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            In 1Thessalonians 5:12-13, 1 Timothy 5:17-18, Hebrews 13:7, and Hebrews 13:17, we have God’s charge to the congregations concerning those he has set in positions of responsibility and authority in the churches. The Holy Ghost tells us:

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

1 Timothy 5:17-18
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Hebrews 13:7

7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

            It is very important that a church latch onto the passages of Scripture just quoted if they expect God to bless them and use them for the glory of God. We are to esteem and love those that God has put over us in the Lord. In context, the phrase “double honour” means that we are to take the best possible financial care of the pastors that labour in the word and doctrine. A pastor that will not labour in the word and doctrine is not worthy of the time of day. We are to follow, obey, and submit to those that God has given the rule over us as long as they are in obedience to the Scriptures. That does not mean that we are to blindly follow a man. We are to be a Berean when it comes to doctrine. It is no shepherd who will abuse the sheep. We have already discussed Acts 6:1-7 in the context of standards for deacons. In 1 Peter 5:1-4, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, and Titus we have God’s charge to those he places in the offices of elder, bishop and deacon. In these passages the Holy Ghost says:

1 Peter 5:1-4

1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

1 Timothy 3:1-13

1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 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. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:5-16

5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

            First Peter 5:1-4 is one of the most ignored passages in Independent Baptist churches. We have to many dictators in Independent Baptist churches who abuse the flocks that God has given them to shepherd. They demand that their “authority” is not to be challenged in any way. They rule as absolute despots. The charge to the pastor is not to Lord his position and scriptural authority over the congregation that he pastors. We are to respect the office, but if you as the pastor have to constantly demand respect then you are already in trouble because you have not earned the congregation’s respect. We are told: “Touch not God’s anointed”. Yeh, that is especially true if it applies to him if he is stealing from the church or a whoring around on his wife. Some pastors are more like unto the fallen anointed cherub. We have already stated that pastors are to be followed, to be obeyed, and to be submitted to. If you as a pastor have to constantly badger a congregation, then one or both of you is not yielded to the Holy Ghost. 

            One of the most neglected passages of scripture in fundamentalist and Baptist churches is the front end and the last half of 1 Timothy 3:2 and also verses 3-7 of the same chapter. It is amazing to us that God did not take husband of one wife out and make it a separate book! It is also amazing that many Baptist churches can maintain such high and holy standards for their pastors and preachers while the green fruits of their ministry rot in the pews and live like the Devil himself. They will put an innocent divorced man out of the ministry while they allow a whore and a whoremonger to continue in full fellowship with the “church”. They will allow a child molester, an adulterer, a thief, a liar, a heretic, an apostate, and so forth to continue in the pulpit and the pastorate. Most pastors today would choke to death on their own hypocrisy if they were required to exercise church discipline. How about you pastor? What I am talking about here is the toleration of the open sin of men and women sitting in the pews and the pastors who lead them. God is no respecter of persons when it comes to the judgment of sin. Judgment will start at the house of God and that does not exclude the congregation. If you as a congregation refuse to exercise righteous discipline over a pastor who is in open sin, you are asking God to kill your church. Most Independent Baptist churches will not deal with the sins of their pastors because they have been threatened and beaten with the fully loaded “touch not God’s anointed” pistol. Not only do many Independent Baptist pastors get blind loyalty, they demand it. It is a malignant cancer. If you as a pastor go a whoring around on your wife, then you have also gone a whoring around on the Bride Of Christ. If you as a pastor refuse to exercise righteous judgment in the house of God, you will lose the anointing of the Holy Ghost of God. Your preaching will have no power in it. You may as well take a knife to the congregation. The pastor’s charge is to feed and edify the sheep and not to go howling and ravening after the divorced sheep seeking who he may devour. This is an issue that is also very unscripturally hurtful to the wives of men who have been divorced. An unscriptural attack upon her husband is an attack upon her also.

