oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Adultery, divorce, and eldership

Volume 16, Issue 09
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



This article applies the methodology of Integrated Theology (Smith 2013) to attempt to answer this question: 'Can a man who has committed adultery and thus caused the failure of his marriage later serve as an elder, meeting the biblical requirements for eldership?' After surveying various pieces of evidence, including biblical and historical evidence, the author concludes the requirements for eldership would generally exclude such candidates, but that the biblical evidence falls short of an absolute prohibition and leaves the door open for the rare exceptions that prove the rule. Therefore, a church can defend either of two positions: an exclusion position or an exception position.

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