A Pastor's Fall From The People's Grace
This morning I was asked about the Bishop Eddie Long situation and I had to truly think about what I was being asked. Then I was asked about Pastor Dollar's response and this is the first thing that came to my mind..."Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians. Then I thought about Long taking this thing to court and my mind went to "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court." Matthew. Then my mind went to "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew Then this came to my mind, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him." Now, I for one am precise in my book about how I feel about sexual sins. And expecially when I see the attendees of such sins acting entitled. If you were not raped, you were a willing participant and why should the people care anymore about you, than they do the one whom you performed the act with? I tell my daughters and my son, "If anyone, and I mean anyone proposition you and you know it's wrong, if you don't tell me or your daddy, you were willing to accept the fate of that person's proposition. We are your parents and if we can't insure your safety, who will?" Those boys were not forced, and they could have told someone what was happening. Just like the women receiving Weiners text messages. If you don't like what someone is doing to you, you have an obligation to yourself to run and tell it!!
Unfornately, I've been the mistress of a pastor and I understand the self-pride you feel when you are sleeping with the preacher. You feel your own little sense of entitlement and it overtakes you. So imagine a teenager feeling like this. Now, believe me I am not condemning these young men, I'm just explaining the angles from all sides. Pastors are not exempt from sin, and they say a many days, "Lord, I promise I'm coming out of this." "Lord help me change." And sometimes the only way we can change, is if God pulls the covers from over our undercover operations. Sometimes it takes Him exposing our sins....to whom much is given much is required....in every way! Sometimes it takes an ordeal of this great nature to change our heart and mind. Now as for Dollar, He's right! The very first time he lays his mouth on Long, and excepts his congregation, the devil will lay in wait to tear him alive. See, we have to be careful when we see one another fall. Yes, I can sit back and glean from your fall, but after you've been cleaned up, and restored, then I'll fall and you better believe that the same folks that I gleaned, will be the ones who will become someone else's glean.
God had to teach me this lesson the hard way. I refused to let my husband sit under a preacher who was cheating on his wife. I just felt like, if our leader is a cheater, then what is that teaching you. If you read my book, "His Mistress or God's Daughter?" you'll see exactly what happened to me. God spoke to me one day and said, "If you dig deep in every righteous man's life, you'll find something." I said to God, "Job was a righteous man and you trusted him to live righteously." And God said to me, "But was his wife, who is a part of him." Then I thought about it. What if it were Long's wife who was caught in the same situation? Would the church had expected him to leave his wife, or would they have left the church?
The reality is, people are falling and God is allowing it so we can take people down off of these places of praise. I go to preach at churches and I won't let you whisk me off to the back. If I go to the back it's to change my clothes and then I'm right back to the sanctuary. The people don't have to stand in no lines to come see me. Who am I? This preaching thing has become so commercialized until it's become a circus. And just like at a circus, when the trained animal acts untamed, the people talk, ooohhh, and run. How much longer will the church continue to be like this? And pastors are so trophied that when they have a problem, they won't run to another pastor and ask for help. I don't care who you are, as long as you are in this world, you are going to need a Word for yourself!!!! You can't beat me sending for Bishop Jakes tapes, or Iona Locke tapes when I need a word or running to my pastor's church. I'm not ashamed to bare my sins in books because I understand that if I confess my faults God is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I don't owe you no confession...my confession is to God! You can't cleanse me, God can. So as for the people who feel like Long should have talked more, for what. Whether he talked or not, people were going to have their own opinion. Some were going to leave whether he settled or not. Some had already made their minds if he were guilty or not from day one, and in this world you are definitely guilty until proven innocent.
So no matter who you are or how big the sin is, I have no right to lay my mouth on you negatively. I have the right to restore you meekly, but even as I restore you, I have an obligation to watch my mouth, mind, and my heart so I won't fall into the same sin because I got weak. I have an obligation to God to pray you through whatever situation you are in, and then ask God to keep me so I will not sin against Him. So Long might have fallen from your grace, but He hasn't fallen from God's Grace. God is the author and finisher of all our faith...He writes the chapters to our story and makes the timelines fit for His preferences. It's time for the church to pray and for the fathers and mothers of old to start crying out "Repent and Be Holy".
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