Crossroad Nugget

When a church, movement or religious organization protects itself by hiding the exploitation, improprieties and sins of its leaders, it ceases to be a church, movement or religious organization. It becomes a cult.

8 responses

  1. If there is continued, unrepentant sin, then without a doubt. I’m not sure where to draw the line when it comes to something like a leader having stumbled in the area of internet porn, or drunkenness during a time of depression, or something similar, especially if there is true remorse and a sincere effort to repent. Also, if such a one had repented, to what degree should he be open about his season of sin/past failures when given the opportunity for a fresh start, perhaps in a new spiritual environment? And where does one draw the line? Perhaps you have some thoughts on this, Jim?

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    • As I say in my series on Confronting Abusive Pastors, purely private sin needs to be dealt with privately.

      However, sin that causes harm to the church (like stealing from the church or public behavior that brings reproach on the church) or is so bad as to disqualify a leader from continued leadership (like sexual exploitation of those under his care), needs to be dealt with publicly. Even where there is repentance, such sin needs an open response – as required in 1 Tim. 5:19-22 and 1 Cor. 5.

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  2. I agree. In a time when maintaining integrity, high morals, and standards seems to be of lessening importance, the church body, in any and every form needs to be above reproach. We must remember Who we represent. Whether we are a mainstream denomination, a house church or a group that meets at Starbucks, as Christ’s representatives we MUST be held and hold each other to a higher level of accountability or we become no different than anyone else. We are called to be seperate. Salt and light. In the world not of it. Do leaders fall. Yes. Do they make mistakes? Of course. However, there are some things that might take place in the “hallowed halls” that can not be tolerated and it can literally be a crime to not stop it or report it.

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  3. Thus occurs because, as Jim pointed out with a repost of a wonderful blog, we are obsessed in the American Church with leadership and not discipleship. Leaders may look good on the outside but if they are not disciples of Jesus then they can be shallow on the inside.

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