Pastors, Players, Pimps… Stop Cheating!

affairI am so sick and tired of hearing about people having affairs; especially those who have been entrusted with a leadership role.  It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the President, Politicians, Teachers, Pastors, Coaches…  These individuals who have been blessed with the responsibility of leadership influence; should hold that influence tightly, lightly and responsibly all at the same time.

I’m not going to get into the details of the recent pastor who has fallen into this selfish cheating trap, because his name really doesn’t matter.  He is just one of many whom have fallen and one who happened to have a social media influence; therefore instantly his story was spread like a viral wildfire.  I have some blogging friends who have blogged about it and you can read their perspectives here, here , here and here.

Honestly this selfish cheating mess is probably one of the most frustrating/irritating areas to counsel people through; especially when they just don’t get the impact of their selfish actions.  Not only do they not realize the impact, but they would have probably continued if they hadn’t got caught.  This tragedy can also be one of the most rewarding areas to celebrate/praise on the other side and through legitimate restoration.

I know people may say Scott you are naive and it can happen to anybody… but I say this with all the humility I can muster up “IT DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ANYBODY!”  I read through 1 Corinthians 6 again today and I don’t care what version I read, The Message, New Century, NIV… they all communicated the same thing.  Run, Flee, Your Body Is A Temple, You Were Bought By God For a Price…  As Christ Followers and especially as Christian Leaders; we don’t get to pick and choose how we act.  We are held to a higher standard and if we can really do all things through Christ who gives us strength; I have to believe that “all things” encompasses honoring our covenant vows before God and to your spouse.

None of us are perfect, we all sin, we all fall short, we all know right from wrong and I would argue that even a non-believer understands that they are not supposed to cheat on their spouse.  Either we are serious about this journey of a growing relationship with Christ or we are not…  I could go on and on but I digress. 

To My Wife:  I love you, honor you and honor our commitment before God!

Pastors or anyone else who is cheating, flirting or going down that road needs to: stop, flee and run because ultimately Satan is Playing you like a drum and Pimpin’ you like a ho!

Share Your Thoughts!

  • great post Scott….can I echo that….

    STOP, RUN, FLEE

  • The devil is pimpin you like a ho!

    Wow.

  • Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Thank you for your passionate and your integrity!

  • Scott Williams

    Jason- Thanks bro. Stop, Drop & Roll. mean stop, run, flee.
    David- Big bimpin’
    Brent- Thank you, I checked out your blog!

  • One of those

    Scott, I’m one of those who fell. I never thought it would happen to me. And that’s how the enemy kicked my butt. I’m almost 2 years into my restoration process. I have never experienced such pain, embarrassment, or shame before. But I’ve also never experienced such grace and deliverance either. Friendships and trust are destroyed and probably will never be restored. I have forgiven myself for the moral failure. Forgiving myself for the hurt I caused others, is taking longer. Avoid accountability. Burn yourself out. Make your ministry a task rather than an overflow of your relationship with God…and it will definitely happen to you. Never knew it would be this bad. But I also never knew how faithful God truly is. Anyone on the path? I beg you with all my heart to turn around, now. God is good and He will carry me through. But you’re right. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  • Drop it likes it’s hot. Dang!!
    Awesome stuff, it always stinks when these mistakes
    Are traced back to people who were leading under kingdom
    Authority.

  • Scott,
    Is it fair to assume or say that because Gary Lamb is who he is in the Social & Faith Community that more grace is being modeled toward him? I think it’s both a messy situation and yet an opportunity for people of grace to step up to the plate and model some freakin love toward the broken, hurting and downcasted.

    As I have heard the buzz, read the blogs, had a few days to soak this in……I can’t help but to feel bad and somewhat pissed that it has happened again. As I stated on Todd Rhoades blog, I’m just pissed that someone on our team “FOULED OUT” of the game!

    I, along with many others I’m sure want to see Gary Restored for his own sake, not just because He’s a pastor, speaker, blogger. Accountability in is purest form is probably not modeled like it should be because it’s so easy to admit surface issues and cover real in depth issues that lead us to sin inspite of what we know to be true!

    If anything this situation doesn’t make me want to look at Gary as like “what the hell was he thinking.” Instead it makes me want to look within myself and the area’s I need stronger accountability in, but I mean like real accountability in.

    I must confess that I have some work to do on my life as I have come from a history of Sexual Mis-haps stemming from generations of sin, porn, molestation and divorce. I have told my wife that I’m in recovery from alot of unfortunate situations that weren’t my fault and were my fault.

    Thanks for being honest and open as I hope I have been! Im praying “For real” for our Team (CHURCH) that we begin to deal with the reality of this siutations.

  • One Of Those- Thanks for your honesty… we are all ‘One Of Those” in some shape or fashion. I appreciate your perspective and may God continue to bless your marriage and prtection be around your restoration.
    Marc- Amen
    @bennysalas- Great Questions and thank you for your honesty, as well as your candor. Praying alongside you my brother! We will have to grab coffee when I’m back down in South Florida.

