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

Bottom line: What's the REAL reason Democrats' are so adamant about blocking Kavanaugh's confirmation?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump wants to rid Justice Department of 'lingering stench'
Gunmen attack Iran military parade, killing at least 24
Committee gives Kavanaugh accuser more time
Survivor found inside capsized Tanzania ferry; toll hits 167
GOP, Kavanaugh accuser in standoff over her Senate testimony
Cruz, O'Rourke trade attacks during testy 1st Texas debate
When will it end? Florence's floodwaters rising in Carolinas

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Grassley grants Kavanaugh accuser another extension
UK leader May hits back on Brexit plan; Pound falls
Schumer rallies behind Rosenstein, warns Trump not to fire him
Rosenstein reportedly discussed wearing 'wire,' invoking 25th Amendment against Trump
OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown says he's 'not close' to wanting to run for president in 2020

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
A cry for unity to restart an 'awakening'

Nat'l Day of Prayer 2018 (1)A key organizer of this year's National Day of Prayer says the major theme of next week's event is unity.