The 3 Hopes Of Wrong-Doers

 

There has been much discussion about the ministry of Bethlehem Baptist Church and its adjacent ministries, all connected with Pastor John Piper.  Add to that the other stories revolving around men such as Mark Driscoll, Bill Hybels, Jerry Falwell Jr., Ravi Zacharias, SBC plagiarism, David Platt, John Ortberg, Jon Courson, et al . . . . 

In recent days, Julie Roys compassionately announced that Max Lucado was facing surgery for a heart aneurysm.  As I saw the posting, I thought if I were Max Lucado, I would ask that it not be announced on the Roy’s Report for fear that merely having my picture show up on the “Post Office’s Most Wanted Poster” would create a buzz. 

The “Jimmy Bakker” scandal has glaringly paled in light of what is happening today.  However, not only the “rich and the famous” are involved in ministerial wrong-doing these days.  Be assured, it is happening with far lesser luminaries.  It might easily be argued that the “using-misusing-abusing” of God’s people is happening even more frequently in smaller ministries and local churches because they lack the attention and scrutiny usually needed to uncover such behavior.

Aristotle said this about wrong-doers . . . .

Wrongdoers are hoping that . . . .

They won’t be caught.

If caught, they won’t pay a price.

If they pay a price, it is less than the benefit gained.

Likewise, wrong-doers in ministry and local churches have some “hoping that-s.” 

They are counting on at least three situational factors. 

#1) That no one in the ministry or church has the courage to speak up.
#2) That others, outside of the ministry or church, will not speak out.
#3) That the fellow leaders will stay “loyal.”

 

#1) That no one in the ministry or church has the courage to speak up:

Wrong-doers are counting on the members and friends of the ministry or local church to remain quiet.  At least quiet enough not to be heard in any meaningful way.  A little murmuring will be tolerated, but nothing loud enough to bring that issue to the attention of the many others.  Wrong-doers are counting on “the quietness of pastoral respect,” the natural reluctance of speaking out publicly, and the intimidating possibilities of speaking out.

Wrong-doers are counting on their employees and members to remain relatively quiet, lest someone “raising their hand and asks a question,” causing others to become emboldened because they had the same question! There is only so much water a ship can take on before being unable to bilge it fast enough!

#2) That others, outside of the ministry or church, will not speak out.

A recent example of that is Kevin Bauder’s article on “a church that will not be named.”  As men like Dr. Bauder speak out and address the actions and attitudes of ministries and churches, change takes place.  When those who are highly regarded address issues, others are heartened to challenge what is happening.  John Piper is counting on the quietness of those outside of his various ministries. When respected men and women remain silent, the changes needed in seminary training, mentorships, internships, or missionary oversight are not effectively addressed. Articles need to be written by men like Bauder, which tackle what is happening because the mishandling of people not only plays out in ministries and churches like BC&S.  

Wrong-doers are counting on the reluctance of those outside of the ministry or local churches to speak out on the issues — directly or even conceptually!  Wrong-doers know that when articles and posts are written, which effectively and persuasively address their actions, that more and more questions begin to be asked.  Reasonable questions can only be batted down, unanswered, or deflected so long before it becomes obvious that “here is something wrong in River City.”!

 

#3) That the fellow leaders will stay “loyal.”

I put “loyal” in quotation marks because it is not loyalty.  It is a twisted and misguided form of biblical loyalty.  It is not Jonathan and David; it is Absalom & Ahitophel.  That is what happens when loyalty trumps integrity!  Why?  For a sad variety of reasons, including — shared benefit, job security, personally flattered by the relationship, pride in position, intimidation, and even biblical ignorance.

Wrong-doers are counting on the loyalty of any and all on the ministry or church staff, of those in leadership.  If they speak up, it could be the beginning of the end!  Wrong-doers know that when leaders speak up, their voices are double the volume of most others! The volume can only get so loud before others are hearing it!

. . . . 

Remember. . . .
Some are counting on you to help them along 
in their decisions, actions, and handling of people.  

Please let them down!

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