Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored To Leadership?

In the awake of Ted Haggard’s scandal, a question like this is common: should fallen pastors be restored to leadership? To answer this critical question, let me offer you words from a seasoned pastor, Dr. John MacArthur of Grace Community Church, who’s been faithful at his present post for over 30 years:

It has always saddened me over the years as I’ve watched church leaders bring a reproach on the church of Jesus Christ. What’s shocking to me is how frequently Christian leaders sin grossly, then step back into leadership almost as soon as the publicity dies away.

Some time ago I received a cassette tape that disturbed me greatly. It was a recording of the recommissioning service of a pastor who had made national news by confessing to an adulterous affair. After little more than a year of “counseling and rehabilitation,” this man was returning to public ministry with his church’s blessing.

That is happening everywhere. Restoration teams—equipped with manuals to instruct the church on how to reinstate their fallen pastor—wait like tow-truck drivers on the side of the highway, anticipating the next leadership “accident”. Our church has received inquiries wondering if we have written guidelines or a workbook to help restore fallen pastors to leadership. Many no doubt expect that a church the size of ours would have a systematic rehabilitation program for sinning leaders.

Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong with the church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin. That the church is so eager to bring these men back into leadership is a symptom of rottenness at the core.

Some have claimed that a leader’s failure makes him more effective in shepherding fallen people. That is ludicrous. Should we drag the bottom of sin’s cesspool for the most heinous sinners to lead the church? Are they better able to understand the sinner? Certainly not! Our pattern for ministry is the sinless Son of God. The church is to be like Him and her leaders are to be our models of Christlikeness.

We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.

There are some sins that irreparably shatter a man’s reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever. Even Paul, man of God that he was, said he feared such a possibility. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 he says, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

When referring to his body, Paul obviously had sexual immorality in view. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 he describes it as a sin against one’s own body—sexual sin is in its own category. Certainly it disqualifies a man from church leadership since he permanently forfeits a blameless reputation as a one-woman man (Proverbs 6:33; 1 Timothy 3:2).

Where did we get the idea that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust? Certainly not from the Bible. Trust forfeited is not so easily regained. Once purity is sacrificed, the ability to lead by example is lost forever. As my friend Chuck Swindoll once commented when referring to this issue—it takes only one pin to burst a balloon.

What about forgiveness? Shouldn’t we be eager to restore our fallen brethren? To fellowship, yes. But not to leadership. It is not an act of love to return a disqualified man to public ministry; it is an act of disobedience.

By all means we should be forgiving. But we cannot erase the consequences of sin. I am not advocating that we “shoot our wounded.” I’m simply saying that we shouldn’t rush them back to the front lines, and we should not put them in charge of other soldiers. The church should do everything possible to minister to those who have sinned and repented. But that does not include restoring the mantle of leadership to a man who has disqualified himself and forfeited the right to lead. Doing so is unbiblical and lowers the standard God has set.

So why is the contemporary church so eager to be tolerant? I’m certain a major reason is the sin and unbelief that pervade the church. If casual Christians can lower the expectations on their leadership, they will be much more comfortable with their own sin. With lower moral standards, the church becomes more tolerant of sin and less tolerant of holiness. The “sinner-friendly” church is intolerable to God—that is a frightening condition.

Conservative Christians have for most of the previous century focused on the battle for doctrinal purity. And that is good. But we are losing the battle for moral purity. Some of the worst defeats have occurred among our more visible leaders. The church cannot lower the standard to accommodate them. We should hold it higher so we can regain purity. If we lose here, we have utterly failed, no matter how orthodox our confession of faith. We can’t win if we compromise the biblical standard of moral purity.

What should you do in the current crisis? Pray for your church’s leaders. Keep them accountable. Encourage them. Let them know you are following their godly example. Understand that they are not perfect, but continue nonetheless to call them to the highest level of godliness and purity. The church must have leaders who are genuinely above reproach. Anything less is an abomination.

Adapted from The Master’s Plan for the Church, © 1991 by John MacArthur. All rights reserved.

[Update: Ted Haggard on how not to repent]


50 thoughts on “Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored To Leadership?

  1. Jim,

    Blessings to you and your family and church. I must admit that this topic is a challenging one to put it mildly. I respect Dr. MacArthur and his scholarship, yet with all pastoral leaders and commentators, there will be some areas of disagreement. This would be one of those areas.
    That does not mean I won’t be using his commentaries or doing something foolish like posting nasty blogs, but I will differ in this area as it relates to restoration of pastors to leadership in the context of the church.

    My response to the question “Should fallen pastors be restored to ministry” would be…sometimes, and it isn’t something to be taken lightly or casually. I was disheartened by Dr. MacArthurs statements about restoration teams, counseling, and rehabilitation. I know that was written back in 1991, but it would be of benefit to learn from ministries like City of Refuge at First Baptist Woodstock, GA with Pastor Johnny Hunt.

    While pastors come there for many reasons, some are for moral failure. There intention is 4+ fold. 1. To restore a right relationship with Jesus. 2. To resotre a right relationship with themselves.
    3. To restore a right relationship with their family.
    4. To restore a right relationship with the church.
    And the + is one that is left up to God…restoration to ministry.

    I know this ministry from personal experience and have been blessed by it greatly. It isn’t taken lightly, is very intense, and lasts for a significant period of time (more than time alluded to by Dr. MacArthur). The focus isn’t restoration to ministry, simply restoration, and should the Lord see fit to restore to vocational ministry, that is His choosing.

    The issue of brokenness of the individual is essential in restoration. Many pastors may not have experienced an act of moral failure, but are leading congregations out of a prideful heart and not one of brokenness.

    If fairly treated, the scripture does not clearly outlay whether or not pastors who have committed immoral acts can be restored to a position of leadership in the local church. It would not be right to impose that which is clearly not imposable. I, like you, wish it was all so black and white that it was a “no brainer”, but it isn’t, and I am not going to act as if I have it all together theologically. To do so would be a bit prideful it think.

    I am not going to write a commentary of Dr. MacArthur’s article to refute some of his thoughts and comments (even though I think there is a little proof texting happening in some of the scripture he chose); that would be a waste of time I think on a non-essential belief and I am not writing to complain about or discredit Dr. MacArthur either. I have high thoughts of him as you clearly do as well.

