Is this the new “norm”?

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!”

2 responses to “Is this the new “norm”?

  1. I have written you before, and again i appreciate you’re response and just the fact that you have answered a call from The Lord to create such a website for people like ourselves who go searching for answers and people to tell us we are not alone.

    I am writing again because it has been over 2 months since “the fall” went public and so much has changed. we went from a growing church to one that seems to shrink every week. =\ in the midst of the affair, our church was sold so now we are not only in Spritiual despair, but are almost like orphans (it was heartbreaking to see the sign that has been up for 30 years be replaced by the new church’s sign).

    however, these things are not what my issue is, or where even in the issue lies. it lies in what is going on with the elders.

    On the board of Elders were four men – The Pastor, and three others- M, C, and Pastor H (M is the Pastor’s father, and other than the Pastor only Pastor H is/was offically ordained). Upon the fall being made public, there was dissention with the elders and Pastor H was voted off the board (apparently via email), leaving one seat opened which was filled by one of the main Worship leaders. ugh.. to even explain everything is just simply exhausting .. but basically the remaining elders (excluding the newest, because basically he has had no say in anything, but rather seems to have been put there to fulfil legal obligations as a non-profit org) have refused assistance/counsel from other church Pastors and leaders. The Pastor, though no longer teaching or serving in Ministry, is still on the board of elders and there has been consistent talk of him being “restored back to the pulpit.” MANY congregants do NOT agree with this, as it is seen as unbiblical (which I agree) and families seem to keep leaving by the droves week by week. This past weekend our Youth leader and his wife (along with his mother, father and his mothers best friend and her wife) have left, as well as another Ministry leader and his wife, all of whom have served for at least the past 5 of 7 years the Pastor has been leading this flock (the Youth leader has known the Pastor since he was a higher schooler, as the Pastor was his Youth Pastor at a different church prior to becoming head Pastor and moving across town). Both these sets of leaders have left because they feel the church is being run by M, the Pastor’s father, who they feel is not being led by the Spirit, but rather by his bias.

    So I guess my question is, have you ever seen/heard this before – where the elders are in dissent and not relinquishing control to the Spirit so that a new Pastor can come in?

    Personally I am appalled that the Pastor would even allow them to THINK he could/should return to the pulpit – because he cannot control what they feel, but he most certainly could stop them from pushing this idea that he could be “restored’ in such a way that he would lead a flock again (especially since his wife and him are still not on the same page, and his family is still very much in turmoil, which I have firsthand information about). Yet, it seems that his pride has not yet been broken. I mean he was still maintaining this affair even after it went public – he was still caught in sin and though it is supposedly over now (the woman was pregnant and has apparently miscarried- just another innocent life affected by such a terrible sinful mess), i still cannot understand how there could be any inclination toward his father wanting to see him back on the pulpit. The only answer i have is pride… and of course I will remaini in prayer, I just wonder if there have been any other cases like this that you have seen.

    For myself, I have not been called to leave. I pray constantly about this and I do not feel the Lord has made the decision clear to me to move on. Rather, He has made it quite clear to me that i am nOT to move and am to stay right where I have called home for the past year. Its just so heartbreaking to see so many people leaving, and, having firsthand knowledge of leader-level information, I can understand why.

    i am not asking God why – beause, I know that He is in control and I trust that He IS working these things together for our good.. I guess I just wanna know if we truly are being run into the ground by pride. =\

    thanks so much for your time. God bless brother.


  2. DC, I’m so sorry to hear about your church family. These are difficult days, aren’t they? You asked, “I guess I just wanna know if we truly are being run into the ground by pride.” I love that question…it speaks to the heart of all our problems…it is pride that brought our first rebellion and every one since. It is one of the reasons your pastor fell and it sure is one of the problems we face as we try to deal with this sin. Will it run your church into the ground? It could, but you and others can gather, pray and appeal to God for your church, for God to move, to convict, to bring repentance and restoration. God does respond to prayer, he will move in your church as you invite him to do so. I will be praying for you and your church as well. It is only a work of God that will heal your church family.

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