Did you see the recent New York post headline about Tiger Woods and his “personal transgressions”? It read: “Tiger admits I’m a Cheetah” By now most of us should be used to the news of celebrities being “caught with their pants down”. Its amazing how celebrities adore the limelight and every bit of publicity they can get until they get caught in a major screw up. It then becomes about how they need to work out their personal problems in private, that no one is perfect, and we all deserve forgiveness. I have no problem with privacy nor forgiveness but I do have a problem with glossing over lack of personal self control and simply labeling it a ” transgression”. What about the church and those that God allows to lead it? What standard should they be held to? The rest of this post is aimed at church leaders and not your average Christian. It would be great if everyone took this advice to heart but God has a very specific message for those who want to lead His church as pastors.
The bible sets forth some pretty specific qualifications for those chosen to lead the church. 1st Timothy chapter 3 illustrates the requirements for those who desire the position of pastor. This passage is all about having self control, living wisely, and having a good reputation. It says people outside of the church must speak well of you. This same passage says that the wives of church leaders should also exercise self control. Now with all of this straightforward teaching why do disgraced pastors believe they can do what ever they want and after a certain “cooling off period” and time of restoration they can step right back into the pulpit and limelight? When other leaders call their hand they become angry and complain they are being publicly attacked, mistreated, and misunderstood.
Here are some simple guidelines for pastors and church leaders:
Don’t take a big stinking dump on the bride of Christ and expect everyone to tell you it smells like cotton candy. The world is confused enough concerning morality without the church going around trying to comfort pastors who screw around on their wives. The pastor is held to a higher level of accountability than other Christians. How can you expect a congregation to trust you if you will lie to your own wife? A few months away from the pulpit while allowing God to restore you does not change your reputation in the community and how the world sees you. There is no “do over”; you screwed up, face it and move on. God does forgive you and still loves you but that doesn’t mean He wants you to represent His church. God demands a lot from those who lead because they influence decisions concerning Heaven and Hell.
I cant understand how things that were once shameful even in our secular society are now being found acceptable for church leaders. No wonder the church is losing its influence in society; it is slowly killing itself from the inside out.