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your blog. I chose not to write in an analytical format (too long and take up way to much space on your blog). Just take my words at face value.

    Blessings again on you, your family, and church!

    • In reply to your statement (albeit a few years ago!), “If fairly treated, the scripture does not clearly outlay whether or not pastors who have committed immoral acts can be restored to a position of leadership in the local church. It would not be right to impose that which is clearly not imposable.”, I beg to differ. I say that the Scripture written in 1 Tim 3: 1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 does make it plain to the truth-seeker just what the initial and ONGOING requirements are. And yes, there is a list of conditions that MUST be met (and therefore KEPT) for one to even be considered and ELDER (or even a deacon for that matter). We would all do well to remember that the only God appointed ‘leaders’ in local churches are ELDERS and also there are DEACONS. There are no one-man band senior (call them what you will) PASTORS. The apostle Paul NEVER addressed what we like to think of as the present day notion of pastor. Paul addressed only the brethren in his letters and also the elders that were appointed (and appointed in fact by apostles). If one carefully reads down the list of (character type) conditions required of an elder, then it (should) become quite obvious that if an elder (or ‘pastor’) committs adultery whilst in that office (really function), then it is untenable to think that he could be re-instated to that same ‘position’. Simply by going through the list in a kind of check-off way should make this more apparent. Such as, does the adulterating pastor/elder after being re-instated (let’s assume for a moment he is) still qualify with “being above reproach” or “the husband of one wife (ie to say a one woman man with complete and exclusive devotion to her and none other?), or is the adulterating pastor/elder now “temperate, prudent, respectable”? How about “one who manages his own household well” (that’s not even tongue in cheek when an elder can’t even manage himself well enough, come on?). And if he doesn’t, the Scripture goes on to say, “how will he take care of the church of God?” What about “he must have a good reputation with those outside…?” That’s kind of the nail in the proverbial isn’t it? Once tainted, always tainted (though forgiven!). Are outside unbelievers going to be readily willing to forgive and forget. I think not. Let’s remember, God’s reputation is at stake here in His church. It’s His holiness and Name on the line.This is “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” Truth must be upheld. Just as He desires truth in us in the inmost parts. Let’s not be decieved or seek to unwittingly deceive others. God is true, let everyman be a liar! I haven’t even broached the descriptors written in Titus that include the elder/pastor being one who is, .”sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word so he will be able to both exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers….God has had His say (in the Bible). Now, let’s have Him also have His way. Morever, may it start with those leaders who fall. May they be the ones clear-headed and repentant enough to say “No, I wont stand again in that office. I don’t deserve to be for what I’ve done. The church and His holy ways far outweigh my pursuit of a ministerial position. Let me just wash the feet of the disciples and learn to love my wife again from a blood-bought pure heart, if she’ll have me. To God be the glory.” Can we all say, “Amen” to that?

  2. What if you find out your pastor committed adultery 30 years ago, while in seminary? Our pastor has been very effective and our congregation has grown from a handful to over 350. He preaches verse by verse and is a great teacher. There have been no complaints of impropriety since he has pastored our church (28 years).

  3. Sue,

    You wrote:

    What if you find out your pastor committed adultery 30 years ago, while in seminary? Our pastor has been very effective and our congregation has grown from a handful to over 350. He preaches verse by verse and is a great teacher. There have been no complaints of impropriety since he has pastored our church (28 years).

    Here’s my reply:

    1. How did you “find out your pastor committed adultery 30 years ago, while in seminary?” I doubt this is something the pastor communicated from the pulpit.

    NAU 1 Timothy 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

    2. If you heard this from someone else, you and that individual need to go to the pastor directly without spreading the news to anybody. If you and your “source(s)” have already told others about this, then you and others need to repent and ask forgiveness for gossipping. Whether something is true or not, failing to go to someone directly and gossip about that to others clearly fails Matthew 18:15; and such action is clearly a sin.

    3. If for some reason the pastor did communicate this from the pulpit or private, then you need to ask him directly why he thinks he should be in the ministry. Secondly, ask other elders why they would support such decision. Ultimately, the local church eldership affirms or rejects whether the pastor should stay or leave.

    4. It is possible that a man can be in seminary and not be a Christian. I can’t say if your pastor was a Christian or not during his seminary years. Only God knows. What is clear from Scripture is that a biblical qualification for pastor/elder lies with his character – “he must be above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2). Whether the congregation has grown from handful to over 350 is not the ultimate criteria to determine whether someone is qualified to be pastor/elder. Such pragmatic thinking is dangerous. There have been many godly pastors/preachers in history who have been persecuted because the numbers have dropped. It is the sovereign God who purpose to increase or decrease the numbers; and it is He alone who receives all the glory for the great things He has done and doing and will do.

    I hope this helps.

    Jim Kang

  4. Thank you for your reply. Our pastor is a godly man and has not only “grown” the church (I know that Jesus said “upon this Rock I will build my church–so Christ is the chief Cornerstone and He does the building) but has grown the individual members spiritually. He teaches the unsearchable riches of God’s Word and has been faithful break the bread of life to us.
    He actually did reveal this information from the pulpit. The elders are totally behind him and have instructed he and his wife to seek counseling and to take a 4-6 week sabbatical. His wife knew of the affair 30 years ago. She also admitted to the church that when he was in Viet Nam she had an affair and upon his return asked for a divorce.
    While in Viet Nam, he sought the Lord with all his heart. He had been saved at 8 and called at 12. He had gotten away from the Lord because of a lack of mentoring and attending a church that did not encourage personal bible study, etc. Upon his return to the prospect of a divorce, he began reading everything J. Vernon McGee & W.A. Criswell wrote. He won his wife back. They began attending a Bible teaching church (not a dead church like before). He surrendered his life to the ministry and began seminary.
    He let the memories of his wife’s affair get the best of him and he succummed to the temptation. He repented and he and his wife put their lives back together and continued on.
    We have forgiven him. We believe that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. Is one sin worse than another? Or does this sin disqualify him from God’s service? Could any of us be in a leadership position if it weren’t for the grace and forgiveness of God? Where is the line drawn for “above reproach”? We want God’s will in this matter. We don’t want the blessings of God to cease. We don’t want to multiply by dividing. We need prayer and scriptural guidance. Our pastor as offered to resign but the elders said no. What if people can’t forgive? He is 62 years old. What would he do? As you can tell, we are confused. Some say it is Satan’s attack because he is threatened by our witness. We know that scripture tells us not to judge, lest we be judged, but that is in condemnation. Because it also says to judge a man by the fruit that he bears. When we judge our pastor’s fruit… there is fruit, more fruit and much fruit. We read Romans 7 and I Peter 5 and we just want to “stand therefore” as Paul tells the Ephesians. Then we read the qualifications in I Tim. and we question. And then we think, well surely God is not in heaven saying uh oh the secret is out so I’m not gonna bless anymore! Please pray and if you have any more advise, I would certainly appreciate it.

