SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AMONG CHURCH LEADERS – Part 2


Sexual misconduct. One of the most devastating thing that can happen to a church is for one of its leaders (minister, youth minister, elder, pastor) to get caught in a sexual relationship outside his marriage. When this does take place churches feel betrayed, victims/survivors are often misunderstood and the families of all involved suffer greatly.

If you think it couldn’t happen in your church, ask the congregation at Westminster Presbyterian in Minneapolis. Their senior and associate ministers both had sexual affairs. Both were married. Sooner or later every church may have to deal with someone in leadership who falls into sin and has an extramarital affair.

John Ortberg has written that clergy sexual misconduct is the result of four factors: lack of awareness of vulnerability, lack of accountability, spiritual warfare, and spiritual dryness. But the issue on this blog today is not why it happens but “what do we do” when it happens.

Who gets hurt when this happens?

  • God
  • The person the minister is involved with
  • The minister
  • The families of both parties
  • The minister’s wife
  • The other person’s spouse
  • The minister’s children
  • The other person’s children
  • The church
  • Our testimony & witness for Christ
  • Our faith & trust

When a sexual offense occurs, we have a number of issues to deal with.

  • The spiritual, mental, and emotional health of the victim/other person and their family.
  • Maintaining the unity of the marriages and families involved, both the minister’s and the victim’s/other person.
  • The health of the church.
  • Developing an attitude of confession and repentance on the part of the persons involved.
  • The restoration of a growing relationship with Christ.
  • Restoration to fellowship and acceptance in the Body of Christ.

For restoration to take place it takes such things as confrontation, confession, repentance, personal counseling, marriage or family counseling, and accountability groups.

What’s a church to do and not do?

  1. Don’t think the plan to fix this is fire the preacher and sweep the event under the rug. You can’t pretend like it never happened. Allow the members to speak about what’s on their heart.
  2. Be willing to forgive. This will be a test of the church’s ability to forgive. If they understand God’s ability to forgive them, then they’ll be able to forgive others. Also, understand that when I say forgive, it doesn’t mean you condone or agree with what has been done. It will take a while (a long while) for a church to put it behind them.
  3. Be concerned about the souls of the individuals. Spiritual restoration is the goal, not how quickly can you get this problem behind you.

What’s a minister, youth minister, elder or leader to do to keep this from happening?

  1. Be Aware. Every minister needs to realize they are always at risk to cross that boundary into the forbidden zone every day. Never counsel alone or be alone with another person of the opposite sex. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
  2. Know warning signs and be aware of your boundaries.
  3. Accountability. Be accountable to someone. If you’re married, be accountable to your wife. Tell her where you’ve been, where you’re going and who will be there. If you’re single, be accountable to another minister.

I really didn’t plan for this post to answer a lot of questions, but more to spark our comments and thoughts that we post. In that, I know we will be able to find some things we can use.

So, want to share some thoughts with us ?

(For more information on this subject and helpful links: Click Here)

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
95 Comments Post a Comment
  1. TREY MORGAN says:

    Neva, I love your wisdom and your grace. I also believe I could worship with a person who had made a mistake. I’ve befriended lots of people who’ve made mistakes. And none of theirs worse than mine.

    I believe with some time for water to run under the bridge, I would not have a problem with a man preaching or teaching again. I think his openness and honesty would always need to be there.

