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Elders -- Deacons -- Comparison of Elder/Deacon Qualifications

Compulsive Personalities -- Three Styles of Church Government -- Leadership Diagram


It has already been emphasized that it is very important that only Biblically qualified men become elders. Sometimes men who are dominate are installed rather than men who meet the qualifications. It has also been observed that men who exhibit the signs of a Compulsive Personality Disorder have become elders. A person with this disorder exhibits many of the following characteristics:

1. Stingy with emotions and material possessions.

2. Preoccupation with rules, efficiency, trivial details, procedures, or form that interferes with the ability to take a broad view of things.

3. Resistance to the authority of others and insistence that others conform to their way of doing things.

4. Importance is given to work and productivity over pleasure and interpersonal relationships.

5. Decisions are not made because of the fear of making a mistake.

6. The person is generally ineffective.

7. Speech is often circumstantial.

8. He/she is often depressed.

9. He/she is excessively conscientious, moralistic, scrupulous, and judgmental.

10. He/she is extremely sensitive to social criticism, especially if it is received by someone perceived to be socially inferior.

These qualities adapted from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition), often called DSM-III. The current edition is DSM-IV and it combines the Compulsive and Obsessive Personality Disorders because its editors believe compulsiveness and obsessiveness are generally observed together.

DSM-III is a "secular" reference and for that reason does not display a Christian worldview. However, the traits of the Complusive Personality Disorder are not honored in a Christian worldview. Note that many of the qualifications for an elder contrast with the traits of the disorder.

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