            Most pastors in the pulpits of Independent Baptist churches cannot preach all the qualifications of 1 Timothy chapter 3 with any authority and under the anointing of the Holy Ghost of God because they are grossly guilty of not meeting many of the standards themselves. Many of them use their pulpits to be strikers of divorced people. Using the same corrupt hermeneutics that the “once married” preachers and pastors use, we can throw out the clause “husband of one wife” and take the rest of the qualifications for bishops (pastors) and deacons in 1 Timothy chapter 3 and disqualify at least 90% of the men occupying pulpits in fundamentalist churches. Soon, we will do just that by using an extended parody in the pages of this chapter. What this will prove is that the “once married” preachers and pastors already have an unscriptural and theologically corrupt hermeneutic that is filtered through their own prejudices and self-righteousness. We Independent Baptists are quick to publicly expose the “sin” of divorced men while we allow the vilest of undivorced men, many of them unsaved, to occupy our pulpits and pastorates. The three biggest qualifications we miss when considering whether to put a man into a pastor’s position or a deacon’s position, or to keep them there, is whether he is of honest report AND full of faith AND full of the Holy Ghost (You do remember that Acts 6:1-7 is still in the Bible, don’t you?). By the way, these were the only three scriptural standards for the first seven deacons. Now let’s take a look at 1 Timothy 3.

            Do you believe that the so-called qualifications for church office are absolute standards or are they intended to be a general standard by which the overall present character and conduct of a man may be judged to determine his suitability to serve in the offices of bishop and deacon? Sadly, in application, most “once married” preachers have but one absolute “qualification” in 1 Timothy 3 and that is “the husband of one wife”. Most “once married” preachers interpret “husband of one wife” as meaning a divorced man is permanently disqualified from the ministry. They consistently read divorce into this passage. While they preach absolute qualifications for the remainder of 1 Timothy 3, you will not catch them living by them. But, if you let a divorced man step into a pulpit, it is like the abomination of desolation has appeared in the congregation. When is the last time you heard some preacher say: You are not qualified to be a pastor or preacher if you do not pay your bills; or, You are not qualified to be a pastor or preacher because you cannot teach; or, You are not qualified to be a pastor or preacher because your children are out of control; or, You are not qualified to be a pastor or preacher because you are a lazy bum (striker); or, You are not qualified to be a pastor or preacher because you are to focused on money; or, You are not qualified to be a pastor or preacher because you have been guilty of fornication and adultery. If your hermeneutic is going to be consistent in interpreting this passage, then why isn’t someone who will not pay their bills permanently disqualified; or, why is someone who commits adultery and fornication not permanently disqualified. To be consistent, let’s extend your ludicrous hermeneutic for “husband of one wife” to the rest of this passage.

            By your reasoning, if there ever was a time when you were not blameless then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you were not vigilant, then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you were not patient, then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you were not in control of your children, then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you were greedy of filth lucre, then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you were not apt to teach, then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you were covetous, then you are permanently disqualified. If there ever was a time when you committed adultery or fornication, then you are permanently disqualified and so forth. All of us know how ridiculous all this sounds, but that is exactly where your method of interpretation leads us. Contending for absolute qualifications leads us into yet another trap especially in dealing with the “husband of one wife”. If a man must be the husband of one wife, then no man who is single either because he has never been married or because his wife has died is qualified for the ministry. If “the husband of one wife” qualification applies to missionaries, preachers, and evangelists then neither Paul or those that he recommended staying unmarried would ever be qualified for the ministry. Then, what of Timothy and Titus who were obviously at least church planters and more likely pastors of churches. There is no mention of either of them being married. If a husband and wife cannot have children, then the husband cannot have his children in subjection to him. A lot of the problem before us is rooted in the uncanny ability of many pastors and preachers to read the word divorced into 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6.

