When a church leader admits moral failure

Friday, April 13, 2018
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

pastor at pulpitA well-respected Southern Baptist leader has a message to the Body of Christ about how best to respond when church leaders publicly admit to failures.

On Tuesday, Bill Hybels – founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago area – announced he was stepping down following allegations he behaved inappropriately with female congregants. While the 66-year-old senior pastor of the megachurch admitted to poor judgment and insisted he had been accused of things he "simply did not do," he chose to retire earlier than planned because the allegations against him were "hindering our elders and church staff."

Over the years, numerous church leaders have found themselves engulfed in accusations of sexual misconduct, whether alleged or actual. Southern Evangelical Seminary president Dr. Richard Land says when those situations become public, church members who have a deep trust with their pastor often have to deal with feelings of spiritual adultery.

"There's no question it harms the witness of the church among unbelievers – and it causes rifts in the body," he tells OneNewsNow. "I know churches that have been split over accusations against pastors and church staff and it's always harmful, it's always hurtful. It always leaves scars on the Body of Christ."

Land, Dr. Richard (SBC, ERLC)But Land suggests a better way for churches and their members to react: with grace and understanding.

"[We] understand that we don't worship church leadership, we don't worship pastors – we worship Jesus," he continues. "And while pastors ... and church leaders are going to make mistakes and make bad decisions, Jesus is never going to let us down.

"You know, the church is one of the few places I know of where you've got to admit you've done something wrong to get in."

The seminary president offers the Billy Graham rule as a wise step: don't be alone in a room with anyone of the opposite gender to whom you are not married or related. That, he argues, helps to stifle rumors and temptations that can be very destructive.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Who would you prefer replace Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  India prescribes death penalty for rape of kids under 12
  Hamas says man gunned down in Malaysia was important member
  Americans told to toss romaine lettuce over E. coli fears
  Dad stabbed to death as daughter sits in lap at restaurant
NKorea says it has suspended nuclear, missile testing
Israeli fire in new Gaza border protest kills 4 Palestinians
For Trump, Giuliani adds toughness, star power to legal team

LATEST FROM THE WEB

After Texas governor slams NJ's high taxes, NJ governor responds
Trump blasts 'New York Times' reporter in tweetstorm
Bush family welcomes baby 2 days after Barbara Bush's death
Trump fires back on Twitter over Democrats' lawsuit
Previously deported illegal immigrant charged with attempted murder in nail gun attack

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Were faith leaders invited under false pretenses?

EXIT sign (green)Some of the evangelical leaders invited to a meeting near Chicago this week reportedly headed for the exits when it became clear that "Trump-bashing" was on the agenda.