When pastors fall, what does a good disciplinary process look like? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a YouTube question from one of our listeners named Josh. He says, biblically speaking, how do you think the Matt Chadler situation has been handled by both him and his church? And if you're not familiar with what we're talking about, the Matt Chandler story, here's a brief synopsis from the New York Times. The pastor of a prominent evangelical megachurch near Dallas abruptly announced an indefinite leave of absence on Sunday, effective immediately because of an online relationship he had with the woman who was not his wife. Matt Chandler, the lead pastor of the Village Church, told his congregation in a tearful admission that took place on stage during the worship service, that the relationship was not romantic or sexual, but unguarded and unwise, and included, quote, coarse and foolish joking that's unbefitting of someone in my position. Now, there are a number of other details involved in this, but Pastor Chandler is in a disciplinary process with the elders of his church right now.
So back to Josh's opening question, Adriel, how do you think this whole thing was handled? Yeah, well, you know, we've been getting these questions about this situation specifically, and I mean, Bill, it just weighs heavily on my heart. I think it's really easy for us as Christians and even pastors, Christian leaders, to sort of rubberneck at a church that is going through something really difficult and to point the finger and say, oh, they should have done this or they should have done that. Sometimes I think people can even revel in it, and it's strange and it's heartbreaking, but even, you know, Christians who sort of celebrate, you know, when these kinds of things happen, seeing other people going through something difficult sometimes can make us feel better about ourselves. And so we have to be on guard against all of that.
This should break our hearts. These kinds of things can be used by the evil one and so often are used by the evil one, you know, as a way to get non-Christians to look at the church and say, you guys, you know, you don't have your act together, of course, you know, you're just a bunch of hypocrites, and so on and so forth. And so I think first and foremost, we need to pray for the light of the Lord Jesus Christ to shine on this situation, that that church specifically would have wisdom in dealing with this and in caring for all of the parties involved, including, you know, there was a woman who had confronted this pastor about some of these communications, and so, you know, praying for them and just praying for the Lord to be glorified in and through this. And so, Bill, first let's just pray for this church, the village church, and ask for God's mercy to be with them. Lord, we look to you, Jesus, as the king of heaven and earth and the head of your church, and we pray for this particular church, Lord, that's going through difficulty right now, Lord, through a season of difficulty right now because of this information that's come out. We pray for the leadership of that church, that you would fill them with your Holy Spirit and give them wisdom in caring for those who were involved, in caring for the woman who was communicating with this pastor, the friend of the woman who brought this to light and caring for the pastor and his family, Lord, that you would just give wisdom to the elders there, to the church, in really working through this in a manner that would honor you, glorify you, and bring the healing, Lord, that is needed and that at the end of the day, Lord, that this would be something that you use, as you use all things, Lord, for your glory and for good in the in the world and in that church.
And so we ask for your mercy, Lord, in Jesus' name, amen. So, you know, in terms of the specific question that we got on YouTube, you know, in terms, you know, how do we think that this is being handled by the church? Positively, it seemed like, and again, we're just going off of what they've shared and what this pastor shared publicly, it seemed like there was a confrontation about some of his communications and that he went, according to him, immediately and spoke to the people that he's accountable to within the church, another pastor and an elder, and that there was essentially an investigation that came out of that or has been going on.
And so I think that that's a positive thing, right? I mean, we as pastors are also accountable and need to be accountable. So it's not just like, you know, somebody accuses you of something and you just get to shut it down and brush it under the rug. No, there needs to be accountability. A text of scripture that my mind goes to is in 1 Timothy 5 or 17, let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching, for the scripture says you shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain and the laborer deserves his wages.
Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all so that the rest may stand in fear. And honestly, stuff like this should cause us to tremble and to think, you know, how am I, especially for those in leadership and ministry position, you know, how is the way that I'm communicating reflecting the truth of God's word and caring for the people around me or contradicting, you know, what I claim to believe and how I claim to live. There's, I think, a sobering warning here for all of us, but I'm grateful that it does seem like this was not just, I mean, obviously they're making this very public announcement. The way in which they made the announcement, you know, the question was, is that the best way?