  2. Laymond says:

    I have absolutly no problem with worshiping with sinners, I do it every Sunday. But I do have a problen with following a hypocrit, and having my family following a preacher who is giving a sermon on adultry all the while commiting that very sin. We put up with enough of that behavior in our politics, I just want my spiritual leader to be more truthful. and Paul did not forgive everyone. I forgive but forgetting is a little harder. what about the other person who was involved and all the damage caused by such indescretions. there is a lot of mending to do in a situation like this. well I believe people know that I do not approve of such actions. and the second bite did not refer to forgiveness just leadership in Christ’s Church. If I had a person who embezzled funds from my company, I could forgive them but do you think I could trust then in that position again.no !!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been reading this discussion with much interest. I have decided after much thought, to weigh in on the topic.
    I grew up a preacher’s daughter and all I ever wanted to be was a preachers wife. In 1965 I married the man of my dreams. We went to preaching school together, were hired right after graduation and began a life together. We’d been married ten years, preaching at the same congregation for seven when our life started falling apart. My husband came to me to tell me he had been unfaithful. He’d had a liaison with a young college age woman. Although he’d broken it off, now a month later the young woman was pregnant. it was a very rough night, I screamed and cried and ranted and raved and even threatened. He sat with his head in his hands and cried. That was on Thursday. Friday night we had all five of our elders and the wives over. My husband confessed his sin to them and offered his resignation. They refused it. We all prayed and cried all night long. The elders decided to give my husband a six month sabbatical to get counseling and whatever else he needed. Sunday morning came and one of the elders preached. During the invitation my husband with me by his side came forward. To our surprise all five elders and their wives came down the aisle with us. The church was very silent as my husband tearfully confessed his sins before them, begging them for forgiveness and help. The rest of the day was a blur but we were surrounded by church family hugging and weeping and praying for us. My parents had a small cabin out of state and we went to stay there for the six months. We began getting therapy and working on forgiveness, me forgiving him and him forgiving himself. Meanwhile back home, the elders and the men took turns preaching and filling in other duties. Our checks were still deposited.
    After our six months we returned –and again met with the elders on Friday night. On Sunday my husband once again filled that pulpit. The church had a welcome home party for us afterward. My husband preached there for 19 more years.
    The young woman did not want the child and surrendered her parental rights. We raised this beautiful child and later added two of our own. After our children were grown, this same congregation blessed us by supporting us on a mission field. We planted eleven congregations during the next 11 years and baptized many. I am so grateful that this congregation of almost two hundred were and are the kind of christians they still are. Not one of them condemned my husband. The elders did monitor him more closely the next few years and yes, I struggled with wondering and questioning him when he was even a few minutes late. It wasn’t too long, though before the evidence showed that was not necessary. My husband was given a second chance and because of that many others were given a first chance to hear the gospel. Our girls, all three are married to gospel preachers. We are very proud of them and they are proud of their father. We have recently returned home to retire. We have grown from this unpleasant experience and are very grateful for the kind of congregation that helped us do that. Today my huaband is an amazing man, a man above reproach who loves the Lord more than anything in the world. He is humble, gentle and very forgiving.
    Just had to let you know how much even sinners have to offer.
    Thank you for letting me share this.
    a blest wife

  4. TREY MORGAN says:

    blessed wife,

    Thanks for sharing you heart. I know it was not easy to write what you did. I felt your love and your pain. I pray that others will find your comment and read it. I’m thankful for 2nd 3rd and so, chances … I need them all.

    Blessings,

    Trey

  5. Laymond says:

    Anon- this is truly a sad story with a happy ending for the one who committed the adultry. and told from the point of those who benifited from the elders’ ruleing. but no one can tell the damage done by not only the act but the ruleing of that eldership. what about the impressable ones who said if it is good enough for a preacher, why not me? what about the young lady who gave up her child I noticed this story was one sided all about the preacher and his family that could be construed as a selfish attitude and point of view. I have no idea just why the elders made the ruleing they did, nor what church you are a member of, but I doubt “The Church of Christ” would see it the same way.
    May God bless

  6. TREY MORGAN says:

    Personally, I’m glad to see a happy ending for a change.

  7. Laymond says:

    Trey; the point is you didn’t see the ending, we won’t see that ending here. If you can vouch for the soul of another and guarantee this never happened again, then we have only a partial happy ending. we need to know there are consquences for such things and not limited only to those who instigated the original offence.

  8. lisa leichner says:

    I am really touched by your story, Blessed Wife. I am thankful that your husband was able to receive forgiveness from the church, because that no doubt helped you reach forgiveness as well.

    I can see where someone being realistic or even cynical might believe that this kind of story could not possibly be true in the world we live today, but I believe this is what God would want for us. I believe God was very pleased with the congregation that chose to forgive and help restore this fallen minister.

