by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
In anticipation of the autopsy report of the late Dr. Zachary Tims, it is important that we focus on the fact that sometimes autopsies are inconclusive. Even after the toxicological tests returns, we may or may not know what really caused his death.
I am aware that the police through the media put out the “white powdery substance” found in his pocket. Most police patrol units and CSU (Crime Scene Units) have a kit to test for cocaine and heroin on the scene.
So we already know that the police may already know the actual substance. The million dollar question is that if the police already know what it is, did it enter his body and cause his death?
That’s what the toxicological tests may or may not conclude.
There’s always that possibility that it will be ruled a natural death.
Even if a certain “substance” is found on or near the decedent, any substance that is known to cause death may or may not be the true cause behind a person’s death.
What is so troubling is that no one seem to put the pieces together before his death.
No one traced the “needle trail.”
Or, perhaps, the trail was hidden so well that even if there were certain tell tale signs, we would ignore or intentionally suppress them. I find that when people do intentionally suppress the truth, they do it to cover a leader.
No one wants to uncover and disclose the truth of the trail because it would uncover another trail to places where certain people (high level, prominent, outspoken church leadership) do not want you to go.
What is the “needle trail?”
Again, it uncovers the dark side of the pulpit that we all know is going on.
Case in point.
According to Gay Christian Movement Watch (www.gcmwatch.com), COGIC Superintendent Joseph E. Hogan Jr. was recently selected to be Bishop over Central Georgia. He has a child out of wedlock and was arrested for being a deadbeat father.
In a separate incident, a well loved person in church leadership passed away. He was known in his church in the south to smoke, drink, and sleep with women. The pastor eulogized him as a person who did much good. “Let his good overshadow his bad.” Yet, he was divorced, had a child out of wedlock, and his girlfriends showed up at his home going service.
Sadly, pathetically, and hypocritically, we have no problem speaking well of people in ministerial leadership that are known to have committed Secret Sexual Sins at home goings but we have a problem not preaching about the true Biblical fact that fornicators, homosexuals (catamites), and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.
Only hypocrites judge.
Only those that expose sin (because the truth need to be told), do so to warn the rest of the hearers and seers that this is what happens when sin is left unchecked and undiscovered in the hearts and minds of believers and powerful leadership.
And even babes in Christ and the laity that know their God and their Bible will never call sin a “train wreck” to covertly cover the sins of a fallen minister.
The secret is only a secret when few know about it or are told about it.
The power of a secret is safe where few know about it or the few that do know do not talk about it.
Collaborators and conspirators do not want the truth to come back to them because it will reveal a bigger picture that something sinister of epic proportions is too much for the church to bear.
So they fight so hard to speak the good over a leader while intentionally overlooking what is bad at the same time. It’s never commendable to cover sin. It makes such a cover, a cover up. Sin can never be covered. There is only one thing to do about sin that God agrees with. Sin can only be washed away by the blood of Jesus. Covering sin or speaking good over a sinful leader is the way of co-conspirators. Cover a leader’s sin and my sin will not be discovered.
The anointing on a person’s life or their persona has a way of hiding even obvious signs of trouble.
No one really seen Dr. Tims’ death coming even after the fact of death. Sometimes certain people will act a certain way that may be key behavioral factors that are not ordinary.
Sometimes this is not a good way to determine that something is wrong because it is a fact that people will snap on a moment’s notice and go crazy. Then we are left trying to figure out what happened that led to an unthinkable incident.
Again, for preachers in particular, the “persona” and the “anointing” can cover dark happenings in a person’s true character.
It’s called “Undercover Christian Brother.”
The story of a book is never read or understood on the cover.
The story is always found inside the book.
Speculation is a failed attempt to understand the true meaning of what took place or to get into the mind of the deceased. After all is said and done, we conclude that we will never get at the heart of the matter. Speculation, therefore, becomes “hit or miss.”
More miss than hit.
It’s very easy to blame the dead on a number of things.
Which is why we must always recognize the obvious signs of pastors that are not so obvious to believers and even close associates.
Bishop Jakes tapped into something that was very telling that Dr. Tims was “unhappy.”
Folks, as much as you want to believe that even when a pastor has a lot of people, it is not all peaches and cream. But just because a person or a pastor is unhappy, it doesn’t mean that we now understand all that is going on in an unhappy person.
Behind the scenes, there are many pastors that are unhappy with life and ministry.
This is not a reflection on Pastor Tims. I know this to be true in almost every pastor and it is a reflection of my own life and ministry.
Early in my ministry, I began to experience “the ministerial mountain top blues.”
You’ve preached the best messages and people receive. Then you go home or back to your hotel.
It is there that the mind sometimes goes crazy.
