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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 3

July 18th, 1935

We promised in our last issue that we would try to write more on this subject. We were using (I Timothy 3:1-7). Last issue we wound up on the expression, “not greedy of filthy lucre.”  We will begin this article with the next expression in the text, “but patient.”  Here is a qualification that most of us, or many of us, at least, need to take heed to. Patient means, 1. Undergoing pains, trials, or the like, without complaint; bearing or enduring with equanimity; having or exercising patience. 2. Being indulgent to the shortcomings of others; lenient to others' deficiencies; forbearing. 3. Expectant with calmness, or without discontent; not hasty; not overeager; composed. See Webster. It is so easy for us to complain when we have trials to undergo. But the minister of the gospel should bear trials without complaint. He should be willing to suffer without complaining. He should be indulgent to the shortcomings of others. He should be kind to those who err from the right way. He does not need to encourage them in wrongs by being indulgent, or patient. He should not be ready to declare non-fellowship for every brother who may step aside from the right way. He should be ready to bear with the wrongs of his brethren. Yet he should not be willing to fellowship or bear with disgraceful practices and heretical doctrines in the church. He should patiently teach against and warn against every false way. He should do this in the right spirit, not manifesting a spirit that is overbearing. He must patiently labor for that which is right. He must do this calmly. He must not “lose his head.”  He should not be too hasty. Patient labor will frequently accomplish that which is right, when hasty action would destroy instead of save. He should not “make haste.”  Let us patiently labor for the things that are right. “Not a brawler.”  A brawler is one that brawls. To brawl is (1) to quarrel noisily and outrageously. 2. To complain loudly; to scold. 3. To make a loud confused noise. Two synonymous words are to wrangle, squabble. The minister must not engage in such practice. That is, he should not engage in such. It sure would look bad for a minister of the gospel to engage in a noisy and outrageous quarrel. It would not look well for him to complain loudly and to scold. One can reprove without scolding. This is a very nice point, and one that the minister should be very careful about. He might administer reproof and some might think he is scolding. Hence he needs to be very careful about that. He should not wrangle. It is better to hush and say nothing than to wrangle over a matter. Let the other fellow “cool off,”  as well as “cool off”  yourself. Do not wrangle or squabble. Here patience needs to be exercised some more. “Not covetous.”  This goes back somewhat to the expression, “not greedy of filthy lucre.”  They are almost just alike in meaning. Covetous is, 1st, very desirous; eager to obtain. 2. Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess (especially money); avaricious. See Webster. From Cruden we quote the following: “This word is sometimes taken in a good sense, as in (I Corinthians 12:31), 'Covet earnestly the best gifts.' This covetousness is good and commendable, when spiritual blessings are earnestly desired and sought after. But most commonly it is taken in a bad sense, for an eager and immoderate desire after earthly things. Covetousness is called idolatry, because the covetous man places the love, delight, and confidence in riches, which are due to God alone. This sin is condemned in all sorts of persons, and is expressly forbidden by the tenth commandment, 'Thou shalt not covet.' Such as are addicted to this sin, are hated of God. They are cruel and oppressive. The riches they are so eager in the pursuit of prove but poison to kill them, and thus they are miserable. The inordinate love of wealth does likewise betray men to manifold sufferings; both from themselves, in denying themselves the comfort of their estates; and from others, as extortioners, thieves, and the like.”  We have omitted the citations which he gave; that is, the Scriptures referred to. Covetousness is classed with very grievous sins by the inspired writers. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”  -(I Corinthians 5:9). Here the sin is classed with fornication, idolatry and drunkenness. In (I Corinthians 6:9-10) the apostle says, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”  Horse stealing is no worse than covetousness. If you would not ordain a horse thief to the work of the ministry, neither should you ordain a covetous man to that office. Would you ordain a drunkard to the eldership? If you would, we would say God pity you. If you would not, but would ordain a covetous man, we wonder why. If you have a man in your church who has been ordained as an elder, and he should be a thief or a drunkard, would you continue using him as an elder? Perhaps some would; but if they would, it is very evident they have very little regard for right living. If you have regard for right living, and your preacher should be guilty of thievery or drunkenness, you would deal with him. There is no more Scriptural authority for dealing with him for those grievous sins than there is for dealing with him for covetousness. Do you know of one posing as a preacher who is guilty of the heinous crimes-any of them here enumerated? God pity the people who will harbor such. They are sure to reap the vengeance of God for such wickedness. In (Colossians 3:5) we read: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  We are here plainly told that covetousness is idolatry. It is no worse for one to make an image of wood, or of stone, or of metal, and worship that as a god, than to be covetous. To be covetous is just as bad as to worship a star, or the moon, or the sun, or a bush, or a stump, or a graven image. To be covetous is just about as bad as the greatest heathen idolaters in the jungles of Africa, China, Burma, or the Hindus. If you would not ordain and keep a Hindu idolater in the ministry, then neither should you retain a covetous man in the ministry. The next qualification would require too much space for us to take that up in this issue. We will have to stop now, and will try to continue the subject in our next issue. C. H. C.