I do not think that there is a deliberate attempt to cover, conceal, or divert. I do believe that not being clear is part of the puzzle in trying to figure out what went on with Israel Houghton. Also, I may be missing it or something.
Then again, maybe not.
While I believe in transparency, I also believe in protecting people not associated with an incident.
Point blank questions require post blank answers.
We must concede that no one really is obligated to provide unambiguous answers. A person could stay silent and not provide anything.
But when you want to put something to rest for good, give an answer or answers that answers the question satisfactorily.
I believe that Israel Houghton may have attempted to provide point blank answer(s).
But did it answer any and all questions?
According to Israel, it appears that Houghton entered a relationship (which gives the appearance that it was a non sexual/adulterous relationship) with an individual after his divorce.
Now, I’m trying to understand the brother. When you tell the world on FB that your marriage failed and that you have “sinned” in your marriage, it would help, not that we have to know, if we knew what the sin was in his marriage that he mentioned and rule out other sins.
Because when you say “indiscretions,” there is an automatic definition applied. There is no way around it. Now when you say that there was no adultery or fornication and stick to that story, it undoubtedly rules out “indiscretions.”
So one has to be careful not to use words of the world to describe what may or may not have happened.
If you’ve “sinned in your marriage,” it is a dead giveaway that sexual sin took place.
Like using the word “mistress” instead of adulteress, whore, sexually immoral women” as the Bible uses.
Like using the words “mistake, indiscretion, affair, my problem, and cheating” to describe a man as a whoremonger, adulterer, fornicator, homosexual, bisexual, porn addict, or masturbator.”
But Israel has an undeniable point.
It’s between him and God.
If all that took place in his marriage was just mending relationship or two headstrong people having a difficult time navigating differences, then if he were to say that and not use the word “indiscretions,” once again, sexual immorality would be definitively and conclusively ruled out.
We could be over analytical regarding the timeline of events. We can be ambiguous with the details until clarity is provided. We could COME CLEAN and be as transparent as possible. Disclosing all the details takes the story out of the story. Dragging people through the mud is unbecoming a child of God of anyone.
However, when you read, in portions of what Houghton posted, when you see the words “…past indiscretions…” it is important to understand that ambiguity where clarity is requested, potentially further distorts what really happened.
Were there any other persons of the opposite sex involved during the marriage?
Did you commit adultery during your marriage?
At what point in your marriage were there any “past indiscretions?”
What, if any, were these “past indiscretions?”
Who was involved, if any persons, in any “past indiscretions?”
You’ve mentioned “sinned in your marriage.” What, if any, were those sins that you’ve mentioned were “sinned?”
These are precise questions that require precise answers.
At this point, only Israel Houghton and God knows the answers.
Also, we must point out that this was concealed for quite some time.
A lot can happen in five years.
For this story to unfold after five years, a precise timeline potentially destroys any attempt of cover ups. Then to mention who you are in a relationship now probably took its toll where you are forced to give more details. Details that are believed to be none of our business.
And that’s respectable, to a degree.
The easiest way out of putting all this to an end is to divulge as much as possible any potentially missing information. Gossip, presuppositions, here say, and deception all comes to an end when the full story is released.
We must leave it at that because it could get ugly.
Luke 12:2 has a way of bringing things up to the surface sooner or later.
For now, we as believers must take heed to ourselves lest we fall into temptation. It is an example of what married couples must do to keep the devil from destroying our marriages.
When you are in leadership, whether it’s preaching the Word or leading Praise and Worship, if we fail to keep our inner vertical relationship with the Lord strong, every other relationship, horizontally must fail.
It doesn’t have to.
While watching a man of God, he mentioned that people come to church to hear a sermon, not to meet God.
When listening to music performed by today’s premier “artists,” I look to hear the brokenness in a person’s heart. I listen for those who have heard from God and have been in His presence, and stay there. I look for the people that may be in that recording to be truly affected, not by the music or the words. But did they actually meet God?
No one that has ever met God remained the same.
NOT AN ENCOUNTER.
Because people leave after the encounter.
How do you know that you have left an “encounter?”
When something outside of an encounter with God has a hold on your heart that keeps you off your knees and away from true obedience to His Word. It’s when God has such a hold on you that you can’t break covenant, you can’t sin, and you can’t violate the fellowship.
That love for God transcends everything. To walk away when the yearning for God increases is a detriment. You can’t breathe when you are under water. You can’t breathe without God. To break away and not breathe God is certain death. Where it is a sin to stop fellowshipping with God. Where His Word has a permanent hiding place where sin is not welcomed and sin can’t come in any more. Where the devil despises your relationship with God and the devil, and devils assigned radiates such burning hatred that you feel the heat of their hatred but they run in terror of the overwhelming heat of your passion for God.
Dwellers stay because of His presence.
Even after the meeting ends, they do not go home to resume business as usual habits, cycles, and patterns.
A true believer patterns after the Lord according to John 8:29.
A true believer never goes back to his or her old sins.
They never let one moment of sinful pleasure plunge them into eternity in a burning hell.
Where are the people that walk with God like Jesus, Enoch, Jeremiah, Elijah, Daniel, and others? Where are the secret place dwellers? Where are the seekers of God? Where are the true worshippers that worship God in spirit and in truth? Where are the believers that live in righteousness and true holiness? Where are the clean hands and pure hearts that bear the vessels of the Lord? Where are the presenters of gold while refusing to bring brass into the temple? Where are the truth dwellers and truth walkers?
Where are the ones that are allowed to enter the holy place with clean hands and a pure heart? Where are the ones that will fight sin, the devil, and their own desires, and win?
The correct approach to this situation is to pray and seek God that Israel Houghton would stand his ground and fight to stay holy no matter the cost. That his repentance sticks. That he would shun hypocrisy because even the hope of hypocrites is taken away. That Israel would stay true to the Lord no matter the cost. That the Body of Christ would continue to fast and pray and seek the Lord, and be true to the Lord no matter the cost. That we would guard our hearts against not just the devil, but guard our hearts against ourselves.
That we would refrain from gossip, here say, and learn to be obedient about our tongue. To pray for Israel and not entertain the words of false witnesses and divisive agendas designed to infiltrate the false, the myths, and to add to the confusion, to distort the truth and facts.
To shun hypocrisy and be true to God, no matter the cost.
Galatians 5:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
The Israel Houghton revised statement article could be read here.