Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Issue

The following posts are part of the Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Issue. Articles that are in this issue contain information about horror-scopes, gossip, being unequally yoked, and what to do if or when your pastor cheats.

full course

When Your Pastor Cheats

 Estimated Reading Time: 19 minutes

Forward:

This article was based on the events of the fall of Pastor Bob Coy in 2014.  It was personal to me because my family trusted him so the emotions were at the surface. We were highly disappointed.  This does not mean that our “ladder” was leaning on him because it wasn’t, but if a pastor is leading a flock—they absolutely depend on him to “keep it real.”

I read many of the articles written about the church scandal.  However, it was the comments and FB posts that inspired this article because (1.) it was clear that church people were lost about what the Bible says to do in a situation like this and why and (2.) it was a reconfirmation of why it is so desperately important to devote yourself to the scriptures every day and night.

Recently, a well-known, married pastor of a mega-church had to step down from office because he had committed adultery.  The reaction from his congregation was mixed.  Some were angry and some simply encouraged him to begin again.  Many people loved him and still do.  However, some people do not know how to let go of him because they honestly do not understand God’s process and why they should follow it.  Therefore, I would like to shed some light on how the body of Christ is supposed to react if—or when—their pastor cheats.

First, when a “man of God” cheats on his wife, the number one thing people should not say is, “We all fall short.”  This is a cop-out.  This is such a slap in the face to God and people who are saying this —must stop.  A man who preaches the gospel doesn’t simply slip and fall into the bed of a woman.  It is a sin that he invited into his life.  The word of the Lord says,

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  ~1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV [The whole chapter in 1 Corinthians 10 expounds more on this.]

Second, a man who calls himself a Christian, yet not only a Christian, but one who leads and creates disciples, is one who studies the Word of God.  Through the Word of God that he studies, he is washing himself clean.  Examine the scripture below that refers to the washing of the Word.

[25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; [26] That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. [28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  ~Ephesians 5:25-28 KJV [Take note of why Christ gave Himself for us.  He did it so that we would be sanctified by the Word and be holy, without blemish.]

Some people reply by saying, “But no one’s perfect!”

We'll never be perfect.~Moment of Truth: Casting Down Lies #2

This is an enormous, deceitful lie.  We are commanded—yes, I just said the word commanded— to perfect ourselves for the Lord’s coming.

 “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.”  ~ Deuteronomy 18:13 KJV

 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  ~ Matthew 5:48 KJV

Furthermore, there are those of us who know the baptism of Christ given by fire also known as the “baptism of fire.”

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” ~Matthew 3:11 KJV

Those of us, born-again, who have tasted of the heavenly gift of the Holy Ghost and the powers of the world to come, know that to experience this baptism into Christ with fire, and then make Christ look badly by deciding to go back into sin, is a terrible evil.  The pastor who knows this should be very fearful of walking out of line.

[4] For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, [5] And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, [6] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame. [7] For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: [8] But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.  ~ Hebrews 6:4-8 KJV

Now that I’ve clarified a few things about why we should be serious about our walk with God, let’s now dive into why our reaction matters.

If you do not know the Apostle Paul, he was a Jewish man who used to persecute and murder Christians because he thought they were sinning against God.  So he felt it was his duty to purge the world of these “heathens.”  But then in Acts 26:15, one day as he was travelling on a road to Damascus to attack some more Christians, the Lord shined a fiercely, bright light upon him and said, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?  It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  And Saul knew it was the Lord.  It was from that point on that he was born-again and began to follow Jesus.  The Lord gave Him a new name called Paul.  He was powerfully anointed meaning that he had the Holy Spirit inside of His body and he was instructed by the Lord to go about preaching and teaching the Word of God and creating disciples and churches to teach them to do the same.  Paul specifically addresses the church at Corinth, about those who commit fornication, which is a sin of unmarried persons having sexual relations with one another or with one who is married, so I will expound on this, and another chapter, and then bring it all to a close.

Paul writes,

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.”

So we see here that a man in the church body had sexual relations with his father’s wife.  Pretty bad.

