Christian Leadership 12/15/2022
There are controversial thinking in all venues, in all aspects of living. For the ones I have read about, as a Born Again Believer, here is one I would like to address:
In my opinion, the confusion regarding deacons, pastors, or any leader in Christian Churches, arises when administrators assumes any extension of Bible teaching that is not actually present, that it is not confirmed in further writings, it is simply pulled out of the air. While the Gospel’s generous offer had been extended to the non-Jewish world, the fact remains, that it was continued to be supported by many other passages of the New Testament’s early history, as recorded in Acts. It is a continuing storyline. It is not extended to all people with no regard for their states of rebellion against God’s ways.
I would also suggest that such is true for any position of leadership for any organization that has some sort of foundational directives. But I digress.
Now, there are specific requirements delineated for those who aspire to be an official leader in any Christian assembly. Please read 1 Timothy 3:1–13:
“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”
Also there is this:
“In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”-1 Timothy 3:8–13.
In addition, there are numerous passages revealing that certain lifestyles are unacceptable to God, like 1 Corinthians 6:9–11:
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people — none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”- 1 Corinthians 6:9–20.
If candidates for office are unacceptable to God, why should they be acceptable to Christian churches?
So, it seems reasonable to conclude that people continue living in such ways are hardly suitable for positions of leadership-unless, of course, they turn from such wrong behaviors, become born again, and unless they grow up from newborns to maturity in Christ. (It’s called “grace”and “faithfulness.”)
An illustration of Jesus approach to the disobedient is when Jesus showed Himself friendly to an “unclean” Samaritan woman-a taboo for Jews in those days. Yet, it was requisite that she turn from her unclean ways and realize that He was exactly who He said He is.
Finally, it seems there is a very loosely constructed idea of what hearing from the Spirit of God actually is… “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1. “…And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with His testimony. So we have these three witnesses — the Spirit, the water, and the blood — and all three agree.” 1 John 5:6–8.
So, most of all,
“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:1. Please, read again the list of requirements, 1 Timothy 3:1–13.
2 Peter 3:16, referring to correctly explaining apostle Paul’s letters:
“His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction…”
Regarding this destructive behavior, it leads to worst case scenarios of awful heretical practices such as cases of destructive child abuse. These things may be widespread throughout all of society, but God calls them a cancerous, malignant stench. That is what leads to “their own destruction.” It’s certainly not the victims’ fault, and they can find healing through multiple avenues, including Jesus immersing love. Note that it is neither God’s fault for what evil deeds people choose to do.
So, I end with this encouragement: Wandering from the Bible passages is not an advisable intellectual exercise. It leads to a very perilous personal consequence and cumbersome community situation. Therefore, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”-James 1:5.