Elders Serving After Sin


If someone has committed a public sin (eg an affair), are they eligible to be an office bearer in the future or do certain sins prohibit someone from serving in office for the rest of their lives? Or, in other words: Are there some cases in which a repentant member is barred from holding office because of a sin committed in the past, or must we always 'forgive' without any further consequences?

Looking for Biblical precedents. . . David sinned and was allowed to retain his kingship, but Moses sinned and was denied entry to the Promised Land. God has given the church the keys of the kingdom, so are there times when the church can forgive a brother, and yet state that due to his previous sin, it is not wise or advisable to allow him to be an office bearer?

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This is not an easy question. There is not time or space here to address it fully. It must be noted that Church leaders represent our Lord, their position gives them an authority and power, which can be used for great good, and can also cause great harm when misused. Therefore, we must hold officebearers to a high standard. That said, Church Order provides guidelines for reinstatement in Supplement, Article 84. For a more complete discussion, please see the Report to Synod 2016 that reviewed these related Articles.