I began my eldership at Central Bible Church in Fort Worth on Jan 1, 2021. We are studying the qualification of “one-woman man” for eldership. The topic I am studying is “an elder can never have been divorced” Can you give me your thoughts on this?
Titus 1:6, 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:12, Matthew 19:8-9
The hardness or stubbornness of your heart toward God is the place to start.
Lay the foundation: divorce and remarriage was not the design. Does that mean people can’t do it, or that to do so disqualifies one from eldership?
Divorce is not an unforgivable sin.
The office and role of elder:
Presbuteros and Episcopos are both used in the New Testament.
A presbuteros tends to be older, possibly more mature.
Episcopos is an overseer.
An important distinction: these are offices, not gifts.
Once in the New Testament these terms are used in the same sentence and describe them as examples to the flock: 1 Peter 5:3.
We’re asking the question: who is going to shepherd God’s church? This has been a discussion in every church I’ve served in. If you’ve been divorced, can you be an elder? I would say pause.
We need to hold this office separately. Who are you going to put in that office to shepherd the flock of God? Are they above reproach? How do you want to be an example to the people of God?
1 Timothy 3:4-5 mandates that an elder manage his household. Management is what happens when things go wrong.
How do you reconcile Luke 6:29, and have healthy boundaries with those who use you for their own personal gain and hurt you because they just can?
How do you reconcile obeying God in denying oneself and taking up your cross daily, and protecting oneself from those who use this passage of scripture against you; once again for personal gain?
“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” Luke 6:29
Let’s step back: this verse is totally taken out of context. Who is Jesus speaking to in this verse? This comes from the beatitudes and Jesus is contrasting two types of people: those who are poor and oppressed, and those wh0 (by worldly standards) are well-off. He’s saying: live in such a way that your Christlikeness is evident no matter how you’re treated. Can you live kindly and encourage others to follow Christ no matter your circumstances?
Resource: Darrell Bock’s commentary on Luke
Three observations from Dr. Bock’s commentary:
- If one strikes you on the cheek, offer the other. Probably in the context of religious persecution: rejection. Jesus’ point is: even in the midst of rejection, continue to minister to others.
- Stealing one’s outer garment: one should not seek revenge, but remain exposed and willing to take more risks.
- Being generous without keeping account: a disciple should be marked by a genuine desire to meet needs as he or she is able. Our resources are not to be hoarded but generously shared.
Context covers a multitude of interpretational sins.
But when people pointedly throw chapter-and-verse at you, you’re not going to chapter-and-verse your way out of it. It’s likely best to take a deep breath, affirm your relationship with that person, agree to disagree, and request mutual respect.
Who were the saints that were raised in Matthew? I did find this (Reference Linked Here) but wanted to get your thoughts:
Examples: Lazarus, Jairus’s daughter in Luke 8, widow’s son in Luke 7
Scripture mentions several resurrections and we’ve got to get the timing right. It’s intriguing that not only was Christ raised, but others were as well. Not only did Christ overcome death, but—by His death—people around Him also overcame death.
Death is celebrated in the Bible. People are free from this sinful, fallen earth and those who have been resurrected tend to get the short end of the stick. They’ll have to die again.
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