Yesterday I heard the sad news that a Pastor I keep up with lost his position at his church due to a moral failure…an affair. Let’s just say it. Last Sunday I heard of another Pastor that is an acquaintance that lost his position for the same reason. I walked in from church yesterday siked by the day, but saddened by the news I had recieved. My wife asked if their was an affair epedemic going around. Sad that is a legitimate question.
My prayers go out to both of those pastors. Both are good people with great churches. And both, using the systems of authority around them, have resigned from their lead pastor position (both of churches they planted) and are going through a healing process. Pray for the churches. Pray for the families. God’s grace is evident, but sin still has consequences.
Someone quipped yesterday that pastors shouldn’t have women personal assistances. Don’t think that would’ve helped Ted Haggard, who had a homosexual affair. My wife said they should be old ugly grandma’s. Hmmm. Maybe that would work. But honestly I think it is a failure of personal accountability and systems in place to prevent things like that from happening. Which brings me to the point of the whole blog post to begin with.
I’m sure there are some Pastors out there who are having affairs and getting away with it. Not many, but odds are it’s happening. But that isn’t the overwhelming problem in ministry. Let me ask a different question. How many Pastors are out there who, if they put their private life up on a screen, would be asked to resign their Pastorship? Now we’re getting somewhere.
Just throwing out random numbers, but I’d bet for every 1 Pastor who has a public moral failure, there are 2, maybe 3 who are having a private moral failure. Porn? Verbal abuse? Physical abuse? Neglecting their wife? Non-existent prayer life? Neglecting their kids? Lust? Emotional affairs? Filthy language? These issues are killing the church from the inside out and we need to hit them head on.
I think the only way to do this is to hold each other accountable. Have the guts to call out what you see. And if your a Pastor, for God’s sake put someone around you that you can say ANYTHING to without fear – someone who could tell you like it is and get you help before it’s too late. Open yourself up. Have some humility Know you aren’t superhuman.
And don’t think that just because your sin isn’t being shouted from the rooftop your not hurting anybody. If their is sin in the camp it is hurting EVERYBODY. It is hurting your ability to hear from God. It is hurting your ability to cast vision. It is hurting your ability to communicate the Gospel. And it is hurting yours and your church’s ability to reach people who need Christ. So your sin is causing people to end up in hell. Repent. Get some accountability. Be a man. And let’s fight satan’s plan to make the church impotent.