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Featured What can a "disqualified" person do?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by StefanM, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    That was more like a buck ten.
     
  2. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    I had this same question about whether I'd ever heard of a church who excluded a full-time vocational pastor from his position for the specific reason of failing to "rule his house well."

    When I asked this person for specifics on why he felt that this person needed to be removed from the position he held, that person said that his three sons, ranging from about 4-5 up to 16-17 are always running wild after every church service (Sunday AM & PM and Wednesday PM), and he does nothing at all to keep them from running around, knocking some adults down to the ground, screaming at the top of their lungs, even opening any unlocked doors (I guess this person means rooms that are used for Sunday School, etc.) and entering in those rooms and ransacking them by tossing desks or tables all around, literally destroying almost anything that isn't nailed down. Even running out in the parking lot and breaking the outside lights and no telling what they might do to the contents of any unlocked cars.

    Now, if that description is an accurate one, I too would wonder why the person to whom this person answers (presumably the senior pastor) has not done anything at all about this situation.

    This person did tell me that this staff pastor comes from a line of rather well-to-do people in the area of the church and married the daughter of that church's former pastor (who left to pastor another church in another region of the US). Now I do know that family connections, either by birth or marriage, can sometimes hold a lot more sway than they probably should in matters such as this, but whether or not this is a factor in it [Many of this person's well-to-do relatives are SS teachers, a couple are deacons, and apparently they are very generous givers for many of that church's outreach ministries.], I don't know, but I kind of suspect that it might be.

    At first glance it seems to me like a "Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You" situation.

    I might also add that this person told me that he isn't the only one who's complained about it to "the powers that be" in that local church.

    I realize that sometimes a person will tell you only one side of a story, but assuming that this person is telling me the truth, I'd say it's a very sad situation that, if it goes unchecked much longer, there just might be a lawsuit against either that local church and/or the individual staff person or both.

    He's told me that if there were another good church within a reasonable distance from his home, he just might leave the church in question and join another one. Trouble is--according to this man--there just isn't another good church nearby. The only one he told me that he knew about was another IFB church that was at least 100 or so miles one way from him.

    The church in question is also an IFB church, so apparently there's no real denominational "chain of command" where one could ask for some kind of personal investigation into this matter.

    Given all this information, what should I (who lives hundreds of miles away from the church in question) advise this person to do?
     
  3. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2 Well-Known Member
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    At least worth this .....
    [​IMG]
     
  4. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    Would you mind faxing those coins to me so that I can hear them jingle in my pocket? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    I don't mind some of the divergence from the original topic, but I would like to emphasize that the disqualification in mind isn't limited to divorce (although that could be included).

    For instance, is there (and if so, how much) a difference between a man who committed adultery and subsequently divorced his wife and a man who committed adultery but was able to reconcile with his wife and preserve the marriage?

    I do appreciate the discussions beyond sexual sin as well.

    My initial inquiry remains, though.

    What kinds of service (if any) would be absolutely "off-limits"?

    Also, how much time of "sitting out" should occur?

    I realize that these questions aren't one-size-fits-all, so please continue the discussion.
    :thumbs:
     
  6. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Let me give you an actual example.

    While I was in Germany, one of our deacons was a Military Police officer ( SSG - E-5) He was a dog handler- whose mission was drug busts. Sgt "Jones" was issued a drug set -(which I understand) was the actual drugs. The purpose of this was to have an accurate sample when doing a drug bust.

    Well, one day - Sgt "Jones" lost his drugs- and they had been missing for some time. He should have reported this immediately to his supervisors - which he did not do. At some point the Chain of command found out he had lost his drugs.. While preparing his Article 15 - the charge was not loosing the drugs - but rather the cover up for an extended time.

    At that point, on a Wed evening at church, Sgt "Jones" submitted his resignation as a deacon. The church took a vote and refused to accept his resignation. (If I recall, he was the only deacon at the time.)

