All over the media, and throughout the country, stories of people who are supposed to be examples of Christ-like behavior are being told, but probably not for the reasons that you would think.
In Boston, for example, a priest was arrested for soliciting a known prostitute with $40. She was in his car, and with him behind a cemetery, although they were arrested before anything transpired. Perhaps that arrest was God’s intervention?
In North Carolina, a pastor was fired after it was discovered that he attended a Rick Ross concert (Ross was recently dropped from Rebook because of controversial lyrics). The following Sunday morning, the signs marking the pastor’s parking spot and office door were promptly removed, and he was told that his services were no longer required. A guest pastor supplied the pulpit that morning. Apparently the decision wasn’t made spontaneously. The pastor had reportedly attended a Lil Wayne concert months previous to this incident. The leadership explained that these concerts didn’t align with the Kingdom work they expected from the pastor.
No one is perfect. No one is righteous. I certainly am not. Nevertheless, leaders are held to a standard that they must oblige and give every effort to meet (1 and 2 Timothy 3). If the apostle Paul could tell the church at Thessalonica to “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22), how much more appropriate would that command be for the leaders of that church? The NT strictly says that a pastor must be “above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2) and “well thought of by outsiders” (1 Timothy 3:7). It’s unquestionable that these men have fallen short of this mark. It’s difficult to be above reproach and well spoken of at a Rick Ross concert or with a solicited prostitute sitting in your car.
Let’s pray for these men, their families, their churches, and, most of all, their relationship with the Lord. After all, “We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). But He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:17). And that is good for us all.