|Subject:||My New Book|
|Date:||Monday, 20 October 2008 22:33|
|From:||"Shane Bytheway" <email@example.com>|
|To:||"Scott Ray" <GracePreacher1611@gmx.com>|
Would you be so kind as to give my latest book a brief critique?
For his Glory,
I will not only post this on the King James Bible Believers
but I endorse your efforts. God Bless you and may God open the
eyes of the "One and Only" brethren!
Accepted in the Beloved,
Elder Scott Ray
By Shane Bytheway
Several months ago, I was asked by a Pastor friend of mine in Cheyenne, Wyoming, "What do you think about Pastor So and So's wife, leaving him and filing for divorce". My comment in response was, "I never met her but I'm sure the Pastor would be the one to ask". My friend said, "No...No, I mean, he'll have to step down and hand over his pulpit since he is no longer qualified". I just sat there...it seemed to me that the Devil had just won a great victory over God's local church. For the first time, I had to get out the bible and search the scriptures for this matter. I already knew the answer: The bible teaches that a man can only have one marriage as long as he lives and if for some reason his home breaks apart, he is no longer qualified to preach, teach, and lead...or is that what I have learned from other well meaning men?
First, I had to find out what a marriage was. A Marriage is an 'act' not a ceremony. It is not a vow, covenant, oath, or contract. These are all articles brought in since the marriage 'act' was established to produce a family. What is that 'act' that produces a complete union?
Gen 2:24 and Math 19:5 "...shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: they shall be one flesh."
That is about it. No ceremony. No oath. No vows exchanged. Simple, 'take her into your tent' and be married. Still convinced that the Pagan ceremony involving brides maids, veils, flower children, and best men
are what constitutes a marriage? Consider the words of Christ;
Math 19:10-12 "...it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were born from their mother's womb: that there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs. which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it let him receive it."
What the Lord has done is laid out the 'act' for you. Eunuchs can take vows, oaths, and stand at any ceremony in any nation on Earth but they cannot be "married" until they have done what eunuchs cannot...cleave to his wife and become one. Come on now, this isn't too hard. If an improper sexual act can dissolve a marriage then it is a sexual act, done properly that creates a marriage. None of those men listed could be "married" but all could have got a marriage license, stood before the preacher, and smashed cake in each other's faces.
Before any of the men of the council bring up the fact that Jesus went to a wedding let me remind you that that is not in the bible. Jesus went to a "marriage supper". That is the feast where the virgin's tokens are presented to her father and the contract with her father (not the bride) is fulfilled. Nope, no oaths, vows, honeymoons, or flying rice (birdseed if you are an environmentalist) is found there either.
You haven't heard this in your church...Mennonite colleges? Maybe they spend more time teaching you how to not read the bible since reading the bible doesn't require tuition or tithes.
Marriage and the Church
What does the scriptures say about marriage and the Bishopric?
I Tim 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; 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.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.
This is the Little Bobby Jones III's favorite verse (even though his grandmother was Bob Jones' second wife). In their "Bastion of Orthodoxy" they allow dating across racial lines and support a Mormon for president but will not allow a man chosen by God to speak at their school if he has been divorced.
As Kenneth Wuest Says in his WORD STUDIES IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT (Volume 2, p53);
"The entire context is one in which the character of the bishop (pastor) is being discussed. Thus, one can translate, "a one-wife sort of a husband," or "a one-woman sort of a man." We speak of the Airedale as a one-man dog. We mean by that, that it is his nature to become attached to only one man, his master. Since character is emphasized by the Greek construction, the bishop should be a man who loves only one woman as his wife."
As Chuck Swindoll says in his EXCELLENCE IN MINISTRY study Guide on First Timothy (page 41)
"...phrase literally reads, "one-woman man." As simple as that sounds, it has been the subject of numerous interpretations....(some) have interpreted the phrase to mean that a candidate for overseer must never have been divorced in his life, including in his unsaved years. But this seems to be too restrictive...in light of Jesus' words in Matthew 19:9, where he permits--though He does not promote--divorce on the grounds of sexual immorality. So what does 'husband of one wife' mean? Taken in its most basic sense, it means that an overseer, if married, must be married to only one woman (which excludes bigamy, polygamy, and homosexuality) and must be devoted to his wife (which excludes promiscuity and an unhealthy marriage)."