  5. Brother Jim,

    I’ve just run across this commentary and appreciate the posting of it. Upon reading it, I do however, have a question/comment regarding “above reproach”. Do you feel that this is applied in all aspects of a pastor’s life or is it merely applied in the sexual aspect?

    I ask because it has come to my attention that gluttony is rarely addressed in the church and there are many pastors who are very overweight and not b/c they have medical conditions, but b/c they overindulge (I myself am overweight, so this is not a cut on overweight people). Herein lies my question – If they do not lose weight, should they be removed from the pulpit as well, as they are living in a state of sin versus an act of sin? They are not above reproach as no glutton will enter the kindgom of God. It’s a poor example. And if they did lose weight, are they now above reproach even though everyone knew they were once gluttons?

    I also have been thinking of the pastors who’s household are not ruled well…They are men of God, but struggle to rule their household, yelling at their children, fighting with their wive, provoking their children unto wrath, etc. Even if they repent, are they now not above reproach? Is there restoration to their ministry?

    Or do we put adultery and sexual sins about the other qualifications in the verse?

    I’m trying to be fair and not just pick up the sins that seem worse, but truly examine what makes a man above reproach. What of the pastor who lied in a moment of weakness, repented and turned away from his lie? Is he now not above reproach? Can he keep preaching or does he need to step down? Where is the line? And what of the pastor who was saved, fell into sin before he was a pastor (although he’d felt a call) and had pre-marital sex? Is he disqualified b/c he had sex before marriage and there are those who know, so they could say he is not above reproach?

    Growing up, it always seemed that sexual sins were always at the forefront, while the others were not. This is an issue I have given serious consideration and am in no way trying to be argumentative, but am very troubled that we don’t apply the same thing in every area. If one is true, than all areas must be true, regarding reproach. Thanks in advance for your response.

  6. I just happened upon this while researching for a paper too. I believe MacArthur’s opinion is greatly outdated and biased. Restorations of leaders in God’s flock has happened before.

    Jim Feeney has good examples here:
    – King David after getting Bathsheba
    – Peter denying Christ
    – John Mark after disputing with Paul

    Of course, everything is a case-to-case basis. There are pastors who are naturally bone-headed, and may not repent. But those who do repent genuinely need to be helped back on. The pastor’s sins may be erased, but their leadership skills will always remain.

  7. God bless you

    My response is very simple as to what I have read.
    I disagree with Pastor J McArthur on many of his own interpretations however I have to agree with anyone when The infallible Word is quoted in context and where it aligns with the entire written Holy Scriptures.
    1Tim3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife
    1Tim3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
    One wife is what is is specifically stressed. Therefore we should not try to read something else into it. If I commit adultery, normally a child should be born, which makes me the husband and father of the woman and child respectively, even being legally married to another wife. The intelligence of man, not to have babies today, by way of birth control excuses him from bringing a bastard(illigitimate) into this world. God(unless he confesses to wife), however, neither them that are without will excuse him because he is now, not blameless as pertaining to one wife. The pastor stands as Christ before the people both believers and unbelievers, no wonder we should be blameless, especially adultery with another wife. The Lambs one wife by The Baptism of The Holy Ghost portrays this value. We were all unbelievers before we became believers and if I knew then what I know today about my former pastor, I might have found it difficult to become a believer. Christ will only have one wife and the ministry should be as Christ , One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one gospel and one virgin wife until death them do part. If that wife you commited adultery with 30 years ago comes to your church with your illigitimate son and sits next to your legal wife with your ligitimate children, guess how many wives you have? This is all about one wife beloved. Let your Pastor know what the self rebuking scripture says if he wants to act like a modern Baalim. Leviticus 21:7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife. Leviticus 21:15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the Lord do sanctify him. God Bless

  8. “Where did we get the idea that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust?”

    I agree with you that this is not the answer; however, I do believe that true repentance and surrender to the Lordship of Christ, in addition to forgiveness by brothers and sisters in Christ and additionally, their praise to God for the restoration of a brother to the Lord can restore integrity.

    I am seeking to know what it means to “live above reproach” today and from now forward, for my husband and me, although we have disgraced ourselves and sinned against God. We have repented. It has been several years and my husband has not sought to preach again, but if we are commanded to be above reproach, and we fail, can repentance restore us to that state, as we can no longer be condemned as unrepentant “presently sinning” sinners?

  9. Hi Stacey,

    Thank you for your question.

    First of all, the quote is not mine. It is from Dr. John MacArthur though I agree with his statement.

    Yes, you are absolutely right that there is forgiveness through Christ. Ultimately, the one who has power to forgive is God. In addition, sexual sins are not considered unforgivable sins though there are serious consequences in any sin for that matter. And unfortunately, integrity is one of those serious consequences. Once there is a breach of trust, it is utterly difficult to gain such trust though it is not impossible.

    Being above reproach (1 Tim 3:2) does not mean living perfect. If that was the case, then no one would be qualified. However, it does mean living free from scandalous sins – e.g., sexual immorality, financial embezzlement, etc. And if an ordained minister is charged guilty of any scandalous sin(s), then yes, he would not be qualified as being above reproach; hence, disqualifies himself from the role as an elder/pastor.

    The issue is not about whether such a sin can be forgiven by God. The issue is a matter of qualification as an elder/pastor according to 1 Timothy 3:2.

    I hope this helps.

