How We Ought to Respond!
How We Ought to Respond!
Dear Precious Saints of MBC,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to Sunday.
The events of the past few weeks have been heartbreaking to read. One of the most successful and respected pastors in America left his pastorate early because of inappropriate behavior. Some of the charges he strongly denies, but others have been acknowledged as he allowed himself to be put in less than desirable positions. I've had some restless nights as I've reflected on this - and I am heartbroken. How should we respond when a leader fails:
Both Connie and I have prayed for this man, his family, the church and God's people who are impacted by this. This man is embarrassed and feeling despair. His family is feeling the fallout of his actions and it must be unbelievably difficult. We must pray.
When one of God's servants fall, there must be no "gloating" or pride. The only response should be grief. Sadly, some in the church are so carnal and immature that they believe the failures of others, makes them "look good." The name of Christ has been brought low - can there be any response other than grief?
In addition to grief there needs to be humility as we are reminded that we too can easily fall. The attitude that it can never happen to me is the first step towards failure. The apostle Paul warned, "Whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall." As we grieve the possibility that it can happen to us, we are wise to humbly throw ourselves on God's grace once again.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, in the context of accusations and sin among elders, he said: "Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will be afraid" (1 Tim 5:20). As I reflect on my own life, I am fearful of the pain, heartache and misery that would come to people I love should I do something so foolish.
As believers we must resolve to keep ourselves pure and from any compromising positions. The great Puritan Jonathan Edwards put together 70 resolutions to live by. The following is most instructive: Resolved: Never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
Finally, as we pray and grieve, we do so filled with hope. Hope that one day Christ will come and rescue us from these broken and sinful bodies and this broken and sinful world. Beloved, there is coming a day when we will no longer wrestle with our sin and hear the heartbreaking stories of fallen leaders. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!
In the light of His glory and grace,