I have learned since writing this blog that Bob Coy actually pastored 20,000 people, the 14th largest church in the country, and had a staff of nearly 1,000 per this blogger. http://michaelnewnham.com/?p=17102
Well it’s Monday:
A wife in Florida is devastated this morning. A pastor of 7,000 resigned yesterday due to moral failure. The church says,”Don’t talk about it!” Well let me say this: CNN is talking about it, the man on the bar stool in Miami is talking about it, so this elephant in the room is in our face. The days of sweeping moral failure under the rug are long gone. Granted there are crisis managers that can help, in the old days they could bury info….but in these times of phones, cameras, video cameras, surveillance devices in every room and hallway, we the church need to sanitize and pray those “secrets” into the pits of hell. We need to relearn the word sanctification. ALL of us. Was it ego that he couldn’t handle? Was it a bad marriage? I don’t know. I know what it wasn’t. It wasn’t a man walking after God. It wasn’t a man that feared God. The beginning of wisdom is to fear God so the Bible says. This wasn’t that…wisdom. It was wreckless, irresponsible behavior, pure and simple. Not only is it sin, it’s downright stupid to think no one is watching.
This battle with the secularists is greatly hindered by headlines like this morning’s news. End times? Yes. Is the devil working over time? Yes. But that seems pretty lame for a man that has led tens of thousands to the Lord. “The devil made me do it” seems a tad bit comical for such a sad thing. How many will lose their fellowship with Christians, or possibly walk away from their life long commitment to their faith. These situations are fodder for the liberal media. And additionally, remember, this isn’t God’s fault. God didn’t do it. The word is still the word, and it’s still true. If there is any saving grace to this situation it’s this. At least he resigned. At least he came clean. Without repentance and confession there can’t be a true restoration. Maybe on this April Monday morning, this man who has planted, watered, loved, cried, spent his money and time to share Jesus,this intelligent, ambitious man who has helped thousands of foster care children….will start that long road that must be traveled to regain what can be hoped for. Will it ever be the same? No. But his soul is the concern, not his “brand.” His brand is forever tarnished. He can be forgiven in a millisecond…no problem. The problem is the black eye that will be a trophy to the atheists and secularists in this town. The erosion of confidence in our pulpits. That is what makes my heart cry.
Solution: Live right. If you are struggling, sit down. Take a break. We must remember that God sees our actions and our hearts. The world ONLY sees our actions. And sadly, most won’t remember much about the good deeds of the fallen….only that photo that ran over and over on the cable news outlets. I know most of you think I am harsh. Past failures are a testimony, they really are….the ex-drug addict that is clean and leading worship, the pastor that was in prison, found Jesus and now pastors a mega-church….but, a worship leader that’s “dealing” drugs and pretending to be clean? NO. A pastor that still murders? No. These scenarios are testimonies as long as they are stories about the past, not present. It’s not rocket science. These amazing stories build up our faith and show the lost what God can do…. as long as we are honest and don’t live in the hypocrisy. But if the failure is current, ongoing, and you are in ministry…..STOP. Don’t embarrass those that love you, don’t break God’s heart, and fix it before the PAIN of EXPOSURE is yours. Everyone is famous somewhere. You have no idea how famous a minister is until he falls. He becomes famous overnight!!!
If you are calling yourself a child of God, make HIM proud. And furthermore don’t start this “sin is sin” mess with me. Yes, sin is sin. But, a speeding ticket is NOT a moral sin unto God and your wife. An affair is. I rarely see a jail sentence for eating donuts. But I see them a lot for rape and murder. Have some common sense. All sin is wrong, but I’ve never seen a person miserable and unforgiving of their own sin when it was cheating on a test. A quick “God I am sorry”….zero from the teacher, a day of humiliation, and life moves on. However, I have seen suicidal actions from those that had embarrassed their family and those around them with reprehensible moral conduct. God is patient, but He wants honesty. God is love, but He wants sincerity. God is good, but hell is real.
Hey, I have made serious “lack of judgement” decisions in my life….everyone does when they’re young and misguided, or selfish, or whatever the case may be. If you work in a factory it’s not a headline to cheat on your spouse. If you pastor 7,000 people it is. When you place yourself in the seat of a spiritual leader, when God has TRUSTED you, when you weekly proclaim to thousands that you “have a word from God” you must wear your big boy underwear, say no to a little bit of that flesh and look the devil in the eye and say “No big boy”….”Greater is HE that’s in me”……is this difficult to understand? I suppose it is. I suppose most of you think this is too straightforward. But I firmly believe that when we tell ourselves the truth and those around us, we start the journey toward revival.
Let’s be accountable. Stop using the grace card. Grace is our most precious gift…it’s not a stomping ground. I am a sinner, saved by grace. So are you.
But Lord help us to ALL realize that God doesn’t play games. He knows the truth.
Dear Lord: I want to start with the broom in my own house. Let me make you proud not ashamed. For YOU have been so good to me!! I want to repay you with truth, and worship, and obedience. For I learned MANY years ago that obedience IS better than sacrifice.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’