by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
The body of Pastor Zachary Tims was laid to rest. Such a sad thing. So young in life. Death has taken away the mighty at the prime of his youth.
It is not enough to say, “How the mighty have fallen.” We need to know and understand “Why The Mighty Have Fallen.” Saul didn’t fall from battle victorious. He fell from battle because of a life of disobedience to the Lord. Leaders must be obedient. As imperfect as we are, leaders must be obedient to the Lord and His Word.
As I was studying Solomon, there was a statement about him that stood out. The Scripture said that Solomon followed in the footsteps of his father, David. Except he burned incense on the high place (see 1 Kings 3:3).
It is clear that sometimes burning incense on the high place was unto the Lord, however, if you study the high place, it usually has a dual purpose. It is dedicated to sacrifice to the Lord but when the leadership of Israel operated in rebellion, the high place would be used to sacrifice to idols.
When I see the word “except,” that is a clear indication that a door is left opened that will eventually destroy a man if they do not cease and desist.
Many pastors must understand that if we leave backdoors wide open and do not close them, eventually the enemy will have a way into our lives to destroy it. “Give no place to the devil” is applicable for pastors too.
As we continue to mourn over the passing of Pastor Zachary Tims, it is important to reflect on the fact that pastors are the most targeted ministry gift in the fivefold ministry.
“I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered,” Matthew 26:31.
Of course, it is a prophetic Word about what the Lord God will do to the Lord Jesus from Zechariah 13:7-9, but the implications is the same.
If the sins of a leader remain unchecked, this verse of Scripture is not going to cease. The Lord desires to clean, prune, refine, and transform our lives, even in the midst of tragedy.
However, from a demonic standpoint, there is no question that the devil is looking to destroy every pastor. Or, let the pastor destroy himself. One of the things that we have to look very hard at is that it’s not just the personal sins of a pastor we are to pay attention to.
It is the very fact that the devil will either come at a pastor and directly destroy him or if there is unchecked sins in the life of a pastor, it makes the job of the devil very easy to destroy him.
“How the mighty have fallen” was part of a tribute from David when he was lamenting over the loss of Saul. David paid a tribute to the first king of Israel. However, Saul repeatedly disobeyed God.
Saul’s continued disobedience is How The Mighty Did Fall.
The outcome of the battle against the Philistines would have been different if Saul had obeyed God.
Anytime a leader is destroyed, the sheep is left in a vulnerable place. It all depends upon the heart of the people after a tragedy that will determine whether they will survive it, overcome it, or never rise again, and be scattered.
The ministry of a pastor is very complicated and complex. The dangers for a pastor range from bouts with loneliness to abrasive, pompous displays of pride and arrogance.
Pride and arrogance is not a reflection on Pastor Tims, but it is a reflection on my own life as a pastor.
It’s time to uncover the scandal before the scandal.
My life is the object lesson of any pastor that still desires Secret Sexual Sins. It is time to expose what we pastors do or have done in secret.
As I have preached before, the people only see a small part of the life of most ministers. That small life is the part that carries a high impact on the people. From the pulpit, he or she is able to communicate the Scriptures in the most dynamic way possible.
The goal is to change as many lives as possible so that they reflect the very life of Jesus from new birth to death. While a pastor is powerless to change a life, pastors certainly can impart into a life and, by the Holy Spirit, shape that person to reflect the very life of Jesus (see Romans 8:29-30).
This is what discipleship is all about.
Disciples are not just called upon to be taught. Disciples are called upon to take what is taught and implement it throughout the course of life. It is not enough to declare that you are a follower of Christ. Your life must now reflect your statement. Otherwise, you are operating under false pretenses.
With pastors, when it comes to living before God’s people, one statement comes to mind. One pastor told me as my wife and I were preparing to resume pastoral ministry is that, “You must have the smell of sheep on you.”
A pastor’s ministry is among the people of God. We are called upon to minister to the people as a shepherd ministers to His sheep.
This requires diligence, transparency, honest, integrity, holiness, and brokenness or humility.
Lives that reflect humility or humbleness of mind will always avoid humiliation.
