Sexual malfeasance and church leadership

I promised Sis greeky, that we would talk about this because it really is one of the huge reasons individuals leave churches in disgust. 

Here’s what she wrote:

Let’s say that a married Bishop was accused of impregnating a girl (perhaps underaged). When brought before the Board, he confessed to part of the accusation, and agreed to pay money to make it go away. How should that Bishop be handled? Should he have also been demoted? What if many (hundreds!) people know that “something” went down concerning him, how should the Board handle that? Should there be a statement to the larger body concerning the accusation and the result of the investigation (i.e., guilty or not guilty)? What should his local church do, in light of the fact that they only heard rumors (wide-spread), and noticed a change in his actions (financially and otherwise) during that time? What if that leader has since been promoted by the same Board that heard the original accusation to a very “high” position – does that change the course of action required? How should a Board discipline one of their “own”? This is not an attempt to spread gossip, but people in the COGIC pews across this country are hurting and need to know what the Bible says concerning these things. It may seem simple to you, but not so simple for people who have been taught over the years to “never” take a leader to task” – especially when you didn’t see him actually do what he’s accused of. It still hurts bad, and it’s hard to pretend that all is still well when the whole church is hurting over what they heard, and still getting nothing but silence from the leaders. Please provide some scriptual wisdom.

In advance, I ask your patience because of so many variables this might be somewhat lengthy. And too, this may involve more biblical principle rather that hard biblical evidence so keep that in mind. I think the scriptures allow for us to glean universal wisdom from the Word and then apply it in love to specific situations.

I have always advocated (and at times demanded) responsible transparency in ministry. There definitely should be a balanced approach to dealing with leaders who are subjects of sexual immorality for years if they are truly men of integrity being falsely accused.  Lets all agree that the scriptures which outline how to handle accusations against elders are indeed applicable and right.

Two scriptures we should consider here.

If a brother be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual restore him in the spirit of meekness considering yourselves lest ye also be tempted (Gal 6:1).

Receive not an accusation against an elder, unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. (1 Tim 5:19, 20)

Just brief notes on these two passages. The first is about the spirit,  not so much the letter of the law. Its characterized by self-reflective compassion. How that is applied seems to segue in the second passage.  1 Tim 5 acknowledges that elders may indeed bs “accused”, but it cannot be justified only by a “he say-she say”  scenario. Or in these days we need to include “he-say-he say”. Further, if the accusations prove true, the church is to use open rebuke to suppress the progression of sin within the Body. In this case, you are authorized to preach fear, hell and damnation! 🙂

Restoration (of a leader who has sinned) ideally should include: disclosure, discipline and retraining. Restoration does not automatically mean a person should be put back in the position they once held in church. Restoration is primary a concern for the soul and not some manmade position. For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Maintaining image for the purpose of  “damage control” is potentially detrimental to the person caught in the sin.

Disclosure means fully repenting in context to the circumstances of the sin. If sin was done openly, repentance should be open. If this was an issue where the sin was private (meaning only the individual was involved) then repentance should be to an appropriate source in confidence. Sometimes the Adam and Eve syndrome takes over and people start blaming other folks for their sins. If so, a spiritually mature person should evoke James 1:14-15 and apply it in order to obtain metanoia or true repentance.

Discipline means there should be some restrictive measures levied against the individual commensurate to the depth and impact of the sin. For instance, if a person got into an arguement in the open and cussed, the discipline required would not be the same if he or she were to molest a child. All sin is the same, but the effects of sins are different. Thus, dealing with it requires mature discernment and applicable biblical wisdom. Discipline is not about humiliating someone, but its intent is to humble them so restoration can take its proper course. Discipline is part of discipleship and is not only to be self administered, but should be accepted when administered by God or whomever he sanctions to carry it out in love.

Retraining means that there should be  practical exercises required for the individual to complete before any level of restoration is declared. For instance, one might be required to pay back 100% of monies misused from a church funds. This isnt punitive but to (1) test the integrity and sincerity of the person,  (2) to demonstrate real, observable restitution for the record and (3) to engage the person in an activity to teach them so that they learn from their error.

For the record, I do not believe in the practice of “sitting someone down” as a legitimate biblical response to sin in leadership. It has too many loopholes.  Unless it is incorporated with the above it is useless.

