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View Poll Results: Of the following options, who may serve as an elder or deacon? (multiple choice)

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  • Married men (who've only been married once)

    63 91.30%
  • Justifiably divorced men who have not re-married

    48 69.57%
  • Justifiably divorced men who have re-married

    49 71.01%
  • Widowers who have not re-married

    55 79.71%
  • Widowers who have re-married

    53 76.81%
  • Men who have never been married

    45 65.22%
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Church Office discuss "A One-Woman Man" in the The Church forums; Stemming from the female deacons thread... May a divorced man fill the office of Elder or Deacon? How about a widower? How about a single ...

  1. #1
    raekwon's Avatar
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    "A One-Woman Man"

    Stemming from the female deacons thread...

    May a divorced man fill the office of Elder or Deacon?
    How about a widower?
    How about a single man?
    (See the poll.)

    Why or why not?

    GO!

    (GRR... messed up the poll. The second to last option is supposed to say "Widowers who have re-married." Can a mod edit that for me?)
    Last edited by raekwon; 03-05-2008 at 07:28 PM. Reason: messed up the poll
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    J. David Kear's Avatar
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    I did not vote because I believe that being a "one women man" means a man who has a current and proven lifestyle of faithfulness to his spouse if he has one. In which case none of these choices are necessarily ruled out.
    J. David Kear
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    Presbyterian Deacon's Avatar
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    The answer is:
    (f) ALL OF THE ABOVE
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    I don't agree with all of his teachings, but Douglas Wilson actually provides an excellent treatment of this topic in "Mother Kirk". Read with discernment, of course, but it's definately worth the read.

    He advocates the reading "one woman man", referring more to a character trait than to a "spouse count".

    I voted "all of the above", under the right circumstances.
    Jacob Mearse
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    Dr Mike Kear is offline. Inactive User
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. David Kear View Post
    I did not vote because I believe that being a "one women man" means a man who has a current and proven lifestyle of faithfulness to his spouse if he has one. In which case none of these choices are necessarily ruled out.

    Which is why I voted for all of them (you can do that on this poll).

  6. #6
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    Husband of one wife means.... well... husband of one wife. Why would we want (or need) to complicate matters beyond the obvious.

    Married men (who've only been married once)

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    I could see not allowing single Men who have never been married to hold the Office of Elder or Deacon. I think the ability to run a household is a significant prerequisite for Paul in electing Men for these offices.
    Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser, M. Div, ARP
    Pastor, Ellisville Presbyterian Church, ARP
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    ‎‎"Ministers of the Gospel, when dispensing the truths of God, must preach home to their own souls, as well as unto others. Sir's, we do not deliver truths or doctrines to you, wherein we ourselves have no manner of concern. No, our own souls are at the stake, and shall either perish or be saved eternally, as we receive or reject these precious truths which we deliver unto you. And truly, it can never be expected that we will apply the truths of God with any warmth or liveliness unto others, unless we first make a warm application thereof to our own souls. And if we do not feed upon these doctrines, and practise these duties, which we deliver to and inculcate upon you, though we preach unto others, we ourselves are but castaways." -- Ebenezer Erskine, "The Assurance of Faith", pg. 8

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Mike Kear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J. David Kear View Post
    I did not vote because I believe that being a "one women man" means a man who has a current and proven lifestyle of faithfulness to his spouse if he has one. In which case none of these choices are necessarily ruled out.
    Which is why I voted for all of them (you can do that on this poll).


    The context of the passage deals with the character of one's heart, not the compromises of one's history; about present spirituality, not past sin; about being a model of fidelity in the present, not about failures in one's past.

    I know pastors who experienced divorce as young men (left by their wives) who are 1 Tim 3:2 μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα exemplars. But, as in the case of one of my own mentors in ministry, I also know one man quite well who engaged in triple digit affairs (yes, more than 99 women!) over a decade and is still married (now in his mid 70s). The first case could be a "one woman man" despite a divorce; the second is a miserable failure as a "one woman man" despite his one 55 yr. marriage!

