I’ve known more than one pastor who was a sexual predator. And, if it makes the reader feel any better, every one of them is out of the ministry now.
My observation however is that no serial adulterer occupying the pastor’s office entered the ministry with such sordid intentions. He fell into sin and one thing led to another. (Sound familiar? It’s how life works.)
So, what follows is for young ministers in particular who have not been snared in the lust-trap and wish to make sure they don’t. (For your information, I invited my wife Margaret to add her observations.)
Here are 7 lines pastors do not want to cross.
1) Do not use cologne. Women are sensitive to fragrances, my wife says, which is why they wear them in the first place. When a man wears them, he sends out a subtle signal, the type no wise minister needs to be emitting.
2) Do not hug women. One pastor said he hugs no one between the ages of 6 and 66.
To the minister who argues that “Well, I am a toucher and people need to be hugged,” I reply: a) Granted, but let women hug women and men hug men, if necessary and appropriate. b) In most cases, your “touching” indicates some physical or emotional need in yourself, and is not what healthy ministers do.
Even if your intentions are pure, you make yourself vulnerable to charges of inappropriate touching. And–do not miss this–in the minds of many, to be charged is to be convicted. Best to guard against these dangers.
3) Do not be in your office with a woman alone.
A pastor of a large church told some of us why he does not counsel in his office. “All she has to do is run out of the office screaming and your ministry is over.” When someone catches him following a worship service with “Pastor, could I come by and talk with you about a problem?” he answers, “Let’s sit in a pew right over here and talk now!” Their visit is in public, but far enough removed from people so that no one hears their conversation.
4) Do not be in the church alone with a woman.
This is more difficult for small churches that have no one on staff but the pastor. In my first post-seminary church, the secretary worked half-days. Often she and I were in the building alone all morning. In those cases, you do the best you can at keeping your distance, making sure the doors are unlocked and drop-ins are welcome, and when possible, have others in the office too.
A pastor I used to serve with would sometimes ask me to remain after hours because he was counseling a woman, and wanted to make sure someone else was in the building.
5) Do not make pastoral visits alone. If you knock on a door and find that a woman is home alone, do not go inside but visit briefly at the door. Many pastors take a deacon or their wife with them on such calls.
6) Do not compliment a young woman on her appearance. My wife says with women middle-aged and older, you can say, “You’re looking nice today.” But do not compliment a woman on her dress, her figure, tell her that her diet’s really working, and such. You are stepping over an invisible line.
7) Do not fantasize about women. Most sins of a sexual nature had their beginnings long before as the individual imagined certain situations with some individual. Then, when the opportunity presented itself, he was ready since he had been over that ground a hundred times before.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto Thee, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
The “do nots” clearly have no end. But here are 7 “do’s” which a minister will want to observe to keep the enemy at bay….
1) When complimented inappropriately, laugh it off and change the subject.
“Oooh, pastor, you look so good today.” “Mmmm, preacher, I like the way that suit looks on you.” “Have you been working out, Brother Al? You’re looking good.”
The insecure pastor soaks this stuff up like a sponge. But you are not insecure. “You are complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10).
Do not acknowledge the compliment. It will only encourage her. Laugh briefly, then ask about her family or something–anything!–to change the subject.
2) Anticipate situations that may arise during the day and plan appropriately. That is, if you know a woman is coming for counseling, make sure your secretary or another minister is just outside the door. Pray always the Lord will guard you and give you wisdom about these things.
3) When you are close to some woman other than your wife, and you begin to sense all the signs of attraction–your temperature rising, your blood pressure elevating–walk away quickly. Make up an excuse, even if it’s only that “I just remembered something; I’ll be right back.” Then, get to your office or pretend to make a phone call and talk to the Lord. Ask for His divine protection. Just because your chemistry with that person is strong does not make it right. As a mature follower of Jesus Christ, you are beyond running your life by your feelings. (You are, aren’t you?)
4) Center your love, your energies, your everything on the Lord and your wife. (The Lord does not mind being lumped together with her. He planned it that way. See Ephesians 5:25ff.)
The biggest safeguard against sexual transgressions in the lives of ministers is a good relationship with one’s spouse. After numerous cautions against sexual sin, the writer of Proverbs counseled his son, “Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well” (Proverbs 5:15). In the margin of my Bible, I’ve written: “Focus on your wife, son!” Read on past verse 15 and he gets more explicit that that, with vs. 19 being one you probably won’t read in church, but it definitely communicates!
5) Have an accountability partner or a mentor. Or both.
If you are truly wise, you will have someone–usually an older, mature minister–to whom you can say anything. Such a veteran pastor has seen it all, has the scars to prove it, and has come up a winner. (The one thing you do not want in such a mentor is someone who has never suffered! Spurgeon said, “God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”)
Once you find such a friend, you must meet with him frequently enough to be comfortable in speaking what’s on your mind. He must be a man of prayer who will pray with you and for you later. There is no way to over-emphasize this.
6) A healthy fear of the Lord is a good thing.
One pastor’s wife said of her husband, “I don’t have to worry about Frank straying. He’s too afraid of God.” He laughed and said, “You’ve got that right!”
Someone asked Andrew Murray the greatest thought that had ever occupied his mind. He answered, “My accountability to God.” Indeed. It’s enough to strike terror into our hearts and to drive us to repentance and submission. “Knowing the fear of the Lord,” Paul said, “we persuade men” (II Corinthians 5:11).
That said, we also rejoice that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Nevertheless, even the saved will give account for what they have done in this life. God help us to be found faithful.
7) Encourage younger ministers to be faithful.
If you’ve been in the Lord’s work as long as a decade, you are a veteran compared to those just leaving seminary. You have a lot to offer them. Reach out to the new ministers coming to churches in your area. Take them to lunch. Then, after the first session, both of you bring your wives. The ministry can be a lonely profession. No church member understands the stresses you and your family have to endure. That’s why no one ministers to pastors better than other ministers.
The goal is to be faithful. Do this and you will find a strength and courage beyond your own. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God” (I John 3:21). Yes, and confidence before men, too.
Toward the end of His ministry, our Lord told the disciples, “The prince of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me” (John 14:30). I like that. Readers may recall I told recently of meeting an old couple in a rural Alabama cafe. The man was in his 90s and the woman wasn’t all that far behind. They had been married four years, I think, and were clearly still in love. With a twinkle in his eye, the old gentleman said, “I have iron in my blood and she has a magnetic personality.”
When the devil waves his magnet over us, let there be nothing inside us that responds to his enticements. May we say, “He has nothing in me.”
And nothing “on” me.
This post was written by Pastor Joe McKeever. For the original post, go to: http://joemckeever.com/wp/7-sexual-lines-pastor-cross/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Men who read and watch a lot of pornography have active imaginations and often live in a fantasy world. Pornography messes with a man's mind. His reasoning changes.
Men who are avid fans of pornography develop an unusual perspective on women. They view women as sex objects. They forget that woman have their own motives, ideas and plans.
Many times women's motives, ideas and plans do not include men.
A man with an addiction to pornography cannot understand the previous sentence.
These men cannot imagine that women are really not always "on the prowl" looking for sexual encounters. What these men forget is that almost all pornography is written and directed by men. Therefore, men who use pornography develop a perspective of women that women exist just for men's satisfaction. These men's minds have become programmed by the pornographers.
When men get this distorted perspective of women, they are prone to act out. They have fantasies and often want to do what they see on TV, in the movies, and on the computer.
Let me tell about one man's reprehensible actions. This man had a fantasy that he would encounter a woman he did not know who would be wanting to have sex with him.
This man would spend a fair amount to time in the mall, sitting outside of women's clothing stores deciding which woman would be the one with whom he would have sex.
He saw a certain woman and decided that he found a woman who would fulfill his fantasy...
His fantasy was one that he played over and over in his mind, just like the movie he played over and over on his DVD player. In this fantasy, he would follow a woman who just purchased lingerie. As she walked from the store, she would turn and look back in a flirtatious manner on her way to her car and then he would follow her. He imagined she would drive to a secluded area where she had kept her lingerie on from trying it on in the store and then they would have a sexual encounter in his van or even better, she would drive to a motel and they would share a room.
Do you see how distorted this man's reasoning is? What woman, in reality, would actually do what he is fantasizing? But that's what happens to men who view porn, they think all women are ready for sex when a man wants to have sex.
He spotted this particular woman and realized that he had seen her several times before in the mall. On one occasion, he thought she had actually looked at him and smiled. That meant that she wanted to have a liaison with him.
He followed her down the mallway. She would turn and look back every so often and he felt encouraged. He knew his fantasy was going to be a reality!
What this man did not know because his reasoning was so out of whack is that the woman was fearful. She was looking back because she was watching him. She didn't like that he was following her.
She went to her car quickly (which he interpreted that she was so excited that she wanted to get to their encounter rapidly) and he got into his car and followed her as she drove away. She drove a rather circuitous route and he was closely following her, fantasizing about what was about to happen.
The next thing he knew, he was awakened from his fantasized induced stupor when she pulled into a parking space at the local police station.
This man was fortunate, he had enough reasoning to realize he was about to be in trouble. He quickly drove off and went home. That was when he finally understood that he needed help. That's when he called a counselor to get help.
I won't get into this man's counseling as that is not the point of this post; however, suffice it to say this was a turning point for him. He decided he needed to change. He was lucky. He wasn't charged with a crime. He could be sitting behind bars.
Do you catch the point of this post?
Pornography always takes. It never gives up. It is insidious. It ruins a man.
It changes the way you think.
Dump your stash/cache.
Stop watching "adult" programming.
Get rid of those movies.
Stop wasting time on the internet.
Ask your pastor for help.
Be a real man.
BE A MAN.
I was tasked with assessing a man regarding his sexual addiction.
Unfortunately, his tale was all too familiar.
As he sat across from me telling me that he is now considered a sexual offender and must register with the local police every time he moves, he started to unfold his story. He told me that he had found his Dad's stash of Playboy and Hustler magazines when he was just eight years old. That is a bad sign... The earlier a man is exposed to porn the greater are his chances that he will become addicted and the greater are his chances of getting into legal trouble.
The more he looked at porn, the more he wanted to look at porn. (Interesting cycle, don't you think?) The more he looked at porn, the more he fantasized about doing what he was watching on the porn movies.
The more he watched porn, the less developed his social skills became. This happens because porn causes a man to be selfish and just think about his own pleasure. Friendships are unnecessary. Girls are unnecessary because the girls in porn movies and magazines are always accessible and there for a man's pleasure.
It's a terrible cycle that entraps a man. He wants to approach girls but fears rejection. He wants to do the things he fantasizes about but he fears she will say no. Finally, his isolation led him to frustration and he decided he would act upon some of his fantasies.
A really weird thing about men addicted to porn is that they think that women are turned on by seeing male genitalia. The porn that men watch gives a terribly distorted perspective of sexuality. In actuality, women are more attracted to an intimate relationship than the male physique.
This man started to act upon his fantasies from the porn that he had been viewing over the years.
One of his fantasies was that he would "accidentally" leave his zipper down and a woman would notice and become aroused. He would walk around in grocery stores with his zipper down, fantasizing about his inevitable sexual encounter. He was disappointed that no women noticed.
So, he developed another plan. He decided that he would sit in his car close to the exits of stores with his pants open and hope that women would see and become aroused. That didn't work either.
So, his next step would be to call women over to his car, "to ask a question" and hope that with his pants open, they would notice, be sexually aroused and want to be with him. He continued to be very disappointed.
He thought, because of his distorted perspective of women and sexuality, that what women were wanting to see was that he was sexually aroused, that he was erect, ready for sex. So, he would sit in his car and fantasize about a woman jumping into his car and they would drive to a secluded place for a sexual encounter.
One morning, while he was sitting in his car masturbating and fantasizing, he rolled his window down and asked a woman to come over because he had a "question" he wanted to ask her. She approached his car, looked at him and where his hand was and instantly became repulsed. She noted his license plate and called the police when she got home.
She made a report to the police and he was arrested and prosecuted. His prosecution was made public, his family was embarrassed and he lost his job.
As he finished his story, I asked, "have you gotten rid of your porn?" I knew his answer would be "no." I was right. The court wanted recommendations at the end of my assessment. My recommendations were necessary: no cable tv, no vcr/dvd player, no internet, no smart phone, no porn. If he was caught in possession of any of these items, he would go to prison. Also, he needed intensive counseling. If this failed, then he would need residential treatment.
However, when the judge found out that he had not given up his porn, he acted swiftly. This man immediately went to prison.
Wouldn't it be nice if all of my stories ended in a positive note?
This is a depressing, disgusting story.Porn wins."Behold, you have sinned against the LORD and be sure that your sin will find you out."