            The question arises: “Is there a Greek word used for divorce?”. The answer is of course because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself used it in Matthew 5:31, Matthew 19:7, and Mark 10:4. If the Holy Ghost intended that husband of one wife in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 be interpreted of divorce, then why did He not use the Greek word for divorce which is “apostasion” in the context. Since every standard for bishops and deacons in these passages is in the present tense, then we must assume, that in the context, the Holy Ghost is interested in the present conduct of the individual under consideration to become or continue to be a bishop or deacon. That has to be the case because if it were not then NO man would ever be qualified to be a bishop or deacon. The problem with making divorce the only sin that permanently disqualifies a man from the ministry is that it makes divorce an unforgivable sin only in the context of a man’s ministry. It makes the Church and God a respecter of persons. In context, the most natural sense of the phrase “husband of one wife” is having one wife, but not more than one. That is the most logical interpretation when it is read and interpreted literally. There is no mention of the word “divorced” or “widower” in the context of 1 Timothy 3. Nor can the words “divorced” or “widower” be implied from the context when it is read in its most natural sense. The words come from speculating: “Well did he mean this, or did he mean that”. The answer to that question is, no, the Holy Ghost meant exactly what He said. For the words “divorced” and “widower” to appear there they have to be read into it through the prism of somebody’s false doctrine. Some folks try to add the word living to 1 Timothy 3:2 to make it read “HUSBAND OF ONE LIVING WIFE”. They do this because they know the implications of their doctrine for a widower. Their doctrine disqualifies a widower from the ministry. We do not for a minute believe that a widower is disqualified from being in the ministry. Neither do we believe that a divorced man is permanently disqualified from being in the ministry. Many, in a vain attempt to disqualify a divorced man, read “husband of one wife” as “having had only one wife”. That is a gross misinterpretation also because it changes the Bible’s present tense “must be...the husband of one wife” to the man pleasing, past tense “having had only one wife”.

            Furthermore, you will not find the phrases “double married”, “widower”, or “divorced” anywhere in either First and Second Timothy or in Titus. For you to put those words into those Scriptures, you have to read them into it because of your doctrinal bias. If you do not believe it, ask the average unsaved, Biblically illiterate person on the street what is meant by the phrase “husband of one wife” and it is doubtful they will ever say it means “the husband of one living wife” or “a man that has never been divorced”. What they will tell you is that it means “a man does not have more than one wife”. What we are saying is that they will literally assume that it means not having more than one wife at the present time. If you took the average Biblically, literate Christian who had never been taught the doctrines of “double married preachers” and “no divorced preachers” and asked them what “husband of one wife” means to them, they would tell you that it means that a husband does not currently have two or more wives or that he must be married to serve as a bishop or deacon. The word “divorce” would not occur to most folks without having been read into the passages we are discussing. You could try taking your rules for grammar to your favorite English teacher and see how fast they would run you out of their class.

            We have heard the argument time and again that “husband of one wife” disqualifies a divorced man because he has set a bad example to the flock when it comes to the home. What that argument does is set up divorce as a special class of unforgivable sin. What about the other standards in the list?? For those who say “but the divorce cannot be repented of or restored”, what about the guy who has murdered a man or a woman, or beat up his wife, or committed adultery, or has molested a child, or has raped a woman, or being guilty of sodomy, or filed a bankruptcy, or been guilty of public drunkenness. You cannot unmurder someone (the apostle Paul was a murderer), or unbeat up a wife, or uncommit adultery, or unmolest a child, or unrape someone, or unsodomize someone, or unfile a bankruptcy, or undo a conviction for public drunkenness. If a man cannot be an effective marriage counsellor because he has had a divorce, can he be an effective financial counsellor if he has filed a bankruptcy? If a man cannot be an effective marriage counsellor because he has had a divorce, then can he be an effective marriage counsellor when he is an unrepentant, undivorced adulterer? Facts are stubborn things. We could go on and on, but we have made our point.

            Do you believe the timing of a man’s salvation has any effect on whether he is qualified for the offices of bishop or deacon? Do you believe that if a man gets a divorce after he is saved, that he is permanently disqualified from any position of leadership in the church including bishop and deacon? Do you believe that a man who was divorced “before” he was saved is qualified for positions of church leadership including bishop and deacon? Do you believe you have the discernment to determine whether anyone is/was saved at a particular point in time? We do not believe that the timing of a divorce, saved or unsaved, has any effect on the standards in 1 Timothy 3. Divorce is not the issue in 1 Timothy 3. Furthermore, if you try to hold an unsaved man’s past against him you run into the wall set up by the Holy Ghost in 1 Corinthians 6:6-11 where He said:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

            The key here is such were some of you. If you will not let a divorced man minister in all ministries of the church, whether his divorce took place before or after he was saved, then what you are saying is that the blood of Jesus cannot cleanse a man from the potential sins of divorce. The reason some of you will allow a divorced man to be a preacher or pastor if his divorce took place prior to his salvation is that the Holy Ghost has convicted you of your false doctrine. You also put yourself in a very dangerous position of determining when a man was saved. There is no way you can make that decision because you are not the Holy Ghost. When you will not let any divorced man into the ministry you promote the Devil’s lie that all parties to a divorce are guilty of sin. When you will not let a divorced man into the ministry you are making divorce the unforgivable sin. When you will not let divorced men into the ministry then you are saying that you would not let God minister in your churches because he has been divorced! What complicates the matter before us even more is that most “once married” preachers will not accept the scriptural fact that a divorce scripturally ends a marriage. That is our next topic.

