Our pastor used an illustration in a sermon to make an important point that we need to make sure we understand. Those that would seek to be in positions of spiritual leadership (or those that are in a place of spiritual leadership) need to realize that even though it may be lawful (in the scripture) to do certain things, that doesn’t always mean that the leader can do them.
The illustration is that of a triangle. At the bottom of the triangle are those with the most flexibleness as far as Christian liberty. They are able to do whatever the Bible does not forbid them to do for the grace of God because there is no one under them– no one that they are examples to, no one that looks to them for a Christlike life, etc. As you move toward the top, you see that you have fewer and fewer “rights” as your position in leadership grows higher. This is because the higher you go, the more people look to you for a standard of godliness. Because people have multiple opinions about what it acccepted and labelled as sin in Scripture, you have to exemplify all that is good and shun all that is evil.
This is important to realize for those of us that look to a leader. We should not be quick to condemn the leaders we have, as they have more of a burden on them– and more of a responsibility before God. Certainly this is not a blanket permission to sin, but be more thankful of that man or woman that is your spiritual leader and think about the microscope they are under to be leaders that do right with so many people with so many different standards to live up to!