Thursday, May 29, 2014
We all know the Bible sets up specific courses of action when we have something against a brother.Important questions, but easily answered.
And an even more stringent set of guidelines applies if an accusation is made against an elder.
So… is it ever right to be a church whistleblower?
Let’s say you’re on staff at a church and you discover your senior pastor is having an affair. You’re the only one that has this information. What should you do?
Or, you’re on staff at a church and you and another person (maybe it’s you and your wife) know of a sin issue that needs to be addressed.
There’s just one problem: confronting the issue with the senior pastor will most definitely achieve just one thing: your quick and unequivocal firing.
Is there EVER a time that you should go to the church board or elders BEFORE you go to the individual? For employment reasons? For physical safety reasons?
First, a pastor involved in an extra-marital affair is besmirching the church and GOD. It cannot be allowed to continue. Secondly, and practically, if you whistleblow, you are out of your church job. It is going to happen either way - going to the miscreant or going to the church authorities - makes no difference. If you go to authorities, after it is over you will be in a politically untenable position.
This second consideration is why such sin is far from "victimless." It is about far more than two consenting, if sinning, adults. Which is, if you think about it really the first consideration.
Finally, any pastor that does these sorts of things is abusive. They are, by definition, abusing their position and authority. The citation of this scripture in such circumstances is not the proper use of scripture, it's more abuse.
Of course you turn them in. The consequences will be devastating no matter what, so brace yourself. But you will come out on the other side better.