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COG ministers and divorce

 
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Post COG ministers and divorce Cojak
Growing up in mid century I knew of only one divorce and that was an innocent member whose husband was seeing another woman. Sad to say over our lives divorce has hit our family, both sons divorced. They were members not ministers in the CoG.

My observations in the past few years:
A church I attended regularly while in Florida had a young pastor whose wife left him. She went to the overseer and stated she had told her husband if he did not quit pastoring she would leave him, a pastor's wife was not a life for her. She stated there was NO Infidelity on either part she just wanted out. They divorced and he continued a successful pastorate, and later he married a member of his church. They are doing well there.

In NC we had a pastor get him a new lady on the net, divorced his wife and married his net lady. the over seer told him he would need some license other than COG to pastor. He eventually took the church out of the COG. Now a few years later he is pastoring another COG in the same county.

I have a friend whose son is a COG minister whose wife is also a licensed minister. Both working in a large COG but not pastor. Their SON is the pastor. Dad and Mom had been happily married for 30 years. A year ago she asked for a divorce, NO INFIDELITY they say.

He no longer works at the church, the divorced wife is promoted to his job and he is out. He talked to the Overseer and the Overseer says they are both ok to hold license and work in the church.

My wife just showed me a notice on FB that the wife just announced she would be preaching tomorrow at the local church and beginning her life as a divorcee.

I'm just confused, all my life we have taught that adultery was the only reason for divorce.. I have not asked, but have we came to accept 'unreconcilable' differences' to be a reason?

Please do not get me wrong. I do NOT think divorce is an unpardonable sin. I realize Mistreatment even stupidity has been the cause of divorce. My concern is not members but ministers. We have always held a higher standard for our ministers and pastors I thought.

I was just very surprised a lady minister would be filling the pulpit of a large COG a week or so after a divorce is final and "Starting a new life as a Divorcee!"

Do we view minister's divorce different than 20-30 yrs ago? Changing with the times?

Confused Confused Confused
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9/23/23 5:15 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
When I transferred into the CoG from the AoG in the late 90s, the CoG allowed D&R ministers to be credentialed if they were the innocent party in the case of adultery or abandonment.

Recently I heard rather matter-of-factly from an AB that he knew of a man who had recently been granted credentials with five divorces. I must say I can’t see any wisdom in that. Even if he were innocent every time, he’s obviously not a good judge of character at all, and has no discernment. Why should we give him credentials and allow him to be a leader of people?
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9/23/23 9:55 pm


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Post Cojak
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
When I transferred into the CoG from the AoG in the late 90s, the CoG allowed D&R ministers to be credentialed if they were the innocent party in the case of adultery or abandonment.

Recently I heard rather matter-of-factly from an AB that he knew of a man who had recently been granted credentials with five divorces. I must say I can’t see any wisdom in that. Even if he were innocent every time, he’s obviously not a good judge of character at all, and has no discernment. Why should we give him credentials and allow him to be a leader of people?


QW this certainly makes sense! At times leaders force you to roll your eyes! Embarassed Embarassed
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9/24/23 9:46 am


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Post FLRon
Maybe the real problem is that the way divorce was viewed back in the day was wrong! And don’t get me started on how inconsistent the rules for divorce and remarriage are applied. Let’s talk instead about how many ministers who were innocent in the divorce were abandoned by the CoG! No one, especially those in leadership, want to speak of it because the CoG is full of hypocrisy on this particular subject.
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9/25/23 4:59 pm


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Post Cojak
FLRon wrote:
Maybe the real problem is that the way divorce was viewed back in the day was wrong! And don’t get me started on how inconsistent the rules for divorce and remarriage are applied. Let’s talk instead about how many ministers who were innocent in the divorce were abandoned by the CoG! No one, especially those in leadership, want to speak of it because the CoG is full of hypocrisy on this particular subject.


True, and good points FL, I think we all can see what you are saying.

It does hurt.... Sad

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9/25/23 5:59 pm


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Post Divorce is not a sin...but remarrying can be a sin. Aaron Scott
Jesus indicates that it is the divorce for an improper reason and the subsequent marriage to someone else that is the sin.

I don't know if I will ever forget the minister who preached for my dad many, many years ago. This man had had a wonderfully thriving church, but his wife and the music director (I think).... Well, you know.