            Do you believe that divorce ends a marriage in the eyes of God so that a former spouse is no longer scripturally a spouse in any sense of the word? Your answer to that question will reveal your prejudices. Another prejudice that enters into interpreting the phrase “husband of one wife” is the stubborn insistence by many that divorce does not end a marriage. According to this false doctrine, even if you have been divorced from someone, you will always be married to them in the eyes of God. The doctrine also states that if you divorce and remarry you are living in perpetual adultery because you cannot divorce anyone for any reason. We dealt with the issue of perpetual adultery in the chapter on “Adultery, Fornication, Desertion, Divorce And Remarriage”. Let us allow the Lord Jesus Christ to interpret whether a divorced person is any longer a husband or wife to the person from whom they are divorced. The Lord Jesus Christ in dealing with the woman at the well had this to say in John 4:16-18:

John 4:16-18
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

            Here we will repeat our discussion on this issue from the chapter on “Adultery, Fornication, Desertion, Divorce and Remarriage”. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, divorce does end a marriage. Why did the Lord Jesus Christ say to the woman at the well in John 4: “thou HAST HAD five husbands”. What was her sin? She was obviously having sex with a man who was not her husband because he was married to another woman! She was guilty of fornication and adultery and he was guilty of adultery and fornication. Also, the clear implication of this passage is that she has been divorced five times. Why would the Lord hold it against her that she had been married five times, if those men had simply died? The Lord Jesus Christ showed us that she was a sexually promiscuous woman, living with a man who was not her husband. Notice that he does not say that she is married to all five of those men. He says that she “hast had” (past-tense) five husbands. She is no longer married to those men. Therefore, it is inaccurate to speak of a divorced person as having multiple living spouses because of the divorces. If her previous divorces had not dissolved those previous marriages, the Lord Jesus Christ would have said that “thou hast (present tense) five husbands”. So much for those preachers, pastors, and teachers that state that a divorced man has more than one wife if he remarries. That whole theory is blown out of the water with this one passage of Scripture! Do you actually think the Lord Jesus Christ would change his wording if it was a man at the well who “hast had” five wives? Based upon what the Lord Jesus Christ said here, you cannot say that a lawfully divorced man or woman who is married now has more than one husband or wife. When a person is divorced from a spouse, that person is no longer their spouse in any sense of the word. Otherwise, the Lord Jesus Christ would have used the present tense to indicate that the five men were still her husbands. Divorce unequivocally and permanently ends a marriage. We have stated that all the standards for bishops and deacons are in the present tense. What does that mean?

            If we take all the standards and look at them, we would have to say that all men have been guilty of not meeting at least one of them in their past before they were saved. In fact, most men are guilty of not having met many of these standards. Most saved men are guilty of not meeting all the standards at least some of the time even in the present tense. The passage is not to be interpreted as if the candidate for bishop or deacon must HAVE ALWAYS been blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, hospitable, in control of his house and his children, and patient. Neither is the passage to be interpreted in the sense that a man has never been guilty of being a drunk, a striker, greedy of filthy lucre, a brawler, or covetous. What we are interested in is, what is the man’s proven general conduct and character today. No one meets all the standards all the time. There are a lot of the pastors in our Baptist pulpits that are not apt to teach and the proof of it is in their interpretation of this passage.