  9. Anonymous says:

    a blest wife,

    I would definitely be interested in hearing what “religious group” supported you and your husband the way you described in your story. Because as laymond pointed out that type of attitude is rare in the churches of Christ. For some reason we tend to be more judgmental and not as quick to forgive — a truly sad commentary considering what we claim to be!

    I agree with you laymond, how sad it would be for an impressionable soul to see forgiveness extended to a sinner and the church family surrounding him and his wife and showing them the type of love and support they needed to get through such a difficult time. God forgive that eldership and congregation for extending forgiveness and support to sinners!

    Just think, if that type of sad behavior took place with each sin, each adultrous act ever committed, that impressionable soul might see more marriages surving and the divorce rate going down rather than climbing. That impressionable soul might see people serving Jesus rather than the stained-glass masquerade taking place in most churches today.

    Can anyone imagine a church where penitent sinners are embraced rather than doubted and treated with skepticism? Almost sounds biblical, and is definitely different that what we see practiced in today’s world.

    Sarcasm, yes, very much so.

    Lord, forgive us for our lack of forgiving others and our inability to trust you to change lifes and make a difference in this world.

  10. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Blessed wife,
    I am also so greatful that you saw such love from your congregation. It says so much about them. I know this is a one-sided report and you could only give a minimal of details to keep it brief. I am sure from your words that they did not condone the sin. As a preacher I hear so many congregations that are not like that. It is sad we are not the body we should be sometimes. When we hear such good news we should cheer.

    It is so hard to accept what we teach about the priesthood of all believers. As leaders we are expected to practice what we preach, but we do sin. Yesterday I discovered I made a mistake. I told an untruth. It might seem like a lie to some or might seem like no big deal to another person. The truth is I will need to go and try to make things right. We all miss the mark. Now my error is seen differently. We have degrees of sin. I’m not saying that we can do whatever and grace covers us, but I get tired of people acking like they don’t sin. Grace does not cover that. Rev 21:8 says liars will burn in hell. As we grow in Christ we should sin less but we all sin. The consequences may come and some may be more severe. But why do we try to place burdens on others. We should be walking in the light not trying to shine our candles looking to find someone not on our path. Jesus is the light we simply reflect His glory. Heaven help me if I think it is about me and how good I am. John tells me to confess my sin and walk with Him.
    Terey, sorry if I take too much space but if I sound too passionate maybve it is time we did.

    James

  11. Neva says:

    Anonymous,
    All I can say is “AMEN”!!!
    Maybe it is time we start teaching by living it rather than just speaking it. The consequences of such actions on the part of the eldership, well I bet this is a congregation that practices confession, where the members aren’t afraid to confess their sins to one another, not afraid to ask for prayers–I think that is cool. We dont know what the elders were teaching while the minister was gone—perhaps they were teaching that adultery is never okay and it always has severe consequences. As far as being one-sided–all stories are one sided. But, perhaps the elders worked with the young woman also. We cannot judge those elders for leading in a way they felt Jesus led. We dont know the whole story but we also dont know what the total impact is of my lies, or gossip or ___________ (you fill in the blank). Blest wife, I said a prayer for you today–I am so grateful for your testimony.
    Laymond, I prayed for you, too.
    Peace
    Neva

  12. TREY MORGAN says:

    Amen Neva…

    Let me say it again… It’s good to hear a good thing come out of a very bad situation.

  13. Laymond says:

    Thanks Neva, I need all the prayers I can get thank you again, I hope you didn’t pray for me because I was judgemental, because that might cause you to be seen as judgemental.

    My last word on this subject. Yes the Lord said we are to forgive a sinner, but please show me where he tells us to reward that sinner.

  14. Neva says:

    Actually Laymond, I pray the same thing for you that I pray for all of us that we might more correctly discern His Word, that we might more brightly show His love and that we might more boldy share His Gospel.

    Peace
    Neva

  15. Chris (formerly anonymous) says:

    I may be mistaken, but didn’t the father of the prodigal son run out to meet him, kiss and hug him, wrap a robe around him, put the family ring on his finger, kill the fatted calf and welcome his son home????

