Advice for Dave

Dear Dave –

Read your comment in the meta, and loved it. You’re a journeyman around here, and mostly you’re one of the good guys, so I take your comment completely at face value, and I’m not here to dissect it.

What I am going to do, however, is look at one statement:
"Blameless" is something I fear I'll never be, Cent. And it stinks on toast, because I feel God's call into ministry, and I'm afraid I'll always disqualify myself.
Hey: join the club.

And I don’t say that lightly. I don’t mean to be flip, but that actually should be the thing which all of us (and it is “us”, me included) ought to spend our days as we approach God’s call on us thinking about seriously. I mean: what’s worse than someone “called” to the ministry who defames the ministry? Is there anything worse?

So the matter is a serious matter, and it should turn more men aside – for a while at least. Because there is actually an upside to this burden: God has put it on you. Think about that – God has put the burden for ministry and the purity of ministry in your heart.

Don’t you think that if God has brought this to your attention, in a manner of speaking, those whom he loveth he also chasteneth? See: while there is something plainly-bad at the center of this discussion, it is really something beautiful which God is calling his men to. When someone is too blind to see it, it is tragic. "Biblical fail" as they would say on the interwebs. But when you can see this flaw and you are willing to die daily to it, God is working in you.

The trouble comes when you cannot see your own sin – when you think it is someone else’s fault for bringing it up at all. Listen: the sin is in pride and arrogance, in not turning away when a brother – even an older brother, a brother with his nose in the air – points out your problem, and not merely in falling down as all men are prone to do.

There will come a day when you are qualified for ministry, if God is willing. Trust Him to qualify you if He has called you, and don’t settle for your own best effort to be qualified. Be sanctified because He is sanctifying you – and wage war on sin because God has given you the weapons for this spiritual war, and the victory in Christ.

That’s what I’m doing. Someday I will be the world’s oldest rookie pastor, but when I am, it will have been in God’s time for God’s purpose. I am certain it will be the same for you. In the meantime, be in the Lord's house with the Lord's people on the Lord's day. You belong there, and it's a reason to rejoice.

Your friend, and your fan, and fellow pig-slopper,