But lets deal with the ones who aren’t innocent, havent been overtaken in fault.  Let’s talk about the ones who are committing serial sins with no repentance and even resist efforts to rectify wrong situations. When a person has power, money and popularity, it severely complicates a biblical resolution.  Remember Earl Paulk?  Because of his status and position, not to mention cunning deception, he was able to carry on abominations for over 30 years. And because people were told “keep your mouth off the mand of gawd” it afforded Paulk the perfect cover to continue sexually molesting both children and adult women under his authority.

If it is a crime (sex with a minor) involved, the church should not conceal the matter. If it is a moral failure (adultery) the church should exercise its discretion again depending on the circumstances of the sin. For instance if the husband, girlfriend and wife had a fight in church in front of the members, why label it a “private matter”?  Already it has damaged those who have witnessed it. 

Let’s also consider that a bishop (positionally different than a pastor) according to 1 Tim 3:2,  must be “blameless”.  The “blameless” part takes effect after he accepts the office. People oftimes claim well they are human too meaning we have to allow for them to err. Well yes and no. The word blameless is taken from the greek anepileptos  which means:  not arrested, i.e. (by implication) inculpable — blameless, unrebukeable. Also note use of the word “must” which signifies there exists no parallel option to the requirement. In other words, the bishop must live above reproach. If they err, they are no longer qualified to hold the office and should be removed.

I believe that in keeping with integrity, any investigations of widely known acts of malfeasance should be available to members. It pains me for church folk to always accuse people of gossip when leaders reject properly informing people. Generally, there is suppression of the evidence and failure of “the board” to righteously deal with it. I still contend that the case of Bishop JD Husband is a textbook case example of this. I think the issues of information suppression and secrecy is not because of a concern that people would be harmed but because it could possibly affect the flow of money. Sad to say the contemporary church is in bed with money. Consequently, God’s word is relegated to a secondary reference tool.

If you feel like adding something to this, feel free. Its a tough, but much needed discussion in the church.

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12 thoughts on “Sexual malfeasance and church leadership

  1. I was a part of the COGIC church for about five years while growing up. I did not have the understanding of the apparent depth of corruption in the church. However what little I saw from the ages of 12-17 made me decide never to be a part of that denomination again. One reason was that it seemed to me that the only time that leaders were punished is when they were found guilty of touching the money.

    It appears that a good number of groups value money flow over integrity. It also appears that people may be accused of gossip when facts are actually being presented in order to scare the people into being quiet. If the offense causes enough trouble where the money flow is significantly decrease maybe they will do what they need to do. However if the person brings in a lot of cash or increases membership nothing will be done to them in most cases.

    I have avoided denominations because of what little I saw in the COGIC church. I cannot blame some denominations for not including the denomination in their church names. I know unless I had a serious change of heart I will never attend one that I know is affiliated with a denomination. I am probably overreaching but I’m convinced that unless the people running these denominations are dead to the love of money there will be corruption of this type in all of them. It is all about numbers and prestige.

    People should leave groups if they are not going to properly discipline their corrupt leaders. They are supposed to be training the rest of us for works of service. If the followers are leading better lives that the leaders the followers need to run away like bats from hell. There is a reason that James 3 speaks about how there is a greater judgment on teachers. When they mess up it has way more impact than the rest of us.

    This indeed should be discussed. However the discussion really needs to be with those in church leadership. If they do not change discussing it here is meaningless unless it provokes people to run from these charlatans and quit giving them their hard earned cash. God needs to deal with those that are willing to compromise for money and prestige. If they refuse to change then the rest of us needs to make sure that their money dries up.

  2. Praise the LORD!

    OK Pastor Foster,
    I have been waiting on the Lord for wisdom concerning this matter and studying on this the past few weeks. For James 1:19 tells us: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: Amen.

    I agree in principal with your wording on disclosure, discipline, and retraining. I would add that those in leadership that have the TRUE Holy spiritual gifts of discerning of spirits, word of wisdom, and word of knowledge BE AT THE FOREFRONT in these matters! So there would not be a “Witch hunt.” or “False Accusations”. Amen.

    2 things that I disagree with in your commentary(Smile). Hear me my brother! Amen.