  • Gerry

    Maybe it is more a matter of not making commitments you don’t intend to keep. Was the Catholic priest who is now Episcopalian cheating on Jesus and the Church?

    I do see the point that it is arrogant in the extreme to commit these acts thinking you won’t be caught, and that those in the public spotlight need to have integrity consistent with the positions of leadership. On the other hand, it is possible that someone is just in pain, and reaching out for human contact and support leads to errors in judgment. Do we really want to be so hard with each other? Shouldn’t judgment be left up to God? Leaders are flawed human being just like the rest up us and often in need of forgiveness.

  • amyinsc

    From The Pastors Wife Perspective…
    Satan is Big, but our God is BIGGER!!!!!
    The arrogance of so many of these men these days is sickening to me and must be heart breaking for our Saviour.

    I’m seeing way too many excuses being made for these men who “people” keep placing in places of honor. The power they have been given is unreal.

    Thanking the Lord for for forgiveness, but come on. Its getting ridiculous men…..

    As a pastors wife…I’m Praying for this wife at the moment. ….and my marriage.

  • scoot

    The arrogance is not limited to the male gender.

  • Great post Scott. I think righteous indignation is in order here.

  • Scott,

    I’m physically sick because I know the individual involved. He planted his church in the same theater that we planted our church earlier. I was amazed at what God did through him and that church and often wondered why that didn’t happen with our plant. Maybe God was protecting me from something like this.

  • Gerry- Judgement is always left up to God… speaking the truth, speaking accountability although they may be hard they are necessary. There is no doubt there are hurting people and hurting people hurt people! No excuses, higher standard…
    Amyinsc- Thank you so much for your perspective, I couldn’t agree more! I see as many women in my office who have fallen to this cheating mess as I have men.
    Scoot- Uhhh you are absolutely right!
    Geoff- Amen… righteous indignation is in order!
    Kevin- Wow, thanks for sharing. Where have you been? I miss seeing the stick in the eye profile pic.

  • In my senior year of high school I met the woman who would become my wife four years later. She lived her faith, I did not. She loved me. She didn’t deserve what I gave her:

    * I looked at pornography while she was at work/asleep.
    * I cheated on her multiple times.
    * I produced pornography behind her back for 3 years (and 6 more after she found out and divorced me).
    * I lusted after our mutual female friends ALL THE TIME (which is just as bad as cheating).

    I was SO selfish.

    Our marriage ended 8 years ago. I gave my life to God almost 3 years ago. I come to a greater realization of my selfishness ALL THE TIME. Amazingly, she and I have become best friends again. What a woman!

    I say all that to say this: cheating angers me. Mostly because it reminds me of what I did and what it cost others, as well as myself. It reminds me of how CHEAPLY I sold out my wife (and son). It seems so exciting, but it is SO EMPTY. Worthless. Valueless. Painful. Completely 100% CRAPPY!

    I wish I could put my hands on the heads of all men and push the visions that haunt me into their minds so they can see what the wages of this sin can be.

    But there IS hope: God’s grace is amazing for those who reach for it and who are TRULY WILLING to allow Him to change things!

  • RevHewMan

    What is good post for us LEADERS, you forgot one active word, Scott:

    STOP, RUN, FLEE, AND DROP to PRAY!

  • Man, I feel your passion and hurt that this has happened and continues to go on, especially with The Leaders that have been Hand Picked. I think “we” as a people can get cocky and Think that WE choose this walk….NOT….It is HIM that picks us. Leadership on any level or in any forum is something to be taken EXTREMELY seriously, but it’s even MORE serious when we are CHOSEN as Ambassadors.

  • Donny- I appreciate your heart and I clearly remember your story from National Porn Sunday. There absolutely is hope, but it’s gotta stop!
    RevHewMan- Drop and pray like Elijah
    Gloria- Well said… the ladies are bringin; it with their comments today!

  • JulsLovesJesus

    Every time I hear of yet another fall from grace I get so frustrated. Where is the accountability around these great men & women of God? How can this deception go on and on and on and no-one knows – where is the spiritual discernment of those around them? Its like the whirl of deception around their lives blinds every other Godly person in their field of influence also. God has called us to be set apart – we SHOULD be discerning this stuff in people’s lives – not as a critical/judgemental spirit but as truth. It’s frightening how exalted some of these men & women are, and in large part I believe that’s why their fall is so great. We need to stop celebritising great men & women of God and instead HONOUR the gift & role God puts them in. Whenever we honour the person not God, it puts a person at risk. There are so many great men & women of God in ministry – lets support them and their calling by refusing to idolize them and instead give glory to God who calls & sustains them.

  • As one preacher put it, there are no great men of God. There are only weak, pitiful, faithless men in the hands of a powerful and merciful God.