    Wasn’t it the son that stayed that sat outside and pouted and said, father I don’t understand why you are blessing (rewarding) him and not me, after all, I was the one who stayed home and remained faithful???

    I think sometimes we fail to count all the way to 490 (seventy times seven) in our forgiveness of others. We want to forgive based on how severe we see the sin compared to others.

    Consequences and forgiveness are two different things. Forgiveness is a command, something our forgiveness is dependent on. Consequences are the natural outflow of sin and happen no matter whether we seek forgiveness or not. Please don’t confuse the two.

  16. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Chris,
    Thank you for your willingness to share. Yes we are in dire need of forgiveness and a forgiving attitude. Again, thank you.
    James

  17. Marie says:

    It is quite ironic that since this post I have had the pleasure of hearing 3 lessons on redemption! My how everything sunk in for me this weekend!

    Blessed Wife- Thank you for sharing your story. As much as you and your family has gone through, it is a true blessing that the Lord worked with in you, your family and with in the church you attend. May God continue to bless you and the ministry that you serve in.

    Laymond- I grew up in the “The Church of Christ”- born and raised. I never attended a church where anyone was welcomed down the isle. That was only the thing to do when wanting to be baptized, or to confess your sins. When it was the latter one, no one came up to you to support you and show you love. People came up to you afterwards to shake your hand and say they will pray. Since we have moved, we have been visiting different churches. We have been to one church of Christ that we actually saw members come forward in support of the person or couple. The whole church praised that they came forward to bear their burden. The one we are at now they do the same. Maybe it was not the “Church of Christ”. But maybe it is that time now. I feel it is time for all Christians, no matter the denomination, to stand up and help support the ones who stand up to confess their wrong doings. To show God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. And maybe we can try to forget. I once heard that God forgives, then forgets. If only we were not blessed with the memory of elephants! My how much more forgiving we might be. I don’t know whether the young lady in the story received help. I am hoping so. And maybe people were effected, hopefully with the fact that they learned all men (and women) sin, regardless of status. They learned about forgiveness and redemption.

    As a body of Christ, no matter the denomination, we are called to be like him. There was ONE Holy man. As much as we strive to be like him, we will fail, because of our human nature. It doesn’t mean we stop striving. We get up and try again. The Lord knows that we will fail. That is where mercy and grace come in. I know there are days I become prideful and become arrogant about others situations. Pretending that I have the right to judge them, their situations, their walk with the Lord. At those moments, I am Satan- prideful, judgemental, arrogant. Instead of being humble, patient, loving, joyous at a sinners remorse- being Christ-like, I stew in my sin. I may not even recognize that I am doing it. My point of this long winded response is- We are all sinners, some more so than others. We have all been forgiven by our Lord- possibly not by man, but on those days I am being manhandled by Satan, I sure pray that I am not held accountable for the way I judge them and I can be forgive in my unbelief

  18. TREY MORGAN says:

    Chris – Thanks for sharing. Glad you came our way.

    Marie – love your heart.

  19. Laymond says:

    OK I didn’t have my fingers crossed or anything when I said last comment, so I guess I lied but there has been so many questionable things said here I could not move on.
    #1 the prodical son- A sin against the father, the Father only has the right to forgive.
    #2 The sin of adultry is a sin against the Father, only God has the right to forgive.
    #3 yes we are told to forgive our brother, when we are personally wronged.
    #4 we cannot forgive sin, if we could why did Jesus die.
    #5 It is so easy to say I forgive you that sin, when we cannot do such a thing. (Unless you are a catholic father)
    so having said that I do believe this preacher (if he was truly repentant and quit his sinning ways and asked God for forgiveness) was forgiven by God and will not be denied his reward in heaven. If you notice I said I believe. But I cannot forgive this man for a wrong not committed against me. and neither can you.

  20. Laymond says:

    Hey Trey 69 comments, I thought I should make it an even 70. You might consider bringing up abortion and gay marriage next, I bet the forgiveness thing will go way down.

  21. TREY MORGAN says:

    Laymond,

    I can forgive him. I’d always rather err on the side of being to gracious.

    And I forgive you for posting after you said you’d longer post on this subject.