    #1. You said “If it is a crime (sex with a minor) involved, the church should not conceal the matter.”[ I agree 100%.] “If it is a moral failure (adultery) the church should exercise its discretion again depending on the circumstances of the sin.” Here is where I disagree.

    Adultery IS a CRIME in the sight of GOD–Thou shalt not commit adultery(7th commandment.) Adultery/Fornication and ALL sexual sins/abominations ARE crimes against GOD, and your brother(of the household of faith), and OFFENSE to the Gospel. At one time in this nation, the USA, committing the act of Adultery/Fornication was considered both a criminal offense and moral offense punishable with JAIL TIME. How was adultery, fornication and such handled in the household of faith in the Old Testament…all parties found guilty before the witness of 2 or 3 witnesses/elders were then punished by death. Well, New Testament, OF COURSE, does not give stoning as in the Old. But GOD has not changed in the way HE looks at adultery. The LORD JESUS told us that looking on a woman with adultery in your heart is Guilty. And Hebrews 10:28-29 tells us that those who despised Mose’s law DIED(went to Hell) without mercy…so we who are in the age of Grace will suffer MORE severely if we …29. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    Paul gave instructions on how to handle sexual crimes and immorality in the Church. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 KJV

    Pastor give me room to break this down concerning what is occuring/ has occurred/and will occur in COGIC or any other organizations.

    (1) It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. Proven, verified, and documented in this blog and of course in the World what happening in COGIC, GCM, and any other house of worship
    (2) And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. COGIC is in PRIDE, and ALL SHOULD BE MOURNING that ANY, ANY of these terrible sins/abominations have been done. And those that have been found GUILTY…SHOULD BE TAKEN AWAY…EXCOMMUNICATED.
    (3) For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
    Where has COGIC leaders shown spiritual judgement/discernment AND MADE A RULING on these cases. ARE THEY WATCHING over the Sheep?
    According to this blog and others, NONE.
    (4) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    (5) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. THIS IS THE NEW TESTAMENT WAY OF “STONING” SINNERS in the Camp. Now this is both a spiritual and Natural principal to be used by the Church to save a backslider, apostate from ETERNAL Damnation. Those found guilty were to be turned over to the Satan, put back into the world..i.e Criminal justice system(Put into jail), handed over to the Police, Physical things taken away(like their income, mansion(LOL), perks, money, assets–i.e. class action, civil case…to be used for monetary needs for the victims). If this will not make a man repent, what will?
    (6) Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? GOD is holding the whole house(COGIC) or ANY denomination guilty for 1 evildoer in the midst! Amen. So COGIC or any of us saying, Ah ha, I am not part of COGIC. IT DOES NOT MATTER. WE are all GOD’s children, and what hurts one part of the BODY, WE ARE ALL TO HURT! Amen.
    (7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
    It starts with us individually and then corporately.
    (8) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. This is what COGIC has not done.
    (9) I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: WHY are these people still in power and not dealt with?
    (10) Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
    It is just not sexual sins, but look at the list of sins
    (11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
    (12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    This kills that touch not mine anointed, or Judge not false teaching. I do believe elders must handle elders. Parable, in the military, if a CO gives orders that are DERELICT…the underlings have the power to overthow/cancel that CO’s obvious, but there must be SUPER DUPER Wise discernment.
    (13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
    THERE IT IS. PUT AWAY from among yourselves that wicked person. GOD is saying that brother is not your brother,but a wicked person.

    Part 2.
    “Let’s also consider that a bishop (positionally different than a pastor) according to 1 Tim 3:2, must be “blameless”. The “blameless” part takes effect AFTER he accepts the office.”

    Pastor, no disrespect. I disagree with just the word AFTER. I believe that a man of GOD must be “discerned” and “examined” blameless BEFORE, then DURING, and AFTER he accepts the office of Bishop. Because, Paul starts with verse one, IF. IF is based on conditions. Verse 2 and following shows the conditions that must be discerned and seen and demonstrated in that man of GOD BEFORE being promoted to the office of Bishop. He should be found blameless BEFORE, then DURING, and AFTER. That’s all(Smile).

    GOD bless you Pastor Foster and GCMWatch and others for being Nehemiah’s and Ezra’s restoring the household of Faith(all of us in the Church, not just COGIC, but ALL of GOD’s children!)
    In JESUS NAME. Amen.

