12. Church Going Through a Pastor’s Fall
My dad always said that our character is often revealed by the manner in which we handle a crisis. Well, many have felt a crisis when a pastor falls. It has affected us either directly or indirectly. It behooves us to know how we ought to respond in such a situation. Some people are Christlike in their responses to these situation, while far too many others are careless and in some cases even evil. They are reactionary rather than spiritual. Here are some things that should be avoided when we are faced with such a crisis.
1. Slander. The initial reaction of some is to begin to malign the character of those with whom we already disagreed. By the way, it is wrong to slander the slanderers as well. Yes, the cause of Christ has been hurt by that one as it probably has by all of us at some time. Do we lift up the act of sin or do we lift up Jesus and talk of His love and mercy? Some people love to promote the sinner, rather than the Savior. Let us not be guilty of this.
2. Sarcasm. While I do not believe it is a sin to laugh during a situation such as this, I do believe it is a sign of wickedness to laugh at or to make a mockery of those who are involved. Making a mockery of sinners is a sad commentary of a person’s character. While I have been the object of these who think it is funny to slander with humor, I do not believe it is what Christ would behave in that fashion. Reacting sinfully to a sinner is never right.
3. Strife. It is easy to have a strong opinion about a situation such as this. However, we must be careful not to argue our opinion in a manner that stirs up strife. Our goal is not to start a war of words, but to encourage others to draw nearer to God. In the end He will settle the matter according to His purpose, and we just may learn something if we willing to listen to his Spirit within us.
4. Selfishness. Most of the time, my wrong reactions to a matter are because of how it affects me and so is yours. It is not about us. Remember to consider all of those who are hurting in this situation and there are probably many. Most of all think of how it affects our Lord who loves all of those who are involved. Live for others and you will forget how it affects you. When the gunman in the Aurora shootings was firing on the crowd, three individuals gave their life to protect their loved ones. Instead of looking for blame, use your time throwing yourself in front of your children, new converts and others who could be adversely affected.
5. Self Righteousness. One day we will see Jesus and suddenly we will not see the grossness of anyone else’s sin BUT OUR OWN. Please examine the reaction of the elder brother with the prodigal and do not make his mistake. Be humble and sensitive to your sins and temptations at this time. We are all no good sinners. I love Paul’s confession of who he was in I Timothy 1:15. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
6. Satanism. Satan is the accuser of the brethren, so all those who make it their mission to accuse are merely doing his bidding. Do not point your finger in judgment towards others. Do what Jesus is doing for us all right now. He is interceding for us to His Father. Pray for those who are being accused. Be careful not to accuse the accusers either. God will deal with them.
7. Scorn. Webster defines scorn as; “ open dislike and disrespect or derision often mixed with indignation .” Scorners are typically very negative and hateful and we should not want to be hateful. John 15:12 14 says, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” Individuals who scorn, are not friends of God. Some of them like to excuse their lack of love by deciding who is and who is not saved. PLEASE do not be guilty of this. We may wonder how a Christian could do something like this or that. We are all capable of the most wicked of behaviors, if we get far enough away from the Lord. Oh, and do not scorn the scorners.
8. Satisfaction. Did the one who fell, hurt you in times past? It is very easy for us to rejoice over the demise of anyone who has hurt any of us, but it is not right. We must not allow that in our spirits, because God cannot bless us with that attitude. We cannot use the arrows that were launched at us, and launch them back at those who sought our hurt.
9. Silence. David in his Psalm of repentance (Psalm 51) included this in his prayer. “O L ord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” That is not easy. Every word we speak can be scrutinized by those who want to hurt the cause of Christ. They will even take our words out of context and try to ridicule what we say, BUT silence does not honor the Lord. We must praise God for His mercy and grace towards that fallen one. Let every sinner know, by our words, that God’s grace is greater than ANY of our sins.
10. Shaken. These situations hurt, and we wish they would end or go away. There is nothing about them that is not offensive. We wish we could get away from it. It is now, that we must remind ourselves, of how good God is and that good things can come from this horrible event and God can be glorified. My faith in God cannot be shaken, nor can my faith in the faithful yet fallible men God used in my life. Was God wrong in allowing them to have such a positive influence? Satan will shake us to our foundations, if we allow him to. He will use evil voices to shake us in our positions, our faith, our core values and even our honorable loyalties. I cannot waiver. I must not allow those with evil agendas to shake me loose from what I know is true and right.
Pray diligently during such a horrible situation. As the enemies pour on the gasoline of accusation to try to accomplish their destructive goals, we must honor God in the best way We know how. To start with, avoid these dangerous things.