I think about Bill Clinton here. He supposedly got bored with the Presidency as a motive to pursue the young staffer in his office for sexual favors. Is there a more vivid picture of the corruption of the human heart–I can’t think of any? I will move on–this story is not about Bill Clinton but the sin is similar.
The one sin of the pastor I mentioned yesterday is inappropriate attraction and interaction with members of the opposite sex within his own church. That one sin caused his demise though most of his congregation does not know exactly what his actions were, nor do they know the damaged caused a few women in his path. He was a great speaker and deliverer of the Word of God. But, he should not be in that position without dealing with the corruption in his heart. He needs to heal–will he, only time will tell.
He is married and successfully married by most standards. However, throughout his career, he has approached women inappropriately and had seen no repercussions from these interactions apparently. Most of the women just did not come forward and some of the women left the congregation to avoid him and his advances.
This last encounter came with a woman who was approached inappropriately in the past by another man. These new encounters brought back the old feelings and they were not good. The initiations by the pastor caused emotional conflict and turmoil because she wanted to honor him as a pastor and knew that the congregation did as well. What should she do?
As God would have it, one of her friends “found her” in a very, very reflective mood in the grocery store and knew something was wrong. As they spoke, the friend offered to pay for counseling in hopes that counseling would help. The woman, my acquaintance, thought about the offer and then took her friend up on it.
Through counseling this woman of God, who wrestled through the anguish and heartache, understood the right thing to do was to take the issue to the men of the church who cared. They truly cared–for the woman and the pastor. The ultimate outcome is that the pastor resigned, under discipline, but that’s not the end of the story.
He hurt many people who were not actually involved in any way. These people do not know all the behind the scenes work that went into finding the right outcomes for all involved. Maybe they only saw division or differences of opinion but for one reason or another, they left and one half the congregation is not there today.
One man’s sin of the heart: lustful, distorted desires, cost him so much and cost this church, this community and fellowship of believers much unity. There was not disunity–I don’t mean to imply that, but this body has been greatly affected and members are not there because of his sin.
I told that story as a warm up to something I would like to share about how God has dealt with me in the area of lust and inappropriate attraction to members of the opposite sex. I want to play my part here because of the flood of temptation that exists right here on the internet and all around us. It is rampant and it is real–though many men, and maybe women also, are denying that they have a problem.
Tomorrow I will address these “golden-haired women” in our lives, men. Women, I see parallels of inappropriate attraction as an issue for the feminine gender, let me know if these thoughts communicate something meaningful. Thanks.