My concern is the “outlawing” of divorced deacons. The bible verse used to blacklist divorcees from serving as a deacon is “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (I Timothy 3:2). Recently, and the statement that settled my mind that I should talk to you, Calvin stated we would not changed God’s word to allow other people to become deacons. However, this verse isn’t as open and shut as one would like to believe. Polygamy was accepted as normal during the time of the Bible. Many of the greatest Bible heroes had a multide of wives. And although as modern Americans, we like to point out it was wrong, the Bible doesn’t come out and condemn the issue. David, Abraham, and Solomon were all famous for their multiple wives. David, himself, was called the man after God’s own heart. I pointed out that God stated to David, “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.” (2 Samuel 12: 8) I think therefore the verse in Timothy is referencing the issue of polygamy. Please, also remember, polygamy is a real issue in the world still today, even if it isn’t in America. Also, if you continue reading the qualifications for a deacon or bishop, in verse 2 and 3, Paul says deacons must be “of good behaviour” and not a “striker or brawler.” Paul himself wouldn’t measure up to these qualifications nor would Moses. So are we to say that divorce and remarriage is an issue we can’t compromise on, but violence would be forgivable?
Meanwhile, on the issue of divorce, when Jesus answers the question of divorce in Matthew, he references putting away one’s wife for fornication, not the betrothed. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 is discussing sexual sins and marriage issues. In verse 12-15, Paul states, “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.” The word “bound” is used throughout the chapter as relating to marriage. Suddenly, the Bible says you are no longer under bondage if the unbelieving spouse leaves a believer. To me, that seems like grounds for divorce.
Finally, there is the personal issues. Many men have been left by their wives. Did that mean they weren’t able to be preachers or deacons? If so, do we have a special issue with preachers who’s wives have left them? They were ordained in our churches, as men God called to minister. God doesn’t change, so either we can accept that they should still be able to minister or possibly weren’t called by God in the first place? I know the part in the Bible that says “how can a man run the house of God if he can’t control his own house.” My brother used the same verse when I discussed this topic with him. However, by that regard, Aaron, David, and Samuel all wouldn’t be able to be deacons, and yet God used all three to run His house or nation. As many have also pointed out, even if I was right, I wouldn’t be able to change the thought of many traditional churches. Sadly, I do agree with that point, but feel like it should be brought up anyways.
If I have sin in my life, the Bible says I should be confronted. Likewise, I see this as a sin of our churches possibly, because we are pushing some people away. These are just my thoughts.