Married = adult?

Posted: September 30, 2009 in Commentary, Other people's writing

I tire of even explaining it to some, but I continue to see in print and in people’s actions the idea that an unmarried man is, effectively, a child. I am, so to speak, a pronuptialist — I believe that marriage is God ordained and that done well is a blessing to both parties. That all being said, the act of marriage — or the fact of being married — is not what makes a man healthy, wealthy, wise, spiritual, etc.

…. Just this past Sunday I was in a Baptist fellowship wherein elections were being held to fill slots for the office of deacon. The sermon was upon the role of deacon, and the necessary qualifications for this office, drawing from I Timothy and Acts. It so happens that this particular church was o.k. with the idea of a Christian man who was divorced and remarried standing in that role, even if it was not a divorce in which he was biblically free to remarry. Their particular conception of this matter was to consider where the man’s life was at the time of his election to the deaconship; was he a living demonstration of God’s redemptive work, etc. Some other fellowships and denominations would have a different understanding.

The interesting thing to me was that the notion that a man might be single — divorced or otherwise — and stand in this office — this idea was skipped over. The exegete in the pulpit was able to examine the notion in 1 Timothy that a deacon must be the “husband of one wife” from a variety of perspectives by way of fully fleshing out the topic, as some Baptists are wont to do.

Timothy was single; apparently he would not have been able to stand in the office of deacon at this fellowship.

Now, certainly there is room to examine the value of a man who is married standing in a church office in which a component of his service is to speak to people in like circumstance. Consider, though, that this assumes certain duties of an elder that might in fact be labeled “pastoral.” I will leave that controversy aside and leave you with the point about single men.

HT to Anakin for a fine post here, on a kindred subject.

  1. Justin says:

    I find that qualification test to be particularly inappropriate in today’s world. In those days, a man who divorced, divorced because of his own choice. It demonstrated faithlessness. Today, a man can be divorced through no fault of his own. The Baptist congregations today who disqualify men because of divorce are mistreating those good men, and themselves.

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