Spiros Zodhiates says in his HEBREW-GREEK KEY STUDY BIBLE in the footnotes on page 1475 under 1 Timothy 3:2;
"The expression mias gunaikos is known in Greek grammar as...'a one-woman's husband," not a 'ladies' man, in other words. The total context speaks of the moral conduct of the bishop and the deacon. He should be totally dedicated to his wife and not be flirtatious."
As John MacArthur Jr. notes in his NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY ON FIRST TIMOTHY page 104-105;
"Paul is not referring to a leader's marital status...rather the issue is his moral, sexual behavior. Many men married only once are not one-woman men. Many with one wife are unfaithful to that wife. While remaining married to one woman is commendable, it is not indication or guarantee of moral purity. Some may wonder why Paul begins his list with this quality. He does so because it is in this area, above all others, where leaders seem most prone to fall. The failure to be a one-woman man has put more men out of the ministry than any other sin. It is thus a matter of grave concern. ...Others maintain that Paul here forbids remarriage after the death of a spouse. As already noted, however, this standard, like all the rest refers to moral character, not marital status. Further, the Scriptures permit and honor second marriages under the proper circumstances....Still others hold that this qualification excludes divorced men, from spiritual leadership. That again, ignores the fact that Paul is not referring to marital status. Nor does the Bible forbid all remarriage after a divorce. In Matthew 5;31-32 and Matthew 19:9, our Lord permitted remarriage when a divorce was caused by adultery. Paul gave a second occasion when remarriage is permitted, when the unbelieving spouse initiates the divorce. (1 Cor. 7:15). While God hates all divorce (Mal. 2;16) He is gracious to the innocent party in those two situations. Since remarriage in itself is not a sin, it is not necessarily a blight on a man's character."
Well let's take for example a brother who was saved at a revival in Memphis, Tennessee. This brother was a member of the KKK in Louisiana and had just finished a ten year sentence for murder. While in prison his wife left him for his uncle and has been shacked up with him for several years. The brother gets saved and attends bible school at Tennessee Temple. Five years later, God calls this man to Mongolia and he prints the first bible in the native tongue and sends an additional 8,000 copies over the Chinese/Russian border and while doing so is caught and imprisoned in Russia for nine years. In 1987, with the fall of the Soviet Union, he is returned to the United States and starts a traveling circuit to tell of the churches he has planted, persecutions he has suffered, and souls led to Christ. He has brought along his wife of ten years (a French missionary he met in Mongolia) and when he approached BJU, he is told, "...brother you are not going to be able to address 'our' student body because you are living in sin with a second wife and are not qualified to preach or teach.
Some believe a passage in the Old Testament also prohibits divorced men to serve in the Church. The passage is Leviticus 21:7 which list certain requirements for the Old Testament priests under the Mosaic Law and they were not to marry a divorced woman.
Leviticus 21:7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.
Some would automatically assume from this passage that a New Testament Pastor cannot be divorced or remarry. However, if one wants to hold that position, he runs into some difficult problems from this passage because it also states in vs. 18-19 that the following physical characteristics also barred a man from being a priest: lameness, blindness, a broken foot, a broken hand, a bad back, a dwarf, or 'he that hath a flat nose'! The fact is, the qualifications for a priest was under a different dispensation than we are in the New Testament Church. Otherwise, men with bad backs or flat noses would be out of the ministry!
Here is another one. This brother is the Grandson of a Union General of civil war fame (even has a base in Boston Harbor named after him) and a Son of a WWI General. He served in WWII as an officer, teaching hand to hand combat to occupation troops in Japan. In 1949, this fellow was led to Christ by Hugh Pyle. He attended BJU and received a Bachelor and Master degree in Theology and went on to earn his doctorate. He started one of the strongest KJB schools in America and while preaching at a revival he received an envelope containing a wedding ring. His wife had filed for divorce and left the him and their children. He went on to start a television and radio ministry, planted hundreds of churches, graduated thousands of men to the ministry, and wrote hundreds of books on dispensationalism and Baptist doctrine. He remarried after fifteen years and now this Pastor, Bible Institute founder, and evangelist is forbidden to darken the door at BJU.
