by the way i also dont see it the way you do that its a choice between staying in ministry with your porn and being honest, and staying in ministry with your porn and being deceptive. The third option is being honest, stepping down, dealing with the heart issues, and then returning when you can model purity
maybe you think my standards are too high but i would hold myself to the same standard, no way would i be ready for work leading ministry, I'm too opinionated, too emotionally reactive, take offense too easily......i would need to mature a lot, develop more certain fruits of the spirit like gentleness, it takes a very spiritually mature christian to lead ministry , very few are ready for it, the bible tells us they are held to account for their entire flock as well as for themselves, its not just for anyone to jump in just because they love God!
All I can say Ellekay is I hear you and used to think the same way. God is using my struggle to show me it is possible to be a Christian and struggle with an addiction....some are just more unacceptable than others. Justification does not equal sanctification. I don't believe we can lose our salvation but I believe we can be so deceived by Satan we can live our Christian lives in bondage and even doubt our own salvation. I can say that since we have started this discussion I seem to have turned a corner and had some revelation after seeing a therapist and listening to some information from Patrick Carnes. I would suggest you read a book called Silently Seduced by Kenneth Adams. It is very eye opening as to why so many people are dealing with sexual sin and codependency. It's all about covert incest, the result of parents confiding in their children and treating them as a spouse instead of their spouse. You will probably find your husband's childhood situation in there as well as possibly your own. Wives of addicts need to know why they subconsciously choose such men to marry. I understand so much more now as does my wife as we discuss things we never saw clearly before.
thanks for the recommedation, although i'm already well aware of how my husbands childhood set him up for addiction, (and yes he has the stereotype mother) however just because you understand something doesnt make the trauma less, nor the consequences of addiction non-applicable to the addict. As for why I married him, I had only known him 5 months and i found myself pregnant! (we were not christian at the time!!) it wasnt quite the subconscious intentional choosing of someone based on perceived character traits and thinking they were good marriage material for my own codependent needs! lol!
Hi I'm new here, wife for 14 years of a PA. I know this is an old thread, but I think this topic is extremely important. I am much more likely to insist a PA must step down until he is truly delivered from the addiction. Porn use is a side effect of someone who can not turn his passions over to God. Someone who believes the lies of Satan and is snared in them. If the PA is using porn, his mind is clouded, he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does. He is not the man of one wife, but joins himself to each woman he looks at or thinks of as he MBs. I know this kind of opinion is unpopular in the current wave of mercy-grace focused gospel. But I think we would all agree that Jesus' word is the final word. He said if someone looks at a woman in lust (including his own wife, I might add) then he is committing adultery.
How is it we think porn use, as long as it's not too much, is not that big a deal? What logic are we using to escape the truth of scripture? Are we saying that if a pastor or worship leader sleeps around,as long as it isn't "too much", or as long as he's *trying to quit", then he should continue in the ministry, because, heck, we all struggle with something? Have our minds become so clouded that we are afraid to offend people more than to offend God? Jesus' standard was to or even look at a woman with lust. Period.
The word "repent" means to turn 180 degrees away from sin. Jesus told Mary, "Go and sin no more." I am not suggesting that a leader must be perfect, obviously. But different kinds of sin have different consequences. Sexual sin reveals a twisted concept of things basic to the gospel: purity, compassion, empathy, distorted view of humanity, and the one concept most central to the gospel: Love. Sexual sin reveals a level of slavery to sin that disqualifies someone from the position of leading or mentoring others. A leader will pass on his wisdom and expertise to his followers...that's the principle of discipleship. A leader can not lead others to be more than he is. In the same way that followers imitate his strengths, they will also imitate his weaknesses. Whether they know of s struggle with sexual sin matters not...transference is a spiritual principle that cannot be broken. As a leader, I realize my followers may repeat my tendency to be judgemental, my procrastination, or my tendency to get frustrated. These are issues that I am honest and transparent about with them. I confess them regularly and ask my followers to pray for me, as they do with me. This is essential to reduce the transference of negative traits or sinful tendencies which we all have.
If a pastor is struggling in sexual sin, it is his responsibility to be transparent about it to anyone he is leading...the whole congregation. Pastor's must be accountable, not only to the inner circle, but to anyone who is under their influence. I am pretty sure that if a pastor revealed PA his congregation would have a problem with that...as they should. I am not trying to judge anyone's heart, or say there are"big sins" and "little sins". Sin is sin, but clearly different sins carry different weight of consequences.
Thnk of it this way. If you had a 13 year old daughter, would you be ok with her being led by a youth group leader who struggles with porn use? Or a 13 yer old son? Would you want him to be spiritually influenced by someone who can't stop his MB habit? Hidden sin tends to grow, not diminish. That is why we are to confess our sin, so that we may be healed.
