Monday Morning Insights

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    One Year After the Affair: A Pastor Shares His Heart

    As you can also attest, this has been the hardest two years of my life, with this past year especially crushing. With the help of our Lord, a dear Christian counselor, some medication, and a few close people in my life, I am seeing light at the end of a self-inflicted tunnel.

    This is not the life path I would have chosen for myself or dear one wakes up and decides, “today I will destroy my life and do harm to those around me.” This path was a gradual one with many calls from God to stop, which I did not heed. HE was faithful. I was not.

    The Bible says that when sin is fully formed, it yields death. So much has died in and around my life. What I cling to these days is the belief that God specializes in resurrections. He brings life to places there was once death.

    Calvary Community Church, I loved you; and in many ways, served you well. My legacy, however, is one of failure and sin. I can’t undo that.

    I can only walk with Christ in authenticity--no longer hiding imperfections and failures, but living truthfully--honestly and with integrity (inside and outside matching). Will you see sin in my life? Yes. Am I striving to grow in Christ? Yes.

    What I MUST do is offer this public confession, my sincere apology and my heartfelt request for your forgiveness.

    With Sorrow...and yet with hope, Brad Johnson

    You can read this letter, and about Brad’s restoration process at his blog...

    FOR YOUR INPUT: What do you think?

    Brad Johnson is a great communicator and had a bright future as a pastor. That all ended when he admitted to an affair one year ago this month. What follows is an open letter that Brad wrote to his elders and church family on the one year anniversary of his departure. Brad writes:

    One year ago today, I spoke for the last time at Calvary. For the first time since I was 17, I have gone a year and have not spoken in a church, not served in a church, not volunteered in a church, and have not been asked to...just months ago, I began attending a church again (sit in the back, head down, annonymous.)

    It seems like the one year mark would be a good time and place to write this letter. I am so sorry for the pain and emotional upheaval my life and actions have caused you and the precious bride of Christ.

    I'm sorry for the deceptions, the irresponsibility, and the sin of adultery that came from my life and infected others. I assume full responsibility for my actions with no excuses and no rationalizations.


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    1. Peter Hamm on Mon, May 19, 2008

      I hope and pray that his restoration process is fruitful and complete. And if it takes a while, so be it.

    2. Tim Lett on Mon, May 19, 2008

      To me, this sounds like authentic sorrow and genuine repentance - a case in which grace will much more abound.  We see so many “I’m sorry” statements that come from being sorry that “I was caught”.  It is so refreshing to see what I genuinely believe to be the real deal.  May God restore this brother.

    3. Pete Wilson on Mon, May 19, 2008

      I posted this letter on my blog last week. Brad wrote a great response to the post and the comments. You can read the update here…

    4. Shane Moffitt on Mon, May 19, 2008

      Focus on the Family has a wonderful resource for Pastors.  Because I believe we must “take heed, lest we fall”, I faithfully spend time at and listen to the seminars.  One of the points they make over and over is the difference between “reconciliation” and “restoration”.  They work hard to reconcile a fallen pastor into a right relationship to God and a healthy relationship with his family.  However, as far as his being restored back into the role of Pastor, that is a totally different matter.  This brother is showing a wonderful spirit of repentance and is setting a fine example for other pastor’s that may stumble.  King David experienced adultery and God still used him in some fantastic ways.  God bless our brother and uphold him in prayer.

    5. bryan on Mon, May 19, 2008

      Good on him for accepting this as a part of his legacy and a part of who he is. As forgiven people, we do not let our past mistakes define us, but we also don’t pretend they didn’t happen. To do so is to forget how great our sin is, and how much greater our savior is.

      Just because his failures are a part of his legacy, doesn’t mean he can’t have a legacy that ends well. And really, I think sometimes I focus too much on my own legacy instead of how God can use me to add to Christ’s legacy.

    6. Grant Mathes on Mon, May 19, 2008

      Don’t forget to leave the past in the past & that on any given day Satan will steal your joy, the purpose God has for you, & any Blessing God will want you to have. i know, I struggle with the past everyday.

    7. Jay Kelly on Mon, May 19, 2008

      Impressive and inspiring.

    8. Danny on Mon, May 19, 2008

      As I read this letter, I could sense the brokeness in Brad’s heart.  I placed myself in Brad’s place, asking myself what if that was my letter.  Instantly it helped me think of safeguards I need to put in place so that I might never have to write that same kind of letter.

      May God’s grace bring Brad through the restoration process until he is able to minister God’s Word again.  God’s gifts and callings are without repentance.  God can still use a broken man.

    9. Ken Williams on Mon, May 19, 2008

      This is one of the most heartfelt apologies I’ve ever heard.

      I feel very sad for what has happened to this man of God and more importantly his family.

    10. Wenfred D. Dorsey on Mon, May 19, 2008

      I believe that Brian’s apology was sincere.  It took a lot for him to be honest about the sin in his life.  Most people would have been as forthcoming as he has been.  Thank God for His forgivng restoring power.

    11. Melody on Mon, May 19, 2008

      I don’t know.  After I read the guy’s entire blog, my reaction to this apology was a little different.

      For example, I have to wonder how sinful he considers his actions while he’s still in a relationship with the woman with whom he committed adultery.   He seems to give lip service only to those whom he truly hurt: his wife, his children, his church. 

      Can God redeem this man?  Absolutely.  I just don’t believe that he’s “there” yet.

      I’ll admit prejudice.  I can remember a situation in a church I attended where two adulterers insisted on continuing to attend church as a couple while their wronged spouses sat in the same congregation.  Guess who eventually left?  (Hint:  not the ones who did wrong.)  I’d like to see a little more grace from the church for the victims; they are pretty much counselled to get over it, that they need to be “more forgiving.”

    12. Andy Wood on Mon, May 19, 2008

      I think there is great value in the fact that this was written one year after - not in the shameful wake of being discovered or scandalized.

      I don’t know Brad, but I know of this experience and the shame, pain, and death it brings.  Yet also, I know the possibilities that are borne out of the relentless grace of God.

      Grace, at times, is a velvet-covered brick.  But it is faithful, even when we aren’t.

    13. Pastor Byars on Tue, May 20, 2008

      I believe him to be a person of sincere repentance because he had nothing to gain by writing the letter.  God has already forgiven him so if Calvary is a church, that is fashioned after the risen Christ then they will forgive him as well.  If they do not and if anyone else does not forgive him then they will need to write a letter as well because they will be in as much sin as Pastor Brad for having an unforgiving heart.  If God is in the restoration, redeeming and resurrecting business and we are to do what we see our Daddy (GOD) do should he not be restored, given another chance?  Does God not give us chances after chances after chance…I could continue but I do not want to crash this site…no one has a right to cast any judgement on anyone, because everybody lives in a glass house and is guilty of sin either by commision or ommision. If you say you do not sin then 1 John says you are a liar and the truth is not in you!  If you do not sin either you are God or dead!

    14. brad johnson on Tue, May 20, 2008

      For the very kind, grace-giving responses, thank you.   For Melody’s hesitation…thank you.  Your concern for my ex-wife and my precious children is genuine and well-placed.  I am in daily relationship with my children, and frequent contact with my ex-wife.  Over the past year, we have talked with depth about the harm I have done, the wounds I inflicted and healing process.

      However, I have kept those very personal conversations with them out of my blog.  So, what gives the impression of not addressing their needs, is actually a protection for their feelings and a respect for their privacy.

      again, to each of you…thanks…brad

    15. Camey on Tue, May 20, 2008


      Thank you for taking the time and having the courage to respond here in the manner in which you did.

      You were just prayed for and given thanks for.


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