“And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

See at this point, what Paul is saying here is that because of this man’s sin, he could die.  Certain commentaries say that Paul is warning of excommunication.  Excommunication is about shunning or excluding, not about taking someone away.  Yet, God can take someone away.

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.~1 Corinthians 10:8 KJV

Just think of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts for a moment.  They died instantly because they lied.  Therefore, the sin that the man committed, having his father’s wife, was laden with lies, adultery, fornication, and dishonor.  He could die!  Yet, the church had no authentic humility or sadness of his potential, impending death because their pride had blinded them so they were “puffed up.”

 “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Here, Paul is writing to them that though he is absent in body, he is with them in spirit and has already judged this man and that they, in agreement, must give him over to the devil so that he may destroy his body that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  Now why do you think Paul said this?  A lot of people at this point would say that we should love this sinner and support him with the encouragement to continue in the faith and in the church.  But Paul is telling them that this is not how it is done.

Paul now continues to explain how it is done,

“Your glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”

Glorying means “to give honor to.”  This is what certain people do to their cheating pastor.  They build him up to attempt to “walk in love” because they think it is the Christian thing to do.  However, what this does is create a feeling that “sinning” is okay so, it causes the entire body to become sinners because of the “everything is gonna be alright” mentality.

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.”

So Paul tells them exactly what to do, which is to throw him out.  We all know what purging is.  You can purge contaminated food meaning to throw it up or throw it out.  You can purge your clothes meaning to throw them out.  Paul commands them to purge out the old leaven.  The old leaven is sin and the man, in the body of the church, was not clean.  He was a blemish of wickedness in the body.  We can also assume that the father and his wife were not part of the church body since Paul only speaks of the man.

 “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

So here, Paul refers back to the Passover feast, which is a feast of unleavened bread, without sin, held in sincerity and truth.  This is the feast that the Israelists ate on the night that God sent death to Egypt.  Death passed over the Israelite slaves because of their obedience to the feast and the pure lamb’s blood marked on their doors and windows.  So Paul is telling them not to put that feast away by mixing sin in it, yet, neither with the desire to harm anyone or to be wicked.

“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?  Do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth.”

Paul reminds them of his letter about not hanging out with the wicked.  Yet because of this incident, he makes it clear that those people, who call themselves Christians and commit sins, the church must not even eat with them.  He says this because we are supposed to judge those in the body, but we do not judge those who are not in the body because God will judge them.

So why would Paul makes such strong statements?  Why shouldn’t faithful church-goers just continue to post on Facebook and Twitter about how much they love their cheating pastor and are praying for him?  The answer is simple—take note.

Giving someone over to their sin shows them the fear of the Lord.  Remember in Proverbs chapter 7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  People who reject the way of the Word of God and how He does things are despising the wisdom and instruction of God.  The whole reason that people must not “glory” in their fallen pastor is because they must show the fear of the Lord.

Paul wraps it up,

“Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”  ~All previous scriptures regarding what Paul said are from 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 KJV

Some at this point would say, “Oh, so you expect me to judge all the people in the church?  What about my sins?  I want mercy if I sin, so I am going to give mercy and pray for others in theirs.”  These are the people who, again, default to what they feel is right and justified.  Nevertheless, although our God is love, His ways are not our ways.  Yes, confront those who have not been confronted with the truth.  So to dig deeper, let’s look at a few more convicting scriptures.

The Apostle John writes in 1 John chapter 5 about those who have a relationship with Christ and who, because of their relationship, can expect their prayers to be heard according to His will.

“[14] And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: [15] And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”

Yet, right after this scripture, he refers to praying for a brother in the body who commits a sin not unto death.

“[16] If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.  There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.”

Now at this point we should ask ourselves, “What is a sin that leads to death that John tells us he is not saying that we should pray for it?”  For this, we must go back to the Old Testament law to review what sin lead to death.  Remember, Jesus came not to destroy the law, but to become the fullfillment of it.  Therefore, let’s jump to the law of adultery.