    I have always thought that the conservative Dr. Saucy pretty well dispensed with all of the exegetical options other than the following:
    The “husband of one wife” qualification therefore, it seems to us, does not demand the absence of life-long sin in the area of marriage relationships, but the evidence that the power of God’s transforming grace is presently operative in the life of the candidate to the effect that if there has been sin in these areas, it has been forgiven through genuine repentance, and the sinful tendencies which led to the breakdown have been overcome by the power of the indwelling Spirit of holiness.
    BSac 131:523 (Jul 74), 229-240.
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    The context of the passage deals with the character of one's heart, not the compromises of one's history; about present spirituality, not past sin; about being a model of fidelity in the present, not about failures in one's past.
    Where on earth do you get that? Not from scripture, bro. Paul and the Holy Spirit are niether one inarticulate. If there were other meanings than what is written, they would have been... uh... written. Why do we find a need to imbue the passage with meaning that it does not express? Please demonstrate this assertion from scripture.

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    Here's another question: If the determination of a man's qualifications as an officer of the church are a matter of the "character of one's heart" now, regardless of his past, rather than the God-ordained situation in which he abides, why are women barred from such office based solely upon the God-ordained situation in which they abide?
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    what about a man who had an unjustifiably divorce...and later repented...but still remarried?
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    Quote Originally Posted by goretorade View Post
    what about a man who had an unjustifiably divorce...and later repented...but still remarried?
    Was God not sovereign over that event?

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    My RPCNA pastor said it was a one woman minded man. He even said an unmarried man could fill a position of Deacon or Elder. I would also include a man whose wife abandoned the family, she commits adultery, and then he remarries. He can still be a one woman minded man. Committed to one woman.

    And I know there are some who are not liking what I am saying here. Oh Well.

    I voted for all of the above.

    An unjustifiably remarried man is not ordination material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    The context of the passage deals with the character of one's heart, not the compromises of one's history; about present spirituality, not past sin; about being a model of fidelity in the present, not about failures in one's past.
    Where on earth do you get that? Not from scripture, bro. Paul and the Holy Spirit are niether one inarticulate. If there were other meanings than what is written, they would have been... uh... written. Why do we find a need to imbue the passage with meaning that it does not express? Please demonstrate this assertion from scripture.
    Please don't be so strident with me, bro. At least give me the courtesy of explaining before you set off all of the alarms.

    1. The context of the passage in 1 Tim 3 deals with a number of behaviors that are disqualifying for the role of elder. If a biblically justified divorce at age 20 rules out a man from qualifying as elder at 40, then what of the other qualifications? Do you really want to say that 1 Tim 3 which was written to a congregation of relatively new Christians excludes all those who have had sin problems in the past with any of the following?

    Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. ESV
    Why would the Lord allow former drunks, former violent, for quarrelsome, former materialists to serve as elders and not the formerly divorced?

    Since the Scripture puts the "one woman man" qualification in the midst of a passage indicating that candidates for elder should be free of several other sinful patterns in the present (despite what they may have been guilty of in the past, Brad, it would seem that I got it from Scripture).

    2. I gave you a citation of a journal article which painstakingly works from the original to show how the VERY articulate Holy Spirit spoke through the VERY articulate Paul to present a VERY clear meaning for "mias gunaikos andra" (one woman man). If you take the time to look up the article you will see pages of reasons why the "clear" meaning of the passage is NOT identical with several popular misunderstandings.

    3. In the history of the church, we have a record of how this verse has been interpreted. The restrictive interpretation (must be married rather than single, may only be married once, no remarriage after widowhood, etc.) does not seem to be a fair reading of the text and has been discarded by most interpreters, not for reasons of counting hands, but for good reason. Incidentally, those who argue the restrictive view are forced to exclude childless elders.

    4. Jesus was not married, nor was Paul (certainly not when he wrote to the Corinthians and when he wished that "all" would be as he was). If the restrictive view were correct, Paul himself would be unqualified as an elder.

