Also, would a serious public or habitual sin disqualify a pastor from ever serving in the future?
1 Timothy 3:2 - 7
NKJV - 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach. 3 Not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous.
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This is an important question, especially considering that church leadership will affect the flock they minister to. While we as Christians are supposed to resist sin and strive to be molded in the image of Christ, we are ultimately fallen creatures, and only able to be washed from our sin by the blood of Jesus. We are transformed, and the Lord renews us, giving us a new nature. However there are times that we may fail. That is why it uses the word blameless instead of sinless. It is possible to be blameless in this life. When the Lord describes Job, before He allows the devil to test him, he describes Job as blameless. The word blameless shows a consistency of character that speaks of purity and godliness. Blamelessness comes from our relationship with God when we are forgiven of our sins and our new nature and the Holy Spirit prompt us to behave as Jesus did. If a person follows the Lord's will and his commands, they will be blameless and above reproach in this life in spite of their sin nature. Sin can and will still need to be forgiven. The danger of complacency is we can use God's grace as an excuse to sin, and not fix areas in our lives which will tarnish our character and testimony. The bible says, " It is enough for a student to be like his teacher, and a servant like his master," thus we must put the best examples of Christlikeness into the ministry so people have the proper example and teacher.
No one is sinless, not even our pastors, they sin too. I have met pastors who get angry a little bit to much, swear a little bit too mich, smoke a little bit too much, or drink wine a little bit too much. None of those reasons are valid enough, or grave enough, to disqualify him from preaching from the pulpit. However, based on observation, once a pastor embezzles church funds, he is instantly removed from his post.
While all church positions - ie pastor, deacon, teacher, mentor, etc. - would like to have a sinless upstanding person in that position it must be understood that those requirements are only at the "time" of election to the position. Whether it is before or after - and sometimes during - the time of 'office' we have to remember that there is was and always will be only one sinless priest - Jesus Christ. To place a person in a role where we expect perfection is to set them and us up for failure. Our church leaders are just that - leaders. They are human and are still subject to human flaws - and forgiveness! Also youare right Mr. Mercado - I did not see the second part of the question about a habitual sin or public offense - but once again my same answer applies as once we are in Christ our sinful behavior should stop - or at least our sinful ways should be reduced as we reflect on being Christlike. A pastor or church member can and should be reprimanded alike by the church for any habitual or ongoing sin or offense. Any ongoing or habitual sin or offense should be an alarm to all members - is the person regardless of position or standing in the church progressing regressing or a false member! Regardless of either it is our charge to forgive them - even if they are to be driven from the church until they have repented.
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