The longer I live and the more involved I become in a global ministry, I realize that the Body of Christ in North America is spiritually sick. Perry recently pointed this out in a message, “Christians being A.W.O.L. and Preachers Gone Wild.”
I was blessed to grow up in a very strict traditional old time Pentecostal church. Actually I began attending as a young teenager. The ministers were men of integrity who lived outside of the pulpit what they preached from the pulpit. The wives were examples of godly and holy women to the younger women. They supported their husbands and were never in competition or contradictory to Biblical teachings.
Some would complain that this “holiness” emphasis was too legalistic and they are thankful that today this generation is no longer “bound” by the traditions of the elders. Yet compare the scenes. Today, it is becoming common to hear about “Christian” youth attending the clubs on the weekend, drinking beer with the gang and attending movies where nudity and profanity are common. The scary thought is some of these youth are planning to be the spiritual leaders in the church within a few years. Their idea is to live like a sinner in order to reach the sinner.
I have a very difficult time understanding the actions of some ministers both male and female. There seems to be this concept that, “It doesn’t matter what you do in private as long as you can perform in public.” This was the same concept of former President Clinton. When he sinned with Monica I can remember the politicians of his own party saying, “It doesn’t matter what a person does behind closed doors. It only matters if they are effective at their work.” Let’s consider this statement in the light of the following stories:
- A pedophile molests a child behind closed doors but is the banker in the town. It’s O.K. however, because he is such a good banker
- A Junior High teacher has sex with several boys that are 14 and 15. That’s O.K. The kids seem to like her and what she does after hours is her business
- A secret homosexual is taking boys camping. He molested two young boys but it was done in the woods in a tent. He is known as an upstanding deacon and a wonderful coach of the ball team. He produced a winning season. He is so good in public we will let the “moral failure” slip by.
This is the attitude in the contemporary church. Many pastors have their own church with their own hand picked board, and when they make a complete personal wreck of their life morally, they just get behind the pulpit and carry on, without repenting or stepping down for a season.
Recently, we were told of a man whose dad is a Bishop in an African American mega church. He said, “In our ‘culture’ it is expected that the pastor have a girlfriend or a couple women on the side.” Recently a powerful and godly African American minister leader told us that there were two African American ministers in the southeast who would soon be exposed for having homosexual lovers on the side. Their wives know the sin but ignore it because of the financial security they have!
Where is the shame? Where is the conviction? How can a preacher minister to a person bound in sin when they are bound in sin? How can they preach on marriage when their home is falling apart? How can they lead by example when they are the blind leading the blind?
The problem is Christians today do not know what the Bible says about SIN! They know about blessing and prosperity but nothing about sin! It is time that Christians reject the ministries of the proud and arrogant and those who continue in their shameful private life and yet continue to preach. We are not to be a partaker of another person’s sin (1 Timothy 5:22). If we quit buying their books, quit watching their programs, THEN they may pay attention when the well dries up and turn back to God and repent of their foolishness.
This is not being said in a judgmental spirit but leaders must live by a higher standard than others. This is a call to accountability. God does forgive but the abuses in the ministry will eventually cause a person to lose their voice to the nation and only become an echo. We know that none of us are perfect, but there are many of us who seek to follow holiness in our personal life and seek to please the Lord. May that number grow. The world doesn’t need more hypocrisy from the pulpits. They need to see integrity. Let us pursue a lifestyle of purity and integrity before God and men.
Love and Concern,