My take on it is that if a leader falls, the first time may be a time for grace. If he seems repentant, give the guy a chance to truly repent. At this point, it may be prudent to keep the conversation private, among mature leaders. If there's a second "slip", and he wants to continue in leadership, then he must make the struggle he is experiencing public, so that people can decide for themselves if they want to be under his leadership. If he does not want to make the struggle public, which I think is probably best, then he should step down from leadership, with the intention for him to deal with his weakness, find true repentance, and be restored to his position when he is healthy again. Consistent use of porn indicates a man who is not walking in the spirit, and he should not be leading. I believe that a first time offense deserves at least another chance. A second time slip reveals an incomplete repentance, a stronghold of the heart, and for his own sake, the man should not be in a place of responsibility to teach and care for others. He must make an account to God for his followers, and those who teach or lead will be held to a more strict standard.
If a pastor confessed to every once in a while stealing from the church, would that be tolerated? If he stole money last October, then again in December, February, and again in June, would the church celebrate his 4 months of "sobriety" from stealing? He would not be a pastor for long. And the Bible says clearly that sexual sin is worse in its effects than any other sin. Why do we tolerate it?
I know this opinion might not be popular, and I in no way mean to claim that this is the one nd only way to deal with PA. Each situation is different, each church has their own dynamic, and I would not be so arrogant as to say that anyone who disagrees is misled, etc. But I have spent years studying current research, reading books on the subject, watching and personally experiencing the devastation that this type of sin brings, not only in families, but in the addict himself. I firmly believe that often our soft line toward this sin actually prolongs an addict's recovery. By coddling we enable. God was patient with Israel's unfaithfulness, but he eventually sent them into exile. Their "recovery" period was 70 years! God takes adultery seriously. Maybe we should, too.
Sexually broken church leaders are unhealed wounders often causing harm to others in addition to harming themselves.
And I agree that porn and spirituality do not coexist. A church leader that is using porn makes him extremely insufficient.
What's sad is that statistics show that over half of the men in the church are regular users of porn. Most of them are doing it secretly, ashamed and afraid of others finding out. And over one third of pastors are secretly viewing porn.
We have an epidemic. And I don't see the church doing much about it.
What's interesting is that, in my experience, I may not be considered a leader in the church. But since I've made BG and other forums a big part of my life, I've been considered a leader by many. Here on BG, we all end up being ministry leaders; sharing our experience, strength, and hope among thousands of people that will read our accounts over the years.
To be honest with you, I've done more ministry in the past two years than I have all my life. And I wouldn't trade it for anything, even ministry in the church.
For everyone here that feels part of something small here on BG, rest assured that you are big in God's eyes.
Last Edit: Jul 5, 2017 4:48:05 GMT -7 by KevinesKay
Absolutely! It definitely depends on the type of ministry, level of responsibility, etc. Your story makes you a perfect leader for this kind of ministry. It only takes a cursory glance of the boards to see how God is using you to set an example to the believers. But the reason why you have become a leader, and have had such a positive impact, is because you have and are continuing to experience victory in your PA. If you had been continuously falling these last two years, you would have not been able to guide others or direct them to the solution. That's the point...not that we must be perfect, or have no "stain" on our record. But we need to be able to turn our back to immorality before we are in a position to be setting an example. There are various levels of ministry, like cleaning the church, helping in the kitchen, decorating for events, handing out fliers, greeting people at the door, parking attendant...any of those kinds of ministries are great for someone who is still struggling with sexual sin. But things like teaching Sunday school, leading a small group, praise and worship ministry, any form of preaching or giving a message, prophecy, couples' ministry, children's ministry, youth group leader, etc...those are ministries where you are accountable to God for setting a good example. If a "practicing" PA feels like the former list of ministries is beneath him or her, then I'd humbly suggest that there's a problem with pride, and a lack of understanding the spiritual ramifications of PA. In fact ANYONE who considers scrubbing toilets for God to be beneath them has a pride issue that needs to be resolved before they should even be considered for a position with more responsibility.
I read pretty much every word of your log, Kevin, and considering how seriously you take this issue, and the fact that you've had years of victory, and you are still working hard every day to seal that victory, it seems to me that there would be nothing stopping you from having a leadership role in church, not only with PAministry, but in other areas as well. Without knowing anything about you IRL, by your story I would say you have studied to show yourself approved into God, a worker that doesn't need to be ashamed, who rightly handles the word of truth. Being a PA does not instantly disqualify anyone, it's your response to the sin that matters.
I'd also add that walking alongside someone who is facing the same thing you are is a very valuable ministry. People who may not be experiencing victory personally can share their struggle with each other, and be an encouragement to each other. But I would not call that leadership, I would call that iron sharpening iron, sharing our burdens, etc.