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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
I have been preaching for 34 years, and once in a great while when I first started out, you would hear of a preacher going morally wrong, and I suppose back through the centuries of the church it has been so, but in the last ten to twelve years there has been an increase of immorality among preachers that staggers the imagination.
Those who have studied the situation have sought for answers as to why this is happening. It has been suggested that several things may contribute to it:
1) Lack of happiness in the preacher's own marital life,
2) Personal involvement in counselling with those of the opposite sex, who may be lonely or unhappy in their marital life,
3) Involvement with the problems of a very promiscuous society,
4) Becoming vulnerable because of the long hours and pressures of the ministry,
5) For some men the so-called mid-life crisis is the excuse, and on and on we could go.
I believe when a preacher goes morally wrong, it does not happen in a few moments of time. It begins almost unnoticed in his heart. A man becomes careless in his moral perception. He begins to personally justify his affinity toward a woman, other than his wife. He begins to deliberately put himself into opportune situations to be around her, and the process of yielding to lust and grieving the Holy Spirit is well underway. Preachers go morally wrong because they backslide in their heart, grieve the Holy Spirit and walk into sin with no excuse whatsoever.
What should a preacher do who is guilty of adultery, or if he is a single preacher and is guilty of adultery or fornication? He should immediately resign his church or his ministry, confess his sin, make it right before God and man, get out of the ministry and stay out forever.
We know that when sin is confessed, it is forgiven, but a man who has been guilty of adultery or fornication has forfeited his right to lead God's people. Though God has forgiven him, in the eyes of the people of God and the world, he is no longer blameless.
The tragedy is that most preachers who are exposed for being guilty of sexual immorality, don't come forward because they are convicted of their sin, but because they have been caught or exposed by someone.
Be assured of one thing, a preacher who can have the audacity to stand before his church week after week and preach, and appeal to sinners to get saved and God's people to live victorious over sin, while he himself is living a double life, is in a terrible spiritual condition, and the Holy Spirit has withdrawn the manifestation of His presence in that man's life.
The sad thing is that many preachers who go wrong morally, will keep a low profile for a time, then move somewhere else and start all over again. God give us preachers who are Holy Men, who walk with God.