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RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello Brothers and Sisters,

Been doing a study on Eldership and wanted to hear your thoughts on 1 Tim 3:3 which states, "not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." The focus is on the middle portion that says, "Not Violent but Gentle, not quarrelsome". What do you think Paul had in mind here? After doing my own research and review on this topic it seems like its using Violence in a loose sense. In other words it saying violence paired with quarreling doesn't have to be physical but more emotional. In other words using your authority to elevate your position/opinion at the expense of others in ways that are not physical but political.

Interesting in hearing your thoughts on this passage.

God bless,
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Robert, do you think the verse is partly aimed at people whom we would nowadays describe as emotionally manipulative?
 
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koenig

Puritan Board Freshman
I'd say this is likely--there is much emphasis in scripture on being at peace with all whenever possible (Romans 12:18) and avoiding strife, boasting, and high thoughts about oneself (Philippians 2:3). It's certainly true that physical violence is prohibited without good cause, but the weight of the emphasis of scripture shows that heart-sins are to be fought with the same vigor as body-sins (Matthew 5), and that there are many people capable of avoiding physical violence but remaining contentious.

What you are writing about is certainly something to look for in an elder, whether or not this one verse gets get you there. My wife and I certainly considered this as our church elected a new pastor a couple months ago.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
My thoughts are that it would be a violation of 1 Tim 3:3, if proven to be true. This could result in the removal from office. Would you agree?

I would agree, yes. If such a character trait constitutes grounds for not admitting someone to office, then, by parity of reasoning, it also constitutes grounds to depose them.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I think it's easy for us to overthink statements like this in Scripture. The points made about manipulation and abuse of power are all well-taken. But I take the Apostle as saying that a bishop must be a man who is not given to physical violence or of an argumentative bent. As to the point on physical violence, we should remember, that physical violence was much more acceptable in ancient times than it is developed countries today—Especially violence toward women and children. And this is still very much the case in many places around the world today.

I remember being in Sicily years ago, walking through the streets of Cantania, I observed a group of boys walking down the sidewalk. One of the boys carelessly walked into an older gentleman coming the other direction. Almost reflexively, the man grabbed they boy by the shirt, slapped him, and then slung the him out of his way. They all promptly went about their business like nothing had happened. It was shocking to me, but it didn't seem like something anyone else found out of the ordinary. I also found Sicilian men really enjoyed arguing. In the barber shop or in the market, you could always find a couple of guys arguing loudly about soccer or politics or religion.

These same kinds of things can be observed in many cultures around the world. The point of Paul in 1 Tim. 3:3 is to make it clear, that even if such things are tolerated in the broader culture, they must not be found in the man of God. The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men. 1 Tim. 2:24.
 
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