Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Public Repentance

Ed Stetzer looks at what to do when pastors fail. He starts with the usual cautions about being slow to charge a pastor with moral failings, but then gets to the heart of the matter:
Yet, some pastors want to stop there, quoting verses that say you cannot touch the "anointed." They sometimes think that disagreeing with them is the same as disagreeing with the Lord.

Such an attitude reflects an attitude that doesn't take the rest of scripture seriously. Sin matters, and when that sin happens in the life of a public spiritual leader, the great damage can be done.
His conclusion hits to the genuine issue here:
What's more, unless we pastors engage in public repentance, our "bold" preaching about sin and grace often appears to be little more than window dressing. In other words, what we believe about God, sin and grace is proven true when we treat our own sin as seriously as we say others should.
That's not really a "What's more" that's a what matters. Pastors claim anointment to guard against accusation, but if you are going to claim an uber-Christian status, you must also be uber-repentant for such is the heart of the gospel. To do less makes a lie of all that you preach.

I've been down this road a couple of times. It makes me very angry and I need to find a better way to handle it. I am not angry at the pastor so much as I am angry at how tainted these situations make the gospel. Grace is standing there holding out its hand if the party would but stand up and admit the need for it, and yet the beauty of that grace is forever hidden from the world by the party's failure to recognize their failure.

At such times I must rely on the sovereignty of God, for we fail totally to be His vessels.


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