Discover more from ConservaTibbs
Do we believe man, or do we believe God?
The reputation of the church matters. When a pastor or church officer is revealed to be in sin, it provides an opportunity for pagans to blaspheme God.
When I was in high school, a pastor told me how his father would reject invitations to go to church. His father was an alcoholic and would get drunk on Saturday nights. One of the men at the bar getting drunk with him was a deacon at the church. "I'm just as good as that man," the pastor's father said. Instead of greeting people at church with his friend, he would just sleep off his hangover. The son's faithful and loving witness to his father was sabotaged by an officer of his own church.
In his letters to Timothy and Titus, the Apostle Paul lays out qualifications for those who would preside over God's people. (See 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.) It is very clear in Scripture that the "private life" of a pastor, elder or deacon absolutely does have a lot to do with what he does in his "holy life." It matters for a whole host of reasons.
First, the reputation of the church matters. When a pastor or church officer is revealed to be in sin, it provides an opportunity for pagans to blaspheme God. There are a number of Scriptures that warn against behavior that causes pagans to blaspheme, including 2 Samuel 12:14. King David damaged the whole nation's reputation by committing adultery and murder, such that it led to sin in surrounding pagan nations.
Second, those in the church trying to fight their own sin and strive for holiness and sanctification are then discouraged, especially when the "pastor" is unapologetic or even defiant about his "private" sin. Victims of serious sin also become discouraged, as their trust in the church caring for and protecting them is broken. Even the preaching of the Word becomes an exercise in hypocrisy and actually does damage to the souls being fed.
When you lead the people of God, there is no such thing as a "private" sin. This is clear both from common sense and Scripture itself. Christians must reject and rebuke these lies from Hell, and stand against churches that practice this heresy and hypocrisy.