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Divorced People Not Leaders

I've told several divorced people that they cannot be leaders in the church. Why not? The Bible forbids it. Any comments?

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The first qualification of a pastor is to be above reproach 1 Timothy 3:2.If the divorce/remarriage results in a poor testimony for the man in the church/community,it may be the above reproach qualification that excludes him rather than the husband of one wife requirement.A pastor is to be a man that the church/community can look up to as an example of Christ-likeness and godly leadership.If his divorce/remarriage situation detracts from this purpose,perhaps he should not serve in the position of pastor.
---Court7646 on 2/27/08

A divorced and single different to a divorced and remarried one, by my reckoning. The Bible allows divorce and remarriage anyway, in certain cases. So I think the question-writer is wrong, legally, and more importantly, morally.
---frances on 2/15/08

I suppose I must be like the guy with the big nose. I think everyone is talking about it. Well, sorry if I wrongly thought you meant me. From now on I won't presume you refer to me. I don't follow you around, and I am not nervous. Though I had cheese late yesterday and had a nightmare about insects.
---frances on 2/14/08

I used to go to a Pentecostal Church and when I got in touch with the pastor about a detainee I was concerned for (forty days of fasting) he told me 'I sent him 'A Purpose Driven Life'. So I wrote back and thanked him. Does that make me a member? I just wanted to make it clear, I'm no member of it.
---frances on 2/14/08

Alan of Uk :: Sorry to hear that my Friend .Best things are left alone & in His hands.I was playfully gleeful in my last post.
---Emcee on 2/14/08

Cindy ... Thanks for the chocolate kiss ... but I would rather have real chocolate, particularly Plain ...Bourneville Fruit and Nut (unfortunately Cadbury's stopped making it years ago)
I had not heard of "Pucker up Buttercup" so I googled it ... and saw it has "explicit lyrics" ... so no thanks, I will not investigate that further, and am surprised you mentioned it.
Emcee ... Sorry, no bells .. the friendship fell apart shorlty after Egypt.
---alan_of_UK on 2/14/08

Alan of UK::Do I hear bells & whistles? are congrats inorder?!!!!I think you went to Egypt unnecessairly. You know where your next holiday Lies, anyway, Good Luck or should I say good Hunting!Laugh with me if you are not serious.The chase is on Tally Ho.
---Emcee on 2/14/08

Alan, Oh Happy Day, Feb. 14th. Send yourself some roses, buy yourself some good chocolates, "pucker up Buttercup", I've sent you a big chocolate kiss.
I'm not eating any chocolate today, but you can have my share.
---Cindy on 2/14/08

Cindy ... There is only one thing I am nervous about, ... no it is not that I am nervous, it is that I have concern for yuor health.
But maybe things are now better with you, because you have ceased those continuous accusations about multiple personalities.
Other than on that issue, your answers aere sensible, well reasoned, and sound.
---alan_of_UK on 2/14/08

Oh Alan, why are you nervous?

I'm not addressing any of these names.
Fasting and prayer, Alan. Try it, you'll like it. I bow down before no man or woman, I do not care one jot or one twittle how long they've been here.
---Cindy on 2/13/08

I am not addressing Cindy now, but her use of the word "your" in her post 2/11/08 indicates that she was addressing Frances, in spite of what she now claims.
---alan_of_UK on 2/13/08

Cindy "now there are two nervous nellies following me around"
I am certain that there is not a single person here who is nervous of you.
---alan_of_UK on 2/13/08

Sherrill said, "The Bible clearly states that if an unbelieving husband or wife leaves that the person is no longer bound to them."

This is true, provided the one leaving their spouse is an unbeliever.

1 Cor. 7:15: "And, if the unbelieving one separates, let him separate himself. A brother or a sister has not been enslaved in such matters. But Elohim has called us to peace."

