Thinking about "blameless"

Our church is in the midst of the Pastoral candidate process. This past Sunday, our prospective Senior Pastor answered questions for an hour. Many were very tough. One question pertained to the capstone qualification of the Bishop, "blameless".

Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:2, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach"

The Greek adjective (ἀνεπίλημπτος) is used just three times in the New Testament, all in 1 Timothy: usage. The meaning is basically this: "blameless, unrebukeable"


  1. What context was that question posed? Was there something in his past?

  2. There was a Q & A time from 4:30 to 5:30. I would guess 20-25 question were asked. Examples: Calvinism, versions, CCM, Piper/MacArthur, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

    The question of "blameless" was one of those.

    I wonder sometimes if I would be regarded as blameless. I know that in a previous church, one accused me of not being blameless.

    It certainly does not mean "perfect".

    Pastor Morrell is well qualified to Pastor - that I am sure of!

    Thanks for the question.


  3. JP, I think we could take a lesson from your former governor. (You're from Minnesota, right?) He was on Larry King and was asked about "being blameless" (although not those literal words) and about guys like Elliot Spitzer, etc. He gave a great answer that he knew he had a duty to the people and was always being watched and that people would want to take him down for any little thing he did. He said he was very careful about his language never to talk off-color, about how he acted, etc. He realized he was in a position of authority and never put himself in a position where it even appeared questionable. Overall he gave a great answer.

  4. My observation is that most churches have such high expectations for a pastor, that given enough time, one will be disappointed.

    He is just a man (Acts 14:14). Obviously one expects the Pastor to be of moral excellency!

  5. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I have always taken "blameless" in this context to basically mean to be morally upright in all of the big "moral" situations: sexually, honest with money, not a criminal, etc.

    People may disagree with other people on things like CCM, Piper, pants on women, etc., but still realize they are blameless. It's sort of like what the former governor was trying to say. People may not agree with his POLICIES, but at least in the way he carried out his duties, he tried his best to actually be and to appear to be blameless, whether or not you agreed with his policies.

  6. I would have to guess that "anon" is NOT talking about Jesse Ventura. :^) (Arne Carlson?)

    This is a tough one for me; how could I claim to be blameless in light of what the Sermon on the Mount says about sins of thought/motive being as if we'd physically committed murder or adultery? How could anyone?

  7. I submitted the question for two reasons:

    1) I was asked the same question at my ordination in 1992

    2) Sometimes people do not have a clear understanding of what being blameless means...

    Never hurts for clarification especially during this process..


Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic