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Great post once again, Dory. I am not of the camp who believe that a sin can disqualify someone from ministry for life. Consequences must be severe, but grace must prevail at some point. In the case of divorce, I believe Paul is saying the man should have a reputation for being a "one woman man." If a man has sinned in the past, enough time must elapse for that reputation to be rebuilt--probably years. The notoriety of the sin should be superceded by the quality and longevity of the repentance.

In the loose polity structure of the contemporary evangelical church it is all too easy for men to slip between the cracks by simply moving to another area of the country.


I agree, great post. It's good to think about these issues before you encounter them in real life.

Amy's Blog

Hang 'em up by the seat of their pants and fry 'em, I say! I thought that's what we were SUPPOSED to do. You mean they're real people???


Diane R


I agree completely. Most of the public ministry people I've seen are not carrying out their words of repentence at all. It's just another con game for their mostly female codepednent followers.

The one exception is Jim Baker, although I am a bit worried about some of the company he is keeping nowadays. And that causes me to watch him very closely indeed.


Jon, The point you bring up is a very important one. Churches that are a part of a denomination with some sort of system of discipline, whatever the type of church government it is, are able to determine what men are qualified to be pastors and also to hold them accountable. Independant churches lack this structure, and problems can go unchecked. Of course the same can be said for civil governments that lack a system of checks and balances.


Dory, And would you believe that I pastor an independent, non-denominatinal church? I have grown up in this type of church (my pastor left mainline presbyterianism to begin his own church--a big step at the time). I love the autonomy of the local church, but am all too aware of the lack of accountability among church leaders. We have moved to an egalitarian team of elders (I just happen to be remunerated for laboring in the word and doctrine). I would love to be a part of a group like the PCA; however, my soteriology is reformed, but my eschatology is not (progressive dispensational). In a strait betwixt two!


I'm not an expert on this issue--JollyBlogger could tell you better--however, I do not believe eschatology is specific in the Westminster Confession, which is the standard the PCA would require. Most are probably post-mil. or amil., but I think there are some historic pre-mils in the PCA, too. The dispensational view of the Scriptures might cause some conflict in other areas, though, besides eschatology. You can read the WCF online through the "Historic Church Documents" link I have in my right sidebar.

My view is that the independant situation is fine when things are going well, but eventually things don't go well. It is protection for the pastor, too, as he is granted just process when he is accused and thus protected from false charges.


Thanks for the encouragment, Dory. I love the WCF. I also practice credobaptism versus paedobaptism...I bet that dings me.


Just to clear up what might be misunderstood from what I said before...One does not have to agree to the WCF to be a member of the PCA. To join the church one has to be a Christian. The confessional standards are used to qualify pastors and elders and to determine what system of doctrine will be taught in PCA congregations. Any of the variations Jon spoke of would be perfectly fine in a church member. (Though we might not ask you to teach Sunday School ;-)

And Jon, I think you're just super.


Hi Dory,

I have been posting on and off on the topic of Leadership and Ethics, and recently posted up "Ethical Leaders and Ethical Leadership". I am not sure though about your application of biblical qualifications for leadership to political or governmental leadership. I am not saying that it is not appropriate, just that I am not sure if one can apply it wholesale to that arena. I think that biblical qualifications for leadership as outlined in 1 Tim 3, for instance, pertain to leadership in the body of Christ, which, I think is probably different than political or business or military leadership, etc. I think the principles outlined in the Bible about qualifications for leadership can inform and contribute to the explications about leadership qualifications for business, government and the military, etc. but to apply the qualifications wholesale might be to misapply it. I must admit I haven't really read your earlier post (I did skim it), and I am just thinking out loud... er... "thinking out write." In any case, I thought you ought to know that I enjoyed reading your posts. You write very clearly and well! Keep up the good work!

Jeremy Pierce

The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference is worth looking into if you want an organization to give accountability but don't want those incredibly picky and predetermined combinations of doctrine that most denominations have. My congregation performs credobaptism and paedobaptism, according to the convictions of parents, and no one would take them except the CCCC because all the other denominations they approached insisted that they stop doing one or the other. We have at least one member of the PCA denomination who is a member of our local congregation, which is an interesting situation. He considers the baby dedications to be baptisms that parents refuse to call baptisms. I see them as dedications that parents insist on falsely calling baptisms. Then we get along fine and focus on the real issues.

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