There is a very distinct reason why I call the fall of a minister a “public moral failure.” The truth is every minister has moral failures. Some are personal, some public – both are wrong. Like every human, ministers are fallen creatures who are susceptible to the pull of sin. That is not an excuse, it’s just a reality. Those in the ministry are dependent on grace and the Holy Spirit to sustain their purity before the Lord.
Is a public moral failure different? Yes. Public sin is that which affects other people and diminishes the reputation of the church. Public sin doesn’t just affect a minister’s relationship with God; it discourages the congregation and blemishes the church in the eyes of the community. Both private and public sin is equal in the eyes of God, but their consequences are very different as they play out in community.