As Roy Branson Jr. says in his book A BILL OF DIVORCEMENT (VOL 2) p.411;
"Why would it be improper to disqualify Paul from service for the hideous crimes and sins he perpetrated against God and His people before he was saved, and proper to disqualify another who was guilty only of a foolish choice in marriage partners?"
Interesting isn't it? Do you have a Scofield reference bible? Besides Bullinger and Larkin, this fellow is responsible for more dispensational truth than any other man in America. He wouldn't be qualified to preach or teach at BJU. Wanna know why...take a guess?
Dr. John Rice says in his Book, DR. RICE HERE ARE MORE QUESTIONS, pgs. 339-340;
"I believe that any of these major sins (wrong divorce, drunkenness, murder, etc.) can be forgiven and are forgiven when there is honest repentance. Then when God has forgiven and when one has done all he can do to repudiate and undo the sins of the past (which of course, can never be undone entirely and sometimes not at all), and when he has taken time to live it down and proved himself a dependable, trustworthy Christian so that his usefulness is not hindered by the past, then he might do whatever God calls him to do and whatever God's people trust him to do....I do not believe in passing a rule that one who has ever been drunk can never be a deacon or preacher; likewise, I do not believe in passing a rule that one who has ever been divorced cannot be a deacon or preacher. And my reason is very simple; there is no such rule in the Bible."
Amazing that the Devil has the power to use a woman to destroy a church, ministry, mission, or even to change God's calling of a man. In short, the Devil control's God by controlling these women. Now don't go arguing against free will here...we aren't Calvinists, are we? These women all had 'free will' to do right but chose to do wrong in the face of their husbands. Their husbands were innocent in their wife's sins but at many seminaries they are made sinners and second class Christians by what amounts to a Papal decree.
The teaching of these men is simple. If a man has a wife before or after salvation and they divorce and he remarries, he cannot qualify as a Bishop (doesn't say Pastor) or an Elder (some would include Deacon here but Deacon qualifications are different than Elder or Bishop).
Now for the life of me I cannot understand why they pick this one qualification. If we are going to be fair shouldn't we say all qualifications go back to birth? Take for instance 'brawling', well that would disqualify Johnny "The Baptist" Campbell and "Gorgeous" George the wrestler. Both of these evangelists were in prison for assault when the were saved and they went onto lead thousands to Christ. How about the qualification of 'filthy Lucre'? You just knocked Freddie "The Cat" Gage out of the ministry since he did several years as one of the world's most illusive cat burglars. How about drunk baseball players? Huh? Well Billy Sunday wouldn't qualify and neither would 36,000 Scottish covenanters of the 1600's. Isn't the Greek verbiage the same tense on each qualification? So instead, we focus on an issue that was not typical in this country until the government allowed 'no fault' divorce to accompany a woman's right to vote. But does scripture back this up?
"Well, there is no such thing as the 'innocent party' in a divorce...there was probably failure in some ways to both parties.." That is an unfair statement. You do not know that.
Howard Sugden gives the following example in his book WHAT DOES THE BIBLES SAY ABOUT? (p.137);
"I have a pastor friend who's wife walked out on him. What do you do in that situation? He was a fine pastor of a fine church. She simply walked out on him. The church immediately met, because when she walked out, the pastor walked in and gave them his resignation. They asked him, 'What could you have done to save it? We have seen the situation, and we know what has happened. You are our pastor, and we are for you. And you care for us. We are going to keep you on as our pastor, if you will stay.' The man stayed on and ministered, and he has had a successful ministry."
Divorce in the Bible
"To be in the ministry, it is better to murder someone than to be divorced...they will forgive you of murder, but not divorce!" Primitive Baptist Pastor Steve Frederick
I am sure we all are familiar with the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels and since these are pre-gentile and since we are under none of the Jewish laws I will forego it's rereading. However, Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles does cover the issue in great detail.
Consider Rom. 7
Know ye not, Brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law;)...
Paul is speaking directly to Roman Christians that were in many aspects, experts on Jewish Law. Many of the congregation in Rome were Jewish. The Romans had a history of leaving their wives/ husbands and joining other's wives/husbands for a time.
...how the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth. For a woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress;...
