Jarrid Wilson’s Friend Dale Partridge Says People Struggling With Mental Illness Should Not be in Positions of Leadership

Jarrid Wilson. | Photo: Facebook

Dale Partridge, a pastor and house church planter and “true” friend of late California Pastor Jarrid Wilson, says Wilson had expressed a desire to step down from his high pressure role as associate pastor prior to his suicide.

Wilson was a pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, before his late-night suicide two Mondays ago.

Partridge also argued that it is “reckless” and unbiblical for churches to put someone in a position of leadership who is struggling mentally or has serious doubts about their faith.

“As we all have watched, men who are placed in shepherding roles at churches are committing suicide and public apostasy at an alarming frequency. These men did not have secret struggles, either. Nearly all of these recent tragedies were carried out by men who openly confessed their mental illness and doubts of doctrine. The million dollar question is this: Why are churches placing men, who are so candid about their current brokenness, in positions of leadership?” Partridge asked.

“The Bible gives us very clear instructions regarding the qualifications of a shepherd in the church (1 Tim 3 and Titus 1). They call for a man to be sober-minded, self-controlled, doctrinally sound, disciplined, tested, holy (the list goes on). Church, it is not accepting or tolerant or understanding or compassionate to hire a man to shepherd a flock of God’s people who is openly struggling with mental illness. It’s unbiblical, it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, and as we’re seeing, it’s an easy target for the enemy to [rain] down national tragedy on the church,” he continued.

 

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In war, killing a soldier is productive but killing an officer is victorious. The enemy clearly has an effective strategy in play. Somehow, we Christians forget that some of Satan’s best work is done in the church. As we all have watched, men who are placed in shepherding roles at churches are committing suicide and public apostasy at an alarming frequency. These men did not have secret struggles, either. Nearly all of these recent tragedies were carried out by men who openly confessed their mental illness and doubts of doctrine. The million dollar question is this: Why are churches placing men, who are so candid about their current brokenness, in positions of leadership? The Bible gives us very clear instructions regarding the qualifications of a shepherd in the church (1 Tim 3 and Titus 1). They call for a man to be sober-minded, self-controlled, doctrinally sound, disciplined, tested, holy (the list goes on). Church, it is not accepting or tolerant or understanding or compassionate to hire a man to shepherd a flock of God’s people who is openly struggling with mental illness. It’s unbiblical, it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, and as we’re seeing, it’s an easy target for the enemy to reign down national tragedy on the church. If your pastor has admitted to a state of mental illness he needs to be discipled not discipling others. He needs physical rest not intense spiritual labor. He needs privacy not publicity. He needs diligent prayer not overwhelming pressure. He needs to step down not be lifted up. When an officer falls many fall below. It brings confusion, doubt, fear and a litany of concerns to those beneath. God has given us clear instructions in Scripture that offer protection to His church. Every time we decide to break His commands, we only break ourselves. A pastor is not simply someone who is willing. A pastor is not simply someone who is gifted. A pastor is not simply someone who is educated. He is a man who meets all God’s qualifications. This is not legalism or biblical militancy. This is safety for God’s church. It’s time to wake up. [I have written an article bringing clarity to this post and it’s criticisms. Link in bio].

A post shared by Dale Partridge (@dalepartridge) on

“If your pastor has admitted to a state of mental illness he needs to be discipled not discipling others. He needs physical rest not intense spiritual labor. He needs privacy not publicity. He needs diligent prayer not overwhelming pressure. He needs to step down not be lifted up. When an officer falls many fall below. It brings confusion, doubt, fear and a litany of concerns to those beneath. God has given us clear instructions in Scripture that offer protection to His church. Every time we decide to break His commands, we only break ourselves. A pastor is not simply someone who is willing. A pastor is not simply someone who is gifted. A pastor is not simply someone who is educated. He is a man who meets all God’s qualifications. This is not legalism or biblical militancy. This is safety for God’s church. It’s time to wake up,” he said.

Partridge’s post, which has been liked nearly 7,000 times on Instagram alone as of Wednesday morning, quickly set off an ongoing debate on social media with many opposing and supportive responses.

“I’ve known JW since he was briefly on staff at High Point in Memphis. I hope your words encourage and prevent those from making this same choice,” replied Jamie Parker.

Dr. Therese, a licensed Christian clinical psychologist, self-care and personal development guru with Exploring Therapy in California, argued however that Partridge’s comments were coming from “a place of ignorance.”

“Dale, as a clinical psychologist and Christian who also served in ministry, I have to say that I think this post comes from a place of ignorance and furthers mental health stigma. In the US, almost half of all adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. That is because we live in a broken world. The church doesn’t need perfect pastors (they don’t exist) they need Pastors who are connected to God, love people, do the work needed to be healthy including getting help, and who recognize their own humanness and imperfection,” she wrote.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair