Like many of you, I have been heartbroken over the news about some of our more “high profiled” pastors. For example, I opened up the Tampa Bay Times this past Sunday (April 8th edition) and the front-page headline read: Broken Trust—How Henry Lyons cheated a Tampa church and a wealthy charity. And a few weeks ago, Dr. Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago was accused of sexual misconduct. Furthermore, our own Dr. Frank Page, President and Chief Executive of the Southern Baptist Convention stepped down due to an admitted morally inappropriate relationship. The news about all three of these men has been made public in the past month.
Here are my thoughts…
>BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD… It’s by God’s grace that any of us aren’t marked by a “fall” of some kind during our lifetime. WE must never, ever, be quick to judge. And we certainly should never judge what we do not know. That is not our role! “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’” ~John 8:7
>CONFRONTING A FELLOW BELIEVER CAN BE APPROPRIATE… Have you seen the popular T-Shirt that says something to the effect of Who are you to judge me? Church discipline is taught in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Why? Ultimately, for restoration! Sometimes that occurs and sometimes it doesn’t. But just as Nathan confronted David, occasionally at the right moment, and at the right time, God may lead us to confront an erring fellow believer. “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ ~2 Samuel 12:13
>CONSEQUENCES ARE SURE TO FOLLOW MORAL FAILURE… I have witnessed minister friends be restored. Without fail, the consequences have been awful! (Read the full story of David) Some are back in full-time ministry. Some are not. A moral failure does not have to define a person. “… But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more.” ~Romans 5:20 Yes, the consequences are costly, but I do believe ministers can be restored.
>WE MUST PRAY FOR PASTORS AND CHURCHES TO BEAR THE IMAGE OF CHRIST… The Apostle Paul taught us to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Folks, Paul even asked believers to pray for him! (Ephesians 6:18-19) If Paul needed it, I certainly do, and you probably do too. Please pray for these minsters mentioned above and please pray for others. With social media and the evils of our day, we must be vigilant. THANK YOU!
A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. ~Ecclesiastes 7:1