When are we as leaders going to figure out that sin is insanity. Why do we keep going around the same mountain thinking that we can “get away” with moral and ethical practices that are contrary to scripture?

If sin is to soul what cancer is to the body why then do we want to draw near it and indulge. Why embrace what will kill?

How many leadership shipwrecks do we need to witness until we finally figure it out? How many God-appointed, God-anointed people do we need to see tragically disqualify themselves from high levels of Kingdom leadership and influence?

I’m just asking questions, trying to figure it out.

Like Any Man

Like any man, I am faced with the lure of sin, yet I realize it’s facade and it costs. Sin is never worth it.

Yet, what is it that causes, us, as spiritual leaders to compromise? What is it that convinces us to make such deathly, life altering, unscriptural ethical and moral decisions?

Is it success?

Is it the lack of accountability?

Is it an escape from pressures and long hours?

Is it the lack of intimacy with the Lord?

Is it weak areas in our lives that have not been healed?

Maybe it’s all of the above or none at all.

Sin Is Not Natural

All I know is sin is NOT natural. Though we are born with a sinful nature; sin breaks us, wounds us and kills us. We are not designed to live in sin. We short-circuit and self-destruct. Take a look at history, read a newspaper or watch the news.

That’s why we need a Savior, one who rescues us from the penalty and power of sin. We are free from its grip in order to live for God’s glory. This is how we are wired to TRULY live and lead.

We have the Bible, our “owners manual”, that teaches us how to order our moral and ethical lives. On top of that, we have the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth.

Yet, somewhere along the way, we ignore the Word, resist the Holy Spirit and fall prey to sins intoxicating influence.

It’s painful. Worse yet, we all lose.

Though there is forgiveness and restoration, I have yet to see any leader return to the level of influence they once had.

Far From Perfect

I realize that as leaders we are FAR from perfect. We all make mistakes. I praise God for grace.

But when another Pastor morally falls, or another minister does something lawfully unethical, it begs the “why” question and I suppose this is what I am asking.

There is so much to lose and zero to gain. What a huge price to pay.

Why? In 500 Words

This post doesn’t have a solution just a question. This is a 500 word WHY? post. It’s an open letter.

Don’t look at this post any way, shape or form, as pointing the finger at anyone. I’m in the same boat and just as susceptible and anyone else.

Just trying to figure things out.

Question: What is your take on this? What causes these things to happen and why? Any suggestions or possible solutions? Add your comment below.

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13 Comments

  1. Dean Deguara Feb 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Great questions…I would say all of the above. I think we have to identify those leaders that have finished well and ask them those specific questions, take notes and apply them to our lives. A lot of safeguards are common sense, but this kind of sense becomes uncommon when leaders experience pressure, weariness, stress, etc. I love this dialogue.

    Reply
      1. Dean Deguara Feb 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm

        “only pertain to mega church pastors”

        Reply
      2. Greg Simas Feb 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

        Great article by Lee. I think it good for all Pastors regardless of the size of church. I was reminded of a few key things. Thanks for the link.

        Reply
    1. Greg Simas Feb 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Dean. I’ve had the privilege to serve great leaders who have finished the race well. I thank God for their words and example. What boggles my mind is that leaders have to know what they are doing is wrong and eventually things will come out…if not here on earth, it will be exposed in the courts of heaven. Leadership is a marathon and not a sprint. We need to pace ourselves and finish strong so others behind us can catch the draft of our leadership success.

      Reply
  2. Brian Feb 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Though it is the natural man that sins, I like your point that sinning is not natural to us at the most fundamental level. It’s a design issue … we are not designed to sin as you say. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall” (Paul to the Corinthians). It’s devastating to hear of David Yongi Cho this past week. I just heard Lee Grady a little over a week ago. Though he is no longer the editor of Charisma, he continues to be a voice to the Spirit-filled community about integrity, accountability, transparency, etc. His post referenced in the comment above is worth the read.
    God’s grace covers and restores. Yet, God’s grace also empowers us to live in a way which is worthy of Christ. Grace is empowerment, not just unmerited favor when we mess up.

    Reply
      1. Greg Simas Feb 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

        Thanks Brian. I’ll head on over and check it out!

        Reply
    1. Greg Simas Feb 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Great comment, Brian. The takeaway from Lee’s post has to do with entitlements. When you have tenured a pastorate, been a CEO in business, for a long period of time you can think you are above the system and feel you have special rights and privileges though they might not be right. It would be interesting to study about these leaders (ie Cho) that longevity might invite compromise. I’ve been at Convergence for almost 20yrs and took it from the ground, up. Just something to be aware and take note of.

      Reply
  3. child of God Feb 27, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Nice deep post. This has been a question I have thought about for a few years now and it was brought on by a former pastor from my church. One day he mentioned to me a racy movie he watched and I guess my face gave away the shocked looked and he said something like ‘In Christ we are free.’ He went on to say that we have the freedom to do these things as long as we don’t make someone stumble or we cross the line into sinning. He said it was good to know what is going on in the world and that we shouldn’t be naive to it. I could see where he was coming from but this is nothing more than a very dangerous, slippery slope into sinning. Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;.. I have wondered, since then, if this could be one of the reasons our pastors fall.

    I think also a reason for this fall could be because people are not fearful of God anymore. One hundred years ago the evangelists were noted for their fire and hell speeches and people were afraid of hell and the fiery wrath of God. People were afraid to sin, even though they still did there was more public repentance and humility. Also our culture is more accepting of sin and the culture is changing to allow it to become a norm. Even with pastors and leaders this wears on one’s subconscious through the media that is thrown at us from all directions and can be nearly impossible to get away from unless you choose to turn off all devices and go on a retreat.

    I guess another point would be that Satan wants to knock down our Christian leaders and he knows how to attack. Point 4 & 5, intimacy with Jesus and unhealed issues, are definitely weak spots where our enemy can come in and defeat us. I love Rick Joyner’s prophetic books, they give a real good visual on the spiritual realm and the forces we are up against. In one of his books he mentions the Christians, except a few, were covered in demons that immobilized the person. What a great visual! Through our continued sin or unrepentant sin we are allowing demons access to us and we become sluggish and dull to Holy Spirit.

    Blessings.

    Reply
    1. Greg Simas Feb 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Child of God. There is always a fine line between what is acceptable to the believer and what is not. Here is how I usually look at it.

      Sometimes it’s more important to ask where something (and activity) is taking us rather than whether the activity is wrong or right. When God asked Moses to take off his sandals at the burning bush, Moses did not drum up and argument about His freedom in God. My point here in this simple illustration is that there are levels of sacrifice, “putting off” of things that God requires, because He wants us to draw near. Removing the sandals on holy ground moved Moses closer to the holy God speaking from a burning bush. This ultimately led to Moses’ holy call leading millions of people to freedom.

      I can’t lead that Pastors life for him. He stands before God alone. But I do realize the power of sin and the snare it creates. I’ve made an intentional choice to live as close as I can to the “burning bush” as a burning one. This requires more from me which I am gladly willing to give up in order to draw near.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Dan Black Mar 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I think the enemy (Satan) tempts and does whatever he can to lead us away from God and the direction He wants us to go in. It’s why we must keep God close to us, so we do not go down the wrong path.

    Reply

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