Public Moral Failures Are Different

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.

Public Moral Failures in Ministry

This week I am going to write about public moral failures in the ministry. This is a subject I have no enjoyment in discussing because I find this reality too sad for words. It is always tragic when ministers who make great sacrifices for the work of God give in to the temptations of the enemy.

As much are you may respect a minister today, he or she is just one mistake away from a public moral failure tomorrow. I write this not to be fatalistic, but to remind us that everyone is vulnerable. There are no exceptions to the allure of sin. Despite the effectiveness of a ministry today, there is no guarantee that person won’t struggle in the future.

Why do these public failures happen? This is a question with many different answers. But, at the most basic level, all of us have an enemy who seeks to “kill, steal and destroy” the work of God within us. There are other issues too that we will discuss this week, but let none of us in the ministry lose sight of the fact that there is a real enemy who seeks to destroy us.

Good Times . . . Why Bother To Pray?

If any of us faced a crisis tonight, most of us would pray.  What usually drives us to prayer is things such as adversity, desperation and hopelessness.

After Jesus encountered a lot of earthly notoriety in Mark 1, we find that “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35).”

Success and recognition drove Jesus to prayer.   Let us be wise enough to pray in the good times, not just in turmoil.

Solution For A Lack of Prayer

How is your conversation with God this week?   Prayer is not a difficult chore to accomplish.  Prayer is a dialogue – you talk to God, you hear from God.  Nothing complex or confusing.  Conversation.   Instead of guilt and failure, prayer is a source of joy, peace and freedom.   Simply put, it’s spending time with God.   We are entering a busy season – one with tight schedules, activities, and a rapid-pace.   This is precisely why there is no better time than this week to evaluate our time with Him.   Like Hybel’s book title reminds us – We are “too busy not to pray.”   Don’t fret over your prayer-less life.  Instead, just talk to God about your lack of prayer – and you will find yourself praying!

Boot McDonald’s Out of Vanderbilt Hospital

Since 1995 I have been making visits to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.  I have also had an extended stay at this hospital when my son was ill.  I have never understood why an excellent hospital committed to healing and long-term health has a fast-food chain on site.  It’s almost comparable to a drug-rehab letting dealers set up deals in the rehab lobby.

I applaud Parkland Hospital in Dallas on removing McDonald’s from it’s campus.   You can read about this change as reported by The Dallas Morning News.   I believe in a free society individuals should be able to make personal choices on their food intake, but having a fast food chain avaiable for a captive audience of sick people seems very anti-productive.