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...