Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who can be church leaders?

16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, 19 a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. 21 No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the LORD. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; 23 only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuaries; for I the LORD sanctify them.’” (Leviticus 21:16-23)

The office of church leader precluded physical defect in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament precludes moral defect:

1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 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; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (I Timothy 3: 1-7)

5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (Titus 1:5-9)

It is interesting to note that in the Old Testament Church Ministry precluded those with crushed testicles, and in the New Testament required church leaders to be "the husband of one wife". The qualification for church ministry precluded the female sex.

Many of our woes in the church stem from the failure to screen candidates for the ministry according to the Biblical qualifications. If we do not take God at His word, seriously, we will reap serious consequences.


Nengak said...

Does it mean females cannot be church leaders, pastors and such even today?

Bridge said...

The answer to this question must be preceeded by another question: "Who knows best, God or man?" If we believe that God knows best, then God clearly states that men are to be the Lawkeepers and as such they are to be the civil, ecclesiastical and family leaders. Those who propose that women should take on such roles of leadership, believe that men know better than God. I do not agree with them.