And again, this is where we want to be cautious, you know, as those on the outside, it's really easy. Sin is messy. We like to think that, you know, there just should be an easy answer, but when we're dealing with relationships and sin and those kinds of things, it's never as cookie cutter as we'd like it to be. And so I think people could say all sorts of things about the way in which the announcement was made. It did seem like there was some vagueness in the language, and so that caused a lot of people to think, well, is there more to this story than we're being told?
And so you understand that? I mean, I understand that concern and that question. The way in which it was spoken about, you know, like there's a familiarity and a frequency to the communications that caused the elders of the church to be concerned with what the pastor was doing, you know, in this familiar and frequent conversation. I think those, just those words, you know, caused some people to think, well, is it not okay to have friendships with the opposite sex?
And what is that supposed to look like? And so there were a lot of questions there, and that's what I think caused some people to think, well, is there more to this that we're just not being told? And so there are just so many factors here, right? I think there's the desire of probably the church to guard the individuals who are involved, probably both the woman who brought, I mean, it should be the woman who brought forward this concern, as well as the woman who is in communications, and there needs to be caring for her, ministering to her, but also you think of the family of the pastor. I did think that, and this is just me speaking, I did think that, you know, in situations like this, probably not best to have the pastor control the narrative and get up and get to speak and say everything, especially if there's questions about qualification or whether they should be doing what they're doing, at least at that time, would have been much better, I think, to have one of the elders get up and address this.
And so yeah, but again, we're looking at it from the outside. We need to pray, pray ultimately that justice is done, that Christ is glorified, that the truth is made to prevail, and that for everyone involved, you know, that the Lord ministers to them, and we want the best for gospel-preaching churches. We should want the best for the village church. And so be praying for them and that the Lord would bring the truth out and that the Lord would be glorified in the lives of everyone involved. And so really just heavy stuff and weighs on my heart. I know it does on the hearts of so many as well, and there's a lot of concern. So I think as more time goes by and maybe there's more information that comes out, we'll get some more clarity. Thanks for that, Adriel.
I appreciate your insights on that issue. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, our phone lines are open right now. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Let's go to Dana, who's calling in from Poirier, Kansas. Dana, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? I was wondering if online pornography is considered cheating. Yeah, would pornography be considered cheating on your spouse? Well, I mean, think about what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount.
You know, he says if you look at a person to lust after them, it's as if you've already committed adultery in your heart. And so I don't want to minimize just the law of God in any respect, and certainly pornography and its use in the church is a terrible, you know, it's just this pandemic. It's spread out, and it's something that so many people struggle with, with addiction even. And so that's serious, and it's deadly.
Let's just be honest. All sin is deadly. It's something that needs to be dealt with very seriously. But I wouldn't say that, like, I mean, if we're thinking about grounds for divorce, for example, when Jesus talks about adultery being a grounds for divorce, I don't think that if, you know, your spouse looks at someone lustfully on the street, right, I mean, that's sin. They need to confess that, but I don't think that that right there is grounds for divorce. And so we have to, I think, exercise wisdom here when we're answering the the pornography question. Certainly, if there is, you know, a sexual relationship outside of the marriage, that is, according to Jesus, grounds for divorce.
But again, with regard to pornography, or even just looking at a woman to lust after her, a man to lust after him, would that be ground for divorce? I think one, I would just say no, but it requires more wisdom, and I would say that's something that you need to speak with counselors, your church about. I mean, hopefully there are people on the ground there who are able to encourage you to do that.
I mean, hopefully there are people on the ground there who are able to encourage and minister to you and to your family. I think if there is a serious issue of addiction that has not been dealt with, well, then the church needs to step in. You need to get the help from the body of Christ. Also, I mean, we were talking about this on the broadcast yesterday in terms of, you know, good counselors, even a therapist who deals with sexual addiction.