  10. Thanks for your response.

    I don’t have as much trouble believing that it was right for my husband to resign from his church when he confessed his sin, and also fitting that he has not pursued any form of preaching since then; the sticky issue for me is what it means to be “above reproach”. I suppose I should not get stuck on it since in this passage the point is being made specifically about pastors and elders.

    He has been offered leadership positions in spite of his failure, but has declined. He is focused on being faithful in the “little things” and taking his correction with grace, but we both wonder what service to God (in addition to our family) looks like for us in the future.

    Thanks again. I appreciate your time.

  11. Why is it that people think they can’t serve God, except in a Pastoral/Leadership position. Is there anything wrong with getting a secular(?)job and serving God in a local church. I see a lot of pride out there in Churchland. Pride can be very subtle. One of the issues facing a lot of these churches is – is this church built upon a particular man’s abilities or God’s ability and direction. If it is God’s then it will survive with another Godly sent man. If it isn’t than what is the church(building)doing there? We need to encourage the burdened down brother’s and their families – Gal 6:1. To be honest, I believe about 70-80% of so called pastors are not called. They just got saved and were so grateful to God for His love and mercy that they wanted to do something for Him. Perish the thought of being faithful to work and supporting your local church and be a faithful witness in your community. We also have to many people(called to be pastors?)that jump straight out of college at age 25 or under that are putting themselves in an elder role. Thus the enthusiasm of youth(which is good)causes them to stumble. Most young pastors, because of the way seminary teaches them(managerial roles, rather than servant)believe they know it all and pay little heed to the wisdom of elderly christian’s especially if they are not in the ministry. Yes, older and wisdom do not necessarily go hand and hand! To Stacey, God knows you and your husbands heart. However, we as mortals may not. There are consequences to our actions. Some are seen and some are not. I have counseled others in the same predicament. Most have the what’s the use now, attitude. All I can say is if you are a true, born again child of God. God is not finished with you and yours yet. Just love God with all your heart. You and I are just this – sinners saved by grace. If children of God then the Father loves you and your husband and has a purpose for your life. One other passing thought on this particular scenario. I believe it is a failing of the church bodies that give way to much attention to pastorial/elder leadership. We make them minor celebrities(in some churches major celebrities. There just should not be so much separation between the elders and church members. Of which, the elders are also church members. That is partly why some pastors that fall and are truly repentant feel so bad. They have fallen out of the celebrity circle. That is also why some are so quick to jump back in. This may also fall to the members of the church that allow this to happen, by not study God’s word, so they understand the right things to do according to God’s word.
    One other thing I agree with J. Macarthur on. As a church body we should know God’s word enough to be able to handle crisis within our churches. We should be able to counsel from the word of God. Here we go again that these others have special powers(<:
    I am somehow reminded of the verses 2 Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;" If you are a church member(child of God)just follow Psalms 119:11 "Your word I have hidden in my heart,That I might not sin against You."
    Thanks, for letting me comment,
    Al – I Tim 1:15 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

  12. I am not a pastor but as someone who served a lay role in the past and is now experiencing the pain of sin from emotional infidelity and engaging in physical affection (though not fornication) with someone other than my wife, I can sympathize with those who seek to return to ministry.

    What could be closer to outright denial of Christ, closest to blasphemy, closest to the worst possible sin than Peter who denied his Lord three times? Yet, it was to Peter that the Lord asked to “feed my sheep” and he did so only 50 days later? What is the example there? Or what of David who did not lose his anointed kingship even though he murdered a woman’s husband to keep his secret? Or what of Moses who murdered a man yet God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt? Would not that disqualify him?

    While it is right that someone step aside or down from a position while embroiled in a scandal, thinking that they can never return to leadership denies the very acts of grace that God shows. Or possibly His choice in choosing.

    I recently read a list of reasons why men in the pastorate are particularly susceptible to moral failures and one of the big reasons is that the flock puts these men on a pedestal which glorifies them to such a degree that it isolates them.

    On Sunday, a dear friend, out of the blue, ministered to me by quoting 1 John 1:9 – a verse which I know by heart and clung to during this time. But he said something that caught him and I off guard. He said that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from the stain of sin. We don’t just obtain forgiveness, but God removes the stain. There may be lingering consequences, yes, but the stain is gone. And God’s purpose is to restore us.

    After experiencing this, I would never want to do so again. And my wife has become more precious to me than ever. And though it is painful, there is a humility and brokenness in me that was not there before. I remember telling God that I was unworthy to be called His servant. Yet He reminded me that I was never worthy in the first place and that because I was broken, He was more prepared to use me than before.

    But if we deny the power of God’s grace to redeem and restore our broken lives, and expect total outward perfection of our leaders, then our Christianity becomes little more than image management. Which is probably why so many refuse to share their faults and weaknesses until it gets so bad that it spills over into the public eye. It is for this reason that my wife and I have decided to keep this to ourselves. Because so many in the Christian community deal with such sins in a selfish way – they seek to punish the pastor because of what he did to them rather than to restore a life gone wrong.

    Jesus was never embarrassed to sit with the broken and sinning in restoring them to health. I hope soon to be working with those whose lives have been stained for generations with sin.

    I am so thankful for the grace that God has shown to my wife and I and I never want to sin like that again.

    But if God can use broken, fallen men to lead His people and we can’t, then maybe we need to adjust our thinking.

  13. I had representatives of a church come to me because they desired to ordain a man in our community. Now this brother had been a long-time crack addict. I witnessed Christ to him myself.
    He was saved in jail. He pled guilty of child molestation, he says, for fear of getting hooked on crack again. He denies he ever did what he was accused of and I believe him. He served his time in prison where my roommate from Bible School is the chaplain. I know he was well taught.
    On the basis of being “blameless”, I advised them not to ordain him as a deacon or as an elder while he remained on parole or probation.
    I have told him that I expect it to be a while…even beyond his probationary period with the State… before he meets the conditions for licensing or ordination. I told him that he must live his life in such a way that when he tells his story, those who did not know him can’t believe that he was once that man.
    Now some will never forgive him regardless of how he lives his life from now on. But that is not the way of Christ.
    Leaders sin. When they are caught in their sin, they must be publicly rebuked (1 Tim. 5:19-20). But to deny a possibility of a restoration of reputation is beyond the example God has given us. God used Moses, and David, and Peter, and John Mark even after they had done great damage. We are called to imitate God (Eph 5:1). It is those who imitate the devil who accuse the brethren and deny them forgiveness and restoration.
    This does not mean that I think John MacArthur is a child of the devil. How many times have I missed the mark? But part of being a child of God is learning to walk as He walked and live as He lived and we often fall short of this in many ways.

