MINISTRY & MORALITY
BY PASTOR ROBERT TRAPANI
Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Deut 5:18, Matt 19:18, Mark 10: 19, Lk 19:20
Moral Failure. How prevalent is this? It may seem like an epidemic, but the numbers are very small when you consider how many men are involved in ministry. The devil loves to amplify the news of another failed man of God. Though over the years I have known of dozens of men who failed. I doubt that the percentage would be more than 1 % in any year. But the fall of a man of God affects so many that a small percentage may seem like it is happening everywhere.
WHY DID THEY FALL?
There are any number of reasons or excuses, but these I have found to be the most common in my dealings with men.
Watch what you watch. Remember the computer term GIGO, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
Don’t play flirting games. There is no such thing as “harmless” flirting
Don’t create a fantasy world. Bring every thought into captivity. 11 Cor. 10:5.
2. Mid-life Pressures
Men seem to be especially vulnerable when they begin to realize their mortality, and also must accept what time and aging does to them. This problem is augmented during times of great success or feelings of failure.
He may be trying to recapture his youth. A man may feel that being in the company of someone much younger, will make him look, or even feel younger. A familiarity with his wife may diminish the excitement, that comes from the “strange woman”. There is an illicit thrill to be partaking of something forbidden. Stolen waters are sweet. Prov. 9:17
To some women, he is the biggest prize. To bring him down, confirms that she is irresistible. To have power over a man whose previous source of power was God makes him all the more attractive to her. The devices she uses are given in Proverbs chapters six and seven.
Prov 6:25 7:13, Eye contacts and her special facial expressions.”The eyes are the windows of the soul.” Prov 7:10, 17, Her clothes and perfumes Prov 6:24, Prov 7:5, 21, Flattering words Prov 7:15, 19,20, Arranged meetings.
4. Pride … Ego
This, by far, has caused most men to fall. When a man believes that he is so special that he is above the rules that apply to others. He can teach one thing to others while living by an entirely different set of rules for himself. Romans 2:22 and Jer. 23:14. Some of the excuses I have heard are as follows:
“ND one understands me!”
He was tempted in every point such as we. Heb. 4:1 5 “No one appreciates me.”
I am accepted in the beloved. Eph. 1:6
“I have special drives.”
No temptation has taken you, but such as is common to man. I Cor. 10:1 3 “I am above the law.”
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall never pass away.
AFTER THE SCANDAL…comes the Fallout
To the minister
He has lost his integrity, his respect, his right to speak for the Lord, his fellowship, his ministry, and the dozens of relationships,
rights and privileges that were once his as a man of God.
Perhaps the greatest loss is trust. “A wounded spirit, who can bear?” Prov. 18:14
Though they can endeavor to rebuild their marriage, there are some things than cannot be restored. Like a glass of fine crystal that has been broken and is now glued back together. The cemented crack may be almost invisible … but when you strike the crystal, you can tell…the “ring” is gone forever.
I remember hearing the sigh of death from a minister’s wife.
They may not fully understand, but something bad has happened to their home. Often they become depressed and rebellious. They see Dad and Mom’s hurt and resent those who seem to be responsible. Very often, they become bitter against the church, those people who caused so much pain to their family.
The kin-folk and the in-laws
They share in the embarrassment, and often, since they do not know the whole story because they hear only one side, so they may deny wrong, or justify, or become bitter.
I heard the unanswered ringing phone in the fallen Pastor’s home. It was people calling to harass him and insult him. There was a renewed attack on the church, the ministry, his family and children.
When David the king sinned, Nathan the prophet said that it would cause “the heathen to blaspheme. ” 11 Samuel 12:14 My sin causes the enemy to rejoice and his forces to gather strength against God’s people.
Pressure on all other Preachers
Every one of us shares in the loss. We have lost a brother, and a co-laborer and the ability to share closely with a friend. Infection
hurts the whole body. I Cor 3:16
Our ability to lead our own people is hurt. The people who regarded the ministry as examples of how to walk in victory and of how to walk above sin no longer trust to the same degree. The enemy whispers to them to check their leader more closely.
Remember: He who covers his sin will not prosper. Prov. 28:13 And you can be sure (A this, Be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
If two people know a secret, it is not a secret. it is only a matter of time until he will be revealed. The pain of waiting for discovery,
knowing that it will come, can totally break down a man and all that was precious to him.
Watch and Pray that ye enter not into temptation. Matt 26:41 Dr. Richard Dobbins, psychologist and Pentecostal organization official declared that in all of his years of dealing with this problem, he never found this moral failure in a man who had a regular devotional life. Daily personal prayer time is essential.
Make no provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Rom. 13:14 Don’t allow situations that could lead to problems. Do not allow yourself to be alone with someone, lest the enemy take advantage, or it give occasion for others to spread talk. Rom. 14:16 Avoid even the very appearance of evil. I Thes 5:20 When temptation arises, go to the body for ministry. There are brethren who will stand with you, weep with you and pray with you. In a multitude of counselors there is safety. Prov 11:14