Thursday, 12 August 2010

The gifts and call of God are without repentance

Romans 11:29

29αμεταμελητα γαρ τα χαρισματα και η κλησις του θεου

This text has been used as pretext to justify the restoration and return to ministry of someone who considers that their anointing and gifts should allow them to resume a ministry that was discredited and exposed as hypocritical, deceitful, abusive and really nasty.

Think about the serious implications of this false interpretation.

Does this mean that a gifted preacher who has committed sinful acts against children and vulnerable people should be allowed to return to his former ministry?  Surely our justice system, the sex offenders register, the church authorities and social pressures would not allow it.

The Scriptures testify to occasions when people and churches were removed from positions of authority, respect and influence. Saul was rejected by God for his disobedience and he did not manage to restore his reputation and position before God.  Ananias and Sapphira were punished and taken from the early church for their sins.   In Revelation we read of the churches who were warned and lost their testimony.  Their candlesticks were removed and the witness of churches in Asia Minor faded away.  We know this from the sad events in church history in the Middle East.  Once thriving Christian communities in Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus and Berea disappeared. 

If a minister has lost the respect of outsiders and is not without reproach, then how can he have the right and the gall to function as an overseer and shepherd of the flock?  Out of love for his flock and concern for the testimony and integrity of the church in his community and the wider witness to the world, that God wishes to reach, surely he should step aside and do no further harm.

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