    Brad, I sincerely think that the Bible teaches a view lifting high the importance of elders as a model of fidelity in a world of loose living.
    Last edited by DMcFadden; 03-05-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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    I voted A.

    I do have questions about everyones opinion.

    1)Would pre marital sex with a partner other than the final choice for wife bar a man from holding the office.
    2) What if the couple lived together for a period of time?

    And lastly,
    I know this thread is about divorced men and church office, but if one sticks to a plain reading of the text it would seem that children could also be included as qualification for office. Maybe topic for another thread?
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    The question is not what does a "one woman man" sound like to me today. The issue is what did Paul intend to be understood by the phrase in 1 Timothy 3?

    “Husband of one wife” refers to one’s current marital status and behavior; validly divorced people who remarried were considered married to one spouse, the second one, not to two spouses.Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (1 Ti 3:2). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
    The solidly Reformed Baker New Testament Commentary observes:
    This cannot mean that an overseer or elder must be a married man. Rather, it is assumed that he is married — as was generally the case —, and it is stipulated that in this marital relationship he must be an example to others of faithfulness to his one and only marriage-partner. Infidelity in this relationship is a sin against which Scripture warns repeatedly. That this sin and those related to it (sexual immorality in any form) were of frequent occurrence among the Jews and certainly among the Gentiles, is clear from ever so many passages (among many others: Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:20; 20:10; Deut. 5:18; 22:23; II Sam. 12; Is. 51; Prov. 2:17; Prov. chapter 7; Jer. 23:10, 14; 29:23; Hos. 1:2; 2:2; 3:1; Matt. 5:28; John 8:3; Rom. 1:27; 7:3; I Cor. 5:1, 9; 6:9–11; 7:2; Gal. 5:19. See also N.T.C. on I Thess. 4:3–8). And let us not forget what Paul says in this very epistle (see on I Tim. 1:10). Accordingly, the meaning of our present passage (I Tim. 3:2) is simply this, that an overseer or elder must be a man of unquestioned morality, one who is entirely true and faithful to his one and only wife; one who, being married, does not in pagan fashion enter into an immoral relationship with another woman.
    Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 4: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary (121). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
    In fact, Hendriksen and Kistemaker go on to call it "inexcusable" to change the meaning of the biblical text to make it say what it does not say (e.g., insisting on elders being married or remarriage after the death of a spouse).
    Last edited by DMcFadden; 03-05-2008 at 10:23 PM.
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    Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser, M. Div, ARP
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    ‎‎"Ministers of the Gospel, when dispensing the truths of God, must preach home to their own souls, as well as unto others. Sir's, we do not deliver truths or doctrines to you, wherein we ourselves have no manner of concern. No, our own souls are at the stake, and shall either perish or be saved eternally, as we receive or reject these precious truths which we deliver unto you. And truly, it can never be expected that we will apply the truths of God with any warmth or liveliness unto others, unless we first make a warm application thereof to our own souls. And if we do not feed upon these doctrines, and practise these duties, which we deliver to and inculcate upon you, though we preach unto others, we ourselves are but castaways." -- Ebenezer Erskine, "The Assurance of Faith", pg. 8

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    [ame=http://youtube.com/watch?v=WnJsldTCT6I]YouTube - George Jones - One Woman Man[/ame]
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    Jacob,

    I'm not sure about Rev. Jones' exegesis. But, wow, those facial expressions are classic!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcFadden View Post
    Jacob,

    I'm not sure about Rev. Jones' exegesis. But, wow, those facial expressions are classic!
    Indeed. Arguably the greatest voice in country music, too.
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    In fact, Hendriksen and Kistemaker go on to call it "inexcusable" to change the meaning of the biblical text to make it say what it does not say (e.g., insisting on elders being married or remarriage after the death of a spouse).
    I am not sure if the example is yours or Hendriksen and Kistemakers, but I would very humbly submit that Paul Says

    Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,
    ESV (emphasis mine)

    When I read this it seems to me that Paul is plainly making marriage necessary for office.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I could see not allowing single Men who have never been married to hold the Office of Elder or Deacon. I think the ability to run a household is a significant prerequisite for Paul in electing Men for these offices.
    I've heard that before. But that means that Paul himself was not qualified.
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    Could someone please articulate for me how a life-long bachelor would be qualified to be an elder? I'm not following that one...