  3. GCM:

    It’s truly amazing how religious denominations and COGIC leadership has handle sexual misconduct among its bishops, pastors, elders, and ministers. Myself and you have converse a couple times this week via email and you know my relationship to legal litigation in a certain clergy sexual abuse lawsuit against COGIC currently ongoing. Many COGIC members are naïve like I once was in thinking that the National Church cares about their well being in regards to sexual misconduct among COGIC clergy, but it’s the exact opposite. COGIC cares about COGIC and even Bishop Blake himself said that in a booklet during the 2007 convention where he discusses the denominations agendas stated:

    “We now live in a litigious society. People file lawsuits for every conceivable grievance, whether real or imagined. To protect the name, image, and assets of the Church of God in Christ, we must take positive steps to seriously investigate very case of alleged sexual abuse by the clergy. We must stand behind and support those who are falsely accused of sexual improprieties and found innocent by the courts. We must also insure that the Church act quickly to take firm and positive action against those who violate the sanctity of their positions and are found guilty of sexual abuse and other sexual improprieties.”

    So as you can see COGIC only cares about their assets and image. You notice while he mention protecting those falsely accused and make mention of taking actions against those who violate the sanctity of their position but Blake never says anything about helping the victims. I don’t know what bishop Sis Greeky may be referring to in her question but I know a certain Bishop in California who overseas a Jurisdiction in California who had been rumored to been involved in sexual misconduct with a young woman and paid hush money to keep things quite. This same Bishop is now on the general board, not only is he only the general board but got promoted once Bishop Blake became bishop. I don’t like getting caught up in “Hearsay” but I know very reliable person in the COGIC loop that has heard this as well.

    Pamela we all know COGIC has to do more to weed out clergy sexual predators, and because of what happen to my family by a COGIC pastor, we too could never be apart of any organized religion. I still love God and believe the only way into Heaven is through Christ but I don’t believe in all the complicated steps and toxic teaching that I was taught in COGIC and non denominational churches to get there.

    This is what COGIC needs if they truly want to curve this problem of clergy sexual misconduct. They need to make it harder to be recommended for ordination to get credentials in the local churches and jurisdiction. Current and former COGIC members we all know how easy it is to get license for elder, minister and missionary in COGIC. If a pastor thinks you should be a minister he can license you. If your pastor thinks you’re ready to be an elder or missionary they give you the COGIC book of bylaws and recommend you for ordination usually done around the time of your state’s jurisdictional conventions.

    This process needs to be made stricter and tougher to get license. I propose making all persons who want to get license in COGIC be required to have a minimum number of college credit hours in theology from an accredited Christian or bible college with course work in religion studies, and the accreditation has to be recognized by the United Department of Education. The reason being is because there are too many diploma mills bible colleges online that aren’t legit and who’s training is inadequate.

    The next thing COGIC should required is for any person seeking clergy licensing (credentials) is to submit to a mandatory criminal background check, which they must pay out of their own pocket for COGIC to perform. The way this should work is if you have the minimum college hours required and pass the ordination board, then before you can get your official license you have to go through a background check. If there are any convictions or misdemeanor offenses for sexual crimes then you’re automatically disqualified for being license and could never ever get a clergy license in COGIC. If there are any other felonies and misdemeanor other then sexual offenses then those persons must go before a special board in the jurisdiction and base of the recommendation of that board the jurisdictional bishop would decide if you are to be license. If you were found innocent or charges dropped in case of sexual misconduct then you would have to wait 5 years from the date of your first ordination attempt before any pastor can recommend you ordination again. If you pass the background check then you are to receive your license by COGIC and on the 5th year of your annual credential renewal you would have undergo another mandatory background check before COGIC renew your credentials.

    Finally, COGIC should create a computerized database registry where clergypersons with valid credentials names are entered in which will show; the original date they were licensed; the date their license (credentials) was renewed. If any clergy failed to renew their credentials then they are to be added to black list of clergy not sanctioned by COGIC until their background checks comes back clean and credentials is renewal fee is paid. If any clergy person or individual who has applied for clergy is rejected because of any sexual offenses convictions or indictments then they are to be added to the database as well under clergypersons not sanctioned by COGIC. Then this computerized database should be placed on COGIC main website under COGIC legal department webpage with a link for anyone can view clergy credentials statuses.

