I was finishing up a project that was in the making for the last two years and I came across something that I’ve been dealing with for a long time.
During the summer, I deliberately broke off being held accountable to one person.
Dr. Mark Laaser has always advocated being accountable. However, being accountable to one person isn’t always ideal. What if you cannot reach that person when you are about to fall, or you have fallen? Or, what if, for whatever reason, you refuse to “check in?” What if things happen when you cannot keep in close contact as before?
These questions arise from time to time when dealing with the realm of sexual accountability.
The dynamics of life offer little refuge for excuses, but life does happen. Job situations change. The time that you were able to make yourself available costs much.
On a different note, I do not think that many people understand the world of pastors that work secular jobs because the church isn’t growing to hold a salary and health insurance for a pastor and his family. Many people think that pastors are to just get by and that’s it. The secular world places more of a demand on pastors that work. When it comes to travel to and from work, this adds to the time factor for measurable accountability. Major sacrifices are made to pay for things that a small work cannot pay for. We do say that the Lord provides, and He does, but when you have a family, a man has to do right and support his family.
Depending upon the way the Lord works and the way pastors lead people to “make disciples,” it will determine whether the church will be able to legally, and reasonably sustain a pastor and his family financially. Why mention this? Making time for rest and measurable accountability is a concern that must be considered.
Sometimes, a break is needed to catch your breath. Resumption at the pace where accountability wasn’t a problem may or may not happen.
Things can get blown out of proportion.
Regardless, when an irregularity does occur, it is cause for serious alarm. Did a relapse occur? Is he hiding something? Is there something that was said or done that made accountability unbearable? Fault could be found on both sides, although, sometimes, there may be no fault at all.
When it comes to coming out of sexual immorality, this is the dark world with many closets. What is hidden and where it is hidden is the game most men play. Sexual immorality is the DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) of accountability. With the accountability partner, the right to ask demands the right for the one held in account to tell. There is a serious line of transparency and openness that is required in accountability where confidentiality must be adhered to. Nonetheless, these are the serious issues in the realm of sexual accountability.
The “random team concept” of accountability seems like the real solution.
Anyone can say that the Lord holds me accountable. That’s the easy way out, but the difficult way out is having mature men of integrity and holiness randomly ask you pointed questions. I’ll explain this concept in this blog.
With accountability, sometimes the person that you have as an accountability partner gains a place of speaking into your life. It has the potential of turning into a wild chase that takes things from compassionate confrontation, to agitated interrogation tactics to get to the bottom of a person’s disappearance or lack of checking in. Neither of these are valid reasons for breaking off accountability. However, sometimes, for the sake of peace and sanity, “time to tear and a time to sow” might be necessary.
You begin to “police” everyone’s sex life and assume the throne of God.
We know everything there is to know about sexual immorality, but if we were really honest with ourselves, we don’t. Knowing it all is a place of pride. As Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up.” That’s why I welcome the thorn in the flesh. The messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I become exalted beyond measure. Sometimes, things happen so that you will not become prideful about the assignment the Lord gave you.
The one thing that I am aware of in the area of sexual immorality is that when you come clean, some of us want to tell the whole world. Then it gets into another level. You want to tell people off without compassion. Then it escalates into a gestapo interrogation situation where you believe that because of your deliverance, you become the “authority” on sexual issues.
We fail to heed the words of Paul.
“Take heed, lest you fall.”
It goes from helping brothers to overcome, to gestapo interrogation.
“I know what you did.”
The looks. The prosecutor temperament and body language postures an accountability partner takes in smoking out a liar.
A person could be telling the truth but they do not feel that it’s friendly and safe.
Especially when nothing went on, you felt trapped, cornered to either confess, or defend the fact that nothing happened. Or, something did happen but you refuse to come clean and accuse your accountability partner of “overreaching.” You become defensive and avoid the issue altogether by walking out abruptly. Or, because nothing went on, you know that the next line of questioning is coming, and to avoid making a scene, you abruptly walk away.
Ah…two sides to the story does help these days.
There is somethings good and somethings bad about accountability because I do not think that we have all the answers to sexual accountability. I believe that we need to put together something that is concrete, doable, and actionable. That we can take sexual accountability to a level where it pleases the Lord for the times we are in today.