    (Please speak slowly when you do.)
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    Moses, David and Paul were murderers.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gene_mingo View Post
    In fact, Hendriksen and Kistemaker go on to call it "inexcusable" to change the meaning of the biblical text to make it say what it does not say (e.g., insisting on elders being married or remarriage after the death of a spouse).
    I am not sure if the example is yours or Hendriksen and Kistemakers, but I would very humbly submit that Paul Says

    Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,
    ESV (emphasis mine)

    When I read this it seems to me that Paul is plainly making marriage necessary for office.
    Sorry for leaving out the full context. Here is the quote from Hendriksen and Kistemaker:
    In view of this, the attempt on the part of some to change the meaning of the original — making it say what it does not say — is inexcusable. In harmony with the views of some Church Fathers (for example, Tertullian and Chrysostom), and in disagreement with the explanations favored by others (for example, Jerome and Origen), these translators and commentators are of the opinion that Paul is here referring to men who, having been widowers, remarried. The translation (?) then becomes, “An overseer must be a man who was married only once.” One can understand how men who reject or soft-pedal Scripture’s infallibility — who, accordingly no longer feel obliged to accept as most certainly true the words, “Paul … to Timothy” (I Tim. 1:1, 2) — can also take the next step, and, assuming that the Pastorals reflect conditions which prevailed after Paul’s departure from this earth, at a time when by many celibacy and the virgin-state began to be exalted above marriage, can read their private reconstruction of the formation of these letters into the text, so that they think of the author of the Pastorals as a man who considered marriage and certainly remarriage to be sinful or nearly so. One cannot excuse an attempt to make a text say what it does not actually say in the original. The original simply says, “He must be … one wife’s husband” (δεῖ — μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα).

    The real author of the Pastorals, namely, Paul, did not oppose remarriage after the death of the marriage-partner (see especially I Tim. 5:14; then 4:3; cf. Rom. 7:2, 3; I Cor. 7:9), though under certain specified conditions he considered continuation in the unmarried state to be wiser than marriage (I Cor. 7:26, 38). Paul, we may be sure, was in entire agreement with the author of Hebrews, who said, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.” (Heb. 13:4).

    Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 4: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary (121). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
    That is why their exegetical conclusion is pretty simple: "Accordingly, the meaning of our present passage (I Tim. 3:2) is simply this, that an overseer or elder must be a man of unquestioned morality, one who is entirely true and faithful to his one and only wife; one who, being married, does not in pagan fashion enter into an immoral relationship with another woman."

    So, if it refers to one’s current marital status and behavior (cf. Keener), then it does NOT mean several things . . .

    1. It does not mean that validly divorced people who remarried were excluded, since in the first century such a one was "considered married to one spouse, the second one, not to two spouses."
    2. It does not mean that polygamy is intended, since that was not practiced in the Roman empire anyway.
    3. It does not mean that elders must be married (as pragmatically valuable as that might be), since that would rule out Paul himself.
    4. It does not mean that remarried widowers were to be excluded, since that contradicts Paul's clear teaching on the subject of remarriage.

    Therefore, it DOES mean that . . .
    Elders must be above reproach, examples of sexual propriety. If married, they are to be examples of fidelity to their wives, not men who walk through life with eyes fixed on the private parts of women's bodies, or who spend their time with p***, or who make unchaste jokes about intimate matters (that would be the opposite of a "one woman man"). If they have been widowed, they may marry, but only "in the Lord." If single, they must be an example to the congregation of chastity.