  22. Brian Nicklaus says:

    I keep forgetting to mention that the Winter 2006 edition of Leadership Magazine is dedicated to sex, christian view of sex, sexual sin, fallen ministers, etc.

    great articles, if you can get a copy

  23. Marie says:

    Laymond,

    We cannot forgive the sin, yes- that is God’s job. But I think we can forgive the sinner. His/her sins may not effect us personally, but as you can tell from all the comments, it does in some way cause us to reflect on either our beliefs or what we would do or how we would feel faced with it. I personally do not know someone that has dealt with adultry. But upon hearing about some through the comments I can pray for them, for the Lord to forgive them and for me to forgive them. Maybe a better term for me to use is not to judge them.

    If you do know a person, they did not commit a sin against you, but with in your church. Do you not feel wronged? Would you not be effected? Then would you still have nothing to forgive? Maybe I think to broad on forgiveness, but as Trey pointed out, I would rather err on the side of being to gracious.

    Also please do not think I am blasting anyone on here. Sometimes words can be taken in a whole other tone than in which they were typed! I’m just trying to figure things out.

  24. Chris (formerly anonymous) says:

    laymond,

    You have made an incredible point, but you have missed the very lesson you intended to impart to us.

    You are correct, only God can forgive sin. Yet, if God forgives a penitent person of sin, even adultery, who are we to hold that sin against him? Shouldn’t we be ready and willing to accept into fellowship anyone God has forgiven?

    If someone commits adultery, and in penitence approaches God for forgiveness, and in the same penitent spirit confesses his sin to the church, should the church hold it against him even though God has forgiven him?

    I mean, I honestly don’t understand where you are coming from. Therefore, please explain your difficulty in forgiving someone who has so sinned.

  25. Chris (formerly anonymous) says:

    now, i understand the concept of consequences following our sins, even the Bible mentioned the sins of the father having consequences to the third and fourth generations. but, forgiveness and consequences are totally different things.

    the preacher spoken of earlier who committed adultery, confessed his sin to his wife, elders and God demonstrated his understanding of the consequences to follow by offering his resignation. and, in all honesty, what he deserved was for the elders to say we accept because your influence will be destroyed because of your poor choices. however, what they did was demonstrate the grace of God by giving him what he needed, not what he deserved. the lesson these elders presented to the church and the community was a powerful demonstration of God’s love and grace.

    I pray that more of us could be like this.

    And, concerning your last comment about abortion and gay marriage and the forgiveness level dropping, I would dare say that the spirit of forgiveness would not drop. But, consider at least one thing — the person in the story above repented of his sinful action, put it away. If one repents of abortion, then for us to hold it against them and not have an attitude of acceptance is sinful on our part. And, if one renounces the homosexual lifestyle, approaches God for the forgiveness he offers and becomes a Christian those of us who do not welcome them to the family and treat them like a forgiven brother will be in danger of being lost.

  26. Laymond says:

    Marie; I believe you are right as far as you go. we are not challenged by God to Judge sin nor forgive sin, if we read fully the bible we will see that this atthority is God’s alone. that said we do judge people every day. example if you were in charge of hiring people for a business, would you not examine the applicants as to their qualification for that job, if not you would not be qualified for your job. The same applies to the elders of a church, they are not to judge sin, they are to judge qualification. and I believe these elders made the wrong choice.
    I attended a CoC where the preacher quit/resigned the reason does not apply to discussion.
    but the elder search does It took a full year to find a qulified preacher for the congregation should they have just accepted the first applicant and whatever disqualified him. or do you think a background search is called for?

  27. Laymond says:

    Chris I really don’t understand how what I say cannot be understood. ” you say should we accept a forgiven repentant back into fellowship” “ABSOLUTLY” back into leadership “NO” If this person were to go somewhere else to preach “with full discloser” how long do you think they would be out of work? I don’t understand why the difference in fellowship, and leadership is not comming across. My fault I’m sure and I apoligize.

