This particular one has to do with how to handle a situation where there was a prior divorce, a remarriage, and how this saved husband and wife should serve in ministry.
Here is the question and below that is the response I gave. What do you think about my answer? Was I totally off-base or what?
Concerning the woman. She would not be able to hold the position of pastor or deacon, for those positions are for men only. If her divorce was on unbiblical grounds, she would need to understand that fact but remain devoted (married) to her current husband. If the divorce was biblical (due to sexual sin or abandonment by her first husband), then there is no sin on her part to acknowledge or repent of at this point.
I think it would be prudent to counsel her about what the Bible teaches concerning divorce and her own remarriage, simply for her own edification and instruction.
The woman would be able to serve in other ministry positions in the church, according to her God-given spiritual giftedness. However, we would need to determine what ministry positions would be acceptable for her, as a woman, in light of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 which says, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.”
Therefore, so long as the ministry assigned to her would not cause her to become a teacher of men or have any authority over men in the church, she would be eligible for such a ministry.
Concerning the man. Scripture does not teach that pre-conversion divorce is any different than a post-conversion divorce. God does not provide one set of divorce standards for believers and another set for unbelievers.
The first issue is whether or not his wife’s divorce back in 1986 was a biblical divorce or not. If the divorce was unbiblical, then the man committed adultery by marrying her. Jesus taught this in Matthew 5:32 when He said, “…whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
If such was the case, I believe the man would be scripturally disqualified to hold the position of either a pastor or a deacon. He may, however, hold other ministry positions in the church (e.g. Usher, Treasurer, Church Clerk, or Sunday School Superintendent), since such ministries are not mandated in Scripture and, therefore, are not governed by God-breathed character qualifications for eligibility (such as for a pastor or deacon in 1 Timothy 3).
Along with his wife, I would certainly counsel this man about what the Bible teaches concerning divorce and why he would not qualify to be a pastor or deacon.
However, if his wife’s 1986 divorce was executed on biblical grounds, his marriage to her is not considered adultery and, so long as he meets the qualifications for a pastor or deacon as found in 1 Timothy 3, I believe he would be eligible to serve.
(Scriptures I would cite: Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:32; 18:15-17; 19:3-9; Mark 10:11-12; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, 20-24, 27, 39; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Timothy 2:11-12; 3:1-12; Proverbs 6:32-33)
QUESTION: What do you think about my answer? There are many people who probably disagee with me, but many others that would agree. What do you think about church ministry after divorce?