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 deserves the blame for Trump having to declare a national emergency at the southern border?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

State Department: Nauert out as pick for UN ambassador
Police: Aurora attacker used gun he shouldn't have owned
Judge: Mississippi suit to cover all who lost voting rights
Illinois man being fired from job fatally shoots 5 workers
Trump emergency declaration faces fights in the courts
Nigeria delays its election; candidates rush back to capital

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Pence chastises EU, rejects Merkel's call to work with Russia
Critical new evidence busts Jussie Smollett assault case wide open as he lawyers up
Video: Icy Missouri highway leaves one dead in 47-car pile-up
Video: Five killed in Aurora, Illinois shooting
Pope Francis defrocks Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
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.