Guest / Limited Access /
Should Pastors Be Required to Sign a Code of Ethics?
Should Pastors Be Required to Sign a Code of Ethics?

In June, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) released a code of ethics for pastors; early signatories include Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and Tim Keller. According to a recent NAE survey, 71 percent of evangelical leaders are not required to sign a code of ethics.

"Clergy intend to do the right thing, but—given the eroding moral standards of recent years in our country—in many instances there isn't adequate clarity and a strong enough sense of obligation to do what's right."

"Signing a biblical code of ethics can communicate needed specificity regarding the expectations of pastoral integrity, and can also serve as a solemn act of 'covenant making' between a pastor, God, and the people they serve."

"If churches and denominations require signing a code of ethics, they are bringing themselves in line with many professions, organizations, and industries. But of course, signing a code does not ensure compliance; ultimately that is a matter of one's heart."

"It is the moral responsibility of each congregation or denomination to require the highest ethical standards of its ministers. Where they are sluggish in doing so, pastors should take the initiative to develop and self-apply their own ethics code."

"Signing a code of ethics is a matter for local churches and ministers to decide, rather than making it a matter of compulsion."

"My hope is that we pastors will require it of ourselves, regardless of whether or not others demand it of us. I fear that requiring this across the board for all pastors may backfire, by securing only a notional, quasi-hypocritical commitment."

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedMark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
Mark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
(UPDATED) Driscoll offers 8-step solution to followers: 'Current climate is not healthy for me or for this church.'
TrendingLecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
(UPDATED) Performance with The Roots was the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
Editor's PickStudy: Where Are the Women Leading Evangelical Organizations?
Study: Where Are the Women Leading Evangelical Organizations?
That's the mystery the Gender Parity Project, whose results debut this weekend, sets out to solve.
Comments
Christianity Today
Should Pastors Be Required to Sign a Code of Ethics?
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.