Monday, August 08, 2011

Addressing Difficult Cases

Second, in our discussion in the earlier section of another pastoral qualification (that an elder should be a one-woman-man), we noted that we are evaluating character, not counting rocks. The world is a messy place, and this is frequently hard on perfectionists. Thus, all questions flowing from weird circumstances not addressed in the text should be acknowledged to be anomalous and dealt with on a case-by-case basis. What about a pastor who adopts his fifteen-year-old nephew whose parents just died, and that nephew never comes to faith? What about a child fathered out of wedlock ten years before the father was converted and married? The man’s six legitimate children are all faithful Christians. My point is not that we should apply Paul’s requirements in a wooden manner, with our eyes tight shut, but rather that if we are careful to obey him in those areas which are clearly addressed in the text, we will have the wisdom necessary when we come to the difficult cases.
Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk , pg. 192.

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