            The standards given for elders, bishops, and deacons in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are NOT absolute standards because if they are, they become a farce when we try to apply them. Using them as absolute standards would result in no one ever being qualified for the offices of bishop elder, or deacon. Yet, that is the way the phrase “husband of one wife” is used to the exclusion of EVERY other standard in this passage. We have already proven that if you try to interpret every standard in the present tense but then interpret “husband of one wife” in the past tense, you create an interpretive mess. All of the standards address the present conduct of an individual. The phrase “must be” is the key to interpreting this passage. It is an English verb form that is strictly in the present tense. It cannot be read “must have been” because that would be in the past tense. Yet, that is exactly the way it is interpreted by those “once married” preachers that want to hold a man’s divorce against him. In application, they do not believe God ever forgives a man of a divorce even if he was innocent. They will forgive a reprehensible, fornicating, whoremongering, adulterer who is guilty of multiple acts of fornication with several different women and either leave him in the pulpit with no church discipline being exercised or immediately restore him to the ministry after a few crocodile tears and then turn right around and throw a divorced man out of the ministry whose obviously devil possessed wife and Satan conspired to destroy his ministry. Then Satan recruits some fundamentalist “once married” peacocks to rubber stamp the Devil’s Satanic destruction of a really good man of God and the ministry God has called him into. What sheer and utterly wicked hypocrisy all this is. Which leads us to the conclusion that all manner of sin shall be forgiven a man except the sin of divorce and blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. The phrase “husband of one wife” should be interpreted as follows: “If a man is married, then he can have but one wife at a time”. The phrase “husband of one wife” cuts off polygamists from serving in the ministry: nothing more, nothing less. We have also heard the phrase “husband of one wife” interpreted of so-called serial polygamy. That interpretation denies that divorce ends a marriage. In the eyes of God, when a man or woman commits adultery they have broken the marital bond with (divorced) their mate. That is why God said to kill adulterers and adulteresses in the Old Testament under the law (That was the divorce). Do you think for a minute that a priest was kicked out of the priesthood if his wife left him, or if he was divorced? The following quote is from an email inquiry that we sent out to a rabbi:

A divorced and remarried priest can serve – the only restriction we find is that he may not marry a divorcee. A priest does not have to be married except for the High Priest on the Yom Kippur service. This is derived from Leviticus 16:6: "He shall atone for himself and his home" - where 'home' implies he has a family (see Mishna Yoma 1;1). They also could have multiple wives since this is forbidden only rabinically. Ezekiel 44 contains more of the basic laws of priests - prophetically described in the Third Temple, but Leviticus 21 is the main source. [From Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld aishrabbi@aish.edu ]

            If the priest’s wife committed adultery, the problem was resolved in a pile of stones with her at the bottom of it. We have heard of cases where women have actually threatened to destroy their husband’s ministry by divorcing them. Furthermore, how many times have you heard of a man’s ministry being destroyed at the hands of some “once married” fundamentalists because his wife committed adultery and left him. Yet, these fundamentalist hypocrites will allow a fornicating, whoremongering (whore hopping if you prefer) adultererous preacher to continue in the ministry while kicking an innocent divorced man out of the ministry. We are sending some very ,very wrong signals to the lost and to young Christians from our fundamentalist and Independent Baptist churches when we will not put a fornicating adulterer out of our pulpits, but we will put an innocent divorced man out of our pulpits. We are telling the world that we are incapable of exercising righteous and just judgment. Who do you think the young Christian will think is guilty of sin when comparing a proven fornicating, adulterous preacher with an innocent divorced man who was deserted by his adulterous wife?? You do believe that a divorced man can be innocent don’t you? Or, are you one of the promoters of the false doctrine that states that all parties to a divorce are always guilty of sin? When an individual has scriptural grounds for divorce, they are not guilty of sin in the divorce action. You may think that the issue before us is not as serious as we make it out to be, but lets take a look at some shocking statistics from seven years ago (this is 2014) written by Richard J. Krejcir:

Here is research that we distilled from Barna, Focus on the Family, and Fuller Seminary, all of which backed up our findings, and additional information from reviewing others' research: Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry. [“Statistics on Pastors, © 2007 (research from 1989 to 2006) R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development; cited from  http://www.intothyword.org/apps/articles/?articleid=36562]

Did you catch that? A whopping forty percent admitted to extra-marital sexual affairs! Note that these men were still in the ministry when the research was conducted. What that indicates to us is that most churches in America refuse to deal with the issue of pastoral adultery because if they dealt with it scripturally, many of these sexually promiscuous, wicked, sinister ministers would not be in our pulpits. What about some specific cases from some very high profile Independent Baptist Churches?

