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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

Ministerial Qualifications

C.H. Cayce

From the Primitive Baptist

Part 2

July 4th, 1935

In our last issue we promised to try to write farther on this subject for this issue. The text we were using was (I Timothy 3:1-7). We wrote on the several qualifications as “blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour.”  Before proceeding farther we wish to correct an error made in the print in the last line of next to the last paragraph in the article in last paper. That sentence reads, “If he does not behave before being set apart, the church has no Spiritual right to set him apart.”  It should read, “the church has no Scriptural right to set him apart.”  The next qualification the apostle gives is that he must be “given to hospitality.”  To be given to a thing is to be disposed to it, or disposed that way; inclined that way; addicted to it. Such is the habit or custom; it is his way of doing or being. Hospitality means the kind and generous reception and entertainment of strangers or guests. We once knew of a minister being on a trip visiting churches, which he had been requested to visit, his wife accompanying him. At one church on that trip two home ministers were present. They were members of that church. That visiting minister and his wife did not receive a single invitation to go home with those preachers, or with the members. To our mind, this is not “given to hospitality.”  The minister, if he fills this qualification, is glad to have brethren, sisters, friends, to visit in his home. He is glad to entertain them in his home-be that home ever so humble-as well as glad to have them visit his churches. “Apt to teach.”  Some people may know things, but are lacking in the ability to impart instruction to others. This is true in nature as well as in the gospel. We have met some literary teachers who are not a marked success because they do not possess the ability to impart instruction to others. They know the things all right; but do not have the necessary ability in order that they be successful teachers. They are not “apt to teach.”  There may be many who are well informed as to the teaching of the Scriptures; they are sound in doctrine and practice; they know what the doctrine and practice of the church is; but they are not “apt to teach.”  They know what the truth is when they hear it, but they cannot tell it in such a way as to make it plain to others; they cannot impart instruction; they are not “apt to teach.”  The one who is set apart to the work of the ministry must be “apt to teach.”  He must be able to instruct. He must be able to teach others. Here brings in the necessity of study. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  Note the word rightly in this expression by the inspired apostle. The minister must not only study to divide the word of truth, but “rightly dividing.”  He must study to know what the right division is. He must study to know where each Scripture belongs which he uses. He must rightly apply it. This is necessary to be done in teaching. He must be apt in that line. To be apt is to be fit or fitted; suited; suitable; appropriate. Hence, for one to be apt to teach he must be fitted to teach. How is one to be fitted to teach the doctrine and practice and order of God's house unless he makes such things a study? If one does not read and study the Scriptures he is not “apt to teach,”  in the sense of our text. How necessary that the church observe this requirement, to see that one possesses it before he is set apart to the work of the ministry. The fact that one can make a noise with his mouth is no evidence that he is “apt to teach.”  Some folks seem to think that if a man can stand on his feet and make a great noise with his mouth that he should be ordained to the work of the ministry at once. That is a great mistake, and the church has suffered much on account of it. “Not given to wine.”  To be given to a thing is to be disposed, inclined, addicted. This is very clear to us that the minister is not to be in the habit of drinking. He should not be inclined that way. For him to be otherwise is to set a bad example, and to put forth a bad influence. If he is the kind of man the Lord requires him to be he MUST let wine alone. “No striker.”  By common usage the word striker now has a variety of meanings. Webster gives it as one that strikes, in any sense; and one who, especially in politics, attempts a strike. Under that definition he refers to the word strike used as a noun, note 15, under that word. There we are told that a strike is an act of obtaining or attempting to obtain money by importunity or any form of blackmail. If this is forbidden-absolutely forbidden that a man shall occupy as a minister of the gospel of the grace of God who is guilty of this, how much worse for the church to tolerate and harbor a man in that position who is guilty of robbery! The word in the original also means quarrelsome. The minister must not be quarrelsome. He is to be faithful (or should be), and this requires that he speak out against false doctrines and wrong practices, things not authorized by the Book; but he should not be always trying to “pick a quarrel”  with someone. “Not greedy of filthy lucre.”  Greedy is, 1st, having a keen appetite for food or drink; ravenous; voracious; very hungry. 2. Having, or characterized by, eager or keen desire; eager for wealth. See Webster. We gather that one may have a keen appetite for money, or wealth, as well as for food or drink. One may be very hungry for filthy lucre. One may be eager for wealth. It appears to us that it is just as possible for a man posing as a minister to be eager for wealth as for one occupying the pew. Is it not possible for a preacher to become covetous as well as other members of the church? We think that in our life we have seen some of that sort. If the preacher is greedy of filthy lucre he might allow himself to engage in some questionable practices, which would be calculated to bring reproach upon the cause. Besides, if he should be successful in gathering worldly wealth, according to his greed, he is liable to be lifted up with pride and haughtiness. He might forget God. He might forget from whence his blessings come. He would be more than likely to neglect the service of God. In fact, he is most sure to do that if he is greedy of filthy lucre. Or he might do some things in or as service to God to get gain. One greedy of filthy lucre is likely to think of self. We once knew a preacher to say a reason why he would not make announcement at his appointments that he would take subscriptions for an Old Baptist paper was this: One might be there who left home with a dollar in his pocket expecting to give it to the preacher; if he should announce that he would take subscriptions for the paper the party would give him the dollar for the paper, and thus he would not get the dollar the man brought there expecting to give to him. It looks like we cannot get through with this text. We will have to quit for this time, and try to write more for next issue. C. H. C.