“Christians (Deacons, Ministers, Teachers, church members) are normal people like everyone else.” The word “normal” must be defined. If normal is in worldly terms, I disagree. If normal is defined by Scripture, I agree strongly! Christians should be viewed as weird by the world. If the reality show “Preacher’s Daughters” is normal for Christians and ministers, it is a sad day in our nation.
Let’s define normal in terms of Scripture… the Bible. The expectations of those who fill the office of pastor (And staff members) are in reality what should be normal everyday Christian practice. The fact that so many view Biblical requirements as “impossible to live up to” is an indictment on what is “normal” to Christians. Normal Christianity is described by Paul in at least two passages… which can be read at the end of this post. Here is the list for preachers and ministerial staff members (Expected, required):
Above reproach. Only one spouse. Not emotionally unstable. Respected. Teaches sound doctrine. Not a drunk. Gentle. Not argumentative. Not materialistic. Stable home life with obedient children. Not a recent convert. Has a good reputation in the community. Of sound morals. Submits to authority. Not arrogant or argumentative or greedy. Holy. Self controlled. Disciplined. One who holds to sound Bible doctrine.
The above should be normal for ALL who name Jesus as their savior! Sadly, “normal” is the opposite of these things with the term “normal” given a new definition. For a preacher or minister to say “I’m normal like everyone else” they really mean “It’s okay that I am not above reproach or self-controlled or holy or have a good reputation or my kids are rebellious or, or, or.”
Many decry the dismal spiritual condition of congregations, and they should. To a great degree it is because their pastors/ministers are just as unholy and ungodly as they are and have been so for years. A congregation will never rise above the level of their leader’s spiritual maturity.
The answer: Christians must be different… normal according to Biblical standards. They must be holy, godly, forgiving, loving, merciful, gracious, and patient. They must live lives that reflect Christ, regardless of the cost. Pastors need to quit worrying so much about job security and instead make their first responsibility to disciple God’s people in the pure milk of The Word. They need to devote themselves to prayer and ministry of the word over, above, and beyond everything else.
Every Christian should want to be normal… like everyone else… IF normal is defined by Scripture. Until Christians are no longer normal in worldly terms, our congregations will not be used by God to transform society.
1 Tim 3:2 An overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Titus 1:5 Appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.