This is important because when you are ministering to His people, if your life lack these basic ministerial ingredients, it makes living a life free of “contaminating influences” a serious problem for those in ministry (see James 3:1).
Getting back to “the most targeted ministry gift,” we are called upon, not just to minister the Word of God, we pastors are called upon to minister out of our lives. The devil hates any minister but in particular, the pastor that constantly points people to the rightly divided Word of truth and ultimately, towards Jesus.
Sometimes, the Lord calls us into ministry with busted, sin filled, broken lives. And we wonder “Why are you mindful of us? Why do you take the time to visit with us?” (see Psalm 8:4).
Usually, it’s because we should have found a way to overcome in our busted, sin filled, broken lives. He takes us and uses us as He pleases. Provided we do what He said in His Word and be faithful to Him.
God didn’t call us to try to be faithful. He called us to be faithful. He didn’t call us to try to live holy. He called us to be holy. He didn’t call us to try to have life and have it more abundantly. He called us to have life and have it more abundantly.
I’ll say it again. It’s not a reflection upon any pastor. It’s a reflection on my life as a pastor.
There is no question that pastors must live above the fray. We are called upon to live holy, honest, full of integrity kind of lives before God and the people. The Lord and the God of the Bible doesn’t give any exceptions. That’s why we must deal with issues that we may not want to deal with.
For many pastors living sinful lives, no matter how good our preaching game is, it is difficult to preach to people to live according to the word of God when we are not living the Word of God we preached for ourselves.
Such was my case.
Let’s try to understand the scandal behind the scandal. Not from Pastor Tims life, but from mine.
The worst sin a pastor could commit is the sin of hypocrisy.
Secret Sexual Sins is a scandal of hypocrisy.
WHY THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN?
1. Pride and Arrogance
When a pastor fails to walk in humility, the Lord has a way of dealing with you.
When I was in my life of Secret Sexual Sins, I was full of pride and arrogance.
Porn and self gratification, commonly called masturbation, was a mainstay in my life. One of the things that I knew was the Word of God but how to live the Word was a different story.
My personality and ability to project my persona was key to cloaking known sin in my life.
1 John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world will pass away and the lust thereof but he that does the will of the Father abides forever.”
In these three things, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” was my secret world of sexual sins.
Lust or the desire for that which is forbidden, drove my every move. My eyes would be in search mode to “file” flesh in my mind to gratify my flesh at night. The pride part was my ability to assume that I would never get caught because I would overuse and abuse 1 John 1:8-9.
However, the Lord would be the Only One able to look past my eyes and know what was in my heart and mind. There are many pastors that is unwilling to deal with this area because it is a revelation that need not be exposed.
Why doesn’t a pastor want his Secret Sexual Sins to be exposed?
One person once said on Focus On The Family, “If God exposes it, I have no job. If I expose it, I keep my job.”
Committing sin makes it seem fun up to a point, but we do not understand that when we sin, we break the heart of the Father, and we must be disciplined by Him. Sin hurts God like a child that run away from home.
Besides, that’s what the prodigal son was partly about.
Freedom to sin or freedom to be “human” by running away from home.
When we are dealing with our own personal hurts, pains, wounds, loses, and successes, sexuality is the greatest “pick me” up or rewarder known to man.
Dr. Archibald Hart, who wrote the book, “The Sexual Man” said, (paraphrasing) “No matter what kind of success or failure you have in life, sex is used as a rewarder.”
There are four basic chemicals that take place in men. Testosterone, adrenaline, vasopressin, and dopamine. The male sex drive is a very powerful drive.
The mighty have fallen because there is a lack of control of these hormones.
When failure or low times after a “mountain top” event is experienced in the life of a pastor, he will seek sex to reward himself.
Such was the case in my life. When the reward chemical “dopamine” enters the blood stream, it is very difficult to abstain unless you operate in the discipline of Romans chapter 6 and 1 Corinthians 9:27. To abstain from sexual immorality and live a sanctified life according to 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5, you must understand what is going on with you. You must identify your “trigger mechanisms” or events that start you down the path to fulfill the need for satisfaction.
The “urges and impulses” of the body will not stop. They are there as part of your physical make up. However, we must learn the “sexual discipline” of Jesus according to Hebrews 4:12-16.
