One of the comments posted recently asked the question, “is this the new norm?” and I thought it worth a few words as you deal with your situation and church. The truth is that our fallenness, our sin nature and the results of it haven’t gotten worse…they haven’t changed with the times. Men and women have always been this bad, but what has changed is the nature of pastors and their response to sin. We seem to “play closer to the fire” than we ever have before. Somehow men in the pastorate think they can tempt this sin and not get burned, but the devil is very good at what he does. He will make you think you are helping a hurting soul and quickly pull you into the fire of sin.
It’s not that this is our new normal. This is always the way the human heart has been. What has changed is our view of sin, temptation and our ability to handle it. We can’t handle this temptation any better now than we have ever been able to, and yet some think they can “tempt the fates” and it won’t hurt them. But it does. Read Proverbs 5-7 for insight into this kind of foolish thinking. Three chapters written over 3,000 years ago reveal the very heart of our foolish nature to tempt sexual sins.
So what do you do when your pastor falls? One response from a saint who posted a comment was shame. She was ashamed of her church, but why? It was the pastor, not the church that fell. Use that sin as an opportunity to talk about how weak we all are and how much we each need a savior and others around us to help us deal with temptation.
Some will run away. Let me encourage you to not do that. Stay, pray, encourage, help the pastors who are left to pick up the pieces and don’t run away from an opportunity to see the redeeming work of God in your church and church family. These are terrible things, but God is wonderful and loves to redeem.
And, as I ramble about on this post let me say just this one thing….in a culture where we say “do what you want, it’s all ok as long as you don’t hurt anyone” it is quite interesting that in this area, in the sin of a pastor, the culture who demands tolerance is the first to throw rocks….how interesting that is to me.
So, is this the new norm? No. There are still Godly men following the Lord and fleeing from sin. Just because some fall doesn’t mean you should run away. Stand, pray, encourage and tell the world, “This is the very reason we needed a savior!”