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Garrett Kell: The Day My Secrets Got Out

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2022 9:00 pm

Garrett Kell: The Day My Secrets Got Out

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 7, 2022 9:00 pm

Author and pastor Garrett Kell lived in the agony of his own secrets and porn addiction. But God used his breakdown for healing in Garrett--& his church.

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Jesus was very patient with social centers.

He was very tender with them but he was hard against religious hypocrites and you go to pick her.

You can be a broken, humble sinner who needs him or you can be a religious hypocrite. Welcome to family life today to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life, family life today so I can remember. Often men in our church would set up an appointment to come see me constantly having you know your pastor and you talk about the things and you hit a chord with some ice on the command so when they would come in.

Did you think all I know what this is about what often they would sorta stumble around as I could tell, they're afraid to really talk about whether you know you're talking or laughing but I'm concerned some get nervous and usually that I'm not kidding. It felt like 8/10 guys had a porn struggle that they and because I had from the pulpits that I've struggle with that. They felt comfortable, like wealthy struggle with it.

I can go in and talk to him about it, but they were little afraid to bring up the ring around there for just one time Bruce, one of the drummers in our band and I played bass I knew Bruce really well. He sets up disappointment like I would Bruce for me… Where the band together right, it becomes any Samhan around and I finally go okay Bruce I know why you're here because why ago you struggle porn. I know every guy that is talk to struggle to porn so that's okay. Let's go. Let's talk about a ghost to know I don't struggle porn why say that might well you don't log like you are hesitant to tell me was going on so I figured that's what it is I go I year ago so I just give my life to Christ and just open you can like to get them only because II got to the point where thought this is the guy I did meet with women. So I did know their story well meeting with the women and so often, women were saying. I have no idea what to do has been struggling. I feel like I'm not enough.

I feel like this is about me, help me. I would also have meetings where women are sank. I'm struggling with this issue and I don't know where to get help so we got Jericho back with us today, pastor of a church in Delray Baptist say right Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexander Virginia you are with us yesterday were glad your back, welcome back. This could be your and I love it Garrett that you have six kids and how many years you've been married 14 years think you have six kids was like the plan, though like kids much success.

That's awesome yeah and if you miss yesterday, BC. We heard your story, which is this epic awesome coming to Christ story.

But then we got into after you came to Christ and now you're even pastor for years, you have the secret sort of struggle that we just talked about this, per Mark three battle we heard the journey yesterday, but wouldn't hear of you know how you came to start winning this battle sounded like you were hiding something. Even in ministry and nobody really knew except you. And a lot of us have been there and I know her listeners if there being really honest. They may be the only ones that know this battle tell us rest the story and what would happen. You're pastoring and yet when you go home your struggle with pornography.

I think he gave. I think listeners are thinking.

Is it possible to win sure you know how can we win help us to win because I feel hopeless at this point. So I stay said take us back to your journey did feel hopeless. You know me and as I mentioned yesterday, there is a time or thought on this always can be like this, resolved myself to try to figure out how live in the duplicity it haunts you a guilty conscience is a gift from the Lord and I was trying to try to hide it, but yes, I've been a pastor for about three years and I had a pattern of every couple weeks, or every month or two or something like that where I would retreat either for a brief time or for more extended time and indulgent pornography than feel super guilty and delete my search history and call a friend of Billy K's religion on struggle but pray for me and that pattern just went on and on and on teaching wallowing.

Did you where you in your head full of shame. There were times he certainly was full shame I felt particularly what I was trying to counsel other people where I felt the weight of my hypocrisy where I would be trying to counsel them and there is a couple times. I think I withheld some really hard words because I knew deep down that I wasn't living it. I can just see how Satan was the one just get me he was getting a lot of people because of myosin struggle which is interesting. I mean, just to make the point that we often think our sin struggle just affects us is not meeting the people your minister to. But if your dad or a mom is affecting your family to come in and your minds to be elsewhere just your numb you be as in tune with the needs of others angry because your you're ticked off that I did this again or whatever may be or you're going to be distracted work were there to get caught in that that just sucks energy in life out of loving others. Yeah, it dulls your heart for God so would you like a like a look to particle's rerun of the Scriptures and pray is not what is just you want to do and what Adam and Eve in the garden again ran and hid and covered up yeah and I is that it breaks every relationship and here's another thing you don't even realize and we now know is Exodus 2010 commandment says right in there the sins of the father are going to visit down the third and fourth generation of your legacy. I've discovered the things you do in private that your kids may never even know you find out there struggling at the same kind of send their dad did and they didn't know their dad struggle with it. It's just that it's a family legacy. Not in some kind of generational curse kind of things were destined to the sins of others were guilty for them but but there is an impact is ripple effect of sin and never just affects you again.