            It is okay for the pastor that is an adulterer and fornicator to go a whoring around on his wife just so he remains undivorced. Touched not God’s anointed no matter how wickedly he behaves. Many pastors and preachers use “touch not God’s anointed” to hide the vilest of sins. Some cases in point include the unholy trinity from First Baptist Hammond, Indiana, namely Joe Combs, Jack Hyles, and Jack Schaap. To that we can add Bob Grey of the then unholy Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida who was guilty of molesting children and yet remained in the ministry with the knowledge of some of his church leaders. But at least these four men were not divorced. God forbid that they should be divorced! The consequence of tolerating such conduct is that we have lost the anointing of the Holy Ghost of God in most of our Independent Baptist churches. This is what happens when so-called “men of God” will not rebuke the sin of man’s anointed (wrongfully called God’s anointed), but will instead let them continue in their sin bringing shame and reproach upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and his Church. What a bane to the Independent Baptist movement! Many churches will put a man out of the ministry who divorces through no fault of his own, but they will not put a fornicating pastor, preacher, or deacon out of their pulpits or their churches. Many churches will not put an adulterer, adulteress, fornicator, or sodomite out from the membership of their church, but they go into a mad rush to get rid of that wicked and ungodly divorced man whose only sin was to be married to a woman who turned into an adulteress and a whore. Many fornicating “once married” preachers wickedly think they are still qualified to preach and pastor because they have not been given divorce papers or do not possess a second marriage license. We have news for you boys. You are a whole lot less qualified to be in the ministry than that innocent divorced man whose adulterous wife divorced him.

            Let me state this unequivocally, if you have ever had any kind of sexual relationship with a woman other than the woman you are married to now, you are guilty of being at least “double married” in God’s eyes under both the Old Testament law and under New Testament Scriptures. What that means is this. If you had sex with any woman other than the woman you are married to now, and you preach against “double married” preachers and pastors, then YOU have permanently disqualified yourself from the ministry out of your own mouth. The Holy Ghost plainly teaches in 1 Corinthians 6:16 that if you join your body to an harlot, then you and the harlot become one flesh. The “one flesh” statement is God’s requirement from Genesis 2:24 for a man and a woman to become husband and wife. The whole idea of a sexual relationship with an harlot constituting a marriage is also addressed by Josephus when he said:

And further, no one ought to marry a harlot, whose matrimonial oblations, arising from the prostitution of her body, God will not receive; for by these means the dispositions of the children will be liberal and virtuous; I mean, when they are not born of base parents, and of the lustful conjunction of such as marry women that are not free. [Josephus, Book 4, Chapter 8,Section 23 (245) page 119)]

That was the whole idea that the Holy Ghost was presenting in 1 Corinthians 6:16 when Paul said that if you join yourself to an harlot you have married her (became one flesh). There is no ceremony, no marriage license, no priest, or no pastor there. None is required in the eyes of God or the eyes of the Scriptures. Nor was there a justice of the peace or a magistrate in 1 Corinthians 6:16. Neither is any required in the eyes of God or in the eyes of the Scriptures. Read it for yourself. You will not find a scriptural mandate or commandment in either Testament that requires a marriage ceremony in order for a couple to be married in the eyes of God. Again, the reason that the interpretation that becoming one flesh constitutes a marriage does not sit well with a lot of our preachers and pastors is because many of them are guilty of adultery and fornication. If they are guilty of adultery and fornication, then they are guilty of becoming one flesh with multiple women thereby making themselves husbands of multiple wives. If they are husbands of multiple wives, then they are disqualified from the ministry by their own preaching and teaching of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. It never ceases to amaze us how we can leave an adulterer, child molester, and a fornicator in the pulpit and permanently disqualify a man who has had a divorce.

