Not Above Rebuke

An elder is supposed to be above reproach, not above rebuke. There is a big difference. If a elder cannot be challenged or even approached on an issue, he is essentially cutting himself off from the grace of corporate fellowship. His fellow elders, and indeed his congregation should be willing, able, and encouraged to protect him from building an impregnable wall of assistants and handlers. Elders are fellow flock. But this does not negate the need for respect. It is a direct order from God. As a result, our feelings and personal assessments are irrelevant. God put them there. God is intimately and uniquely offended if we disrespect the men he has placed in spiritual leadership over us. They are working very hard to admonish us with the will of God, and are diligent in that task. Does this exclude them from accountability. Absolutely not. In the end the judgment is more strict, not less.