The church is pastoring God's blessing it and people come in the Lord and people were growing and he was working in spite of I had. I think with the call that the Solomon complex. God's blessing.

It seemed like everything I was touching, but all the while, I had these compromises and eventually it will catch up with you because God will not, in his mercy he will not let you stay hidden and during this time I met my my now wife we had long story. Great story. Her sons a lot more with them on, but we met started dating and I was thinking about joining a friend of the church plant Gunning read Monahan up in New Jersey were to go up and up plant a church. There's about three and half years.

Throughout time in Texas pastoring and I said you know what the final work with him should probably let them know everything, click I felt like I wanted to just come clean. So I wrote what I now call the letter and the letter I chronicled all of my sexual sin.

For the time I become a Christian. Up until then, and I told Terry about my struggle with pornography and by his grace. The relationship really helps, and there'd been some distance, but I'd still never been honest about where I've been, so I sent that letter to my buddy read. I hopped on the plane to fly the jersey to film or promote video for the church of point have voicemail and these assailants meet over the coffee shop suitable coffee shop and I had the hardest encounter and read news, a former Division I wrestler. He sat across from a look me in the eyes and he said. I love you because but I read your letter and I do not do conscience like we can move forward with the church plant and to be honest with you brother but you're qualified to be a pastor right now will you not above reproach you been living alive for a long time and you need to go back. You need to tell your elders your fellow pastors what's been going on and you foster come with every excuse so it's been a while. Or hate nothing to do down to the huge you been living a lie and you need to tell the truth I knew was right. So I back home and I gave the letter to the elders and that began 2007 and began what I call the year of the anvil and anvil is a hard metal surface that you lay something on the beat into the shape and the Lord used 2007 two to break me in all the ways that I needed to the skies and their families. Only one was a church and preach the Bible. All I wanted was to see their friends have a place they could go and hear about Jesus that wasn't just mixed in with dead religion. All they wanted a church and I hurt them near the letter and there was some time to think about it so we met back up and they had some very hard words for me one of must remember good friend of the state and will. He said the seal Garrett Jesus was very patient with sexual centers. He was very tender with them but he was hard against religious hypocrites and you've got a pick or you can be a broken humble center who needs him or you can be a religious hypocrite, and that struck me, and he was right. There is work is a hard word but it was the right word I needed to hear it in a small town. Things happen and word got out about the letter.

Somehow, and people start to have questions about.

I heard something on the pastor and as you can imagine it, a small town. It mutates so basically what they said was like what we need to do is we need to have you come up in front of the church and tell her by what he did so after I got done preaching on Sunday when the elders got up and said it would need to let Ellie on the many of you probably heard Garrett has some personal things going on some personal sin tonight at 6 o'clock meet back here and easy to share about it. No, we didn't have meaningful membership so this was basically anybody in the small town who wants to hear about the pastor's in homeboy. Come on out so that night the room was full and was one of slow motion. Moments my greatest fears were coming to pass is a reason I had been honest this whole time I did. I loved him.

I just wanted people to know and what I was so afraid that people were gonna think bad of Jesus and even more so I was afraid there anything better to me and I just basically went through the whole letter and told him everything that I've done even as their pastor in regards to looking at pornography and I wept and I asked for their forgiveness told them I'd do whatever they wanted me to do. They want me to resign.

I resigned. They want me to do any of whatever. I'm keenly aware that Jesus paid for that as well is a pastor but all that really broke me there really humbled me say a broken window that looked like. That's what a couple weeks, months somewhere in there with multiple meetings after this withers more of this in constantly confessing. I remember I got to the place where I had confessed every sin that I could ever think of, and I was laying on the rug in my bedroom, as well as plush rugs, really. Plus it was all of my grill that remembers lay in their and I remember I had no more tears to cry. Emerson okay God I can't think of anything else I could confess and they didn't speak to me audibly was it was like he said now I can work with before. I been so trying to control my sin. You can't control sin… Yeah I was and that was part of it that my sin was not just the pornography pornography is never isolated. It's always tied to 10,000 other things for me of his discontent and I was I was prideful and I it was so many things are feeding it and it was my area of weakness and it was the easiest thing to run twos. That's why think it got me so much but like I felt like I had no more sins to confess that if somebody walked in the rooms that had heard something about you I would be like shoot good who don't know, there is nothing you know and I love is in the light. It was the hardest year of my life. I mean it was the church. I hurt my dog God. You know I was in a burning accident where 12% of my body was burned my face my arm. All of it was second and 3rd° burns. It was a string of thing after thing.

