One of the things we were very concerned about, almost immediately, was the repentance and recovery of our pastor. He was and is a dearly loved man, and we hoped to restore him. Of course a pastor could not step back into the pulpit after adultery and divorce for a long time. He may never pastor again. A lot has to do with a repentant heart and desire to be restored. We hoped, prayed and pursued this from the beginning, but we were told by the church we met with early on, that in most cases repentance does not happen. They had not seen their pastor repent and they were more than four years past their earthquake.
Our elders worked hard to get help for our pastor and his wife which included counseling, financial support IF certain conditions were met and many other things I don’t have time or desire to detail. We wanted to restore him, but restoration is hard. Restoration starts with repentance, and that means that you must abandon you pride. Pride is the big enemy and that is what gets most of us in trouble. The response of a proud man sounds something like this, “some people won’t be happy until I’m on the stage in a puddle of tears repenting of my sins.” That might be true, but it’s not a reason not to repent. Yet the fear of this very situation is what keeps so many from repentance and restoration. Restoration is hard work. Restoration takes time. Restoration demands humility. All of these things are in short supply for a man who would sacrifice everything for sex and another woman. Proverbs says that a man who commits adultery lacks understanding. I’m finding that this is true. It shows more clearly after the sin than it ever did before, and now I can see the results of a man’s choices that literally cost him everything!
Will he ever repent? I hope so, but we are more than 2 years after our earthquake, and I see no signs of it yet. But, like most things, that’s God’s problem. I pray for him, I feel sorry for him, I still think of him….to be this close to the fall of a man who served God as a pastor is a sad thing to watch. To see the results of his choices is even sader. Repentance will be God’s work. Our job, if repentance ever comes, is to forgive.