Sorry you’ll have to Google this if you want to readily know what I’m talking about. You could cheat and use the source everyone disses yet uses http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donatist . Shakespeare’s play “Measure for Measure” also treats this ancient tension. I was treated on the Cyprian-Augustine side recently.
As Chrysostom says of the children on Palm Sunday singing the praises of Jesus that they attested Him “in a manner beyond their age” (The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 67.1), the youngest at our recent youth group campout proved to be wise beyond her years. On the second day at the campsite I saw this 10-year-old walking around barefoot. I said, “Mallory some idiot broke a beer bottle at the campfire last night, so don’t go walking around barefoot.”
She asked softly, “Were you the idiot?” And I admitted that I was. She replied, “I don’t care.” Thinking she was saying she didn’t care about a broken bottle and she would continue to go around barefoot, I said, “I can’t have you cutting your foot out here.”
She answered, “No I didn’t mean ‘I don’t care about the broken glass;’ I meant I don’t care if you are an idiot, you’re still my pastor.”
You can’t pay people to be this good of members. I’m not even sure you can teach wisdom such as this. I only know as long as you have members as wise as this little girl the office of the ministry is safe from the Novatianists and Donatists and maybe even from syondicalists.
I note that the young lady was also wise enough to realize that her pastor would use a phrase like ‘some idiot’ only in reference to himself. (Elders’ meetings not withstanding.)