By Joan Wilson
My heart bleeds every time there is a story on anyone who has been abused or mistreated by a member of the cloth.
A lot of persons have voiced opinions about the church and those who are charged with leading the flock, and sad to say many have taken great delight in making out the church to be like the worst place on earth.
For me the time has come for the church to deal with their own issues and yes, present a united front in dealing with anything that would prove to be a stumbling block to the lives we are trying to impact.
Too many members are holding secrets, trying to keep the ‘shame and scandal’ from the church door. Ultimate loyalty belongs to the Supreme Being – Jehovah God – not to any pastor, deacon or any perpetrator held in high esteem.
If the healing process must begin the church, then the church will have to start being the church.
It’s a sad reality, but there will always be wolves in sheep clothing in the church. Because we are humans we cannot tell the wheat from the tares and it’s only by their fruits that we can tell. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s too late.
When we turn a blind eye to sin and it eventually blows up, the whole body feels it. It’s not about the individual(s) anymore. When aspersions are cast, the whole body is lumped into one.
The church did not fail…individuals who were not fully sanctified did. God has a clear standard when it comes to sin…He hates it. As followers, we should not be making excuses for those who walk afoul of it. There can be no compromise when it comes to making a stand for Christ.
It’s not just about one particular denomination, it’s about all. Let’s look at the sore and then try to heal it.
How many of us who are members of different bodies know that a particular member has a thieving habit, can’t hold their tongue (and yes, we just love to listen to the salacious gossips!), has a weakness for sex…whatever the case. We can’t kid ourselves that we don’t know some of these cases. What we do, we gossip to other brethren, taking delight in the weaknesses of our brothers and sisters and at the end of the day do nothing to help. When their downfall comes, as it surely will, the whole body suffers.
Sometimes we place too much effort on outward appearances (dress, talk, etc.) and too little on the inside nurturing. Christians should be encouraged to talk about issues, and if battling sex addiction or pornography is one of them then so be it. They should not be made to feel dirty because of that problem, stifling those desires can only play out in cases like the current one.
It is sad, but it’s time the church as a body comes together and deals with the many issues its members have. All Christians are embarrassed by these actions, but if we are truthful, how many other sins are we hiding? Homosexual tendencies, addiction to pornography, unholy attraction…and how many members feel comfortable to talk to their pastors about them?
It’s time to start healing the sores. Encourage members to talk about their addictions, stop being so judgmental and let the healing process begin.