How does a pastor deal with a leader who commits arson, adultery, and attempted murder?

I would never have believed this story, but when a pastor friend of mine sat across the table from me and told me all about it, I couldn’t escape it.  He had sought my counsel about how to care for a particular family in the church.  Then he proceeded to tell me what you are about to read.  Although this article is written by my friend, we have kept his name from being attached to it for obvious reasons.  I am grateful he agreed to write this article, Pastoral Lessons Learned in Great Tragedy, for us so you can learn from him.  This is a small church pastor, struggling to shepherd his flock and care for his family just like you.  He is trying to be faithful.  I believe he has through an unbelievable tragedy in his church.  I felt you would be helped to hear his story and realize faithfulness in tragedy brought by sin is rarely glamorous, but often times is about hanging on to Christ, your flock, and your family when the giant storms come.  When the storm passes, be encouraged that you have sought to be faithful.  You are still standing.  Your church is still intact.  God’s grace was evident and sufficient at just the right moments.

I commend this article,  his story, and his wisdom from it to you…

Through sobs of deepest sorrow, Monica was barely able to choke out her plea: “Pastor, please come immediately! There’s a family emergency.”  As I drove towards their home, I tried my best to get ready for whatever it was I was about to walk into.  But, the truth is, there was nothing that could have prepared me for what fell on my ears: “Well,” Scott said, pausing long enough to find strength to continue, “I did it. I set the house on fire.”

Yet, it wasn’t Scott’s admission of arson that crushed me.  No, what landed the most devastating blow was his confession of an extra-marital affair which fueled a premeditated plan to kill his wife.  Adding to this blow was the twofold realization that during the previous six months, this outstanding deacon in my church 1) had been so successful in spinning such an undetected web of deception, and 2) had been so caught up in his this web that he could not, (indeed, he would not) come clean by confessing to his wife or his church.  Thus, with mounting fear feeding off fallen wisdom, his humanity and spirituality devolved into thinking that the only way out was to kill his wife in a way that looked like an accident so that he might find the relief from the many legit and illegitimate pressures of life.  God, however, ruined his plans by using his neighbors to rescue the wife he had abandoned to die in the home he had so foolishly set ablaze.

Over the next eighteen months, and through many court appearances during the attempted murder trial, I did my part to help redeem my repenting deacon and friend — including (along with his wife) even testifying on his behalf… 

Read the full article here

Posted in Battling Sin

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