Even after all that pain, the man didn't have a single bad thing to say about his wife (or the music director). And the man was an incredible, campmeeting-level preacher.

But it was clear that he had a broken heart. He is gone now, but I always took it as a cautionary tale that the devil can slip in where we least expect it--in our families.
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9/27/23 12:29 pm


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Post Re: Divorce is not a sin...but remarrying can be a sin. Cojak
Aaron Scott wrote:
........., but I always took it as a cautionary tale that the devil can slip in where we least expect it--in our families.


Yes, Yes and so sad when it happens... Crying or Very sad

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9/27/23 6:12 pm


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Post Da Sheik
The dirty little secret (yet the proverbial elephant in the room) is that there are different sets of standards for different ministers. Acts Enthusiast
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9/28/23 6:40 am


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Post Cojak
Da Sheik wrote:
The dirty little secret (yet the proverbial elephant in the room) is that there are different sets of standards for different ministers.


Another sad fact, but apparent in church and business. it just hurts more if a Christian is hurt by Christians... Sad
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9/28/23 11:27 am


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Post UncleJD
Da Sheik wrote:
The dirty little secret (yet the proverbial elephant in the room) is that there are different sets of standards for different ministers.


Yep, the 5-time serial divorcer that I believe QW refers to, used to post here a lot. He has no morals, but has millions of dollars and brings churches into the COG so he gets indulgences just like the RC church. One of the primary reasons my family left after 5 generations.
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10/9/23 8:06 am


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Post Cojak
UncleJD wrote:
Da Sheik wrote:
The dirty little secret (yet the proverbial elephant in the room) is that there are different sets of standards for different ministers.


Yep, the 5-time serial divorcer that I believe QW refers to, used to post here a lot. He has no morals, but has millions of dollars and brings churches into the COG so he gets indulgences just like the RC church. One of the primary reasons my family left after 5 generations.


This is sad, BUT it is happening, more in the small struggling churches than the mega churches, methinks. I have been associated with the COG since birth, my family since the 1920s. The inconsistency of how rules and guidelines are applied in our COG, does hurt very much. Sadly I see no end in the unspoken policy. Sad
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10/9/23 10:59 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
UncleJD wrote:
Da Sheik wrote:
The dirty little secret (yet the proverbial elephant in the room) is that there are different sets of standards for different ministers.


Yep, the 5-time serial divorcer that I believe QW refers to, used to post here a lot. He has no morals, but has millions of dollars and brings churches into the COG so he gets indulgences just like the RC church. One of the primary reasons my family left after 5 generations.


I was not told the name of the 5x D&R minister, nor did I ask who it was. After what I’ve seen done in the CoG, at my age all I can do at this point is keep my nose to the grindstone pastoring my church the best I can and standing up as best I can for what I believe is right. Everyone will answer for what they approve of, as will I, but I can’t imagine what good reason there might be for credentialing a 5x divorced minister. I just can’t. There are several other big problems as I see it with how the CoG is administered, but those are literally far above my pay grade.
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10/9/23 1:44 pm


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Post UncleJD
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
UncleJD wrote:
Da Sheik wrote:
The dirty little secret (yet the proverbial elephant in the room) is that there are different sets of standards for different ministers.


Yep, the 5-time serial divorcer that I believe QW refers to, used to post here a lot. He has no morals, but has millions of dollars and brings churches into the COG so he gets indulgences just like the RC church. One of the primary reasons my family left after 5 generations.


I was not told the name of the 5x D&R minister, nor did I ask who it was. After what I’ve seen done in the CoG, at my age all I can do at this point is keep my nose to the grindstone pastoring my church the best I can and standing up as best I can for what I believe is right. Everyone will answer for what they approve of, as will I, but I can’t imagine what good reason there might be for credentialing a 5x divorced minister. I just can’t. There are several other big problems as I see it with how the CoG is administered, but those are literally far above my pay grade.


That's all you can do brother. There are still TONS of great people in the COG. This particular situation hit pretty close to my family and the pastor in question's influence over a particular family member led him to follow in his footsteps (morally speaking), which destroyed about 3 generations of family. I don't actively campaign against the COG, but in this situation they did wrong. The leadership of that day has been gone for several years now and I like a lot of what I've seen in recent years. I'd honestly go back if we weren't already committed and involved in the local AG here. But the issue of divorce has been a cancer for a long time. Nobody seems to want to deal with it Biblicaly if money or power is involved.
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10/9/23 2:58 pm


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As far as denominational politics is concerned, how do you propose something to the GA that ABs that allow those who initiate no-fault divorces to pastor churches be removed from office? Is that something that folks on here would interested in doing?

