I was recently comforting the widow of a good friend who recently passed away. The memorial service was held in a Buddhist church and as I surveyed the interior, I asked her whether her husband was a Buddhist. “No,” she replied. “He didn’t really believe. But his good friend asked him many years ago to serve on the church board. He didn’t want to do it but he did it for his friend. But he never attended the meetings.”
He did it for his friend.
I don’t know what the criteria for eligibility are to serve on this Buddhist church board, but I would not be surprised if belief in Buddhism would be very high, if not the highest, on that list.
As I pondered that answer, I thought about the Christian church. The Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy and Titus, outlined the criteria for Christian believers to serve as a deacon or elder in the church.
They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 3:9 (ESV)
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
Titus 1:9 (ESV)
Of the many criteria that Paul lists, these two stand out to me. Any Christian who is asked to be in a leadership or advisory position within the Church needs to be grounded in God’s Word.
Does your church hold their leadership and board to this high scrutiny? Are members on your board chosen because of their mature faith and godly example to others? Or do personal relationships, social status in the community, or their ability to contribute more in donations and talent, override any other spiritual concerns?
As Christians, we most hold firm to the highest standard of God. Friendships are important but this relationship should never supercede the importance of one’s relationship with God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.