When moral failure comes…

We have been studying the theme Root and Offspring of David, and i contemplated sending this out as a part of that series. The “Lord” said No. So this must go out as a separate post, because our focus is David, but Jesus never had moral failure.

So if Jesus is the root and offspring of David, how are we to reconcile this with David’s fall and adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of Uriah her husband?

Moral failure in God’s leaders is age old, that even Scripture does not hide it either. In fact it faces it, with all of its horrible details.

So if Scripture does not shy away from it nor should we. And if it is in Scripture it is very common to man in his present condition in his fight against sin that we some day fall.

So far be it for anyone in the light of scandals across the Church to believe we are somehow immune from the same potential to fall.

The difference between personal sin for which we do militia against and the scandals we see is the people who perpetrate these gross abuses. They are people who have conferred authority, and a reputation. They are in a position of trust and have access to vulnerable and all people.

The Church has become fragmented, divided, so much so that erroneous theology and error abounds. It all has to do with judging. The whole teaching concerning judging others has been stretched where now forgiveness is cheapened and restoration from sin is superficial because our theology is so ambiguous that we have two realities to the abusive situation.

We have a warped view of judging and discipline that forgiveness is instant and restoration is superficial, so much so that the cycle of abuses continue.

The characteristics of treating the abuses in ministry is the default position of the abuser that he is in denial, the employing Church default position is disbelief and a refusal to put in place proper discipline for erring ministers.

Now because of abuse victim support from media campaigns today, like the #metoo movements have served to highlight the issues but have gone further to see that a culture of abuse has been largely kept out of the public eye.

In David’s case his fall with Bathsheba was a combination of factors. David was at the outset in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was the season of war, yet David opted to be in the Palace resting.

I suppose we are too in a season of war. Paul the apostle talks about the war in his members in the end of Romans 7. His members being his body.

David saw what he should not have seen. And in common with today we see things thrown at us in social media, papers, advertisements. All to illicit an inner response.

David was captured that he fell with Bathsheba, and worse, she became pregnant. David sought to hide his sin by killing off the husband and covering his tracks.

Nathan confronted David in such a way that caught him by his own words. Nathan knew how to capture David by catching the sense of his tender heart. David came face to face with his sin and repented. His repentance was deep and he got restoration.

David repented not because he was caught but the realisation of how far he had fallen and how much he had failed God, more than hurt his fellow men, and failed the nation he led.

We can be sorry for being caught, but this does not equate repentance. And David never fell again but made amends with Bathsheba and received her as a queen. The result is God saw sincere repentance and redeemed the error. Solomon was that redemption not before the consequences of his sin were laid bare in his own family.

There is a clear process in David of true repentance that included amends to others and retribution.

Today in our Church culture and our superficial theology we fail to understand full repentance from a Biblical point of view.

Its not about repenting for sin before God but it is engaging a thorough process of repentance understood biblically and a thorough process by which the Body learns.

There is a necessity to give back the dignity lost in the abuses by the victims , some whose lives are affected, so that they can regain faith and achieve healing.

The difference today is that once trust is violated which is different from being broken it is impossible for the minister caught in abuse to ever recover the same role in the same field.

The difficulty today is the level of sexualisation, fraudelent, and abusive nature we can descend to, that makes the abuser take the default position of denial because the alternative is years of desmantling the soul, the fallout in the family, in marriages. Some find denial a safer route.

We are in the end days, and the call to holiness is one we need to heed. It is not only necessary but it is the only safe place to be.

As for the arenas of abuse, mostly in ministry activity and function we have created a showman and entertainment based Christianity where men are looked up to.

The area of celebrity gospel has created a money making monster that many depend for sustaining a lifestyle. This is financial abuse.

Unfortunately and fortunately God is coming to visit on that. Unfortunately families will bear the brunt of that judgment. David was driven from his palace as Absolom rebelled. Consequences of hidden sin.

So to conclude, the question on everyone’s mind is if a minister is found in a sin, an abuse, can he return to ministry?

The answer is yes and no. This depends on his conduct in repentance process. His conduct in facing failure. His attitude. It also depends on the Church facing up to the fact we have a serious problem that we need to face. That way we get our theology right and our processes clear.

That way fear of God comes back, people are restored, and victims regain their faith.

May we pray that we walk in fear and grace!


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