If an elder commits adultery, does that disqualify him?


Hi brother,

Regarding the article Does divorce disqualify a man from being an elder? If an elder commits adultery, does this disqualify him? It appears, after considering the tenor of the whole of Scripture, that he needs to resign. His opinion is meaningless now. Based on the issue in total, he needs to be removed, as well.

Any assistance is appreciated.

Thank you,


Adultery is no different than any other sin. If an elder is guilty of continually lying, drunkenness, or sexual sins, then he cannot serve as an example to the church (Hebrews 13:7). Nor can anyone who remains in sin remain as a member of the church (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Thus, a man cannot serve as an elder in a church to which he is no longer a member.

However, elders are people. Like every Christian, they will stumble at times into sin (I John 1:8,10). Hopefully, elders will fall into sin less often because of their experience, but it is unreasonable to expect any elder to never sin. Like every other Christian, if they turn from their sins they can be forgiven (II Corinthians 7:10-11). When sin is forgiven it is left in the past. A forgiven sin does not make a man disqualified to serve as an elder.

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