Where I attend church, we had our youth (teen) Sunday school teacher who also lead activities for the youth, surrender to preach. Our pastor said that since he has been married before (on third time actually) he couldn’t be ordained, but there is still things that he could to, and he added that if anyone argued this, it was due to their ignorance. Last that I heard, he was going to do fill in preaching for churches on occasion. Even though he is not going to be ordained, I feel that this is wrong. Does the Bible speak about those that are going to preach to congregations, but who are not going to be ordained, or is this something that we have made up so we can ignore the Bible and follow after our own lusts?
This is truly a sad day in once-fundamental Baptist churches. Even deacons are only allowed to be the husbands of one wife. I Timothy 3:8-13 says, “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 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.”
Are we to hold visiting preachers to a lower standard than that of deacons? “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” If such a man is on his third wife, then how can he be considered “blameless” in his reputation? How foolish to set a double-standard for those who occasionally occupy the pulpit, from those who occupy it all the time. That is a man-made standard — not God’s. Think about it. The visiting preacher often has to stay in motels as he travels around to speak at churches. He is then faced with the loneliness of being away from his wife. He is faced with the TV in the motel room. He is faced with the ladies at the motels who clean the rooms. In some motels, he may be faced with women who proposition the men they see that are traveling alone.
I am very, very disturbed by the present day trend in some Independent Baptist circles to tell divorced and remarried men that they can still be evangelists, missionaries, and now, pastors (and that is eventually where your pastor will end up, too, saying that it is okay for these men to pastor). Instead of going by the Word of God, these men are going by the same standard that the Charismatics go by — experience. Some men seem to be very successful in seeing people saved. Some men seem to be very moving speakers. Instead of telling these men that God has limited their positions because of their sin, they feel intimidated, and let them do what they want.
Remember what happened in the case of David wanting to build the Temple? II Samuel 7:1-13 says, “And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”
When David came to Nathan with what was on his heart, Nathan was intimidated to say anything to him but, “Yes.” “And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.” The Lord was with David in a mighty way (he had killed Goliath, etc.), who was Nathan to say that what was in David’s heart was not God’s will? But that was exactly the case. God had to come to Nathan and tell him that he needed to go back to David and tell him that it was not God’s will to build the Temple. That is what your pastor now needs to do. He has told a young man to do something that is not God’s will for his life. Maybe that man’s son will one day preach the gospel behind the pulpit, but that divorced/remarried man should not be doing that. Is the man humble enough to accept that (like David accepted the limitations placed upon him, that he could not build the Temple, but his son could)? If he is truly a man of God, then he will be humble and just do what he can serving the Lord. If he is filled with pride and arrogance, then he will get offended and go away in a huff. Your local church is at a very dangerous and critical intersection as to its future.