3 thoughts on “Does Struggling with Pornography Disqualify a Pastor from Ministry? (Part 1 of 4)

  1. THIS IS EXCELLENT! EXTREMELY PROUD OF MY BABY BROTHER FOR TAKING AND MAKING A STAND AGAINST SEXUAL SINS & PORN STRUGGLES WITHIN THE CHURCH & THE WORLD, ALLOWING GOD TO USE HIM ON SUCH A CRITICAL AND SERIOUS SUBJECT THAT’S DESTROYING THE CHURCH & OUR FAMILIES.
    GOD’S WORD IS CLEAR WE ARE NOT TO BE CONFORMED BY THE STANDARDS AND BEHAVIORS OF THIS WORLD. WE ARE SUPPOSE TO DIE DAILY TO SEXUAL SINS AND TO OUR FLESH, AND BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MIND. RELACING UNHOLY THOUGHTS WITH HOLY THOUGHTS IN GOD’S WORD.
    WE CAN NO LONGER CONTINUE TO PUT CONFIDENCE IN OUR FLESH. IN THIS FLESH DWELLETH NO GOOD THING, OUR HEARTS ARE WICKED OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT PURE.
    CHRIST SAID BE HOLY BECAUSE HE I AM HOLY. WE CAN NO LONGER CONTINUE CALL OURSELVES CHILDREN OF GOD, HIDE BEHIND THE CLOTH OR A ROBE. STAND IN THE PULPITS ACROSS AMERICA & IN THE WORLD AND LIVE UNHOLY LIVES & CONFESS TO KNOW GOD & BE LIKE GOD. WE MAKE HIM A LIAR AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US! BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY!
    THE SPIRIT IS WILLING BUT THE FLESH IS SOOOOO WEAK! DIE DAILY!WE NEED TO RENEW OUR MINDS DAILY WITH THE WORD OF GOD. STOP POLLUTING OUR MINDS WITH PORN, MOVIES AND THE INTERNET PLACING IMAGES THAT WILL NOT EASILY BE ERASE. SO, THAT OUR FAMILIES CAN LIVE HOLY LIVES AND WE CAN RAISE HOLY CHILDREN WHO FEAR GOD AND DESIRE TO LIVE RIGHT & PURE AND NOT STRUGGLE WITH SEXUAL SINS LIKE THE GENERATIONS BEFORE THEM. STOP THE DIVORCE RATE IN THE CHURCH THAT IS ABOUT THE SAME RATE AS THE WORLD. WE CAN SHOW OUR CHILDREN BY EXAMPLE “AS FOR ME & MY HOUSE WE WILL SERVE THE LORD” BECOME DOERS OF THE WORD NOT HEARERS ONLY!

  2. I’m looking forward to this series, thank you for your post. You state, about halfway in the post, “although Christians will experience episodic defeats, victorious living by the Spirit, as described in Romans 8, must become the pattern of their lives. ”

    What do you mean by “episodic defeats”? When does periodic defeats become habitual and a part of one’s life, where’s the line?

    I don’t mean to say that there is not a difference between “episodic defeats” and a pattern of life. I’m asking for clarity as to where is the line. The reason I ask is because if a pastor is in sin to the point where it is a habitual part of his life, does that mean he shouldn’t be a pastor?

    I’m excited about this series and am looking forward to future posts.

  3. Great question(s)! Let me first qualify my answers. Dealing with sin has to be done on a case by case basis. Answering questions about responding to sin with any specificity requires knowing a lot of specifics.

    1. What do I mean by episodic defeats? In Romans 7 Paul refers to his sin (episodic sins) like a double-sided coin. 1st Episodic sins are the occasions when believers do what they are hating by yielding to the flesh and fail to do what they know is right. All true believers hate sin and love godliness, yet no believer will always in all situations obey God. That’s Paul’s point in Phil 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect.” We need God’s grace to justify and to sanctify us. Indulging in sin in the name of grace (Rom 6:1, 15) is not yielding to what one hates. It is doing what one loves. 2nd by the term Episodic defeats I mean to say that the person experiences consistent victories over that temptation. Yielding to that sin doesn’t characterizer the person, but yielding to the Spirit to overcome it does.

    2. When do periodic defeats become habitual and a part of one’s life? Where’s the line? When there isn’t a pattern of victory and instead a pattern of defeat. For example, every Friday the person yields to . Or whenever this temptation arises, the person yields to . A godly father in a war against his flesh to be patient with his children may not win every battle, but his children should be able to honestly say that he is kind, patient, and loving (and not mad and yelling all the time). While this is less likely the case for mature Christians, any believer can fall into a habitual pattern of sin by consistently yielding in the flesh to a recurring temptation.

    3. If a pastor has a habitual sin, does that mean he shouldn’t be a pastor? It can. Paul uses a play on words in Phil 3. In verse 12 he says that no one is perfect (absolutely) and then says in verse 15 “as many as are perfect (relatively) have this attitude.” His point is that while no believer is flawless some are mature. Maturity means living consistently (not perfectly) by the Spirit and putting to death the deeds of the flesh. I am of the conviction that all sin is evil and makes the sinner worthy of God’s eternal punishment. Notwithstanding though, there are degrees of sin. If King David looked twice in lust at Bathsheba, refused to take her, and repented, then God’s disciplinary response would have been very different. This needs to be kept in mind when responding to the sins of leaders. Is he lazy about being on time but works hard on his sermons? Does he overspend each month by $100 or by $5,000? Besetting sins (Heb 12:2), which easily can entangle believers, don’t all have to be disqualifying, but they certainly can be! So to answer your question, the nature and details of the habitual sin would have to be considered. In the rest of my posts, I hope to give enough Scriptural guidelines to help discern when a pastor who struggles with lust crosses the line and is no longer above reproach.

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