Still Qualified to Lead? Rev. Ron Carpenter, Mired in Marital Woes, Refuses to Quit Pulpit; Pastor’s Integrity ‘100 Percent Intact,’ Says Spokesman
❈❈ I have some comments to make below this excerpt: ❈❈
- Ron Carpenter, senior pastor of the 19,000-member Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, S.C., revealed last October that his marriage has been rocked by his wife’s infidelity for the past 10 years, and attributed the turmoil to her unspecified “sickness.”
Yet, Pastor Ron, as the RWOC family calls him, has no intention of stepping down from the pulpit, not even briefly, because “his integrity [is] 100 percent intact,” according to the executive director of the megachurch.
… “He doesn’t plan on stepping down,” repeated Hayes. “He is taking the time, spending lots of time with God and advisors and counselors but doesn’t plan on taking any time off. He believes God has got a relevant word for him and God is using all of this situation, and he’s sharing it with the congregation and they seem to be embracing it.”
… Redemption World Outreach Center congregants appeared overwhelmed when they heard on Jan. 5 that Carpenter had changed his previously declared “solid” position on avoiding reconciliation with his wife.
It is extremely hypocritical that many evangelical, Reformed, Fundamentalist, and Baptist churches will not allow un-married men or women to preach or lead, but will usually permit married men who have copped to having child porn habits, using prostitutes, or extra marital affairs, to continue in the pulpit.
Sometimes, there are exceptions, such as:
(Link): Arizona Preacher Resigns After Being Caught in Extra Marital Affairs
In that particular story, if I remember rightly, his church elders and deacons asked him to resign when they caught wind of his affairs.
Most churches I read about, instead, circle the wagons around the preacher caught in the affair. Some only temporarily give the preacher the boot for several months, but then permit him to come back on board later on; it’s business as usual.
In this case, it’s the preacher’s wife who was having affairs. Yes, it was Carpenter’s wife who was involved in adultery, not Carpenter himself.
- Side note:
There goes the Christian propaganda that:
1. married people never sexually sin; and
2. married women are not interested in sex / single women are over sexed harlots and home wreckers.
The reason why I’m still not keen on this Carpenter guy being permitted to return to the pulpit of his church, despite the fact it was his wife who sinned and not him, is that churches who exclude singles from leading and preaching do so on a very, too-narrow interpretation of biblical passages that mention church leaders being married to one woman and parents to children
(note the plural of children in such verses; this would mean a man with only ONE child would not be qualified, if sticking to a very wooden, narrow interpretation).
I have read testimonies in blogs, forums, and in books by and for Christian singles, of married people who, once their spouse died, were forced by their churches to resign as preacher, Sunday School teacher, or whatever position they held, because their churches did not approve of an un-married person (even one widowed) being in any sort of leadership position.
One such gentlemen told the interviewer he had been a preacher of his church for 15 – 25 years (I don’t recall the details, but he acted as preacher of the same church for a long time), who was asked to step down once his wife passed away. When he applied to act as a Sunday School teacher for adult singles, they said no; they insisted upon having a married person fill that role.
Note that such churches are enacting rules that the Bible does not even lay down; the Bible does not limit preaching, teaching, or leadership roles to only married individuals, or married couples who have children. Some Christians totally misapply passages such as Titus 1: 6 and artificially narrow requirements.
In other words, even before I became interested in the subject of Christian singlehood, I never once understood this verse…
An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. (Titus 1:6)
…to mean that the ONLY type of person qualified or permitted to fill the role HAS to be married with several children.
I only took passags such as Titus 1:6 to mean that the person in the running must be in self control and live a moral life, and IF the person in question happens to be married, then he must not have out of control children, etc.
It never occurred to me to read such passages as saying, “ONLY married persons may hold thus- and- so position,” and I remain baffled why other Christians continue to believe it does.
If churches are going to be this overly narrow and nit picky in how they dole out leadership roles, this narrow in how they interpret how and when marital status eliminates who is barred from holding certain roles, then, to be fair and consistent, they will have to be equally nit picky in applying and in woodenly literally interpreting verses about divorce, remarriage, and how a man with a cheating spouse, or a divorced one, may not preach any longer.
It is very hypocritical to bar celibate, hetero males (and females) from being preachers but to permit a married one with a cheating spouse to continue preaching.
Even if you are a celibate single – you are unmarried but NOT engaging in sex outside of marriage – whether you are a celibate never-married, celibate divorcee, celibate widower – most churches will still exclude YOU in favor of married persons who are guilty of sexual sin or whose partners are guilty of sexual sin.
If churches are going to excuse, justify, or overlook the sexual sins of married couples, to permit them to keep working in pastoral or leadership roles despite their sins, they doubly have no excuse to prohibit celibate, single adults from serving in those same roles.
Related posts, this blog:
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias