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Pastors: Your Penis is Not a Tool For Ministry…

October 16, 2008

I came across an article at Perry Noble dot com, and for the most part I couldn’t agree more because it is exactly how I’m feeling. The amount of pastors failing in this area is simply staggering–one is too many never mind what we presently face. Perry titles his article “Attention Pastors: Keep Your Penis In Your Pants!!!” and he writes:

No, the title is NOT a type-o!  I meant exactly what I said…and I will mean every single word that follows.

Before you write me an email (which will automatically deleted…I don’t freakin’ care what anyone thinks about this post) you need to understand that I am completely pissed off…and…at the same time completely broken over this subject!

AND…this is something that NEEDS to be addressed.  Unfortunately at conferences people will talk about it in the corners and private conversations…but rarely will anyone speak (or blog) about it because they feel they may offend someone if they use “strong language.”  I am SICK and TIRED of people dancing around the issue and speaking in OBSCURE terms!

It’s about freakin’ time SOMEONE quite worrying about who gets offended and just flat out told the truth…

Those that frequent Scotteriology will know that I would disagree with Noble’s conclusion that pastoral failures are a result of the “enemy” tricking us. I don’t think cosmic blame-shifting is the solution to the epic moral failure in the pastorate. We need to examine our own hearts, acknowledge our propensity towards sinful behavior, and admit our culpability when we do wrong. I think this is part of 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Not the Devil’s sin, but ours.

But what to do? So many churches have set up ridiculously co-dependent relationships with their pastors, and put him on a pedestal of perfection where from the pastor is afraid to admit or recognize he is a human being, overtaxes all of his mental and emotional resources, and ultimately puts himself in dangerous positions… and then we wonder why there is a ‘problem’, and turn it into a pink elephant in the middle of the room we can’t talk about, because, as you’ve probably heard, we shouldn’t ‘judge’ or question the ‘Lord’s anointed’. How’s that workin’ out for ya? And Lord forbid we use a word like ‘penis’ or talk about sex when we have a sacred book wherein people are ‘knowing’ each other left and right, a prophet is walking around naked, and another prophet marries a prostitute and has children of whoredom.

Anyways, it’s easy to see a problem, but its often quite hard to suggest a profitable solution. This is why consultants make so much money. Any average person–heck in my experience even those quite below average bordering on a double digit IQ–can walk into a room and identify a problem. Solving that problem is a little more difficult. So, in a feat likely to not be duplicated at Scotteriology, I am going to give you some advice from Rick Warren (I know…) that may serve you better than trying to bind the spirit of adultery in your life.

Saddleback Staff Standards
For Maintaining Moral Integrity

  1. Thou shall not visit the opposite sex alone at home
  2. Thou shalt not counsel the opposites sex alone at the office
  3. Thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex more than once without that person’s mate. Refer them.
  4. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex
  5. Thou shalt not kiss any attender of the opposite sex or show affections that could be questioned
  6. Thou shalt not discuss detailed sexual problems with the opposite sex in counseling. Refer them.
  7. Thou shalt not discuss thy marriage problems with an attender of the opposite sex
  8. Thou shalt be careful in answering cards and letters from the opposite sex
  9. Thou shalt make thy secretary thy protective ally
  10. Thou shalt pray for the integrity of other staff members

Some pretty solid advice for keeping yourself out of trouble areas. I would also suggest an accountability partner or group, and most beneficially not persons from your own church, where you can go be a real human being and stop being the ‘pastor’.

If your pastor doesn’t follow these sorts of guidelines then don’t be surprised if he makes a mistake. These type of affairs meet narcissistic self-serving ego-needs so there’s a pretty good chance that he is already using people to build his ministry and not his ministry to build and serve people. It takes discipline and hard work to have these kinds of restrictions in your ministry, and you have to be very honest about what sort of person you are, but I believe as you enter into the spiritual practice of limiting yourself so that you can better serve others you will find it becomes easier and easier and soon will become quite natural…

And who knows, as you model spiritual practice and put Christ and the church before an orgasm some of your congregation might start to model that behavior as well!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2008 12:57 pm

    Perry’s blog post was good and I feel the same frustration, Rick has some good advice as well. I remember hearing Driscoll talk about something Piper said to Acts 29 church planters in a Q&A. Mark asked Piper to give one piece of advice he considered most important. Piper sat in silence for a while (as he’s apt to do) and said, “gouge your eyes out”. Take lust and sexual sin that seriously.

    On the money.

  2. October 17, 2008 7:28 pm

    Rick Warren reminds me of the Simpsons TV show. Even in the midst of the hype that first hit in the second and third seasons, the Simpsons stayed funny and outlived the hype. Rick Warren generates a lot of hype, but behind it all he’s still got some real wisdom.

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