“And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”  ~Leviticus 20:10 KJV

So we see that adultery is surely a sin that leads to death.  However, since we no longer live under the Old Testament law, we do not take the cheating pastor and his mistress out to the parking lot and stone them until they die.  But, under the law of the Spirit, we especially do not brush off the magnitude of the sin because the fear of the Lord is first.  Also, there is a sin that does not lead to death.  For instance, eating things that are considered unclean is a sin that does not lead to death.  (See Lev. 11)  However, since we now pray in Jesus name under the law of the Spirit, our food is blessed because everything is sanctified by the word of God in prayer.  So thank God for that.  Of course, I am not saying we must go back to pick apart every law contained in the letter because the whole law is fulfilled in two great commandments (and the whole law is now contained in the Spirit).  Take note that “loving God” is the first one and I am saying there are distinguishing factors between sin that leads to death and sin that does not.

“[36] Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  [37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  [38] This is the first and great commandment.  [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  ~Matthew 22:36-40 KJV

Now some might say at this point, “But, Bobbie.  Have you forgotten about David?  He committed adultery and was forgiven…”  because of the fact that I showed in the beginning of this article that those who sin against God are crucifying Him all over again and there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.  To that response, I would say that this article is not about whether a person who commits adultery will be forgiven or not.  Obviously, in the story of King David, he fasted and poured his heart out in repentance and prayer for his child, but remember, it didn’t help.  He still had to suffer consequences with the death of his child.  However, he continued on and had to show that his heart was right with God by asking for forgiveness, which is exactly what anyone would have to do, quickly, while they still live—especially those who were in church leadership teaching and preaching the gospel.

Others might say, “What about the woman caught in adultery?  Jesus forgave her.”  In the case of the woman caught in the act of adultery in the book of John chapter 8 verses 3-11, she and her accusers were not Christians.  Jesus was demonstrating to them, and all of us, that He did not come to condemn the unsaved.

Therefore, the point that I am making here is what the Apostle John said, “There is a sin unto death:  I do not say that he shall pray for it.”  I am repeating what the Apostle John said and saying to those who “glory,” or habitually honor their cheating pastor, that I too, do not say that you should pray for those who commit sin that leads to death.  Those sinners are going to have to work that out.  I am also saying that people who do this “glorying” must show the fear of the Lord through putting the wicked person away as the Apostle Paul told us because the action of wanting to help and encourage the adulterer is showing the congregation that sinning a sin that leads to death is a simple mistake.  This reduces the fear of the Lord.  You must have the fear of the Lord to follow the Lord.  We must show people that God is not joking.  Furthermore, that adulterer could absolutely die for the gravity of their sin.  Therefore, we should have a mournful and fearful stance about this possible fact.

So, please know you must take the Lord very seriously.  Moreover, for God’s sake, consider posting all encouragement to the wife and children who have to endure the awful shame that they just suffered before the whole world, rather than giving honor and encouragement to the adulterer.  What hypocrisy to support the fall of the “poor pastor,” forget the wife, and then spew hate and rejection at his mistress. Shouldn’t the pastor have known better than the mistress?

This whole thing called Christianity is not something that we take lightly because we are under grace.  Your walk must be holy.  There are many other scriptures I could bring into this picture, but then I would have to write a book.  Later on, Paul does have more to say, which I will expound upon in the future. Hence, I will leave you with these final scriptures from John:

“[17] All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.  [18] We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”  ~All scripture passages regarding what John said are from 1 John 5:14-18 KJV [1. Article updated 11/1/2015.]

Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).
MLAChicagoAPAAbout the AuthorMore Posts by This Author
“When Your Pastor Cheats.” AWS Magazine Online. Ed. Bobbie Chariot. Savior Sanity LLC., 1 Aug. 2014. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <https://awomansaved.com/when-your-pastor-cheats/>.
“When Your Pastor Cheats.” AWS Magazine Online. August 1, 2014. Accessed September 13, 2015. https://awomansaved.com/when-your-pastor-cheats/.
Chariot, B. (Ed.). (2014, August 1). When Your Pastor Cheats. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from https://awomansaved.com/when-your-pastor-cheats/.

Thank you for reading!

Bobbie Chariot

Bio: Founding Editor

The old leaven is #sin; cast it out if it is in your #church. Click To Tweet

 

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