    Nobody is above temptation and the ability to commit horrible sin. I think that once we start considering ourselves immune to such things, we place ourselves in failure mode.

    May this fallen pastor be brought to godly sorrow that brings repentance and leads to salvation without regret. And may it be a reminder to all Christians everywhere that life on earth is a continuous war against the flesh, the world, and the devil.

  • amyinsc

    ….I’m simply stating that the arrogance of many of these Pastors(Church Leaders in general) today is sickening. The people have placed “the man” above ” the message” I’ve been in a ministry family for 39 years…The people are worshiping these men like they do professional basketball/football players and Hollywood Stars.

    Absolutely the ladies fall in there too…its just so in our face these days with the men. With all the discussions here and in the networking world in general this topic is in the forefront(Advance 09 and the SBC Convention next week, for example.) The topic of arrogance in ministry IS major.

    By the way…it took a woman for this fall and the others to take place, I’m not letting them off the hook.

    In a nutshell….it hurts the Kingdom, and that sickens me.

  • Fine, I’ll sound all arrogant again. I’m used to it. Uhm, I know he’s all like, one of you and everything, so it’s like all startling and shocking and stuff and stuff, but sin is still just sin. And you all are gonna do it. Unless of course yer all perfect and everything.
    What came between this guy and his wife so that he was open to this may be the important question. But other than praying for them, is it really any of yer business? So like, this isn’t like the guy who was all gay and stuff, right? Cause I don’t remember this much concern over sympathy in his case. So he wasn’t “one of you”? Nevermind. It’s gotta stop because you leaders are all special. Yer enemy can’t get a toe hold on you. And trip you and make you lose almost everything important to you. (grin)

  • Good word man, good word!

  • Juls- GoodWord!
    Mike- Nobody may be above temptation… We have to learn to make like Forrest Gump and Run Forrest Run. Higher Standard!Amy- I know that you aren’t letting the ladies off the hook.
    Jimmy- This may sound kinda crazy but in some sort of weird way I agree with you. Where have you been, you always stir the pot with a great big spoon. Praying for you and your wife right now!
    Rick_Smith- Thanks and thanks for stopping by!

  • Hya Scott. I should be awkwardly around soon. And not in the biblical sense. And all that, so…(gotta love MadTV.grin)

  • Great post! Especially love the “it can happen to anybody” response. It doesn’t have to!

  • JulsLovesJesus

    I guess that’s the saddest part Dusty – yes it can happen to anybody – but no it doesn’t have to! It happens to people who do not have accountability in their lives – if we’re truly doing life together, there should be someone who sees us warts and all. Truly – it should be a pre-requisite of ministry – if you’re a pastor & don’t have people you share all with, you’re already on a slippery slope. It’s hard to be so open – it takes effort and humility – but if you’re called to ministry in any capacity, you owe it to God, who you’re serving, your family and your church to do it well. Don’t give the devil a foothold and he’ll never have a chance. This really is where an ounce of prevention is way WAAAY better than a pound of cure! It doesn’t mean there’s no room for mistakes or grace – of course there is – but for our own protection we’ve got to take this seriously. It WILL happen, when you least expect it, because you don’t expect it to happen to you. None of the people we’ve seen fall from grace throughout history every thought they could be tempted – but they were. What pride in our heart tells us we’re any better? We need to be smart.

  • amyinsc

    An idea my hubbie uses…
    Just remembered this, my husband uses XXX.com, registers himself as a user and then a print out of everywhere he goes on his computer is sent to two men in our church for accountability( you provide the email addresses). You may like to try it or refer others.

  • amyinsc

    correction the address is http://www.xxxchurch.com !!!

  • Hey… thanks for your comments. This post is one of the most balanced ones on this whole situation. I am all about grace (i am, like you, a sinner rescued from my sin and shame) and at the same time hold grace in tension with accountability and my responsibilities to be obedient.

    Your post reminded me of a part of a seminar message from a pastor named Mark Driscoll. He was talking about pastors having “affairs” and said he hated that word. “It’s not an affair… it’s an adultery.” he made the comment that taking his wife to prom was an affair and this is totally different.

    His intention was not to be harsh but to call a sin a sin. He said, “we should use bad words for bad things and good words for good things. when we use good words [affair] for bad things [adultery/sin] we confuse everybody.

    the point there is calling a sin a sin. calling for true repentance and seeking reconciliation and restoration. Does that mean Mr. Lamb should be restored to the ministry… perhaps. that isn’t my call… because I don’t call people. that’s God’s job… but for sure not right away.

    my first prayer for myself in ministry is “God, keep me humble and broken before you. Remind me where i have come from and what YOU ALONE have done in saving my soul.”

    then, out of that prayer i seek God to strengthen my love for my wife and kids, direction in ministry, etc.

    my two cents. Thanks for your post!

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  • BrotherGospel

    HE!HE! I think it’s funny, that people fool themselves and think that they can trick God to believe that they are holy.

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