What would you do Wednesday!
A friend is told by his pastor that his weight is keeping the pastor from signing off on his seminary application.
A good friend of yours approached his pastor about going to seminary and entering vocational ministry. The pastor knew of his ministry aspirations. They finally met to discuss the pastor’s approval and endorsement on the seminary application.
A point in the meeting was reached where they discussed the pastoral qualifications in 1 Timothy 3. Your friend read verses 1-7 out loud. Your friend then asked the pastor if he thought there were any apparent disqualifications in his life.
The pastor gently answered, “Yes, please read verse 2 again.”
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (1 Timothy 3:2 ESV)
The pastor then noted that he thought your friend’s weight was a problem. Your friend admitted that he needed to lose about 70 or 80 lbs, but did not understand what that had to do with verse 2. He also admitted that at one point he would have been guilty of gluttony which is why he has weight to lose, but has since repented.
The pastor highlighted the word self-controlled.
He agreed with to your friend that gluttony was not the issue. But since he is still overweight he has shown himself not to be self-controlled by way of curbing his desires and impulses when it comes to food. Instead, the pastor pointed out that your friend still eats enough to sustain his overweight frame. The pastor explains that he should be prudent when it comes to food and taking care of his temple, especially, since he admits he needs to lose weight.
So on the basis of lacking self-control, the pastor declines approving your friend for seminary or vocational ministry.
How would you advice your friend?
- Respect the pastor’s authority and insight.
- Respect the pastor, but exegetically challenge him.
- Find another church.
- Start and pastor a home church with weekly potluck.