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Unread 06-25-2020, 07:52 PM   #1
and you were wondering??
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Oxford Theology Prof and Child Abuse

This has been BIG news in my circles. It has been very devastating. Basically, a well respected Hebraist scholar and pastor was heavy into child images of a disgusting and harmful nature...

What does one do when those who seem most virtuous are doing the most heinous of activites??

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Originally Posted by Demon_Hunter View Post
Taylor, you just got drive-by theologied.
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Unread 06-30-2020, 01:38 PM   #2
still not a stale muffin.
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i didn't read the article, but i will share from personal experience:

first of all, any of us, ANY of us, are capable of grievous, heinous sin. we are redeemed, but we are not perfect. sanctification is at once instantaneous and ongoing, an event and a process. i think that most of all, tragic discoveries like this are sharp reminders that we do not place our trust in earthly authorities, but in Christ alone.

now for the practical.

i think you probably remember, taylor, the circumstances of how i became the youth pastor at my church. if i didn't actually share, it's because our worship and youth pastor, who had been my spiritual mentor and my "rabbi" (in the style of rob bell back before his pre-feather-ruffling days) during my internship, and the person after whom i wanted to model my own ministry efforts, was discovered to have a long-standing, deeply entrenched sex addiction, and had participated in years of infidelities. i was stunned. i had no idea that it was going on, and God usually grants me the very mixed blessing of knowing things in advance. in this case, it came out of left field.

i was left with the twin problems of shepherding the shocked and devastated teens and making sure that we had continuity in our youth ministry, and also dealing with my own personal reactions. i definitely felt some crises about my own spiritual growth and walk, and the biggest question was--if this person could live such a deep lie for so long, was everything that he taught me also a lie? was my spiritual growth and development under his leadership somehow invalidated?

the answer is no. it took some time to process, grieve and think, and one of the very best things i did was go into intensive spiritual counseling and mentorship, which bore fruit in so many additional areas of my life. (like, i was released from 20+ years of horrific nightmares, which were completely unrelated to my stepping up as youth pastor, but still had everything to do with the counseling i was receiving.)

so...i think the thing to do is this: turn to scriptures and meditate on truth, talk to God, seek a trusted counselor. remember that we are all capable of doing the things we do not want to do and/or know we ought not to do, and also remember that someone's sins do not invalidate the truth and word of God they have preached, even if they preach it under false pretenses. if you feel up to it, pray for their redemption. if you don't feel up to it, pray for people to pray for their redemption. (true story. i had a hard time praying directly for my pastor for a long time, but i prayed for his family and i prayed for counselors for him, and one day the day came when i COULD pray for him directly, so i did. God understands.)
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