So I just heard of another minister – leaving the ministry because of moral failure.
|“I’m shocked! A Hollywood type
has moral failure! I never
saw that coming!”
It’s not surprising when it’s a politician. I mean are you REALLY surprised when the news comes on and Anthony Weiner is still acting badly? I’ve always liked Simon Cowell as a TV personality – he seems to know his job and shoots straight. He had an affair with another man’s wife. Do you find yourself thinking “I’m shocked beyond belief! I thought the man was a saint!” If you do, please send $10,000 to me, and I promise, all your dreams will come true. I guarantee it!*
*Joking. Keep your money – you’ll need it for all the “As Seen On TV” items and genuine Sea Monkeys.
It is surprising when a minister of the Gospel falls. Because they are the good guys, right? They’re supposed to be, as 1 Timothy 3:2 says, “above reproach.” Blameless.
But…they are human. And I don’t think most entered the ministry with the thought in their mind “I’m gonna wreck my marriage, my kids, and have an affair.” In most cases, it’s a long series of fuzzy lines crossed again and again, until that bold line of adultery is crossed. And it’s the same for those not in the ministry.
With that in mind, years ago, Billy Graham drew some clear, bold lines in his ministry, to insure that he would
|Put a bold, clear boundary
like this around your marriage.
always be “blameless” when it comes to male/female relationships outside of his own family. And it worked. He’s never been accused of any moral failure during his 60 or so year ministry.
Not that many years ago, Rick Warren came up with 10 Commandments for Moral Purity at his church in California. I say in the title “little known” because I’ve not heard these kinds of boundaries discussed much. At Fort Bend Fellowship, we’ve adopted these as a staff and I would commend them to you. I realize you can’t always control your corporate environment, but I would encourage you to do what you can.
FBF’s 10 Commandments for Maintaining Moral Purity
1. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex. “Oh David, you’re a prude!” Funny. Divorce rate is at 41%, almost half the death rate (still hovering at 100% – everyone dies). Maybe I’m just being cautious. Or maybe Billy Graham was being a prude. If so, I’m OK with following his example.
2. Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.
|Real angels? I think not.
But Hummel begs to differ.
3. Thou shalt not kiss any attender of the opposite sex or show affection that could be questioned. (this one makes me laugh – really? You have to say this? Then I think about all the folks I’ve known in 20 years of ministry. Yes – sadly you have to say this – to the middle aged man that always kisses the 20 something hottie on the cheek at church and says “we just love their family”. Yes. I’m sure you do. Now cut it out.)
4. Thou shalt not visit the opposite sex alone at home.
5. Thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex alone at the office, and thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex more than once without the spouse’s knowledge. Refer them.
6. Thou shalt not discuss detailed sexual problems with the opposite sex in counseling. Refer them.
7. Thou shalt not discuss your marriage problems with an attender of the opposite sex.
8. Thou shalt be careful in answering emails, texts, cards, or letters from the opposite sex.
9. Thou shalt make your secretary your protective ally.
10. Thou shalt pray for the integrity of other staff members.
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