I knew a pastor that had abused his wife physically and emotionally. I knew a pastor that lied. I knew a person who paraded as a pastor, but was no longer "licenced". I knew a pastor that stole. I knew a pastor that was manipulative and controlling. I knew a married pastor that flirted with women in the congregation. I knew a pastor that was addicted to pornography. I also knew a pastor that gambled.
In my time, over the years working with different churches and church leaders, I have seen many things. In fact, what I have seen and heard could have and did destroy careers, marriages, reputations...and churches. It is not just the pastors that I had seen operating in destructive manners, but congregation members too. It happens.
What perplexes me the most is the plank-in-the-eye syndrome, or in other words, the lack of grace and mercy that these pastors (I am going to pick on "pastors" today) refused to exhibit towards others who may have been stumbling in their own walk. The spirit of self-righteousness was (is) alive and well in our church leadership - sadly.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds~Hebrews 10:24
As I navigate through the trials of my own walk with God, I look to my brothers and sisters in Christ for examples, for support, for understanding...for acceptance. When I look at these pastors, knowing their sin, I expect understanding. It is being able to relate to the struggle of plodding through miry clay, wanting to give up - yet holding on to hope, trying to see things clearly, and letting the Lord work in you to do all that is necessary(...the struggle...)that connect us. It is because of this experience in life that we are able to encourage others, to spur each other on in our walk with God. We are not islands. Yet, more often than not, we deny the truth of our character flaws and dress in the facade of convenience to keep our pride intact. (Catch the irony there?) It would seem that I expect(ed) too much.
Where grace and mercy is given and grace and mercy is received,...So, grace and mercy is to be passed on.
My rant for the day.