Preventing Moral Failure In The Pulpit

Moral failure!

It’s code for a pastor that had illicit sex with someone.

So let’s not trip out about the language of moral failure. Whether it’s a church secretary, a Jezebel, or he took advantage of an emotionally unstable woman, it is the most egregious act of a person of professional trust.

The sad thing is that in some churches, these things are covered up, and swept under the unholy carpet of church. To save a minister, his marriage, and his ministry is more important than discovering hidden secrets.

Psalm 90:9 says,

“You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.”

Discovery of a pastor’s sins doesn’t occur after moral failure is declared. You have to go into the secret lives of men to find that moral failure occurred a long time before the incident.

It is there that we find his unbridled lusts, evil desires, and expedient life.

Few of us realize that the anointing covers a person’s flaws and failures so well. Preachers that sin sexually count on the fact that they are undetected. This is a work of deception that causes a pastor to be more daring and take further risks to satisfy sexual desires.

On the other side of this are vulnerable women that are not disciplined enough to refuse the sexual advances of her pastor. Some sexually immoral women are opportunists too. Others get caught up in the moment of unbridled lusts themselves. Holy pastors have to be very careful. Now whether sexually immoral women come on assignment or they are emotionally unstable, it is important to point out that men do take advantage.

In the book, Betrayal Of Trust, the sexually motivated male pastor is either a wanderer or a predator. 

Today, there are more predators than wanderers. Even so, there are female predators that hunt passively. Pastors use their professional position to lure women to the bedroom. Power is sometimes irresistible and it’s important to separate the power from the person of power. All pastoral power is delegated. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. When a pastor exercises too much power over a person’s life, there is no question that sex is to be, and will eventually be demanded.

When you give a pastor too much control, or when a pastor is “headstrong,” they will make sexual demands. It’s a matter of time. But thank God for the wisdom of God and the exposing power of God.

Conversations that turn a different way other than the Word of God is bound to be consumed in the mind, entertained in the heart, and acted upon.

Bathsheba was a classic example.

We do not know what would have happened if she would have resisted David’s advances. In all actuality, she could have refused to come to the door. David sent men to fetch her. What if she would have ignored the knock on the door? Or what if she would have somehow sent a message to her husband on the battlefield? She obviously kept her pregnancy hidden. Urriah may have slept on his porch. But what held back Bathsheba from opening the door to explain to her husband what happened? There is not enough evidence to assume that she sexually led David on as she was bathing and we do not know how many times David observed her lustfully in his heart.

Nonetheless, the act of adultery was one worthy of the death of both Bathsheba and David.

Leviticus 20:10 says…..

“The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.” 

Yes. We didn’t think about that, did we?

Remember, David had five wives. There was no need for him to pursue another woman.

Moral failure/adultery/fornication has its origin in the private, hidden lives of men.

When a man fails to renew his mind, he will fill his mind with his lusts. In addition to his lusts, he will act out these lusts in self gratification, commonly called masturbation, or he will find a warm body.

The power of his thoughts compels him to lose judgment and seek a way to fulfill his fantasy. For the most part, most women know when pastors watch a woman, it’s a fault of the undisciplined pastor’s heart and mind.

Proverbs 6:23-25 says,

“For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids.”

Prevention of moral failure begins with what is a pastor doing in his private moments.

If he is watching women, watching porn, and gratifying himself, or having self sex issues, this is where it all begins. The culmination of a moral failure is the act of adultery. When discovery of cheating on his wife or acting out sexually is now a known fact, it’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s the shallow ground. It’s the surface of something much bigger and deeper.

Solomon loved many women. According to 1 Kings 11:3, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. 1000 women. Talk about sexual obsession. This was Solomon’s own version of porn.

Until you get to the heart of the problem, we will always seek to keep what really goes on, hidden and the problem will resurface many times over.

How to prevent moral failure?

Pastors that lead isolated lives are the most vulnerable. If he doesn’t have friends, he will live in sin. This is called accountability. Measurable accountability.

What is measurable accountability?

Effective accountability allows for the discovery of certain activities that are evident in the life of a person coming out of sexual addiction. Both, the person rendering an account and the person helping a person to be accountable allows a time to bring out of his heart what may be things that start a person down a path of sexual sins.