  14. Hello,

    Been struggling with this argument. I see two different strains of thought here: forgiveness and restoration vs. above reproach/disqualification.

    In my opinion it is going to invaluable to rightly interpret what Paul means by “disqualified” (I Cor.) for it is in the context of a discussion on sexual sin and refers to Paul himself who is a minister. If “above reproach” (I Tim.)means no one can bring a charge against the minister (as it would seem to, given the later instruction that he must be well thought of by outsiders), then the obvious conclusion would seem to be that there must be a period of disqualification from ministry upon commission of sexual sin.

    How long this will be is up for debate. I am not particularly impressed by the examples of Moses, David, and Mark, or Peter being restored. First, Moses murdered in unbelief and 40 years of his life passed as he tended sheep as a fugitive from Egypt, before God used him to lead his people. Second, David was a king, not a priest or pastor, and through his sin he brought years of chastening from God upon himself in the form of the sword. God promising that the “sword” would never depart from his house. Murder, mayhem, rape, and rebellion were the results in the following years in his own family. David was a man after God’s own heart, but was not a pastor and suffered extraordinarily when he sinned (I won’t go into the details about his census). Third, John Mark departed the ministry of Paul part way through the first missionary journey. He was helping with the work, and he is not called a “pastor” in the Bible, yet Paul still had reservations about welcoming him back in mission work–which is in line with Paul’s statements about being disqualified–at least for a time (we know Mark was restored to ministry–but again, he was not a pastor so far as we know). Peter is a tougher case, but to put his case in perspective, he was not operating under the same power of the Holy
    Spirit as he later experienced when he denied Christ. Not to mention every other disciple except John deserted the Lord. Add to these specific problems with these examples the fact that none of these men where pastors disqualified by adultery.

    My conclusion is that restoration is possible, but takes some time. It could be a very long time. Maybe shorter in some cases. The restored pastor would need to be subject to accountability on the part of those intimately familiar with him and the situation during the process. And most importantly, through that process, a public testimony would need to be established over time for the offender to show his reformation/restoration by the Spirit of God. Only then could he be considered to be “above reproach” once again.

    PS Some compare this case to a gluttonous pastor or one with disobedient children.

    Paul says nothing about overweight pastors, though he does mention self-control. This case would be unlikely in Paul’s context, but it would seem this sin is not as serious as adultery, if only because it does not wreak such havoc in the family, or destroy the image of the Trinity so abundant in pure marriage. Yet it bears saying that this sin still needs to be dealt with anyways, yet not on the same level of rigor as adultery, for the Bible mirrors such a distinction in the cases throughout. It is only in regard to human self-righteousness and the Gospel of grace that all sins are counseled and dealt with equally in regards to their prescriptive treatment in salvation and repentance through faith in Christ. Service in the church combines aspects of forgiveness and judgment based on the consequence of sin, much like secular law is supposed too (and which the OT Law mirrors).

    As to the question of disobedient children, does it not say more about us than the Bible that we allow this case with frequency? Pastors are often left to their own judgment in this case, and not the Word. If the word was used, serial child disobedience would keep many men from continuing in the pulpit. Furthermore, was not Eli’s family permanently removed from the priesthood of Israel for the sins of his sons? They were wicked men, and God killed them in a day, ending Eli’s line, at which he fell off his stool and died too.

    That’s my take,


  15. What happens if Dr. John MacArthur becomes fallen, or if is in secret gross sin.. i wonder if his message/ theology would still be the same

      • I agree Jim. God’s truth is unchanging. I believe that hypothetical to be unlikely, but in the event it were to happen, I do not believe Dr. MacArthur would change his views. Regardless, if he did, it wouldn’t change what God’s Word says about the role and the expectations of Church leaders. Theirs is a higher standard that God expects and demands.

  16. I am an ordinary church goer.One who needs guidance with my walk all the time. I believe that it is not my fault to esteem a pastor to a high level since isn’t there some kind of expectation from them? Iam trusting him to be my spiritual leader while i am here on earth,therefore,he should lead by example and do what he preaches.My church recently split,as a result my pastor’s infidelity a few years back was exposed by one of the member’s who left.I didn’t know about it until now and iam having problems listening to his sermons that i am thinking about looking for another church.I am shocked with how quickly he was restored to preach again,meaning at the time my family joined this church he has just committed the infidelity.I am hurt and angry.Help me.

  17. It’s one thing to write about these issues looking at the situation, it’s entirely different to be the one in the situation and considering this question.
    It’s been five years for me and my wife. I committed adultery and within the month confessed to my wife, we went to intensive counseling then confessed to the Elders of the church. I then resigned, confessing that I was no longer qualified. While some suspect or wonder, it was never openly confessed because the sin was never open or public.
    I experienced the discipline of the Lord spiritually, emotionally and physically. It has been the most excruciating blessing of my life. I won’t take the time here to describe what 4 years of discouragment, pain, depression, repentance and ‘weeping’ over my sin has been like. Yet as we look back my wife and I both know that my character has been intensely purged and changed and our marriage is profoundly deeper and richer than ever before, soli deo gloria!!
    I have worked in various jobs and have distanced myself from ever returning to the position of Elder…but I can’t help but shake the sense that God continues to call me to ministry.
    As a result I am beginning an in depth exegetical study of the words blameless and above reproach. This is what I see lacking in all the discussions of whether a man can return to ministry….real exegesis. What do the words mean, how did Paul use them…etc. If you have any source material, I’d love to read it.
    By the way, the only Biblical example that even comes close for me is Aaron, I never see anyone talk about this. He was the spokesman, soon to be the High Priest of God, yet he led Israel to sin by making for them the Golden Calf at the foot of Sinai. I have to flesh this out a bit but I’d certainly say that leading people to falsehood and outright idolatry is a significant sin as well.
    I’ll be interested to hear if you have any good academic sources…

