Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do we have a disease?

I’m sure I am not alone in noticing a rise in evangelical preachers and leaders scandaled recently. Pastors who, from the pulpit, preach out against homosexuality, but partake in it in private. I have heard liberals use these events to call conservative evangelicals to leave their “archaic views on homosexuality” and fundamentalists use these events to prove the worldliness and depravity of the evangelical church. I think that such scandals do prove depravity. The depravity of man.
After all, how many times does the Bible command us to confess our sins? In a quick count, I found no less than 16. How many times does it command us to stop sinning? I could only think of one such example (and, ironically, tied to that example is Jesus not condemning the woman, but pointing out that all sin). I’m a little … rather, a lot … uncomfortable saying this, but, God doesn’t care if we sin. God cares if we cover it up. That has been mankind’s problem from the beginning. Why do we cover up sin? Because we are ashamed.
I want to take a bit to look at how these scandals came to be. Every case I have heard has been a pastor who is the sole leader of a very large group of Christians that has been struggling secretly under sexual sin for some time is finally discovered and discharged. Why are or leaders secretly struggling? Where are the elders? Where are the deacons? Why have these struggles turned into scandals. I want to say it now. I sin. I married but I still lust. I have had to, with tears in my eyes, tell my wife I have looked lustfully at another, even a faceless other on a stupid website. I don’t think I’m better than Ted Haggard or any other leader that has, so called, “fallen from grace”. Furthermore, I am proud. I don’t like telling people my faults. I think it is harder to lead them and have them respect me if they know I sin.
Well that’s a lie. It’s a lie our culture has bought right in to. The lie saying that the leaders have everything worked out. Sure they struggle with little things, just enough to keep them human and humble, but nothing big. It is such a big lie that these pastors have no one to confess to. If I go to my congregation tomorrow and say that I struggle with homosexuality, will I lose my job? Should I? I am obeying the Lord! I am confessing. I need them. They are the body. Paul said, if one part of the body hurts, it all does. Our pastors and our leaders are hurting friends. They need to confess, and we need to listen.
But why is this happening. Let me suggests 3 things
1. We are afraid of what others think
2. We are more concerned with image, than reality.
3. Even if we do confess, no one wants to hear
To be continued …