    I know this may not eliminate clergy sexual misconduct in COGIC but it’s a start. I am sorry for being so long winded GCM but as you can tell this is personal to me because sexual abuse by COGIC clergy must stop. There’s too many innocent children, women, men, and family how suffer because of these sexual predators disguised as clergy. I doubt seriously that COGIC would ever do what hypothetically propose because of the legal implications it would place them in. In Roy Tate case in Portland, Oregon, COGIC defense was they aren’t like the Catholic Church and have limited authority over local churches and pastors. If they were to use my recommendation it would be no doubt as to who are calling the shots in COGIC and where the local churches gets their authority from.

  4. vrr35, may the Lord give you and your family grace to endure till he has given you complete victory and justice.

    Your assessment of the real situation in the COGIC is without any embellishment. Most wont admit it due to “cogic pride”. It reminded me of when I was a teen growing up in Texas Northeast (before all the splits). I was there when J. Neaul was consecrated. It was the first time I got to see the general board up close and honestly I thought these men were superhuman.

    Yet, as I became more mature sadly I learned that what I thought to be true was not and though it didnt shake my faith in God, it certainly changed my opinion about the church of my birth.

    Its hard to understand that with over 200 jurisdictional bishops no one has spoken out against the developing travesty. What you proposed is solid, clear-headed and fair. Is really that hard for leadership to do what’s right?? Its VERY telling and suggests a good ole boys club climate. Maybe thats why they dont let the women advance into the ranks?

    At any rate, we pray that these open discussions will help to spur reformation and weed out these evil men who are destroying the lives of children and adults.

  5. Pastor Foster:

    I really believe you’re geniune in reporting all these abuses that are happening in COGIC and can only hope your readers are comprehending the big problem COGIC has. I know of at least 5 clergy abuse lawsuits against COGIC and those are just the ones I know of. Some people will never truly understand what clergy sex abuse done to the victims and families unless it happen to them.

    One of the clergy sexual abuse group I have befriended is head by Peggy Warren of “Educating An End to Abuse (www.educatingtoendabuse.com)”. She lives in Kansas and was abused by her priest years ago and it’s almost as if these clergyperson uses the same blueprint to prey on their victims becasue the similarities are so dead on. She is pushing for House Bill 2100 to be heard in the Kansas Legislation which would add clergy to the list of professions where it’s unlawful to have sexual contact with any person 16 and over in Kansas. Representative Pat Colloton who chairs the Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice announced a few days ago she’s going to have the bill heard during a 4 day period in a few months. I wrote Rep. Colloton as well as others to tell her why this bill needed to be heard. If God’s willing I am going to try to be at that hearing to testify before the Kansas Legislation.

    I believe you just can’t set back and say nothing because keeping silent is the way these clergy predators stay hidden. Sherman Allen is good example because even as we speak he’s having his annual Prophetic Summit 2009 at the new name of his church “The Shiloh Church at Ft. Worth. He left COGIC in 2007 after not submitting to Bishop Blake’s suspension but here’s the names of a some of the guest who will and have already attended the week Feb 3-Feb7:

    Apostle Darrell Yancy, Gospel Artist Carnell Murrell, Prophet Bobby Brown of Houston, Gospel artist Pastors Daryl and Latonya Blair, Prophetess Janice Mixon Tompkins, Pastor Georgia Ellis, and some others.

    Makes you wonder if these so called pastors and gospel artists discernment to be fellowshiping with Sherman Allen.

  6. I have been a member of COGIC for 11 years, and I know the Bishop whom Sis. Greeky is talking about. I wholeheartedly agree with restoration, disclosure, discipline and retraining. However, I would like to say that the church body, particularly, the voting body of COGIC, bears some responsibility as well.

    This same Bishop was re-elected to the General Board by the General Assembly. They have also re-elected a few Bishops who have serious sin/character issues as well. This foolishness will continue until we – the members – decide that enough is enough and hold our leaders accountable. Nothing will change until we collectively demand it. I’ve seen God move in mighty ways when the people are one.

  7. Hello
    This was a brilliant piece, it could have gone a little more in-depth in terms of scripturally verifying why we should not cover up corruption in The Leadership but it was a truly great article none the less.

