Hello all, this and the next post will probably be my last under "what is the old path" for several reasons. One, I've been wanting to change the name for while, and its clear from emails and questions I've received that the general public is not very clear on what religion this page promotes. Two, I want to change the format to more of a bible discussion page. It's just been difficult with the type of job I have and three children, two of whom are teenagers to be faithful to the level of dedication and research it takes for an article blog. So my extra time, (if you can all it that) has been taken up with more important issues. Several good Christian friends have given me new names and once I've set that up, these pages will be shut down. It's served its purpose for the last two years as a way for me to write about issues in American christianity that I enjoy discussing. Thanks to all my readers.
1. The children: Various translations are extremely tight and I don’t know too many that hold this as its often translated—“men whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.” The children should be “believers not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly. Several translations put the requirement out that the children are believers; something no one seems to require today, and I've known many to have children that have had wild periods in their life like any non-christian, raised child. I don't know what to say about this one. Generally, the idea seems to be that children should be under control. Paul's general idea here is that the children should not be the most problematic children in their local congregation. Ones everyone can point to as a problem. Unfortunately, I've know many a minister to make their children's lives miserable trying to promote their own skills as a parent instead to parenting or connecting with their child. It never seems to turn out right. I say this from observation only in terms of the children's adult problems. I've also noticed that it can be a tool used often against the parent. "If you don't like a minister, just find fault with their children. Now, you don't have to listen to anything they say."
Many ministers have children who almost seem robotic in their obedience and put on a good presentation, who in fact have had difficult relationships with their parents. Some children are just quiet and compliant by nature and the parent can get a lot of mileage out of that. Other children are born more vocal and stubborn--which one takes more skill to control and parent? I have many funny stories of raising my children while a minister that I will probably tell in my new pages on the web at a later time.
Not self willed, arrogant or presumptuous. ( my stubbornness will cause divisions; this term self willed is usually translated “arrogant”--
Some definitions are below:
---exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities; presumptuous.Going beyond what is right or proper; failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.extremely bold and forward in doing something, even though you do not have permission to do it)
Not quick tempered (I might get angry and misuse my authority)-I’m sitting you down ‘cause you made me mad;
Not given to drink (this was a common area of failing back then; since most drank wines of some sort and there was no array of beverages at your local store and barely drinkable water.)
Not brawling or violent; contentious, a person ready to fight (no striker)- Oh yeah?
Not greedy or grasping for financial gain (Lord help us! Save us again!)
Must be hospitable (every good/effective Pastor I've known has an open door policy)
Must love goodness, and righteousness
Must be sensible (not childish, but level-headed in his decision and actions, practicing discretion careful and circumspect in one's speech or actions, esp. to avoid causing offense; shall we say judicious;)
A devout man and religiously correct
Upright and fair-minded
Temperate and keeping control of yourself.
Let's ponder these qualifications. They are tight requirements for a reason. A minister is a leader in the church and under stricter standards that the lay person. That's a no-brainer.
They are in the public eye and open to more criticism and scrutiny as public representatives of the faith, and while we are all ambassadors for Christ, the minister is more so because the teacher has to be above the student. We are certainly called to "perfect the saints". While this doesn't require perfection in every area, Paul is saying in these passages that it does require certain standards to be held.