  28. Marie says:

    I agree we judge people everyday- I am guilty of that. It is something I try not to do mainly because I know it is wrong. In Matthew 7:1-6 it discusses that very point. How ever I judge someone I will be judged in that same way. I cannot look at my brother or sister and point out every sin and wrong doing in their lives with out first taking care of my own. That makes me a hypocrite if I do. (Please know I am not calling you one!) I should not judge by appearances and sins alone- I have to look at the whole person, past present and future

    I have a hard time separating forgiveness and love. There are 2 verses that I want to share and I will put in my 2 cents and leave it there:
    2 Chronicles 7:14
    “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” OK granted this is where the Lord appears to Solomon, God is giving Solomon and the Israelites the ingredients for renewal and blessings.
    Colossians 3:13-14
    “Bear with each other and forgive what ever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” No matter if it is only frustrations over another’s sin- if it is grieving your heart, God requires that we forgive one another. To me this says that the Lord has forgiven me of my many sins, and in turn I should bestow my forgiveness as God did for me. Part of showing love for another person is forgiving anything that gets in the way, working through it so you can love unconditionally.

    To answer your question. Each church has needs and wants in a preacher. I think it is up to the elders how they go about the process of finding a preacher as long as they have the blessing from the church. I personally believe that the church should be involved in the process. If there is a qualified applicant who might have a shady or sinful background then it needs to be placed before the church- not to give way to gossip, but to allow the church to voice their opinions so the elders can make a more informed decision.

  29. Laymond says:

    Do we expect more of man than we should when it comes to forgiveness, and there again is the element of trust. I will let Job ask the question and you can answer.
    Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
    Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.

  30. Chris (formerly anonymous) says:

    laymond,

    it really concerns me that ministry has become such a business like aspect of the church that situations as the one mentioned earlier are the exception to the rule.

    i would be interested in knowing which sins you feel, in your opinion, would not disqualify a misiter/leader where you attend. is there a sin that one can commit and not need to step down from a leadership position at your place of worship?

    lying? stealing? gossip? pornography? drunkenness?

    and, how do you determine which sins would require stepping down and which ones would not?

    I am really curious.

    Now, please understand me, I was a minister. I had an affair. I resigned. My sin broke apart two homes. I left the church for 4 years. Now, through study, prayer, and support from a loving church family, I have returned to the Lord.

    Do I think I could become involved in ministry again? Yes, I believe forgiveness would allow me to do so in some capacity. Does that mean that I need to be a located preacher again? Right now, I don’t think I need to be. If God opens the door for me to do so at some point, who am I to tell him no?

    Anyways, I certainly hope I am not coming across with a sinful attitude. I have made my mistake, it wasn’t and hasn’t been a lifestyle, it was a sinful choice. Good, honest, sincere men make bad choices which are not indicative of their life direction. They stumble and fall because they are not God, they are human.

  31. Chris (formerly anonymous) says:

    and, one more thought.

    what are the qualification, if you will, for one to be a minister of the gospel?

  32. TREY MORGAN says:

    Chris,

    Thankfully the qualifications are not being sinless. Or I wouldn’t be one. I’m glad you’re allowing God to open doors of ministry in your life.

    Blessings…

  33. Laymond says:

    Chris; I don’t see any qualifications listed in the bible, but we have an example in Paul. Yes I know of Pauls history before his conversion. I am not speaking of any man’s previous life before becoming a Christian. But Paul gave qualifications for elders and deacons why would we put a lesser qualified man in the pulpit before the congregation two or three times a week than the men that care for the church behind the scenes. The preacher is usually the face of the church. the elders and deacons are the hands. should we wash our hands and leave our face dirty.?

    (Man Trey was I wrong about last comment sorry)

  34. The Preacher's Household: says:

    The question was raised about leadership. As a minister, and the son of a minister I have already acknowledged I/ministers sin. How does that discredit me? I’m not saying it doesn’t, it might. The discussion has turned to qualifications. Laymond I agree we should be considered in light of Paul’s teaching about other leaders. BUT, I have seen these abused. These are not a checklist. There is a spirit of the law versus a letter of the law. Some have become so concerned about appearance that travesties occur. There was an Elder one time who had been an invetor in a business not in the city he lived in. The business went belly up. The elder resigned because someone might say something about his reputation. I know a man who could not serve as an elder because he did not have believing children. He only had one child. Another who could not because he was not the husband of one wife. He had been an elder for many years. His wife died and he later remarried. He had two wives so he could not serve. I could continue but don’t want to seem up on a soap-box. It is tragic. Yes we need to consider the qualifications of our leaders. I appreciate my wife’s commments about trust. But how long do we stay distrustful. I dare say I could disqualify any elder if I wanted to and the same goes for us preachers.
    James

  35. Chris (formerly anonymous) says:

    I think all would agree that there are a number of issues to be considered when discussing something of this nature.

