Sexual immorality in the ministry

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by rasbob, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. rasbob

    rasbob
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    Does sexual immorality disqulifies a pastor? And if so, can he continue in some other aspect, like evangelist? What is the qulifications of an evangelist?
     
  2. Pastor J

    Pastor J
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    Yes, he is disqualified at that time, but I do not believe it necessarily disqualifies him for life. (another debate)

    Can he be an evangelist? There are no qualifications listed for an evangelist in Scripture. However, I would highly recommend to this individual to not preach until he has dealt with his sin, been forgiven by those offended and has demonstrated a repentent life.
     
  3. Ellis Murphree

    Ellis Murphree
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    Sexual immorality ABSOLUTELY disqualifies a pastor from the pastorate - for good. Even though he may repent and genuinely make things right with folks, he is no longer above reproach. This is a high calling - men who don't take it seriousely enough to not bring shame to it have no business ever being in the pastorate again.

    As far as evangelism goes, while we don't have biblical qualifications for evangelists, it seems a bit "shady" to me personally. An evangelist is often placed in a position where he is counseling pastors, starting churches, even stepping in as interim pastor in some cases. I would suggest that evangelism may not be the right move.

    The guy messed up. He completely perverted God's calling on his life. Does this make him useless to God? No - but it certainly puts restraints as to how much he can actually be used.
     
  4. StraightAndNarrow

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    Not that I'm speaking out in favor of this sin but does anyone have a scriptural reference for this?

    I know that preachers and teachers are held to a higher standard but what about sexual immorality among the congregation?
     
  5. Pastor J

    Pastor J
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    Ellis,
    No pastor is "Above Reproach" with your definition. Here is an example, a young man in his teenage years sleeps around and develops a reputation as a womanizer. When he is 18 years old he repents and starts to live his life pure. At 22, he surrenders to God's calling to be a Pastor. This young man has not disqualified himself from the ministry. He is above reproach.

    Let's take the example orginally given. A pastor commits adultery. He is disqualified from the ministry. His wife forgives him and they stay married. For the next few years he lives a repentant life in a new community and does not go back to that sin. He is now above reproach and able to return to the pastorate.

    Praise God that when sin is confessed, it is washed away! Sometimes the consequences are left behind, but we need to be careful as to what standard we wish to hold to, Biblical or personal feelings.
     
  6. Ellis Murphree

    Ellis Murphree
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    Pastor J,
    The examples you give are completely different from one another. In one example a young man who was NOT a pastor lived immorally. In the second example, an actual pastor committed adultery. This is completely different.

    If I, as a pastor, were to commit adultery I would expect to lose my ministry. Furthermore, I would be unfit for that high calling for the rest of my life! Why? Well, as a pastor I am no longer above reproach! I've demonstrated a lack of character and discernment as a pastor. Not to mention the fact that I've shown a blatant disregard for the sacntity of this high calling. I have done horrible damage to a local assembly. I have done horrible harm to the body of Christ, and I did it while occupying the office of pastor.

    I don't want to go over the deep end here, but following your logic in this matter, what would you say if the extramarital affair by this pastor left him with an illegitimate child? How about if the affair in question was of a homosexual nature? What if the man had multiple affairs before getting caught?

    In each of these situations, the man's wife forgives him and they stay married. For the next few years he lives a repentant life in a new community and does not go back to that sin. Is he now above reproach and still able to return to the pastorate?

    I say no.
     
  7. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Absolutley,

    Give the opportunity of serving to someone who really wants to serve God rather than to someone who would sell Christianity out and damage the body of Christ!
     
  8. dcorbett

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    It truly amazes me how many Pastors and church leaders fall prey to sexual weaknesses. I mean, sin is sin, so I have real trouble feeling that one is worse than another, but why is it that so many men of God cannot control their sex drive?
     
  9. robycop3

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    I left a church because, when a situation arose such as described above with a minister of Music, they KICKED HIM OUTTA THE CHURCH ENTIRELY! I mean, shoot, the man was NOT caught; he admitted his sin ENTIRELY ON HIS OWN. Yes, his wife forgave him, and I'm sure JESUS did, but the old fogies in that church did NOT. I mean, he voluntarily had stepped down from his MM position and in no way blamed anyone else for his indiscretion.

    My dad was a deacon there, a position he had desired and worked toward, for years. After they took this action, Dad made what he called the hardest decision of his life...he resigned his deaconship and his membership in that church. Me? I simply began to attend another Baptist church.

    Soon, the pastor resigned, and within two years, the sanctuary was sold & converted into an apartment for the elderly.

    Who are WE not to forgive those whom JESUS does? It's not as if the man involved had been living a whole secret life that someone else had discovered. Had he kept silent, no other person but his partner in the sin would've known. What we were so upset about was their removing him from church membership entirely, in direct violation of Scripture.
     
  10. dcorbett

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    We had some regular members leave and take about 12 young couples with them based on one 20ish girl's accusations without substantiation. I looked hard at this girl's personal testimony and
    saw flaws and weakness all through it (because the man she accused flat out denied the accusation) and concluded that she was fabricating the accusation. I looked at HIS testimony and chose to stay, as did the majority of the mature adults.
     
  11. Pastor J

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    Ellis,

    I would agree that I should lose my ministry if I had an affair. However above reproach does not mean sinless. A couple years may not be enough, but my point is that there comes a time and a place when my testimony is going to be repaired because of Forgiveness and a Changed life. Have you ever said something to your wife you regretted. I am sure it hurt her. Years later, she doesn't hold it against you anymore because you have shown in your life that you repented. The same is true for the ministry. A Pastor sins and is disqualifed from the ministry. He repents and over the years demonstrates that he has repented and changed and it is nolonger held against him, he is now free to reenter the ministry. Let's be honest though, how many men are actually in these shoes? I would venture to guess that the majority never repent and would never be in a position to return to the ministry.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    I guess my view of this may be a little unique. I hold that if a pastor puts himself in the position of committing adultry he now has placed himself in the same position as a divorced man. He is no longer a one woman man.If a divorced man cannot pastor because of past sin on his or his ex-wifes part(who knows he may be a innocent party)then certainly one who deliberately commits adultery is not qualified to pastor.
     
  13. Pastor J

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    Just curious, how is adultery = to husband of one wife? I am not arguing, just haven't heard that argument
     
  14. Bro. Billy

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    I would like to add what Jesus says in Matthew 5:28. I don't think adultery of the heart is any less sinful than the physical act of adultery. But who will admit this secret sin?

    I would also ask if 1 Timothy 3:2 says, "A bishop then 'must be' blameless", or does it say 'must have always been' blameless?

    Billy
     
  15. Scott J

    Scott J
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    I know of a church that recently split.

    There was apparently a credible accusation that the Pastor was using his computer at church for viewing/downloading pornography. Less than 50% voted to remove him. Many of those who opposed him left to start a new church.

    Is this man disqualified? Does it matter that his sin occurred in church or out?
     
  16. Ellis Murphree

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    I agree with the last part of your statement here, brother. Most men who put themselves in this sort of situation generally don't ever REALLY make things right.

    As for the rest of your opinion here, we will have to remain in disagreement!

    I would never say that such a man cannot be useable again in ministry. Quite to the contrary, such a man can have a potentially powerful message (through his life) as to the wonderful grace and forgiveness of a great God!

    I am of the opinion, however, that he will never be "above reproach". A man spitting on the pulpit like that certainly has committed a high crime against an Almighty God, while occupying a blessed office.
     
  17. Pastor J

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    I can understand your opinion and I pray that this never happens to either of us.
     

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