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Divorced..and feel a calling to pastor

Discussion in 'Full and Part Time Ministry' started by seekfirst, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. YouthDirector

    YouthDirector Regular Member

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    God forgave these people and used them for his glory...
    • Noah was a drunk
    • Jacob was a liar
    • Rahab was a prostitute
    • David was an adulterer and a murderer
    • Elijah was suicidal
    • The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)
    Because of Him,

    Terry

    "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all ways ackowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
     
  2. Richard

    Richard Legend

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    I think the most important one is....
    • Saul, was a Christian Killer, then God used him, and now he's Paul :)
     
  3. DeaconDean

    DeaconDean γέγονα χαλκὸς, κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον

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    I have no problem with it, for I have known many genuinely sincere, God fearing, obediant pastors who were married more than once, but there will be others who be strickly against it. I had a seminary teacher who also at one time was a pastor at a church in Rockingham N.C. and is 30 years into his second marriage. While the Bible does list the requirements for "bishops" in 1 Tim.3:1-7, it does say "the husband of one wife". Paul preached to the Corinthians this: "But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband..Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife." (1 Cor. 7:11,27) I say this because I believe also that there is none that God can't use in one form or another. Maybe being a teacher would be better for this person, after all, teaching is a ministry in itself.
     
  4. Heiroglyph

    Heiroglyph New Member

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    [Bible]Matthew 19:9[/Bible]
    There is the answer my friend. If your wife was fornicating you have the right to remarry. There is no sin on your part. If that place holds it against you then they do not care for Jesus' words much.
     
  5. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

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    True, God did use those people for his will. I challenge any 'normal' Christian alive to pick the sincere excons out of a prison, leaving the fakers and backsliders, to run their church or Sunday school class. Pick a remarried divorcee or former adulterer to run a marriage retreat etc... We are not God so we must fall back on traditional wisdom unless we are so conceited or foolish as to suggest we have God's level of discernment.

    As for the OP he is probably okay Biblically but there will be some who would give him a hard time about it.
     
  6. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    My good friend, I don't think men who have truly confessed the sin of divorce,have repented (which means they have turned around their life) and have lived a life that brings glory to the Lord in every way and begin to serve as pastors again is the same thing as giving a pedophile a job in a youth home.
    We are talking two different things. I would not suggest that every person who has sinned in their past, whatever his sin, should return to ministry again. It is just that considering the grace of God, there are many who can return to ministry. Much must happen in their life restoratively speaking, before they can or should do this.
    I suspect that there are many who hold the same position that you do, "people who have done bad things.failed at a big life area" should not have positions of authority. The problem with this position is that it is not what the Bible teaches. David was given his kingdom back to rule after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and even wrote a book of the Bible. Why? It was because of God's forgiveness, but also David's repentant heart. Despite David's sin, God could use Him because his heart was right. It always boils down to where your heart is. Peter, though he failed miserably cursing, and denying the Lord, was told by Jesus after this, "Peter, feed my sheep". Not because Peter deserved this, but because Jesus loved Peter and gave him the commission to continue to speak for Him
    God Bless
    David Whitaker, PhD
     
  7. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

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    Jesus and God know mens hearts. Peter and David were extraordinary men. David had a heart after God's own and Peter was the rock Jesus built his church on. If you would trust those who have failed big without the insight God and Jesus had with Peter and David I wish you luck. The New Testament talks about the character necessary to be a pastor. It is an easy read and you probably already own the book...


