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         14
      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.

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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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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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 4/30/2020 at 11:24 AM, ChristianUnderground said:

Interesting.  So,  is divorce worse than adultery?

I wouldn't feel comfortable prioritizing sins.  

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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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My wife left me almost a year and a half ago. I've struggled between knowing the marriage wasnt working but also knowing the commitment I made to God to stay with her. I didn't want to split, but knew she wasn't happy. 

I've sort to reconcile but each time come to the point that the marriage just won't work.

Anyway, she doesn't seem to be following God now and it's been over a year separated.  

There is the thought of 'sweeping her off her feet' .. but that isn't how I operate.  

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9 hours ago, E Morales said:

Sounds like you don't want to be married, you said, it just won't work. Are you with another woman, is she with another man? If yes, it will not work. We cannot make promises to God, for we all fall short. The flesh is weak, but salvation is personal. 

I don't know for sure about her.  I am not with another woman though.  But it has been something I have questioned myself alot about..is whether I want to be married to her. 

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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.  

It seems to me that despite God's  qualifications for the ministry listed by Paul that God still makes exceptions. The "gifts and calling of God are without repentance". Even David, who should have been put to death according to God's law, received God's sure mercies and remained king.

I  know of one pastor who committed adultery and fell out of the ministry whom, though he wasn't an "official" pastor, saints stilled viewed him as such and looked to him for leading and advice though he didn't have a church. So the calling and gift in a sense was still there though he didn't have a church.

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

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? 

What to do ?   Get back to God's Word...

No,  not no one,  and also not only those ones, but others also,  blameless, as written God's Word specifically (in KJV):

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=blameless&t=KJV

"blameless"
occurs 15 times in 15 verses in the KJV, including 15 exact phrases shown first.

 

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On 6/27/2020 at 10:19 AM, jeff_student_of_Jesus said:

What to do ?   Get back to God's Word...

No,  not no one,  and also not only those ones, but others also,  blameless, as written God's Word specifically (in KJV):

https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=blameless&t=KJV

"blameless"
occurs 15 times in 15 verses in the KJV, including 15 exact phrases shown first.

 

 

 

"blameless"

If a person get caught sinning, he or she can be blamed. But if she or he don't get caught, they are blameless?

The only true one, I find no fault in Him, is Christ. He is blameless

 

donald trump wow GIF by Shalita Grant

 

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13 hours ago, E Morales said:

"blameless"

If a person get caught sinning, he or she can be blamed. But if she or he don't get caught, they are blameless?

The only true one, I find no fault in Him, is Christ. He is blameless.

 

No,  that is not the KJV Bible meaning of blameless at all.

it does not matter if someone is caught or not ,   they are not blameless ... (in the KJV).

If they went along with (even silently approved or did not hate) any sin - divorce, re-marriage, adultery , 

then they are not only not blameless,  they are guilty. 

Jesus says even if it was only in the thoughts in their heart they sin, then they are already guilty.

So then , who else is blameless ?   I think there's about 12 verses specifically in the KJV on biblegateway dot com that tells who else is, or more about, being blameless. 

---------------

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 | KJV

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life.
Philippians 2:14-16a | KJV

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Living a blameless life after being born again is , I believe, the instructions from Jesus all through the NT, and it is  certainly a seemingly difficult challenge ,  and maybe (maybe not) surprisingly , or apparently,  not only rare,  but even not welcome in most groups .   

Blemeless people during plagues and pandemics, for instance,  were often historically (including the last two years) blamed by the officials/ leaders/ general public.    Blameless people woh live set apart (holy ) lives are too often, it seems, shunned or avoided by others who openly sin in their own lives,  who "feel guilty"  (or convicted?) in what they do but continue sinning,   like the religious leaders did who wanted the approval of man instead of the approval of God ?

DIvorced and re-married (before death of spouse) people can get the approval of many individuals and even perhaps most churches today,

but is it worth it to get the approval of men, and not the approval of God ?

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The only way one can be "blameless" is if they are born again and all their sin and blame is under the blood of Christ. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Eph 1:3,4)

Are we holy by our own effort? No, we are holy because we are in Christ. So also, we are without blame, because Christ paid for our sin and took away our blame. 

1Cor 1:8 "Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

It is Christ that will make us blameless in the day of the Lord. We cannot, through our own efforts, be blameless.

 

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