“What kind of pastor would you like as your pastor?”

The Apostle Paul reminds Timothy and us that pastors and all church leaders must be those who “hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience” (1 Timothy 3:9). This hit me with new force today in light of recent pastor scandals in the evangelical church in America.

Alexander McColl once asked his congregation in a sermon:

“What kind of minister would you like as your minister?” Then he answered his own question. “For myself, I would like a minister who had been scorched by the law, melted by the gospel, and much sifted by the temptations of Satan.”

Well, I would like to receive counsel from an elder who was the same sort of man and who had had the same sort of spiritual experience. He could tell, out of his own personal experience, what the Lord means by what he says in his Word, how best to resist temptation and the devil, how to trust in the Lord and his Word, how to make my way through a difficult set of circumstances.

Life is simply too complicated, and I am simply too weak, to make it through by myself without the counsel of others, their correction, their advice, their encouragement. I need wise and godly counsel, and who can give that to me except a man who, as Paul says, holds to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

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