However, when both the husband and wife are believers, verses 10 and 11 still apply.
---righteouswarriors on 2/13/08

I don't recall ever addressing your name, frances, now there are two nervous nellies following me around...
---Cindy on 2/13/08

Cindy, I don't assume you go to a Purpose Driven Church so why do you assume I go to one? You must know something I don't. Are you a spy? If so, you are not a very good one. I don't go to a PD Church. I have never read any of PD literature and I am against Rick Warren from what I heard of him. I reserve the right to change if the information I heard was propaganda against him.
---frances on 2/12/08

I am divorced and some people have grounds to be divorced in my situation it was incest. The Bible clearly states that if an unbelieving husband or wife leaves that the person is no longer bound to them. And I feel that a divorced person should not be stopped from being a leader unless they are doing wrong, but if they are walking upright before the Lord then I believe it is ok. And if that is their calling to be a leader then they should not be stopped by man.
---Sherrill on 2/12/08

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You may say you believe in forgiveness also.... but you do not if you hold this against someone who messed up. You are not forgiving. If you make a messtake in your checking book. Should your wife submit to you and for give you. You messed up. Why should that person lead. Rediculious. And yes I know I can not spell. You blessed one.
---Linda3939 on 2/12/08

"a once married pastor whose wife left him for another man, than under the guidance of a pastor who lived with umpteen women and then married and did not divorce, but stayed married. It is to do with the heart of the person, not their status."

All of the above disqualifies this man from being the pastor.

This is why I cannot go to your purpose driven church. Experiences drive it but not God's Word.
---Cindy on 2/12/08

I would prefer to be under the guidance of a once married pastor whose wife left him for another man, than under the guidance of a pastor who lived with umpteen women and then married and did not divorce, but stayed married. It is to do with the heart of the person, not their status.
---frances on 2/11/08

"Blessed is he whom comes in the name of the Lord, and how beautiful are the feet of him whom carries the gospel of peace." Being married or single has no bearing on preaching. God did not say, Married only people, Go preach, nor did he say, Divorced people cannot preach. Instead, "He Commanded, Go all you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
---Eloy on 2/11/08

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Cindy, so does that mean that a pastor is blameless? No such thing. Every man has sin, so who's left to be a pastor if he has to be blameless? Or, does the word 'blameless' just mean not divorced?
---sue on 2/11/08

stop referring to the old covenant now. every one sins. all sins, past, present and future were forgiven 2,000 years ago. in that culture men could divorce their wife for anything, even burning dinner. paul addressing slaves. that doesn't mean he advocates owning them today. it was culture. use your godly sense sometimes. the reason "god hates divorce" is he hates what it does to his people. the pain, the hurts. it hurts him when we hurt. he doesn't hate the divorcee.
---dayle on 2/11/08

Can a divorced pastor set an example for the right standards for young people (or older people, for that matter)? Will they listen to him and take him seriously as he tries to teach them what God thinks about marriage and divorce?
---Cindy on 2/11/08


Pastor must not be divorced because he has to preach the whole counsel of God, if he has a divorced status, he is not in a position to preach with complete authority. People tend to discount preaching when it is done by a man who has serious problems in relation to what he preaches.

Christians with marital problems serious enough to lead to divorce, pastor must share with them Gods perfect will for marriage.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

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A divorced pastor cannot do this.


People say that God would not allow them to get out of the ministry after their divorce, that God had called them and His calling is without repentance.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

God does not operate contrary to His Word. When He lays down standards for the pastorate, He is not going to lead a man to go contrary to them.

Feelings are very undependable.

The heart is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9).

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool... (Prov. 28:26).
We can easily be led astray by ones feelings in regard to Gods will. We must depend upon what the Bible plainly says and not what we feel.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

I hope your reasons for this conclusion was because they divorced without Adultery or Fornication being their reason for the divorce.
---Carla5754 on 2/11/08


A man might argue, God has called me to preach, therefore I must be a pastor, but the call to preach is not necessarily the call to pastor. A man does not have to be a pastor to have an effective preaching ministry. He can preach on the streets. He can preach from house to house. He can preach in jails and nursing homes. He can preach in the highways and byways.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

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A divorced man for honor of God's Word sake, should be content to serve outside of the office of the pastorate--for the honor of that office and for the honor of the church and honor to Jesus Christ.

If you are called to preach, preach on, brother, but dont be a pastor unless you are qualified.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation (James 3:1).
---Cindy on 2/11/08

It is written old things are passed away and behold all thing s become new. Abraham was the father of fatih, he had two wives, Jacob had four. David was a prophet and he had five. So I think you need to do some more study and find out what He really meant in His word.
---jodiah on 2/11/08


A bishop then must be blameless ... Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil (1 Tim. 3:2, 7).
---Cindy on 2/11/08

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife ... One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity, (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (1 Timothy 3:2, 4, 5).

