for his various sins? No, he had the "sure mercies of David" and was fully forgiven, he just wasn't qualified to do that particular job for the Lord because of the life he had led. Likewise Moses, certainly one of a half dozen or so men closest to God in all the scriptures was disqualified from leading the people across jordan and entering into the promise land because he had violated one of Gods pictures of Christ and smote the rock the second time when he was told by God to only speak to the rock on that occasion. As a consequence he disqualified himself and died without entering into the promise land even though at the time of his death "his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.". In other words he would have been fully capable of leading them across Jordan and doubtless would have done so but for the fact he was disqualified from that role. David and Moses were both close enough to God that they did not attempt to rebel against his will and accepted that they could not do these things even though in both cases it was a strong desire of their hearts and they were in a position where they could easily have proceeded in the flesh had they wished. I can truly say one of the things that grieves me most is when I see someone that has a heart for God and a desire to do something good for God and the ability to do it well, yet they simply are not qualified for the job because of past actions. It grieves me that metaphorically speaking sometimes David can't build the temple and sometimes Moses can't enter the promise land but sometimes that is just the way it is sad though it be. I have also seen the other side of the coin where the metaphoric David or Moses desires to do the particular thing for God so strongly that they simply will not listen to his will and proceed to do it anyway in the flesh. That is even sadder. I really think in such cases where a man has a heart to pastor and the ability to do it but yet is biblically disqualified the best thing he can do is follow the example of Moses and David. Moses helped Joshua as much as he could and prayed for him, David encouraged Solomon and charged him in the building of the temple as well as gathered together a large percentage of the materials Solomon would need for the temples construction. I think God blesses the obedience to his word in such cases and I believe God often shows the individual the promise land metaphorically speaking and gives their heart joy and peace in what he does allow them to do because they don't fret about what they can't do or enter into a state of biblical denial and do it anyway. :twocents:
. Edited by Seth-Doty
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

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    • Bro. West

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