No matter how much Word a preacher has in him, there is always that moment when the devil or even your own mind retreats into a place of seclusion and second guess the message.
Or the message was received but it wasn’t good enough.
Or it was good enough but you are still looking for something.
That something we are all looking for is accomplishment, affirmation, and acceptance. No one wants to be rejected. Sadly, we male preachers, or males as a whole are afraid of rejection and failure. Behind all of our strength we are susceptible to these two vulnerabilities that drive us to commit sin to achieve apart from God.
There is also the ferocious intensity to minister in such a way that completely obscure our past moral failures, or current involvement in Secret Sexual Sins that there is no flow of the Holy Spirit. Just a forceful push that looks like an out of control freight train going downgrade heading towards a turnout (curve), with no brakes.
Instead of resting in the Lord, it’s fast paced preaching as if you are running from something or someone. In essence, you are running from God.
The majority of ministers of the gospel will never tell you that what drives them is their ability to perform before people. It is a “form of worship” that we are not permitted to have but some of us search for it anyway. Even after a scandal, there is that one thing called “performance” that drives us to give us a false awareness that we are truly successful.
Sexuality is the highest form of physical pleasure. The use of drugs has been known to heighten sexual experiences as part of heightening the false sense of escaping reality. Candidly, false intimacy and the aftermath of male or female orgasm gives a person seeking for some measure of success, a deceptive means of achieving accomplishment.
Because of “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind” and “the pleasures of this world,” it is very difficult for many to go “cold turkey” on self gratification, commonly called masturbation.
Victory over masturbation is achieved by employing “moment by moment” sanctification which is the same discipline used by Jesus in Hebrews 4:14-16.
It’s called the “Sexual Discipline of Jesus.”
Just because the Bible is silent about masturbation, it doesn’t mean that you have permission to engage in the practice. Silence is never permission.
We pastors refuse to admit that we masturbate nor do we even discuss the reasons why we masturbate because it is embarrassing. In our secret and hidden lives, this is what males and females do to relieve sexual tension when we are alone to fulfill the lusts of our flesh and mind. And as a secondary reason, to acquiring some measure of self worth, accomplishment, self love, acceptance, and affirmation.
We violate Scripture by measuring ourselves by ourselves. It’s part of pride and arrogance, and it always lead to elitism, entitlement, empowerment, and expediency.
Even when it is assumed that we are actually helping people, sometimes we pastors can be so full of ourselves (egomaniac) that we believe the hype about ourselves. Like Paul, we always need to judge ourselves and we need that “thorn in the flesh” so we would not go beyond the limits of our measure.
Even behind our praise of God in front of people, if we are not careful, we will try to steal God’s praise in broad daylight.
As Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up.”
And when the hurts and wounds of a pastor is mixed with our emotions, coupled with great pulpit performances, and a desire to be received or worshipped, we get into trouble. As I have said before, humbleness of mind and humility will keep us from places of humiliation.
This is where pastors must recognize that this is the moment to find God for you and not for others. It is the moment to find a close friend to share your heart with and lay what’s in your heart bare.
Coming down from the mountain is the most vulnerable moment in a preacher’s life because of the lack of complete satisfaction.
When you are constantly pouring out of your life and ministry, the expending and dispensing of the Word and the anointing out of your life is for the people. It is not for you. It is there that you seek to put something back to fill the void.
If you are not getting ministry for “you,” it is very easy to fall into the traps of loneliness.
After most Sundays, I look to channel surfing to preaching that will feed me and minister to me. I particularly look to Fred Brothers. His ministry really has been found to be the thing that I need from the Lord at precisely the right moment. As Fred Price said, not everyone can minister to you. And you will not receive from everybody.
That’s good preaching.
Hotels are very lonely places unless your family is with you.
According to www.XXXChurch.com, the average time spent on porn is 12 minutes.
For the single and divorced pastors, it is a very lonely world. For single and divorced pastors, to be isolated from family is another spot of vulnerability. Without loving family support, it makes ministry all the more troubling and dangerous.
Too many “options.” Too many “distractions.” Too many “opportunities.”
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, Pastor Roger Jamison ran into Bishop Eugene Tanniehill. “The Bishop,” a former death row inmate, was released from Angola Prison and we went down to Louisiana to visit with the Bishop.
This was just after I was delivered from porn and masturbation. I was in a hotel room away from my associates.
I can’t tell you the number of times the flesh started to rise and the mind battles in that hotel room. But to fall back into Secret Sexual Sins of 13 years of porn, such a turn back from a great deliverance would be the greatest hypocrisy ever.
On the day that inmates were expecting visitation, there were many women that we waiting to get in. All these temptations surround a man every where. Preachers are not exempt.