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly (Titus 1:6).
---Cindy on 2/11/08

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Pastor must be blameless in his reputation before men. A divorced man, no matter what the cause for the divorce, does not have the spotless reputation a pastor must have. His divorce is a handle that the devil can take hold of to injure the work of God. The divorce will be used against his ministry and against the church. It will hinder the ministry. And since the churchs testimony is far more important than the feelings or ambitions of any individual, divorced men should refrain from pastoral positions.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

What if the divorce occurred before the mans conversion? Is he not forgiven?

Certainly he is, yet he has, by his divorce, done permanent damage to his freedom to hold offices in the church.

Forgiveness does not necessarily mean a person will avoid consequences for past sin.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

King David was forgiven for his sin with Bathsheba, but he suffered for the rest of his life as a consequence of this sin. The fact that David was not removed from being king does not mean that a pastor can remain in office regardless of what he does. The office of king in Israel was a matter of lineage and was very different from the office of a pastor in the church.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

This applies to the person who was divorced before his conversion. The sin is forgiven and he can enjoy the manifold blessings of the Lord, but scars will remain throughout his earthly life. One consequence is that he is restricted as to the type of office he can hold in the church.


The elders which are among you I exhort ... be examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:1, 3).
---Cindy on 2/11/08

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Pastor is to represent Gods perfect will before the world. If the pastor is not a pattern for Gods will, there will be no pattern, and standards among Gods people will fall to the level of the world.

Word of God says that God opposes divorce. (Mal. 2:16). And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from the husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife (1 Cor. 7:1-11).
---Cindy on 2/11/08

Pastor should uphold God's perfect will and he must not be a divorced man, no matter what the cause of the divorce.

In the PDC divorce is no longer looked upon as a bad thing. Pastors have begun performing divorce ceremonies to help remove the guilt and stigma associated with divorce. This is wrong. We should be kind to those who suffer divorce and love them with Christ-like love, but the world also needs to see that God takes divorce seriously, even if society and apostate churches do not.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

God says about the marital bond - Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matt. 19:6).

If these truths cannot be seen in the marriages of our pastors, where will they be seen? If a pastor tries to warn against divorce and remarriage, yet he himself is divorced and remarried, how seriously will people listen?

Believers need to see Gods will in the lives of their leaders.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

Divorced with or without adultery, disqualified for a pastorate.
If you belong to a PDC, your desire to lead will drive you. It's not God's Word, but in the PDC, you can worship at the altar of Hari Krishna and all of the rest of it. I suppose it doesn't really matter who's in charge of it over there. You can wear your Egyptian ankh and Christian fish on the same necklace.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

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I have given you God's Word and you are disgusted with me for it.
That's alright because long after these blogs are gone, you might take a look at God's Word and choose to follow it or let your own desires to lead, lead you.
Divorce disqualifies someone from leadership.
God hates divorce and He forgives you for it, but that doesn't mean you can rewrite God's qualifications.
How's it all going for you - there's your spiritual test, if you're in God's will or not.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

You can write your own book, criterion for anything that pleases the human flesh.
You can read a library full of books that will support your case. You can refer back to the books and try to convince yourself that compromise is acceptable. But if you have the Holy Spirit, He will be forever tugging at your heart, telling you that something is amiss. You're leading others and He doesn't look at it lightly.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

God has a righteous government for the church and that certainly doesn't make room for a preacher or preacher's wife, divorced, remarried and committing adultery - currently having an affair. Anyone can see that, yes? Even the unchurched know that's permanent disqualification from the pastorate.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

Who ae any of you to judge? If God remembers things no more than who are you to go above Him to judge someone else. You should be ashamed to speak so boldly to about something that you have no knowledge of. If someone gets married before they come to Christ and they have a problem with their spouse after because the spouse will not come unto subjection to the word of God and desires to leave and get a divorce, are you going to judge the situation and decide who can teach God's word.
---jodiah on 2/11/08

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Gregory - just curious as to what position you hold that allows you to tell who can serve and who cannot?
---dan on 2/11/08

Cindy: Do you not believe that when a person coverts over to Christ, their past is under the blood...including any divorces they may have had? God can call anyone he choses to do his work. He has used sinners to do his work. So to say that it is just wrong for a divorced person to be a leader in a church that is wrong to say. Unless that person is divorcing because they committed adultery.
---Rebecca_D on 2/11/08

Well, Jack, will you be starting your own church soon?
---Cindy on 2/11/08

Many divorced pastors exist, men and women. Driven by "their purpose", it really doesn't matter for those in the PDC. Safe haven for Scripture twisting, positive thinking and compromise.

