Tuesday, April 04, 2017


Why I Tell Church Leaders How to Behave...

There has been quite a bit of discussion about spiritual disciplines and behavioral standards between Christian men and women because of the recent publicity given the Vice President over his guidelines.  Preachers often have heard of the Billy Graham rules.

Of course many non-believers are making fun of these rules for how to interact with the opposite sex.  But many believers also seem disturbed by them.  Some think they are legalistic.  Others think they reduce women to sex objects or men to little more than animals governed by their lust.  some even seem to think these rules keep women from being fully involved in ministry and church life.

Some even insist that spiritual disciples do not need these rules.

It does seem to me that in the rush to point out perceived problems with these rules, that some may not understand all the reasons so many of us use them.  And by the way, I strongly urge everyone to have a set of guidelines they follow and I am very concerned about church leaders (and even members) who insist they do not need them.

So I have followed my own set of strict rules now for several years.  I call them Ridgell Rules and I have taught them to many preachers and elders.  Most think they are wise and implement them.  Others seem offended and insist they will not be bound by them.  

I am not going to explain my rules in this post.  Maybe I'll do that later.  But just know they are basic things like not being alone with a woman other than family, letting my wife have access to all social media passwords, etc.  Similar to Pence and Graham.  

So here are the reasons I live by the Ridgell Rules and encourage others to do the same.

It protects me from temptation.  Some of us know our demons and want to ensure that we are protected.  But I know of so many instances where temptation ambushed one or both of the people involved.  Sometimes it becomes an emotional affair, which provides an opening for Satan to work.  Better to be on guard.  And I have never know anyone who got in trouble by following the rules.

It protects your flock.  In this day and age, how can someone feel safe at church?  One way is to protect them from situations that have potential for sin.  The leadership at churches that follow some set of rules like these are letting their flock know that they are absolutely safe.  The only way for someone to be in danger is for someone to intentionally violate the rules.  And if you publicize the guidelines/rules, then people know something is not quite right when someone wants to change them.

It protects you from false accusations.  It is hard to lie about what someone said or did when there was someone else there.  Nothing is worse than a "he said... she said" controversy.  And do not think people will not lie about you.

We have all known great leaders ambushed by temptation.  We have all known Christians hurt by leaders.  We have all known people falsely accused.

Living by a set of protective rules/guidelines seems wise to me.

So I do, I teach others to, and I am concerned about those that don't.

Protects you from temptation.  Protects your flock from leadership sin.  Protects you from false accusations.

Makes sense to me.


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