I wonder if the standards upheld for our leadership and teachers should not be the same for their followers. Here is what is expected of the leaders and teachers.
Now, being such bishops and overseers of the flock, who were to be examples to them, and God’s stewards to take care of the affairs of his house, to provide for and dispense to them things needful, there is great reason that their character should be clear and good, that they should be blameless. How else could it be but that religion must suffer, their work be hindered, and souls prejudiced and endangered, whom they were set to save? These are the relative qualifications:
The more absolute ones expressed, First, Negatively, showing what an elder or bishop must not be: Not self-willed. The prohibition is of large extent, excluding self-opinion, or overweening conceit of parts and abilities, and abounding in one’s own sense, – self-love, and self-seeking, making self the center of all, – also self-confidence and trust, and self-pleasing, little regarding or setting by others, – being proud, stubborn, froward, inflexible, set on one’s own will and way
A great honour it is to a minister not to be thus affected, to be ready to ask and to take advice, to be ready to defer as much as reasonably may be to the mind and will of others, becoming all things to all men, that they may gain some. Not soon angry, not one of a hasty temper, soon and easily provoked and inflamed. How unfit are those to govern a church who cannot govern themselves, or their own turbulent and unruly passions!
To induce him to faithfulness, he must consider, 1. That the eye of God and Jesus Christ was upon him: I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ; that is, “as thou tenderest the favour of God and Jesus Christ; as thou wilt approve thyself to God and Yeshua, by the obligations both of natural and revealed religion; as thou wilt make due returns to the God who made thee and the Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed thee”
And if the heart be full of his love and fear, out of the abundance of it the mouth will speak; but there are many whose religion is lip-labour only. When they pretend to be speaking to God, they are thinking of a thousand foolish things. They worship the God of Israel according to their own devices. Numbers are only formal in worship. And their religion is only to comply with custom, and to serve their own interest. But the wanderings of mind, and defects in devotion, which are the believer’s burden, are very different from the withdrawing of the heart from God, so severely blamed. And those who make religion no more than a pretense, to serve a turn, deceive themselves. And as those that quarrel with God, so those that think to conceal themselves from him, in effect charge him with folly. But all their perverse conduct shall be entirely done away.
Those clean hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples, and requires of them, are very different from the outward and superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age. Jesus reproves them for rejecting the commandment of God.
Remember, these messages are given by a humble servant obedient to our Lord Yeshua as a Watchman. I pray for all. ”Our Heavenly Father brings us to the river which bringeth forth fruit so we may partake of its sustenance and be filled spiritually with nurturing wisdom, and humble dedication in service to Yeshua. “Blessings to All.” As you go forward in peace, knowledge, and strength.