    Certainly, we must never overlook sin or condone sinful lifestyles. We must be strong in our stance against evil and ever seeking to deliver those entangled in Satan’s grasp.

    Yet, and more importantly, we must never forget God and his desire to save mankind, exhibited in the cross of Jesus and the shedding of his blood.

    And, yes, Paul was a reciepient of that wonderful grace. He was a man aware that he was a sinner, self-proclaimed as worst of all sinners, saved by the grace of God and given a mission to the lost. Yet, he was one who openly admitted to struggling with the appetite of the flesh. He said, the very thing I don’t want to do, is the very thing I find myself doing.

    He was a human, saved by grace, ministering the gospel to the lost, struggling daily with sin, yet pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He hadn’t arrived, he wasn’t perfect, but he was pressing on.

    I am convinced that pressing on implies overcoming through Jesus the sins that beset us. Realizing that we aren’t perfect, but the one we serve is. Relying not on our own strength, but on his and the grace of our Father to get us through and make us complete.

    Can sin damage our influence? Yes. Can our sin damage the influence of a church? Yes. Can godly love and grace extended to sinners show God to this world and help restore influence? Yes, especially to those hurting, lost in sin, and seeking God.

    May those of us who call ourselves christians examine our hearts and motives and live our faith before others so that they may see and glorify God.

  36. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Chris,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I can tell by your words that you were a great preacher and I can see by your words that you are now a great minister to anyone. I think it would be easy for me to quickly gain trust that you are seeking God and are now trying to truly do His will. You are welcome in my home (or in my blog discussions) anytime.
    Laymond,
    I am sure if I got to know you, that I would come to appreciate your faith as well. I do think it would be harder for me to learn to trust you than Chris because I have been hurt by people like you several times before. Infact, my biggest heart ache is because of the many years my Dad has loved God but not been able to worship with his hometown church because of the heart break that the hypocracy of its members caused him. It has taken me several years to help him heal. We do all need to forgive and we all need forgiveness from God and each other.

  37. Laymond says:

    James; I am not asking you to see things as I do, I am only answering questions posed to me by others. as a matter of fact I left and was called back, and if you did get to know me you would first know that I am not one to run when confronted. As I have taught my children and grandchildren “Life ain’t easy” every decision you will make should not be the easy one. If you always take the easy road you will find it to be wide, and crowded with others who have chosen the easy way. If you decide to make the hard decisions you may find the road narrow and lonely, but right. I understand you have been shaped by life and you still have issues you should pray on, because evidently you have not found the answer to WHY. Look at the last thing you said to me. I believe events have hardened your heart toward those who you believe wronged your dad, and you don’t trust anyone who disagrees with you and him, This is my belief also untill you can accept the past you can not look forward to the future. I believe you said you are now a preacher of God’s word, as long as you carry the heavy load you are carrying, I don’t see how you can bear the load of others. I pray your burdens will be lifted. may God bless.

  38. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Sorry Trey, I forgot to sign my name. Laymond, the last post was from me not James. James father is a gospel preacher. Your comments are addressed to me, not him as he did not have anything to do with my last comment.
    I forgave the people that harmed him long ago and developed precious relationships with the ones that were still alive after I became a Christian.
    I was simply saying that it is harder to trust some people because they say comments like you just addressed to James (me) instead of being an edifier. Your comment proved my point – thanks!
    KATHY

    Laymond, as her husband I love my wife and you need to be careful how you speak to her. It was a mistake that she did not sign her name but you should be able to notice from the conversation she and I both post comments. Be careful.