Where is the divorce in the above? No...No...No, don't give me a bunch of Greek blah blah blah, just give me some preserved English. (Here is something free for the brethren who call themselves KJB Only. Most of the KJB crowd really aren't...they are KJB plus the Greek or KJB plus the Textus Receptus or KJB plus Strongs...but they just ain't KJB only. The fact of the matter is that they can't read Greek, they don't own a Textus Receptus, and couldn't find an original manuscript with a fist full of magnifying glasses. Either "That which is perfect is come" or it ain't. Quit looking for ways to change the text to fit your preconceived notions...it makes you look as stupid as a Mormon digging in his back yard for golden plates!) Where is the divorce? This is a woman who has stepped out on her husband and is 'married' (having a sexual relationship with another man) but NOT DIVORCED. Want some Greek? Look up the word 'loosed'.
Since Paul is speaking to "...them that know the law", and since Jesus states that Moses gave us the law of divorce, LET US READ THE LAW.
Deut 24: 1-4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes,...
This is where the disciples stumbled in their understanding before Christ..."Any cause".
...because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
So here we are, not with the married woman of Rom. 7, but rather a divorced woman of Matt. 5 and Matt. 19, and she is on her own and with no house. What does she do? She does what the law (same one Paul spoke of) allows.
And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
What? How can this be? Did Jesus suddenly change the law? add to it? amend it? Of course not. It was the faculty at 7 liberal bible schools that did. Jesus was giving a 'kingdom of heaven' teaching that showed the way of God 'more perfectly' but in no way did he change the law to make this woman or this man bound to each other until death. Read the rest of the 'law' Paul referred.
And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord:...
This woman's second marriage is so secure and bound before God that the woman CANNOT go back to her first husband even if he be dead. She is in fact bound to a law EVEN though he be dead. This is the law Paul was referring to and later in chapter 7 of Romans says, "We are dead to".
So to put in proper context, God says, this woman is not and cannot be married to her first husband but the faculty at Dallas Theological says, She must separate and live a lonely life alone or become an abomination before God by joining her first husband again, or her original husband must give up the pulpit! Hogwash...this is a teaching of the Devil and his hirelings who have infilitrated even the best bible schools and taught our young men the Roman Catholic version of the marriage sacrament.
Now what does Paul (The same Paul who wrote the letter to Timothy) say about this matter to the Corinth church? This is an ordinance given directly to Gentile believers in response to a letter they wrote to Paul. That letter has been lost to history but I assume it sounded something like this;
Dear Brother Paul,
A new convert came to me and asked if he could serve in the Church bus ministry and Crispus jumped up and said, "Brother, you are not qualified. My wife spoke to Andronicus' wife the other day and she said that your wife filed for divorce because you have joined a "cult" and were trying to get her to wear a headcovering and dresses...sorry, brother, but you don't qualify". What do we do, brother? When I attended PBI they taught that divorce was allowed in three instances but Crispus graduated from FTI and has a doctorate from Temple University with advance studies at Liberty and he says that God doesn't allow divorce under but one condition and even then I'm afraid this man cannot be used by God for that former sin. The bretheren are beginning to show up at church with Jewish opinions on the matter and so many concordances to prove their point. We are in the midst of a church split and the ladies have quit fellowshipping and the men won't tithe, What do I do, brother?
I Cor 7
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a
Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment.
For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] 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.
But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such [cases]: but God hath called us to peace.
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save [thy] husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save [thy] wife?
But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
Art thou called [being] a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use [it] rather.
For he that is called in the Lord, [being] a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, [being] free, is Christ's servant.
Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, [I say], that [it is] good for a man so to be.
Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
Did You catch that? "Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife." There is that word again...'loosed'. Did you look it up in your Greek last time you read it? I didn't, don't need to. I have an English bible so when I read that a woman is 'loosed' in Rom. 7 from her man at death is free to marry than I can safely and accurately deduct that the word loosed here has the same meaning (same person wrote it to the same Gentile body). "But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned;". Who is he talking to? The preceding verse..."Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife", crowd. What? Did Paul just command the believers there in Corinth to commit a sin against the Catholic sacrament of marriage? Consider what the Catholics teach;
The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize a remarriage after divorce as being valid unless the original marriage has been annulled by a church tribunal. Persons who remarry without annulment are barred from receiving communion in the Church. Frequent grounds for annulment include "lack of due discretion" in choosing a spouse, "defective consent," meaning fraud by one of the parties, "psychic incapacity" to fulfill the obligations of marriage, "defect of form," meaning the original wedding was not performed in the Catholic Church, and "prior bond," meaning one of the partners was married to someone else at the time of the wedding.
