Our pastor has been married for 20 years. Recently he divorced her. They have 3 children He told his board of officers she was distracting him during worshipervice, so we asked her to leave our congregation.A few days ago she called and requested to return, Please advise

Dear Fred,
You have asked previous questions that had a clear Bible answer.
This question is one that sounds like your congregation has already addressed, but I
I am not sure it has been done in a biblical manner. The Lord Jesus Christ, whom we serve, has given us a clear word about when a man can put away his wife. It is found in Matthew 19:9.  Every translation says it in the same manner.  The Lord tells us in this verse that the only exception for a man to put away his wife is for the cause of fornication. Fornication is sexual sin. It can take many forms, but it is always a sinful sexual act  that violates God's plan for marriage. Even then, there is room for forgiveness. If not for the grace and mercy of God none of us could be forgiven of anything. But even the worst of Sin can be forgiven because of the blood of Jesus Christ. First John  chapter 1, verse 7 tells us that the "blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin."

If a man must choose between his pastorate or his family, he should choose always his family. Even in the Bible God created the family with Adam and eve before he created his church. The Bible tells  The church to not only obey the Word of God that is preached to us but that we should follow the example of our elders (pastors) who have preached the Word of God to us. These are our pastors. (Hebrews 13:7) How can we follow the Word of God and follow a pastor at the same time when the pastor is not obedient to what the Bible teaches? The answer is we cannot. We must choose one or the other.

I believe that every church member should first choose to follow Christ and his Word. When and if a pastor ceases to preach and teach the clear Word of God, then the congregation must choose whom they will serve. But like Joshua, they should declare, "as for me and  my house we will serve the Lord!" (Joshua 24:15)

I'm afraid that your pastor and his wife and your church may be out of order by allowing the pastor to simply dismiss his wife and then the church ask her to leave without a biblical reason. She may be a distraction to the pastor, but he needs to work on his relationship with Her.  It is his responsibility to lead and rule his own house for the Lord. First Timothy 3:1-5 tells us that the pastor cannot rule or lead over the church of God without being able to rule or lead his own home.
There should be no compromise with this Bible truth.
I am not being judgmental about your pastor or his family. I have a deep sympathy for them and their problem. They will need prayer and Grace to restore their marriage and their home, but they must do it if they will be a good example to others. They should do it even if it means giving up their ministry. It is always better to "obey God then men."
We will pray for the pastor and his wife to be reconciled and to get their home and life in order. We will pray for you and the church to have wisdom and grace to do what church you should do and to be the church of the Living God.
Thank you for your question. sincerely, David Ralston


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David Ralston


I can answer any question concerning the Bible, Christian life, doctrine and church history. I will give counsel concerning social and personal decisions based only on giving Biblical views. I will not attempt an on-going counseling session with someone who is dealing with life issues. I suggest those needing intensive counsel to seek professional Christian counselors or psychologists.


I have preached the gospel of Christ for 37 years. My wife and I have been married 40 years, raised 3 children and have 6 grandchildren. I have 21 years experience as pastor of local churches in the United States, and have served 14 years as a missionary, begun 12 churches, taught in University of Vilnius, Lithuanian Police College, and have addressed the parliement of Lithuania (1992). I am founder of an international mission board, the founder of the Bless The Children Program sponsorship ministry, and currently serve as director of Christ To The Nations Missions. My area of interest include Missions, Biblical Doctrine, Church history and Biblical counsel. Organizations: Local Baptist Church, CTTN Missions, Tennessee Temple University Alumni Association, Southwide Baptist Fellowship. Publications: Books: ONLY GOD and THE BODY OF CHRIST. Booklets and tracts: THE REAL KING JAMES, THE CHRISTIAN LIFE AND HOW TO LIVE IT, AMERICA, CHRIST OR CRISIS, Several Gospel Tracts and Articles in Christian and Public Newspapers. Education: Tennessee Temple University, Bachelors of Theology, International Baptist Seminary, Masters of Theology and Doctorate of Theology.

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