            A woman is guilty of being a whore and a harlot when she commits her first act of fornication and/or adultery. A man is guilty of being a whoremonger when he commits his first act of fornication and/or adultery. What that means is that if you come together sexually with multiple partners, then you have had, or do have, multiple (living) spouses. Many pastors scream against acts of fornication being called marriages because they are guilty of fornication and/or adultery after their marriages. The act of adultery also constitutes an act of fornication. If the sexual act(s) constitute a marriage (and it does), then they are guilty of having multiple wives which by their own twisted interpretation and application would permanently disqualify them from the ministry. Again, the Holy Ghost plainly states in 1 Corinthians 6:16 that when a man joins himself unto an harlot that they become one flesh. That is the definition of a scriptural marriage. Some of the men we are talking about here were guilty of fornication before they were saved and some of them were guilty of fornication after they were saved. Many were guilty of both. God does not give a different set of qualifications for the ministry based upon whether a man was saved or lost. When a mere man tries to make that judgment, then they are trying to judge that which only the Holy Ghost is capable of judging. Many self-righteous “once-married” peacocks take what they consider to be the “safe” route by not allowing anyone who has ever been divorced, saved or lost, to enter into the ministry. While we partially agree with that interpretation that salvation is not the issue, we totally disagree that divorce is the disqualifying issue. The issue is how many scriptural living wives does a man have in the present tense. If a man is scripturally divorced from a woman, that woman is no longer his wife.

            Fornication and adultery make a “fundamentalist” pastor and preacher no less disqualified to be in the pulpit than a man who has had a divorce that his sin caused. However, we do believe that the Devil has taken many innocent men from our pulpits whose divorces were no fault of their own. We also believe that the Devil has used many “fundamentalist”, self-righteous hypocrites to accomplish that which rightly dividing the Scriptures could not have done. We also believe that the “fundamentalist” doctrine of throwing divorced men out of the pulpits has allowed the Devil to use many ungodly pastor’s and preacher’s wives to control and destroy many thriving ministries. Many ungodly, high profile preachers and pastors have set themselves above rebuke because they believe they are untouchable.

            The phrases “husband of one wife” and “touch not God’s anointed” are the two most abused phrases in the Independent Baptist movement. The two unforgivable sins in the Independent Baptist movement is divorce and touching God’s anointed. The phrase “touch not God’s anointed” in 1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15 is almost always preached and taught from the wrong context. The context is to touch not God’s anointed people. In other words, in context, its emphasis is on God’s chosen people. God the Holy Ghost added the phrase “and do my prophets no harm” almost as an after thought, but the emphasis was on the PEOPLE. If we wanted to attempt to make a New Testament application of the passage it would be much more true to context if we applied it to the CONGREGATION (the spiritual seed of Abraham) rather than to some unscriptural dictator whose sin cannot be questioned and who openly mocks the men that God has put there to support the ministry. We are not advocating rebellion against a holy man of God that has been called of God to pastor, but we are calling for him to be held to the same standard of holiness that God holds the congregation to. God said in 1 Peter 5:1-4:

1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

            We see it all over the internet where unholy, blind loyalty leads deceived church members to defend the wicked conduct of unholy preachers and pastors who have violated the trust that God and their congregation has placed in them. We have heard of and read many cases where blind church members and church leaders will wickedly defend unholy, fornicating, adulterous, once married pastors while condemning a divorced man who, both before and after his divorce, has lived a model Christ honoring Christian life. Some of these unholy Baptist popes are even guilty of child molestation and yet they continue in the ministry. The scriptures do not teach blind loyalty, but rather a loyalty that is enlightened by the scriptures and the Holy Ghost of God. When pastors and other church officers will not repent of their sin they are just as subject to rebuke and church discipline as other church members. If you are deacon, or a church member, that will allow a pastor to continue in known sin, then you become a partaker in that sin. If you are a pastor that goes a whoring around on your wife then you are guilty of prostituting the mercy and grace of God to feed your flesh. We believe that God calls that presumptuous sin. Let me say this. If an innocent divorced man can be permanently put out of the ministry, then a once married pastor that is guilty of fornication, or adultery, or child molestation must be permanently put out of the ministry. In fact, that once married whoremongering preacher and pastor is much more deserving of being permanently put out of the ministry than that innocent divorced man. You do believe that a divorced man can be innocent don’t you? Or, are you one of those that believe he must have done something wrong too or God would have protected him and the ministry from his wife’s ungodly conduct? Really!? Will you also deny freewill?

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