1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.
1663 Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.
1664 Unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage. Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage; divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married life away from its "supreme gift," the child.
1665 The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.
From Catechism of the Catholic Church, (c) 1994, 1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.,
Amazing! This teaching of making a second class citizen out of Christians serves no purpose other than to minimize the spreading of the gospel and take joy from the hearts of a new convert and make the schism in the body, that much wider. But then...the men that I speak to today wouldn't have allowed Jesus to Pastor their church either.
The truth is that God himself could not even be a deacon in some self-righteous churches....without getting a special waiver. The Lord, you will recall, had a divorce (Jeremiah 3:8) from the nation Israel!
Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
So is the bride of Christ, Israel, restored? Has God taken a second wife having secured a righteous divorce from Israel and Judah? Could Christ sit underneath the Bishop of these churches and not wear the 'required' scarlett letter?
H.L. Ellison gives few good thoughts from his book DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE:
"..One's past history may not necessarily portray his present character. It is possible to have a good marital history of single marriage and have a 'cat-calling' character of wandering affections at the same time...On the other hand, it is also possible to have a sorrowful marital history of a broken marriage while having a personal character that is above reproach. The tragedy may not have been of his own making, as noted with the prophet Hosea...The passage in 1 Timothy 3:2....puts the emphasis where Jesus put it, on the heart and present character, rather than on outward record of marital history. The emphasis is not so much on what a man ONCE was, but what he NOW is....
How far should these restrictions be carried? If they cannot be deacon or pastor, can they serve as usher? Collect offering? Or would that be too close to the duties of a deacon? Would they be allowed to pray or read Scripture from the pulpit, or give their testimony from the pulpit? Would that be too close to 'preaching'? To press it further, would the divorced person be allowed to sing in the choir or sing a solo? Or would such a performance border too closely to the concept of ministry? I have not heard of any such church who restricts divorced folks from being deacons or pastors from contributing to the offering plate, however."
Brother Paul writes to the Corinthians, "What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two saith he, shall be one flesh.
Ralph Woodrow from his book DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE pgs. 83,84 states:
A preacher who was ready to 'clean house', as he put it, declared that no person in his church who had a previous marriage could sing in the choir, hold any position in the church, or even serve as an usher! "I don't believe in second marriages!" he said. A close friend of his (who had divorced and remarried) said to him in private, "I know you have only married once, but did you ever have a sexual relationship with another woman?" (Being close friends, neither considered this conversation too personal.) With some hesitation the pastor admitted there had been some involvement with...two women...long before he was married to his wife. "Well," replied the other man, "you have been married to THREE women and never even divorced the first TWO. I have been married only TWICE, but I got a divorce!"
"Some months ago I heard a man give his testimony about how God saved him from a very wicked life. Though raised in church, he had rebelled at an early age, became involved with gangs, got into drugs, cursed God, chased women, living with one then another, though he never legally married. Then he got saved, went to Bible School where he married a Christian girl, and is now an ordained minister. We can all rejoice in what God has done for him. But there is a serious INCONSISTENCY here. The denomination which ordained him does not allow divorce and remarriage (in the ministry or in deacons). Had he married even ONE of these women he lived with, any marriage after that would not be 'first' marriage and ordination would have been refused!"
The inconsistency of this double standard says, in effect, "Don't get married--just live with different ones. God will forgive this, an dif you do finally get married it will be a first marriage. But if you marry and it doesn't work out, you can never get married again...and certainly never be a deacon or minister!
J.Vernon McGee says in his book QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
"Can a man who is divorced and remarried still be eligible for a position, such as deacon or pastor?" Answer: "...If the deacon (or pastor) has scriptural grounds on which he got a divorce, and the circumstances are pretty generally known, then I see no reason for his not occupying the office of deacon (or pastor)."
M.R. DEHAAN says in his book, DEAR DOCTOR, I HAVE A PROBLEM, pg. 109);
"If a man is saved after making the mistake, and sees and confesses his fault, I would be the last one to put up a hindrance to his ministry."
