One of the qualifications of a pastor/elder/overseer is that they must have a good reputation with those outside of the church. That means that they are actually functioning outside of the church in the public square.
A side note: its not like Paul’s instructions in 1 Timothy 3 don’t apply to everyone else. You know, the pastors must be stellar in the community, but the rest of us can be scoundrels! Pastors can’t be drunkards, but us church members can party every night and every day…
No! All Christians, especially those in leadership, must operate with a stellar reputation outside.
We are watching my Alma Mater process a sexual harassment issue, and it’s clear to anyone who cares to care that the leadership covered it up, and they’ve only acted since it became public.
We are also seeing the “Christian political conservative” machine implode before our eyes with sexual misconduct issues left and right.
“Conservative Christians” finding underhanded ways to get rid of people that they feel threatened by or are not in their network of buddies.
I see this trend…some who claim doctrinal conservatism have a tendency to be ethically corrupt far beyond people whose doctrine lacks something to be desired. I don’t get it.
I’m doctrinally conservative. But I’m a nobody, and that grace has kept me humble, hidden and depending on Jesus. It seems “conservatives” who rise to positions have a tendency to get corrupt, act like coarse donkeys, and make Jesus look bad.
Doctrinal “conservatives” may tend to shun solid people with best practices and expertise in favor of those who are buddies or have money alone. Forget if they are actually a good leader or competent. Why?
Why do “conservatives” have to be terrible at vision/mission/strategy/tactics…planning and executing a plan…honoring their word…
Psalms 15 (ESV) O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the LORD;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
Psalm 119:21 says, “You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.”
Jesus simply won’t put up with his name and reputation being slandered by those who claim it. See Ezekiel 36. See Matthew 23 where Jesus rebuked the religious conservative elite of his day for their hidden sin…hidden under their pride in their doctrine.
Don’t hear me bashing doctrinal conservatism. I am one. There are solid people who hold solid and orthodox and conservative positions who also love people, love their neighbors, are winsome, loving, evangelistic, welcoming and keep their spine of steel. Jesus did that. Sinners loved Jesus. Those who were doctrinally conservative and mean spirited hated Jesus. Sinners got saved. The so called “conservatives” got told by Jesus, “how do you ever expect to escape the damnation of hell?”
What’s funny is many who are “conservative” are more concerned if a person is “reformed” than if that person actually has any sense of moral ethics. They want to keep reformed guys who actually produce solid work out of such places. But none of them would get on a plane with us to work in some of the hell holes we work in around the world holding forth Jesus Christ and him crucified for sinners while working in the public square. None of them would go to the Mosque with us to be friends with Muslims and invite them to Jesus and be their friends by loving them well. None of them would let the Imam speak to their people so he could be around some Spirit filled people who would love them. But, by God, they are “conservative”. Hadn’t won a soul to Jesus in years, but they are “conservative”. They are rude, arrogant and excluding, but they are “conservative”.
It’s time for judgment to start with the household of God.
I’m already an outsider to these cats, so it’s not like they’d even read this or care what I think, but I do want our people who love the gospel, want to see sinners saved and discipled to engage and plant churches would see the sin for what it is, come out from the midst of what happens in the dark that Jesus will bring to light, and leave that mess for the joys of walking with Jesus in public and holding firm to every biblical doctrine, loving our neighbors well and never compromising anything God hold dear.