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Failures in Ministry

I hold very stern opinions with regard to Christian men who have fallen into gross sin. I rejoice that they may be truly converted, and may be mingled with hope and caution received into the church; but I question, gravely question whether a man who has grossly sinned should be very readily restored to the pulpit. As John Angell James remarks, "When a preacher of righteousness has stood in the way of sinners, he should never again open his lips in the great congregation until his repentance is as notorious as his sin.? My belief is that we should be very slow to help back to the pulpit men, who having once been tried, have proved themselves to have too little grace to stand the crucial test of ministerial life.

Charles Spurgeon, quoted in Point Man, Steve Farrar, pp. 77-8