Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Clergy and Divorce

Seeing the words “Clergy” and “Divorce” in the same sentence caught my eye as I was perusing the Dallas Morning News. The article is entitled “Clergy Surviving Divorces.” It starts out reporting on a married couple, Randy and Paula White, both claiming to be pastors, who have announced they were getting divorced. It goes on to say

For increasing numbers of clergy, a divorce no longer generates the kind of career-killing hue and cry of decades ago, in part because plenty of people in the pews have experienced divorce themselves.
The shifting views on divorced clergy reflect a growing concession among rank-and-file conservative Christians that a failed marriage is no longer an unforgivable sin.
For many evangelical Christians, the line seems to have shifted from a single acceptable reason for divorce – adultery – to a wider range of reasons that some say can be biblically justified

First of all, God allows for divorce in the case of adultery only.
God holds clergy to a higher standard as well. They are, after all, the leaders, the shepherds of the church.

Second of all, Christians have never believed that divorce is an unforgivable sin. That one belongs to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29).

Thirdly, regardless of what “many evangelical Christians” may think, we are not to do that which is right in our own eyes (Deuteronomy 6:18, Proverbs 3:7). God sets the standards – not His followers.

There are very specific passages about requirements for being a Pastor, and one of them is being a husband of one wife (which does not mean one-at-a-time) (I Timothy 3:2). It also doesn’t allow for female pastors. And he is supposed to be in control of his household (I Timothy 3:4-5). Having your wife leave you says you are not in control of your household. Now is it possible that a pastor can have a wife leave/desert him through no fault of his own? Yes. But should he remain as a pastor? Not according to Scripture. However, Scripture does not forbid a divorced man to preach.

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 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?) I Timothy 3:2-5

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At 6:42 PM, Blogger Neil said...

Yes, the church is way too soft on divorce. Pastors should set a better example.

I'm not familiar with Randy White, but I cringe every time I see Paula when I channel surf the religious stations (just to see what health-and-wealth and other false teachings they have going on).


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