Sin is messy


To be honest with you I really hate this topic.  It’s painful to talk about. It’s nasty to deal with.  It’s messy!

There is no good that comes from a pastor’s fall!  None.

Sin is messy.  We leave damage all around us when we think secret sin can be committed without penalty.  But out of our sin comes nothing but broken churches and destroyed families and abandoned faith.  This sin is probably one of the devil’s best victories in any church.  It destroys far more than we even know as we try to clean up the damage.

In our own experience I have seen the “domino effect” happen as others have emulated the pastor’s deed and think because he did it they can do it as well.  As a result more families are destroyed.  Faith is compromised. Obedience abandoned.

Sin is messy.  We will never find happiness disobeying God.  Never.  It’s simply not possible.  It’s never been done and we won’t be the first.  In a pastor’s sin, whatever the reason, a cascade of lives are damaged, faith eroded, churches made impotent and much more.

Words escape me to describe this in a way that would make a pastor respond, “Well, if it’s that bad it’s just not worth it!”  But the devil is much smarter than we are.  Much more cunning.  He looks for our weakness and attacks there.  For some reason we believe his lie, although we should know better, and because of the lie many fall.

Sin is messy.  So far, in my short 62 years, I have never, not once, seen good come from sin.  But some would quote Romans 8:28 to me as I say that, I can hear it already.  What that verse speaks of is God’s great work in spite of our sin, not because of it.

Church,  know this because it’s true and will always be true- You will never find happiness disobeying God.  It won’t happen…no matter how pretty she is, no matter how unhappy you are, no matter how much you love her, no matter how depressed you are.

Solomon, the son of David, wrote of men who make these choices in Proverbs 5-7.  In the middle of these thoughts he described a man who lacked sense and the result was what many have seen in the lives of their pastors; sin, failure, lust, broken lives.  The words of Solomon should be a clear slap in the face for anyone thinking “they won’t get caught.”

As you can tell I’m rambling a bit in this entry.  These thoughts are a culmination of seeing way too much, being way too tired of it all.  When will we realize that God is much more interested in our obedience than he is in our happiness?  What we fail to realize is that if we will live a life surrendered to his will we will find happiness.  He will make sure of that, but sin will never discover it.  It’s simply not on that path.

3 responses to “Sin is messy

  1. I am concerned with your statement that “There is no good that comes from a pastors fall! None.”
    I fell flat on my face. I came to the church admitted my failures and fell hard… here is what has happened in spite of my failures;
    -i got help and healing from some deep deep hurts that i did not even know existed
    -My wife and i have an honest real relationship which is 100 times better than either of us ever thought we could have
    -people around me are getting to see what grace and love means – not just from a theoretical perspective but from experiencing grace and love.

    These are only the positive and good things that have come from my failures. I am not saying for one moment that it was Gods will for me to fall in the way that i fell. But what i am saying is that it is very very very short sighted to say that NOTHING GOOD can come from a pastor who falls. God used example after example of Gods faithfulness not only to men in the Bible who have fallen but of his Grace Mercy Forgiveness and Love of HIS people who fell in the exact same way.

    Do i wish i had not fallen… YES but i am so grateful to have walked through my misery and because i did i am a new man.

    I am a Fallen Pastor but because of a loving church and loving family who understands God and family – i am a better man and a better disciple!

    Bill

  2. Bill, you know what….you are right. I recant my statement. It strikes me, as I read your word and then reread mine, that I am still stinging a bit from the sin I have lived through here. I thought I had dealt with it all well, but obviously I haven’t fully dealt with all that happened to me through the events of our church family. It’s more damaging to those around the pastor who fell than most ever realize, than I even realized. Obviously I am still dealing with the weariness of the battle and some resentment for all I have had to go through…although I had done nothing wrong. A little bitterness remains that I must deal with God about. Thank you for your words and thoughts. What a blessing to read how God has worked in your life. God is so good to resurrect dead and broken lives, isn’t he? May I share your words in one of the posts? Thank you, Bill.

  3. yes you can. I want you to also know that as a pastor who fell i have worked very hard and have been incredibly humbled by what i have gone through. i will probably never fully understand the hurt and pain that my church has gone through.
    This is what i did to help myself, my wife, my kids, my church…
    -three months christian live in facility for addiction (HopeQuest in atlanta) Mid December – early March
    – 14 months of counseling (and counting) for myself once a week.
    – 14 months of marriage counseling every other week.
    – first 3 months after coming home 1-1 accountability 7 days a week with men from the church.
    -6 weeks living with friends after returning back to my community while i worked on restoring wife and kids.
    -Went back to my home church as a congregant and sat in the audience weekly (soooo humbling).
    -i had work to do for HopeQuest for 6 months after finishing in order to graduate (which i did 100%).
    -got involved in a small group of our church that met every other week.
    -met with other fallen pastors once a month (had to quit this when i began working full time- they meet lunchtime).

    As much as i am grateful for the opportunity to deal with who i am and what i have done to my wife, kids, family , and church. this has not been easy. I have chosen to be obedient to God in returning to my community and church. Obedient because this is what i felt God was calling ME to do. Everyday i live with the reminder of what i have done. I am learning humility in a way i could have never imagined. i am learning brokenness in a way i could have never imagined. I am learning Grace and Mercy Kindness and Love in a way i never thought was possible. i am learning the deep humbling understanding of what it is to fall and be forgiven!

    you can share any and all of whatever you want that i have written. i believe we have an opportunity to see the kingdom of God grow through failure – and i am the greatest of all failures!

    bill

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