The thing about positive thinking, you have to constantly reaffirm yourself, reassure yourself, each and every day.

Positive affirmations, positive thinking, I can do anything, I can be anything, I am loved, I am compromise and all is well with the world.

Man's desire to be the leader.
---Cindy on 2/11/08

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You have no right to tell anyone that they can't be a leader unless they are living in sin now. What they've done in the past is in the past and under the blood. God forgave them and forgot it, why can't we? Who are we to tell someone that they can't do their part in God's house (unless they are sinners). Just because they were divorced in their past, that doesn't mean they can't be a great leader in the church.
---Rebecca_D on 2/11/08

Paul said, those He predestined, He also called, and those He called, He is also Justified, He also glorified. First, God chosed believers before the foundation of the world. Second, the election was in Him. [Christ] Third, This election has the goal "to be holy and blameless in His sight". The readers of scripture ought not to be surprise that it presents a God who is truly Soverign and POWERFUL.
---catherine on 2/11/08

After carefully reviewing all the answers given here. I decided to quiz myself. Do I qualify to be a pastor? The answer is a absolute resounding NO!! If there is any one reading this who qualifies to be a pastor. Please give us your name.
---Mima on 2/11/08

Part 2:

The clear meaning of the verses you quoted, Cindy, prohibits remarried widowers from being Church leaders.
---Jack on 2/10/08

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What about annulled marriages? Surely, in spirit they are the same as divorces. Even Catholics I know say annullments are just Catholic divorces. And What about those who marry those who had divorce/annullments? Maybe they also are not thought worthy to lead in churches. I don't really know what my opinion is on this. A lot depends on the timing of the divorce and remarriage, and the motivation.
---frances on 2/10/08

Mistakes on man's part does not constitute an emergency on God's part to accommodate your divorce and change His Word.
Divorced, remarried, lost that lovin' feelin' for your spouse, disqualified from leading God's people.
---Cindy on 2/10/08

"Mackey" told all of us how high it is. I think that's great, and MikeM. is quite proud of that that #, too.
I'm not anticipating a rose garden reception, but it's past that point. I expect to be dodging purpose driven bullets, especially from divorced women that are driven to lead, counsel and direct others and/or want to open up their own church.
That's alright.
---Cindy on 2/10/08

Fasting opens up spiritual eyes, all of the smokescreen has disappeared. I'll keep going until God says stop.
I like cats as much as anyone, ufo's (unidentified furry objects) and all of that fun, but I have no desire to go to Vegas. I've never wanted to go there, no appeal. Bright lights, strip joints, one armed bandits, and people down to their last 2 cents.
I doubt I'll ever pass that way unless God tells me to, so you don't ever have to worry about meeting me on life's bumpy highway.
---Cindy on 2/10/08

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God tells us to judge prophecies, test the spirits, and God gives pastors His Manual for leading.
I'm not judging people but faulty criteria for being driven by man's purpose without a care in the world for whom God says should be the leader.
A divorced leader of the pack, those who like to herd, corral and pen their purpose driven sheep, are going against God's Word.
---Cindy on 2/10/08

Cindy, I have no idea what my IQ is, but I dont think divorce has anything to do with how good a pastor is. True, divorce is bad, but sometimes bad things happen to good people including pastors. You'd have to look at the whole person, not just if they're divorced or not.
---sue on 2/10/08

If you must judge, judge the whole person, not just if they've been divorced or not.
---sue on 2/10/08

Any pastor that has committed adultery, divorces, is permanently disqualified according to the Word.

That's absolutely FALSE.

If Paul had meant DIVORCE he'd of said it.
The simple fact is that at the time this was written it was all the more common to have multiple wives.