After thinking engaged at this time I was in my wife sent wedding invitations from the burn ward and in Dallas. We notified ever have my face back. I'm thinking she read the letter now is the whole thing, but she's thinking I'm with you little that she was blind. I think she was sober minded in this, but it will at one of the meetings she got up and she's I just want you guys to know you're right that he send we should see his sin is serious, but I want you to know, like I'm going into my engagement with this man, with eyes wide open like she's repented of this. He's tried to be humble and confess the sin before you, you gotta decide whether you think is qualified to be a pastor not know the real questions and you you gotta think through that but you know this man is not walking in the darkness anymore and you know she did that because of she.

She loved Lorber that she sought rightly. You know I had repented. By this time God was was very kind but it was the worst year of my life is one thing on site for whoever's listening right now and you think I could never tell. I could never come out in the life you don't know what would happen if I told my husband what I've been doing if I told Mo why front of the door for told my parents or if I told my church. I need you to know that it's can be hard.

They may be harder than you imagine. But I would not trade what I gained from that year for anything because I got to see my Lord as he is.

I lost my sin, but I got Jesus in a fresh way, wasn't saved again. I had lost my salvation, but I knew the intimacy and the joy of the Lord in a way that I don't think would've ever been possible. Any other way. Hebrews 12 talks about the discipline is not enjoyable for the moment. It's like the understatement of the pieces but it produces the peaceful fruit of righteousness that peace that passes understanding. When like if you came in here and said I know everything about you I would not be scared because it's in the light in Jesus paid it all and I'm free like doesn't mean I could be tempted the plane when I'm flying here. The guy next to me was watching some show with all kinds of make out scenes and is like. Of course, so I have to turn my back to turn myself to look the other way to not, of course, is a part of me that likes one little look like know I'm like: Jesus is better you know and that's the fight all the way into we see him face-to-face, but I just want you to know that if you're in the midst of that battle there's a way out. There's a way out, and Jesus paid it with his blood and he will walk with you in whatever cost you. It'll be worth it because he will never leave you or forsake you. Listeners can't see this, but Garrett has Bible right beside him. I wish you could see it because it's marked up. He can tell that this sucker is born he had been a year where you can tell that it's been your lifeline.

It is my life I live by lies for so long, both as a nonbeliever as a believer I mean I got duped and we need his word. His word is truth, and he never breaks his promises always keep some including this one, you know that he's better than sin and that he will he will help you to find freedom from whatever bondage you are in right now you don't have to always be like that doesn't mean you will always struggle. It does mean you don't have to be ensnared. There's there's a way out.

Tell us talk about finding freedom because I am guessing. Did you end up having to leave that church are you state-by-state rose received yearly did it was our beautiful things a hard it was. It was I had a lot of offers to go to other places and even some counsel that I probably should because it was really hard but one of the things Lord convinced me of is that I had made this mess and I need to walk through it and you know what the Lord did to me. He then did in that church to some people left and I totally understand why, but there's something else left in those days that was the spirit of hiding self-righteousness. People didn't hide anymore as much need of people still struggle with stuff like the amount of people who began to confess. Adulteries and anger and stealing and lying in their own porn problems and everything else you can imagine because all of a sudden what they saw was it in the light.

There's safety and grace like it may hurt but Jesus is going to put the balm of his blood upon you, and he's gonna bring healing and their life in the light so we began to be a community that learn to walk with a new kind of culture. A culture of confession and repentance and running to the throne of grace to receive grace and mercy in a time of need and that really changed that I understood all of a sudden a bit I went to a Christian counselor. During this time and his name is John and he was the first brotherhood help me to understand that the gospel was not just for non-Christians was for Christians he help me to see that the gospel is for broken Christians to and that we never graduate from being broken, desperate needy sinners like we don't stop that we need that increasingly so we sin is a believer, we sin with eyes wide open and of the Spirit indwelling us and that's all the more grievous right where sin abounds.

Grace abounds all the more so praise God that there's there's help and there's hope. And yes, we stayed for another three years and the Lord help us to complete that chapter in a time when when I left it wasn't because of scandal. It was because you know what I think I've let you guys as far as I can and I went and served under another pastor for about a year, practical, PhD and then went from there out to to help revitalize a church outside Washington DC have been there. There is a beauty to that I feel like when Dave confessed at our site. This and I think you had been behind it. Dave, because we what you were pastoring when this came out of your porn struggle.

But when you confessed to the church that that had been a struggle and that our marriage type and we were struggling in our marriage we would talk about it and we would say leave your mask at the door coming free in terms of who you are and what you're struggling with. Because we will meet you where you are because that's what Jesus will lead us right well and I remember when I back and see it coming back. Then we are running a space you know we scholar sells a church where if you can find us. You can join us because we had a different hotel or you know whatever and so we are at this Michigan state management center the night. I decided I need this confess my struggle. We just our first year and just couple hundred people come in at that point but a member of my cofounder came up.