    As for the questions / issues you brought up. She has figured out the why. She stated it clearly. Hypocrisy! It was more than the standard ‘these people are just a bunch of hypocrites’. It was the leadership of the church. They would stand up on Sunday and denounce drinking and then go to the bars all week. Note: they changed and both my father-in-law and Kathy have grown as well.

    Her main point you missed. Addressing leadership and her following, she had already commented about trusting them. She was expressing part of how a man in leadership might foster trust. She recognized your faith. She was just unsure how long it would take to get to that point.
    She wrote:
    “I am sure if I got to know you, that I would come to appreciate your faith as well. I do think it would be harder for me to learn to trust you”.

    “A gentle answer turns away wrath” Prov 15:1

    Yes, we have to take a stand at times. I learned long ago I have to decide what hills are worth dying for.

    Our blog is a family affair. We had a discussion at supper last night about being friends with others. We would welcome you into our home and would look forward to getting to know you. Just as we have to gently correct my children’s friends if they are not playing nicely, we would politely ask you not to be harsh if you were out of line.

    Josh would like to just say something like they aren’t my friends. But he needs to learn to be friendly and reach out to others. He can’t just be friends with the easy people. The other kids need his friendhip and so does everyone. We have to give everyone a chance.
    James

    Trey, excuse me if you think I am inappropriate but this is the forum I have.

  39. Laymond says:

    James I don’t believe I missed anything, looks like you both might have issues to deal with.
    I will pray for you although I would not consider visiting.

  40. TREY MORGAN says:

    Sometimes we get to the point that we have to agree to disagree and then go on.

    Maybe it’s time to do that on this post about this subject.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Will there be a part 3? Seems this one got a little hot!

  42. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anon … I may have to see what I can do about a #3. :)

    I do believe we grow when we discuss, share and even sometimes disagree. Often with out conflict there can be no growth.

    Blessings…

  43. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey,
    Peace! and I hope we grow. I constantly try to grow. Agreeing to disagree can be good but it is also good to “speak the truth in love”. I hope We are doing that. I ask in jest on another blog if the people who are busy writing up/marking others are the majority. I am tired of the negative. I listen to all voices. The books in my library would shock at least some. But as I said,attitude is so important.
    James

  44. Anonymous says:

    Trey,
    I am dealing with the fact that while working out of town for a six month assignment, my wife, a member of the worship team, both had an affair with the worship team leader, but was also in an abusive relationship with that worship team leader. He and his wife were our best friends, and together, we shared several years of active leadership in the Church as well as them being dear and close friends. Our children were growing up in the church together too. While I was gone, they were such a help with my family, yet just weeks after I had started being gone during the week days, He and my wife started an emotional and sexual affair, that did not include the final act of Intercourse, of which he repeatedly told my wife that because of that, what they were doing was not really “cheating”. My wife was also very succeptable to his advances due to a closed head injury that she had suffered two years earlier. This leader, was even involved in manipulating and pressuring her to increase her dosages of medicine and what to say to her Doctor. Before worship leader, he was the Moderator, the highest elected leader and by far, the most influencial leader of our church. When I found out, he immediately resigned and left, blaiming others for pushing him out due to increased changes he was directing for a new pastor that we had called while he was the Moderator. The church was about to split, and he was on the weaker side with the pastor, so his cover story was that he left as a good guy to not take down the pastor or the church. He was running out to run away. Later, we found out he had sexually assaulted another married woman in our congretation too. She told us of his repeated advances toward her including touching her breast and crotch, and lots of sexually harassing comments about her breasts, even once while she was breast feeding her infant son in our Nursery. Come to find out, our pastor continued to be very close friends with this predator, and defends him and has refused to do anything for 15 months. He has done nothing to warn the new church, or our church leadership.

    What to do. We are a wreck!

    I am “Bob” at nahmm@hotmail.com

  45. TREY MORGAN says:

    Bob,

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so saddened by your story. I will email you immediately with my thoughts.

    Trey

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • forgiving is moving on. No hard feelings. No more treating them differently. If you can't do that, have you really forgiven?
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