What's been given here is legalism. Leaders are called, gifted, and qualified by God.
---Pharisee on 2/10/08

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There have come pastors from all walks of life, from even the lowest of places.
Murderers, (Paul himself gave approval to Steven's death) fornicators, crooked tax collectors, and a slew of other perversions that'd just make you cringe.

He who has been forgiven much loves much.
I am divorced, but that occurred while I was yet an enemy of God.
2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.
---Pharisee on 2/10/08

Sovereignty of God's Word is providence.

You may be driven with purpose to be the leader, but the devil - he is a driver.

Desires go out the window and are kicked to the curb when they come against the providence of God's Word.
---Cindy on 2/10/08

It's all written in the Word.
I gave all of the Scriptures.
Any pastor that has committed adultery, divorces, is permanently disqualified according to the Word. They need to step down. If you've been divorced, Bible says you are not to be a pastor. A husband of one wife. A deacon of one wife.
I'm not the judge, I'm giving you the Word,
The divorced should not be in the pulpit.

Desire to be in charge, the leader, goes out the window when it comes up against the Word of God.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

Divorced pastors, divorced pastor's wives - that's some serious junk in the trunk.
Some have been divorced several times and want to start a new church. Church junk, when behind the scenes there are serious marital issues and they wonder why everything is going completely haywire.
When you lead other people, it had better be with God's blessing or you will have some serious problems on your hands.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

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Why sit in the judgement seat against your brothers and sisters? You are wrong. It is written nowhere in the Bible that a divorced person can't be a leader. Whose blood washes them from sin? Whose grace is sufficient? Who gave them life and gifts? Who condemned them? Why block Heaven's door? How do you know who has been divorced or remarried one, two or maybe three times? God can't reach some of His people now for foolishness in the Church.
---Clara on 2/9/08

Hi, just wanted to add my 2 cents here :) One of the leaders in my congregation is a long-divorced man and he is one of the most compassionate and godly and capable men I have ever met in my life, and God apparently is using him in many many ways. I'm also divorced--was abused and cheated on--and yet amazingly God is working through my life too. We need to let God be the Judge, not any of us.
---Mary on 2/9/08

What if the husband wants to stay with the wife, but she divorces him? Divorces can go through without the consent of the other party you know. Are you telling me that husband should be penalized for the wife divorcing him? Again, are you misinterpreting the spirit of the word?
---j._nonymous on 2/9/08

I can watch TV preachers whenever I want mess.

If a preacher is not called, he will feel that it doesn't matter what he does, or how many divorces.... God knows his heart.
For this kind, preaching is a job with financial reward.

God's Word says that what's done in secret will come to the light. All darkness will be exposed, whether it be sitting on a barstool sipping wine with a pretty young thing or placing fear in your children's hearts.

Some are sent and some just went.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

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Pastors who commit adultery should not be reinstated to the pastorate. Yes, they can be forgiven and can serve the Lord in some capacity if they repent,....

but they have permanently disqualified themselves from the pastorate. To return an adulterer to the pastorate is like returning the fox to the hen house. When a man has exhibited such a lack of moral character as to sin against his wife, his church, his children, and his God,......
---Cindy on 2/9/08

He has no business remaining in the office of the pastorate.

The office of a pastor is only for men who are blameless in their family lives, because he must be an example to the church and he represents the church to the community. If the office of the pastor is degraded, the churches are degraded. One of the greatest problems of our day is the lowering of pastoral standards and convictions. The pastorates are too often filled with unqualified, cowardly, people-pleasing men.
---Cindy on 2/9/08


Compromising God's Word on a divorced pastor's part, does not constitute a necessity on my part to attend your church, have you lay your hands on my family for prayer or counsel any of my family members about the importance of restoration of marriage, fidelity or keeping God's Word.

There is a place for the divorced in Church, there are other jobs for them, but it is not leading in the pulpit.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

There are many examples of divorced pastors and divorced pastor's wives ministries that are crumbling, falling apart at the seams.
Hellooo...they're on TV, struggling to stay on the air. Some of them are sitting on the curb, looking crazy - I can think of 4 or 5. They did it their way.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

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Soooo, since your Orthodox Bible is not offering you any answers, here you go.
Get back, Jack.

1 Timothy 3:2

3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach, 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous,
---Cindy on 2/9/08

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity,5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre, 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved, then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
---Cindy on 2/9/08

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