Saturday, September 4, 2010

Integrity of would-be preachers

This is specifically addressed to ministers, however the principles are of use to all believers.
I suppose that it should go without saying that anyone seeking to enter the ministry or is already in the ministry should be striving after integrity,. First because that's what all Christians should desire, to be faithful but secondly because the calling of the ministry is one of leading by example. However we are today surrounded by unending examples of what integrity is not.
I suppose it would be wise to briefly touch on what integrity is, well biblical integrity would then be a life which is consistent with a biblical worldview, not a flawless life, but a lifestyle and speech that reflects the convictions of the individual!
With that, I beg the ears of any & all ministers to consider first that if they are truly called of God then i hope we all can agree that this will mean that we are equipped & qualified by God as well, in otherwords if we lack the gifting & the biblical standards of say an 'elder" then we can safely assume (know) that such a calling is NOT presently ours (if ever).
So you think you are called, you have been gifted & qualified to lead:

NOW WHAT?
Rather then attempt at this moment to teach what constitutes a ministerial call, I wish to touch upon some things worthy of guarding.
It seems to be the reasoning of many, that in order to "get IN the ministry" they must MAKE doors open. As to the matter of integrity, some wrongfully believe it best to work their way up within a church by any means necessary. "By any means necessary?" Yes, because they have a good motive (end) they have ignored that their means is not in keeping with biblical integrity: such are those who are silent about things which truly concern them, things ranging from compromise in leadership, immorality in the church, bad teaching, heretical preaching, etc etc... they are silent because they believe that to speak up would ruin their 'chances' to enter the 'ministry' or become say the "Pastor". This is without a doubt a form of deception, to pretend submission & unity with a church or institution while you clearly disagree with what is going on, some reason that they will "make it up" when THEY finally get in that pulpit (or wherever). This might be the way to advance in the business world & i suppose in some cases it would be reasonable given the fact that such rules, administration, methods, etc change often, but such is NOT the case with the ministry because we DO have something by which we can judge all things and that standard is the Word of God, and we have been given not only the ends but the means as well! "But if i speak up, if i strive for change now, I'll lose my standing, I'll lose opportunities, I'll lose friends" Then SO BE IT! If you get "IN" through compromise then what's to stop that from continuing (do you really believe you can give into temptation & then just shut off when you're good and ready??) and also have you considered the harm, the rightful offenses of the people who will be shocked to see this NEW you once authority has been placed into your hands? Have you considered the effects upon others who witness such a terrible example? Above all those 'consequences' of your actions, the heart of the matter is that you are not trusting God to put you where He wants to, when He wants to! I beg you to also consider that if you have been truly called of God, then don't wait to be an honest minister until you get a "position" in the church, if you have opportunities then take them! Besides you never can tell what God will do with His truth, maybe the reception will be wonderful, maybe your zeal will speed up the 'process', and then maybe you will be misunderstood, maybe rejected, maybe slandered, well that then is between them & God, your hands are clean!
DON'T BE A COWARD/ DON'T BE HARD-HEARTED/ DON'T BE SILENT!
It is nothing but the fear of man & a lack of the fear of God that would cause you to win favor with men by losing favor with God. It is nothing but hard-heartedness that would cause a believer to ignore the abuse of essential doctrine & living in God's church. It is nothing but deception to be silent without, when you are burning within, put your "career path" in the hands of God & seek rather NOW to be a faithful minister!

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