H.A. IRONSIDE says in his book WHAT IS THE ANSWER? (question 36);
Is it permissible for a man who has been twice married, the first wife having been divorced because of immorality....to hold the office of a deacon (or pastor)?" Answer: "....in the case such as you mention, the first wife has been divorced both legally and scripturally, ....the man is qualified for the office of a deacon if the life is otherwise right."
Pastor Steve Frederick, Petersburg Gospel Center, Evansville, Indiana, lends this statement;
Some of the best men in my church over the years of my ministry have been men who have been through divorce and remarriage, and sadly, some of the biggest trouble-makers and hindrances to my ministry have been men who have been married for20, 30, or 40 years to the same woman!
The Church of Jesus Christ, of all places, ought to be a place of forgiveness and restoration, and many poor divorced folks find no second chance at their church! I believe many good folk are not being allowed to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in many churches just because some folks have not correctly interpreted this passage in 1 Timothy!
We have entered a battle within Christendom that will not suffer our churches to remain intact. The Christian body is so eaten away with the cancer of liberalism on one side and legalism on the other. Shall we dissolve ourselves into home churches that exist only in the secret hiding places away from the Cromwells, Hitlers, and Stalins of the world simply because we've fed ourselves so much poison that we cannot stand long enough to die, facing the enemy? Brethren, I assure you that when we loose this fight and we will loose big. History will be written by the victor and those men you have followed, the Captains, Colonels, and Generals I have quoted above will be remembered only until the Catholic church brings about THE famine for the "Hearing of the Word of God".
Simply put, the bible allows three reasons for divorce;
1. Adultery (Fornication) Math 5 and 19
2. Death Romans 7
3. Abandonment I Cor 7:15 and 7:27
I know of a woman who, at the age of 19, got pregnant and was forced to "do the right thing" and married the boy. Within months of their marriage she got saved and he chose to worship Satan...literally, he is a Satanist. One day he came home and packed his stuff and left her and his unborn child. The young woman did all a seven-month pregnant woman could do to make ends meet. As you can imagine, the boy shucked all responsibility when he abandoned her. Finally, just before the baby was born, the woman moved back home. This scriptural move placed that much more stress on the young lady because the home she initially got pregnant in was a 'lost' home. Then came the baby. As you can imagine, the father wasn't even there for the birth of his child. Within the next 10 months this lady prayed to God for a man that loved the Lord to come into her life and before the child's first birthday, they were married. Within a few months they were expecting their second child and within twelve years they had their eleventh. Now this family is serving the Lord and has prospered in "an heritage". I was the man God sent to her. Now the bretheren would have sent her away, with a scarlett letter but thank God the bretheren don't hand out mercy based on merit...they would have a lot of mercy left over at the end of the day.
The man who led me to Christ in April 1992, at Bible Believer's Baptist Church, was Pastor Danny Castle. Pastor Castle is the Pastor of New Manna Baptist Church in N Carolina and has stood in some of the greatest soul-winning pulpits in America. Pastor Castle had some problems with his 'Eve' and she divorced him and their four young daughters. I praise God that some bible-rejecting pharisee didn't get to Pastor Castle and convince him that God wanted him to quit the ministry because "he no longer was qualified" before he got to me and delivered Paul's gospel of salvation. Those of you who know the Pastor know he has had a hard go of it but he is back in the saddle and winning souls to Christ. Amen!
Let me say here that I am not a "Divorce Proponent". I believe that divorce is one of the most dangerous actions a man can take. It can destroy generations of family. It is ugly and most usually turns the children away from God. I would never council my sons to engage in any activity leading to a divorce from their wives but I would not have my sons quit the ministry simply because their wives quit them.
Brothers, I beg of you to leave off of your Greek texts and seperate yourselves from the example of the Catholics with their Latin texts and great dependence on education in the mysteries. God gave us a bible in our Language so that we did not have to rely on some man in a dress telling us what to believe in a foreign language. John Calvin once said, "If you torture the text long enough, it will confess anything". What is next, Baptist Endulgences, Baptist purgatory, statutes of dead faculty members lining our church? Rely rather on the plain teaching of the Preserved word, the seventh purification of the English text that so many of our father's died to give us, and give your brothers a hand down from the cross you have placed them on.