Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Qualifying the Qualification

 The main body of this entry is a reprint from an article I wrote entitled Blameless.

I Timothy 3:1-7 outlines the characteristics of a Pastor. The first requirement for this high office that Paul states right out of the gate must be met  is for the occupant to be blameless. I personally believe that when God inspired His Word even the order in which He mentions things is important. Blameless being listed first is important.

What does blameless mean? Simply put it means without blame or reproach.

I have had the opportunity to administer various ministries in several capacities. Each one of those ministries, whether started by me or my simply serving in an already existing ministry, had requirements which were to be met by the personnel involved. It was always the first requirement of everyone and anyone connected with said ministries in any official capacity that they be able to articulate and affirm their salvation experience.

In other words, the first requirement of service or employment in any Christian ministry is varification of your salvation.

Some contend that a fallen but repentant pastor can never again be blameless and thus never restored or reinstated to said office.

That may be true if, and only if, the scope and definition of the word lies in one’s lack of understanding and application of the word to limit it solely to the past actions of the fallen.

The meaning is deeper. Much deeper.

No one is blameless. Notice Paul never states what the person is to be blameless of. Why? Everyone has done something in their life to which the blame lies sqarely with them.  Obviously there are varying degrees of the severity or significance of the offense but everyone has a degree of blame which they carry.

So if we stick with the traditional, shallow application of this word blameless in I Timothy 3:2 then we are looking for the perfect person to whom no blame ever on anything lies with them personally. I’d like to meet that human.  However, I won’t because he does not exist.

Notice Paul does not say the person must be sinless. All of have sinned. There is only One who was sinless … Jesus Christ the Lord!

Paul does say that the Pastor …or in clearer context.. the one desiring to be a pastor must be blameless. If, as I am contending, no one is blameless than how can this requirement be met?

The same way we meet the requirement in Ephesians 1:4 which reads, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”  

SALVATION!

Only having a position IN CHRIST through salvation makes a person blameless. That’s why this requirement is listed FIRST!

Is this an excuse for spiritual leadership to run amuck ? NO! It is, however, a clear picture of how one who has sinned and fallen can be restored. The same way any person or Christian is … Confess It, Repent of It, Forsake It … place it under the Blood of Christ.

It is interesting to note that usually it is sexual sin that garners the headlines and the spot light of judgment. Yet, not one sexual sin is listed. There is no mention of adultery, fornication, nor lust. Why? Because the issue at large is the status of blame. Should a pastor engage in immoral behavior? No. If he does, can he be forgiven and even restored? If he has Confessed It …Repented of It…Forsaken It …if he is IN CHRIST and the sin is UNDER THE BLOOD then he is blameless.

Now, the argument will come “BUT your scarlet sin is still remembered. You cannot Pastor again. You are not blameless.” Again, I remind you of Paul. A murderer of Christians who was then converted. Do you think early Church leaders suspected this of being some plot to get inside the church by Saul? No doubt. Do you think any of the early Christians had horrible memories or even emotional scars from Paul’s previous behavior?

People will always have memories and emotions over a fallen pastor.

Was Paul blameless? as a man, NO …as a redeemed man, YES.

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