June 29, 2012
Will You Sign the NAE Clergy Code of Ethics?
Rampant issues like plagiarism and pornography led the National Association of Evangelicals to address pastoral conduct.
Do you know the difference between right and wrong? If you don't, the National Association of Evangelicals is here to help. Luder Whitlock, chairman of the committee for the NAE that created the new clergy code of ethics, says we can no longer assume that pastors have not succumbed to moral ambiguity in the current culture.
The code, released earlier this week, focuses on trust, integrity, purity, fairness, and accountability. Read the full document at NAECodeofEthics.com.
David Neff, editor in chief of Christianity Today, interviewed Whitlock about the code. Here's an excerpt. Read the full interview here.
Neff: Why do clergy need a code of ethics? Won't they do the right thing if they are walking with the Lord?
Whitlock: Clergy intend to do the right thing, but given the eroding moral standards of recent years in our country, in many instances there isn't adequate clarity and a strong enough sense of obligation to what's right.
Pastors need to be paragons of moral integrity for other believers and examples of moral integrity to the world. As Chaucer put it, "If gold rust, what shall iron do?"
Leith Anderson, president of the NAE, deserves the credit for this code of ethics because he saw the need for it and organized a blue ribbon committee to produce a document to serve the evangelical world, not just one or two denominations. Evangelical organizations have no such written guide. The NAE has a widely accepted statement of faith and has produced statements regarding other issues like sexuality and the environment. This ethics statement was overdue.