    Applicationally, married only one time people may be excluded, IF they are sexually unfaithful or IF they are "creepy" and inappropriate toward other women, or IF they are divorced for unbiblical reasons. And, if a person has been divorced, the burden of proof is upon him to prove that he is above reproach with respect to the "one woman man" qualification.
    Last edited by DMcFadden; 03-05-2008 at 11:33 PM.
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    For those who only voted "Married men (who've only been married once)", a question that's already been alluded to . . .

    If a plain reading of the text dictates that only once-and-still-married may hold office, does it not also dictate that only men who have children (not just a child) are qualified? If not, why not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by raekwon View Post
    For those who only voted "Married men (who've only been married once)", a question that's already been alluded to . . .

    If a plain reading of the text dictates that only once-and-still-married may hold office, does it not also dictate that only men who have children (not just a child) are qualified? If not, why not?
    Likewise, if he becomes widowed must he demit the ministry?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gene_mingo View Post
    I voted A.

    I do have questions about everyones opinion.

    1)Would pre marital sex with a partner other than the final choice for wife bar a man from holding the office.
    2) What if the couple lived together for a period of time?
    I actually had the same question for a time, because if so, those two caveats would disqualify me from the office I hold. During our time of training for office, in fact, I spoke to my pastor (and other pastors) at length about that very thing. The conclusion that he's come to (and that I agree with) is that the "one-woman man" phrase is not a blanket dealbreaker for every man who has ever had more than one sexual partner, but rather points to fidelity in marriage and sexuality. The foolishness of my late teens and early 20s is wiped clean by the blood of Christ, and by his grace, I have been completely faithful to my wife.

    By that same grace, God has called me to the office of presbyter and I have followed him in that call.
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  30. #30
    cih1355 is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Does "one-woman man" imply that the man has to be married or can it mean that the man is the kind of a person who would be faithful to his wife if he had one?
    Curt

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    Quote Originally Posted by cih1355 View Post
    Does "one-woman man" imply that the man has to be married or can it mean that the man is the kind of a person who would be faithful to his wife if he had one?
    Here's what Alexander Strauch says to that question in Biblical Eldership
    It's not uncommon to hear people say that an elder must be married because Scripture says that he must be "the husband of one wife." This, however, is not an accurate interpretation. If Paul requires elders to be married, he flatly contradicts what he teaches in 1 Corinthians 7 where he outlines the distinct advantages of singleness in serving the Lord and even encourages singleness for the purpose of more effective, undivided service (1 Cor. 7:32-35; cf Matt 19:12). If an elder is required to be married, Paul should have qualified his statements about the advantage of singleness because singleness would disqualify an aspiring elder or deacon. However, Paul didn't write, "an elder must be a man who has a wife." Rather, he says that an elder must be a one-wife man, which is quite a different point.

    Using similar logic, some people also conclude that an elder must have children because of the qualification that an elder manage "his own household well, keeping his children under control" (1 Tim. 3:4). I've talked with some men, for example, who don't believe they can serve as elders or deacons because they only have one child. They say that Paul's qualification requires "children." Paul, however, is not requiring an elder to father two or more children. We must realize the limitations of Paul's language. He wouldn't use "child" because people would then think that an elder could only have one child. He is simply saying that an elder who has offspring must manage his home well.

    The fact is, most men are married and have children. Scripture requires that these men have their homes in order and that their marital relationships exemplify what Christian marriage should be. These qualifications obviously don't apply to elders who are single or childless.
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  32. #32
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    I would only question the wisdom of having an elder who has not yet married. A divorced elder is also questionable, especially one who has been divorced several times. That's not a good track record.