There is an example of accountability in the Word of God that comes to mind. In the book of Beginnings, Cain and Abel comes to mind. When Cain killed his brother, the Lord asked Cain a question. “Where is Abel your brother?”
And Cain answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
When you answer a question that the Lord asks you, God already knows the answer. The answer is never for God’s benefit. It is for your benefit so that you can locate where you are.
The word “keeper” means “guard or to protect. Caretaker”
Accountability. Did you put these two things together?
Accountability is for the purpose of guarding, protecting, and caring. The spirit of accountability is a brother that loves you openly is better than secret love. In other words, they will do everything to compassionately confront you to help you walk in the Word of God. It is the place where the truth is ministered in love.
Truth hurts but truth in love heals. There is no easy way to deal with the truth about the discovery of sin, with repentance over remorse as the goal. The Lord wanted Cain to own up to what he should have been doing. Instead of watching out for his brother, he killed him because Cain’s offering was rejected. The Lord also revealed before he murdered Abel, his brother that you are not well.
“Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sins lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
The Lord said these words to protect Cain from taking sin to the next level as well as showing him how to deal with his anger and fallen countenance. The hidden thing that was in Cain’s heart was sin. The offering that Cain gave did nothing to appease the righteous God. If you look at the word “well,” it reveals that Cain was not “sound.” That’s what the word “well” means.
The remedy would have been for Cain to find a firstborn from the flock. Buy it or borrow it from Abel, repent to the Lord for bringing something that God didn’t require, but rejected, and offered the right sacrifice. God would have been pleased. He would have forgiven Cain, and everything would have been right. Abel would still have been alive.
It would have been a great way to end that story. However, Cain never got over his anger. He was jealous and envious of his brother that he was in good with God and Cain wasn’t. This resulted in Abel’s death and judgment placed upon Cain. Accountability is never pleasant but if we are to be “well or sound,” we must bring what God requires.
Remember when Naaman, the Syrian came to get heal of his leprosy through Elisha, the prophet? Elisha’s servant, Gehazi had covetousness in his heart. After Naaman was healed, he offered Elisha expensive clothing and money. Elisha refused and Naaman went his way but after a while, Gehazi went after Naaman and lied. Gehazi indicated to Naaman that Elisha changed his mind. Gehazi took the items and placed them in his tent. Elisha asked Gehazi a question and he lied to the prophet.
The combination of covetousness and lying cost Gehazi his health. Judgment fell.
Gehazi wanted to have those items. Would it have been too much for Gehazi to ask the prophet if he could go after Naaman and keep those items for himself? Perhaps, if it was forbidden by Elisha to take those items, the prohibition carried over to his servant. So the answer probably would have been no. Knowing this, Gehazi went beyond his master’s stand and covetousness clouded his vision. The results are always devastating. When Gehazi was questioned, he became defensive and lied. The prophet revealed that the Lord knows everything and the rest is history.
In this moment of accountability, what if Gehazi would have come clean and answered the question correctly? There is no question that the outcome would have been different.
The greatest fear of men is being held accountable to other men about his personal sexual life.
For most men, it is “none of your business.” However, with sexual immorality running rampant in the lives of pastors, elders, bishops, when you are dealing with holiness, righteousness, and ministering to God’s people, it is His business.
At the plains of Moab, the children of Israel lost 23,000 lives by way of the plague and God instructed Moses to hang all the leaders that joined themselves to Baal. The seriousness in approaching Secret Sexual Sins must be taken to a level where men are held accountable. However, I believe that a willingness on man’s part, brings accountability to the level where the people should know that their pastor is clean.
The downside to this is that there are many people that pry, needlessly, into a pastor’s life to uncover dirt to slander them. That’s been the issue. Women with a sinful agenda have been known to lie on a man of God. Sadly, some of these women, when they do not get what they want (sex from a preacher) they will take it to another level. They will use slander to discredit him. It becomes a “she said, he said” thing. The courts frown upon these things. Lying or perjury is still a crime.
