Magazine article The Christian Century

Assemblies to Allow Some Divorced Clergy

Magazine article The Christian Century

Assemblies to Allow Some Divorced Clergy

Article excerpt

By a narrow margin on a secret ballot, the Assemblies of God have voted to permit men and women who were divorced before becoming Christians to seek ministerial credentials within the large Pentecostal denomination.

The resolution was approved by a 988-834 margin after discussions showing sharp division among General Council delegates who ended a four-day biennial meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 10. "Scripture teaches that we are all guilty of breaking the whole law so that no one can put his/her preconversion sins in a separate or lesser category than another," the resolution reads.

Opponents reminded the General Council that similar measures to change church bylaws were rejected in 1983, 1991 and 1997. "Is this a response to correct an error in our theology, or a response to our culture?" asked a Minnesota pastor who spoke against the resolution.

One argument for change, reported the Assemblies of God News Service, was that men and women in inner cities--suddenly converted and eager to serve in the ministry--were barred and could not fulfill callings because they frequently carry "the baggage" of divorce and remarriage. …

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