    I believe that if someone is overtaken in a fault that those that are spiritual should restore in the spirit of meekness and I also concur with the need for discipline in the church out of love for the soul of the offender as well as to preserve the purity of the church.

    I am not asking for a response, I will just share some of the experiences that I have had and bring to light the truth about some of the many conditions in the churches today and the falling away from the truth that is creating dysfunctional churches.

    I appointed as Chair of Finance for a well known Church of God assemble. As chair, one of the first things that I did after my appointment was to look into the practices of the church and the mechanisms for financial transactions. What I found was truly shocking and the depth of corruption and level of theft that was being practised was sickening; financial abuse is a huge problem in the church today. I spoke to the Bishop about what I had audited but he totally ignored the issues raised; he was on the payroll. I made appointments to see Regional Overseer who told me that he knew of these things but that we should pray that The Lord would turn things around. However no sooner had I met with him the Regional Overseer told the perpetrators of these crimes of what I had reported and he detailed my concerns to them. This was not done to bring them inline but to make them aware that I was onto them and what could they do to deal with me.

    I wrote to The Ministry Board and outlined my concerns with the evidence that I had gathered on their activities and on receipt of my document I was brought before The Ministry Board and accused of challenging the authority of The Ministry and questioning their decisions. I was told that The Ministry have a dual role, not only of being spiritual leaders but also to make whatever decision that they think is best for the church whether the church thinks it is right or not and even if their judgement was proved to be flawed it was their privilege as ministers being released by the people to decide the standard for the church; I am sure that God’s Word is the only standard. I asked about what about God’s decree on a matter and His choice and the need to seek The Lord’s Counsel. The response was an eye opener, “God has no say in what happens in this church! And what authority do you have to come and tell us to seek God? We have been told to occupy till he come, so we don’t need to ask Him anything!” I was accused of all manner of things, none of which were true and not a single one could be proved in any way. To exemplify this one minister held up a piece of paper and claimed that he had a document to prove that I was a trouble maker, time has now shown that he held up a blank sheet of paper as his prop.

    I went back to the Bishop in private on a one to one basis and his response was that minister were the dignitaries of the church and that I had no right exposing their actions. The main point of their argument was their claimed that as God had put them in those positions that they as ministers were above reproach and even if they did wrong, they could not be held to account for their behaviour. I met with the Bishop on countless occasions both at his home and at the church and we talked about the issues and after much pleading and petitioning he held his hand up and admitted that there were many ethical issues in the church. However when I was next brought before The Ministry Board, the Bishop joined in and agreed with the false accusations and took the side of those in the wrong in besmirching me. I made it clear that my concerns could be substantiated and that morally the actions of many of the ministers were in clear conflict with The Bible. I was told by one of the Senior Ministers that no accusations will be allowed to be brought against any minister and regardless of the evidence that I had the people will never know the truth and the bottom line was that it would be easier to make me a scapegoat than lift the lid on the secret sin of The Leadership. I made it very clear that the evidence was clear and that truth could be easily identified, at which point I was told that the church does not believe in proving what is true and that the church does not go down the route of proving what is true, regardless of however much evidence or witnesses there may be.

    During one of the many inquisitions and disciplinary hearings that was held to discuss me the Bishop stated that the people would never know of what has been going on because it may damage the church and that it would be easier to blame me so that the church can go on rather than bring The Ministry down. Image has become another problem in our churches today, if it looks or sounds good and make people feel good, it becomes plausible even if its source is unethical or conflicts with God’s Word. The Bishop’s attitude was that as long as he had a church that was backing him getting his monthly salary), he didn’t care who left, what people did or didn’t do and he even told the church that he would not preach against sin because it was not his job to clean up the church. The Bishop suggested that the people could not be allowed to know of what has taken place because they may lose confidence in The Leadership and become discouraged and stop giving to the church, which he was not going to allow. I was made the sacrificial lamb and people were lead to believe that I was a trouble maker who needed to be removed from the church because it was suggested I was damaging the church, when in truth I stood on The Word of God and challenged the corruption and immorality of The Ministry. I never had any intention of bring The Ministry down but their fear of me created the kinds of responses that were ungodly.