It very well could turn into a situation of church discipline, but I think those are the things that need to, I mean, that's the sort of the pathway that needs to be taken in the context of the church and good counselors, not just sort of jumping to the conclusion of, well, you know, my husband struggles with this, therefore I think I'm justified in divorcing them. I'm not saying that's what you're saying, but I know that that's what some people have done. And so I appreciate your question. Again, I mean, we're talking about it with the first YouTube question, just that sin, brothers and sisters, is just messy in terms of our relationships and how we engage with each other and the implications of our actions. And this is why there are so many sobering warnings throughout the Bible in terms of our conduct and how we treat each other, because you start going down this path and you realize it's not just, I'm not just hurting myself, I'm hurting the people around me, the people that I love the most. And so God have mercy upon us, on all of us, and protect us, and grant us repentance where we need repentance. So well said. And again, it speaks to the importance of being plugged into a church where you are accountable to other people, where you have brothers and sisters in Christ and good pastoral leadership that you can go to with issues like this. And unfortunately, I think there's a lot of people in our culture right now, Adriel, and I think you'd probably agree, who are somewhat isolated and not plugged into a church or just goes, you know, sporadically, and they don't have those relationships. And that is so key in helping situations like this.
Yeah, I mean, it breaks my heart. I'm just, I'm so grateful to be able to do this broadcast as a pastor, as a minister of the gospel. And one of the things I've seen, but I know you see it as well, is, you know, as people call in many people with deep struggles that they're going through, difficult struggles that they're going through that don't have community, that don't have a church family that's able to wrap its arms around them, pastors that they can go to to provide accountability or pastoral care. And so it's something that we continually encourage those who listen to this broadcast to make sure that you have. So important, you weren't meant to live the Christian life in isolation and to walk on the path of life by yourself.
This is a group family hike. You know, we're in this together on the way to the celestial city, and you're a part of the body of Christ, and so you need to be a member of a church. And if you're not, there are some serious issues, and it's really you're handicapping yourself significantly in the Christian life, and it's not what God intends for you. And so I'm glad you brought that up again, Bill.
So well said. Thanks, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a note, we're going to be recording a second episode of Core Christianity today after our live program ends. So if you still have a question for Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe about doctrine or theology or maybe even some doubts about the Christian faith, we are open to your call, and you can call us for the next 40 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-843-2673. I also want to mention a great new book that we're offering today, which actually is something that parents can use to answer some difficult questions from their kids. Yeah, the book is called Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? And of course that's a question. It's not just that our kids have that question. I think many adults, you know, we have that question.
Those are the questions that people ask. We're really wrestling with faith. If God is good, well, why does He let bad things happen? And you look around at the world, and you just think, boy, there are some really difficult, you know, terrible things that happen. And so we're trying to make sense of that, and we want to help you. And we think that this is going to be a good resource for you, and it is written for a younger audience, and so it's a great opportunity for you to go through this maybe with your children or grandchildren. It's called Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? Again, it's written by Chris Morphew, and you can get a copy over at corechristianity.com for a donation of any amount. It's a really fantastic resource.
You can get a copy of this book, as Adriel said. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Look for Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? Well, we do have several social media sites here at Core Christianity.
One of them is our Instagram page, and here's a question that came in from one of our listeners. Is man totally depraved? And if so, why has God told them to repent and believe if that's not possible? Yeah, well, none of us can save ourselves. Salvation is not like a sort of pull yourself up by the bootstraps, here's what you need to do, now figure it out kind of a thing. Those calls to repent and to believe, well, repentance and faith, faith is the empty hand that receives the grace of Christ.
It's not a work like we think about works, like doing charitable deeds and whatnot. It's a sinner receiving the mercy of Christ. And even that, having the eyes to see, is a gift that the Lord gives.
