Monday Morning Insights

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    BUSTED:  Are you a three strike pastor?

    BUSTED:  Are you a three strike pastor?

    This is one of the most embarrassing and disgusting things I've seen in a long while.  An Oklahoma City television station watches a pastor, undercover, for six weeks as he spends hours and hours, and hundreds of dollars at a strip club.  It's embarrassing.  It's pathetic.  And it should NEVER happen.

    Watch this video.  It will turn your stomach.

    I think this is a great example of what I'm calling a 'three strike pastor':

    Strike one:

    This guy had absolutely no accountability, it seems.  He took off for hours from the church; and when the reporters called the church, no one seemed to know where he was at, other than at 'an appointment'.

    Pastor... it is important for someone to ALWAYS know where you are at.  ALWAYS.  That might seem like a violation of personal freedom; and maybe it is.  But it's absolutely necessary.

    Your assistant and your wife need to know where you are at all times.  We live in the day of smart phones.  A quick phone call or text can confirm your location very quickly.  Heck, even a geo-coded twitter message will do the trick.

    Strike two:

    This pastor is totally duplicitous.  He is totally living a double life.  On Sunday, he preaches about having righteousness; on Monday, he's 'horny as hell'.  And he's able to live both lives openly and freely, as long as they don't meet.

    Strike three:

    Lying...  This pastor was in sin WAY over his head.  His excuse initially:  he had gone to help counsel someone in their Celebrate Recovery program, and that was a mistake.  (Somehow, I knew this was all Rick Warren's fault!)  After all, if that was true, the hug and kiss in the parking lot, the locking himself in the bathroom for hours; and the attempt at a covert, speedy getaway would all confirm that, right?

    It didn't.

    Let me throw out a suggestion today.  Do this three strike test:

    1.  Do you have accountability?  If not get some today; this minute.  If not, consider it strike one.

    2.  Are you living duplicitously?  Are you preaching one thing on Sunday and living a totally different lifestyle the rest of the week?  I'm not talking little stuff here.  Don't get bogged down in that.  I'm talking specific sins that you preach about; that the Bible is very clear on; that you have made your secret lifestyle.  You know what classifies as this.  If you have to ask or justify; consider this confirmation.  If you are currently living a double life that only you and God (and maybe another person other than your spouse know about):  strike two.

    3.  Is there anything in your life or lifestyle that will cause you to lie if you're asked about it out of the blue?  Is there anything that will cause you to lie to cover your butt, save your job, save your marriage, or keep you from public humiliation?  If you're not willing to tell the truth about anything and everything... strike three.

    Here's the reality:  while most pastors and church leaders are obedient and faithful to their calling; there are also many 'three-strike' pastors out there.

    If you're a three-strike pastor:  get out.

    Quit your job today and move at least a thousand miles away.

    Then, get some help.

    Work at McDonalds if you have to; but stop defiling the office that God has called you to.

    Get out; and find something honorable to do with your time.

    DISCLAIMER:  Please don't misunderstand me.  There are MANY instances where pastors should stay on, get accountability, and work through their situations.  In fact, this should happen in most situations. None of us are perfect, by any means.  What I'm talking about is someone who has slid into the traps of sin to the level that this man did.  He didn't slip one day and spend hundreds of dollars and hours and hours in a strip club instantly.  This was most likely the result of years of sin; that probably started out almost innocently but grew into a stage four cancer.

    My word of encouragement for all of us today.  Maybe you have one strike.  Maybe two.  But take action today... right now... to get a new at bat.

    Don't get the third strike.

    Because when you get the third strike, you're truly out.

    What do YOU think?





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    1. Leonard on Mon, November 15, 2010

      Song of Solomon says it is the little foxes that spoil the vine.  Thy jump up and pull the whole vine down to get at the fruit.

      Sin is much more like this for pastors.  It is the little secrets that spoil the vine. 

      I let my wife know every meeting I have.  When I am in a meeting with the opposite sex, I have someone else join me and if I cannot, it is always in view of people.  I also make sure someone on my staff and board know about these meetings.  In addition to that, I make sure my wife has veto power for any meeting I have.  Finally, I will not have prolonged meetings with the opposite sex.  I will meet once for a set time and after that I refer them to another woman in our church. 

      Thanks Todd, keep posting stuff that pushes pastors and leaders to be faithful.

    2. Dave on Mon, November 15, 2010

      Years ago I heard a man speak on his addiction that had progressed from porn to prostitutes, with a variety of things inbetween.  He said that he would fall whenever three things were true: 1. time for which he did not have to account; 2. money for which he did not have to account; and 3. anonymity.  In other words, when he was at a conference or in a different town where people wouldn’t recognize him, and had both time and money available, he would fall.  Removing even one of these three factors would give him the means of escape.
      What a sad video!  Yes, my heart was wrenched, but I think every pastor should watch it.  Should this man get out , as you say?  Yes, but it is still very sad.  We must understand that it is not a difficult thing for us to categorize our lives and ministries so that we can rail against sin on Sunday and enjoy it on Monday.  And this is true of far more than sexual sin.  Some of the best liars and powermongers I have known have been fellow pastors.
      Thanks for posting this.

    3. Peter Hamm on Wed, November 17, 2010

      I’m blessed to live in a small town where everywhere I go somebody knows me… So forget about a strip club, I can’t even fail to tip my waitress or someone will notice.

      That helps.

    4. Josh Hatcher on Thu, November 18, 2010

      Great assessment!

      This breaks my heart, and it’s SO common.
      So many pastors and church leaders are hooked on sexual sin, and need to get help.

      I know that lust is a battle for ALL men… no matter how perfect they claim to be.

      My suggestion?

      Let your congregations know, CLEARLY - you are not perfect.
      From the pulpit.

      Let them know that sometimes you struggle with lust.

      That’s hard for pastors to do.
      to say, “Sometimes I struggle with lust, and I need people to help hold me accountable”

      It shows weakness, vulnerability, and takes away an element of control.

      These are things that pastors want to avoid!

      I feel they should embrace.

      You DO have to be careful, and not get specific, and make SURE that you have GUYS in your church that are good friends with which you can get more specific… and real…

      your congregation will support you BEFORE you fall this hard…. to keep you FROM falling this hard…

      But they will not support you if you DO fall this hard.

    5. Loren on Thu, November 18, 2010

      Yeah, embarrassing, and an easy shot to take. In this sort of situation one shouldn’t blame the messenger, but gotta say this is the sleaziest TV station I’ve ever seen. They make it sound like they’re doing this expos´┐Ż because they’re so concerned about the people’s money, but if you look at their own website they also have right beside it a rather approving interview with some apparently-famous pornstar who makes her home in OK because it’s just so darn wholesome to live there! Gotta conclude this isn’t really journalism for the public good. I wish whomever was tipping them off about Randy had instead gone to some superior in the denomination and gotten him help there, rather than dragging the church through the filth, too. Bet they’ve got top ratings in the market, though! People love to see faith exposed as hypocritical.

    6. Q. on Thu, November 18, 2010

      Again, it’s not all or JUST the guys…I think we can be adults and say that many people in our congregations are dealing with things like this…we don’t have to say, “Guys, find another guy who you can talk with because only guys deal with it-and every guy deals with it, and if they say they don’t-they’re lying…”.  That’s a pretty bad cop-out and it doesn’t reflect the whole truth…

      I’ll get off my soapbox now…  wink

    7. eB on Sat, December 04, 2010

      Well said, brother.

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