Sunday, June 18
Paul lists the requirements for being an elder in a local church in 1 Tim. 3:1-7. One of the requirements is that he be “the husband of but one wife.” The one wife requirement doesn’t pose a problem for me since I have only had one wife, but it could be a problem for some. Consider the possibilities:
- A man who has never been married.
- A man who has never been married but lived with a woman.
- A man who is not currently married, a widower.
- A man who is not currently married, a divorcee.
- A man who was only married once, but had sexual relations with another woman.
- A man who married more than once, but is now single, no divorce involved.
- A man who married only once, but the marriage was annulled.
- A man who never had sexual relations with a woman, but had a homosexual relationship.
- A man with past abnormal sexual relationships before his conversion, now single.
- A man with past abnormal sexual relationships before his conversion, now married.
I’m sure that doesn’t include all the possibilities. Interestingly enough Paul has no comment about the wife, although most churches today would consider her character, too. After thinking about how churches might deal with all these nuances, consider how a translator in a primitive ethnic group would deal with it. My hat is off to modern translators!