Pastors who sin are in a unique position. I have seen it first hand and the consequences of their actions are vastly different from the ordinary man in the pew.

Pastors have unique responsibilities; this I understand. To be above reproach is a serious ask, and not to be taken lightly.

When pastors sin publicly, it’s devastating, they are in a position of trust and should put God before all else, and be above reproach.

1 Timothy 3:2 says:

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…

The consequences for the pastor who goes off track is far reaching. For my husband, it’s been truly awful to watch. As time has gone on, the spirit continues to do his work of grace in his repentant heart. As a result, the horror gets worse and worse for him.

Sometimes I think that fallen pastors are banished to a land that no one ever visits. He is talked about, and his actions no doubt are discussed with sadness and shock, but I wonder how many men seek these pastors out and run to them because they themselves love Jesus?

When we are repentant, the father looks out for us and strains his eyes to see a glimmer in the distance. Then he runs and embraces and loves and forgives.

Because I am living with this first hand, and I have been hurt the most, I have a unique platform to be able to express what’s on my heart. Adultery in ministry is truly awful. Satan jumps up and down for joy when he wreaks havoc. He has the upper hand as the church is overwhelmed by terrible sin and shame. For my husband, these consequences are fair and right. But he has been publicly humiliated and he has been stripped of all. Who of us would lose our job, reputation, community , home and security because of it?

I thank God for those men that have reacted like our kind Heavenly Father. They have come along side, written letters, met up with and loved. This is what my husband needs right now. Men who will love him and act out the gospel by really living it; running and embracing, caring and supporting.

For all banished men who have fallen from ministry, don’t be harsh with them when repentance is evident. They are unbelievably overwhelmed and know how much they’ve messed up. They may never be able to contemplate ministry again, but they are forgiven and loved and precious to God; therefore we need to run to them and love them just as Christ has run to us and loved us.

I thank God for where my husband now is. Open, transparent and going the way of obedience which is manifesting itself with kindness and gentleness. He is knowing love for his saviour.

I pray for him as I have done for many years, that he loves his God with his whole heart, mind, soul and strength and is captivated more and more by the gospel of God’s amazing grace.

Matthew 7:12 Says:

[12] So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

God seeks us out, he works in our hearts, he draws us to himself. He doesn’t stand in silence and create distance, but gets his hands dirty by involving himself in our mess by looking to his dear son.

God forgives and loves the repentant. Repentant fallen pastors come into that category too.

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2 thoughts on “Out in the cold.

  1. Goodina

    Very well said. You are absolutely right. Who can throw the first stone? Not one of us! As Gods word says all have fallen short and gone astray. Take heart dear people, God is at work.

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  2. Karen

    Dear N, you are right to mention and draw attention to your husband’s situation post betrayal and exile from your beloved community and church. Often, the wrongdoer is overlooked or dismissed from any thoughts of compassion because observers judge he or she is responsible for their undoing and for the unpleasant consequences their choices and behaviour have brought about and, even, deserve it. But, we are warned in scripture that judgement belongs to Jesus alone and what father would not feel tenderness to their repentant and suffering child? It’s so easy to forget and dismiss the pain of the sinner and concentrate on the innocent bystanders who may seem more worthy of our sympathy; all very human and understandable emotions but, we are called to love unconditionally just as Jesus loves us and, therefore, we must resist the temptation to judge and exclude no matter how angry or sad we feel. If the love of God is truly in us we will be unable to do so. Happy Anniversary both. Lots of love Karen xx

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