I believe that accountability must be without coercion, manipulation, and control. I also believe that accountability must be safe for a pastor. Too often, accountability brings fear but under the right conditions, healthy accountability with seasoned wisdom, should quell all fears.

When a pastor or any man is afraid to talk about the hidden parts of his life, he doesn’t want accountability to turn into a witch hunt. Sometimes this witch hunt chases a person away from accountability. Sometimes it’s not an indication that something is going on but chances are, it may very well be.

Pastors with Secret Sexual Sins are very good at concealing their hearts and mind though spiritual talk. Such spiritual talk is surface talk that never permits deeper questioning. Anger, bitterness, resentment, and other negative emotions are also used to prevent further questioning. Disappearing and running from places of accountability is another tactic of avoidance.

On the other hand, when a person is looking for someone, and it is constant, it’s best to leave the situation and not resume until they come out. And when they do, it is not the time to attack them and eat them alive. It is the time to let the person that is being held accountable to confess on his own. Otherwise, you will chase him away. One of the things that has to be done is that we must never let an accountability session turn into an “I got you, sucker” moment.

Moments have to be carefully picked so as not to chase them away. There may be times where nothing has to be said because they know it and you know it. Eventually, it will come out, if any thing. If nothing happened, just keep it moving. Even if the Spirit of God showed you. If they are in denial, it’s just a matter of time before conviction sets in. And even if they do not confess, we are not God. God uses every moment and opportunity to get a person to be right before Him and not before us.

Men that feel that you are fishing for dirt will run from places of accountability. However, there have to be tough questions asked. Especially when there is a avoidance issues. Or when there is questionable issues that are left unresolved.

When it comes to accountability, it should be a place where God and His Word is ministered in love. And the truth is always to be ministered in love. We must love a person enough to tell them the truth whether they want to hear it or not.

The purpose of discovery is to expose hidden trip wires and mechanisms that lead down a path where sin is easily engaged.

Self accountability never works. An isolated person cannot make up the rules of accountability. Therefore, pastors must seek independent verifiable people to help him through the process of accountability in a truthful, honest, manner.

Under the right conditions, moral failure can be prevented. Provided that the right rule and measure is in place.

James says…

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

The thing that must also happen is that after a season of watching them grow, unless they are a basket case, there comes a time where they have to put everything they’ve learned together. In other words, they need to be trusted. If you see that they are still wet behind the ears, they will need your accountability calls. But when they have put it all together, then they have to walk out their salvation.

Like James says, “We all stumble in many things…” but the key is to watch them enough to encourage them, coach them, help them along, and guide them enough. They have to get to the point where they have to walk on their own with little to no supervision. Until then, if they are not ready for the next step, they must willingly yield to accountability.

Most institutions and circles agree to two years of walking free of sexual addictions, same and opposite sex attractions from lust and all before ministering to others.

I agree.

In looking at the man of the tombs, we do not know how long he stayed with Jesus but eventually Jesus had to cut him loose. And this is the part that we must be prepared to do. Cut them loose and let them go. Eventually, they have to walk. Sometimes holding them in a place may be detrimental to their ability to trust the Scriptures for themselves, but sooner or later, it must happen.

Moral failure is preventable. And we must do everything we can to make sure that we keep the devil out of our lives, marriages, and ministries.

2 comments

  1. infowarrior1

    I think you forget about bathsheba’s complicity in this. Normally hebrew people do not bathe outside as they are normally very modest. The fact that bathsheba placed herself in view of david so that she can gain high status by getting rid of her husband indicates her partaking of the guilt of the murder of her husband.

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  2. prevailing word ministries

    Nonetheless, the act of adultery was one worthy of the death of both Bathsheba and David.

    Leviticus 20:10 says…..

    “The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.” 

    Whether she played an intended role to commit adultery with David, it’s clear from this verse of Scripture that motive is not a necessary prerequisite for the commission of adultery. While the sexually immoral woman is a passive hunter, it appears that David didn’t go to her. He sent for her. And yes, blame is a two way street when it comes to adultery. Yes, she agreed to go and it appears that she didn’t fight it. So, complicity is already a give in. But it is clearly plausible and conceivably possible that she didn’t want to get caught, be put out by divorce, or be put to death by her own husband.

    Thanks for your comments. Greatly appreciated.

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