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Should a Pastor Come Back After Committing Adultery?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2020 1:00 am

Should a Pastor Come Back After Committing Adultery?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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November 17, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 577 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

1. What do you do when the truths of the gospel and the bible and everything we believe as Christians sometimes just do not feel real? What do you do when the experiences of your life seem more random than guided by a loving God?

2. In another episode you mentioned that one must believe to be saved. While I believe that this is right, the Bible also says that we need to be born again. Can you elaborate on how salvation is God’s work in us while we are also required to believe?

3. My atheist father asked me the question the other night, “if God exist, then who created God?” I didn’t know how to answer him. How would you answer this?

4. I saw in the news that a famous pastor was recently fired for committing adultery. I then wondered if pastors should be allowed to come back and pastor a church again after committing adultery? I know that Christians sin and fail, sometimes in horrific ways, but should they lead in the same capacity that they once did?

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Christian sin and fail, sometimes in horrific ways, but if a pastor commits adultery and repents. Should he be allowed to pastor his church again that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel 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 and on social media. You can post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts or email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com will of your parents and you're already doing some Christmas shopping. Have you considered a classic toy from your own childhood. If so, this might interest you. The national toy Hall of Fame in New York has just announced this year's inductees. They include the classic baby Nancy Dall sidewalk chalk and the game agenda. The museum says baby Nancy was created back in 1968 he became the best-selling black Dall in Los Angeles by the end of that year and became so popular it was distributed nationwide sidewalk chalk was chosen due to it being one of the earliest known examples of an artistic toy and jingo of the block stacking game was invented by Englishwoman Leslie Scott. It was based on wooden block toys from her childhood growing up in Africa you're playing jingo Hydro honesty, but we just played the other day with our kids. It's a lot of fun and our kids happen to like the only thing is with our family. It's it's hard to like who wins. There's no real clear winter. I feel like just one loser. This is usually the 10-year-old Roy that's right yeah well you and II loose. Sometimes you did get me thinking though. Bill, what are your favorite childhood toys well of the little green army men were pretty popular. Oh yeah, I definitely had my fair share of of army men G.I. Joe's to I happen to love G.I. Joe's when I was a kid.

Those are I think my favorite we would do complete battle scenes. We would ask you to fall on wars with our G.I. Joe. So it was yeah a pretty violent my brother Our first question of the day. This one is an email from Christina she says hi Pastor Israel. My question is what do you do when the truth of the gospel. The Bible and everything we believe as Christians sometimes just doesn't feel real.

What you do when the experiences of your life seem more random then guided by a loving God I think are really two questions there Christina. The first one related to feelings and let me say this.

Sometimes in the Christian life working to have to fight our feelings. I know that sounds weird because we living in a society today were it's all about just embracing your feelings. Don't let anyone tell you how to feel and so many people feelings are what determine truth. I remember some time ago talking with a friend whose is not a Christian. We were walking by this large Roman Catholic Church in this at all. When I was a kid, you nice to go there but I just never felt anything and then I went to a Buddhist temple, and when I was there I began to have these feelings and so they associated that with this must be real because I'm feeling something.

But the fact of the matter is our feelings. Don't determine what is true or not true.

The Christian faith isn't based on feelings.

It's based on real historical events on what God did, acting in history, and so sometimes you can really be struck by those realities, and you're going to feel it, so to speak, and other times you wake up in the morning, you just don't feel anything and so we have to be really careful that we don't let ourselves be driven by our feelings, but by what God's word has said and and by the faith that God is given to us for trusting in what and what God is said now I don't think that you're the only one who struggles with this project. We all do. And there's this Psalm often times that I I go to is this prayer and I think it can be encouraging for you. It is certainly for me it's in some 39, beginning in verse four.

Listen to what the psalmist prayed, O Lord, make me to know my and and what is the measure of my days. Let me know how fleeting I am, behold, you have made my days a few handbreadth in my lifetime is as nothing before you surely all mankind stands the mere breath, truly a man goes about as a shadow that let me tell you what I find encouraging about that. If there's anything that's certain to every single person living on the planet right now.