But God was good. He kept me from turning on the television. He kept me from filing the “images” of the day in my mind to fuel the fire of “urges and impulses.” I knew what was waiting for me if I surfed the channels. I prayed, stayed in the Word, and called my wife regularly to ensure that I stay pure before God.
I’ve determined that loneliness is a “trigger mechanism” to commit Secret Sexual Sins.
If you fail to identify your trip wires and trigger mechanisms, you will never end the cycle of sexual addiction. You will continue the “ritual” and fulfill false intimacy or act out sexually to attain unattainable satisfaction. Seeking unattainable healing through false sexual satisfaction is never acquired or accomplished, but these drugs are released into the blood stream.
Testosterone, adrenaline, vasopressin, and dopamine.
I was acting as my own “pharmacist.”
When false intimacy by self sex takes place, the addict demands these chemicals, and it is what makes sexual addictions become “medicinal properties” to vainly attempt to heal deep seated wounds in the soul that only God could heal and make whole.
Males seek to masturbate because these feelings govern his refusal to approach God, to search after Him for true healing and intimacy. We want to do it ourselves for two reasons.
1. Sin’s pleasure.
2. Medicinal or pharmaceutical properties for self healing.
This is our disturbed way of autonomy.
That’s why self sex or masturbation leaves a bad feeling (violating the conscience) because you are violating the “one flesh” principle, thus, sinning against your own body, and against God. Sex in marriage between male and female is designed to be shared. Masturbation is selfishness.
When sex is done according to the “one flesh” principle, between husband and wife, these same chemicals produce positive effects of love and bonding to secure the marriage relationship. The conscience is clear.
Loneliness can only be satisfied in Jesus. Him alone!
Pastor Jamison shared this Scripture with me at our Come Clean Conference in 2009.
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” Proverbs 18:1
The Amplified Bible says it this way,
“He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.”
More pastors run into trouble when there isn’t a close person to talk to about the “ups” and “downs” of ministry.
The prideful pastors will always find a way to break out against all wise and sound judgment. We walk the streets or drive in our cars lusting for flesh. We go back and fulfill our fantasies through false intimacy.
Then, after having our fill of false sex, we look to take it to the next level. We look for another live body on the level one of sexual addiction.
Not realizing that deep inside, there is a longing for true intimacy with God.
I was watching “Faith Of Our Fathers” or “Fathers Of The Faith.” They had a panel of 5 or 6 “senior” pastors sharing their secrets of 40 plus years of ministry apiece.
One pastor lamented over the fact that he wished that early in his ministry that he had a close pastor friend to bounce ideas off or to just share in his personal struggles in his life and ministry.
A pastor could have many people, many friends, but few close friends that is able to speak into his or her life. More often than not, many pastors close the doors to such personal ministry because, for men, we tend to believe we could fix our own lives.
We also want to keep our personal sins personal so we could stay in ministry. We try to “heal our own wounds” in sin when the Savior is waiting to help us. Even pastors need Jesus.
We know what is wrong with us. Even though we may know what is wrong with us, we do not know how to fix ourselves. We think we do, but we fool ourselves into thinking that there is nothing wrong. We pretend all is well, yet, we cry silent tears within.
Inside the heart of most pastors are wounds. Self inflicted or sheep inflicted that never get attended to. We bleed while we preach. We bleed while we minister to others. We bleed while we laugh. We bleed while we sin. We bleed while people watch.
Our false intimacy becomes a place of failed attempts to stop the bleeding. We refuse to believe our own preaching and find the Healer through safe associations with other pastors. We can’t share, or we refuse to open up our hearts because we have this false understanding that we are all right.
We can’t let the people see and know how much we hurt.
Sin deceived us into thinking that sexual ritualistic activities is the only way to bring healing to ourselves.
No lie could be more deceptive than this.
How are you going to heal yourself by hurting yourself?
And then when it is detected that somebody can see our hurt, we refuse their prayers, their comfort, their counsel, their ministry to us. We run from the very thing that God sends to help us heal.
It’s like asking a heart surgeon to do heart surgery on himself, without anesthesia.
If you are a lonely pastor, it is time to furl the superman cape.
It is time to find a close friend to share your heart with. Life and ministry is not designed for the pastor that goes it alone. You’ve sat in that office crying to God for companionship. You’ve gone home looking for someone to help you understand the process of the “ministerial mountain top blues.” Only to fall into various Secret Sexual Sins or other common sins to heal a desperately lonely heart.
It takes courage to find a friend in Jesus that understands what you are going through.
Pick up the phone and call someone. Or when that friend calls to see how you are doing, do not do what I have done. Never return that call. Leave it on voice mail. Or worse. Cut them off forever.
Physician, it’s time to get healed.