Some trust in chariots. Some trust in horses. But we trust in the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7 (New International Reader’s Version)
Recently, a big story broke about a pastor in Australia who seriously deceived not only his congregation, but also his fellow staff and even his wife who all falsely believed he had a terminal illness. In the Fall of 2006, a major evangelical leader in the U.S. resigned his leadership positions amid allegations of a gay scandal. Numerous popular mainstream Christian recording artists have divorced their mates over the last several years. There is a website devoted to cataloging proven and well-supported allegations of sexual predatory abuse by pastors and ministers and deacons. And on and on it goes.
This unfortunate trend has been on my mind for the last two years as I began thinking about what’s going on in the Church today and why some are imploding. Maybe it’s not just the Church “today”, maybe it’s always been like this, but for the last couple of years I’ve come across several churches and pastors and situations, not for the purpose of being judgmental, but to ask, “What is going on?” Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about a well-known Christian leader who has fallen. Hearts are broken, families are ruined, churches are disgraced and the name of God is cheapened.
I don’t think any of us can say we haven’t done something that reflected poorly on the God we love and the faith we espouse. As a contemporary song asks, “Who here among us has not been broken? Who here among us is without guilt or shame?” (You can hear the song here.) So the purpose here is not to judge or be judged.
So, the question is, “Who do you trust?” Do we trust in man or do we trust in God? Man will let us down time and time again. Here also are a few other things that I’m reminded of as I think about our failures and I think about who I put my faith in.
- It’s OK to shine the light on sin. It’s okay to call it what it is. Face sin head on, don’t hide it. Don’t accept anything less than what’s wrong is wrong. Don’t sugarcoat sin but uncover it.
- We need to understand grace. If we knew the grace we’ve been shown, both in salvation and repentance, it would be far easier to show grace to those who also fail.
- There, but for the grace of God go I. That sums it up pretty well.
- Trust in God. Trust in Jesus. We give to men what God rightfully deserves. Man will fail us sooner or later. We shouldn’t base our faith and religion on man but put our hope in Christ alone.