It's that one day we will die. Nothing could be more obvious and we know this, and yet a lot of times is that the case Christina that we don't live in light of that reality that we don't quote unquote feel it is the with the psalmist is doing here is he saying, Lord, help me to know to understand, to live according to that which is reality that which is truth. They help me to live in light of the fact that life for sure. It's fleeting and soda to use my life in order to honor you, but what I find encouraging about this is, he recognizes that sometimes write some of the most obvious truths are the truths that are hard for us to live by that we don't fully grasp everybody in the world knows that working to die one day but very few people live in light of that reality because they don't feel like it. Frankly, we don't live and we can't live on the basis of how we feel, but on the basis of what is true and we know what is true from what God is said in his word, and so Christina, when we feel like I don't know if this is real. I don't know if it's true, we go back to God's word and we rest in what God has said now the second part of your question and this is so important you know how do we make sense of the events in our lives, adjusting sort of random is God really in control. Is he really the one who's leading me who's guiding me. It really is the why question behind the circumstances of our lives. And with that you can any patients sometimes we don't see how God is piecing the puzzle together, but he is dear member Joseph Mae has is this dream that all of his brothers are going to bow before me thinks God is speaking to him and God was speaking to him. But what happened, his brothers betrayed him and left him for dead. Imagine what was going through you know his mind as he sat it one point in his life in a prison cell in Egypt.

It all probably seemed random, hopeless even. But in the end he saw how God used all of it. All of the random experiences that he had went through that passage in Genesis chapter 50 means one of those verses that I think is good for all Christians to memorize because it's so practical for our lives thinking about this very question that you're asking Christina Genesis chapter 50 in verse 21. He's speaking with his brothers. He says as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today. In other words, God used all of the circumstances in his life. The once it seemed random and even unexplainable in light of God's promise.

He used all of it to make Joseph a blessing to his brothers. You know why God is doing the things that he's doing right now in your life. We have to be patient and continue to trust in the Lord and to look to him and one day maybe not in this lifetime, but certainly when were in the presence of the Lord working to see how it all fits together and working a Marvel at God's glorious plan.

Christina, thank you so much for your email and we pray that you will find that comfort in the Lord. And again, don't focus on your feelings will focus on the truth of God's word and what he's done for us. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and if you got a question for us.

You can call us at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 holy Aurora, Illinois. My question concerning a lady that called you guys asked you a question about preachers saying that you mostly a sinner's prayer to become saved. I think your answer was on where you have to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. But I was wondering why you did not include John three where Jesus told Nicodemus that you must be born again.

I find that throughout the whole Bible work of salvation belongs only to God, now is a thank you so much that usually referring to a caller who asked us to know what essentially what do I need to do to be saved and so I went to that passage in acts chapter 16, where the Philippian jailer assets, Inc. was a sort of funny. Last night we read that story to our kids and and we got to that point you what must I do to be saved that the question of the Philippian jailer. We asked our kids okay what you think what you think.

Paul said, and I was sort of funny date to hear our kids responses, but Paul responds believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and so there are all sorts of things that we could say I mean obviously belief Hosea and you get this is a work of the Holy Spirit mean faith is a gift that comes from God. I really like the way that you put it there. That salvation is all of grace.

It's all the Lord. He gets all the credit and yet it's very clear in the Bible that you and I are the subjects of faith, that is, I believe in you believe God isn't believing for us, but he's the one who gives the gift of faith. The Bible says that all of us outside of Christ are spiritually dead and that's why we need to be born again.

The passage you were referring to in John chapter 3 a. Paul makes it absolutely clear in Ephesians chapter 2 beginning in verse one.

He says to the Ephesian Christians you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind, God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved to pulsing everything you were dead spiritually dead people outside of Christ know we have a lot of talk today about being spiritual but not religious. I'm spiritual.

But the reality is pulses. There is no true spirituality outside of Christ.

Spiritual death and so what we need is not just a little bit of religion added to our lives a little bit of morality. What we need his resurrection from the dead spiritual resurrection.

