I've been following some (often less than civil) conversations about the character of pastors lately in which how morally upstanding a church leader should be expected to be is questioned. At several points, the interpretation of various Biblical sources was called into question -- something to the effect of "if this is to be interpreted literally it would disqualify lots of pastors. Obviously that wouldn't be God's intent, so we just re-examine our interpretation." Right off the bat, the hermeneutical principles I bring to the table call that nonsense -- instead it is the Biblical text itself that informs us of what outcome God would or would not have wanted. This leads me to believe that, given the premise of that statement, indeed many church leaders should be disqualified.
My question is what happens when we apply various standards to the first apostles? I know it is generally understood in most Christian circles that while 12 were originally called, it was understood that one was destined to play the traitor, leaving 11 apostles after Christ left. Among themselves they appointed a new 12th. We also know that at least some of them came from sketchy backgrounds where a few broken families and certainly some shady business practices are assumed. Tax collectors anybody?
So what do we know about the moral character of the apostles after Christ's ascension? As they went out into ministry, did they evidence the kind of upstanding moral character we might expect? Does scripture or history record of lieing/cheating/stealing in their "born again" lives? How about divorce? Did any of them go on to marry and then be unfaithful?
If the Scriptural record and history don't afford any concrete examples of unfaithfulness, what dirt did folks try to throw on them?