“What does the “husband of one wife” phrase in 1 Timothy 3:2 mean? Can a divorced man serve as a pastor, elder, or deacon?”
[It is important to note as we begin that this section of scripture is dealing specifically with the offices of church leadership, and is not dealing with membership to the body of Christ or spiritual giftedness]. There are at least three possible interpretations of the phrase “husband of one wife” in 1 Timothy 3:2. 1) It could simply be saying that a polygamist is not qualified to be an elder, a deacon or a pastor. This is the most literal interpretation of the phrase, but seems somewhat unlikely considering that polygamy was quite rare in the time that Paul was writing. 2) The phrase could also be translated “one-woman man.” This would indicate that a bishop must be absolutely loyal to the woman he is married to. This interpretation focuses more on moral purity than marital status. 3) The phrase could also be understood to declare that in order to be an elder/deacon/pastor, a man can only have been married once, other than in the case of a remarried widower.
Interpretations 2) and 3) are the most prevalent today. Interpretation 2) seems to be the strongest, primarily because Scripture seems to allow for divorce in exceptional circumstances (Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16). [While divorce does not disqualify someone from Christ, it may very well disqualify someone from pastoral leadership.] It would also be important to differentiate between a man who was divorced and
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Wouldn’t our Christian existence be wonderful without fear? Some even wonder why a God that loves us so much would even allow it to infiltrate our minds. God does not cause fear, but nevertheless, we are living in a fallen world, so fear exists and can work itself into our lives. However, we can resist the vise grip of fear by fixing our minds on the Lord. God has made it clear that He didn’t give us the spirit of fear, as illustrated in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV).
So where does fear come from then?
Church attendance is a big issue in today’s society. It’s not uncommon to hear the statement, “No, I don’t go to church regularly, but God knows my heart.” Yet Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) tells us “…let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Chances are you’ve heard someone professing, “I’ll get right with God once I’ve had my fun. I’ll eventually get around to it, I’ve got time.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV) addresses that attitude: “..I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Church attendance is distinctly biblical, so what’s holding us back?
Contrary to popular opinion that college students have established their identities, determined their professional ambitions, and know where they’re going in life, the college age is a confusing time, riddled with a daunting surge of responsibility and pressure to conform to worldly expectations. Once you graduate high school, you’re hit with the looming question: “What next?” The world offers you few options in terms of lifestyle choices. The quintessential secular college experience consists of partying, hangovers, and unrestrained sexuality. Sobriety is scoffed. Morals are benched. Purity is out of the question.
Stress, or anxiety, is often rooted in a failure to trust in God. If we’re apprehensive about trusting God with our families, agendas, financial burdens, and deepest wounds, we are voluntarily signing up for an unhappy invasion of stress. When we’re uncomfortable with waiting on His perfect timing to guide our lives, and we willfully seize the reigns to self-direct, we are asking for more anxiety. Edging God out to expropriate the parts of our lives we feel most troubled about will only result in