Pastors need compassion, too
The Editor, Sir:
Let us be frank. Satan, the arch-enemy of the Church, will be relentless in trying to bring down the Body of Christ (Church) by any means necessary.
It is evident that most of the great and powerful male preachers such as Ted Haggard and Jimmy Swaggart, who have 'fallen from grace', have been taken down by the opposite sex or by some sexual immoral sin, and as a result, many have been left confused, humiliated and just frustrated with the Church. This is quite understandable.
But one has to be reminded that at the end of the day, these religious ministers are human beings who are susceptible to temptation and failure, just like the common church member whose sole duty is to read the morning-service scripture or collect the offering.
Church leaders must come to the consciousness that "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." (kjv, Luke 12:48), and they have a duty not only to preach a message on Saturday or Sunday morning, but also to keep themselves sexually and morally pure.
EVERYONE NEEDS SUPPORT
All of us need support, regardless of status, colour, or creed - and the church leader is no exception. He/she is deemed to be the vanguard of holiness. But the question I often ask myself is, in a minister's time of darkness, who does he/she call upon for emotional support? Who is the pastor's pastor? Who is the bishop's bishop?
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone." (KJV, John 8:7). It is amazing how we tend to categorise people's faults and magnify them, but shy away from the mess that is in our own lives. We often point the finger saying, "Oh, it is disgusting what he did," and "Shame on her!"
No one alive today is 100 per cent clean or perfect, be it inside or outside of the Church. It is the grace of the Almighty that allows us to remain alive and will save some when He returns. If we transgress the laws of the land or the words of the Almighty, there are consequences that we must be prepared to face, and all of us need to realise that. However, compassion and forgiveness should be some of the fundamental teachings in the family and in our various social spheres.