    So in your opinion - should he have stepped down? Was the church wrong in not accepting his resignation?
    Other thoughts?

    And yes, - this is a true story - only the name was changed to protect the redeemed.
     
  7. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2 Well-Known Member
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    To answer your question. ANY sin that is not remorsefully repented from, and or found to be still leading a man or woman would be the deal breaker. Paul list just a few sins that would disqualify someone from heaven, and I would think this would carry over to serving the saints! "On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.…" 1 Cor. 6:8-10 AND Gal. 5:16-21, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

    I think these are some deal breakers if you looking for something that disqualifies a man or woman from serving in a local church!

    Sorry for getting off on divorce! :wavey:
     
  8. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    Just how far can we stretch the list of "disqualifying sins"?

    EXAMPLE: In Matthew 5:28 we're told that in the eyes of Jesus, if a man looks at a woman and thinks an impure thought about her, he's an adulterer.

    Now, as a man, I'll have to confess that there have been times that I looked upon a woman and had an impure thought about her. Therefore Jesus would say that "Yes, in fact, you are an adulterer!"

    I suppose that being adulterer would be a "disqualifying sin" in a lot of people's minds. Knowing that to be true, I can't think of any mortal human male who's been 100% pure in his mind with regard to this sin of having an impure thought about at least one woman in his life.

    In that sense, wouldn't that one impure thought that you had about a woman one day immediately disqualify a man from any and all preaching-type vocations? After all, off the top of my head, I honestly can't name any male (especially yours truly) who hasn't had at least one impure about a woman at least once in his life. Thus practically 100% of human race who are males are adulterers.

    I mean, where does a person draw the line as to precisely where he should he should or should not be considered, in this particular sense, an adulterer? Moreover, Revelation 22:15 indicates that this kind of sin will not only disqualify a man from a preaching type of vocation, but, worse than that, it automatically disqualifies him from even entering into the Heavenly city.

    Moreover, Matthew 5:48 commands us to be as perfect as God the Father is--something that IMHO is quite a demanding order coming from our Lord Jesus Christ.

    So if you're a male who isn't as perfect as God, much less an adulterer, in some people's eyes you are immediately and permanently "disqualified" from absolutely any and all preaching vocations on the face of God's green earth.

    While I'm sure that there are probably some people out there who are just looking for a way to "disqualify" a person simply because they're of the opinion that no man is ever good enough to serve in a preaching type vocation--whether he would be preaching to hundreds or even thousands, or OTOH, maybe in a very small rural church that'd consider a total of a dozen or so people to be SRO in that little church house.

    It's kinda like the possessive father who thinks no man is good enough in my eyes to be the husband of "my little princess." If that's the case his daughter will either wind up being a spinster who never married, or at the other extreme she'll turn out to be so tired of bringing another young man in front of the mental and/or verbal firing squad called her father, that she might just elope and marry someone regardless of what "Adolph Hitler" dad thinks about this guy who's now his new son-in-law.

    I've heard it said that when the "OUTLOOK" all around you seems to always to be getting worse, why not try your "UPLOOK"!!

    Or, to put it one way look at the men in Hebrews 11. Almost all of those great heroes of the faith had "disqualifying" sins in their lives. Noah was a drunk. Abraham lied about who Sarah really was. Isaac was a "Moma's boy." Jacob was a cunning deceiver. Moses had a temper tantrum that cost him the privilege of entering the Promised Land. Gideon didn't believe he could do what God had charged him to do. Samson was hen-pecked such that it cost him his God-given strength. Jephtah made a foolish vow that cost him the end of his family line. David was both a murderer and an adulterer. Solomon, for all his God-given wisdom, was lured away from continuing to serve God by his pagan wife whom he got by some political arrangement with one of Israel's arch enemies.

    But still God saw fit to include these men, warts and all, as heroes of the faith. Some people would have "disqualified" each and every one of them. And what about Jesus Christ Himself? He was considered a winebibber whose invitations to dine with some folks whose reputation was often the subject of interest back in His day. BINGO....Jesus Himself is summarily "disqualified"!!

