Archive for the tag 'immorality'

Ephesians 5:3-21

August 14th, 2010

It’s amazing how people try to get around the clear commands of this passage.

Read it and let it soak in for a bit.  I’ll be commenting on it over the next few days.

[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [6] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. [7] Therefore do not become partners with them; [8] for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light [9] (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), [10] and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. [11] Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [12] For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. [13] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, [14] for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” [15] Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. [17] Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [18] And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, [19] addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, [20] giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, [21] submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:3-21 ESV)

Words from Spurgeon on Restoring Fallen Pastors

April 6th, 2010

Pastors.  People who are in a position of leadership of God’s people and serve as shepherds (not just ‘sheep’).  People charged with feeding the church of God and protecting them against false doctrine (Acts 20:28-32).  The Pastor must hold to sound doctrine, be able to teach it and correct those who contradict it (1 Tim. 1-3, Titus 1). Character qualities are high – must be equally above reproach (bad reputation) to the church as well as the outside world so that the gospel doesn’t have an opportunity to be blasphemed by unbelievers.  Scripture commands (1 Timothy 5) to rebuke a sinning elder (elder, pastor and bishop are synonyms for the same office – pastor) in the presence of all so that the rest of members of the church will fear. So it’s a big deal when pastors fall into sin.

Spurgeon wrote:

The highest moral character must be sedulously maintained. Many are disqualified for office in the church who are well enough as simple members. I hold very stern opinions with regard to Christian men who have fallen into gross sin; I rejoice that may be truly converted, and may be with mingled hope and caution received into the church; but I question, gravely question whether a man who has grossly sinned should be very readily restored to the pulpit. As John Angell James remarks, “When a preacher of righteousness has stood in the way of sinners, he should never again open his lips in the great congregation until his repentance is as notorious as his sin.” Let those who have been shorn by the sons of Ammon tarry at Jericho till their beards be grown; this has often been used as a taunt to beardless boys to whom it is evidently inapplicable, it is an accurate enough metaphor for dishonoured and characterless men, let their age be what it may. Alas! the beard of reputation once shorn is hard to grow again. Open immorality, in most cases, however deep the repentance, is a fatal sign that ministerial graces were never in the man’s character.

While I can quickly assent to agreement with every sentence Spurgeon wrote, I get a little fuzzy around the last sentence, even though he put the qualifier of ‘most’ on there.   A few preachers believe there is no restoration to ministry after the fall of a pastor, specifically for sexual sin (because of the nature of the sin and the damage it does to the witness of the gospel).  Others believe that there is a time, after watching one’s life again consistently (measuring consistency in years, not simply months) where an ex minister can indeed be restored.

Thoughts ?

I have a few more, but I’ll post them in a few more days.