  18. The exegetical study may not take you where you want to go but I think you are on the right track with Aaron.
    One of the things that always troubled me about the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus was that he was so harsh with him about not understanding the concept of being born again.
    John 3:9-10
    9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
    10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? NKJV
    It would seem that Jesus thought this should be obvious from the Old Testament. Until I started looking for it, I did not think it obvious at all.
    The New Testament is much more forthright than the Old with the concept but I believe most Christians still do not get it. For most, “born again” means they have prayed a sinner’s prayer and believe they are saved by faith through grace and not that they have become “imitators of God as dear children,” which is the real test of whether their faith is genuine or they have become self-deceived.
    We may certainly be lawyers and examine the standard by which we are all measured and we will indubitably reject Abrahams, Aarons, Moseses, Davids, Peters, Pauls and John Marks. And some will no doubt excuse God’s mercy on one technical basis or other.
    Or we can choose to imitate God who obviously does not throw away people quite so readily but is always looking for a heart of true repentance. Those who truly repent He in no way casts out.
    I served for ten years as a judge and I have served twenty years as a pastor. Being a judge gave me an entirely different perspective of God:
    Two people standing in front of me, one right after the other, pleading for mercy because they were truly sorry. The emotion for both is the same but from experience I know that there are some very good actors out there and addicts can be very good liars. How can I know who is truly sorry and won’t repeat the error and who is only sorry they are caught?
    I began to realize that repentance is tested in the cauldron of real life. Those who truly repent will not repeat the same error but will go far from it. Those who only pretend to change will revert to their true form soon enough.
    I used probation extensively to test people when I served as a judge. Real life has a way of showing what is really in people’s hearts.
    God shows mercy. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. The law is meant to show the standard, His grace and mercy mixed with a truly repentant heart makes up for our failure to live up to it.
    I have been preaching on “One Anothering” in my church. This is the text I used Sunday…in the Amplified version:
    Galatians 6:2
    2 Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].
    The path of mercy is scary. To allow a pastor to serve again who has done damage to the Body of Christ, watch him, examine him (for years if necessary) and invest in him when he may disappoint you. That is scary.
    The path of law is seems safe. You simply cast aside anyone who sins as shipwrecked and you no longer have any concerns. They can’t hurt you or disappoint you again.
    Jesus’ new commandment was: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
    How has He loved you? Go and do likewise.

  19. Ken,
    Thanks for the response.
    My only concern with your response is the very first part “an exegetical study may not take you where you want to go”. What exactly do you mean by that?

  20. I am in this church for 3.5 yrs and I stopped going after I came to know that the Pastor’s wife is having an affair with a much younger guy. This guy happens to be the son of the Asst. Pastor and this family left the church. The Pastor refuses to confront this issue and still believes his wife that there is no such affair. I understand his fear of losing the church and bringing shame to his family. I was disgusted and left the church. I used to have great respect for this man.
    Now, I came to know that this Pastor also sexually harresed the Asst.Pastor’s 17 yr old daughter for 3 months last year. It is still kept a secret and no one in the church knows it. He confessed this only after the Asst. Pastor family confronted him and they forgave him for that.
    I am very sad that these things are happening and he still occupies the Pastor position. I was trying to know what the Bible says about Pastors falling into this kind of immoral sins and came across this blog.

  21. As one of these ‘other’ women who has been with one of these pastors. Let me echo strongly that they should not return to the ministry. These men have disqualified themselves by the qualifications in Scripture. These men are not even qualified for deacons. They have not been ‘one woman men’. Whatever that means , it clearly mean ‘being faithful to your wife’. When Scripture says ‘it is a sin that effects the body and you sin against yourself’. It means it runs very deep. It effects everything. These men and women should not return to these positions. The reasons are very many. These men have lived a lie.
    The pastor I was with, had been with numerous women for over 7 years. He (and I) lived a lie. He did not confess. I did. Do I think they can minister to people , absolutely. But not in a paid position or a position of leadership.

  22. Sara,
    Pretty easy to sense your disgust for this Pastor. Allow me as ‘One of these Pastors’ to say that things are not the same in every situation.

    I did confess. First to my wife, then the Leadership and then resigned from my church citing that I was no longer qualified for leadership.

    Sorry that this Pastor of yours did not confess…he not only sinned, but continues to sin…very different situation than mine.

    Does that make the answer easy to come by? (Whether or not a man should return to ministry?) NO! But it should have some kind of effect upon discussion.


  23. Sorry. No I am not disgusted with ‘him’. I am disgusted with the thought of a man like him being able to continue to stand in front of a congregration. Or the thought of a man like him (or him) being able to return to the ministry. (i thought that was the discussion here )
    Truth , I hope his marriage survives and thrives. But I think this man and others like him, should go on to other professions.

  24. I have read the whole correspondence with interest. My first inclination was to agree with Dr McArthur in principle but ameliorate his message in practice. Trust in a pastor has to be at a higher standard than almost any other leader, and failure is devastating as well as offensive to the church and to God. However, we know God uses broken vessels and is more interested in what we become than what we have done. It is what use we have allowed God to make of the devastation that ultimately counts.

    Restoration to leadership, as opposed to rehabilitation and recovery, is a different issue. Leadership of a church must be based on trust, and trust is what has been destroyed by the sin. Trust is very hard (but not impossible) to restore and involves a great deal of tentativeness at the beginning, a not pushing oneself forward and a quest for step by step acceptance by the one or the group whose trust is being regained. There has to be belief on the others’ part that the the brokeness of spirit is genuine and has been allowed to take effect.

    It seems to me that for a pastor to recover a leadership position after moral failure requires the genuine consent of the congregation, based on observed change and humility, and full disclosure. It may never be possible or even desirable to pastor the same church, but it may be possible to be restored to fellowship. If the desire is to stay within that same church community, then is the correct course to be, in military parlance, “reduced to the ranks” and start over again, building trust by service, and starting with small groups rather than whole congregations? Can the group be the “Barnabas” referred to by Feeny, as long as an Elder is involved?

