God’s Winsome Watchmen in the PCA

What Dr. Lucas has proposed in place of the “watchmen-on-the-wall” mentality is a “trust-our-brothers” approach. Rather than being a watchman, be winsome (i.e., kind, gentle, and peaceable). But this is a dangerous false dilemma. Rather, we need watchman who are winsome. The third way here is that which incorporates the best features of both and strikes a faithfully biblical and truly Reformed balance. God Himself appoints watchmen, and it is God Himself who defines their vocation and describes what we might call their heart-profile. That profile includes zeal for truth, urgency in soul-winning, and sincere love for God and man. It absolutely excludes soul-destroying pride, pugnacity, or compromise on the eternal verities of God’s Law and Gospel.

God’s winsome watchmen on the walls do not come from a particular tribe, network, or affinity group within the Church. In the PCA, they include all ordained elders. In our Book of Church Order (BCO), elders are called, “both severally and jointly, to watch diligently over the flock committed to [their] charge, that no corruption of doctrine or of morals enter therein” (BCO 8-3). Individual members of the church will have occasion (e.g., as parents, employers, civil servants, community leaders, schoolteachers) to function as watchmen, and they must be winsome in that capacity. All those who take the Bible seriously – which should be all of us – are to be winsome watchmen in our families, various circles of influence, and communities.

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