Ministerial Sexual Abuse: High Treason in the Kingdom of God

This week, another story broke about a pastor who sexually abused a church member. That sentence seems accurate almost every week. Ministerial sexual abuse in an unfortunate constant in 2019’s headlines.

As each story that breaks, the same responses multiply. Some, understandably, see such abuse as permanently disqualifying. A man who has used the office of pastor to manipulate one under his care for sexual pleasure may never fill the office again. Others question why these reports matter—especially when the abuse took place “so long ago.” Should what a man did as a 22-year-old pastor impact his eligibility to hold the office one, two, or three decades later?

At the heart of this question are two matters: the nature of sex and the nature of the church. Continue reading “Ministerial Sexual Abuse: High Treason in the Kingdom of God”

Super-Social-Media-Sabbatical Giveaway!

I’m taking a break from social media for a while. So to keep my online friends entertained, I’m hosting a $550 Super-Social-Media-Sabbatical Giveaway!

I had a significant stack of giveaway stuff to, well, give away. So, I just decided to give it away all at once.

Five winners will share $550 worth of books, CDs, and a liturgical pint glass. (Prizes listed at the bottom of this post.) Enter here or through the form below. Continue reading “Super-Social-Media-Sabbatical Giveaway!”

“My Wife Became My Hero” — A Model of Biblical Manhood

“We like to think of ourselves as the main character — the heroes — of our own stories. However, in the decade we’ve been married, I have had a growing realization that finally dawned in a Michigan courtroom in January 2018. I married the hero. At the end of the day, I’m Rachael’s sidekick — and I couldn’t be any prouder to wear that title.” Continue reading ““My Wife Became My Hero” — A Model of Biblical Manhood”

Why Every Pastor Should Read “Risen Motherhood”

This week the book Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments was officially released. I’m excited about the book, in part, because two friends of mine wrote it—Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler, the co-hosts and co-founders of Risen Motherhood. (I have the privilege of being a pastor to Emily and a member of the R|M Board of Directors.) But, I’m not excited about Risen Motherhood only because of these personal connections. Continue reading “Why Every Pastor Should Read “Risen Motherhood””

The Gospel-Centered Abuser

My dear Foolsgold,

I read your last report with great interest and not a little pride. Your great-uncle Screwtape will be delighted to hear of your success. (He will, no doubt, claim responsibility for your accomplishments—though these, we know, should be credited to my account.)

A decade ago, when your patient entered “the ministry,” I feared the worst for your assignment. His charisma (as they call it), rapid growth in spirituality, and skill in both teaching the Book almost guaranteed him a large following and much success in that wretched outpost of the Enemy—the church.

You did well to encourage it and to “assist” him in these endeavors. Once a human has started down this route, it is almost impossible to reverse. There is no going back. Instead, we adjust the trajectory ever so slightly and increase the momentum. This way, by the time he has gone off course, it is impossible to slow down or stop. The damage is certain. The destruction is extreme. Continue reading “The Gospel-Centered Abuser”