Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Reminder Regarding The Fallen

I received the following commentary today from Bill Ellis, who writes with the Assist News Service. I am posting it here in its entirety, as it's a good word in the aftermath of the recent scandals in the church.

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None escape the wrath of immorality

By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- Immorality, the sinfulness and perversion of the human soul, leaves no person with an exempt status. The ancient sage was correct in concluding, "There is none righteous, no not one." A first century writer stated, "All have sinned."

Nobody is immunized to ward off or delay the effects of evil. None ever become so educated, rich, powerful or influential that they cannot be touched by immorality.

In the span of my brief life there have been three presidents, all of the same political party, who have openly lived sexually immoral lives. They were unfaithful to their wives. They dallied with impure sexual relations as though they carried no lasting consequences. They paid a heavy price for their sin. However, no one political party has a monopoly on immorality.

I have also known men and women, from every imaginable profession, who have failed themselves, their families, friends and colleagues with their loose, unethical and evil lifestyle. They have embarrassed themselves and all who knew them.

One night in an elegant hotel lobby, a drunk, who was a well-known businessman in his city, staggered with a loudmouth while clutching his beer and babes in his dishelved condition. Our eyes met. I wondered where his faithful and caring wife was. We met again a few days later and he profusely apologized for his despicable appearance and conduct.

The greatest enemy of the church is not the ungodly world in which it exists, but rather the rotten and immoral behavior of those who profess to be its members.

I have known many of them, but they will not be identified. They were preachers, attorneys, bankers, newspaper editors, soldiers, policemen, educators, teachers, coaches, coal miners, factory workers, business executives, medical doctors, university professors, actors, musicians, politicians, presidents, members of Congress, governors, athletes and just about everybody else you care to mention. They all had one thing in common. They were immoral, sinful, ungodly hypocrites.

What happens in the face of such blatant immorality? Families, businesses, governments, colleagues and many others are hurt, shattered, disappointed, discouraged and troubled. My heart always goes out in compassion for those who are devastated.

What do we do with the person who has failed so miserably? Cast them out into the trash dumps with the wrecks of society? Absolutely not. A man who knew about the ravages of sinful and immoral living, of humanity's sin against man, gave this advice: "Dear friends, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path" (Galatians 6:1, NLT).

I have prayed earnestly for fallen preachers, fathers in prison, women who have become the sexual toys of evil men, the president of a nation, the man next door. We pray for the fallen and do what we can to lift them into the presence of the One who has the power to forgive and restore shattered lives. We can also write or call with an encouraging word and let them know we will be their friend.

What happens to your faith and mine when others fail? I think mine is strengthened. I realize that I must ever be vigilant. I must guard my own soul and life. We should all remember the words of St. Paul, "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12, NKJ).

My faith is not based on what others do or how they live. My friends and I may also fail. We should look to only one person as a living example of how life should be lived. The only person I know who can always be that perfect mentor and example for life is Jesus Christ. Like Governor Pilate, "I find no fault in this man."


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1 comment:

crownring said...

Thought you might find this article of interest, Sola. It deals with what can/may happen when the leadership of megachurches experience a fall from grace.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061110/ap_on_re_us/superstar_pastors