    I believe that sinners who hate their sin and have overcome it can indeed be effective in ministry, and can be very discerning about the origins and manifestations of such sin. The price that they (and their church) paid for their sin will forever be before them. If the congregation, being satisfied as to the overcoming, want to restore a pastor to a position of trust, and the individual is so inclined, then it should be allowed to happen. But consent is important and if members of the congregation believe that such a re-instatement would be unacceptable and their faith will be tested too far by such an appointment, then the pastor should withdraw. In any event, there has to be a considerable time allowed before any reinstatement can be considered.

    I am on a restoration team as an external member and am trying to clarify my thoughts and expectations.


  25. All the comments are very interesting, and clearly these are heartbreaking situations for all involved. I can only imagine a little of what it must be like to have one’s whole vocation thrown away as a result of an adulterous act. And yet, Christ died for these sins too. The solution is therefore repentance, and the forgiveness of sins to be found in Christ.

    Nevertheless, although sins can be forgiven, the consequences of those sins often endure. Many of the comments so far seem to overlook the fact that an elder is *required* (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) to be a ‘mias gunaikos andra’ (lit. ‘one-woman man’). That’s a crystal clear qualification requiring an unbroken track record of sexual fidelity. Someone who has committed adultery is therefore disqualified from being an elder/pastor/overseer. The text is quite clear about this, and it really shouldn’t be up for discussion — Dr. MacArthur is absolutely right in what he says.

    This is not to say that a fallen former pastor cannot again serve his brothers and sisters in Christ. There are many avenues of service legitimately open to him. But eldership is not one of them.

    Incidentally, I cover this requirement in a bit more detail in my post at–-should-elders-be-married-and-have-children/

  26. Thank you Tim and Jim. I think the mandate our team is to be given will need to be carefully worded and we on the restoration team will have to be clear as to what our true objectives are. In the light of such a strict ruling, I query my own qualification to serve on this team.

  27. Do you think a pastor who’s committed adultery in his heart by willfully looking at pornography should be disqualified from leadership?

    Jesus said if a man looks at a woman with lust, he has committed adultery with her in his heart.

    If that is the case, should pastors be held accountable to remain pure regarding this sin?

    Should pastors open up their personal lives to fellow elders to perform random internet history checks to make sure the pastor is not hiding a secret sin which would disqualify them?

    Or, do we trust solely in the word of the pastor, who claims to be sexually pure?

  28. Well, I have learned that the pastor I was with is back in the puplit after one year of counciling. To say I am shocked is an understatement. Seven years of multi women and one year of counciling and he is good to go.!
    I just do not get it. I am so confused.

    • The church I attended had the same thing happen. But they restored him after 7 months. He now has a church in another town. The church split. They also had another leader arrested for something I consider far worse then adultry and the members allowed him to stay at the church and felt he should not have been arrested.I was a new Christian and was devastated by this and I am just starting to feel God move in me again. I feel Christian’s have lost site of God and have gone into the mode of everyone is doing it mode. I am not without sin but what these two have done should be forgiven but should not be allowd to preach again. If they ever come to the church to preach where I am I will not be there that day. I do know some people that were ready for giving there life to Christ turned away from the church. A pastor should be beyond reproach. He should serve the Lord when the time comes but not from the pulpit.

    • I am kind of in the same boat. I went to a church in Nashville Ga, where the assistant pastor cheated and yet he continues to preach and nobody knows anything, but the woman he cheated with after telling her many lies, knowing she was fairly new to church, the head pastor told her and her children, not to come back.

  29. I understand the real issue here to be that God cannot use people who “live” in sin. Repentance and a desire to grow out of that pit is where God CAN work. Leaders must have humility in their leadership and that means constantly asking God to evaluate one’s heart. Living in a known sin does not seem to glorify God in a way that He calls us to live; however, I am amazed at the absolute grace He continues to provide to us all. Praise God!

  30. Great discussion. I would love to sit and talk with alot of you guys and gals above. I too am so weary of the sexual sin in the church. Just saw in the paper of a pastor who stepped down for 3 months because he and his wife had a 3-way with another staff person. And locally a large church in town is hiring an administrative pastor who is currently going through a divorce. And I know another pastor who went for 12 months of counceling for 6 years of affairs with 5 women. Back leading worship . Like the above ‘forgiveness’ yes, yes, yes. Healing of marriages, wonderful ! But not back in the puplits and on church staff.

  31. I found out one year ago that my husband, a Sunday School teacher and deacon, was having an affair. My husband and I sought counsel from our pastor. For the past year, my pastor has offered advice and encouragement to me and has tried to talk to my husband (now ex-husband) about what true repentance looks like (he remains with the woman and yet insists that he wants to restore the marriage). I found out about two weeks ago that my pastor has stepped down from our church due to an affair that he has been involved in. I cannot tell you betrayal I feel now from my pastor. I too believe in forgiveness…but restoration to ministry is another subject. This was absolute “malpractice” to have offered counseling to those wounded by infidelity while being involved in infidelity and then, once found out, to confess and expect to be restored to the ministry. During counseling he said to me that if my husband wasn’t being prompted by the Holy Spirit to flee from this sin then I may have to question his salvation. What about my pastor’s salvation. Should I now question his? Having to be found out before you confess doesn’t feel the same to me as being prompted by the Holy Spirit to flee from sin. The damage of a leader not being above reproach should be taken very seriously. I am a strong Christian and will not allow this to impact my Christian walk but that would not be the case with everyone. Certainly this will have a strong impact on many who are looking for justification for their “pet” sins. Yes, man will let us down and our example for living is Jesus himself, but that does not mean that we should compromise God’s standards for Christians and particular our leaders.

