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Few things poison the church, and sully her reputation in the world, like arrogant pastors. Manifest arrogance in politicians, lamentable as it is, we might expect. But arrogance in the pulpit — this is a great blight on the church and in the community where she is to shine her light.
It’s not as though the New Testament didn’t foresee the danger, or that somehow this is a recent development for the church. Christians have always known to keep conceited men from church office. If the Scriptures’ pervasive condemnations of pride and arrogance weren’t enough, then the express qualifications for pastor-elder make it all the clearer:
Convert - Greek - Image - Convert - Christianity
“Recent convert” (Greek neophytos) means, literally, “newly planted.” It’s a fitting image for a new convert to Christianity. New plants haven’t yet had time to grow their roots deep and wide. New plants — whether transplanted or from the seed — are much easier to uproot than trees that have grown deep into the soil over a matter of month and years, rather than days and weeks.
Elsewhere, when Paul addresses the formal appointing of pastors and elders, he charges Timothy, and the churches, “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands” (1 Timothy 5:22). This principle of patience in appointment to office applies not only to pastors, but to deacons as well: “Let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless” (1 Timothy 3:10).
Warnings - Pride - Leader - Church - Man
A thread holds these warnings together: Swelling pride in a leader endangers the whole church, and the longer a man has faithfully walked with God, the less likely the remaining pride in him is growing rather than shrinking.
Pastoral ministry can be very trying emotionally — not typically at every step, but acutely so in crisis moments. It’s only a matter of time until...
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"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8