INTEGRITY AND FOCUS
1. Is it in the Bible?
"INTEGRITY"....Yes. (all in the old testament)
2. What do we believe it means?
Only the Godliest people will be given ministry. when someone gets into ministry, they must maintain integrity,and in order to be a successful minister, someone must have tremendous focus on the purposes god has given.
3. What does it really mean?
1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the
office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 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.
14 ¶ These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1Timothy 3:1-15)
These verse in the Bible are saying that in order for someone to minister (deacon) or lead (bishop) they could have relatively stable lives. AS noted in the study on "tested and proved" these verse are qualifying people for simply home church meetings. it we look honestly at these requirements they make common sense to operating a home meeting and certainly a large percentage of Christians could meet these simple requirements. It is also a fact that these requirements may not be met by someone at one point,and later, they may qualify.
For example "unruly children". this idea makes perfect sense to anyone who has been a parent. When children are certainly ages they require a lot of attention (infant and toddler stages), What the Bible is saying is that parents who have been holding meetings in their home should, at these stage attend to their children and not host meetings or spend their time serving God. These requirements are all about "how to behave in the house of God"....the Christian home meeting.
Now it is clear that tradition has handed us a much different "church". there is huge responsibility placed upon pastors of even small congregations. A building to maintain--bills to pay--a never-ending weekly show to host. Modern Christianity is show business.
It is placing someone in a position of authority, and thus making them a very large example.
Of course they need "integrity" and "focus". they need to look just the way that people want them to be--they need to "fit the bill" of what people expect a "minister" to be. They need to bear up to the inevitable comparisons that people put on them. They need to look good. and they need to "focus"--to shut out influences in order to maintain the position they believe God has placed them in. Some ministers speak openly about these things.
All this effort is needed because people have made the church be what they want it to be.
We can "try" to make the Bible give us rules about these things, but they simply aren't there.
Rather, a simpler, less demanding, non-authoritarian structure is presented in the new testament. One which gives God all the authority and gives each member functions--like a body.
The rules in the Bible are telling us what to do with our children
while our brothers and sisters are praying in the living room--not
how to operate a "mega-church"!!