Sin is sin and there is no excuse for it because of what the Lord has done for us on the cross.
Along with this, when a pastor reaches a level of success, he feels he need to reward himself apart from Christ. And even though he may be married, it doesn’t make a difference. If he is single or divorced, it’s a different ballgame.
The temptations are even greater when you are single or divorced. The reward of sex and getting that dopamine fix will drive a man to get that reward over and over again. And in some cases, escalate from fantasy into reality very rapidly.
Patrick Carnes’ Cycle of Sexual Addiction is a classic explanation that powerfully depicts the sexual addict.
1. Thoughts and Fantasy.
3. Acting Out.
How do you know that you are a sex addict?
When you cannot stop or manage your sex life. When you cannot stop masturbating or thinking about sex. When the urge is permitted to exceed your ability to say no and keep your hands from touching yourself sexually.
Pride and arrogance will bring a man to the 4 “E’s” of pride and arrogance.
Briefly, when a person feels that they have made it in life, there is a sense of accomplishment apart from humility called “elitism.”
Elitism takes you to “entitlement.” You believe that you are entitled to certain things, including sex for yourself, whether it is self sex, prostitution, or affairs. That’s why certain promiscuous pastors have many women in the same church to choose from.
Or, they go to different speaking engagements and make arrangements. Such as the saying in the Navy that I served in 30 years ago. “A woman in every port,” a woman in every church is not that far off.
Entitlement takes you to “empowerment.” You go after your pursuit of your reward and you will not be denied. Mind you, while all of these things are going on, there is only one thing that is driving these “E’s.” The male sex drive. Testosterone, adrenaline, vasopressin, and dopamine.
Finally, empowerment takes you to “expediency.” You will violate every ethical or principle you lived by to satisfy yourself.
Why is this important?
When you are dealing with the church culture, there is a “seamless connection.”
The “seamless connection” is drug and alcohol dependency, and sexual immorality.
The use of drugs or alcohol heightens the escape experience. Drugs and alcohol is a part of the escape from reality. Sex is used to feel some measure of intimacy.
Even in the church, there are people that come to church high or they are coming down from that high. Just go back to the days of the jazz world in Harlem, Broadway, and lower Manhattan, and you will understand some of the history of the drug, alcohol, and sex culture.
They were interconnected to provide a false sense of peace and escape. The volatile activities of the pressures of life that pervade the soul; coupled with demonic suggestions to search for places where these destructive tools were available, is more prevalent than we are willing to discuss.
Many will try to sweep it all under rug in the church because we do not want to expose the reality that these things are happening more often than we are willing to admit. Partly because we want to protect the image of our leaders and the people that we minister to.
This is what is not supposed to happen. If we are the children of the King, we need to come to the King of kings to get healed, delivered, and set free. To hide the true dealings of what happens in the church is only setting our selves up to see another leader or believer’s life destroyed. Concealing what we do as sin only makes us a co-conspirator.
“Touch not mine anointed” and “Do not judge” is code for, “Do not judge my leader because if you expose his or her sins, it will force me to deal with my sins.”
These tools reveal a known fact that people that fail or succeed are hurting within and will look to commit sin to find rest. It is silly because the God of the universe is the only One that knows all about us and can fix anyone (see Matthew 11:25-30).
But we do not believe our own preaching.
So we retreat to the secret place of sin instead of the secret place of the Lord to heal our wounds in sin ourselves. All behind closed doors so that our facade is preserved.
This is the hidden world of pastors, music ministers, praise and worship leaders, and male dancers.
The desire to feel affirmed, loved, accepted, and accomplished.
Hence, male orgasm is the one way to accomplish something positive in life.
How stupid and deceived I was.
The devil has lied to us and we have fed these lies with our desire to heal ourselves.
This is the hidden world of Christian believers in almost every local church, denomination and non denomination.
We are intentionally blind to MOAB, the Mother Of All Battles called sexual immorality.
The mighty will continue to fall until we pull back the veil and uncover the secret world behind every scandal.
If we don’t, we have no one else to blame, and we will see another tragedy unfold before our eyes.
We will continue this subject in the next blog.