If you will. We have to be made alive and that is the new birth referred to by Jesus in John chapter 3, you have to be born again the work of the Holy Spirit as you say when that happens, the result of that is faith. We believe in Jesus Christ we trust in him we receive all the gifts that he gives to us by faith, and so so EA may that's not attention necessarily medicament like what Paul says to the Philippians. It's God was at work in us both to will and to do for his good pleasure and right before that, he said, work out your salvation with fear and trembling were called to believe were called to repent were called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. But guess what it really is the work of the Lord and his spirit in us, through us, and we do those things because God is at work and the result of that is God gets all the glory.

As we marvel at his grace as we marvel at the fact that it wasn't me it wasn't my goodness my righteousness that caused God to extend his grace to me. Actually I was dead in trespasses and sins. It was his love, his mercy is spirit, and so salvation is the work of the Lord and yet were called to believe in that faith is something that we exercise, but it's a gift from God.

Thanks, Jos was a thanks so much for being one of our regular listeners were realtor appreciated your listening. The core Christianity, where we answer your questions about the Christian faith every day.

We have an amazing team of people behind us producing the show, they write the core articles for website they produce our Bible studies.

These are resources that are helping you and other believers more fully understand the gospel, and also to have the confidence to share your faith now as you can imagine that requires a lot of different people to come alongside us and support this work. Yeah, we cannot do this without your prayers and your support and that's why we're asking you to come alongside of us and become a regular supporter with the monthly donation of $25 or more, you can join what we call the inner core and be a part of the team that makes the show possible.

By becoming a member of the inner court were also going to send you a signed copy of the book that started all core Christianity finding yourself in God's story by our founder Dr. Michael Horton just like this program were trying to dive into the core truths of the Christian faith and help you better understand the teaching of the Bible that this book does and so head over to core Christianity.com/inner core. To learn more or give us a call at 833 the core again.

That's 833-843-2673 let's go to another question that came in a robust once all the way from Australia from Julian.

He says hi there. I live in Brisbane Australia and I love listening to your podcast. I came to faith nine years ago after being raised in a Catholic atheistic upbringing. My atheist father asked me this question the other night, if God exists, then who created God. I didn't know how to answer him.

I'm hoping you can shed some theological insight into this.

Thank you so much Julian hey Julian God bless you and and God bless your father as you have these conversations with him coming even the fact that he asked this question, I appreciate it when people who don't believe in God or maybe have different beliefs about the Christian faith.

And then we do as Christians are willing to talk about it and ask questions, and so I'm I'm grateful for the opportunity that you have and the thing is, a lot of times people today think about God in a creaturely way.

See God is so different than we are. We assume that because we had a beginning, because were finite and dependent upon other things that will God must be as well. See God is totally distinct from his creation.

We are the creatures he is the creator. He's uncreated, he never had a beginning. He's not dependent upon anything more anyone. God doesn't need oxygen to breathe.

He doesn't need anything for his existence. He is, and that's what we have a difficult time understanding understand that we have a difficult time understanding it because God is totally other. This part of what it means that he's holy is not like us and so when people asked me this question.

I've heard this question many times my kids have asked this question minute.

It is one of the things that baffles us will who created God, but the answer is no one. No one created God because God is not created. He's uncreated. He's the creator. We are the creature and were dependent upon him and he gives us life and he gives this ultimate life through his son Jesus Christ. And that's where you want to go when you talk to your dad ultimate limit we can get into all these are speculative conversations about God and his existence, and it is good I think.

To address these things and to give biblical answers, but ultimately you know we want to go you want to go to the gospel you want to go to the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that extends to all of us and so keep having conversations with your dad. Hopefully this gives you a little bit of insight as to how to approach the question, just reminding them.

Hey guys different than we are that this is what the Bible teaches.