    It is interesting to note that the qualifications for elder/deacon are not particularly difficult to obtain. One might say they are qualities in a good bank teller. Scripture seems to be saying, pick men with good moral fiber and a good reputation, and here is a list of indicators. I think that's the point.
    R. Anthony Coletti
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by raekwon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cih1355 View Post
    Does "one-woman man" imply that the man has to be married or can it mean that the man is the kind of a person who would be faithful to his wife if he had one?
    Here's what Alexander Strauch says to that question in Biblical Eldership
    ...
    The fact is, most men are married and have children. Scripture requires that these men have their homes in order and that their marital relationships exemplify what Christian marriage should be. These qualifications obviously don't apply to elders who are single or childless.
    Those are good points. But I think there is something to be said about the wisdom of picking men who, by being married and having their house in order, have demonstrated they will make good leaders. A single man, or a man who has never been married, or a man who has been divorces, may be lacking the experience and/or wisdom that a married man with a well run household has already demonstrated. While not disqualifying single men (et cetera), it seems that they will have to work harder to show they will make good elders.
    R. Anthony Coletti
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  34. #34
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    I have been reading this thread with interest and had planned on not saying anything, but this discussion of single men as elders is something I've thought about a lot.

    I don't believe the scripture forbids a single man from serving as an elder. However, I believe the other qualifications should be very evident. In my experience in the church observing elders, I have seen only one single bachelor who I believed was qualified to serve as an elder. This man had clearly given up marriage to serve the Lord and was already doing the work of an elder long before he was elevated to that position. He was already well into middle age and had given up his free time as a single man teaching, shepherding and caring for the congregation. His vacations were spent on the mission field (instead of at the beach), and when he was elected as an elder, he lived up to that position better than some of the married men on the session.
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    Anthony,

    Since I have repeatedly argued for the "one woman man" being an indication of moral character in the sexual area in the present, permit me to observe that while a divorce does not need to be a "deal breaker" (particularly if it was for biblical reasons), that does not imply that a repeatedly divorced person would be qualified. Indeed, the point is to find men of high moral fiber. Sins in the past that have been confessed and forgiven should not disqualify unless the shadow of them continues into the present, besmirching the overarching "above reproach" standard. For example, I do not believe as a practical manner that I would ever feel comfortable with a "former" pedophile as elder. Recidivism statistics and public attitudes would probably make it impossible for him to establish himself as being above reproach. My former pastor friend who had the triple digit affairs would not qualify either, even though he is still married to his one and only wife. And, frankly, in the current technology environment, p*** addiction is becoming an increasingly problematic issue as well. Repeated divorces? Yikes!
    Last edited by DMcFadden; 03-06-2008 at 01:12 PM.
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  36. #36
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    A clarifier on my answer...

    The checked all of them. The one with the unmarried man, I do not believe he should be a ruling elder. A teaching and preaching elder, yes, a ruling elder say on session, no.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I could see not allowing single Men who have never been married to hold the Office of Elder or Deacon. I think the ability to run a household is a significant prerequisite for Paul in electing Men for these offices.
    What if a single man has household servants?
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRoper View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I could see not allowing single Men who have never been married to hold the Office of Elder or Deacon. I think the ability to run a household is a significant prerequisite for Paul in electing Men for these offices.
    What if a single man has household servants?
    If he can afford them in this day and age: besides if he can afford them, it's a safe bet he'll be married soon. (cf. the first line of Austen's Pride and Prejudice).
    In Christ's love and service

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  39. #39
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    Westminster Confession of Faith
    Chapter XXIV
    Of Marriage and Divorce

    I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.1

    II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,2 for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;3 and for preventing of uncleanness.4

    III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.5 Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.6 And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.7

    IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word.8 Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.9 10

    V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.11 In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce,12 to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.13

    VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:14 wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.15
    Psa 55:16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
    Psa 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRoper View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods Presbyterian View Post
    I could see not allowing single Men who have never been married to hold the Office of Elder or Deacon. I think the ability to run a household is a significant prerequisite for Paul in electing Men for these offices.
    What if a single man has household servants?
    Also, what if a Christian man has been on his own for a number of years, is faithful to God, does his job, pays his bills, etc etc etc. Is that not the management of a household?

    There was one man in his seventies that was in our elder training class. Had never been married, but it was fairly plain that he was able to run his house.
    Rae W. | Ruling Elder @ Grace Central Presbyterian Church (PCA) | Columbus, OH
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