Some awesome points, Scott. My heart is heavy. It is greater than almost any time before because of the pain this pastor we learned about this weekend. This man had poured into my life. He fell. He confessed only after 2 years and 4 months of having this affair. Lots of pain.
This is not the first time this type of thing has happened. Takes me back to my teen years when a pastor I followed and who taught me how to share my faith fell. Then I learned that he had other affairs in the past. Lots of pain.
In the 2 decades I've been serving, I've seen many ministers fall and fail. This doesn't have to be. It is time, high time, for us to get real. Transparency is one of our church's core values. I'm not perfect, and people need to know that fact. I have holes in my life. I'm not without lots of need for Jesus. Accountability. Being real. Working on our marriages. It's time to get help and not to say this couldn't happen to me.
Too many people I know have fallen and fallen hard. It is my strong desire to help people walk back to Jesus and to help others know that God hasn't walked away from them. We must be about restoring relationships. These people who fall are people. They are God's kid. They are worthy of my love and acceptance. They are also worthy of me or us in the ministry community holding our brothers and sisters accountable.
Did you hear me? The church and it's leaders need to stand up, be honest and hold each other to the standards that God set in His word. These are not the unrealistic places that church people put their pastor on. If we really love each other, we will be honest with each other.
I'm grateful for the friends I have who love me enough to call me on the carpet. There are men in my past who have fallen that I so want to see restored and loved. I've seen others come a long way after falling big. God has a plan. God loves people. He died for people and not for buildings. Relationships matter to God.
Guard your marriage. Guard your ministry relationships. Love others by helping each other clean the closet out and help others be all God has for you to be.