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What should be done when church leaders are living hypocritical lives?
What does the Bible say about a person that is a leader in church when he is not living life right before others?
Concerning pastors, the Bible gives the qualifications in I Timothy 3:1-7, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A BISHOP THEN MUST BE BLAMELESS, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, OF GOOD BEHAVIOR, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover HE MUST HAVE A GOOD REPORT OF THEM WHICH ARE WITHOUT; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." So there is no room for Pastors that are living hypocritical lives.Concerning deacons, the qualifications are listed in I Timothy 3:8-13. "Likewise must THE DEACONS BE GRAVE, NOT DOUBLETONGUED, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then LET THEM USE THE OFFICE OF A DEACON, BEING FOUND BLAMELESS. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus." Once again, it is unscriptural for a man that is a deacon to be living a hypocritical life. He should get his life in order, or step down from that position. These are the only offices of the church: pastor and deacons. We would do well, then, to hold the standards high for all leadership positions. The problem comes when a person will not be honest before God and the church, and step down from leadership positions when things are not right in his life. If the matter is serious enough, it is up to someone in the congregation to go and speak with the person alone about the problem. Matthew 18:15 says, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, GO AND TELL HIM HIS FAULT BETWEEN THEE AND HIM ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother." If the person will not correct his problem, then the Bible instructs us to go to him again, with one or two other people with us. Matthew 18:16 says, "But if he will not hear thee, then TAKE WITH THEE ONE OR TWO MORE, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." If he still will not listen, then the matter is to be brought before the church. Matthew 18:17 says, "And if he shall neglect to hear them, TELL IT UNTO THE CHURCH: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." So if he does not listen to the church, then he is to be put out of the membership. All of this must be done by someone who is not living hypocritically himself, and it must be done with a meek spirit. Galatians 6:1 says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." The problem is that when someone is living a hypocritical life, other people often begin to talk about that person behind his back, instead of following the Scripture and confronting him with his sin. So that makes everyone talking about the person a hypocrite, too. We all must humbly follow the Scriptures, and do what is right, even though it may seem hard to do. In the end, that is the only way that brings joy.
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