You think of Lydia in the book of Acts, the Lord opening her heart to receive the things that were spoken of by the apostles. And so, yes, I would say humanity we are totally depraved. Now what does that mean? It doesn't mean that we're, you know, that everybody is just as bad as they could be, that we're just wretches in that sense. No, it means that every single part of us has been affected by sin, and don't we feel it in our bodies? You know, sickness, pain, our minds, our thoughts, our wills. There isn't one part of us that has not been affected by sin. It's pervasive. It's gone into every part of us. And so we can't, again, save ourselves. And that's essentially what we're saying. We talk about people being totally depraved, that we can't do anything meriting God's salvation, God's grace.
We can't even prepare ourselves for it. It totally is a work of the Holy Spirit renewing our hearts, our wills, our minds, to see and to believe. And at the end of the day, what's, I think, what's helpful about this is it makes us that we realize, look, I can't boast in my salvation. You can say, well, the reason I'm saved and you're not is because I'm just, you know, more holy than you are.
And I get things a little bit better, and it was through, you know, the fact that I have deeper spiritual understanding. No, there's no room for boasting at all, actually, because we realize, Lord, there was nothing in me that merited your grace. In fact, for so many years I was shaking my fist at you in rebellion, and yet you demonstrated your love for us, and that while we were still sinners, Father, you sent Jesus to die for us, and you drew us to yourself by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And so you, you get all the glory for rescuing me, for saving me. Thank you, God, for your kindness, your love, your forgiveness. I didn't deserve it. I don't deserve it still. You get all the glory.
That's what we want. We want to give God all the glory. And so when we find in us, you know, well, the reason I'm saved is because, you know, I just had it, you know, in my power and will and all these things.
We're giving ourselves room for boasting, and the Bible says we don't have any. And so I appreciate that question. I love, Bill, that people are connecting via our other social media, you know, channels or whatever you want to call, you know, on Instagram and whatnot. So check that out. If you don't follow us on Instagram, check it out.
My producer, I can see he's laughing at me because I called it an Instagram channel or whatever. I should know these things by now. No problem. We also, by the way, have a Facebook page that's called Facebook, Adriel, FB, if you're wondering. Okay. Yeah.
David has a question for us from Facebook. He says, What did Jesus mean when he said, My kingdom is not of this world? Ooh. Yeah.
I mean, this is an important one. I think especially, you know, as we think about politics and elections and people get into all sorts of discussions and debates about the kingdom of God. Well, the kingdom of God proper is, we're talking about the new creation, the heavenly Jerusalem that is one day going to come down to earth and heavenize the whole world. The new creation, that's what we're looking forward to. And so when Jesus says, My kingdom is not of this world, I think in part he's saying, Look, it's not built up from below.
It comes down from above. It's not the way in which you think about earthly kingdoms. You know, the many people when Jesus was on earth, you know, they wanted him to go toe to toe with the Romans and drive them out and make, you know, Israel great again and reestablish the temple and the worship and drive out the pagans and the prostitutes and the tax collectors. But instead, he's fraternizing with them. He's talking with them.
They're having meals together. And he's extending to them the forgiveness of sins while the sons of the kingdom, quote unquote, you know, the scribes and the Pharisees, they're cast out because they're unbelieving. And so there is something very mysterious in the New Testament about the kingdom of God. It's not that it's just a sort of weird otherworldly thing per se. It is otherworldly, but it doesn't come in the same way that we think kingdoms come or advance. It advances through the preaching of the gospel, not through a physical sword in coercion, you know, coercing people by conquering them and, you know, making them Christians.
And that way, no, it happens by the work of the Holy Spirit with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, the gospel of salvation that is being proclaimed to the whole world. And so in that sense, it's distinct from the kingdoms of this world. And that's precisely when Jesus makes that statement in John chapter 18, verse 36. The context is Jesus saying to Pilate that my kingdom is not like your kingdom.
It's not of this world. It's the new creation. And brothers and sisters, that's what we're a part of. We get a taste of that now in the body of Christ through the salvation that Jesus has won for us and the filling of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833, the CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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