Thursday, January 29, 2015

When Your Pastor Sins

borrowed from Stephen Kim
  1. Outside of God’s grace, it could happen to us. We must always be vigilant in killing sin. We must diligently root out and kill lust in our hearts. “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (Cor. 10:12).
  2. Your church is right in calling for your pastor’s resignation if caught in sin. Pastoral leadership is a privilege—not a right. If your pastor commits adultery, he has violated 1 Timothy 3:2 and disqualified himself from the ministry.
  3. Grace is available to your pastor. Even in the wake of a heinous sin, your pastor can still run back to the foot of the cross. The blood of Jesus can cleanse adultery—even adultery committed by Christians.
  4. Disqualifying sins committed by spiritual leaders ought to be reprimanded in front of the full public view of the church. Why? Leaders are held to a higher standard—particularly elders/pastors. Listen to this: “But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning” (1 Tim. 5:20).
  5. Though forgiveness is available for your pastor, he must never be allowed to pastor again—anywhere. He is no longer above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2) and hence, he has disqualified himself from the pastorate.
  6. This is not the same issue as King David who committed adultery. If you think that the pastorate and a monarchy are somehow analogous, then there is a serious problem at your church. Pastoral ministry is a God-given calling and privilege—one that can be revoked and taken away.
  7. Theology matters. Not long ago, there was a conference where a well-known evangelical preacher was the main speaker. Several people were shocked at his inappropriate exegetical work. Essentially, he used a justification text for the purposes of sanctification. He went on and on about how, if the prodigal son was alive today, no matter how many times the son would re-lapse to parties and girls the Father would still give him a Ferrari (or some greater gift) upon his continual returns. Little did we know that this preacher was applying that sort of theology and view of holiness upon his own life. Let us never forget to strive to be holy as our God is holy, “for the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child” (Heb. 12:6).
  8. Your heart should go out to your pastor's wife and children (if they have any). Enough said.
  9. There is a certain lesson to be learned through vicarious living. In other words, the wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Fools make the same mistakes as those who’ve gone before them.
  10. Fear. God is holy. The Christian life (though it feels long) is really short. Ministry is a privilege. Family is a gift. The pastorate is a holy calling. And it could all be taken away in a moment—a moment of selfish indulgence.
O God, keep my heart. May I finish the race well by your grace alone!