That’s why we must be clean in everything that we do. Also, those that slander a man of God may expect the judgment of God to fall. It is not my job to tell you what kind of judgment may fall, but you do not want to be on the receiving end of any consequences from the hand of God.
In my book, Secret Sexual Sins, the Lord gave me a word that revealed the complete rule of porn and masturbation operating in men. “Secrecy is the breeding ground of sexual sins.” As long as it is kept a secret, no one really knows what’s going on. At least that’s what we falsely assume.
To keep Secret Sexual Sins out of our lives, it demands exposure and accountability. Men that were once in the sins of porn and masturbation, falsely enjoyed the “behind close doors” part of fulfilling sexual fantasy. Secrecy heightens the adrenaline rush but it also disconnects us from people. Sin always disconnects a person from the Lord. This is exactly what the devil thought when he tried to bum rush God. In order for you to be successful to go up against God (like you REALLY think you can), you have to deceive yourself into thinking that somehow, God turned off His Omniscience.
However, you do not need to watch porn to masturbate. Over the course of my walk through to deliverance, there are ways to release sexual tension without resorting to porn. Porn is just another brand of high test fuel in the world of fantasy that aids in heightening the adrenaline to falsely fulfill sexual needs. Masturbation is pretend sex. There is a need to bring accountability to another level.
All across the United States, pastors are living secret lives. These Secret Sexual Sins is what’s burning within his mind. When there is a lack of intimacy with the Lord in prayer and the Word, it is clear that he is intimate with something else.
For the last few months, the Lord impressed upon my heart to come up with some form of Sexual Accountability that would change the way we do business as pastors. Many will opt out as an unnecessary thing. From our prominent leaders to those of us that pastor smaller works, the need for measurable accountability in the area of sexual purity before God and man is even more greater. You cannot vouch for you. Your witness may be false. The witness stand must not be tainted. Your witness may not be true.
Also, lying is a part of secrecy. By measurable accountability, it is a running track record that stands before the Father that you would have to give an account of in the day of judgment. For you to say that you have not sinned, as John the apostle, said, “You lie and do not the truth.”
In the railroad industry, the riding public deserves the truth about the employees that perform critical safety sensitive jobs. Engineers, Conductors, Rail Traffic Controllers or Train Dispatchers, and Yardmasters that control switches and signal in their assigned territory must be sober, and free of any drugs while on duty. The lives of people are at stake. If the railroad hires people that have DUI problems, it spills over into these safety sensitive positions. The company is legally liable and the monetary costs of lawsuits because of negligence is in the billions of dollars. The FRA or Federal Railroad Administration requires random drug testing to ensure that the people employed in safety sensitive positions are drug free.
Random examination by an independent auditor ensures the integrity of the railroad.
If it is required in the secular job, I think that the same principle could be, and should be applied in the pulpit.
People have a right to have a sexually sober pastor in the pulpit.
By the way. When a pulpit committee or a pastoral search committee attempt to hire a pastor, just because they are married, it doesn’t mean they are clean. Under the radar are many pastors that live dark lives. From adultery to bisexuality. If you could afford it, you would do well to hire an investigator and get to understand some things before you commit to hire a pastor. Yes, it is necessary because churches have pedophiles as pastors. Criminals in the pulpit. Pastors with dark lives are a liability to the work of the ministry, and they are a clear and present danger to the church.
The problem with implementing this is the fact that pastors can lie their way out until they cross lines and the Lord exposes their sin. When judgment doesn’t come speedily, their hearts are set to do evil, as the book of the Preacher tells us.
In the coming days, restoring sexual accountability will go far in restoring integrity to the ministry.
As the late President Kennedy said, “We do not go to the moon because it is easy, but because it is hard.” With the same mindset, we do not demand sexual accountability and integrity in ministry by means of measurable accountability because it is easy, but because it is hard.
Let’s do the unthinkable, in terms of walking in the known will of God. Let’s dare to be transparent. Let’s be bold in our actions to be pleasing to the Lord. Let our righteousness exceed our predecessors until the righteousness of God completely reflects the life of Jesus as He walked the earth. Let’s walk in holiness, righteousness, and integrity, on purpose, with a God inspired purpose.