The Bible speaks to the qualifications of overseers and deacons, and also mentions that they are to be held to a higher standard than the rest of the congregation.

What Biblical basis exists, then, for the disqualification of those who are called to shepherd? Specifically, how to these align with the Biblical doctrines of repentance and forgiveness (if, say, a leader was repentant and sought forgiveness over a sin)?

  • 1
    Could you please explain what you understand by "disqualification"? Commented May 8, 2012 at 5:37
  • an interesting discussion on a similar theme: cogwriter.com/falseleaders.htm Commented May 8, 2012 at 6:29
  • My understanding of 'disqualification' is that a leader is no longer fit to serve in their current capacity because they no longer meet the biblical standard required.
    – fbrereto
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 7:01
  • @LoveTheFaith: In the United Methodist Church, it's called removal for cause. Every denomination will have its own rules for pastoral removal. Commented May 8, 2012 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


I think that you are confused about the purpose of the deacon or bishop ordination. They are not ordained for their own benefit, but for the benefit of all the church. Therefore it is important that they are not a reason for scandal and offence.

The fact that someone isn't found fit to be ordained as deacon, presbyter or bishop doesn't mean that he can't repent, is unforgiven etc.

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