     
  8. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    I wonder how many have thought about the fact that any movement forward to obey God's Word oftentimes means going against this thing we call tradition. Too many fear tradition. It is like abandoning "mom and apple pie and the American Flag"! Simply because we tend to respect those who have brought these traditions to us, grandparents, parents, teachers, counselors, pastors, etc, we will not seriously look at the error of some traditions. Rather, we accept them as valid. My challenge is for many to take a look at traditional thinking and see how it has caused us to interpret God's Word incorrectly. With regard to divorced Christian men who have been forgiven being told they can never be a pastor again, is one of these traditions that has no foundation in God's Word. 1 Timothy 3:2 has never taught that a divorced man cannot be a pastor. The text does not say it (because the word for divorce, though quite common and used by Jesus and Paul, was not used here), the Greek does not support it, (the bishop must be one who is a "one woman sort of man", in other words, one who is given to one woman, not flirtatious) which applies to a man's present character, not his past sins. The whole Bible does not teach that a person is limited in ministry due to a past committed sin. This goes against the tenor of the entire Bible. Restoration, as I share in my book, Full Restoration, is God's plan for sinful man. When one confessess and seeks forgiveness, and begins to heal and those he is in relation with, God begins a process of restoration that brings this individual back home again, as though he had never sinned. It is interesting that today we have the same response to prodigals as we did in the story of the prodigal with his brother. He could not believe that the father would open his arms wide, and receive the fallen brother again, give him a coat and fatted calf. He threw a party for him. The brother who stayed "faithful" felt that he had earned this love that was given to his fallen, but restored brother. That is the error my friend! Love is not earned, it is freely given. God's grace and love is bestowed upon us, not because we deserve it, but because He is gracious! That's the lesson!
    It is my hope that many more of you will respond to this forum on divorced pastors, because there are sooooo many out there today who should be in pulpits, whose hearts are knit with God and desire to serve Him, but are denied this opportunity due to traditional thinking. As well, there are too manystill in pulpits who do not belong there, but because they have remained married...they are sanctioned to stay. Something is quite wrong with this. It is a matter of the heart, not the outward appearance!
    Love and grace
    David Whitaker, PhD
     
  9. Richard

    Richard Legend

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    Well, of course they will. Christians do not follow their Christ as well as they should.
     
  10. walkin2e

    walkin2e Senior Member

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    What the world needs now is laborers! The fields are ripe to the harvest, yet the laborers are few. We need to pray that the Lord would raise up His laborers for the fields. Some of these will be divorced, made bad mistakes in the past yet will be "God called".


    I pray that the Lord would open wide the doors for his laborers to go forth.

    Time is getting short!

    Irvin aka walkin2e
     
  11. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    Thanks Irvin-"right on"! That is exactly what we need to focus on, and God will use any of us to accomplish that to the end! That is a confirmation for me...God is saying the time is short, and we have to do what we need to do to reach many who do not know the Lord. Any of us who are focussed on that will be "red hot" for Christ and doing His will!
    David Whitaker
     
  12. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    It is my prayer and hope that many will break free from the power of tradition!
    There are good things about tradition that we carry from generation to generation, however, those things of tradition that conflict with truth, we must learn to leave behind.
    The tradition that the divorced are subchristians in the church must be abandoned. Realize how crucial it is that we do not call those cursed whom God has blessed. It is sad when we hinder ministry of those who are restored of God because of tradition. We have to stop being afraid, be bold and speak out against this prejudice.
    I hope many Christians will stand up against those traditions that Christ does not honor.
    David Whitaker, PhD
     
  13. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    I appreciate all who have taken the time to view the information concerning divorced pastors. When I see how many view these posts it confirms how many Christians are divorced and are interested in this topic. However, the number of respones are few. Why is that? I have a guess. Perhaps you can help me with this. I believe that while there are many who have been divorced that truly want to read about the possibility of being used of God again, they are afraid,
    and have been hammered so long with tradition telling them they are limited, that they do not believe otherwise. I have had few to venture out and ask me to talk more about this. I suspect it is the "you can't fight city hall" mentality.
    I grieve for brothers and sisters in Christ who are in bondage and believing the same lie of Satan that I believed for six years that I could not use the gifts God had given to me preach and pastor because of my divorce. When I finally believed that God's gifts are "without repentance", meaning that He doesn't change His mind about our gifts...the freedom was immense! Hallelujah.

    If you are one of those people, and desire to serve as a deacon or minister as a pastor and know that He has called you....please respond. I would love to encourage you and pray that God's Spirit will set you free to believe the truth, not tradtion.

