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Worth reading

This passage of Scripture is worth reading in the context of this discussion:
1 Timothy 3English Standard Version (ESV)
Qualifications for Overseers

3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Qualifications for Deacons

8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,[c] not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must[d] be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
The Mystery of Godliness

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

He[e] was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated[f] by the Spirit,[g]
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
Footnotes:

1 Timothy 3:2 Or bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1
1 Timothy 3:2 Or a man of one woman; also verse 12
1 Timothy 3:8 Or devious in speech
1 Timothy 3:11 Or Wives, likewise, must, or Women, likewise, must
1 Timothy 3:16 Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
1 Timothy 3:16 Or justified
1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit

English Standard Version (ESV)


Comments 4

  • Are you suggesting by quoting that passage of scripture that states that overseers and deacons be “the husband of one wife” that there is no place for single men in the ministry of God’s church? or divorced and remarried men? Are you suggesting that some of the men currently ordained in the LCA do not have a valid ministry because they do not meet Paul’s marital criteria? Does it mean that if a pastor’s children “go off the rails” that the pastor should resign?
    How do we read this passage? Is it a description of Paul’s preferred model from where he stood in the first century, or a prescriptive statement binding on the church of all time? If it is prescriptive, then there are significant numbers of LCA pastors whose ordination should never have taken place, and should be revoked on the basis of this passage. There should be a commission to assess how respectable is respectable enough and how hospitable is hospitable enough, and to what degree must pastor’s children submit. This is how a biblicist interpretation of scripture that emphasises the “law” as the main way we should relate to God functions.
    But aren’t we a church that values the “gospel”? What does this mean in relation to this passage?

    1. I respond to the question “What does this mean in relation to this passage?” posted by Pastor Rob Schubert. I post this response in full acknowledgement that I have sat at Rob’s feet and been privileged to hear a sermon that ranks top 3 law/gospel sermons I have ever heard. Please receive this criticism and all who read it in respect for the Office and in respect for the person and pastor re-created and renewed in God’s image.

      1 Timothy 3:1-7:
      The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
      1. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach,
      2. the husband of one wife,
      3. sober-minded,
      4. self-controlled,
      5. respectable,
      6. hospitable,
      7. able to teach,
      8. not a drunkard,
      9. not violent but gentle,
      10. not quarrelsome,
      11. not a lover of money.
      12. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
      13. He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
      14. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

      I count 14 qualifications. Negatively then there are 14 disqualifications. In my mind, it wouldn’t be a split in the LCA that halves the Pastorate. Rather, if we took these words seriously, it would be these qualifications that half the LCA Pastorate – myself being the first to be told that it would be best if I resign.

      As a pastorate, do we take St Paul’s words at face value and reform our ways through repentance and its fruit, or do we say that these words are to be preferred, an ideal to aspire to, an “if only”?

      Did Jesus call us into an “if only” or did he equip us with the Word that fells the old evil foe? Maybe pastors should once again (as they did in the first century) model the Way?

      Rev Chris Raatz
      Grampians Parish.

      1. Why does Pastor Schubert have a problem with the qualifications for a pastor? These qualifications being from the Word of God are the only ones we have. Thanks to Pastor Raatz for listing so nicely the qualifications from 1Tim 3:1-7. I am sure most of the pastors I have known fulfil all but two of these requirements. So I imagine the problem is those two involving family relationships – how you get on with your wife and kids. Where there are failures here this is not a good example for the congregation, is it? I remember there are acceptable reasons to divorce including desertion and adultery, but those only.

        So Pastor Schubert are you saying because the words of scripture can be so hard and impossible for us sinful humans that based on that we should junk these teachings ? I find a lot of very important teachings from the Word are hard and humanly seemingly impossible? Forgiveness is a big one. However we must forgive. We must speak the truth in love. How hard is that? Wouldn’t we rather complain to a third party? Or what about don’t retaliate, when payback is our natural instinct?

        These hard teachings for human beings are one of the reasons I believe we truly have God’s Word. It is paradoxical and impossible from a human standpoint.

        The role of women I think falls into the category of hard teachings. Eve wanted to be like God and disobeyed. Pastor Rob we should not junk these teachings because we rate them as hard and then cry ‘Gospel’ as if somehow the gospel is going to release us from what we see as difficulties in the Scriptures. You can’t call the Gospel in as if it nullifies these seemingly to us difficult teachings. The gospel is needed because we are disobedient and rebel against what God has told us.

        A test of these hard teachings is how things play out when they are NOT taken seriously as what we must strive to do. Take the push for a few women to get into the pulpit. What are the results but unnecessary anguish and division in the church? I know there have been great struggles and controversies in the history of the church. Sadly the case for WO is strikingly bare of scriptural support. The absolute worst thing I hear in pro arguments is to put down certain scriptures as if they were culture based and not universal. Try that argument on all the important hard teachings of scripture as well and see what is left!

  • Crystal clear and as as my kids say…’enough said!’

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