Recently, a well known, and recently deceased Christian leader was being accused of sexual sin. I hasten to add, that there is an ongoing investigation. I for my part, will form no opinion until a thorough investigation has been done. Furthermore, I am determined not to discuss this matter with others. Discussing matters before we know the truth of a matter is gossip. I would think Christians do well to refrain from this activity. We need facts, not more ununiformed opinions.
Shortly after reading of this Christian leader, I came across another article of a Christian singer and songwriter who was facing charges of having abused multiple students in the ministry of a church. My eyes were taken to a paragraph, written by the senior pastor of the church where the alleged events had occurred.
The Senior Pastor wrote, “Immediately, I informed the police and called a meeting of our church elders.” My heart rejoiced at this godly response. Rather than an attempt to hide the event, what this pastor did should be a model for all of us. The elders of the church in question then jointly decided to call Christian organization to do another independent investigation into the matter.
The Pastor wrote, “We were determined to uncover the extent of the alleged abuse, along with any way our church and the leadership at that time may have been complicit.” Again, this response is noteworthy. Rather than protect the church, this pastor sought to understand, if in any way, the church may have created an environment that allowed this matter to carry on. It is so easy to do so, especially when it feels that to confront the sin, might do damage to the ministry of the church.
I have been thinking about this matter. Reports of abuse, of course, are not restricted to the church. Public schools, sports organizations, the Boy Scouts, and many other secular organizations are overrun with stories of abuse. I have believed that this is partly because we now lie in a culture where sex outside of the lifelong covenant of marriage is expected and celebrated. What did we expect would happen? I remember attending one so-called Christian conference, entitled “Stop the Abuse”. We were repeatedly informed that the only thing that makes sex wrong, is when there is a power imbalance between the two parties involved. I was shocked that no one raised a hand in objection, defending the Biblical position.
But there is another matter that troubles me. Given that allegations of sexual abuse are now so common, we have all become somewhat numb. In the past, we were scandalized beyond words. Now, we simply roll our eyes and move on. We have all heard it before.
Contrast this, to Ephesians 5:3–6. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Let’s be clear. God demands that there be no hint of sex outside of marriage among his holy people. Let’s also be clear. Everyone who violates this has no inheritance in the kingdom of God. Of course, there can be repentance and genuine forgiveness. But without it, we are eternally lost. How serious does that sound now?