    So don't let the negative naysayers around you defeat you. I just checked and, sure enough Galatians 6:9 is still in my Bible: "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up."
     
  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    If there is some sort of moral failure that reasonable people would look at and see that the pastor needs to take some time off and address it here is what I believe should happen.

    1. The pastor should step down temporarily and an interim should be brought in.

    2. A team of pastors should be assembled to minister to this pastor and provide counseling, accountability, and discipleship.

    3. The pastor should remain in his church and attend services regularly as well as participating in any behind the scenes types of needs around the church.

    4.The determination for the length of this time period is to be determined by the counsel of pastors overseeing his discipleship and counseling.

    5. When the counsel of pastors have determined the pastor is ready he should be then be placed back in his position of pastor.


    We need to get over this idea of getting rid of anyone in the church for just any old reason. We need to be committed to each other for the long haul and through thick and thin.

    Should the pastor and anyone else for that matter be unrepentant then and only then should be put them out of the church as commanded by scripture.

    Everyone is in a hurry to get things over with and move on. Its ungodly.
     
  10. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    Amen! Rather than seeing condemnation, I want to see love, accountability and "doing life" with the person to seek to get them back to where they should be. This should be the way it is for ANY church member - not just the pastor.
     
  11. nodak

    nodak Active Member
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    I question this whole concept because it sounds like we are asking how far person can go into sin before his paycheck is affected permanently.

    Of course a person called to preach or called to teach is called for life, but perhaps when a person falls seriously it reveals they never were truly called by God to begin with.

    Just because a person SAYS God called me to preach, gets the training, and serves successfully for time does not mean God actually called them. I would say if they fall seriously (adultery, abuse, drunkenness, etc) they have shown they never were really called.

    I don't make it my business to get any one fired or removed from any task at church, but then again we as a family will not sit under the preaching or teaching of someone who so obviously doesn't meet the Biblical requirements. Those guides were given the pew packer for their own good, to protect them from the wolves.

    Some sins while forgiven quite quickly by God upon genuine repentance do bring a lifetime of natural consequences, including loss of the opportunity to serve in a church office.

    But guess what--God can and does still use them often in unofficial capacities.

    I do wish we were more willing to follow the Bible and less willing to try and excuse sin.
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    And then there is King David.

    So who is it trying to excuse sin?
     
  13. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Wrong or not the congregation voted to keep him. He tried to step down but the church wouldn't have it. Did all this have a happy ending?

    I like that - 'protect the redeemed'.
     
  14. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    This was over 30 years ago! At first, the AF was going to reclassify Sgt "Jones" but for whatever reason -the AF kept him as a cop.
    Then a few months later, he rotated back Stateside.

    He is now a pastor of a church.
     
  15. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    I think you've given an excellent overview of what should happen if a currently-serving pastor falls into sin.

    I am also interested in hearing what you (and others) would say of an individual who fell into sin while NOT being in any position of leadership.

    Some possible examples:

    1) An individual previously left a pastoral/ordained ministry position (not because of moral failure) and began pursuing secular work. While in secular work and not any ministry position, the person engaged in a "disqualifying" act or acts.

    2) A person has never been in a position of ministry leadership but engaged in "disqualifying" acts or acts, after being saved.


    -----

    These other situations have the additional factor of having less notoriety. If a pastor fails morally and resigns as a result, the entire congregation (and much of the community) will be aware of it.

    If an individual not in leadership fails morally, then there would be no need for the entire church to know as part of the repentance and reconciliation process because no "visible" changes would occur in the church and its operations. Only the affected persons and perhaps a pastor, deacon, or counselor would be involved.
     
  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I had to deal with embezzlement by the treasurer. I tried to keep it as private as was possible. however, since he would not deal with it nor repent it became necessary to take it to the church. Matthew 18:15-18 is the rule to go by.
     
