Sinners, Truth, and a Fallen Church Leader
A Pastor friend of mine made the following comment concerning a fallen Pastor of a very large church back in 2009. “In this crucial time of war within the fabric of our culture this will be a severe blow regardless of outcome.” Evidently it is applicable again today as another Church Leader has fallen into difficult times.
The News of that Church Leader’s fall a few years ago was definitely devastating to his family, friends, and the many lives he had influenced. Some people also seemed to think it gave ammunition and fodder to those who wanted to discredit Christianity. That may seem to be true but I always like to mention that this is an opportunity for us to point to the countless many faithful brothers who are not neglecting their souls nor the souls of their parishioners whom they shepherd. It also gives us opportunity to show what grace, mercy, discipline, and truth are. This terrible situation gives us opportunity to show why the body of Christ is an organism in rebuttal to those who say they hate organized religion. This is where the early verses of John 15 become applicable and where we see God’s Word is true.
When this kind of thing is mentioned and thrown in my face I appreciate the condemnation that is expressed because it shows that God doesn’t tolerate sin and we shouldn’t. I believe it is actually a reflection of God’s character in mankind. Most of the time it also reveals that the very people I am talking with are in fact ratifying that they know what is right and wrong. This condemnation points to everyone’s need for a Saviour. I like pointing that out to those I discuss such matters with. I also like pointing out the fact that God has already told us what to do when this happens. There are noted measures to take when offences are committed. Nothing takes God by surprise and He has given us instruction concerning what to do in these situations. These situations actually prove that God exists and He does care and communicate with us per His instruction on what to do when these situations do arise.
Many of our Bible heroes were utter failures at some point. We all are. The Bible was written to show us this and call us back to God because we do fail and sin. The Scriptures are about God reconciling great sinners to Himself so that they can be conformed to the image of Christ. It is a process and we all stumble and fall as we are growing up. That is why God gave us means for living and growth. It is why he gives us means to perform and point to forgiveness, reconciliation, discipline, and accountability. But I am not writing this to discuss those means at this time.
By the way, this is how I am using the word means…
1. Usually, means. (used with a singular or plural verb) an agency, instrument, or method used to attain an end: The telephone is a means of communication. There are several means of solving the problem.
We should be mindful of these things and not be overcome nor shrink back when these things happen. Yes, they do damage and hurt us emotionally. But when they do happen we can know that God is building His Church and that he does display His parental love over his Church. He has gone to great lengths to exhibit that He is the Truth. In my thinking, this kind of situation should make us point to Him with more confidence. What Love, what forgiveness, what an awesome God we have! He is building His Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail. These kinds of things actually prove His existence. They prove that He has dominion and nothing is taking Him by surprise.
St. Paul’s prayer is that we may know…
(Eph 1:19) … what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
(Eph 1:20) Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
(Eph 1:21) Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
(Eph 1:22) And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
(Eph 1:23) Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Truth is Truth and Christ is risen. He is Risen Indeed! He is building His Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail as He proclaimed and as it is recorded in Matthew 16. He is in Control and we can be confident that this is nothing that should shake our faith in Him.
At the same time I think it is beneficial to recognize and heed the warnings of 1 Corinthians chapter 10.
(1 Corinthians 10:6-12) Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
Be Encouraged, God is ruling and on His throne. He is the Most High. Our faith is in Him. He promised us tribulation. He also promised that He would discipline us if we were his children. Hebrews chapter 12 makes that plain. While discipline (chastisement) is an unpleasant thing to experience it does prove He cares. It also proves a fallen leader can’t be used as ammunition against the truth. It confirms truth.