Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Brother's Sins

Gal.6:1 - Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are Spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.

And another famous preacher has fallen and the sharks gather. No matter how we disagreed with this or any brother on doctrinal and methodolgical issues, we must be repairers of the breach. The world will do its best to expose and destroy him and his family, but we as fellow believers must close ranks and minister correction, discipline, and restoration to one of God's sheep, our brother. Never, never take your eyes off the real enemy of our souls, the Destroyer himself. I would like to address some issues that will become more and more important in the coming days should Jesus tarry.

First. We should never discuss a man's sins publicly. We who confront doctrinal departures must be careful not to mesh a brother's sins in the same boat. Just in the last several months the secular world was astounded by the forgiveness shown by the Amish community in the face of the murder of some of their very children, and now we go on "lost TV" and discuss the sin's of a brother in Christ as if the world has a say. The world has no part of us, this brother should be dealt with by the elder body and by the Lord himself, not Larry King (et. al.).

Second. The body of Christ is so segmented and even competitive that we are prone to show partiality in how we view different men's sins. Read some (not all) of the reformed blogs and they are all over this story with almost an effervescence because this brother was of the mega-church variety. Had it been a famous reformed preacher the same blogs would have taken a much different tone. That is a respecter of persons and is shameful and not worthy of the Lord's church.

Third. A church should have many equal elders that teach and preach individually to the body. When a church is "run" by one man he has set himself up as unaccountable and a target for failure. Many preachers spend far too much time under the radar as they travel either locally or around the world. Given the right circumstances with no hedge of protection we all can fall and bring disgrace to the cause of Christ.

Fourth. A pastor should not be involved in politics at all. His calling is infinitely higher than American political issues and that is just more time spent away from his prayer closet. How does a pastor who has a wife, five children, a 14,000 member church, and is the head of a national political group, find time to pray and devour the Word. The sad answer is that he doesn't.

Fifth. The Scriptures are clear that men that sin publicly must be dealt with and restored by Christ's body in the spirit of meekness lest we also are captured by the Destroyer. We should weep over this man's plight, I'm sure he didn't start out to be a disgrace to Christ. He may never preach again, but he could be used of God to warn people and expose the works of darkness.

Sixth. Should we not feel much grief over his wife and children? The down the road implications are mind boggling and we should pray for them and keep them in our hearts and guard against finishing the job the devil started in their husband and father.

Seventh. Many times sheep scatter during these times. Some who liked the pastor are so devastated they will never attend any fellowship again. Some who didn't care for him will experience a sinful satisfaction that can only hamper their Spiritual growth. And some who may have been in the process of considering the claims of the gospel through that church may be turned away by the Accuser.

Sin is no game, it is the highway to hell itself. James taught that sin gives birth to living deeds, and many of those siblings will kill their parents (Ja.1:15). When a brother sins we should ask the Lord how to prevent it in the future. There are men across this country who preach in evangelical pulpits and are right now involved in serious sin. The American church has been set up like small companies with individual CEO's overseeing shareholders and we are seeing the harvest of that unscriptural organization. But when a brother sins, let us correct him, bind the wounds of his family, and continue to staff a humble sentry duty around our own lives. And for the Lord's sake let us never allow the dark world any part in what we do, we are in this world but never part of it. God does not follow a Darwinian "survival of the fittest" model, no, He ministers to a sheepfold not a wolf pack. The same Lord that will administer the stripes of correction on one of His own, will also apply the healing salve of His love into those same chastening wounds. How unlike us Jesus is.

Lord Jesus we pray for this man and his family. We know he will endure the results of his sin until Jesus changes us all, so we intercede for him and his family. We remember Moses stood in the gap for your people and their sins, we ask for mercy for him. May the overseers deal with him in the exact way which will bring forth the fruit of repentance in his life. May he come completely clean about what he has done and may he be completely forgiven. I thank you Lord that you have forgiven us for our sins, may this brother's life not be destroyed.

A bruised reed shall He not break...


Mike Ratliff said...

Absolutely true. This walk is not just sin avoidance though. I am convinced that most believers think that it is though. No, instead it is one of seeking the will of God and doing it. All sin is disobedience and we have no business focusing on those who have fallen as we too stumble. Instead, we should seek the restoration of those who have fallen.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

David Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Meyer said...

All good stuff Rick! (sorry...tried to end a MAJOR typo but had to delete).

This particular pastor falling has bothered me, not because of what he is accused of...sin is sin. What bothers me is that he put himself in this situation by being a politician AND a preacher. When he did that, he set up his own demise, and when he fell, it was quite public, because he was so public.

I'll be praying for him and his family. Unfortunately, I fear that not everything has come out yet, but, we know that even this can be used for the Glory of God...some how, some way.

Because EVERY Soul Matters,

David Meyer

Everyday Mommy said...

Amen, amen and amen.

Dead Theologians said...

Thank you friend for this post. As a pastor and an adjunct professor I have seen how easy it is to become one of the pirhanna rather than one who is fighting off the pirhanna. I think it is very easy to get caught up in the "I know some new info about..." and by the time we're done we have cut someone up.
I know this because I am as guilty as anyone.
Again, thanks.

Shayne said...

At last, a voice of sanity.

Thank you for this righteous post brother.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Thank you! The "feeding frenzy" I have observed has made me physically ill. May God have mercy on us all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your wonderful post.

I heard the pastor you are speaking of deliver a message on world evangelism, and was impressed by his love for God and his clear devotion to his church. This was two years ago. So when the allegations began i was convinced that this was just someone trying to force an agenda with bad information, and then was very disappointed.

Even though I come from a reformed background, I am not so hedged in that I do not realize that pastors from many backgrounds can minister to many people from different backgrounds and different branches of Jesus's church.

The church belongs to Jesus, and we are members of it through His grace. And if He has shown us grace and love, how much more must we, the recipients share it with others by providing gentle, loving correction, and restoration.

This was an excellent post, thank you so much.

I would also point out that God does not "rank" sin. I know that my heart is in need of cleansing too, and that only happens at the feet of our Saviour.


(Sorry, no web site to link to)

Baptist Girl said...

Amen!! It's good to hear christians rally around a brother that needs to be restored and wants to be restored. Well said!


Elijah said...

I will stick to the view that sin is sin. There is forgiveness and restoral for all who repent, i.e. the truly regenerate. The NT never
says that there is a special restoral for pastors or highly visible ministry heads. The same application applies for all the Body of Christ.

He should have been called out long ago for the promotion of bad teachings and ministries like the Cleansing Stream, which teaches "generational curse, the devil made me do it, I have no control or responsibility over myself" theology.
I have no doubt this kind of thing is what aided his downfall. His chuch is heavily into this kind of thing.

For anyone interested:

Check it out. I went through this course and retreat. It is unbiblical.