What Pastors Should Do When They Sin Publicly

We all remember the scandal that came out about, “?” You can fill in the blanks. All too often, we hear of a prominent pastor or preacher, across denominational lines, who have sinned publicly. That is sad isn’t it? My question is, “Do pastors ever sin in private?” Of coarse they do. If pastors sin privately, then why do we have such a heart burn when they do it publicly? The answer is very simple, and can be easily understood.


It Is A Matter Of Integrity

When Nathan confronted King David (2 Samuel 12:142 Samuel 12:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.  

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), one of the forgotten charges made was that the pagan nations could seize an opportunity to blaspheme God. Pastors are not God, but His divinely called representative. For this reason, the dignity of this office must be kept as holy as can be achieved. When a leader, such as a pastor, sins publicly, then it gives great occasion for Satan to chip away the integrity of the office. The example which he sets forth and the great measure of accountability to God REQUIRE integrity. When this is jeopardized, even lost and unsaved people are hurt by it!

It Is A Matter Of Testimony

While it is true that all of God’s children are ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:202 Corinthians 5:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  

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) and must represent Christ in a righteous way, the office of pastor, missionary, and evangelist must hold the standard high. This is not new to the New Testament, but simply what God has demanded all along. If you study the Old Testament standards for the priests, then you will see that God set the standard high. God uses his men to reach the world and they must exemplify His holiness. They are certainly not perfect, but they must give their utmost to please the Lord.

What A Pastor Should Do

When pastors sin publicly, they must be sure to handle things in an appropriate manner. All eyes are on them and they need to have the highest respect for the office in which they serve. Listed below are 5 suggestions as to what a pastor should do when they have sinned publicly.

  1. Admit the sin
  2. Ask for God’s forgiveness first, then from those affected by the sin
  3. Make restitution
  4. Submit to accountability
  5. Move On

It is very important that the pastor consider the practical ramifications of their actions. God forgives, but man is still scarred. Time can take the sting away, but one cannot expect immediate closure. Depending upon the sin, the pastor may need to step down from his office; even if the church is still desiring his leadership. The office, God’s standard, and public testimony are more important than what a congregation may want.

Conclusion

This is a touchy subject in our day. The modern day consensus is that the standard is too high and we should lower it a bit. The problem with that is we are comparing men with men. God set the standard, not man! It is very important for the pastor to hold the standard high in his own life if he wishes to serve in such a HIGH office. He must be sure to keep himself clean with God privately AND also publicly!

Much more can be stated concerning this issue. Our desire in this post was to place some ideas in front of you for you to consider. May all who claim the title of Pastor/Missionary/Evangelist take great care in living for Christ!

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29056: Why Revival Tarries Why Revival Tarries

By Leonard Ravenhill / Bethany House

Leonard Ravenhill’s call to revival is as timely now as it was when first published over forty years ago. The message is fearless and often radical as he expounds on the disparity between the New Testament church and the church today. This book contains the heart of his message, A.W. Tozer called Ravenhill “a man sent from God” who “appeared at (a) critical moment in history,” just as the Old Testament prophets did. Included are questions for group and individual study.

Originally posted 2011-01-19 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Andrew Schank

Andrew Schank is an Independent Baptist Missionary/Pastor who loves to blog about spiritual matters! His main ministry website is http://www.togetherinthegap.com. Andrew is also a contributing author to two other blogs/websites including http://linked2leadership.com and http://www.ifbkjv.com. Pastor Schank's Church website is http://www.greatcommissionbaptist.org
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