  32. I, too, agree that a pastor should not be restored to the pulpit after a grevious sin. To allow this is to weaken the word of God and therefore weaken the church’s stance against sin. These ministers and/or other church leaders should be approached with love and forgiveness but they have forfeited their right to leadership. Jimmy Swaggart comes to mind. He still preaches and I don’t believe that is right. He should allow only his son and grandson or others to minister. I have and am presently reading some of his bible commentaries. I believe he knows the word but was weak in living what he preached and condemned other for doing the same wrong that he was guilty of at the same time. We can’t help what we don’t know about someone but when it becomes public fact with proof, then that is a different matter. Also any minister that lives a lavish lifestyle is a definite red flag. If the church is doing well and there is a lot of money coming in, then it is more Christian to put that money toward better means than pampering a minister and his family. Nitpicking, such as an overweight pastor or a sin commited 30 years ago, is a bit extreme. We all sin everyday and have commited sins in the past. If a person has made a complete change, has not commited the sin again, and at every opportunity, is trying to control and encourages others in this manner, then perhaps some sins can be dealt with, especially if commited while young or before becoming a minister. Paul was in his early life a great sinner but went on to become a great believer and was humbled all his later life for what Jesus had done for him.

  33. I am grievous to admit that I committed adultery several years back . I had been involved in the church, read the Bible, and knew many verses and hymns by heart but allowed problems in my marriage to warp my thinking. As I look back, I can see how Satan used my own weaknesses against me and am heartbroken that I was convinced that I what I was doing would turn out best for everyone-given that my spouse and I were ill-matched and seemed unhappy with me. I won’t go into all of the ways and means that Satan will lie, steal, and destroy, but, believe me, he will use any means necessary while rubbing his hands together with glee. My marriage held together though will never be great, I have asked the Lord for forgiveness and read and study my Bible everyday. I love the Lord with all my heart and soul-I would have said that I did in the past but now I know what that really means. I can say with all honesty that the Lord took all of the temptation of this sin away and I would never betray my Lord or my spouse again. All of this began many years ago and I still can’t imagine what I was thinking or what I saw in this other person or how I could have felt the slightest attraction for this person. Having said all that, I would like to add that I used to be a Sunday school teacher, a youth group leader, vacation Bible school teacher, and was involved in many other church leadership activities but would not consider it now. I don’t feel that I should or that I am in any way qualified. I need to learn from those who are stronger than I was. This is why I don’t understand the audacity of these ministers who feel they are still qualified to lead. All they are accomplishing is to weaken the church on the matter of sin. One final thought. Please confess and asked the Lord to help you with any temptation, any weakness, any recurring thought of wrong that you may have. You may think that you have it all under control and that you would never consider actually committing this sin.. I used to think the same thing, that I was stronger than that , that my willpower was stronger than that but Satan knows that you are not stronger than he is and that you are not in control of yourself as long as you think your willpower will see you though. He knows that it is only a matter of time and that you are all the time being lured into his way of thinking. Christ is the only answer to this. If we could have handled every temptation on our own, He would not have needed to come to earth and be crucified for our sins. Our strength is in Him. I used to think that if I admitted a weakness that I would be letting God-down, when, if fact, He already knows this about us and sent His Son. I pray that He will bless all who read this and instill in your hearts that He is your Strength and lean on Him and not your intellect, will power, or reasoning. God bless you all.

    • I thank God you realise you are not perfect and have confessed. Now just a comment about those you think are strong. Yes some are but many of those are not strong enough to stand up and confess but are strong enough to hide their sins.

  34. I dont think a Pastor should be able to continue preaching the word without alot of counseling after he has cheated, Many churches find out and want to just cover it up, like nothing has happened. I went to a small town church in Nashville Ga, where the assistant pastor cheated with the same women many times, making promises after promises and telling this women, who was pretty new in church he was seperated and filing for divorce, Well when the women, had enough of the lies, she went to the head pastor, he said things like this can happen, he just made a mistake, and told the women that it would be best if her and her family didnt come back to church, so it wouldnt hurt his wife and children, and that this man needed to realize he made a mistake so he could get back to preaching. So the women was told, to not tell anybody after not being allowed to come back to church. Where is he right in that, where is the truth in that?

    • Those churches should read what happened to Eli and his sons, in I Samuel. Those churches will meet the same fate. You do not spit in God’s face and not bring forth his wrath. I feel though they may be forgiven…they should step down because they no longer meet the requirements. And anyone upholding them will meet with God’s wrath also.

  35. I thank God you realise you are not perfect and have confessed. Now just a comment about those you think are strong. Yes some are but many of those are not strong enough to stand up and confess but are strong enough to hide their sins.

  36. My brother is a pastor who committed adultery and a child was born. He seems to have no shame. He says his wife would not have sex with him for 2 yrs. and he got weak. For what he did he blames his wife. She waited until all kids were grown then divorced him. Maybe 2 or 3 yrs later he married again. I feel if she withheld sex for 2 yrs. she takes partial blame. For him to re marry it seems that he is committing adultery. He and his new wife are committing a sin. Also I think he should step down from the pulpit. I keep thinking how Peter denied Jesus, but then he preached his best sermon. Was he reinstated in God’s fold? I know that’s different from a pastor’s adultery, but to deny Jesus seems worse. Then there was the incident with my pastor. He started an affair with his secretary. His excuse was God did not mean for him to be with his wife. His wife was the daughter of one of the evangelical preachers in their group. My pastor had gotten her pregnant and her father made him marry her. Both women were very pretty, though the secretary was younger. Both sat on the front row on either side of the congregation. The church dispersed…most members left. Even the deacons said they could not take this anymore. The pastor seem to have no shame. He left his wife. Last I heard he had opened up another church and is still preaching. Also, word is that he is not helping his wife and children financially. Something is very wrong with the church today. I had always thought our pastor was money hungry. After tithe and offering he would ask us to march down and put money in the basket for his tv broadcasting. Then he would ask us to come bring money for the missionaries. Before we could get back to our seats he says “Ladies take your check books out and all of you write a check for $10. I could have done it but I wouldn’t. I began to resent him. And most pastors are this way. The people think they are pleasing God, they don’t realize they are only pleasing the pastor. I don’t think I’m wrong for seeing them for what they are.

  37. Thanks for this wonderful lesson; my congregation is faced with such problemm. I’m really asking God to help us as leaders in the church to face reality in a more mature way to please God n not man.

    • Well I believe we all can fall even Pastors. But the thing is The ones who have cheated and only a few know about it. The ones who still do things like that but are still preaching. It makes me sick to my stomach…

  38. I have failed God and His church in the area of sexual purity and have disqualified myself from the ministry. Character of a leader should be the yardstick of him or her staying on as a minister. A character beyond reproach. Integrity.

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