Wednesday, May 02, 2007

McGreevey's Pathological Need ..... for Power

Only one profession possesses more power than politics: the clergy. A minister is a spiritual guide backed by God. Many a governor or senator wishes he or she had that power. Not quite. Yet.

While no servant of God claims perfection, it's nice when they attempt to live a godly life. Character counts in this position. James McGreevey was a habitual adulterer and demonstrated other character defects. Now he wants to enter the clergy.

Justin Taylor discusses pastoral requirements. He says:

Sound doctrine is not enough, because according to Scripture, the fundamental qualification for pastoral ministry is godly character. Neither skill, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, nor reputation, nor personality, nor apparent fruitfulness of public ministry will suffice. Scan 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and you will encounter a profile of personal piety.

We believe that the biblical requirement for a pastor is not flawless character but mature character. We are all progressively growing in godliness. A pastor who recognizes an area of immaturity, and takes specific action towards change, demonstrates close attention to his life and doctrine. Likewise, if a particular instance of non-disqualifying sin occurs in a pastor's life, but he genuinely repents before God and the appropriate individuals, this also honors the passage we are examining.

There are, of course, some sins that are particularly serious, both in the effect they have upon others and what they reveal about the condition of the heart. Even a single instance of such sins--sexual immorality, financial impropriety, violent behavior, etc.--would automatically disqualify a man from pastoral ministry. Beyond such grave instances of sin, however, a serious ongoing pattern of disobedient deviation from biblical requirements in the life of a pastor can also be disqualifying.
The Episcopalian church has relaxed their requirements somewhat, obviously.

There is a purpose for stringent (by today's mores) bishop/leader standards. The person filling the position of church elder doesn't just lead by words but by example. Sure, everyone, including elders, sin, but chronic sin that reveals a deficit of character shouldn't be ignored within a congregation. It most definitely should be dealt with behind a pulpit.

These days, the church is so politically correct, it's like the church at Corinth. Of all places, the church should demonstrate the ideal. A minister of Christ gets all the authority benefits of the position. His or her life is constrained for the good of others as a result.

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