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A Code of Ethics for Pastors?

Code_of_Ethics_for_Pastors_Page_1It is a sad day when a para-church organization has to establish a code of ethics for pastors.  Unethical behavior among the clergy has become so widespread that the National Association of Evangelicals has written a “Code of Ethics for Pastors”.  They are the same folks who helped establish the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability back in 1979.  They are now working on a Code of Ethics for Churches.

The CoE advertises that it has been signed by such luminaries as Joel Hunter, Bill Hybels, Tim Keller,  Max Lucado, John Ortberg and Rick Warren.

Is this an appropriate thing for them to do? I am not asking about the problem, I am just asking if such a document is really useful and enforceable?  Are they are the proper ones to do that?  Are there not already codes of ethics out there?  Are the scriptures themselves and their instruction on Christian leadership not enough? 

I am not really sure how I feel about this.  What are your thoughts? 

You can download and read the text of the Code of Ethics here.

The Preacher

One Comments to “A Code of Ethics for Pastors?”

  1. I don’t know that this is an enforceable doc like the ECFA’s, but it certainly is an appropriate document to help Pastors and church leaders identify appropriate behavior for Pastors and other church staff. It looks very similar to some of the guidelines that we have in our staff handbook. It is dangerous for church leaders to assume that people coming into ministry have an understanding of what kind of behavior reflects a Biblical ethic. I personally like the way specific behaviors are identified in a scriptural context. Certainly it’s not the final word, but a good guideline. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Cal.

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