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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 4

August 1st, 1935

In our last issue in writing on the above subject, embraced in (I Timothy 3:1-7), we promised to try to write more for this issue. The last thought we gave attention to was, “not covetous.”  We will try now to take up the next qualification the inspired apostle laid down. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) “One that ruleth well his own house.”  If a man does not do this he is not to be set apart to the work of the ministry. The man is supposed to be the head of the family. “But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man.” -(I Corinthians 11:3). Paul wrote this by inspiration of God. It is God's order; and Paul would have you to know this fact. Yet, how few people seem to know it in this day and age of the world. So far as mankind in general is concerned times have changed and the order is reversed. Frequently, in this day, the head of the man is the woman. The woman, usually, in this day, rules the house-including the ruling of the man. We think we have met with a few women of that sort in our life. All they lack being “the man of the house”  is wearing the breeches. Figuratively speaking many of them do wear the breeches. But in the very morning of time God said concerning the man and woman, “He shall rule over thee.” -(Genesis 3:16). Many in this age of the world have reversed' God's order. No man who has reversed God's order is to be set apart to the work of the ministry. One to be set apart to the office of a minister in the Lord's kingdom must be one “that ruleth his own house.”  He must be one who has not and does not reverse God's order. When the Lord made the woman he did not take the dust of the ground to make her. Out of the ground He “formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air.” -(Genesis 2:19). But Adam was without a help meet. Note that the woman was to be a help meet-not a ruler over the man. “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.” -(Genesis 2:21-22). Here is a surgical operation no human being can perform. But we must not “branch off”  on that question. God made the rib a woman which He had taken from the man's side. He did not take a bone from his head and make a woman. She is not to rule over the man. God did not take a bone from the man's foot and make a woman. She is not to be trodden under foot-no more than she is to be a ruler over the man. The man is as much wrong if he treads his wife under his feet as the woman and man are both wrong if she is the ruler of the family. The woman was taken from the man's side, from near the heart, and from under his arm. He is to protect her, and is not to rule over her as a tyrant. But he is to rule in love. If they have children, he is to rule them also. This does not mean that he is to treat them as brutes or as slaves.-But he is to have control over them. The man who does not rule or control his children, if he has children, has no business being set apart to the work of the ministry. In the olden times the parents “raised the children;”  but frequently in the present day the “children raise the parents.”  In the family where this is the case, the church has no right to ordain the man to the ministry. He must be “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.”  The house means his family. He is the head of the family. If the head is weak, so that he cannot rule well his own house, then he is too weak for the work of the ministry, and has no business to be put in that office, or in that place. He will not fit there. If a man allows his children to be gallivanting over the country instead of going with him to the house of God he is not ruling well his own house. If he has his children go with him to the house of God, and yet they stay out on the grounds during the service, perhaps in some mischief, he is not ruling well his own house. If he allows his children to attend the Arminian Sunday schools, thus encouraging them in learning false doctrines, the doctrines of men and devils, he is not ruling well his own house. “If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”  Here is a question asked by the inspired apostle, and the form of the question allows but one answer. He cannot take care of the church of God if he does not know how to rule his own house. This question is what is. called an affirmative question, which is the very strongest way of stating a proposition. Hence, in that question the apostle makes the statement in the very strongest way of stating the proposition, that a man cannot take care of the church of God if he does not know how to rule his own house. We are of the humble opinion that the church has often in the past “eased over'' this matter, and lightly regarded it. “Not a novice.”  A novice is one newly come to the faith. This should be a caution to the church not to be in a hurry about setting a man apart to the work of the ministry. “Lest being lifted up with pride he' fall into the condemnation of the devil.”  This brings reproach and shame and trouble upon the church. Here is where and how a man may be spoiled-ruined, absolutely, when otherwise he might be a benefit to the cause. The “big head”  is a bad disease for a man to have who is posing as a preacher. How does it look for a young man to presume to advise an old man, who has spent years in the service, to dispense with and throw away his dictionary and his books that tell him what words mean, and reprove him for using them? Would it not be more befitting for such a young man to allow his head to “shrink”  a little, and to learn something-at least enough to learn that he has much yet to learn? Is he not “lifted up with pride”  just a little, you think? If the church puts a novice into the office of the ministry, she does him an injustice and an injury, and also does the church an injury. “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without.”  Then the apostle assigns the reason why. “Lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”  We do wish we could so emphasize and sound out this requirement that it might never be forgotten or overlooked by the church when they consider, or even think, of having a man ordained to the work of the ministry. The apostle places great emphasis upon this point. He starts out in giving the qualifications by saying he must be blameless; then enumerates or lays down the other qualifications, coming on down to this last one named; and places great emphasis upon this by saying, “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without.”  He must not only have a good report of them that are withinthose who are members of the church-but of them which are without. He must have a good report of them who are not members of the church. He must have a good report of them that do not love the doctrine he advocates. Those who even despise the doctrine must give him a good name as a man and as a citizen. His life must be such that the haters of the truth, the haters of the doctrine believed and cherished by the true church, will say of him, “He is a good man.”  We once heard a man say that he had lived in a community of Primitive Baptists, and that they were good people and good neighbors, but the doctrine they advocated is as bad as the devil wants it to be. He MUST be of good report of them which are without. To set a man apart to the work of the ministry who is not of good report of them which are without, is to bring shame, disgrace and disrespect upon the church. What man of good morals can respect a church that will set a man apart to the work of the ministry who is not of good report of them which are without? What respect can they have for a church that will put a man in the ministry that the world cannot, or does not, speak well of as a man? His life must be above reproach, if he is to occupy the sacred desk as a minister of the gospel of the grace of God. Shame on the church that will harbor a man in the ministry who is of ill repute. What's the matter with you? Do you not have the Christian courage or fortitude to object to such? Do you love such as that, too? When you condone such, and pass up such without objection, by your act and conduct you say you approve of it. What will you do? Will you be true to your God and to His cause? May the Lord help us, and give us courage to contend against every wrong. C. H. C.