BE A MAN.
"Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst."
This quote from C.S. Lewis in his book, Reflections on the Psalms
, addresses an issue in the church that is frequently overlooked by Christians. People who are not Christians have no trouble with this quote and believe it wholeheartedly. However, in the church we tend to overlook bad behavior from our brothers. Are our churches just some sort of fraternity where we overlook these "imperfections"? God's Word states that individuals that wink, to signal that one is in the club
, to get away with something are dirty, rotten scoundrels
. Unfortunately, these men have crept into the church. God's Word describes them as waterless springs
and twice dead.
This week and next we will be discussing different personalities that are in positions of authority in the church. Remember that the individuals in these posts are fictitious.
However, as we go thru some of the behaviors, you will recognize them as actual people that you have encountered in the church. I know. I have met each of these men. You may even recognize yourself in some of these men.
I know that I recognize elements of these men in my own personality and it concerns me. If they are you, ask God to change you. Only HE can give true, lasting change.
Here are some of the men we will be discussing: The Histrionic Religious Bad Boy, The Narcissistic Religious Bad Boy, The Anti-Social Religious Bad Boy, The Passive-Aggressive Religious Bad Boy, The Avoidant Religious Bad Boy, The Overscrupulous Religious Bad Boy
and The Chaotic Religious Bad Boy.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Though he looked the part, Daniel Walker
was not a typical Western visitor to brothels in Asia. Playing the part of a lonely tourist, Walker was actually an undercover agent investigating the sex trade industry in various locations around the globe. Knowing his life would be in danger if he were exposed, Walker was moved by more than a paycheck. In his book God in a Brothel,
it becomes clear that Walker's overriding motivation to rescue girls and women trapped in this brutal form of slavery was God's great love for each and every one of them.
Human trafficking is a present-day reality about which many of us would prefer not to think. No modern invention, it was the situation in which God's people suffered under the rule of the Egyptians, enslaved to construct Egypt's buildings as forced laborers. In the midst of their suffering -- just as in the midst of our own experiences of suffering -- it would have been tempting to give up hope in the God who had called them His own. And yet, instead of relinquishing trust, the Hebrew people continued to cry out to God for deliverance for four hundred years. The One who loved them heard their cries, saw their misery, and was concerned for their suffering.
In the midst of suffering, it's tempting to believe that God does not care or that God has abandoned us. The truth is that bodies which are used and abused, broken and beaten, matter deeply to God. God does not turn away from the suffering of a young woman being trafficked for profit.
God does not ignore the cries of the needy. Rather, the One who used Moses to deliver His people out of captivity is the One to whom you can turn in the midst of your suffering. God sees your suffering and hears your cries.
This post is taken from Today in the Word,
June 3, 2012.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I just got a disturbing call from a good friend. He told me that his son went missing in the middle of the nite. He and his wife were frantic trying to find him. Later, in the early morning, their son showed up on the doorstep. This boy is a young teenager.
He and the police are putting pieces of the puzzle together to try and figure out what happened. From what they can surmise, it appears that a man stole their boy right out of their house and sexually assaulted him.
How did this happen? My friend is an excellent father, he is diligent and watches over his children well. How could a man come into their home and do this?
Well, this creep came in thru their internet connection. They are learning that this man made a friendship with their son thru chatrooms and other social media. In fact, this predator specifically contacted this boy thru an app on his iPad. This man won their son's confidence to the point where he walked out of their home into the car of the man waiting outside, in the middle of the night.
My friend and his wife have talked to their son about the internet, put in place the proper barriers and have done an excellent job at being great parents. It's hard to believe that this sort of thing could happen in their home.
Why tell you this?
I am using this example as a warning to all parents and kids out there. You can never be too careful. You are NEVER alone on the internet. People are not always what they appear to be on the internet.
As you finish reading this, please don't do these three things:
1) Don't judge my friend. He is an excellent father.
2) Don't tell my friend what he should have done differently.
3) Don't think that this could never happen to your family
As you finish reading this, please do these four things:
1) pray for my friend and his family as they get thru this horrible ordeal
2) pray that they find a good, competent, licensed Christian counselor
3) pray that the police catch this predator and that he turns from his sinfulness
4) pray for your kids, teach them, watch them, love them, protect them, pray that such an occurrence never happens in your family.
BE A MAN.