From the book, What People Ask About The Church, by Dale A. Robbins
This view is grossly exaggerated. Due to the highly publicized sins
of well known preachers in recent times, cynicism and skepticism of all Christian leaders
has risen sharply. The flood of media attention over the sins of a few created a false
impression that the majority of preachers, especially those who minister on TV or who
openly request financial support, must be sinister or deceptive. This is not true.
Over the years, I have known hundreds of well-known evangelical
ministers, including TV preachers, and I know most to be godly, honest, and moral people.
It is a great injustice to many wonderful, Christ-like spiritual leaders to stereotype
them along with those of lesser integrity.
We do sadly recognize that a small percentage of preachers have been
guilty of shameful practices. In such cases, it appears that most started out with sincere
intentions, but somehow later fell prey to the temptations that came their way. I
personally knew a world-famous evangelist who fell into sin and scandal. When he first
started in the ministry, I knew him to be humble, sincere and Godly. However, fame and
affluence brought temptations which corrupted his integrity. How sad it was how
devastating for the body of Christ when his sins were aired before the public.
We cannot make excuse for their sins, but at the same token, we must
realize that Satan does work harder to tempt spiritual leaders to fall, knowing that if
they do there will be a chain-reaction of casualties to the body of Christ.
Backsliding, sin, and hypocrisy are nothing new to the ranks of the
church. Paul wrote about false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13), and
specifically mentioned one of his co-workers who had backslidden. "...for Demas has
forsaken me, having loved this present world..." (2 Tim. 4:10). There have always
been, and will always be, believers, including preachers, who falter. But we can't
discount all preachers because of the sins of a few.
I can remember a time or two as a kid, unwittingly biting into a
wormy apple, only to quickly spit out the pieces in disgust. Those experiences left a bad
taste in my mouth, but it didn't cause me to give up eating apples. I simply learned to
look more closely before sticking things in my mouth.
So don't let the bad taste of a few bad apples spoil your
appreciation for all ministers. Before you "bite" into anyone's ministry, you
have the right to inspect their fruit (Gal. 5:22-24). This is how the Bible teaches us to
spot false prophets. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather
grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit,
but a bad tree bears bad fruit" (Matt. 7:15-17).
God has chosen for godly men to be His messengers and to help point lives to our Savior (Eph. 4:11-12), but we must always remember that the basis of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ, not preachers or anyone else. Men are still only human and are subject to failure. So keep your focus upon Jesus. He will never fail you. "...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." (Heb. 12:2).
This article is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1995, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982.You may download for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain published quantities of this title, .
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