Monday, June 17, 2013


I was recently questioned by a well-meaning, mega-church pastor friend about a statement he overheard me make in stand up conversation. I had been asked to recommend a particular leader for a ministry position.   I replied that I could not, in good conscience, give the man an unqualified recommendation because of his history as a serial adulterer, coupled with his unwillingness to be truly confessional and accountable.  I was sure of my facts.  I read the startled expression on the face of the brother asking for my endorsement and added, “I will not keep the secrets of the unrepentant.  I believe it is the equivalent of a cover-up.  I cannot withhold from the church information that may enable a man with a history of victimization to perpetuate his weakness in a new location.”  It is the reason the Roman Catholic Church has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages to boys and girls previously molested by priests, some of whom perpetuated their sin with the knowledge [and tacit consent] of their spiritual overseers.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-17, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he will not listen, take one or two brothers along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”  This should not be misunderstood.  It is crystal clear.  Jesus made provision for confidentiality.  If you confront someone overtaken by a sin, one on one, and he/she listens [repents], you have won that person over…case closed.  But, if there is defensiveness or denial or defiance… step two – take one or two along with you…and step three – tell it to the church.  In other words, “Do not keep the secrets of the unrepentant.”

Pray with me…Father, we want to be ambassadors for Christ, ministering Your amazing grace in the lives of the lost.  And, we want to be agents of Your truth, ministering Your loving discipline in the lives of the saved.  Help us be faithful to look to the fields that are ripe for harvest and to keep watch over the souls of our family of faith.  In the name of Jesus, our Savior and the Good Shepherd of the sheep we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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