After I got off the stage and he just looked at me and he goes you just changed this church I go any that I wouldn't think and I'm setting a you know, sort of a core value for us, but he was like you just set a core value you just said to this church. This is a place where you don't have to fake and hide.

You can be honest and Jesus will meet you right there in looking back 30 years later, he was right.

It was like it became known as the place where the grace of Jesus will meet you where you are not where you're pretending to be now and so they saw loving. He won't let you stay yeah you know yeah and Annis Kashani with the community, which is what you did.

You said I have to say this out loud to somebody so they can come into my darkness in bring the light and me out of there right and that's that's where the next chapter is learning mental to live as a Christian like that. So we we don't just be like one big epic confession and I and that's it right now. How do you cultivate the Christian life that is oriented toward toward heaven, toward Christ were all helping one another encouraging one another day, but as long as cold today so that we will not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. How do we learn to confess on the regular to one another and honestly and live in the light because anything left in the dark. The devil we use when you walk in the light as he is in the light like there's fellowship and freedom and joy. And that's the way the Christ intends us to to follow him and it's possible you know and there's no perfect church from your church as it is imperfect now by any stretch of imagination.

We were struggling you know we all still want to hide stuff nobody wants to know, but we fight against it will regularly welcome. You will be like a glad to hear.

If you're looking for people that altogether you are not here. None of us are, but that's that's the spirit of Christ.

Randy welcomes me welcomes all it's interesting is your book pure in heart sexual sin in the promises of God, all we've covered so far is like the first couple chapters I mean seriously, every we got a step into the what is purity look like. How does God deliver us in bring us to victory and freedom right this some a lot of that's the rest your book and I think we need to we need to talk more to say. Well done.

Like the letter, email letter in quotation marks that you wrote the fact that that was read and then you confessed it and talked about it in front of your whole church that is not an easy thing to do. I can see that you change your entire life and legacy as a result of that courageous step.

The Lord gives the strength like I was. I was too weak to do it by myself heat he brought me to the end of myself and he used other people to help me, but I do praise him for as it is the best decision I've ever made Melina sign following Jesus into you and I would add this, that if your listening and you get that secret in the dark and nobody knows the dark wins every time you've got to choose to do it. Garrett did and say I will write a letter arrived in microphone calling the house somebody has to know my struggle because victory is on the other side of that confession. It's where it begins is when you bring it into the lights of today's your day. Many of us know that mold festers in the dark. It grows in dark places.

It multiplies and it causes destruction as well.

And sin is exactly the same God wants us to drag our sin, kicking and screaming into the light because that's where healing is that's where transformation takes place. What I love about Garrett Kellan's conversation today with Damon and Wilson is that it was a practical and encouraging conversation that really it raises the bar, but it also saturates us with grace.

It helps us to know that hate were not alone were not alone in our struggles here and when were honest and transparent about them. God will change us and then in turn bring glory to his name. So the gospel can go forth, Christians are forgiven failures and it's helpful to know that even pastors are forgiven failures to Garrett has written a book called pure in heart sexual sin in the promises of God. For many of us who are trapped in sexual sin. We believe that sometimes there's just no escape.

And he helps us to know that there is good news in the gospel, not just at salvation, but in our present struggles today. If you want to find great answers to this very common struggle amongst many of us, you could pick up a copy of Garrett Kell's book pure in heart in our family life resource Center you can head to our to order a copy or you can give us a call at 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F's and family L as in life, and then the word today and while you're there. Many of you know that family life to a is listener supported.

While you're there ordering a copy of Garrett's book.

If you make a donation of any amount. All this week we want to send you a copy of Sharon James's book when you don't like your story. I think it's very interesting how were talking about this topic with Garrett. Kellan comes to sexual sin and how the shame of that can really help us to feel embarrassed about our story about some of things in our past and that's why this book by Sharon James is so incredibly helpful because we can look at our story and got yeah I just really don't like that very much, but her question is, what if your worst chapters could actually become your greatest victories. God is in the business of taking the ugly parts of our lives, turning them around and giving glory to himself in the process. So when you make a donation of any will send you a copy of Sharon James's book when you don't like your story now. Tomorrow Damon and Wilson to be talking one more time with Garrett Cal about what is it mean to run the race with purity from the beginning and to the end that's coming up tomorrow.

We hope you can join us if this content today or any of our family life programs have been helpful for you. We love you share today's podcast with a family member or a friend, and wherever you get her podcast can really advance the work of family life to a few scroll down and rate and review us on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm Shelby Abbott will see you back next time for another edition of family life, family life, to a is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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