As I wrote my initial response, I considered throwing out the idea that the urgency and irrationality of this pastor’s efforts was probably linked to personal guilt. I could have said that he is making this firm stand, and forcing his people to take it too, because he was guilty of what he is denouncing.
Well, I didn’t add that to my previous post. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I was right in my hunch.
In no way would I imply that everyone who takes a firm or irrational stand on something is guilty of it….but it has been the trend in high profile religious scandal recently. This makes me sick…but it is also very frustrating.
Along with what I discussed in Part 1, it is helpful to remember some biblical truth here:
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”12Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
Matthew 15:10-20 (ESV– emphasis added)
Like the apostles needed to see, we need to see what the real issue is here.
The problem is not Facebook….or Twitter….or alcohol…or guns…etc. The problem is what is in our heart. What is in our heart will come out, through our words and our actions, and will show who we are.
We could rid the world of every form of social media and guess what….people will still find ways to have inappropriate relationships. We could bring back prohibition and you know what….people will still turn to something to give them relief…something other than God.
Of course there are some things that are evil in and of themselves (pornography, human trafficking, etc) and I don’t want to stir up confusion here. But in this case with the Facebook denouncing pastor, the real issue is clear.
We, as fallen creatures, have a problem with sin. Most of the time we don’t want to acknowledge that problem but would rather put the blame on someone or something else. That is the way it has been since the garden of eden…and it will remain this way until Christ reigns in Glory.
Until then, we need pastors and other children of God to stand up and confess their sin, be discerning in their thoughts and behavior, and compel others to explore Christ because of their humility not their self-righteousness.