Pastor Ezekiel Daniel of Assemblies of God Mission, Igando, Lagos says clergymen are not immune from divorce because they are also humans.
Daniel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that a cleric is not exempted from irreconcilable marital problems.
“Divorce is on the increase and clerics are not exempted because they are not the spirit but human, which made them be susceptible to marital challenges,’’ he said.
Quoting relevant bible verses, Daniel said that God permits divorce when adultery and abandonment occur and that pastors were not exempted.
“If a pastor’s wife commits adultery, or if she deserts her marriage without the desire to reconcile, the pastor is free to divorce her and remarry.
“Although many have divorced without any of these two reasons, that is to say, we are not infallible.’’
The cleric urged people not to condemn or criticise a pastor who has experienced the tragedy of divorce.
“Some pastors’ marriages are in the shambles as many have experienced emotional or physical abuse but choose to remain while others could not,’’ the cleric said.
He advised Christians to stand in the gap for their pastors by binding powers that would seek to destroy their marriages.
However, Pastor Segun Ibitayo of Christ Apostle Church, Ayobo Lagos, said that pastors must be above reproach.
“A pastor is to be examples of speech, conduct and love to other believers.
“If a pastor does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?
“How will a divorced clergy be able to speak into the troubled marriages of his members?
“When a pastor gets a divorce and remarried, his integrity will certainly be called into question and the confidence people have in him will be weakened.
“Matthew 5:32 states that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality and marries another, commits adultery.’’
He said that a pastor must be completely devoted and committed to his wife and he must love his wife as Christ loved the church.
“Many pastors filed divorce, alleging they just cannot get along.
“Is that an excuse to end your marriage?
“Choose to remain married to your wives because God hates divorce; forgiveness and reconciliation are pleasing to Him,’’ Ibitayo said.