I am writing this just to air my thoughts more than anything. Another person I look up to has slipped… this time he is a biggy. Founder and presenter of a huge Christian TV network. And I really respected him, and ‘felt’ peace about him, up until a few months ago when he just didn’t look right and even my husband commented on him not looking right and we both thought maybe he was poorly.
And sin sure does make you sick. I have had other leaders, a lot closer to me slip up and they too, didn’t quite look right and claimed to be ‘not well’ and as it turned out they too were suffering from secret sin.
My issue is not that people sin, obviously we all do, but its the magnitude of their sin and the fact that they should know better. Am I being too harsh? Am I judging when I don’t have the right too? Am I condemning when I don’t have the right too?
The thing is if you are a leader but especially if you are a high profile leader, why oh why would you do something that is so wrong that if people found out it would totally wipe your ministry off the map and potentially take scores of people with it? Do they not realise the impact that it will have on loads of things?
Or maybe they do and maybe in some way it is more exciting that way…..I don’t know. All I know is that every time it happens I get bent out of shape and disappointed. Do I place my hope in them? Certainly not, my hope is in the Lord as He never fails or slips up. But I do look up to these people, and want to believe that they are doing the right thing behind closed doors. Especially if I know them. What does the Bible say? You shall know them by their fruit.
And the other question that always haunts me when things like this happen is, does what they have done negate everything previous to that? I’m only being honest about my thoughts here. Because that question goes through my mind. Do I then chuck the baby out with the bath water, and say well forget everything you have ever done as it was all a lie anyway?
But then how can I? As I am the fruit of a gentleman that slipped very hard and very publicly. And I am not sure where they currently are in their walk with God. But I do know that they have not got back what they lost through it, in my opinion, obviously I have no idea what their situation privately was like but on the outside it appears they lost a lot more than they gained.
After my first leaders slipping, and then my second, I made a promise that if I ever got into any position of leadership that held real trust with people I would make sure that I NEVER had a moral failing. Is it ridiculous to say this? Surely the people that have slipped and fell didn’t plan for this to happen? But my issue is whether they planned it or not, or whatever the reason they did it for, whether they were under massive pressure and couldn’t take it anymore, or whether they were lonely, or greedy or whatever they still LET it happen, and they still made the decisions they made FULLY knowing what the outcome was going to be.
And whats more not only would they failing let huge numbers of people down if that wasn’t bad enough, they were also going against everything they stand for AND sinning against God.
Now you may say – but God sees all sins the same. And while that is true, some sins hurt God and God alone (which of course is the worst thing) but when your sins affect more and more people, doesn’t that make them somehow worse? What if there was loads of people that believed in Jesus and then cause of a leaders actions packed it all in because of what had happened. I have seen people do it every time someone falls. And you can imagine if the people who made it through our first leaders falling, the second lot falling was even harder, cause it was like ‘Does anyone really even believe this stuff?’
You may also say- Well if people are giving up on Jesus because leaders are falling then they never really had faith anyway, but that is not true, I am glad that at the time my leaders did fall I had found Jesus for myself but for many years I did Piggyback my faith onto my leaders (Thank God I did have my own faith by then) and now I know how absolutely dangerous that is. But when people inspire you to believe in Jesus, obviously when they lose the plot you are gutted, because the people who inspired your faith seem to have defrauded you.
Some people will argue, where these people ever truly saved in the first place, and to that I guess we will never know, only God sees the heart of a person. Some people will say well they were false teachers then. But again I can’t believe that for a minute. Because these people inspired and encouraged me in my faith, they didn’t make me follow them, they pointed to Jesus, a false prophet simply wouldn’t do that. My issue is they have stopped pointing people to Jesus and for what? 5 minutes of fun?
Do I just need to keep quiet and believe that God sees peoples hearts and He knows whats really going on. He sees the end from the beginning and He can turn what was meant for harm round for His good?
And so as another one seemingly bites the dust, I sit scratching my head in disbelief of what and why they have done what they have. And then I am left feeling guilting that I may have judged them and so will face the same judgement myself one day too.
Pray for them! You say. I do, I really do, for they float past my mind on most days. But its hard and it makes me feel sad, so I say a prayer and then try and push them to my back of my mind until they resurface again. Harsh? Maybe. But thats the way it is with me.
Wow so defeatist! And to be honest yeah, that exactly how I feel, like we have suffered a defeat, by losing a fellow soldier in the Lord’s army.
But we press on running towards the prize, encouraging the ones we can, and recruiting the others, and praying that we wouldn’t lose anymore precious ones.