Rotting From the Inside Out

A living thing can look healthy on the outside but harbor dreadful rot on the inside. Discovering this inside a healthy-looking piece of fruit is a disappointing experience. Finding it within a person you admire, even more so. I’ve seen it happen in the Christian world more often than I care to say. And it has happened again.

Many words have been written on the most recent instance. Some poignant, some pointless, some purposeful. All painful. I have neither the heart, time, energy, or inclination to engage in rehashing that story.

And yet I simply cannot get away from it, so let me just offer a few simple thoughts about Christian leadership scandals in general

Sin Hurts

It hurts those that have been sinned against. My heart is heavy for the victims of these sins – and they must not be overlooked, ignored, or maligned.

Their sin hurts the family who loved them, the friends who supported them, and the followers who trusted them. It hurts the associates with whom they served. It hurts the ministry they led. It hurts the mission of the Gospel. It hurts those influenced by their leadership. It hurts the person sinning, though they are usually the last and least aware of the harm they are doing to themselves.

Above all it hurts the name of Christ. Like David, their sin gives the enemies of the Lord an opportunity to blaspheme.

People Fail

We hear it over and again, but do not put your trust in a human being. They will fail and fall.

Sometimes it’s not trust so much as it’s simply admiration or acknowledgement of giftedness. But in a Christian celebrity culture, it’s easy for simple appreciation to cross the line to subtle adoration. It’s better to put our trust in God than to put our confidence in princes.

Grace Humbles

Lest we grow too proud in our self-righteousness or harsh in our condemnation, remember that but by the grace of God any one of us could succumb to temptation. Our fall would make less of a sound, but it would be a fall nonetheless. Only strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man can we stand against the enemy who roams about seeking to devour.

Accountability Matters

How many times will we need to have this proven to us? Not just a semblance of accountability. Not sleight-of-hand accountability – “Hey, look at how I avoid impropriety over there (but ignore what I’m doing over here).” Genuine accountability that not only provides basic oversight, but accountability that listens to the voice of the marginalized along with the challenge of faithful peers and overseers. Those unafraid to remind the leader of his moral and ethical responsibilities.

Those with the heart to listen to Bathsheba and the will to speak like Nathan.

Truth Wins

There are negative and positive sides to this.

The negative? The truth of the leader’s conduct WILL come out. And it must. The truth is more important than the “legacy” of any person, and we must never be afraid of the truth. In this life or the next, the victims will receive justice. “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

And the positive? Truth is greater than the flawed character of those who proclaim it. The forces of it’s worst Enemy cannot defeat it, nor can the failures of its greatest proponents stop it. God’s truth abideth still.

HIS kingdom is forever.

Truth is greater than the flawed character of those who proclaim it. The forces of it’s worst Enemy cannot defeat it, nor can the failures of its greatest proponents stop it. God’s truth abideth still.

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