Question:

We're conducting a class in which we're going over basics of Christianity and just last night, we started discussing the qualifications of elders and deacons. I almost fell out of my seat when our minister stated it's OK for an elder to keep on serving after his wife dies or passes on. Both during and afterward, I pointed out some of the basic facts, i.e. he's no longer married, etc. But most of the crowd seems to agree with him so I told him I would look into this matter and get back to him. I read your answers to the queries on this subject and am so glad you agree with me. I plan to show him your answers from your web site, so I really do appreciate your posting yourposition on the website. However since most of our group agrees with his interpretation, it looks like I might have a minor struggle on my hands.

Again I'm very comfortable with the position you and I take on this matter, but I really don't want to start a ruckus in our congregation, and I'm thinking since the other position is one way to interpret based on the different translations, it's difficult to see this matter as one to divide up the Lord's body. What do you think? And, yes, it's very much applicable. One of our elder's wives had a brief brush with the very real possibility of dying on us during surgery and she's not completely out of trouble quite yet?Looking forward to your response.


Answer:

Since this isn't currently an issue, then study with people about the issue. Even if they might not agree with your position, they will at least know where you stand and why. If the matter does come up, then you'll have to decide if you want to continue to worship with a congregation that has an elder serving it who doesn't meet the qualifications set down by the Lord. You never know, you might find that the elder steps down voluntarily so as to not cause a problem.