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"I believe men such as Swaggart can find redemption, and again be above reproach in his Christian life, even if he fell in deep sin 30 years ago, and yes, even serve again as a pastor one day. Christ came to take away our reproaches and sin. To say that such men can never serve as an elder again, even should they prove themselves through living a life that is above reproach, is to show a very retarded understanding of God's grace and mercy.
But let me stress, these men must be tested before they serve again in that capacity."
First of all Jimmy, it was not 30 years ago. Secondly, this has nothing to do with redemption, unless you are using that word in a fashion I am not understanding? And the last sentence you said that men must be tested before they serve again in that capacity. Where do you get that from Jimmy? What do you base that teaching on? This is not about mens eternal souls or if they can be forgiven, for of course they can, this is about how the world views them. When you bring this dishonor to God amongst the world, you disqualify yourself from that position, not from walking with the Lord and being used, but from that position........Frank
| 2010/4/8 23:00|
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"And we live under a "BETTER COVENANT', and we have the audacity to say, "Scripturally" he is disqualified?
Samson lost the anointing when his head was shaven. His anointing was wrapped up in the length of his locks. But the anointing grew back and he accomplished more in the latter end than his beginning. And we say "SCRIPTURALLY" he is disqualified?
And a greater than Samson is here.
There is not enough scripture that can be mustered up to convince me that God has lost the power to enable man who has fallen into sin and to make him more of a testimony despite his checkered past.
If we don't have mercy, our scripture is dead."
BRAVO, MY BROTHER!...I could not have said it nearly as well....though I was feeling it.
When the scripture called for the spiritual to "RESTORE" a brother overcome in a fault, or sin, does that mean only in a partial way?
Without offense to any brother,it is the CLERGY/LAITY heresy that gains it power from the Pulpit, and creates a PRIEST CLASS that somehow has the higher standard of unfailing performance; calling itself the "MINISTRY".
It is not. Jesus is the ministry, and it is always to the least of the brothers, whoever that may be. There was no pulpit in the Early church, or the gospel of Paul, and there was always an EQUAL plurality that kept PREEMINENCE at bay. This is what the Pharisee hated about Jesus, for they loved the praises of men more than God.
If God restores any man, from any sin, and chooses to use him, what man could stop Him, and sooner or later folks will see that it doesn't matter anyway.
The entire gospel story is about redemption, and full and complete redemption and restoration, and this applies to all....ELDERS, PROPHETS, KINGS, and PROSTITUTES. It is our hope, and faith, for at our core...we are all a weak mess in the light of His glory.
I'm sorry...but I have no reputation to protect.[ except those times when my pride rises and convinces me I do...] My testimony is that I need his mercy all the time.
| 2010/4/8 23:06|
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Quote:Brother, you should quit while your ahead. I wouldn't speak like this if I was paid. If I spoke this way to any brother who has fallen into sin, public eye or not, I'd be scared to death. If I use the written word to judge a man that he is disqualified, I would be disqualifying myself because in the process of time it will come back on my head. I have seen this work against me when I used the word of God as law.
When you bring this dishonour to God amongst the world, you disqualify yourself from that position, not from walking with the Lord and being used, but from that position
I will be praying for you brother.
| 2010/4/8 23:11|
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First of all Jimmy, it was not 30 years ago
If it were 50, 5, or 1 year ago... it makes no difference.
And the last sentence you said that men must be tested before they serve again in that capacity. Where do you get that from Jimmy? What do you base that teaching on?
1 Tim 3:10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.
This is applicable to deacons and "also" elders. Whoever serves in these offices must be tested to see if they can be found above reproach in their personal conduct. If so, then they are allowed to serve. So, whatever sin Swaggart or anybody else has committed in the past, doesn't disqualify them from future ministry so long as they have been restored in their relationship with the Lord, and over a period of time, prove to be above reproach in their conduct, and can serve as a model of the faith. Past conduct does not reproach present character... if such character can indeed be found.
this is about how the world views them.
1 Tim 3 doesn't say anything about being above reproach with the world. Such is near impossible with the world. What does 1 Tim 3 say? It says:
1 Tim 3:7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
A good reputation outside the church is different than being above reproach. The world has no concept of grace. There will always be somebody out there who will look at you with a reproachful eye, for something they know you did 30 years ago. I've been a Christian 11 years, and my mother still reproaches me for things I did before then and early in my walk as a Christian, even though I have nothing to do with those things anymore.
When you bring this dishonor to God amongst the world, you disqualify yourself from that position, not from walking with the Lord and being used, but from that position
You disqualify yourself from that position so long as you live in that sin. But should your character change, and you prove yourself to be a forgiven and changed person, it matters not what the world thinks of your past misconduct. The world is determined to never overcome that.
| 2010/4/8 23:25||Profile|
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Wouldn't you refuse the AoG corrections? I would, most of them are foolish psychological jargon.
Actually no I wouldn't I am a Youth Pastor at an AoG church, I understand your point with the correction part. I mainly wanted to point out that Jesus Christ is our example to follow and not King David.
| 2010/4/8 23:26||Profile|
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"If it were 50, 5, or 1 year ago... it makes no difference."