God is not like us, he wasn't created he created us and he redeemed us when we fell away from him for man you're listening to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez. Anthony went to our twitter account and posted this I saw in the news that a famous pastor was recently fired for committing adultery. I then wondered if pastors should be allowed to come back and pastor a church again after committing adultery. I know the Christian sin and fails sometimes in horrific ways, but should they lead in the same capacity that they once did you Anthony. I think I saw the same news article are the same story that you're referring to and there are just so many right you hear about.

I'm sure breaks your heart. It breaks my heart. It frankly it's absolutely terrifying. And so the first thing I think were confronted with this is, we just we have to humble ourselves and say Lord have mercy. Have mercy upon that church, have mercy upon all the people involved, including the pastor, but especially for the people who have been hurt. Lord have mercy and Lord have mercy on me. We should never hear these stories and get puffed up and think. Gosh, I'm doing I'm boy if I compare myself to that person. I'm doing pretty good. Know Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 10 verse 12 therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. That's the attitude we need to have or in Galatians chapter 6 verse one brothers. If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself. Bless you to be tempted. Temptation is very real there is any person who is immune from it and we just read the Scriptures and read the Old Testament you look at all of these, even great men of God, like David, Moses, people who at one point in their lives. Succumbed to temptation various temptations and it should be a sobering reminder for each and every one of ourselves to humble ourselves to cry out to the Lord for his mercy for ourselves and for these people, and so I just want to start with that because this is such a heavy thing a heartbreaking thing now what about restoring someone who falls into a serious temptation in this case, adultery will look, I am of the opinion that it is possible to restore such a person to ministry, but I think a lot of times in the church today. We do it way too quickly. I think there has to be a lot of healing years of healing, and it has to be something I think that is work through not just with this individual, but with frankly the victims, the church is the ultimate victim in situations like this where where there is this betrayal and a lot of hurt and it makes it very difficult for people in the church with felt betrayed, who have been hurt to even be able to listen to someone like that teach and that's why it's absolutely devastating when when something like this happens and is not dealt with in a person continues to to quote unquote minister is restored to their pastorate really quickly, or even to another pastorate that is a real real problem so it could be that the best thing is for an individual to say okay, maybe it's time for me to do something else, maybe not. To delete a church which is to humble myself and to be in the church for a long period of time and to focus on receiving the grace of God. Instead of trying to teach anyone anything is possible to restore a person, but but I think Anthony it takes a long time to restore them back to ministry and it is not a sure thing. One of the reasons I think that were so quick a lot of times to do this in the church to restore people who, frankly, I think shouldn't be restored necessarily is because we value competency over character. We really can use people. I think for their gifts and you have a charismatic leader who's a great teacher that people are drawn to. They they've got this attractive personality there able to leave the church and and so on and so forth. But they're missing the character that is needed to leave the church and at the end of the day what ends up happening is is it comes back to haunt us. It comes back to haunt the church because of the fallout we need to pray for four churches for the people involved for families that are really hurting now because of these situations and ask God for his mercy and we need to be reminded of what Paul said in first Timothy three and Titus chapter 1 about the qualifications for ministry giftedness competency is a part of that a person has to be able to teach, but so much of the focus there is character. No Israel seems like. Often these situations take place when you have these very powerful charismatic leaders who are really accountable. There their elders.

Are they the individuals they should be accountable to are not holding them to accountability and can you just comment briefly on why that is so critical for a pastor to have that sort of team around him. Well, you need to have that kind of accountability one because it's biblical.

I mean, the New Testament churches were led by a plurality of elders and so it wasn't just like one gifted leader who was the king of everything and called all the shots there were groups of called and qualified men were leading these churches and and I just think it's a safeguard of meeting God's infinite wisdom. This is how your day and that the church should be established in, and typically when you have just one leader who's calling all the shots and is charismatic and everybody loves this individual is referred for that they go to someone's head. It's just so easy in isolation to do things that you wouldn't do.

Had there have been accountability and so so we need that no recognize ultimately that our Lord Jesus Christ is the chief Shepherd.

We as pastors and church leaders need to put the focus on Jesus because he is the hope humanity and as we altogether fix our eyes upon Jesus he builds healthy churches in our midst. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

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