*Pray for prey!
Is this the new slogan of churches today?
When I heard about the story in Alabama of the pastor (Juan McFarland) with full-blown AIDS making a decision to share with the congregation (in the worst way), I knew I had to say something. There are so many things wrong with this ministry scenario and it brought my mind and heart back to my own situation with an untruthful pastor.
While I was praying for him, he was preying on me. I was ridiculed and abandoned by the church for writing my novel Ministers with White Collars & Black Secrets: The Truth Exposed. No one understood how I could tell the truth that men of the cloth are not perfect. Church folk felt, I should keep my mouth closed and go back into my hole of shame while he continued on his Godly mission with no consequences. This story is exactly why I wanted to talk about it!
I was blessed; my ending wasn’t so sad or scary in regard to the medical condition of the pastor. Have Gods’ people forgotten what is expected of us? Are we so caught up in our ways of doing things that His Word no longer resonates in our minds or hearts?
Church people, we have to do better. We have to take a stand and make decisions at some point in life that wrong is wrong. We have to start speaking out about what we see in our churches in an effort to make change. If we continue to allow the wrongdoing, it only manifests into bigger problems. We are in spiritual warfare! Every church has issues, we are not naïve enough to believe they don’t but the issues should not be destroying the very foundation upon which it is built. The place we once could go for refuge is no longer a safe haven. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the church building from any other building. God is not pleased with this. We have to start holding one another accountable for our actions in and out of the church. It seems that when these sex scandals hit, the woman is the only one rebuked and scorned for her participation. Wrong is wrong even if it is the pastor. We have to stop protecting these leaders and make them accountable for their actions. How can change come about when no one is demanding it?
I have been involved in a scandal; I understand the pain from all sides. But from my experience, I also know there is change and redemption as options but not until we understand there is a problem. In my situation, the church simply wanted me to go away, not fix the problem or deal with the pastor involved and hold him accountable, just shun me. There is a lot to learn from these incidents. The most important lesson is ALL people involved are accountable for their actions, their participation and their redemption! As a church, we have to stop blaming the weak and protecting the strong. It’s never an easy situation to deal with but we must do better dealing with it.
This pastor and all those that kept quiet knowing the situation are wrong. We may not like it, some won’t say it, but it’s the truth. Our men and women of the cloth must do better. Let’s stop sweeping our dirt under the rug and protecting leaders that need help. There is no change without first admitting the need for change. Church is becoming like politics, where we expect very little honesty or integrity from our appointed leader. Now where in the Bible is this mindset supported. I can tell you NOWHERE! We better get back to God’s word and stop leading from our own understanding.
This is why it is so important to have a relationship with God for you. Hurt and broken people make great targets. Get to know God and His word for yourself. No one is perfect, but as Christians we should strive to be more Christ like each day. While this church and many like it need our prayer, they also need to take action. Don’t sit back and just allow the devil to take over. This is a call of action for Ministry to get back to God’s business. God’s people should be able to pray without feeling as prey!
About Deborah Smith Simpkins:
Deborah is a powerful motivational speaker, minister and entrepreneurial book publisher. Her life and spiritual walk is testament to the way God’s providence allows for pain, setbacks and challenging obstacles – but always with a rebirth and a sequel in mind. A preacher’s kid (PK) who grew up immersed in The Word, she has seen her share of church politics. Her best selling novel Ministers with White Collars & Blacks Secrets: The Truth Exposed is a testament of not only what she witnessed in the church, but also what she experienced for herself. For more information please visit www.Deborahsimpkins.com