Then why mention 30 years ago when it was not? say . Jimmy fell and the world mocked. Jimmy refused correction and then fell again a couple of years later and the world mocked. No where in Timothy does it say that given the passage of time you can then be above reproach and re-take your position as an elder and then fall again and have another passage of time and again re-take your position as elder. With much responsibility comes much accountability. Listen to what Mattew Henry says on the subject........
II. In order to the discharge of this office, the doing of this work, the workman must be qualified. 1. A minister must be blameless, he must not lie under any scandal; he must give as little occasion for blame as can be, because this would be a prejudice to his ministry and would reflect reproach upon his office.
15. He must be of good reputation among his neighbours, and under no reproach from former conversation; for the devil will make use of that to ensnare others, and work in them an aversion to the doctrine of Christ preached by those who have not had a good report."
We clearly dis-agree on this and that is fine. Let us both be fully convinced on what we believe and why and agree to disagree..........brother Frank
| 2010/4/8 23:50|
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No where in Timothy does it say that given the passage of time you can then be above reproach and re-take your position as an elder and then fall again and have another passage of time and again re-take your position as elder.
No... the text does not say that. But it doesn't say what you say either. It simply says, test the character of men aspiring for these offices, and if they be found above reproach in their conduct, then they are free to serve in this capacity.
Regarding Swaggart and his actions, I don't personally care what he's done. I've not followed him, and don't pretend to know all that transpired in his ups and downs. He was before my time. I've only talked about him in a purely theoretical way since his name was brought up. We could just as well talk about Ted Haggard, or any other big name leader who has fallen.
We clearly dis-agree on this and that is fine
We do disagree, but, this is not an issue that I take lightly, and one I do not easily let go of. I've personally known two pastors that have fallen into gross sexual immorality while pastoring (though I never sat under them, I knew them through college). One of these guys probably should've never been pastoring to begin with. But whatever the case, it is my prayer and expectation that they will both again serve God as pastors one day.
To disqualify them for life, especially if their lives should change for the better, and they truly become men of deep spiritual stature, would in my book, be a terrible terrible thing. For should the day come that they become mature spiritual men, and are living lives above reproach, having been tested, there is no reason they should not be allowed to serve in that capacity. For they are no longer men of reproach, but men of Christ like character, whose example should be followed and lifted up.
To deny them this opportunity is to diminish the awesomeness of God's grace, and to rob the community of the faithful the blessing that God has made these men to be. The only reproach these men have comes from people who are looking at them for who they once were, instead of looking at them for who they presently are. To say these men can be redeemed, but not restored to their former position is an awful slight against the notion of being redeemed. What God redeems He also restores. Grace is greater than sin. Where sin abounded, grace "much more" abounded. A grace that cannot restore is a grace that cannot "much more" abound.
| 2010/4/9 0:55||Profile|
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Hi Frank..As our brother said earlier Peter held the office of Apostle (Public ministry) and so he walked not according to truth..which means he was in sin.So did Peter not have the Holy Ghost even though he had not a bible in front of him .So let me ask you is it just the BIG sins that only disqualify.Brother you misunderstood me..if Jimmys ministry at this time is being blessed then who is blessing it.I am saying if there is anointing on His ministry at this time then God is with him.The requirements stipulated for eldership are quite clear in 1 tim..thats before one enters into ministry.The question is does one become disqualified if he fails while in ministry..if this be true then there would be empty pulpits in every church.
| 2010/4/9 3:36||Profile|
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hi, let there be no mistaking jsm is jsm and not jcm.
| 2010/4/9 8:06||Profile|
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"No... the text does not say that. But it doesn't say what you say either"
Yes it does brother, unless you are making an argument from silence? It specifically states the qualification for this office. I see you make no commment of Matthew Henry ? Scripture is Scripture and this Scripture is about qualification for the office of elder. This has nothing to do with grace or how many Pastors you have known that have fallen or how sad you would be if they did not get to be pastors again.
Being redeemed has absolutely nothing to do with holding office in the Church. You can continue to repeat the statement, but it has nothing to do with holding office and whether some people like it or not, Scripture lays down a standard for those holding office.
Now the same book talks about the office holder being the husband of one wife. This particular subject has ravaged the American church, the subject of divorce. The American church is in crisis, and it starts with a crisis of leadership. Given the logic that you have put forward Jimmy, then a Christian man can get divorced, not for any Biblical reason, then ask forgiveness for it, remain married and hold office as an elder thus negating another qualification for leadership. Lest we forget, these qualifications come from God Himself.
One final point, grace restores a man before God. A man can commit a crime and then be forgiven by God and be completely restored before the throne of grace, but still pay for his crimes in the natural. Example, I could rob a bank tomorrow and kill a man while doing it. I get caught and get sentenced to life in prison. In prison I repent of my crimes and the Lord forgives me and restores me. Yet, when I wake up the following morning, I will still be in prison because this is the natural consequences of my actions. One of the natural consequences of a man who brings the ministry into dis-repute by his actions is that he can no longer hold the office of elder. Does that mean he cannot have a powerful ministry where he shares his testimony and praises God and gives Him honor and glory for His grace that has restored him to a right standing before the Lord? Of course not............Frank
| 2010/4/9 9:27|