    I was threatened time after time, Sunday after Sunday I would sit listening to minister hurling their missiles at me and the Bishop was more than compliant with this, however as painful as it was I refused to lie down for them and refused to cover up their deceit. I was beaten verbally time after time and the verbal abuse was shouted from the roof top so that everyone knew that there was a Hate Agenda; they even drew up a Charter of Hatred that was signed by ministers and circulated around the church; sowing discord. I was removed from all positions that I held in the church and each Sunday I went to church I became the fixation of The Ministry’s anger and hatred and for over 2 years I subject to this abuse from ministers.

    At the Church Business Conference I was publicly disgraced and many of the members could not understand why I was challenging The Ministry and one member asked, “If you have some issues why have you not addressed them with Bishop?” I told them that I did but the Bishop stated that he had never spoken to me. The Bishop even had the gall to suggest that he tried to talk to me and that he pleaded with me but that I refused to listen and because of my rebellion The Ministry decided to bring me before the church in he hope that by publicly humiliating me, that I was bow to them. Some of the members stood up for me and a couple fought for me but they were shouted down or disgrace and one even accused of being in collusion with me. I refused to rail, curse or argue I just let them make their false accusations but when I suggested that I have proof of my concerns the Bishop threatened the church and told the members anyone who reads the evidence would be disciplined. Suffice to say I was publicly disgraced, my family were shamed and eventually I was discharged from the church.

    Having be born in the church and having accepted Christ as my Saviour as a young boy, to be kicked out and made ‘homeless’ after 2 years of torture, false accusations, being publicly humiliated was painful beyond the words that I write. The shame that came with being disfellowshipped was really difficult to swallow but moving to smaller church and being cared for and prayed over has contributed hugely to my healing and today I can run again the race that is before me because I know that The God that I believe in is the only True and Living God.

    And what of the church that I left behind? The deceiving ministers continue to deceive and many of the people hold a grudge against me, simply because of what they were told by ministers. This is not fiction or a story that I have come up with to add to this site, the scars that I have bear witness to the pain and shame that I endured but God is still God and in the midst of it all, He is still God and even if I never see justice done. He is still God.

  8. Stephb2,
    I agree with laity holding leaders like the bishop mentioned accountable. But it seems the only way to do that these days is publicly release documentation which shows they are no longer qualified to hild the office.

    If those surrounding them (other bishops) will not or cannot hold them accountable, then they certainly will not hear you. Its been proven over and over. When people disregard what the scriptures say, they most certainly wont follow their own bylaws. So that kills out any legitimate couse of action they have proscribed to handle situations.

    What they do is beat you down and make laity feel guilty about knowing the truth. This is accomplished with verbal beatdowns about gossiping, speaking against the man of God etc, etc. Thus the people are kept silent, fearful and ignorant.

    This recently happened in a denomination I was a part of for 5 years. We were told to go home, fast and pray and not gossip as if we were stupid children. The leader’s sexual malfeasance was known at least a decade yet nothing was done about it. When God forced his sin to the open, his comrades circled the wagons instead of forcing him to repent and remove him. I think the reason they lack the ability to disciplien their peers is because they have multiple sins and scandals and they all know what each other is doing. They have no moral authority to correct anyone. But they are still “leaders”. What a massive affront.

    At this point I would advise public shaming. Some people will not hear God until he takes away their money, positions and power.

  9. Ken, thanks for sharing your story. It reinforces just how far off track the church has gotten when tare have control. I will look at addressing that aspect of why we shouldnt cover up corruption in a future article.

    blessings

  10. Pastor Foster and all other commenters,
    Thanks for all the biblically based wisdom on this subject. God bless all of you. Are there any leaders left who are willing to confront other leaders concerning their sinful ways? I refuse to believe they’re ALL so involved in sin that NO ONE is able to correct the other. The cover-ups taking place in the Body of Christ are taking its toll on the Church, and a clear odor of “sin” is seeping out – inspite of all the cheap “cologne” we try to spray on it. Even the world can smell it – sometimes more clearly than the church, it seems.

  11. greeky, I think there are leaders who are willing to confront but they may be afraid of repercussions. These days some church structures are no different that mafia families. They just use the bible to threaten and silence those who dont agree with their mess.

    These leaders need to be encouraged to obey God and not allow his house to become a den of theives.

    Youre right if the WORLD can see this and call it out, God help us who are supposed to have spiritual discernment and power. Heaven…we have a problem.

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