  17. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    I can say that the point of my OP was not to excuse sin in the least. Rather, it was to take sin very seriously.

    The "unofficial capacities" of which you wrote would be part of the answer to my questions.

    My presumption is that there are disqualifying sins, some of which may be life-long, which would preclude service as a pastor and/or a deacon.

    My question was more about what that person would be able to do outside of those ordained offices.

    For instance, how should we answer this question:

    "I know I'm not biblically qualified to serve as a pastor or a deacon, but I would like to use my spiritual gifts to serve God and the church. What kind of service is open for me?"
     
  18. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    The one thing that stands out to me in this discussion is that it seems in view appointment should be considered first, and secondly the question about the pedophile. I would just say that first, if a born again believer had committed such a crime as that I would speculate that for appearance's sake he would probably not take a position of leadership over children, because it would leave too much room for speculation, whether he was capable of falling back into that sin or not.

    Having said that, I think we could apply that reasoning in most cases. If it is a first time appointment, then there is a strict guideline to follow, his maturity level being probably the priority. This is usually something thought to be known to the fellowship, though how people act at Church and outside can sometimes be two very different people.

    The leadership which appoints should have the best interest of the congregation at heart, and careful in selection. If someone were to conceal past sins because they know it would impact their appointment, this gives an insight to motivation for appointment, which would likely be to gain power.

    There is a general principle of not giving the appearance of sin, and in appointment it should be considered in the candidate. The bottom line would be, though, if we deny someone a ministerial position, whether it be a teaching/preaching position, or a treasurer, or deacon, then we are, in my view, denying a faith in the transformative power of salvation in Christ.

    Again, the born again believer who's past may be spotted should not be excluded from service, but, a mature believer who is the only believer that should be considered for appointment, is likely to decline for appearances sake if there is a conflict with ministry and his past.

    So I think that in large part God will, if there is one He has appointed, make a way for that person to be used as He means them to be. The problem I think we face today is that there are many who are appointed who have no business in the ministry they have been placed in by the leadership and staff. It's kind of like the difference between the disciples choosing Matthias, and the Lord choosing Paul. Paul was a murderer and blasphemer, yet the Lord saw fit to use him in possibly the most vital role apart from that of Christ.


    God bless.
     
  19. nodak

    nodak Active Member
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    God did indeed use David mightily, but God did put restrictions on him. God honored David, yes, but David did have some major setting aside. If my memory is functioning this morning, didn't God refuse to let David build the temple and instead have Solomon do so?

    God did indeed use Paul mightily, but Paul's sins were pre conversion.

    I would say to the OP that people who have become disqualified due to sin may be the very people to reach out to others who have fallen into the same sin.

    Public case in point: if Josh Duggar's life, not his words, point to true repentance he may be the very one to reach other men caught up in pornography and adultery. But I can't see him ever as pastor of a church (not that he has ever claimed a call to it) or returning to being a pro family lobbiest.

    Back with Jimmy Swaggart and the Bakers, the same idea. They may be the very people to reach, privately, those caught up in the same sins but as far as I am concerned they lost their office.

    I think the same holds here: no matter the sin, a person may be saved and regenerated by God and when that happens God can call them to office. But if while in office they sin a great sin and bring reproach on the house of God, they lose their effectiveness. I know no one around here would attend a Baptist church where the pastor, while pastor, had an affair. And no matter how much he repented his career as pastor would be toast. He might however still preach effectively at the local prison, minister to those caught in addictions, or to just about anybody. But he would do so not as a preacher but as just another layman. Just another beggar telling other beggars where to find bread.
     
  20. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    I think here's the crux of the issue--

    Does it make a difference if, to use your example, the affair occurred while the man was NOT in any sort of ministry position (not even volunteering in Sunday School, for instance)?

    I think there is a major difference in terms of notoriety, clearly, as a pastor would have to resign publicly, etc.

    If not serving, the affair may only be known to the people directly affected.

    But does this practical difference also make a difference in the kind of positions in which one could serve?
     
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