No, this post is not about persecuting pastors nor is it about pastors persecuting others. Instead, I am linking to two very good blog posts: one about pastors and one about persecution.
First, my friend Lew at “The Pursuit” in a post called “The List” lays out the “qualifications” for elders from 1 Timothy 3:2-7. If this truly is a list of “qualifications” then who qualifies? According to Lew, very few of the people from the Old or New Testaments “qualifies”. Everyone that I know would drop off the list from the first words: above reproach. Oh, sure, we can explain that one away, but then what good is it? Perhaps this is not a “qualification” list after all? (I’ve talked about this previously in a post called “Qualifications and examples“.)
Second, Lawrence from “Agonizingly Honest Christianity” asks some very good questions in his post called “Agonizing over church membership/fellowship“. You should read this post. He asks if we would be as picky who we would pray with if we were facing persecution and perhaps imminent execution. Would we care how they prayed, or what they emphasized about salvation, or their views on eschatology? Or, would we only care that the person was a brother or sister in Christ? Why is different when we’re not facing persecution? (HT: Lionel)