    God's grace

    David Whitaker, PhD
     
  14. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    There are more of us who will have something to say about whether one who has been divorced should receive full restoration or not, there are less who will simply say "I need that restoration". It is my prayer and hope that more of you will come forward with faith and hope to know that God wants to deliver you today, and return you to serving Him in ways that you did not dream possible. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you ask or think!
    Let me know how I can help you see that God can use you who are divorced in ministry again. You are not a second-class citizen.
    David Whtiaker, PhD
     
  15. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    I would love to encourage anyone from God's Word, whether their past sin was divorce or something else...God can and will restore you completely! That is what grace is all about!
    David Whitaker, PhD
     
  16. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

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    Or maybe they take Christ more seriously than the rest of us. We are to be like Jesus and Jesus not only wasn't divorced, he actively spoke against it. If a man can not maintain a marriage with the woman he chose to marry it seems legit to wonder how he'll pull off a good relationship with God and his congregation. Not necessarily my view but it has merit nonetheless.
     
  17. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

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    I would like to encourage all divorced pastors to restore their marriages before attempting to enter ministry.
     
  18. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    I totally agree that men must allow God to restore many things in his life before he considers returning to ministry. A very important area of restoration is with his family members, and his divorced spouse. There needs to be healing there,
    and forgiveness sought.

    God's full restoration has to do with rebuilding broken relationships, and humbly seeking God's direction, not just brashly running to lead a congregation.
    Having said this, the argument that a man who has sinned by divorce cannot be an example to a congregation and lead them, is like saying a parent who has really made serious mistakes cannot lead their children by example to do right.
    Surely, sometimes it is out of our mistakes and learning about God's grace that we are able to help those who are making the same mistakes.

    I am well aware of the view of some about divorced men being able to teach about relationships. However, God gives us an example in the Bible of a man who was terrrible with relationships, who committed adultery, and was not a good example as a father, yet God still was able to use David and raised him up post-sin and confession to administrate and lead his kingdom. It is all about grace...

    It is not about what we have been able to perfectly do that matters most in ministry, but what we have learned, and allowed God to do through us, despite ourselves. There is no question that the Bible tells us that a pastor
    must live a godly life. But it does so referring to his present character, not his past sin. It asks us to demonstrate that we have somewhat of a long term record of obedience and serving.

    Yes, we should not encourage one who has divorced and sinned in divorce yesterday to get into the pulpit tomorrow and serve. His heart and humility before God is important, his willingness to repent of any sin that he has committed is important. Time to heal and work on rebuilding relationships is necessary, and waiting on God to direct him again toward ministry. However, so many are simply told that because they have sinned this one particular sin, as though as it is an unpardonable sin, he cannot ever serve God but in secondary ways. Well, my Bible has never taught that, and it never will.
    This is tradition. Not God's Word.

    Full Restoration, goes into this quite detailed.
    David Whitaker, PhD
     
  19. Hispath

    Hispath New Member

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    I've been married 3 times, divorced twice. Both divorces were caused by them committing adultery and them not being willing to work out our problems and issues. No I was not perfect, I know that, but was still willing to work through these problems and issues. I was also not Christian at the time. And yes there is no bitterness, but there is forgiveness.

    I am currently working in the youth pastor position at my church, not paid. But I am still working my full time paid job.

    I am considering quiting my paid job to be able to commit myself fully to ministry.

    I'm still praying and talking with God to see if this is the direction He wants me to go.

    I don't believe for one moment that having been divorced should interfer with the ability of going into the ministry and doing God's work. I agree that others may question and not look favorably upon that, but the only judgement we need to worry about is His, not that of our peers.

    If we do Gods work with passion and conviction, if we let Him work in our life, like He wants to do, the Spirit will take care of the rest.

    Maybe being turned down for that position was God at work, that was not the path God wanted.

    What I do know from my experience with God, is that He will present His path for us, we need to be ready and prepared. At least for me He has made things pretty obvious thus far.

    The power of prayer and the Good Book!
     
  20. dwhitaker

    dwhitaker New Member

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    I appreciate the sharing by HisPath. I am encouraged to hear that you are ministering and seeking full-time ministry.
    What I am hearing that everyone needs to hear is that it all boils down to seeking the Lord's direction, what HE wants, and having a submissive heart.
    I read that as I read your post! With a humble heart and seeking God's direction He can and still will use you in a mighty way. No person who has sinned in their past, but continues to have a submissive heart to God and seeks His direction is a sub Christian in the church.
    Grace
    David Whitaker, PhD
     
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