IV. Duties toward Others CHAPTER 5 5 1[E] Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with complete purity. Rules for Widows. 3Honor widows who are truly widows. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let these first learn to perform their religious duty to their own family and to make recompense to their parents, for this is pleasing to God. 5The real widow, who is all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6But the one who is self–indulgent is dead while she lives. 7Command this, so that they may be irreproachable. 8And whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years old, married only once, 10with a reputation for good works, namely, that she has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the holy ones, helped those in distress, involved herself in every good work. 11But exclude younger widows, for when their sensuality estranges them from Christ, they want to marry 12and will incur condemnation for breaking their first pledge. 13And furthermore, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies as well, talking about things that ought not to be mentioned. 14So I would like younger widows to marry, have children, and manage a home, so as to give the adversary no pretext for maligning us. 15For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16If any woman believer[F] has widowed relatives, she must assist them; the church is not to be burdened, so that it will be able to help those who are truly widows. Rules for Presbyters. [G] 17Presbyters who preside well deserve double honor, especially those who toil in preaching and teaching. 18For the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is threshing,” and, “A worker deserves his pay.” 19Do not accept an accusation against a presbyter unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20Reprimand publicly those who do sin, so that the rest also will be afraid. 21I charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to keep these rules without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism. 22Do not lay hands too readily on anyone, and do not share in another’s sins. Keep yourself pure. 23Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 24Some people’s sins are public, preceding them to judgment; but other people are followed by their sins. 25Similarly, good works are also public; and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
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