Even if it did not pass, getting it debated might drive the message home and scare some preachers who have become either lax or libertine on the issue.
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10/11/23 9:41 am


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If a couple divorce for a clearly nonbiblical reason, shouldn't pastors urge them both to stay celibate and pray for reconciliation and work toward that end?

If someone divorce a spouse because he or she is a drug addict, I can see getting away for safety, financial, and practical reasons. But how does their being a drug addict make it not adultery to marry someone else?

The government now gives how papers that say two men are married to each other, or two women are married. They'd change your sex on your driver's license in some states if you got pumped full of hormones, castrated, and had some radical cosmetic surgery. If I understand correctly, in California, a man can just request the government to do so without even putting on a wig or make-up.

If we don't recognize state marriage certificates if they are contrary to the word of God, why should we recognize divorce certificates that are contrary to the word of God?

So why should we recognize a divorce certificate if it doesn't line up with Biblical teaching? The Roman Catholics don't. Do you want them to one-up us?

Paul wanted the church at Corinth to expel a man who was fornicating with his step-mother. This was so that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus and so that other people were not contaminated by the leaven that leavened the whole lump.

I met a woman a few days ago whose uncle was a COG preacher and the wife left him a couple of decades back. I think it was one of those 'got bored' or stressed or whatever type situations, and wasn't supposed to be due to sexual infidelity. She was trying not to say too much, but it bothered her that the preacher said "For everything there is a season" about the situation. I said as a Christian husband, I would want to get my wife away from such teaching rather quickly. I would imagine women wouldn't want their husbands to hear that either.
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10/11/23 9:50 am


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If a man's wife left him because she got bored, can he really say to be ruling his house well?

Maybe his wife is flighty and she is 'unruleable' and its not his fought. But even if it is not his fault that he cannot rule his house well, doesn't the fact that he can't rule his house well still disqualify him from overseeing a local church?

I am not saying he cannot use his gifts to teach, disciple individuals, exhort, edify, or preach. But there are specific qualifications for being an elder/overseer in the local church. Just because the Reformed folks labeled this role as 'pastor' during the Reformation and called board members 'elders' and a lot of Evangelicals got their labels through the Presbyterians... that doesn't mean we should ignore what the qualifications are, just because we use a different word for the role.

I think a big problem with this is the lack of understanding of this area of doctrine among evangelicals and Pentecostals. Pentecostals, Methodists, and some Baptists emphasize a 'call' as in a 'call to preach.' Then in a lot of people's minds, a call to preach qualifies one to pastor a church, as if church overseer and preacher are exactly the same thing.

I don't see any reason to limit any believer from rightly preaching the truth about Jesus to unbelievers. Paul rejoiced that Christ was preached even by those with the wrong motives.

And in the assembly, Paul wrote, 'every one of you hath... a doctrine....Let all things be done unto edifying.' So addressing the assembly with a teaching or exhortation does not require the same standards as being an overseer.

But the COG has licenses and even bishop ordination which isn't tied so closely to the local church overseership role. This, IMO, creates confusion.

This is an area where churches and a lot of church leaders need Biblical teaching, IMO.

I also believe the issue of divorce, remarriage, and adultery needs to be taught on. I would suggest at least once a year given our circumstances, and children, maybe middle or high school age, need in-depth teaching on sexual morality including divorce and remarriage. When they get to marrying age, they should have it engrained to quickly ditch a date who isn't committed to life-long marriage who doesn't share the same values about divorce and remarriage, who cannot quickly be persuaded otherwise.

A little social stigma can be a good thing. I know of two cases in the past few months of apparently flighty wives leaving men devoted to ministry apparently without anyone sleeping with anyone else. Living in a society that condones that promotes more of it. I would imagine the church being okay with it is 10x worse, and leaders with the attitude that divorce is no big deal and an example of a no-fault divorce is even worse.

Leaving your spouse because you think life would be better on your own is infidelity. That's not being faithful, even if no outside sexual relationship are involved.
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10/11/23 10:01 am


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